28
Sep
2012
The Watchtower
The Watchtower Diaries
Chris
The Watchtower is a weekly column, commenting on the biggest and strangest comic news and rumors of the week, as well as offering quick critiques on some of the other books I didn't get a chance to review this week. Think of it as the Notes section you find on our TV and Movie reviews, but for the week in comics as a whole. I'll also look forward at noticeable releases for next week, and offer some speculation on what the next news cycle might bring. As always comments and discussion are welcome. Spoilers may ensue

Notes on 9/26 Releases

The Flash #0
DC Comics
Francis Manapul & Brian Buccellato
A gorgeous origin issue that sets itself a cut and above the rest of it's zero month contemporaries by actually telling a flashback story that adds to the continuing narrative and clarifies questions pertinent to the new status quo. Already much has been said about the extraordinary use of insert panels to tell the story visually, and I'm going to join that chorus of praise, emphasizing that there is no other book on the stands that so effortlessly packs in story through art. Also, did anyone catch the name of that escaping getaway driver in the prison scene? Daniel West?!?!?! Any connection to a certain absentee fan favorite speedster? DC editorial isn't cruel or careless enough for this to be just a coincidence"¦

Justice League Dark #0
DC Comics
Jeff Lemire
Lee Garbett
Always fun to John Constantine out of his element and not the most cock-sure mage in the room. Another well done 0 issue, week 4 as a whole was just very good all around.

FF #22
Marvel Comics
Jonathan Hickman
Andre Araujo
Very sweet, mildly creepy, but mostly very sweet ending. Jonathan Hickman's last year of Fantastic Four and FF is starting to rival Return of the King in sheer number of epilogues, but you know what? I don't care. It's great stuff and after Hickman's non-stop thrill ride on these books, it's nice to relax for a bit.


Marvel Now! Soon

So by my estimation, we have about 12-15 Marvel Now books still to be announced. Let this be my definitive prediction week, and come December when the last of the books are announced you can all be very impressed at my foresight or laugh at how wrong I was. The first 5 are freebies but here we go:

1. New Avengers -Hickman and Epting
This title was one of the first Marve Now books to be announced but has yet to be solicited.

2. Uncanny X-Force -Humphries and Garney
Same deal as New Avengers.

3. (Insert Adjective) Spider-Man -Slott and Ramos.
Marvel has made it clear that one book will be relaunched with the same creative team but a drastically new direction. Given how much Slott has been doing press for the developments of Amazing Spider-Man #700, I believe this is that book.

4. Wolverine -Frank Cho
Cho on story and art. I have nothing to base this on other than the Bleeding Cool report.

5. Guardians of the Galaxy -Brian Bendis and Terry Dodson
I know everyone is predicting Steve McNiven to pencil this book, but McNiven isn't exactly known for keeping a monthly schedule, and Bendis is known as a writer who prefers a more than monthly output.

6. Nova -Loeb and McGuinness
These two aren't known for long runs on titles, but Loeb did stick around on Hulk for a couple years. McGuiness will probably need a fill-in to keep up with a monthly schedule if they plan on staying on the title past an initial arc.

7. Young Avengers -Gillen & McKelvie
These creators are tied to a story in the Marvel Now .1 preview issue featuring Wiccan, Miss America Chavez, and Kid Loki. The writing is on the wall. Quite honestly this title is a dream come true. The only downside is it might be the cause of pushing back volume 3 of Phonogram to next year.

8. Heroes for Hire -Bendis & Deodato
The last several issues of New Avengers have featured a lot of scenes of Luke Cage reflecting on a simpler time in his life. Given that Bendis has announced he will be writing a total of 4 Marvel titles, and his well documented affinity for Cage, I don't think it's much of a stretch to guess he'll be launching a series featuring Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist reopening Heroes for Hire.

9. S.H.I.E.L.D. -Nick Spencer and Luke Ross
With Nick Spencer and Luke Ross tied to a story in the Marvel Now .1 preview issue featuring Nick Fury Jr. and the newly introduced Agent Coulson, it seems that Marvel is ready to reintroduce a monthly S.H.I.E.L.D. book. Given that Spencer has a background for espionage tales in books such as T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents and Iron Man 2.0 he definitely would be on the short list to launch such a book.

10. Marvel Fanfare -Various
A few stray comments from Axel Alonso leads me to believe Marvel will be launching an anthology title as part of Marvel Now. Bendis has made more than a few fond mentions of the old Marvel Fanfare anthology on his Tumblr this month, could he be excited about the intended relaunch? Maybe he is even writing the first arc.

11. Blade
This one is complete conjecture based on the fact that there are still 2-5 slots for books. Blade makes sense because Marvel can't be blind to the success DC has achieved with the revamping (no pun intended) of their horror based characters and the fact that Vampires are big right now. That said a Morbius the Living Vampire series has already been announced (not part of Marvel Now"¦I think?). I don't know who would be connected to this one creator-wise. Blade was heavily featured in Paul Cornell's Captain Britain and MI13, and I've been hearing a rumor about Cornell returning to Marvel"¦ Hmmmm.

12. Secret Avengers
Remender made a comment a few months back that though he was leaving the title, it wasn't going anywhere. That said, I hope the comment was misinterpreted or that things have changed in the interim as 7 ongoing Avengers books just feels like too much (of course it's always worked out for the X Office). I'm gonna go out on a limb and tie Cullen Bunn to this if it's happening, as his schedule recently opened up with his runs on Wolverine and Captain America & ______ coming to a close.

13. Spider-Woman
I have nothing to base this on other than the idea that Marvel has been trying to increase their number of solo titles featuring female protagonists and that Marvel seems more apt to launch titles that can be easily tied to one of their marquee characters. Spider-Woman has been pretty popular ever since Bendis included her in the New Avengers however she's faded into the background recently. Let's say Zeb Welles? He's been tied to the Spider office and he's writing a Marvel Now book, why not this one.

14. Cyclops and the Brotherhood
Featuring the remnants of his Extinction Team, this group will probably be only featured in Bendis' All New X-Men, but you never know. If it happens, my guess is Brian Wood.

15. Devil Dinosaur and Moon Boy
BECAUSE REASONS! Fred Van Lente, Greg Pak, and Skottie Young. (Let me dream).

That's it. Check out these titles in stores next wednesday:

Action Comics #13
Animal Man #13
Green Lantern #13
Swamp Thing #13
Avengers Academy #38
Avengers vs. X-Men #12
Defenders #11
Uncanny X-Force #32
Uncanny X-Men #19
Fatale #8
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