Ant on Comics: New Comics PREVIEW for 12/04/13

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ant_hawkeyeHello, comic friends! I am here to discuss comics that will be released this Wednesday, December 4th, 2013. If you want to hear my reviews on the comics I picked up last week, you can check them out on the Ant On Podcast on iTunes!

Now, if I had the wallet of guys like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark… I would honestly buy one copy of every comic book that comes out. But, alas, I’m not a jewel thief like Catwoman and can’t phase through the floor of my local comic book store like Kitty Pryde to grab every comic book created. So instead I look through the list every week and pull the ones that interest me the most.

All book premises are in quotes and brought to you by TFAW. The rest is all me, friends! For a complete list of releases you can visit Comic List.

THIS WEEK’S PICKS:

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God Is Dead #4 (of 6)

oct130935“The End of Days has come! As the Asgardians destroy pantheon after pantheon in their quest for total domination, the human race’s last hope is a desperate gamble to create their own god weapon. But when the divine turns out to be the Anti-Christ it leaves very few options other than obliteration for all of human-kind. JONATHAN HICKMAN delivers a story like no other where the hubris of man is the only thing standing between freedom and eternal subjugation. The Book of Revelations is open before us and the end of the world can’t be far behind. Available with a Regular cover by Jonathan Hickman, End of Days cover, a premium Iconic card stock cover that is limited to just 5000 copies by Jacen Burrows, and a Pantheon Order Incentive cover by series artist Di Amorim.”

I picked up this series with not much information with exception of the title really catching my eye. I’ve been really enjoying this and I’ve reached the point where I am going to collect the remaining issues and hold off to read them until I can read all six issues as a whole. The art is fantastic, and the writing is really strong. I do not know if this will come back for another storyline after it’s first run here, but we’ll see how the second half of this turns out.

The Star Wars #4 (of 8)

22827“General Skywalker and Jedi-in-training Annikin Starkiller have a deadly encounter with mounted Stormtroopers! An encounter with outlaws in a cantina leads to a meeting with smuggler Han Solo! And a Jedi makes the ultimate sacrifice to save one of Princess Leia’s younger brothers! Duel in the desert”

This is the adaptation of George Lucas’s first draft for Star Wars. This is being brought to us in comic form for a total of eight issues. After reading the first issue, I was loving the art but was confused on the story, only because I’ve been a Star Wars fan since the day I was born and was so used to the characters and stories. After a second read, it made a lot more sense and I began to see the changes that Lucas ended up making as his script would get revised.

Again, this is based off of his first draft, so I highly recommend you keep your mind clear and adapt to the differences between this and the final product. After my second read I was 100% sold on the rest of the series to see how this all plays out. I’m fairly certain I’ll need this as a hardcover version as well. I’m a fan of everything Star Wars (yes, even the prequels… I love them) so this will be one more great piece to my collection. I don’t collect much when it comes to Star Wars comic books, but this easily takes the number one spot for my favorite take on the series… and that makes sense considering it comes directly from George’s original vision.

Mocking Dead #4 (of 4)

oct131117“DIA agents Bunch and Malik at last arrive at the estate where the long-lost print of The Mocking Dead movie can be found … but is it in time to save a world already unraveling at the seams from the threat of the Zeds?”

This story is about what people would do when a real zombie apocalypse hits their city, and they have access to  knowledge of zombies through books, television and movies, and use that to help survive.

Even though the title of this mini-series is a parody of The Walking Dead, the story itself has some comedy but is treated pretty seriously. Whenever you see people deal with zombies in many sources of fiction, they never know how to defend themselves. If we were attacked in real life, we would probably have plenty of information available and know how to save our lives… and that is the approach this comic takes. I held off on issue 3, waiting for this 4th and final issue to be released so I could read it all as a whole.

I don’t follow many zombie related projects, but this one really appealed to me. Plus, these covers have been extremely awesome.

Reality Check #4 (of 4)

oct130616“Dark Hour has been defeated. Will is forced to ‘Man Up’ and face the maniac Devil-Inside on his own. If he loses, all Hell breaks loose – Devil will kill the woman he loves and continue an unstoppable homicidal reign of murder and mayhem.”

This series is about a comic book creator who is trying to make his deadline but is extremely frustrated with where to go with the story he is writing and drawing. His love for art and comic books came from his older brother, and we get a glimpse of that backstory in the first issue, and it really sets the story on an emotional tone.

The superhero, Dark Hour, that he created actually appears in the flesh at the end of the first issue… and he’s trying to make suggestions on how his creator should write for him. This is another series that I held off on last month’s issue so I could read all 4 at the same time.

As I’ve been working on developing my own comic book series, reading this comic has been a really fun experience.

Velvet #2

velvet_02-1“On the run from her own agency, Velvet must find out what really got Agent X-14 killed, and the only way to do that is retrace his steps… and that’s a pathway of dead bodies, ruined lives, and angry mercenary soldiers. And along the way, one of Velvet’s darkest secrets is revealed. Don’t miss the second issue of this white-hot new series, from the hit creators of the CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER saga!”

I really enjoyed the first issue of this series and am extremely excited for more. Velvet is a former spy, who gets back into the game when one of her own has been murdered. If you like spy stories, then this is a great one to jump onto right now.

I’m already anticipating that I will not be able to wait each month for the next story, that’s how good that first issue was… and when you look at the creators behind it, it’s not at all surprising that this was a great debut to a brand new comic book series.

The Amazing Spider-Man #700.1

OCT130676“One year after his death at the hands of the Superior Spider-Man–PETER PARKER IS BACK! Acclaimed novelist David Morrell (First Blood) and legendary comics icon Klaus Janson (DAREDEVIL: END OF DAYS) team up to kick off this celebration of the world’s greatest super hero! With a blizzard crippling New York City, Spider-Man must protect the city–but Aunt May’s life is in danger!”

Ok, starting with The Amazing Spider-Man #698, it was revealed that Peter Parker was trapped inside the failing body of Doctor Octopus, thanks to Ock’s vicious schemes. This led into the defeat of Peter Parker in the final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man series, which bled into Otto living inside of Peter’s body and become The Superior Spider-Man, without anybody else knowing it wasn’t really Peter inside.

Now one year later this issue hits the shelves with no background information on what is going on, other than the fact it’s another actual Peter Park story. I pre-ordered it, along with the rest (700.2-.5) because I am a Spider-Man fan, but I am extremely curious if this actually takes place in the Superior Spidey story, or if it’s a way to give fans the real Peter, because being killed off by writer Dan Slott, it didn’t sit well with a large group of fans, while an even larger group of fans continued to make the Doc Ock Spidey a success.

I, personally, really love the ending of The Amazing Spider-Man, and I am blown away by what is happening with Doctor Octopus living as Peter Parker. The end of Peter was such a monumental moment in all of comic books, after fifty years as a series, I was so glad to be part of this creative change in character.

Amazing X-Men #2

oct130721“The X-Men, on the search for Nightcrawler, find themselves separated! Wolverine and Northstar are mysteriously in . . . heaven?! But where does that leave the rest of the team?”

Awhile ago, the character of Nightcrawler died and was never to be seen again… until last month with the debut of this new mini-series that I believe is running for 5 issues. I haven’t read the death of Nightcrawler but have put his story into my Amazon wish list to go back and check it out because I really enjoyed the start of this series.

The X-Men are what basically got me into Marvel comics thanks to the cartoon, but during my hobby of comic book collecting I wasn’t always in the know for everything going on and fell out of the comic love but was later introduced with Astonishing X-Men ten years later.

So every time a new X-Men story hits the shelves, I am always up to checking it out because I absolutely love the diversity these characters bring to the story. A group of mutants who are looked down upon from society yet continue to fight the good fight no matter what the human race thinks of them.

Guardians of the Galaxy #9

sep130672“INFINITY TIE-IN! The Infinity adventure continues as Thanos’s rise might lead to the Guardians’ fall.”

In this series, which is great timing to create extra excitement for the upcoming feature film in August of next year, Star Lord has reassembled his team of outcasts known as The Guardians of the Galaxy. The first story arc dealt with Iron Man leaving Earth to eventually work with the Guardians. After the events of Age of Ultron, the goddess character Angela appeared literally out of nowhere, and right into a fight with the Guardians.

After her capture, they interrogated her and tried to get her backstory, which she wasn’t so sure of why she was there either. They allowed her to continue her journey to Earth. Last month, Abigail Brand of S.W.O.R.D. contacted Star Lord and requested his help during what is happening during the Marvel event Infinity. This is another tie-in issue, though Infinity wrapped up last week; I believe this still takes place during the event and not after.

Francesco Francavilla took over as the artist, and last month’s issue completely blew me away with the art change. It was easily my favorite issue of the series so far just because of his art. Francesco is also doing the art on the Afterlife With Archie series, and he’s instantly becoming an artist that is grabbing all of my attention. I was very happy to see him still on board for this series, and I hope it lasts for a long, long time.

The Superior Spider-Man #23

oct130686“DARKEST HOURS Part 2 of 4: “Complications” As Otto Octavius takes another big step in his life as Peter Parker . . . could a big part of Flash Thompson’s life be coming to a close? Will he be . . . VENOM NO MORE?! More with MJ! More with Carlie! More with the Green Goblin! And, after half a century, one of the most cringe-worthy moments in ALL of Spidey-history! You do NOT want to miss this one!”

In the last issue, Flash Thompson as Venom got to meet Doc Ock as Spider-Man for the very first time. Superior Spidey is unaware that Flash is actually in control of Venom and is actually fighting for good, and that could have been a big mistake on Flash’s sake for not opening with that.

A tremendous issue really kicked off this Venom arc and this series continues to be my favorite superhero comic book currently on the shelves.

Conclusion:

My podcast, Ant On, is available on iTunes (with links above and below this post), and I do several episodes focused 100% on comic book previews and reviews. The podcast starting with episode 14 (to be released on December 3rd) showcases the first episode not exclusively about comic books. I sit down with my friend Kristen as we discuss three fun off-beat news topics I found online. We had a lot of fun recording and we plan to make this a reoccurring style for my podcast as I will continue to do the comic book centric episodes as well.

I also do a comic book segment on my first podcast, AB Conversation, in which I will highlight just a few of the books, leaving reason to check out the Ant On Comics podcast as well for the full feature. The AB Conversation covers movies, television, comics, video games, food and the internet every Sunday morning.

I always like to support my local comic book shop. Pre-orders are key. If you purchase the monthly Previews guide located at your store, you can browse upcoming titles and set up an order and/or a pull-list with your store so they order the items that you are interested in.

There are several online sites to shop from too. Things From Another World and Midtown Comics are two that I like to frequent.

If you are into digital comics, then simply go to Comixology or the individual websites and apps for the publishers you purchase from.

Are there any titles that you are excited for that I didn’t talk about? Contact me and share your non-spoiler suggestions! If you don’t agree with what I have to say, I apologize and hope you are enjoying the comics you read, because I am definitely loving mine.

This is the Ant-Man signing off… I’ll see you between the panels!

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My podcasts on iTunes: “AB Conversation” & “Ant On

My podcast websites: http://www.abconversation.net & http://www.antonpodcast.podomatic.com

My film-making website: http://www.bartonheights.4t.com

My Twitter: @anthonylaatsch

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