Variant Covers: Thor Goes Intergalactic Hammer Time

Fuck yeah, tomorrow is comic book day, and I’m all amplified for this shit. This is the week of epic viking Gods. Blood and Thunder! A little mid-week tomfoolery in the land of face smashing wunder-hammers. Are you excited? You can bet your bottom goddamn dollar I’m stoked. Let’s hit the list of comic books I’m excited for tomorrow.


Thor #615
I’ll make you a square fucking deal. I’ll stop blathering about the nineteen Thor titles when they stop stacking them with primo talent. Aiight? Fair deal? This week, Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry’s run on Thor proper starts. And Jesus Christ, if I’m not beyond excited. Fraction, my current writer crush and inspiration beyond measure, spends most of his time unleashing mainstream brilliance on Invincible Iron Man. He follows that with interdimensional space-bound insanity with his creator owned Casanova. And oh yeah? He describes his run on Thor as “epic space metal.”

Ferry ain’t no slouch either. His preview art for this debut issue did nothing less than make me arch my back in a furious nerdgasm.

I’ll admit that I bemoan the excessive amount of Avengers titles, and in a fit of hypocrisy, have found myself excited for nearly every Thor title announced. But when you stack them with Fraction and Hickman and Langridge? Unfathomable awesomeness.

Serious aside: Thor with beard, or sans beard? I can’t decide.


Skullkickers #1
This comic book is titled Skullkickers. It’s also being billed for “dork dicksores who like Army of Darkness.” Awesome. And apparently it’s already sold out at the distribution level. Even a dumbass such as myself can sense something special going here. I mean, Jesus Christ, to reiterate, it’s called Skullkickers. In a week seeing Thor’s continual dominance as the God of Thunder and Dorks Like Me Who Play Warcraft, this title seems like a perfect compliment. Two dudes wrapped up in an assassination plot who punch werewolves in the face and engage in witty banter. Sold.

Slap something new into your pull list and roll the dice on this one. At the very least, you can probably sell it for a decent mark-up in a couple of months when people coming late to the party can’t bring themselves to wait for the trade paperback.


Nemesis #3
Confession time: even a staunch Millar fanboy such as myself is beginning to fatigue of the guy. Overexposure in motion is enshrouding the dude. He’s got this title, Kick-Ass, and the forthcoming Superior. All creator owned titles that he’s constantly wanking off as being in some sort of movie production. Yeah, yeah, yeah, dude. We get it. Then there’s the movie he’s making on his own. Which he called “X-Men Meets Trainspotting.”


Then there’s the fact that all of his titles have gotten to the point of being pretty mediocre. Back when I was repping Nemesis #1 as being awesome low-minded action, a reader pointed out that this was pretty much Millar’s calling card. And while I bristled at the time, I’m officially onboard with the notion. People swearing a lot, little girls stabbing people, ultra-violence and depravity. Yawn. This is coming from someone who is clearly a fan of all of the above. But it’s overdone and being mashed into paste, bro.

Nemesis was already the obvious Batman As Bad Guy title, but the second issue was remarkable in the fact that it stole directly from The Dark Knight. Wait, the villain wants to be capture? Stop me if I’ve seen this somewhere before. I stared at the page, thinking, Like, Really? That’s what you got for me?


Even a fanboy like me. A bit fatigued.


Eulogy: Wildstorm Closes
Hijacking my own column to comment on the news today that the imprint Wildstorm is closing. The bastard child of Jim Lee nearly twenty-years ago, it gave birth to both Planetary and The Authority, as well as Wildcats and Gen 13. Most recently, Brian Wood’s DV8 was resurrecting the Gen 13 spin-off and was my favorite X-Men book that wasn’t an X-title at all.

It’s a bummer to see an imprint closing. Sure, an imprint which probably wasn’t financially tenable any longer, but none the less. Lee has commented that they have plans for the characters that are being shuttered, and I puke a little when I imagine them being folded into the DC Universe.

Every time the comic book industry shrinks a little less, a certain pall strikes a little cord in my comic book heart. Even if the Wildstorm-verse had stopped entertaining me for a while, it was nice seeing a realm without Wolverine or Superman persist for as long as it had. Maybe if the quality of the titles was higher, fans would have stuck around. But maybe the fans not sticking around is what prohibited them from drawing the larger names.

Who knows?

I sure don’t.

Rest in peace, Apollo and Midnighter. Easily my favorite gay couple in comic books. When Batman and Superman made out, we all won.