It's a bit later than usual, but I hope you'll forgive me - I've been busy. But now it's time to check out the latest issue of Previews!
I don't have a lot of interest in Falling Skies, the new "post-alien invasion" television series that's coming out soon, but I may get the Falling Skies "prequel" on page 29. Paul Tobin isn't a bad writer, and Juan Ferreyra is a superb artist, so I might have to pick it up. It's also only ten bucks, which isn't bad. (13 July)
I recently picked up the first big hardcover of B.P.R.D., which was pretty good. Dark Horse offers the second one on page 45, so check it out! (7 September)
On page 49 you can find a Creepy Presents Bernie Wrightson hardcover. A bunch of Wrightson horror stories? Yeah, that sounds pretty keen. (14 September)
In "Holy crap" news, Dark Horse has solicited a trade of all the Major Bummer issues on page 54, calling it The Complete Major Bummer Super Slacktacular! This is the first time Arcudi and Mahnke's wacky masterpiece has been collected, and it's 30 bucks for 15 issues, which isn't bad. I'm sure it will be a bit smaller than the issues, as many Dark Horse "omnibus" editions are, but they're still wonderful comics. You know you want it! (5 October)
I always hate agreeing with Kelly and her cohorts, but why is it that whenever the Amazons get together outside of Wonder Woman's comic, they're invariably some kind of ravenous horde of crazed warriors? It seems like a lot of "Flashpoint" is predicated on this fact, and it's kind of annoying.
The New Teen Titans: Games gets resolicited on page 95. This, of course, has taken 20 years to get finished, and it was offered a while ago in Previews. So if it took so long to finish, why solicit it when it wasn't quite finished in the first place? Will it actually show up on the date promised? (7 September)
The "DC Retroactive" thing is kind of weird. It's interesting that they're trying to get writers who were indicative of the characters from that time period, but why not artists? I understand that some of these guys are dead and some are no longer in the industry, but fro the 1970s Batman one, DC has access to at least two "iconic" Batman artists from the decade that I can think of - Neal Adams and José Luis García-López. Tom Mandrake isn't a bad choice, but he doesn't exactly have a 1970s vibe. They're getting J. Bone to draw the Wonder Woman story, which will look great but doesn't really fit the "Diana Prince" phase of the character's history. They've done a nice job with the 1980s artists, but the 1970s ones seem a bit odd. (I just saw that they got Norm Breyfogle to draw the 1990s one, which is extremely keen.)
As for the resolicit of The Dark Knight #4 (page 104), which features a guest artist, I still wonder: Why create a new title just for David Finch when he can't even make it to issue #4 and the second and third issues are hopelessly late? Good move, DC! (27 July?)
Birds of Prey #14 (page 107) features a guest creative team of Marc Andreyko and Billy Tucci. Tucci is credited with Shi, but didn't he do that Sergeant Rock thing a few years ago? It seems weird that DC would promote a non-DC book over a DC book, even though he's more widely known for Shi. (13 July)
On page 117, we find DC Comics Presents: Metal Men #1, which collects the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire back-up stories in Doom Patrol. I've been liking these "DC Comics Presents" comics that I've gotten. I'm sure this one will be neat-o. (20 July)
On the same page, Brubaker and Phillips' Gotham Noir is offered. I've never read this - is it any good? (13 July)
DC continues to do right by Tommy Monagham, releasing the fifth Hitman volume, Who Dares Wins, on page 120. Man, this is an intense story arc. Excellent, of course, but intense. (31 August)
I keep wanting to get the Kirby omnibi that DC puts out, including Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth on page 121, but it really bothers me that they charge 50 bucks for them and don't even upgrade the paper quality. The paper quality in these books is s-h-i-t-t-y, and I really don't want to pony up the dough. It's quite vexing. (28 September)
There's a hardcover edition of Joe the Barbarian on page 136. I haven't re-read it so I don't know how well it holds up, but I really did enjoy this. And you know it looks phenomenal. (7 September)
I'm not going to get The Mighty Thor: Artist's Edition on page 147, but I think it's a tremendous idea. I'm very curious to see if IDW can do this with other stuff. That would be neat.
The Martini Edition of Darwyn Cooke's Parker is a groovy idea, although at $75 it's a bit steep. I'm a tad bit annoyed that there's a new 8-page story, but oh well. It's annoying because you'd want to wait until the best version becomes available, but there's no guarantee that "best version" will ever come out, especially from a smaller publisher like IDW. C'est la vie, I suppose.
I didn't pre-order John Layman's Godzilla: Gangsters and Goliaths (I'll probably get the trade), but he did show me some pages from issue #2, which is offered on page 160. Ponticelli's pencil art looks great, and I saw three finished pages, and the coloring with the pencil art is amazing. So, yeah. (I also got to read Chew #27, which comes out next week. Man, it's keen. I'm not surprised, but we talked about what he and Guillory are doing with some of the scenes and how they relate to the previous issues, and it's pretty cool. So, buy Chew. But you knew that already.)
Jonathan Hickman has a new mini-series coming out from Image, The Red Wing (see the cover of Previews!), on page 172. Fighter pilots of the future who need to travel through time? Sure, why not! Hickman's track record with artists for his Image series has been decent (none are as good as his own art, however), and the preview art by Nick Pitarra looks pretty neat. I'm glad Hickman hasn't given up writing these freaky Image mini-series just because he's a bigwig at Marvel these days. (6 July)
I have no idea what Avengelyne (page 176) is doing being drawn by Owen Gieni. Good for him, sure, but what a weird fit. (20 July)
Meta 4 is collected in a trade on page 187. I'm still not quite sure what the heck is going on in this book, but it was interesting journey. Plus, McKeever's art has never looked better. (20 July)
I know our Dread Lord and Master likes Strange Girl, Rick Remender's post-apocalyptic story, but can anyone tell me if it's really worth plunking down 60 dollars for the omnibus that's offered on page 189? I mean, it's a good chunk of comics, but is it really that good? (27 July)
Is Captain America #1 the first issue of a new ongoing (page 25)? With Steve McNiven as the artist? Who's drawing issue #3? (13 July)
Amazing Spider-Man #666 has the "Spider Island" saga (page 33). Yes, they actually use the line "If everyone's a Spider-Man ... then no one is." I wonder if Peter's life will never be the same? Oh, there it is - no, no it won't. (20 July)
This is weird: Hulk #37 is a "Fear Itself" tie-in, so it's solicited on page 17. Hulk #36 is offered on page 40. It makes sense in a horribly demented way (well, the fact that I get it is horribly demented, not the way it's solicited), but it's still weird. (20 and 6 July)
So, X-Men: Schism. Wait, the world doesn't trust mutants again? Oh, the motherfucking horror! Jeebus, this is getting tiresome. (13 and 27 July)
I don't hate Mark Bagley as much as Tim Callahan does, but Brilliant (page 71) doesn't sound like something he'd be good at. Bagley is very much a superhero artist, and while it sounds like there will be superpowers in this book, it doesn't sound like there will be costumes. I just think the tone will be wildly different than what Bendis appears to be going for just because Bagley isn't up to the task. But I suppose we'll have to wait and see, right? (6 July)
The X-Men by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee Omnibus sounds like a good idea, but I do like how, from what I can remember, over half of the issues contained within are not actually drawn by Jim Lee. Still, this collects part of some of my favorite X-stories, even though this era doesn't have a great reputation. How can you not love the battle of Muir Island? That's some cool-ass shit, man. (5 October)
Fantastic Four: 1234 is a minor Morrison work, but it does feature some nice art by Jae Lee, so it's nice that Marvel is giving us a hardcover (page 81). Of course, it wouldn't be a comic-book company without a dickish move, so it includes the Nick Fury story Morrison wrote, which I don't own. I'm still not getting this, because I own the individual issues. (5 October)
I usually wait for softcover trades, but I might have to get Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine in hardcover (page 90). It's only 25 dollars, and damn, is this a fun comic book. Must ... ponder!!!! (27 July)
If you thought Marvel couldn't screw up the "Point One Initiative" any further, guess again. Instead of including them in trades with the series they tie into, they're releasing a bunch of "Point One" issues in a single trade (page 106). Um, yeah. I thought these issues were supposed to provide a good place to jump onto the regular series, so why not include them as the first issue of a trade? I assume Marvel will do that too, but then why would they release this sucker? Trying to get inside the minds of Marvel and DC execs makes my head hurt. (20 July)
Why, it's the back of the book! Yay!
I'm kind of glad I didn't order the Echo trades as they were coming out, because on page 222 Abstract Studios has the Echo Complete Edition for 40 dollars. Terry Moore has also quickly moved on to a different series, Rachel Rising, which is offered on the same page. He's on a roll!
Bongo Comics offers Funnies #1 on page 258, which is the new series written and drawn by Sergio Aragonés. You might not think Aragonés is funny, but damn, the man can draw.
Dynamite brings you the crossover you never thought you'd see but wanted nevertheless: Terminator/RoboCop: Kill Human #1 (page 278)! Who wouldn't want to read that? Rob Williams and PJ Holden aren't bad creators, and it's Terminator vs. RoboCop!
Matt Wagner returns with Zorro Rides Again on page 283. I'm glad Wagner is completing his Zorro epic, and while I'm not the biggest fan of Esteve Polls, he's not bad.
Fantagraphics is nice enough to offer another Jacques Tardi/Jean-Patrick Manchette joint, Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, on page 296. Bleak, existential French comics from the early 1980s? Yes, please!
Tucked away at the top of page 300 is Gallery Books offering The Crow: Special Edition for $18. Thirty pages of new material. Sigh. Still, as emo as this is, it's very powerful. In case you've never read it. (On page 270, staff writer Heather Wiegand actually admits that she has only now discovered that the movie, which she loves, is based on a comic book. I think not knowing that is a fireable offense, right?)
On page 310, Oni Press has Petrograd, an espionage story set during World War I in which a British spy is supposed to kill Rasputin. Of course, I dig espionage stories, and the art looks pretty keen, so I'm getting this. It's 30 bucks, though, so beware!
I didn't get the final issue of Atomic Robo this week (damn it!), but I can say with confidence that if you buy trades, you should get the trade of the series on page 314 from Red 5. It's sure to be a good ending, right?
At the bottom of page 314, Lovern Kindzierski and John Bolton have a weird horror comic, Shame volume 1: Conception from Renegade Arts Entertainment. I say weird because it sounds like a medieval passion play, with characters named "Virtue" and "Shame" and the like. Still, Bolton has that odd painted art style that works well with creepy stuff, and while I don't know if Kindzierski can write, he's a good colorist, right? I'm kind of curious about this.
Top Shelf has some intriguing stuff this time around. On page 320 Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill bring us The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #2: 1969 (phew!). Then, Nate Powell's follow-up to the tremendous Swallow Me Whole is Any Empire, which is about a gang of kids who reunite as adults and things get messy. I don't know enough about Kagan McLeod (he's a good artist, but I don't know about his writing skills) to say whether Infinite Kung Fu will be any good, but I'm sure it will look keen.
Jason Latour writes but doesn't draw Loose Ends from 12-Gauge Comics on page 332. It sounds like a fairly typical noir tale, but who doesn't love a good noir comic?
Even further in the back of the book, Back Issue #50 (page 349) celebrates Batman in the 1970s. I can hear Greg Hatcher pre-ordering this book as I type!
And, of course, your slavish devotion to the God of All Comics won't be complete without picking up Supergods on page 351 from Spiegel & Grau. In it, Morrison writes about superheroes. Because he hasn't done enough of that in his comics. I'm actually pretty excited about this, so I hope it's good.
You can't top the G-Mozz, so let us end this sojourn through Previews here. Sorry for the delay, but I'm sure you still have time to page through the catalogue and do some ordering of the weirder stuff out there in comic book land! So get to it!