What do we want? Comics from Previews #319! When do we want them? Uh, two months from now and possibly later, depending on scheduling?
Dean Ormston is back from a monastery in Bhutan, apparently, and he's drawing Jeff Lemire's new series, Black Hammer, on page 40. It's about a group of superheroes who got retconned in a "Crisis on Infinite Earths" and what happens afterward. It sounds interesting, and I like Lemire and Ormston, so I might have to check this out. (10 June)
There's another volume of Empowered on page 50, if that's your thing. I have never been able to get into Empowered, so I'll be skipping this, but I know a lot of people dig it! (19 August)
Ian Bertram draws Marvel editor Cory Levine's Bowery Boys, which gets a fancy hardcover edition on page 51. This sounds pretty neat - a story set in antebellum New York of a boy fighting against the Man. Bertram is terrific, and it sounds neat, so I might have to pick this sucker up. Speaking of which, why do we only refer to the period before the Civil War as "antebellum"? The word simply means "before the war," and it doesn't specify which war. "Antebellum" could mean 1938, before World War II. But when someone uses "antebellum" in American history, it always refers to the Civil War. Strange. (5 August)
On page 52, Nanjing: The Burning City is offered. It's Ethan Young's story of two Chinese soldiers trapped in the city after the Japanese invasion in 1937. I wonder if this will be banned in Japan. They don't seem to be very comfortable discussing this period of their history. (19 August)
Marc Andreyko has a new comic, Mulan: Revelations, on page 60. It's about a Chinese warrior in the future who is woken up to stop the bad guys destroying the world. The art looks nice (I don't think I've heard of Micah Kaneshiro before), and Andreyko's a pretty good writer (although I don't know if I'd call him "visionary," as the solicits do), so this might be worth a look. (24 June)
I buy my Conan comics the manly way - in trade paperback format - so I'll be getting the first trade of Fred van Lente's run, which shows up on page 61. I don't know if this is good (I'm just going to assume it is, as it's van Lente), but if you were put off by Brian Wood's somewhat emo Conan (I wasn't, but you might have been), here's a chance to jump back in. Unless he's still emo, in which case ... I guess stay away? (5 August)
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 gets a trade on page 67. Hellboy and B.P.R.D. comics are pretty consistently good, so I'm sure this is, too. (12 August)
On page 73, we get The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service Omnibus Edition Book One (phew!), which collects the first three volumes for the low low price of $19.99. This is my favorite manga, and it bugs me that Dark Horse seems to be abandoning the shorter versions for these big ones, but maybe the entire series will actually get collected this time. If you've never read manga, do yourself a favor and pick this up. It's funny, nasty, sexy, and creepy. Who doesn't love that? (19 August)
Bryan Hitch is writing and drawing Justice League of America on page 82. Will he make it to four issues? The mind boggles!!! (3 June)
I'm pretty jazzed about Black Canary by Brendan Fletcher and Annie Wu on page 86, although everyone who buys it automatically never gets to criticize Dazzler again. EVER. (17 June)
I don't know if Ming Doyle is any good as a writer, but her writing Constantine: The Hellblazer with Riley Rossmo on art (page 87) is intriguing. We shall see ... (10 June)
The premise behind Green Lantern: The Lost Army (page 91) is keen: four Green Lanterns wake up in a strange place and can't find the rest of the corps, no matter where they look. Cullen Bunn and Jesus Saiz are a pretty good creative team, too. I might have to check this out. (24 June)
Ben Caldwell drawing Prez (page 97) is probably enough to get me to check it out, although the fact that Beth Ross is a "Twitter sensation" makes me feel old. I'm so old!!!! (17 June)
Page 100: SECTION 8 SECTION 8 SECTION 8 SECTION 8 SECTION 8 SECTION 8 SECTION 8 SECTION 8!!!!!! SECTION 8!!!!!!! (10 June)
Holy cow, Emanuela Lupacchino is drawing a comic I might actually want to read. I tend to like Jimmy Palmiotti's writing, and Amanda Connor knows what she's doing too, so the fact that they're all working on Starfire (page 101) might be a wonderful, wonderful thing. Oh, how I want to read an Emanuela Lupacchino comic!!! (10 June)
Man, that new Wonder Woman outfit is awful (page 113). I mean, I don't have enough room to enumerate what's wrong with it. How about ... everything? That should cover it. (17 June)
You know how Brian never really has problems finding cover homages? Well, in this month's Previews, Amanda Conner is homaging a cover ... that appears 24 pages before it in Previews! IT'S SO META GRANT MORRISON CALLED TO REGISTER HIS OBJECTIONS!!!!!
Is there some kind of Aquaman movie coming out? Because that's the only reason I can think of for DC to give us Aquaman: Sub-Diego on page 130. It's Will Pfeifer and Patrick Gleason, so give it a look! I never read this when it was coming out, but it seemed to be well-received. Wasn't it? (1 July)
The Arkham Manor trade is on page 130. It was pretty neat. Give it a read! (22 July)
The new Catwoman gets a trade on page 135. When it started, I figured I'd wait for the trade, and now it's here! (29 July)
Wonder Woman by George Perez Omnibus volume 1 is offered on page 137. The George Perez run on the title is a pretty good refutation of anyone who thought Brian Azzarello was the first good writer of Wonder Woman. It's nice that this is getting collected. Seventy-five dollars is a bit steep, though. (19 August)
Over on page 145, we find Swamp Thing: The Root of All Evil, which collects issues #140-150 of the original comic. I would consider this Mark Millar's best work, although I know some people think his Superman Adventures is. This run is amazing, and it's cool that DC is actually collecting it. (29 July)
Roger Langridge might be the one person to make me get Garbage Pail Kids: Gross Encounters of the Turd Kind (page 158), but even with him, I doubt I will. Nice work if you can get it, though!
Thom Zahler has a new romance on page 180 called Long Distance. Two people meet in an airport and dig each other, but they live in different cities. Here's the thing, though - he lives in Columbus, Ohio, and she lives in Chicago. I mean, that's not exactly too far a distance, considering you can spend weekends together if you want. I dig Zahler's work, though, so I'll probably get this (each issue is 48 pages long, which is nice), but it doesn't seem like that big a deal to overcome.
In the IDW/Top Shelf universe, we find the first volume of Eddie Campbell's Bacchus Omnibus Edition. I've never read this, so I'm glad it's getting collected, as I'm looking forward to it.
Bravo for Adventure by Alex Toth (page 186) is probably awesome, and while I'm a bit leery about paying $35 for 100 pages, with stuff like this, I say DAMN THE TORPEDOES!!!! I mean, it's Alex Toth. Of course I'm getting it!
In the latest entry for Weirdest Concept Ever, James Robinson and Greg Hinkle bring back Airboy (page 194) with a story about how James Robinson and Greg Hinkle are hired to write and draw Airboy, but after a night of drunken debauchery, Airboy himself shows up and yells at them. I like Robinson, I like Hinkle, and I am totally down with this series. (3 June)
Brian Wood and Danijel Zezelj team up for Starve on page 198, which is about a celebrity chef whose cooking show has evolved into a gladiatorial game, and he's ready to stop it. I may have a review of this up before pre-orders are due, so if you trust me, you can decide whether you want to get it then! (10 June)
8House: Arclight shows up on page 202. This is Brandon Graham's long-awaited science fiction universe of different stories. This wasn't supposed to be the first one, but maybe something happened in the year that it's been germinating. This is drawn by Marian Churchland, so you know it will look beautiful! (24 June)
Astronauts in Trouble by Larry Young and Charlie Adlard shows up on page 214. It's kind of strange that Image doesn't mention that this is a 15-year-old comic (at least), but if you've never read it, it's pretty good. I don't think it's out of print - Larry always seems to have copies at San Diego - but I imagine this will simply get it to a bigger audience. Check it out! (10 June)
Page 221: Nonplayer #2. Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!! (3 June)
I'm not sure if I'm going to pick up the trade of Rasputin on page 222. Has anyone been reading it? (24 June)
The first trade of The Autumnlands gets a trade on page 228. This is one of those 10-dollar doodads, so there's really no reason not to get it. It's a pretty good comic, too! (3 June)
The third Gødland Celestial Edition shows up on page 229. Even though I bought all the issues, I'll probably get this. It's a really keen package. If you haven't read the comic yet, you should really check this out! (24 June)
(My retailer hasn't gotten the print version of Marvel Previews yet, so I don't know what pages these are on. Such is life!)
The solicit for Black Widow #19 make me grind my teeth with rage: "See how the first lines of red in her ledger were written." Jeebus, they're still flogging that phrase? That phrase makes me hate the comic, and it's really a pretty good one!
You know, much like "Convergence," I just can't care about most of this "Secret Wars" junk. I mean, Marvel has some good creators working on them, but they're all pretty dumb-sounding, unless you really like wallowing in nostalgia. It's frustrating. It also appears that the Spider-books aren't involved in "Secret Wars"? Is that right? How does that work? Gaaaahhhh, Marvel is making me ask questions!!! I DON'T CARE!!!!!
House of Hem looks nice, though. It collects a ton of Fred Hembeck stuff for 8 dollars, which is a nifty price point. Hembeck's Marvel parody comics are always funny, at least the ones I've read, so it will be nice to read some I haven't!
There's an Iron Fist Epic Collection with all the Claremont/Byrne stuff. I will probably get this, because I've wanted to read those for a while.
Let us now travel to ... the back of the book!
Archie is rebooting their flagship title with Mark Waid and Fiona Staples (page 272). Yeah, that's right. I hear Staples is only going to do three issues, but that's still an interesting creative team, to say the least.
On page 299, Curt Pires has The Fiction, which is about four boys who find books that, when read, allow them to travel to the world described within. One of them goes missing when they're kids, a second gets lost when they're adults, and the two remaining ones have to find out what happened. Pires is an interesting writer, and while I don't know the artist - David Rubin - this does sound pretty neat.
J.G Jones and Mark Waid have Strange Fruit on page 301, and a J.G. Jones comic is always a reason to celebrate. In a flooding Mississippi town in 1927, a weird visitor arrives from the skies. What could it mean?!?!?! We shall see, shan't we?
Big Trouble in Little China gets a trade on page 302. I don't have much interest in this even though I like Brian Churilla's art, because how can they improve on the movie? Answer: they can't!!! I do notice that issue #13 is also solicited, with Fred van Lente writing and Joe Eisma drawing, in which Jack Burton shows up in 2015. Man, comics are weird and glorious, aren't they?
In the Archaia section, there's a Cursed Pirate Girl Annual on page 309. If you've never seen Jeremy Bastian's astonishing artwork, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. This is a bit spendy at 10 dollars for 56 pages, but believe me, this will take you five times as long to read a collection of Marvel comics that runs 100 pages!
There's a fifth volume of Gunnerkrigg Court on page 310. This is a terrific comic, and if you don't want to keep up with it on-line, you should get the fancy hardcover volumes!
Meanwhile, also on page 310 we get a hardcover of The Last Broadcast. This is a pretty cool comic about "urban explorers" digging into the truth of what happened to a 1930s magician in San Francisco. It's keen.
Jason Brubaker is an interesting creator, and he has a new comic on page 323 from Coffee Table Comics called Sithrah: Kingdom of the Air. It's about a girl who gets separated from her father in a plane crash and meets a strange being who can help her.
Dynamite has The Shadow #100 on page 330, which features stories written and drawn by Matt Wagner, Francesco Francavilla, and Howard Chaykin. The entire book is only 48 pages, so I don't know how long each story will be, but it might be something to check out. (17 June)
Dover Publications resurrects Mercy, which is an old Vertigo book by J.M. DeMatteis and Paul Johnson. It's not bad - Johnson's artwork is beautiful, and your enjoyment of the story depends on how much you like DeMatteis's metaphysical stuff.
Jeremy Baum has a new book from Fantagraphics called Dörfler, which sounds as weird as Baum's other work. He's a fascinating storyteller, though, and I'm looking forward to a long piece from him, as most of his stuff has been fairly short.
Oni has two interesting books on page 384. First is Hopeless Savages: Break, the first new story in, what, a decade? I've been hearing about this (and needling Meredith McClaren about it) for a few years now, so I'm really glad it's here! Then we get The Lion of Rora by Christos and Ruth Gage, with art by Jackie Lewis. It's about Joshua Janavel, an Italian farmer who became a soldier in the late 1600s. Why on earth Gage wanted to write about it I don't know, but it's probably going to be pretty neat!
On page 407, Titan Comics has 21st Century Tank Girl by her creators, Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett. Hewlett's been so busy with his music career that it's been a while since we've seen his art, but it really is great, so this might be something to check out. We also get a new Death Sentence mini-series, and the first one was quite good, so let's hope this one is too!
If you didn't want to get the gigantic collection of original Quantum and Woody that Valiant put out a while ago, they're not offering smaller trades, with one on page 422. I skipped the big one, so I'll have to pick this one up!
I'm not diving deeper into the books and magazines sections, but don't forget they're there! Remember: No one will order your comics for you! Have fun checking out what's what this month, and of course, be sure to let me know what I missed in the comments! We're all friends here!