Monday, January 28, 2008

Marvel April 08 Previews - My Take

I did the April DC previews a few days back, and now I'm (finally) looking at the Marvel solicitations for stuff ordered in February for April & later shipment. To view the full solicitation yourself, click here.

I am very much looking to the new Criminal series. They're soliciting for the third issue (pictured), so I think we must be going to see Criminal 2 #1 next month. Yippie! They keep mentioning this new format thing - not sure what that will be like, or if it will be worth the increase in price, but I'll check it out.

Do we really need 4 Marvel Illustrated series going on at once? I really don't think so. They'd probably sell better if there were one or two - now most don't sell much at all here at Neptune.

It's the last issue of Kirkman's run on Ultimate X-Men. Hopefully those that left the series because they didn't like his run will come back. And hopefully those that picked it up because they like his writing will stay. Me - I don't read it anyway.

The Spider-Man magazine sounds interesting. They say it's all ages, and it's comprised of old stories being reprinted. This issue is featuring Iron Man/Hulk ( properties - not surprising at all). I don't know how often they'll do this "magazine" or what the other themes will be, so we'll have to wait and see on that.

Amazing Spider-Girl #19 (pictured), I've been told, is a good place to jump into the series. So, those of you who prefer the married Spider-Man, but still something not so serious/depressing as some of the pre-split-up Amazing Spider-Man issues were, check this out. We might even make it a featured comic when it hits shelves.

Steve Rogers was assassinated in issue #25 - and they're on issue #37 - but still calling the story arc "Death of Captain America." Will Steve return before they end this "epic" story? But I can't complain too much about this - Brubaker has brought TONS of new readers to Captain America, literally breathing new life into a dying comic book title, and for that I'm very happy.

Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula sounds interesting. But WHY is Marvel doing all of these one-shot deals all over the place? Wolverine, New Thunderbolts, now Daredevil. Can't these stories be included in the regular stories with regular issue numbers? My computer gets all confused with these.

They also have a Hulk vs Hercules one-shot coming out. I hope that means Hulk will crush Herc and return to his comic book. No one wants "Incredible Hercules."

The first issue of Secret Invasion is solicited (pictured). I guess they wanted a one-month jump on the "summer events," deciding to have this come out a month before Final Crisis. But will it stay on-time? If past experience is any sign of future performance, then no. Civil War didn't, World War Hulk was better, but still not on-time. And of course, in true Marvel fashion, they've got the hype machine turned on, saying, " after page unveils reveal after reveal and shocking moment after shocking moment! ...mega-hit New Avengers and deliver a story that will change the Marvel Universe forever. THE MARVEL UNIVERSE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME!!" Those are Marvel's words in the solicitation, not mine. And the tie-in issues started months ago already, with plenty solicited in this Previews. It seems to me like the more of these "events" they have the more they try to tie the whole Marvel U together and the more tie-ins there are and the more people become confused and/or overwhelmed by it all. It might all become a perilous house of cards for the House of Ideas, as people tire of these cross-comic epics. Time will tell.

Nova #12 - I don't have anything to say about this, other than it's a great series. Check out Comics NOW #1 magazine for a great article about Nova.

The X-Men universe is all changing up again too. The solicitations indicate that. New titles, changed title names, and no descriptions of what the stories are about.

The final Ennis written Punisher issue will be #56. But the story will go on. Hopefully folks will continue reading - it's hard to follow up such a long run, so I don't envy the new team.

If you missed the X-Men Messiah Complex crossover then let your comic book store know you want the hard cover. It's being solicited in this Previews. The soft cover is usually solicited several months after, so if you can't wait you're going to want to get the hard cover version - single issues are hard to find, even after second printings, and will probably be priced high if you look for them at conventions this spring & summer. BUT WAIT - if you scroll down past the graphic novels they now have the descriptions & cover images posted. Now the question is how long will these titles have a boost from the "event" before they start to slide down into normal sales numbers? And what will those numbers be? Darn it - why won't this crystal ball tell me?

For example - Planet Hulk is FINALLY being solicited in paperback format. The hard cover came out during the holiday shopping season - I think it was October or November. It is one of the best Hulk stories, and to be honest, one of the best Marvel stories, of last year. If you didn't want to pay the price of the hard cover, pre-order your paperback now.

Greg Land has some cool posters being solicited. I think the Iron Man one (pictured) is especially cool, but both that one and the X-Men one are pretty neat.

Overall, I'm a little disappointed with how many mini-series and one-shots they've got going on. I really wish the gang at Marvel would realize that people only have so much money to spend on comics each week - no matter how many great comics their might be and how much they hype them up - so they just can't buy them all. I think Marvel & their fans would benefit from fewer comics being thrown out at once - but what do I know? I have to buy them all.

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