The Marvel Universe has apparently never existed before ... because it starts in Previews #257!
I mean, what's up with that cover? I know that it's time for shiny, happy Marvel again, but it's not the start of the Marvel Universe, which has existed for five decades. Right? Oh, who cares? Let's flip!
Liam Sharp shows up on page 29 with a 40-page Aliens book ... for 11 dollars? I'm kind of curious, but that seems a bit spendy, doesn't it? (16 June)
I missed the first Alien Legion Omnibus (although I'm sure it's still available), and now the next one is offered on page 30. Any positive testimonials about this? (9 June)
I'm kind of keen to get the new printing of Red Tide, which is on page 36. Come on, it's Steranko! It has to be good, right? Right? Anyone? (23 June)
Over on page 46, Beasts of Burden gets the trade paperback treatment. It's 20 bucks, it features the older stories, it's good horror, it has Jill Thompson on art ... what's not to love? (16 June)
I always chuckle when a new bowl game or other sporting event calls itself a "classic" before it's even played. DC doesn't escape the hyperbole, either! Let's check out the solicitation text for Brightest Day #0 (page 63): "The effects that the already classic BLACKEST NIGHT ..." It's not even finished yet, but hot damn! it's a classic! (14 April)
Green Lantern #53 (page 64): "New Guardians"? Well, it worked really well last time, so why not this time? (21 April)
I want to resist yet another story about Gotham City's craziest place (Arkham Asylum - Madness; page 69) because we've seen so many of those, but damn, it's Sam Kieth. Damn. That'll be cooooooool! (23 June)
So David Hine writes and Jeremy Haun draws Detective Comics #864 (page 71). It's yet another Arkham Asylum story, but that's a good team, I must say. (28 April)
Outsiders #29 (page 73): Looker returns. Damn it. I love Looker, by the way, but do not like her as a vampire. And there she is, still a vampire. Damn. (21 April)
I've never read a Doc Savage book, but I have to ask, given the cover of issue #1 (page 78) - does he wake up in the morning and put on a unripped shirt and then it always gets ripped, or does he simply wear the ripped one from the day before, knowing he's going to be in a situation where it's going to get ripped? It's vexing. (14 April)
Meanwhile, in other First Wave news, we get The Spirit #1 on page 79. The art in the main story is by Moritat, and the back-up story by Denny O'Neil and Bill motherfucking Sienkiewicz. Man, that's tempting.
Hey, Roy Harper got a fake arm (page 82)! How shocking! (28 April)
You can pick up a nifty hardcover of the Rucka/Williams run on Detective on page 87 for a cool $25. If you've been waiting for it, it's really gorgeous. (30 June)
So the Justice League: Cry for Justice hardcover is offered on page 90. It claims that the art is by Mauro Cascioli. Wasn't the most recent issue not actually drawn by Cascioli? (2 June)
There's a hardcover of Seven Soldiers of Victory on page 91. It's 40 bucks, and it's chock full of Morrison goodness! It doesn't feature JLA: Classified #1-3, which it probably should, but still!
The Viking Prince (page 93)! By Robert Kanigher, Bob Haney, and Joe Kubert! Whoo-hoo! Even though there were no Vikings in "fifth century" Iceland, I don't care! (30 June)
So, in Batman: Brave and the Bold #16 (page 97), Egghead teams up with Egg-Fu. If that happened in a "regular" DC book, it would turn into a bloodbath. In a Johnny DC book, it will be awesome. (28 April)
I'm not all that interested in the new DV8 mini-series (page 99), but it is written by Brian Wood. That's something! (21 April)
Even though I like to get my Big Two mini-series in trade these days, Garrison (page 106) sounds keen. It's Jeff Mariotte and Francesco Francavilla and a story about a mysterious and dangerous man. You know it will look great! (28 April)
Greendale, which is based on a Neil Young album, shows up on page 110. It's written by Joshua Dysart and drawn by Cliff Chiang, so it will probably be well written and it will look wonderful. On the other hand ... the story, which is about a "politically active teenage girl named Sun" whose family has a "preternatural communion with nature" and whose town gets sent to hell is a bit of a stretch. I don't know. I'll have to mull it over. (9 June)
I'm not entirely sure that the world was clamoring for a trade paperback of Codename: Knockout, but there it is on page 112! (19 May)
Well, I guess it's a good time to rectify the fact that I've never read Stuck Rubber Baby, as we get a new edition on page 119. Yes, I've never read it. Forgive me! (2 June)
You know, I don't know if Turf (page 138) is going to be any good - it's a 1920s gangster epic that apparently has some weird extraterrestrial elements in it, but Tommy Lee Edwards is the kind of artist who can get me to buy almost anything. (7 April)
Page 146 has The Light, in which a "mysterious virus infects anyone that looks into an electric light" and, apparently, burns people alive from the inside out. Charming! Brett Weldele is an acquired taste, I believe, but I have acquired it, so I'll have to give it a look. (14 April)
Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Giancarlo Caracuzzo, who brought us The Last Resort, return with Splatterman, which features two comic creators and their horror character, who has gone terribly wrong. This sounds like good, gory fun. (28 April)
Hey, it's a Cowboy Ninja Viking trade on page 154! (14 April)
The second trade of Chew and the fourth volume of Elephantmen are offered on page 155. Both are very good, and I can't tell you why I'm excited about the Elephantmen trade, but I am. (14 and 7 April, respectively)
If you've been waiting for the trade of Underground, it's offered on page 158. I can't say it's completely worth it because issue #5 hasn't come out yet, but through four issues, it's very good. (21 April)
Magdalena returns on page 170. Try to control your excitement! (28 April)
You know, when I open the Marvel Previews, I'm confronted by this page of Dustin Weaver's Leonardo da Vinci, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., which geeks me out to no freakin' end:
I wonder if da Vinci would really wear his shirt open like that, but daaaaaammmmmmmnnnnnnn.
I like how on page 13, Marvel offers six books that are so classified (due to the fact that they deal with the aftermath of "Siege") that Marvel can't even tell us their final titles!!!!!!!! I'm sure they will sell, but that seems stupid somehow. But what the hell do I know?
You know, I hate agreeing with Kelly Thompson because she's, you know, a girl, but the cover of Black Widow #1 (page 15) would kick so much ass if it weren't for a small problem:
Really, Daniel Acuña? She's going to fight bad guys like that? And note how the eye is drawn to her porn-star face (would she really wear that much eyeliner when she's in action?) and then down to her breasts, including her nipples, which are faithfully represented. Sigh. I actually haven't read anything by Marjorie Liu, so I have no idea if this will be any good, but that cover is one strike against it.
I do like it when Marvel (or DC) has a sense of humor about their idiotic policies. In the text for Captain America: Who Won't Wield the Shield? (page 23), they write: "Featuring a special appearance by everybody's favorite underused character, Deadpool! At last, Deadpool! In a comic!" That's pretty funny.
I don't want to get Spider-Man: Fever (page 34) until the trade comes out, but it's only three issues, which means it will be collected with something else I might not want. And it's Brendan McCarthy!!!!!!! Coolio!!!!!!
I love this cover of Daredevil #506 (page 43):
Despite the fact that I've been unhappy with Jonathan Hickman's Fantastic Four recently, S.H.I.E.L.D. #1 sounds awesome (page 60). S.H.I.E.L.D. agents through history? Sign me the fuck up!
On page 76, we find out that Daken is moving "toward his destiny of becoming the new Romulus." So, wait a minute? Wasn't Romulus introduced three years ago, and hasn't really been that big a player? And now Dokken is replacing him? Weird.
Black Panther gets a Marvel Masterworks on page 85, with the story from Jungle Action #6-24. I doubt if I'll get this, because it's $65, but does anyone have positive things to say about this? It sounds keen, but who knows?
Over on page 115, Marvel gets around to collecting Warren Ellis' Excalibur run. I still haven't read this, even though I own the issues. I'll get around to it eventually.
You know where we're going next ... it's the back of the book!
On page 190, you can get the trade of The Black Coat: ... Or Give Me Death! from Ape Entertainment. It's quite good. Who doesn't love supernatural spy stories in the American Revolution?
I always have to check out the fun stuff from Antarctic Press. Page 193 has two (2!) groovy things: A comic about Olivia Munn and one about Sarah Palin. The Olivia Munn one is written and drawn by Brian Denham, who's a good artist, so it might actually not suck. As for the Sarah Palin one, well, here's the cover:
Avatar gives us a trade of Garth Ennis' and Jacen Burrows' Crossed, which is apparently really, really twisted. If that's your thing.
On page 206, Avatar has Do Anything by Warren Ellis. I assume it's a lot like Come In Alone and From the Desk of Warren Ellis, two other collections of "thoughts" he's had in the past fifteen years. It'll probably be fairly entertaining, because those always are. And it's only six bucks.
For those of you who can't be bothered to read the Bible, Bluewater Productions has Faith #1: Jesus Christ on page 212. If you give this comic to sick people, will it cure them?
I don't know if Codebreakers from Boom! Studios (page 214) is any good, but I love me some comics about spies trying to break codes, so I may have to be all over this!
You can also get the first trade of Incorruptible, Mark Waid's "companion" title to Irredeemable. It's superpowered people acting differently than they used to!
Boom! is beginning a new, "adult-oriented" imprint called Boom! Town, and the first two selections are on page 222. Shannon Wheeler's I Thought You Would be Funnier, a collection of cartoons from The New Yorker, sounds decent, while Repuglicans, which shows various conservatives as monsters, does not (even though it's "certified cool" by Previews). Stuff like that isn't all that amusing, especially when both Democrats and Republicans are busy fucking up the country. There's enough opprobrium for all!
Dynamite Entertainment is really excited about Green Hornet. They have the regular, Kevin Smith series, a "Year One" series by Matt Wagner, and a series about Kato by Ande Parks. Get more Green Hornet than you can handle!
Dan Clowes has a new book, Wilson, from Drawn & Quarterly (page 249). I'm sure it will be good, but the actual plot doesn't sound like anything great: a middle-aged loner tries to rekindle his relationship with his ex-wife and build one with the daughter he never knew he had. But heck, it's Clowes, so there's that.
Some interesting stuff from First Second this month (pages 254-255): Booth is a story of John Wilkes Booth, which might be pretty keen, while Gene Luan Yang's Prime Baby gets collected, among other keen stuff.
On page 259, IDW has a comic-book adaptation of The Last Unicorn. Blast-from-the-past Peter Gillis is writing it! I've never read the book, but I'll tell you one thing - the animated movie from the early 1980s is terrible. My daughter loves it, and the animation is pretty good, but the story is a mess. Is the book that all over the place?
IDW also has Kill Shakespeare on page 263, in which the heroes of Shakespeare's plays battle his villains with the ultimate goal in mind - doing what the title says. It could be completely awesome or absolutely horrible. I'm hoping for the former!
Mike Grell draws The Pilgrim (written by Mark Ryan), a story of "war and the supernatural," with occult stuff from World War II affecting events today (page 270). It might be good or it might not, but it will look fantastic.
The second volume of Bloom County is on page 271. The first one was, unsurprisingly, awesome, so I can't wait for this one!
IDW continues to publish old stuff that other companies once had with Danger Girl on page 272. I have no interest in this, but hey! J. Scott Campbell!
Hey! It's yet more Green Hornet on page 277 from Moonstone. It's a bunch of prose by various authors, one of whom appears to be Harlan Ellison. Who knew the Green Hornet would be so popular?
Peter Kuper draws Upton Sinclair's The Jungle for Classics Illustrated on page 278, from NBM. I hated The Jungle, but Kuper is quite good. I assume this is many years old, so does anyone have it?
I don't have any interest in Spell Checkers from Oni Press (page 280) because it's about teenaged witches, and can anything in that genre really top The Craft? Yeah, I don't think so. But Jamie Rich is a pretty good writer, so you might be interested in this!
Over on page 283, Pure Imagination Publishing has a couple of collections from ye olden dayes of comicks, including Teen-Aged Dope Slaves and Reform School Girls, which features pre-Code comics with, well, wild teenagers. That has to rock!
For some reason, Top Shelf has picked this spring to highlight Swedish comics, and there are some interesting selections on page 296. The one that interests me the most is Second Thoughts, which features two characters whose brief encounter at an airport changes their lives. But the others sound keen, too.
There's nothing deeper in the back of the book that gives me nightmares, just the usual assortment of statues and busts that I can't imagine anyone buying but they still do, so we'll call it a day here. Have a grand time searching the dark corners of Previews for your comics fixes, everyone!