This is a huge Wednesday for the Marvel Universe, as the years-in-the-building-towards Siege storyline concludes, signaling the end of the year-long “Dark Reign” status quo/branding effort and the beginning of the new “Heroic Age” status quo/branding effort. First up is Siege #4, Brian Michael Bendis, Joe Quesada and Mark Morales oversized conclusion to Marvel’s latest big event miniseries…and the end of this one is only one month late! Likewise, Siege: Embedded #4 concludes Brian Reed and Chris Samnee’s street-level look at the war in Asgard.
Also of interest to Siege devotees this week are Christos Gage, Jorge Molina and Mirco Piefederici’s Avengers: The Initiative #35, Bendis and Mike Deodato’s Dark Avengers #16, and Bendis, Bryan Hitch and Jackson Guice’s New Avengers: Finale #1, which brings the current volume of New Avengers to a close…before a new volume launches next month. The books are $4, $4, $3, $4 and $5, respectively.
I think there’s also a book so classified that marvel.com won’t even share it’s title, so I don’t know what to say about that. Maybe keep your eyes peeled for a book you didn’t expect to see on the shelves, and buy it, if you want…?
After the jump, a bunch of comics that don’t tie-in to Siege!
Agents of Atlas #1: No one can accuse Marvel of not supporting Jeff Parker’s Agents of Atlas books to the fullest extent possible. After the ongoing monthly was canceled, they gave AoA a back-up spot in the similar Incredible Hercules, and a pair of miniseries teaming the Agents up with first The X-Men and then the Avengers. They’ve given several characters solo miniseries or one-shots. Now they’re reprinting the first issue of Parker’s 2006 miniseries with artists Leonard Kirk and Kris Justice for just one dollar. A dollar! How can you not buy a comic book when it only costs a dollar? Honestly, I don’t know what else Marvel can do to get people to try Agents of Atlas comics at this point, short of maybe having Jeff Parker go door-to-door offering neck massages and household chores to everyone who agrees to buy a copy of the upcoming Atlas #1.
Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #1: This is the new Warren Ellis/Kaare Andrews X-Men miniseries with that crazy-ass cover. I like the fact that it seems future covers will be even more crazy. At this rate, I can’t even imagine what the cover for #6 will look like. It’s a $4 comic.
Batman: Return of Bruce Wayne #1: Personally, I could probably go another year or two with Dick Grayson as Batman—it’s not like DC has stopped publishing comics with Bruce Wayne as Batman in them, or that there aren’t something like one billion graphic novels featuring Bruce Wayne as Batman available for purchase—but I am excited to see exactly how Grant Morrison intends to get Bruce Wayne from caveman times back to the present. The fact that the solicitation is calling this Morrison’s “most ambitious project to date” makes me all the more excited, given how ambitious most of Morrison’s previous projects have been. This first issue is $4, in the neighborhood of 48-pages and will feature art by Chris Sprouse. Just look for the Batcaveman cover by Andy Kubert. You can check out a preview here.
Birds of Prey #1: Gail Simone and Ed Benes both return to Oracle and Black Canary’s team of female super-agents for a new volume of Birds of Prey, this time featuring a few new bird-themed heroes, including back-from-the-dead, Y-Chromosome-having Hank “Hawk” Hall. I’m not the biggest fan of Benes’ storytelling chops—in fact, what’s the opposite of the word fan?—but I’m curious to see how he does here, since he’s working with a cast made up almost exclusively of scantily-clad, sexy ladies. Surely this is a title better suited to his obvious interest in the female form than Justice League of America was, right?
Bram Stoker’s Death Ship #1: This $4 comie from IDW tells the untold story of what exactly went down during Dracula’s voyage from Transylvania to England aboard the Demeter. Gary Gerani writes and Stuart Sayger draws.
Catland Empire: This 185-page, $30 graphic novel by Keith Jones sounds so crazy in synopsis—just check out the paragraph about it on publisher’s Drawn and Quarterly’s website—that it’s gotta be either fantastic or terrible. After reading the five-page preview of it available at the same link, I’m assuming it’s the former.
Cavemen in Space: The latest graphic novel from Joey Weiser (The Ride Home) is about cavemen…in space. It’s a $15, 250-page trade.
Daredevil: Cage Match #1: This one-shot by Antony Johnston and Sean Chen is about Daredevil’s relationship with Luke Cage. And it’s called Cage Match. Pretty clever, huh?
Frenemy of the State: TV actress Rashida Jones teams with comics vets Christina Wier and Nunzio DeFilippis for an heiress-as-secret agent comic series. It’s drawn by Jeff Wamester, and will cost you $4.
Green Hornet Strikes #1: Another week, another new Green Hornet series from Dynamite. This is a $4 comic.
Heroic Age: Prince of Power #1: The next chapter of Marvel’s modern Hercules saga begins here, which of course means the launch of another new miniseries featuring the characters. Following up on the ending of the Fall of an Avenger miniseries, Herc’s sidekick Amadeus Cho has now replaced his presumably fallen friend as Athena’s champion and is running The Olympus Group, Marvel’s Greek pantheon-as-corporation organization. It’s written by Fred Van Lente and Greg Pack, and drawn by Reilly Brown, one of the best artists to work with the pair on Incredible Hercules (He drew the “Thorcules” saga). It’s an oversized, $4 book.
Justice League: Generation Lost #1: Here’s the other half of DC’s latest experiment with weekly comics. Instead of a single 52-part, year-long weekly series, they’re trying out two biweekly series, shipping every other week. This one features many of the members of the JLI books, including Booster Gold, Fire, Ice and Captain Atom, and is being written by Keith Giffen, the man whose work defined or redefined them all, and his co-writer Judd Winick (Really? Judd Winick? Hmm…). Art for this first issue is Aaron Lopresti, and it ships with two covers—one by Kevin “The Natural Choice” Maguire and another featuring creepy off-model versions of the characters by Tony Harris. This week also sees the debut of a brand-new Booster Gold creative team in Booster Gold #32, consisting of Generation Lost’s Keith Giffen and his JLI writing partner J.M. DeMatteis, with artist Chis Batista (and cover artist Kevin Maguire).
Kevin Smith’s Kato #1: Er, did I say “Another week, another new Green Hornet series from Dynamite” earlier? Well, scratch that. I guess I shoulda said “Another week, another two Green Hornet series from Dynamite.” This one is the second in the setting of the Green Hornet-iverse created in Kevin Smith’s ultimately rejected screenplay, and the second Kato-starring title from the publisher. The mind, it boggles. This one’s written by Ande Parks, drawn by Ale Garza, features a character named The Black Hornet and is a $4 book.
The Muppet Show Comic Book Vol. 3: On the Road: The first story arc of Roger Langridge’s The Muppet Show Comic Book ongoing, in which the Muppets take their show on the road while their theater is being rebuilt, gets collected into the third volume of Langridge’s Muppets comics. It’s a 110-page, $10 trade and, if the first two volumes are any indication, it’s pretty great comics.
New Avengers: Luke Cage #2: This issue has a cover featuring Luke Cage fighting tigers.
If the interiors match the cover, then I think it’s safe to assume this is a pretty awesome comic.
Sam & Twitch: The Writer #1: The Spawn supporting characters whose comics helped introduce plenty of mainstream superhero comics readers to the work of Brian Michael Bendis are back in a new four-issue miniseries from writer artist Luca Blengino and Fabio Bono. You know what that means? In a few more years, Blengino will be writing half of Marvel’s comics!
Solomon’s Thieves Book 1: Jordan Mechner, the creator of the Prince of Persia videogame serires, reteams with the artists LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland (with whom he created the 2008 Prince of Persia original graphic novel for First Second). In this historical adventure novel, the first of a planned trilogy, a group of disgraced Templar Knights attempts to steal back the treasure the King of France has taken for his own. How is it? Let’s ask the Caleb Mozocco of a few hours ago. It’s a $13, 145-page trade paperback, and you can check out a preview of it here.
Underground: The spelunking adventure comic of the year returns! Writer Jeff Parker and artist Steve Lieber’s five-issue mini is now a $15, 130-page trade paperback. Image Comics published this, but as you can see from the variant covers at Comics Alliance, Parker and Lieber were prepared to slightly alter the book to fit in at various other publishers.