Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - July 2007

It's that special time of the month, when the bright, shiny solicitations come out and all seems right with the world.  Will everything in the book ship on time?  Of course not, but for now, we can pretend, can't we?

Let us all gather 'round the latest Previews, Volume XVII, #7, with the truly excellent cover art by Amanda Conner.  People are actually complaining about the rubber arrow sticking on Dinah's butt?  Really?  This cover is excellent.

On page 9, there's an ad for the upcoming "One More Day" crossover.  We have three pictures of the women in Spider-Man's life.  First, we have the Dodsons' Black Cat.  We also have Romita's Aunt May.  But we have a really old (probably Romita Sr.) version of Mary Jane.  They couldn't find a better drawing of MJ?  I'd even take the big-haired McFarlane version.  Anyway, the three women are on a panel with the words "Headed for the Chopping Block?" above them.  The text underneath reads, "Is it one of these ladies that take a dirt nap n [sic] the upcoming storyline "One More Day"?  A re-assuring voice and shoulder-to-lean-on is going to be taken out permanent-style in this four-issue storyline, which kicks off in Amazing Spider-Man #544 and Friendly Neighrborhood Spider-Man #24. ... Who next gets thrown under the bus like the long-lost Gwen Stacy?"  This makes me so angry I almost can't type about it.  Does Joey Q even know what he's doing anymore, or has he, like Dan DiDio, lost his goddamned mind?  Please, please, please, please don't buy this.  PLEASE!!!!!!!

All right, onward:

Dark Horse:

Some people suggested that I buy Fear Agent, because it's awesome.  The fourth issue is solicited on page 27 for 5 September, and I agree - it is awesome.  That's why I buy the trades (that, and the horrible schedule).

Groo is back on page 29 (19 September).  Am I a horrible person because I don't love Groo?  I'm just wondering.

I will bet that Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus (page 34; 5 September) will be pretty darned good, as it's yet another Hellboy spin-off.  That is why I will buy the inevitable trade paperback.

I'm not the biggest fan of The Goon (page 44; 19 September), but I will admit that The Goon graphic novel, Chinatown (page 45, 21 November) sounds very intriguing.  I know it will be gorgeous (I've never had a problem with Powell's art), and the story actually sounds pretty cool.


On page 73, there's the solicitation for Countdown to Mystery #1 (19 September).  Now, it might be good, and written by Steve Gerber, that's a good chance, but I like the text: "The Helmet of Fate has landed ... on Kent Nelson."  Wait a minute - the character that has been Dr. Fate for almost the entire existence of the character is Dr. Fate again?  Wow, that's shocking!  I just find it humorous that DC is acting like Kent Nelson being Dr. Fate is a big surprise.

Yeah, I'm really not sure why Superman is bursting out of the cake on that cover (page 77).  It's kind of odd.  If you're going to do that, he needs to be wearing a Speedo.  I also like how someone like Fire shows up at the party.  I'm not saying she wouldn't, but Beatriz is currently a super-secret spy in Checkmate, so it seems unlikely.  Do the higher-ups at DC even read their own comics?

Unfortunately, I'm kind of intrigued by Infinity Inc. #1 (page 80; 5 September).  It will most likely feature the "bad" Milligan, but even he is more interesting than a lot of writers.  Plus, Fiumara's art in color (I've only seen it in black-and-white) should be pretty.

Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag (page 81; 12 September) ought to be awesome, oughtn't it?  Even if it's half as good as the old series, it will still be excellent.

Here's what I don't get about the two Superman books (pages 90-91): Why does DC even solicit them anymore?  Isn't it completely random which issues actually show up at which time?  DC should just put blank pages where Action and Superman show up and write, "Something will come out, we promise!  It might be a reprint from 1973, but something will come out!"

My question about the vagina mouth on Flash #232: do the artists (in this case, Daniel Acuña) even think about it?  Does he say, "I'm going to draw a creepy tentacle monster" and then, once he's drawn it, does he think, "Man, that looks like a vagina!"?  Or does he go into it thinking, "I'm going to draw this so it looks like a vagina, because I can always defend it by saying that people are too uptight"?  I don't know.  I'm not an artist.  This is pretty obvious, though.

I'm pretty sure JLA/Hitman (page 97; 19 September) will be freakin' excellent, but didn't Ennis do this with Kev and the Authority?  I hope this sells through the roof, though, if it means DC brings out some Hitman trade paperbacks.

Batman Chronicles volume 4 (page 100; 3 October): Just buy it.


I'm not going to say anything about the comparisons between The Mice Templar (page 146; 5 September) and a certain other book, but I will say this looks pretty darned keen.

If you enjoyed Phonogram (and if you didn't get it, shame on you), Jamie McKelvie's new book, Suburban Glamour, is offered on page 154 for 12 September.  The preview page doesn't give too much away in terms of story, but it does give you a chance to stare at McKelvie's wonderful art, this time in glorious color.

The Nightly News is offered in trade paperback on page 157 (19 September).  Not only is it an excellent comic, but it looks like nothing you've seen in comics before.  And that's a good thing.  I reviewed it just last week, in case you're interested.

On the same page, The Pro is re-offered for 5 September.  It's not a bad book by any means, but Conner's new cover is awful.  The old one is much better.  This is funnier, I guess, but ugly.

I find it interesting that the trade paperback of issues #37-42 of The Walking Dead is offered on page 158 for 26 September.  Issue #38 came out this week.  That's some confidence on Image's part!

Because I'm a sucker, the solicitation on page 183 caught my eye.  It's a one-shot featuring Velocity from Cyberforce, for crying out loud, which means I should run far away from it (my only experience with Velocity is in this issue).  But it's written by Joe Casey and drawn by freakin' Kevin Maguire.  Let the temptation begin!!!!!


Gosh, after the excellent type about "One More Day," what else could Marvel screw up?  Let's see!

David Morrell, who created Rambo, writes a Captain America mini-series on page 21.  I bring this up for a few reasons.  First, I read First Blood long ago (Morrell went to Penn State, so I felt obligated) and it's not a bad book, but it's interesting how they changed it for the movie.  Also, the preview pages Marvel offers are kind of strange.  Corporal Newman aims his rifle at a child, woman, and man, but doesn't pull the trigger.  He wonders if there's a grenade under the woman's robe, or if she's one of the people they're supposed to be helping.  He breaks down and holds his head in his hands, but then Cap shows up and reads his mind: Newman thinks, "Don't know how long I can keep doing this ... How long I can muster the strength ... the courage ... the determination ..." and Cap says, "To fight the enemies of freedom?  To fight hate?"  He tells him they fight for as long as they can draw breath.  Okay, so was Newman supposed to shoot the child and the woman?  Is Cap's attitude "Kill them all, let God sort them out"?  I'm not quite sure why sparing the lives of a little kid and a woman means you're weak in the defense of freedom.  I understand that it's not the whole story and this is a dramatic moment, which is why Marvel chose it, but it seems a bit odd.  Even people who support the Iraq war can't believe we should slaughter everyone, right?  And since when is Cap telepathic?

I like the text for Daredevil #101 (page 25): "Things couldn't be going worse for Matt Murdock."  Isn't that the solicitation text for every single issue of Daredevil?

Iron Fist Annual #1 (page 36): Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Dan Brereton, Howard Chaykin.  Is that too much awesome in one comic book?

Gosh, Ant-Man's final issue (page 37).  That's shocking.

I don't know about you, but I'm totally jazzed about Marvel Comics Presents #1 (page 46).  We need anthologies from the Big Two, as I've argued before.  I hope this does well.  I mean, who doesn't love Hellcat?

Oh dear.  Zobos (page 61).  Half-hobo, half-zombie (how does that work, exactly?).  ALL TERROR.  It could be brilliant, I suppose, but I fear it.

I like how the Anita Blake series is actually subtitled Guilty Pleasures (page 81).  If Chris Sims is to be believed, this series is the literal definition of "guilty pleasure."  At least they admit it!

Two mini-series are offered on page 99 that I'm torn about.  Silent War looks fantastic and I've heard good things about it, but I also heard the ending was awful.  Meanwhile, Iron Man: Hypervelocity is very cool-looking, but I haven't heard much about its quality one way or the other.  What say you, fine readers?

You know what time it is now ... time to delve into the back of the book!

On page 219, Aberrant Press has Super #1, which at first glance seems like another "superhero in a world that doesn't have superheroes" book.  But when it promises a superhero in "today's cultural climate," that might be more interesting.

On page 228, Amaze Ink/Slave Labor offers Agnes Quill: An Anthology of Mystery.  It's a pretty cool comic, good for kids but entertaining for adults (my review is here).  And if you've never read Phil Hester's The Wretch, you can pick up the first trade on page 229.  Personally, I'm not a big fan, but it's certainly interesting.

Clockwork Girl from Arcana Studio on page 233 looks interesting.  A robot girl who comes to life?  Could work.

In case you missed it the first time, the Robotika hardcover is offered again on page 236 from Archaia Studios Press.  With a new mini-series on the horizon, now's the time to check it out!

I rarely warn you off of books, but Mark Millar has finally gotten around to finishing The Unfunnies, and Avatar is bringing the first two issues collected, plus the third and the fourth.  I read the first issue, and it's probably in the top ten of worst comics I've ever read.  Just so you know.

Would you buy a "fragrance" based on characters created by Neil Gaiman, even to help out the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (page 260)?

If you're really into Red Sonja, you can get the first volume of her Marvel adventures from Dynamite Entertainment on page 266.  I'm not even a big fan of Red Sonja, but Neal Adams does provide the art ...

Abandoned by Joe Pruett and Michael Gaydos is solicited on page 275 from Desperado Publishing.  It sounds interesting, and Gaydos on art is a good thing.  Meanwhile, the Hatter M hardcover is also on page 275.  I'm not really sure it's worth 25 dollars, but it's an entertaining comic.

I have no Adrian Tomine comics (yes, I know I'm not as cool as Joe Rice and his ilk), but Shortcomings, which is from Drawn & Quarterly and is offered on page 294, sounds very neat.  Any Tomine fans out there who can tell me how awesome he is?

On page 297, we find Ice Wanderer, six stories of man confronting nature in some way, by Jiro Taniguchi, offered by Fanfare/Ponent Mon.  It sounds really cool: a man in 1920s Japan seeks the bear who killed his son; a marine biologist tries to find the graveyard of whales.  Apparently it's a bit late; it was originally solicited a year ago.

After Steve Niles took me to task a bit because I said he was milking the 30 Days of Night franchise, we get 30 Days of Night: Beyond Barrow, which I am probably going to get.  Am I a hypocrite?  Well, maybe.  But Bill Sienkiewicz is doing the art.  Holy crap.  Well played, Mr. Niles, well played.  This is on page 311 from IDW.

I don't think I'll get the Twisted Worlds trade on page 319 from Ken Steacy Publishing, but I thought I'd mention it.  Bruce Jones can write a bit, even if he can't finish epic storylines, and Steacy's art is keen.

There's a very cool Tintin collection on page 321, but the thing that took me by surprise was this: "Soon to be the subject of an animated film trilogy from directors Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson."  That should be way awesome.  It might not be, but it should.

It's been a while since a collection of Queen & Country came out, but it's nice to see one nevertheless.  Oni has it on page 328.  If you've ever wondered why people like me think Greg Rucka is a good writer, pick one of these trades up.  This is an excellent series.  On page 332 Three Strikes is offered again.  I reviewed it recently and thought it was good.  If you don't believe me, ask noted commenter FunkyGreenJerusalem about it!

I'm not a huge fan of Judge Dredd, but The Simping Detective on page 333 from Rebellion, which takes place in Mega-City One, looks interesting because it's from Simon Spurrier and Frazer Irving, the guys behind Gutsville.  And technically, I guess, it's not really a Judge Dredd story.

Virgin Comics has their usual bunch of somewhat interesting stuff, including a trade paperback of Gamekeeper by Andy Diggle and Mukesh Singh, which is a pretty good revenge drama.  It's on page 369.

I read an issue of Grimm Fairy Tales this past week (the 19th issue of which is solicited on page 381 from Zenescope Entertainment).  In case you weren't sure, it wasn't good.  There: I saved you the trouble.  Zenescope is neat, though, because their address is in Abington, PA, near where I grew up.

And so we finish another sweep through the big book.  Obviously, there's a ton more to find within those pages.  As always, I encourage you to dig for the good stuff.  DC and Marvel aren't the only publishers out there!

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