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Flippin’ Through Previews – September 2016

by  in Comics Comment
Flippin’ Through Previews – September 2016

It’s that time of the month again, when Previews comes out and we all hope that everything inside it is really, really good. Let’s dive right into #336, shall we?

Travis is in blue type, as you all know, while I remain shrouded in blackness. It matches my constant mood!

Dark Horse: The full solicits are here!

Matt Kindt writes “Ether” (page 47), which is about a scientist who dazzles the magical residents of the “Ether,” who want him to solve their problems. Kindt is never quite as good with a different artist as he is drawing his own work, but this still sounds pretty keen. David Rubin’s art looks quite nifty.

Sounds like “the Wizard of Oz, fairyland detective”, sorta. Since it’s probably one of those books with “exclusive to the singles” stuff, I’ll have to consider this one. Well, it’s a mini, so who knows?

ether

Speaking of Matt Kindt, “Dept. H” gets a hardcover trade on page 50. It’s 20 bucks for 6 issues, which is a seriously good value. I haven’t quite been blown away by this as I was by “Mind Mgmt”, but it’s still a darned fine comic book so far.

I will probably get this and hope I’m not missing much from the singles and their exclusive stuff! Damn you Dark Horse!

Unlike “Mind Mgmt” (another reason it’s not quite as good), the “extras” on “Dept. H” haven’t been too amazing yet. So I think you’re safe.

Shane Oakley, who ought to get more work, draws Neil Gaiman’s “Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire”, which, if you didn’t get it from the title, is a satire. It’s 18 bucks for 48 pages, which makes me blanch [insert Cheers joke here], but I’ll probably still get it.

Shane Oakley was great on … “Channel Evil”, I think it was called? But he’s very good, and should do this sort of thing justice. Gaiman is funnier than you might think, although from that beard he’s got going now, maybe you would think. (I should talk beards, huh?!)

Oakley did “Channel Evil”, yes. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen his art somewhere else, but I’m blanking on it right now.

Why wouldn’t I think Gaiman is funny? Sandman is very funny in many places, and a lot of his books have a nice, grim sense of humor.

forbidden-brides

I’ll probably get the trade of “Aliens: Defiance” on page 52. Brian Wood is usually reliable, and Tristan Jones’s art is really good, and they got Ricardo Burchielli to back him up, which is not a bad thing at all. It’s also 20 bucks for 6 issues, so there’s that.

Note: looks like “DHP” is going up to a regular size issue price of 7.99 with #28 (page 55). D’oh! Good thing it’s quite good, huh?

Man, that’s annoying. At least the old series was 80 pages for 8 bucks!

I was waiting on the trade of Gene Ha’s “Mae”, and here it is on page 59, 18 bucks for 5 issues. Dunno why they’re saying his first creator-owned work since “Top 10”, which implies that “Top 10” was creator owned …

I’m tempted by “The Shadow Glass” on page 67 – it’s also 20 bucks for 6 issues, and who doesn’t love occultism in Elizabethan England? On the other hand, occultism in Elizabethan England feels … I don’t want to say clichéd, but somehow familiar. I’ll have to think about this.

What I’ve seen of Aly Fell’s art has been good. I think this is the book that got cancelled mid-mini. Man, you say everything’s clichéd or familiar! It’s so cliché!

Well, if stories didn’t sound so familiar and clichéd, I wouldn’t write that all the time, would I? I can’t help it!!!!!

shadow-glass

I am, however, looking forward to the “House of Penance” trade on page 69, not only because the Winchester mansion is keen but also because you really can’t get enough of Ian Bertram’s art.

Looks like Ian Bertram has, so far, made the deadlines, so suck it, Burgas! Ahem. I mean, oh ye of little faith, Bertram got the books out on time (I’m assuming without doing a damn bit of research, because screw that noise!). But yeah, that cover looks dang cool, and Tomasi is pretty good too.

Bertram probably made his deadlines because he began work on this six-issue mini-series two years ago or something. I actually had some faith that he could get this done, because it was only six issues and I assumed he’d started on it a while ago.

DC Comics: All the solicits are here!

The next Young Animal title, “Mother Panic” (page 78), is about a rich person with a traumatic past who decides to become a vigilante … in Gotham City. Really, DC? Really? Anyway, I’ll probably give it a look simply because Tommy Lee Edwards is drawing it, but man, that sounds really familiar. If only I could remember the name of the character who sounds exactly like that …

Um … Alan Scott? Heh. No, really, maybe it’s something of a revamp/modernization of that concept, like how “X-Statix” took the X-Men idea forward. Yeah, that’s it. I think I’m getting all of these Young Animal books in trade. Did you get the ashcan? Man, that looked cool. I liked the page of pictures of the creators in the back. All of the female creators wore glasses, had long dark hair, and maybe a tat or two. Diversity! (HA! I kid. I can definitely dig the need and desire to get more diverse voices in the medium, but it struck me as funny that the women all had pretty much the same look!)

I did not get the Young Animals ashcan. Where on earth would I get that? I’m not cool like you!

My shop had a bunch of them!

mother-panic

So, is the “Batman Annual” on page 89 a “silent” issue? Cool creators. It’d be fun to have a book filled with over-emoting Neal Adams characters!

On the one hand, I love the fact that in “Green Arrow” #10 (page 95), we get something like the “Trans-Pacific Railway,” because it’s so ridiculous it just screams COMICS! On the other hand, I can’t keep thinking about the real-world implications of it. How the hell did it get built? How much did it cost? That’s a sinkhole of money, and I’m sure more than one person drowned while constructing it. Come on, Oliver, use your money better!!! On the third hard, Juan Ferreyra draws it. I read his Illustrated Telephone Book and it was awesome.

Well, it sounds like it’s supposed to be an underwater train, but not necessarily that the “railway” is like train tracks. But have you heard of the Big Dig in Boston? That’s a sinkhole (of money, too!). And I’m waiting for the follow up where Ferreyra illustrates the minutes of village board meetings!

I think everyone has heard of the Big Dig, because annoying Boston is so ubiquitous in pop culture (no, I’m not jealous that an old Eastern city with deep ties to the American Revolution became a pop culture touchstone instead of another old Eastern city with deep ties to the American Revolution, why do you ask?). And I’d totally buy Ferreyra-drawn meeting minutes.

Page 99 has the cover to “The Hellblazer” 4, with Swamp Thing in a trenchcoat and tie. How awesome is that?

constantine-swamp-thing

“Superman” #10 cover (page 106): Are … are they gonna, you know, make out? That would be the greatest comic ever.

I would totally buy that as well. “Bruce, is that … guano? You know that smell drives me wild.” “Clark, I just want to nuzzle my nose against your steel-like yet kissable throat.” (Cut to full on making out!)

superb0y-robin

Speculators be aware, that “Superman Annual” 1 (page 107) no doubt (I’m speculating!) ties into the whole Rebirth/Watchmen crap stuff. Now they’ll tie in Swamp Thing to it, just to rub Alan Moore’s face in it. How soon before Promethea and Tom Strong show up? Maybe Jack B. Quick is behind it all!

Francis Manapul managed to draw two issues of “Trinity” before needing a fill-in artist (page 111). Why would anyone read this if Manapul isn’t drawing it?

Well, I think his run on “Flash” was co-written by him, and was fairly well received,, even after he wasn’t drawing it, so I see nothing wrong there. But yeah, not being able to do more than 2 issues before needing a fill in isn’t a good sign.

Manapul did co-write “Flash”, but there was a fairly noticeable drop-off in its quality when he wasn’t drawing it. It was still decent, but not as dynamic. I’m just bummed about the whole 2 issues thing.

The final six issues of “Prez”, which Dan DiDio promised would come out, are no longer coming out, as Prez gets a conclusion in the Catwoman one-shot on page 114. I get that it’s a business, but don’t write checks with your mouth that your ass can’t cash, Danny D!

I read the first issue of “Prez”, and managed to get the rest of the mini cheap in my guy’s back issue bin (but, shock of shocks, haven’t read it yet!). (If you’re not like me and have a cool back issue bin to dig through, the trade is offered again on page 138.) I wasn’t completely bowled over by the book — it seemed too “now” when it was supposed to be, what, 40 years in the future? But otherwise it was interesting. I’ll probably pick this up to be a completist about the thing! Hey, we got 6 issues of it and they at least were willing to let it get wrapped up somehow, so that can’t be all bad! So what’s the Latin on her sleeve say, monkeyboy?

I agree about the first issue of “Prez”, but I just find it hilarious that DiDio swore up and down that there’d be a second volume. Yeah, okay.

HAHAHA, you believe what comics execs tell you!

I don’t know what the Latin says. Res means “things,” est is “it is,” profecto means “certainly,” stulta means “foolish,” nequitiae means “abominations,” which is odd, and modus means “mode.” Beats me what it’s supposed to mean.

“Shits is way weird”?

Why am I not recognizing the Bissette/Totleben homage on the Sixpack/Dogwelder 4 cover? (page 117)

It’s something Swamp Thing-related – I think maybe the issue where Moore incorporated “House of Secrets” #92 into the continuity? Ask Mike Sterling – he’ll know!

dogwelder

Well, it’s no real surprise it’s over, but at least Doctor Fate gets a last issue with sweet Brendan McCarthy art! (page 119)

DC relaunches “New Talent Showcase” on page 121, with some good talent, but new talent? I’m not so sure. Joelle Jones writes a story (first interior artwork: 2005), Chris Sebela writes a story (first writing credit: 2011), Barnaby Bagenda draws a story (first interior artwork: 2011, plus he just finished drawing Omega Men FOR DC!!!!), Juan Ferreyra draws a story (first interior artwork: 2004), Sonny Liew draws a story (first interior artwork: 2002, plus he drew My Faith in Frankie FOR DC in 2004!), David Messina draws a story (first interior artwork: 2005, plus he colored books for two years before that), and Khary Randolph draws a story (first interior artwork: 2003). Those are just the names I recognize. I get that they’re not going to use completely new talent, but calling all of those creators “new” is kind of pushing it.

Also, Michael Moreci’s had a few series from Image and Boom (including “Hoax Hunters”), Emma Beeby has co-written Doctor Who comics, and Erica Schultz has lettered Neal Adams for a while (and did a Vertigo SFX story, but she does appear to be a fairly new writer). But yeah, the “new” is pushing it in a lot of cases. New to you, DC, maybe, but not to those of us that scour “Previews” monthly!!! In less shouty-ness, I guess these people went through the Talent Development workshop, but still, shouldn’t that be for less credited people than this? Also, I like Janson, but that Wonder Woman figure seems awfully stiff.

I knew I knew Moreci’s name from somewhere. So, yeah.

“Super Powers” (page 122) looks like the usual Baltazar/Franco cuteness, and I may get the trade. But did I dream it, or didn’t I see on our pal Chad’s The Twitter something about Tom Scioli doing the art for a Young Animal Super Powers/New Gods type book?

It certainly looks like Scioli is doing something like that. That’ll be neat.

SO NEAT!

I’ve been listening to the Cartoon Planet Bar-B-Q CD lately, so I’m very stoked that Space Ghost is teaming with the Scooby gang in “Scooby Doo Team Up” 20. (page 127)

Aw, man, that Deadman book with Kelley Jones art sounds cool. Too rich for my blood, but man, that must look cool. Why are they pushing Deadman so hard, with this and the new mini? The JL Dark stuff? (page 128)

Oh man, that “Batman: Death and the Maidens” dee-loox HC is tempting on page 130. I think it must have come out around the time I wasn’t keeping up with comics quite so much, so I missed this back in the day. But since I loves me some Klaus Janson art, I’m very interested in this one! Wonder why this story is getting this treatment now? Was it part of the deal to get Rucka back?

Oh yeah, “Batman and Robin Adventures” v1 (page 131)! Was the “Batman Adventures” series complete in those 3 volumes they’ve put out of that? I may need to get this one, this was a pretty good run!

Hmm, they pushed back “The Flash by Waid” volume 1, so maybe I’ll have to order it this time. There’s a chance I’ll figure out whether or not I have the stuff in that volume before the order date! (page 133)

Oh yeah, another volume of JLA Silver Age stories! I started reading v1 and was planning to write about it when I sucked out and didn’t get stuff done. But what I read was great, so this is a must have for me! (page 135)

The second volumes of “Art Ops” and “Clean Room” are on page 142. I wasn’t too impressed with “Art Ops”, but “Clean Room” volume 1 was really good. For what that’s worth.

Well, as a completist, I may get the “Art Ops” volume just to have both, but I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about “Clean Room”, so I may get that even if I don’t get around to reading v1!

Interesting that in the second “Sandman Mystery Theatre” book on page 143, they include the Annual, because I’m pretty sure that didn’t come out until much later in the run. That has Alex Ross interior art, among others. If they had reoffered v1, I probably would have this higher on my list!

Well, I guess “Red Thorn” is another that will be complete in 2 volumes, as #13 is the final issue (page 144).

Heh, how cute is that Bat-Cow plush on page 151?

batcow

Ooh, the Justice League of America Action Figure pack is “just” $100 for 7 figures! Heh. “Just”. (and now I realize that you might think I’m laughing because it’s like “justice”, but no, I’m laughing because they act like that’s a great deal!).

IDW Publishing: The solicitation goodness is here!

There’s a new “Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” comic on page 154. I guess the deal between DC and IDW was that one gets published under DC’s umbrella, the other under IDW’s. This is drawn by Jon Sommariva, who’s a pretty good artist. I will have more to say about him below!!!!

I didn’t get the other one (ought to check the library!), but these books sound fun. Trade wait!

The “Artist’s Edition” on page 168 features some dude named Jack Kirby on something called “Fantastic Four” – I really don’t know much about the artist or the series, so I’ll just move on now.

Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s “Comic Book History of Comics” get the Ted Turner treatment on page 171. Coloring black-and-white comics always works better than coloring black-and-white movies, so this should look neat. If you missed it the first time around, pick it up this time!

I’ll have to! I probably should get the variant covers with new strips!

comic-book-history

“Atomic Robo”‘s solicitation (page 172) goes dark: “Look, if Trump just got elected, we’re all doomed. Not even an atomic robot, his trusty team of scientists, or odic warriors can help us now. We are done for. So drown your sorrows in this, what will be one of the last pieces of cultural ephemera created by mankind in this, the twilight hour.” Tell us how you really feel, IDW and Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener!!!!

“Yakuza Demon Killers” (page 175) might get a look based on the name alone. But the art does look pretty neat, and who doesn’t love a war between Yakuza and demons, with a thief trapped in the middle?

Hmm, it said it was 6 issues in the online catalog, but 4 issues here in print. Wonder which it is, because that plays into whether or not I’ll get it!

yakuza-demon-killers

Joe Hill comics are fairly good, so the deluxe GN HC collection of his stuff on page 176 is a decent book for 50 bucks.

“Hot Damn” sounded interesting, but it’s another of those IDW 20 dollars for 4 issue trades. Argh! (page 178)

“The Theory of the Grain of Sand” (page 180) is the second book in “The Obscure Cities” series, and if it’s anything like “The Leaning Girl”, it will be achingly beautiful and kind of bizarre. I’m in!

“Sachs and Violens” gets a new printing on page 180. I have never gotten this, but I really should, even though I know it’s not very good. I mean, it’s Peter David and George Perez, so it can’t be that bad!

It was originally an Epic book from Marvel, and apparently it was collected by DC at one point (when PAD was doing “Fallen Angel” for them, maybe?). It sounded neat, so I may go for this.

Huh, that “Mysterious Melody” book with Mickey Mouse’s “pre-Disney life” sounds pretty good. Damn Europeans, always doing the interesting stuff! (page 182)

John Byrne joins the recent “coloring book” fad, but because he’s John Motherfucking Byrne, he decides to give us something brand new instead of just repurposing something old. “Stowaway to the Stars” looks amazing (some guys at the comic book store I frequent complain that Byrne’s art has gone downhill, but I don’t see it), and it includes “all-new” “story fragments.” What that means is anyone’s guess, but it’s still kind of neat. Except … it’s 13 bucks for 48 pages. Yikes.

He’s pretty good still to my eyes. He hasn’t drawn young people very well for years, but overall this stuff looks quite nice. He’s said before that people who don’t like his art, especially if they liked his X-Men stuff most, are more Terry Austin fans than Byrne fans. Also note, that 48 pages includes the blank pages so you don’t color through — it says it’s just 24 coloring pages!

Also, from what I understand, our pal Drew Ford has joined his “It’s Alive!” imprint with IDW, somewhat like what Top Shelf did a few years back, I guess, so congrats to him, and I look forward to his stuff getting listed with IDW soon!

Image Comics: Browse the solicits here!

“A.D. After Death” (page 194) sounds interesting. It’s always nice to see Jeff Lemire’s weird art, and the format (3 72-page comics) is keen. What does the “A.D.” in the title stand for, though? If it’s “After Death,” then the title is redundant. Could it be that the year (Anno Domini) is “After Death”? I guess if nobody dies, keeping track of years is kind of stupid. I’m overthinking this, aren’t I?

What in the name of all that is holy are you yappin’ about? Sure. I’ll just go along with whatever you’re saying, man. A decent sized preview appeared in Image Plus #1, and another in the new issue #5, and it looked good (of course, since Lemire’s doing the art), but I’m not sure about the story yet. We’ll see! And the main character is Jonah Cooke, who gave us all eternal life. Deep, man!

Jonathan Hickman claims to be writing and drawing “Frontier” on page 196. It doesn’t give us much information about what’s going on, but I’ll believe it exists when it’s in my hot little hands, as the last time Hickman was supposed to be drawing something, it never came out. So I’m wary!

In the Image Plus story about the book, it talks more about how the other planets in the Frontier gave up on humanity, but now something is after them, so they need us now to make war and shit. Deep! That open-mouthed guy in the fourth preview page here is totally a Ted McKeever-esque figure, isn’t he? That finally occurred to me while I was … TCB in the bathroom, if you get me …

I don’t know – you’re awfully subtle.

frontier

Alex De Campi and Tony Parker have “Mayday” on page 198, which I’ve been anticipating for a while. Two Russian spies in 1971 get trapped in California, where there’s a lot of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Sounds groovy! I like Parker’s art, but I do wish he’d do a book in black and white. HIs art is exquisite in black and white.

Yeah, I can see that. There’s a bit of a Quitely look to it on the pages here, the way it’s colored, anyway. Parker talks, in the Image Plus, about keeping the fashions and such a little behind where pop culture was right at 1971, which is a really smart thing (since not everyone is fashion trendy) that more people should keep in mind. Since it’s a mini, though, I’ll probably just wait for the trade.

I’m not the biggest fan of Frank Barbiere, but I’m a huge fan of Victor Santos, so I might check out “Violent Love” on page 200. It’s basically Bonnie and Clyde, but Santos’s art is terrific (although, again, his black and white work is staggering), so I’m very tempted.

Apparently this is an ongoing series, not a mini as listed. Not sure how that’ll work. I’m in for the first trade, though!

violent-love

The final issue of “Chew” is on page 202. Man, after the most recent issue, I’m scared to read the rest!!!!

I’ll have to catch up with those big huge 20 issue HCs! The coloring book is also offered on page 228.

A new “CBLDF Liberty Annual” on page 2016, with stories about real heroes. Including a story by Anina Bennett and Paul Guinan! That excites me more than it does normal people, methinks! (page 203)

I like Bennett and Guinan quite a bit, so this is quite cool.

“Invincible” #133 (page 204) is the beginning of the final story arc. At least now other comics can use the red ink that colorist Jean-Francois Beaulieu has been hoarding all these years!

I am surprised that “The Wicked and The Divine” did not up their cover price after the break and the one shot. Well done, Gillen and McKelvie! (page 207)

“One Week in the Library” sounds interesting, and it’s by the guy writing “The Electric Sublime”, and also did the Judas book. I’m probably in, I likes me experimental stuff (despite what someone thought about me on Hatcher’s Gonzo column!). Plus, Lucien wants to give this guy a wedgie. (page 230)

Okay, so on page 232 the “Gemini” trade gets offered. I read “Gemini” years ago, because Jay Faerber is a good superhero writer. It’s a pretty good comic, and I bought the first four issues. Then … bupkus. I think it won a “Fell” Award in my year-end post one year, but then it stopped being eligible because it was so very late. I don’t know if it was Jon Sommariva’s fault or Faerber’s or a combination of the two. But it disappeared. Okay, fine. It’s not like it was the greatest comic ever, but it was pretty entertaining. Now Image is releasing the trade … of all five issues. That’s great, and I would encourage people to get it, but what about those of us who bought the first four issues? Do I want to pay 17 dollars for, essentially, ONE issue? Sigh. I’m really thinking hard about this.

I’m in, because “RINGERRRRRRR”!!!!!!! Heh. Well, that and I never got this, and “Copperhead” is great. More, dammit!

Hope you suckers didn’t order the “ODY-C” trades reoffered last month, since the big HC is offered now. Should I consider this, or consider that nearly everything of Fraction’s that I’ve read has left me less than satisfied? (page 233)

Also in Image Plus 5 was a Brandon Graham strip about the way comics can show not tell, David Brothers talks about how foreign words are handled by different letterers, Brubaker writes a letter to his younger self, and HOLY SHIT “Street Angel” is coming to Image!!!!!

Marvel Comics: Guffaw at all the solicits right here!

“IvX” #0 (page 1): It’s almost amazing (or even uncanny!) how little I care! But is that … 6, in Roman numerals? Heck, it’d be cooler if it was a Limited Miniseries from DC, to get alla them Roman numerals in there!

It’s nothing in Roman numerals. It’s a combination of four and ten, but 14 is XIV.

Why are they calling it “Invincible Iron Man” (page 4) when she’s not a man and apparently is going to be called Ironheart? Do they think hard-core anti-Riri fans won’t notice the chick as the star and just buy this simply because “Iron Man” is written on the cover? I’d say Marvel shouldn’t rely on the stupidity of readers, but they do it so often and it pays off for them, so there is that.

Is the secret ending to “CWII” that no one’s talking about that Tony Stark bites it? And why are you such a gender-ist? Why does Iron Man have to be a man, you jerk male you!?

Yeah, silly me, thinking Iron MAN meant he was, you know, a dude.

riri-williams-iron-man

So Mike Del Mundo is drawing “Avengers” #1 (page 2) and Olivier Coipel is drawing “Unworthy Thor” #1 (page 6). What’s the over/under on number of issues either of them draw? Del Mundo seems a bit faster than Coipel, but Marvel pulled this with Brian Wood’s X-Women comic, sticking Coipel on for three issues, but guess what? It won’t matter, because stupid fanboys will eat this up because it’s the “real” Thor!

I dunno, with this as a limited series, I suspect that Coipel has been working on this one for awhile and might actually do it all. Side note, am I the only one bothered that the “power of Thor” inscription will appear upside down when Thor wields the hammer-ax-thing? It bugged me with Mjolnir at the end of “Original Sin”, too!

I dunno about this “Black Panther World of Wakanda” title, but let it be noted that Afua Richardson is damn good (page 12).

Waid and Kitson together again on a flashback series with “Avengers” 1.1 (page 14). I will highly consider this trade down the road!

“Occupy Avengers” (page 18). Man, what a title.

Wasn’t the Occupy movement pretty much a joke, like, 2-3 years ago? So, you can kill Bruce Banner and suffer no consequences? What, was Clint tried in Florida?

Damn you, Thompson, for making me buy a Star Wars book! The only reason I’m interested in the “Star Wars Annual” 2 on page 97 is because our pal Kelly is writing it. Damn her! (I guess “A-Force” is over, though? I thought that was the implication from what someone was saying on her The Tumblr. I should probably read it, huh? I’ve been buying it, at least!)

I’m pretty sure I have almost all of the Daredevil issues in the Mark Waid Omni on page 106, but I am tempted. Damn good comics.

And on the same note, I am sorely tempted by the “Guardians of the Galaxy by Jim Valentino” Omnibus on the same page. I have most of that stuff, but I have an unholy love for it! Also, he’s my favorite of the Image founders (and one big reason we have the Image we have today, dammit!). It’s got to be funny to him to go from being called less important than the colorist, despite being the writer/penciller, to having his run collected in one big book. Revenge!

“Shang-Chi Master of Kung Fu” Omni 3 is offered on page 107, and it appears that’s where the Gene Day stuff starts. I am a Day fan by osmosis of being a Cerebus fan!

I’m interested in the “All-New, All-Different Avengers” HC on page 110, as it seemed like a decent series from what I heard (I loves me some Waid!), but I’m not sure how many issues past the 12+ offered here are in that series. If there are only, like, 4 more, will I have to get the trade of the stuff after that? Decisions!

Hmm, not sure if the “Captain America: Steve Rogers” trade on page 112 is something I’ll like, but 6+ issues for 20 bucks isn’t awful. Why does he have William Shatner in bondage here, though? Nightmare at 20,000 Feet indeed!

The first trade of the Cloonan/Dillon “Punisher” is offered on page 114, and I was definitely interested. A girl writing the Punisher? How will that work?!

The first “Doctor Strange” trade is on page 115. I’m certainly interested in this, mostly for the Bachalo art.

Yeah, I like the creative team, and some Kevin Nowlan goodness as well sounds good.

“Moon Knight” #1-5 is collected on page 118. Man, this looks awesome.

I don’t have the unholy love you do for Moon Knight, but I may check this one out. I liked the first Ellis trade.

BLASPHEMER!!!!

moon-knight

As I have moved to trades with “Ms. Marvel”, I will have to pick up v6 here on page 120.

Again, not a big Star Wars guy (I’m not entirely sure I’ve seen the original trilogy in its entirety, if I may confess), but I think I’ve read the Roy Thomas/Howard Chaykin adaptation before. I am wary of a remastered coloring, though. Chris Sotomayor is perfectly fine from what I’ve seen, but I have yet to see a recolored book that doesn’t just scream that it was recolored. (page 124)

Gotta read the first volume of “Patsy Walker” to see if I want the second on page 126. And I’m sorta interested in the “Giant-Size Little Marvel AVX” trade on the same page. I can’t resist the cuteness!

The second “Vision” trade is offered on page 127. If it’s even close to as good as the first one, this is in the running for best comic of the year.

I passed on v1, even though everyone is saying it’s awesome, and am instead waiting for an Omni of the whole series. Like a goon, probably!

I’m not sure it’s necessarily good stuff, but the Luke Cage/Iron Fist/Heroes for Hire stuff from the late ’90s is offered in a trade on page 131. The “Marvel Fanfare” issue with Sabretooth was pretty bad from what I remember, but the “HFH” series is written by Ostrander, so it can’t be all bad!

John Byrne’s second run on “She-Hulk” is collected on page 132. I’ve been curious about this for years, but I never got around to tracking the issues down. Now I won’t have to, I guess!

Sounds like it gets a little too meta-cutesy for me, but maybe it’s ok. I may try to track down the back issues anyway! His first run was pretty good, from what I read. The issue with Shulkie (love that nickname!) trapped in the TV was great fun.

I’m sort of interested in the Young Avengers collection, because the couple issues I read were decent, and there’s also stuff by Neal Adams, Gene Ha, Jae Lee, and Billy the Sink? Cool beans! (page 132)

Man, “Black Widow: Web of Intrigue” on page 133 sounds neat. Who doesn’t love spy shit?

Hmm, looks like this is a reprinted version of a book from about 5 years ago or so, collecting stuff from the mid-80s to the early 90s. Perez, Gulacy, and Freeman, though? Probably pretty good! I have an issue or 2 of the “Marvel Fanfare” stuff, and flipped through it. Looks ok.

The second “Amazing Spider-Man Epic Collection” trade collects the second half of the Ditko run, and I don’t have quite all of this in any format, so I am mighty tempted. Mighty tempted!

Let’s take a look at the back of the book!

Terry Moore cranks up another series with “Motor Girl” (page 256), about a mechanic who gets a reputation for fixing alien vessels. Yes, it’s another comic I won’t buy until it’s completely finished. I’m a bad person.

Hey, to make up for it, I’ll probably be buying “Rachel Rising” in this Omnibus form here on 256. And hey, I hope Motor Girl crosses over with Grease Monkey!

motor-girl

There’s a new “Athena Voltaire” comic on page 259 from Action Lab. This is very good news. Athena Voltaire is a ton of fun, and it’s neat that Steve Bryant is able to continue it.

Even better is the Compendium of the other Athena Voltaire stuff on the same page, so I’ll probably get that. I may even spring for the extra buck for the Allred cover for the new series!

athena-voltaire

Also from Action Lab is the collection of “Sleigher: Heavy Metal Santa Claus”, which sounded like goofy fun (page 261).

And dear god almighty, WTF is going on with those election variants for “Vampblade” and “Zombie Tramp”? AUGH! (page 261)

“Shipwreck” #2 shows up on page 263 from Aftershock. I mention this simply because I was just reading about Phil Hester’s health problems, which is very much worth a read if you want to know the depressing reality behind being a comic book creator.

What was odd to me was that in the last year or two it seemed that Hester’s been doing more comics work then he had been in the past few years. From my POV, he was quite productive, but from his, not so much. Glad he’s doing better, because he’s great. A few years back, I had actually sorted my comics some, and was mentioning to artist Kevin Colden that I had way more Hester comics than I would have thought. We both agreed Hester’s great, btw!

In case you missed it, “Spookhouse” 2 from Albatross Funnybooks has a story by Steve Mannion. Also ones from Stephanie Gladden and Kyle Hotz, so I may be getting this! (page 268)

From Alterna, we get “IF Anthology 2016: Super Powers”, because we’ve never seen indie takes on super powers! (page 268)

From Alternative, we get another “Magic Whistle” issue, with this one — oh dammit, now I get it. I thought it was claiming the president was doing artwork for this issue, but Steve Weissman did a book ABOUT the president, and that’s what it’s referring to. Carry on! (page 268)

American Mythology has, on page 273, “Kronen’s Kaiju” 1. Hey, isn’t that us?!

Arcana Studio has “Also Known As” by Tony Lee, Christopher Jones, and Charlie Kirchoff, where a dude’s been gathering souls for Charon, but meets his wife’s reincarnation, so he’s got to stop a war! Sounds like it could be neat. (page 277)

A bit pricey all at once, but excellent stuff, it’s the 8 volume boxed set of “Amelia Rules!” on page 283 from Atheneum Books. Fun stuff and worth a look, if you haven’t gotten it yet.

Steve Orlando’s “Namesake” on page 298 from Boom! looks like it might be fun. A world that overlaps with Earth and where alchemy is real, and a dude who has to put his parents to rest.

namesake

Page 299 has “Slam!” from Pamela Ribon and Veronica Fish, the first of I don’t know how many roller derby comics this month!

Our pal Kelly has a really fun sounding book coming, “Mega Princess”! A saucy pony, a princess with the power of all princesses, a missing brother, and just total cuteness! I’m in for the singles! (page 300)

“The Baker Street Peculiars” gets a trade on page 303, with a bunch of kids helping out Sherlock Holmes. I got the first issue in a cheapo bin, but (guess what?!) I didn’t read it yet.

I was kind of interested in “Snow Blind”, so I’m glad it’s getting a trade on page 304. Man, Boom! takes a long time to get their trades out, don’t they?

That one took a while (but I too was interested — did they time it for the return of “Peter Panzerfaust”, also by Jenkins?), but “Kennel Block Blues” on the same page didn’t take as long. “Last Sons of America” I don’t think put out all the single issues in print, so that took longer too. It seems to vary!

Some interesting stuff from Caliber on pages 316-317. “Boy Zero” is about a serial killer that reminds the investigating detective about his first case, which of course means they’re connected. “Sherlock Holmes: Dark Detective” is a Holmes story, and those are usually fun. And “Squalor” gets collected – I bought the first issue of this in 1989, I think, and never saw another one. Tom Sutton’s art is pretty cool, and the weird story was pretty weird, but also nifty.

Yeah, those all sound pretty good. I’ll have to decide which ones I want!

Chapterhouse has “True Patriot Presents” on page 319, a bi-monthly anthology of Canadian superheroes, all of whom politely ask that you not commit crimes and such, eh? And if you didn’t order the 2 trades of “True Patriot”, they’re available in a double pack on the same page. I don’t think v2 is out yet by itself.

Conundrum has 2 interesting ones on page 322, “Lake Jehovah”, where Jay becomes a local celebrity for writing an apocalyptic prophecy (how else do you pass the time in a small town?), and “The Palace of Champions” by Henriette Valium, described as the bastard love child of S. Clay Wilson and Derf Backderf. Weird!

James Robinson writes “Grand Passion” from Dynamite on page 324. I might get the trade of this, but pretending that a love story between a male cop and a female crook is somehow revolutionary (as the solicit does) is kind of weird. This kind of story is as old as time itself!!!!!

Ironically it’s offered the same month as “Violent Love”, also described as a crime/romance hybrid. Heh. I will probably get the trade, though!

grand-passion

Jesse Hamm has gotten much better since the Tales to Confuse and Annoy You (or whatever it was called) in the old issues of Negative Burn. I may get the trade of “Flash Gordon: Kings Cross”, yet another attempt to put together the King Features characters. (page 326)

“Myopia” is a speculative fiction/steampunk/alternative reality story. It looks cool, even if there isn’t anything that I see to this story that distinguishes it from an average SF story (page 330).

One of the Phil Hester written books from the last year is the “Gold Key Alliance” mini, collected on page 341. I have an unholy love for all of those smaller super hero type publishers from over the years, so I may get this!

Maybe Hester WAS writing more the last few years “because” he couldn’t draw as well or as fast. You ever think of that, tough guy?

I never heard much about it (I don’t think even Hatcher mentioned it), but the “Lords of the Jungle” Tarzan/Sheena crossover is collected on page 342.

There’s a Sherlock Holmes Omni on page 343 collecting 3 minis that Dynamite has done. I think you got Liverpool Demon? Was that worth it?

I got all of those. They were okay, but nothing great.

What the huh? “Love Stories (To Die For)” by Dirk Manning was a decent one shot from Image in the last couple years (with some nice Owen Gieni art), and now it seems to be expanded into a trade length collection from Devil’s Due/1First on page 345. Probably worth getting, as the one shot was decent.

There’s also, from DD/1 on the same page, “White” #1 from Dan Schaffer, of “Dogwitch” et al. I’ve gotten the trades of stuff that this company has put out but alas, still haven’t read them. This one is about a young woman working in Hollywood who ends up facing actual sharks.

“Little Tulip” from Dover on page 352 sounds kind of neat. A child grows up in a Russian prison camp and becomes a tattoo artist to protect himself from the bad guys. I bet bad things happen anyway!!!!

That’s how stuff works, man! I liked “The Magician’s Wife” by the same creative team, even if I didn’t understand it. I may get this.

Um, am I just dumb (don’t answer that!) or is it unclear — Drawn and Quarterly has “Seth’s Dominion”, which is a double spined HC(?!), but does it also have a DVD of the movie? I don’t get it! There are also numerous Seth books reoffered here as well (pages 352-353).

Fantagraphics has “Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All: The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks” (page 358), which is a bargain at 50 dollars, because I’m sure this will be awesome. I own “I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets” but not the follow-up, which I’m sure this collection combines (plus some “newly discovered gems”), so I’ll probably get this to replace the one I have. Fletcher Hanks was a weird, weird dude, and his comics reflect that.

I have “I Shall …” but (and I know this comes as a surprise) I haven’t read it yet. I’ll have to dig it out and give it a look.

classic-horror

I like Gilbert Hernandez, but “Blubber” is basically just a bizarre perverted stroke book. (also page 358)

Hmm, I know nothing (off the top of my head, anyway) about George Metzger, but “Beyond Time and Again” sounds like an interesting hippie era artifact. (page 359)

I don’t think I read it, other than flipping through issue 1, but Graphic India collects “Empire of Blood” on page 368. It looked funky!

I might check out “The 49th Key” from Heavy Metal on page 369, which is about a boy who’s a gateway between this world and a super-duper fantasy one. I’m on the fence, but I do like J.K. Woodward’s art, so there is that.

So … did you read my review of that issue of “Heavy Metal”? I was not impressed by this one. Woodward’s art is decent, but the panel to panel storytelling was less than good. The story was some sort of hoohah with underground advanced societies and shit, but man, it’s not something I’m going for.

Ah, I remember that. Now you’re going to make me think about it a bit more. Thanks, Travis!

I will probably go for the HM trade of “Interceptor”, where there’s a planet of vampires and other crazy stuff. It sounded cool! (page 369)

I haven’t been reading the issues, but Jet City has 3 trades of note on page 373. “Chronos Files: Time Trial”, “Cirque American: Girl Over Paris”, and “Reliquary: Mayhem and Magic”. I found them all interesting sounding enough to order in singles, so make of that what you will!

Ooh, Last Gasp offers “Cometbus” 57 on page 385, which is full of interviews with cartoonists like Gary Panter and Gabrielle Bell, as well as illos by Nate Powell and a closing interview with Al Jaffee. I must get this!

cometbus

Mike Wolfer collects his “War Monsters” kaiju comics, which might be neat. (page 388)

Hmm, “Motro” from Ulises Farinas sounds like an interesting post-apocalyptic barbarian type story. I’ll wait for a trade from Oni (page 392).

Cool, a wacky sounding time travel adventure drawn by Dan McDaid on page 397, “Time Share”. Sounds fun!

Papercutz/Super Genius has another roller derby comic, “Trish Trash: Rollergirl from Mars” HC 1 of 3, from Jessica Abel. Sounds like fun. (page 400)

Rebellion/2000AD has an interesting one, the “2000AD Script Book”, with scripts and stories by Milligan, Ewing, John Wagner, John Smith, Mills, Moore & Reppion … good collection of writers. I may go for this!

Scout has “Fish Eye” on page 403, which I mention because the main character’s name is Travis. Actually, egomania aside, it sounds interesting, as he’s a cop on a reality show where someone is trying to boost ratings by trying to kill him.

Also on 403, from SelfMadeHero is “The Can Opener’s Daughter”, a weird sounding thing from Rob Davis (her father is a can opener?).

215 Ink has 2 volumes of “Flutter” on page 410, which I think we discussed before. Still sounds neat!

Peter Milligan is writing “The Mummy” from Titan on page 414. That might be interesting.

Congrats to Rafer Roberts for doing another Valiant book, “Harbinger Renegades”, with Darick Robertson. I will get it in trade, most likely! (page 438)

“Savage” has too many guys named “Clay” involved. Also, the character is basically one of David Beckham and Posh Spice’s kids. What? (page 440)

savage

I was interested in the Z2 book “Legend”, offered in trade on page 461, where most of humanity is wiped out and dogs rule the world. Let he who does not lick his own balls cast the first stone, or something!

A book of Jamie Hewlett’s art on page 468. He apparently got REALLY rich off of the Gorillaz. Weird!

Nerds for interviews will want the “Peter Bagge Conversations” SC on page 470. 25 bucks? That costs more than heroin, to steal one of Bagge’s lines!

That’s all for this month. Have fun digging through “Previews”, everyone, not because Brian Michael Bendis tells you to, but because you enjoy it!

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