Books shipping (supposedly) in March are advertised in this month's Previews.Â Can you handle looking for your comics through a faceless, monopolistic, wrathful entity?Â If we had a better option, don't you think we'd take it?????
This month's Previews features Buffy on the cover.Â For some reason it's totally freaking me out.Â And IÂ don't knowÂ why!!!!!
The big thing is on page 22, where Buffy the Vampire Slayer is offered.Â Jeanty's art should be a draw, but I personally have no interest in this.Â I have never liked Buffy.Â Do I have to turn in my nerd card?
On page 24 we see a new B.P.R.D. mini-series.Â Wizard loves these mini-series, because they love Mignola so much.Â Again, I have no interest.Â Are these any good?Â I mean, I like Guy Davis, but I don't love his work.Â And the movie didn't make me want to delve into the comics all that much.Â (True fans of Hellboy may hate the movie, I know.)
Page 29 has the Grendel Archive Edition.Â I'm a bit puzzled by this.Â In October Dark Horse solicited Devil by the Deed, and this, I thought, is the same thing.Â So what's the deal, long-time Grendel fans?Â I want to get this if it's something I don't have, but I have Devil by the Deed, so I'm confused.Â Confused!!!!!
Fear Agent vol. 2 (collecting issues #5-10) is offered on page 35.Â I got the first trade, back when it was an Image book, and thought it was okay.Â Cronin could probably tell me if this second group is any good.Â Are you out there, Dread Lord and Master?
Guy pointed out that Star Wars: Legacy is a good book, and issue #10 is solicited on page 43.Â Ostrander writes, Colin Wilson draws, and it sounds kind of cool.Â Damn you, Gonzalez, for pointing it out!Â I may have to track down the first nine issues.Â Sheesh - I didn't want to be one of those people who buys Star Wars comics.
If you have been waiting for Batman and the Mad Monk to show up in trade, here it is!Â It's on page 66.Â I haven't even read it all and I know it's excellent.
3-D Action Comics (page 68)?Â Really?
I like Shawn McManus, but is he the best choice as the artist on Aquaman (page 77)?Â I don't know.Â It just seems like an odd choice.
I'm confused about the cover to Hawkgirl #62 (page 81).Â I mean, it's Transformer Hawkgirl, okay, but couldn't Chaykin still have given her nipples?Â Realism is no obstacle when there are nipples to draw!!!!
Wouldn't Star Sapphire catch a cold with that outfit (page 82)?
Justice League of America #7 (page 83): "The new JLA roster makes its debut!"Â And people are still buying this?Â I forgot to mention the letter page of the latest issue of She-Hulk: someone was whining about Rick Burchett on art and actually offered some choicesÂ of his own, the first of which was ... EdÂ Benes.Â Jesus.Â That would actually make me drop the book.Â Please stay on a shitty title like JLA, Ed, and stay away from books that are actually, you know, good.
There's a Fourth World Omnibus hardcover offered on page 85.Â As you may or may not know, I'm not the biggest Kirby fan, but if you're interested, this might be for you!
Was Martian Manhunter supposed to be a mini-series?Â I'm just wondering,Â because it's over with issue #8 (page 86).
Wildcats #2 is resolicited forÂ 28 March (page 107).Â Why should I buy this?Â I liked issue #1, but should I have to wait six months between issues?Â Really?
On page 109, the J. Scott Campbell "spotlight" issue is solicited.Â I know Brian pointed out that the actual cover is from 1996Â (well, he saidÂ 1995, but the date on it is clearly '96), butÂ my problemÂ is with the solicitation text: "J. Scott Campbell'sÂ talents have grown at an incredible pace since joining WildStorm in the early '90s."Â Â Then why does his art today lookÂ the same as his art from a decade ago?Â The same!!!!!
I'm sure Andy Diggle will do a fine job on Hellblazer (page 121), and I might even get it.Â But why is everyÂ creativeÂ team change on a title heralded as a "new era"?Â What is Diggle doing on the book?Â Will John lose the trench coat and start wearing a sweater vest?Â Now that wouldÂ be a new era!
Sandman Mystery Theatre vol. 5 (issues #21-28)Â comes out on page 122.Â SMT is a wildly underrated title, even though it fell off in quality a bit in theÂ later issues.Â Â But it's still good, so check it out!
Dynamo 5 makes its debut on pae 138.Â Jay Faerber is writing it, and since he writes Noble Causes, one of the best superhero books around, this is tempting.Â It's the tale of Captain Dynamo, who's dead (okay, so maybe it's not his tale specifically).Â His widow rounds up his five illegitimate children (the Captain fooled around a lot), each of whom have inherited one of his superpowers, and forms a superteam!Â It sounds goofy enough to work, and the art looks pretty good.
On page 140, After the Cape #1 is offered.Â It's a three-issue mini-series, so it will probably come out on time - a problem with Image books, as you well know.Â It's about Ethan Falls, an alcoholic superhero who needs to provide for his family and thinks about turning to crime.Â Sounds neat.
If you're interested in not killing comics, the third Bomb Queen mini-series is offered on page 142.Â I did not enjoy the first one at all, so I'll be passing on this.
There's a trade on page 146 of Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Menace, which I've never heard of.Â I doubt if I'll get it, but the talent involved is strange: Larry Hama writes and Michael Golden draws.Â That's one of those pairings that makes me weep, because I think Hama is a lousy writer, but Golden is an excellent artist.Â Plus, it's a kid's book, which makes it even weirder.Â Just a strange book all around.
On page 147, the trade paperback for Common Foe is offered.Â I like this series, but considering that a year passed between issues #3 and 4, and issue #5 isn't out yet, I'm not holding my breath that the trade will be out on 14 March, when Image says it will be.
Page 148 has the trade for the first seven issues of Elephantmen.Â Richard Starkings keeps sending these to me, which is nice, and the trade is definitely worth checking out.
The Phonogram trade is solicited on page 149.Â Another fine series, but I have difficulty believing it will beÂ out on 21 March, because the individual issues might notÂ have been published byÂ then!Â Let's hope Kieron Gillen will come by and let us know what's what.
Damn,Â I love GÃ¸dland (page 152).Â I'm just saying.
Paul Jenkins is writing The Darkness on page 169.Â Whatever happened to Paul Jenkins?Â Wasn't he supposed to be theÂ next big thing for a while?Â
This is strange.Â Wedged in on pages 175-176 are three books from "Platinum Studios."Â Is this an imprint of Image, like Top Cow?Â I assume so, because it's not in the back with the other, loser publishers.Â I only say this because Unique #1, written by Dean Motter and drawn by Dennis Calero, looks kind of cool.Â Parallel worlds can always hook me!Â So I'm just wondering what the deal is.
The cover of the Marvel Previews has the Mighty Avengers looking mean.Â The text says, seriously, "Enemies beware!Â They're through fighting their friends!"Â Well, shit, it's about fucking time!Â What a novel concept: superheroes fighting bad guys.Â That Bendis - always thinking outside the box!
Amazing Spider-Man #540 (page 13) has this text: "Get on board, True Believer, as we gear up for an event that will forever change the life of your favorite web-slinger.Â There IS no going back."Â Again?Â Hasn't he experienced something like six of those over the past year?Â Hasn't Marvel ever heard of the boy who cried fucking wolf?Â Shit.Â Do you see why I have become disillusioned with mainstream superheroes?Â I want to like them, I really do!
I know Cronin likes it, but that cover of The Dark Spider-Man Returns - whoops, I mean Spider-Man: Reign - is just awful (page 20).Â I mean, it's a nice drawing and all, but do we really need to see a giant Venom eating Spidey's head?Â We do?Â Okay then.
Fantastic Four #544 (page 27)Â asks who will be in the new line-up.Â Why does Marvel make such a big deal about things like this when they know it won't be a secret for very long?Â I suppose they're being coy in that press release, but come on!
Is it just me an my cynical, icky ways, but is anyone else creeped out by the way Colleen is caressing that sword on the Heroes for Hire cover (page 28) and the way Doom's eyes are really wide as he stares at it?Â Plus, they're all sitting directly on his fingers!Â Paging Dr. Wertham!
I think that the term "March Madness" has been copyrighted by the NCAA, and therefore Marvel might get in trouble for using it (page 29).Â I assume they got all the legalities out of the way beforehand, but maybe not.Â Is trouble a-brewing for Franklin Richards?
I wonder which porn actress Greg Land traced for the cover of Man-Thing (page 32).Â Should Marvel just let him draw monsters from now on so his tracery isn't as blatant?
Irredeemable Ant-Man reaches issue #6 (page 36).Â Apparently the only people buying this are me and possibly the creators' relatives.Â So you might want to savor each issue, because it might be gone soon.
On page 48, New Avengers is solicited and "a new team is formed ..."Â If Marvel changed the name to New New Avengers, I might actually buy it.
The only thing I have to say about Wolverine: Origins #12 (page 65) is that Daniel Way does not seem like a nice person at all.
You'll note that Trevor Hairsine is not drawing Wisdom #4 (page 73).Â Why does Marvel insist on releasing mini-series that the artist can't finish?
Let's get to the back of the book, where stranger things abound!
AiT/Planet Lar has Warren Ellis's Come in Alone collection on page 214.Â It's very good.Â I wonder if the columns are still on this site somewhere.Â Interesting insights from the crazy old man.
There's another Athena Voltaire mini-series beginning on page 222 from Ape Entertainment.Â I'm busy hunting down the trade of the first series, but you might be interested in getting the individual issues.Â I still don't know if it's any good beyond the fact that Warren Ellis likes it.Â But he's, you know, crazy.
On page 234, tucked away past all of Avatar's crazy naked chick stuff, is a solicitation for Scars, by Warren Ellis and Jacen Burrows.Â This is an excellent trade paperback about a cop who is tracking a child killer but doesn't think he can do anything to actually arrest him.Â It's a brutal book, but brilliant nonetheless.
Boom! Studios offers Hero Squared #6 (page 236), where we learn what happened to turn Stephie into the evil Lord Caliginous.Â Don't you want to know????
If you've been thinking about buying The Lone Ranger but don't like to get individual issues, Dynamite Entertainment has a hardcover edition for you on page 251.Â Or you could wait for the softcover version!Â It's a very good retelling of the Ranger's origin.
On page 277, you can get American Born Chinese from First Second Books, as it is offered again.Â If you're too lazy to order it online, that is.Â It deserves all the accolades it's been getting.
The Salon on page 281 from Griffin Books looks interesting.Â A murder mystery set among the modern art movement of early 20th-century Paris?Â Who wouldn't like that?
Another book you may have been waiting to buy in trade format is Wasteland, which gets the treatment on page 306 from Oni Press.Â This is another comic that is getting better each issue, and even though it's not perfect, it's a good read.
Speaking of Oni, on the same page they offer Stephen Colbert's Tek Jansen #1.Â You know, I like The Colbert Report, but the animated shorts with Tek Jansen are the worst parts of the program.Â But if you like them, here's your chance to buy the comic!
And speaking of Christopher Mitten (who draws Wasteland), The Tomb is offered on page 308 (also from Oni).Â DeFilippis, Weir, and Mitten collaborated on Past Lies, which was pretty good, and this sounds interesting: an archaeologist leads a team into the booby-trapped estate of a member of the Tutankhamen expedition of 1922, who stole a bunch of artifacts from the dig.Â Sign me up!
For me, Andy Diggle is the draw for Gamekeeper #1, about a man who cares for an English estate and whose violent past catches up with him.Â It's from Virgin Comics and is offered on page 340.Â The ad on the next page puts Guy Ritchie at the top, calling him "England's coolest director."Â Is that based on Swept Away?Â I'm just wondering.
Let's finish with me picking on Madonna's husband.Â Because both of them could probably kick my ass with one hand tied behind their backs.Â Their kids could, too, after I make fun of their names.Â But that's not why we're here!Â Remember, there areÂ a ton of good comic book stuff out there, and a lot of them that don't show up even in bookstores!Â So dig deep, good people!Â DIG!!!!