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This Week in Geek 1/7/09

by Matt Baum (01/08/09).

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. Also, feel free to post your comments in the “comments” section below.

It’s the first new comic Wednesday of 2009 and to celebrate I’m changing the format of this blog yet again. It’s only a slight change but hopefully a useful one. In the Picks of the Week section I’ll be including the solicitations from the publishers along with my analysis. Hope you dig it.

With the holidays behind us, it’s time to settle back into everyday life. Hopefully, 2009 is a little more lucrative than its predecessor. It looks like tax breaks for all are in our near future; which is good in the face comic prices rising to $3.99 soon. Even in the face of a recession, comic-themed movies dominated the box office this year and are poised to do so again in 2009, with Watchmen and Wolverine coming soon. In comics news: Between the two giant comic publishers, Marvel and DC, Marvel seems to have come out as last years big winner, dominating the market share once again. And fans seem to be excited for the next big crossover storyline “Dark Reign,” which spins directly out of last year’s “Secret Invasion” storyline. I’ll be watching these crossover issues to see what they do in the back issue market and reporting back later this year. DC’s “Final Crisis” event has sold well but still seems to be trying to find its legs, and news of re-writes and artist changes have soured many fans to the now three months off schedule series. In my opinion, the DC Universe has never felt so fragmented. Hopefully, 2009 is the year DC gets it together. But enough of this reflection. I’ll be writing a “Best of 2008, The Year in Comics” blog later this week, where we can reflect on all this and more. Let’s get to the here and now, shall we?

Here’s my pile if comics for the week of Wednesday, Jan. 6, 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! (No rhyme intended) For a complete list of this week’s new comics click here.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #21
Cable #10
Detective Comics #852
Faces of Evil: Grundy
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #2 of 8
House of Mystery #9
The Invincible Iron Man #9
Jonah Hex #39
Marvel Zombies 3 #4 of 4
Punisher #1
Secret Invasion: War of Kings
Secret Six #5
Wormdye

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.

Faces of Evil: Grundy

Faces of Evil: Grundy

Faces of Evil: Grundy; DC; Written by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins; Art by Scott Kolins; Cover by Shane Davis; 32 pages, $2.99.

The marsh monster stars in his first solo book ever! Who was the man who would be reborn as Solomon Grundy? Discover the secret history of the creature as his curse is explored and redefined in this one-shot special!

Why it’ll go fast: This week DC begins its “Faces of Evil” event (several books written from the villains point-of-view) with Grundy. I love the character of Solomon Grundy and just about everything John’s writes. With that said, Grundy is a “B-list” villain at best and retailers will probably order lightly on the first F.O.E. offering. These stories are going to be fun and will probably sell as a nice lot on eBay later on.

Punisher #1

Punisher #1

Punisher #1; Marvel Comics; Written by Rick Remender; Art by Jerome Opena; Cover by Mike McKone; 48 pages; $3.99.

“Living in Darkness,” Part 1
The fight against the “Dark Reign” begins as the duty of chronicling Frank Castle’s war journal is passed to new regular team of writer Rick Remender (End League, Fear Agent) and Jerome Opena (Wolverine, Fear Agent). One man with one bullet, in the right place, at the right time, can change the world. That’s why the Punisher is perched atop a building on the Jersey shore with a high-powered Skrull rifle, his crosshairs trained on a target in Midtown Manhattan. But who is his target? And why? One thing’s for sure: They’re anything but helpless. Someone is watching their back. Someone big. Enter: The Sentry!

Why it’ll go fast: The first of the $3.99 on-going-series comics are here with the new Punisher #1. Before you freak out, keep in mind this is a 48-page comic which translates to about two cents a page. A dollar more an issue yes, but only two cents a page. Retailers have already heard the grumblings of fans when it comes to $3.99 cover prices and will probably be watching this comic very closely. I would guess most stores are ordering light on this one and then going for re-orders if necessary. Will the new higher price tag push readers away or will the quality writing and art make Punisher #1 a hit? We’ll all find out soon enough.

Secret Invasion: War of Kings

Secret Invasion: War of Kings

Secret Invasion: War of Kings; Marvel Comics; Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning; Art by Bong Dazo and Paul Pelltier; Cover by Brandon Peterson; 48 pages; $3.99.

It’s finally here…WAR OF KINGS! The Secret Invasion may be over, but the Inhumans are still reeling from the terrible wounds inflicted on them by the Skrulls. And this time, the Royal Family and their massively powered people have been pushed too far! You have never seen the Inhumans like this—and it’s only the beginning! Plus: How will the empire-expanding Vulcan react to these recent universe-shaking developments? Before this double-sized shocker is over, vengeance will be had, daring alliances will be forged, and the first shots in a destiny-changing battle will be fired! The acclaimed team of writers Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (NOVA) and artist Paul Pelletier (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) unite to revamp heroes, reveal villains and rock the universe!

Why it’ll go fast: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning have reinvigorated Marvel’s cosmic heroes with their past “Annihilation” storylines and sold quite a few comics for characters that hadn’t seen their own titles since the mid-nineties in the process. “War of Kings” is their latest cosmic odyssey and looks to be great; one problem. The book doesn’t have “Annihilation” in the title. Why they chose to go with “Secret Invasion” over “Annihilation” is beyond me. I’ll give them the Secret Invasion miniseries sold better than any of the “Annihilation” comics but other than starring Skrulls as the bad guys, it had nothing to do with “Annihilation”. It seems that fans and retailers alike might skip out on this one for different reasons; “Annihilation” fans because it’s titled “Secret Invasion” and vice-versa.

Indy Book of the Week

Wormdye; Secret Acres

Wormdye; Secret Acres

Wormdye; Secret Acres; Written and illustrated by Eamon Espy; 128 pages; $13.

Espy’s work has been described as Franz Kafka meets Hieronymus Bosch. Click here for a great review. Here’s the solicitation.

Eamon Espey’s Wormdye is a collection of interwoven tales that deftly illustrate the fever-pitched anxiety of modern life. With locales as varied as the River Styx, the Vatican, the island of Aegina and the Mitchell Corn Palace, Wormdye follows Marco, Tommy and others as they engage in the human struggle: work, religion, death and human sacrifice. Bleak and darkly funny, Wormdye uses myths and iconographic visuals to evoke a world-view that is both absorbing and upsetting, tragic and triumphant.

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 otherwise passed on. If not, email me and tell me what I’m doing wrong. I love criticism, both creative and purely insulting. 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.

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