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This Week in Geek 01/20/10

by Matt Baum (01/20/10).

When the Siege event ends, so will the Avengers titles.

When the Siege event ends, so will the Avengers titles.

This Week in Geek is a weekly blog about new comics written post-comic-shop-visit 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 the comics he’ll be purchasing 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. Make sure and post your comments below.

Huge news coming out of Marvel earlier this week when it was announced that after the Siege event ends, so will the Avengers titles, as we have come to know them. Of course they will be coming back; there’re already rumors of an Avenger’s Academy title replacing “Avengers: The Initiative.” Now this can’t be much of a surprise for anyone. Surely, no one was thinking that the bad guys would run the Marvel U forever, and when they inevitably get their super-villain-butts handed to them, it’d be hard to continue a Dark Avengers title. Now, Thunderbolts is another question. The April solicits are out and issue #143 is not being called the last issue but, according to the solicitation, “sets the stage for the next big chapter of the most unpredictable book ever!” I’m going to stick with Thunderbolts, mainly because I love writer Jeff Parker, and, if I can’t have a monthly Agents of Atlas comic, it’ll have to do. News like this does come with tough collector questions. Questions like: “why did I invest in 35 issues of Avengers: The Initiative, 16 issues of Dark Avengers and 36 issues of Mighty Avengers?” Perhaps a better question is why should we stick around for four new Avengers series? Is this just the nature of comic collecting in the age of short-attention-span-entertainment-overload? If the comics are good, I’m in. The same will probably be true for most nerds. Regardless I’ll be watching the sales charts to let you guys know.

Below you’ll find my stack of comics for the week of Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010. Make sure and post your own weekly stack of comics below so I can make fun of what you’re reading and vice-versa. For a full list of comics shipping this week, click here. To find a comic shop near you, click here. Before I get into this week’s stack, here’s a look at some comics that I’ll be reading but not buying:

Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1 of 4

Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1 of 4

Cowboy Ninja Viking #3

Cowboy Ninja Viking #3

Hulk #19

Hulk #19

Avengers vs. Agents of Atlas #1 of 4: Jeff Parker writes this one and, yes, I was just gushing over him and his Agents of Atlas title, but I learned my lesson from the last AoA crossover with the X-Men. Nothing happened. The story was good enough, sure, but nothing happened. It’s hard to believe that during the biggest Avengers shake up in years this title is going to have any major ramifications. Not that I only collect comics that have major continuity ramifications. Or do I? Oh my god . . .

Cowboy Ninja Viking #3: The only reason I’m not buying this comic, and it’s a weird one, is the size. I can’t handle strange-sized comics. The first one I remember was Frank Miller’s “The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot.” Then there was Mike Allred’s “Red Rocket 7.” Then “Mouse Guard,” and more recently Image’s “Viking.” All these comics were amazing but drove me nuts because of their weird size. How the hell am I supposed to file these? It drives me nuts. Now, big hardcover collections don’t bother me at all, and I have no good reason why. In fact, the bigger the better. I love DC’s Absolute editions and Marvel’s omnibus.

Hulk #19: Fall of the Hulks is like a car accident that I can’t look away from, even though there’s blood and gore everywhere. Which is not to say that the story is bad. Yet. I’ve just lost all faith in writer Jeph Loeb and am waiting for FotH to jump the shark at any moment. Also, and I know I’m repeating myself here, I hate Doc Samson as a villain. Hate it.

The Stack:

Amazing Spider-Man #618
Blackest Night: The Flash #2 of 3
Captain America #602
Dark Avengers #13
Dark Wolverine
#82
Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #4
Green Lantern Corps #44
Incredible Hercules
#140
The Mighty Avengers #33
Nova #33
Realm of Kings: Inhumans #3 of 5
Spider-Woman #5
Starman #81
Thunderbolts #140
Uncanny X-Men #520
Wolverine: Weapon X
#9

“Blackest Night: Flash” #2: While I’ve been enjoying “Flash Rebirth” (Writer Geoff Johns story of Barry Allen’s return to the DCU), I’ve got to wonder if it wouldn’t have been more appropriate in this comic. I really like what’s going on here with the Rogues facing their undead predecessors, and Scott Kollins pencils have never been better, but wouldn’t make more sense tell the story of a Flash returning from the grave during a crossover event about the dead rising? I’m sure this is bad editorial timing at its finest here, but really. Did no one discuss this? It’s as weird as having a Batman storyline called “RIP” wherein Batman doesn’t die but instead killing him in one panel of a really confusing crossover event in which Barry Allen returned to life for no other reason than to sell more comics. I guess he did out run a time traveling bullet, or something. I’m still a little foggy on Final Crisis I guess.

“Dark Wolverine” #82: Every issue of Dark Wolverine has been surprisingly great both in storytelling and art. And let me tell you, I had no intention of caring about this one. I’m not a big Daniel Way fan and hated the idea of Wolverine having a son (suspiciously very close to the introduction of Batman’s son). I didn’t care for Way’s Wolvie Origins title and was really disappointed to hear Daken (Wolive’s kid) would be taking over the starring role of his dad’s title. Now, nearing the end of Daken’s run as the star, presumably, I’m really hoping to read more about him. Maybe it’s the co-writing of Marjorie Liu that’s helped me enjoy Daken, but the psychology and depth they brought to the character has made this title a really great read. Penciler Giuseppe Camuncoli’s amazing art was the perfect compliment to Way and Liu’s characterization. His thick lines and usage of black to create depth and sinister moodiness, even in broad daylight, was the perfect compliment to Way and Liu’s characterization. Also, there’s a huge lat page event here that may make this issue a very important one in the evolution of Daken.

Doctor Voodoo” #4

Doctor Voodoo” #4

Starman” #81

Starman” #81

“Doctor Voodoo” #4: Writer Rick Remender gets my vote for best new Marvel writer for 2009. His work on both the Punisher and Doc Voodoo has been nothing short of stellar. Reminder is a nerd’s nerd and knows what we want to read. I love the Marvel Magic characters, but it’s been quite a while since we’ve had a Marvel Magic title worth reading. Even Mark Waid’s latest “Strange” mini-series isn’t really doing it for me. One of the things that always set the Marvel magicians apart from DC’s sorcerers was the practice and theory behind the Magic. Doctor Strange had a library of ancient tomes that referenced Lovecraftian monsters and Sumerian texts, while Zatanna was speaking in reverse to create a spell. I love the Occult references used by the Marvel magicians and to this day neither understand nor care how Magic works in the DCU. Remender’s Doc Voodoo is rife with the Occult and Voodoo lore and beautifully penciled by Jefte Paolo who almost seems to be painting in some panels. I can’t recommend this title enough.

“Starman” #81: Here’s where the fan-boy gushing starts. James Robinson’s Starman from the late-80s-early-90s remains one of my all time favorite comic book series to this day. Jack Knight, retro-junk dealer who reluctantly inherits the mantle of Starman from his deceased brother, was one of the first heroes I could relate to. I loved Robinson’s dialogue and film references. One that sticks out in my head was a conversation between Jack, Alan Scott (the Golden-Age Green Lantern) and Batman where they discussed their favorite Woody Allen films while tracking a murderer. Batman’s was of course “Crime and Punishment.” When I heard there was going to be a Blackest Night one-shot Starman issue my eyes teared up a little. I adored this series so much that it took me five years to read the final issue. Mainly because I didn’t want it to end. My only regret here is that Starman artist Tony Harris only returned to do the cover and not the interior art. Other than that, I expect to have goose bumps while reading this one.

Nerdy Question of the Week:

When the Avengers titles are re-launched who do you want to see on the roster? Should Spidey stay? Wolverine? Should Tigra be there? So shout out “Avengers assemble” and let’s hear you ideal team.

The first Read Along with Matt wrapped up this past week upon my finishing of the Warren Ellis “No Hero” trade-paper-back and I hope all those who joined me will do so again after reading what was undoubtedly the most violent comic ever published. I really dug it, but WOW, was it gory. Next it looks like I’ll be tackling the Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives Volume #1. While I own a number of the original issues, I’ve never had a chance to assemble a complete run and as always, I’ll use any excuse to buy a really sexy hardcover edition. So watch my Twitter feed and post your thoughts if your reading along with me or just loved reading it in the past. Just search #readwmatt on Twitter for updates.

See ya next time true believers.

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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 new “comments” section below, or you can follow him on Twitter, where he is always screaming about something nerd-related. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint for free and post your comics in the “Ask A Worthologist” section. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price. And finally a word to the Federal Trade Commission; all the comics discussed here are purchased solely by the writer, who receives no gifts or free merchandise from any publishers even though he would graciously accept them.

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