Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Okay, all the way back to December of last year, the Marvel solicitations for March 2010 had information about the exciting new two-issue mini-series, BREAKING INTO COMICS THE MARVEL WAY! I talked about it last week and, while it was not exactly what I was looking for, it was a fun little book that was more like a ‘Broke Into’ than a ‘Breaking Into’ book. No matter, says I! There’s always issue #2 and who knows, maybe they saved all of the, and I quote, “step-by-step submission information and a sample Marvel Comics script” for the next issue!
Yeah, not so much. No script, some important but pre-twittered intel on how submissions are handled, four tips big font and a ‘go get ‘em, Tiger!’ letter at the end from Mr. Cebulski. I’m not saying this wasn’t useful, but it’s not exactly the step-by-step guide they promised. Maybe after they realized they hired 114 new freelancers, they decided to keep the best secrets for themselves.
Anyhoo, that’s in the past and this week’s present, let’s talk about the future! June 2010 solicitations are out, so let’s remember this all now so when June rolls around and there’s any disappointment, we can all say we told ourselves so.
Okay, that was mean. Let’s go enjoy some comics.
First up in big bold letters in the ground-breaking, long awaited, head-exploding goodness of the MARVELMAN CLASSIC PRIMER #1. Lauded up and down as the most fantastic body of work that no one could rightfully have or publish, its out of reach nature to new readers and treasured place in the hearts of old school fans should equate this simple primer to the equivalent of printing money. People are going to want this. You are going to want this (you know you do). It’s going to be in some very important paper or news show on TV because for God’s sake, it’s ‘one of the most important works of comic art in the medium’s history’! Marvel’s smart, they’re starting us out slow with at a $3.99 primer before hitting us with the hardcover goodness they’d be fools not to deliver eventually, but this way everyone can get their glimpse into this important work.
In other historic news, the most ambitious point in the Women in Marvel celebration is the Heralds mini-series. Not like we’ve been expecting a glimpse of Frankie Raye recently (or maybe we have with Annihilation past us), but this is going to be a weekly series! That’s right, after waiting like a well-poised gambler to see how the Distinguished Competition did with a weekly book, Marvel finally got their own. Mind you, they’re a little late but better than never, right?
Women in Marvel continues on with yet another solo title for a heroine; Namora gets the spotlight this time from Jeff Parker and Sara Pichelli in NAMORA #1. I haven’t lost my betting pool yet since I am still sure we’ll be getting more tales of the newly christened Venus,; there’s still time and, with appearances in the recent Hercules books, anything is possible. Both the artist and writer are solid and have done some pretty awesome work, but I’m still not sold on a Namora solo when Namor is actually pretty darned important to the Marvel Universe as of late. I’m currently far more interested in his story than I am in his cousin’s. This could either help or hurt the book in the long run and we’re just going to have to wait until June to see how that betting pool goes.
Part Soliel imprint, part X-Book, X-CAMPUS #1 (of 2) is an hereto unseen look at the X-Men from a sort of remix of our merry mutants from the high school scene by some of Europe’s greatest comics storytellers. It’s priced out of the range of the Young Adult idea that I mentioned before (no high-schooler is going to pay $4.99 for a comic!) and seems to be geared for the serious collector. I’m sure the serious collector would have rather gotten the Milo Manara X-project, but my guess this is something the writer really wanted to do and with the popularity of his books in Europe (Monster Allergy is also a Disney Italy property, so there might be some early cross-company promotion), how could one say no? I just wish it was priced for the age-group it seems to be aimed for.
Meanwhile, I’d like to admit I was totally wrong when I said it looked like Marvel would be trading their current four Avengers titles for four ‘new’ Avengers titles. Looks like that’s going to be six as in June we’ll be getting AVENGERS PRIME #1 (of 5) by, you guessed it, Brian Michael Bendis himself. So one book will be about black ops Avengers (Secret Avengers), training Avengers (Avengers Academy), the more ‘popular’ Avengers (New Avengers), the origins of the Avengers (Avengers: The Origin), more classic Avengers (Avengers) and then even more classic Avengers than those ones (Avengers Prime). Half of these books will be written by Mr. Bendis and will even include parts of a back-up story described as a ‘brand new oral history of the Avengers chapter by Bendis’.
I’m feeling a little Deadpool fatigue here. I’m also starting to wonder if Bendis sleeps. Or if he just waits.
On a lighter note, it seems the Merc With a Mouth flavor of Deadpool will now be ending at issue #13, but don’t worry! There’s going to be a brand new Deadpool title starting up this month called DEADPOOL: WADE WILSON’S WAR, which will come out twice a month. Despite the extra book, it’s only a four part mini, so maybe the tidal wave of Deadpool is finally receding back into a comfortable niche that fans can enjoy without breaking their banks. Or forgetting which flavor of Deadpool book they liked or which story he was in…
… oh man, it’s going to get tricky reading Avengers books over the summer…
Enough complaining! Be grateful for the extremely well priced PUNISHER: FRANKEN-CASTLE – THE BIRTH OF THE MONSTER #1; at $4.99, it will be reprinting two crucial books for those still in denial and shock about the whole making Frank Castle a Frankenstein monster. No, they really did it and yes, it’s actually pretty good so go see how they did it by picking up this reprint. Or just keep reading Punisher Max and remain in the dark, both Punisher books are excellently themed and well-written.
In a similar vein, HULK #23 totally promises to tell you the identity of the Red Hulk. And like Bullwinkle always told Rocky, “this time, for sure!” Considering how exposition heavy the Hulk books have been as of late, if you’re still waiting for that one last clue and final answer on why we needed a Red Hulk and where Jeph Loeb was going with all this, then I really hope this issue pulls through and we’re not sitting here with egg on our faces once again. After this, according to a telling cover to INCREDIBLE HULK #610, we might just be getting back to the heart of the Hulk we all know and love.
Ron Zimmerman returns to the Wild West, but knowing and loving him is optional. He did in fact write the cheeky Rawhide Kid: Slap leather mini-series in which Marvel Western staple and guy on the cover of the book, the Rawhide Kid, is revealed to be flamboyant. It got a Parental Advisory label and was shuffled away to the Max imprint because … well, I don’t know. Maybe I’m naive, but I never saw anything Max-worthy in the book, but maybe this time he’ll get it right and show some naked bits, big piles of drugs or gruesome violence. THE RAWHIDE KID #1 (of 4) certainly has the artist for it (Howard Chaykin) and a cast of notable Western heroes: “Kid Colt, Doc Holliday, Annie Oakley, Billy the Kid, Red Wolf and the most overrated gun in the West: The Two-Gun Kid!”
From the untamed West to Outer Space, THE THANOS IMPERATIVE #1 (of 6) from DnA is a welcome sight. Their space opera story keeps on rolling along from one arc to the next and much like, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the current space plot has only been as interesting as they’ve been able to have a war. Annihilation is full of crazy, mad, and cunning dictators, and Thanos tops them all. Bringing in a world where there is no Death and pitting that against Death’s biggest fan?
In other awesome news, THOR #611 will be Matt Fraction’s first official run on the title with artist, Pasqual Ferry. This is like Christmas, my birthday and Wrestlemania all at once.
How could I say anything more? How could I think of anything more? Well, despite my status as Universal Thor Enthusiast, there is a lot more, from the Young Allies series by Sean McKeever to Hercules in the far-flung future with Hercules: Twilight of a God bringing back Bob Layton, Jim McCann getting the next best thing to a Dazzler series with HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #1 and more. Maybe June will turn out to be a month of awesomeness after all.
For the full June 2010 Marvel solicits, see the sights here and come back and let me know what I missed with my eyes all glazed over from the Thor #611 announcement. Excelsior!