As we move slowly into convention season, there is kind of a dearth of interesting comics news to work through some weeks. Oh sure, we could weigh in on Marvel’s comments at ComicsPRO that the reason their sales are down is because of DC shipping cheaper books, but that’s a little inside baseball even for us. And besides: we all know that the people at Marvel will say absolutely anything if it means Issac Perlmutter turns his Sauron doom-eye back toward Kevin Feige.

So this week, we stick with talking this weeks’ comics, including:

  • Justice League of America #1, written by Steve Orlando with art by Ivan Reis,
  • Darkness Visible #1, written by Mike Carey and Arvind Ethan David with art by Brendan Cahill,
  • The Old Guard #1, written by Greg Rucka with art by Leandro Fernandez
  • Hulk #3, written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Nico Leon, and:
  • The Amazing Spider-Man #24, written by Dan Slott and Christos Gage with art by Giuseppe Camuncoli!

However, the disclaimers:

  • This show contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know how many of this week’s comic books actually feature The Hulk (hint: it’s one fewer than you’d think!), then consider yourself forewarned.
  • This show contains adult, profane language, and is therefore not safe for work. Let’s just say that Rob curses enough about The Clone Conspiracy this week to make the phrase “Ben Reilly” an obscenity by association. So consider using earbuds.

Thanks for listening, suckers!

justice_league_25_cover_2013Editor’s Note: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It, And I Feel Spoiled.

So between spending the week helping the new cat get used to a life where the searing agony of a shot to the nuts happens to stupid humans, and dealing with the first ice and snow falls of the winter (Three times in eight days! I love New England! And I am apparently alone in this affection, since clearly God has forsaken us!), so I am well behind in reading this week’s comics. You’d be surprised how hard it is to concentrate on a simple piece of graphic literature when the cat is yowling and my co-Editor Amanda is asking if I think it would help if she plunked his sack in a snowbank.

It’s hard being a parent, even to a lower beast who shits in a box, loves the taste of network cable, and thinks a laser pointer is the best thing ever despite not being a seven-year-old boy in 1977. So I found it interesting that the first three books I peeled off my stack this evening – Justice League #25, Justice League of America #10 and Cataclysm: Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #2 – all were about, on some level, the relationships between heroes (or anti-heroes) and their parents.

And all three books range from pretty good to excellent, but while I would normally review each of them in depth, well, it is Monday, and to compose my usual type of review for each comic would take me three hours and about 1,200 words to review, meaning there is no way in hell I could get them done before the new comics drop on Wednesday. So for a change, I’ll just write a couple of paragraphs about each, in ascending order of my opinion of them.

Assuming, of course, that this cat doesn’t decide to use my leg to sharpen his claws to remind me that I should be spending my money on scratching posts rather than silly things like neutering. Or comic books.

justice_league_of_america_1_cover_2013Editor’s Note: Gathered together from the cosmic reaches of the universe – here in this great Hall of Justice – are the most powerful forces of spoilers ever assembled.

This isn’t like The Suicide Squad.

– Steve Trevor

Actually, Justice League of America #1, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by David Finch, is a lot like Suicide Squad, in that it’s got Amanda Waller making unique and intriguing personal offers to fringe people with super powers to join a team controlled by the government to perform missions for the government’s purposes. It’s also a lot like Keith Giffen’s and J. M. DeMatteis’s early issues of their late 80’s Justice League, in that it is attempting to lay the groundwork for and justify a Justice League packed with second-stringers and also-rans. It’s also a lot like Brad Meltzer’s post-Identity Crisis run on Justice League of America, in that it’s got as many sequences of people looking at pictures of, and talking about, superheroes as it does sequences of people actually, you know, doing stuff.

Two of these similarities are good things.

Look, as an opening issue of a book trying to justify the creation of a second Justice League when there’s a perfectly good one that’s only a year and a half old, this is a perfectly acceptable story that delivers the necessary exposition required to justify the concept and to introduce characters who are either relatively new since the New 52 reboot, or who have been around in their own titles, albeit with sales numbers low enough to warrant a whole new introduction (I’m looking at you, Hawkman). And it does it with enough mysterious teases and interesting secrets to justify their willingness to join this team to keep things intriguing… with one exception. In one case, using a single word balloon, Johns shows himself to be playing with some serious fire. Fire that, if he handles it well, will thrill anyone who read comics through the 1990… and that conversely, if he screws it up, will make a fairly significant niche fanbase turn on him like he insulted their mothers, and make the attempted rehabilitation of Vibe seem like a low-risk venture.

We are experiencing some unexpected technical difficulties this evening; I suppose this is what one gets when he drunkenly tries to write about a new superhero he invented on the toilet named “DROP TABLE”.

So please bear with us while we try to fix the issue. In the meantime, you can take this opportunity to start digging through couch cushions and in the lint trap for nickels and dimes. You’ll need them to start your complete collection of the upcoming Justice League of America. Because if you want to be able to tell the regulars at the comic store that you have the whole run, you’ll need to get the variant covers for the upcoming first issue.

All 52 of them.

Yup, it’s one issue for every state in America, plus an extra couple for the territories that we keep kicking around. Which means that if you want them all, it would cost you around, oh, $200 or $300 bucks. Assuming you can get them at face value.

Yeah, we’re gonna pass. We can use that money to hire a database guy.

Thanks for your patience.

There is a convention going on in Toronto this weekend called Fan Expo Canada, which we were not able to attend since we are still paying off our attendance at San Diego Comic-Con, I have no valid passport, and because of that 1991 incident where the Montreal Police were forced to declare that particular location of Peel’s Pub “Unfit for human habitation” after five pitchers of Labatts and a plate of their poutine like it’s my fault that there was already a dude locked in the bathroom when the gravy and beer did what it does.

Anyhoo, there was a convention this weekend, and members of the DC Comics staff were there, and there was a pretty big announcement: writer Geoff Johns and current Batman: The Dark Knight artist David Finch will be collaborating on a new book: Justice League of America.