Hey, what do you know? Another month has passed, and Previews #290 has dropped! Let's check it out, even though all of this has been available on the Internet for two or more weeks!
Brian Wood takes over writing a new Star Wars ongoing (page 34), set between the first two movies, it appears. That should be interesting. (9 January)
There's volume 4 of Axe Cop on page 39. If Bill Reed still posted here, he might be able to tell us how awesome Axe Cop still is. But he doesn't, so he won't. So sad! (6 March)
A few years ago, Geoffrey Thorne and Todd Harris brought us Prodigal: Egg of First Light, which was one of the best mini-series of the year. Now they have a new story in Dark Horse Presents #20 (page 43) called Journeyman, and I hope they can keep the good comics going. Maybe they'll get a bigger audience for their work! (23 January)
The Massive gets a trade paperback on page 44. As you might recall, I'm not in love with this series yet, but you still should give it a try, because Brian Wood always has something to say, even if you don't like it or the way he says it! (20 March)
Francesco Francavilla's pulp hero, The Black Beetle, is back on page 48. I'm trying to decide whether I want to get this in single issues or in trade - I don't want to wait for Francavilla's gorgeous artwork! (16 January)
Man, Jae Lee, what's up with Adrian's hands there? (page 77; 16 January)
Why is Aquaman wearing a golden staple remover on his belt? (page 81; 30 January)
I know Danny D. wants to bring back the 1990s, but I didn't think he was THIS serious. (page 86; 9 January)
Batwoman #16 is called the "penultimate chapter" (page 99). Does this mean that once Williams leaves the book, DC will actually let it die a natural death? I know that would suck to lose a book starring a good female character, but I'd be impressed if DC simply allows it to end, rather than milking it to death! (23 January)
So DC is trying to tie every single one of their books together into really, really tight continuity, right? That's fine and all (it's not my cup of tea, but whatever), but then I read the solicitation for Swamp Thing #16 (page 111), which refers to the "ruins" of Gotham City. Is Gotham City "ruined" in all the Batman books? Is that a thing? Is it something that hasn't happened yet but seems to be coming? Scott Snyder writes both Swamp Thing and Batman, so you'd think he'd be keen to keep things ... continuitous? Help me, DC readers, you're my only hope! (9 January)
The solicitation for Dial H (hey, it's not cancelled yet!) on page 113 speak of "The Centipede." Then, the cover shows a conga line of men, the first holding the dial thingy. And yes, I immediately thought of ... the Human Centipede. Brrrrr .... (9 January) (Google it if you don't know what it is, because I'm not getting into it here!)
Threshold #1 on page 116 is ... a space comic starring characters like Star Hawkins and Space Cabbie? Really? You can say a lot about the DCnU, but by gum they're throwing a lot against the wall to see what sticks! (16 January)
You know why DC had to cancel Blue Beetle (page 119)? Because a giant gaping head started coming out of his groin!!!!
That can't be good for anyone! (23 January)
I'm not buying Arrow #3 on page 123, but I can use its existence to point out that the new television series ... is pretty good. It's certainly not high art, but it's pretty entertaining. That Katie Cassidy is easy on the eyes, isn't she? I couldn't remember where I had seen her, and then I checked her IMDb page, and saw that she was on Harper's Island. HARPER'S ISLAND WAS THE MOTHERFUCKING BOMB!!!!! (30 January)
I took a chance on waiting for the trade of The Shade, because James Robinson was tweeting about it getting cancelled before it even finished, but I'm glad I did, because on page 132 we get the entire 12 issues in a nice trade ... for 20 dollars. Damn straight! (27 February)
I've been reading really good things about The New Deadwardians, which gets collected on page 144, but for some reason, I'm just not jazzed by it. I don't know why. Should I ignore my gut and get it anyway? I don't know ... I'll have to do some mulling. (6 February)
John Byrne keeps cranking out new series, as we get The High Ways on page 173, about a dude who signs up with a space freighter taking stuff all over the solar system. Say what you want about Byrne, but he keeps on keeping on!
Man, that's all that's even remotely interesting from IDW this month. A TON of licensed stuff, as usual, but nothing really grabbing me. Let's move on!
Invincible hits issue #100 on page 182. Good for Kirkman! I loved Invincible early on but gradually got more and more tired of it, so I dropped it. But good for Kirkman anyway! (23 January)
On page 184, we get One Trick Rip-Off/Deep Cuts from Paul Pope. I have no idea how much of this is new (the solicitation is very coy about it), but I know I haven't read any of it, so 30 bucks for 288 pages of awesome Pope art - yeah, that'll work for me.
Dias de las Muertas (page 186) is an interesting three-issue project. Riley Rossmo is teaming up with a bunch of different writers to tell horror stories. Each issue is 40 pages and is in the "Golden Age format," meaning it's bigger than your usual comic, and it sounds pretty keen. (9 January)
I don't know if Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth (page 192) is any good, but it has a weird hook - America's most dysfunctional family having wacky adventures - and M. K. Perker on art, so there's that. What I do love is that Todd walks around town with a bag over his head. That's pretty funny. (16 January)
Chynna Clugston Flores draws It Girl & the Atomics #6 on page 197. She's good, don't you know. (23 January)
Glory #32 features a crossover with Emi Lenox's Emitown (page 208). O ... kay. I'm sure that will be fun! (23 January)
Marvel: (Marvel's Previews didn't come out last week, so I don't know page numbers or ship dates. Sorry!)
So we've seen Storm on a couple of covers with her Mohawk hair cut, including Uncanny X-Force #1, and I've read some people around the Internets expressing their happiness about it. But I say, "Why?" If we get grumpy about comics constantly eating their own tails, it doesn't matter if writers regurgitate good ideas or bad ideas - it's still regurgitated. Storm originally got the Mohawk for a very specific reason, and I doubt if she would do it again. I hope that wherever it debuts (unless I missed it and she already has one?), the writer will try to explain why she's doing it. Because if he (I'm assuming it's a male) doesn't, that means she got a Mohawk because someone thought it was cool and read X-Men comics when they were 10 years old. Fuck that noise.
Young Avengers #1 looks and sounds awesome, so of course it will last a year, if that. Let us hope not!!!!
All-New X-Men #6 gives us guest artist David Marquez ... for three issues. Again, I wonder why Marvel and DC even announce creative teams when they're so fast and loose with them. I don't have a problem with Marquez's art, but he's no Stuart Immonen.
And then there's Fantastic Four #3, which places the group on a new planet ... for a year. I know people criticize me for taking continuity too seriously (which is hilarious, since I don't read too many superhero books anymore), but will the Fantastic Four be out of every other Marvel comic - including the next big crossover? - for all of 2013? I would really, really dig that, but I doubt it.
The solicitation for Hawkeye #7 reads: "Cherry's got a gun. And she looks good in it. Hawkeye gets distracted. Just like you are right now." I like Hawkeye, but the solicitation texts aren't doing it any favors. I mean, whoever writes these for Marvel always sounds a bit smug, but that one annoys me even more than usual for some reason.
Marvel collects Silver Surfer: Parable #1-2 in an eight-dollar "trade," and I might have to get it. I'm sure Lee's prose is super-purple, but Moebius drawing the Surfer? Yeah, I can live with that. The few pages I've seen of this (thanks to Our Dread Lord and Master, whom I believe has posted some of it right here on this blog) look dreamy.
Marvel figured out that charging less for their trade paperbacks might encourage people to buy them instead of single issues, so they decided to charge 17 dollars for four issues of Wolverine and the X-Men in the second trade. Congratulations, Marvel, you just lost a sale.
Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee's Thor: The Mighty Avenger gets a trade collecting the entire run plus the FCBD issue. These are really, really good comics, people. Don't let it pass you by a second time!
So let's move deep into the back of the book. What lurks within?!?!?!?
I don't watch Downton Abbey, but I like the sound of Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey from Andrews McNeel (page 232), which parodies the series by turning a valet into a secret agent who protects the abbey from all sorts of nefarious sorts. It could be quite fun.
Antarctic Press has Crawling Sky on page 237, which is written by the Lansdales (Joe R. and Keith) and drawn by Brian Denham, who's quite good. It's a horror story set in the Old West - did you expect anything different from the Lansdales? - but it sounds pretty keen.
I've been waiting for the trade of The Spider, and Dynamite offers it on page 285. Greg Hatcher likes it, so it must be good!
I'm not sure if I'll get Messages in a Bottle by Bernard Krigstein, but Fantagraphics has it on page 296 for 35 dollars. I'm sure it will be good, but I'm just not sure about it. I probably will end up getting it, but I'm still thinking about it.
Humanoids offers what sounds like a ridiculous yet awesome comic: Jihad (page 302). A Russian dictator in 2040 wants to invoke the spirit of Genghis Khan to create an empire, but he needs the "corpse of the latest reincarnation" of the Mongol conqueror to do so. Has anyone read this? Is it ridiculously stupid, or ridiculously awesome? I wonder ...
Down on the bottom of page 329, Valiant offers the first trade of Harbinger by Joshua Dysart and Khari Evans (mostly). I'm a bit wary about getting into the Valiant books as it seems like they're gearing up for a giant crossover (really, Valiant?), but I'm giving this a try. Why not?
I hate to bring it up, but it's just too ... something: Wizard World offers The Situation #1 on page 340, in which the Jersey Shore cast member has some kind of super power (the power of abdominals? the power of tanning?) to fight evil. Yes, he really does. Paul Jenkins and Talent Caldwell bring this to you, in case you're interested. Oh, Paul Jenkins. You wrote Hellblazer once, didn't you?
I really want to leave you with that image, so I will. Ponder the fact that Mike Sorrentino is in a comic book and makes more money than you do. PONDER IT!!!!!!
Previews: Usually you can find good comics in it! Don't be afraid to crack it open!