As I mentioned last week, lots of big issues hitting the stores this week. Both the Marvel and DC Universes will look considerably different after tomorrow. Let's get this party started.
- X-Men #200 is finally here and big, big things are in store. Rogue, the current leader of the X-Men, has absorbed millions of souls when she used her mutant powers to defeat the Hecatomb. She is going to have to deal with the consequences of that, as her team begins to have serious problems. Marvel promises "a plethora of mutant guest stars, the return of several fan-favorites, and a devastating face-off against the deadliest villain team in the X-Men's forty-four year history!" Man, a lot of things can be read into that, and so far they have been fairly tight lipped about it.
This is a double sized issue featuring writing by Mike Carey, art by Humberto Ramos and Chris Bachalo and three different covers. From left to right, the covers are by David Finch, a wraparound by Ramos and a wraparound by Bachalo. There also has the first 8 page Endangered Species story in the back of this issue (on that note, X-Factor #20, also releasing this week does not have an ES story in it).
- World War Hulk: X-Men #1 sees the Hulk coming to the X-mansion to exact his revenge on Xavier for his part in shooting him into space. The only problem is that it is only the Prof., Beast and the New X-Men in Westchester, and things don't look good for them after the Hulk had his way with Iron Man.
As the world's foremost telepath, the Professor is one of the few people who have ever exerted control over the Hulk, but the odds are against him being able to do it again since the Green Goliath is stronger than ever before.
- World War Hulk: Frontline #1... what can I say? These sucked horribly during Civil War, and they look exactly the same during WWH. I could see this as a backup storyline that ran throughout all the other books, essentially tying them altogether, but it's own series every time something happens in the Marvel Universe? Ben Urich just isn't interesting enough and whatever the girl's name is, she just doesn't have large enough breasts. I'm kidding, but where is the value in this title?
I hate just bitching about something, it makes me seem whiny, so I usually like to offer a solution. Here's mine, and you can even keep the title Frontline:
At the end of Incredible Hulk #107 last week, there were 2 or 3 dozen normal people standing there willing to help out the Hulk. Who are these people? What is their motivation? Why would they be willing to help someone who doesn't like "puny humans", has said he is going to rampage through their city and is responsible for many, many deaths? Now that would make a good series.
- X-Men: First Class Vol. 2 #1 guest stars Sue Richards as a mentor for a young Jean Grey as she learns her new powers. If you are not familiar with the first First Class series, it is an in-continuity look at the very earliest days of the X-men long before there were hundreds of one-time members. So the boys are full of hormones, and the wonderfully funny writing of Jeff Parker should make this the beginning of a great series.
The panel on the right is a sample of what you can expect. Jean is upset because she is having trouble flying and good ol' Chuck, despite being the foremost telepath in the world, didn't realize until now what the trouble was. Enjoy!
- Wolverine: Origins #15 wraps up a remarkable storyline involving Logan, his son Daken and Cyber in an adamantium-laced showdown (I know Daken doesn't have adamantium, but it sounded good.) Anyhow, Cyber's heart is bad, Logan wants his help, and Daken wants to kill them both.
As the fifth and final part of this storyarc, we can expect all the fighting we have seen so far to finally come to a head. Can Logan come to terms with his son? Is Cyber going to live, or will his story go to the grave with him? Dunno, but I bet the answer involves lots of blood and claws.
I don't know what is going on with DC right now, but every week when I look at their lineup, it just rarely excites me. This is disappointing as I enjoy their characters much more, but lately, there is just a lack of depth. One or two good titles each week and Countdown (which is wearing on my nerves) and that is it. DC's only saving grace this week is the Amazonians attack on America. There are three titles intersecting with the attack this week.
- Amazons Attack #3 (of 6) hits the stands this week, and continues the main storyline with thousands of beautiful women attacking America and taking over Washington D.C. Wonder Girl and Supergirl decide to take matters into their hands, but will it help or hurt the effort to stop this invasion?
I can't say I am blown away by Pete Woods artwork here so far. While acceptable, there are times when the characters look out of proportion. Other times though, I really like what he does. I don't know where to stand on him yet. Will Pfeifer however, I think has done a great job, especially since he is having to handle all the different personalities, not only of the JLA, but also the lesser known Amazons, and is doing it well.
- Teen Titans #48 continues the story involved with Cassie and Kara going wild in D.C. doing their own thing, and also deals with the Titans intervening in the attack on the Air Force base in Southern California. There is already enough distrust on this team, and the actions that the girls take will not help matters at all. With issue #50 right around the corner, do not be surprised if changes are made sooner rather than later.
- Wonder Woman #10 ties in with Amazons Attack as someone goes after Paradise Island while the girlies are away. Diana's imprisonment for the death of Maxwell Lord may have set this all off in the first place, and now DC is hinting that she may have to kill again. One would have to imagine that an eventual showdown with Hippolyta is in the cards for Wonder Woman, and if she thinks she is a doppelganger, she may not hesitate to take her down to stop the attack on her adopted home.
- For whatever reason, I cannot find the cover of Countdown #44 anywhere on the Internet. In fact, it seems the plot synopsis is also being closely guarded. But is that going to stop me from bringing you a preview of this issue? Well, to be honest, it usually would, but I did find one frame that can only be from an issue of Countdown we haven't seen yet. So, I am warning you, this may be from further into the series, but it would seem to fit right now.
Mary Marvel and Billy Batson finally reunite, and we can probably assume that he is not going to be too happy about her possessing his nemesis' powers... and possibly more. In interviews with the writers of Countdown, they have never denied that Mary may be affected in more sinister ways than we have seen yet. It's the whole "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" thing, but judging by that frame, maybe it is Billy who is feeling his oats right now instead.
He is now the Wizard, and appropriately wearing the all white Marvel Family uniform, and the Seven Deadly Sins are now the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. Maybe Countdown is finally going to pick up and get interesting now. I know, I say that every week, but I really had high hopes, and so far they have not been fulfilled.
- Green Lantern: Sinestro Corps Special promises big changes for keepers of the green flame. The double-sized issue from Geoff Johns, Ethan van Sciver and Dave Gibbons brings us the story of Sinestro and his band of merry men. Merry Men?? No, these are going to be some of the most hardcore killers known to the universe. Sinestro had the weaponers of Qward assemble a yellow power battery and has equipped his Corps with power rings to fight the Green Lanterns with.
Cyborg Superman is joining with these heathens along with an alien named Arkillo who is responsible for keeping everyone in line, much like Kilowog. There have been a few more members introduced to us, and many more are sure to join, whether they like it or not! By the end of this storyline, which will run through GL and GLC through the fall, many Green lanterns will be dead (they tend to be so expendable), and many more will question their place in the universe. Get ready for what is said to be the next essential Green Lantern story.
Also of note this week, from Vertigo, is a 232 pg. hardcover edition of Neil Gaiman's "Stardust" series. Though $39.99, if you are a fan of Gaiman, or see the movie August 10th and want the story in paper form, this is for you. Other releases from Vertigo that probably deserve more space, but just aren't geting it, are Jack of Fables #12 and Deadman #11.
This is being written Monday evening because I may not have time to post on Tuesday, so if anything changes, tough shit. Have a good day!