It's like looking back and seeing the tide recede. You turn and think, 'Wow, that's a lot of water back there, all going backwards... I wonder what's going to come next?'
We have three major plotlines coming to fruition or at least the first blossom of a long road ahead: the Siege, Fall of Hulks (wait, wasn't this War of Hulks?), and the start of the new era of Captain America. No one is surprised that Steve Rogers is back in the old costume, but what he does next will have to rock the foundations of the Marvel Universe as did his passing. 2010 will one of those years we'll look back on as a point of interest on the Marvel superhighway, but for now, we can plan our trip along it's crazy, windy route and hope for a next rest stop along the way.
First, let's start of with Siege. Like Sting or Cher, it's just SIEGE, no 'the' wanted or included as Doom goes to war against Asgard. "The SIEGE of Asgard has begun! And Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers are leading the charge! Osborn's savvy use of the media fueled his rise to power – but the very tools he’s been using may turn against him. It’s time to expose Norman’s true face to the world and uncover the secrets behind the attack on the gods! Witness the changing of the Marvel Universe firsthand!" I know, your usual Wednesday 'Nothing will ever be the same again' and as expected, it's going to run through all of Bendis's books along with Gillen's Thor, Way & Liu's Dark Wolverine apparently (yeah, he's going to be a big one in this) and Gage's Avengers: the Initiative, all of them showing a rather snazzy looking cover style that will be easy to file into your back issues (thanks, Civil War).
Now, SIEGE: STORMING ASGARD - HEROES & VILLAINS may look like your usual program to the event book, quickie redone handbook updates like we've seen in the past (see Dark Reign Files), but it also claims to have interviews with the writers and architects of this major Marvel turning point, so it might be interesting to flip through while browsing the shelves that week (but no reading, this isn't a library), if only to find out how this all started from Avengers: Disassembled.
Another thing to look out for are the books that have no SIEGE dress, but might be subtly tied in: MIGHTY AVENGERS #33 and X-FACTOR #201. On one hand, you have the subtle slip that Layla Miller is now working for Doom, which considering he's also leading the Intelligentsia against Team Hulk, isn't that big of a stretch of overusing a guest villain (or is it?) and on the other...
COSMIC CUBE. Mr. Slott has never shied away from giving up the goods in his early solicitations so everyone, please take a moment to pick your jaw off the floor and let's look at that again. Yep. That's Norman Osborn and yes, that's THE COSMIC CUBE. Ok, maybe not 'the', maybe it's just A Cosmic Cube, but still! That's huge! That could explain a lot of what Osborn's getting away with here and I'm really curious as to why this isn't getting a SIEGE bump.
There are three major books to start the new year with some quality Steve Rogers business. Some gung ho action, American resolve and the fight to win! Raise your flags high at CAPTAIN AMERICA REBORN #6 and CAPTAIN AMERICA #602 as Steve Rogers returns concretely and then takes Bucky on a mission to go find someone else who got his glad rags on! Both written by Brubaker, it's just business as usual as the momentous battle for his soul is just one step and the fight for his title and name the next. Yeah, I know he's in NEW AVENGERS #61 too, "Steve Rogers makes his triumphant return to the Avengers, but is he too late? With the SIEGE on Asgard begun, he must act swiftly, but who can he turn to and trust in a world with Norman Osborn in charge? When the gods fall, what chance does a Super Soldier stand?" This doesn't sound like the Rogers I've come to expect and fall back towards the slightly unsteady surrendering Steve from Civil War. Despite the tight editorialship before, I think the character is going to diverge depending on who's writing him. While Brubaker will continue to keep the tight reigns and focus of Captain America, no matter who bears that name, in his own books, when Cap's lent out to the other titles it's just not going to have the same shine.
Speaking of shine, let's look at IRON MAN: I AM IRON MAN #1 (of 2) and lament that the second issue won't be called IRON MAN: DANANANANANANA-NA-NA-NA. Okay, that was pretty bad and probably wrong, but that's not a bad way to start in on this one. From what I can tell, Peter David and Sean Chen will be doing the... comic adaptation of the Iron Man movie. "Gear up for the hottest movie event of 2010! Superstar creators Peter David (DARK TOWER) and Sean Chen (MIGHTY AVENGERS) bring the blockbuster IRON MAN to comics…just in time for IRON MAN 2!" Yes, we're getting his origin again, at the very rare moment when your grandmother probably know who he is. It's only two issues and maybe someone doesn't want to just rent the movie before seeing its sequel, but at $3.99, I can't say this is a good idea.
Nor can I say releasing three TPBs to equip you for the major storylines is that great an idea when the free 'Saga' issues we'd been getting did a good enough job at recap and encouraged people to go find those old issues or trades on their own. No matter how good FALL OF HULKS is going to be, I really don't seem myself buying HULK: ROAD TO FALL OF THE HULKS TPB for $24.99. Sure, the CAPTAIN AMERICA: ROAD TO REBORN TPB is only $19.99, but that's still a hard price to pay when they could have handed me a quick pamphlet and let me be on my way.
Nope, for TPB value, I'd rather get AVENGERS: WORLD TRUST PREMIERE HC for the same price as the Road to Siege book and lay on my bed, playing Cyndi Lauper's When You Were Mine' over and over....
There's a lot I missed and just didn't talk about for time's sake, but really, go look at that January list and watch the tide overshadow you. Leave a note for your family to tell them where you've gone that month and start exchanging those Christmas gifts for cold hard cash at your local Comic Shop.