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

Yes, it's that time of the month again, when we crack open the comic fans' Bible and see what wonderful treats lie within!  It's Previews, Vol. XVII, #5, which doesn't even feature an advertisement for a comic on the cover!

Dark Horse:

On page 22, we get Zero Killer #1 by Arvid Nelson (18 July).  I'm mildly intrigued by the whole post-Apocalyptic New York City setting (because we've never seen that before), but I'm putting my faith more in Nelson, who writes Rex Mundi.  So I'm willing to give it a chance.  The preview page on page 23 doesn't do much for me, but I find it interesting that it's in color while the book is solicited as being in black and white.

Gilbert Hernandez has a mini-series, Speak of the Devil, on page 24 (25 July).  A Peeping Tom is prowling the neighborhood, and it turns out to be a young gymnast.  She and a friend who catches her roam the streets, discovering the dark secrets of her neighborhood.  It sounds quite interesting.

Matt Wagner returns to Grendel with Behold the Devil on page 26 (18 July).  If you have never experienced Wagner's signature character (sorry, Mage fans), this is only 50 cents and it leads to a new mini-series about the original Grendel, Hunter Rose.  Do yourself a favor and check it out.

On page 27 Frank Miller and Dave Gibbons bring us the final tale of Martha Washington (11 July).  I have only read one issue of the series (weren't there two mini-series?), and for some reason I never got the others.  This is a chance to see Miller when he's not insane!

In trade paperback land, Samurai: Heaven and Earth volume 2 gets collected on page 34 (12 September).  I would like to see the individual issues come out, because I'm anxious to read this, but if you wait for the trade on things, this is a gorgeous comic with a very good story.

Guy has been saying good things about Star Wars: Legacy (written by John Ostrander!), but I keep missing it.  The issue solicited on page 43, #14 (11 July), looks like a good place to hop on board, as it's part 1 of a six-part story.  If you trust Guy's taste, take a look!

On page 45 Empowered volume 2 is offered (5 September).  Adam Warren took me to task for not getting the first volume, so I did (actually, I was planning on getting it anyway).  It's okay.  Not great, but okay.  This volume promises more of the same: our lead character's costume will rip in every place but the most critical ones, there will be lots of cheesecake and sex (possibly even literal cheesecake to go with the sex), and it will be mildly humorous.  Warren's art looks good in the first volume, though.


All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder #6 (page 71; 25 July): Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!!!  (Yes, I used this same line with the solicitation for issue #5.  I can't help myself!)

The Blind Justice trade paperback gets a reprinting on page 72 (5 July).  It collects Detective #598-600, and it's not that bad a story (how's that for a recommendation?).  It doesn't really feel epic enough for the 600th issue.  Nice art by Cowan, though.  I feel old, because I bought this when it came out, and we're over 200 issues beyond it now.

If you're buying Catwoman in trades, the latest one, collecting issues #59-65, is out on page 73 (15 August).  Pfeifer's run is very good, but apparently the sales are atrocious.

Superman Confidential #6 (page 76; 11 July) claims to conclude "the stunning tale of the origin of Kryptonite."  So we're telling origins of rocks now?  Krypton exploded.  Pieces of it fell to Earth.  The End.  That took longer than an issue?

The Death and Return of Superman Omnibus hardcover costs $75 (page 77; 12 September).  I own the three trades that are in this volume, and although they're pretty good for what they are, no way are they worth $75.  Sheesh.

I'm going to say it, and get in trouble: the cover of Birds of Prey #108 (page 79; 18 July) is strangely alluring.  Yes, I'm a pervert man, and I can't explain why that particular cover is different from others.

DC is really plugging Flash #14 (page 82; 18 July), aren't they?  "Fans: remind your retailer early and often to order you a copy!"  Considering the relaunch has been a disaster, that's probably for the best.  Speaking of disasters, that's a horrible cover.

You know, I've avoided commenting about Crotch-Gate '07, but Justice Society of America #7 comes out in this issue (page 84; 5 July), and there he is: Citizen Steel!  I have nothing to say beyond the fact that Alex Ross knew exactly what he was doing, because all the lines point to the crotch, and that's pretty funny.  I still don't like these "poses" covers that Ross does, because they're really dull.

Hawkgirl comes to an end (page 87; 25 July).  How many more times will DC try to launch an ongoing series with the Hawkpeople?  Man, it's a lousy track record.  66 issues isn't bad, but still.

A Tangent comics trade paperback (page 90; 29 August)?  Really?  All I can think of is that the talent involved went on to bigger and better things, so DC is hoping people want their earlier work.  That has to be it, right?

The Programme (page 103; 18 July) has all the markings of a "good Milligan" comic book.  Yes, it's a superhero book, but it's not the long-time Big Two superheroes, so Milligan can mess around a bit.  And it sounds suitably weird.  We'll see.  Maybe this is a wait for the trade comic, because Milligan does read better in one sitting.

In case you're interested in Alan Moore's "slumming" phase, his run on WildC.A.T.s is collected on page 107 (8 August).  It's 30 bucks, but it's a big hunk of comics, and is a pretty good read.  It's not Moore's greatest work, but it's not bad at all.  Plus, when Travis Charest got around to drawing it, the art is really nice.  Plus, TAO is freakin' cool.  Cooler even than he was in Sleeper, and he was pretty cool there.

Gen13 #10 crosses over with Welcome to Tranquility (page 111; 11 July).  Neither title is selling especially well, so which comic is helping which?

I'm interested in Faker (page 122; 5 July), although it might be better as a trade paperback.  Nice to see Jock hasn't gone over to the Dark Side of comics and is only doing covers, as this and Green Arrow: Year One (page 83) will feature his keen art.


Jack Kirby is alive and well, it seems, as his Silver Star comes out on page 140 (18 July).  Oh, wait, it's something he did back in the 1980s.  I'm not the hugest Kirby fan (sacrilege, I know), but this looks interesting.  Anyone know anything about it?

Despite unfortunate early-Image art style, Hiding in Time (page 146; 25 July) sounds interesting.  The Witness Protection Program placing people through time, and now someone is hunting them down?  Sounds nifty.

Kyle Baker is writing and drawing something autobiographical (page 147; 11 July).  Something tells me this isn't the best thing to get for a Baker neophyte, which I am.  Yes, I know I suck.  You don't have to remind me.

Black Cherry (page 148; 11 July) looks suitably wacky, but I'm on the fence.  It is, however, a "lurid tale of sex, violence, and the supernatural," as the cover tells us, so what's not to love?

On the next page, Full Color sounds neat as well (18 July).  Boom is full of rage, so she kills her boss and decides to "make it all right" for one night before killing herself.  Let the craziness begin!

For 35 bucks, you can get the first twelve issues of Gødland in a nice collection (page 155; 18 July).  It's a steal!  On the same page, the two (thick) issues of Meltdown are here, with a ton of extras.  A superhero is dying, and he tries to figure out what to do with his life.  A pretty good story, with nice art.

Holy crap, it's the second issue of Bad Planet (page 157; 18 July)!  The first issue came out in December ... of 2005.  It was actually kind of cool, but then bad things happened and it disappeared.  I read somewhere about it coming back, and although it's nice to see it solicited, I'll believe it's back when I'm holding the issue.  It's a cool sci-fi story about a creepy alien invasion.  And issue #1 is getting a new printing, in case you missed it lo those many months ago.


Bendis and Maleev on a comic based on a video game (page 5)?  Really?  I won't say they're slumming, because they probably got a boatload of cash for it, but it's a bit ... weird.

Can anyone answer a question for me about Ultimate Fantastic Four (page 9)?  Marvel keeps implying that the Silver Surfer hasn't been seen before.  Have we seen anything that explains his presence in Ellis' Ultimate Gah Lak Tus saga, or has Marvel decided to ignore that?

Check out the preview of Ultimate Spider-Man #111 on pages 11-13.  Dear Lord, Bendis needs an editor.

You know, I'm curious about this Annihilation thing (pages 20-25), but it seems like there are a TON of different titles to buy.  I got exhausted by crossovers in the early 1990s, and I'm really not in the mood to dive back in.  So although I keep hearing good things about it, I just don't want to get sucked in.  That's what trade paperbacks are for, right?  Rocket Raccoon is pretty cool, though.

I may buy The Champions (page 29) because Matt Fraction is writing it and I like Kitson's art, but I really want to see the adventures of the supergroup based in Idaho.  Or North Dakota.  Or Mississippi.  I mean, why can't bad guys show up in Des Moines?  Am I right?

Speaking of Michael Turner, Dick mentioned that his covers for Marvel aren't as ridiculously over-the-top as his DC ones.  Check out the cover for Fantastic Four #548 on page 36.  It's certainly ugly, but it's not obnoxiously ugly.  Bizarre.

I wonder - does Jeff Parker really, really, really, really like the Agents of Atlas (page 49)?

I like how on a cover that shows a shattered Iron Man and Ant-Man riding a fly, Frank Cho still manages to get in a female ass-shot (page 56).  Well done!

I'm actually really interested to read She-Hulk #21 (page 62), "the issue that fixes 90% of Marvel's continuity problems."  That's a good solicit text, I tell you what.

Although I think there's a potential for overusing M.O.D.O.K., the idea of him forming a team of villains to rob places while everyone's distracted by World War Hulk, and calling it M.O.D.O.K.'s 11 (page 66), and getting Fred van Lente to write it, is sheer genius.

Now it's time to ... go to the back of the book!  Can you handle it????

There's a new Mouse Guard mini-series from Archaia Studios Press on page 230.  Don't miss it this time!  What a cool series.  Of course, you may want to wait for the trade.  It's still a cool series.  Archaia also has the collected edition of Revere: Revolution in Silver (page 232), about which I am intrigued.  Does anyone have any knowledge of this and whether it's worth it?

Avatar continues to give Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis places to write wacky stuff, and Ellis' new "ongoing," Doktor Sleepless (page 239), sounds neat.  It's the near future, and "what America needs now is a Mad Scientist!"  Yeah, that's what I would have thought, too.  Ellis doing sci-fi can work very well (Transmetropolitan) or not as well (Ocean, which is still interesting).  We'll have to see where this goes.

On page 251, Boom! Studios offers Jenny Finn: Doom Messiah by Mike Mignola.  It's been around for a while, and this is the first time it's in color.  What say the masses?  Any recommendations on this?

Every time it comes out, I'm tempted to buy an issue of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose (page 254).  I just can't bring myself to do it.

Dynamite Entertainment offers Borderline volume 2 on page 271, along with the first volume.  Very neat futuristic story with wonderful art by Eduardo Risso.  I reviewed the first volume here, if you're interested.

The final issue of Action Philosophers! comes out from Evil Twin Comics on page 298.  Do yourself a favor and pick it up.  You won't be disappointed!

Lots of Love and Rockets stuff on page 302 from Fantagraphics.  All very conveniently packaged just for you!  On page 303, I Killed Adolf Hitler is solicited.  It sounds just wacky enough to work!

On page 305, Friends of Lulu has The Girls' Guide to Guys' Stuff, which is a bunch of stories by women about men.  This could be very clever, or it could be a simple "turning the tables on stupid men."  I'm thinking it will be the former, but you never know.

Page 309 shows us Levitation: Physics and Psychology in the Service of Deception, which sounds like a textbook but looks very neat.  "The true story of the most dazzling illusion ever performed on stage, featuring a cast of characters almost too good to be true."  It's from G T Labs, "Your source for comics about scientists," which we know is a HUGE market.  It's written by Jim Ottaviani, who mined a similar Victorian-era vein in Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards to remarkable effect, so he obviously knows what he's doing.

IDW.  GrimJack, volume 8 trade paperback.  Page 319.  'Nuff said.

If you're in the mood to spend $47.50, Knockabout Comics has Yesterday's Tomorrows (page 323), a collection of comics by Rian Hughes, including some Dan Dare stuff with The God of All Comics.  It's too rich even for my blood, but it sounds like something that would be really neat to own.

Oni Press has some cool stuff, as usual.  On page 335 they bring us Narcoleptic Sunday, a tale of a guy who can sleep anywhere, which unfortunately for him means right through a murder of the girl he had sex with.  He's a suspect!  What happened?  Why didn't he wake up?  Oh, the questions!  On the same page, Apocalipstix volume 1, about a all-girl rock band that tours after Armageddon.  Cameron Stewart provides the art (as Bill Reed just told us), so you'll know it at least will look nice.

There's a new Nexus from Steve Rude's company, Rude Dude Productions, on page 338.  I've heard some very weird stories about Steve Rude, but the Dude can draw, let me tell you.

Rich Koslowski created The King, a wildly underrated graphic novel about an Elvis impersonator (or is he?????), so his latest, The List, about Santa Claus's naughty-and-nice list, promises to be interesting.  It's from 3 Finger Prints and is offered on page 345.

Into the Dust #1 on page 368 from Tool Publishing sounds intriguing.  A Kansas farm girl is transported from the 1930s to 1964 and attempts to get back to Kansas from Hollywood.  The solicit says it's loosely based on The Grapes of Wrath, On the Road, and The Wizard of Oz.  Now that's a mixture!  We'll see if it lives up to the interesting proposal.

Viper Comics brings us the third volume of The Middleman, as they skip the single issue route and go straight to the trade!  That makes me happy.  The first two volumes are some of the funnest comics of the past few years, and there's no reason to think this edition will be any different.  It's only ten dollars, people!  Don't you want fun comics?

Deep in the back of the book, page 412 offers a new Tripwire book.  At 15 bucks, it's a bit spendy, but I have the tenth anniversary compilation, and it's a wonderful book giving excellent insight into comics' creators.  This promises more of the same, so if you're interested, it might be something to check out.

That's all for this tour through Previews.  Remember: you sometimes have to dig for the good stuff, but it's out there!

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