This Week in Geek 03/24/10

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.

The Uncanny X-Men

The Uncanny X-Men

This weekend the weather is supposed to crescendo into what could be a perfect spring Sunday. The kind of Sunday that prevents suicides; we have particularly rough winters here in Nebraska. And so the great purge of 2010 will begin. Right where the purge of 2009 left off.

Each year I dig through the long boxes of comics I’ve acquired since the previous purge and attempt to make sense of the beast that is my comic collection. The idea is simple; I can’t keep it all. There’re comics I need to own, comics I enjoyed reading but don’t need and then there’s the garbage. Like I said, I can’t keep it all. Just having a bunch of comics does not make a collection. This year, I’m entering the purge with three categories of comics I’ll be keeping; ongoing series that I love (i.e. Avengers, Batman, Daredevil, X-Men, etc.), characters that I follow (Moon Knight, Beta-Ray-Bill, Spider-Woman), and creators who write great comics (Warren Ellis, Mark Millar, Jonathan Hickman, Robert Kirkman, etc). With that in mind, there’s plenty of stuff that won’t make it into the master collection, I’ve got to come up with my own Pedigree name for my comic collection. Any suggestions? I was thinking about something regal like the “Baum of Dundee” collection (Dundee’s my hood, y’all). Sounds regal right? But I digress, as I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, this year I’ll be making a real attempt to sell some stuff rather than just giving it all away. It’s been a tough economy for all of us, right? So watch this space for upcoming auction stories. I’ll be sharing my wins, losses and general thoughts on what it’s like to be a comic hobbyist selling his stuff to the masses.

In the meantime, here’s a look at my stack of comics for the week of Wednesday, March 24, 2010, followed by some short reviews of stuff I’ve read and some thoughts on why I’m picking these titles up. 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.

Amazing Spider-Man #626
Captain America #604
Green Lantern #52: Life Blood
Justice League: The Rise of Arsenal #1 of 4
The Marvels Project #7 of 8
Mighty Avengers #35
Millar & McNiven’s Nemesis #1
New Avengers #63
Orc Stain #2
Secret Warriors #14
Supergod #3 of 5
Superman #698: Destiny
Thor #608
Thunderbolts #142
Uncanny X-Men #522
X-Factor
#203

Thoughts on the Stack:

Green Lantern #52

Green Lantern #52

Justice League: The Rise of Aresenal

Justice League: The Rise of Aresenal

Green Lantern #52: I’m not sure of the name of the writing device used in fiction wherein the author takes a villain and turns them into a hero, but it’s one of my favorites. I love me a redeemed villain. Which appears to be what’s going on in GL. SPOILER ALERT! It looks like writer Geoff Johns is going to end his wildly successful Blackest Night cross-over with the redemption of Sinestro. Which might involve a name change as well (could be hard to trust a guy named Sinestro, I guess). Last we saw him, Sinestro was slipping a White Lantern ring on his finger to save the Universe from the Black Lanterns. I guess I hadn’t thought of the possible racial overtones to this story until I typed that sentence . . . huh. I haven’t read this one yet, but I haven’t been let down by a GL issue for quite some time.

Justice League: The Rise of Aresenal: Writer J.T. Krul seems to be just the shot in the arm the Green Arrow family needed to make the comic interesting again. Finally. It’s been quite sometime since I’ve been able to read a comic about Ollie Queen (Green Arrow) and Roy Harper (Arsenal), both of which are characters I love. The two have found themselves in pretty terrible situations as of late, Ollie, murdering villains in the wake of the destruction of his home, Star City, and Roy having his arm ripped off and daughter murdered. We’ve seen how Ollie is dealing with the situation and now I have to know what Roy does next. It’s about time someone wrote a compelling story for DC’s archers.

New Avengers #63:

New Avengers #63:

Thor #608

Thor #608

Thunderbolts #142

Thunderbolts #142

New Avengers #63: While Siege was action from page one, New Avengers seems to have taken it’s time jumping into the event and given us an intimate look into how the characters are going to be dealing with this final battle with Norman Osborne. This issue focused on Luke Cage’s family, which is a soap-opera I would read every month if Bendis was writing it. I love the dialogue between Luke and Jessica, the mother of his child and ex-Avenger. Superhero comic dialog doesn’t get better than this. And really, do all of our comics need to be a smash-bang affair? Some times it’s nice to see the human side of these characters too, and nobody does it better then Brian Michael Bendis. As always, New Avengers was the first new comic I read this week and well worth the price of admission.

Thor #608: I never thought I would be disappointed to hear Matt Fraction (writer of Cassanova, Uncanny X-Men) would be taking over any comic, but I’ll be really sad to see Kieron Gillen leave Thor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the Fraction Thor will be great. But Gillen’s Thor portion of the Siege event has been excellent, and writing all that flowery god-like dialog and keeping things interesting without being longwinded, can’t be easy. I don’t think I’ve ever loved Volstag the Voluminous more. Wherever Gillen goes, I’ll be sure to follow him. The guy writes great comics and his Thor is no exception.

Thunderbolts #142: I guess I stayed with this comic on the promise of what will be happening after the Siege event. Thunderbolts isn’t bad, I guess for a comic starring a group of villains I hardly care about, and the new Ant Man is as good as it could be. However, I’ll be much more excited about the title when Luke Cage joins the cast (if they bring Iron Fist into the book I’ll lose my mind). This issue was fun, there was a good tussle between Scourge (who is actually Nuke) and U.S. Agent, but Thunderbolts is definitely losing its steam. Hopefully, things pick up with Heroic-Age. I’m betting Thunderbolts just needs a little direction and having Luke Cage leading a group of villains looking for redemption in the wake of the Dark Reign storyline sounds perfect.

THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

If I had to pick one comic to take home this week—which is ridiculous, I know—but if I had to, it would be:

X-Factor #203: Marvel

Solicitation: Deep into unknown jungles go Monet and Guido—a.k.a. Strong Guy, a two-person rescue team—in a desperate gambit to free Monet’s father from the hands of terrorists. And what exactly do the terrorists want? They want Monet, as it turns out. And you’ll never guess who’s behind it all.

32 PGS
$2.99 US
JAN100628
Written by Peter David; Pencils by Valentine De Landro; Inks by Array; Colors by Tony Bedard.

Why this one? Even with constantly rotating cast of artists, some of which were really bad, writer Peter David is able to keep X-Factor one of the most fun, entertaining, high-quality reads every month. If you need a break from the huge cross-over events sweeping through both Marvel and DC currently, I highly recommend X-Factor. Mutant “B-lister” Jaime Madrox has become one of the most interesting and outspoken characters in the Marvel U with David’s run on X-Factor, which seems to be a half-way house for the forgotten mutants of the late ’80s and early ’90s. This is a comic for nerds who love character-driven X-Men stories. This latest run of X-Factor is one I’ll cherish years from now and gets an instant pass into my master collection.

Indy Comic of the Week:

The 120 Days of Simon: Top Shelf

The 120 Days of Simon

The 120 Days of Simon

Swedish cartoonist/rapper Simon Gärdenfors left his home to spend four months on the road. His rules were simple: During the 120 days he wasn’t allowed to return to his home, or to spend more than two nights at the same place. Otherwise, anything could happen—and it did.

The result was an epic adventure across Sweden as Simon slept on strangers’ couches, visited an ostrich farm, ate a psychedelic cactus, practiced free love, received death threats, was beaten up by teenagers, got adopted by a motorcycle gang, drank obscene amounts of alcohol and sacrificed his underpants to the Nordic god Brage.

For ages: 16+ 
Page Count: 416 
Details: Soft cover, Black & white 
ISBN-13: 9781603090506
$14.95 US
FEB101095

Why this one? I read the first 30 pages of this one at the shop the other day and fell in love. The book itself is small enough to fit in any back-pack or purse and is perfect for commuter reading. Even though the story takes place in Sweden, the material is very accessible—aside from some names that I won’t even attempt to pronounce. The art is minimal and cartoonish, but lends it’s self very well to the attitude of Simon, the writer. Very high-quality stuff, as usual, from Top Shelf press.

Nerdy Question of the Week

It’s almost summer movie season again, and that means time for even more comics to make the jump to the big screen. With the exception of Iron Man 2, which we all know is going to amazing, what nerd-related summer movies are you most excited for? I’m going to go ahead and include April in the blockbuster season because of Kick Ass and The Losers. After seeing the Scott Pilgrim Vs the World trailer, that film jumped up to the top of my list. If the Scott Pilgrim trailer isn’t enough to get you excited here’s a Rap by Adam WarRock of the War Rocet Ajax podcast that recaps the first five Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. Excellent work as usua,l Euge.

Finally…

My wife’s new blog, Girl Meets Nerd, a blog about her dealing with being married to a nerd (me), is trucking right along. Her latest entry deals with our iPods and the music stored on them. Turns out I listen to pretty good stuff. In your face, baby. Also Read Along with Matt continues on Twitter, where I tweet notes on graphic novels and collections I’m reading. And yes, my Twitter name is Yobofofas. I swear. I’ve received some concerned e-mails. Now I’ve got to go start sorting through some comic boxes. See ya’s next week. In the meantime you should check out the Comictwart blog, where different comic creators draw their takes on famous comic characters. This week is Riverdale’s most famous red-head, Archie.

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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