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This Week in Geek: 7/30

by Matt Baum (07/30/08).
Cover to X-Men Odd Man Out #1
Cover to The Core #1
Cover to JSA annual #1

This Week in Geek is a weekly blog about new comics written by Worthpoint Comicbook Worthologist Matt Baum. Every Wednesday Matt takes a look at the weeks 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 books discussed here

Welcome to the post San Diego Comic-Con edition of This Week in Geek. The news posts came fast and furious this weekend but I managed to keep up. Here’s what I’m taking away from this weekends announcements; ”The Black Panther cartoon sucks”, ”Tron 2 is going to be awesome”, Frank Miller is still a jerk and The Spirit movie he’s directing looks weirder with each trailer, The Watchmen movie is going to be the best thing we’ve ever seen and fat girls have a right to dress up as Wonder Woman too. It’s Un-American to think otherwise.

Did I mention that that the San Diego Comic-con was a comic book convention? One would never know it from the news coverage as Hollywood announcements dominated the nerdy-news cycle as it does every year at Comic-con. It seems the show becomes less and less about the comics our favorite characters were created in and more and more about licensing them for the big and small screen. Ironically the comic that stars Batman sells less than 200,000 copies each month but every man, woman and child in the country has seen the movie at least once. What can you do?

With still a month to go, no more big summer movies to look forward to and the passing of Comic-con it sure feels like summer is over. There’s still plenty of hot weather ahead and at the rate were getting DC’s Final Crisis issues the summer crossover may not end until early January. See, it’s a joke because issue #3 was supposed to ship last week but isn’t shipping until next week. But don’t fret DC fans, if you were at the ”Final Crisis panel at Comic-con” last weekend then I’m sure you were satified when Dan DiDio passed around photocopied pages of issue #3 to a few audience members. One of which, when asked what they saw, said “Batman wasn’t in it”. A riveting revelation indeed. Nice work Dan and congratulations on knowing that the book was not yet on stands before discussing it.

Now to the business at hand. Here’s a look at my hot picks for Wednesday 7/30:

JSA Annual #1; DC, Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Jerry Ordway; Cover by Alex Ross
Why it’s hot: If you’ve been reading JSA then I don’t need to tell you that it’s the best super hero team book on the stands every month. I also don’t need to tell you that the current story line is probably the best JSA storyline in recent memory and it appears to be connecting the DC U of the past, present and future. The title of this Annual says it all, “Welcome to Earth 2”. It looks like Power Girl is going back to Earth 2.
Why it’ll go fast: It looks like Power Girl is going back to Earth 2. Attention all old comic nerds who stopped reading after Crisis on Infinite Earths wiped the DCU clean of Gold/Silver-age continuity, Earth 2 is back. Well for this issue anyway. Power Girl is going to be rubbing elbows with heroes like the golden-age Superman and Bruce Wayne’s daughter the Huntress, characters that we haven’t seen since the first Crisis. What the crap Geoff Johns? I know I said I’d follow you anywhere, but Earth 2? Everyone that read a DC comic before 1985 needs to pick up this issue!

”The Core”; Top Cow; Written By Jonathan Hickman; Art by Kenneth Rocafort: Cover by Jonathan Hickman
Why it’s hot: Hickman’s star is on the rise. Marvel super-writer Brian Michael Bendis unabashedly loves Hickman and is working with him on the upcoming Secret Warriors book that will explore Nick Fury’s new commandos in the war against the Skrull Invasion. Hickman’s other Image comics are nearly impossible to find and have developed a serious cult following. The Core is Hickman’s first Top Cow offering as a part of their Pilot Season experiment and has received a lot of promotion.
Why it’ll go fast: Retailers aren’t sold on Hickman on as a superstar yet (his Transhuman book checked in at #280 on the Diamond 300 most ordered comics estimates for May 2008) and as of yet none of the Pilot Season books have been big hits. The Core may have seen a little bump in orders after the announcement of the Hickman/Bendis Marvel project but I doubt it. Readers, however, will be curious to find out who this Hickman guy is if they don’t already know. If you read this blog then you do and can count yourself among the cool kids. I’m a big Hickman guy and look forward to the Core if it’s not sold out by the time I get to the comic shop.

”X-Men: Odd Man Out”; Marvel; Written by Roger Stern and Mike Higgins; Art by Dave Cockrum
Why it’s hot: The easy Marvel pick this week would be the Black Panther Secret Invasion tie-in but I’m going for history over hype. Legendary X-artist Dave Cockrum passed away in November of 2006 leaving behind a legacy of work that will not soon be forgotten. His work on Giant Size X-Men #1 and his run on X-Men is held in the highest regard and those books are some of the most expensive modern-age comics in the collector’s market. Cockrum pencils two different stories in this latest X-Men one-shot that every fan of Marvels Mutants should pick up.
Why it’ll go fast: X-Men one shots have seen a decrease in sales in recent years partially due to high cover prices and a glut of books that don’t fit into X-continuity. Retailers that don’t look at their solicitations very closely may easily miss the fact that Cockrum is penciling this book or worse yet, they might not care. Cockrum hasn’t been a hot artist for more than 20 years so orders on his last X-story may be very low.

Until next week feel free to post to the forum topics in the comic books community and tell me what you’re reading/collecting. Also, for more on X-files comics 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.

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