Another month gone by and if you read the full listing of September solicits for Marvel, please for your own safety, wear a hat. Or a helmet. Or have a net because a hefty majority of the books promise that your head’s going to come right off your shoulders.
Shock! Awe! Change! Twists and turns! They are everywhere three months from now and I only hope that we can survive the experience.
Enter if you dare, a hopefully correctly formatted listing of some of the highlights and lowlights headed our way in the month of September.
Best Ultimate Shock – Looking at the four books coming out for September, it seems as if the frontal assault of shock and awe hits here straight through. Every book promises twists and turns or shock value or the change of everything… wow. So which one might actually pay off?
- ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #113 & #114
- I’m going with Ultimate Spider-Man. It’s a good bet; not only does Bendis just has a way with this book like none other and has dared to venture into the Clone Saga, against most people’s better judgment, turning out a fairly bang-up story from it all. This time, not only do we have the return of the Green Goblin, possibly the best Ultimate villain yet, not only does he have sights on hurting Aunt May (anyone want to mail that woman a flak jacket y this point?), but Electro’s got a similar idea and is looking to “fry Spidey on sight”. Okay, so I’m personally lacking the fear factor on Electro, but the Green Goblin’s a good sign.
- ANNIHILATION: CONQUEST –– QUASAR #3 (of 4)
- Really, you ask? Now, keep in mind I don’t have an encyclopedic knowledge of Moondragon and am going on what little I saw of her through Annihilation and the odd issue here and there, but I can personally say that I am totally rooting for the “power couple” of her and Quasar. What seemed like an honest glitch in the overwhelming Captain Marvel series by Peter David, Phyla-Vell is starring in a mini-series integral to the Annihilation: Conquest event, above even her brother (who came first) and her ‘father’ (coming even more first). This issue puts her lover into jeopardy and that ranks just as high as the fate of the universe and her own legacy. From the solicit: What is she searching for…and what in the world has happened to her lover Moondragon? Wizard’s “2007 Writer to Watch” Christos Gage (WORLD WAR HULK: X-MEN) and artist Mike Lilly (Nightwing, Vampirella) supply answers–and introduce even more questions–in the latest installment of this fantasy epic!
- FANTASTIC FIVE #5 (of 5)
- And that’s why we have the M2 universe. Much like the Marvel Adventures line, it’s nice to read though the line up for a month an have a book not swear to shock you, confuse you or surprise, just deliver on the goods. From the solicit: With the Earth already conquered and his teammates dying, Reed Richards faces his final battle with Doctor Doom–and only one will survive! Thanks, Mr. DeFalco.
- IRREDEEMABLE ANT-MAN #12
- The Irredeemable Ant-Man had the words “the World’s Most UNLIKABLE Super Hero” right there on the cover of issue #1 and we find the series ending at issue #12. I believe Kirkman did such a good job of delivering on his unlikable and irredeemable new hero that people stopped reading. But don’t let that stop you! From the solicit: The answers to these questions and many more in this final issue of the series everyone who read loved! So get your ‘Save Irredeemable Ant-Man’ campaigns ready. Hey, it worked for Runaways and She-Hulk. Why not Ant-Man? I think because those characters were likable. Your mileage may vary.
- IRON MAN: ENTER THE MANDARIN #1 (of 6)
- And I, for one, am kind of excited. Let’s face it, Tony Stark has been getting mixed reviews as a hero with his takeover of the superhero community and I think the back-to-basics approach most Marvel movies take their hero stars would be a great way to settle the character’s rather unusual moral judgment. Doing a little retcon shuffle, Joe Casey is going to bring us the real first meeting of the Mandarin and the Golden Avenger (hopefully, it won’t be in college). From the solicit: Even if you’ve read the original comics, you only know HALF of the story!
- MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS #1
- A much needed series in this day and age, where so may not-ready-for-prime-time characters have broken out into solo titles that deliver in the mighty Marvel fashion, this could be a fantastic way to preview the next Big Thing without committing to a mini-series or make sure that all the little ideas have somewhere to go before crashing and burning at issue #12 (I’m lookin’ at you, Ant-Man). In the whiz bang first issue, we’re getting a Hellcat story and a bevy of new ideas that promise of course, to shake foundations and show you the future in a landmark way. Some solid writing, choice artists, and a coveted cover from Mr. J. Scott Campbell, the only thing that might hold people at bay is the $3.99 price tag.
- MARVEL ZOMBIES: THE BOOK OF ANGELS, DEMONS & VARIOUS MONSTROSITIES
- Aaah! And the funny thing is, this looks to be a Official Handbook for evil. Belasco’s going to get an entry along with other ‘demonic’ influences, some monsters in the form of the Lurking Unknown, angels, werewolves, vampires, death gods and zombies, zombies, zombies! It’s a great idea, giving the reader a bigger sense of Marvel’s magical dark side, but… it’s that ‘Marvel Zombies’ tag that just gets under my skin. Hope it sells books.
- Runner Up Rest: PENANCE: RELENTLESS #1 (of 5)
- If you’re like me, you’ve read a lot of fan backlash for the transformation of happy-go-lucky hero Robbie Baldwin to emo, dark and crazy Penance. We watched the whole thing like an ugly car wreck through Civil War: Frontline; in Thunderbolts, Warren Ellis has taken a more ‘less is more’ approach and given us single snapshots of a guy who’s lost everything. I think that works, but far be it from me to tell Paul Jenkins what to write. This five-issue mini-series is going to chronicle Robbie’s “slow descent into madness”. Color me crazy, but anyone who’d put on that horrible spike suit is pretty mad to begin with.
- NEW X-MEN #42
- And bless Christopher Yost and Craig Kyle’s mutant child killing hearts, they are bringing the X-Men back to their day jobs. Scott Summers and Emma Front run the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning and after a miserable time in Limbo, the higher ups are going to take in some quality time with some of the last mutants on Earth. These kinds of stories really help to put storylines in perspective and Yost and Kyle have proved in the past that they are pretty solid at remembering whose lives they’ve ruined and how this stays with the characters long after the story’s ended. From the solicit: But after everything the team has been through… who even wants to be an X-Man?
- X-MEN: EMPEROR VULCAN #1 (of 5)
- Now, Brubaker took some time, but you have to admit: the Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire was some old school X-Men space drama right there. Busy being one of best writers in the business (not that I’m personally biased or anything), the next chapter of that elaborate story has been given to Christopher Yost, on his own out from New X-Men. This is a mighty fine idea, as Mr. Yost has been juggling tragedy and character interplay quite well on his other book, a five issue mini-series just might give him some room to shine. From the solicit: It’s brother versus brother and the outcome could decide the fate of billions. UNCANNY X-MEN’S “Rise and Fall of the Shi’ar Empire” continues here! Vulcan is the Shi’ar Emperor and Havok is leading the rebellious Starjammers. But who is really right and who is really wrong?
- Runner-Up Writer: WOLVERINE #57
- My apologies to anyone who’s actually understanding Jeph Loeb’s run on Logan’s main title but BOY am I glad to see Guggenheim back! Rolling back the clock to his first run at the book, it looks like we’re going to be back to basics on gold ol’ fashioned Wolverine tales, starting with ol’ Canucklehead’s death. ‘Nuff said, indeed.
- CAPTAIN AMERICA BY ED BRUBAKER OMNIBUS VOL. 1 HC
- Not only is this a remarkable series that is sold out on a few issues and difficult to trap for new readers, but like all Marvel Hardcovers, it promises to be “fat-packed with extras”. And considering the omnibus covers Captain America #1-25, the Captain America 65th Anniversary Special and Winter Soldier: Winter Kills, this is going to be a fine addition to any library. Yeah, the $74.99 price tag is pretty high, but it’s quality work in a quality format so starting up a penny jar now isn’t that bad an idea.
- EARTH X COMPANION TPB
- Marvel hardcovers are traditionally “fat-packed with extras” but you have to admire a book that appears to be just those extras at all. Earth X happens to be a heavy read, deep and philosophical on the existence of the Marvel Universe, the idea of heroism and concepts of live and death, so a companion guide should quite welcome to fans and new readers alike. After all, can’t watch the game without a program. From the solicit: Collecting EARTH X #1/2, NIGHTHAWK #1-3, plus more than 100 pages of background and sketch material. All this at $29.99.
- IMMORTAL IRON FIST ANNUAL #1
- Now, I thought this spot would be reserved for that Marvel Comics Presents #1, but then an Iron Fist Annual had to come out. An Iron Fist Annual highlighting the hard hitting hero of the Golden Age Iron Fist. This title deserves all the praise it’s received and more for being action packed, slick storytelling and fun to boot. This annual promises the secrets of Orson Randall and the Iron Fist itself and is “unique” for adding to the current storyline as well as being a great starting point for new readers. Ask me, all annuals should be this way. Ask me again, and all books should have super hot kung fu pirate women too, but that’s asking a little too much, I’m sure.
Best Love Conquers All – Divorce! Marriages on the rocks! Infidelity! Mary Jane just holding Spidey back (and holding his laundry!). For awhile, it seemed like the Marvel Universe just wasn’t into the long term relationship business. But I think one book’s going to give a thumbs up to romance and adventure.
Oldie but Goodie – New look! Nothing will ever be the same! All new, all different! Marvel fans, we’re used to the ebb and flow of an ever-changing universe, but every once and awhile… it’s nice to see something familiar.
Best Idea that Worked Too Well – Ever have an idea that’s too good to be true?
Best Way to Get Ahead – Gearing up for May 2nd? Marvel is! And nine whole months ahead!
Best Use of the Hype Machine – Bells and whistles, horns and flashy colors, this is the book that you’re going to feel silly if you don’t have in your hands.
Best Reason to Beg for a Break – I swear to God if I see another Zombie again it will be to soon.
Best Use of Responsible Power – Astonishing X-Men is a book with a dragging storyline, slowly loping along as issues come out at a snail’s pace. Kind of sad when the characters just so happen to be the foundation of several books…
Best Writing Chore – Sometimes, just reading the name of a writer can set you up for a good time.
Best Heavy Thing – With a lot of the previous omnibuses (omnibusi?) being reprinted and available once again to hungry readers, I’m proud to see this book among those listed.
Best Behind the Scenes – From the land of the Trade Collection, it’s always neat to watch how a bill becomes a law and how an idea spawns a blockbuster.
Best for Me – Because every month, there’s something I cannot help but purchase with hard earned cash.
The full list of September Solicitations for Marvel is this way. Nothing will ever be the same again!