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Flippin’ through Previews – May 2009

by  in Comic News Comment
Flippin’ through <i>Previews</i> – May 2009

Nothing clever above the jump, people! Let’s go!

Yes, Amazing Spider-Man, with a little creative bookkeeping by Marvel, has reached issue #600. But that’s not the only thing in this months Previews that’s hitting 600 issues! What else could there beeeeeee?!?!?!?!?

Dark Horse:

As you all know by now, I purchase Hellboy-related items in trade exclusively, but on page 32, there’s a new B.P.R.D. mini-series, 1947 (8 July). Joshua Dysart writes it, which is nice, and Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá provide the art. So yeah, it’ll look pretty awesome.

I’ve never read Guy Davis’s The Marquis, so the 336-page, 25-dollar trade offered on page 35 (2 September) is enticing. Any endorsements out there in World Wide Web world?

For 13 bucks, you can pick up Noir, an anthology of, well, noir stories (30 September). Contributors include: Brian Azzarello, Ed Brubaker, Alex de Campi, Jeff Lemire, Rick Geary, Paul Grist, David Lapham, Dean Motter, M. K. Perker, Eduardo Barreto, Fábio Moon, Gabriel Bá, and Sean Phillips. I’m not sure how it’s only 104 pages, because holy shit.

Mario and Gilbert Hernandez have a six-issue mini-series beginning on 8 July called Citizen Rex (page 43). It’s a – brace yourself – sci-fi adventure about a reporter who discovers that a long-deactivated robot celebrity might still be around, something which doesn’t make anyone happy. I wasn’t terribly impressed with Speak of the Devil, Gilbert’s last mini-series, but this still sounds cool.

There’s an Alien Legion Omnibus on page 44 (9 September), leading to a new series from Dark Horse. That’s interesting. I’ve never read Alien Legion, but it’s nice that it’s getting collected.

Matt Kindt has a new book, 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man, on page 47 (23 September). Everything I’ve ever read by Kindt has been damned good (granted, it’s not much, but still), so I’m looking forward to this.

DC:

So the solicitation on page 63 (15 July) for Blackest Night #1 (is it 2009 already?) reads “Throughout the decades, death has plagued the DC Universe and taken the lives of heroes and villains alike. But to what end?” Really? “To what end?” How about this: PEOPLE FRICKIN’ DIE! That’s the way it is! Sorry, but that’s just a silly way to sell this. Not that DC needs to sell it, because it’s going to sell through the roof, but still.

Man, I hope Wednesday Comics (pages 68-69; July) sells well. It’s an attempt to do something different, so I hope it sells. I have a sinking feeling it won’t, though.

I won’t be buying any of the Final Crisis Aftermath mini-series (pages 70-71; no, not even Joe Casey’s), but it brings up a good point: What did Final Crisis do? I mean, it “killed” Batman, but did it have any effect on the DCU as a whole? It’s very weird. You may hate what Marvel does in its events, but at least they run them efficiently. There seems to be no fallout from Final Crisis beyond Batman not being around anymore.

Damn, J. H. Williams III can draw:

Justice League: Cry for Justice (page 84; 1 July) sounds … unpleasant (“This time it’s personal – and it’ll only get more bloody before it’s over!”), but that’s not what bothers me. The English major in me can’t abide this text: “Batman and Martian Manhunter have been slaughtered. But he’s not the only hero to fall at the hands of villains.” Oh, poor use of pronouns. Whatever shall we do with you?

Man, Jim Starlin really loves the Weird (Strange Adventures; page 88; 1 July). That’s all I have to say about that.

I love that DC is publishing another of its Classics Library, this time collecting the death of Jason Todd and the introduction of Tim Drake in one package (page 93; 23 September). These aren’t very good comics, so save your money if you don’t already have them, but I dig that they’re reminding us that Jason Todd is, stupidly, back from the dead. You know, if you can’t honor the integrity of a phone-in poll, what can you honor?

DC finally gets around to releasing Duncan Rouleau’s Metal Men in softcover (page 96; 5 August). I know this wasn’t very good (according to those who read it), but I also know it looked fantastic, so I might pony up 15 bucks just for that.

If you’ve been waiting for the trade on Secret Six, it’s out on page 97 (26 August). It’s quite good; I recommend it highly.

Man, Jonny DC books have some cool covers:

DC is releasing a big, 40-dollar hardcover of Tom Strong #1-12 (page 110; 16 September). If you’ve never read these, do yourself a favor a check this collection out.

Peter Milligan and Davide Gianfelice have a new series, Greek Street, on page 112 (1 July). It’s another 1-dollar, 40-page extravaganza, so why not take a look? It’s Milligan transporting Greek myths to modern-day London – what’s not to love?

Fables is the latest Vertigo book to get a “deluxe edition” release (page 116; 30 September), with the first ten issues getting collected for $30. I liked this book from the beginning, but some people think it took a while to get going. Either way, here’s where it began.

Hey, make sure you buy Young Liars #17 on page 121 (8 July). I hear sales are poor, and it’s close to being cance – what’s that? Oh, never mind.

Unknown Soldier gets traded on page 121 (26 August). If you were waiting for it. I like the review text from The Onion: “Unknown Soldier could be a new Vertigo classic.” It’s always fun to put qualifiers like that in your reviews. Well, of course it could be a new Vertigo classic. Megan Fox could walk through my door and say she wants me to lick whipped cream off her naked body, but it’s probably not going to happen.

Image:

Holy crap, Savage Dragon hits issue #150 (page 141; 15 July). Say what you will about the comic, but that’s pretty impressive.

I’m really curious about these Armageddon books Rob Liefeld keeps bringing out (the latest is on page 142; 29 July). Is anyone getting them?

(I’m fairly sure these people are supposed to be running, not levitating. Beats me, though.)

There’s an Elephantmen one-shot on page 148 (22 July) featuring Yvette, the star of War Toys. I’m sure it will be awesome.

Page 152 brings us a new printing of The Five Fists of Science by Matt Fraction and Steven Sanders (1 July). If anyone wonders why I’m giving Uncanny X-Men so much rope, this is one of the reasons why I trust Fraction. It’s quite the fun book.

I find it interesting that the latest Spawn Origins trade (page 154; 22 July) skips issue #9 and 10. Why on earth would it skip #9 and 10 (it reprints #7-8 and 11-14)? Well, I don’t know about issue #10, but #9 is the Neil Gaiman story that figures in the big Miracleman brouhaha. Issue #10 features Cerebus. Did McFarlane have a falling-out with Dave Sim as well?

There’s a Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer crossover on page 166. Despite being written by Mark Waid, this can’t be any good, can it? Plus, Previews puts a “Gem of the Month” designation on it. Man.

Marvel:

Page 3 is black with the word “Reborn” emblazoned in white across it. It’s Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch bringing Captain America back, apparently. Couldn’t they do this in the regular series? Sheesh. I have a feeling the Cap from the Avengers/Invaders series will be the new one, but Brubaker wouldn’t do that, would he?

All Select Comics on page 8 might be worth a look, if only because Michael Kupperman of Tales Designed to Thrizzle does the back-up story. That ought to be a hoot. Guggenheim and Palido doing the main feature isn’t bad, either.

This is weird: Agents of Atlas #8 on page 34 is specifically labeled as NOT being part of “Dark Reign.” I say thank God for that, but that’s kind of weird. I suppose it’s because there really are Marvel Zombies who will buy everything related to an “event,” and Marvel wouldn’t want them to continue buying the title now that the “Dark Reign” is over, would they?

Amazing Spider-Man #600 (page 42) is a pretty good deal, I have to admit. It’s five dollars and 104 pages of new material. That’s pretty keen.

Contrast that with The Incredible Hulk #600 (page 50), which is also 104 pages but has only 38 pages of new material. You know, I didn’t do this with Thor #600 and I won’t do it with Amazing Spider-Man or Captain America #600, but let’s consider the “600th issue” of The Incredible Hulk. I added it up and came up with 547 issues starring the Hulk when this will be published, which is a bit less than 600 (my math might be off, but by that much?). That’s 6 issues of the original series in 1962, 43 issues of Tales To Astonish in which he shared the marquee, 374 issues of the second series after Tales To Astonish changed its name with issue #102, 11 issues of the first adjective-less Hulk series that launched in 1999, 101 issues of that same series after it switched back to The Incredible Hulk (for the third time!), and finally, 12 issues of this new Hulk series after the old series changed its name to The Incredible Hercules. 6 + 43 + 374 + 11 + 101 + 12 = 547. Where is Marvel finding those extra 52 issues? I’m being a bit of a dick about this, I know, because this is a ridiculous cash grab, but at least they could count correctly. It’s not even as if any of these comics have been around for 50 years, which would make a tiny bit of sense (12 X 50 = 600, so even if they hadn’t been published monthly every year, you could at least make the case). This is kind of annoying. (They can’t be counting the first 58 issues of Tales To Astonish, can they? Considering the fact that TtA debuted three years before the Hulk existed, that would be silly. Oh, wait, a cash grab is involved. So I guess they can count them!)

I don’t know who that is on the cover of Marvel Zombies 4 #4 (of 4) (page 58), but her breasts are really out of control. Who did Land trace for that, I wonder. I’m impressed that person can even stand up.

As of this month, I should point out that there are two Deadpool ongoing series (pages 30 and 72). TWO. DEADPOOL. ONGOING. SERIES. Mull that over for a bit. Add in the fact that there’s still a Deadpool mini-series going on and your head may explode.

There’s a hardcover of Spider-Man/Human Torch by Dan Slott and Ty Templeton on page 92. This is quite a good series, if you haven’t read it yet.

I’ve been hearing good things about Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil, so I might have to pick up the trade on page 106. I do like the text: “Collecting Doctor Doom and the Masters of Evil #1-4 AND MORE.” What? What is this “MORE”? TELL ME!!!!!!!

All right, that’s enough of that. Shall we head to the back of the book? Yes, we shall!

As usual, there’s some cool stuff coming out from Archaia Studios Press on page 192. The Engineer is collected (there was only one issue left) for 10 thin dollars, while the third and fourth issues of Killing Pickman come out as one big-sized issue. I always have to point out Archaia comics, because they’re so darned good.

I’m not sure if Archie Double Digest #200 (page 196) is the first Norm Breyfogle issue, but there it is. This has to be a weird mix.

I don’t know if I’d like Poe #1 from Boom! Studios on page 216, but it might be neat. Edgar Allen Poe searching for a killer? Why the hell not?

On page 233, Dynamite Entertainment has an “Omnibus Trade Paperback” of Dan Dare by Garth Ennis and Gary Erskine. It’s only 20 bucks, which is a pretty decent deal.

Dynamite also offers The Lone Ranger #17, and the text mentions that they’re not going to solicit these issues until a story arc is complete. That’s handy. It will avoid long delays between issues within the arc.

Fantagraphics has its usual collection of hoity-toity stuff on pages 246-47. Skin Deep is a collection of stories from Charles Burns, so it ought to be good. They also have a trade of Tales Designed to Thrizzle by Michael Kupperman. This is a very funny book, but the humor seems a bit similar (twisted, but similar) in each issue, which is why I haven’t bought every one. But it’s still worth a look!

If you’re interested in Niels Bohr (and why wouldn’t you be?), Suspended in Language, the story of his life, is re-offered on page 249 from G T Labs. It’s quite a good comic, which is surprising as it’s about the father of quantum mechanics. Jim Ottaviani does a nice job making the science accessible.

Darwyn Cooke brings the awesome with The Hunter, a graphic novel from IDW on page 253. It’s a crime novel! Of course I’ll like it! Considering that I still consider Selina’s Big Score to be the best work Cooke has done, I’m sure he’ll knock this out of the park.

IDW also has the new Fallen Angel mini-series on page 261. Good to see. I’m a bit wary about the fact that it guest stars some Joss Whedon character, but I’m sure Peter David will make it work somehow.

The Imposter’s Daughter on page 270 from Little Brown and Company sounds neat. It’s a memoir about a girl growing up with a father who told marvelous stories about his life and who later finds out he was totally lying about it all. So she needs to figure out who she is, as she had based her life on her father’s.

Also on page 270, Mirage Studios has a big ol’ trade of early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (as it’s the 25th anniversary of said turtles). Over 540 pages for $30 – that’s not bad.

Despite my continual disappointment that NBM doesn’t get new copies of No Pasaran volume 1, I do like to see what they have every month. This time around, on page 271, they have The Big Kahn, a story of a rabbi who isn’t Jewish. The truth comes out at his funeral and his family has to deal with the consequences. Neil Kleid is the writer, and he’s pretty good, so I’ll have to check this out.

Outlaw Entertainment on page 272 isn’t completely Jason Burns’s company, but you’d be forgiven for thinking that. They have three comics offered, and all are written by Burns. All three sound decent, but Praetorian, which is about for immortal Praetorian guards searching for a serial killer, sounds like the best bet. Burns is a decent writer, so it will be interesting to see where this fledgling company goes.

Over on page 274, Oni Press has a hardcover of the first 13 issues of Wasteland. As Wasteland is really, really good, you might want to pick it up if you haven’t yet. Johnston takes a few issues to really get going, so having them all in one package might read better. It’s 336 pages for $35, which isn’t bad.

I don’t know if The Colodin Project on page 284 from Tool Publications is any good, but it sounds intriguing. A private investigator discovers a group of people with strange abilities and what they’re up to. Yes, it sounds familiar, but I’m a sucker for stories where a lone nut discovers horrible things happening behind the scenes of the world.

Top Shelf has volume 2 of The Surrogates, a complete graphic novel that serves as a prequel to the original mini-series, on page 284. I’m looking forward to this for a couple of reasons: I really liked the first mini-series, and I already read a review of this from someone who has good taste. That person is Mr. Chad Nevett, and while I am consumed with envy that he got to read this so early when, by his own admission, he never read the first mini-series, I still trust his judgment (usually). You can also get the first trade on page 286, if you missed it the first time around.

There’s a new volume of The Middleman from Viper Comics on page 300. Despite the fact that Les McClaine does not draw it (what’s up with that?), I’m sure it will still rock. It sounds like it follows from the TV show, which might make it slightly less accessible if you missed that slice of awesome, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check this out!

I need to get around to writing about the latest issue of Tripwire, but before I can do that, the Tripwire Annual is offered on page 309! It commemorates both the 70th anniversary of Marvel and the 70th anniversary of Batman. Tripwire is what Wizard wishes it could be, so you might want to pick this up. It’s a bit steep price-wise ($16), but the magazines are chock-full of goodness.

In the book section, some punk named Cronin is trying to pass off his half-baked ideas as something you should pay good, hard-earned money for. It’s on page 319, if you’re interested in funding his lifestyle of Pixy Stix snorting, crucifix defiling, and democratically-elected government overthrowing. Seriously – that’s what he does in his spare time! (Of course, I already own it. But he’s the Dread Lord and Master, and with his fearsome psychic powers, he would know if any of his unholy and unwilling minions hadn’t plunked down the ducats for this. I had no choice. YOU DO!!!!!! Plus, I’m vain enough to like seeing a thank-you in the acknowledgements. Cronin never forgets the little people!)

I could go further into the back of the book, but, frankly, it kind of scares me. Of course, there’s a Batroc the Leaper mini-bust and a Frog Thor mini-bust, so it’s not that scary!

I hope you enjoyed this trip through Previews!

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