This Week in Geek 8/12/09

Marvel Comics' 70th birthday

Marvel Comics' 70th birthday

Last Tuesday Marvel Comics celebrated their 70th birthday with an early release of Ed Brubaker’s The Marvels Project. Marvel issued a press release detailing the festivities:

To celebrate its 70th anniversary, Marvel Comics will commemorate the milestone event on Tuesday, Aug. 11th with special anniversary parties taking place around the world! Over 500 comic shop retailers will be hosting parties to celebrate the comic book giant’s 70 year history from 1939 to today. These events will be offering: early on sale release of The Marvels Project #1, an all new series detailing the origins of super heroes in the Marvel Universe by the creative team behind the worldwide sensation The Death Of Captain America; exclusive limited edition variants, a remastered version of the very first comic Marvel published, Marvel Comics #1, special sales, and more. To download a full list of retailers participating in Marvel 70th Anniversary parties, visit! All retailer parties begin at 9pm local time.

In addition, at 7 p.m. local time, Barnes & Noble will be hosting five in-store events in Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Portland and Seattle, with appearances by some of the biggest names in the comic book world, hosting Q&A sessions and a chance to get your favorite comics autographed. Also appearing at these events are some of the most beloved characters from the Marvel Universe.

Sound’s great right? Birthday party for Marvel Comics, new comics on Tuesday, creators appearing at Barnes and Nobel… Barnes and Nobel? Who buys their comics at Barnes and Nobel? Seriously Marvel? You couldn’t get your creators to appear at some famous comic shops in New York and L.A.? I can name a couple if you need help. The thing that really burns retailers about these “parties” is that when Marvel originally marketed the idea to retailers, they did so without mentioning the B&N premieres, which would be happening the day before new comic day thereby beating the direct market to the punch. Don’t get me wrong, I understand Barnes and Nobel and Borders sell more trade-paper-backs than every comic shop in the U.S. But this is a comic premiere celebrating 70 years of Marvel COMICS. Not trades. Comic Books. Lame move, Marvel. Last I checked the Direct Market, the small comic shops, was where you were making the bulk of your money each Wednesday. Happy Birthday and all but don’t forget retailers who put you where you where you are today.

Here’s a look at the comics I’ll be picking up this Wednesday, Aug. 12. For a complete list of this week’s new comics click here. To find a comic shop near you click here.

Action Comics #880
Adventure Comics #1
Amazing Spider-Man #602
Batman #689
Blackest Night #2 of 8
Blackest Night: Batman #1 of 3
B.P.R.D.: 1947 #2 of 5
Cable #17
DMZ #44
Green Lantern Corps #39
Hellboy: The Wild Hunt #5 of 8
Incredible Hercules #132
The Marvels Project #1 of 8
The Red Circle: Inferno
Red Robin #3
Ultimate Comics Avengers #1
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1
Uncanny X-Men #514
The Unwritten

Thoughts on the pile: Lot of first issues this week which could be a good thing or a desperate attempt by the Big Four comic companies to pad their numbers… again. Looks like I’m just the sucker they’re gunning for. Adventure Comics #1 I’m not worried about. I love what Johns does and can’t get enough of it. Blackest Night Batman, same story. Tomasi has been working side by side with Johns and does a great job doing so. The Marvel’s Project is another sure thing. Ed Brubaker does no wrong, as far as I’m concerned, and $3.99 for this one is a safe bet. Now, the new Ultimate titles; here’s where I run into trouble. I stopped buying all the Ultimate titles years ago. Not because they were bad; I had just decided that it was time to pay attention to one and only one Marvel U. And now, here I am buying two Ultimate #1’s. Like I said before; sucker in the first degree. I have to check these out. I love Bendis’ writing and never have any problem giving the guy my money. Millar writes good comics, when he finishes them. I’m still a little upset about the way he walked away from several of his recent titles, but, being a fan-boy-sucker, I’m picking up Ultimate Comics Avengers #1. The first step is to admit that you are powerless in the face of your addiction.

Speculator Picks of the Week: And there are more than a few this week. This is a look at the comics that could sell out very quickly and sell for ridiculous prices very soon. Keep in mind I’m calling my shot though my guesses are educated, at the end of the day they are just guesses.

Adventure Comics #1: DC

Adventure Comics #1

Adventure Comics #1

Solicitation: It’s the return of one of DC Comics’ longest running books and one of its greatest modern-day heroes—Conner Kent! In our first heroic issue, Superboy can’t wait to jump back into his life—but which life will it be? With a clarity he’s never had before, Conner makes a beeline for the greatest place on Earth… Smallville?

Plus, in the wake of FINAL CRISIS: LEGION OF THREE WORLDS, Starman heads off on an all-new mission in the present. And it’s one that will not only impact Superboy, but the future of the DC Universe itself. Fortunately, the off-kilter Legionnaire won’t be dong it alone! And in the upcoming months of ADVENTURE COMICS look for Lex Luthor! Brainiac! Lightning Lad! Superboy’s pal Simple Simon! Sun Boy and Polar Boy! Ultra, the Multi Alien! Wonder Girl! Black Lantern Alexander Luthor! And many, many more new and familiar faces! Co-feature art by Clayton Henry.

40 PGS
$3.99 US
Written by Geoff Johns; Pencils by Clayton Henry and Francis Manapul; Cover byFrancis Manapul.

Why it’ll go fast: With a title like Adventure Comics you can bet that the old Golden Age guys are going to pick this title up. Whether they like it remains to be seen, but don’t be surprised to find yourself wrestling with someone old enough to be your dad for the last copy. ADV comics has a lot going for it though, besides title recognition. It’s also the return of Superboy and the Legion to a monthly title, and if I know writer Geoff Johns like I think I do, this title will be Superboy and the Legion of Superheroes in no time.

Green Lantern Corps #39: Fade to Black: DC

Green Lantern Corps #39

Green Lantern Corps #39

Solicitation:Just when things couldn’t look any darker after the death and chaos of the Sciencell riot, Blackest Night descends on Oa! The black rings tear into the planet and the Lantern Crypt causing all the dead Corps members to rise and wreak havoc as a new and deadlier battle threatens to engulf not only the Corps, but the Universe itself!

32 PGS
$2.99 US
Written by: Peter J. Tomasi; Pencils by Patrick Gleason; Inks by Rebecca Buchman and Tom Nguyen.

Why it’ll go fast: Now that Blackest Night has begun, GL Corps is selling in the Top 20 each month but is still selling out every month. Most retailers are happy to sell out of this one, making it prime eBay speculator material. I would guess the Blackest Night Batman tie-in out-sells GL Coprs #39 on initial orders but not in re-orders. Blackest Night is hot and not just because of Zombie Aquaman, although that should be more than enough to sell any comic.

The Red Circle: Inferno: DC

The Red Circle: Inferno
The Red Circle: Inferno

Solicitation: The mysterious stranger was brought into the hospital with one name on his lips: “Frank Verrano.” He has no memory of who he was, where he came from, or how he could possibly be the only survivor of a bombing attack on a cruise liner that killed hundreds of people. But as deep as that mystery runs, a violent attack on the hospital opens a deeper one. How can this man burst into flames… and survive? And why does the man who stands in those flames, the man know as the Inferno, look nothing like the one who stood in his place just seconds before? Blaze into this thrilling issue featuring art by Greg Scott (GOTHAM CENTRAL)!

32 PGS
$2.99 US
Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Pencils by Greg Scott Cover by Jesus Saiz.

Why it’ll go fast: The general public does not seem to understand that the Red Circle characters are being introduced into the mainstream DCU. Maybe it’s because I’m the only one that reads the comic news sites, I don’t know. But as more and more DC readers realize that characters like Inferno and the Hangman are going to begin popping up in their DC titles, they’re going to come looking for these one-shots. But they won’t be around. Numbers aren’t available for the first Red Circle one-shot, The Hangman, but I can’t see them being very high. I blame DC’s Marketing of the titles as nobody seems to know much about the Red Circle titles, currently. One of two things happen from here, DC redoubles their efforts in supporting the Red Circle titles and the titles flourish, or it’s smothered under the next line of titles DC throws against the wall. Here’s to hoping they wait to see if this one sticks first.

Nerdy Question of the Week:

J. Michael Straczynski; love him or hate him? JMS has been very successful with his last Thor run, but at the same time, has taken a lot of abuse for long gaps between issues and not finishing his other titles, The Twelve and Squadron Supreme. There’s been some talk of not even checking out his new DC titles for fear they won’t be timely. So, JMS, love him or hate him?

Thanks again for your continued input and keep the answers to the comic nerd 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 and post your comics in the “Ask a Worthologist” section. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price.

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.

WorthPoint—Discover Your Hidden Wealth

Join WorthPoint on Twitter and Facebook.