Comicscape - August 2002 -


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Comicscape - August 2002

Spiders and mutants and cats - oh my!

By Tony Whitt     July 31, 2002

The beginning of yet another interminable DC crossover, starting this month in JLA, and a couple of collected volume reminders of the last one, are at least mitigated by the return of yet another '80s blast from the past, the continuation of RISING STARS, and a huge pack of POWERS for your perusal. If you're a mutant fan, there's even more reason to be thrilled, with the publication of not one, not two, but five different WEAPON X one-shots. And just a reminder-FANTASTIC FOUR is 9 cents this month. Better start saving your pennies now, boys and girls!

The week of August 7:

Art from the new THUNDERCATS

Who you callin' a "Hoooooooohhh"? The first appearance of the THUNDERCATS in comics since the late '80s arrives this week with THUNDERCATS #0, with the first issue of the five-issue miniseries arriving from Wildstorm on August 21. Who said the '80s went out with Cyndi Lauper and ankle-warmers?

And speaking of dubious pleasures, DC releases the first of two collected volumes of SUPERMAN: OUR WORLDS AT WAR, with the second massive volume arriving August 21. If you thought the war would never end the first time around, these two 264-page monsters should convince you for sure.

And speaking of Superman, you've got a second chance to see what an alternate universe's version of SMALLVILLE would've been like when SUPERBOY #1 MILLENNIUM EDITION is re-released this week to coincide with the Superboy and Supergirl Deluxe Action Figure Set. Of course, if your local comic shop is anything like mine, there are still piles upon piles of Millennium Editions in the back, including this one. Perhaps this was the real result of the Y2K bug?

The Image version of MICRONAUTS is a bi-monthly series - not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you. It just explains why we've had to wait until now for the second issue of this phenomenal new take on the old series. No Bugs here, though, sadly, Y2K or otherwise.

Crime author Brad Meltzer

Oh, and there's a new X-team starting this month, to celebrate "X-Month" at Marvel. Joy. WEAPON X kicks off with a series of five one-shots, each of which introduces a different member of the team. WEAPON X: WILD CHILD and WEAPON X: SAURON both arrive this week, WEAPON X: KANE arrives August 14, WEAPON X: MARROW arrives August 21, and WEAPON X: AGENT ZERO arrives August 28. Start biting your nails in anticipation now - I sure as hell have none left.

Marvel's CGI Spider-Man miniseries, SPIDER-MAN: QUALITY OF LIFE, also ends this month. Just goes to show that it's not just all good things that come to an end.

Speaking of the Spider-clan, May gets her first kiss in the double-sized SPIDER-GIRL #50. (I wonder: does that whole sticky thing they can do with their fingers happen elsewhere on the body? If so, this could give new meaning to the phrase "lip-lock"...)

And finally, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER scriptwriter Brett Matthews brings Spidey and our favorite blind superhero together in SPIDER-MAN/DAREDEVIL #1.

The week of August 14:

The latest installment of Harvey Pekar's AMERICAN SPLENDOR arrives from Dark Horse, with the first black and white issue of a three-part miniseries called UNSUNG HERO. If you're under the mistaken belief there's nothing worth reading in comics anymore, this one's for you.

The multipart story of the year begins in JLA #69 this week as "The Obsidian Age: The Hunt for Aquaman" commences. Twice a month through the month of November, we'll get a new installment of this "epic," with JLA #70 due on August 28. And with a title like that, it's hardly likely that Aquaman will still be sleeping with the fishes come Thanksgiving.


And it's 'Girls Night Out' in Gotham as the five-part miniseries GOTHAM GIRLS begins this week, following the adventures of the stars from the WB ONLINE webtoon of the same name. Remember when they used to do web versions of print comics - you know, the old-fashioned way?

Geoff Johns crosses the floor (as the British would say) to write AVENGERS ICONS: THE VISION for Marvel, no doubt to get in some practice for his upcoming stint on AVENGERS. The first issue of this four-part miniseries arrives on August 14.

The week of August 21:

Geez, aren't we getting enough JLA this month? But no! Not content with one JLA-Elseworlds title this year, DC gives us JLA: THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU as a 64-page Prestige Format one-shot. It's Roy Thomas doing the scripting chores, though, so we have high hopes.

We have even higher hopes for THE CALL OF DUTY: THE WAGON, which focuses on the NYC EMS and is written by Chuck Austen. Austen's work on THE BROTHERHOOD made that book look like Shakespeare compared to the disappointing debut last month of the other linked series in this triad, THE PRECINCT, so perhaps two out of three ain't bad after all.

Image releases the next exciting installment of J. Michael Stracyznski's RISING STARS series this week. The government's come up with a Special weapon that eliminates our heroes' powers, forcing most of them into hiding. But as there's another three issues before this series concludes, it's doubtful they'll stay in hiding for long.

The week of August 28:

MICRONAUTS #1 begins a new era for these tiny '80s icons.

Brad Meltzer takes over the scripting chores on GREEN ARROW starting with #16. It's still Ollie, but without all the smug self-importance. But enough about Kevin Smith...

Marvel offers a special jump-on issue with FANTASTIC FOUR #60 this week, priced at only 9 cents. Um...9 cents? Isn't that a few cents short for a Silver Age price? With Mark Waid at the helm now, though, it's likely that's not a appraisal of what the story is worth...

Elseworlds loves to do alternate Green Lantern tales, and this summer is no exception. The first issue of the three-part GREEN LANTERN: EVIL'S MIGHT is written by Howard Chaykin and David Tischman, also known for their work on the TV series MUTANT X. I don't suppose Shalimar could make a guest appearance in 19th century New York City, could she?

Images is offering the third volume of the POWERS trade paperbacks, LITTLE DEATHS, for $24.95. Normally I'm dead set against offering trade paperback collections of comics that have sold within the last 12 months - surely our memories aren't that bad yet? - but this one is an exception simply because of all the extra goodies. Not only does it collect the "Little Deaths" storyline from POWERS #12-14, it also includes the Warren Ellis guest appearance from POWERS #7 (if you care about such things), as well as the complete versions of the POWERS WIZARD EDITION, the POWERS ANNUAL, the POWERS COLORING AND ACTIVITY BOOK (which none of us dared buy by itself), and a bonus story. More POWERS than you can shake a stick at (if you really did such things to begin with)!

And for those for whom the real Golden Age isn't enough, Image is offering WORLD CLASS COMICS #1, featuring the exploits of Dr. Stellar, The Atomic Sub, Mr. Martian, Vita-Man, and Speed Queen. (Why do those last two sound so much like nicknames for drug pushers in a gay bar?)

Speaking of writers interested in the Golden Age, JSA's own Geoff Johns begins working his magic for That Other Company(tm) with AVENGERS #57, which sees the return of the Black Panther and the Falcon! I know, they're not Golden Age characters, but Johns' writing might bring in a new Golden Age for this book.

Comicscape is our monthly Comics column.

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