For those new to the blog I usually do a rundown of the solicitations when I have sorted out the new images. Since I´m usually very far behind on my reading material this is my only chance to talk about current series. I don´t do the PREVIEWS posts other bloggers do and the reviews I do are usually more about whole runs, or storylines or the exceptional single issue.
But as a rule I don´t do the monthly discussion about what I get to read each month. So this is my way to post some nice pictures and just go off on a rant. Sometimes it´s strictly about the comics I pick but sometimes I will go off on a mental tangent about a character or something that happened in a series or any other stuff that´s connected in some way.
This time around since it´s two months I thought that I could use this to try to take a look at what´s in store for this year. Having not read the issues I´m talking about ( as usual ) I´m going out on a limb and it´s probably total speculation on my part but who knows ? Maybe I´m not that far off when I look back at it at the end of the year. So let´s head right into it and see what´s in store for 2009 at Marvel :
more buttshot covers
I don´t know if it´s a new trend and I´m not against buttshot covers in general ( I mean the Frank Cho buttshot cover for KING SIZE HULK probably sold the whole print run on it´s own ) but I´m asking myself if this is MARVEL´s way of trying to console it´s readers for the price jump to 3.99 that´s going to come.
I mean waaay back when I started reading comics there were the main publishers which had comics that went for 1.50 and the independents who were priced at 2.50. Later on the mainstream comics were 2 bucks while the independents were at 2.95 and finally the mainstream comics also reached the 2.95 benchmark. So from the cost point there was no difference between mainstream comics and independents. And in many independent comics you had far superior art.
So while it would be a good thing if mainstream comics raised their prices to 3.99 while the independent publishers stayed at 2.95 I don´t think this is going to happen. Since DIAMOND has now upped the ante about how much revenue the items listed in PREVIEWS have to generate independent publishers will have to raise their prices too. This week I was at my comic shop and since I can only pick a few comics I took the THUNDERBOLTS and MADMAN issues that were waiting in my bag.
And IMAGE already rised the prices on MADMAN and SAVAGE DRAGON from 2.99 to 3.50. If they can stay at 3.50 while MARVEL increases the prices to 3.99 that would give them an edge. At the moment I´m still catching up on my old books from last year so it will be a while before I have to deal with the whole 3.99 issue. But with Ed McGuiness, Art Adams and Frank Cho on HULK or Paul Pelletier on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY - what do I get for the extra buck ?
I don´t know but if they don´t include some extra pages I don´t see how you can do a 3.99 book. This year I have to cut down on some books but new books will really have a hard time to get on my pull list now. Especially with new books going for almost 4 bucks.
more comic characters returning from the dead
One of the effects of the whole SECRET INVASION storyline is not only that Marvel has now a cheap excuse for whenever a superhero was behaving out of character. No, they can now bring back every dead character they want. Because now they just go : " You know, the guy that died ? That was really a skrull while the real one was held captive by the skrulls. " I´m surprised they didn´t already pull this kind of thing with Captain Marvel since he was already exposed as a skrull.
I mean they could totally crap all over THE DEATH OF CAPTAIN MARVEL by saying that was the first skrull who tried to impersonate him and he got cancer and died. So they send in a new guy. They haven´t done it - yet. But prepare for more of the dead coming back. Also : again a buttshot cover.
the death and rebirth of Spider - Girl
2009 sees the end of one of the best comics ever to come from the spider franchise which is AMAZING SPIDER - GIRL. 2009 also sees the return of it now included in the pages of AMAZING SPIDER - MAN FAMILY starting with issue 5. This is not the first cancelation of a series with an instant relaunch following on it´s heels since they also do it on SHE HULK and a few others.
I never was a fan of the whole relaunches because it´s hell to keep your comic collection in order and new readers can get problems with 4 or 5 different SHE HULK issues 1. While companies argue that it´s just to generate more audience by tricking newbies into believing it´s a new title or as a sign of a whole new direction it always comes off as a cheap gimmick. Especially if they go back to the old numbers like for THOR 600.
I think that Marvel wants to eat the cake and keep it at the same time. They want to get rid of the damn spiderbook that could that has the audacity to constantly outstage the other spiderbooks. At the same time they want to squeeze as much money out of the still remaining fans of Mayday Parker. So they don´t loose more readers after the BRAND NEW DAY fiasko. They look like they really care about their readers and at the same time they increase readership on SPIDER - MAN FAMILY. Everybody wins.
Since the title is on my brother´s pull list I have no idea if he´s going to include SPIDER - MAN FAMILY to his reading pile. But I will have to keep an eye on it to see how this will unfold.
more return of the dead comic characters
Spider - Girl is not the only comic character who returns from the dead. Or more she´s not the only dead character who returns. MARVEL ZOMBIES is reaching it´s fourth season and as somebody who hasn´t read a single issue so far I can´t say if that´s justified. For me there are some sacrosanct rules for zombies that should not be changed because then you just ruin it.
Rule number 1 : no fast zombies. Sorry, but that just goes against the whole concept of a zombie. Zombies are not fast. They are creepy because even if they are slow and pretty easy to kill they overwhelm their victims through pure numbers. That´s what makes zombies scary.
Rule number 2 : no talking zombies. Again, the whole idea of a zombie is to be this unstoppable, silent killing machine. The only thing a zombie is allowed to utter is : brains. And only under special circumstances.
So the whole idea of fast, talking zombies who are the Marvel superheroes to top it off doesn´t sound very intriguing to me. Maybe I´m totally wrong to think that Marvel heroes would never sink so low as to become braineating undead from hell. Maybe this is what happens in DARK REIGN. Who knows ? ( Well, people who read solicitations and stuff on the internet but I like to find out stuff while actually reading the comic. )
There seems to be an audience for that kind of book with millions of people who don´t like superheroes at all - or Marvel. The question is if it can keep up qualitywise. I guess sooner or later I´m going to read it if it´s any good.
even more undead comic characters
Captain Britain and MI 13 was one of the books that I thought was only there as long as SECRET INVASION. When it was announced it sounded as it was just another of these SECRET INVASION tie in books that would be ended in four issues. I don´t know if the powers to be at Marvel changed their minds about that when they found out what a great book they had on their hands or if that was the idea from the beginning. But the series continues to explore the supernatural parts of the Marvel universe and any comic with Dracula on the cover - especially old school Gene Colan Dracula - can´t be all that bad.
more dead skrulls
In the spirit of the old saying " The only good skrull is a dead skrull " Marvel brings back one of it´s books that has had a kind of renaissance thanks to it´s appearance on AVENGERS : THE INITIATIVE. There were only two issues I read in Spain from the series and one was with the SKRULL KILL CREW. I haven´t read the original series but on the Initiative they kicked ass ! And the premise of the new book is rather easy : you see a skrull ? Kill it ! That sounds like simple, uncomplicated political correct fun. And we need more books like that. This is totally on my radar.
more comic characters who should be dead
Why is Deadpool still around ( keeping the whole " dead " theme going ) ? I never really understood the appeal of a contract killer as a main character for a Marvel book. This is a clearly immoral character who kills people for money with no remorse about it whatsoever. I mean the Punisher only kills criminals because that´s his idea of making the world better. It´s crazy, it´s totally psycho but it comes from the heart. He really thinks he´s a good guy. But Deadpool is not a nice guy. Maybe the idea of a hero who can be some kind of role model is outdated but it just seems wrong to me to turn killers or gangster rappers into idols. Is it any wonder that society can´t cope with Today´s youths ?
And about the whole " merc with a mouth " deal - he never was that funny to begin with. Not on the same level as Spider - Man. There were some instances where he was mildly amusing but not really funny. More like that annoying kid at school who just rants on about weird stuff without getting that he´s not funny. So he´s like an unfunny psycho killer Spider - Man with a real effed up face. I can really say that in every comic I have read with him he was really annoying - in the best instances. In the worst cases he was either totally obnoxious or completely unbearable. He´s kind of the Gambit of contract killers.
So every time I see a new issue of Deadpool announced I go : can´t this just be over ? While good comics like MAJOR BUMMER or POWER COMPANY get cancelled this is the timex of comics. And this is even made more painful with great artists like Jason Pearson or Ed McGuiness providing covers. I mean I can´t blame Ed McGuiness since he started his career on that book.
Now that I think of it maybe I CAN blame Ed McGuiness. Without his great art on the first issues the book would never have gotten as much exposure and it would never have ended on my brother´s pull list. And then I never would have to suffer through the issues and to me it would be just one of those series I don´t follow. But don´t despair. With annuals, miniseries and more monthly issues Marvel is going to drown you in Deadpool stuff. Whether you want it or not.
But enough doom and gloom on this post. I´m going to wrap up this whole " dead - coming back from the dead - dead coming back " stuff as it´s already long enough. To end this on a different note here are two more buttshot covers.
Next time : Dark Avengers, Dark Reign, superheroes who suddenly are superheroines and superheroines who are totally different superheroines.
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