Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Marvel solicitations: May 2007

Nothing says cheap space-filler like wading through the solicitations, but that's no reason not to flag up a few things...

- It's a very quiet week for new books - one miniseries, one ongoing title, and neither of them in continuity. This may be some sort of record.

- Civil War tie-ins are still coming out in May, meaning that the whole storyline is going to last over a year. You don't think this is stretching it beyond breaking point at all? Meanwhile, Archie announce Civil Chore, in which their characters have a strike about pocket money. No, seriously, this is a real comic. And I'll bet you Archie's comic is a better metaphor for industrial relations than Marvel's was for civil liberties.

- Dark Tower #4 still gets a prominent slot in the solicitations. Serious question: I've skimmed the major message boards and there really doesn't seem to be much discussion about this book at all. Newsarama's Review thread, for example, has only 5 replies. ComiX-Fan managed six. Now, it might be that people are discussing it somewhere else, or that the book really did sell in vast quantities outside the standard audience (although I imagine those readers will wait for the trade paperback). But the level of discussion about this book seems a bit anaemic to me, considering all the hype. Am I being too sceptical?

- A six-issue miniseries adapting Last of the Mohicans. "Plus - delve into the history of the man known as Hawkeye in a special bonus story." That would presumably be Hawkeye, the character from the Last of the Mohicans and not Hawkeye, the Marvel Universe superhero... but it's nice of them to leave it ambiguous. Actually, I'm all for the idea of doing adaptations to try and reach a wider audience, but it seems to me they'd be better off just going straight to digest format with it. Written by Roy Thomas, who's an intriguingly old-school choice for an obvious outreach project.

- Blade #9 carries the solicitation text "See why the Internet is raving about this sleeper hit." Sleeper? Try comatose. Where is the Internet raving about Blade? Seriously now. Let's try and keep a modicum of credibility.

- Black Panther visits the Marvel Zombies universe, so Marvel are clearly still committing to keeping the sales as high as possible. Can't fault them for that; they're obviously determined that this book will be a success, and they're throwing everything they can at it. On the other hand, stunt after stunt isn't good for the book to maintain its own identity.

- She-Hulk #19 is back to the law firm, which is reassuring. I had a sinking feeling they might be leaving it behind for a long while, and I'm glad to see they haven't been abandoned.

- Marvel Adventures Iron Man. Well, there's a movie coming up. Something tells me this version won't be a fascist with cellphone powers.

- A Spider-Man newspaper strips hardcover, with strips from the late 1970s. Well, they're certainly serious about the project of bringing everything back into print, and there's probably a bigger market for this than you'd first think. Good for them.