Looking at Previews really is the best time to be a comics fan, because everything is great and nothing sucks! So let's see what's what in catalog #320!
Wow, there's a new Barb Wire series on page 40. I guess it was only a matter of time now that Dark Horse is bringing back their superhero stuff from the early- to mid-1990s. I don't think I'll get this, but good for them! I do love Adam Hughes's cover, though, because you'll note the giant gun she has tucked into her waistband pointing right at her crotch. My question is: What happens to the barrel? There doesn't seem to be any bulge under her pants, and the distance between the waistband and her crotch is so small that the barrel ought to be sticking out like a penis. Yes, things like this crack me up. (1 July)
Ryan K. Lindsay and Owen Gieni bring us Negative Space, in which a man with writer's block can't even manage to write a suicide note, so he goes for a walk and uncovers a weird conspiracy. You know, like you do. That sounds like the basis of a black comedy, so I'm hoping it is. (8 July)
The Tomorrows (page 43) reteams Curt Pires and Jason Copland (for one issue, as each issue has a different artist), and as POP, their last collaboration, was pretty good, and as Jason is a pretty cool dude, I'll be getting this one. It's about how art is illegal and corporations rule all in the future, which is annoying because plot synopses are really tough to do these days when every plot has been done. I'm still curious about it! (8 July)
Matt Kindt's 2 Sisters is reprinted, now in color, on page 44. This isn't a masterpiece, like many of Kindt's comics, but that just means it's pretty darned good, so you might want to give it a look! (16 September)
There's a new book by Jonathan Case, The New Deal, on page 46. Case is an excellent artist and a pretty good writer, so I'll be getting this. It's about some of the staff of the Waldorf Astoria getting caught up in a mystery in the 1930s. I love the subject matter and the creator, so I'm looking forward to this! (23 September)
I've never been a huge fan of Daniel Way's writing, but maybe I'll feel differently when he's doing a creator-owned book like Gun Theory, which shows up on page 51. It's about a hitman who is so good he has become invisible and the woman he meets who can actually see him. It sounds the slightest bit hokey, but still fairly intriguing. I like Jon Proctor's art, too (I'm not totally in love with it, but it's pretty good), so I might have to check this out. (30 September)
On page 52, the first trade of Resurrectionists is offered. This is a good comic, and I encourage you to get the trade if you haven't been getting the single issues. However, Dark Horse has done something extremely annoying with this comic, and that's moved the single issues to digital exclusively. Issue #4 was the last print issue, so if I want to keep reading, I have to read issues #5 and 6 digitally (which I'm not going to do) or spend $19.99 on the trade for two issues (which I'll probably end up doing). I don't have a problem with Dark Horse moving this to digital because it's probably cheaper to produce and it keeps the book going, but in the middle of an arc? Really? They couldn't have started that way or finished one arc before doing this? That's a douchey move, and I honestly hope that I see van Lente at a convention so I can give him all the money for the trade rather than giving it to Dark Horse. (19 August)
Heart in a Box by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren shows up on page 54. A girl wishes away her heart and then rethinks that foolishness, so she goes on a quest to get it back. I'm sure Kelly and Meredith are very glad to have this in Previews - I know they've been working on it for at least two years (probably longer), so it's nice that it's coming out now! (16 September)
On page 63, we get The Adventures of the Snow Man, one of Frank Frazetta's earliest works, and it's only 15 dollars (it's also only 104 pages, but still). This might be something interesting to check out. (30 September)
I've never read Aliens: Salvation, so Dark Horse's new printing for 11 dollars (yes, it's only 56 pages long) is very tempting. I mean, it's Mike Mignola drawings Aliens!!!! (2 September)
Lady Killer gets a trade on page 72. As usual, the series still hasn't concluded before the trade is solicited, but we're 80% of the way through, and it's pretty darned good. And, of course, it looks phenomenal. (2 September)
Black Canary #2 (page 89): A "training montage"? Ugh. When will comics writers learn that comics are not fucking movies?!?!?!?!? Jeebus. (15 July)
I like how on the cover of Constantine: The Hellblazer #2 (page 90), John makes sure to hold his cigarette dramatically away from the body, but also that he makes sure he holds onto it. Those things are expensive, man! (8 July)
On page 132, the first trade of Gotham by Midnight shows up. This is a pretty good comic, so it might be worth a look. (19 August)
I'm actually curious about the first trade of Sexy Lobo, which shows up on page 134 (I am convinced that this would sell a lot better if DC just called it Sexy Lobo). I'm disappointed that Reilly Brown doesn't draw the entire thing, because the first few issues looked really nice, but I still might get the trade! (12 August)
Free Country: A Tale of the Children's Crusade collects the two issues that came out over 20 years ago and a new middle chapter that connects them, and it's just weird all around. I know I bought the first issue and maybe one of the Vertigo annuals that tied into it, but I never got the entire saga, but weren't the annuals fairly crucial to the story? Will the middle chapter address this? It's just weird. But good for Neil Gaiman and Vertigo for doing this! I guess. (23 September)
The Names shows up in a trade on page 143. I hope it's Good Milligan writing this, but even so, it's 9 issues for 17 dollars, which isn't a bad deal. (19 August)
Page 159: Star Trek/Green Lantern? Why the hell not?!?!?!?
Godzilla in Hell shows up on page 163. Why should you care? IT'S JAMES STOKOE BACK ON GODZILLA, FOOLS!!!!!!
Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce offer up We Stand on Guard on page 198, a comic about Canadians a century from now defending their homeland from invading Americans. I'll probably get this, at least to try it, and I'm sure there'll be plenty of good ol' American-bashing. That's always fun! (1 July)
Island, the new comics magazine from Emma Rios and Brandon Graham (page 202), sounds awesome. I fear it won't last or fall woefully behind schedule, but it still sounds awesome! (15 July)
On page 204, Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko have The Crooked Man, in which a man returns to San Francisco to take revenge on someone who betrayed him. Unfortunately for him, it's 1906. So ... yeah. (1 July)
The second Chew Smorgasbord is on page 220, if you're interested. This collects issues #21-40 and is slightly pricey at $100, but the package is really neat. I have the first one, and while I got it at a slightly discounted price, I still think it's a tremendous value - it's bigger than the regular issues, and it's bound very nicely and has some very cool extra stuff. It's a cool way to get the series! (1 July)
For 10 dollars, you can get Bitch Planet volume 1 on page 236, which isn't a bad price. I have looked at a few issues of this series and have absolutely no interest in reading it, but if you were waiting for the trade, here it is! (8 July)
On page 239, you can get a $50-collection of East of West #1-15, which actually turns out to be a pretty good deal. The comic is phenomenal, and reading it in a big chunk probably works quite well. (8 July)
Image is promising the return of Four Eyes on page 240 with the reprint of the first trade, and I, for one, couldn't be happier about it. Four Eyes is the story of a boy in the Great Depression who finds a dragon, and it's pretty awesome, with superb art by Max Fiumara. If it's really back in the fall, I will be all over it. Now, if The Great Unknown ever returns ... I think my head would explode. (8 July)
I don't know if The Last Days of American Crime is worth $25, but it's still a really good comic. It's one of the best things Radical ever published, and it's nice that Image picked it up. And it's not too long, so Rick Remender can't eventually screw it all up! Plus, if you think Greg Tocchini stinks because of his not-great work on Uncanny X-Force, you should really check this out, because it's beautiful work. (15 July)
Supreme: Blue Rose gets a trade on page 243, if you're interested. Ellis's story is a bit oblique, but Tula Lotay's art is superb. (1 July)
The solicit for Thors (page 12), with the addition of "Groot Thor," makes me think of The Incredibles. "When everyone is Thor, no one is." (15 July)
I'm certainly not getting Years of Future Past, but dang, Art Adams can draw a danged cover, can't he? (1 July)
I'll be getting the Operation: S.I.N. trade on page 115, but it is kind of annoying that Marvel put Hayley Atwell on the cover, even if she is awesome. It just looks ... odd. (12 August)
Marvel's trades aren't priced as well as DC's, but they're still cheaper than buying the single issues. Marvel, however, is publishing smaller and smaller trades, which is almost as annoying. I think I'll pick up volume 1 of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, because it's cheaper than buying the issues, but it's also four (4!!!!) issues long, plus a reprint of her debut from back in the day. I mean, come ON, Marvel, what the hell? Sheesh. (5 August)
I own the first trade of Christopher Priest's Black Panther run, but I will probably still get the giant-sized collection on page 123. It collects the first 17 issues of the run, and it's $35, which ain't bad. I love the first trade, so I hope it continues to be awesome after that. (12 August)
And so, once again we reach ... the back of the book!
Amigo still has a big scheduling problem, which is too bad, but they are offering a trade of Rogues! volume 1, which is a very nifty collection. Who knows when it will come out, but the issues it collects have been out for a while, so this shouldn't be late!
Archie continues to publish some wacky things, as page 269 gives us Archie vs. Sharknado One-Shot. Well, that should be ... something.
If you've ever heard good things about Critter (and I have, although I've never actually read it), Aspen has apparently bought Big Dog Ink and is relaunching the series on page 276, if you're at all interested. Will it be any good? Who knows, right?
I got the Free Comic Book Day preview of Mercury Heat by Kieron Gillen and Omar Francia, which shows up on page 279 from Avatar, but I haven't read it yet. It looks pretty neat, though, and obviously, I dig Gillen's writing, so I'm down with this.
I guess Dan Brereton is planning on more Nocturnals, so on page 288 we find a reprint of their first story, "Black Planet," from Big Wow Art. If you haven't read Nocturnals yet, you should do yourself a favor and check it out. It's a keen comic.
Boom! offers The Spire on page 294, which sounds neat. It's about a girl guarding a city in the middle of the desert full of humans and non-humans and her hunt for a serial killer in said city. It's by Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely, who did the quite good Six-Gun Gorilla, so I might have to get this. Especially as it's 8 issues, and in Boom!'s world, that's two $17-trades, I suspect.
The Archaia part of Boom! has Long Walk to Valhalla on page 297. It's about a boy in Arkansas who gets visited by a girl who claims to be a Valkyrie. It sounds fascinating, and the art is very cool. I'm looking forward to this book.
On page 302, you can find a big ol' trade of the first 12 issues of Crimson, just in case you missed it 17 years ago, and while I won't be buying it (Humberto Ramos art, you know), that's kind of neat. The first trade of the new Hexed also shows up, and I might get that. I like the original mini-series, and while that might have been because Emma Rios drew it, Michael Alan Nelson's story was pretty good and the new artist is also pretty good. On page 303, there's a collection of The Empty Man, which I'm probably getting. It sounds neat - a strange disease is ravaging mankind - and Cullen Bunn is a good writer and Vanesa Del Rey is a good artist. There you have it!
Dynamite takes over The Spirit license, and as it's a licensed, noir-ey type comic, that means Matt Wagner is writing it! This time it's a story about the Spirit's supporting characters trying to figure out what happened to him, as he's been missing for two years. Dan Schkade, who's quite a good artist, is drawing this, so it might be something you want to check out! (1 July)
Holy crap, there's a new issue of Berlin on page 349 from Drawn & Quarterly. The two collections are also resolicited, and you really should check them out. I'm fearful that I'll die of old age before Jason Lutes finishes this, so a new issue is cause for celebration! It just brings us one more issue closer to a new collection, which is how I read my Berlin!
The Divine on page 357 from First Second sounds pretty cool - an ex-soldier signs on as a military contractor with an old friend and gets involved in a civil war in a South-East Asian country where things get a little weird. Everyone loves weird, right?
18 Days, which gets to have the God of All Comics' name in front of it, is on page 360 from Graphic India. Didn't Morrison do something like this a few years ago? Is this the same thing? I don't know, but the first issue is one thin dollar, so it might be something to check out.
On page 366, Heavy Metal has Mechanism, which sounds interesting. A military robot fighting an alien invasion develops consciousness and has to decide whether or not humanity is worth saving. I'm not the biggest fan of Raffaele Ienco's art, but I might give this a try.
Legendary has a hardcover collection of Annihilator on page 371. This is an excellent series, but it would be nice if, you know, the final issue would come out. That would be nice.
Ben Towle's web comic, Oyster War, shows up on page 378 from Oni Press. Towle is a good creator, so I'm looking forward to this.
I was curious about Divinity from Valiant, and the trade is on page 424 for $9.99, which is nifty. I don't know if it's good, but I like Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine, so I'll give it a look! (15 July)
Well, I guess that's about it for this month. I know I missed some things, so feel free to chime in with comments. We're all friends here!