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Flippin' through Previews - September 2006

Yay! The latest issue of Previews is out! Let's see what products are contained within designed to separate us from our hard-earned cash. Good times!

Previews, Vol. XVI, No. 9, with Tim Sale's Superman on one cover and a Locke action figure on the back cover. Is Todd McFarlane the Devil? I'm just wondering ...

Dark Horse:

On page 18, Samurai: Heaven and Earth Vol. 2 #1 is solicited for 1 Nov. I was speechless when I saw this. Long-time readers may recall how much I liked the first mini-series and how grumpy I was that it was "to be continued," because I thought Luke Ross would never come back for another series. Well, it appears I was wrong. I'm glad, because the series really was very good, and I hope Marz doesn't push his luck and actually wraps things up this time. Samurai action in eighteenth-century Europe! Excellent stuff.

Page 23 gives us Hellgate: London #1 for an 8 Nov. release. Ian Edginton writes and Steve Pugh draws. This looks kind of cool, but I probably won't buy it because it's tied in to a video game. Ugh. That's just how I roll. But it might be for you!

Archenemies is collected in a trade on page 28 for a 31 Jan. (???) release. I didn't get this when it came out and a few people chided (chid?) me. Should I take the trade plunge? What say you all?

Another 31 Jan. release is Blessed Thistle (page 33), which is 10 bucks but sounds wild. Three separate stories linking common suburban themes with horrific consequences. And the art in the solicitation is wacky in a good way. I'm disturbed just looking at it!

Speaking of horror, on page 34 Jason Hall and Kelley Jones give us The Messengers, which is 7 dollars and will be out on 3 Jan. Kelley Jones is always good for some creepy fun, and apparently I'm one of six or seven people who liked Beware the Creeper, which Hall wrote, so this might be a nice purchase.

I can't endorse Dark Horse's schedule for re-releasing Rex Mundi trades, but the second volume on page 35 is coming out on 17 Jan. I wish they had brought them all out before the new number one issue came out, but that's the way it is, I guess. It's a great series, as you know (because I keep telling you), and here's another chance to catch up.

DC:

Page 65 gives us Batman/The Spirit by Jeph Loeb and Darwyn Cooke (29 Nov.). Loeb's presence makes this an iffy proposition, but why am I bothered by the fact that someone else is using the Spirit even though Eisner is dead? I don't even own anything with the Spirit in it. Why does it bug me?

Anyone want to lay a wager on when All Star Batman and Robin #5 will actually ship? Page 67 says 29 Nov. I'm betting it will be sometime in 2007.

Why is Richard Donner writing Superman comic books? I can't say if it will be good or bad, but why is he doing it? How much will that boost sales?

Page 74 has the new Superman book, Superman Confidential by Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale (1 Nov.). I'd rant about this for a while, but I don't have the energy. I'm sure it will be fine. I don't know if I will buy it, and if you really want me to rant about it, I will. But perhaps you can guess why I don't like it already.

Here's what I don't like about Birds of Prey #100 on page 81, which ships 15 Nov. The text says "Who will be asked to join Oracle in her all-new Birds of Prey?" It's the same thing that bugs me about the Justice League, and yet another reason why the Giffen/DeMatteis run was so interesting: being in the Birds of Prey isn't a job, right? Oracle, Huntress, and Black Canary just hung out together fighting crime, right? So it's not like people are competing to join, just like no one is competing to join the Justice League. Are Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman going to pay their new recruits? Is Oracle? The "international" team actually paid their members, which is why Fire and Ice wanted to join in the first place. Anyone? Does Oracle pay these people, or is she just going to call a few people and say, "Hey, want to hang out, get a pizza, maybe fight some crime?" What's the deal, readers of Birds of Prey? Gail, are you out there?

JLA #4 (page 88, 15 Nov.): "Who will join Brad Meltzer's new JLA?" You mean he doesn't know yet? Sheesh.

I'm going to get myself in a lot of trouble here, but I don't care! I like the cover for Trials of Shazam #4 on page 94, which comes your way on 22 Nov. How will that get me in trouble? Bear with me. I like it because the woman (whoever she is) actually looks like a real woman - she's not anorexic! Yay, Howard Porter! Okay, still not in trouble. Okay, how about this: why, in comics, the only women who occasionally escape being anorexic are, shall we say, ethnic? It's okay for black women to actually look like real people, but all white women must be ridiculously skinny and have big breasts? What's up with that? Discuss. Please don't kill me.

All this new Wildstorm stuff (pages 109-113) looks fine, but leaves me distinctly unexcited. It's 2006, people, not 1992. Sigh.

Page 115 brings us an interesting solicitation text for Manifest Eternity #6 (on sale 1 Nov.). First of all, it's the last issue. It's not my fault! Second, it reads "Witness the horrific origin of one of the series [sic] most popular and enduring characters." How on earth can you have a popular and enduring characters when the book lasts only six issues, only three of which have actually come out? Oh well. Fare thee well, Lobdell and Nguyen.

In the Vertigo section, DC writes weird things again. Crossing Midnight (page 120, 29. Nov.) looks somewhat interesting, but Jim Fern is a "breakout" artist? He's been around forever. Literally. I actually wondered what happened to him before he showed up on Fables earlier this year for a couple of issues. "Breakout"? Really?

Image Comics:

Drain on page 138 (15 Nov.) looks pretty, but a female ninja vampire? No thanks.

Speaking of looking pretty, The Nightly News, which is on page 140 for a 1 Nov. release, also looks very neat. It sounds like one of those things that could be really cool, but in the hands of a bad writer, could turn ugly quickly. I don't know Jonathan Hickman, so I can't be a judge of that yet. But it looks neat.

I just received the Renfield trade in the mail, and it's offered on page 154 (1 Nov.). I know it's an old book, but some of you might not have it, so I'll be sure to review this before it comes out.

There's a Mr. Glum plush toy on page 155. I mention it only because the ad says, "Twelve inches of awesome!" I just found that funny.

Battle Pope fights God on page 156. I wasn't impressed when Savage Dragon fought God, so this probably won't do much for me either.

I know that you're all interested in buying Phonogram after my interview with Kieron Gillen, and issue #4 ships on 1 Nov. and is on page 165.

I'm sure you're not buying the Lost action figures, because you would go to hell if you did, but I like how on page 172, the only pose they could come up with Shannon is lying on the beach in her bikini. Isn't that how we'll all remember Maggie Grace?

Marvel:

You know, solicitations piss me off. A lot of companies do this, but Marvel and DC are the worst. Ultimate Power #2 (page 7) claims "You cannot miss it!" You know what? I'm going to miss it, and I doubt if it will make one iota of difference in my life. Just tell us what's going on in the issue, Marvel, and leave the gushing to those who, you know, aren't on your payroll. Wait until I get to Astonishing X-Men.

Why can't Mary Jane pull up her shorts on the cover of Sensational Spider-Man #32 (page 15)? Did they fall down because she's clinging to Spidey's back?

Bullet Points (page 25) looks good (Tommy Lee Edwards on art) but ... why is there an Iron Man in World War II? Things like that annoy me.

I would probably buy Fantastic Four: The End (page34) if it weren't six issues. Six issues? Really? I mean, Alan Davis writes and draws, so it's extremely tempting, but six issues?

Ghost Rider #5 (page 42) features a guest appearance by ... SATAN! Seriously, that's what it says. I like how in America today, proprietors of comic book shops can get arrested for selling comics with naked people in them to adults, but Marvel can proudly feature Satan, who a lot of people in this country believe is real and would not like their children associating with him. Fascinating.

The text for Nextwave #10 (page 45) claims that this book is more important to the Marvel Universe than Civil War. I like how they're being ironic, but it's actually true.

I love Moon Knight, but the solicitation text for issue #7 (page 47) is awful. I don't even want to quote it. If you happen to have the Previews, read the solicitation. This is how they're trying to sell the book? Just read my reviews, because they're not stupid.

The return of Hawkeye AND the Scarlet Witch (page 49)? Wow, that's shocking. Who cares?

Others have already blasted this, but Onslaught Reborn (page 51) has the potential to be the absolute worst comic book ever. That's right - worse that Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose! The text says "the long-awaited return of Onslaught." Now, I'll admit I don't troll message boards, but I have never, in the long, wonderfully Onslaught-free decade since this atrocity, heard one single person wish for the return of Onslaught. I have heard plenty of people wish that they could somehow retcon their own lives so that they never heard of Onslaught in the first place, but yearning for his return? Not so much. Who out there was awaiting the return of Onslaught? Anyone? And as nice as it is that Marvel is donating some of the proceeds to the Sam Loeb College Scholarship Fund, doesn't it smack a bit of "If you don't buy this, you hate dead children and don't want others to get a chance to go to college"? I hate to sound crass, but Marvel doesn't give a good goddamn about dead children, because they can't buy comics. This whole page makes me feel like I need a shower. And then we get three pages of horrible Liefeld art to prove that he still sucks.

I'm sure this has been addressed many, many years ago, but is the Silver Surfer naked? That's his ass on page 58, but Marvel doesn't care about that nudity. So what's the story?

Why is the White Tiger showing us jazz hands (page 62)? Well, she would be if Mack had, you know, bothered to draw hands. It still looks like she's auditioning for a Broadway musical.

Page 64 tells us that Whedon and Cassaday are beginning their final arc. Back in the day, when we first moved over here, I pissed some people off by suggesting that this kind of comic book just isn't good enough. That was fun, wasn't it? Now we come to the end, and I wonder if, when we have all 24 issues to peruse, it will hold up. In five years, will anyone still care about Whedon and Cassaday's run? Oh, and Marvel? Don't use text like "nothing will ever be the same" and then follow it up with "No, really, we mean it." It smacks of condescension, because we know that you're lying.

Take a look at Silvestri's awful cover of X-Men: Phoenix - Warsong #3 (page 74). You know, there's nothing better than underage girls dressed as whores. Sorry to be a prude, but that's yucky.

The Grant Morrison X-Men run gets the hardcover monster-sized treatment (page 90). Ignore the naysayers - it's very good. I do like, however, that Marvel mentions that he got rid of the "gaudy spandex costumes" - the last time I checked, "gaudy" was a pejorative word, yet Marvel had no problem bringing them back. Stuff like this makes me chuckle. Yes, I'm warped.

Shanna, the She-Devil is collected in a trade on page 104. I'm not buying this, but wasn't there supposed to be an "X-rated" version as well? Wouldn't that be cool if Marvel had the cajones to publish that?

On to the back of the book!

AiT/Planet Lar brings us First Moon on page 228, by the guys what brung you Continuity (which I liked and which is offered again on page 229). I want to get this, because it deals with the missing colonists on Roanoke Island, Virginia, in the sixteenth century, but there's a catch ... werewolves. Sigh. I'll probably still get it.

Amaze Ink/Slave Labor has Rex Libris #6 on page 232. Good place to start if you've missed the first five issues, because it's a new story!

If you've been waiting for the collected edition of Frank Miller's original script to Robocop, Avatar has it on page 246. I'm not getting it, because I'm not that interested, but it might appeal to you. Steven Grant adapts it for comics and Juan Jose Ryp's art is very nice.

Stardust Kid concludes on page 254 from Boom! Studios. I've been waiting for this to finish so I can read the damned thing, so it should be fun. Check out the trade if you haven't been buying this, because the first two issues, at least, are good.

Speaking of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose, #41 on page 258 is the Christmas issue. One of these days I have to get an issue, because it's just so awful. Chris Sims used to rip these issues every so often, but not recently, and I'm sad.

Greg Hatcher, with his uncanny abilities, just wished for The Trouble With Girls to show up in a trade, and on page 260, his wish comes true! That's just spooky. The text doesn't really sell it well, though. Why would anyone buy it if they didn't already want it?

On page 280, Content #1 and #2 are offered by DI. They both sound intriguing, especially #2, which apparently has much to do with cell phone sex. There's nothing better! Did anyone get #1? Is it any good?

ICCC Media Inc. has Vatican City, Las Vegas on page 294 for 15 dollars. This sounds like an absolute wild book. I'd like to describe it, but I don't think I can. It begins at a Las Vegas casino that looks like the Vatican. Isn't that enough to convince you????

IDW has its usual assortment of television tie-ins and horror stuff, but Turistas: The Other Side of Paradise on page 306 intrigues me. It's another tie-in to a movie, and the text reads that it "explores the dark, brutal, and bloody secrets that lurk behind the world's most exotic travel destinations ..." Does that mean it's non-fiction? Like a twisted travelogue? Or is Fox and IDW just making stuff up to scare us? Either way, it sounds neat.

What happened to Local? Where is it? I miss it.

If you didn't pre-order Empty Chamber #1, shame on you. Empty Chamber #2 is offered on page 323 from Silent Devil Productions. Get them both! Have faith that they will be good!

The King is offered again on page 348 from Top Shelf. This came out last year, and I, at least, thought it was really good. Well worth the 20 dollar price tag.

That's it for this month. Well, by "it" I mean the things I am focusing on. There's a lot more, of course. I hope this helped, and be sure to bug your local comic shoppe proprietor to let you have Previews for free! It will make him more money in the long run!

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