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

The new Previews is out, and we all have to get used to writing "2015" on everything! Can you handle it?!?!?!?

Dark Horse:

I haven't loved Matt Kindt's writing on books he's not drawing as much as when he is, but Pastaways (page 48) does sound intriguing: a group of "deep-time explorers" crash in 2015 and have to protect the 21st century from various threats. Scott Kolins is doing the art, and it looks like "good Scott Kolins" as opposed to "bad Scott Kolins" (if you've seen "bad Scott Kolins," you know what I'm talking about!), so I'll probably have to check this out, even though the title makes it sound like they're stranded on Spaghetti Island or something. (25 March)

The latest B.P.R.D. giant trade paperback shows up on page 53. The first four volumes make a really great story, so if you skipped the hardcovers, pick up the trades! (20 May)

I'm not entirely sure Sundowners is my cup of tea, but the first trade is offered on page 56. Has anyone been reading this sucker and can give a recommendation? (27 May)

Neverboy (page 58) is about an imaginary friend who has figured out how to stay in the real world until strange forces try to drag him back. I don't know if it will be any good, but it's an intriguing idea. (4 March)

Mind Mgmt's final arc begins on page 62. If you haven't been reading this, well ... you're not going to start now, of course, but this is a really good series. I'm not sure if it's "one of the greatest comics of our time," as the solicits claim, but it's pretty darned good. (18 March)

There's a Mike Grell Tarzan story in Dark Horse Presents #8 (page 64), in case you're interested. You should be buying DHP anyway, but this is just a nice bonus! (18 March)

Grendel vs. the Shadow is offered in hardcover for 20 bucks on page 69. This was a pretty cool story, and of course Wagner's art was tremendous. I'm sure it will be out in softcover soon enough, but if you like the magnificence of the hardcover, here it is! (20 May)

Usagi Yojimbo: Senso is collected in hardcover on page 71. Usagi fights Martians? Sure, why not? (6 May)

DC:

I wonder if Convergence (page 88) will be the event DC hopes it will be. I mean sales-wise, that is. My retailer has pointed out that DC has forced their customers - you know, the retailers - to get a bit gun-shy because of their shenanigans since the Reboot, and he wonders if retailers aren't going to order as many copies of Convergence as DC wants, because they just don't think they'll sell. I'm sure it will be a decent seller, but I wonder if it's going to be disappointing because DC keeps yanking the retailers' chains. (1 April)

If you took the under on Infinity Man and the Forever People (page 103) lasting ten issues, I have some good news for you!!! (18 March)

So Klarion (page 104) and Arkham Manor (page 123) are both cancelled after six issues (among others, of course - DC is clearing the dead wood!), which makes me wonder if they were "stealth mini-series" all along. Mini-series don't sell very well, so DC seems to have launched things as ongoings even though they know they are only telling one story. I mean, how could they have gotten sales figures in on these two series so quickly? The third issues just came out (well, Arkham Manor #3 just came out; I think Klarion has only gotten to issue #3, as I didn't like issue #1 and didn't get the subsequent issues), so these were essentially cancelled before their first issues shipped, which makes me think DC wanted to do mini-series but didn't have the stones to call them such. Annoying. (11 and 25 March)

I didn't like the first issue of Secret Six, but issue #4 (page 105; 4 March) has a sweet cover:

Dial H gets a trade collecting the entire series, if you missed it the first time around (page 141). This is a neat comic that never really stood a chance, which is why it's amazing it got 16 issues and that China Miéville was able to tell a complete story, even if it was rushed a little. The final issue, which wasn't even called Dial H (it was part of those DC September things a few years ago, and came out under a different title that escapes me), isn't included, but except for the fact that a different pretty cool artist draws one page each, it's not really essential. (6 May)

All those people clamoring for a Deathstroke the Terminator trade of the original ongoing will be happy, as DC offers it on page 143. This has to be full of awesome turn-of-the-Nineties hair, doesn't it? (8 April)

It's another weird Vertigo anthology on page 147, as we get the first issue of Strange Sports Stories, with some great creators telling ... well, I think you get the drift. I love these Vertigo anthologies, because there's usually some very cool stuff in them, even if there's some bad junk in there, too. (18 March)

I guess Top 10 has never been collected in a complete trade before? Beats me, but DC is offering all 12 issues between two covers on page 155. This is a very good series, and definitely worth your time. Now, if only DC would bring Smax back into print ... (1 April)

IDW:

On page 165, some chick named Kelly Thompson must have blackmailed someone at IDW, because they're letting her write a new Jem and the Holograms series drawn by Ross Campbell. I guess I'll buy it for the artwork, but I don't trust that writer at all.

Miami Vice: Remix shows up on page 166. I know Lion Forge was doing a new Miami Vice comic, but I didn't know it would be by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood, which immediately makes it extremely interesting. I imagine this will be insane, which means I have to buy it!

Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse: The First Few Pints might have one colon too many, but that doesn't change the fact that it's a cool comic. If you didn't get Ben Templesmith's weird, hilarious horror comic, all three volumes are collected here. It's 50 bucks (for 412 pages), so it might be a bit dear, but Templesmith does horror really, really well.

Image:

Damn it, Mark Millar is at it again, hiring great artists to draw his stories that I don't want to read, as Chrononauts (page 200) features art by Sean Murphy. DAMN IT, MARK MILLAR!!!!! (18 March)

Descender (page 204) is by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, and it's about a robot that looks like a boy trying to stay "alive" in a universe where robots have been outlawed. Even more than Matt Kindt, whom I mentioned above, Lemire's writing when he's not drawing the story is not terribly good, so I'm wary about this. Nguyen's art should look great, though. (4 March)

On page 210, Southern Cross, written by Becky Cloonan and drawn by Andy Belanger, shows up. A woman heads to Titan to search for her missing sister, but weird things keep happening to her in transit. It sounds neat, and Belanger is a good artist, so I'll have to check this out. (11 March)

Red One sounds neat - a Soviet agent in 1977 Los Angeles becomes a superhero to spread Communist propaganda. Sure, why not? The cool thing about it is that Terry Dodson is drawing it, and I love Dodson's art but he's usually drawing Marvel comics I don't want to read, and Xavier Dorison, who has done some cool European comics (Long John Silver is good stuff), is writing it. Count me in! (18 March)

On page 228, we have our usual assortment of Image trades, including the first volume of Copperhead (for 10 dollars!), Jay Faerber and Scott Godlewski's Western-in-space. It's been good so far, so pick up the trade if you're so inclined! (11 March)

There are more trades on page 230, plus a new hardcover of Nixon's Pals, the Joe Casey graphic novel that was Chris Burnham's breakout comic. It's a good book, and this time around, it's been colored. Man, that makes me want to punch Casey right in the brain because he knows it will tempt suckers like me. DAMN YOU, JOE CASEY!!!!! (18 March)

Over on page 231, you can get Punks: The Comic in trade (it's not 10 dollars, though - sorry!). This is one of the most surreal comics out there, and it's very funny, too. Give it a look! (25 March)

Marvel:

Marvel is relaunching Hawkeye (page 14), with Jeff Lemire writing and Ramon Perez drawing (see above for my thoughts about Lemire writing things he doesn't draw). Perez is a terrific artist, though, so it might be okay. However, this is supposed to come out on 4 March. Is Marvel certain the current series will even be done by then? That's the question they should be asking themselves, I reckon.

Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones launch Howard the Duck (page 18), which might be pretty good, at least for the three issues that Quinones draws before Marvel has to put someone else on it. (4 March)

On page 92, Marvel chucks Weirdworld at us, which is a collection of a bunch of comics from Comics' Greatest Decade, the 1970s (and some from the 1980s), telling Doug Moench's tale of elves and other fantasy stuff. It has Mike Ploog art, John Buscema art, and Grumpy Pat Broderick art, so it should be pretty keen. It's nice that Marvel continues to collect all this bizarre, obscure stuff. They have plenty of it! (1 April)

Speaking of weird stuff, on page 104, we get Damage Collection: The Complete Collection for 35 bucks. I've only read the first mini-series, but it's very funny, so I imagine that this is worth a look. The very idea of Damage Control is brilliant, and I wish we'd see a little more of it, even if it's just on the margins of the Marvel Universe - we don't need a long mini-series, just the occasional acknowledgement that they're still out there, toiling away! (22 April)

Oh, you know it's the back of the book!

Hey, there's a resolicitation of Cerebus: High Society 30th-Anniversary Remastered Gold Edition on page 258 from Aardvark Vanaheim. Will I ever read even a little of Cerebus? All signs point to "no"!

I'm bringing up Parts Unknown on page 265 (from Afterburn) not only because it sounds decent - aliens whose females have died invade earth to take our women!!!! - but because Beau Smith wrote it. Smith is a pretty good writer and, from the few interactions I've had with him on the blog, a hell of a nice guy, but that's not the point. The point is that I just read Somerset Holmes, and a "Beau Smith" has letters published in two different issues. I really hope it's the same dude, because that would be awesome. Anyway, I don't know anything about this comic or the publisher, but I might give it a try just because Smith can write a two-fisted action tale as good as anyone.

On page 270, Archie Comics has The Fox, which they promise is a new ongoing by the creators of the previous Fox mini-series, Mark Waid and Dean Haspiel. I wasn't a big fan of that mini-series, but if you were, there's more!

I don't know if anyone was waiting for the trade of Ballistic from Black Mask Comics (drawn by Darick Robertson), but if you were, it's on page 286. I have no idea if it was any good, but there it is!

Boom! Studios:

The Con Job, which is co-written by Jimmy Palmiotti and sounds like the kind of thing that he would knock out of the park, shows up on page 293. A bunch of has-been convention celebrities decide to team up and rob the biggest con in the country, and I'm assuming it all goes to hell. Palmiotti likes action stuff with a mean streak of humor, so this sounds just like something he'd kill.

I was waiting for the trade of Deep State, and it's on page 294 for 10 thin dollars. When it was coming out, it sounded pretty neat, but then again, I dig espionage comics, so there's that.

There's a new volume of Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard from Archaia on page 299. These are always fun, so I'm looking forward to it!

Giant Robot Warrior Maintenance Crew is in trade on page 316 from Cosmic Times. I enjoyed the first issue of the series, but my retailer never got the second one, but he did get the third. He's been looking for issue #2, but the publisher is not exactly a big one, so he hasn't been able to get it. I might have to get this trade - it's only 10 bucks, even though the series was only 3 issues.

Warren Ellis continues to wander around to different companies, this time showing up at Dynamite with Blackcross, a six-issue mini-series about ghosts that ties into Dynamite's Project Superpowers somehow. Anyway, Ellis is usually very good with this kind of thing (short, punchy, supernatural stories), and Colton Worley's art seems like a pretty good fit, so that's something. (4 March)

Guy Delisle's Jerusalem: Chronicles from the Holy City is in softcover for the first time on page 343 from Drawn & Quarterly, if you're interested. I've never been to keen to get Delisle's work - for some reason it just doesn't do it for me - but it's nice that this is out in a cheaper format!

Pussycats from E-Comix (page 346) cannot exist, can it? Adult movie actresses helped the U.S. government change people's identities during the Cold War, and now bad guys are gunning for one of them and all her friends? I'm not going to buy this, but a part of me is impressed with the awesomeness of that idea.

More fun Ditko comics show up from Fantagraphics on page 348. This time it's Ditko's weird, disturbing stories! Whoo-hoo!!!

Ben Dewey's oddball webcomic, The Tragedy Series, gets a trade collection on page 354 from Griffin Books. I've only seen a few of these, but they're quite entertaining, so I'll have to plunk down some ducats for this.

Man, I jumped right over Oni, which doesn't often happen (they have good stuff as usual, but nothing that people who aren't already getting their stuff need to worry about). I find myself on page 385, where Titan Comics offers the hardcover of 13 Coins for 23 bucks. That's a bit steep, as the series is just okay, but if you're interested, there it is. They also have a book called Under, in which two people head underneath their city to fight the monsters of urban myths - alligators in the sewer, that sort of thing. It's drawn by Stefano Raffaele, so it ought to look pretty good!

On the same page, Westward #10 - the final issue - shows up. I know hardly anyone has read this, but it's really been one of the best series out there over the past few years (it takes a while for each issue to come out, as creator Ken Krekeler self-publishes), and I'm dying to know how it all ends.

You know, I'm going to keep buying the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen books, like Nemo: River of Ghosts on page 386 from Top Shelf. They're always entertaining, even though I don't think any have been great since the first book of Century or possibly even back to the first mini-series, but they're still entertaining. Plus, I can't wait to see how Moore works rape into this one!

I missed Master Keaton, Naoki Urasawa's detective manga, in last month's Previews, but it's offered by Viz on page 407. I like Urasawa quite a lot (although he didn't write this, but still), so I'll have to get volume 1 and this one to catch up!

Well, that's it for this month. You know you have things to say about what I missed, and I love you for it! Don't be shy about asking your retailer for your very own copy of Previews, and dive right in!

PREVIEW: Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #2

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