I don’t blame Krypto. Superman’s best friend knows that his bosses at DC own a wider and deeper field of animal superheroes, and they even have a perfectly good animal superhero team name just laying around: The Legion of Super-Pets.
I’m sure the Dog of Steel is looking forward to checking out this week’s Lockjaw and The Pet Avengers #1 though. Who wouldn’t be? It’s the Inhumans’ giant teleporting bulldog with a tuning fork in his head teaming up with Kitty Pryde’s dragon, Speedball’s cat, Falcon’s falcon and an all-new, all-different Frog Thor. If that’s not the most unusual superhero team line-up to come out of the House of Ideas since Ghost Rider and Wolverine joined Spider-Man and The Hulk for a Fantastic Four line-up, than I don’t know what is.
Franklin Richards‘ Chris Eliopoulos writes and Marvel Adventures Avengers‘ Ig Guara draws, and although this is a limited series, Marvel’s giving it their ongoing, $2.99 price point. Huzzah!
This may be the book I personally am looking forward to the most this week, there are a ton of other new series starting up and big trades being released. Join me after the jump for my weekly scrutiny of the Diamond shipping list.
Applegeeks Vol. 1: Freshman Year: The latest of Dark Horse’s hard-copy collections of popular webcomics is Ananth Panagariya and Mohammad F. Haque’s humor series about a quartet of cutely-drawn young characters. It’s a 185-pages for $15, and you can see a 12-page preview of it here, or simply check out applegeeks.com for as many examples of the strip as you could possibly want.
Astro Boy Movie Prequel: Underground #1: This is a comic book prequel to a movie based on comics by Osamu Tezuka. It’s written by Scott Tipton, drawn by Diego Jourdan and will feature a variant cover by Ashley Wood, and while it will be interesting to see what people other than Tezuka might do with Astro Boy, it also seems kind of unnecessary, considering all the great comics starring the boy robot that are already available. It should at least be worth a curiosity-sating flip-through though.
Codeflesh: Definitive Edition: Joe Casey and Charlie Adlard’s tale of a bail bondsman by day, bounty hunter by night gets a fancy-shmancy, $40 hardcover collection which promises plenty of extras, including an all-new story.
Dark Reign: Young Avengers #1: Fans like to complain about Marvel’s state of constant crossover, but one sub-set of Marvel fandom should appreciate the fact. Each big tent-pole event gives the company an excuse to launch a series featuring the Young Avengers, the characters introduced in Allen Heinberg’s abandoned 2005 Young Avengers series. This is a five-part miniseries dealing the “Dark Reign” state of the Marvel Universe, featuring what sounds like the Young Avengers version of the Dark Avengers. It’s written by Captain Britain‘s Paul Cornell, so it should be pretty solid, and it’s being illustrated by Mark Brooks, Karl Story and Christina Strain, so it should look pretty good too. Unfortunately, it’s at Marvel’s higher $3.99 price point. You can check out the first seven pages here if you’re on the fence.
Fantastic Four: True Story: You’ll find no shortage of Paul Cornell-written Marvel comics on the shelves this week. In addition to a new issue of Captain Britain and MI13 and the just-mentioned series about dark, young Avengers, this week also sees the release of a trade-paperback collection of his winning (and under-appreciated) miniseries True Story. It’s a good old-fashioned FF-go-exploring sort of story, in which they team up with allies as diverse as Willie Lumpkin, Dante Alighieri and the cast of Sense and Sensibility to stop Nightmare and his evil allies from conquering the realm of fiction. Horacio Dominguez provides the art, and at $11 for 96 pages, it’s a steal.
From The Ashes #1: Well this certainly seems…unusual. It’s the first issue of Bob Fingerman’s six-part, post-apocalyptic series from IDW, of which PW’s Heidi MacDonald said such things as “You may have seen a similar situation before, but trust me, you’ve never seen it like this” and “If Woody Allen and George Romero teamed up, you might get something like From The Ashes.” MacDonald also posted a seven-page preview here.
Hellblazer: Roots of Coincidence: This 128-page, $15 trade paperback collects five issues of Andy Diggle writing the longest-lived Vertigo monthly, with art by Leonardo Manco and Giuseppe Camuncoli.
History of the DC Universe: This 104-page, $13 softcover contains Marv Wolfman, George Perez and Karl Kesel’s which I can’t imagine is anything less than gorgeous (It is George Perez after all), but I find it a rather curious release. The solicit refers to it as “the definitive history of the DC Universe,” although it predates the tweaks to that history presented in Zero Hour, the various glitches, mistakes and retcons explained by Superboy punches in the build up to Infinite Crisis, the Infinite Crisis/52 continuity reboot, the glithches, mistakes and retcons explained by Darkseid’s death at the beginning and end of Final Crisis, and the restructuting of the multiverse at the end in Final Crisis. In other words, DC has spent the last three years or so changing the history presented here in ways small and gigantic, making it somewhat irrelevant to the sort of reader who cares about DC’s official continuity. And if you’re not the sort who cares about DC’s official continuity, why would you want a book about it? Well, aside from the George Perez art.
Secret Wars II Omnibus: Forgive my ignorance on the subject, as this was a bit before my time, but I thought Secret Wars II was the Marvel crossover that everyone in the whole world hated? Is that the case or no? Because if it is the case, a $100 hardcover omnibus seems like a strange format in which to collect it. Regardless of the quality of the crossover though, I imagine it constitutes a pretty good encapsulation of the state of the Marvel Universe circa 1985, offering readers over 1,000-pages (!!!) of comics from such Marvel all-stars as Chris Claremont, John Byrne, John Romita Jr., Mark Gruenwald, Steven Englehart, Al Milgrom, Bill Sienkiewicz and others.
TMNT Adventures Vol. 1: Heroes in a Half-Shell: Archie Comics’ original three-issue, 1987 cartoon tie-in miniseries returns as a $12, 100-page trade paperback with a new cover by its writer/artist Michael Dooney. I’ve been told before that it’s incredibly unlikely that this will ever happen, but since there’s no harm in wishing, I’ll repeat—I would kill for a series of big, fat, cheap collections of Archie’s long-running Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. In the mean time, this is certainly a welcome substitute.
Unknown #1: This week’s new comics are brought to you by the prefix “Un-”. The first of the three new series beginning with the syllable is Boom Studios’ Unknown, a four-issue miniseries by artist Minck Oosterveer and very busy writer Mark Waid. It stars Catherine Allingham, the world’s smartest person and best private investigator. We’ve got a five page preview here.
Unthinkable #1: Writer Mark Sable and artist Julian Totino’s series about a think tank charged with thinking of unthinkable terror attacks to defend against in a post-9/11 world. How good is it? Well, good enough that Sable was apparently detained by airport security at LAX when they found his script for the series. That sure sounds like a pretty ringing endorsement to me.
Unwritten #1: Vertigo will attempt to hook new readers for their latest ongoing series by offering them a deal that should prove hard to resist: The first, over-sized, 40-page issue is only $1. Mike Carey and Peter Gross play with the nature of narrative and text in a series about a young man whose father based a best-selling series of novels about a boy wizard on. You can download a three-page preview here.