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Yo! Welcome to Near Mint Condition, where I babble about the comic books coming out every week, and other fanboy opining. This week is all about the motherfuckin' Heroic Age. Yeah, word. If you haven't been paying attention, after last week's culmination of Siege, Marvel is all about hearkening back to the glory days and shit. The entire gang is back together. Thor, Steve Rogers, and Tony Stark have put their shit inside just in time to have a righteous Memorial Day BBQ. There's going to be mead, robots, and Steve Rogers not being cool with all the low-cut tops that the chicks are wearing. Oh Steve Rogers, you know you like them boobies. Enter the Heroic Age #1 No new status quo, era, or event is complete these days without some bullshit one-off that kicks off the new beginnings or whatever. Unfortunately for Marvel readers, the Heroic Age doesn't bring an age where you don't have to purchase bullshit titles to know that the fuck is going on. The promo for this comic reads "THE HEROIC AGE STARTS HERE", and I'm all like, yeah, it starts here, but what the fuck else is going on in it? Wait for it: a bunch of like three-page stories by various writers and artists. The crisis in this comic book? Your wallet getting fucked for $4. Stay away. If you're looking for something to kick off your entrance into the Heroic Age, you're better off checking out Avengers #1. Ever since Bendis snapped apart Avengers back in 2003, there hasn't been an adjectiveless Avengers title for you to follow. There's been a shitload of other ones though: Dark Avengers, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers, Young Avengers, Erotic Avengers (featuring She-Hulk), but there hasn't been the old school title. Shit's droppin' this week, and it's probably your best bet for surveying the new Marvel Universe. I know I'm being hyperbolic when I pretend there's like, totally, a huge seismic shift. ---- I have to say, now that Siege has ended, and Marvel has completed some enormous, sprawling, seven-year storyline, I have to take a step back and applaud the effort. Listen, I admit I'm a Marvel fanboy. No, I don't troll forums and write stuff like BATMAN SUXX FUK YOU KID. And for better or worse, I'm terminally gay for Clark Kent. But as a whole, I enjoy the Marvel Universe more. I just do. So take it with a grain of salt when I state that the entire arc of storylines from Avengers: Disassembled to the Heroic Age is impressive as fuck. For the Universe to ride one narrative for so long, to commit to such a trajectory is quite a feat. Sure, in the end they've reverted back to a more simplified universe. No Registration Act, Steve Rogers is back, et cetera. Comic books always return to their status quo. Jean Grey always comes back. But the fact that they took this story through so many twists and turns before finally pulling the trigger and restoring Marvel to Happy Land? I dig it. It's something that DC did similarly with their Brightest Day storyline, and I appreciate their effort as well. However, as I said, I'm a Marvel fanboy. And for whatever mediocrity some of the Marvel events have been through the past couple of years, I've preferred them to the DC ones. I mean, Infinite Crisis was decent, but even a Grant Morrison fanboy like myself can't defend Final Crisis, let alone figure out what the fuck it meant. Everyone is going happy and shining brightly and being heroic and shit. I just prefer the Marvel way. Like I said, I get a boner for mutants. ---- DV8: Gods & Monsters #2 Normally it would take an act of God to get me to read DV8. My only memories of it are that it was a Gen 13 spin-off, and my pubescent ass bought it hoping that the drawings would tickle my prick like its originator did. It's always amazing to go back and look at some of the titles I bought because I was a horny thirteen year-old with a rocket attached my my crotch. Oh Witchblade, you treated my genitals so kindly. Every time I hate on something for being openly sexualized, I need to remember that thirteen years-ago I would have probably been awkwardly rubbing my shorts to it. Anyways. Anyways! I recently came across a recommendation for this series, and while I was skeptical at first, once I read who the author was, I laid my doubts to rest. DV8 Gods & Monsters is being penned by Brian Wood, the dude who absolutely crushes it with DMZ. If you haven't read DMZ, but you're interested in examining journalism, war, grungy futures, or the effects of the military corporations on the future of warfare, you should check it out. Dude's real solid. And with him aboard, I can only imagine this title may be deec. I haven't actually checked out the first issue yet, so I could be beyond fucking wrong. But I intend on snagging both of them tomorrow, and hopefully being entertained. ---- Superman: War Of The Supermen #3 Meanwhile, over in the DC Universe, uh, stuff's happening. Man, I really suck at recommending DC titles. Well, I suppose, there's some weeks when I'm totally stoked. Between The Return of Bruce Wayne and First Wave dropping next week, I think half of the DC titles I read aren't due to be put onto shelves for another three weeks. You checking out this two? Word? Awesome. Got any DC titles you'd like to recommend? So, what's happening in the DCU is a bunch of Superman slugging the fuck out of one another as Earth hangs in the balance or something. Since I've already read solicitations for August's comics, I'm going to go ahead and assume that Zod is thwarted and the Superdouches are thrown back to Krypton. This week sees the third issue of this Superdudes Clash, with the whole thing wrapping up next week. Four weeks, four issues, and I'm trying to decide if I care. Do I? I'm not sure. There's also Brightest Day #2 coming out. It's DC's biggest money grab, and they'd be very pleased if you'd pick it up. Don't do it! Don't do it. I promise you. Brightest Day is a biweekly title, and if Trinity, 52, and Countdown have taught me anything, it's that you're pretty okay with not wasting some serious cash every week or every other week. Ask your local comic retailer what's been going on it, save yourself some cash. Buy yourself some sweet Mishka wear. ---- What are you guys reading this week? Hit me with your pull-list and your recommendations. I spit more juvenile stupidity about video games and comic books over at Omega Level.