I was listening to NPR the other day and they were talking about the poor box office of this past weekend, which had no real major film releases of any note, unless you were cool enough to see Mike Birbiglia's Sleepwalk With Me, like I was. And, yes, it was the poorest box office weekend since 2008. This conversation quickly started to sound as though this summer was basically a movieless void and, while I understand that I am listening to NPR, they weren't even specifically talking about film quality but box office quality and I have to be like UH HEY GUYS, did we already forget The Avengers broke a ton of records and made an unexpected, powerful climb to being the 3rd highest grossing film of all time? Do we not remember The Dark Knight Rises making a buttload of money? Brave made money, Ted was a surprise hit, Amazing Spider-Man did huge despite initial remake backlash... I mean, I don't know what the barometer is. Is the summer box office down from last year? Sure. (like 4%?) But last year had the final Harry Potter, the final Transformers (well...), another Hangover movie, another Pirates, three huge Marvel movies... Like... I dunno, every year I guess we just have pundits lament about how bad Hollywood is and how bad the box office is and how much better things were last year or something and that is bunk. I mean, outside of the statistical numbers stuff, fine, 4% or whatever. But like... It was just weird for me to hear a conversation where not a single movie was mentioned and it was treated like there weren't any movies of quality released at all this summer like Prometheus never happened (cue disagreements) or all that money Magic Mike brought in somehow (SOMEHOW cough cough). How about Moonrise Kingdom snatching the highest opening Wes Anderson has ever had? I get that theater attendance goes down every year. The 3D "fad" that everyone likes to complain about helps to bring people back into the seats but it's still a downward trend thanks to the internet and sophisticated home theater systems. But c'mon you guys, let's not talk about these things like we're living in a wasteland bereft of art and entertainment. Just because our superheroes keep outdoing all of your regular-ass movies. STEP IT UP. Be better. Hire Joss Whedon.
That's my weird rant this week. Let's talk about comics now.
Avengers Assemble #7
I'm sorry, Brian Bendis. I love you and I am all for the resurgance of Thanos and the Guardians of the Galaxy but this book has now just become a countdown until Kelly Sue Deconnick takes over. It's nothing personal, I just... I have been a loyal follower of your Avengers comics for all, what, 8-10 years? But there is nothing I want more than to read what Kelly Sue will do with this book RIGHT NOW.
Avengers Vs X-Men #11
THE PENULTIMATE ISSUE OF AVX! The moment we've been waiting for since Grant Morrison made Scott Summers cheat on his wife with a former villainess/coma patient. Cyclops versus White Queen! Cosmic powered domestic abuse! Wow, that sounds terrible. Forget what I just typed! Olivier Coipel has drawn some of the most beautiful images you will see on any comic shelf this week.
Avenging Spider-Man #12
Trade one Robot Chicken writer for another! And have him write a Deadpool/Spider-Man high school team-up story while you're at it.
Greg Capullo's back and we dive back into Bruce Wayne's past for what will surely be another surprising turn for Scott Snyder.
Batman And Robin #0
The New 52 origin of Damian Wayne! Will this perhaps clear the whole "Batman's only been operating for a little over 5 years but he has a 10(?) year old son who's Robin? My guess: some kind of age advancement process while he was growing up in a tube.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 9 #13
Finale of the Buffy vs. Wolfram and Hart arc! I thought this was a cool way to tie together Buffy and Angel continuity.
Captain America #17
Sharon Carter versus Baron Zemo in spaaaaaaaaace?
Dr. Strange Season One
I'm not really the target audience for these Season One books but I'll grab anything if it's got a creative team I dig and the plus here is that Dr. Strange is one of those characters who I could always stand to get to know better and hasn't been redone a million times like Spider-Man, the X-Men, or Fantastic Four. The big draw here, though, is that it's acclaimed Hulk writer (and filmmaker) Greg Pak and beloved artist Emma Rios giving a fresh new take on the good doctor, just in time for him to maybe(?) cameo in one of next year's Marvel Phase 2 films. (because, if you haven't noticed, all the Season One books are for dudes who have or will have movies out)
Fantastic Four #610
Part 1 of a F4/FF crossover paying off the long-running Wizard's son storyline. Oh Hickman, I will miss you.
Incredible Hulk #13
The beginning of Jason Aaron's final arc, Hulk: United. This has been a weird run but I'm onboard.
Journey Into Mystery #643
TWISTS, friends! Twists! Oh darn you Gillen and Fraction. What a great wrap up to these Thor/Loki story elements.
Mega Man #17
FINALLY! I HAVE BEEN WAITING SO LONG FOR PROTOMAN AND HERE HE IS! I am seriously excited about this. I loooove Protoman, you guys.
New Avengers #30
As great as the AvX tie-in issues have been, I'll be very happy to break away from these and watch Bendis get down to just wrapping things up with these characters. Particularly with whatever he chooses to do with Luke Cage and Jessica as he says goodbye.
Stumptown Volume 2 #1
YOU KNOW WHAT IS REALLY UPSETTING? I didn't know a second volume of Stumptown was even a thing until it got mentioned on Twitter the other day so I really hope my shop has it or can order it for me. Stumptown is Greg Rucka doing what Greg Rucka does best and better than just about anyone else. Strong female character crime fiction detective what gets her ass beat because detectivery is hard and sometimes you have to get beat up before you win the day. A believable character in a believable world. (specifically Portland) For fans of Gotham Central, Punisher, Batwoman, Whiteout, etc.
Uncanny X-Force #31
It has now been confirmed that Rick Remender will conclude his run (and this series) in December with the conclusion of the Final Execution arc, though story elements are expected to spill over into his Uncanny Avengers work. Which means that you still need to correct your LIFE MISTAKE and go back and read all 31+ issues of this series, if you haven't been following along with one of the best things to come out of Marvel--and specifically the mutant books--in years.
Uncanny X-Men #18
AvX #11 shows Scott and Emma fighting, Uncanny shows Scott and Emma kissing. Gonna guess this is Kieron's lead up to AvX? Or story events take place around it. I'll have to see if there's a blurb that tells me in what order to read these but Kieron is the king of crossover tie-in books.
Winter Soldier #10
BLACK WIDOW NOOOOOOO. Ed Brubaker is not going out quietly.
Wolverine And The X-Men #16
The Phoenix Five (or 4 or 2 or whatever) versus The Hellfire Club! I think we get Bachalo back this week? That will please me greatly.
OKAY, folks, THAT IS ALL. 'Til next time. Excelsior!