Monday, November 26, 2007

The trouble with solicitations

Once again it´s time for my comments on the new solicitations and once again I´m late. This time not only because of my usual problems with the internet since we changed the provider but also because of the solicitations themselves.

The websites where I usually get the pics of the new solicitaions from had some major problems. Especially the Marvel stuff took some time. At first almost none of the pics were loading and than it took forever. I even had to go to other websites to get them all. In the end it took me almost one week and I had to check five times for redundant pics. So I want to apologize in advance if some of the pics are in a low resolution or bad quality.

As for the pic to start this post off : that´s the exact feeling if you have to go cold turkey on your comic reading like me. I guess it´s now four weeks without any new stuff to read. Thank god that the comic fair in Stuttgart is at the first of December. I just hope that I can scrounge up some money till then.

So without further introduction let´s get to the noteworthy stuff of this months solicitations :

All Star Batman and Robin the boy wonder 9

One of the reasons why I enjoy reading this comic so much is that it pisses off so many comic fans. Having Frank Miller and Jim Lee going wild is really only half the fun. The other half is watching everybody freak out all over the message boards and on the various comicblogs.

So far not much has happened in the series which would leave the creative team with 12 more issues to fill but who knows how that will work out now that Neal Adams was announced.

All I can say is : Hail to the goddamn Batman !

Batman 674

Seems like the Batman has a new nemesis : Tim Taylor. This issue kicks off the new storyarc INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES 101 - HOME IMPROVEMENT EDITON in which Batman goes up against the Toolmaster a.k.a. Tim Taylor and Heidi competes against Catwoman in a wet t - shirt contest while.......well, that WOULD be cool but I guess that´s not what happens in this issue. Would be cool, though.

Nightwing One Year Later Trade

Keeping with the bat - motif I have to mention this trade. Or better I have to warn the comicreading populace of this trade. From all the One Year Later stuff I´ve read so far this is the worst I have read yet. And not only is it the worst One Year Later I´ve read so far it is also the worst Nightwing story ever. Coupled with really apalling artwork ( that is going to grace the pages of Supergirl none too soon if I´m not mistaken ) this tale about the Red Hood posing as a massmurdering Nightwing is so bad it´s hard to describe.

Red Hood as a character has less than zero interest and the rest of the supporting cast isn´t fleshed out much more either. His new love interest has less personality than a milk carton and the villains are rather annoying than scary.

The One Year Later comics were supposed to bring new readers to the various titles but all this trade manages is to scare people away from Nightwing. If you want to do yourself a favour skip this trade and start reading Nightwing with the issues written by Marv Wolfman. You will thank me for it later.

Oh, and before you think there´s nothing positive to say about this trade : nice cover.

Showcase presents : Batman and the Outsiders 1

Last of the bat - related comics this month is the resolicitation of this SHOWCASE volume presenting what I hope is only the first in a series of trades representing the fabulous BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS series.

I can´t say it enough : I whish DC would be publishing more stuff by comicartist extraordinaire Jim Aparo. This month they re - offer this trade so if you haven´t bought your copy yet here is your second chance to get one. I still have to buy my copy since at the moment I´m a bit low on cash and I also already have most of the stuff included in this volume. But I would really love to read all the issues in the original version since a lot of it was reprinted in Germany in pocket books ( see my COVERSTORY posts for more about german pocket books ) which means a lot of the original text was edited out.

Showcase presents : The Phantom Stranger 2

Speaking of Jim Aparo and Showcase in general : sometimes it DOES seem like somebody at DC IS reading this comicblog. Which shouldn´t surprise anybody since not only is it Germany´s best comicblog but where else can you find reviews of comics in America, Germany and Spain ?

No really, first the SAGA OF THE SUPERSONS trade and now this. So DC finally put out the second volume of Phantom Stranger stories by the incomparable Jim Aparo. The first volume is so far the only Showcase I own and judging by the fact that the stuff that is included in the second volume is also brandnew to me it´s a safe bet that I will buy this one.

The first volume is one of the jewels of my comic collection but maybe this will be number two. DC is on the right way.

Brave and the Bold 10

Superman and some knight on the cover ? Aquaman and the Teen Titans ? What the f - word ? I don´t care. You can´t go wrong with George Perez doing the art. So far all the issues have been pure comic book gold because it´s just fun to read them. True, I was a little disappointed by the issue featuring Wonder Woman and Power Girl since it was not the wet t- shirt / micro bikini / put them on the glass isssue I hoped for but let´s be realistic for a moment. Despite everybody saying that comics nowadays are made mostly for men they are most definitely not. All in all it was a good issue with mummies and another example that not everybody likes Wonder Woman. And this issue will be no exception either....I mean how can you go wrong with medivial Superman ? Sure, it´s not as cool as evil doppelganger cyborg Superman but it´s a close second. Or third ?

Booster Gold 0

I swear each month they try to get on my pull list. First they but the original Batgirl on the cover ( you know, the one who was older and taller than Robin and who was retconned all over ), then Blue Beetle and now this. Just how many Blue Beetles are there ? Guess I have to look for some Booster Gold issues at the comic fair in Stuttgart. If there are any comic dealers with US books. Last time there were very few so - who knows ?

Blue Beetle 24

Speaking of Blue Beetle it seems luck has run out on DC´s newest teen superhero. Guess pretty soon he will have more in common with Ted Kord than he thought. If you are not reading Blue Beetle ( which in my opinion is one of the best books Dc is putting out at the moment )than you better start long as there still is a Blue Beetle. Oy.

Teen Titans 56

Okay, it´s official now. February 2008 is BLUE BEETLE MONTH at DC. Just on how many books is he ? Is he now with the Teen Titans or what ?

I wouldn´t know since the last issue I have read was issue 50 and I haven´t seen hide nor hide of anohter issue ever since. I guess only time and my new comic dealer will tell.

Justice Society of America 13

Now my text to this cover would most definitely be : " Sorry, old guy, but this outfit is copyrighted . "

In this issue we have Superman paying the JSA a visit to check on Kingdom Come Superman. I´m anxious to find out how this will unfold now that Power Girl knows she comes from a parallel universe that had " the real " Superman. Whose side will she be on ? And will the two Supermen only exchange words ? Or will there be fists flying ? One can only hope. I also hope we will find out more about if the DC universe follows the path of Kingdom Come since the article in WIZARD which was SUPPOSED to reveal something in that direction did no such thing and basically told the readers what they already knew. Talk about false advertising.

By the way, once again beautiful cover by Alex Ross.

Superman Man of Steel - Trade 6

Ah, yes. The days when Superman was written good and gods were drawing the books. Cosmic epics and cosmos - shattering sagas that revolutionarized the Superman mythos. If you ever wanted to dive into an eara when Superman stories really mattered and the different books didn´t contradict each other don´t look no further. Even though I have some of these issues I have bought all previous issues because not only do they contain the issues between the John Byrne issues I´m missing but they present the comics in a far better quality than my old issues.

Weekly comics seem like some big experiment and a novel idea right now but back then Superman was a weekly comic book - although from week to week it was called ACTION COMICS, ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, SUPERMAN and later on MAN OF STEEL. You didn´t have to worry about the reading order because they were all numbered ( I´m sure that would have helped a lot with CIVIL WAR ) and each book had it´s own brilliant creative teams. The artists were such modern masters like John Byrne, Kerry Gamill, Jerry Ordway or Bob McLeod who modern readers seem to have forgotten.

I know what you want to say : But SUBZERO didn´t readers have to read ALL the Superman books to understand the stories ? Didn´t they have to spend a lot of money ? No, my dear comic aficionados. Back in the day comics were written with enough recap to bring new readers up to speed. What is now frowned upon as unnecessary baggage was used in those days to bring new readers to the title. They really left no child behind. And believe me, when I was starting reading american comics that was extremely important since it was extremely difficult to find the issues. So it could be years till you found some consecutive issues so it was extremely important that you somehow got the information about what happened between issues.

Ah yes, those were the days.

The Spirit 15

I would say that by the time this issue comes out the Spirit will be eradicated from my pull list.....but it has never been on my pull list to begin with. As happens ( or better : happened ) ever so often with my old comic shop instead of putting this book on my pull list with issue one they only ordered issue one. So since the second issue I had to go to other comic shops to get the issues. Which now is a blessing since I´m going to take a look at the actual issue in a comic shop since Paul Smith is only doing the cover. Looking at this cover with the Spirit in the sewer ( did I mention that nothing´s cooler in comics than sewers ? ) it reminds me of the first stroyarc of LEAVE IT TO CHANCE penned by Mr. Smith himself. That´s one comic series that ended too soon and whose demise will be mourned forever.

And with that we end today´s look at the solicitations. Tomorrow we will hopefully come to the second part where we take a look at all the new stuff from Marvel and beyond.

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