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Super Summertime, Part 1

CINESCAPE picks the comics you can't afford to miss this summer

By Arnold T. Blumberg     May 22, 2002


ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #25
© Marvel Comics
In this tumultuous day and age, how can you be sure you won't miss all the important four-color extravaganzas you need to make your summer complete? Never fear, we've compiled this list of ten summer comic events that will have you climbing the walls like a certain web-slinging wall-crawler. And so:

Page seven of BLADE #1, the new MAX title from Marvel Comics

1) Spider-titles - This one is a no-brainer, but with the feature film out in May and Marvel working overtime to make people forget the X-comics debacle of 2000, there will be a plethora of arachnid-themed books to revel in as the summer wears on, beginning with the adaptation by Stan "The Man" Lee and Alan Davis and moving into material by the likes of J. Michael Straczynski, Brian Michael Bendis, Paul Jenkins, Terry Moore, Peter Bagge, Paul Pope, Brian Azzarello, and many more.

Says Marvel's Marketing Communications Manager, Bill Rosemann: "So everyone and your Aunt May loved the Spider-Man movie...and they still look at you funny when you say you read comic books. Want to wipe that look off their face? Then give them [ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN] every month and show them why comics rock!"

Of course, the ULTIMATE take is just the beginning. It's a sure bet we'll be rolling in webs for the rest of the year, guaranteed.

Crime author Brad Meltzer

2) STAR WARS - With EPISODE II in theaters, Dark Horse will be greeting comic shop customers with a plethora of franchise-friendly titles, from trade paperbacks and miniseries on bounty hunters Aurra Sing and Jango Fett to a classic collection of reprinted Marvel Comics STAR WARS tales that predate THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Speaking of which, the most exciting project just might be the next INFINITIES "What If?" style story based on EMPIRE.

"Have you ever wondered how things would play out if Han never rescued battered Luke on Hoth's frozen tundra?" asks the Dark Horse press release. "It's the mini-series that blows the cap off everything you thought you knew about THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK!" The series features covers by Chris Bachalo and hits stores July 10.

Learn all the Jedi secrets in the comic book adaptation of STAR WARS: EPISODE II - ATTACK OF THE CLONES.

3) BLADE - Now that lightning has struck twice with BLADE 2, Marvel has finally delivered on an ongoing monthly for the popular vampire hunter.

"Hollywood makes a kick-ass movie, but Marvel can't bottle the lightning. Now, Hollywood's done it again, and thanks to the new non-Comics Code MAX imprint, Marvel can finally cut loose and unleash the Blade that the world now knows," says Rosemann. "It's blood, guts and gore galore...starring the coolest vampire slayer of them all!"

ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #25

4) GREEN ARROW - He rose from the ashes courtesy of fan fave Kevin Smith, and now Oliver Queen's fortunes will be guided by New York Times best-selling novelist Brad Meltzer as of issue #16. Meltzer will be assisted by penciler Phil Hester and inker Ande Parks.

"I'm sad to be leaving GREEN ARROW," says Smith, "but I'm secure in the knowledge that Brad's going to take Arrowhead for one helluvaride after I'm gone. I know I'll still be buying the book on a monthly basis after my run's finished. I suggest you all do the same. Brad's not going to let you down." "

"Brad brings tons of enthusiasm about Ollie Queen, DC, and comics in general to the party," says Group Editor Bob Schreck. "He's a hell of a storyteller. Having read his initial plot, Brad's already off to a fantastic start on GREEN ARROW, building on the foundation Kevin created forthe series. I think he's going to surprise everybody."

"Kevin has injected an amazing level of energy and enthusiasm into a character that was - quite literally - dead, and I just feel lucky that they're passing the quiver on to me," says Meltzer. "It's an honor, and I can't think of a more fun character to write, or a better person to follow on a book. Kevin's a master of two genres."

Now that the mutual admiration is out of the way, fans will soon see if Meltzer can keep the momentum that Silent Bob has built up behind this latter-day Robin Hood.

Next time, we'll cover the rest of our list of summer comic projects to keep an eye out for, so stay tuned!

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