What to buy: December 2, 2009

Happy December everyone! Should be a very good month of comics, including a very unusual week to round out 2009: the last week of December will feature only one new DC comic: Blackest Night #6.First time I’ve ever seen that, but it certainly draws attention to what promises to be a hugely important issue. But more on that as the month goes on. For now, we’ll take a look at the first week of books, and there are a lot of good choices. And remember: because of the holiday, no new comics until Thursday this week!
Also this week, Goki and I (David/AA) are going to team up for the weekly recommendations. Let us know what you think!
The Essentials
Blackest Night: The Flash #1 (of 3)
Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins reunite again on Flash as the scarlet speedsters have to face the undead Rogues. If you listen carefully, you can hear Lia drooling all the way from Canada. I am confused by the solit’s assertion that Barry’s greatest enemy, the Reverse Flash, will be resurrected, since I thought that’s what was happening in the still-unconcluded Flash: Rebirth. Oh well, I’m definitely buying, so we’ll see what’s up then.
Torch #4 (of 8 )
Until Blackest Night #5, I was thinking this might be the best miniseries of the year. Can it match up with Blackest Night again in this issue? Honestly, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if it kept pace with BN all the way through. Alex Ross, Mike Carey and crew are weaving a spellbinding story.
Should Buy
Blackest Night: Wonder Woman #1 (of 3)
I’ve never been a huge Wonder Woman fan, but given how good this crossover has gotten over the past month, I think you’d be remiss to miss any significant tie-in. I can’t promise I’ll be there for all three issues, but I’ll at least give #1 a shot as Black Lantern Maxwell Lord comes to haunt Diana.
Goki says: Greg Rucka can write an awesome Wonder Woman. Just check out Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia.
Jack of Fables #40
This looks like a clear turning point for everyone’s favorite postmodernist fantasy book. And if it turns in the direction I’m expecting, it’s a pretty dramatic shift. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet, because I loved the way things had been, but I trust Willingham and Sturges to deliver.
JSA All-Stars #1
Another entry from Matthew Sturges, a rising star writer for DC. A spin-off of Justice Society of America, which Sturges co-writes with Willingham, this marks the debut of the second JSA team. I’m less excited about this book than I am the main one, and not just because of the absence of Willingham on it. Mostly, it’s because I like the characters better who seem to be staying in the main book. There are some good ones here, too (Hourman, Liberty Belle, and Stargirl are favorites), but I can’t say I care much for Power Girl or Magog, both of whom promise to be much of the focus. Still, the JSA is probably the best written team in comicdom right now (though competition is weaker than usual with the JLA and Avengers in disarray), so it’s worth an extended try.
Jonah Hex #50
Just check out that Darwyn Cooke interior art and tell me you’re at least interested. This issue is a milestone in many ways: it’s rare these days for a Western to reach issue 50. No need to buy previous issues of this series, either; this story’s self-contained.
Okay, here’s some more Darwyn Cooke art to whet your appetite. See, we’re using food terminology now!
Superman: World of New Krypton #10
This’ll probably read best if you’ve read the other nine issues. If you haven’t, you should: World of New Krypton has been a fascinating read. It fleshes out the revamped Kryptonian culture introduced in Geoff Johns’ run on Action Comics, as well as the relationship between Superman and General Zod (now far more complicated than just a mere enmity). In this issue, someone on New Krypton has been murdered… and guest-star Adam Strange is the primary suspect. Can Superman clear Adam Strange’s name– assuming, of course that he’s innocent– and avoid playing further into Zod’s hands? As usual, Greg Rucka and James Robinson co-write, although you can tell Rucka’s handling most of the dialogue.
Essential X-Factor Vol. 3 TPB
It’s hard to believe that there was an era in which none of the founding X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, Angel) were part of the Uncanny X-Men. And yet, there was, in the age of the original X-Factor. Several great stories came out of it, too, some of which are collected here. Obviously, you’d do well to get the first two volumes (which I have not) before moving on to this, but it’s definitely one to keep on your mind.
Uncanny X-Men #518
After a two-month wait for issue #517, we get #518 after just one week, putting Uncanny nearly back on schedule. I liked the first two parts of “Nation X” quite a bit, though I’m slightly less excited about this one: yet another “psychic rescue,” something we’ve seen several times with different characters over the years (this one is for Emma Frost). However, I’m still on board; I have a feeling once we figure out where this seven-part story is going, it’ll be someplace good.
Others to Consider
Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #2 (of 6)
Obviously, you need to make Fables your priority, followed by Jack of Fables. But if you’re all square on those great books, try this miniseries, the first Fables series not at least co-written by Bill Willingham (he is, however, a “consultant”). The first issue was intriguing, and I like the characters being used.
Siege: Cabal
The solit says: “Remember when you were first introduced to the Cabal, the gathering of the most sinister members of the Marvel Universe, and you said to yourself: Well, that’s going to blow up in everyone’s face!” Actually, what I said to myself was, “Huh, that doesn’t seem very in-character for any of these villains to agree to this.” Nevertheless, this appears to be where the Cabal indeed blows up. Maybe I should get it, but I have a feeling it won’t be worth $3.99 (especially in an already big week). I don’t know, we’ll see.
Dark Avengers Annual #1
I’m slightly more interested in this one-shot focusing on Marvel Boy, a character I do like. However, it’s even more expensive, coming in at $4.99. Sure, it’s double-sized, but that just means more pages of Chris Bachalo’s grotesque art.
Goki says: which actually worked well in the Sinister Spider-Man mini Bachalo did. Don’t know if it’ll work as well in a more straightforward story…
Marvels Project #4 (of 8 )
Feels like it’s been a while since the last issue, but I don’t know exactly when #3 was, so maybe it’s my imagination. Anyway, I’m still buying this miniseries, but if this issue doesn’t move beyond the “decent to pretty good” range that it’s been in for the first three issues, I might have to reconsider.
Strange #2 (of 4)
I’m leaning against picking up the second issue of this mini, which is odd considering the high degree of anticipation I initially had for this book from Mark Waid on the former Sorceror Supreme. However, the first issue was not particularly compelling, so this might be a good book to trim to keep costs down.
Black Panther: Deadliest of the Species TPB
I’m interested in getting back into BP, so if anyone out there knows how this is, let me know!
Black Widow and Marvel Girls #1 (of 4)
No interest in this series exploring Black Widow’s origin (though Natasha is a very good character). However, I mention it just because I wonder if there will come a time in the next 10-20 years when Marvel has to retcon Black Widow’s origin somehow. After all, she is a former KGB agent, and it’s now been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and 18 since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. As the gap between Cold War relevance and present-day comics widens, it could be tougher to get new readers to accept her backstory. Also curious to see how Iron Man 2 addresses this.
Goki says: good genes?
Iron Man vs. Whiplash #1 (of 4)
I’ve never thought of Whiplash as an elite villain, so I’m still surprised he made the cut for the Iron Man 2 movie. However, I’m willing to be made a believer by the film. I do not plan on getting this mini, though I do find it interesting Marvel is getting geared up for the movie already with it’s release still nearly six months away, trying to feed off its excitement with this and the Black Widow minis.
Nova #32
I really want to check out the trades for this book, because I’ve heard good things and I like a lot of Marvel’s cosmic characters (several of whom make guest appearances). However, the problem: not only do I feel I’d have to get caught up on this series, I’d probably have to get caught up on all Marvel’s recent cosmic events/crossovers that surely are affecting this book. And while that sounds fun, it’s a lot of dough.
Psylocke #2 (of 4)
I don’t know if anyone got #1, but I’m surprised how indifferent I am toward Psylocke’s return. I really only even care insofar as she may or may not rekindle her relationship with Warren.
Goki says: so you’re one of THOSE people! 
Fall of the Hulks: Alpha
Marvel’s other crossover begins this month, with this one-shot kicking off Fall of the Hulks. I’m higher on Hulk than ever after completing Peter David’s historic run, but unfortunately, nothing about this event gets me excited enough to buy (nor did the two most recent issues of Incredible Hulk I tried). Red and green Hulks and She-Hulks and son of the Hulk and even Rick Jones is now also a gamma-irradiated monster? Come back, Peter. Please.
X-Force Annual #1
Might try the main book in another month or two, but I plan to wait until the X-Necrosha story dies down. Besides, this annual spotlights Wolverine, and I can get Wolvy stories in any of about half of Marvel’s books.
Thor #604
The start of a run by Kieron Gillen, whom I’d never heard of a couple months but now seems to be everwhere for Marvel. I’m not a big Thor fan, but I’m intrigued by him facing down Doctor Doom, an unusual villain for him to fight, but an intersting one given both characters’ regal personalities. Could be good, but I don’t know if I’m buying.
Batman: The Cat and the Bat
Hey, remember all the controversy this caused when a mother found an issue of this and saw Catwoman and Batgirl running around a strip bar in ripped clothing? Well, now mothers everywhere can enjoy these scantily-clad shenanigans! Seriously though, I hear the story itself, by Fabian Nicieza, is actually pretty good. Kevin Maguire, king of facial expressions (Amanda Conner is the queen ;)), is on art, so you know you’re going to get one good-looking comic book. Besides, it stars Barbara Gordon as Batgirl in a full-length story. How often do you see that these days?
The Comics Journal #300
Wow. One of the premiere comic magazines concludes its print run with this issue. To call this a milestone would be an understatement. This isn’t the end of The Comics Journal, however; the magazine just plans to become online-only. I know not everyone’s a fan of the TCJ, but check out all the creators who get interviewed this issue (most of whom are interviewing each other)! Art Spiegelman, David Mazzuchelli, Dave Gibbons, Frank Quitely… good stuff.
X-Babies #3 (of 4)
If you thought I would eventually stop mentioning this series, then you were clearly incorrect.

6 Responses to “What to buy: December 2, 2009”

  1. gokitalo Says:

    Okay, WordPress clearly doesn’t like AOL font. Editing…

  2. gokitalo Says:

    Fixed (mostly). Now try to figure out who wrote what! I wrote just a little more than I let on 😉

  3. davidry214 Says:

    I ended up buying:
    Incredible Hercules #138 (from last week)
    JSA All-Stars #1
    Blackest Night: Flash
    Blackest Night: Wonder Woman
    Uncanny X-Men #518
    The Torch #4
    Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love #2
    Jack of Fables #40
    Dark Avengers Annual #1
    Empowered One-Shot
    (an Image book my comic guy practically begged me to try)

  4. spiffyithaca Says:

    I really like this idea, but honestly, without you posting saying you wrote more than you let on, I assumed you just wrote those little add on’s Goki. You need more time to shine babe. Or a more even time share. Though, that would endanger this to becoming longer and it’s already borderline long already. But I enjoyed it, as always.

    How are Psylocke’s boobs looking?

    I had never heard of Whiplash, but it’s Mickey Rourke in the movie, so I’m all kinds of pumped.

    I wish you had liked Strange #1 so I could vicariously learn about it through you David. Dammit.

    I bet one of us will try Jonah Hex in preparation for the upcoming movie with Josh Brolin. Maybe it’ll even be me.

  5. gokitalo Says:

    “You need more time to shine babe. Or a more even time share.”

    I could be… a star! A STAR!!

    David did the lion’s share this week; I made only four picks. The system currently is, one of us does a list, then the other adds whatever he thinks should make the cut. I wrote up the list this week, which I’m waiting for Dashing Dave to deftly deliberate on.

    I was so going to buy Jonah Hex, but I think I forgot. Or maybe it came out after I went to the store. Yeah, thaaat was it.

    Seriously, though, I’d buy it just to drool over Cooke’s artwork*. Then when the movie comes out, I can switch to drooling over Megan Fox. Maybe. I haven’t made up my mind about her yet.

    And yeeeah, I think we need to figure out a way to make this shorter. I tried to pare down this week’s list and it was still huge. Maybe we can set a limit of three or five per category?

    *you can probably tell who wrote the Jonah Hex paragraph by now :p

  6. spiffyithaca Says:

    If you need time to make up your mind about Megan Goki, I think the real question, Goki, is…

    Have you made your mind about your sexuality?

    WHAT UP!

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