According to this week’s Diamond shipping list, DC Comics will have 24 releases in stores this week, from all of their various imprints put together. Marvel, meanwhile, will have 47. I don’t generally pay that close attention, I just noticed that the Marvel list looked much, much longer than the DC than usual—is that an unusually dramatic discrepancy between the two companies?
What are some of the highlights and lowlights among those 71 Big Two comic books, and will there be room left on the shelves for anything else? Let’s take a look!
Avengers: The Initiative #23: Hey, it’s one of those weeks where every Avengers title ships! In addition to my favorite non-Marvel Adventures Avengers book, The Initiative, it looks like both Mighty and New will also have new issues out. The only ones not making it to the party are Marvel Adventures and Dark, but at least Dark will be represented by some reprints.
The Beats: A Graphic History: The latest in Hill and Wang’s “A Graphic History” series features 200 pages of pieces about Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg and company from writers Harvey Pekar, Joyce Brabner, Trina Robbins, Ed Piskor, Peter Kuper, Summer McClinton and others. It’ll cost you $22.
Buck Rogers #0: Dynamite Entertainment shows off their latest with a specially priced twenty-five cent issue. Writer Scott Beatty and artist Carlos Rafael are in the pilot’s seat for this one, as they will be when the series kicks off with a proper #1. I like Buck’s space age jodhpurs.
Detective Comics #853: The concluding half of Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert’s wake for the Batman is late (it is an Andy Kubert comic), but doesn’t seem to be apocalyptically so. At least they were able to get it out before Bruce Wayne came back to life. It’s $3.99 for an over-sized issue.
Gambit Classic Vol. 1: Okay, one of those two words doesn’t belong in the title. It’s 176-pages of the worst-dressed X-Man’s earliest adventures by Chris Claremont, Howard Mackie, Jim Lee, Whilce Portacio Lee Weeks and others for $25.
Ghost Omnibus Vol. 2: I’ve been trying to make my way through this 360-page chunk of mid-’90s comics from the Dark Horse heroes universe and, I can’t lie to you, it is some pretty rough going. The hooded, gun-toting heroine Ghost boasts a wonderful character design and neat powers, but she’s very much a product of her time. Rereading Eric Luke’s stories in 2009, little seems to distinguish them from other, similar stories of dark superheroes, save the healthy amount of almost-but-never-actual nudity. At $25, it’s not a bad price-point for the curious and/or the nostalgic though, and current Green Lantern fans might enjoy seeing what Ivan Reis’ art style used to look like. More info and a brief preview here.
Stonecutter: Artist John J. Muth and writer John Kuramoto adapt a Chinese folk tale about a stonecutter who seeks greater power in life by taking on new roles and finding disappointment in them. It’s a 140-page hardcover that will cost you $15.
Tales Designed To Thrizzle #5: The latest of Michael Kupperman’s hilarious comics, this one billed as “the Old People’s issue” and featuring Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, aliens, a badger, hobo fashions and…The Monkees? These thrizzling tales cost $4.50, and you can download a four-page preview here.
Viking #1: A new period piece from Image that bills itself as a 9th century crime story, featuring “The most violent criminal underworld in history!” It’s by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein, and you can see a brief preview of it here.
Wolverine: First Class #14: Another week, another Wolverinepalooza. This is my favorite Wolvie title, and in this particular issue Peter David and Dave Williams will conclude their Wolverine, Kitty and Daredevil vs. Elektra and The Hand two-parter. And dig that Chris Eliopoulos variant cover! This week also brings Wolverine: The Anniversary #1, a double-sized one-shot by William Harms, Jonathan Maberry and Tom Coker; the latest issue of the ongoings Wolverine: Origins and X-Force; a handbook entitled Wolverine: Weapon X Files; Wolverine: Not Dead Yet, a trade collection of an old Warren Ellis and Leinil Francis Yu arc; and reprints of an issue of the flagship Wolverine title and two issues of Ultimate Wolverine vs. Hulk. Whew! If there’s a point where over-exposure can break the old canuckle head, Marvel seems bound and determined to find it before the movie comes out.