WLG #398: Avengers Assemble and More!

A column article by: Matt Spatola

"And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes were united against a common threat! On that day The Avengers were born — to fight foes no single hero could withstand!"

So the big news this past week was the debut of the new Marvel Studios’ The Avengers trailer. I would have to admit that I was very excited to catch it on Wednesday, so much so that I brought my iPod to work to watch it when it would be available at noon.

Here it is for the one or two of you who’ve been under a rock the last week.

The movie looks better and better to me with each new scene and trailer. And I’m guessing lots of folks think the same. The trailer broke the iTunes record for views and downloads, with 13.7 million in the first 24 hours. I think it is a safe bet to say that this is the most anticipated movie of the summer.

And possibly of modern civilization.

So in other comic book news we have this little thing called Avengers vs. X-Men coming up on the horizon. You all can bash Marvel as much as you like but you have to give them credit for their constant upping the stakes in their event books and also for knowing how to best commercialize on the zeitgeist.

But comic book readers are an unsatisfied lot. And already amidst the cries of ‘it's junk’ are thoughts of what’s next after Avengers vs. X-Men.

We already know the Brian Michael Bendis is leaving the Avengers books. Now we just learned that Jonathan Hickman is also leaving the Fantastic Four books. Is Marvel preparing for some sort of linewide reboot, a la DC’s New 52?

Well as they say, something is afoot. Marvel CCO Joe Quesada is certainly making it seem that way with his recent updates to his Twitter account. He changed his icon to this image:

He also tweeted a few of the usual ‘infinity’ barbs. Still nothing is ever done for no reason. There is something coming up, what that is- at this point is up for grabs.

Anyway we should be getting back to the reason for the column, my choices of What Looks Good in this week’s comic releases. So here we go…


Detective Comics #7 $2.99 (Tony Daniel doing it all)

Batman uncovers the truth behind a string of underworld killings involving a guest at the Penguin's Iceberg Casino, but time is running out! Is unimaginable terror about to strike on the floating gambling den? And what will Bruce Wayne do now that he's discovered some of Charlotte's most well kept - and darkest - secrets? It's death and destruction in the highest of high stakes games at the Iceberg Casino!

With 714 different Bat-ongoings in the New 52 there really is ‘something for everyone’ approach to the character and franchise of characters. And Daniel, previous to the DC relaunch, was not something everyone wanted.

But since then, in the shadow of Scott Snyder and Grant Morrison he has carved out a unique and well done approach to Batman. His art was never an issue for me, always liked his sleek and clean, modern look. The writing had felt weak. Since the relaunch that has been done away with just like all of DC’s continuity.

He’s doing his Batman different from Snyder's. There’s dark action with a sense that everything is up for grabs and old characters are coming back as new, slicker versions. Always a solid and enjoyable read.


Hell Yeah #1 $2.99 (Keatinge & Szymanowicz)

THE LAST GENERATION OF HEROES IS HERE! Twenty years ago, the first-ever superheroes debuted without warning and forever altered our global culture! Now, the generation born in their wake fight to claim their place in a world evolved beyond them! Written by Eisner & Harvey award-winner JOE KEATINGE and illustrated by ELEPHANTMEN and POPGUN's ANDRE SZYMANOWICZ, HELL YEAH combines the over-the-top excitement of the original Image Comics launch with modern, innovative storytelling. It all begins with a giant-sized first issue containing a full thirty-two pages of story with no ads for the regular price of just $2.99!

This book has it all going for it. It has a great creator pedigree with the award winning Keatinge and fabulous art by Szymanowicz. It has a great concept that Keatinge describes as a world where superteams are treated more like rock bands.

Plus check out that last line of the solicit. This book will have the full 32 story pages all for only $2.99. At that price there is no reason why anyone doesn’t at least give this book a try.

I realize some folks are just buyers of books from the Big 2 publishers. We- the collective we- really do need to get behind creator-owned books as well. And Image is doing a great job of expanding their line with some books from ‘name’ creators in conjunction with ‘bang for your buck’ pricing strategies.

And need I remind you folks of Image’s run of sold out first issues?


Avengers: Children’s Crusade #9 of 9 $3.99 (Heinberg & Cheung)

The big climax that sets the stage big time for what is to come in 2012! Deaths and departures! The funeral of an Avenger. The final fate of the Scarlet Witch. A new lineup and a new direction for the Young Avengers.

Well after a long bi-monthly schedule this series is drawing to a close. Even though it took a long time to get Heinberg and Cheung back on this book it was certainly worth it. They’ve shown that no one has a better handle on these characters than the original team.

With Avengers vs. X-Men looming ahead, the book hasn’t seemed to get the attention you would think it would have these last couple of months. But this series has been listed by Marvel as one of the lead-ins to AVX. And with the Scarlet Witch at the center it should be.

I’m hoping that after the series is over and the dust settles from 6 months of AVX that Marvel finds an appropriate place for the characters. I appreciate that they have deferred to Heinberg and his TV schedule previously. But I’m still hoping that we can continue to get to read the Young Avengers regularly in the future.

Ok, so those are my picks for What Looks Good this week. Here’s a few that also might be worth checking out…

  • Fatale #3- Marvel/Icon - Brubaker and Phillips doing noir, need I say more?
  • Manhattan Projects #1- Image - another Image first issue and also with Jonathan Hickman
  • Winter Soldier #3- Marvel -more Bru, this book is as good as those early Cap issues
  • Night Force #1- DC - the classic book is back and with Marv Wolfman too, but it’s a reboot so I’m a little scared. Why mess with greatness?
  • Hawk and Dove #7- DC – Rob Liefeld writing and drawing. Again need I say more?

Well there you go folks. Please feel free to comment with your thought on my picks or your own ideas. I’ll see you all in 3.


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