THIS WEEK IN COMICS: PREVIEWS |22nd SEPTEMBER 2010|


FANTASTIC FOUR #583

It often takes a little something extra to take a book from being simply over-hyped by the creative team, to being one of the smash hits in the Marvel universe. One of those moves has taken place with Hickman’s Fantastic Four with this months #583. Superstar artist Steve Epting is joining one of the hottest properties on the shelves… oh and Hickman is starting his Three arc. The three what? Oh yeah – you are gonna want a piece of this.

Steve Epting you may recognise, he’s the dude that’s been rocking it on Captain America for the past six years, no need to even mention his stunning work on The Marvels Project and his long career spanning 20 years at Marvel. Essentially he is the guy who takes this book from being an interesting oddity, sat only the fringe of the cosmic and superhero die-hard fan’s universe, to being a must have in every Marvel lovers collection.

Then we get to Jonathan Hickman, the (kinda) newcomer to the Marvel realm. He’s been making waves with his Secret Warriors and S.H.I.E.L.D series, writing deep and rich stories that have been somewhat absent from many of the premier Marvel series. He’s a man known now for his long, winding and deceptively brilliant story arcs that lay seeds early on – only to hit you to the floor a couple of years later, this is exactly what is going on right now with the first family.

Kicking off the Three arc this week, you just need to visit the front cover to get the full low down on what exactly is happening,  “Here lies devoted member of the Fantastic Four”.

While it’s been said recently that it would be tough for Marvel to promote a book called Fantastic Four with only three members in it, one thing is for certain; one of the main characters won’t make it through this… and with Doctor Doom err “returning” I don’t find that difficult to believe!

Hickman has been on this book for over a year now, the seeds of the story have been planted and had a wonderful series of arcs so far… he took them to the Negative Zone early on so I can’t be anymore satisfied at this stage. Now is the perfect jumping on point for new readers and if the creative team are to be believed this could potentially be the book that rocks the Marvel Universe to it’s very core in a post Siege world.

With images of Spider-Man creeping up dressed in a Fantastic Four spidey costume and with Hickman responding to the question, “Will there be a title called Fantastic Four on the shelves this time next year?” with a resounding “No” … well this is one book you would be foolish to miss.

BEST OF THE REST

SECRET AVENGERS #5

For those of you who picked up Ed Brubaker’s (Captain America, Sleeper) Avengers book you are going to be in one of two camps; Loved It or Hated It. I think I’d be in the latter camp, trying to step out into no-man’s land was next to impossible… I found certain plot elements frustrating and brushed over, use of certain characters brash and unfulfilling and gigantic plot holes that quickly made me realise just how much the Brubaker name has command of me and my wallet.

Luckily Brubaker is addressing one annoyance straight outta the gate with the start of a new arc that’s looking at this other Nick Fury… let’s hope this one gets off to a running start and while they are at it hopefully doesn’t find another way to completely waste an awesome cosmic level character.

SKULLKICKERS #1

IMAGE are in a position of supreme rule over the comics world, for a while now they have been releasing golden book after golden book. Some have met with more success then others, but no-one can doubt the runaway success of Chew nor the recent success of Morning Glories – so when they are set to launch another book… well maybe you should clear some space in your pull list, cause you could accidentally miss book of the year.

SkullKickers #1 sounds like one of those books that is just going to be fun. In fact all I am going to do is quote the press release, because I think that will do enough to make you consider or leave this book alone,

“SKULLKICKERS is a fantasy action-comedy: Two mercenaries are entangled in a high-class assassination plot and nothing – werewolves, skeletons or black magic – will stop them from getting paid.”

-Sounds awesome.

THOR #615

This is a big week for Thor. Kieron Gillen brought his (mostly) ok run on the series to a close last issue… sure he is moving over to co-write Uncanny X-men but more importantly there are big changes coming to the god of thunder. Matt Fraction is joining the book on writing duties (activate sarcastic “yay”ing and clapping) and Pasqual Ferry on art.

Fraction has so far kept me from reading Invincible Iron Man and made me drop Uncanny X-Men numerous times; I really hope he writes a good Thor otherwise I may shed a tear… especially as Fraction is taking Asgard back to the Golden Realm. I have always loved the idea of the mystic/rainbow bridge/god-like element of Thor, something that was sadly missing from JMS’s superb revival.

So who knows, Fraction might bring the thunder. Perfect jumping on point people.

IF YOU GOT A LIGHT WEEK

Got a light week and fancy trying something new? Well this is something I have made sure I have funds for.

THOR: MIGHTY AVENGER. DOUBLE RAINBOW.

THOR MIGHTY AVENGER is the all ages Thor book that has quite simply been getting stunning reviews all across the board. It’s apparently a fun, fresh and destructively cute take on the character that will have anyone reading smile from ear to ear.

Comics these days, especially the older characters, can get way too bogged down in continuity, this is a chance for a new take on a character and hey! There’s nothing wrong with having a little fun with your comics some of the time!

DOUBLE RAINBOW is a reprint of issues #1 & #2 of the critically acclaimed book… if you have a soul or a heart then this is the book for you. If you don’t then… well go read your copy of Shadowland: Moon Knight #2 you gloomy old bastards.

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