Previews #275: GO!
You know, as good as The Umbrella Academy is, I'm still leery of musicians trying to write comics, and the fact that Tom Morello writing Orchid (page 24), a story about a post-apocalyptic teenaged prostitute, doesn't fill me with confidence. More power to him, I suppose. And the first issue is only a dollar, so there's that. (12 October)
Liam Sharp's Aliens: Fast Track to Heaven gets resolicited on page 37. I imagine Sharp had to do other things that actually paid him money, but this is, after all, only 40 pages long. And it was solicited, what, a year ago? Man. (21 December)
Fear Agent solicits its last issue on page 38. It's scheduled for 2 November. What's the over/under on how late it is? A year?
I'm always a bit disturbed when actual people "guest-star" in comic books. Case in point: The Goon #36 (page 48), which stars Roxi D'Lite. I don't know, but it's just ... weird. (2 November)
Milk and Cheese gets a hardcover omnibus gigantosaurus version on page 56. It's only 20 bucks for 240 pages. Dorkin is going to be rolling in the dough, man! (21 December)
Wow! In Justice League #2 (page 68), Geoff Johns has Batman fight Superman! That's unprecedented! And drawn by Jim Lee! Even more unprecedented!!!!!! Man, I can't wait to see that truly original idea! (The reason I don't like it when those two fight: If Batman has Kryptonite, then Superman flies out of its range, blasts Batman's hand off with his heat vision, and then flies back and, you know, smashes Batman's brains in. If Batman doesn't have Kryptonite, just delete that first part.) (19 October - you'll notice that's six weeks after issue #1, which I'm sure they planned. Is the next issue shipping in December?)
Man, that cover to Savage Hawkman #2 (page 76). That's ... well, it's something, all right. (26 October)
The solicitation for Batman: The Dark Knight #2 (page 87) cracks me up: "And you won't believe the jaw-dropping final page! Just keep repeating, "It's only a comic book. It's only a comic book ..." Really, DC? Don't you know the only people who read your comics are jaded old assholes like me? Listen, if the final page shows anything EXCEPT Bruce Wayne skull-fucking his father's corpse while shoving a hand grenade up the Joker's ass, I don't think I'll be telling myself that. I would pay cash money to see that final page, though. (26 October - wink, wink)
I'm a bit confused about Neal Adams' complaints about DC not promoting Batman: Odyssey (the "second volume" of which is offered on page 88). Does Adams not realize he's working for DC? When have they ever been run like a real company? I mean, Batman: Odyssey got as much push as, it seems, any other Batman book, which is to say, more than a lot of DC books. It's just weird that Adams, after over 40 years in the industry, doesn't know how it works yet. Oh well. (19 October)
I'll be trade-waiting The Shade (page 99), but I'm very excited that Robinson is returing to his greatest comics triumph, especially as he's not bringing back Jack himself. This ought to be neat-o. (12 October)
I trust someone will explain in the book how King Shark became a hammerhead (page 108; 12 October):
I'm a bit puzzled how, not so long ago, DC decided that their "30 pages for $3.99" thing was too expensive, but after the reboot, they don't seem to have a problem with it. Justice League and Action are both "40" pages for $3.99, which makes sense because those are going to sell no matter what, but Men of War (page 110) and All-Star Western (page 111) are structured the same way. Now, 30 pages of story for $3.99 isn't "more expensive" than 20 or 22 pages for $2.99, but myopic (and arithmetic-challenged?) comic book fans can't see it that way, so maybe taking two of your sure-to-be-poor-sellers and doing this isn't the best idea. You could do this with Green Lantern and no one would bat an eye. Well done, DC! Thanks for playing, Men of War and All-Star Western! (As I wrote in my convention post, Jimmy Palmiotti convinced me that All-Star Western would be awesome, but that doesn't mean this is a good idea. I certainly wish both these books the best!) (5 and 26 October)
DC Comics Presents: The Jack Kirby Omnibus Sampler #1 (page 118) for $7.99: This is a good idea. Well done, Danny D!
The "DC Comics Presents" sub-line is a good idea, but DC is getting a bit greedy with Superman - Secret Identity (page 119). For 8 dollars, you get the first two issues of the mini-series, and presumably another 8-dollar book will follow. The good idea about the line is that, usually, these are comics that have never been collected and don't fit into a traditional trade. Secret Identity has already been collected in a trade (I know, because I own it) and DC could just reprint that. What's the point of collecting a single story in two separate issues? I thought this was to get a single story between two covers. Sigh. (Of course, Secret Identity is pretty awesome, so this is totally worth it, but still.) (19 October)
Batman: No Man's Land volume 1 TP New Edition (page 120) is perplexing. First of all, I hope they photoshopped in pictures of the band singing "Cool it Now" in the background on every page, because that would be awesome. But DC claims that this includes the entire saga, even with issues that have never been collected before, which is groovy (and it's 30 bucks for 544 pages, which isn't bad). But if that's true, why is this a "new edition"? That implies there was an edition before this. Did that version have fewer issues? I guess that's possible, but if it is, why didn't DC just collect the entire thing previously? Man, I think too much. (16 November)
DC is also collecting every single goddamned number one issue they release in September ... in December, which is pretty impressive (page 121). $150 gets you 1216 pages of the DCU with that new car smell! I assume these will also be collected with the subsequent issues of the series, because if they're not ... that would be a douchey move by DC. But that's still pretty cool, ain't it? (7 December)
Spaceman launches on page 131. Vertigo is doing that "one-dollar #1" thing, which seems like such a great move I can't believe why DC proper and Marvel don't do it. Oh well. (26 October)
Page 132: The Annotated Sandman volume 1, 50 dollars for 560 pages (in black-and-white, sure, but still). GodDAMNIT! I own Sandman in single issues, and I'm halfway through getting the Absolute editions, and I will DEFINITELY be buying this, because I'm a goddamned sucker for annotations. Well played, DC. You bastards.
The Eaters gets reprinted on page 135. I'm not sure why I missed this back in 1995, but I'll get it this time! (5 October)
I guess anthologies are the new thing, because Vertigo has The Unexpected on page 137, featuring some coolio talent and this sweet Rafael Grampa cover:
I dig anthologies, so I'll be getting this! (12 October)
Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes crossover on page 145? I won't be getting it, but that's a fairly inspired pairing.
I don't know if John Byrne has more Next Men in his noggin, but for now, we get Cold War #1 on page 149, which sounds like an old-fashioned spy yarn. Am I allowed to like John Byrne comics even though he's, you know, kind of an asshat?
IDW's latest "Artist's Edition" is Wally Wood's EC Stories on page 155. Man, I would love to get this. $125 seems a bit steep, but we'll see.
Jonathan Hickman is writing and drawing a new one-shot, Feel Better Now, on page 176. Apparently it's part of a set of three (or four, if you read the Internet and not Previews) of short (40-page) tales. However, Image seems kind of snotty in the solicit. It reads "[Feel Better Now] will not be collected for over a year, and is intended to have a shelf life of several months." I suppose the reason it won't be collected is because who the hell knows how long it will take Hickman to finish three of them, but doesn't that seem kind of snotty? Why do comic book companies hate trades so much? Either way, I'm totally jazzed about this. (26 October)
I'm on the fence about Xenoholics (page 180), but I have to admit the idea of a support group for people who think they've been abducted by aliens is pretty awesome. (19 October)
Hey, on page 186 ... is that ... I think it is ... yes, yes, it's a solicitation for The Infinite Horizon #5! Huzzah! Phil Noto told me it was almost done, but I didn't believe it until I saw it in Previews! Now, where's Gemini #5, Faerber? (26 October ... we'll see)
Doc Bizarre, M.D. finally gets solicited on page 187. Joe Casey told me about this two years ago, I think (was it three?), so I'm very happy to see that it's coming out. It might sound similar to Witch Doctor ... but it's not. Trust me. TRUST CASEY!!!!! Oh, and Andy Suriano is a pretty good artist, so there's that. (19 October)
Marc Silvestri drawing The Incredible Hulk (page 9)? Much like some of the other Image guys' output, I have to ask: What's the over/under on issues before a guest artist? Two?
Kaare Andrews' cover for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #3 (page 19) freaks me right the hell out.
The solicit text for Amazing Spider-Man #671 is the reason why Kelly Thompson loves comics so goddamned much: "Now the moment you've been dying to see, Tiger! Mary Jane Watson finally spiders-up! Plus a giant battle pitting brother against brother. But let's face it, you just care about that cover!"
Oh, Kelly, why fight the weirdly-shaped bodies and rampant sexism? You know you want to embrace it!!!!!
Hey, did you know Captain America fought in World War II? If you didn't, Marvel constantly reminds us, as we see on pages 31, 32, and 33. WE GET IT, MARVEL!!!!!!!!
I haven't read anything by Dennis Hopeless, but he's doing a Legion of Monsters mini-series on page 46 with art by Juan Doe. So that sounds pretty frickin' cool.
So, on page 64, Deadpool #45 introduces "Evil Deadpool." Um, isn't Deadpool kind of evil already? Oh, wait - I'm sure he's just misunderstood.
Marvel has a nice trade on page 101: The first issues of a bunch of their heroes from the 1960s. It's 30 dollars for 488 pages (I'm sure it's in black and white, but it doesn't say), which isn't bad. I'm sure many of you already have these issues in one form or another, but it's still a nifty idea.
You know what time it is! Time to get ill, sure, but also time to head to the back of the book!!!!!
Ape Entertainment has a trade of Prodigal: The Egg of First Light on page 232. This is very entertaining, fun, and exciting action-adventure comic with nice art. Check it out!
Archaia ambitiously has a bunch of stuff this month. Black Fire (page 235) is a graphic novel about two soldiers separated from Napoleon's army in Russia, where they discover some dark and nasty stuff. On the same page we get Black Charity, a thriller set in Britain that the solicit text manages to compare to Black Kiss, 100 Bullets, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Man, those are comparisons! There's also a trade of Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier, which is a pretty good sci-fi comic (the fourth issue of which is completed but hasn't shipped yet). Finally, on page 238, they resolicit Killing Pickman, which I really hope comes out this time!
On page 244, Avatar offers the trade of Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island. You might want to ship that final issue, gents.
I got depressed on page 249. There we find Chopper #1 from Asylum Press. I'm sad not because I don't want to read this (although it doesn't look like my cup of tea - the Sleepy Hollow story "re-imagined" with a high school cheerleader in the (I guess) Ichabod Crane role), but because Juan Ferreyra is drawing it. Maybe Ferreyra really wanted to do this and got paid well for it (as I hope), but when shitty artists get work from DC and Marvel every day and Ferreyra is working for Asylum Press, I get sad. Oh well. I hope it does well!
Matt Phelan, creator of the very good The Storm in the Barn, has a new graphic novel from Candlewick on page 264. It's called Around the World and in it Phelan tells three stories of late 19th-century adventurers who tried to circumnavigate the globe in various ways. Sounds very neat. But, of course, I dig historical stuff like this.
I guess all the beating-into-the-ground of their properties is working for Dynamite, because on page 269, we get ... a spin-off of Kirby: Genesis. Sheesh. Wev.
I'll probably get the collected edition of Hark! a Vagrant on page 287 from Drawn & Quarterly, because Kate Beaton is pretty funny, but I have to confess ... I'm not that big a fan of her art. I mean, it's okay and all, but nothing to write home about. I really hope Kelly doesn't reach through the computer and punch me in the brain because I typed that, but I won't take it back, I won't! Still, Beaton is very funny, so I'm sure this will rock.
There's a new trade of Wasteland on page 312 from Oni Press. It's the sixth volume, collecting the most recent issues (one of which hasn't come out yet). I do hope Johnston can get this sucker back on schedule, because it's so damned good.
Madam Samurai gets a second volume on page 316 from Scar Comics. This is a decent mash-up of samurai and Victorian tropes, so I'm glad to see a second volume. The solicitation text is funny, though - it reads "The long-awaited instalment [sic] ... is here at last!" I mean, the first volume came out last year. This is actually fairly quick for a second volume. I mean, I'm still waiting for Last Call volume 2. Sigh. Remember Last Call?
Also on page 316, Mike Dawson has a new graphic novel from Secret Acres called Troop 142. It sounds awfully autobiographical, but Dawson is pretty good, so this might be worth checking out, especially because it sounds like a savage satire of the Boy Scouts. You don't get enough of that!
It's a Wally Wood-o-rama in Previews this month, as you can get Wally Wood: Strange Worlds of Science Fiction on page 328 from Vanguard Productions. Lots of rare stuff in here, apparently.
If you can think of a better place to end than Wally Wood, I'd like to hear it! So let's bring this latest round of zipping through everyone's favorite monopolistic comics catalogue to a close. Don't forget to dig through Previews for all the goodies contained therein!