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BO'S WEDNESDAY HEADS UP: 082306

"BOCEPHEUS"
"These reviews are based on the Sneak Peek titles sent out by Marvel, DC & Image. It's not everything that's shipping for the week, but it is a real good cross-section of this weeks releases. Check the bottom of the page (after you read my reviews) for a link to some SNEAKY PEEKIES of future titles"
BEFORE WE START…
By now everyone knows that Civil War #4 and 5 have been delayed (read the lead story for comments from editor Tom Brevroot on why the decision was made) so let me give my take on the controversy-BACK OFF! Steve McNiven is not a machine and your lives aren’t irrevocably changed by waiting one month for #4 and 2 months for #5. Fans of today don’t remember things like Frank Miller’s Ronin or DC’s Camelot 3000 that had delays like you wouldn’t have believed. In the case of Camelot there was a three month gap between issues then one shipped a week after the late issue shipped. There was a four month gap between some issues of Frank Miller’s initial Dark Knight limited series. Way back when Marvel and DC did this deal where you would be in the middle or end of a great arc and when the next issue of Fantastic Four showed up we got a fill in issue from people who weren’t even working on the title at the time. Marvel even has a name for it-the Dreaded Deadline Doom. Infinite Crisis had a number of artists work on it to get the book on schedule and it still missed its deadlines. With comics and other media I have always subscribed to the old newspaper adage-“Do you want it now or do you want it good?” If Marvel had said ‘Okay, Steve is running behind so let’s have Jose Delbo draw #5 so the book can come out on time’ fans would have bitched that the art wasn’t as good. So they decided to delay the book and allow McNiven time to get ahead of himself thus taking a financial hit and in doing so showed that they were willing to support their artist. DC is doing the same with the All Star line so just deal with it. And for those who want to throw out the fact that 52 hasn’t been late yet remember that 52 is written by four people, laid out by one and finished by five so there is no comparison. If you were at a con and planned on buying some art would you buy a 52 page (and I am not talking about the back up origin tales but the main story) or a Civil War page? I would lay money that the CW page would sell a lot faster.


DC ROUND UP…

Batman and the Mad Monk #1 (of 6) continues the Matt Wagner Bad Moon Rising limited series that began with Batman and the Monster Men. Things start off with a battle between Batman and Catwoman that makes Bruce unable to meet Julie Madison for a shopping trip. Wagner also uses the issue to further establish the relationship between Captain James Gordon and Batman in a cool rooftop sequence that also allows us to see Gordon in action. After the skirmish Gordon leads Batman down to the morgue where we see that there seems to be a plague of people having their throats ripped out before we meet one of the people responsible. The issue also shows the deteriation of Julie’s father which could lead to some serious problems in the future issues…Wonder Woman 32 ships a week late but it’s a damn good issue. We start with a look back in the past as the new Wonder Woman (Donna Troy) and Wonder Girl (Cassie Sandsmark) take on some minor WW foes while Diana Prince and Batman watch from above. Here we learn just how Diana started working for the government again as we saw at the end of last issue and watch her first day on the job with her new partner, Nemesis. There are some bigger WW foes out there looking for the real Princess and here she is given an assignment to find of all people-herself. With that established Giganta (hey, most of Wonder Woman’s villains have lame ass names) goes on a rampage in the city with Dr. Psycho as back up and we get a guest appearance from Robin before another person drops in to help with the fight. You can tell with this issue that Allan Heinberg is a real fan of the character as far as comics and the TV series is concerned and the Terry Dodson art is a real pleasure…Claw the Unconquered #3 starts with the reconstructed Claw laying waste to a village in a series of blood strewn pages. He leaves one survivor on his rampage and we see her discovery as we look in on the real Claw who is still on his quest elsewhere. Chuck Dixon alternates the tales so we see the survivor and her rescuer end up in Stonehenge as the real Claw discovers something is different about his bedmate/traveling companion…Hawkgirl #55 will do nothing to contain the grumbling heard by customers that the book seems to be going nowhere but folks, nowhere is a direction so that isn’t why the book is lackluster. Even though it is well drawn by Howard Chaykin the decision to make the book more mysterious seems to have taken the life out of it. The issue shows us what is up with the returning Carter Hall (and, surprise this isn’t really him) and for the most part shows this hideous tattooed naked woman (the person behind all the badness) loping thru the city like a bum looking for discarded smokes. Never before has a book looked so good and meant so little.


MARVEL ROUND UP…

Daredevil #88 is a single issue tale called ‘The Secret Life of Foggy Nelson’ and it shows us what the life of Foggy has been since he was revealed in the last issue as not being dead. We see him here learning to deal with his new identity as he waits for Matt to come get him out of this. We also hear what has happened after last issue with Matt getting on a plane to see who has been behind the plan to destroy his life. The issue is drawn by David Aja who will be drawing the Brubaker written Iron Fist series and he is given a chance to show us how he will handle action sequences when we see that Foggy has some serious back up if trouble happens until Matt returns from overseas…Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane #9 isn’t written for me so my input isn’t really needed but I will say that the ending puts the title of the book in question…Exiles #65 has a passel of Wolverine’s in it as can be seen on the cover. Since the Time Broker fired the regular team last issue he needed a new team to take on a new threat and that threat seems to be a planet full of…Wolverines. Now one of the Logan’s realizes he has a problem on his hands and that brings the former team into play as he drops in on them to get assistance with the problem. Tony Bedard has a lot of fun with this (one joke involves Patch Wolverine and the fact that no one ever knew who he was with his disguise) short arc and will be leaving soon as Chris Claremont’s recovery from heart issues is moving along nicely.

IMAGE ROUND UP…
Fear Agent #7 has two stories for us to enjoy. The lead tale starts with Heath in jail between a squid looking thing and a mutated lobster. The lobster has something hidden on him that makes him feel good and Heath nabs one which leads to violence. We see here how Heath got in jail and end things with some projectile vomiting and we all know what enjoyment that adds to any story. The second tale isn’t as funny but enjoyable anyway as we see Heath on a solo mission that is self contained and cool…Shadowhawk One Shot in a quirk of serendipity ships a week after the issue that came out this week even though it leads into it. The #1.99 offering serves as an intro to the character and marks a few turning points-the lead’s relationship with his father and something that is happening in Civil War, his training as a superhero…The Portent #4 (of 4) ends the limited series involving fantasy and quests and unrequited love and things of that sort. The story involving the traveler Milo and his traveling companion, Lin ends here with the two of them in different places and coming to different ends…The Last Christmas #3 (of 4) has elves packing heat, zombies trying to eat bunnies, Santa getting hungry and dealing with that as well as lots of pages of a buxom blonde who is trying to make this limited series interesting to me but is failing on so many levels…The Walking Dead #30 has the bulk of the issue taking place inside the prison that the survivors are holing up in but starts with the cover image and his zombie troubles. The open gets the action quotient of the issue filled as the rest contains conversation and subtle understandings that life inside the prison has its own hazards. Robert Kirkman keeps things and there is a subtle feeling of uneasiness lingering in the issue which suggests things are about to go to hell very soon. The issue also contains a sneak peek at the opening pages of the Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips Icon series Criminal and damn, it looks like it’s going to be special…Elephantmen #2 has two stories and to read one just flip the book over and repeat if you want to read something cool. One story (with a flipbook there is no first or second story) is drawn by Flint Henry and involves a knock down drag out fight between Hip Flask and a mutated crocodile and the other is drawn by Moritat and may involve the same croc being interviewed by a Howard Stern look-alike. The Stern tale is lighter hearted than the Henry tale but both are beautifully drawn. This book is an artistic wonderland.
"See, I told you I'd be down here. We've got a bunch of SNEAKY PEEKIES of future MARVEL, DC and IMAGE titles right HERE"

All Books/Characters pictured herein are © Copyright 2006 by their respective owners. No rights given or implied by Alternate Reality, Incorporated.

Reviews © 2006 Alternate Reality, Inc.

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