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Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - February 2015

Hey, you know what's going on with DC in Previews #317 this month? Why, it's a ... Convergency!!!!

(Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. Don't forget to tip your servers!)

Dark Horse:

Full, robust solicits here!

Rebels debuts on page 40. It's by Brian Wood and Andrea Mutti, and it tells the story of the American War of Independence from the point of view of a new married couple. Wood has done amazing things with historical fiction in the past, so this might be worth a look even if I'm not the biggest fan of Mutti's work. (8 April)

Alex de Campi is writing Archie vs. Predator on page 44. That seems like a perfect choice. I'll probably wait for the trade of this series, but I just love that it exists. (15 April)

I'm not that interested in Ghost Fleet, but the first trade shows up on page 48. Are single-arc trades becoming less of an option? I mean, this is four measly issues long, and while it's slightly less money than the single issues (by a dollar), I'm getting tired of four-issue trades that, with decompression, read shorter than some single-issue comics of the past (and even some of the present). I don't mean to single Ghost Fleet out, but four- and five-issue trades are really cheesing me off, man. (10 June)

Rexodus is offered on page 55. It's a story about a girl and a space dinosaur saving the world. You know, like space dinosaurs are wont to do. It sounds fun, but I would like to point out that it's drawn by Jon Sommariva, and whenever I think of Jon Sommariva, I think of Gemini, the nifty little mini-series he was drawing for Jay Faerber before it inexplicably disappeared. Gemini wasn't setting the world on fire, true, but I would have liked to see how it ended. So sad! (24 June)

If you're a fan of Art Baltazar and Franco's kids' comics, you can check out the trade for Itty Bitty Comics: The Mask on page 58. I tend to skip these, because a little of them goes a long way with me, but they're certainly enjoyable, if that's your bag. (10 June)

Over on page 63, we get another giant B.P.R.D. hardcover, as the mini-series 1946, 1947, and 1948 are collected. I dig these big hardcovers, and they're priced to move: 35 bucks for almost 500 pages. Good stuff! (3 June)

Speaking of five-issue trades, Colder volume 2: The Bad Seed is on page 65. If you haven't read Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra's terrific horror series yet, you really should. It's keen. Get both volumes and enjoy! (3 June)

Some chick named Kelly Thompson has a story in Creepy #20 on page 66. When I saw Matthew Southworth in Portland in September, he told me about the story he's contributing to this, and it sounds pretty neat, so I might have to pick this up, even if it has a Thompson story in it. (22 April)

Jungle Tales of Tarzan on page 75 sounds interesting. Twelve stories about Tarzan in a new anthology, with some neat talent working on it. It's only 20 bucks, too, which is nice. And Greg Hatcher will buy it, so Dark Horse can count on one sale, at least! (3 June)

Hey, there's a new volume of The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service on page 78 ... just in time, it seems, for the smaller volumes to become obsolete (as Dark Horse claims we should look for the "omnibus program" beginning in August). I mean, I love this series, and it pains me that a volume shows up only every two years or so, but this seems shitty. I only hope that Dark Horse actually finishes the series once the "omnibus program" gets going. That would be nice. (24 June)

DC:

So, Convergence (pages 82-83). Holy shit, this sounds like a phenomenally stupid idea. I can't even wrap my head around how stupid it sounds. I mean, I like the multiverse as much as the next guy, which is to say not very much at all (unless the next guy is Grant Morrison, in which case I like it far less than the next guy), but that's just because I didn't read comics prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths and therefore don't care about the annual JLA-JSA meeting and who Helena Wayne is (sorry, Other Greg!). As a concept and occasional storytelling device, the multiverse is fine, I guess. Crisis worked, to a degree, because it was fixing a problem and it was fairly novel (George Pérez on art didn't hurt, either). But have you read it recently? No, don't go do it now, because you won't come back to read this until next year, but man, it's ponderous. Still, it's not bad. The Law of Diminishing Returns has been catching up with these things, though, and so we get Superboy punching reality (which the God of All Comics, bless his DC-loving heart, actually referenced in the Multiversity Guidebook) and now a DC Universe in which high collars are the height of fashion. The only good thing about Convergence is that Marvel's streamlining event this year might actually be worse. It's a race to the bottom! (8-29 April)

Here's what DC is going to remind people about during Convergence: Stephanie Brown was a pretty good Batgirl (page 85), Cassandra Cain was a pretty good Batgirl (page 85), Barbara Gordon was so much better as Oracle (page 89), Greg Rucka and Cully Hamner can write a damned good Question story (whether you agree with Renee Montoya as the Question or not) (page 90), Superman and Lois Lane had a nice marriage (page 92), Arsenal lost his arm and hallucinated that a dead cat was his dead daughter (okay, maybe that wasn't something you want to remind fans about, but DC, damning the torpedoes, is doing it anyway) (page 93), the Justice League once consisted of very funny characters (page 99), Amanda Waller was once gloriously large (page 100), Tim Truman can draw the shit out of a Hawkman comic (page 108), Kelley Jones can draw the shit out of a Swamp Thing comic (page 112), Ben Caldwell can draw the shit out of an Infinity, Inc. comic but couldn't get a Wonder Woman pitch through the door at DC (page 119), plus a bunch of other stuff that will just make people wonder why they can't make comics this good all the time. That sounds smart.

Wonder Woman '77 Special #1 is offered on page 124. I'm really keen to see if DC can replicate the coolness of Batman '66, so I'll have to check this out. Wonder Woman is, after all, fighting for her rights. (29 April)

On page 130, DC has the oddly named Batman: Arkham - The Riddler. This is basically "The Greatest Riddler Stories Ever Told," so why is DC calling it such a weird name? Anyway, nothing in the solicits seems to indicate that DC is reprinting the Neil Gaiman/Bernie Mireault Riddler story from Secret Origins, which is the absolute best Riddler story ever (I'm sorry, but there's no argument to be made in that regard, so if you disagree, you need to hold your tongue), and they've already reprinted "Dark Knight, Dark City," which is probably the second-best Riddler story ever. Also, the two stories from Detective #822 and #837 are, if I'm remembering correctly, the ones where Paul Dini turned Mr. Nigma into a consulting detective, which is quite possibly the best idea anyone at DC has had in the 21st century ... so of course they did away with it. When I write for DC comics (whether it will be after or before my epic run on the X-Men, I don't know), I want to write a Riddler series in which he's a consulting detective. Joëlle Jones will draw the first arc, and subsequent arcs will be drawn by Dylan Meconis, Juan Ferreyra, Chris Samnee, and Celia Calle. It's all coming together, people! (13 May)

Vertigo continues to do these oddball anthologies, as SFX shows up on page 140. It's based on sound effects, because of course it is! (29 April)

I was interested in Bodies when it was coming out (I think the final issue hasn't shipped yet), but figured the trade would be fine to get. Now the trade is here, on page 142, and I ask you, good readers: How was it? It still sounds intriguing, and I do like Si Spencer's writing, but has it been a good comic? (27 May)

IDW:

On page 158-159, we get a bunch of inter-connected Disney comics. Disney comics? I'm sure there's a reason why IDW is publishing Disney comics. I don't care that much, but I'm sure there's a reason!

Empire returns on page 166. The first trade is also offered again, which is worth a look. It's always nice to see creators get the rights to their work back, and this time, I imagine that Waid and Kitson don't have as big a sales threshold to meet, so we'll see if they can tell a longer epic!

I got a friend request from Elsa Charretier on Facebook earlier this week, which was odd as I'd never heard of her. But I checked out some of her art for The Infinite Loop, which is solicited on page 167, and it has a very cool Darwyn Cooke/Des Taylor vibe to it (I'll mention Taylor again in this post, but the comparison occurred to me before I knew he had a new comic coming out). So I guess I'll have to check out the book when it shows up!

IDW must have heard people complaining that their Artist's Editions were too expensive, because they're doing something evil - bringing some of them out in trade paperback! So on page 180 (right after the Kamandi Artist's Edition), we get Wally Wood's EC Stories: Artisan Edition, which is smaller than the Artist's Edition (unfortunately), but still has stuff scanned from the original art. It's 50 bucks, but considering how much the hardcover Artist's Editions are, this is a good compromise. Dang, if they start releasing more of these (right now they claim only two per year are coming out), I'm going to be spending some ducats!

The second Corto Maltese collection shows up on page 181. I haven't read the first one yet (I have read it before, after all), but it does look like IDW did right by the artwork. So that's nice.

On page 188, we find Drones #1. I heard about this at San Diego last year, and it sounds really, really cool. Two drone operators end up in Las Vegas, where they find a terrorist-themed casino. I'm trying to decide whether I want to get the single issues or wait for the trade, but I'm definitely picking it up!

Speaking of the Lord of the Jungle, Tarzan: The Original Dailies (some of which were done by Hal Foster) is offered on page 189. IDW's collaborations with The Library of American Comics are always nice, so I'm sure this will be cool.

Speaking of The Library of American Comics, on page 190 we get Academia Waltz and Other Profound Transgressions by Berkeley Breathed. It has his pre-Bloom County work, and of course I'm getting it!

Image:

The brand new stuff from Image this month isn't thrilling me too much. On page 194, we get Jupiter's Circle, which takes place before Jupiter's Legacy and smells like a placeholder series while Mark Millar waits for Frank Quitely to finish the main series (wait, this series is ridiculously late? that's unpossible!). On page 198, Brian Holguin and Todd McFarlane write and Clayton Crain draws Savior, which about a god-like figure arriving on Earth and doing god-like things. Kaptara (page 202) is about a space exploring crew crash-landing on a strange world, brought to you by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod. I'm not in love with either creator - they're fine, but nothing great - and this doesn't look too interesting. I might check out No Mercy (page 206), which is about college freshmen stuck in a weird Central American country - it's by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil, and I like both of them, so we'll see. I don't have much interest in Pisces, "a sci-fi psychological body horror series" (page 210) nor Runlovekill by Jonathan Tsuei and Eric Canete (page 214), but I am keen on The Tithe by Matt Hawkins and Rahsan Ekedel (page 218). These two guys have done good comics together in the past, and I like heist stories, which this comic - about hackers stealing from mega-churches - is. Finally, The Legacy of Luther Strode shows up on page 221, but as I waited for the trade on the first two series, I'll do that here. But that's a terrific comic series. (8, 1, 22, 1, 29, 15, 15, and 1 April, respectively)

The trade of Penny Dora and the Wishing Box shows up on page 227. This has been a pretty good read so far, but two issues have yet to come out, so who knows how it's going to end? (15 April)

Marvel:

I wonder how these Inhuman books are selling (the first three comics solicited in Marvel's section of Previews are Inhuman books). It seems pretty clear that Marvel is trying to pump them up to fit the "mutant" hole in their cinematic universe, but I can't imagine they're anywhere close to the main X-Men titles yet. I don't have a problem with them making the Inhumans more prominent in the movie/television side of things, but I wonder how it's working in the comics world, where the X-Men have been a sales juggernaut (see what I did there?) for 25-30 years.

Marvel is cancelling Avengers and New Avengers (pages 18-19). Wow, that's a bold move considering the movie is coming out this year. There's no way they're going to relaunch them any time soon, right? (15 and 22 April, respectively)

Cyclops #12 is the final issue, by the way (page 32). Yet it's part of the "Black Vortex" crossover, so Layman has to fit it into a crossover and wrap up the entire plot line. And people wonder why so many creators are doing their own thing these days. (1 April)

Hey, Fantastic Four is also shipping its final issue (page 61). Wouldn't that be odd if Marvel kept them and the Avengers on the shelf for like, two years? That would be neat. (29 April)

I was going to drop Deadpool in keeping with my policy of not buying any Big Two comics that cost $3.99, but Marvel is cancelling it, too, so I'll stick it out to the end (page 78). Duggan and Posehn have done what I thought would be impossible - keep me interested in a Deadpool comic. Well done, gentlemen! (8 April)

For $200, you can get King-Size Kirby on page 86. It has a ton of Kirby stuff from 1939 to 1978, and should be a nice primer for people who aren't terribly familiar with Kirby. It's a bit too rich for my blood, but it's neat that Marvel is putting this out there. (1 July)

I'm kind of interested in the trade for Bucky Barnes: The Winter Soldier volume 1 on page 113. I don't know what's going on in the story, but I've seen Marco Rudy's cool-ass art on it, so maybe I'll get it. It's only 13 dollars for five issues, which is nice. (13 May)

Let's bugaloo to the back of the book!

On page 258, the first trade of Fight Like A Girl from Action Lab is offered. This sounded neat when it was solicited, and it still does, so I'll probably have to check this out. At the very least, if I don't like it, my daughter probably will.

On page 262, The Last West volume 2 is offered (along with a re-solicit of volume 1) from Alterna Comics. I didn't know what to expect from the first volume, but it was a really good book. The art wasn't great, but it did its job, and the story - about a world where progress has halted after the failure of the first atomic bomb test - is quite neat. I'm looking forward to the conclusion.

Alternative Comics has some interesting selections on pages 262-263. There's a 20th-anniversary edition of Clover Honey, which sounds pretty neat. Johnny Viable and His Terse Friends has Alan Moore's stamp of approval, for whatever that's worth to you, and Scaffold is about people living in a world-sized structure that moves constantly. You can check out some of the pages here.

James Turner, who's a tremendously good creator (see: Nil, Rex Libris, and Warlord of Io), returns with Rebel Angels, which is about a war in Hell and comes to us from Amaze Ink/Slave Labor Graphics on page 263. Turner is absolutely wonderful, so I'm really looking forward to this book (even though I could have read it on-line ... you know, like a sucker).

On page 290, the second trade of Copra shows up from Bergen Street Press. Yes, this is a pretty blatant rip-off of the old Suicide Squad, but it's still a pretty darned good comic. Check it out!

Boom! Studios:

There's a nice letter from Ross Richie, the founder of Boom!, at the beginning of their section, all about the company's 10th anniversary and their comics moving forward. They can never move forward until they finish G.I. Spy, is all I'm saying. I mean, really.

Thomas Alsop volume 1 is offered in trade on page 307. This is another four-issue trade for 15 dollars, which isn't a bad deal, just one that still feels a bit light. I haven't been reading the book, but is it any good?

Similarly, we get a volume 1 trade of Lumberjanes on page 313. This also collects issues #1-4 for $15, even though the first arc is very clearly an 8-issue story (which I think is the case with Thomas Alsop, too). I get that Boom! wants to make these seem economical, so they don't want to release a Lumberjanes trade of the first story for $30, but they couldn't make a $25-trade work? I'd be annoyed if I got the first trade of Lumberjanes and didn't get the entire story. That would be vexing. You should still read this comic in some form or another, because it's awesome.

Operation Nemesis: A Story of Genocide and Revenge from Devil's Due on page 323 sounds interesting. It's about a man who assassinated a former leader of Turkey in Berlin in 1921 and got away with it. Why? Well, you ought to study your history to figure out why he might have been acquitted. Or just get this comic!

Dynamite has Bad Karma on page 334, a cool-sounding anthology with a shit-ton of excellent creators involved. It's $35 for 200 pages of a bunch of short stories and other stuff, so I'm looking forward to checking it out. (1 April)

On page 349, we find Dover Publications' A Sailor's Story by Sam Glanzman. Glanzman served on a destroyer during World War II, and his tales about that time are pretty gripping, so it's neat to see this.

Jillian Tamaki's SuperMutant Magic Academy shows up on page 349 from Drawn & Quarterly. I wasn't the biggest fan of This One Summer, but Tamaki's art was absolutely stunning, so I might have to check this out.

The final volume of The Summit of the Gods is offered on page 357 from Fanfare/Ponent Mon. I've really liked this series, and I've been waiting for a long time for the last volume to come out!

Legendary Comics offers the trade of A Town Called Dragon on page 366. This sounded pretty interesting when it first got solicited - a bunch of people in a regular American town have to fight a dragon - and the art looked pretty good. I might have to check this out.

A Glance Backward from Magnetic Press on page 368 actually claims it's a coming-of-age story, which I should hate, but it's also about a boy getting pulled into an alternate world inside the walls of his own house, so it might be pretty neat.

Oni has Odd Schnozz and the Odd Squad on page 376, which sounds fun. It's by Jeffrey Burandt and Dennis Culver, and it's about a band that gets involved with a mysterious shadowy organization. You know, because there are always mysterious shadowy organizations lurking around every corner! (24 June)

Pop! Goes the Icon usually has good comics, and Russell Lissau and John Bivens have done good work together in the past, so Old Wounds on page 381 might be neat. The solicits don't give much information about the series, but it's a story about things from the past coming back to haunt the protagonist, which is not a bad way to begin!

Des Taylor is a creator who could use some more love, so the fact that he has a new comic coming out makes me happy. Titan Comics offers Scarlett Couture on page 395, and it sounds like a hoot - the title character gathers information for the CIA while working as head of security for her mother's fashion house. Taylor loves fashion, so this comic should at least look superb. Give it a try and you'll dig Taylor's work too!

Okay, so I don't think I can top a wet woman in a bikini, plus nothing else in Previews really grabbed my eye, so I'll finish up here. Ask your retailer for a copy of Previews, and dig right in! You never know what fun stuff you'll find inside!

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