It's another sort-of end of the month, which means the print version of Previews has appeared.Â Unlike our Dread Lord and Master, who picks on books based solely on the covers, I wait until the short text blurbs appear, and then I pick on them!Â So let's see what between the covers of this month's issue - Vol. XVII, #2, with a painting of Frank Frazetta's Death Dealer on the cover.
A new Hellboy mini-series, Darkness Calls, is solicited (page 22, 25 April), with Duncan Fregredo on art.Â Mmmm ... Fregredo on art.Â Very nice.Â Between this an the new B.P.R.D. mini-series, I might have to check out what all the fuss is about.
Conan and the Midnight God #4 is offered on page 31 for 30 May.Â As a follow-up to my breaking news about Tone Rodriguez not being on the book, he mentioned that Dark Horse paid him for the art he actually did, and now he can't get it back unless they publish it, at which time the rights revert to him.Â Copyrights and such are quite labyrinthine.
There's a big write-up about Minx on page 63.Â I know I'm flogging a dead horse here, as others have gone over this a lot, but, um, no female creators?Â I'm not going to advocate for quotas, but not one?Â That seems kind of strange.
Wow!Â World War III on page 68-69!Â How cool is that?????Â I'd be a lot more excited about it if the DCU hadn't already experienced World War III, in Morrison's JLA (#36-41).Â It was freakin' called World War III, for crying out loud!Â I guess in ten years, we'll have another big crossover event and we'll have another World War III.Â The other thing that bugs me about this is that we've already seen the titles after this event, right?Â One Year Later?Â So why hasn't anyone mentioned it?Â How dumb.Â Not that I was going to buy it anyway, but little things like this bother me.
Will Pfeifer and Pete Woods' Amazons Attack (pages 72-73; 25 April) looks pretty neat, but it's been a year since the Amazons disappeared, and now they're back.Â I know we live in a sped-up world, so 12 months feels like 12 years, but wouldn't it have been neat if they had stayed away a little longer, just so it felt permanent?Â That's one of the things that bugs me about comics these days - the minute something happens, everyone starts speculating about the retcon.Â And DC and Marvel happily indulge.Â Frustrating.
The Batman Chronicles vol. 3 is solicited on page 77 for 9 May.Â Â Every Batman story in chronological order!Â Get it and enjoy the craziness of early 1940sÂ comics!
I might get Doctor Fate #1 (page 84; 18Â April)Â because Steve Gerber is writing it, but I wonder - again - why DC and Marvel recycle these characters into series all the time.Â Is Dr. Fate really that big a draw?Â Is Gerber?Â His last series for DC, Hard Time, went nowhere, despite being a very good book.Â This might last a year or two, and then die ignominiously.Â Why do they keep doing this instead of allowing creators to do their own stuff?Â Will this series set the world on fire?Â I doubt it.
JLA Classified #37, which is on page 87 for an 11 April release, is written by Peter Milligan, which means I'll at least try it.Â Another puzzling choice by DC.Â Have they read his weak mainstream stuff?Â Why would they allow him to write another mainstream story?Â I don't get it.
Two issues of Wonder Woman solicited (page 97; 11 and 25 April)?Â What the hell?Â How is that going to happen, I wonder (hey - I made a joke!).
The Boys #10 is solicited on page 113.Â Yeah, that's funny.Â Don't even bother pre-ordering this, as it will not come out, at least not from DC.Â I guess Ennis won't be working for DC again any time soon!
I have never bought a Madman comic, but a new series is offered on page 140, and I might try it out.Â What say the masses?
It's not exactly a trade paperback, but Sam Noir: Samurai Detective #1-3 gets collected on page 148 for $7.99.Â It's a nice book with very cool art, and if you're interested in samurai or noir detectives, this is a fine read.
In case you're dying to see really early Todd McFarlane, the fifth volume of Coyote is offered on page 149.Â I'm interested, but not that much.
Fell gets the trade treatment on page 150.Â Considering that two of the issues in the trade haven't come out yet, I'm wary about this showing up in April, but if you've been waiting for the trade, here you go.Â It's an excellent series.
On page 5, the text for Civil War: Fallen Son - Wolverine (nice unwieldy title there) reads: "How will Wolverine react to the death of one of the most beloved characters in the Marvel Universe?Â He ain't buyin' it!"Â Logan must read Marvel comics, because none of us are buying it either!!!!Â I guess the scuttlebutt is that Mary Jane is going to be taking a dirt nap.Â Why does Logan care, exactly?
We all know Bendis loves his own creations aÂ little too much, but I like how he's Ultimizing Ronin (page 11), who has only been around in the "real" Marvel U. for what?Â Two years?Â Why bother making an Ultimate version?Â Can't it be a character we've never seen before?
Does Amazing Spider-Girl (pageÂ 19)Â take place in the "real" Marvel U.?Â I would say it doesn't, which makes me wonder why DC agonizes over different universes and builds entire events out of them.Â Just ignore the differences, DC!Â Be like Marvel!
Does Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane (page 20) take place in the "real" Marvel U.?Â Hey, wait a minute, this seems familiar ... All I'm saying is that Felicia Hardy shows up in issue #17.Â I don't recall her showing up in the high school years of Peter Parker!
Here'sÂ how Mighty Avengers #2 (page 45)Â came about.Â BMB: "I'm thinking we need to bring back Ultron.Â It's been a while."Â FC: "Wait.Â Is Ultron a hot chick?"Â BMB: "No, Ultron's a robot."Â FC: "I'm not drawing a robot.Â Only hot chicks."Â BMB: "Sure, why the hell not?Â Go for it, Frank!"Â I mean, look at her - she has hair, for crying out loud!Â At least Ultimate Vision is bald!
Are Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman (page 47)Â about to have a Thumb War?
And now we move on to ... the back of the book!Â Beware!Â Be aware!!!!
AiT/Planet Lar has The Last Sane Cowboy and Other Stories on page 218.Â It's only $12.95 and sounds bizarre enough to be really cool.
Also on page 218, A.K.A. Comics offers The Miscellaneous Adventures of Stykman #1.Â I got an advance copy back in February (of 2006) and thought it was a decent and charming little book.Â The creator, Jonnie Allan,Â had a booth at the convention this weekend, and it appears that he had finished all the issues, so it won't be a year in between each one.Â Which is a good thing.
Archaia Studios Press has a bunch of good things, on pages 226-230.Â The Killer #4 is solicited.Â This is a neat little series.Â The Robotika hardcover is offered for $19.95.Â I just gave my copy away, but that's just because it's so neat I had to share!Â And if you've been waiting for the trade on Mouse Guard, it's offered on page 230, with 12 pages of bonus material.Â Grrr ...Â Anyway, if you're burned out on crappy superhero comics, give Mouse Guard a try.Â Joe Rice will refund your money if you don't like it!Â (Of course, you run the risk that he might kick you in the groin because you have lousy taste!)
Wow ... look at all that Archie stuff that DOESN'T feature the new art style (pages 230-231).Â It's too bad the Internet cracked in half when everyone bitched about the ONE book that changed.
For a mere $14.99, you can own the trade paperback of Hero Squared, which presumably - the solicitation text is unclear - collects the one-shot and the three-issue mini-series that followed.Â It's Giffen and DeMatteis doing what they do well, without DC killing off all the characters they want to use.Â Boom! Studios has it on page 250.
There's a softcover trade of The Lone Ranger offered on page 263 from Dynamite Entertainment.Â It's a good, solid Western.
I haven't read Lost Squad, but a lot of people seem to dig it.Â Devil's Due has the trade for you on page 273.Â Has anyone read it?Â It looks kind of cool, and I'm on the fence about ordering it.
Dublin Comics has what looks like an interesting book on page 282: In Dublin City.Â Two different stories that take place, surprisingly enough, in Dublin, and they both sound neat.Â I might have to get this, because I love going off the reservation for weird stuff like this.
Fallen Angel #15 (page 302) is a stand-alone story, so if you're wondering if you should check it out, this might be a good place to start.Â IDW also has the seventh volume of The Legend of GrimJack on page 303.Â Do yourself a favor and get the trades - these are great comics.
The Tick shows up in a 20th anniversary special edition from New England Comics on page 313.Â It's only 6 bucks, so it might be a very cool purchase for you!
Oni Press has the collected edition of Whiteout, Greg Rucka and Steve Lieber's South Pole murder mystery (page 317).Â This is a really excellent comic, and if you've been thinking about buying the trade, here's a new version!Â On page 318, Oni has Past Lies and Capote in Kansas offered again.Â Both are good, but Capote in Kansas was one of the best graphic novels of last year.Â Very neat book.
On page 322, Silent Devil offers Empty Chamber #1 again to coincide with a resolicit of Empty Chamber #2, which was supposed to out already.Â The first issue was pretty good, and I hope there aren't big problems with finishing the story, because I want to read it!!!!
You know, I wandered into the non-comics section of Previews, and now I'm transfixed.Â On page 383Â you can order The Big Book of Breasts, which is just what it says it is: a look at the obsession with breasts that our culture has.Â Right underneath it is The Bunny Book: How to Walk, Talk, Tease & Please Like a Playboy Bunny.Â Why would anyone buy this?Â I'm just wondering.
After that we get into the really scary stuff, so I'll stop now.Â I hope you enjoyed our visit through Previews.Â Remember, you don't have to settle for the superhero crap the Big Two is pumping out!Â You have a choice!