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.
Shortly after last week’s column was posted I received a email from a VinnyB who was concerned with my picks for that week. Or rather, what I didn’t pick last week. You see Vinny is a Warlord fan, and as fate would have it, DC released a new Warlord #1 last Wednesday and Vinny wants to know why I didn’t think to mention the title. First, a word about Warlord: Created by Mike Grell in 1975, The Warlord was the story of a Vietnam war era spy-plane pilot, Travis Morgan, who during a crash landing passed thorough a hole in the Earth’s crust and found himself in a prehistoric world with only his feathered helmet, furry boots, and a silver loin-cloth to defend himself. It was the 70′s folks. Since then, DC has tried, unsuccessfully, in 1992 and again in 2006 to revive the character’s popularity. Unfortunately, Vinny, I just don’t see this latest attempt working either. Perhaps Travis worked best in his time and today’s readers just can’t appreciate quality Sword and Sorcery comics in the DCU like they used too. I would guess this title will sell on the order of DC’s War that Time Forgot, which saw issue #10 checking in at 201 on the top 300 selling comics for February. If I were a Warlord fan I’d be excited to see Mike Grell is on this latest incarnation as well, however, the character just never did it for me. Sorry Vinny.
It would seem New Comic’s Day finds itself overshadowed by the unavoidable TAX DAY this week. Most of you were probably smart about their taxes and have nothing to fear. For me, it’s a different story, and one with a yet another self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of looking forward to a tax refund to spend on that DC Direct Green Lantern box set I’ve been longingly staring at on eBay, or perhaps a Honeymoon for the future Mrs. Matt Baum and I, I’ll be doing my part as a citizen and paying taxes. Mainly because I was told trying to write off my comic purchases may be pressing my luck. Below you’ll find my list of titles I’ll be picking up this Wednesday, April 15. For a complete list of this week’s new comics click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.
Action Comics #876
Captain America #49
Green Lantern Corps #35
Oracle #2 of 3
Secret Invasion Aftermath: Beta Ray Bill – The Green of Eden
Uncanny X-Men #508
The only new title I’ll be checking out this week is Beta Ray Bill Green of Eden #1. I can’t resist. Since Walt Simonson introduced me to the horse-headed-Thor from outer space (I know it sounds ridiculous but the description is perfect, click here to see for yourself), Bill has been one of my favorites. Truth be told, I think I might own every comic appearance of the character. If you’re collecting the Wolverine Art Appreciation covers, look for the variants of Moon Knight #29 and X-Men: Legacy #223 this week. The Wolvie variants have been going fast and aren’t even popping up on eBay in mass quantities.
And now, on to the Speculator Picks of the Week. These are books that, for one reason or another, may sell out quickly. 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. The codes you see listed below the solicitations are for use when ordering.
Solicitation: This is it. Nearly a decade in the making, the Eisner Award-winning, critically acclaimed series comes to its inevitably blood-soaked end. What final fate do Agent Graves and the rest of the cast face? Who will be left standing when the gun smoke clears? Find out in the epic, final issue of the series Playboy magazine called “a meditation on money, power and morality… for our money, the best current ongoing series.”
• 32 PGS
• $4.99 US
Written by Brian Azzarello; Pencils by Eduardo Risso; Cover by Dave Johnson.
Why it’ll go fast: Final issues always sell better than regular issues but the final issue of one of the most critically acclaimed comic series of the last 10 years sell even better. 100 Bullets is a strange animal in the sense that the comic doesn’t sell well at all but the Trade-Paperback collections are best sellers whenever they hit the stands.
Moon Knight #29 Wolverine Art Appreciation Variant Cover; Marvel Comics
Solicitation: Let’s get rrrrrrrreaaaaaaaaady to rrrrrruuuuuummmmmmblllllle!!! Moon Knight is playing protector to a young woman who’s in the cross-hairs of the meanest, craziest, most indefatigable bounty hunters south—north—of the Rio Grande. Meet Los Bros Zapata, a tag-team Mexican wrestler duo who moonlight as assassins, and who’ll do anything—anything—to take down their mark. Moon Knight’s gonna have his hands full, but luckily, he’s got someone in his corner: The Punisher.
• 32 PGS
• $2.99 US
Written by Mike Benson; Pencils by Jefte Palo; Cover by Gabriele Dell’Otto; Variant Cover by Juan Doe
Why it’ll go fast: I feel bad writing about the variant cover only, but to be quite honest, I don’t read Moon Knight. As much as I’d love to enjoy Marvel’s premier Bat Man knock-off, the title has been far from great for quite a while now. And it seems the fans agree; Moon Knight #27 checked in at #91 on the top 300 most ordered comics list of Feb 09, shipping only 21,413 issues. So let’s do the math. If the Wolvie Art variants are available in a 1:10 ratio, that means there will only be approximately 2100 of the Moon Knight Wolvie variants available. That’s not too many. I’m predicting this issue—along last week’s Captain Britain and MI: 13 #12 Wolvie Art variant—will ultimately be the two rarest of the collection.
Solicitation: When an ancient curse transforms young H.P. Lovecraft’s darkest nightmares into reality, the timid writer becomes both an unwitting god of destruction and the only person who can battle the evil he’s unleashed into the world. One part biography, one part horror pulp, one part fugitive thriller and you have… one weird tale indeed.
AIN’T IT COOL NEWS SAID: “WE LOVECRAFT JUNKIES LIKE TO FEED OUR MONKEYS AS OFTEN AS WE CAN, AND THE STRANGE ADVENTURES OF H.P. LOVECRAFT IS GOOD FOOD INDEED.”
• 40 PGS
• $4.99 US
Written by Mac Carter; Pencils by Tony Salmons; Cover by Adam Byrne
Why it’ll go fast: Like all the other high-selling Image comics, if this new series is a hit, issue #1 will be very hard to find. For examples, look at the Walking Dead and Invincible #1 sales on eBay. Retailers have no reason to call their shot on new Image titles because the bulk of them are not hits. In Lovecraft’s defense, the art looks great, very Guy Davis-influenced for you BPRD fans, and the subject matter is near and dear to most horror-comic-fan’s hearts. I know I’m excited. Here’s to hoping I can find a copy.
Indy Comic of the Week:
Solicitation: Let’s face it: From adenines to zygotes, from cytokinesis to parthenogenesis, even the basics of genetics can sound utterly alien. So who better than an alien to explain it all? Enter Bloort 183, a scientist from an asexual alien race threatened by disease, who’s been charged with researching the fundamentals of human DNA and evolution, and laying it all out in clear, simple language so that even his slow-to-grasp-the-point leader can get it. In the hands of the award-winning writer Mark Schultz, Bloort’s explanations give even the most science-phobic reader a complete introduction to the history and science of genetics.
• 160 pages
• $14.95 US
Written by Mark Shultz; Pencils by Xander and Kevin Cannon
Why you should care: I’m going to let this review by Ray Olson of Booklist sell you on this one like it did me.
“In the battle against scientific ignorance, graphic novels may be the only thing that can save us . . . What’s the solution to Americas crisis in science education? More comic books. In December comes The Stuff of Life: A Graphic Guide to Genetics and DNA, a remarkably thorough explanation of the science of genetics, from Mendel to Venter, with a strand of social urgency spliced in.” Barry Harbaugh, Wired: “The Stuff of Life” is a beautifully written and lavishly illustrated example of the power of comics to communicate the wonders of the natural world. Mark Schultz’s words combine with Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannons pictures in a dynamic enzymatic reaction that gives readers a glimpse at how life works. Ambitious, expansive, and completely successful, the story in The Stuff of Life starts on the invisible rungs of DNA and climbs without a misstep across the millennia of organic evolution. With the help of Bloort, an alien exploring the wonders of earthly genetics, we get to see our evolutionary and genetic heritage in a new light. Often funny and always engrossing, The Stuff of Life provides an exciting point of entry for anyone interested in how life on earth shapes and reshapes itself in the face of ever-changing conditions. Learning genetics just got a whole lot more fun.” Jay Hosler, Associate Professor of Biology at Juniata College and author and illustrator of Clan Apis and The Sandwalk Adventures: “Mark Schultz’s brilliant, wacky The Stuff of Life could hardly have arrived at a better time, with advances in genetics transforming the biological sciences from microbiology to medicine. This is serious fun.” Jessica Snyder Sachs, author of Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World: “Drawn with panache and great good humor by Zander Cannon and Kevin Cannon, and scripted with exceptional clarity by Schultz, this is pretty much the best educational graphic novel in Hill and Wang’s new line of them, good enough for interested non-scientists to keep handy for whenever they need a refresher on its subject. It even has a happy well, promising ending.”
—Ray Olson, Booklist
Nerdy Question of the Week:
There’s been a lot of stink about Batman’s “death” and his “replacement” in the upcoming Bat-titles. Now that Battle for the Cowl #2 has hit the stands, and nothing seems to be happening in it aside from setting the stage for Judd Winick to take over the Batman monthly, who do you think will be taking on the role of the caped crusader? Or perhaps more importantly, do you care?
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 below in the “Leave a Reply” section below. Want to know what your comics are worth? Join WorthPoint for free and post your comics 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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