Long-time ensemble cast member Power Girl finally gets a shot at solo star status with this week’s debut of Power Girl #1, a new ongoing featuring the always welcome art of Amanda Conner and scripts by Justin Gray and Blog@ columnist Jimmy Palmiotti.
Will the book manage to find an audience and stick around long, or at least as long as some of the other new superhero ongoings DC has tried out over the last few years? I don’t know, but it sure seems like it will have an uphill battle. Power Girl’s long presence in the DCU and supporting character status in several popular books gives her a fan base, but then, she’s always been a character who played off of other characters and, for the last 20 years or so, has been best known for having big breasts and one of the most confusing and oft-changed origins in the company’s character catalog. Additionally, she hasn’t been up to much lately that would seem to serve as a springboard for a new series; the wake of 2005′s JSA Classified arc (also featuring art by Conner) or 2006′s Infinite Crisis or last year’s Justice Society of America Annual #1 would have seemed like more ideal times to try a Power Girl series.
On the other hand, Palmiotti and Gray have certainly managed to defy market expectations in the past (witness the still surviving Jonah Hex), and Conner’s style is such a strong departure from the bulk of current DCU art that anything she draws automatically stands out. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what this trio can do with the book.
I’m also looking forward to tomorrow, it being new comic book day and all. What will I find awaiting me at the shop? Let’s see what the old direct market has planned for us this week, shall we?
Ace-Face: The Mod With the Metal Arms: Freddie & Me‘s Mike Dawson returns to his superhero character from AdHouse’s Project: Superior anthology. It’s $6.95 for 90 pages. I like how this comic’s title explains the premise so clearly; everything you need to know is right there. You can see a preview here, and read an interview that Chris Arrant conducted with Dawson here.
Bobobo-Bo Bo-Bobo Shonen Jump Edition Vol. 2: Normally, I’d say this manga has the weirdest name of anything in comics shops this week, but there’s also a manga called Sumomomo Momomo Vol. 1 due in shops this week. Ask for ‘em by name!
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 8 #25: Wait, #25? This “season” of the series has been going on for over two years now? Wow. I mean, I know monthly comics obviously move a lot more slowly than weekly TV shows, but geez, this really seems to be going on forever at this point, doesn’t it? Anyway, the popular iteration of the BTVS comic reaches #25, and Doug Petrie, who wrote for the show. and Georges Jeanty handle the creative chores. There are a couple covers, but if I were you, I’d get the Jo Chen one, as she rules.
Final Crisis Aftermath: Run #1: DC gets around to publishing a comic following up on Final Crisis, which ended (late) on January 28. If the publishers aren’t exactly excited about this material, it’s hard for a reader to get too worked up about it, you know? This is a six-issue miniseries stars The Human Flame, the obscure villain Grant Morrison chose to use in a bit part in Final Crisis based mainly on the symbolism of his codename, a villain who is now on the run from both the heroes and the villains of the DCU (hence the title). Matthew Sturges is writing, and Freddie E. Williams II is drawing.
The Flash Presents: Mercury Falling: I hate hate hate hate when comics and trade collections get a “(blank) Presents” type of title, as it makes the character or team sound like they’re movie producers or theater owners or something. In this case, I guess the title reflects the fact that the character Impulse doesn’t really exist anymore, having changed his name to Kid Flash. Anyway, this $15 trade collects six issues from writer Todd Dezago’s under-appreciated Impulse run, and deals with the teen speedster’s attempts to save the life of his mentor Max Mercury, “the zen master of the Speed Force.” Art is provided by Flash: Rebirth-er Ethan Van Sciver, working a less detailed, more cartoony style, and others.
The Human Torch Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1: I’ve really enjoyed the previous two specials in this series featuring Namor and Captain America, so I hope this one ends up being just as good. The lead story is by Scotts Snyder and Wegener, and the solicitation promises a ten-page, Golden Age back-up. I really don’t mind Marvel’s exorbitant $3.99 cover price when we get cool Golden Age stories as back-ups.
League of Extraordinary Gentleman: Century #1: It’s the eagerly anticipated third volume of Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s Victorian super-team comic, and the first from new publisher Top Shelf. The format for this volume will be a bit different than that of the previous two, consisting of three 80-page “graphic novellas.” This first one is set in 1910 London, and features the new team of Mina Harker, Allan Quatermain, Carnacki, Anthony Raffles and Orlando. As expected, it’s clever as all hell, falling somewhere between the fairly straightforward first two miniseries and the overly obtuse Black Dossier original graphic novel in the accessibility department. You can check out a preview of it here. For a good review, I’d reccomend Jog’s, as he seems to have got a lot more of the references than I did.
New Mutants #1: The original X-Men spin-off team is back, in a brand-new series by Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves. I imagine some fans somewhere are very excited about this…? This first issue is $3.99, but that may be because it’s an oversized first issue, rather than one of Marvel’s priced-to-gouge series.
Noble Causes Archives Vol. 2: Archives? Already? But the series isn’t even ten years old yet! At any rate, this whopping 778-page trade collecting writer Jay Faerber’s signature superhero soap opera series will only cost you $25. Combined with the first volume, this will constitute the entire Noble Causes series, start to finish.
Pherone: This $25, 100-page hardcover from Image doesn’t sound all that original or promising (“Armed with a killer body and a killer’s mind, the femme fatale must hunt down clues to rediscover her own troubled past” et cetera), but artist Viktor Kalvachev’s cover looks pretty nice. You can check out a lot more of his art, including some pages from the book, here.
Wallace Wood: Edge of Genius: Publisher Pure Imagination presents the latest in their Edge of Genius series, featuring best comics artists’ not quite best work. This one focuses on Wally Wood, obviously.