This Week in Geek 12/3

Cover of Secret Invasion #8
Cover of Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1 of 8
Cover of Batman #682

This Week in Geek

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

First; a public service announcement: COMICS SHIP ON THURSDAY THIS WEEK. Last week’s Thanksgiving holiday jacked up the shipping schedule (apparently UPS workers have families, too) so new comics will be arriving one day late. Try not to freak out.

The countdown to Christmas-Chanuka-Kwanza-Winter-fest has begun and Marvel Comics is the first to strike with the holiday specials. Moon Knight: Silent Knight and Punisher Max: X-Mas Special 2008 hit the stands this Wednesday marking the beginning of the comic holiday special season, which, I admit, I have a soft spot for. To be quite honest I really miss the JSA/JLA Thanksgiving specials. Regardless, these two specials bear mentioning because the Moon Knight special is written by Peter Milligan and the Punisher by Jason Aaron. Milligan used to write some great Vertigo books (Human Target, Egypt, Shade the Changing Man) and then went on to write some acceptable Marvel stuff. The point here is that I’m ready for both Milligan and Moon Knight to make a comeback and I love comic book holiday specials. I like to save them all and read them on Christmas day while drinking pear brandy. It’s the perfect holiday experience for the nerd/alcoholic.

In nerdy gift news, the Astonishing X-Men Over-sized Hardcover Volume 2 hits the stands this week and collects the final chapter of Joss Whedon’s X-story. This book collects Astonishing X-Men #13-24 and Giant Size Astonishing X-Men #1. Whedon’s run was punctuated by John Cassaday’s amazing art and saw the death of Kitty Pryde. This collection is great gift for your X-nerd, provided they already have the first collection. If not, you better pick that one up too. Also, Matt Fraction and Salvador Larroca are responsible for the best Iron Man series I’ve read yet in the pages of The Invincible Iron Man, and the first six issues are available in hardcover this week. Well worth checking out for any Iron Man fan and soon to be named the best new series of the year. You heard it hear first.

For those of you who have been seeing the trailer for the upcoming The Spirit movie and scratching their head thinking “what in the hell is that all about?”, The Spirit Volume 1 hardcover hits the stands this Wednesday collecting #1-#6 of Darwin Cooke’s relaunch of Will Eisner’s famous masked detective and the Jeph Loeb/ Cooke Batman/Spirit one shot. I have to admit, I loved Cooke’s relaunch, read and dug some of Eisner’s Spirit, didn’t care so much for the Batman/Spirit crossover and have no idea what director Frank Miller is going for in The Spirit movie. Maybe I’ll love it, but the trailers sure aren’t inspiring any confidence in me so far.

Now it’s time to take a look at the pile of comics I’ll be picking up this week. As always feel free to contact me with questions, suggestions or threats to my person or family regarding what I am or am not reading. For a complete list of comics hitting the stands this week click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.

The Astounding Wolf-Man #10
Cable #9
Haunted Tank #1 of 5
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #1 of 8
Hulk: Family — Green Genes
Immortal Iron Fist #20
Jonah Hex #38
JSA #21
Kull #2 of 6
Marvel Zombies 3 #3 of 4
Moon Knight: Silent Knight
Necronomicon #3 of 4
New Avengers #47
Secret Invasion #8 of 8
Wolverine: Manifest Destiny #2 of 4

So there’s what I’ll be reading this week. Now let’s talk speculation. As you may or may not know, the purpose of this part of This Week in Geek 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.

Batman #682; DC; Written by Grant Morrison; Art by Lee Garbet; Covers by Alex Ross and Tony Daniel; $2.99.

Why it’s hot: Bat-fans everywhere are still wrestling with the end of Morrison’s “R.I.P.” storyline not only trying to figure out if Bruce Wayne is really dead, but who is Doctor Hurt, the man who killed him. The popular theories are that Hurt is everything from Bruce’s insane brother to the devil. My brain hurts just thinking about it. Fans want answers and you can bet they’ll be looking to Morrison’s final two issues before the “Battle for the Cowl” story begins.

Why it’ll go fast: Retailers ordered huge on the end of the “R.I.P.” storyline thinking that all would be answered, as was hinted by every interview with the creators. Well, as it would turn out, the details of Bruce’s supposed death are still fuzzy at best leaving most readers wanting to know just what the heck happened. The final two issues of Morrison’s current Bat-run are a flashback story as recounted by Alfred, Bruce’s butler, but they may give us the answers we need. Even with the big orders on Batman #681 issues are still selling for $5.00 on-line and I would expect to slightly lower initial orders on #682 making it a very hot issue, especially if it gives insight as to the real identity of Doctor hurt.

Hellboy the Wild Hunt #1 of 8; Dark Horse; Written by Mike Mignola; Art By Duncan Fegredo; Cover by Mike Mignola; $2.99.

Why it’s hot: Hellboy is back for more occult mystery as only creator Mike Mignola can supply. The Wild Hunt picks up after the event of the last Mignola/Fegredo Hellboy series, Darkness Calls, and follows Hellboy as he hunts down undead giants that are plaguing the British countryside.

Why it’ll go fast: Just two weeks after the Hellboy 2: The Golden Army DVD release, Mignola’s macho-spawn-of-satan-paranormal-detective is still a fan favorite, even if Mignola isn’t drawing him. Historically Hellboy has never been a heavily ordered title (Hellboy: In the Chapel of Moloch written and drawn by Mignola was #87 on the top 300 ordered comics for October 2008) and has consistently sold out from new comic shelves. Even the most well stocked back issue bins are spotty at best when it comes to old Hellboy issues.

Secret Invasion #8; Marvel; Written by Brian Michael Bendis; Art by Lenil Francis Yu; cover by Gabrielle Dell’Otto and Lenil Francis Yu; $3.99.

Why it’s hot: Did you get completely sucked in by this summers Olympics? It felt like it went on forever, right? And then suddenly the closing games were upon us and it was over and we all wondered what we would watch on TV next. A similar event has been taking place in the Marvel comics universe for what feels like years now, but finally the “Secret Invasion” story line is coming to an end. I don’t know what I’m going to do either. Issue #8 promises to be the big earth-shattering end to the Skrull Invasion and beginning of the next big Marvel event (t never ends does it?) Dark Reign. Judging by the title “Dark Reign” it sure doesn’t sound like Secret Invasion has a happy end and I, like most fans, am dieing to know what happens next.

Why it’ll go fast: Whether you love or hate company-wide comic crossovers, it is safe to say that Secret Invasion has been one of the best of them. Fans bought Marvel SI titles by the boatload and proved that a well written crossover can still pay the bills. Even during a recession. While DC’s Final Crisis is gasping for air like a fish out of water Secret Invasion has been good high selling fun and the final issue looks to establish the new Captain America as an Avenger. It looks like the good guys win only to lose to the original bad guys who have been overshadowed for far too long. Secret Invasion ends here and Dark Reign begins.

The end of the year is almost upon us and I want to know your favorite comic of 2008. It can be a single issue, new series, or one shot. Email me and let me know. 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.