The Fifth Color - Forward into the Past! Marvel in April '10

Gun Shy.  I've been saying that to myself a lot today as I look over the bountiful feast of explosive endings, new beginnings and variant covers, even in foilogram (you heard me!  FOILOGRAM!).  For some reason as I made my notes for writing this, I kept thinking of the phrase, gun shy.

From yourdictionary.com:

gun·-shy (-s̸hī′)


  1. easily frightened at the firing of a gun a gun-shy dog
  2. frightened, wary, mistrustful, etc., as because of a previous experience

Why would I be thinking gun shy?

From the Siege #1 solicitation:

THE MARVEL BLOCKBUSTER OF THE YEAR!!This double-sized finale brings the Dark Reign to a shattering conclusion and brings with it the bombastic new HEROIC AGE. Every single page of this book is a shocker: Lives are changed. Heroes fall. Deaths. Revenge. Villain comeuppance. And when the dust settles, who will be in charge of the Marvel Universe??You will find out here and only here. This is the one they will be talking about.

Gun shy, huh.

Okay, so let's get this out of the way first: as much as they say 'you will find out here and only here', that's not exactly the way these things work.  Veterans of past Wars and Invasions will know that the juicy details are always left for the satellite books.  At a guess, I'd say the reading order seems to be NEW AVENGERS #64 to SIEGE: EMBEDDED #4 to AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE #35 or THUNDERBOLTS #143 to SIEGE #4 (possibly while you have a copy of DARK AVENGERS #16 is open next to you).  Hopefully, they'll publish in a similar order.  MIGHTY AVENGERS #36 and THOR #609 seem to be more of an 'as you'd like' as their stories seem to be more central to the title characters than the event as a whole.  THOR #609 tells us that the God of Thunder will be fighting the infamous 'Clor' of Civil War fame, rather than say... Norman Osborn or Loki, both of which he has a bigger bone to pick with at the great climactic battle sequence than his robot clone.  Then again, this fight may be made moot by the end of Siege #5 so, who knows.  Sadly, this is a temp job for Kieron Gillen, so he probably doesn't get to write the super big ending for the character in the event book, despite being the guy on his title book.

Meanwhile, the guy writing the super big ending for the guys on his title books is doing so in a big way and taking everything he can with him.  All of the Avengers books are shutting down in the 616:  Dark, Mighty, New and Initiative flavors.  Considering the hints of Heroic new direction, it makes sense that their going to wipe the slate clean and start fresh with this exciting new 'banner' event in the House of Ideas.  That bombastic new 'Heroic Age' will sit proudly above many new books to hook people into the next drama and trauma to unfold and, yes, eventually it's going to sit on top of an Avengers book, probably a #1 just to make me cry when I have to file back issues at work.  But it seems to be that Mr. Bendis is hanging his hat after his now famous reinvention of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.  Then their re-reinvention.  The a re-re-reinvention with a twist.  It's been a lot of hard work and he's going to tell you all about it in the NEW AVENGERS: FINALE.  It's just a shame that a hard-working book like Avengers: the Initiative, a title that survived it's Banner books status to have a variety of stories in the B- and C-lister status of Marvel's unsung heroes, won't be getting a finale or even a handshake.  Dan Slott and Christos Gage kept it coming long after Civil War was put to bed and had some of the most engaging parts of the Event books to follow.  Mighty Avengers, a book taken over last year by Mr. Slott has easily become one of my favorite books on the stands today and it too has to fall with the rest.

Welp, the good news is that Marvel doesn't rest on the laurels of their Event title books and always has a few backup plans to keep our attention of one doesn't pan out.  Yeah, you may think you're sneaky for not getting Siege and moving away from the Event titles but Marvel's got you covered!

You may remember (or be desperately trying to forget) my little Year-In-Review Chat I had with my Distinguished Colleague here at Robot 6, where I wagged my finger in his general direction for DC's lack of a Wonder Woman movie.  Now, between you and me Dear Reader, I can admit that my disapproval was not pointed at DC per se (though it is a crying shame, come on), but more at myself and Marvel for lacking that touchstone female heroine that will quickly spring to minds, sell a bevy of costumes at Halloween and will become synonyms with strength and femininity.  An icon and while we might have tried (oh Elektra movie), we failed pretty badly.  But not anymore!    From the BLACK WIDOW #1 solicitation:

Natasha Romanoff is not a super hero. She’s not psychic. She doesn’t fly. And yet as the Black Widow, she manages to hold her own against a world of incredibly powerful enemies…and allies.

Thank you, Scarlett Johansson, for being gorgeous enough to give me an ongoing Black Widow series!  Hoorah!

See, there are some fantastic things coming out of Marvel's "Year of the Woman" promotion that I really want to have some great long term effects for reader, creators and the company at large.  A spotlight book, while expensive, from a lot of writers and artists that someone might not have caught before is kind of cool.  The Black Widow and possibly Sif getting ongoing titles is a fantastic idea I hope lasts for a good long time. But... Her-Oes?  Really now?

From the ... *sigh* MARVEL HER-OES #1 solicitation:

High school equals: bad cafeteria food, bullies, gym class and…people with secret super powers?  As if!! Janet Van Dyne’s no stranger to the pitfalls of teenage living, but it’s about to get a whole lot trickier now that she has powers of her own. It’s hard keeping a secret like that in high school, especially when it would be so easy to send some blasts in the direction of her nemesis and popular ice queen, Namora. Maybe Janet would get a break then.  Too bad she’s stuck pretending she’s normal. Too bad she’s in this all alone… or is she? Jenny Walters has some anger issues herself, causing her to Hulk out!  Turns out the school theatre isn’t the only place you’ll find some drama this year!!

Apparently, you pronounce it "Marvel Heroes", sans the dash and separation, so it seems an unnecessary trick of wordplay that might turn off the casual fan for sounding silly.  Or maybe the paragraph above doesn't do the book any justice, making it sound silly when the story inside will be just as fun as any Marvel Adventures title.  Still, it's not too late to try Heroes for High-School.

Right under this in the line-up a solicit for FIRESTAR #1, by Sean McKeever and Emma Rios, exploring Angelica Jones's life up til now, with the pitfalls of being an Avenger, a New Warrior, a fiance, surviving Cancer and all th adventure the comes from having a second chance at life again.

Yeah, I don't Marvel Her-Oes is going to last too long.

Speaking of not lasting too long, Deadpool's in a lot of books this month.  A lot.  The numbers been growing and they've even teamed him back up with Cable for , but while this may seem troubling to some, others may fear an over-saturation of the market, his shtick getting a little long in the tooth and nearing insufferable, I have hope.  fr you see, in DEADPOOL CORPS #1, Rob Liefeld is going to return to the character he created.  Sure, it'll be written by Victor Gischler, a pretty stand up guy, but all the interior art?  Pure Rob Liefeld.  I think this just might be the beginning of the end, folks.

In 'confusing titles' news, ULTIMATE COMICS AVENGERS 2 #1 is coming out!  For all those jobs the Ultimates can't get their hands dirty with, we're pretty much taking the same idea Millar was using in the regular Ultimates book and just giving it a book with a very complicated title.  ULTIMATE COMICS X #2 steals from the Distinguished Competitor to ask it's mysterious female cover girl 'Why so serious, Karen?' and ULTIMATE COMICS ENEMY #4 (of 4) turns out to be only Part One of a Ultimate Enemy trilogy.  So much for Ultimatum making the Ultimates line easier to follow and more streamlined.

Meanwhile, Ultimate Spider-Man continues to rock hard and keeps it's distance from this nonsense as Bendis keeps plugging away at the book that made him a star.  We salute you, sir.

Hulk #1, Civil War #1, New Avengers #1 and Wolverine #1 are coming out as "Marvel's Greatest Comics"l $1 comic reprints.  Only one of these titles is still going on.

Anyhoo, we're getting a little long-winded here.  Obviously, April and May are going to be gangbusters for Marvel; we have a movie coming out, a lot of Events to wind down or start up, fresh #1s, a Year of the Woman (and... Her-Oes), a Second Coming in the X-Men books and a reprint fo Warren Ellis's Excalibur comics as part of the 'Visionaries' line of TPs.  It's going to be a good month, guys.  Busy, not without it's pitfalls (HER-OES??), but good.  Watch out for gunfire.


Go check out CBR's list of April 2010 solicitations and berate me for not mentioning your favorite below.

Under The Moon: A Catwoman Tale
Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale Spins a Bold, Uneven New Origin

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