There's only one item in this month's Previews that's any good.Â You might say it's ... Essential.Â Guess what it is!Â I suppose we can look at the other stuff as well.Â So it's time to crack open Volume XVII, #6, withÂ some poorly-drawnÂ feet of Booster Gold on the cover!
Page 22 gives us B.P.R.D.: Killing Ground #1 (of 5).Â Â Is there any space between these mini-series anymore?Â Why isn't this an ongoing with rotating art teams?Â I am, of course, waiting for the trade.
I know you've been just waiting for a chance to jump on boardÂ with Rex Mundi.Â Well, #7 gives you that chanceÂ (page 25).Â A new arc with everyone despairing for different reasons.Â Now that's fun comics!
I'm kind of torn aboutÂ Umbrella Academy (page 28).Â Â The fact that the writer is the singer of My Chemical Romance means nothing to me, and I've heard that it's trying to be Morrison without, you know, Morrison's genius.Â But Gabriel BÃ¡ can draw the shit out of anything, man.Â (No, I didn't get it at Free Comic Book Day, so I don't know what's going on.)
The Groo 25th Anniversary Special is offered on page 33.Â It's only six dollars, and it's sure to be charming.Â I'm on the fence.
On page 36, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch is solicited for 17 October.Â Considering it was solicited a year ago for release in October 2006, I'm not holding my breath.Â Still, when it shows up, I'm sure it will be very neat.
Speaking of Neil Gaiman, I thought I already owned Signal to Noise, but I don't.Â So the super-huge edition on page 37 looks like something I need to pick up.Â I wonder why I never bought it.
All-New Atom.Â Now, All-New Booster Gold (page 70).Â What happens when these books reach triple digits (yeah, I know that's never going to happen, but it's within the realm of possibility).Â They won't be "all-new" anymore, now will they?
Here's what I don't get about this five-week Outsiders thing with Batman (pages 72-73): Why on Earth does Batman care who's in the Outsiders?Â I know he had a relationship with them years ago, but why now?Â It smacks of ... a shameless marketing ploy!Â DC would never do that, would they?
Peter Milligan writes Batman Annual on page 74.Â Therefore, it could be brilliant, or it could be weirdly unsatisfying.Â That's the chance you take with Milligan!
Wow - a Sam Kieth Batman/Lobo mini-series (page 75)!Â Maybe they'll pay him enough so he can finish My Inner Bimbo.Â Wouldn't that be nice?
On page 76, a new edition of Gothic is solicited.Â This is a pretty darned creepy story by The God of All Comics, with typically excellent art by Janson.Â It's the kind of story that would end up in the Black Casebook.Â You don't think that's why DC is re-releasing it?
I'm not going to buy Action Comics #855 (page 79), but you know it will look fantastic.Â Eric Powell knows how to draw.
GAY1 (page 87).Â Hee-hee-hee.Â (Yes, I'm immature.Â Why do you ask?)
I'm looking forward to the Architecture and Mortality trade (page 88), but I like how DC is releasing the trade of the back-up story before the trade of the main story.Â I guess we know what was more popular!
Duncan Rouleau wrote and drew The Nightmarist, which was very good, so I'm curious to see how he handles Metal Men (page 93).Â What's up with DC and eight-issue mini-series these days, anyway?
I will betÂ MarkAndrew will be picking up the Ex Machina special that is solicited on page 111.Â He'll be first in line!
I'm sure Confessions of a Blabbermouth (page 118)Â will be wonderful, because who doesn't love a teenager with an attitude?Â However, it's about a girl typing things on her blog?Â How is that interesting visually?Â And also, that's a lousy history teacher in the preview pages.Â If you're teaching teenagers, you need to concentrate on the bloodiness of history.Â Everyone knows that!
I continue to not own anything by Kyle Baker (yes, I suck), but Special Forces (page 140) sounds like a good place to start.Â An autisticÂ kid in Iraq?Â Sign me up!
CasanovaÂ returns (page 144).Â Ah, good times.Â There's no earthly reason not to buy this.Â It will be interesting to seeÂ FÃ¡bio Moon's art on the book instead of Gabriel BÃ¡'s.
I'm not sure ifÂ you need to be reading the regular series to enjoy Elephantmen: War Toys (page 146),Â but it's a three-issue mini-series that appears to take place in the past, so I would say you don't.Â It should be a very cool story.
I don't know if Killing Girl (page 148) will be any good or not, but it seems like it's going to delay the next volume of Rocketo, and that's not a good thing.Â Grrr.
The SurrealÂ Adventures of Edgar Allan Poo (page 153) sounds just bizarre enough to work.Â Edgar Allan Poe's dream child wandering through his twisted mind?Â The high concept is brilliant.Â We'll see if it comes together well.
I'm not sure if I'm really the target audience for PX! Book 1: A Girl and Her Panda (page 157), but Manny Trembley and Eric Anderson have done a nice job on two Sam Noir mini-series, so a story of a girl taking an epic journey with her panda to save her father from an "evil goat mastermind" seems right up their alley.Â Who knows?Â It might be right up yours, too!
Stray Toasters in trade paperback (page 158).Â Yes, it's 25 bucks, but it's freakin' Bill Sienkiewicz.Â Maybe someday I'll figure out exactly what the hell is going on in it.
You know you want to buy statues of Richie Sambora and Jon Bon Jovi (page 169).Â YOU KNOW YOU DO!!!!!!Â Jesus.Â The quote at the top says "100 million Bon Jovi fans can't be wrong."Â Speaking as an old-school Bon Jovi fan, I can say with certainty: yes, yes we can.Â Of course, Todd McFarlane just bought my ass and shipped it to Thailand just for the hell of it, so who am I to question his business sense?
Is Platinum Studios part of Image?Â They're under Top Cow, but I don't know if they're technically part of Image.Â Either way, Fred van Lente does a bunch of work for them in their brief existence.Â The latest is Ghosting (page 185), which is twist on fraternity hazing.Â If anyone can make that interesting, it's Fred van Lente.
There's only one thing I care about from Marvel.Â See if you can tell what it is!
Why would anyonE buy Spider-Man: One More Day SkEtchbook (page 14)?Â I just have No clue who would spend money on ThIs.
MArveL is really Doing All they can to milk the Zombie Universe to its fullest, aren't they (page 25)?Â Zombie GaLacti?Â REally?Â MoRe thAn one?Â Sheesh.
I'd LIke to tell you how Captain America (page 27)Â iSÂ gOiNg shake out, But then I'd have to kiLl you.Â And you wouldn't want that, would you?
Are they ever returnIng to the "REal" numbeRing on Daredevil (page 28) like they did on Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic FoUr?Â This isn't the 100th issue, after aLl, just thE 472nd.Â There waS no Break between the "first" series and the relaUnch, after all.
BoY, THat's an ugly cover for Heroes for HIre #13 (page 46).Â I wonder if anyone has gotten bent out of Shape by The Obvious porn influences?Â I haven't missed anything, have I?
I love the solicitation for Series Title To Be AnnounceD (page 58).Â Â MArvel has some issues with using "Champions," apparentlY.Â I woulDÂ lOve If They simply kept it asÂ Series Title To Be Announced.Â It would be totally meta.
Thor (page 64) ... in Oklahoma!Â Awesome.
Terror, Inc. (page 80) actually looks neat.Â Lapham can't write the Spectre, apparently (didn't he do the mini-series?), but his Detective was great, if bleak.Â Â Just whatÂ I expect from this comic.
I heard the Wisdom series was pretty good, and here's the trade on page 104.Â How nice of Marvel to collect it in one place!
So the fourth volume of Walter Simonson's Thor run is collected (page 107)Â as part of the Visionaries deal (a great idea, by the way), and Marvel makes a point to let us know that volume one is still available.Â Does that mean volumes two and three are out of print?Â If so, what the hell?
In case you didn't crack my code, we have arrived at the only thing that matters in all of Previews: ESSENTIAL DAZZLER!Â ESSENTIALDAZZLER ESSENTIALDAZZLER ESSENTIALDAZZLER!Â Go to page 109 and gaze upon the glory.Â Can you resist?Â No, I don't believe you can.Â Say with pride: ESSENTIAL DAZZLERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!
It's almost pointless to dive into the back of the book, but away we go.Â Can anything come close to the awesomeness of Alison Blaire's solo adventures?Â I doubt it.
Archaia Studios Press usually gives us good comics, and although they have a zombie comic coming out (blech), they also have Killing Pickman on page 224.Â This sounds like a pretty darned good book.Â They also have their other typically good offerings on page 230, including a new book about ancient Sumer.Â Ancient Sumer, people!
I have zero interest in Iron and the Maiden (page 238) from Aspen Comics, but it's kind of sad that they are guaranteeing it's going to be in stores every month.Â IÂ mean, if you solicit it that way, isn't that a given?Â Sadly, no.Â Such is the state of the industry.
If you've been waiting for the trade of Planetary Brigade (and I'm sure you have been), it's offered from Boom! Studios on page 249.Â You can also get the trade of X Isle on page 252.Â Both are pretty good comics.Â If you're a Mark Waid fan, he has a new mini-series, Potter's Field, offered on page 252.Â Looks kind of neat.
Tucked away on page 291 is a solicitation for the trade of Dr. Blink: Superhero Shrink from Dork Storm Press.Â This is a pleasant series that does a good job poking fun at superheroes' problems.Â I'm not as impressed with it as a lot of people are, but it's goofy fun.
I mentioned this a few days ago, but on page 306, the trade paperback of Hard-Bullied Comics is offered.Â The first issue is completely re-drawn by the current artist, Rudolf Montemayor, which should make this nice and coherent.Â It's a very fun comic to read.
I like how, on page 309, Champions #39 is solicited from Heroic Publishing Inc.Â You don't think they're bringing a new issue out to remind a certain big comics company who owns the trademark on that name, do you?
If you're a fan of 30 Days of Night, the sequel, Dark Days, is collected in trade on page 314 from IDW.Â I'm a bit sick of Niles milking this franchise for all it's worth, but Dark Days is a pretty good mini-series.Â IDW also collects Fallen Angel #11-16 in trade on page 316.Â What a good comic that is.
Markosia offers Witness #1 (page 324), written by Brian Augustyn, which sounds intriguing.Â A mysterious hero protecting a Midwest city?Â Could work.
If you're interested in Death Comes to Dillinger, Silent Devil Productions re-offers it on page 336.Â It's a very neat book about Death coming to town and the lengths one man will go to stop him.Â The sequel, Death and the Man Who Would Not Die, is coming out, too, with issue #2 offered on the same page.Â Should be keen.
Top Shelf solicits Super Spy by Matt Kindt (along with two other works by him) on page 362.Â These are stories about spies during World War II, doing their various things and still trying to live.Â It sounds and looks very nice.
Well, I looked through the back to find things to mock, but Mike Sterling does it much better than I do, so I'll end things now.Â Give a shout-out to anything that you find fascinating in this month's Previews (I know I skipped a lot, but I ignore things that are further along, like Wasteland - even though you should buy that - and a lot of stuff this month just didn't excite me).Â And remember - don't complain about the crap DC and Marvel keep publishing; do something about it by digging through the dark corners of the comics publishing world!