Wolverine #300? How do they even know anymore? The answer lies inside Previews #278!
As much as I hate the use of the word "compleat," The Compleat Terminal City on page 45 is something you might want to check out. Dean Motter loves him some retro futurism (as the solicit text calls it), and Michael Lark is, you know, a good artist. This book reads much better as a whole than in single issues, so this is the perfect format! (21 March)
Dark Horse Presents #8 (page 52) features the first part of Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson's The Massive, plus a crapload of other cool stuff. Don't miss out! (18 January)
I'm intrigued by Afrika, the English translation of Hermann's "masterpiece," but it's $15.99 for 64 pages (page 56). That seems a bit steep. Any of our European readers want to chime in a tell me if this is worth the price? (14 March)
I suppose I should point out that there's a new Axe Cop book on page 57. You'll notice Dark Horse once again pointed out how old Malachai Nicolle is. I still think that's so people will feel guilty about not liking the comic. (28 March)
Tony Akins draws Wonder Woman #5 (page 69). I don't have anything against Tony Akins, but he's no Cliff Chiang. The dreaded fill-in art for the new 52 has already begun even before this month, but I expect it to get worse and worse (or better, depending on your opinion). Will Azzarello's scripts seem as good without Chiang drawing them???? (18 January)
The text for The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #5 (page 72) reads (in part): "Ronnie and Jason have never agreed on anything, and now it's all-out war as the mysterious Zither pits them against each other!" Um, what? "The mysterious Zither"? "ZITHER"?????? Hey, DC - this is a zither. Watch The Third Man - the entire soundtrack is zither music. How is a villain calling herself the Zither make any sense or is in any way threatening? "Fight, you heroes, or I'll play Gypsy* music until you go insane!!!!! Bwah-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!" I'm actually tempted to buy this comic just to see why on earth this villain is called the Zither. Well played, Simone and Van Sciver. Well played indeed. (25 January)
* Yes, I know "gypsy" is offensive. She's a villain! That's totally what she would say!!!!
So Stormwatch #5 (page 106) features this text: "[T]he mystery horn from SUPERMAN #1 reappears to deliver a final page that will change Stormwatch forever!" That's part of the problem with these endless relaunches. It's been five issues. Who cares if Stormwatch changes forever - no one's had time to get used to this Stormwatch, for crying out loud! There's very little sense of permanence in many comics today, so changes have no impact. This just sums up that feeling perfectly (and yes, you should all get off my lawn). (4 January)
I'm not going to buy The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus volume 2 (page 120) because it's $75 and my curiosity about the comics that Johns fans say are really good and not head-choppy and disembowely at all isn't quite that intense, but it's still cool that DC is doing this. Of course, they won't release a trade of, say, Peter Milligan's brief six-issue run on Animal Man, but it's all about baby steps! (28 March)
There's a new printing of Rob Liefeld's original Hawk and Dove mini-series from 1988 on page 121. All you Rob Liefeld completists (you know you're out there!) will want to snatch this up. (22 February)
On page 123, DC collects a bunch of stories in an I, Vampire trade (wasn't it I ... Vampire until the reboot?). It's a bunch of old-school stories from House of Mystery, written by people like J. M. DeMatteis, Bruce Jones, and Mike Barr and drawn by people like Tom Sutton, Ernie Colon, and Jim Aparo. Good stuff! (8 February)
Mike Sterling pointed out that he mis-read the name of the previous Power Girl trade, which was called "Bomb Squad." The latest trade is called "Old Friends" (page 123). Because I'm childish, I'm going to interpret the name of every Power Girl trade as a reference to her breasts. Three-for-four so far! (The first Palmiotti/Gray/Conner trade is called "A New Beginning," which isn't very interesting, but the second is called "Aliens & Apes," which I'm counting!) (15 February)
On page 124, DC offers the trade of Xombi. This is quite a good little story that got killed by the reboot and probably would have been cancelled anyway based on the sales. But it's still worth your time! (1 February)
Gone to Amerikay on page 129 sounds keen. It's the story of Irish immigrants in New York over the course of almost a century, which means it's historical, which means of course I'm interested! Derek McCulloch, who's generally a good writer, and Colleen Doran, who's generally a good artist, bring this to us. Yay, graphic novels! (28 March)
Danger Girl returns on page 151, if you're interested. Here's what I don't get about Danger Girl. I can't believe most people like it for the story - they want to see Campbell draw sexy babes, right? No offense to Chris Madden, who's a pretty good artist, but what's the point of Danger Girl if Campbell isn't drawing it?
Womanthology: Heroic shows up on page 153. This is the anthology in which our very own Kelly Thompson has a story, drawn by the very good Stephanie Hans. It's $50, which is a bit steep, but it's also 300 pages and has a lot of excellent talent, plus it's for charity. You know you want it!
Fatale #1 is offered on page 170. Why Marvel isn't publishing this when it's by Brubaker and Phillips is beyond me, but I don't care. It's a freakin' noir/horror story, and I'm sure it will be awesome. (4 January)
Brandon Graham is writing Prophet (page 177), the old Stephen Platt comic. In keeping with Erik Larsen's and/or Robert Kirkman's odd ideas, this is issue #21, continuing the numbering from lo those many years ago. I hate the idea of renumbering DC and Marvel series with #1 every two years, but this is going a bit too far in the opposite direction. (18 January)
David Hine and Shaky Kane have a new Bulletproof Coffin mini-series on page 182. I didn't love the first one, but it was pretty good. Who knows how this one will turn out? (25 January)
On page 184, Ted McKeever goes a bit wacko with Mondo #1, a "Golden Age Size" 40-page comic that looks and sounds freakin' awesome. It's a monster comic, but with McKeever's weird sensibilities. Sold! (4 January)
Kelly is saving up her ducats, because on page 188, we find Cover Girls, a volume of Guillem March's European cover art. YEEEEE-HAAAAA! (4 January)
I've heard good things about The Intrepids, so I might have to get the trade that's offered on page 192. Any endorsements? (4 January)
The first page of Marvel Previews has a black background with a red star in the center of it and this tagline: "What if there wasn't only one?" Is it a new Highlander comic? Okay, I suppose it has to do with the fact that Marvel apparently undid something this week more quickly than it takes most of us to change our underwear, but who knows? I just thought that tagline was funny.
Whilce Portacio does the art on Incredible Hulk #4 (page 5). Is that a step down or up from Marc Silvestri (who didn't last long, did he?)? (11 January)
Secret Avengers gets a new writer with the ".1" issue (they're still doing those?), and it's Rick Remender (page 15). That's not what's important. The important thing is that the new artist is "Patch" Zircher. Really? We have to call him "Patch" now? Because I won't. I WON'T!!!!! (Sorry, Mr. Zircher. I WON'T DO IT!!!!!) (25 January)
Remember back in the 1990s, when Marvel (and DC) flooded the market with so many knock-offs of their heroes because, come on, the bubble will never burst on that sucker, right? Remember how they all learned their lesson and would never do that again? Good times, right? What's that? There's a new Scarlet Spider series on page 31? Oh. I'll just shut up now. (11 January)
Oh, Humberto Ramos, what are we to do with you?
Hulk #47 on page 41 has some skeevy solicitation text: "Red She-Hulk shows up to confront big daddy!" I don't know, that just sounds ... weird. (4 January)
On page 50, Victor von Doom #3 is solicited. For those of you who don't know, this entire mini-series has been cancelled by Marvel before the first issue ships. I don't know if the fact that Becky Cloonan hadn't done any artwork for it yet (apparently she had some family issues) or if it's because the series editor got laid off in the recent wave of mutilation, but it's gone. [Edit: As you can see in the comments, the story about no art being finished has been taken down. It's still, apparently, unclear why the series got cancelled.] That kind of sucks, because it sounded pretty keen.
Nick Bradshaw is weirdly channeling Arthur Adams for Wolverine and the X-Men #4 (page 55). That's not how his art always looks, is it? I could have sworn I've seen it before and it looked different. (11 January)
Mark Waid's relaunch of Daredevil is in hardcover trade on page 89. I'll be waiting for the softcover, but you might want to get this! (25 January)
Marvel gets around to collecting Strikeforce: Morituri on page 101. Man, Whilce Portacio has been around for a long time. I've been picking up issues here and there over the past few years, but I might just give up and get the trade. Yes, Marvel and DC suck for collecting stuff after I've been looking for it in back issues. Damn them to hell!!!!! (25 January)
I have to believe that Marvel is going to finish The Twelve, because why else would they have a trade collecting the first six issues on page 109? Unless they just want to milk the existing issues without, you know, wrapping anything up. Wake me up when the series actually finishes. (18 January)
The back of the book has been a bit weak recently, but let's still venture there and find some treasure!
As I am not a tween/teen girl, I don't really have much interest in Archie's Jinx on page 226, but it's written by J. Torres and drawn by Rick Burchett, so it will probably be a solid book.
I'm always wary of Aspen Comics, but Dead Man's Run on page 230 might be pretty good. It's about a guy trying to rescue his sister from Hell, which is an actual prison. Greg Pak writes it and Tony Parker draws it, and the zero issue didn't look too bad.
On page 243, Boom! Studios has Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 by Grant Morrison and Ian Gibson. It's a series with the characters from The Avengers television show, but of course Marvel didn't let them call it that. Here's what's interesting: The solicit text doesn't indicate at all that this comic is, what, 20 years old? I suppose it's been out of print for some time, so it's nice that Boom! is reprinting it, especially because it's quite good. But it's strange that the text kind of implies it's new. It's still worth a look if you've never read it!
Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose seems to have been in a rut recently (at least if the solicit texts are any indication, although in the latest issue, a naked Tarot was attacked by crabs, so there's that), but with issue #72 (page 250), Jim "If the breasts can't make the lady float away, they're not big enough!" Balent is back on track! Apparently the TSA has started using robots to screen passengers, but the robots decide humans' bodily fluids put them over the liquid limit and start killing people to fit them into quart-size ziplock baggies. Luckily, the 3 Little Kittens (don't ask if you don't want to know) are there to help! Will the robots somehow rip the clothes off of the heroines? I think you know the answer to that!
Dynamite is relaunching The Lone Ranger on page 263. Ande Parks is a pretty good writer, and Esteve Polls is okay (he's no Sergio Cariello, but whatevs), so this might be pretty good. I wonder if it will reference the earlier series at all.
On page 269, Dynamite also is offering Dreadstar Omnibus volume 1, which has the first 12 issues of the old ongoing. That's pretty handy - this comic has never been collected, right? Or if it has, the collection has been out of print forever, so it's nice that Dynamite is bringing this sucker back. Maybe they'll actually collect the entire thing? Maybe Starlin, now that he brought Vanth and the gang back, will have more stories to tell? So many questions!!!!
I don't know if Tom Gould's Goliath (on page 277 from Drawn & Quarterly) is any good, but it sounds pretty cool - it's Goliath's story told from his point of view. I may have to pick it up!
Page 278 brings us The Silence of Our Friends from First Second. It's the story of a white family and a black family in 1967 Texas, dealing with the kinds of things you might expect in 1967 Texas. I don't know the writers, but Nate Powell draws it, so I know it will look good!
You can get more creepy pre-Spider-Man work from Steve Ditko on page 280, as Fantagraphics has Mysterious Traveler: The Steve Ditko Archives volume 3. Will the writers get credit on these stories? No man can say!!!!
I hate when this happens: Humanoids is publishing a trade of Whispers in the Walls on page 286. I like the series and was peeved that the final two issues weren't published, so of course this has the four issues I do own plus the conclusion. I'll end up getting it, but it still bugs me.
And, with that, we come to a screeching halt - seriously, I did look past "H" but nothing really grabbed my fancy (the new artist on Wasteland looks pretty good, though, and I do hope it's back on track). Of course, I always try to find the skeeviest stuff after we get past the books, and if we enter the "toys/statues/models" section, we find this innocent statue of Pocahontas on page 366:
Nothing wrong with that, right? Except for the "magnetic removable top." Yes, it's true. Because you can't appreciate early American history without BOOBIES!!!!!
Have fun flippin' through your own copy of Previews. I know you will!