Smell it? It's comics from the future! Aaaaahhhhh! They're in Previews #256, to which we now turn our attention!
Okay, so there's all this Free Comic Book Day stuff starting on page 18. One thing kind of bugs me about these offerings. FCBD has become "Wednesday-and-a-half," as more and more books contain new stuff. Here are some things I'm interested in this year: Mouse Guard, The Sixth Gun, and Atomic Robo and Friends. The problem is: I don't want to go to FCBD. FCBD is not for me. FCBD is for people who don't buy comics, to show them how excellently cool the medium can be. It has become something that comics nerds want to check out, and that's kind of annoying. I hope neophytes go in and check out the selections, but I know that some subscribers at my shop actually snap up the supply of free comics my retailer gets (they're not free for him, after all). It's fairly annoying. Oh well.
I'm not interested in The Guild (page 32; 24 March), but hey! Jim Rugg art!
The second of two Barry Windsor-Smith Conan Archives is offered on page 41 (19 May). Who doesn't love Barry Windsor-Smith? Commies, that's who!
Blackest Night #8's solicitation claims that "the results will change the course of the DC Universe for years to come" (page 67; 31 March). Hey, remember when Final Crisis was going to change the course of the DC Universe for years to come? And Infinite Crisis? Remember how quickly they had absolutely no impact on the DC Universe? Good times! I'm sure this will be different, though.
Andy Clarke draws the next arc of Batman and Robin (page 70; 10 March). Is there outrage? Let me know!
So Jock is drawing Detective Comics (page 71; 31 March) while J. H. Williams III draws a Batwoman ongoing? Is that right? That's ... strange. Considering Batwoman is still starring in 'Tec.
There's a character called "Abuse" in Streets of Gotham (page 72; 24 March)? Do I want to know anything at all about this character, or will I be too depressed to know?
Booster Gold, whose real name is Michael, has a sister named Michele (page 79; 17 March)? Man, those were some lazy parents.
So First Wave #1 is offered on page 80 (3 March). How many different versions of Batman are we going to have now? It makes my head hurt. I do like the solicitation text: "It's a world with no supermen, only mortal men ... Death can come at any moment ..." Yeah, I'm sure Batman will die two issues in. It's nice to say that death can come, but it probably won't, at least not for the main characters.
I probably won't buy Jonah Hex: No Way Back (page 83; 5 May), but a 136-page graphic novel ... that's pretty impressive. Well done, DC!
Nemesis gets another mini-series on page 89 (3 March). I hope DC combines this with the Final Crisis thing he was in for a big ol' trade!
If you've been waiting for the trade on the new Power Girl series, snap it up on page 95 (14 April). If that's your thing!
Page 97 has Showcase Presents: Dial H for Hero for a somewhat staggering $9.99 for 288 pages(21 April). Did you hear that? That's Greg Hatcher jumping up and down in ecstasy.
Joe Kubert, who recently celebrated his 150th birthday, has a new graphic novel on page 99, Dong Xoai, Vietnam 1965 (5 May). It's about a group of Special Forces soldiers who enter a village on a recon mission that turns deadly. Holy crap, I can't wait for this comic. Kubert probably wrote and drew as he was kicking his sons' asses for not being as good as he is.
Over on page 107, David Lapham writes Sparta: USA, a six-issue mini-series (3 March). I'm torn about getting this in single issues or waiting for the trade, because I know I'm getting it. There's a short preview in the book which doesn't give us too much, but it's Lapham! And the art looks pretty cool, even if he's not drawing it.
I'm a bit bummed about the existence of American Vampire on page 116 (17 March). It's very cool that we begin the ongoing with five extra-length issues and that writers Scott Snyder and Stephen King are putting a spin on vampire tales and that Rafael Albuquerque is drawing it, because Rafael Albuquerque is freakin' excellent, but ... it's still a vampire story. Do I really want to read another vampire story?
Vertigo Crime continues with The Executor on page 117 (19 May), in which a former pro athlete returns to his hometown to be the executor of his high-school sweetheart's will, and he digs into her mysterious death. Oh dear. Sounds keen.
100% gets a new trade on page 121 (14 April). I've never been into Paul Pope too much, but maybe I should check this out in the hopes it will change my mind!
Hey, look - it's the latest Sandman Mystery Theatre trade paperback on page 125 (21 April). Such good stuff.
I know you've been waiting for the trade of Haunt, and on page 145, there it is (3 March)! Get it before it's gone!
Shuddertown (page 150; 24 March) looks kind of neat. But I don't get the first part of the solicitation - "The dead are killing." Does this mean it's a zombie comic dressed up as a police procedural? It's odd. But it still looks neat.
I was skipping the issues of Viking, but the buzz on it is really good. Should I get the trade offered on page 155 (24 March)? Step up and testify, readers!
If you never got around to buying Fell, a new printing of the trade is offered on page 156 (3 March). This is a phenomenal comic. Does a new printing of the trade mean a new issue is in the pipeline?
I don't know if Forgetless is any good, but issue #4 (page 162; 3 March) promises a "sex-addicted koala." How can you go wrong?
As all the Siege-related crap washes over me, I always seem to find something in these events that I'd really, really want to get. Case in point: New Mutants #11, written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Niko Henrichon and featuring Dani Moonstar (page 9; 31 March). I'm really going to have to think about picking that up.
As much as I like Amanda Conner's cover of Girl Comics #1 (page 15; 3 March), why do all the guys automatically assume Tony Stark would beat Jennifer Walters in an arm-wrestling match? I mean, she's freaking She-Hulk, for crying out loud! Yes, Tony is wearing his armor, but I can't believe the men of Marvel would be that naturally chauvenistic to assume that Iron Man could beat She-Hulk. That's just dumb.
I don't really mean for my mind to go there, but when I saw the cover of The Stand: Soul Survivors #5 (page 22; 24 March), my first thought was, "That really doesn't look like blood." Sorry!
Marvel continues to ride the Deadpool gravy train with Prelude to Deadpool Corps #1-5 on page 25 (weekly in March). But check out the odd collection of artists: Rob Liefeld, Whilce Portacio, Philip Bond, Paco Medina, and Kyle Baker. That should be ... interesting.
With that weekly series, there are NINE comics starring Deadpool (or Deadpool-related characters) coming out in March. Ponder that for a while.
So, Ultimate Comics New Ultimates #1 shows up on page 29 (3 March). Jeph Loeb is now teamed with Arthur Adams on one book and Frank Cho on another. I predict three issues a year, tops, of both books. And what happened to Millar and Pacheco's Ultimate Avengers comic? Is that dead? And do I care? Well, no. But still.
I do like that in the solicitation text for Amazing Spider-Man #625 (page 34; 17 March), the Rhino's last name is spelled two different ways ... in the same sentence.
You know, while I've never been a fan of Dagger's costume, the fact that most people drew her as slim rather than busty made it at least tolerable. Mark Brooks says "Screw that!" on the cover of Cloak and Dagger #1 (page 41; 3 March):
Well, gosh, Marvel, thanks for ruining the end of "Assault on New Olympus" for us (page 45; 17 March). I mean, even though we know death means nothing in the Marvel Universe, it still would have been nice to be a bit surprised.
Why does Marvel keep publishing one-shots about The Twelve (page 61; 10 March) while the original mini-series remains unfinished? That's kind of strange.
Breaking Into Comics the Marvel Way (page 62; 3 March) is an interesting project, but I like how the only way you can break into Marvel, it seems, is to be an artist. Sure, the writing may suck, but at least the books will look good!
David Finch draws X-Men: Second Coming (page 69; 31 March). Didn't he just sign an exclusive contract with DC? How long has this been in the can, I wonder? Oh, and I like the tagline: "Many will be wounded. Several will die." How charming! At least this will, presumably, address the stupid idea of getting rid of every mutant except, coincidentally, those in the X-Men. Won't it?
Man, I love that cover of S.W.O.R.D. #5 (page 78; 10 March):
Wait, Mark Millar is writing a book in which the star is a bad-ass who kills people (page 85; 3 March)? Alert the media! Oh, wait, he'll probably do it.
I was writing about Marvel's policy of collecting their three-issue mini-series into trades with stuff I don't really want, and on page 114, they do it again! Kieron Gillen and Manuel Garcia's Ares mini-series, which I'm kind of interested in, gets collected with Michael Avon Oeming and Travel Foreman's old Ares mini-series ... which I already own (17 March). Well done, Marvel! Sheesh.
All right, gird up your loins, and join me in the back of the book! Whoo-hoo!
Antarctic Press, which is recent Previews has brought us Obamouse and Time Lincoln, gives us two fun books on pages 192-93. First is Twi-Lit, which is a vampire story (get it?) about ... vampires who smoke marijuana. And the cover is, well, it is:
Then we get The Governator, which I can't believe hasn't been a comic yet. Yes, it's Arnold Schwarzeneggar/The Terminator carrying a Conan sword, kicking ass. I didn't mean to chuckle at the tag line, "Vote for me if you want to live," but I couldn't help it!
On pages 194-96, Archaia has new issues of The Killer and The Secret History. Yay! They also have Okko: The Cycle of Air #1. I only have a few issues of Okko, but it's pretty keen. I should get the trades.
Man, Brett Favre continues to be overexposed, as Avatar has a comic book series about him on page 204! Sheesh! First the media fellates him, and now comics publishers? What, it's called FEVRE Dream? Oh, okay, never mind. Why would they spell "fever" so stupidly?
The solicitation for Supergod (page 207) made me laugh: "Prepare to crap out your brains through your eyes!" Why would I want to do that? Is that supposed to get me to read the comic?
So Previews is celebrating "Women in Comics" this time around, coincidentally at the same time that Marvel is. That's cool and all, and they're putting little Women in Comics symbols by books that are female-centric. So, yes, Tarot gets one on page 232. I mean, sure, she's a woman, and it's a comic, but really?
It's somewhat sad that Dynamite has to make a big deal that Kevin Smith's entire first story is completed before they solicit the first issue of Green Hornet. I guess they have to, but it's still sad. Speaking of Smith, can you believe how far he's fallen? I saw a commercial for that new movie, Cop Out, and it made no mention that Smith was the director. Usually, when you have a "name" director, they mention it in the commercial ("The latest epic by Michael Bay!" for instance), but Smith, it seems, is now just a hack pumping out cop buddy movies. Oh well. At least his scripts are in for Green Hornet!
Drawn & Quarterly has a new book by James Sturm, Market Day, on page 253. I've never read anything by Sturm, but this book, about a marketplace in Eastern Europe in the early 1900s, sounds interesting. Well, interesting to me.
Jacques Tardi's It Was the War in the Trenches, from Fantagraphics on page 256, sounds keen. It's a World War I book, so I'm sure it will be utterly depressing, but it still sounds worthwhile!
Chuck Dixon, war comics writer extraordinaire, dips into the Civil War on page 258 with Civil War Adventure from History Graphics Press. I'm not sure it will be good, but Dixon sure knows how to write a war story!
I know you've been waiting for the trade of The Last Resort, and IDW obliges on page 271. This is quite a good horror/disaster comic. Much mayhem!
If you've been looking for Carla Speed McNeil's Finder trade paperbacks but can't find them, Previews offers them again on page 274. The series is ... a bit weird.
Oni has Ghost Projekt #1 on page 279. A U. S. weapons inspector heads to Russia to track a freaky stolen weapon. Sounds keen. And it's drawn by Steve Rolston, so you know it will look good.
Tim and Chad, the Ebert and Siskel of comics criticism (or are they the Felix and Oscar? or the Mulder and Scully? or the Murtaugh and Riggs?) already discussed wrestling and comics, in anticipation of Titan Comics' WWE Heroes, which shows up on page 290. It has to be good, right?
On page 296, you can get a trade of James Kolchalka's Super Fuckers from Top Shelf. Or, if you're like me, you could ignore it. Underneath it on the same page, however, we get Super Spy: The Lost Dossiers by Matt Kindt. It's 13 dollars for only 88 pages, but it sounds wildly fun, which annotations and other supplemental material! Of course, you should probably read Super Spy first. Because it's awesome.
WW Norton offers Stitches on page 306. My question is: How did Our Dread Lord and Master have this on his list of best comics of 2009 if it's just being offered right now? It must be that pact with Satan he has! (I'm sure this has been in bookstores for a while, and that's how he got it. Don't smite me for making fun of your pact with Satan, Dread Lord and Master!)
And so we reach the end of another slab of Previews. Oh, there's the usual assortment of scary statues further in the back, but we'll ignore those. So get flippin'! It ain't gonna flip itself!