It's time once again to dream of better days in the future ... which is what Previews always promises us, yet often fails to deliver!!!!
Axe Cop shows up in a new mini-series, Bad Guy Earth, on page 34. This item is basically so Bill Reed will be happy. I must say, the line in the panel in Previews, "Real cops don't have dinosaurs!", cracked me up a tiny bit. But that's what Axe Cop is like to me - the occasional funny line surrounded by tedium. Yes, I'm aware I have no soul. You're not the first to notice. (2 March)
I certainly don't mean to pick on Felicia Day, but the solicitation for The Guild: Tink one-shot (page 52) is weird. Above the cover, in bold print, we see "Written by Felicia Day!" Okay, it's her creation, right? Who else would write this? I'm actually interested in this because of the artists involved (Kristian Donaldson, Jeremy Bastian, Tim Seeley, Adam Warren, and Wellinton Alves), but it's weird that Dark Horse would make a big deal about Day writing her own creation. (16 March)
You know how the Avengers have become the fulcrum around which the Marvel Universe now rotates, because Bendis loves them so very, very much? I guess that's what Green Lantern has become for DC, because of Johns' deep, abiding man-crush on Hal Jordan. I mean, the big events over the past few years in the DCU all seem to come from the GL part of the U, which is odd as the Green Lanterns ought not to care all that much about the Earth, given that they're supposed to be, you know, policing the known universe, which is kind of big. But on page 68, DC fires up Green Lantern #64 and the next big event: "War of the Green Lanterns," which will be annoying us all year. I don't really care which franchise gets to be the big dog at either company, I just find it interesting that 15 years ago, it was the X-Men and Superman (right?) and now the paradigm has shifted dramatically. (16 March)
Hey, look - it's Justice League: Generations Lost #21-22 (page 72), and it certainly appears DC is killing off yet another ethnically diverse superhero! I really hope they do, because I always enjoy watching the Internet have a stroke. Danny D can't seriously be considering this after getting all huffy about Ryan Choi, can he? CAN HE?!?!?!?! (9 and 23 March)
I love me some Ed Benes, yes I do:
Especially this part:
Frazer Irving draws Xombi #1 (page 77). I don't have any interest in this, I just like pointing out when Irving is working on something that's NOT Gutsville. (16 March)
I think I love this cover to Batman: Europa #3 (page 79):
Holy crap, that's awesome. (2 March)
While I don't hate the idea of DC going back to $2.99 books (even with two fewer pages), it means that we don't get the Francavilla back-up in Detective Comics (page 83), which kind of sucks. Still, Batman finding a dead killer whale in a bank sounds like a good start to a story! (30 March)
I didn't know the premise of the Jimmy Olsen back-up feature (which is partially reprinted and concludes in a one-shot on page 93), but the fact that Jimmy is trying to prove to his ex-girlfriend that he can have as interesting a week as the subject of her feature doesn't fill me with confidence. Really? That's the premise? Yeesh. I mentioned that this week's installment felt like a sitcom, and that premise sounds even more like something Jack Tripper would do. Jimmy needs Kelly Hu to slap him and say, "You're Candace Flynn!"*
DC has gotten around to collecting Finals, Will Pfeiffer and Jill Thompson's mini-series from, what, a decade ago (page 106)? I'm sure someone out there has read this. Is it worth the 8 dollars? (9 March)
Speaking of old stuff, Night Force #1-4 is collected on page 107. Yes, it's Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan, doing their thing! It's the comic Greg Hatcher always wanted but never got! Now, his darkest wishes have been fulfilled!!!!! (23 March)
If you think Kelly Thompson has good taste, check out the trade of DV8: Gods and Monsters on page 123. If you think Chad Nevett has good taste, you can skip it. (Didn't Chad not dig this mini-series?) For me, Wood + Isaacs = GOLD! (20 April)
The Vertigo crime line keeps limping along, and I have to wonder why on earth DC waits a year to release the softcover versions, as they're doing with Area 10, the trade of which shows up on page 128. This is a nifty little story (my review is here), but I wonder if DC has ever heard of "striking while the iron is hot." Oh well - this is only 13 bucks, so I encourage you to give it a look if you haven't yet. (13 April)
Hey, look on page 130: It's a resolicitation for Joe the Barbarian #8! How nice that someone at DC remembered that it hadn't actually, you know, finished. Jesus, the God of All Comics tries my patience occasionally. (2 March)
* Yes, it's a "Phineas and Ferb" reference. I have young children. Plus, it's freakin' awesome.
Suicide Girls #1 is offered on page 153. Apparently "there will be tattoos, piercings, and a whole lot of butt-kickin' girls and burlesque." There's a lot wrong with this, but at least they got Cameron Stewart to draw the covers!
If you're interested in butt-kickin' girls, you can always check out Danger Girl: Destination Danger on page 164. Who doesn't love J. Scott Campbell creations?
Butcher Baker, the Righteous Maker is offered on page 168. You know Joe Casey will write a tremendous comic, and Mike Huddleston's art is phenomenal in the brief preview. I just love how most of the second page is "censored for Previews." That's awesome. (30 March)
Richard Starkings brings us Elephantmen: Man and Elephantman on page 172. Apparently it's a good place to reset and lure in new readers - and you should all be reading Elephantmen, right? Plus, one cover has Ian Churchill poking fun at his old Uncanny X-Men cover of Jean mackin' on Logan, so that's keen. (30 March)
I'm kind of curious about Lorna: Relic Wrangler on page 182, even though I fear it will be wildly derivative. It's about a young lady who has to find an artifact in Washington, D.C. before the world ends. Yes, it's just that silly. But the preview art looks charming, and it's only a one-shot, so everything will get wrapped up quickly! (23 March)
As Chew isn't insane enough, on page 190 we get issue #27 - yes, the creators jump ahead to show what's going on nine issues from now. Just for the hell of it, presumably. Dear Sweet Jeebus, I love Chew. (23 March)
How far in advance are books needed for Previews? I ask only because Santa Claus vs. the Martians #4 is solicited, and as we all know, the book has been pushed back to next Christmas, so I wonder when this went to Previews to be put in this month's catalog. Don't order it, people - the book won't come out for a year!
Page 1: Venom #1: "His first ongoing series!" Wait ... is it 1994? What's going on? (2 March)
I'll probably wait for the trade of 5 Ronin (page 2), but Peter Milligan writing Wolverine, Psylocke, Punisher, Hulk and Deadpool (yuck) into 17th-century Japan has awesome written all over it.
Marvel gets around to doing something with the CrossGen properties on pages 4-5 with Sigil and Ruse, the second of which I'll probably get (or wait for the trade). I would like these to do well so Bart Sears can start up The Path again, El Cazador could return, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang would be reborn. But I'm not holding my breath. (9 and 2 March, respectively)
The solicitation for New Avengers #10 (page 19) is unfortunately misleading, as Howard Chaykin, I guess, pencils some of it. The solicitation actually reads, "[Bendis and Deodato] both welcome a guest appearance by comics legend Howard Chaykin." If only they meant that Chaykin would appear in the comic itself, but I very much doubt that. I would totally buy it if that happened. (9 March)
Look - it's yet another new Spider-Man costume (page 32)! Wait ... is it 1994? Where am I? (2 March)
I have nothing to say about this cover, because it's too damned cool (page 43):
Hey, remember the good times at Marvel when the regime wanted to return to all the old numbering because they wanted to re-connect with their past glory and they didn't want to insult long-time fans who were getting a bit peeved by a new #1 issue every five years or so? And remember how the first title they did this with was Fantastic Four, because it deserved to be the first Marvel title to reach issue #500 (even though it, you know, wasn't the first, not by a long shot)? Those were good days, weren't they? Well, Joey Q and his minions want you to know that they don't really give a shit about that shit anymore, as they're relaunching Fantastic Four with a new #1 on page 46. It's not even a new creative team or anything. They apparently did some market research, however, and discovered that today's short-attention span audience doesn't want to say four whole goddamned syllables when they're discussing a book, so they named it FF. Now all you have to say is "fffffff ...." and everyone will know you're talking about the book instead of failing to spit on them. Make Mine Marvel!!!!!! (23 March)
I really dig this cover for Generation Hope #5 (page 71), but in the solicitation, it tells us that it's not the "final cover." Why the crap not, Marvel?!?!? (2 March)
Lots of Thor trades on sale in March (five on pages 94-96). The movie comes out in early May, so I guess Marvel figures the build-up will be in full swing by then. I wonder if they'd be better off having them out in April, but I assume there will be more a-coming.
Girl Comics shows up in a trade on page 103. So does Heralds. It's the chick page! They'll get one page and like it!!!! (9 and 30 March, respectively)
You know what's coming ... the back of the book!!!!!
Down on page 224 is Shadoweyes in Love from SLG, a book I'm keen to read thanks to Ms. Thompson championing Ross Campbell's work here on the blog. Campbell is good - trust me!
An Elegy for Amanda Johnson on page 232 from Archaia sounds interesting. A woman dying of cancer asks two friends to take personal messages to people across the country, and so they do.
Meanwhile, Archaia also has a hardcover of Cyclops volume 1, which is odd as the first issue just came out, so they're awfully ambitious. It seems like it will be a good series, and the creators are good, so maybe you'll want to pick this up.
If you're interested, Boom! Studios has Hellraiser #1 on page 253. It's written by Clive Barker (who has a co-writer, to be fair) and drawn by Leonardo Manco, so it might be decent. I don't have any interest, but what the heck.
Tarot, Witch of the Black Rose #67 (page 260): "The Skeleton Man, with the hammer of Thor in his hands, travels to the Black Rose Mansion only to find that Loki has taken over. Raven Hex, Tarot, and their mother are prisoners of the trickster god and are victims to his every whim. Meanwhile, alone in the cemetery, Crypt Chick faces the ruler of the underworld herself, 'Hel.' "
Dynamite must do well with these endless spin-offs, because they have another one on page 266 with Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #1. That's fine and all, but it's just weird. And hey - there's a Greg Land sketch cover! Who knew Greg Land still knew how to sketch! Plus an Art Adams "risque" cover. Because you can't have comics without "risque" covers!
On page 275, Dynamite has Cornboy, a graphic novel about a dude who's half boy/half corn. Yeah, I'm not sure what's going on with it either, but it's written (but not created) by Joshua Dysart, whose writing keeps getting better, so this might be worth a look.
The Comics Journal #301 is a bit spendy at thirty dollars, but it's also over 600 pages of all sorts of comics criticism the like of which I could never hope to match. Fantagraphics has it on page 286, along with a resolicit of Safe Area Gorazde, which I hope comes out this time!
The strange history of Cowboys and Aliens (the trailer of which looks kind of cool, by the way) continues on page 293. Unless I'm wrong, the original idea was developed by someone who hired Fred van Lente to write the graphic novel, and there was much drama about it. Then it was made into a movie, as the original idea was a movie pitch anyway. Now, It Books has a graphic novel adaptation of the movie that appears to be different from the original graphic novel (van Lente certainly isn't involved). This is, how shall I say this, weird.
Last year, Oni offered the entire first issue of The Sixth Gun on Free Comic Book Day, and this year they're doing it again with Spontaneous #1 (page 300), the story of a boy searching for the truth about spontaneous human combustion. Joe Harris, who wrote Ghost Projekt, and Brett Weldele are on board as the creative team. IT'S FREE, PEOPLE!!!!!! Give it a look, won't you?
Pure Imagination Publishing has a goofy book on page 304 - Young Love, a selection of romance comics by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. This can't be as awesome as it sounds, can it?
Rebekah Isaacs does NOT draw Magus #4 on page 316 from 12-Gauge Comics. She has one of those Captain America one-shots from Marvel in this catalog, so perhaps she'll be back, as I'm selfish and would rather see her drawing something independent and cool than yet another one-shot from Marvel (go read what the wonderfully vulgar Ms. Thompson had to say about Marvel's covers this month). But we shall see. The first issue was well written as well as gorgeous to look at, so I'll have to see if David Norton (the artist on issue #4) can come close to Isaacs' work.[EDIT: Jon Price, the writer of Magus, was nice enough to send me an e-mail telling me that Isaacs is indeed drawing issue #4 (and 5, to boot). It appears the solicitation information may have gotten screwed up. If you're buying it only for Isaacs' art - which isn't a bad reason, even though the story is pretty nifty - have no fear!]
I don't often venture into the "Books & Magazines" section of Previews, because as weird as the comics section is, Previews only gets weirder the further you go into it. But this time, I skimmed it quickly, and I wish I hadn't, because then I wouldn't feel compelled to point out that on page 341 you can find The Big Book of Breasts ... in THREE-DEEEEEEE!!!!!! Watch as breasts leap off the page right at you!!!! It comes with two pairs of 3-D glasses, so you can look at the book with your wife or girlfriend - won't she think that's a treat! You can, of course, get a slightly NSFW tour of the book here. You know you want to drop 40 bucks on this!!!!!
And so we end with boobs. You knew it had to end that way, didn't you? How could I top three-dimensional breasts?!?!?!? It's a New Year, everyone - grab your Previews and start looking for great comics that will refresh you after the long 2010 slog!