The renamed and re-numbered JSA title reaches its 25th issue this week, and the story concludes an arc by Geoff Johns and Jerry Ordway that sounds like it may be resetting the Marvel Family status quo into something a little less stupid than it’s been since the Trials of Shazam/Countdown/Final Crisis cycle of nonsense. Featuring a fully-painted upskirt cover by Alex Ross. The main site has a preview here; be sure to check out Billy Batson’s lighting crotch on the second page. For a more traditional take on the characters (that is, one you could give to a child and/or a new reader without having to explain a few years worth of terrible comics), the fourth issue of Mike Kunkel’s all-ages Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam also drops this week.
They are but two of the ten thousand new comics appearing in shops tomorrow. What are the other 9,998? Find out, after the jump! (Note: Actually, there are only about a dozen mentioned below).
Amazing Spider-Man #590: This is the first part of a two-part Fantastic Four team-up that deals with a past adventure which, post-reboot, means it’s likely to be one giant headache and is thus probably better ignored. However, it happens to be written by Mr. Dan Slott, who was responsible for that winning Spider-Man/Human Torch miniseries with Ty Templeton a few years back, and I’d hate to miss out on more Slott Spidey/Torch action. As for the art, it’s not Templeton, but it is Mark Farmer inking Barry Kitson, so it ought to look pretty nice too. The variant cover is my favorite of the Wolverine Art Appreciation ones; the Wolverines-as-dogs-playing-poker-cover. I’m not really sure what the hell it’s doing on a Spider-Man comic—aren’t there enough Wolverine comics to support all these things?—but hey, Wolverine playing poker with a bunch of other Wolverines! Preview here.
Boody. The Bizarre Comics of Boody Rogers: Editor extraordinaire Craig Yoe assembles 140 pages of comics super-genius Boody Rogers’ work, which is almost as beautiful as it is weird. Or almost as weird as it is beautiful. At any rate, it’s really weird and really beautiful. The price of admission is $20. For a better look at the book, including a 12-page Sparky Watts story, click here.
Captain America Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1: This is by James Robinson, Marcos Martin, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Based on creators alone, this part-new material, part-reprint special s probably the superhero book of the week. It’s $3.99, but is presumably more than 22-pages. Would you care for a preview? Sure you would.
Dead Romeo #1: Here’s a new, original six-issue miniseries from DC by writer Jesse Blaze Snider (Strangeland: Seven Sins) and artist Ryan Benjamin (a mess of Batman-related fill-ins in ’08) about a vampire rock n’ roll singer (Just like Lestat! People liked him, right?) returning from hell to kill his beloved. It’s on the regular DCU imprint, despite apparently being set outside the DCU, rather than WildStorm or Vertigo because…well, I don’t know why. Does anyone?
Flash: Rebirth #1: The Green Lantern: Rebirth team of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver reunite to return another long dead Silver Age character to the modern DCU, this one having been dead more than twice as long as Hal Jordan. Will lightning strike twice? Probably not! The solicitation promises that while Barry Allen is back, another speedster will turn up dead this issue, thus reinforcing my belief that all DC comics are either about 1) Continuity futzing, 2) Dead characters coming back to life, or 3) Live characters dying. It’s 40 pages for $3.99 (In your face, Marvel!)
Irredeemable #1: Boom had a huge week last week, debuting their new kids imprint with The Muppet Show and The Incredibles: Family Matters. Will their grown-up fare fair as well? Well, a new ongoing super-comic about a Superman-type hero who becomes a super-villain that has Mark Waid’s byline attached sure stands a pretty good chance. It’s $3.99 for 22-pages (boo!), and will feature an afterword by Grant Morrison and a five-page preview of Waid’s next project, The Unknown.
Marvel Assistant-Sized Spectacular #1: Hey Wednesday’s April Fools Day, which makes for pretty great timing on Marvel’s part. In the tradition of Assistant Editor’s Month, where the Marvel titles would go crazy and the blame would be assigned to the assistant editors taking over. Rather than spreading out over the whole line, thise assistant editorial-driven stories will be confined to a two-issue miniseries. This first issue will feature the likes of D-Man, Elsa Bloodstone, American Eagle, the daughter of Galactus and Mini Marvel Hawkeye by creators inlcluding Chris Elioupoulos, Chris Giarrusso, Jason Aaron, Christopher Yost, Todd Nauck and…Wyatt Cenac? Seriously? It’s $3.99, which, at Marvel these days, can mean anything, in terms of page count. (Hey, I’m sick as pointing it at as you are of reading me pointing it out). Should definitely be worth a flip-through though.
Pride & Prejudice: Hmm, what might Marvel’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s beloved classic look like…? Nuh-uh. For real? Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
Well, the cover art’s decent, anyway.
Seaguy: The Slaves of Mickey Eye #1: Hey look, it’s Grant Morrison, free of the shackles of DC Universe continuity and editorial! This is the first of a three-issue Vertigo series with Cameron Stewart, who drew the original 2004 series. It’s 40 for $3.99. (In your face again, Marvel!)
Still I Rise: A Graphic History of African Americans: Your Barack Obama cover of the week comes on a 240-page, $14.95 telling of “the entire history of Black America, told in accessible graphic-novel form.” This is an updated version of a previous book, which originally ended with the Million Man March.
Super Human Resources #3: Wow, #3 already? I just read #1, like, a week ago. That was a pretty solid superhero parody effort about a temp working a cubicle as part of the corporate support staff for an Avengers/JLA-like super-team, featuring really nice, loose, cartoony artwork by Justin Bleep. I’ve heard it gets even better. More info here.
Supermen! The First Wave of Comic Book Heroes: This must-read trade paperback collects about 20 Golden Age stories from publishing houses like Fox and Centaur, starring a bunch of the also-ran superheroes that were right on Superman’s heels but didn’t quite make it. Oddly, five years or so ago most of these characters would be completely unknown to most comics readers, but plenty of them have been given new life thanks to some recent projects. Stardust The Super Wizard and Fantomah from I Will Destroy All of the Civilized Planets! each get a story, as do Daredevil, The Claw, The Face, The Flame, Silver Streak, each of whom Dynamite has dusted off for their Project: Superpowers series, and there’s a story featuring The Comet, who had a brief revival in the ‘90s as part of DC’s Impact line. The real draw is the talent though, a who’s who of Golden Age creators, none of whom are here working on their signature creations: Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Bill Everett, Will Eisner, Lou Fine, Jack Cole, Ogden Whitney, Gardner Fox, Basil Wolverton, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. I can’t recommend this one highly enough. It’s 190 pages for $24.99, and includes an introduction by Jonathan Lethem and annotations by editor Greg Sadowski. You can download the Eisner/Fine Flame story in its entirety here.