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Flippin’ through Previews – December 2006

by  in Comic News Comment
Flippin’ through <i>Previews</i> – December 2006

Let’s get to everyone’s favorite pointless exercise – judging whether you want to buy something based on a few sentences written by advertisers about books that may or may not come out on time!  Yes, it’s this month’s Previews, with a Bernie Wrightson and Steve Niles collaboration featured on the cover!

Dark Horse:

You know, nothing is really jazzing me from Dark Horse this month.  City of Others might be okay, with Niles writing a horror story (imagine that!) and Wrightson on art, but I’m not getting it (it’s on page 18, in case you’re interested).  The same thing with The Secret (page 20), which always might be interesting, but the words “coming-of-age” in a description usually repel me like Kryptonite.  I’m buying Rex Mundi and Samurai: Heaven and Earth Vol. 2 (page 22 and 26, respectively), but you should know about those already, damn it!  There’s an Aliens vs. Predator omnibus (456 pages) on page 27, if that’s your thing (it’s not mine).  But nothing new that leaps out at me.

DC:

The Long Halloween gets the Absolute treatment on page 57 for $75.  I would skip this, because the extras don’t sound worth it and, let’s face it, the series is kind of weak.  Whenever I re-read this (and I have a few times, because it’s at least entertaining), I still don’t get it.  It’s not a very good mystery, even though Sale’s art is pretty.

Page 61 solicits Robin #159.  It asks if Tim can survive the challenge of a first date.  Hasn’t Tim ever dated before?  Or is this just the first date with a particular person?  Questions like this keep me up at night.

Brian mentioned this when he put the covers up not long ago, but the new artist on Blue Beetle (page 71) is named Albuquerque?  Would they have given him the job no matter what his art looked like, just because it was neat?

On pages 86-87, we get two different versions of Captain Marvel.  Winick’s version (Trials of Shazam #6, page 86) is offered, and on the next page, Jeff Smith gives us Shazam: The Monster Society of Evil.  Now, I never get this sort of thing.  If DC is going to make Captain Marvel a “grim-n-gritty” superhero, do it and don’t look back.  If it realizes that maybe making Captain Marvel into Alan Moore’s Marvelman isn’t a good idea, go back to the old ways.  I’m not sure what Smith is going to do with the character, but I bet it will at least be kid-friendly.  DC, like Marvel, wants to have it both ways.

On page 127, we see the Big Barda bust (yes, laugh it up).  My question is: has anyone, in any comic book, ever seen Barda in a bikini?  I have, once, but it was nowhere near as revealing as the bust.  But DC won’t allow that to stop the cheesecake?  (Our Dread Lord and Master will give one cool point to anyone who can name an issue where Barda appears in a bikini – whether it’s the one I’m thinking of or not!  Yes, I can dole out cool points in the name of the Dread Cronin!)

Image:

If you have $125 to throw around, you can buy the Madman Gargantua hardcover on page 132.  It’s 852 pages, so I guess it’s a good value.  Here’s a secret that will get me banned from most comics’ fans Christmas list: I’ve never been a huge fan of Mike Allred.  I don’t know why.  But this still looks cool.

Speaking of people I’ve never been a fan of and don’t know why, Nat Turner: Book 2 (of 2) shows up on page 134 for $10.  Kyle Baker has never impressed me.  It’s rather strange.  The solicitation text makes this sound like a wild, James Bond-like adventure, but it is, after all, about a slave revolt.  Shouldn’t it be treated with a bit more gravitas?  Maybe it will get more people to buy the book if they think it’s a superhero epic.

Page 138 gives us a new Sam Noir adventure.  The recent mini-series was a blast, so you owe it to yourself to check it out!

Noble Causes has a new artist for issue #27 (page 154).  I hate to be so negative about a guy, but I’m glad that Bosco is leaving.  Maybe the new guy will be better!

Marvel:

So Spider-Man’s black costume is back (pages 12-15).  I only bring this up because I saw the trailer to the third Spider-Man movie, and it appears Marvel didn’t learn anything from the end of the Batman franchise.  Too many villains for the movie to be coherent?  Line ’em up!

It’s nice that “six issues weren’t enough” for Eternals (page 33), but how about they bring out an issue now and then?  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Werewolf by Night #1 (page 43) is the comics that Greg Land has “waited his whole life to draw!”  Um, don’t they mean “waited his whole life to trace from photographs of posed people in magazines”?

I took a look at Onslaught Reborn #1 today (it’s out on Wednesday).  Issue #4 is solicited on page 54 with an image from the first issue.  Please, please, please don’t buy this comic.  It’s kind of bizarre that the worst thing about the book is NOT the art, but the writing.  And the art is pretty horrible, too.  This has been your PSA of the day!

Punisher War Journal #4 (page 55) gives us the funeral of Stilt-Man.  The preview art on the next couple of pages shows Dr. Doom showing up.  Really.  Victor von Doom, the ruler of Latveria?  Really?  Do the editors at Marvel (or the writers) even know anything about Dr. Doom?

There’s a mini-series explaining why Baron Zemo always fails (page 63).  You don’t need as mini-series, you just need me: he’s a villain.  Duh!

Now, we turn to the back of the book.  You know, the fun section!

Larry Young is giving us two Colonia trades on page 208.  I have heard good things about Colonia.  What say you all?

Archaia Studio Press has a pretty good track record so far, and The Secret History (page 220) looks pretty neat.  This issue deals with Moses and Pharaoh, and each issue will tell the occult history of the world.

On page 239, Cover Girl #1 is offered.  Apparently it’s scripted by Kevin, so you should probably avoid it at all costs.  At all costs!!!!!

Bone is offered again on page 240.  Holy crap, it’s good.  Buy it or be, well, doomed to a lifetime of suffering.

The penultimate issue of Action Philosophers! is solicited on page 274 from Evil Twin Comics.  You know you want to learn all about Immanuel Kant!

Markosia offers the first trade of Of Bitter Souls, which I’ve been looking for, on page 303.  This, as some of you may know, isn’t the greatest comic book in the world, but it has Norm Breyfogle on art, which is a good thing, and it takes a Christian perspective to evil comic book monsters without beating you over the head with it, which is kind of refreshing.

Wasteland #7 from Oni Press (page 312) features a guest artist – Carla Speed McNeil.  I’m not her biggest fan, but I think her style would work well on this book.  Perhaps Antony Johnston can stop by and tell us if this is a stand-alone issue (the text implies it, but doesn’t make it clear) and if it’s a good place to, you know, jump on board.

If you order one thing from this slab this month, order Elk’s Run on page 347.  Yes, it’s finally coming out, apparently, with the complete story in one volume.  Elk’s Run is a very good comic book that sold about as well as the navel lint I put up on eBay one time.  You will not be disappointed if you buy this.  If you buy it and don’t like it, my cat will come to your house and sit on you, purring, until you feel better.  You can’t get a better deal than that!¹

Virgin Comics brings us Virulents, which takes place in Afghanistan (or possibly Pakistan) and sounds pretty neat.  American soldiers, Indian commandoes, terrorists, and something horrible?  Sign me up!  On the same page (page 348), issue #5 of John Woo’s Seven Brothers is solicited with the text, “comics will never be the same.”  Really?  Those are bold words that, unfortunately, I must call bullshit on.  Not that I don’t appreciate the ambition.

So there you have it.  Not a whole lot that’s terribly exciting, which means you can afford Elk’s Run!

¹ I haven’t actually mentioned this deal to my cat.  I’m sure he’ll go along with it, right?  Cats are notoriously helpful, after all!

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