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Marvel Spotlight #7 Ė August 2010

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By Keith Dallas, Michael Deeley, Robert Tacopina, and Tristram Taylor

Time flies when you're having fun, eh?

Another month has passed and it is once again time for Marvel Spotlight! This month our fine young cannibals take a gander at Marvel's August 2010 solicitations and let me tell you, there is snark aplenty.

And on that note, let's get started, shall we?




SKY DOLL: LACRIMA CHRISTI #2 (of 2)
Written by ALESSANDRO BARBUCCI & BARBARA CANEPA
Pencils by GRADIMIR SMUDJA, AFIF KHALED & ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ
Cover by ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ
The planet Papathea has two faces: the female Pope Ludovique and Agape. The former is carnal, spectacular and blood-drenched; the latter spiritual, virginal, ethereal and inaccessible. The two sisters were selected from thousands of candidates to represent the complexity and the contradictions of their religion. After the success of their Spaceship Collection, Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa have invited five other stunningly talented artists to enter into their universe in Lacrima Christi.
40 PGS./Mature ...$5.99


In a month when Marvel spotlights their female characters, we get a cover with a Lolita in tiny white panties. Classy.
- Michael Deeley

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #640 & #641
Written by JOE QUESADA
Penciled by PAOLO MANUEL RIVERA & JOE QUESADA
Covers by PAOLO MANUEL RIVERA
Spidey Sunday Feature by STAN LEE & MARCOS MARTIN
Issue #640 & #641 Variant Cover by JOE QUESADA
Issue #640 & #641 Sketch Variant by JOE QUESADA
Issue #640 Women of Marvel Variant by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC
Issue #641 Women of Marvel Frame Variant by TBA
This is it! The startling conclusion to ONE MOMENT IN TIME! How did the world REALLY forget Peter Parker was Spider-Man? And what does the future hold for Peter & Mary Jane? Every question is answered, the past laid to rest, and Spider-Man swings into a new direction for the future!
40 PGS. (each)/Rated A ...$3.99 (each)


Did we really need a 5-issue story to replace a single comic book to explain a retcon nobdy likes, not even the retconís writer, and fans are just waiting to be undone? Call me for the re-marriage of Peter and MJ.
- Michael Deeley

SPIDER-MAN/FANTASTIC FOUR #2 (of 4)
Written by CHRISTOS GAGE
Pencils & Cover by MARIO ALBERTI
SPIDER-MAN MUST RESCUE THE YOUNGEST MEMBER OF COMIC'S FIRST FAMILY!
Before there was Venom, there was the black costume symbiote that tried to permanently bond to Spider-Man...until the Fantastic Four set him free and captured the creature. While caged, the symbiote expressed an eerie interest in young Franklin Richards. After a quarter century, find out at last what happens when the symbiote escapes and comes after Franklin...even if it has to go through Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four (including the Sensational She-Hulk) to get him!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


The creative team of last year's X-Men and Spider-Man mini-series is back, and this time they're using Spidey and the Fantastic Four to traverse through Marvel Comics history.† For those who aren't familiar with the story format, the series' four self-contained stories are thematically linked as they progress through years of continuity.† Essentially, the format catalogs and examines how Marvel Comics have changed over the decades.† It's a format I find very intriguing.

The plot of X-Men and Spider-Man involved Kraven The Hunter and Mr. Sinister, and truth be told, the story began well but ended in an unimaginative (and mostly nonsensical) slugfest.† My hope is that Christos Gage has crafted a more compelling story for this mini-series.† The principal reason why I'm eager to buy this book though is because it gives me the chance to feast upon Mario Alberti's artwork again.† Alberti brings a European style to the Marvel Universe that is wonderfully unique.† It is truly worth the price of the comic book alone.
- Keith Dallas

AVENGERS #4
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Variant Cover by JOHN ROMITA JR.
Women of Marvel Frame Variant by TBA
The blockbuster Marvel comic of the year continues!! The timestream is broken and with that the Marvel Universe has fallen into utter chaos. Can the Avengers defeat Kang and even if they do, is it too late? Guest-starring EVERYONE!!
Plus! Another startling chapter in the untold oral history of the Avengers by Brian Michael Bendis...!
32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


OK I am so in with this title. Issue 1 whet my appetite and now I am dying for more Avengers goodness. What the heck is Kang up to? You know he will double-cross the Avengers in the long run. Plus, I want to know whose kids these are and with whom!
- Robert Tacopina

NEW AVENGERS #3
Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
Pencils & Cover by STUART IMMONEN
Variant Cover by STUART IMMONEN
Women of Marvel Frame Variant by TBA
Who is the true master of the mystic arts? Well, it ain't Doctor Strange and it ain't Doctor Voodoo. The bad news is he's here and he is in charge. And he is gleefully ripping this dimension apart, piece by piece, in his search for relics of power. How are the legacies of Iron Fist, Doctor Strange and Wolverine connected? Find out here in this brand new eye-popper from Bendis and Immonen! Backup feature: Another brand new oral history of the Avengers chapter by Bendis!
32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


A new Sorcerer Supreme? Who will it be this time? We all know there will only truly be one and that is Dr. Strange. I have concerns that Bendis will go into Avengers overload and this will end up a big convoluted mess. Also in store is how Wolverine, Dr. Strange, and Iron Fist all are connected.
- Robert Tacopina

AVENGERS & THE INFINITY GAUNTLET #1 (of 4)
Written by BRIAN CLEVINGER
Penciled by BRIAN CHURILLA
Cover by HUMBERTO RAMOS
The evil THANOS has acquired the Infinity Gems, granting him control over the entire universe. He's destroyed half the population of all worlds. The only force standing in his way? THE AVENGERS! But how can a ragtag group of heroes and villains (!) overpower the unstoppable? Check out the non-stop, pulse-pounding, white-knuckling action brought to you by Brian Clevinger (Atomic Robo) and Brian Churilla (Rex Mundi, The Anchor)!
40 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99


Iíve been looking forward to this since Brain Clevinger announced it on his website. Infinity Gauntlet was one of the first comic books I ever read, and I still enjoy it. And if itís as funny and twisted as Clevingerís web comic 8-Bit Theater, itíll be one of the highlights of the year.
- Michael Deeley

Itís all Avengers all the time at Marvel Comics. As long as the stories are good itís a good thing! Thanos gains possession of the Infinity Gems and that always spell trouble.
- Robert Tacopina

SHADOWLAND #2 (of 5)
Written by ANDY DIGGLE
Penciled by BILLY TAN
Cover by JOHN CASSADAY
EVIL DAREDEVIL VARIANT COVER by JOHN CASSADAY
The battle for New York begins as battle lines are drawn and war forges strange allies. Luck Cage, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Moon Knight and...Kingpin?! Plus, a dangerous new player enters the battle, one that could win the fight...or damn all of New York!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


An all out war for control of New York is the premise behind this limited series that will feature Daredevil and other street level characters such as Luke Cage and Iron Fist. One has to wonder just what role Kingpin will play in all of this. Andy Diggle and Billy Tan are the creators for this title that will also branch off into character eccentric offshoots.
- Robert Tacopina

GORILLA MAN #2 (of 3)
Written by JEFF PARKER
Penciled by GIANCARLO CARACUZZO
Cover by LEONARD KIRK
As Ken Hale's mission takes him further into the jungle, he goes further into the wild past life that lead to him becoming the Gorilla-Man. Young Ken meets a beautiful girl named Lily but makes some powerful enemies!
40 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


A talking gorilla mercenary.

A talking gorilla mercenary!

A TALIKING! GORILLA! MERCENARY!

Screw Hit-Monkey. Give Ken hale his own monthly series NOW!
- Michael Deeley

HAWKEYE & MOCKINGBIRD #3
Written by JIM MCCANN
Penciled by DAVID LOPEZ
Cover by PAUL RENAUD
Hawkeye and Mockingbird declare war on their twisted reflections: Crossfire and Phantom Rider! What shocking event happened last issue to trigger this blood feud? And are Clint and Bobbi ready for the army that awaits them? What are the Death T.H.R.O.W.S.? And what deadly surprise awaits our heroes back at their H.Q.?
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


This reads like a gritty remake of the old Hawkeye mini-series. What are the Death T.H.R.O.W.S.? Are they connected to the juggling assassin that killed people by throwing balls really, really hard? And why do I think, no matter what they are, theyíll be lamer than a juggling killer?
- Michael Deeley

I am extremely excited for this series since it contains two of my favorite characters. I loved McCannís handling of them in New Avengers: The Reunion so I would assume this will have the same writing and art that was so enjoyable in the limited series. This book has a ton of potential to be a real fun title.
- Robert Tacopina

HERCULES: TWILIGHT OF A GOD # 3
Script and Finishes by BOB LAYTON
Breakdowns by RON LIM
Cover by BOB LAYTON
The Andromeda galaxy is facing annihilation from the everexpanding Fat Galactus Black Hole! The Prince of Power has suffered near-fatal injuries from his epic battle with the Silver Surfer and lies in a coma! The Alliance of Space-faring Species' fleet has been decimated by a terrorist attack! And, amidst the growing chaos, the only being who can unite the Alliance and save the day isóSKYPPI the SKRULL?!! You won't want to miss this third installment of the final, future Hercules saga by Marvel Comics legend Bob Layton! Rated T+ Ö$3.99


What the? A sequel to Bob Laytonís Hercules in the 24th Century stories? Why was I not informed?! And he fights the Fat Galactus Black Hole? YES! There is no question; the answer is YES!
- Michael Deeley

OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE A TO Z UPDATE #3
Written by JEFF CHRISTIANSEN, MIKE O'SULLIVAN, MICHAEL HOSKIN, MADISON CARTER, MARKUS RAYMOND, ROB LONDON, SEAN MCQUAID, KEVIN GARCIA, STUART VANDAL, CHRIS BIGGS, JACOB ROUGEMONT & RONALD BYRD
Cover by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY
The OFFICIAL HANDBOOK OF THE MARVEL UNIVERSE continues its 2010 campaign to catalogue the multiverse! This offering of ALL-NEW encyclopedia-style profiles features an impressive collection of aliens (Shatterax, Aakon, Rigellians)! Groups (ARMOR, Secret Warriors, MI13)! Mutants (Alchemy, Graymalkin, Murmur)! The heroes we love (Butterball, Val de Fontaine, Johnny Guitar), and the baddies we love to hate (Condor, Arthur Nagan, Lascivious)! Featuring ORIGINAL ART for dozens of characters!
64 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Iíve bought every volume of the book series, and every comic like this thatís come out. Because if I ever find myself in this fictional universe, this knowledge will make me GOD!

And I canít trust the internet with facts.
- Michael Deeley

MARVEL UNIVERSE VS. THE PUNISHER #1 & 2 (of 4)
Written by JONATHAN MABERRY
Pencils & Cover by GORAN PARLOV
The creative team of Jonathan Maberry and Goran Parlov take you on a journey into the darkest territory in this Marvel Knights limited series.
A terrible plague has swept the Earth, turning everyone Ė human, hero, villain, god and monster ó into sadistic cannibal predators. As Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Thing and other infected start a feeding frenzy, the world falls in a wave of insatiable violence. Now, five years later, one man hunts the wasteland that was New York City. One man stands against the hordes of monsters who hunt the night. He is the Punisher, the Last Gun on Earth. And he has an endless supply of ammunition.
32 PGS.(each)/Parental Advisory ...$3.99 (each)


This looks fun! Iíve always been a sucker for futuristic stories involving my favorite characters. Itís interesting when weíre put into a new scenario and we discover what has happened to everybody. Well apparently the same thing has happened every hero except the Punisher, so now he has to kill them all.

Iím always eager to see the Punisher interact with the more super powered denizens of the Marvel Universe, even if they are cannibalistic monsters. The story seems a little bit like a rip off of I Am Legend, but hopefully it will turn out to be more original. The only experience I have with Jonathan Maberry as a writer is the Doomwar books, which I am enjoying so far, so that makes me optimistic. Also, Goran Parlov certainly knows how to draw the Punisher. Iím not expecting this to be the most groundbreaking series, but it does look like it will be entertaining.
- Tristram Taylor

S.H.I.E.L.D. #3
Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN
Penciled by DUSTIN WEAVER
Cover by GERALD PAREL
Historical Variant by DUSTIN WEAVER
The surprise hit of the year marches on! In this issue, discover the secrets of Sir Issac Newton, see how Galileo defeated Galactus long before the Fantastic Four ever did and find out why Leonardo da Vinci traveled over 400 years to do. All of this from the twisted minds of writer Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR) and superstar in the making Dustin Weaver (X-MEN LEGACY)!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


Jonathan Hickmanís SHIELD series offered up a debut issue that was deliciously trippy and offered a fresh take on the design of the peace keeping task force. Far out concepts that sound ridiculous on paper actually make for a good read. Plus the Dustin Weaver art is a stunning feast for the eyes.
- Robert Tacopina

THE THANOS IMPERATIVE #3 (of 6)
Written by DAN ABNETT & ANDY LANNING
Penciled by MIGUEL ANGEL SEPULVEDA
Cover by ALEKSI BRICLOT
Thanos faces twisted versions of the Avengersówhile Nova assembles a star-studded cosmic strike force! As the staggering consequences of the Cancerverse's invasion become apparent, Star-Lord and his battered band of heroes fight to protect Thanos, who has actually become the universe's only hope! But it's literally a life and death struggle, and one being hardwired for destruction may ruin everything! Check out this next stunning chapter and find out why AintItCoolNews says "this writing team has taken the Marvel Cosmic line to levels of cool never before seen"!
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


Thanos vs. a Cancerverse. I might have to pick this up in trade.
- Michael Deeley

Abnett & Lanning NUFF SAID! Honestly, I have total faith that this thing will rock since DnA have proven themselves to be the kings of the cosmos over at Marvel. It is probably safe to say that someone wonít be walking away from this fight and if Thanos has his way it will be him.
- Robert Tacopina

X-MEN #2
Written by VICTOR GISCHLER
Penciled by PACO MEDINA
Cover by ADI GRANOV
"CURSE OF THE MUTANTS," PART 2
Upon discovering that San Francisco has been invaded by Dracula and his vampire army, the X-Men set out to find the evil and destroy it. But when Blade the Vampire Slayer shows up and drops a bombshell, the X-Men realize all of their assumptions have been wrong. Their only chance to survive hinges on a desperate plan which might prove their undoing.
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99


I have to admit I am scared that this book will be as bad as it sounds. Is this merely a really attempt at cashing in on the Twilight gravy train? If you are going to launch a new in continuity X-Men title donít you think you should really bring something of epic proportion to the table? I guess vampires and Dracula will have to sufficeÖ
- Robert Tacopina

NEW MUTANTS #16
Written by ZEB WELLS
Penciled by LEONARD KIRK
Cover by DAVE WILKINS
"FALL OF THE NEW MUTANTS"
What is PROJECT PURGATORY and what does it need with a Bloodstone? General Ulysses, Doctor Noc and their mysterious platoon have taken their first shot at the X-Men. It's up to the New Mutants to shoot back. Part 2 (of 5)
32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99


The enigmatic General Ulysses makes his play on the mutants. Who has a spare bloodstone lying around to offer him? Zeb Wells has done a fantastic job at bringing the New Mutants back. This book has been a blast from the get go.
- Robert Tacopina

WOLVERINE WEAPON X #16
Written by JASON AARON
Penciled by TBD
Cover by RON GARNEY
During the shocking events of SECOND COMING, Logan lost one of his dearest friends: Nightcrawler. Now with the reading of Nightcrawler's will, Logan learns that his friend had one last request, something Logan can not refuse, no matter how much it might pain him. Don't miss this stirring series finale that helps pave the way for next month's WOLVERINE #1.
32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$3.99


Let's face it, true believers: long before Marvel killed Nightcrawler, they broke him.† If you ask me (and you should), Nightcrawler's descent into irrelevancy began when he was shunted off to Excalibur way back in 1988.† Turning him into a priest and then a paranormal investigator more than a decade later was proof positive that Marvel had long forgotten who Kurt Wagner was.† And if they asked me (as they should have), I would have told Marvel who Nightcrawler was: he was an Errol Flynn wannabe.† Recent X-Men story arcs did their best to put the fun back in the fuzzy elf (I'm thinking specifically of Brubaker's "Rise and Fall of the Shi'ar Empire"), but the damage to the character had already been done, and thus his recent demise was a mercy killing.† If the death sticks, we won't have to suffer the mishandling of this character ever again.

Nightcrawler's body may have departed, but his soul lives on, engineering the events of Wolverine Weapon X #16.† The solicitation description offers just the right kind of intrigue to hook a reader like me; it's certainly more compelling than Marvel's old "In this issue AN AVENGER WILL DIE!" chestnut.† I'm not exactly thrilled that "T.B. Determined" is the announced artist, but that disappointment is offset by the knowledge that Jason Aaron is scripting the issue.† Chances are very good that this is going to be one memorable comic book and likely one the fittingly honors Nightcrawler's legacy.
- Keith Dallas

NEW MUTANTS FOREVER #1 (of 5)
Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT
Pencils & 50/50 Cover by AL RIO
50/50 Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
The third generation of Xavier's pupils is back...like you've never seen them! New York Times best-selling author and X-Men visionary Chris Claremont returns to the young mutant heroes he created to turn their lives upside down! Their headmaster, Magneto, has just joined the Hellfire Club, and now the team faces a threat so terrible they're willing to join forces with the Black Queen, Selene! With the stunning pencils of Al Rio, series co-creator Bob McLeod on inks, and the legendary Bill Sienkiewicz on covers, this is one series no New Mutants fan should miss!
40 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99


Whatís the point of these "Forever" minis? A really long alternate universe story? A "do over" for Claremont? I just donít see any reason for these things to exist.
- Michael Deeley

WOMEN OF MARVEL: CELEBRATING SEVEN DECADES OMNIBUS HC COIPEL COVER
Written by STAN LEE, LINDA FITE, JEAN THOMAS, GERRY CONWAY, ROY THOMAS, TONY ISABELLA, ED HANNIGAN, CAROL SEULING, STEVE GERBER, MIKE FRIEDRICH, JIM SHOOTER, DAVID MICHELINIE, JOHN BYRNE, TOM DEFALCO, DWAYNE MCDUFFIE, DWIGHT D. COYE, JM DEMATTEIS, JACK C. HARRIS & RICHARD HOWELL
Penciled by VARIOUS
Covers by OLIVIER COIPEL & RAMONA FRADON
For seventy years, Marvel Comics has been chronicling the adventures of heroes across the world ó and now it's time for the heroines to shine! Featuring your favorite fighting females from across the decades! Millie the Model! Patsy Walker and Hedy Wolfe! The Wasp! The Black Widow! Night Nurse! Tigra! Shanna the She-Devil! The Dazzler! Firestar! Captain Marvel! She-Hulk! Storm! Against threats including Man-Killer, Nekra, the White Queen and the Silver Samurai! Collected together here for the first time in one titanic tome! Collecting TALES TO ASTONISH (1959) #51-58, X-MEN (1963) #57, NIGHT NURSE #1-4, CAT #1-4, MARVEL TEAM-UP (1972) #8, GIANT-SIZE CREATURES #1, MARVEL PREMIERE #42, SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL (1972) #1-5, KA-ZAR: LORD OF THE HIDDEN JUNGLE #2, DAREDEVIL (1964) #108-112, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #3, MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL #12, #16 & #18, FIRESTAR #1-4, SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK: CEREMONY #1-2, CAPTAIN MARVEL (1989) #1, CAPTAIN MARVEL (1994) #1, MILLIE THE MODEL #100, PATSY AND HEDY ANNUAL #1, SOLO AVENGERS #9, MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #36 and MARVEL FANFARE #59.
1160 PGS./Rated T+ ...$125.00
ISBN: 978-0-7851-4326-0
Trim size: oversized

WOMEN OF MARVEL: CELEBRATING SEVEN DECADES OMNIBUS HC FRADON COVER (DM ONLY)
1160 PGS./Rated T+ ...$125.00
ISBN: 978-0-7851-4999-6


This sounds pretty good. Some lesser known mini-series collected in their entirety, long runs from Daredevil and Tales to Astonish, and three complete graphic novels. But I donít think Iíll pay $125 for it. Iíll probably just buy the individual comics I want.
- Michael Deeley



And with that, another Marvel Spotlight draws to a close.

There were some winners, some losers, and some that fell in-between, but I'm sure we can all agree that the message boards are the place to share your opinions with us! That's a not-so-subtle hint to head on over to the boards and talk to us, talk to each other, and hell, talk to yourself.

That's what I plan on doing!

Until next month, Wah-hoo!


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