Ah, the anticipation of new comics is often sweeter than the reality of new comics, ain't it? With that in mind, it's time to check out Previews #253, which asks us to believe that we need a second JSA book!
Ugly Cover Alert! Page 22 gives us this:
Usually, I'd be all for two nude ladies on a comic book cover, but Willow looks ... really terrible. Oh well.
There's an Empowered one-shot on page 26 (2 December). I imagine I'm a bad person because I just wasn't impressed with the first volume and I haven't been back since.
The final volume of Rex Mundi is offered on page 33 (3 February). I'm really hoping for a giant Omnibus or two.
The latest B.P.R.D. series comes to an end on page 36. I mention this only because I just heard that Dark Horse isn't planning on doing for B.P.R.D. what they've done for Hellboy; that is, releasing them in those big ol' "library editions" (the third volume of which just came out this past week). That's unfortunate; I suppose I just have to go get the trades, as I've been holding off buying them until I could get the fancy library editions.
The cover for Green Lantern #49 (page 60; 23 December) shows John Stewart looking through a scope as he's aiming a rifle. There was a cover in last month's Previews on which he was looking through a scope as he's aiming a rifle. What the hell?
Hey, look at the cover of Booster Gold #27 (page 66; 9 December):
I like the solicitation for Arkham Reborn #3 (page 76; 23 December): "[I]t's starting to look like the new Arkham Asylum is one big joke." Really? As opposed to the fine security at the old one?
So the DC Holiday Special 2009 is coming out on 9 December (page 83). B'wana Beast stars in it! Remember, 20 years ago, when a certain God of All Comics pointed out that maybe, just maybe, that's a bit racist? But it's so kitschy! Good job, DC, bringing the name back!
There's a Steve Ditko Creeper hardcover on sale on page 91 (24 February). It's 40 bucks, but I would assume it's totally worth it. Of course, I like how it includes stories that were written by people who weren't Ditko and drawn by people who weren't Ditko. That's rather weird.
DC is releasing the Doc Savage mini-series from 1987 in trade paperback (page 92; 13 January). It's written by Denny O'Neil and drawn by the Kuberts (Adam and Andy, not Joe). Anyone want to chime in with a recommendation for this?
Vertigo has Daytripper #1 (page 107; 9 December) by Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon. Yeah, that's going to kick much ass.
Hey, Peter Milligan's Human Target gets a new trade on page 113 (13 January). It collects the original mini-series by the much-missed Edvin Biukovic and the graphic novel Final Cut by Javier Pulido. Is it worth it? For 15 bucks, you better believe it!
Jamie Delano writes a new John Constantine graphic novel, Pandemonium, on page 114 (10 February). Not only that, it's drawn by Jock. So you know it will look awesome.
The third (and sadly, final) trade of Young Liars is out on page 116 (20 January). Pick it up and have your mind blown!
The latest "next issue project" is offered on page 143 (9 December). It's Silver Streak Comics #24, and it features Erik Larsen and Paul Grist, among others.
The second Elephantmen trade is offered on page 148 (16 December). Excellent stuff, and it's 312 pages for 25 bucks. Not bad.
Speaking of second trades, the second trade of Phonogram is offered on page 149 (16 December). Considering three issues have yet to come out, I wouldn't hold my breath. I get sad whenever another week passes and an issue of Phonogram doesn't come out. Please tell me they'll come out, Mr. Gillen! (Mr. Gillen reads the blog occasionally, and although I can probably call him Kieron, I don't want to take the chance. He'd probably get McKelvie to beat me up.)
Speaking of tardy comics, Gødland #31 is offered on page 157 (16 December). I miss Gødland.
I won't be buying Avengers: The Initiative #31 (page 4; 23 December), but that's an awesome cover:
Here's the solicitation text for X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain #1 (page 14; 2 December):
"In the dark and steamy jungles of Madripoor, the flashing claws of Logan, the blazing bullets of Cyclops, and the dashing fists of the Angel met with wave after wave of beserk [sic] headhunters, all willing to protect the secrets of the Temple-Tomb of Cytorrak with their lives! The ancient treasure map of mercenary Cain Marko, with its siren-song of the priceless gigantic ruby of the fabled god-king, had lured them only into the icy claws of Death!"
Now, it's written by Fred van Lente, so I'm sure it will be good, but that doesn't really sound like noir, does it? And how nice that these stories sold so well they're getting sequels.
So last month, in the solicitation for Dark Avengers #11, the text claimed, "[A]s the world gets turned upside down and no joke ... someone dies. For reelz!! This month, for Dark Avengers #12 (16 December), they use the exact same text. I guess no one cares what's in the actual book, as long as it's, you know, kewl.
Okay, I don't have much to say about the two Fall of the Hulks specials on page 34-35 (2 and 23 December), but the fact that there's a "Hulk family" is, well, stupid. There. I said it.
Ugly Cover Alert! New Avengers Annual #3 (page 45; 2 December) is drawn by Mike Mayhew, who's fairly decent, but his cover looks like this:
Blech. Really, blech.
So Bushman is back and is letting all of the crazy people out of some asylum in the latest issue of Vengeance of the Moon Knight (page 46; 16 December). If you want to convince us that Moon Knight isn't a Batman rip-off, you probably shouldn't steal ideas from a famous Batman story.
Ugly Cover Alert! What. The. Bleep. (Page 51, by the way.)
Even though we all must love Warren Ellis, in the latest issue of Astonishing X-Men (page 57; 9 December), we learn that there's an "attempt to remove mutantcy from the planet Earth entirely." Sigh. Good plot, there. I realize it's all in the execution, but still.
X-Factor #200 is offered on page 70 (16 December), and the team is back in New York (God forbid a Marvel book take place outside of New York or some fictional location; the X-Men bailed on San Francisco for a fictional location, and now X-Factor has skipped out on Detroit). It's an odd solicitation - the issue is 104 pages, with the listing "new and reprint," but there's no mention of what's reprinted. Usually Marvel makes a big deal about what they're reprinting, so I wonder what's going to be in this one.
Ed Hannigan: Covered is a cool project (page 80; 2 December). It features some of Hannigan's Marvel covers from the 1970s and '80s, and proceeds go directly to Hannigan himself, as he multiple sclerosis. What's interesting, though, is that there will be only one printing of this book EVER (as the text loudly proclaims). I guess Marvel doesn't want Hannigan getting too many proceeds through multiple printings, do they? Still, it's a cool thing to do.
Marvel Masterworks: X-Men vol 8 (page 83; 10 March) is a keen collection: all the X-Men stuff from between the cancellation of the original series in 1970 to Giant-Size X-Men #1 in 1975. That's kind of neat.
For 20 dollars, you can get the Mini Marvels Ultimate Collection trade paperback (page 100; 23 December). I don't know if I can handle all the awesome that this collection will surely have.
Okay, it's time to head into the back of the book. Fear not the lack of superheroes!
Jim Rugg draws Afrodisiac from AdHouse Books on page 188. I don't know if this will be any good (it sounds like a parody/pastiche of 1970s blaxploitation movies, so I'll probably skip it), but Rugg is a damned fine artist, so it will look good.
As you recall, I'm not a big fan of Eric Powell's writing (although I love his art). But many people are, so check out Chimichanga #1 on page 188 from Albatross Exploding Funny Books (which means it's self-published), which is Powell's new series. It's the story of a bearded girl in a circus. Presumably, because it's Powell, there will be gross jokes that I won't find funny.
I would recommend getting the Secret History Omnibus on page 196 from Archaia, because it's a very good series. I'm wondering, however, if Archaia is ever going to finish publishing the original issues. I've been waiting for the final two issues, and don't want to spend $35 to get two new issues. It's vexing. If you haven't bought any of the individual issues, however, this is a very cool series, and the $35-price tag is for a 336-page comic, so it's a fairly good value.
I'm kind of bothered by Avatar's new layout in Previews. On page 205 they offer "Ignition City #5 Auxiliary" edition. I don't know what the hell that's supposed to be. But Ignition City #5, the "regular" edition, hasn't come out yet. This can't be replacing it, so when is it supposed to arrive? These are titles shipping in December, and it's not on their list of books coming out in November. I loathe "convention" specials and "variant" crap - I just want to read the damned book! (That last rant wasn't aimed directly at Avatar, as other companies do it too. Don't worry about the exclusivity of the book, worry about people reading it!)
There's a new printing of the Mysterymen Adventures trade for $20 on page 210 from Bob Burden Studios. I've never read anything by Burden. Tell me, good comics aficianados, should I purchase this?
Com.X has the softcover version of Cla$$war volume 1 (a second volume of which will probably never appear). It's actually not bad - the art quality goes down when Hairsine leaves and the fact that it's incomplete is annoying, but it's pretty good. That's on page 227, right next to a strange offering: 45, in which one man interviews forty-five super-powered individuals because his unborn child might have the gene that makes one superhuman. That's a decent idea, but here's the twist: each page is drawn by a different artist, and according to the solicit, they have some good ones lined: Liam Sharp, Jock, Charlie Adlard, and Dan Brereton, to name a few. Interesting.
Garth Ennis has a new Battlefields series coming out on page 235 from Dynamite Entertainment. This time, we get a young Australian joining a bomber squadron that's about to start runs over the Ruhr valley. It's drawn by PJ Holden, who's quite good. It's always nice to see an Ennis war story, although it would be nice to see him do other wars than WWII. It's called "Battlefields," not "World War Two Battlefields"!
On page 239, Dynamite gives us Dreadstar: The Beginning, which collects the stuff from before the ongoing series began. Yes, it's $30, but I can't wait to get this, as I've never read them.
I doubt if I'll get Death Valley #1 from Desperado (page 242), but it's a Western, it's written by Keith Champagne and drawn by Shawn Moll, so if you really dig Westerns, this might be something to check out.
Fantagraphics brings Ho Che Anderson's King back into print on page 252. Is this as good as I've heard it is?
I probably won't get Borgia (volume 3) from Heavy Metal on page 255, mainly because it's volume 3 and it's $15 for 56 pages, but it features artwork by Milo Manara, who's tremendous. And he likes drawing naked women, which is never a bad thing.
IDW keeps bringing these old comics back into print, and I certainly appreciate it. On page 263 they have Winterworld by Chuck Dixon and Jorge Zaffino. I don't know if it's any good, but it sounds like the kind of action comic that Dixon knocks out of the park, and Zaffino is a fine artist. I'll have to check it out.
You can also get a trade of The Life and Times of Savior 28 (page 267), J. M. DeMatteis's deconstruction of a superhero who decides he wants to change the world by becoming a pacifist. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.
Abby and the Crusader get married in Love and Capes #12 (page 269, Maerkle Press). I should get this series more. It's quite charming.
Justin Gray and Lee Ferguson bring us Mr. Keen: Tracer of Lost Persons on page 270 from Moonstone. It's the story of a woman who hires Mr. Keen to find a man who is "sheer evil." Oh dear. It's a good creative team, and I might have to give it a whirl.
The second volume of Chris Schweizer's "Crogan" series, Crogan's March, shows up on page 274 from Oni Press. The first of the series, Crogan's Vengeance, was quite good, and now we get a story of a different member of the family in the French Foreign Legion, fighting bad guys and creatures that like to eat people! Man, that sucks.
Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time gets a trade paperback on page 284 from Red 5 Comics. You shouldn't wait for the trade on this awesome comic, but if you do, now's your chance to pick it up!
On page 294 we find The Apocalypse Plan from Transfuzion Publishing. Writer Rafael Nieves imagines Heaven and Hell as corporations that track souls instead of sales. It could be a clever idea, and Dan Dougherty draws it, so it will look pretty good.
I'm sure you're dying to get your Zan and Jayna T-shirts (page 330):
The question is: would wearing the Zan one and promising that you have a Jayna one for her repel a woman or attract her? The mind boggles! (Considering they're brother and sister, perhaps it's best not to think about it.)
This figure features "cast-off clothing." Ewwwwwww (page 376).
Page 385. Blood Energy Potion. We're in hell:
Okay, maybe going too far into the back of the book isn't that good of an idea. But you can still stop before you get to the truly creepy stuff! Grab that Previews and start digging! You know you want to. Who wouldn't?