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Flippin’ through Previews – July 2009

by  in Comic News Comment
Flippin’ through <i>Previews</i> – July 2009

What’s this? It’s the latest issue of Previews, issue #250! Yay!

Dark Horse:

Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson bring us Beasts of Burden #1 on page 22 (16 September). “When supernatural occurrences sweep the community of Burden Hill, it’s up to a heroic gang of cats and dogs to keep the residents safe from harm,” reads the text, and if we ignore the bad pun of the town’s name, it sounds pretty keen. And it will look fan-freakin’-tastic, unless for some reason you don’t like Jill Thompson. And you’re not that dim-witted, are you? ARE YOU????

Pages 24 and 25 have a bunch of Hellboy-related stuff which I’m sure is very good but which I’m not buying because I wait for the trade on everything Hellboy-related. The thing I want to know is: When are they going to start printing those giant Library Editions for B. P. R. D.? That would be a purchase I’d be happy to make!

On page 26, we get the trade of The Cleaners (11 November). I just reviewed the final issue, and while it didn’t work as well as it could have, it’s still a pretty cool series. And maybe if a lot of people buy this, Wheaton and Fialkov can write another series!

The Amazon gets collected on page 31 (11 November). As I wrote when Dark Horse started soliciting the single issues, this isn’t a great series, but it’s not bad, and seeing Tim Sale’s extremely seminal art is a treat.

Another trade is Mister X: Condemned on page 36 (4 November). This is another decent but not great mini-series that’s notable for Motter’s cool Art Deco art and odd worldview in terms of the city and his retro-futuristic style.

There’s a third Beanworld trade on page 38 (25 November), which is all-new stuff, according to the text. If MarkAndrew was keen on the reprints of the old stuff, imagine his ecstasy when this hits the stands!

DC:

On page 56, there’s something odd in the solicitation text for Blackest Night: Superman #2 (23 September). It reads, “Superman’s dead bride returns as a Black Lantern!” Is this Lois? Is she dead? If it is, shouldn’t that have been bigger news? Or is it someone else, like some weird Kryptonian chick we’ve never heard of until recently?

Dang, J. H. Williams III is awesome:

Okay, so on page 67, we find this solicitation for Gotham City Sirens #4 (30 September): “Bruce Wayne has always been considered the quintessential ladies’ man. But he’s never faced ladies quite like this before! Has Gotham City’s playboy prince finally met his match?” Name one thing wrong with that text.

Superman: Secret Origin #1 (page 69; 23 September): “Geoff Johns and Gary Frank reunite to present a 6-issue event that spells out the definitive origin of Superman for the 21st century”. How many definitive origins for the 21st century does that make for our favorite Man of Steel? Sheesh.

I certainly wish The Shield and The Web ongoing series well (page 74; 9 and 23 September), but shouldn’t DC wait until they see how JMS’s “Red Circle” event does at the box office before greenlighting series spinning out of them? Wouldn’t that be wise? Oh, wait – it’s DC!

Magog? In an ongoing series (page 80; 2 September)? Really? I mean, I tend to follow creators these days, and Keith Giffen and Howard Porter is intriguing, but it seems that a lot of people still follow characters, so this has to be a tough sell, right?

Batman: Monsters (page 86; 28 October) collects three stories from Legends of the Dark Knight written by James Robinson, Warren Ellis, and Alan Grant and drawn by Jon Watkiss, John McCrea, and Quique Alcatena. I’m fairly sure I have all of these, but it might be something you want to check out.

Howard Chaykin’s Blackhawk mini-series from 1988 gets a trade on page 88 (28 October). Chaykin never quite works for me, but you might want this!

On page 89, Mark Millar’s Red Son is collected in hardcover for a measly $25 (11 November). This isn’t quite great, but it’s not bad and kind of fun. Millar seems to fall into the trap of too many Elseworlds stories, and that’s ending it with the hero in the exact same place he is in the “real” world. Oh well.

Vertigo breaks out more of the their graphic novels on page 103, as novelist Kevin Baker (who wrote the excellent Dreamland) writes Luna Park, which also features Coney Island in the early 20th century but spreads beyond that time and place (11 November). Daniel Zezelj draws it, so you know you want to check it out! Helpfully, DC provides preview pages!

Jeff Lemire starts a new ongoing called Sweet Tooth, which is offered on page 107 and shows up on 2 September. It’s the story of a human/animal hybrid in the years after a great pandemic wiped out most of humanity. It sounds really weird, but what the hell – Lemire will make it work! And the first issue is a dollar! Whoo-hoo!

There’s another Swamp Thing hardcover on page 115 (25 November), continuing the Alan Moore saga. Dang, it’s good.

Image:

Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber bring us Underground #1 on page 132 (23 September). In order for you to be excited about this, I shouldn’t have to write more than “Jeff Parker and Steve Lieber,” but you can check out the preview pages on page 133 and see how cool it looks for yourself! Lieber showed me a ton of the art for this last year in San Diego, and I’ve been anticipating it ever since. And now it’s here! Yay!

Page 136 brings us Beast by Marian Churchland (16 September). A sculptor gets a mysterious client who wants her to carve his portrait out of marble. Things get weird from there. I don’t know if Churchland’s writing is good, but her art is quite nice. And there are more preview pages on page 137!

Hey, look! Page 158 has War Heroes #3 (16 September)! I haven’t been reading this, but where’s it been? Has Millar been too busy turning Kick-Ass into a movie?

Marvel:

Oh, Warren Ellis. Why do we love you when you continually give us Ultimate Comics Armor War (page 17) yet no more Fell? And yet we do. Why, Warren Ellis, WHY????

You know, Marvel, can we resist the Wizardication of the solicitation texts? Please? Exhibit One: Amazing Spider-Man #606 and 607 on page 21: “Look out, Spidey! Hot on the heels of his old girlfriend’s trip home, The Black Cat’s back [and front!], sexier and more dangerous than ever! The deck is STACKED as the one woman that loves Spider-Man more than Peter Parker is up to some devilish shenanigans … and nothing bugs Spidey more than shenanigans! BRAce yourself for danger, Spidey! It’s gonna be … umm … sexy?” That’s verbatim, by the way, with the capitals in place. Sheesh, Marvel. Good job.

Dark Reign Dark Reign Dark Reign blah blah blah … Hey, what’s this on page 32? M.O.D.O.K.: Reign Delay by Ryan Dunlavey? M.O.D.O.K. moves back in with his parents in Erie, Pennsylvania? Yeah, I’m going to be getting that.

I was going to get Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four, but the solicitation on page 41 gives me pause: “Ben and Johnny prepare for a trip to Nu-Earth …” Oh dear. Please, Mr. Hickman, don’t go there. I’ll still probably check it out, but that makes me worry.

Spider-Woman #1 gets resolicited on page 59. Yeah, I chuckled too. As cool as it sounds (and it does), I take exception with the hyperbolic text: “This is the start of a major chapter in one of the most high profile characters in all of Marvel comics.” Really, Marvel text writers? REALLY? “One of the most high profile characters”? I can think of probably 30 characters who are higher profile than Spider-Woman without even breaking a sweat. I mean, really.

As glad as I am that Moon Knight is back (page 62), why the reboot to a #1? It’s continuing the story from the previous series, after all. I get that it will bump up sales (presumably), but that never lasts. How odd.

Strange Tales #1 on page 80 is a must-buy, of course. My question is: How does Marvel get all these indy comic book guys to work on their books, while DC tends to lag behind? I presume it’s just that Marvel can throw more money at them, but DC has to have some cash lying around, right? I mean, they have to be able to steal someone away from Marvel occasionally, right? Yet they tend not to. If they do, like Jeff Lemire, they let him go nuts in Vertigo but not in the “real” DCU. It’s very odd. Who wouldn’t want to see Michael Kupperman do a surreal version of the Justice League? It’s been too long since Bizarro Comics, DC. Get with the program!

Marvel Masterworks: Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. vol. 2 is offered on page 87. One word: Steranko. Yeah, it’s worth the 55 dollars.

I think it was Other Greg who was whinging about not having an Essential Sub-Mariner. Well, Marvel responds to grown men weeping like my four-year-old, because page 116 brings it to us! Of course, this isn’t the Golden Age stuff, so maybe that’s what O. G. wants? If this is what he wants, now he’ll have to find something else to kvetch about! Maybe he’ll take requests, because he’s so good at getting Marvel to do his bidding!

And so we reach … the back of the book!

As sick as we might be of vampires, SLG offers Pinocchio Vampire Slayer on page 182. Come on, that’s pretty damned genius, you have to admit. He has an endless supply of stakes, as long as he keeps lying! Gold!

Speaking of SLG, on page 187 they have The Rockpool Files, which is about Crusht Acean, a PI with the Inter-Galactic Detective Agency who handles odd cases, such as solving a crime before it’s committed! I don’t know if it’s any good, but Crusht Acean is a giant lobster, so that has to be something, right? (I’d explain the joke with his name, but you get it, don’t you?)

Archaia continues to offer comics, but they still haven’t published the new ones yet! Oh dear. I’m really looking forward to them, but now they have to step up! The latest offerings include The Grave Doug Freshley, which, if we ignore the groan-inducing title, is a comedic adventure about a boy who won’t stay dead after he’s killed by a gang of outlaws in the Old West. It features art by mpMann, which means it will look great. If only it and other books will come out soon!

Page 211, Bluewater Productions. Puppy Power: Bo Obama. Dear Lord, NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

There’s a new story arc of The Unknown on page 214 from Boom! Studios. I certainly don’t mind that, as I’ve liked the series so far, but it’s strange that it follows so closely on the first series, yet they’re renumbering it. Whatever. It’s good so far, so check it out! You can get the trade for the first series on page 224, if you’re interested.

Drawn & Quarterly offers a complete collection of Joe Sacco’s Bosnian War stories, The Fixer and Other Stories, on page 247. I’m sure this is very good. Right?

On page 254, we find Fantagraphics offering Strange Suspense: The Steve Ditko Archives, collecting every story from Ditko’s first two years in his career. Well, that has to be excellent.

I doubt if I’m going to pick up Ghostbusters: Displaced Aggression from IDW on page 262, but it’s nice to see Scott Lobdell getting some work.

I’m not sure if The Waiting Place on page 269 is any good, but it’s written by Sean McKeever and drawn by Mike Norton, Brendon and Brian Fraim, and David Yurkovich, so I can’t imagine it’s bad. Has anyone read it?

Hey, look, it’s Buckaroo Banzai: Hardest of the Hard! on page 275 from Moonstone. Who doesn’t love Buckaroo Banzai?

You know, there’s some stuff beyond the “M” section, but nothing that leaps off the page. So I guess we’re done, although it’s always fun to check out the deep recesses of the catalog. And by fun I mean creepy:

All right, everyone, get to digging! Those comics aren’t going to order themselves!

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