What to Buy: March 31, 2010

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March is nearly over, but better late than never for some new comics recommendations. Or, I could talk more about the main focus of my life recently: evaluating procedural due process under the Mathews v. Eldridge balancing test when presented with a facial challenge to constitutionality. So would you rather hear about the Constitution or comic books?

Personally, I’m ready for some comics talk, so let’s get to it, dammit.

The Essentials

Blackest Night #8 (of 8 )

It has finally arrived. It doesn’t feel like much time has passed since this huge crossover event started, and now, we’ve come to the conclusion. I have to question Johns’ pacing a little bit, because the first few issue were a little repetitive, and suddenly in issue #7, there was a ton of stuff happening all at once, and the story felt a bit rushed. That leaves him with plenty to resolve here, so the final installment should be a doozy.

X-Men: Second Coming #1

Speaking of “finally arrived,” Marvel is at last ready to bring us the sequel to Messiah Complex, as Hope, the first mutant born since House of M, returns to the present time, all grown up. The big event’s tagline, “Many will be wounded. Several will die,” isn’t nearly as dramatic as most of Marvel’s recent solits for big events (which always seem to promise “The Marvel Universe as you know it will never be the same!”). I actually credit Marvel for not promising too much this time. The fact is, this should be a very entertaining X-event. And for those, like myself, who perhaps find main X-scribe Matt Fraction to be a little inconsistent, you may be pleased to learn this mini is instead being co-written by X-Force writers Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost (the latter of whom also writes perhaps my favorite book right now, Red Robin).

Should Buy

Justice Society of America #37

This was supposed to come out last week, but it should be well worth the wait, as the second part of Bill Willingham’s dark Nazi future should provide a great look at what he has planned for the Dystopian story. The first part was good, not great, but it had that undefinable quality that makes you think it could be heading toward “classic” territory.

Jack of Fables #44

The penultimate chapter to the new direction of the book. By next month, we should have a better indication whether the book will return to “Essential” level or stay where it’s at.

Others to Consider 

Blackest Night posters

Two Blackest Night posters based on early covers from the miniseries, both for $8.99. I like poster #2 better then poster #1, though I can’t see me buying either. I’ve only ever bought one comics poster, and I’m pretty sure I’ve lost it.

God of War #1 (of 6)

I’m not sure I’ve ever bought a WildStorm comic (I think I tried something once, but I couldn’t say what). Nor have I ever played the video game this comic is based on. However, I’m still intrigued, mostly because it’s written by industry legend Marv Wolfman. Plus, the cover looks badass.

Justice League of America #43

James Robinson got off to a rough start on the title, and I was justifiably critical of him and the book. However, I wanted to stick with it a little longer, and that might have paid off. The last issue was pretty good, and the one-shot special, The Rise and Fall #1, was even better, as it recapped the events of Cry for Justice, which apparently ended up with some fairly huge events after all. Color me cautiously optimistic as Robinson takes the next step forward.

Cloak and Dagger #1

Cloak and Dagger get another shot at their own book. I’ve never taken to them all that much, but I know they have a dedicated fanbase. I won’t try it, but I wish it success.

X-Men Forever #20

I tried one issue, and it was fine, but I’ve forgotten about it the past couple months, and don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything too huge. I’ll probably sit this book out for the foreseeable future.

Fantastic Four #577

Similarly, I tried one issue (I think #575), but was underwhelmed and forgot afterward. However, the solits keep sounding really intriguing (this one involves the Inhumans), so there’s at least a 50/50 chance I pick this up.

She-Hulk: Sensational #1

Marvel’s line of “male guilt” comics continues, as the company is making such a push to promote female heroes and creators that it’s borderline condescending. However, even if you don’t dig a lot of the company’s other efforts (such as next month’s Marvel Her-oes … yes, that really is the title), this might be an issue worth supporting. I certainly have nothing against heroines getting their own books, so long as it’s a worthy set-up and not merely a token attempt at diversity. The one-shot appears to be quite worthy; it’s written by Peter David, whose She-Hulk ongoing was canceled less than two years ago, with a backup story by Brian Reed, coming off an overall successful run on Ms. Marvel. It even features a cover by notable PAD collaborator Gary Frank. The $4.99 price tag looks a little steep, but it does include a John Byrne reprint, as well.

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10 Responses to “What to Buy: March 31, 2010”

  1. davidry214 Says:

    From Image Comics, there’s also Youngblood #1, which everyone should buy because 1) It’s only $1, and 2) It’s presumably named after me.

  2. Gokitalo Says:

    Buy 1,000 copies. Come on, if you did it in ’91, you can do it again. I’d buy it just to see Dave drawn by Rob Liefeld (EXTREEEEEEME)

    Anyway, very happy to see the Weekly Recommendations return! Obviously, Blackest Night #8’s gonna be a doozy, given how much happened last issue. I would love to write a post about this when it’s all over and you know, maybe I might. But enough of my half-baked promises! Pick Blackest Night #8 up, gang, it’s a big one.

    Somehow I fell behind on Fantastic Four, but I plan to remedy that as soon as possible. Hickman and Eaglesham’s “Solve Everything” arc was, ahem, a fantastic start, and I want to see where their next big storyline leads.

    And hey, She-Hulk! It’s about time Marvel’s most sensational gamma-powered heroine made a comeback. I’m kind of surprised they didn’t get Dan Slott to write a story for She-Hulk: Sensational, since he’s the guy who pretty much put She-Hulk back on the map. Still, Peter David’s a great writer and his last name is the first name of one of our bloggers, which is clearly a hallmark of quality. If the preview pages are any indication, David (as in PAD, not our Dave) is combining his trademark humor with the classic fourth-wall-breaking comedy John Byrne brought to She-Hulk in his own famous run. This could be very fun.

    I’ll probably also get Detective Comics #863 , since I’ve been buying Batgirl regularly and have generally dug it. Sad J.H. Williams is gone, but Jock’s no slouch, and Rucka’s current story reminds me of the “new Gotham” stories he did in his first Detective Comics run. And since Wonder Woman #42 begins the final storyline of Gail’s run, I think I might stop in for a return visit.

    Trade-wise, Steve Ditko’s Creeper is lookin’ good, albeit pricey. Last week had good trades, too, like Joe Kubert’s recent mini-series, Tor: A Prehistoric Odyssey— Joe’s the man– and Hardware: Man in the Machine, which finally collects the first issues of Dwayne McDuffie’s Hardware series from Milestone.

  3. davidry214 Says:

    Goki, having now read Blackest Night #8, I eagerly await that post. Here’s your title: “HOLY ####!!!”

    Maybe I’ll check out FF in trade …

    Actually, PAD’s Shulkie story includes a brief reference to Dan Slott. As you might expect, David’s story is quite funny: it’s Jen reflecting on her own 30-year anniversary, with Stan Lee guiding her through a Christmas Carol-style look at her past, present, and future. Reed’s story is terrible, but the Byrne reprint is fun, so I’d say the one-shot is worth buying.

    I looked at the Ditko Creeper trade, because of your mention, but it was cost-prohibitive. None of the others really peaked my interest much.

    I ended up with:
    Blackest Night #8
    X-Men: Second Coming #1
    JSA #37
    Jack of Fables #44
    JLA #43
    She-Hulk Sensational #1
    Torch #6
    (from a week or two ago

    I’ll try to do some reviews tomorrow!

  4. Blackest Night #8 review- “HOLY ####!!!” « Eat More Comics Says:

    […] by the way. Seriously though, there’s really no other way to describe this issue. Dave hit the nail on the head. Fans of Johns’ last Green Lantern epic, the Sinestro Corps War, knows Geoff Johns can write […]

  5. spiffyithaca Says:

    Well, obviously Blackest Night sounds like a big deal, but I’m interested to know if anyone alive read and enjoyed Cloak & Dagger, because I’ve always mildly enjoyed them, especially when they showed up in Runaways.

    Also, Messiah Complex was one of the best X-crossovers I had ever read (granted, I’ve read very few), but it’s still one of the best of the last decade for sure, and the follow up sounds awesome. When I get rich and famous, I’ll fall back on my comic habit. Most people turn to drugs, I’ll turn to Cyclops.

  6. davidry214 Says:

    Well, just for you, I checked out a review of Cloak and Dagger on ComicBookResources.com. First of all, turns out it was just a one-shot. The reviewer seems just as surprised as I am about that, as the implication seemed to be that it was an ongoing or at least a miniseries. He found it pretty so-so: a “competently-crafted” story that can’t avoid an “After School Special” feel to it. Doesn’t sound like there were any huge implications for the characters’ future, either. I’m guessing a lot of their fans came away disappointed, but maybe they’re testing the waters to see if the characters can support their own book, or something.

    I was surprised Marvel waited what, two and a half years?, to follow up Messiah Complex. A couple weeks ago, I read the most recent issue of Cable, which was setting up Second Coming and promised the final conflict between him and Bishop, but it turned out to be mediocre and not final at all, so my expectations for this crossover lowered. But like I said in my review, the first issue delivered big. It goes to Uncanny X-Men next, which can be a bit bumpy at times, but Fraction has been on his game better lately.

  7. spiffyithaca Says:

    They’ve been dragging out that Bishop/Cable fight for fucking 3 years. Jesus. I liked the Cable series, but it was real slow and was promising the Bishop/Cable brawl when it first started. Lame.

  8. davidry214 Says:

    Yeah, I remember reading the early solits and thinking it sounded badass, but became less intrigued when each month’s solit sounded the same. I think Cable and Bishop fought for like 20 straight issues.

  9. gokitalo Says:

    Including that one where Bishop pilots a GIGANTIC SPACE WHALE

  10. davidry214 Says:

    Well, the gigantic space whale was created nearly 30 years ago by Chris Claremont during his Uncanny heyday, if that gives it any more credibility. There was a whole race of them, which the Brood enslaved as massive, living transports. Played a pretty major role in the first Brood story. Still looks amusing, but Claremont made weird shit work back then.

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