If the goings-on at your average Big Two comics publisher sometimes look chaotic from this side of the comic book, just imagine how crazy they must be behind the scenes. Justice League: Cry For Justice is a good example of a book that makes one wonder about the process of comics publishing.
The series was first announced in March of 2008 at the Wizard World LA convention as a second ongoing Justice League title. A year or so later, it was down-graded to a six-issue miniseries. Then just a few weeks ago Cry For Justice writer James Robinson was named the new Justice League of America writer, so it seems as if his Justice League plans may be back to being an ongoing after all, just in the original JLA book, not a second one.
The timing seems awfully wonky too, as the events of Cry supposedly spin directly out of the events of Final Crisis, which wrapped up (late) back in January, and the events of the main JLoA title since March’s JLoA #31 have apparently occurred after the events of this book, which is just now starting, and won’t wrap up until the end of the year, if it stays on schedule.
None of that is terribly important though. Nor are the details of the book, like the fact that it’s painted by Mauro Cascioli, or that it’s $3.99 for 30 pages, or that the story “pushes our heroes to the brink and beyond as evil can no longer be tolerated to win.”
No, all anyone really needs to know is that this comic features the triumphant return of Congorilla, the giant golden gorilla who switches minds with great white hunter Congo Bill via magic ring. Buy two copies of each issue, and maybe we’ll get a Showcase Presents: Congrorilla out of it!
After the jump, the week’s Congorilla-free books!
Brat Pack New Edition: Writer/artist Rick Veitch’s legendary dismantling of superhero sidekicks returns in a 176-page, $20 trade paperback. Given the current prevalence of dark, twisted superhero parody, Brat Pack probably takes on more significance as the comic that was doing what Mark Millar, Garth Ennis and company are doing now, only a decade or two earlier. You can download a generous 32-page preview here.
Captain America: Reborn #1: You may have heard a little about this one already. Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Jackson Guice kick off a five-part miniseries answering the question, “Will Captain America be lost forever or will he be REBORN?” The price of admission is $3.99.
Far Arden: This 400-page, $20 graphic novel from Kevin Cannon sounds like a blast. It stars a character named Army Shanks, a sailor and brawler who is searching the arctic seas for the legendary titular island paradise. “But there’s more than just water standing between Shanks and his goal,” says the breathless solicitation copy, “he’ll have to contend with circus performers, adorable orphans, heinous villains, bitter ex-lovers, well-meaning undergraduates, and the full might of the Royal Canadian Arctic Navy!” Give the preview a look here.
Greek Street #1: Peter Milligan, one of the first crop of Vertigo writers, launches a new ongoing on the imprint, this one, in the words of whoever wrote the solicitation copy, a “reimagining of those brutal and visceral tragedies that graced the Theater of Dionysus in Ancient Greece—bloody tales about incest, homicide, beautiful oracles, all-knowing choruses, kings, monsters and gods—played out on the mean streets of modern-day Red-Light London.” Davide Gianfelice draws it, and if you’re curious what it looks like, you can download a preview here. The best part? This first issue is only $1. Vertigo and its parent company actually have a couple of different cheap-o first issues to try this week. You can also get the first issue of Y: The Last Man for only a $1, part of DC’s “After Watchmen” promotion, and I’ve got a warn you, don’t spend that dollar unless you’re ready to spend all the dollars it will take to read all ten volumes of the series, because once you read a little bit of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s post-apocalyptic adventure dramedy, you’re going to be hooked. There’s another “After Watchmen” promotion this week and it’s—and don’t laugh now!—the first issue of Geoff Johns and Ethan Van Sciver’s 2004 miniseries Green Lantern: Rebirth, the one that kicked off Johns’ reboot of the then-dying GL franchise, a reboot which not only hasn’t lost any steam yet, but seems to be getting even more popular.
Marvel Divas #1: Has this been the single most talked about Marvel comic of the year so far? I think it may be. At least among comics people and on the comics blogosphere; Obama’s meeting with Spidey sure captured the general populace’s imagination, and there’s certainly been a lot of talk about Captain America #600, but I’ve heard just as much about this, if not more. Anyway, this is the Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa/Tony Zonjic series featuring four random super-ladies that Marvel gave a pretty lame title to, put a pretty lame bait-and-switch J. Scott Campbell cover on, and then proceeded to pretty lamely “market” it by offending everyone who might potentially be interested in such a book. I guess in a few months we’ll see if there really is such a thing as bad publicity; if you want to read it this week, you’ll have to pay $3.99 for the privilege. Preview here.
Savage Dragon #150: I don’t have much to say about this particular book other than to point out that Holy Crap, Erik Larsen has made 150 of these things! Anyway you slice it, that’s quite an accomplishment. I mean, that’s half a Cerebus right there. To celebrate, the most consistent book in comics is getting bumped up to 100 “super spectacular” pages for the month (so says the cover; the solicit says 64 pages), and comes bearing a $4.99 price tag. You can check out a preview here.
Solomon Kane Vol. 1: Castle of The Devil: This is $16, 128-page collection of the Scott Allie and Mario Guevara five-issue miniseries about Robert E. Howard’s ass-kicking puritan, featuring a gorgeous new cover by Mike Mignola and a cover design that evokes old-school paperback novels and horror films. I’ve been waiting for this thing to come out since the series was first announced; have any of you read it yet? What’s the prognosis? Those who haven’t read it in singles can check out the first ten pages here.
USA Comics 70th Anniversary Special #1: The latest of Marvel’s cumbersomely titled but awesomely fun Golden Age celebration books features a new Destroyer story written by John Arcudi and drawn by Steve Ellis, with a classic Destroyer reprint as a back-up. For an even more modern take on the character, the fourth issue of Robert Kirkman and Cory Walker’s Destroyer Max miniseries is also out this week. Both are $3.99, but the former at least should have a page count justifying the price.