Ok. It's obviously no secret by now that I'm a big comic book fan. But it's also no secret that I'm not nearly alone on this board so let's bring this whole thing public. I've created this thread to talk about anything comics, so let's bring this one out in the open. It's a long offseason...
Current books I'm reading:
Day of Vengeance (DC)
The OMAC Project (DC)
Villians United (DC)
Y The Last Man (DC)
The Walking Dead (Image/DC)
Ultimate X-Men (Marvel)
Ultimate Spider Man (Marvel)
Ultimates 2 (Marvel)
House of M (Marvel)
New Avengers (Marvel)
Young Avengers (Marvel)
The book I'm most addicted to is The Walking Dead (Zombies) by Robert Kirkman. A truly great read and I'd advise any comic fan not reading it to pick up the Trade Paperbacks (getting the actual issues is VERY expensive). Y The Last Man (Brian K. Vaughn) is just behind that and is another exceptional read. The story moves slowly for both but the character development is unique. In The Walking Dead, there isn't a character that Kirkman won't kill. In Y The Last Man, there's one character that simply can't die (Yorick) because he's the only man on Earth. Even my wife loves that premise. Go figure...
I've always been much more of a Marvel fan than a DC disciple (I'm about 40 issues away from a full Uncanny X-Men run), but DC has been stepping up their writing currently with Infinite Crisis looming on the horizon. I've been reading all of the lead-ins to that series, but Day of Vengeance has been particularly good. The Spectre (now without a host and influenced by Eclipso) fragmented magic in the DC Universe and appears to have killed the wizard Shazam and he's released the Seven Deadly Sins into the world. That's a big deal and I can't see how that doesn't tie into the new Infinite Crisis storyline.
There's a new character in the DCU named "Black Alice" who gained exposure in the Days Of Vengeance series. She first appeared in Birds of Prey #76 (a HUGE "buy" recommendation) and her power is to "borrow" magic from others- even the most powerful magic users in the DCU. That's a Big Deal and she should be featured prominently in the upcoming "Infinite Crisis" maxi-series. My darkhorse pick for a premier role in that series is Tim Hunter (Books of Magic). Hunter is Harry Potter BEFORE Harry Potter was cool and now he's an adult. He's been in the background for 15 years and I have a feeling that he'll have a big role. JMHO, of course but hold onto Tim Hunter 1st appearance books if you have them.
JLA is just nuts right now dealing with the fallout of the Identity Crisis storyline and the mindwipes are coming back to haunt the JLA via Despero (who is finally portrayed as a bad bad villian). Wonder Woman has killed Maxwell Lord (Wonder Woman #219) and that doesn't bode well for her membership. The JLA might not be dissolving, but there's a crisis there and it's not helped by the events in the Villains United mini-series. I never figured that Catman would be a decent anti-hero, but I may have been wrong.
As a tip, if you can find copies of Justice League of America #166, 167, and 168 (the biggie) in any condition, they're selling extremely high right now because they're the first "mindwipe" issues as mentioned in Identity Crisis. Super HOT.
In any case, the Infinite Crisis storyline has been developing nicely and there are a number of lead-ins that hint at the actual crisis but don't actually tell us what's going to happen. At one point, I figured that The OMAC Project mini would be the primary lead-in but I'm not so sure now. DC seems to be shucking and jiving all over the place. That's usually a Marvel trait, but DC is one-upping them at this point.
Marvel seems to have bet all their chips on the "House of M" storyline this year. IMHO, that's a bad place to be right now because their tie-ins for their primary books are confusing and will end up being nearly (if not totally) irrelevant. Oh, I suppose that they can figure out how to bring back Hawkeye from the dead, but they should have never killed him anyway. The Scarlet Witch just isn't a big enough character to worry about even if they did extend her powers at the end of the Avengers run.
Of the current books, New Avengers is intriguing and it ropes in a couple of top "solo" characters (Spider-Man, Wolverine) into to the mix and includes Spider Woman along with old faithfuls like Captain America and Iron Man. But the Big Thing in this Avengers incarnation is the inclusion of The Sentry. Yeah, the Sentry. For the newly-initiated, The Sentry began as a mini-series and was a joke. Yes, a joke. Marvel attempted to spin that the Sentry was a "lost" character from the Lee/Kirby days and built an entire history around him- including nearly every powerful Marvel character and team. We thought he was gone, but he's back now and he appears to be nearly Superman-level in power. Wonderful. That's all the Marvel Universe needs- Superman. Yeesh. Oh, don't get me wrong...I was buying Sentry #1 issues months ago because I saw the investment value in doing so but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
The best book Marvel may have going right now is Young Avengers. This one introduces a number of new characters into the Marvel Universe in issue one and even surprises us with the revelation that one of them is a young incarnation of Kang the Conqueror. Simply an excellent job of developing new characters and a real surprise. I don't normally pick up books simply because they're new titles, but I did with Young Avengers and was absolutely rewarded for it.
The Ultimate titles are getting a bit worn out right now. The best Ultimate book I've read in the past three months was Ultimate Spider-Man Annual #1 and only because it was an incredibly cute storyline (Petey and Kitty Pryde get together). The rest of the stuff is getting trite. Ultimates2 may be interesting due to Loki's influence, but Ultimate X-Men is really dragging and hasn't seen a really good issue for a while.
Runaways has always been a great read (for both myself and my wife) but is currently going stagnant as well. The previous Ultron plot was fun, but the book needs a direction. Great characters, but they have nothing to do. That's not a good thing.
Speaking of played out, I'm kinda tired of the Daredevil run. Everyone knows his identity (and has known it for like 30 issues) but no one can actually come to grips with it. Now the Kingpin wants to tell everyone what they already know. Yipppe. Blah blah blah. Some books I collect simply to have a full run and Daredevil might shortly qualify.
Speaking of Daredevil, Joe Quesada has finally (yes, finally) released "Daredevil: Father" #2 and #3 and he introduces the "Santerians" (sp?). Does anyone care? Really. Does anyone, at this point, care about new characters that wouldn't exist but for Marvel Editor In Chief's hubris? This series had a place if it were released on time from the get-go, but I had to wait 6 months for this kind of uninspired crap? Eh. No.
Speaking of waiting for uninspired crap, where is Secret War #4???? There's a reason I don't purchase anything with the words "Top Ten", "Astro City", and "Rising Stars" on it. J. Michael Straczynski and any author who can't produce quality on time is someone I've just crossed off my "buy" list. Straczynski could learn a lot from Joss Whedon and Judd Winick. And that's just for starters. The Babylon 5 creator couldn't hold Mark Millar's jock.
Best graphic novel I've read in the past 90 days: "A History of Violence". Yeah, most folks won't realize the movie is based on a comic, but it is. And that's cool. Road to Perdition might end up being the better movie, but A History of Violence should be an excellent flix if done well.