Comics Out This Week

Another big week.

Journey Into Mystery #622

Prepare for Fear Itself when the acclaimed Thor series becomes Journey Into Mystery! Loki is back and the mystery surrounding his death is about to be revealed!

What can the Trickster God be up to this time? How will this affect Thor?

The Creators bring Thor’s dark, little brother back into the fray. It’s time for the Odinson and the Trickster to reunite!

Also – get caught all caught up on THOR since he made his return to the Marvel Universe in J. Michael Straczynski’s epic run.

Journey Into Mystery is my return to the Asgardian part of the Marvel universe. It’s been the one I’ve been ranted about most randomly and effusively.

I’ve said that if Thor is Avengers, Journey Into Mystery is Secret Avengers. I’ve described it as existing at a point between Sandman and Queen and Country – so Sandmanbaggers, really. Matt called it Asgardian Tintin, and I nodded sagely along. I mention the West Wing, The Thick Of It and I, Claudius. I haven’t mentioned Vicky The Viking, but I suspect I would given enough time.

I’m hoping people read between the lines: that Journey Into Mystery is its own thing and I’m trying to work out . Of the three “launches” I’ve done at Marvel, it’s the one I’m most pleased with. S.W.O.R.D. leaned nervous, twitchy and insecure. Generation Hope leaned a little overconfident. With Journey Into Mystery is me stopping worrying about that stuff as much. It’s simply the superheroic fantasy book that I would most want to read. It’s an intermittently playful and vicious espionage/politics book which sits firmly in the postmodernist fantasy tradition.

What most pleases me about the first issue of Journey Into Mystery is that it’s wearing so many hats simultaneously without suffering for it. I mean, it’s a book that not only ties directly in to the current enormous crossover (FEAR ITSELF) – it also feeds off directly off the last enormous crossover (SIEGE), and adds to your understanding of both. Yet simultaneously it’s the start of a closed loop of what I’ll hope will be 30-40 issues with a planned beginning and end, designed to be read without reference to anything else other than what’s between those covers. And simultaneously it’s the sister book to Matt’s THE MIGHTY THOR, with his epic arc dovetailing with mine. It does a lot of stuff, and depending how you approach Journey Into Mystery, you can get a lot of things out of it.

It’s unlike anything else on the shelves. I think you’ll like it a lot.

Five page preview here, which misses the first four pages of the book. One note – as good as it looks, the low-resolution images doesn’t show off Mr Arreola’s colouring at its best. The jpg compression is losing some of the really subtle and glorious things he’s doing with Dougies’ art.

Anyway. Hope you dig it. Also out this week…

UNCANNY X-MEN 535
“BREAKING POINT”

When the X-Men left the militaristic alien Breakworld, its political structure was reduced to ashes. It didn’t stay that way forever. Now a warship is crossing the gulf of space, with a mission that will strike the lives of star-crossed lovers Colossus and Kitty Pryde with all the force of a meteor. Join them as they discover what the vessel them means for them, mutantkind and the rest of the Earth.

All courtesy of KIERON GILLEN and TERRY DODSON!

Part 1 (of 4).

The start of my first arc on Uncanny X-men. It builds directly from the final Astonishing X-men arc by Joss Whedon, but is as clean an introduction as last week’s point one. It’s also the sort of issue I don’t want to say too much about in advance, for reasons that’ll become apparent. S.W.O.R.D. fans – all four of them – will be pleased to see Brand and UNIT showing their faces too.

Preview here!

Talking about last week’s 534.1, I did a director’s commentary for the issue over at Comic Book Resources. Lots of detail in terms of my motivation and thinking behind various scenes, but if you want a statement of intent for my run on X-men, go with this bit…

“The themes I introduced in this issue are all going to be very important for the next year or two of X-Men. We’ll continue this exploration of being feared and loved and see where that could possibly lead. When Joss Whedon kicked off “Astonishing X-Men,” they decided they were going to be super heroes and going to give people a chance to love them again. It didn’t quite work. They’re trying to do a bit more of that as we’ve seen in adjectiveless “X-Men.” They’re going out and being heroes in the world, but my particular take is, maybe the X-Men have to be heroes in a slightly different way than the Avengers or the Fantastic Four or whoever. Maybe they have to be loved and feared? Or maybe they don’t have to be both? My series is called “Uncanny X-Men,” and Uncanny is a very interesting word. All of this stuff fascinates me.”

You can read the rest here.

Oh – if you’re in a comic shop, also grab Casanova: Gula 4 and Infinite Vacation 2, as they’re splendid.

>if you’re in a comic shop, also grab… Infinite Vacation 2

This is a joke, right?

Kieron, I just picked up JIM 622. This is definitely one of my 10 favorite comics this year (and quite possible the last five years as well).

For a while there during the Magpie sequence, I thought I was reading Neil Gaiman at his best while writing the Sandman. Then I realized it was you and was delighted that you’re on board with JIM.

I hope the book runs for a while with you at the helm. Doug and Ulises’ art was also quite good; it hit the right balance between subtle and evocative. The art direction at Marvel is really top-notch these days.

No offense to Matt Fraction but I certainly hope he brought his ‘A’ Game to the Mighty Thor 1. You’ve set the bar pretty high!

Seb: What’s your problem with Vacation?

JPBL1976: Thank you. Glad the Magpie sequenec worked for you. Was aware that having four pages of birds flapping around wasn’t exactly the traditional way to start a book, but wanted to make the tone extremely clear from the off.

KG

Sorry, ignore me. I have no problem with Vacation whatsoever (I hear it’s Spencer’s best work yet, and the art looks wonderful), aside from the fact that I’ve never actually seen a copy of it in the wild. I actually thought #2 had been and gone already without my getting a chance to find it (I also missed the reprint of #1), which was why I hadn’t seen it anywhere when doing my monthly catchup. I was hence resigned to trade-waiting on it. My “is this a joke?” was therefore a reference to its general scarcity.

I’m an idiot, basically, as I’ve only just seen from Nick’s Twitter that it’s only just out this week. Why the heck did I think it had been and gone, then?

Because you’re the WORLD’S WORST COMIC JOURNALIST.

(hearts!)

KG

It IS shipping about 3 weeks late. That is probably why you had a mix up.

Loved both comics. Great job! (The only thing that fell flat for me was Loki’s “pet supreme” line. For a moment, I thought this was a reference to Radar, the Hound Supreme, from Alan Moore’s Supreme run.)

I thought both were excellent, JiM particularly because I wasn’t sure what to expect from it, but it was ace. I particularly enjoyed the splching.
I also think I can honestly say your Uncanny stuff is the best the book’s been in at least 5 years.

At a time when I am in something of the comic doldrums JIM has grabbed me big-time. This is a fantastically well scripted and drawn title. The characterisation is superb. Loved it and looking forward to the series.

Thank you! JIM’s a tricky book like that to explain, because I totally have a vision for it but it’s not something that really exists out there. If people read it, I hoped they’d get it, but it’s not exactly something that Marvel have done a lot of.

KG

SWORD has only four fans?!?

Nay, at least five!

I have to thank Comixology. I signed up a little while back, linking my shop for the pull list function, and set up my current subscriptions on there just to be able to see them.

I’ve been reading the Thor book so I searched for that, subscribed, and went about my day.

As it turns out the Comixology site subscribed me to JIM as well as a few sundry other Thor books unbeknownst to me. What a delightful surprise, then, to find out that JIM might just be even closer to the Asgardian book I’d always wanted.

After the first three pages I never stopped grinning as I read it.