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This Week in Geek, 1/2/09

by Matt Baum (01/05/09).

By Matt Baum

This Week in Geek is a weekly blog about new comics written by WorthPoint comic book Worthologist Matt Baum. Every Wednesday Matt takes a look at the week’s new comics from a collector’s point-of-view and discusses which books may be hard to find in the near future and why. Make sure to click on the hot links for previews and more information on the comics, characters, story-lines and creators discussed here.

Happy New Year, nerds, and happy anniversary to me! It’s been one year since I started writing This Week in Geek and, as of today, I still have a job. I just want to take a minute to thank my WorthPoint overlords for giving me a chance and a place to write about my passion, comics both old and new. Thanks to you, as well, for reading this blog and keeping me busy with valuations, questions, and even the occasional insults and threats. Thank you all and stay tuned, because there are huge changes coming to WorthPoint very soon. Over the past year I’ve received a lot of e-mails detailing a ton of criticisms of the site and the good news is, they’ve listened! I can’t reveal details yet, mainly because I don’t have them, but there are big changes on the way. You’re going to love it.

Now, let’s talk new comics. With X-mas and New Year’s Day giving the good people of UPS two days off in one shipping week nerds will find themselves waiting until Friday to get their comic fix. Also because of the holidays you can expect a light comic week. Everyone is broke, not just due to crappy 2008 economic year, and the comic gods know it. The holidays are gone and the first real New Comic Wednesday of 2009 is just five days away.

Here’s my pile if comics for the week of Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. As always, I welcome your criticism, praise or threats of bodily harm based on what I am or am not reading/collecting. You may have noticed a new section below where you can respond to this article, it’s the perfect place to agree with or lash out at me for all to see! For a complete list of this week’s new comics click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.

Avengers: The Initiative #20
Batman #684
Batman: Cacophony #2 of 3
Captain America #45
Green Lantern #36
Guardians of the Galaxy #8
Incognito #1
Incredible Hercules #124
Justice Society of America #22
Punisher War Journal #26
Punisher: War Zone #4 of 6
Superman #683
War Machine #1
Wolverine #70
X-Force #10

Now let’s talk speculation. As you may or may not know, the purpose of this blog is to arm the comic nerd with the information he or she needs to make an informed and quality new comic purchase every week. While they might not be worth piles of money, these issues may be pretty hard to find in the near future.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern #36

Green Lantern; DC; Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy; Cover by Shane Davi; $2.99.

Why it’ll go fast: “Blackest Night” prelude. The Green Lantern story you’ve been waiting for since the “Sinestro Corps War,” “Blackest Night,” begins here! Writer Geoff Johns has been building up to this story since “Green Lantern: Rebirth,” which brought Hal Jordan back to the DCU. I would guess retailers are going to order lightly on this one as GL #36 is just a prelude to “Blackest Nigh.” After it sells out instantly the GL #36 re-order madness begins and you can bet eBay will light up with ridiculous prices on this issue. “Blackest Night” sees the birth of the final Lantern Corps, the Black Lanterns, which represents Death. Is there anything cooler than an army of Zombie Black Lantern soldiers? Oh, and Johns promises we’ll see some of our favorite dead DC characters making re-appearances. I can’t stop giggling just thinking about this one.

Punisher War Journal #36

Punisher War Journal #26

Punisher War Journal #26; Marvel Comics; Written by Matt Fraction and Rick Reminder; Art by Macdonald; Cover by Dave Wilkins; $2.99.

Why it’ll go fast: PWJ is being canceled. Not because of poor sales or fan backlash, quite the contrary, I would argue this Punisher series has been the most enjoyable romp I’ve had with the character for years. (I loved the Ennis Punisher stuff but longed to see Frank in the mainstream Marvel U.) Marvel is retitling the series The Punisher and starting over with a new issue #1 this month. The new series will pick up where War Journal ended showing us the adventures of Frank Castle as he deals with the Dark Reign event. I adored this series and will be sad to see Fraction go, however, I’m excited to see what Reminder can do with his first major Marvel book. Being this is the last issue look for it to be under-ordered at most shops (There were two copies left at my shop when I got there.). PWJ 26 marks the end of an excellent Punisher run by one of my favorite new writers. Here’s to more quality Punisher stories in 2009.

War Machine#1

War Machine#1

War Machine#1; Marvel Comics; Written by Greg Pak; Art and cover by Leonardo Manco; 1:10 variant cover by Mike Deodato; $2.99.

Why it’ll go fast: What sells out faster than final issues? First issues, of course. War Machine #1 follows the adventures of Iron Man’s Brother in Arms Jim Rhodes in the post-Invasion-Dark Reign Marvel Universe. For those of you who read and loved Warren Ellis’ Authority (if you haven’t, you should), Greg Pak seems to be taking War Machine in a similar direction tackling real-world problems with super-heroics. In the preview War Machine confronted a corrupt Oil-pipeline-developer and will later take on the likes of African Warlords, corrupt genocidal regimes and other menaces overlooked by the world for too long. This is going to be a hot book much in the vein of Pak’s Incredible Hercules which you may recall retailers had a heck of time keeping in stock. Like Hercules, War Machine is not an A-list character but has a lot of potential. This seems to be where writer Pak works best, fleshing out a secondary character and making them infinity more interesting. Pair Pak’s writing with artist Leonardo Manco, who was already legendary but seems to have hit his stride here, and you have a runaway hit that comic fans will be clamoring for in the upcoming months.

Indy comic of the Week
Why I Killed Peter; NBM/Comics List; Written and Drawn by Alfred and Oliver Ka; $18.95 (mature readers).

Why I Killed Peter is one of the reasons I love independent comics. Alfred and Oliver Ka tell the true story of Oliver’s relationship with a pedophile priest and examines how he dealt with experiences and what happens when he confronts the Priest later on in his life. It’s hard to imagine a movie being made that could deal with such controversial topic in such matter-of-fact words directly from the person affected. The short distance from creator to reader without the interference of large publishing houses or entertainment companies is one of the best things about Indy comics. It’s not going to be a happy story, but Why I killed Peter is near the top of my “to-read” pile.

That’s all for this week true believers. I truly hope this blog has inspired you to pick up at least one comic book you may have passed on otherwise. If not, email me and tell me what I’m doing wrong. I love criticism, both creative and purely insulting. Thanks for sticking with me for a year and here’s to a happy and healthy 2009. Until next week, keep the questions coming. Also, check out my other blog The Comic Speculator, where I discuss classic yet still affordable back-issue comics. If you have any questions about these books or anything else in the comic book world feel free to contact me or post your question in the Comic Book community forum. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint for free and post your titles in the “Ask a Question” section. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price.

Matt Baum is a Worthologist who specializes in comic books.

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2 Responses to “This Week in Geek, 1/2/09”

  1. JoePatrick says:

    Ah, War Machine…I love Rhodey, but never gave a second thought to his 90s series. Greg Pak has been pretty hit and miss for me–Hercules is great, but I give most of the credit for that to Fred VanLente. I didn’t care about Planet Hulk and his two Phoenix minis were forgettable at best. With those things in mind, I didn’t have high hopes for the War Machine relaunch…Man, was I wrong! It was really great! Pak has woven a thrilling tale of a man who has given up on his own humanity to protect those that can’t protect themselves. Manco’s art was stunning–he’s come a long way since his days drawing the M-Tech Deathlok series…Highly recommended!

    Punisher War Journal #26 was a great end to the series that helped bring Matt Fraction into prominence at Marvel. I love his handling of Frank’s “relationship” with the Rhino.

    Green Lantern is a no-brainer…Buy it!

  2. Matt Baum Matt Baum says:

    Just read War Machine and it was AWESOME! Manco’s artwork looks better than ever!

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