It's that time again, when Previews comes out and we get to look through to see what groovy stuff will arrive in a comic book shoppe near you in the near future!Â Last time I did this, someone thought I was too negative.Â So this time I will say that this slab of Previews features what promises to be the single greatest comic book in the history of mankind.Â I kid you not!
And no, it's not the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch Fantastic Four.Â But I would buy that issue if Hitch had drawn Reed making the shocker on the coverÂ and somehow got it past editorial.Â That would have been awesome (and revealed some things about Reed and Sue's relationship).Â So let's delve!
There's a new Abe Sapien mini-series on page 20 (6 February).Â It's another thing I'll wait for until the trade comes out, but man! Dark Horse is really making quite the cottage industry out of Hellboy.Â If they sell, why not?
I like how DH is now listing Fear Agent as issue #20 (page 30; 27 February) even though it's the fourth issue in a five-issue mini-series.Â It's kind of neat, as it allows Remender to do his mini-series but lets us know where the minis fit.
In conjunction with Grendel: Behold the Devil coming out, Dark Horse is re-releasing Grendel: Devil Child (page 34; 9 April).Â This is a fairly disturbing tale of Stacy Palumbo, written by Diana Schutz and drawn by Tim Sale.Â It's not the best Grendel story, but it's pretty good.
I don't know if the 25-dollar Terminator Omnibus (page 35; 20 February) is any good as a whole, but I do know that the James Robinson/Matt Wagner story contained within it is pretty good.Â That's the only Terminator story I've ever read.
It's pretty funny that we're now getting a Booster Gold #0 as a Zero Hour tie-in (page 61; 13 February).Â That's clever.
I mentioned last month that Winick should just keep piling more and more tragedies onto Dinah and Ollie until everyone in the world got the plague and mankind was wiped out.Â Based on the solicitation text for Green Arrow/Black Canary #5 (page 61; 13 February), I think he may have been reading this blog.Â I was joking, Judd!Â Sheesh.
I'm not sure the trend at DC of having their "big-time" stories told by "big-time" creators shunted off to Annuals is a good idea (Action Comics Annual #11; page 68; 13 February).Â They did it with Wonder Woman and Superman already.Â It's just an annoyance, and apparently hasn't convinced them to stop allowing these creators to take their sweet time getting the stories done.
So on page 85, DC offers four different Showcase Presents collections (including a reoffer).Â But what's the deal with those that we offered and then cancelled, like the Suicide Squad one?Â I'm just curious, because I already own the individual issues, but it would be nice if those people who don't have them yet can get them in a nice package.
On page 89-91, we get a sneak preview of what will soon be recognized as the Greatest Comic Book in the History of Mankind.Â Yes, it's Tiny Titans #1.Â TINY TITANS NUMBER ONE!!!!!!Â Check out the goodness when the team meets the new principal at Sidekick City Elementary:
How can you not love that?Â Answer: you can't.Â BOW DOWN TO TINY TITANS!!!!!!!
On page 100, you can pick up The Highwayman trade paperback (5 March).Â This has been the subject of some minor controversy, as the writer, Marc Bernardin,Â was aggressive trying to promote it and couldn't understand why it sold poorly, and then Alan David Doane called it one of the worst comics of the year, despite the presence on the shelves of stuff like, I don't know, Banzai Girls.Â Or Brad Meltzer comics.Â So you might want to check this out and see what the fuss is!
There's a new Sandman Mystery Theatre trade on page 110 (19 March).Â A very underrated series.
Check it out.Â On page 133 there's a solicitation for something called Scud: The Disposable Assassin (6 February).Â That has to be a misprint, right?Â (I own one issue of this series, by the way.Â It's pretty good, but is the whole thing excellent?Â Does anyone know?)
Page 141 gives us The Nearly Complete Fred Hembeck Archives Omnibus (13 February).Â This costs 25 dollars, and it has to be well worth it.
Page 155: Shark-Man.Â You know you want it!!!!!
On page 166, there's ... a Magdalena/Daredevil crossover!Â What's going on?Â Is it 1997?
It's a Larry Stroman sighting (page 21)!Â Where's he been?Â I loves me some Larry Stroman art.
Holy crap, they're actually releasing a newÂ ClanDestine comic (pages 24-25).Â I knew it had been announced, but I thought it might be a weird fever dream.Â I will love reading this book.Â I might put it under my pillow so the Alan Davis goodness seeps into my brain.
I'm not saying the Mark Millar/Bryan Hitch FF (pages 27-29) will be bad ... but doesn't it seem like the same thing they've done before?Â I mean, they've kind of perfected a formula, and I'm not sure if it will be that terribly different than Ultimates.Â I may be wrong, but we'll see.
I really likeÂ that there's anotherÂ Iron Fist special (page 33).Â Â It's a neat way to keep the story going in between story arcs.
Joss Whedon is only writing one arc onÂ Runaways?Â Was that common knowledge?Â That's kind of weird.Â Who's next on theÂ book?
Oh look, a promise that someone dies (Astonishing X-Men; page 57).Â How nice.
So is X-Men now titled X-Men: Legacy permanently (page 60)?Â Didn't we already do this with the original X-Factor?
Speaking of doing something again, I like the solicitation text for X-Force #1: "There are lines that the X-Men haveÂ sworn never to cross.Â Â But after the shocking events of "MessiahÂ Complex," Cyclops realizes that some enemies need to be dealt with permanently ... and the X-Men can never know about it."Â Wasn't that the idea (sort of) behind the original X-Force?Â I'm just saying.
The Punisher versus Moby Dick (page 72).Â How excellent.
Kick-Ass #1 (page 75): huh?Â Another Millar book I can skip.Â I may be an idiot for not getting this (as the text insists I will be), but I'll be a happy idiot.
Wow.Â A Howard the Duck Omnibus (page 80).Â 800 pages (!) for 100 dollars (!!).Â Interesting.
Speaking of ClanDestine, Marvel is bringing out the original series in a monster trade (page 94), without the non-Alan David shite that ended the series.Â It's 30 dollars, but holy cow is it worth it.Â I even own the eight issues of the regular series and I'm getting it just for the crossover with the X-Men it contains.
How cool - a Marvel Fanfare trade (page 106).Â I'm very impressed with Marvel's trade system, even though the books are a bit spendy.Â These comics are meant to be seen in glorious color, consarnit, so you're going to pay a little more!
And so it is time ... to venture into the back of the book!Â Join me, won't you?
Contraband (page 196) looks interesting.Â It sounds like a nifty thriller, andÂ it'sÂ always cool to see books incorporate technology (in this case, cell phones) that wouldÂ make the book impossible to write, say, 20 years ago.Â Well, I think it's cool.Â This is from Amaze Ink/Slave Labor, by the way.
Archaia has a clever idea - The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury #295 (page 204).Â It's a six-issue mini-series that claimsÂ to be the final issues of a long-running series.Â It sounds rather fun, as well.Â I hope there are footnotes pointing to non-existent issues, like in 1963.Â Archaia also has its usual bunch of very cool comics, but as usual, I'm worried about their lateness.
Avatar has finally let someone other than Warren Ellis or Garth Ennis write a comic for them!Â Okay, it's Jamie Delano, who's in the same vein as those gentlemen, but still.Â Narcopolis (page 219) sounds intriguing, but Delano is often far too verbose for his own good.Â I mean, did you read World Without End?Â Sheesh.Â Still, it might be something to check out, if only because it's not Ellis or Ennis!Â Speaking of Ennis,Â on page 222 you can order the trades for 303 and Chronicles of Wormwood.Â The former is better than the latter, but they're both pretty good.
Shi is really making the rounds these days, isn't she?Â First she showed up in Fallen Angel, and now she's in Omega One #2 (page 230 from Big City Comics).Â What would be really cool is if she referenced her appearance in Fallen Angel in this book.
Boom! brings us Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah in trade (page 233).Â That's kind of funny, because I ordered this from Boom! months ago.Â Maybe it will come out this time!Â They also have The Stardust Kid in trade on the same page.Â If you like J. M. DeMatties's kind-of-twee mysticism and excessive use of parentheticals (and I do, actually), then you might want to check this out.Â Mike Ploog's art is certainly very nice.
Jeff Smith has a new project, Rasl (page 238).Â You know it will be excellent.Â You know it!Â In case you missed it, you can also get the 1300+ page complete Bone volume on the same page.Â It's 40 bucks of awesome.
Dynamite Entertainment launchesÂ Zorro (page 247).Â I read somewhere online (was it here?) that someone isn't getting this because Zorro wasn't his thing.Â Well, I guess so.Â But it's freakin' Matt Wagner writing and a very good artist in Francesco Francavilla drawing it.Â Who cares if you've never been intoÂ Zorro before?Â This will beÂ fantastic.Â Man, it's that kind of thinking that puzzles me.Â "I'd rather read Teen Titans even if the creators suck because I'm not comfortable with Zorro."Â Â Take a chance, man!Â You can also get a softcover trade of TheÂ Lone Ranger, which is a very goodÂ series, on page 249.Â If you didn't want to get theÂ hardcover, now's your chance!
The Age of Desire (page 252) from DesperadoÂ sounds odd: "Clive Barker's dark vision of the last days of a genetically altered and homicidally ecstatic sexual compulsive."Â Sounds like my senior prom date!Â It's adapted by P. Craig Russell and drawn by Tim Bradstreet, so even though it's 15 years old (itÂ "went missing" for a decade, which sounds as if it skipped town to live it up south of the border or something), it should rock.
Didn'tÂ AwesomeÂ Indie Spinner Rack Anthology volume 1 come out already?Â Well, if it did and you missed it, Evil Twin ComicsÂ offers it on page 276.Â It sounds great and it's for a good cause.Â Feel better about yourself while buying comics!
I don't have any interest in the Little Orphan Annie hardcover that IDW has on page 290, but if you're into that, it's 368 pages for 40 bucks.Â I'm sorry - her eyes scare the crap out of me.Â Also, John Byrne does a Star Trek book (page 294).Â No, that's not a misprint.Â You can order the trade of 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow on page 295.Â As the second issue isÂ just coming out this week, I don't have a lot of confidence that the trade will be out soon.Â But it's Sienkiewicz on art, and the first issue looked awesome.
I have never read Carla Speed McNeil's Finder.Â Â Yes, I know I suck.Â Two volumes are solicited on page 300 from Lightspeed Press.Â What say you, blogaxy?Â Warren Ellis loves them.Â Shall I order one or both?
I don't want to get theÂ Jumper: Jumpscars trade from Oni on page 305, but it's DeFilippis,Â Weir, and Hurtt.Â Why do they make it so difficult to say no to a crass movie tie-in?Â Damn their eyes!
Platinum Studios has a three-foot high comic book for 50 dollars (page 312).Â They're kidding, right?Â Plus, it's Kiss 4K #1.Â How silly.
Speaking of books from the publishers of 2000AD, Rebellion has Stone Island by Ian Edginton on page 317.Â A new convict in the worst prison in England?Â Sign me up!
On page 337, Transfuzion Publishing is bringing us a bunch of Gary Reed books.Â Reed himself just sent me Of Scenes and Stories, which is a pretty darned huge anthology with some very cool artists.Â Reed's a pretty good writer, so check one of these out.Â I'll have to let you know what I think of the one he sent me.
TwoMorrows Publishing presents Kirby Five-Oh! on page 338, celebrating fifty years of the King.Â It's only 20 dollars.Â Maybe I'll get it so I can finally figure out why everyone loves Kirby.Â Well, everyone except me.Â Yeah, you read that right.
I feel icky for promoting something that Wizard was involved in, but Beautiful Killer (page 360), by Jimmy Palmiotti and Phil Noto, is a pretty cool little book.Â The collected edition is only ten bucks.
Because I don't want to end on feeling icky, on page 379 there's a book called The Shatner Show.Â It features 80 renditions of the Shat and retails for $35.Â That sound you hear is my brain exploding.Â The sad thing is, someone will buy this.
The Shat is a good place to end, I think.Â So that's another trek (get it, because of Shatner ... oh, forget it - I try to bring some wry humor to the proceedings, but it goes right over your heads!) through Previews.Â Remember: good comics don't just show up at your door, and Tiny Titans will be the greatest thing you will ever see in your sad, pathetic lives.Â Embrace it!