Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - April 2009

Previews was, annoyingly enough, shipped a week later than usual, so it's already April and we haven't even made fun of all the Wolverine comics Marvel has coming out in the upcoming months! What's up with that? (Not that I would ever do that, because it's mean.) Anyway, it's on to issue #247, with two weirdos on the cover!


On page 7, the editor of Previews, Marty Grosser, explains that this slab is almost 50 pages shorter than February's. He blames it on the economic downturn, but is very vague about the fact that Previews is not featuring as much stuff. Does anyone recall the new standards for getting into Previews? They feature some extremely tiny comics, so I'm not sure what the standards are. Anyway, he actually writes that they're "being a little more choosy with what [they] offer." "Choosy." Yeah:

But let's check out the comics, consarnit!

Dark Horse:

If you've been waiting for the trade of Gigantic, Dark Horse has it on page 28. It's shipping on 19 August, which is good because the actual serial is coming out very slowly. I can't even recommend it, because it's not finished, but it has potential.

There are a bunch of Usagi Yojimbo trades on pages 36-37 - volumes 8-10 (19 August). I really ought to start buying these trades.


There's some comic by a Grant Morrison and a Frank Quitely on page 63 (3 June). It stars some leather-fetish old dude and some punk kid. I'm sure it will suck.

I don't have that big of a problem with Greg Rucka writing a "Batwoman" comic in Detective (page 65; 24 June), especially as J. H. Williams III is the artist (well, for one issue, at least, because it will take him two years to draw another one), but if they're going to completely change the focus of the book, I do hope Rucka emphasizes the "detective" aspects of the book. That would be keen.

You know, I want to like Guillem March's art, and I do for the most part. But then there's stuff like this:

The premise of the book is silly enough, but then there's that cover. And I'm sure the art inside will be similar. Gorgeous, sure, but creepy all the same.

By the way, that's EIGHT Batman titles this month (although not all of them star the Dark Knight). DC is looking at Marvel and saying, "77 comics in a month with Wolverine? WE CAN TOP THAT, BITCHES!"

Page 76 gives us The Flash: Rebirth #3: "At last, the answer to the question that's plagued DC fans for decades: Who's faster, Superman or The Flash?" Sweet Mother of Satan, not again? First of all, really? "Plagued"? I doubt that. Second, DON'T THESE TWO RUN THIS RACE EVERY FIVE YEARS OR SO?????? Jesus.

Re: Green Lantern #42 (page 78; 24 June): "Agent Orange"? Really?

Our Dread Lord and Master will be happy that the GOATEED SPECTRE LIVES ON!!!!

Michael Avon Oeming writes and draws The Spirit #30 (page 84; 24 June). That might be worth a look.

DC fires up another DC Comics Classic Library on page 88 (26 August). This one features George Perez's work on JLA in the 1980s. I don't know if the comics are any good, but I'm sure they look purty.

Justice League International volume 2 finally comes out in cheaper, just-as-nice-to-read softcover format (page 89; 8 July). Eighteen bucks for awesome comics!

Simon and Kirby's Sandman gets a hardcover on page 90 (12 August). Yes, it's $40, but it's 300 pages and it's probably pretty damned keen.

I'm not sure if the first eight issues of Astro City: The Dark Age have been offered before, but they are now, on page 97 (15 July). That's eight issues for 20 dollars, by the way. And they're fine, fine comic books.

Vertigo fires up their new line of crime comics this month, and I'm looking forward to them, let me tell you that much. Brian Azzarello and Victor Santos have Filthy Rich on page 107, and Ian Rankin and Werther Dell'Edera have Dark Entries on page 111 (short previews accompany both solicitations). Filthy Rich looks a bit better, art-wise, although Dark Entries, which has John Constantine on a reality television show, sounds better. Still, as I mentioned last month, I love that DC is publishing more graphic novels. Yay, DC!

I've been wondering whether I should get the trade of Madame Xanadu when it was offered, and there it is on page 118 (15 July). Check it out - it's THIRTEEN dollars for TEN issues. Damn, that's good value. I'm still mulling it over, but damn.


Josh Howard's Dead@17 comes to Image on page 138 (17 June). I've never been terribly interested in this, but I thought I'd point it out.

Chew #1 shows up on page 142 (3 June). Tony Chu is a cop who gets psychic impressions from anything he eats. That means he nibbles on corpses to figure out whodunits. Yes, it sounds twisted, but it might work!

I'm not sure if I'm going to get Derek McCulloch's latest, Pug (page 144; 17 June). I just mentioned it because Displaced Persons, McCulloch's last graphic novel, still hasn't shown up after being solicited twice. I'm a bit grumpy about that.

There's an Arnold Pander sighting on page 146, as he draws Jonathan Vankin's latest, Tasty Bullet (24 June). It sounds like a fairly typical "evil corporation versus free-spirited young girl" kind of thing, but Pander will make it look cool!

Okay, so Youngblood #10 features President Obama on the cover. Yes, it's silly. But what's sillier is that a new back-up feature in this issue, starring something called the Capeshooters. It's all very vague, but what makes me sad is that, according to the text, the concept has already been optioned by Bryan Singer. Didn't we want to believe that Bryan Singer had more taste than to option something by, you know, that guy and his protégé, Marat Mychaels?


Joe Casey shows up on page 31 with Dark Reign: Zodiac, which promises "a dark, brooding tale that snakes through the underbelly of the modern Marvel Universe." Well, maybe. Casey usually does best when he's left alone, and I can't imagine this selling like gangbusters, so it might be pretty cool. I'll probably wait for the trade, though.

I always have questions that aren't rhetorical, but I fail to get answers. Take page 48 and the Captain Britain and MI 13 Annual #1. According to the text, it's a "key part" of "Vampire State". Why, pray tell, isn't it a regular issue? I don't really mind, because Cornell is writing it, but it's not too much longer than a regular issue (48 pages), so what's up? I know it's just to squeeze more money out of me, but it still chaps my hide when I see something like this.

You know, I've been wondering whether or not to keep up with Uncanny X-Men (page 67), and this cover image may have clinched it for me:

I honestly don't care if it's Jean or Maddie or if Fraction is just screwing with us (the text gives no information). The fact that yet another fucking writer is even pretending to go to that fucking well yet another fucking time makes me, as you might have guessed, fucking angry. Sigh.

On the other hand, Uncanny X-Men #512 (page 68), in which the X-Club time travels to 1906, sounds awesome. Damn you, Fraction!!!!! (Oh, and I like how the Dodsons don't do the art. Good job keeping stable art teams, Marvel!)

Look! It's the Astonishing X-Men Motherfucking Omnibus* on page 85! Yay! For $75, you get ... well, a lot of comics, to be honest. 25 of them, and one's extra big. Still, if the rest of the run is anything like the first six issues, I'll be skipping this. But that's just me! You may find this excellent!

* Note: Not final title.

The Irredeemable Ant-Man gets the entire run collected on page 104, for $35. I don't know if it's quite worth it, but it is a rather fun book. It deserved better, but I'm not surprised it didn't last.

I kept hearing good things about Patsy Walker: Hellcat, so I'll probably be getting the trade on page 111. Unless, of course, someone chimes in to tell me it's the worst piece of bat guano you could ever hope to read.

Alan Davis' solo run on Excalibur gets a trade paperback on page 114, collecting issues #42-50. These are really solid comics, with absolutely stunning art. And they're quite funny, too.

All right, enough of that. It's time for ... the back of the book!

MarkAndrew might want to check out Captain Blood: Odyssey on page 188 from SLG. It's a pirate comic, so it must be good! I'm a bit confused by the big ad on page 189, though: "Powerfully told in a unique format." What does that mean? No subsequent information is forthcoming! (Plus, the ad spells it "odessey," which cracked me up.)

Arcana brings us Land of the Lost #1 on page 196. I'm not terribly interested in this (or the movie), but I thought I'd mention it, as the original series warms the heart of many a comics geek (including me).

Also on page 196, Archaia offers comics! Holy crap, new books from Archaia. That is quite awesome. They have the first trade of Awakening, an odd, Gothic sort-of zombie tale; the final issue of The Killer; a double-sized issue of Robotika collecting the first two issue of "For a Few Rubles More"; and a complete version of Some New Kind of Slaughter, A. David Lewis and mpMann's flood myth epic. Yay! Archaia's back! Of course, I won't believe it until the comics are in my hands, but yay!

There's a new Anna Mercury series from Avatar on page 206. I won't be buying it (I haven't made up my mind yet about getting the trade for the first series), but I like Ellis' description of it on page 208: "It has a huge redhead with matched silver automatic pistols fighting Techno-Vikings From Beyond Space in a mile-long Viking longship/aircraft carrier that prowls the weird tides of a pocket universe." Oh, Warren - you just keep pumping out crap for Marvel if it lets you do these kinds of things!

Speaking of Ellis, Frankenstein's Womb is re-offered on page 212. It's the "true" story of Mary Shelley's inspiration for Frankenstein. I've been wondering where this is, so maybe it will actually come out now!

You can never claim that Chip Mosher isn't ambitious, and on page 222, Boom! Studios presents perhaps its most ambitious project yet: A 24-issue (!) adaptation of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? They have quite a bunch of other stuff, including their new kids' line that seems to be getting good reviews (we get sent .pdf files of almost everything Boom! publishes, and I feel bad that I don't review more of them). But the Dick novel is an impressive undertaking. I hope it goes well!

There's a trade of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose on page 227 from Broadsword Comics. I mention this simply to link to Chris Sims' April 1st entry.

Liefeld's Obama cover and the Cerebus Obama cover simply cannot compete with what Devil's Due is doing this month. First, he fights alien invaders (page 229):

Then, he's a barbarian, fighting Boosh the Dim, Red Sarah, and Cha-nee the Great (page 230):

And just to give you some more nightmares, we get the "Red Sarah Variant Cover":

At leas the barbarian comic is a "political satire." And Larry Hama writes it. Still, some disturbing stuff from Devil's Due!

If you've been waiting for the trade of the second arc of Battlefields, Dynamite has it on page 237. Nice art by Snejbjerg and a gripping story by Ennis that doesn't play out like we expect. On page 238, the first arc of Zorro is out in softcover, if you didn't want to pay for the hardcover.

Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy, has a new manga out from Digital Manga Publishing called Swallowing the Earth (page 245). It's about a mysterious woman who wants revenge on all men for all the crappy stuff they've done to women since time began. Sounds neat.

Speaking of manga, Fanfare/Ponent Mon has yet another Jiro Taniguchi comic on page 251. He only draws The Summit of Gods, a story about the quest to find George Mallory's Everest expedition seventy years after it disappeared. Yes, it's 25 dollars, but it's 328 pages, and who doesn't love mountaineering comics?

Fantagraphics on page 253 has the second (and final) volume of Fletcher Hanks' comics, You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation! The first Hanks volume was an Internet sensation, but I didn't read it. Recently, however, I've read two of Hanks' stories, and they're frickin' insane. Seriously. You might want to pick this up and see! (I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planets!, the first volume, is re-offered on the same page, by the way.)

Peter David's Fallen Angel gets a second honkin' huge trade on page 265 from IDW. It's $75, so I certainly can't really say you should get it (despite the fact that I like the series a lot), but what caught my eye was that it collects issues #14-26. Huh? The series ended with issue #33. I know there's a new mini-series coming out (supposedly; I haven't seen an issue solicited recently), but that seems like an odd place to end this collection. Oh well.

Tucked away on the bottom of page 270 is a solicitation for Atomika #8 from Mercury Comics. Luckily, a couple pages later there's a much bigger spread advertising this. I love Atomika, and feared that it was gone forever, only halfway through its run. Andrew Dabb and Sal Abbinanti's mythic epic of a Russian superhero/god is stunning work, and I encourage you to find the trade (it might be out of print, but I've seen it at my comics store recently, so it's out there) and jump on board. You won't be disappointed!

You know you can't resist a "hot noir-crime thriller" starring a sexy blonde in a domino mask! Moonstone brings us Domino Lady on page 274, which sounds kind of neat. The ad reads:

That could get messy.

Page 281 brings us a new edition of Union Station by Ande Parks and Eduardo Barreto from Oni Press. This is a pretty good comic about a massacre at a Kansas City train station in 1933 and the fallout from the event. Parks, you may not know, is quite a good writer. Directly underneath this solicitation is the latest trade of Wasteland, which is only 12 bucks. Excellent stuff, as usual.

After releasing their series as hardcovers, Radical Comics offers them as softcovers on page 282. If you're interested but can only get one, I'd suggest Hercules: The Thracian Wars. Quite good, and definitely worth a look at $15.

Down on page 284, The Dude has a new edition of the earliest Nexus stories for ten thin dollars. It's cheap because it's in black-and-white, and the ad makes it sound like that's a good thing. I appreciate the fact that it's 216 pages for $10, but I can't imagine The Dude's art will look quite as spectacular without color. I could be wrong, of course. Still, that's a great value.

Zenescope has its usual assortment of scantily-clad ladies reliving fairy tales, but I'm a bit sad that The Straw Men seems to have fallen off its schedule. I may have to find out what's up with that. I blame the consumer who'd rather buy this than an interesting and creepy murder mystery:

I think I'd better stop before I get to the page with Ozzy Osbourne's giant crotch. No one wants to see that! As always, I hope this post inspires you to dig up some comics you might not find otherwise. We're all in this together, right?

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