INTRODUCTION
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Something about this month’s comics has left me feeling empty. I have no idea why. But, I was reading about what’s coming and although there were a few to take my ire out on, there weren’t any amazing new ones coming out. Sure, I found one for my pick-of-the-month and there are a couple that intrigue me, but I feel like the recession’s smacked everyone around a bit. Or maybe my Prozac hasn’t kicked in…

IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE
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As is so often the case, I am completely succumbing to my addiction to all things Brian Michael Bendis. This month, he’s scribing the aftermath of Ultimate Spider-Man’s “disappearance” during the Ultimatum fiasco in the Ultimate Marvel Universe. I know. When I write it out, it sounds so terrible. The problem is that when Bendis writes it, it all sounds so wonderful. *sigh*

MAR092520  Ultimatum Spider-Man Requiem #1 of 2 $3.99

*** 35%-OFF AT WWW.COMICSNOW.COM ***

DECONSTRUCTING COMICS
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Visit www.deconstructingcomics.com and catch these cool podcasts!

** Schedule subject to change **

March 2: Listener Jorge Munoz sent us a comic he drew called Yon Kuma, written by Josh Hechinger. Tim and Mulele review the comic, and also go through Jorge’s comments about our “meta episode.”

March 9: In comics, no character disappears forever. Likewise Brandon, after a long absence, is back with Tim to review “Red Eye, Black Eye” by K. Thor Jensen, and “The Burma Chronicles” by Guy Delisle!

March 16: Japanese comics, which fed on the American cartoons of the mid-20th century and then took them in a totally different direction, are now in turn feeding a new generation of American comics fans. “Japanamerica”, a book by Roland Kelts, explores Japanese pop culture and the effect it’s having on the West. Tim is joined by “Lunar Boy” creator Jarrett Williams to review the book.

March 23: For some twenty years, Diamond has been the only game in town for far-reaching comics distribution in North America. Recently announced changes will make it that much harder for all but the most well-known books to reach fans. Tim puts in a bit of comics journalism to talk to a publisher, a retailer, and a Diamond rep.

www.deconstructingcomics.com

HUGE DISCOUNTS AT WWW.COMICSNOW.COM
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Aside from always offering 35% off the cover price of monthly comics with no minimum to buy, each month Comics NOW offers incredible deals on some of the newest titles out there. Just point your browser to http://www.comicsnow.com to order any of these titles below at huge discounts or any other comic at least 35% off the cover price.

Here are this month’s deals:

50%-OFF COMIC DEALS:
MAR090206  Astro City the Dark Age Book 3 #1  $3.99
MAR090130  Final Crisis Aftermath Dance #1  $2.99
MAR090129  Final Crisis Aftermath Escape #1  $2.99
MAR090131  Final Crisis Aftermath Ink #1  $2.99
MAR090128  Final Crisis Aftermath Run #1  $2.99
MAR090215  Killapalooza #1  $2.99
MAR090159  Last Days of Animal Man #1  $2.99
MAR090160  Power Girl #1  $2.99
MAR090216  Starcraft #1  $2.99
MAR090225  Unwritten #1  $1.00
MAR092542  Dark Reign Hood #1  $3.99
MAR092495  Dark Tower The Fall of Gilead #1  $3.99
MAR092608  Genext United #1 of 5  $3.99
MAR092490  Halo Chronicles #1  $5.99
MAR092602  New Mutants #1  $3.99
MAR092615  Terror Inc. Apocalypse Soon #1  $3.99
MAR092586  Thor Tales of Asgard by Lee & Kirby #1  $3.99

40%-OFF TRADE PAPERBACK DEALS:
MAR090172  Batman Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader HC  $24.99
MAR090184  DC Library Flash of Two Worlds HC  $39.99
MAR090179  Final Crisis Rogues Revenge HC  $19.99
MAR090180  Green Lantern Rage of the Red Lanterns HC  $24.99
MAR090188  Superman Tales from the Phantom Zone TP  $19.99
MAR090173  Superman Whatever Happened to Man of Tomorrow HC  $24.99
MAR090192  Trinity TP Vol 01  $29.99
MAR090242  Young Liars TP Vol 02 Maestro  $14.99
MAR092663  Alias Ultimate Collection TP Book 01  $34.99
MAR092628  Avengers Forever HC  $34.99
MAR092632  Guardians of the Galaxy HC Vol 02  War of Kings $19.99
MAR092625  Hulk World War Hulk HC  $34.99
MAR092636  Nyx No Way Home Prem HC  $24.99
MAR092635  Spider-Man Family Ties Prem HC  $19.99
MAR092629  Thor By J Michael Straczynski Prem HC Vol 02  $24.99
MAR092666  X-Men 2099 TP Vol 01  $29.99
MAR092634  X-Men Magneto Testament Prem HC  $24.99
MAR092627  X-Men Manifest Destiny HC  $29.99
MAR092626  X-Men Worlds Apart HC  $19.99

TOP-10 and TOP-100
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Check out Comics NOW! Inc.’s Top-100.
Download the April 2009 Top-100 PDF file (it’s 8KB!) at:
http://www.irxproductions.com/comics/apr09top100.pdf

It’s Comics NOW!’s very own Top-10 and Top-100 lists. This list is based on the internal sales quantities of the titles with Premiere being the big guns who pay the extra bucks to be listed first in the ordering system: Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics. The Independent list is everyone else, all those pea-shooters who no one really pays attention to… or do they?

Here’s an example of how to read the format:

1. (3) The Amazing Eric Comic

“1.” – the place of the title in the list this month
“(3)” – where the title was LAST month (“-” if it wasn’t)
the title – this one should be pretty obvious

TOP 10 PREMIERE COMICS
1.  (1) Justice League of America
2.  (2) New Avengers
3.  (6) Amazing Spider-Man
4.  (4) Uncanny X-Men
5.  (7) Batman Battle for the Cowl
6.  (5) Action Comics
7.  (-) Justice Society of America
8.  (3) Superman Batman
9.  (-) Ultimate Spider-Man
10. (-) Astonishing X-Men

TOP 10 INDEPENDENT COMICS
1.  (1) Transformers All Hail Megatron
2.  (2) Transformers Maximum Dinobots
3.  (3) Transformers Spotlight
4.  (4) Transformers Revenge Fallen Movie PRQ Defiance
5.  (5) Boys
6.  (-) LOEG III Century #1 1910
7.  (6) GI Joe
8.  (7) Angel
9.  (10) Soulfire
10. (9) GI Joe Origins

THE GOOD STUFF
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DARK HORSE COMICS
RAPTURE #1 of 6
Ummmm… well, here it is: the superheroes and super villains on Earth disappear. Two lovers, Evelyn and Gil were separated in the mess and want to get back together again when some “being” named “The Word” shows up and makes Evelyn into a “champion with an angelic spear.” I’m picturing Angelus from Spawn, but that’s because she was hot. Anyway, Evelyn really starts to enjoy her powers and that gets in the way of her relationship with Gil, and they’ll probably break up. I’m not kidding. This is the plot.
By Michael Avon Oeming, Taki Soma, Val Staples and Alex Maleev.
40 pages. 6-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

DC COMICS

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: RUN! #1 of 6

FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: ESCAPE #1 of 6
FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: DANCE #1 of 6
FINAL CRISIS AFTERMATH: INK #1 of 6

Do I really even need to go there? Every month for the last 16 years, I’ve talked about how tired I am of Final Crisis. It needs to go. It really, really does. And, yet, every month DC returns with yet another mini-series (or in this case, four mini-series) about Final Crisis. In fact, it’s now turned into another maxi-series named Final Crisis Aftermath. Yeah. I’m not going into it. I could try to care less, but I’d really have to try hard.
By Various.
32 pages. 6- issue mini-series. $2.99 retail each.

THE LAST DAYS OF ANIMAL MAN #1 of 6
Maybe it’s the recession, but comic stories have gotten seriously depressing in the last few years. This one follows Buddy Baker who’s living in the year 2024 and needs to retire from being Animal Man. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be anyone to take his place. His life’s gone to the crapper – his kids are grown up, his wife doesn’t particularly like him, and his hometown of San Diego has fallen apart. I mean, this is a country music song. And, there’s this new bad guy with huge superpowers trying to kill Buddy as his powers fail him. Holy suicide-inducing storylines, Batman!
By Gerry Conway, Chris Batista and Dave Meikis.
32 pages. 6-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

POWER GIRL #1
Power Girl is one of those characters that everyone wants to see in her own series until she gets her own series and everyone realizes there wasn’t much substance to begin with. It’s kind of like those Geico Caveman commercials that got made into one of the most horrible sitcoms since Alf… or Dinosaurs. Well, here’s the comic equivalent. PG’s got her own series and she’s actually had to create a secret identity because she hadn’t had one before. And there’s a bad guy. And he’s holding New York City hostage. Yeah, this is gonna win a Wil Eisner.
By Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray and Adam Conner.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $2.99 retail.

ASTRO CITY DARK AGE BOOK 3 #1 of 4
Astro City is one of those tasty treats that delays itself so repeatedly that it’s hard to care. On the flip side, it ends up being so good when a new issue finally comes out that it’s still incredibly enjoyable. It’s frustrating. It’s the comic book equivalent of the Half Life videogame series. I really want to not like the next episode because it takes Valve years to make it, but when it comes out I want to sacrifice my first-born to the gods at Valve. Yeah. Astro City’s a lot like that.
By Kurt “I am a God” Busiek and Brent Anderson.
32 pages. 4-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

KILLAPALOOZA #1 of 6
The Clap is a rock band whose members lead double lives as super powered assassins. Yup. I said it. They all decide to come back out of retirement for one last show (and job) when, SURPRISE, it all goes horribly wrong.
By Adam Beechen and Trevor Hairsine.
32 pages. 6-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

STARCRAFT #1
It’s a comic book based on a video game that came out for PCs in 1998. Could we take a bigger risk with this comic? To make matters worse, though the videogame was spectacular, the storyline wasn’t unique. Imagine Humans vs. Aliens vs. Predators and that was pretty much what the game was. And now we’ve got a comic. Errrr…
By Keith Giffen, Simon Furman and Federico Dallocchio.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $2.99 retail.

THE UNWRITTEN #1
Basically, it’s a comic series asking the question: “What if Harry Potter was real but he didn’t realize he was Harry Potter?” In this case, Harry Potter’s name is Tommy Taylor. He’s a boy wizard. And now he’s become a target. Of bad things. Just like Harry Potter. Except this one’s real. Except it’s not. Because it’s a comic.
By Mike Carey and Peter Gross.
40 pages. Ongoing series. $1.00 retail.

IMAGE COMICS

OLYMPUS #1
I feel like Image Comics can’t get enough of Zeus and ancient Greece because here’s another one. Zeus grants immortality to two brothers and requires them to do his bidding in exchange. Zeus sends them to earth after 3,000 years to hunt an exiled god, except they accidentally release a really dangerous prisoner of Hades instead. Go team!
By Nathan Edmondson and Christian Ward.
24 pages. Ongoing series. $2.99 retail.

FUSION: CYBERFORCE/HUNTER-KILLER/AVENGERS/THUNDERBOLTS #1 of 3
It’s the most epic crossover of all time since Spawn/Batman. Since Transformers/GI Joe. Since who gives a flip? I mean, Avengers is kind of cool and Cyberforce had some mad skillz back in the 90s, yo, but who ever really cared about Thunderbolts? And Hunter-Killer was neat but hasn’t really developed into anything to write home about. They all come together to do something in some town no one ever heard of that doesn’t matter to the continuity of any of the 4 books involved. Yipee!
By Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Tyler Kirkham.
32 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

MARVEL COMICS

RIFTWAR #1 of 5
Whew. This is one of those comics where I care so little about it, I’m just going to copy the description: “The Castle Crydee has stood strong against a multitude of enemies over the years, and has kept its people safe. But now, a new enemy from another world threatens to destroy them, and Prince Arutha, Swordmaster Fannon and Squire Roland struggle to keep them at bay. Meanwhile, Pug, apprentice to the magician Kulgan, goes on an offensive with his master and a band of soldiers into the heart of the enemy camp. It’s a daring challenge–one that will ultimately prove fatal for one of them–and will change the course of the other’s life.” I mean, seriously?! Prince Arutha and Swordmaster Fannon with Squire Roland?!?!? I’ve died and woken up in High School with all of my AD&D friends. Yikes.
By Bryan J.L. Glass and Ryan Stegman.
32 pages. 5-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

LOCKJAW AND THE PET AVENGERS #1 of 4
Rut-row! Sorry, but I couldn’t resist the Scooby Doo reference. The pets of the Avengers come to the rescue after a teleporting puppy assembles a team of animals to fight bad guys. Oooh… my brother wrote and drew his own comic when he was a kid named Karate Dog. I wonder if this is like that?
By Chris Eliopoulos and Ig Guara.
32 pages. 4-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

ULTIMATUM: SPIDER-MAN REQUIEM BOOK #1 of 2
Ultimate Spider-Man has fallen. J. Jonah Jameson wants to celebrate his heroism by writing about it. And you’re going to buy this comic because Brian Michael Bendis is writing it, and you are his byotch. Wait. I’m his byotch. That’s why I’m buying it. Curse you, Brian Michael Bendis! Curse you!!!!!
By Brian “Curse” Michael “You” Bendis, Mark Bagley and Stuart Immonen.
40 pages. 2-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

NEW MUTANTS #1
As if trying to destroy the Marvel Universe as we know it by starting Civil War wasn’t enough, but the New Mutants are back again. Legion’s making another appearance, which, if I remember correctly, was when I made my disappearance from the Marvel Universe back in the 90s. He went back in time, killed Professor X, and Marvel rebooted every single X-title in an effort to get us to buy them all!
By Zeb Wells and Diogenes Neves.
40 pages. Ongoing series. $3.99 retail.

GENEXT: UNITED #1 of 5
GenX, GeNext, GenExt… whatever you want to call them, Marvel has been trying to reboot this title for a very, very long time. Generation Next! I remember! Generation X! There have been so many titles for this poor collection of ragtag who-gives-a-flips. Wanna try it again? I’ll sit this one out… even with Claremont desperately trying to reignite the flame.
By Chris Claremont and Jonboy Meyers.
32 pages. 5-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

FINAL NOTES
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I’m a little sad that there wasn’t anything that jumped out at me this month. Sure, Ultimatum Spider-Man Requiem and Astro City will be nice, but there wasn’t anything earth-shattering. Well, I guess that’s the way the comic folds. The way the bag is taped? The way the comics code crumbles?

As always, if nothing jumps out at you, maybe you’re watching a romantic comedy…

And, as always, thank you for your business!

Eric Jacobson