November -- and all of the seasonal preparations, celebrations and cold weather that comes with it -- may feel like a long ways away in the waning days of August, but this past week saw that month's offerings previewed by comic book publishers, in the latest round of monthly solicitations. With it will come some very promising comic projects from across the industry, with a few highlighted in CBR's monthly look at some of the most intriguing offerings from the Diamond's five "Premier Publishers." As we look towards November and Thanksgiving (and a new James Bond film!), let us take a deep dive into the truly buzzworthy comics worthy of accompanying some turkey and stuffing (or Tofurky, if you prefer).
Dark Horse preps the comic book exploration of a video game favorite Writer: a military comics' legend; DC focuses on alternate takes on the World's Finest heroes; while Image will deliver multiple new creator-owned series that should have everyone talking. Marvel continues its "All-New, All-Different" roll out with some promising new books and IDW follows up one of the most beloved graphic novels of the past 20 years. Join us as take a look at what to expect this winter.
"Orphan Black: Helsinki" #1
Writers: Graeme Manson, John Fawcett, Heli Kennedy & Denton J. Tipton
Artist: Alan Quah
Colors: Corbyn Kern
Season Three of "Orphan Black" just ended, and it will be a while before fans will see the clone sisters on TV again. But take heart Clone Clubbers, IDW has you covered with "Orphan Black: Helsinki," a new series from the co-creator of everyone's favorite clone drama, Graeme Manson. What is Helsinki and why is it such a threat to Sara, Alison, Cosima and Helena? That's the question posed by this latest mini, as IDW attempts to ease the wait for "Orphan Black" season four.
"Dark Knight III: The Master Race" #1
Writers: Frank Miller and Brian Azzarello
Artists: Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson
Cover: Andy Kubert and Klaus Janson
It is not an exaggeration to say that Frank Miller's "Dark Knight Returns" changed the pop culture world. And now, in November, the third installment of Miller's legendary take on a middle-aged Batman and dystopian Gotham City will arrive on the stands. This time, Miller will have master storytellers Brian Azzarello (co-writer) and Andy Kubert (series artist) along for the ride to help make this installment of "Dark Knight" a legend of its own. Plus, original "Dark Knight Returns" inker Klaus Janson is back to help return readers to a world that changed an industry almost 30 years ago. There will be new threats, new horrors and new adventures for the toughest Batman of all -- along with minicomics inserted into each issue featuring guest creative teams telling further stories in the "Dark Knight" world -- as a legend returns this November.
"Call of Duty: Black Ops III" #1 (of 6)
Writer: Larry Hama
Artist: Marcelo Ferreira Colors: Dan Jackson Cover: Benjamin Carre
"Call of Duty" is one of the most successful video game franchises of the past decade, mixing intense action and (sometimes) realistic military exploits for a memorable gaming experience. As comic fans know, prolific "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" writer Larry Hama is one of the greatest writers in the business when it comes to military drama. Now, Hama brings his battlefield knowhow to the world of "Call of Duty," adapting the war-torn futuristic world of "Black Ops III," the forthcoming latest entry in the 12-year-old series -- also expected for release in November.
"The Goddamned" #1
Artist: R.M. Guera and Giulia Brusco
Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera, the team behind the seminal crime epic "Scalped," returns to get prehistoric on all of our unsuspecting asses. Aaron's other current Image title, "Southern Bastards," is a must-read issue after issue, and now that the writer is reunited with his "Scalped" partner, which Aaron described, rather intriguingly, at Image Expo as "the guys who did 'Scalped' doing the Bible." Sounds like the perfect series to arrive in time for the holidays.
"All-New, All-Different Avengers" #1 & 2
Writer: Mark Waid
Artists: Adam Kubert & Mahmud Asrar
Issue #2 Artist: Adam Kubert
You'd expect a brand-new team of Avengers to be buzzworthy, but this is a particularly exciting and encouragingly diverse, all-new, all-different team of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. This latest Avengers squad will feature the current versions of classic Assemblers like Thor and Captain America and also star some relative Marvel newcomers like Miles Morales, Ms. Marvel and Nova; Avengers for the first time. With creators like Mark Waid, Adam Kubert and Mahmud Asrar on board, the new team looks to be in good hands.
"Joe Golem: Occult Detective" #1 (of 5)
Writers: Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden
Artist: Patric Reynolds
Colors: Dave Stewart
Cover: Dave Palumbo
A tie-in to Mike Mignola and Christopher Golden's illustrated novel "Joe Golem and the Drowning City," "Joe Golem: Occult Detective" will see this amazing new two-fisted pulp creation in a brand new adventure. Some of the finest contemporary horror comics spring from the mind of Mignola every month from Dark Horse, and "Joe Golem: Occult Detective" promises a return to the classic pulp weirdness of yesteryear.
"Superman: American Alien" #1
Writer: Max Landis
Artist: Nick Dragotta
Cover: Ryan Sook
In November, Eisner Award nominee Max Landis (screenwriter of "Chronicle" and the freshly released "American Ultra") and multiple artists will present a decidedly different take on Superman with the beginning of the seven-issue "American Alien" miniseries. It sounds like this book will follow the formative years of a very young Clark Kent as he learns what is to be an adult and more importantly, what it is to be a hero. In the past, Landis has had some truly fresh takes on the superhero genre, so the fact that the innovative and often comical writer is taking on DC's greatest icon is exciting. Nick Dragotta, the fabulous artist of "East of West," will illustrate the first issue of "American Alien."
Writer: Mark Millar
Art/Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Between "Starlight," "Chrononauts" and "Jupiter's Circle," Mark Millar has been producing some of the most complex and compelling works of his career lately. Similarly, artist Rafael Albuquerque has been setting a new standard for horror comics over on Vertigo's "American Vampire." From the strengths of these works, it would have to be assumed that if Albuquerque and Millar got together, something special would likely follow. In November, they get that chance with "Huck," a book about a very different type of hero for a new era of heroic adventure. If Millar follows his usual path, we could be enjoying a "Huck" film from an A-list director in about three to five years. But the "Huck" journey begins right here.
"Venom: Space Knight" #1
Writer: Robbie Thompson
Art/Cover: Ariel Olivetti
Fans have long been curious if Marvel would -- or could -- revive "Rom: Spaceknight." Due to legal issues, Marvel fans will remain Rom-less (though the property is headed to IDW in 2016), but it sounds like some of the awesome concepts the great Bill Mantlo introduced in the pages of "Rom" could find a home in Flash Thompson's new book. Marvel has certainly become serious about expanding its cosmic universe and "Venom: Space Knight" sounds like it could be a perfect marriage of cosmic side of Marvel and the Spiderverse.
"Batman: Europa" #1
Writers: Matteo Casali and Brian Azzarello
Layouts by Giusseppe Camuncoli
Art/Cover: Jim Lee
The world was a very different place when "Batman: Europa" was first announced in 2004, but the miniseries looks to be nearly here. This is a big month for Brian Azzarello taking on high-profile Bat projects, as the famed "100 Bullets" scribe teams with Matteo Casal to deliver this long-delayed globetrotting opus. And what an art team: Camuncoli ("Hellblazer," "Amazing Spider-Man") on layouts finished by none other than DC's co-publisher, the legendary Jim Lee. Together, these four talents will tell a story of a dying Batman trekking across Europe to find the one man who can save his life: The Joker. Yeah, we'll make the trip.
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Art/Cover: Javier Rodriguez
Before "Secret Wars," Dennis Hopeless' "Spider-Woman" was one of Marvel's most innovative and fun titles. Now, Jessica Drew is back -- but this time, Marvel's first Spider-Woman is going to be a Spider-Mommy. A supermom raising an infant in the Marvel Universe is something that hasn't really been tried before in a solo monthly series -- but given this seemingly very humanistic approach to superheroics, Hopeless is the perfect writer to pull this one off. And don't worry Spider-Woman fans, Porcupine will still appear in this awesome book.
"Ms. Marvel" #1
Writer: G. Willow Wilson
Artists: Takeshi Miyazawa and Adrian Alphona
Cover: Cliff Chiang
In just two years, Kamala Khan has had a rare impact for a newly introduced Marvel character -- quickly becoming one of Marvel's most beloved heroes for a whole new generation of readers. Now, Kamala is back in a new #1 by two of the creators (G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona) that brought Marvel's newest icon to life. So if you're a latecomer to the wonders of Ms. Marvel, pop by in November and see what the buzz is about as Kamala tries to navigate her school life, her social life, her parents and her new membership as an Avenger.
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Art/Cover: Sana Takeda
It's been a while since readers have enjoyed the work of writer Marjorie Liu in the pages of a comic book, but November changes all that as the former writer of "X-Men" and "Black Widow" presents "Monstress," her creator-owned debut. This 66 (wow) page debut will introduce Maika, a young girl who must navigate a world of Kaiju to survive a devastated, otherworldly realm. The series will feature the imaginative visuals of artist Sana Takeda, who worked with Liu on "X-23." This November, Liu and Takeda look to add a very dangerous and very cool sounding new world to the ever-growing landscape of Image Comics.
"Our Expanding Universe"
Writer/Artist/Colorist: Alex Robinson
Fifteen years ago, writer/artist Alex Robinson gifted the world with "Box Office Poison," a book that went on to become one of the most acclaimed graphic novels of the past two decades. Now, Robinson and IDW will present what's dubbed "the spiritual sequel" to Robinson's seminal work. Like "Box Office Poison," expect "Our Expanding Universe" to bring the same laughs, tears and utter brilliance of Robinson's past work.
"Moon-Girl and Devil Dinosaur" #1
Writers: Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare
Artist: Natacha Bustos
Cover: Amy Reeder
Devil Dinosaur was one of the last original Marvel concepts created by Jack Kirby and now, Marvel is bringing the savage prehistoric beast into the modern day. Enter Lunella Lafayette -- preteen, genius, Inhuman and the new best pal of Marvel's most savagely heroic monster, Devil Dinosaur. "Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur" could potentially appeal to the same fan base that made a sensation out of "Ms. Marvel," so it's worth keeping an eye on the new heroic duo's first appearance.