This Week in Geek: 7/23

Cover of Uncanny X-Men #500 by Alex Ross
Cover of War Heroes #1
Cover of Ambush Bug #1

Who saw The Dark Knight last weekend and lost their minds? I loved it and was so pleased to see that Bats smashed every box-office record set by the crappy third installments of Both Spiderman and Star Wars. Mark one up for quality. Now here’s the bad news. Hollywood has learned, yet again, that comic book movies pull in more money than Exxon Mobile so be prepared to see every comic book script out there green-lighted in the near future. Some will be good but most will undoubtedly be terrible. Just look at what happened after Spiderman’s initial success. The Hulk2004 (the latest one was great) Daredevil, The Punisher, Fantastic Four, Cat Woman and Elektra all somehow found their way into theaters only to disappoint fans(in my case anger). Be prepared Dinosaurs for Hire fans and hold on to your hats Cyberfrog lovers because no comic property is safe when Hollywood smells this kind of cash.

Now to business. This Wednesday is a very special one. Not just because of new comic day, which is always special, but because it’s the Wednesday before the San Diego Comic-Con! The comic show to end all shows starts this Thursday and promises all your favorite comic creators side by side with stars of TV and the big screen. San Diego is traditionally the biggest of the comic conventions every year and turns into a who’s who of nerdy Hollywood flicks. Come for the comics and convention exclusive collectibles and stay for the stars and new movie announcements. Sadly I’ll be monitoring the Con from my computer applying salve to the tender spots where my leg shackle rubs against my ankle. Sigh… But hey the news coming out of San Diego is always big so brace yourselves for new comic announcements, new creator exclusive contracts, and of course all the movie news you can shake a stick at.

With that in mind lets take a look at this Wednesday’s pre-Comic-Con new comics:

Ambush Bug: Year None, DC, Written by Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming; Art by Giffen and Al Milgrom; Cover by J.H. Williams III
Why it’s hot: Kieth Giffen is one of the most underrated comic creators in the business for… Good lord I just checked his bio and the guy has been working in comics for 32 years! Giffen was the creative force behind DC’s 2004 breakout hit Formerly Known as the Justice League and 52 Marvel’s Annihilation storyline and that’s just naming a few of his titles in the past four years. Giffen also created DC’s beloved space merc, Lobo and of course, the teleporting man in a green insect costume, Ambush Bug. Ambush Bug returns to comics this week in his latest adventure, Year None. If your looking for comic book satire at it’s best you can’t go wrong with Ambush Bug.
Why it’ll go fast: As I stated earlier, in spite of writing hit book after hit book retailers still routinely under-order Giffen’s projects. Ambush Bug is a D-list character at best but this book is going to sell based on quality of storytelling. I would expect issue #1 to sell out slowly as retailers re-order copies to meet demands over the next month but after that, expect to pay $10.00+ for a first printing. The 1:10 Giffen variant of issue #1 should be tough to find as well if most shops order low.

”War Heroes” #1, Image Comics; Written by Mark Millar; Art and cover by Tony Harris.
Why it’s hot: Mark Millar, responsible for now five of this summer’s comic hits and one summer blockbuster movie (Wanted) has teamed up with Eisner Award winning artist of Starman and Ex Machina to bring readers a story that asks what if our U.S. Soldiers had super powers? Perhaps another great title for this book would be “What if Millar had written Ultimates 3 and it didn’t suck?”. This ones going to be tongue-in-cheek-super-powered-war-commentary at it’s best. That was one hell of a hyphenated genre if I do say so myself.
Why it’ll sell: Mark Millar is an unstoppable writing machine paired with the unmatched art talent of Tony Harris. The two add up to a comic selling pehnom. Also, it’s only a matter of time before Bill O’ Reilly gets a hold of this comic and either loves or hates it depending on what he thinks will get him better ratings. The Iraq War is a controversial subject and writing about super heroes fighting it could be equally controversial whether the book comes across as pro-or-anti-war. As soon as War Heroes hits the news cycle you can consider it gone.

”Uncanny X-men” #500, Marvel Comics; Written by Ed Brubaker and Matt Fraction; Art by Terry Dodson and Greg Land.
Why it’s hot: Because it’s an X-men anniversary issue for one. X-men anniversary issues always sell. Maybe it’s due to the top-notch talent Marvel assembles for each major X- anniversary, or the massive amounts of guest-starring characters or even the media coverage that they get (Front page of the Tuesday USA Today Living section this time), but fans love these landmark issues.
Why it’ll go fast: Uncanny #500 has a lot of things going for it. Press coverage and landmark issue aside, Marvel has added the amazing writing talent of Matt Fraction to team write the book alongside Ed Brubaker. I love both these writers and so do the fan-boys, and girls. Previously these two worked together on the Immortal Iron Fist and the results there were amazing. The buzz on the book is huge and fans are expecting greatness. With a 50/50 cover split between Alex Ross and Greg Land everyone may have to buy two of these issues.

All in all a very exciting week at the comic shop. I was also pleased to find a new X-files comic on the stands this week. Maybe I’m alone but I can’t wait to go see the new X-files movie this weekend. We all used to love the show. So what if it’s almost ten-years later. Indiana Jones was 62 in his last movie. At least Mulder and Skully still look good.

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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