THE CAPTAIN'S COMMENTS

In a press release touting four second printings this week, Marvel said "These red-hot titles join over 30 titles from the massively popular All-New Marvel NOW! initiative to return for second printings!"

Now, honestly, does anyone really believe a word of that?

Marvel has been estimating print runs since 1939, when it was Timely Comics. And ever since the advent of the direct market, publishers more or less print to match orders -- there's not a lot of guesswork to that.If you get orders for 30,000, you print 30,000 -- and maybe a few thousand more, for re-orders. The end.

But somehow Marvel grossly underprinted 30 times since the "All-New Marvel NOW" initiative started? Wow, someone should be fired. I mean, that's amazingly incompetent. It should be costing Marvel buckets of money to start a second press run from scratch (times 30) -- and they'd be screaming bloody murder, rather than bragging about it.

Which is why I can't believe it's true. It seems far more likely, that instead of underprinting 30 times in a row, they're either shorting the print run so they can claim a sell-out, or they're simply lying. Either way, it's exceptionally dishonest, and as someone with an IQ in triple digits, I feel pretty insulted.

Your mileage, of course, may vary. In the meantime, Marvel's got several #1s coming out this week that are worth a look -- especially since they're likely to "sell out." They are:

Deadpool vs. Carnage #1 (of 5): I'm a relatively recent 'Pool convert; it took a long time for me to warm up to a character/premise that A) treated my beloved superheroes less than seriously and B) treated murder and mayhem as humor. But I finally turned the corner and find Deadpool funny. So what do they do? They pair him with my absolute least favorite Spider-villain, the boring and one-note Carnage! Well, others may feel differently, and if you do, here it is.

Inhuman #1: This was a book Marvel was pushing pretty hard, then canceled it without explanation, but with a promise to re-solicit. Now it's finally arriving, without a peep of PR. Methinks that doesn't bode well. Anyway, the premise is that the Terrigen Mists have been released worldwide, so various people with recessive Inhumans genes suddenly sprout super-powers in a world that hates and fears them. That sounds familiar somehow, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

What If: Age of Ultron #1 (of 5): This is a five-issue miniseries coming out weekly in April, a month that conveniently has five weeks. And, while I struggled with the actual Age of Ultron storyline (I swear, I'm going to have to read it a second time to figure out exactly what happened that stayed "happened"), but this is an interesting premise. The idea is: What if a founding Avenger other than Hank Pym was killed before he created Ultron? Each issue will snuff a different Avenger in the SIlver Age, and play out the string, starting with The Wasp in issue #1. (Without taking the time to look, I'm guessing the next four issues will knock off Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and Hulk.) As with most things, the execution will determine whether it's a thing worth doing.

Ticker: Aquaman and the Others debuts at DC ... Batman '66 gets its first collection ... Richard Corben writes and draws Edgar Allan Poe's The Premature Burial at Dark Horse ... Gilbert Hernandez writes and draws Fatima: The Blood Spinners HC ... '68: Rule of War #1 (of 4) debuts at Image ... Burn the Orphange artist writes and draws Self-Obsessed one-shot about -- well, himself ... four-issue mini Shotgun Wedding will release weekly through April 23 ... Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude two-issue miniseries debuts ... Ultimate Spider-Man hits issue #200.

THIS WEEK'S COMICS

This list is assembled from the website of Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. and is subject to change. Clicking on most images results in a larger image. Comments by Captain Comics are in blue, and comments by The Baron are in brown.

ACTION LAB

FINAL PLAGUE #5 (of 5)

Writer: JD ARNOLD

Artist/Cover: TONY GUARALDI-BROWN

1 in 5 variant ratio variant: JOHN (SUPER UGLY) WILLIAMS

32 pages/Rated Mature/$2.99

As the opening arc comes to close, can Drs. Stohr and Friedman escape the overrun facility at Lakehurst? Will the Michaels be forced from their family farm? And a major character falls! The end is just the beginning for this zombie animal epic! Special Notes: Features the series’ first variant cover, part of Action Lab’s Ugly Love variant cover month.

SKYWARD #6

Writer: JEREMY DALE

Art/Cover: JEREMY DALE & Various

$2.99

Now an ongoing series! Skerrigan has uncovered Quinn's hidden sanctuary -- now it's a fight to the finish as Quinn, the Travelers and the Rabites fight for their lives! Also, is that an army at Three Rivers' gates? From rising star creator Jeremy Dale (G.I. Joe, NFL Rush Zone, Marvel Kapow!), this issue also features a retailer incentive cover by Randy Green (Buffy,Witchblade, Dollz) with Laura Martin (Thor, Authority)!

ARCHIE COMICS

THE BEST OF ARCHIE COMICS: BETTY & VERONICA (TPB)

Writer: Various

Art: Various

Cover: NORM BREYFOGLE

$9.99/$10.99CAN

5 1/4 x 7 1/2”

Trade Paperback, 416 pp

In the tradition of the smash hits Best of Archie Comics vol. 1, 2 and 3 comes another great full-color volume jam-packed with over 400 pages of the funniest and most iconic stories of the past 70 years featuring Archie's girl friends Betty and Veronica, hand-selected by Archie creators, editors, fans and historians from 200,000 pages of material. A must-have edition for anyone who has ever enjoyed the Betty and Veronica comics as well as a great introduction to the history of Archie and his gals!

It's really impressive to me that Norm Breyfogle can draw both good Batman stories and good Archie stories.

BETTY & VERONICA DOUBLE DIGEST #222

Writer: ANGELO DECESARE

Art: JEFF SHULTZ., AL MILGROM, JACK MORELLI, BARRY GROSSMAN

Cover: JEFF SHULTZ, BOB SMITH, ROSARIO "TITO" PENA

On Sale Date: 3/26

160-page, full color comic, $3.99 U.S.

Veronica’s had enough with her parents overbearing ways and demands some freedom! This time she really means it -- so much so that she leaves home and moves into her own apartment! She’s ready to prove to her mom and dad that she can make it on her own without their help. Can she manage to live on her own, take on a part time job and succeed in school? Or will she come crying home to Daddykins? Find out in “Runaway Ronnie,” this entertaining lead story to a fun and fashionable double digest!

DARK HORSE

#1 FOR $1: ITTY BITTY HELLBOY

Writer/Art/Cover: ART BALTAZAR

Writer: FRANCO

FC, 32 pages, $1.00

One-shot

Who is Hellboy anyway? Why does he have such a big hand and what is it used for? Who's weirder, him or his friends? What is the B.P.R.D.? And what does chicken soup have to do with all of it? All this and more is answered in this premium-priced debut issue where BIG things happen to itty bitty Hellboy!

• Mike Mignola’s characters drawn by Art Baltazar (Tiny Titans, Superman Family, Aw Yeah! Comics)!

• The Itty Bitty Hellboy TPB hits shelves April 16!

It's really weird how much this reminds me of Hot Stuff, the Little Devil!

ANGEL & FAITH SEASON 10 #1

Writer: VICTOR GISCHLER

Art: WILL CONRAD

Colors: MICHELLE MADSEN

Cover: SCOTT FISCHER

Variant: CHRIS SAMNEE

Ultravariant: REBEKAH ISAACS

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

Season 10 begins!

Angel’s work is never done. During his most recent world saving, a part of London was transformed and flooded with magic. Who better to watch over this magical community than Angel? At least, that’s what he thinks. Meanwhile, Faith starts a new chapter in her life -- slaying zompires alongside Buffy?!

• Will Conrad (Serenity, Nightwing) returns to the Whedonverse!

• Executive produced by Joss Whedon!

BAD BLOOD #4 (of 5)

Writer: JONATHAN MABERRY

Art/Cover: TYLER CROOK

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

Bram Stoker award winner Jonathan Maberry!

Our heroes finally find the information they need and, with the help of their battle-hardened teacher, they learn the art of fighting vampires. But can they overcome their weaknesses to truly fight the monsters that are after them? Or will they succumb to the battles raging within?

• Art by Eisner Award winner Tyler Crook (B.P.R.D., The Sixth Gun)

BRODY'S GHOST VOL 5 (TPB)

Writer/Artist: MARK CRILLEY

B&W, 96 pages, $7.99

TP, 5 1/4" x 7 1/2"

Brody gets a pivotal lead in his search for the Penny Murderer and his quest to save his ex-girlfriend’s life! But to follow it, Brody has to break ties with his ghostly guide Talia, just when he needs her most!

• From multiple Eisner nominee Mark Crilley (Akiko, Miki Falls)!

• Brody’s quest races toward its climax!

• Bargain-priced 96-page digest!

BUZZKILL (TPB)

Writers: DONNY CATES, MARK REZNICEK

Art/Cover: GEOFF SHAW

Colors: LAUREN AFFE

FC, 104 pages, $14.99

TP, 7” x 10”

He’s falling down the twelve steps!

Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he’s an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing massive amounts of alcohol. After all the disasters his addiction has caused, he’s ready to get clean. When he joins a twelve-step recovery program, the city’s supervillains couldn’t be happier! Collects issues #1-4 of the series.

• Co-written by Toadies drummer Mark Reznicek!

“The story is strong, the art beautiful.” -- Unleash the Fanboy

“The story gets better and better with each turn of the pages.” -- Forces of Geek

EDEN VOL 14: IT'S AN ENDLESS WORLD (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: HIROKI ENDO

$12.99

Hiroki Endo's epic manga series returns to blow fans away with a 232-page volume crammed with jaw-dropping battle sequences and strange sci-fi twists! Several years after our last volume, Elijah is still on a mission to free his sister from the Propater organization's clutches, but an older Mana has some skills of her own-and a lethal bodyguard to boot!

EDGAR ALLAN POE'S THE PREMATURE BURIAL

Writer/Art/Cover: RICHARD CORBEN

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

One-shot

Eisner Award Hall of Famer Richard Corben!

The fear of being buried alive is presented in two horrifying Poe adaptations by Eisner Hall of Fame inductee Richard Corben -- “The Premature Burial” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”

“Richard Corben’s art. Man, the guy just gets better and better. There is no plateau. Corben is like an aged single malt whisky, with depth and maturity added by years.” -- Comics Bulletin

This will probably be delightful. Well, in a gory, scary kind of way.

FATIMA: THE BLOOD SPINNERS (HC)

Writer/Art/Cover: GILBERT HERNANDEZ

$19.99

Comics luminary Gilbert Hernandez envisions his strangest, most thrilling future yet! A drug called "spin" offers the wildest trip imaginable, followed by its users' inevitable, rapid deterioration into undead flesh eaters. Despite the side effect, the drug is so popular that the human population is dying out! With no cure to be found, the beautiful, lovesick Fatima may be the only thing standing between the survivors and the apocalypse! Get ready for zombies, mutants, drug lords and gorgeous women! Collecting the complete, berserk series!

From Love and Rockets co-creator Gilbert Hernandez!

"I picture Gilbert Hernandez approaching his drawing board these days like Lawrence of Arabia approaching a Turkish convoy: 'NO PRISONERS! NO PRISONERS!'" -- Comic Book Resources

I want to like Gilbert's art, but appreciation always eludes me. I just don't care for it.

FEAR AGENTS VOL 1: RE-IGNITION (2ND EDITION TPB)

Writer: RICK REMENDER

Art: TONY MOORE

FC, 112 pages, $9.99

TP, 7” x 10”

When down-and-out alien exterminator Heath Huston stumbles upon an extraterrestrial legion of amoebas preparing to annihilate Earth, he's forced to choose between the bottle and resuming his role as a peacekeeper, as the last Fear Agent. Collecting Fear Agent #1-4.

• Rick Remender (Uncanny X-Force, Captain America) and Tony Moore’s (Uncanny X-Force, The Avengers) magnum opus.

• Brand new edition of the classic Fear Agent!

“The rarest of the rare; pure action mixed with an intense look at humanity.” -- Comics Bulletin

This series was where Remender hit the radar screen. I've never read it, though.

GRINDHOUSE: DOORS OPEN AT MIDNIGHT #7 (of 8)

Writer: ALEX DE CAMP

Art: GARY ERSKINE

Cover: FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

Lace up for the “Flesh Feast”! Built on the site of a Puritan-era curse, Camp Oneida is better known today for vicious hockey matches and even more intense pie fights! But when the Devil Doll returns to seduce and kill once more, the Oneida hockey girls make with the high-sticking!

• Gary Erskine (Judge Dredd, The Mask) joins the mayhem!

• Alex de Campi (Smoke, Valentine) brings her blood-and-guts A-game!

“Grindhouse is a hit. It’s wild, it’s crazy, and it’s for adults.” -- Comic Book Therapy

JUICE SQUEEZERS #4 (of 4)

Writer/Art/Cover: DAVID LAPHAM

Colors: LEE LOUGHRIDGE

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

The exterminators become the exterminated!?!?

The deadliest bug battle in the history of Weeville is imminent when the Juice Squeezers awaken the dormant horde below Valley May Farms! But what secrets hide below the surface? If he can live through the insect onslaught, the newest Squeezer might just find something truly unbelievable!

• Eisner Award winner David Lapham (Stray Bullets, The Strain) writes and draws his first creator-owned series since 2009’s Young Liars!

• Featured in Free Comic Book Day 2014!

LOBSTER JOHNSON: GET THE LOBSTER #3 (of 5)

Writers: MIKE MIGNOLA, JOHN ARCUDI

Art/Cover: TONCI ZONJIC

Colors: DAVE STEWART

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

All police resources are shifted to taking down Lobster Johnson after a vicious grenade fight in the NY streets. Meanwhile, bank vaults all around the city are exploding. Lobster knows it’s a trap, but justice is not afraid of traps.

“Lobster Johnson seems like the sort of deus ex machina hero who will watch and wait and provides the necessary thrills to justify every cent spent on this comic.” -- Comic Book Resources

LONE WOLF AND CUB OMNIBUS VOL 4 (TPB)

Writer: KAZUO KOIKE

Art: GOSEKI KOJIMA

Cover: FRANK MILLER

B&W, 696 pages, $19.99

TP, 5” x 7”

Eisner and Harvey Award winner!

Once the shogun’s loyal retainer and now a disgraced exile, Ogami Itto travels a path of vengeance with his son, Daigoro. As the authors of Itto’s fall, the Yagyu clan will stop at nothing to bury their treachery, and Itto will stop at nothing to bury the Yagyu! Collects four stories from Lone Wolf and Cub Volume 8, all of Volume 9, and three stories from Volume 10.

• Nearly 700 pages, value priced.

• Over one million copies sold of the original Dark Horse series!

• Cover by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley

Interesting historical fact:  The chief heel in Lone Wolf and Cub, Yagyū Retsudō, is loosely based on an actual historical figure, Yagyū Jūbei Mitsuyoshi.  Jūbei is one of the more heavily romanticized figures in Japanese history.  He generally is not portrayed as a heel the way Retsudō is.  There is a 12-year gap in the record of  Jūbei's life -- apparently even the Yagyū clan's secret records say nothing about his whereabouts then. Fictioneers have taken advantage of that gap to have him up to all sorts of things during that period.

NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: THE SHINJI IKARI DETECTIVE DIARY VOL 2 (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: TAKUMI YOSHIMURA

B&W, 184 pages, $9.99

TP, 5 1/8" x 7 1/4"

Shinji and Kaworu are on the case ... together!

First rule of finding yourself in a hole: stop digging! Too bad Shinji can’t seem to take that advice -- not while he’s in debt to the Kaji Detective Agency, while doing all the work of its lazy proprietors! And what should be a relaxing break with Rei at the aquarium turns into an embarrassing encounter with a rival.

• The most famous anime franchise of the last 20 years; aired on Adult Swim.

• New anime movie available from Funimation.

• Opening pages in full color.

This is another of the many "elseworlds" that have been written using the NGE characters -- I've seen at least three, myself.  There seem to have been a rash of "kid detective"manga out lately. I've read a couple of them, including the first volume of this. Part of the amusement value of this lies in seeing characters that one is used to usually seeing in the typically unrelentingly grim NGE-verse in a somewhat more lighthearted setting.  It can sometimes have a bit of a Watchmen Babies vibe to it. I imagine that someone who wasn't familiar with the original NGE might not get so much out of it.

TERMINATOR SALVATION: THE FINAL BATTLE #5 (of 12)

Writer: J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI

Art/Cover: PETE WOODS

Colors: MATT WILSON

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

John Connor’s assault on Skynet is met with a devastating counterattack! Controlled by a human serial killer with no loyalty to mankind, the Terminators’ deadly mechanical efficiency is now matched with the creativity and pleasure for killing of a murderous psychopath!

• From the mind of superstar writer J. Michael Straczynski (Ten Grand, Amazing Spider-Man, Thor)!

• Pete Woods (Superman, Deadpool) shows us the ultimate man vs. machine battle!

VEIL #2 (of 5)

Writer: GREG RUCKA

Art/Cover: TONI FEJZULA

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Miniseries

A new mystery from Greg Rucka!

A conjuring doesn’t work out as planned, and one man’s life is in danger ... but when you have the powers of the devil at your fingertips, how bad can it get? Double-crossed and angry, the mystery man is on the hunt ... and Veil is his target.

• From Eisner Award–winning writer Greg Rucka (Whiteout, Stumptown, Queen & Country, Gotham Central)!

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

"Because you demanded it: three different gimmicks on the numbering of this issue".

"On this issue: two numbering systems DIE!"

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

Anomaly or not, I'm very fond of sequential numbering, and my gut reaction to relaunches is "gimmick!"

Obviously, I don't have a better opinion of #0s, #-1s, ".1s" and certainly not of ".NOWs".

DC made some attempt to justify whacky issue numbers in Zero Hour (1994) and DC One Million (1998).  Were those the first times this was done?  Here, I'm ignoring relaunches, where a series' numbering restarts from 1.

In any case, it's a complete pain in the neck to remember the correct order to file (or read!) issues coming out around that time.



Peter Wrexham said:

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

Anomaly or not, I'm very fond of sequential numbering, and my gut reaction to relaunches is "gimmick!"

Obviously, I don't have a better opinion of #0s, #-1s, ".1s" and certainly not of ".NOWs".

DC made some attempt to justify whacky issue numbers in Zero Hour (1994) and DC One Million (1998).  Were those the first times this was done?  Here, I'm ignoring relaunches, where a series' numbering restarts from 1.

In any case, it's a complete pain in the neck to remember the correct order to file (or read!) issues coming out around that time.

The first #0 issue I recall is Zap Comix way back in the 60s. I'm not sure what if any predates that.

Going by memory. DC did announce their zero issues, but I think Image heard that and ran to quickly to out out some of their own before DC.

STIEG LARSSON’S THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (TPB)

Especially if you only saw the movie -- the book is a different animal in many ways.

I understand that the US-made movie is not as faithful to the book(s) as the original Swedish trilogy, which I've seen in (excellently dubbed) English. I haven't read the novels. Does anyone know if the graphic novel adaptation is significantly different from the Swedish movies?

...( I suppose you may know this , Travis , but ) ZAP's #0 was done for a valid ~ In fact , kind of " continuity-taking care of " - reason , too !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  While we're on old-school underground-type stuff , I bought a 1999/2000 issue of what we know as " Cherry Poptart " , now known as simply CHERRY , at LCS last time . ( According to Larry Welz , a previous partnet narced on him to Kellog's , so no...Cherry has no last name ! The bastard . )
Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:



Peter Wrexham said:

Luis Olavo de Moura Dantas said:

Anomaly or not, I'm very fond of sequential numbering, and my gut reaction to relaunches is "gimmick!"

Obviously, I don't have a better opinion of #0s, #-1s, ".1s" and certainly not of ".NOWs".

DC made some attempt to justify whacky issue numbers in Zero Hour (1994) and DC One Million (1998).  Were those the first times this was done?  Here, I'm ignoring relaunches, where a series' numbering restarts from 1.

In any case, it's a complete pain in the neck to remember the correct order to file (or read!) issues coming out around that time.

The first #0 issue I recall is Zap Comix way back in the 60s. I'm not sure what if any predates that.

Going by memory. DC did announce their zero issues, but I think Image heard that and ran to quickly to out out some of their own before DC.

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