The Dark Knight, the Krakoans, and the Last Son

Direct Download (35:08)

Recorded August 9, 2020

I give some quick(ish) thoughts on the Batman: Universe, House of X/Powers of X, and Superman: Up in the Sky hard cover collections.

Please send your comments to longboxreview@gmail.com, chat with me @longboxreview on Twitter, or visit longboxreview.com.

Thanks for listening!

Link:

Previews (April 2020) ?

Here are some recommendations from this month’s Previews catalog for product shipping maybe (?) in June (July or August?). Thanks Covid-19. #washyourhands

Previews

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  • For fans of Chew, Chu is back! I read very little of the award winning and fan favorite series. Will you take another bite?
  • I have a fondness for Joe Casey’s one-shot works, so All-America Comix is a buy for me.
  • Bliss sounds anything but, however, the premise intrigues me, as does the “two-arc maxi-series” label. Is it two arcs because there is a planned delay after the first arc? How does this entice us more than “8-issue maxi-series”?
  • Hey Black Magick is back!
  • Kirkman and Samnee’s Fire Power series is here. Don’t forget to order both issues 1 and 2.

Dark Horse

Boom

  • I have much of Irredeemable but didn’t finish it, so I’m seriously contemplating getting the Irredeemable Omnibus. It collects Irredeemable #1-37, Irredeemable Special #1, and Incorruptible #25-26.

Aftershock

  • Boy, that Robert Hack cover for Red Atlantis alone makes me want to preorder that series. I still have a hard time buying $5 first issues though.

DC Comics

Marvel

  • To appeal to the millennial crowd (I suppose), Marvel proudly presents Non-Stop Spider-Man!!!
  • For fans of kung-fu and Shang-Chi comes the eponymous title.
  • I’ve always been intrigued by America Chavez, and now there’s a new mini series to trade wait for.
  • I will be getting the new Thor volume to see if I like the Cates / Klein interpretation.
  • Not to mention continuing with my trade collecting of the excellent Immortal Hulk (v7)!

What did you order or were planning to order this month?

Breaking Late News: C2E2 Edition

I had planned to have a conversation with Travis (Oddfellowsthoughts on Twitter and YouTube) on the podcast about the comic book news that came out of C2E2 a few weeks ago, but life happens so I am moving the news bits here instead. Hopefully, Travis and I will have future comic con news chats, assuming there will be future comic cons….

C2E2 2020 was the 10th anniversary show. Nearly 100,000 were expected, but I could not confirm any attendance number. C2E2’s own marketing page was advertising attendance of 65,000, but I don’t know how old that information was. What’s interesting  is that C2E2 was happening just as we were getting news that COVID-19, the coronavirus, was developing into a pandemic. How many people were exposed in Chicago…?

Coronavirus concerns postponed Emerald City Comic-Con (ECCC), as well as Wondercon and SXSW. In the Boise, Idaho, area (about 5 hours away from me), two smaller cons (Bordertown and Gem State) cancelled/postponed — I’m sure we’ll be seeing more and more of this happening in the near future. Sporting events and movie premiers have been affected. Artists, some of whom depend on comic con income, have instituted online sales of their art (Terry Moore, Jen Bartel, others), while some publishers and creators have been offering free comics online to help us pass the time — I got Postal volume one as a PDF from Top Cow and Jeremy Whitley provided Princeless volume 1. And this weekend, many people are engaging in social distancing (staying home or at least away from crowds), which made for an interesting Saturday on Twitter for me.

Anyway, the Marvel and DC news (there wasn’t much else)!

Hanging by a thread

There will be a new Silk ongoing written by Maurene Goo and art by Takeshi Miyazawa. I like that this is a Korean-American character — we need more representation in the superhero genre. I do find it interesting that Marvel has so many spin-off/legacy characters now. Spider-Man not only has several of these characters running around New York with him, he has a multiverse!

An order of magnitude

There is a planned summer X event from Jonathon Hickman and Tini Howard, X of Swords (the X being Ten in this case). The title “may refer to the ‘Ten of Swords’ Tarot card – which, in the parlance of Tarot fortune telling, indicates abject disaster and ruin.” So, a normal Tuesday for the X-Men, yes?

I wanna rock!

Not to be outdone (like it’s a competition, right?), DC Comics will be serving up an “anti-Crisis” called Dark Nights: Death Metal by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. This is a sequel the Dark Nights: Metal, which is still reverberating around the DCU (much to my chagrin). “It connects all the stuff you’ve read from Crisis on Infinite Earths through Doomsday Clock, and a couple more,” said writer Scott Snyder. As always, Scott is ambitious in scale, but hit or miss on execution for me. Metal was a bit of a dud for me, so I’ll be skipping Death Metal, though the Crisis kid in me is interested in those crisis connections and what the outcome will be. If it’s similar to what came out of MetalJustice League: No Justice and the subsequent Snyder-written run in Justice League  — then no thanks.

Wakanda forever …?

Ta-Nehisi Coates will end his four-year Black Panther run with June’s issue #25. I read the first few issues when Coates first came onto the book and I was underwhelmed, but since it seems he has really developed an interesting story (based on solicitations and general Twitter reactions I’ve read  that I may have to revisit some time.

That’s no Beta Capsule, that’s a spoon!

I’m not sure why I put this down, but Marvel will be publishing an Ultraman limited series by Kyle Higgins, Mat Groom, and Francesco Manna. I watched very little of Ultraman when I was younger, but for some reason I’m still intrigued by the concept (and I know very little about it) after all these years (but not enough to actually buy this). Did you ever watch Ultraman and what did you think about it?

One is the loneliest number …?

Finally, Jim Lee, now sole publisher of DC Comics, talked a bit about the new status quo. As most people know by now, Dan DiDio abruptly departed DC Comics almost a month ago. As far as I know, the reason behind this departure hasn’t been announced (and likely won’t be).Say what you will about DiDio, love or hate him, he oversaw an interesting time at DC Comics, not the least of which was the New 52 line-wide relaunch in 2011. After the news broke, what I saw overwhelmingly on Twitter from the creators who worked for and with Dan was support and gratitude for the man — he must have been doing some things right.

Of course, when changes like this are announced at any major company, there are those who sound the death knell of DC Comics (or comics generally) or even celebrated the downfall of the company (what sad, sad people they are). At his spotlight panel, Lee quashed rumors of Marvel licensing or acquiring DC characters/publishing assets (something that Jim Shooter tried to do years ago as well). About the 5G initiative (purportedly a DiDio plan), Lee said, “our intent is not to do a line-wide reboot that ages up characters and kinda shuffles them off to the side, our focus is to continue what we’ve done best, which is to really create character-driven stories, pairing the right creators on the right characters, organically developing a universe that is inclusive, diverse.” So, there has been a change in the direction (not replacing older characters with younger ones), but the kernel of the generational aspect remains: the March Previews catalog contains the Generation One one-shot solicitation (establishing Wonder Woman as the first superhero, though that was also done in Wonder Woman #750) that appears to be kicking off this new state of the DCU.

Lee also stated “we understand the tradition of DC is NYC-centric stories, North East coast-related, but our goal is to reflect the entire world. And to me, when I look to the future, I hope there’ll be even greater representation behind the camera — people editing, writing, drawing the books“. As I stated with Marvel previously, this is a good and necessary thing. I hope that Lee and Bob Harras and others at DC Comics will make good on this promise.

So, did I miss anything important? Have some thoughts about the news I did spotlight here? Leave a comment below!

Previews! (March 2020)

Here are some recommendations from this month’s Previews catalog for product shipping mostly in May.

Previews

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  • As Pulp is by Brubaker and Phillips, this is a no-brainer purchase.
  • And speaking of Phillips, his son, Jacob, is working with Chris Condon to bring us That Texas Blood. I have to admit, I want to know what Sheriff Coates saw in that car.
  • I’ve never been into pirates (and that part of Watchmen bored me), but damn does A Man Among Ye look like fun!

Dark Horse

  • It’s hard to pass up P. Craig Russell adapting Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology book.
  • I blame Brubaker and Phillips (and the others) for my interest in Noir: A Collection of Crime Comics.
  • Blacksad is one of those series I’ve always heard about but haven’t read; now I can.
  • I am very intrigued by The Atomic Legion. “An epic adventure into the science fiction of the past”?! Sold!

IDW

  • Oh! I cannot wait to read Star Trek: Year Five: The Wine-Dark Deep!!! I loved the first volume of the series, and I bet the second is even better!
  • Seriously thinking of getting Bermuda. It looks like it could scratch my dinosaur comics itch.

Abstract Studios

  • Don’t miss the series finale to Five Years! You can still go to the webstore and buy all the other issues you didn’t preorder.

Aftershock

  • Aftershock continues to intrigue me to buy its books. Lonely Receivers is no exception.
  • Same goes for Sympathy for No Devils.
  • But what the hell is with those $5 price tags?! Other 32-page comic books from Aftershock are $3.99!

DC Comics

Marvel

  • Ok, let’s see what’s going on at Marvel. Empyre, Empyre, Empyre…. Oh, here we go! The Union gives us the costumed heroes from the United Kingdom. I may have to break my buy-only-Big-2-trades policy and get this.
  • Same with Busiek’s and Cinar’s The Marvels. It kind of reads to me like Astro City in the Marvel U.
  • Does anyone else hate Spider-Woman’s new costume?

What are you ordering this month?

New Comics Wednesday (3/4/20)

Happy New Comics Wednesday!

Go here for a complete list of comics releasing this week.

What are you getting this week?

My comics

  • KING OF NOWHERE #1 – I usually avoid stories whose descriptions include “has no memory of how he got there”, but the cover image of the guy holding a balloon fish and the other part of the description (“Lovable drunken lowlife Denis awakens on the outskirts of a mysterious village called Nowhere, home to a friendly populace of deformed, mutated, just-left-of-normal citizens…”) had me intrigued enough to buy it.
  • WYRD TP – Finally!
  • DREAMING #19
  • JUSTICE LEAGUE #42
  • STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 – Looking forward to this.
  • MARKED #5
  • BLACK WIDOW WAID/SAMNEE COMPLETE COLLECTION TP – I got the first few issues of this, dropped it, and regretted that decision.
  • DRYAD #1 – This was the sort-of-like Saga book that I decided to try.

Other comics

  • FLASH #750 – Should I have bought this? I love milestone issues, but the Flash, especially Barry Allen, just doesn’t interest me.
  • ROBIN YEAR ONE TP NEW EDITION – The original release was a fun read.
  • EMBARRASSMENT OF WITCHES GN VOL 01 – I can’t decide based on the solicitation if this is something I want to read, but I am intrigued.
  • MARVEL #1 – I’ll get this when it’s collected.
  • POWER PACK CLASSIC OMNIBUS HC – I almost ordered this.
  • STRANGE ACADEMY #1 – Another book I’ll read in trade eventually.

What are some other comics I missed that I should add to my Buy list?

Best comic I read recently

STAR TREK: YEAR 5 V1

Episode One writing and art by Jackson Lansing, Collin Kelly, Stephen Thompson, and Charlie Kirchoff

Episode Two writing and art by Brandon Easton, Martin Coccolo, and Fran Gamboa

Episode Three writing and art by Jody Houser, Silvia Califano, and Thomas Deer

Letterer: Neil Uyetake and Cover Artist: J.J. Lendl

Star Trek Year 5 v1

What a fantastic adaptation and continuation of the live-action sci-fi series that I have loved since I was five! The artists actor likenesses are great but not appearing photoshopped, and the various styles mesh well between the episodes, giving us a visual continuity. Also, they all draw the Enterprise very well, something not all artists who have worked on Star Trek comic books can do and is something I demand, dammit!

I like how these collected six issues involve elements from the original series (Tholians, a return to the “A Piece of the Action” planet, and an unknown alien presence), as well as introducing or expanding on new elements. Uhura is shown as more integral to the bridge crew and a leader. The banter between Sulu and Chekov about Spock was a fun twist on the humorous aspects of the franchise. And we get to see more of the crew — in fact, this Enterprise is full of personnel, as it should be.

I may do a spotlight podcast episode on this trade in the future, but if you are a Star Trek fan, you should read this comic book!