Monday, January 28, 2008

Solicitations reloaded - Part 1

I had hoped to put up a few posts before having to do the solicitations again but like always it wasn´t to be.

On one side the internet has not been working too well so that I couldn´t risk beginnig a post without knowing if all my hard work wasn´t going to be lost with one mistake. On the other side the internet was working all too well meaning that somehow miracuously internet explorer was working again so I had to seize the opportunity and download as much pictures as I could. You never know how long it will last.

After the last two really comicrelated posts about actual relevant comics I wanted to post a few other more light posts about the next candidate for SEARCH FOR THE NEXT POWER GIRL or COMICBABE BATTLE but the topic of solicitations is more up to date right now. Who knows ? Maybe this will become a comic blog after all.

Although there will be a COMICBABE BATTLE special in one of my next posts about the costumes of the Legion of Super Heroes.

Now that they appear in the pages of Action Comics it really shows that the 70s costumes were much better than those new ones - especially the costumes of the female members.

But todays topic are the new solicitations so let´s get right to it. Initially I didn´t want to do this month´s solicitations because they are not as much as the past few months. To most of them there was nothing new to add and I´m not doing this for the sake of doing it. But maybe it´s better this way. With fewer things to comment on maybe this time I can wrap it up in one neat post. Although this post will be a little longer thanks to the clips I decided to include.

Okay, let´s start this month´s solicitations review with the DC part which always comes first :

All Star Batman 10

In the last months this series has picked up the pace a little bit as more and more issues appeared on a regular basis. Now the story in itself was really not what I expected. I always try to go into new series with very few expectations and try to be surprised. But I somehow got the idea that this was going to be a follow up or better prequel to HUSH. Initially it was planned that Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee would return to BATMAN after HUSH with a six - issue storyarc detailing the beginning of the Batman and Robin partnership. Robin should get to meet the DC universe and experience Batman in his prime.

Well, that was the plan anyway. Somewhere along the way Jeph Loeb went on to do other things and Frank Miller was supposed to take the reigns in the writing part. Also the series wasn´t part of the BATMAN series anymore and it was expanded to twelve issues. In the end it became ALL STAR BATMAN AND ROBIN THE BOY WONDER. And we all know it turned out to be a different beast. Don´t get me wrong....I really enjoy the series. And not only because it pisses off so many fanboys and Frank Miller is obviously totally out of control. But a small part of me wonders what the original series would have been like - like I sometimes wonder what the original series that became AVENGERS FOREVER would have been like or the original JLA / JSA by Carlos Pacheco. Robin´s first meeting with Black Canary, Superman or Wonder Woman. At the pace it´s going we can be happy if he meets Police Comissioner Gordon at the last page of issue twelve.

I´m still reading though.

Brave and the Bold 12

So this is it. The big finale to the second storyarc about the Challengers of the unknown and the book of destiny. Guest starring everyone from the look of the cover. But there better be some Power Girl in it. I don´t know why Wonder Woman´s here again. Okay, she doesn´t get much exposure in her own book but that´s because it doesn´t come out on a regular basis. I guess, since I´m only buying the Dodson issues and my brother seems to have given up on the title. But is that any reason to worm her way into BRAVE AND THE BOLD and take away screentime from Power Girl ? So here´s my demand : more Power Girl ASAP. Make it so !

Under normal circumstances this is the point where you can start to say goodbye to your favorite series. Back when I started reading comic books ( I´m talking about american comic books here ) this was the point where creative teams changed. With a lot of luck a creative team stayed on a title for more than one year which meant that they held on for a second year to end their run with number 25. But most series changed their creative team after the first year. For creators it might be tedious to devote more than one year of their lives to a certain cast of characters but as a reader you want stability. After twelve months you have become acustomed to a creative team and the least you want is change. If you don´t believe me just ask yourself : which runs do you remember more fondly ? The ones that had two or three different creative teams or the ones with one creative team that did twenty or thirty issues in a row ?

There are a few exceptions like the FLASH series that ( apart from the dark period when Scott Kolins was drawing it ) had outstanding creative teams throughout it´s entire duration but most series suffer from it. Just look at SUPERMAN / BATMAN. The first 26 issues were the creative climax of the series with fantastic storyarcs by Carlos Pacheco and Ed McGuiness. But everything after that was downhill. It doesn´t even seem to be the same series. With the first 26 issues you knew why it didn´t appear within the pages of the regular books but what´s coming out now could have been printed in any issue of Superman or Batman. While DC used to bring it´s A - Game to the book it now seems that they cram every creative team in it that was not good enough for the regular titles. The art is detoriating from storyarc to storyarc and the stories get more confusing the longer the series goes.

Anyway, I don´t know what´s the future of BRAVE AND BOLD. The only thing I know is as long as George Perez is on board so am I.

Black Adam trade

A wonderful cover by Alex Ross on the collection of the Black Adam mini. I still don´t know why I didn´t read the book. I like Black Adam. From his beginnings in the POWER OF SHAZAM book that ended before it´s time to his appearances in JUSTICE SOCIETY OF AMERICA he took the reader on a journey that kept getting more interesting. And of all the stories in 52 his story was the most interesting as well as the most tragic. He went from villain to hero to vigilante to despot. He gained everything only to lose more than his own paradise.

And I´m a big fan of Dough Mahnke ever since I read his first two MASK trades. If you ever want to see the evolution of a comic artist in fast forward just check those two collections out. In the first issue the art is so weak that you don´t know why he got the gig in the first place. In the last issue of the second trade he´s already an artist who´s destined to play in the big leagues. I bouhgt most of his stuff like MAJOR BUMMER or the excellent JLA spin - off JUSTICE LEAGUE ELITE. So why didn´t I read it ?

I don´t know. Sometimes the right character and the right artist are not enough. Like on ARROWSMITH by the brilliant Carlos Pacheco. It was a wonderful story with lots of cool stuff but I guess somehow I missed the costumes. People say that one of the things they find ridiculous about superhero comics are the costumes in bright shining colors. And while I agree that the costumes of today´s new heroes should look much more like the ones by Superboy or Wondergirl ( her first one with the goggles ) I also have to mention that without the flashy costumes something important is missing. Not everything is about realism in comics. I read ARROWSMITH and I really enjoyed the book but I didn´t enjoy it as much as the JLA / JSA work of Carlos Pacheco or his AVENGERS FOREVER series. Hmm, that´s the second time I mentioned it in this post.

Anyway, I saw the preview pages of the first issue of the Black Adam series and thumbed through a few issues in the comic shop but there wasn´t a feeling that I just had to get it. Maybe I´m just waiting for the trade.

Countdown Special Kamandi

From all of Jack Kirby´s work nothing is looked upon as unfavorable by critics as Kamandi. If they even mention it at all. On the other side no other series by Jack Kirby is loved more by comic creators and comicafficionados all over the world as much as Kamandi. It keeps popping up in books like in the Superman / Batman storyarc by Carlos Pacheco. Maybe the general idea is much to simple to appeal to comic critics. Which is an argument - but with everything in comics it´s not the idea alone that makes or breaks a series. Much of it lies in the execution and on that front Jack Kirby shines on Kamandi. I have only read the series in the spanish translation and in black and white so I´m really looking forward to experience it in the fourcolored original.

Jonah Hex 30

Another issue by TORPEDO artist Jordi Bernet from the look of it. I totally forgot that I wanted to check the new issues of Jonah Hex the last time I was at the comic shop. Stuff like this always happens to me. I don´t know if it´s a sign of Alzheimer or if I alway shad a bad memory but it´s the same when I go to the music store. Whenever I´m at home I know exactly which artists to look for but whenever I´m actually IN the store I draw a blank. No idea. Anyway, I have to keep this series in the back of my head. If I don´t forget it as soon as I´m done with this post.

As always I have run out of time since I start to get troubles keping my eyes open and the typo ratio has just climbed 500 % in the last 30 minutes. In a few minutes SUPERNATURAL and LOST are going to start which means that that´s all my internet time for today. So I will be writing of the rest of the DC stuff in my next post which will also cover the Marvel comics.

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