Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - October 2006

The October Previews (Vol. XVI, #10, with the new JSA on the cover) is out, so let's take a look at what's going on inside.

Dark Horse:

Outer Orbit #1 (page 18) could be a lot of fun ... or it could be so wrong-headed as to inspire people to burn their copies.  It's an "outrageous, rude, hilarious space fantasy" that subverts the traditions of the genre.  Of course, on the preview page, there's a girl in a bikini.  Couldn't it subvert the traditions of the genre by showing women in something other than tight-fitting clothing?  Anyway, it's created by the guy who brought us Shaun of the Dead, which I haven't seen, and it looks fun.  If it subverts a few traditions, that's fine with me!

I've never been the biggest fan of Bryan Talbot, but on page 27, his massive (328 pages) hardcover book, Alice in Sunderland, which tells a story of Lewis Carroll and his inspiration for the book, looks intriguing.  It's a chunk of change (30 dollars), but it might be worth it.  I'm torn!

On page 31, Devil by the Deed is offered yet again.  This has rarely been collected, and if you don't have it, you should - it's very good and shows Matt Wagner beginning his long career with his most interesting character.  For people who only know Wagner from his recent work, the art is very fascinating, too - very Asian-looking, before it was cool!


I'm going to buy Batman #660 and 661 (page 60), because I love John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake, but the solicitation text is a little weird: Grotesk?  Johnny Kareoke?  Geisha Grrls?  I worry.  But things always make more sense in the goofy world of comics than when you try to explain them.

The Batman: Secrets trade paperback by Sam Kieth is offered on page 63.  If you were waiting for the trade, pick it up - it's a very interesting look at the Batman/Joker relationship, with Kieth's typically gorgeous art.

I don't mean to be crass, because who could not love Krypto, but on page 67, the text for Superman #659 says, "Ever since the death of Superboy during the Infinite Crisis, fans have wondered what became of Krypto, and what those events meant for him."  Really?  Fans have been lying awake at night, trolling the Internets, stopping random people on the street, all to wonder what happened to a fictional dog?  Really?  Wow - that's one likeable puppy.

Speaking of Superman #659, it's on sale 13 December, and the trade paperback for Superman #654-658 is solicited for sale on 14 February.  Is DC starting to get their act together when it comes to releasing trade paperbacks?

You know what would be awesome about the Infinite Christmas Special (page 74)?  If Superboy punching reality causes Christmas to turn into some bizarre virgin-eating ritual.  And Alexander Luthor uses Santa Claus in his big tuning fork thing, but Santa breaks out and beats Luthor to death with a tire iron!  Why, exactly, is this called "Infinite" Christmas Special?  I'm just wondering.

On page 75, DC gets around to collecting issues #7-12 of Fallen Angel.  This is a very good comic that was ignored when DC published it, so if you missed it, check it out.  The first volume is offered again.

Speaking of trade paperbacks, the first two volumes of Manhunter are offered on page 84.  I'm a bad person because I haven't been supporting this, so I may have to get the trades.  Are they really worth it, comics blogaxy?

Wonder Woman is the Ultimates of the DC Universe, right?  I'm waiting for the trade with WW - what happens when everyone does?  I know it will never happen, but how long does a regular, well-within-continuity comic book have to go between issues before people get sick of it?

I'm kind of intrigued by Tranquility (page 100), Gail Simone's new series.  A retirement home for superheroes?  Sounds groovy.  Let's hope there's some humor in it, because like others around here, I also miss You'll All Be Sorry.

On page 111 Sandman Mystery Theater: Sleep of Reason is offered.  Oh dear.  Matt Wagner/Steven Seagle's SMT was a great comic book, and I don't mind that this is coming out, but this is written by John Ney Rieber, who gave us the steaming pile that was Captain America #1-6 (whichever volume it was, I don't know), the "Americans are really the terrorists" story, which even a dyed-in-the-wool liberal like me hated.  And this story features ... an Afghan terrorist!  Wow.  That'll suck.

Brian mentioned this in regard to the cover of American Virgin #10: EEEEWWWWW!  Just ... icky.

Page 117 has the latest Grant Morrison Doom Patrol trade paperback.  Buy it.  It will make you happy.


Is Todd McFarlane actually doing some interior art for Spawn/Batman: Inner Demons (page 130)?  It won't get me to buy the book, but still, it will be interesting to see him doing art for a change.  I know McFarlane is the Devil, but he lives here in the desert, and shows up on the sports talk radio shows every once in a while, where he is pretty entertaining, so I can't hate him.  He's still the Devil, though.

Meltdown (page 132) looks interesting.  A dying superhero tries to put his life in order and realizes he has made a great impact on more people than he realized.  And it's only two issues, so it has a chance of finishing before my daughters graduate from college!

Superpatriot #4 is offered on page 135.  I like how Image is making fun of the fact that the book took two years to come out, but why does this happen with Image books so often?  What the hell?

Savage Dragon gets the superbig treatment on page 146 with a trade collecting the three-issue mini-series and the first 21 issues.  For 20 bucks, that's pretty good, if you like that sort of thing.

I'd love to buy Age of Bronze (page 147) in the singles, but I don't feel like tracking down the back issues and they come out so infrequently that I think the trades will be much nicer.  Does this mean I'm taking food out of Eric Shanower's kid's mouths?


On page 8, the Ultimate Fantastic Four battle Ronan the Public Accuser.  It's just as dumb a name as in the regular Marvel Universe!

The funniest thing in the Ultimate Vision solicitation is the accompanying page from the book (page 13).  She narrates: "My body is designed exquisitely designed for two things.  Communication and propulsion."  That makes me laugh, considering she has a mighty bosom.  Shouldn't you be a bit more streamlined if you're designed for propulsion?  I wonder if her body is exquisitely designed to appeal to drooling fanboys.

Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #15: Who is Deborah Whitman?  I assume she's an old character.  Who can tell me who she is?

Why must EVERY single Marvel title tie into Civil War?  Here we have Moon Knight (page 41), which takes place in the Marvel Universe, but couldn't it take place after Civil War or before it?  Can't they just skip it and later just mention it occasionally?  I'm still going to buy Moon Knight and ignore the main title, but it's exhausting.  Can't this thing be over?

Nextwave is solicited on page 47.  Marvel thinks it's clever.  The text reads "What care we for freedom OR safety when there are things that need to be kicked and exploded?  Yes, 'explode' can now be used as a verb!  DEAL WITH IT!"  Um, Marvel?  "Explode" is a verb.  I assume they mean it can be used as a transitive verb, but you can already use it both intransitively and transitively.  Stop trying to be clever with grammar, Marvel!

Look at that Liefeld drawing on page 48.  It sucks.  SUCKS!

All right, let's check out the back of the book!

On page 204, Strangers in Paradise nears its end, although who knows if Terry Moore will actually end it.  I only own one issue of this series, but it was pretty good.  I may have to start buying the trades.

Holy crap!  Black Diamond On Ramp is offered again on page 214 from AiT/Planet Lar!  Maybe this time it will actually come out!  Wouldn't that be swell?

On page 226, you can order The Black Coat: Call to Arms in trade paperback from Ape Entertainment.  This is a pretty good mini-series, especially if you like American Revolutionary espionage action!

Mouse Guard #6 is offered on page 226 as well.  I can't wait to read the entire thing.  Also, Archaia is offering The Lone and Level Sands again, so if you missed it, you can get it now.

Avatar is giving us the trade paperback of 303 on page 236.  Ennis' war story was a bit uneven, but still worth reading, and Jacen Burrows' art is beautiful as always.  Also from Avatar, on page 244 Strange Killings: Necromancer is offered again.  Ellis' Strange Kiss/Strange Killings books are always pretty interesting, and this one has zombies.

Just because Previews has certified something cool doesn't make it worthwhile, but The Utopiates #1 on page 248 from Bloodfire Studios sounds kind of neat.  Human personalities distilled into drug form, that allows users to swap personalities with other people?  The potential is certainly there for good reading.

Boom! Studios on page 250 has Mr. Stuffins #1, a tale about a cute teddy bear who is ... a secret agent.  Who wouldn't love that?  The final issue of X Isle (#5) is also coming out.  The first two were decent, but we'll see how they wrap this up.

For 9 dollars, you can pick up the second trade paperback of Action Philosophers! from Evil Twin Comics on page 278.  If you missed the the first time around, you can also get the first trade.  Only three more issues left of this excellent series, so you don't want to miss it!

Hard-Boiled Comics #2 comes out on page 285.  You might think I'm pointing this out because I got the first issue for free, but it has a villain with the head of a hammerhead shark.  Come on, that's gold!

On page 302, Markosia brings us Golly #1, which looks sufficiently goofy (and advertises as being for "immature mature readers," which a LOT of comics should be advertised for).  As the text puts it: What if they threw an Apocalypse and nobody came?  This book stars Satan schlepping a carnival midway for cigarette money, so it must be good!

Moonstone has a couple of books that might be good on page 306.  Revisionary has a two-issue compilation (of the original series?), and although I don't know much about the writer, the artist, Eric J, is very good.  Meanwhile, they're also offering The Spider Chronicles, about the olde-tyme noir crime fighter.  The talent is there, so it could be very good.

Everything so far has been prelude, however, to what we find on page 318: SHARK-MAAAAAAANNNNNN!  Yes, Thrill House brings us the second issue of Shark-Man, and if you missed the first one, a "Director's Cut" version is also available.  Shark-Man isn't the best comic book out there, but it's one of the awesomest.  You know you want it!

After the awesomeness of Shark-Man, where else can you go?  Nowhere, so the post must come to a close.  Remember - just because it doesn't say DC or Marvel on it doesn't mean it's no good.  Be daring in your comics purchases!

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