Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Gosh! Authority 29/08/08

Hiya gang, are we all refreshed from our long weekend? Then let’s get straight to the last Gosh Blog of August!

First up, just in case you missed the news, we here at Gosh are highly excited by the upcoming appearance by counter-culture legend Gilbert Shelton on Saturday 13th September, 2pm-4pm. Gilbert is visiting us in order to celebrate the release of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Omnibus, a complete (and very reasonably priced) collection of one of the most influential and revered underground comix ever made. If you can’t make it down for this rare appearance, please let us know and we’ll be happy to arrange for a signed copy to be held for you!

The Olympics may have ended, the summer blockbusters may all be out and all the kiddies are heading back to school, but comics’ event season is still in full swing. Both the big guns have event-related books out this week to fill the void between the regular issues.

DC have three Final Crisis books from three of their biggest creative names on the plate this week. Brad Meltzer makes his return to comics with DC Universe: Last Will and Testament. It’s the day before the final battle between good and evil, and the heroes of the DC Universe have only 24 hours to say goodbye to their nearest and dearest. Who do they visit? Meltzer’s famed for his character work, and this book gives us a rare insight into the hearts and psyches of all the DCU heroes. Expect tears, and maybe the odd revelation. Art chores are handled by Adam Kubert and John Dell, so it should look good as well.

Grant Morrison tackles the Man of Steel from a myriad of alternate universes in this week’s Final Crisis: Superman Beyond. On the eve of the Final Crisis (a lot going on before this Crisis isn’t there?) Superman and his alternate versions have to battle a reality-spanning menace that originated in the Crisis on Infinite Earths! Morrison and superstar artist Doug Mahnke (if you haven’t seen his work on Team Zero, pick up the trade!) promise to take the reader across all the 52 worlds of the DC multiverse, and are even giving us a 3D section (with glasses included!) If Morrison has proved anything, it’s that he can write Superman incredibly well (on that topic the softcover of All Star Superman vol. 1 arrives on Friday) so I have high hopes for this. And while Doug Manke is no Quitely, his art is still gorgeous and intricate. This book is easily my pick of the week.

The last Final Crisis book this week is the second issue of Geoff Johns and Scott KolinsRogues’ Revenge. I really enjoyed the first issue of this series (which we still have if you missed out) and welcomed Johns’ return to the Rogues with open arms. The writer reinvented Flash’s villains in his seminal run, and he’s yet again taking them to new heights. With this mini reaching the midway point, it’s sure to be explosive as Wally West confronts Bart Allen’s murderers. And what is going on with Zoom and Inertia?

Not to be outdone by the direct competition, Marvel have nine books in the midst of their Secret Invasion. In Avengers: The Initiative, 3D Man teams up with the fan favourite Skrull Kill Krew to tackle the team’s rotten core. Both old and current teams fight each other (and the Skrulls) in New Warriors. The Thunderbolts deal with the incursion at their mountain base, and the Super-Skrull manages to appear in both She-Hulk - to deal with his wayward daughter - and in one of Marvel’s best ongoing titles, Nova. Jason Aaron and Francis Portela, meanwhile, continue to wow us with the war in Wakanda in Black Panther, and Brian Michael Bendis delivers both Avengers books, with the New Avengers revealing the dark secret of the Illuminati, and the Mighty Avengers telling the full story on Captain Marvel’s return! If that wasn’t enough for you SI junkies, the Wall-Crawler’s supporting cast feel the effects of the bumpy chinned attack in Secret Invasion: Amazing Spider-Man - Brand New Day (how that all will fit on the cover is anyone’s guess.)

The regular Final Crisis series is back with #4 on 2nd October, and Secret Invasion #6 is due 17th September. As ever gang, those are predicted dates!

If events aren’t your bag the big two have a fair whack of regular books for your visual delight.

Mark Millar fans can jump for joy as the best of his current crop both ship this week. The ever popular Kick Ass (soon to be a major motion picture) finally continues with its fourth issue. The little swearing violent girl’s origin is promised, and by the look of the cover she’s brought a friend. I’m really enjoying this balls-to-the-wall (almost literally after last issue) series, and I love that I have absolutely no idea what it’ll do next. John Romita Jr (who also has Amazing Spider-Man with Dan Slott this week) is doing some of the best art of his career, and the colouring on his work suits the series’ tone perfectly. There’s a reason this book is selling out. If you’ve not yet jumped on, look out for the Marvel Must Have collecting the first three issues, due next week.

Millar also continues his tale of the old Wolverine in part three of Old Man Logan this week. Mucky old Hawkeye’s had a kid with Spider-Man’s daughter, and she’s been captured by the all-new, all different, Kingpin. How can a blind archer and a now pacifist Logan save the new Spider-Girl’s life? I’m a real sucker for alternate desolate future stories, and this run has delivered so far. It’ll be interesting to see not only how the story will progress, but also how it’ll tie into Millar’s 1985 and Fantastic Four.

Terry Moore and Humberto RamosRunaways begins on Friday. Picking up from where the Whedon run ended, the Runaways return to LA. The city’s changed somewhat since they were last there, and it looks like they’ll be suffering further for the sins of their parents. Preview and interview with Ramos over at Newsarama. Moore fans will also be happy to hear that the first collection of his new series Echo also debuts this week, catching us up on the first five issues.

CBR have got the Marvel previews for this week here.

Back over at DC, ex-Gosh man James Robinson’s run on Superman continues, as Superman and Atlas continue their titanic tustle. Superman is in trouble, as Atlas is winning the fight. According to the solicitations a suprise guest star will have to come and save big blue. If you’re enjoying Action Comics, Superman has become a welcome companion to its sister book. Robinson and Johns are working together to create a more cohesive Superverse, and after the current story arcs the two books are crossing over. Preview here.

Talking of Geoff Johns, Justice Society of America continues the Kingdom Come story line this week. The last god of the Third World (Gog) has changed the world and the JSA, seemingly for the better. But after witnessing a violent conflict he decides to create a familiar, if unwelcome, champion. Preview here.

Newsarama have also given us an advance look at the three Kingdom Come specials due out later in the year. Be warned there are spoilers for this week’s issues here.

Vertigo’s Northlanders begins its new story arc with Friday’s issue #9. Brian Wood takes the story to Lindisfarne, the infamous site of the first Viking raid. See this bloody moment in history through the eyes of a young Saxon boy with dreams of a mythical world of heroes and gods. Brian Wood changes tack with this two issue run featuring guest art by Lucifer’s Dean Ormston. He’s not only moved the story southwards, but we’re also at an early part of history. The initial tale of Sven the Returned was brilliantly executed, and I’m hoping this story will handled the same way. As long as Hagar the Horrible doesn’t appear, I’m sure it will.

Image collect Robert Kirkman’s Astounding Wolf Man this week. The first seven issues of Kirkman’s new superhero book are action packed and eventful, to say the least. When succesful businessman Gary Hampton is mauled and left for dead on a family holiday, he’s bestowed with a dreaded curse. Every full moon he turns in to a crazed werewolf. But with the help of a seemingly reformed Vampire, Gary becomes the world’s most unlikely superhero – Wolf-Man. Like all Kirkman’s series, this series boasts fantastic character work, exciting storylines, and tragic twists.

Now to the news!

At this past weekend’s Fan Expo in Canada, Marvel have announced a handful of new series. The Green Goliath’s many relatives will all have tales under one roof with December’s Hulk Family #1. The special will feature stories from his cousin the She-Hulk, his son Skar, his (as-yet) unnamed daughter with Thundra (from Jeff Parker’s Raging Thunder one-shot), and green haired assassin Scorpion (who may possibly be revealed to be a relative.) The comic will be written by Greg Pak, Paul Tobin, Fred Van Lente and another soon to be decided writer. If you’ve been enjoying the state of the Hulk books of late, like me, this book is supposed to have some big reveals for each of the Jade Giant’s titles.

Also announced were the long awaited Iron Man: The End and X-Men: Kingbreaker.

Iron Man’s last story has been in comics’ development hell for a while now, being first conceived eight years ago. The classic shell-head team of Bob Layton and David Michelinie show Tony Stark’s last hurrah in this one-shot in November. The story follows a 70 year old Tony Stark as he decides to pack away the Iron Man suit and probably change it for an iron-walker.

Kingbreaker is due to be the miniseries that bridges the gap between last year’s Emperor Vulcan, and 2009’s space epic War of the Kings. Written by Chris Yost, Kingbreaker follows the space X-team of Havok, Polaris, and Rachel Grey as they fight against the new leader of the Shi’ar, Vulcan. Vulcan is of course the recently discovered bother of Alex (Havok) and Scott (Cyclops) Summers. This murderous villain captured his brother and his team of Starjammers at the end of the last mini-series, and by the beginning of this he’s fully in control of his new empire. The series will show Vulcan’s aggressive stance as a ruler, and how it will effect the Shi’ar’s place in the universe. With a war on the horizon though, I can’t see it ending well.

Barack Obama’s had a good week, as he’s not only been endorsed by the Democratic convention, but also by Image's Savage Dragon! Being a former President himself, Dragon seemed a possible contender for the 2009 election, but instead he’s thrown his considerable weight behind Obama. In September’s Savage Dragon #137, the character will publicly show his support for the Democratic candidate. The issue will sport a special 1:5 variant cover, which we present for your delectation. The New York Times’ take can be seen here.

Sam Raimi and Tom Cruise have announced their intentions to produce a movie of Brubaker and Phillips’ Sleeper. If you’ve never read the series (shame on you!) it follows Holden Carver, a man impervious to physical pain, who goes undercover in a criminal organisation. His remit is to bring down its leader, supergenius Tao. For security reasons only Holden’s handler, John Lynch knows he’s actually a good guy. So when Lynch is put into a coma after an attempt on his life, Carver’s out on his own, trapped in his criminal life. Brubaker’s thoughts on the project are over at CBR. Here’s hoping someone also has the good sense to make a Criminal TV series.

Well that’s all for now, all that’s left to do is congratulate our own Tom, who’s finished his successful run in Edinburgh.