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Reason For A Brit To Be Thankful

Even though it was announced in September that Alan Davis would be working on a new series of ClanDestine, it is still the best reason for this Brit to be thankful for the Marvel solicitations for February 2008. Obviously, I have a lot of love for this series (it was one of the reasons behind the naming of the blog), so it is with undiluted joy that I greet the return of this wonderfully charming series. I’m so full of glee I shall stop now, and just copy and paste the solicitation copy:

Alan Davis’ freaky family returns! They’ve existed, hidden among mankind for centuries, a mysterious bloodline of superhumans, eternal and apart. And all they’ve desired is to be left alone, to pursue their individual interests in peace. But now, the existence of their hidden clan is threatened with exposure by the activities of one of their youngest siblings, Rory Destine, who aspires to be the costumed crimefighter called the Crimson Crusader! And now that the cat’s been let out of the bag, who or what is going to come calling at the Destine family’s Ravenscroft doorway?

In other news, Fantastic Four #554 sees the start of a year-long run from Mark Millar and Bryan Hitch. There is no denying that this should be huge – the team behind The Ultimates on Marvel’s first team, where absolutely anything can happen – but will it be timely? I’m going to wait for the trade, rather than the inevitable wait between issues for Hitch’s gorgeous artwork (although the cover looks a bit ropey), but surely the whole point of a big-name creative team on a monthly series is to bring in people on a monthly basis? It was okay with The Ultimates, everyone knew that it was finite; the Fantastic Four is and always will be ongoing.

The Immortal Iron Fist: Orson Randall and the Green Mist of Death sees Matt Fraction going solo to tell a story of Orson Randall, the Golden Age Iron Fist. It’s great to have so much good Iron Fist material about at the moment – this news series is the best thing to happen to the character in years – but I worry about diluting the current character with what are essentially a collection of flashback scenes in a special. I have no doubt this will be enjoyable stuff, I would just prefer to see it as part of the core book. I’m sure it will be in the trade, but I follow this in the serial format, which is why I feel the need to point it out.

Joss Whedon sees two storylines round up this month – Runaways #30 sees the end of his first storyline on the title (which has been an odd story so far, with the history/alternate world concept at contrast with the idea of super-powered kids in modern day LA rebelling against their supervillain parents, but that could be just me), and Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1 is a huge (64 page) one-off marking the end of his work with John Cassaday on Marvel’s Merry Mutants. Hope it’s collected in the trade …

I would mention Kick-Ass, which is interestingly in the Icon section, but it’s not as if Millar won’t be hyping this new series (looking at somebody trying to be a superhero in the ‘real world’) in his usual subtle and inimitable style …

The most interesting news in the Icon section is the return of Criminal, but as a second series and a new number one. Everything else is the same – Brubaker on words, Phillips on pictures – but the gap between this and last series suggest that the delicate balance of comic book economics have flavoured the decision to start again. This book is never going to sell in big numbers in the direct market, so I’m not sure if it will have much effect, but anything that helps to keep this excellent series going is fine by me.

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