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This Week in Geek 8/6

by Matt Baum (08/07/08).
Cover of Crossed #0
Cover of NYX #1
Cover of Hulk #5

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

Last week was a light one for new comics, a welcome break for those of us who work solely to pay for our comics. July had five Wednesdays which means, rather than throw off their schedules and ship everyone’s August books early, we get what used to be called a “fifth week event”. The fifth week used to be a make shift crossover event when DC and Marvel would put out a 4-6 issue story that all came out that Wednesday to fill the void left by the fifth Wednesday of the month. Titles included New Year’s Evil in January of 1997 which focused on the DC villians, GirlFrenzy which highlighted female versions the DC heroes, and Marvel Mangaverse which as the title suggests showed readers Japanese Manga versions of Marvel Heroes. Other Fifth Week Events include fan-favorite- cult-books like Amalgam which combined Marvel and DC heroes into hybrids such as Darkclaw, a mixture of Batman and Wolverine, and Iron Lantern, Iron Man and Green Lantern. I’m not going to say that these Fifth Week event books were great or that they are undervalued but I will say that they represented a chance for the major comic publishers to do something unique. I miss the corny fifth week stories that have been replaced by reprint books and poorly written special issues. Bring Back the Fifth Week Event!

This week is things return to normal as the first new comics of August hit the shelves and the now three-week-late Final Crisis #3 finally shows up as well. Nice of you to join us Final Crisis. The weird and wild Batman RIP also continues this week in the pages of Detective Comics #847, Nightwing #147 and Robin #176. Anyone who can tell me what’ s going on in this story and why Batman seems to acting like a different character in each book please feel free to post to this article and explain it for me. I’m lost and have no Idea what RIP is about or where the story is going. It seems strange to me that in the same summer that Warner Brothers releases The Dark Knight and makes $400 million at the box office DC comics would have such a impenetrable story running through the Bat-family comics.

Well we’re not here to whine about the loss of the Fifth Week Event or puzzle over Batman stories. Here we discuss speculator picks for this week’s new comics. So here’s my Wednesday hot picks.

”Hulk #5”; Written by Jeph Loeb; Art by Ed Mcguiness; Covers by Ed McGuinnes and Oliver Copieal; $2.99 cover price.
Why it’s hot:The latest Hulk relaunch hasn’t been great. Loeb’s tale of the Red Hulk vs the Green Hulk has felt more like a Jerry Bruckheimer summer blockbuster film than the cerebral Greg Pak epic that preceded the new Hulk book. The good news is Greg Pak’s story continues in the pages of the Incredible Hercules, the bad news is Jeph Loeb’s Hulk continues to plod further down the path it’s been on. Love it or hate it the book continues to sell fueled by McGuinness’ incredible art talent.

Why it’ll go fast: This issue probably won’t reveal the identity of the Red Hulk yet, yawn, but it does have one major thing going for it; Thor. The argument of who would win in a Thor vs the Hulk fight has raged in comic shops for years and this week’s Hulk issue will leave both sides heads a-spinning. No, Thor won’t be putting the hurt on the Green Hulk. He’ll be fighting the Red Hulk who seems to be stronger than the Green Hulk but we still have no idea what his true identity is making it very hard to care about the Red Hulk at all. Does your head hurt yet? Like all the other fan boys I will be buying this book for at least one more month just to see Ed McGuinness draw Thor fighting, well A Hulk. Whoever that Hulk turns out to be.

”NYX: No Way Home”: Marvel Comics; Written by Marjorie Liu; Art and cover by Kalman Andrasofsky; $3.99 cover price
Why it’s hot: NYX vol 1 was the first appearance of Wolverine’s cloned daughter ”X23” and at one time issue #1 was selling for more than $50.00. It’s been five years since the first ”NYX” series that brought penciling talen Josh Middelton to fame and this new series looks to introduce another hot art talent in Andrasofsky.

Why it’ll go fast: Like the first NYX series retailers are scarred of this one only maybe even more so. Not only are there no famous mutants in the book but the writer/artist names are relative comic-unknowns as well. Liu is an established New York Times best selling author but a newcomer to comics who’s only previous Marvel Mutant work was on a 2005 X-men novel called Dark Mirror. Sometimes novelists make the shift to comics beautifully (ie. Greg Rucka and Brad Meltzer) other times the transition isn’t as smooth (Charlie Huston and Jodi Picoult). One thing for certain is that Marvel is not giving up on their novelist recruitment. Retailers on the on other hand aren’t yet sold on the idea. Marvel’s Cable, written by novelist DuaneSwierczynski has been slowly dropping in sales from #39 in May to #35 on the estimated top 100 ordered comics list for June and Moon Knight which had been written Charlie Huston had almost dropped off the list. Orders on NYX vol 2 could be pretty low which is too bad because the book looks great.

Crossed #0; Avatar Press; Written by Garth Ennis; Art by Jacen Burrows; .99-cent cover price
Why its hot: Garth Ennis is a lunatic with a nasty mouth and when it comes to high concept disturbing horror stories there’s nobody better. Ennis describes the story as survival horror without zombies for a change. In the near future a virus begins to infect people with what can only be described as pure evil. The virus manifests as a cross shaped rash on the victims face and makes victims want to live out there most evil fantasies. The promo art for Crossed says it all, “There is no hope, there are no heroes.”. Come and get it Hollywood.

Why it’ll go fast: I’m calling my shot right now, Crossed will be optioned for a movie before issue #1 hits the stands in October. The premise is just too good. Avatar has been slowly building a cult following on hyper-violent-dark-comics like Warren Ellis’ No Heroes and Doktor Sleepless. Though not a huge seller yet Avatar is coming into it’s own with the help of fan favorite creators like Ennis. As soon as Crossed is optioned for the big screen expect this book to be next to impossible to find. It’s going to happen.

That’s it for this week true believers. This kid has gots to read and decipher the new Final Crisis and get to bed. 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 back issue 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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