Released this week and available at all quality comic stores in the metro Atlanta area. Galaxyman, hero of Galactic Quest comic shop, where I get all of my comic needs taken care of, chose the following as this week’s hottest books for the week of August 18, 2010:
The Last Phantom #1: ‘The Ghost Who Walks’ returns in Dynamite Entertainment’s latest return to pulp with a modern twist. Scott Beatty and Eduardo Ferigato bring us a retired Kit Walker, a business man representing the Bengali and moving them into the modern era. At a fundraiser he is planning a business trip with his personal assistant and the Bengali Prime Minister. On the day of the trip, mysterious German, Dutch or South African threat named Krieghund sets into motion a plot that costs Walker his wife, son and lifestyle forcing him to resume the mantle of the Phantom.
I’ve never followed the Phantom, either in the newspaper or in its various comic forms until now, the Alex Ross covers were impossible to resist and I did enjoy the 1996 film with Billy Zane, Kristi Swanson and the soon-to-be-a-star Catherine Zeta-Jones. The character created by Lee Falk started in 1936 and is still running in newspapers today. Dynamite is showing a knack of using well-established characters like the Green Hornet, Buck Rogers, Red Sonja, Project Superpowers and the Lone Ranger and making them modern hits again and again.
New Avengers #3: Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen continue the shock follows shock in the magic war in New Avengers. In what is mainly a transitional story that brings more subplot than combat (though there is plenty of that!). Former Osborn aide Victoria Hand has an epiphany after the skies open up issuing forth demons neither Dr Strange nor Daimon Hellstrom recognize. Iron Fist, kidnapped by those demons last issue with the Eye of Agamotto is in a limbo dimension with some sort of conversation between entities going on around him. Ms. Marvel, Spider-man and the Thing have some great lines as they battle the demons and Cage and Jessica deal with being super-heroic parent in the event of a major crisis. As Strange, Hellstrom and Dr Voodoo deal with trying to end the threat Iron Fist is confronted by a pissed-off Ancient One!
Shock follows shock and the wit abounds as the heroes deal with the aftermath of Dr Strange’s tenure in the New Avengers during Dark Reign and World War Hulk and his losing the mantle of Sorcerer Supreme. Where this is leading only Bendis knows where it is going but it will establish the magickal hierarchy of the Marvel Universe for years to come.
Shadowland: Power Man #1: By Fred Van Lente and Mahmud Asrar, Shadowland rolls on with a new Power Man saving an illegal market of pimps, whores and dealers on the West Side of Manhattan from Daredevil’s Hand Ninjas. Former Luke Cage villain Cottonmouth is one of the pimps. Reveled to be Victor Alvarez and the son of one of Cage’s deceased enemies he displays super strength, energy powers and martial arts skills to the Hand. This leads the Hand to confront Iron Fist and Shang Chi who deny knowledge of the new Power Man. Cage and Iron Fist arrange a confrontation with the new hero only to have Power Man attack Cage in revenge for his father’s yet to be revealed demise.
This looks to be a real gem coming from the crossover. If the writer and editors keep the character around and haven’t just made a throw away character for the sake of the series Power Man could fill the gap left in the ‘street level’ heroes when Cage went big-time in the Avengers. He has the potential to bring the inner city point of view that Cage, the White Tiger and other 70s characters brought to the MU.
Hulk #24: Jeff Loeb and Ed McGuinness wrap the story that rocked Marvel to its foundations and end the long story lines of Planet Hulk, World War Hulk, Fall of the Hulks and World War Hulks and resolve the Red Hulk storyline. The Red Hulk, finally revealed to be General Ross (with Betty Banner, the Red She Hulk), pulls an Alexander Haig (I’m in charge) after ripping off the head of a Glenn Talbot LMD. Confronted by the Hulk, the ensuing brawl trashes Washington DC and ends with Hulk in command of Gamma Base and Ross presented to Steve Rogers as a tool to be used in Marvel’s Heroic Age.
Avengers Academy #3/Thunderbolts #147: From Christos Gage and Mike McKone (Avengers Academy) and Jeff Parker and Kev Walker (Thunderbolts) beginning in Avengers Academy, guest instructors, Iron Fist and Valkyrie are displayed as Pym takes the Academy on a Scared Straight tour of the Raft, the Maximum Security Federal Prison run by Avengers Luke Cage and John Walker (the former USAgent). The teen aged angst continues as Hazmat proposes that Veil take revenge on Norman Osborn for activating her powers which will eventually kill her. At the prison Hazmat generates an EM Pulse that knocks out the prison’s power and she, Veil and Mettle confront Osborn.
In Thunderbolts, the issue wraps up the new team’s first mission and segues into the Scared Straight story where Moonstone and Ghost play mind games with the students and then with the T-bolts dealing with the riot generated by the power outage, narrated by Walker as a daily report for the prison record.
A decent short cross-over with two teams that probably would not have otherwise met, a clever use of a real life program utilized in the story and good use of the personalities on both teams.
Beating out favorites like Brightest Day #8, Secret Avengers #4, DC Universe: Legacies #4 and Shadowland: Daughters of the Shadow #1 the top five were a mix of new titles and semi-new ones with the end of a major storyline that had several long hidden mysteries. There were other great books like Justice Society, Uncanny X-men, Green Lantern Corps, Batman Beyond and Amazing Spider-man that were vying for recognition as well, plenty of excitement to go around.
Galaxyman can be found patrolling the streets of Lawrenceville and Buford and yet oddly always near one of the Galactic Quest store locations. Stop in and tell Kyle “Bruce sent you!” Watch for Galaxyman’s Top Five Picks of the Week!!