heroes for hire
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy at our local comic shop based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on a “Splurge” item. We’re coming a little late today due to a power outage in my neck of the woods — due to a blackout, not because I spent the money for the electric bill on Flashpoint or Fear Itself tie-ins.
If I had $15, my first pick off the shelf would be Vengeance #1 (Marvel, $3.99); I love Joe Casey, and especially when he’s given a long leash and room to play in a big universe. Seeing Nick Dragotta drawing this is an added bonus. Next up would be comics’ dueling summer blockbusters, Flashpoint #3 (DC, $3.99) and Fear Itself #4 (Marvel, $3.99). After that, I’d get the excellent Flashpoint: Batman, Knight of Vengeance #2 (DC, $2.99); when Azzarello is on the ball he’s great to read, and this seems to be that.
Hello and welcome to Wha Are You Reading? Today our special guest is illustrator, photographer, writer, filmmaker and jazz musician Dave McKean, whose works include Cages, Mr. Punch, Signal to Noise, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, Violent Cases, Coraline and many, many more. He has a new book with writer Richard Dawkins, The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True, coming out in October, as well as a graphic novel called Celluloid coming out from Fantagraphics in June. Special thanks to Chris Mautner for asking him to participate this week.
To see what Dave and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below …
To see what Leslie and the Robot 6 crew have been reading, click below.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly round-up of the comics and other stuff that have escaped the unread stacks of books next to our beds. Our special guest this week is Nathan Edmondson, writer of the Image comics Who is Jake Ellis?, The Light and Olympus. To see what Nathan and the Robot 6 crew have bene reading, click below.
Welcome to Food or Comics?, where every week we talk about what comics we’d buy on Wednesday based on certain spending limits — $15 and $30 — as well as what we’d get if we had extra money or a gift card to spend on what we call our “Splurge” item.
Check out Diamond’s release list for this week if you’d like to play along in our comments section.
With $15 worth of dingy bills and loose quarters, I’d go my local comic shop and start with Thor: The Mighty Avenger #8 ($2.99). Probably the pick of the week in some circles (even for a square like me), it’s a celebration of what Langridge and Samnee accomplished – and although it’s the last issue, there’s that FCBD issue on the horizon. I’d also pick up two number ones -– Casanova: Gula #1 ($3.99) and Daredevil: Reborn #1 ($3.99). With my last $4, I’d be hard-pressed to pick between Thunder Agents #3 ($2.99) and Infinite Vacation #1 ($3.50), but would probably pick the latter –- Nick Spencer’s on both, but Christian Ward’s art makes Infinite Vacation #1 worth the buy.
The writing team of Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have come back down to Earth and the streets of Marvel with the new Heroes for Hire (H4H) series, which premiered in December. After reading the first issue, which ended with a spectacular plot curve ball, I wanted to find out more about the series. This Wednesday, January 5, marks the release of issue 2–featuring Ghost Rider and Silver Sable. Despite his busy comics and prose writing schedule, Abnett was kind enough to do a brief email interview about the series–and offer readers a chance make hero hire suggestions for future issues.
Tim O’Shea: After working in space with myriad Marvel universe alien species, what’s the most enjoyable aspect to getting to also dabble in the “nitty, gritty, human vigilante street action of Heroes for Hire” as you recently described it.
Dan Abnett: The change of pace, really. Bill Rosemann, our editor, asked us if we’d like to do something that was a contrast to the cosmic stuff we’ve been doing, and the first thing Andy and I ever did for Marvel US was a year or so’s run on the Punisher in the early 1990s. So we decided to go ‘back on the streets’.
I hate Spider-Man costume changes. Yep, even the symbiote suit.
Let me amend that just slightly: I hate Spider-Man costume changes that this era’s Peter Parker makes, seemingly on a whim. Spider-Man 2099 and others of his ilk look just fine in their respective duds, it’s just when I get a splash page shot of a leaping lower-half in a crazy new outfit that I’m taken completely out of the story. It’s not the minor changes (under-arm webs, angles on the arms of the spider symbol, etc.), it’s the big ones where all I can think of is, “Man, someone’s trying to sell a new toy.” Then it’s whether they sell the toy through the direct market, what kind of packaging this new toy will have, any accessories, price point and then boom! Spidey’s saved the day and learned a new lesson about life and putting on his old costume anyways because we always prefer the original.
Now I know that fans do love the symbiote suit and yeah, it is pretty nifty with its simple design in slimming black and lower jaw distention, but it’s more nostalgia nifty than a desire for anything permanent. The storyline of how he got the suit, what it became and what it did to Peter Parker changed the style of Spidey stories for a whole decade. The costume was so popular, it got a new guy to wear him and then made a sort of ‘spinoff’ with Carnage. My sweaters do not do anything that cool when I donate them to the Salvation Army.
This success with the black suit has drilled a tiny hole in the House of Ideas so deep, it’s like they think every costume change they go with for Peter Parker is going to dress to impress. Scarlet Spider costume? No. Iron Spider costume? Used in Avengers: the Initiative for a few clones and promptly forgotten in the Heroic Age. There’s obviously more I could count but really, let’s not be the costume change that everyone is looking back on in a few years going, “Ha ha! He had glow-in-the-dark bits in his costume! How 2010!”
But do not fret! Now is not the time to panic! Now is the time to plan because, believe it or not, we only have 92 shopping days left until Christmas. Good thing Marvel sent us advance warning so that we can not only budget how much we spend on others so that we can also spend on our comics.
And that’s what Christmas is all about. Join me in looking over the December solicitations for Marvel Comics, won’t you?