Welcome to my fifth “Shout Out/Scream At!” column! With this column I will be taking a look at what makes me a happy fanboy (Shout Outs!) and what frustrates me (Scream Ats!) within the comic industry. Today I will be covering Marvel's new Reborn series, Spider-Man and the X-Men, Sparta USA, Anniversary issue numbering and Avatar comics!
SHOUT OUT! Dave Lapham's new series, Sparta, USA
As sad as I am with the cancellation of Young Liars, I am thrilled that Dave Lapham has a new series coming out from Wildstorm called Sparta, USA. In his own words, he describes Sparta as "a typical middle-America town, and yes they love their football. In fact, their whole culture is built around football and apple pie. Oh, and upward mobility through subterfuge. I wanted to set a story in a self-contained town with an idyllic façade but behind the scenes it was all spy games and sabotage. Sort of “Desperate Housewives” on crack. And not a soap opera. You’re the stock boy, you want to be shift supervisor, so you arrange for the old supervisor to have an accident, or a scandal." Unfortunately he is not providing the art on the series but the book is in good hands with Johnny Timmons at the helm. Football and Lapham, two of my favorite things!
SCREAM AT! Marvel's new Reborn series
I was really hoping that this was going to spotlight the return of Banshee but we all know who is returning. And we all knew it was inevitable. It just seems like yesterday that Steve Rogers was killed and I was hoping that he would stay that way for a bit longer. I like Steve as much as the next guy but I thought Bucky made a more interesting Captain America. Couple that with the $3.99 price tag and I am passing on this. And is it just me or has Bryan Hitch's work just not been the same? His work is solid enough but I have not enjoyed it as much as his work on the Authority and the first Ultimates series. If Steve Epting were drawing it, I would be all over it.
SHOUT OUT! Spider-Man and the X-Men mini series
The recent Spider-Man/X-Men series left me begging for more. I picked up this series because I have become a huge fan of Christos Gage but it was the beautiful cover by Mario Albreti that really sealed the deal. His artwork did not disappoint at all, I knew this series was a winner when I opened up the first issue and saw a panel of Gwen Stacy. The writing was a ton of fun too, Gage takes you through a new story involving Spider-Man and the X-Men and through various time frames. You get the first X-Men team, college Peter Parker, the black Spider-Man suit, the Morlock Massacre, Ben Reilly, Wolverine with bone claws and the present day X-Men and Spider-Man. And the villains are some of my favorites too, Kraven the Hunter, the Blob, Carnage, Mister Sinister and the Marauders. I don't want to spoil any of the story here, you'll have to trust me on this. If any of the above eras are a soft spot for you, I highly recommend picking up this series. How much did I like it? If a sequel is made with the same creative team, I would be HAPPY to plunk down $3.99. But SHHHHHH... don't tell Marvel that!
SCREAM AT! Dark X-Men Mini
When all the Dark X-Men images were hitting the Internet we were all speculating that this was going to be a new series. But then I heard that the Dark X-Men would appear within the pages of the Uncanny X-Men and I was happy. Then the new solicitations came out and sure enough, there was a new Dark X-Men mini solicited. Not only was it $3.99 but TWO issues were coming out during the same month. I love Cloak and Dagger and I am very excited that they are appearing in an X-title but I am going to have to pass on this. I cannot afford to spend an extra $8 bucks in one month. Not even the power of Paul Cornell can help me on this one. Guess I will have to wait for trade on this one.
SHOUT OUT! Anniversary Issue Renumbering
I am a little on the fence with this one. Part of me hates renumbering because it causes such headaches to keep track of. Especially if you are purchasing back issues (do people still do that?) and when you are filing away your books. But the other part of me (the really geeky part) is thrilled that Marvel is going back and renumbering its main titles. I always thought that it was cool that DC had books that were way up in their numbers and I hated that Marvel would just start a title back with a #1 just to sell more copies. I liked bragging that I started collecting the Uncanny X-Men with issue #200. That means I have been collecting that title for over 300 issues! I can't say the same with the other Marvel titles. Saying that you have been collecting Captain America since #310 of Volume 1 just doesn't have the same ring to it. Even though it will create some headaches, I am proud that Marvel is embracing their history.
SCREAM AT! Stinky Avatar comics!
I purchase my comics online and I can always tell when I have ordered an Avatar comic. I have been enjoying Doktor Sleepless (when I think I understand it) and I am loving Ignition City but it is a pain to really enjoy them. The ink or paper, or combination of the two really make the book stink! I had to put aside Ignition City #2 because of the smell. They really got to do something about that!