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.
It’s finally here. “Watchmen” opens in theaters everywhere this weekend. My only worry is that no matter how good the film is, I may be disappointed. Perhaps the hype could be the very thing that brings the Watchmen movie adaptation down. Then again, I remember and even bigger hype behind the second Batman film, “The Dark Knight,” and geeks everywhere are still living happily ever after. Maybe, just maybe, director Zack Snyder will meet or even exceed our expectations and “Watchmen” will join the small, elite fraternity of successful comic book adaptations. We shall see very soon. I’ll post my reaction to “Watchmen” on this blog late Thursday night so check back here Friday.
In other news, the un-restored issue of Action Comics #1 that went up for auction last Friday on comicconnect.com is up to $277,300.00, which buries my bid of $10. Like the guy on eBay that drops a $10 bid on a Porsche, I was thinking, “hey, it’s worth a shot.” For more on the 6.0 CGC graded action #1 click here.
And now onto discussion of the new comics for the week of Wednesday, March 4, 2009. Below you will find my pile of comics that I’ll be adding to my collection. For a complete list of this week’s comics click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.
Agents of Atlas #2
Black Panther #2
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #23
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1 of 5
Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead?
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #4 of 8
House of Mystery #11
Secret Six #7
Secret Warriors #2
Solomon Grundy #1 of 7
Superman: World of New Krypton #1 of 12
War of Kings #1 of 6
So let’s discuss this list briefly. As you can see, there’re a couple of new additions to the pile. I’m giving Reginald Hudlin’s Black Panther a chance, for the second time, mainly because I love Ken Lashley’s art, and to be quite honest, the first issue was pretty good. I’m picking up Deadpool #8 because it’s a tie-in with Thunderbolts centering around Deadpool’s plan to assassinate Norman Osborne. It could be fun. In the DCU, I’ll be checking out Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead, which sets up the upcoming “Battle for the Cowl” storyline but probably won’t sort out any of the confusing details of Bruce’s “death.” Also, Solomon Grundy looks to explore the role DC’s second most loved swamp monster, behind the Swamp Thing, of course, will play in the upcoming Green Lantern: Blackest Night event. Also of note this week; I’ll be taking a look at New Avengers: The Reunion, the story of Mockingbird’s return to the Marvel U after being replaced by a Skrull (it was a whole, huge thing too long to go into here), but not buying until I give it a good skimming. This stuff is getting expensive you know.
And now, on to the Speculator Picks of the Week. These are books that, for one reason or another, may sell out quickly and become instant collectibles. If you don’t pay attention and get to your local comic shop in a timely fashion, you could be paying way too much for these comics very soon.
Dark Reign: Fantastic Four #1; Marvel Comics
Solicitation: Dark Reign strikes Marvel’s first family—in an explosive way! Prepared to be blown away as HAMMER agents attack the Baxter Building. Reed changes everything. The Human Torch suffers a horrible loss and Franklin and Val go shopping. There’s time travel, alternate realities, Celestials, Eternals, Deviants and Doombots… and more important than all of that, we find out the answer to the question: What is the Bridge?
• 32 PGS
• $2.99 US
Written by Jonathan Hickman; Art by Sean Chen; Cover by Simon Bianchi; Variant cover by Marko Djurdjevic
Why it’ll go fast: It’s no secret that I love Jonathan Hickman, and until each-and-every one of you love him as much as I do, I will continue to pick his comics as “must-haves” every week. I’m calling my shot here; This FF limited is the Hickman’s try-out for the regular series, and if it sells well I’m guessing he takes over writing duties on the regular FF monthly after Mark Millar finishes his run. If you’ve read Hickman’s Sci-Fi work then you know he’s perfect to write the FF. If you haven’t, check out Red Mass for Mars and Transhuman from Image comics if you can find them.
Superman: World of New Krypton #1 of 12, DC
Solicitation: Following the events of the “New Krypton” crossover, the Man of Steel has had to embrace his past to ensure humanity’s future. And while a devastating armed conflict with Earth may have been averted, keeping the peace will be Superman’s greatest challenge yet. Hot new writer Andrew Kreisberg (BATMAN CONFIDENTIAL) and fan-favorite artist Pete Woods (ACTION COMICS, SUPERMAN: UP, UP AND AWAY!) lead Superman through a world of interstellar treachery and deadly machinations where the lives of two races hang in the balance!
• $2.99 US
• 32 PGS
Written by James Robinson and Greg Rucka; Art by Pete Woods; Cover by Gary Frank; Variant cover by Jose Ladron.
Why it’ll go fast: It may not go fast at all. This title seems like a pretty big gamble on the part of DC. Although sales on the title have been good (#25 on the top 300 comic sales for Jan 2009) Robinson’s Superman book has yet to break the top 20 in monthly sales since his run began. To give him and Greg Rucka a title that puts Supes on a different planet for a year raises some questions. Will fans be turned off by the main character leaving earth for a year? Will retailers order more of Supes WOK than of the regular title or vice versa? We’ll see very soon.
War of Kings #1 of 6; Marvel Comics
Solicitation: In the aftermath of the Secret Invasion, Black Bolt has led the Inhumans on a shockingly savage path to restore their strength and security. But that path has brought them into direct confrontation with the Shi’Ar Empire—and their mad ruler, Vulcan! Who will get in the first strike? Who will fall on the bloody battlefield? Who will rule? The Imperial Guard, the Starjammers, the Inhuman Royal Family and more of your favorite sci-fi characters are locked on a collision course… and it all starts here! Join the acclaimed team of Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (NOVA) and Paul Pelletier (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) for a pivotal turning point in Marvel’s cosmic history! Rated T+
• 32 PGS
• $3.99 US
W: Andy Lanning; W: Dan Abnett; W: N Dan Abnett; P: Paul Pelletier; C: Brandon Peterson
Why it’ll go fast: Even though this book has the same team that brought fans the hugely successful Annihilation series Marvel, in their infinite wisdom, is not calling this comic Annihilation: War of Kings. WHY? Both Annihilation series sold very well, reinvigorated Marvel’s cosmic characters and made me care about the Guardians of the Galaxy yet Marvel is not going with the Annihilation title even though War of Kings has the same writing team, takes place in space and stars many of the same characters. (Was that a run-on sentence or what?) I don’t get it, and I’m guessing not using the Annihilation title will make most retailers scale back their orders slightly. $3.99 for a Marvel cosmic—event that isn’t a proven seller—is a high price tag for retailers who have seen negative or no growth in the comic market for the past two months. With that said, regardless of the title, War of Kings is going to be a great read and will sell out very quickly.
Indy Comic of the Week:
Strongman, Slave Labor Comics
Imagine the Dark Knight if Batman had been a Luchidore. Tigre, a masked Mexican wrestler, was huge in Mexico in the 1970′s, a crime-fighting movie star. These days, he’s 65 and drunk, living in Manhattan. When a beautiful woman begs him to stop an organ trafficking ring, the old warrior decides to take one last, epic shot at redemption.
• $9.95 US
• 120 pages
Written by Charles Soule; Drawn by Allen Gladfelter
Why you should care: Does it get any better than aging Mexican Wrestlers fighting crime? Strongman looks like and homage to El Santo, a famous Mexican wrestler from the ’50s-’80s who made several movies where he battled supernatural villains such as Dracula, witch covens and zombies. I came to own two Santo films on VHS years ago and fell in love with the campy Mexican horror films and the legend of Santo.
Nerdy Question of the Week???
The last time Superman took the back seat in Action Comics was back in the late ’80s and resulted in Action Comics starring WildDog, Deadman and a host of others. Starting next month Superman is off-planet dealing with problems on New Krypton and Nightwing (not Dick Grayson) and Flamebird, along with Mon El or Valor (I’m not sure what he’s called now), will be protecting Metropolis. Are you in? Do you care about these Superman replacements or are you skipping the whole thing all together?
Thanks again for your continued input and keep the answers to the nerdy questions coming. 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.
Matt Baum is a Worthologist who specializes in comic books.
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