This Week in Geek 9/17

Cover of Iron Man Director of Shield #33
Close up of the beer on the cover of Action #869
Cover to Action comics #869, recalled version
Cover to War Heroes #2

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

As Wall Street crumbles, hurricane victims abound and the Presidential race moves even further away from actual issues, one thing has become painfully obvious. All this week’s news is bad news and there appears to be no good news in sight. So, if I may make a suggestion to you, my readers. Stop reading the news and read some comics instead! It’s Wednesday, give the news a break. It’ll be there tomorrow. I promise.

As you know Wednesday is new comic day and once again your local comic shop is fully stocked with new books that won’t make you embarrassed of the state of politics or the floundering economy after reading them. Besides, if you’re like me then you don’t have to worry about the stock market as all your money is tied up in old Daredevil issues. Who’s laughin’ now Merrill Lynch?

Last week I switched the format a bit and listed the comics I was buying that Wednesday and then my speculator picks. Well it seems you guys dug it, well two of you anyway. So the new format stays! Again, the idea is to discuss this stuff. You know like “Matt, do you really need to be reading Pirates vs Ninjas… Really?”. So tell me what you think. What should or shouldn’t be in my weekly comic haul?

Here’s my pile of comics for the week of 9/17:

Conan the Cimmerian #3 – Love the new series and new “anthology-style” storytelling.
Action Comics #869 – I don’t think Superman comics have ever been this good!
All Star Superman #12 – Currently the only Grant Morrison book I can follow.
Robin #178 – Easily the best part of Batman RIP.
Astounding Wolfman #8 – Robert Kirkman you did it again!
Godland #25 – Every fan of Jack Kirby’s Fantastic 4 should read this book.
War heroes #2 – Calling my shot here. This is the issue where writer Mark Millar gets controversial.
Captain Britain and M.I. 13 #5 – Fun from the writer of Doctor Who
Incredible Hercules #121 – What can I say, I love a hunky guy in a green skirt.
Mighty Avengers #18 – Secret Invasion tie-in and great every month.
Secret Invasion: Thor #2 – Matt Fraction writes Thor and I love it!
X-Factor #35 – Writer Peter David is the king of quippy comic dialog.

A rather short stack this week but not a huge new comic week all around. Now lets take a look at my predictions for this week’s sellouts:

War Heroes #2; Image Comics; Written by Mark Millar; Art by Tony Harris; $2.99.

Why it’s hot: The premise: in the near future the U.S. Armed Forces, unable to recruit new troops for their endless war in the Middle-East and Afghanistan, starts offering superpowers to new recruits. Suddenly everyone wants to defend their country from terrorist insurgents with super strength and flight powers but at what cost to their own humanity and what will be the ramifications for the rest of the world. Millar examines the war on terror from a super-hero-comic stand-point but still keeps this book poignant. Oh, and Tony Harris’ art is amazing.

Why it’ll go fast: Mark Millar is the hottest writer in comics at present and, if this series is as popular as Kick Ass, War Heroes will be optioned for a movie before issue #3 even hits the stands. #2 ships with a mature readers warning on the cover which means tis comic is going to take a turn for the controversial as is Millar’s style and when it does you can expect the news media to pick up on the story. After that, finding issues of War Heroes (issue #1 ranked at 77 on the 300 most ordered comics for July 2008 as published by will be impossible to find. I expect #2 to sell out even faster than #1 as retailers tend to cut back their orders on second issues.

Action Comics #869; DC Comics; Written by Geoff Johns; Art by Gary Frank; $2.99.

Why it’s hot: As I stated above, Action Comics has never been better and the Johns/Frank creative team makes this book worth the price of admission alone. The latest Brainiac story has taken what I had always considered a badly developed Silver-Age villian and made him terrifying. I can’t recommend Action highly enough. If you ever loved Superman comics you will enjoy this book.

Why it’ll go fast: Little known to fans there are two versions of the cover of Action #869 and no, I’m not talking about an incentive variant. Last week at the same time that DC was recalling All Star Batman and Robin #10 for naughty words, they were also desperately trying to recall all the issues of Action #869 not for bad language but because it showed Clark Kent having a beer with his adopted father. I don’t see the problem either. Regardless, the issue was recalled and shipped today with the Kents enjoying a “Soda Pop” together. Just like last week a few copies of the “a beer with Pa Kent” cover (as I’m calling it) shipped out to some retailers and are now instantly spiking in value. DC hasn’t given any details as to how many of the recalled issues shipped but the number is probably lower than ASB&R #10. Keep your eyes peeled for the booze cover super-fans.

Iron Man: Director of Shield #33; Marvel Comics; Written by Christos Gage; Art by Sean Chen; $2.99.

Why it’s hot: Secret Invasion tie-in! Usually by know readers are fed up with the crossovers and tie-in issues but the Secret Invasion stuff seems to be an exception. This issue features Jim Rhodes as War Machine, dealing with the Skrull Invasion while Tony is incapacitated.

Why it’ll go fast: Iron Man’s star was eclipsed by Batman this summer due to The Dark Knight‘s rollicking success at the box office but let’s not forget how great hi movie was. We all loved it and for a brief time Iron Man’s comics were flying off the shelves. Flash forward three months and Iron Man Director of Shield has fallen from #59 on the 300 most ordered comics list in June to #67 in August. After Daniel Knauff left the book it’s popularity seemed to leave with him. Now that Gage and Chen are on the book they’re actually preparing for it’s cancellation with issue #35. But don’t fret, the War Machine storyline in the pages of Iron Man DOS leads into the new upcoming War Machine title due out in December by World War Hulk writer Greg Pak. War Machine is also rumored to play a large part in the upcoming Iron Man sequel due in theaters in summer 2010. I’d expect this book to see low initial orders but sell out in the next couple of weeks.

Until next week, keep the questions coming, feel free to post to the forum topics in the comic books community and tell me what you’re reading/collecting. Also, 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. Remember to post the title, issue number and cover price.

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