On The Shelf This Week – 12.19.07

On The Shelf This Week – 12.19.07

Dec 19

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK

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BIRDS OF PREY #113, $2.99, 32 Pages, DC Comics

Written by Sean McKeever; Cover by Stephane Roux; Art by Nicola Scott & Doug Hazlewood

Could be explosive – or a huge letdown: this issue marks the start of Sean McKeever’s much anticipated run on Birds of Prey. It has been several months since Gail Simone ended her run, so that does take a little of the pressure off. However, McKeever probably won’t have a couple of arcs to ease into things like he did over at Teen Titans. A lot of fans expected him to hit the ground running on that title, only to find out that there were two or three stories that were in the works before he came on board that he had to “get through” before his stuff came up. Fans seem to be a little forgiving there, as that title did need a little push, but not so here.

CABLE DEADPOOL #48, $2.99, 32 Pages, Marvel Comics

Written by Fabian Nicieza, Art by Reilly Brown, Jeremy Freeman, and Gotham

With each passing issue drawing the end of this series even closer, it is almost a shame to see it becoming almost the perfect Deadpool book. Without Cable to drag things down, Deadpool has been free to shine, and shine he has. This month’s issue promises even more fun with an actual appearance by Brother Voodoo. Man, is that going to be a pairing – especially if Nicieza plays Voodoo straight.

Man, it is really, really tough to see Deadpool go. Hopefully Marvel makes an announcement about his future sooner rather than later.

COUNTDOWN RAY PALMER SUPERWOMAN BATWOMAN #1, $2.99, 32 Pages, DC Comics

Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray; Art by Randy Green; Cover by Ryan Sook

You know, this title almost has an Exiles feel to it, doesn’t it?

This Search For Ray Palmer installment find the Challengers visiting the “gender-reversal” Earth, right smack in the middle of that Earth’s version of Amazons Attack. That is what is good about alternate universe What If’s – familiar situations with slightly different characters. This series has been entertaining so far – no reason to expect that this will change anytime soon. Should be a fun issue to pick up.

Still some very high hopes for this issue, despite the rocky start on Teen Titans. Should be a good read.

EXILES #100, $3.99, Marvel Comics

Written by Chris Claremont, Art by Tom Grummett, Scott Hanna, and Wil Quintana

Well – the final issue of Exiles has finally arrived (a good two months after issue #99), making way for the start of New Exiles. A lot of fans are mourning the death of the series (but let’s be fair here – the series pretty well died when Winnick left, it has just been on life support ever since). There really isn’t a lot more to add to that. Claremont is a legendary writer that doesn’t seem to be able to quite capture his former magic, and Exiles is a long running title that has been abused for the bulk of its run (but one with fans that have refused to give up on it).

On the one hand, it is sad to see it go. I was one of the people who followed the original Blink mini series into Exiles, and one who was really sad to see Winnick move on to DC. I let go early though – with all of the anger towards Claremont right now, a lot of people seem to forget the Chuck Austen era on this book, which might have been even worse. But even coming back from time to time to sample Bedard, or see if maybe the series had improved left me cold and disappointed.

This might be something of a unique opinion, but it is good that this title is coming to an end. Claremont will be on it for the foreseeable future, and the truth is that “Exiles” will always be under Winnick’s long shadow. So why not cut ties and start fresh? Give Claremont a team of characters he is comfortable with, and cut ties to the past?

This might be upsetting for long-time Exiles fans, but the series has been bad for a long time. For my part, I’d rather my favorite books be cancelled all together than have to endure month after month of terrible writing without end. Starting this book anew puts the old Exiles out of its misery, and opens the possibility of some real quality stuff down the road.

If you don’t buy that, you can at least pick up this issue, which reprints Exiles #1. You can say goodbye by once again reading this title at its very best.

INCREDIBLE HULK #112, $2.99, 32 Pages, Marvel Comics

Written by Greg Pak and Fred Van Lente, Art by Khoi Pham

Don’t let the title fool you – this issue is actually the start of the new Incredible Hercules series. The title doesn’t officially change until #113, but if you were thinking of trying this book out when Herc took over, this is the issue you need to pick up. The run looks promising – Pak and Van Lente will dive right into the aftermath of World War Hulk as Cho and Harc have to deal with their actions during the conflict.

Looking forward to checking this one out actually. The initial premise is really promising, and given the right supporting cast, Hercules could make for an interesting comic headliner. Not a lock for excellence, but certainly worth a shot.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #16, $2.99, 32 Pages, DC Comics

Written by Dwayne McDuffie; Art and cover by Joe Benitez & Victor Llamas

With Justice Society having their own little dip into the multiverse, this month Justice League gets a visit from at least one Tangent Comics hero, Lia Nelson. Well, more are seen on the cover, but she may well be the only one that plays a part.

Those of you who are eagerly awaiting Final Crisis should pick up this issue. The story here is supposed to lead into the upcoming “Tangent: Superman’s Reign” mini, which will in turn tie into Final Crisis. So the build-up to next summer really is starting now.

SPOTLIGHT PICK OF THE WEEK

MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL, $3.99, 48 Pages, Marvel Comics

Written by Shaenon Garrity, Mike Carey, CB Cebulski, and Andrew Farago, Art by Lou Kang, Alina Urusov, and Nelson

Always worth mentioning – the annual Marvel Holiday Special. One of my favorite things about these specials is that the uber-serious pretense is gone, and more often than not we get a comic that is pure fun. Come on – where else are you going to get a story about Spider-Man and Wolverine delivering a cake to Aunt May anymore? Santas gone bad?

The Holiday Special is usually the one time you can forget about the major events, what titles tie into what, and just read and enjoy an issue on its own merits.

So pick this issue up, enjoy some good, innocent fun, and have a Merry Christmas next week!

DARK HORSE COMICS

REX MUNDI #9 $2.99 Now $2.69

DC COMICS

BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS #3 $2.99 Now $2.69
COUNTDOWN ARENA #3 (OF 4) $3.99 Now $3.49
COUNTDOWN RAY PALMER SUPERWOMAN BATWOMAN #1 $2.99 Now $2.79
COUNTDOWN SPECIAL THE ATOM 80 PAGE GIANT #2 (OF 2) $4.99 Now $4.39
COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS 19 $2.99 Now $2.69
DETECTIVE COMICS #839 $2.99 Now $2.69
JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #16 $2.99 Now $2.69
METAMORPHO YEAR ONE #6 (OF 6) $2.99 Now $2.69
PROGRAMME #6 (OF 12) $2.99 Now $2.59
SCOOBY DOO #127 $2.25 Now $1.99
SHADOWPACT #20 $2.99 Now $2.59
SUPERMAN #671 $2.99 Now $2.8
SUPERMAN BATMAN #44 $2.99 Now $2.69
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #2 $2.99 Now $2.89

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

PAINKILLER JANE #4 $3.50 Now $2.99
RED SONJA #28 $2.99 Now $2.79
SAVAGE TALES #5 $4.99 Now $4.49

IDW

ANGEL AFTER THE FALL #2 $3.99 Now $3.49

MARVEL COMICS

AVENGERS CLASSIC #7 $2.99 Now $2.59
CABLE DEADPOOL #48 $2.99 Now $2.74
CAPTAIN AMERICA CHOSEN #5 (OF 6) $3.99 Now $3.59
EXILES #100 $3.99 Now $3.59
IMMORTAL IRON FIST #11 $2.99 Now $2.69
INCREDIBLE HULK #112 $2.99 Now $2.79
MARVEL ADVENTURES AVENGERS #19 $2.99 Now $2.59
MARVEL ADVENTURES FANTASTIC FOUR #31 $2.99 Now $2.59
MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL $3.99 Free With $19 Purchase!
MIGHTY AVENGERS #6 $2.99 Now $2.69
NEW X-MEN #44 2ND PTG RAMOS VAR $2.99 Now $2.89
NEW X-MEN #45 $2.99 Now $2.79
SHE-HULK #24 $2.99 Now $2.69
THOR #4 2ND PTG VAR $2.99 Now $2.69
ULTIMATE FANTASTIC FOUR TP VOL 09 SILVER SURFER $13.99 Now $11.99
ULTIMATE X-MEN #89 $2.99 Now $2.59
WHAT IF CIVIL WAR $3.99 Now $3.49
WOLVERINE FIREBREAK ONE SHOT $3.99 Now $3.59
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #20 $2.99 Now $2.69
WORLD WAR HULK WARBOUND #1 (OF 5) $2.99 Now $2.79
X-MEN TP BLINDED BY THE LIGHT $14.99 Now $11.99
X-MEN TP VOL 01 COMPLETE ONSLAUGHT EPIC $29.99 Now $23.99

THE GUNSLINGER RETURNS

Fans who have enjoyed the first Dark Tower series can rejoice – Marvel is following it up right away with a new 5-parter (The Long Road Home) starting in March. Same creative team as well – Furth and David providing the story and Jae Lee and Richard Isanove on art. You can rest easy – the story is continuing, and the creative team will remain unchanged. At least for another five issues!

RASL

Well, it looks like RASL is coming! For those that don’t know, RASL is Jeff Smith’s (the creator of Bone) latest self-publishing effort, his fist since Bone came to an end a few years ago. Looks like the first issue will be due out in February, and despite earlier plans to the contrary, the individual issues will not be oversized, but instead 32 full pages of story in each issue.

If you are curious to check out a preview, copies of the six pages Smith made available at Comicon have been posted on his site here. Looking forward to February!

NOTE: Opinions here may not reflect those of X-World Comics LLC or it’s staff and are solely the opinions of the writer.