Let me know if this is the least bit clever.

Nearly every writer on the net with access to an issue of Previews has at one time or another weighed in on upcoming product they believe deserves an additional look. It’s something I’ve certainly done before, but shifted to the background recently, believing that the basic premise of such a thing would have to adopt an unique angle to properly distinguish itself from similar ventures.

Welcome to Re-Solicits, a new way to pimp the material most deserving.

Not only will you witness seven of your favorite companies’ solicitations blatantly re-written by yours truly, but the corresponding Diamond ordering codes will be supplied, allowing those so inclined to escort the list to your friendly neighborhood retailer and demand the New Hotness that is so rightfully yours. Here’s what everyone should be picking up come June.

Batman/Planetary: Night on Earth (DC Comics/Wildstorm)

Before you start complaining about the $5.95 price tag, you must consider that the creative team on this Prestige Format one-shot delivered to you Planetary. You must reflect on that seminal piece of storytelling, and wonder just how responsible it would be to let this project pass you by. The inclusion of Batman, the character who’s currently topping the sales charts, should function as whatever additional motivation that proves necessary. The critically acclaimed team of Warren Ellis and John Cassaday make their long-awaited return to Planetary, and the Dark Knight is coming along for the ride. The best six bucks you’ll spend all month.

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The Losers #1 (DC Comics/Vertigo)

Andy Diggle and Jock raise the Vertigo imprint to new heights with this kinetic conspiracy thriller. Once they were U.S. Special Forces, striking covertly with frightening precision. But they learned something. Something the C.I.A. didn’t want known. A shocking truth that shakes America to its core. So The Losers were eliminated. But now they’re back, and they’re pissed. They learned that someone has stolen America. They’ve decided to steal it back. For $2.95, you receive 40 pages of pulse-pounding action and intrigue from the imprint that’s spent ten years on the edge, and a creative team prepared to deliver the goods. Don’t be left behind. On the heels of recent hits Fables, Y-The Last Man, The Filth, and 100%…Vertigo does it again.

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Birds of Prey #56 & Secret Files 2003 (DC Comics)

Fresh off a critically-acclaimed run on Marvel’s Agent X, Gail Simone arrives in the DCU to launch a quiet takeover. But how quiet could it be with the scribe geared to take the adventures of the Birds of Prey to startling new heights with a terrible new adversary that claims he can outthink Oracle, and outfight Black Canary? Get in on the ground floor as Simone, along with artists Ed Benes and Alex Lai blend action, humor, and espionage to give you the Birds as you’ve never seen them before. And don’t forget to snatch a copy of the latest Secret Files which boasts character profiles and an all-new adventure in which the Birds go up against the Penguin.

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Absolute Authority Volume 2 (DC/Wildstorm)
Witness the continued re-definition of superheroes through the eyes of The Authority. The acclaimed run that elevated the careers of Mark Millar and Frank Quitely is collected, without interruption, in the same oversized hardcover format seen in last year’s Volume 1. This attractive slipcased edition is a must-have for Authority purists, and is supported by an introduction from Howard Chaykin and bonus materials. The 304-page edition is advance-solicited for a September release, and retails for 49.99, which is a small price to pay for a year-long run that changed the face of superhero comics forever.

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Rex Mundi #4 (Image Comics)

The book “certified cool” by Diamond picks up steam as Dr. Julien Sauniere persists in his quest to locate the stolen medieval scroll that led to the death of his best friend. The mystery deepens as industry newcomers Arvid Nelson and Eric J continue to assault the industry with their tale of murder, mystery, and intrigue. Critics have flocked to the series since it launched with the sell-out zero issue in late 2002, and this year should see the series become Image’s next certified hit.

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Ultimate X-Men #34 (Marvel Comics)

Multiple award-winning writer Brian Bendis begins a six-month run on the title Mark Millar turned into a best-seller. Spider-Man guest stars in this first chapter that sees Wolverine on the run from the X-Men, and boasts future appearances by the Ultimates and Daredevil. Bendis was originally slated as the writer on Ultimate X-Men, and finally returns to the concept to give you a story you’ve waited three years to experience. Bendis and the X-Men? Expect more of the same intelligence and unpredictability from the industry’s hottest writer.

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Those are my “magnificent seven” for the month which boasts a variety of worthwhile contenders. Feel free to jack the ordering codes and lodge a pre-order with the nearest retailer.

Onto the stars of this past week…

The New Hotness-

Black Panther #56 (Priest/Jim Calafiore/Mark McKenna)
Black and White concludes, answering several of the questions posed over the last few months, while effectively leaving a few points dangling for future use. Priest’s work, due to its often multi-layered structure, is better appreciated when the smoke clears and everything is laid out before you. Kasper Cole has taken the first in a series of steps to becoming the true Black Panther, and the character has experienced dramatic growth throughout the storyline, solidifying his position as the true protagonist of the piece. Shifting King T’Challa into the relative background was a move I’d feared would bury this title, but Priest has proven that to doubt his ability as a storyteller is a fool’s errand, and that despite an impending price increase, BP will not fade quietly into the night. Still one of the best titles coming from Marvel.

Wildcats #8 (Joe Casey/Dustin Nguyen/Richard Friend)
Casey continues to violate the conventions. This title has an over-arcing theme that casts the corporation and its symbols as the most potent force of world change, thereby redefining what makes a “superhero” in the twenty-first century. Corporate espionage and blackmail have become the new order of the day, changing the face of the familiar villain into something much more dangerous, an adversary that can only be conquered by big money and even bigger favors. The realistic cast continues to stretch their boundaries, performing acts that may strike some as immoral or improper, but refusing to lose the qualities that make them a fascinating collection of personalities to follow on a monthly basis. From the covers to the content, ‘Cats is a downright progressive work, flying in the face of all naysayers that claim “superhero” comics have nothing new to say.

Daredevil #45 (Brian Michael Bendis/Alex Maleev)
Bendis knows what you’re thinking. He knows you think you’ve figured out where things are going in Daredevil. With every storyline, the creators introduce a new ripple into the pond that keeps us completely off-guard, and maintains Bendis’ status as the industry’s hottest writer. Following his unfortunate run-in with the police, Murdock is once again attempting to put his life back together, but what he doesn’t know is that he’s being shadowed by a “benefactor” that appears to be speeding the process along, though for what reason the scribe refuses to reveal. The only thing you can be sure of is that one of the central relationships in this title is undergoing a dramatic change, and that if past experience is any indication, Bendis won’t be taking the easy way out.

P.S.- Apologize for the length, but believe or not…I find myself a little busy this week. 😉



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