It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics — now with 100 percent more JK Parkin! Michael May, Graeme McMillan, Chris Arrant and JK have each picked the five comics they’re most anticipating in order to create a Top 20 (or so; we overlap sometimes) of the best new stuff coming out two months from now.
As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
47 Ronin #1 (Dark Horse, $3.99): Mike Richardson, Dark Horse’s head honcho, teams with Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Sakai to retell the story of the 47 ronin who avenged their master after he was forced to commit ritual suicide for assaulting a court official. It will be both very cool and a little odd to see Sakai drawing samurai that aren’t anthropomorphic animals and aren’t in black and white (the book’s full color), but I’ve always admired his clean style. As an added bonus, Kazuo Koike of Lone Wolf and Cub fame consulted on the project, so this should be a treat.
Great Pacific #1 (Image Comics, $2.99): Joe Harris and Martin Morazzo have come up with a book that I just love the high concept behind: the heir to one of America’s most successful oil companies moves to the infamous Great Pacific Garbage Patch and declares it a sovereign country. He then fights giant sea monsters, based on the preview art that’s been released, which is an added bonus.
Marvel NOW!: This might be cheating, but Marvel has 10 new comics debuting in November under the Marvel NOW! banner. Mark Waid on Hulk? John Romita on Captain America? Matt Fraction writing Fantastic Four and FF? Jonathan Hickman on Avengers? Yeah, I’ll just lump all these together and hope no one notices I’m gaming the system here …
Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown: Fantagraphics continues its series of high-end collections of the best of Carl Barks’ duck stories, with the Christmas-themed third volume arriving just in time to be stuffed in somebody’s stocking.
Retrovirus (Image Comics, $16.99): Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray’s latest graphic novel, drawn by Norberto Fernandez, is about a research scientist who specializes in viruses heading to Antarctica to examine a perfectly preserved caveman. I’m a fan of Palmiotti and Gray’s work together, from Jonah Hex to The Monolith (which gets the collection treatment in November), and this one sounds like it could be a lot of fun.
Indestructible Hulk #1 (Marvel, $3.99): I love Mark Waid’s Daredevil reboot, and the idea of seeing him do the same kind of rescue mission on Bruce Banner and his emerald alter-ego is a very exciting one indeed. I’m still unconvinced about that whole “armor” thing, but at least it’ll look good with Leinil Yu on board as artist …
Judge Dredd #1 (IDW, $3.99): Just the latest attempt to try and bring the Lawman of the Future to the U.S., and I’m really hoping that this one sticks in the wake of this month’s movie. Nelson Daniel and Duane Swierczynski are a good team, and isn’t it just time for Dredd to work for an American audience, already? He’s a great character, dammit!
The Love & Rockets Reader: From Hoppers to Palomar TP (Fantagraphics, $24.99): As a latecomer to this classic series, I’m looking forward to Marc Sobel’s look back at the first three decades of the work of Los Bros Hernandez to help me get caught up on what I missed the first time around and really need to get in collected edition. I suspect this may end up being an expensive project.
Masks #1 (Dynamite, $3.99): Really, I was pretty much sold on “Chris Roberson doing a team-up of the classic pulp heroes Dynamite has the license for,” but I’ll admit that Alex Ross doing fully-painted art for the first issue is more of a draw than I would’ve expected it to be.
Scene of The Crime Deluxe HC (Image Comics, $24.99): I could be wrong, but I think this was my introduction to Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark, way back when it was a Vertigo mini-series, and it remains one of my favorite things from either creator more than a decade later. I’m really glad to see this one back in print, and especially in an oversized format with new extra features. Definitely sold.
Comeback #1 (of 5) by Ed Brisson and Michael Walsh (Image): That eye-catching Blue Note Records cover-gone-wrong caught my eye, and the solicitation has me hooked. I like time travel stories, especially when they try to solve problems; in this case, it’s a company using time travel to save your departed loved ones by going back in time and ripping them from the clutches of death. This story follows one of the agents whose job it is to do it. Ed Brisson is known to me primarily as a letterer (recently, he’s been doing great work on Prophet), so seeing him writing this one gives me one more reason to try it out: curiosity.
The Boys #72 by Garth Ennis & Darick Robertson (Dynamite): It doesn’t matter that I’m behind on reading this series, I know I’m going to buy this final issue of The Boys and spoil my Fanboy brain. I have to, to see what Ennis and Robertson do to end this series.
Danza GN by Natsume Ono (Kodansha): No, this isn’t a Tony Danza bio-comic. Although that might be fun in its own way, this Danza is a manga that I know nothing about but hooks me with the cover alone. I’ve found great things this way, but also my fair share of stinkers. I’ll report in when I get this in my hands.
Higher Earth, Vol. 1: I came onto this series with high hopes, but it got lost in the shuffle with its single issues. Now that BOOM! is soliciting a trade, I’m going to give it a second chance to wow me. Maybe it’s because I’ve watched a lot of Doctor Who, or maybe its because I want to see Joe Eisma’s issue of this. Either way, this looks good to me.
Masks #1: I might be biased because I just interviewed Alex Ross for this, but I am absolutely psyched for this pulp crossover. None of the pulp hero comics in recent years have really grabbed me the way I wish they did, so maybe this mixture of Ross and Chris Roberson can find that sweet spot. The Shadow meets Zorro is enough for me, so having the others involved is a bonus!
Avengers Assemble #9 (Marvel; $3.99): I try to stick to “new” comics in these picks, but Kelly Sue DeConnick takes over writing this series with #9 and that’s new enough for me. I’m enjoying the hell out of her writing on Captain Marvel (and really, everything else I’ve read by her) and I can’t wait to see what she has planned for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. The Amazing Race-style contest between Team Stark and Team Banner (Science Bros!) sounds outstanding.
Masks #1 (Dynamite; $3.99): Like Graeme and Chris, I find this concept and creative team irresistible. Ordinarily, I’d be very nervous about someone other than David Liss handling Dynamite’s version of The Spider, but not with Chris Roberson doing the writing.
FF#1 (Marvel; $2.99): I was tempted to follow JK’s example and lump several Marvel NOW issues into one pick, but FF stands above the others enough for me that I want to spotlight it by itself. I cannot get over how ridiculously groovy Mike Allred’s versions of these characters are and I’ve always been a fan of Medusa and She-Hulk. Also, there is no better superhero name than Miss Thing. None. Marvel gets some justifiable criticism for publishing eight million Avengers books each month, but I’m extremely pleased to see that they’re also still willing to take a chance on stuff like this.
The Alliance of the Curious (Humanoids; $29.95): Though it’s a well-traveled path, I love a story about antique dealers vs. supernatural creatures. This one has additional advantages of being French, featuring an ensemble of dealers instead of just one lone-wolf, and having them research something other than vampires and werewolves: in this case, a modern-day Neanderthal.
Bad Medicine, Volume 1 (Oni; $19.99): I’ve pretty much learned to trust Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir when it comes to horror. Under other writers, the concept of a fringe doctor investigating a beheading (with possible supernatural connections) wouldn’t be nearly as intriguing, but I expect good things by the writers of Skinwalker and The Tomb. Also, the art by Christopher Mitten (Wasteland, Criminal Macabre, 30 Days of Night) is really attractive.