Friday, 21 March 2014

June 2014's Solicits!!!

So, over the last week (and a bit, I guess), the big comic book publishers have performed their monthly ritual of releasing their June 2014 solicitations over the internet. Now, previously, I had gone off of the previews catalogue that is on sale at the end of the month. However, I'm an impatient chap and so, this time round, I decided to go through solicits online.

Previously, I'd said that the reason for going by the book was because of my fear of missing things. However, my impatience is not the only reason for getting it done now. My need for money (as like everyone else's) has meant that I am cutting down my comic book budget. Because of this, Sinestro, Aquaman and the Others and C.O.W.L., which all were on my prior month pull lists have been pulled, mainly because a) I don't have the money and b) They have not maintained my interest since first announcement.

So, going into June, my pull list has changed (slightly). What survived, though, is as follows:

Earth 2 #24 (DC Comics) - At this point I don't think there is anything I could be told that would make me drop this title. It's been THAT good. The only disappointment is it isn't bi-weekly.

Alex + Ada #7 (Image) - See the note above for Earth 2, because it's pretty much word for word relevant to Alex + Ada too. I'm in 'til the end.

Mass Effect: Foundation #12 (Dark Horse) - Mass Effect hasn't been a fantastic series but it's had its moments. Now, as we're 92% through (I just worked that out), it seems pointless to drop. Might as well finish. Not the attitude to have, but it's the one I got.

Fantastic Four #6 (Marvel) - Two issues in and I am digging the new FF. Isn't as awesome as Waid and Hickman's respective runs, but it's still better than Fraction's (so far) and I think Leonard Kirk's art here is worth the price of the book alone, even if issue 6 is a damn tie-in.

She-Hulk #5 (Marvel) - I'm still on the fence about Shulkie but issue 2 was still good fun and I'm tempted to have more faith in it going forward. (Will probably tank now knowing my luck).

Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #6 (Dark Horse) - By the time I'm writing this, I'm only two issues in. But they've been two damn good issues and I really wanna see how things play out. Unless things change, that's why this is here!!!

Daredevil #4 (Marvel) - It's Daredevil. It's written by Mark Waid and it's drawn by Chris Samnee. Need I say more?? Unless this new run severely tanks (which I doubt) then Daredevil gets a place for life.

Green Arrow #32 (DC Comics) - I was recommended this book in a previous comment and I've gotta admit the recent solicits have made it tempting. This issue claims to be 'a perfect jumping on point', which makes it a definite yes for the month.

Secret Origins #3 (DC Comics) - During my pull list shake up, this was going to go the way of Sinestro and the 2nd Aquaman book. However, those darn solicits have made it SO. VERY. TEMPTING. Until issue 1 is in my hands and proves to be crap, Secret Origins is getting a place and a chance (despite its high costs).

Inhuman #3 (Marvel) - When April's solicits were released, Inhuman wasn't a book that appealed to me. What changed? Joe Madureira's art, that's what!!! The more I see of it, the more I'm digging it and that's why this book's still here. Hopefully, the whole package what the art previews is promising.

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon #3 (Marvel) - It's the Immortal Iron Fist and I love this character!!! Maybe I'm placing too much faith in this series, but Kaare Andrew's art looks fitting and that's enough for me right now. Besides, what's life without a little faith?

And that's it really. I'm kinda bummed that it's mostly Marvel and DC because I was hoping for my Image stuff overall but, sadly, nothing took my fancy this month. Oh well, maybe I'll have better luck in July, particularly because it is when Rick Remender's Low comes out (yay)!!!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Come on DC, give us a way in!!!

I was looking on Comics Alliance earlier and I saw this thing they submit called "Kate or Die", which, if you don't look at Comics Alliance (and you should, because it's funny while being informative about comics), is a strip by an artist which details certain things in a parody like setting (kinda like Gutters, I guess).

Now this one was about how the New 52 was meant to make it easier for people to pick up DC comics but, in the end, it seems to have alienated them. Once I read this I realised it was speaking the truth.

I recently had a comment on a post responding to my claim that Earth 2 is DC's best comic with the suggestion of picking up Swamp Thing and Green Arrow. Well, I decided to look into Green Arrow as it's Jeff Lemire writing it (who everyone tells me is awesome) and there's a tv show at the moment about this character which makes it all the more enticing (yes, I'm flaky that way).

However, here's the thing. Maybe I'm not paying enough attention but I'm having trouble seeing a good jumping on point to this book. At the moment, GA is going through 'the Outsider War' arc which (according to solicits) ties up the threads that Lemire has been dropping since he came on board. How am I supposed to get in on this book? I'm not quite rich enough to start at the beginning (and damned if I'm gonna waste precious time bidding for those prior issues on ebay).

This is also not a isolated thing. It seems to be an affliction felt by almost all DC books.

Now Marvel, I'm loathe to say have the right idea. Daredevil has a new #1 this month and, despite my dislike of new #1's (I've got three of the damn things in my Fantastic Four collection), it is certainly an easier way of getting in on a book. Hence why I'm now picking up She-Hulk with Inhuman and Iron Fist on my list for the near future.

Maybe I'm being picky or unfairly judgemental (both of which are reasonable assumptions) but it would be nice to find more ways into DC books to balance out my pull list. I mean, they have some pretty good characters in their stable (and, thankfully, no Deadpool). So come on DC, give us a way in.

P.S. If anyone can let me know if the current arc of Green Arrow is a good jumping on point for the series then I'm willing to go back a couple of issues.

Friday, 7 March 2014

May 2014's Previews (and what comics I want)

So, for a change, I decided to pick up a copy of Previews with which to figure out my comic book pull list for May. Now, normally I use the solicits that Comic Book Resources or Newsarama release, but I always worry that I'm skimming over and missing out on quality titles.

Also this month, I wanted to put into effect some tips on keeping my pull list trim which I had picked up from this article I read, mainly for the reason of keeping those ever annoying costs down (although, in a perfect world, my bills would cost less so more comics could be bought).

So, after a few lunches (like money for comics, time to choose them is at a premium), I think I've finally gotten through the new release of Previews and chosen my pull list for May 2014.

Definite Buys:
Earth 2 #23 (DC Comics) - I've been loving this series and, since Taylor took over, it's only gotten better. I will NEVER drop this book.
Alex + Ada #6 (Image) - Much like the above (only without the Taylor bit). Unless it totally goes about face, I'm with this book until the end.
Dead Body Road #6 (Image) - So far, this series has been real fun. The revenge movie equivalent of comics. Unless #'s 4 and 5 really tank, I'll be getting to the end.
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #5 (Dark Horse) - It tells the further adventures of the Firefly crew, like I even need to consider keeping this one. It's Happening!!!
C.O.W.L. #1 (Image) - It's about a Superhero union. That's so ludicrous that I've just gotta take a look.
Daredevil #3 (Marvel) - Now this should really be 'on the fence' as it hasn't been released yet but as it's still Waid and Samnee on the book I have plenty of faith that it'll still be awesome.
Fantastic Four #4 & 5 (Marvel) - Almost didn't make it as 5 is a super-sized issue (god I hate those) but Robinson and Kirk did great things with #1.
Mass Effect: Foundations #11 (Dark Horse) - Kind of a grandfathered series as it started before I placed new rules on limited series.

On the Fence (meaning, if previous issues can't tempt me it's gone):
Aquaman and the Others #2 (DC Comics)
Secret Origins #2 (DC Comics)
Sinestro #2 (DC Comics)
Inhuman #2 (Marvel)
Iron Fist: Living Weapon #2 (Marvel)
She-Hulk #4 (Marvel) - This is a special case. Normally, if an issue 1 can't grab me enough, it goes. But I'm willing to give Shulkie a little room as I'm still torn on that first issue (and I'm on its fourth read through at present). This could change though.

Honourable Mention:
The New 52: Futures End #1 - 4 get it's own little segment because I can't really afford this (It's like 4 issues a month, that's like £10), but if a lot of the 'fence' books above fall away then the premise is intriguing enough for me to take a look at. That said, maybe it'll be more worth it as a trade (Countdown and Brightest day burned the concept for me).

So, that's everything that I will pick up in May. Sadly, including Futures end, I'm over budget but maybe some of the 'fence' titles just wont be my cup of tea. If that's not the case though then Futures End can go and I won't lose sleep over it.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Review: Fantastic Four #1

So, last week saw the release of the comic book I was both eagerly anticipating and fearing in equal amounts. Fantastic Four #1 is the first issue under the new creative team of the great James Robinson (who kicked off Earth 2, which is an awesome series) and Leonard Kirk (who drew Captain Britain and MI:13, which is also an awesome series) and is also the issue that would make or break my Fantastic four collection (which is 10 years worth of comic books, god bless ebay).

Fantastic Four #1
If it was good, this issue might make up for the previous (poor) run. If it wasn't, well, I'd rather not think about that.

The story is told from the hindsight perspective of the Invisible Woman, who sombre from an unrevealed tradegy that will befall Marvel's first family, begins the story with a fight against Fin Fang Foom (wow, this character DOES still get used). Upon defeating him with some fancy tech (as only the FF can do), life seems to return to normal within the Baxter Building until a portal in Reed's lab activates and a horde of monsters escape it.

Now, overall, this may not seem like too thrilling an issue and, in terms of set pieces, it is not. This is more of a setup issue that is used to give readers the lay of the land. However, whether despite of or because of this, this issue read fantastically. It's a fun book (which is what a fantastic four comic should be), helped by nice cameos by the future foundation kids. Rooinson seems to have picked up the personalities of the characters beautifully.

And speaking of beautiful, how great to see Leonard Kirk's art again!!! I remember how great it was to look at the panels in Captain Britain and it's just as great looking at these. Kirk seems to have shown a great understanding of what these characters look like, giving me reminiscient feelings of the character art from Mark Waid's run. Also, the art is consistent and greatly enhanced by the added colours.

Now, yes, this issue is a tad quiet for an action comic, and maybe I'm allowing my love of the characters to influence my opinion, but to me there is no flaw with this book (well, maybe the red costumes, but I can live with that). It's a gorgeous book which was an entertaining read and left me with enough questions to want to come back for more. That's all you can ask for to come back, and if the action ramps up any then it'll just be a bonus to what is already great. I think the bad taste of the last run, looks set to be washed away.