This Week in Geek 02/17/10

The DC Comics corporate brain trust.

The DC Comics corporate brain trust.

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.

As you’ve all heard I’m sure, earlier this week DC announced that exiting Publisher Paul Levitz would be replaced by Co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee and Geoff Johns has a new title as the companies CCO (chief creative officer). Since the announcement there has been a flurry of phone calls, Web-board postings and Tweets that have both praised and decried the news. Before I burn all my DC comics and tattoo “Make Mine Marvel” on my stomach, I guess I have some questions about the announcement. Namely, what does it all mean? I understand the choice of Dan Didio—he’s been around and, whether you love him or hate him, he knows DC comics and should be able to slide right into his new job. Which, if it takes him farther away from editorial decisions, is fine with me. The choice of Jim Lee as a co-publisher however, leaves me baffled.

Let me say first that I love Jim Lee’s art and have so from a very young age. I understand how important the formation of Image Comics was in the 1990s and his part in starting the company. That said, after leaving Image, Lee took his creations to DC comics under the Wildstorm banner, where titles like WildC.A.T.S., StormWatch and later the Authority enjoyed some success. But it was under the control of other writers and artists. In recent days, Wildstorm has become not unlike an AOL to DC’s Time-Warner. With terrible sales numbers and no identity or discernible continuity, Wildstorm has floundered to the point where fans are questioning why the imprint even still exists. This isn’t a new crisis for Wildstorm, either. Sales have been dismal for several years now. Which leaves me asking the question, why Jim Lee? Is it just so Marvel can’t have him?

Below, you’ll find my stack of comics for the week of Wednesday, Feb. 17, 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. Again, no reads-only this week due to the huge pile I left the shop with.

The Stack:

Devil #1 of 4
Doomwar #1 of 5
Hulk #20
Amazing Spider-Man #621
Blackest Night: The Flash #3 of 3
Captain America #603
Daredevil #505
Dark Avengers #14
Doctor Voodoo: Avenger of the Supernatural #5
Green Lantern Corps #45
Green Lantern #51
Guardians of the Galaxy #23
Incredible Hercules #141
Incredible Hulk #607
Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8
Justice League of America #42
Punisher #14
Spider-Woman #6
Supergirl #50
Uncanny X-Men
#521

Thoughts on the Stack:

Devil #1 of 4

Devil #1 of 4

Doomwar #1 of 5

Doomwar #1 of 5

Devil #1 of 4: To be honest, I’m not sure why this one grabbed my attention. I’m not a big Manga reader, and find the Vampire/Zombie-genre a little overdone. Regardless, I picked up Devil #1 anyway, and I didn’t love it. Great art but I just can’t hang with the way Manga stories are written. Maybe I’m just not used to it, and the story wasn’t bad at all, I just found myself confused. Great art and coloring, though.

Doomwar #1 of 5: At first glance, I had thought “Doomwar” would be spinning out of the events of Siege. It’s not. In fact this story spills out of the pages of Jonthan Maberry’s “Black Panther,” which means Doomwar is probably an attempt to boost anemic-Panther sales. After reading Doomwar #1, I gotta say, I’m in. So much so that I picked up a run of Black Panther 2 on eBay for $20. Scott Eaton’s art in Doomwar has never looked better. Pick this one up if you can find a copy.

Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8

Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8

Justice League of America #42

Justice League of America #42

Uncanny X-Men #521

Uncanny X-Men #521

Joe the Barbarian #2 of 8: A friend of mine described Joe #1 as “The best Transformers/GI Joe/Star Trek/Batman crossover he’s ever read. And he was right. Joe the Barbarian is the story of a young boy trapped in his imagination where his toys are in a desperate battle for survival. This is the perfect story for a writer like Grant Morrison, who’s Batman-writing has been left me confused of late. Artist Sean Murphy is doing career-defining work on this title so far and really needs to be seen to believe. I’d expect Joe to be nominated for quite a few comic awards in 2010.

Justice League of America #42: I think I am decidedly not in love with James Robinson’s Justice League. The dialog is just awful, but not as bad as Mark Bagely’s art. There was a panel in JLA #41 featuring Cyborg that was laughable. It kills me to say it because I love both these creators so much and was excited for the direction they were taking the JLA. But the execution so far is really poor. I had excused the JLA Blackest Night tie-in because it was obviously rushed to tie up loose ends from the last two writers’ plots, but there should be no excuse starting with JLA #41. I’m really enjoying Robinson’s JLA Cry for Justice title that was supposed to lead into his run on the JLA monthly, but it hasn’t finished yet. Issue #41 was a huge spoiler to the end of Cry for Justice, and DC couldn’t even see fit to print a “THIS STORY TAKES PLACE AFTER THE EVENTS OF CRY FOR JUSTICE” disclaimer on the first page? Really? Not to mention the art switch on issue 6 of Cry for Justice. The JLA is a real mess right now. Isn’t this supposed to be DC’s premiere super-hero title? Their “Avengers” if you will? Something has got to change here and with the quickness.

Uncanny X-Men #521: This one gets my vote for “Best Last Page” so far this year. I want to spoil it for you so bad, but that’s not what we do here. Matt Fraction keeps up his streak of great dialogue and purposeful storytelling that has made every one of his X-issues a quality buy. That said, I wish Uncanny could settle on one artist. Terry Dodson specifically. Greg Land’s art is far from bad—he actually seems to have settled into his X-style nicely—it’s just a little distracting moving from artist-to-artist with every other issue. Still, very much worth the price of admission.

Nerdy Question of the Week:

Mark Bagely: still got it or has he lost it completely? As you read earlier, I’m firmly in the second camp. What happened to this guy? I loved his Ultimate Spiderman but have not been impressed with anything else he’s drawn. Agree? Disagree? Remember, I need specifics here not just drive-by hate-spam.

As I near the end of the Barry Windsor Smith Conan Archives, I’m taking suggestions for the next round of Read Along with Matt . So far Warren Ellis’ “Freakangels” is leading the pack in votes. Let me know what you think I should check out and remember to follow along on Twitter by searching #readwmatt for updates. By the way, the Winter Olympics has rekindled my love of curling and I don’t think there is a better sport to watch while reading comics. Unlike Football or Hockey, Curling has just enough breaks in the action to enjoy a good read while keeping track of the score. CNBC has all but turned into the Olympic Curling Network lately so you should have plenty of chances to give it a try in the next week.

Until 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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