Flippin' through <i>Previews</i> - September 2008

Don't wait! Get your Previews today! Those weird-ass books aren't ordering themselves!

Dark Horse:

On page 26 a new Umbrella Academy mini-series begins (26 November). I've been thinking about the first one, and while I've decided to re-evaluate it and not claim it's as good as I once thought, it's still a damned fine read. I'm curious to see how Way builds on what he established in the first series. Plus, the art is sure to kick all kinds of ass.That Kull cover on page 28 kicks ass. I don't know how I feel about Kull, but I do like Arvid Nelson, so I might check this out (5 November).

I always take promotional material with a grain of salt, but in what universe is My Name Is Bruce a "smash-hit" (page 33)? According to Bruce Campbell's own web site, the film hasn't been released yet!!!! It seems a bit presumptuous calling it a "smash-hit." Anyway, the one-shot is "available now" (I love when Dark Horse does this, as they have before), if you're interested. Bruce Campbell's popularity continues to escape me (even though I do like him, I don't see the need to seek his movies out to the degree others seem to).Page 34 has Gigantic #1 by Rick Remender and Eric Nguyen (5 November). It sounds interesting: a brainwashed alien superhero is deposited on Earth to be the spotlight of a television show being filmed without his knowledge. As the solicitation text acknowledges, it's like The Truman Show, but with a twist! It could work.Bryan Talbot's The Adventures of Luther Arkwright is another book "available now" (page 36). It's a new edition to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the comic. What say you, old school fans? Is this as good as everyone says it is?Ah, noir comics! How I love you! Joshua Hale Fialkov and Mark Wheaton bring us The Cleaners on page 38 (12 November), a mystery starring a team of trauma-scene cleaners. Yay, bloodbaths! The word is actually used in the solicitation text, so you know there's going to be one!


I don't have much interest in reading Terra (page 64; 5 and 19 November), but Amanda Connor kicks a ton of ass, I'll tell you that much.

"In his last hours," Alfred the butler narrates the life story of Batman in the eponymous title (page 66; 12 November). This has to be Alfred in the future, because DC wouldn't SPOIL something like this, would it? That's kind of stupid.Kevin Smith writes a comic (page 70; 12 November). Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!DC is starting a new "Masterworks" "library" on page 87 with a Superman story from 1971. Is this the one where Clark eats the Kryptonite? That was pretty cool. Anyway, I'm curious to see what will come out from this "DC Comics Classics Library." This is FORTY dollars, for instance, for nine issues. Damn, that's rough.Hey, look at all those WildStorm books (pages 97-105)! Do people really still care about the WildStorm Universe? Oh, wait a minute - that's a completely rhetorical question!That's a pretty darned fun cover for Army@Love: The Art of War #4 (page 112; 5 November).


Liquid City, an anthology that features creators from southeast Asia (page 134; 5 November), looks pretty neat-o. But I lament that Image feels the need to remind us what countries are in southeast Asia. I kid you not. The solicitation reads: "Creators based mainly in South-east Asia, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam." Thanks, Image!

If you're a big, big fan of Jason Pearson, there's a one-shot of Body Bags on page 136 (26 November).Page 144 has The New Brighton Archaeological Society graphic novel (19 November), which sounds neat. The kids first (?) showed up in Popgun volume 1, and the short stories were groovy. Now they're in a longer book. Will it be as charming as the short stories? It's four children getting into wild archaeological adventures! How can it not rock?

Ah, the last issue of Noble Causes (page 152; 19 November). So sad.I Hate Galaxy Girl (page 161; 12 November) looks fun. It's about a girl who should have been Galaxy Girl but was passed over for a buxom blonde with no talent. Isn't that always the way?


I haven't been all that interested in Orson Scott Card's comic work, but I'm interested to see if the sales on Ender's Game (page 2) suffer at all now that he's going over the deep end a bit.Page 10 brings us ... an Ultimatum checklist. Sigh. Remember when the Ultimate Universe was a breath of fresh air? Now they've let Jeph Loeb loose on it, and we get five months of crossover crap. Wouldn't it be nice if Marvel killed every book except Ultimate Spider-Man? That would be awesome.On page 26, Marvel offers Daredevil & Captain America: Dead on Arrival. I don't have much interest in it, but I'm always a bit surprised when I'm reminded that there are lots of officially-sanctioned Marvel superhero stories that we never see in the U. S. It's just kind of interesting.Brian Reed and Giuseppe Camuncoli bring us Ms. Marvel Special: Storyteller on page 43. Ms. Marvel and pirates! Whoo-hoo!

Sigh. According to Marvel, after Secret Invasion #8 (page 44), "the Marvel Universe will, and we're not joking, NEVER be the same again!" Jesus.This is interesting: On page 45, New Avengers #47 promises the story of Luke Cage. I can't find Luke Cage on the cover. What's up with that? And why is Skrull Hawkeye featured when it's the story of Luke Cage?

You know what's coming ... the back of the book!

On page 200, another trade of The Myth of 8-Opus, Tom Scioli's pre-Gødland work, is offered from A-Okay Press. I just got the first one (the "prologue"), and although I haven't read it yet, it looks pretty darned keen.

I haven't been keeping up with Freakangels on-line, but Avatar has a new trade for 20 bucks (page 209), so I might pick that up, as I really hate reading comics on my computer (yes, I'm weird). I've cooled on Ellis recently, but at least he's often interesting.

It's kind of weird to see a solicitation of a Rasl trade on page 230 from Cartoon Books. How many issues does it collect? Considering only two issues have come out so far, it seems optimistic to offer a trade now.

Dynamite Entertainment has a new arc of Zorro on page 256, plus a hardcover of the first 8 issues. It hasn't been a great comic so far, but it is entertaining!

Gary Reed writes some interesting stuff, and Desperado (page 262) has something that sounds cool: The Red Diaries, which is about the conspiracy that led to Marilyn Monroe's murder and is chronicled in her vermilion journals of the title. Sounds neat.

If you're a Kevin Huizenga fan, Drawn & Quarterly has Or Else #5 on page 271. There's a Glenn Ganges story, and another called "How Are We Spending Our Tuesdays?" Yeah, that's what I'd like to know!

There's a neat collection of 1960s war comics from Fantagraphics called Blazing Combat on page 276. Archie Goodwin writes, and artists include Gene Colan, Frank Frazetta, John Severin, Alex Toth, Al Williamson, Russ Heath, Reed Crandall, and Wally Wood. 200 pages for 23 bucks!

The Hero Initiative has something scary on page 285. Yes, it's Stan's Soapbox: The Collection, featuring all - yes, ALL - of Stan Lee's columns from 1967 to 1980 with historical context so we know what the heck he's talking about. Now, it sounds pretty cool, but can any sane person deal with that much concentrated Stan?????

Page 293 brings us Fishtown from IDW. It's a collection of a webcomic by Kevin Colden, and "explores what leads a group of teens to commit a heinous crime." In other words, it's a light-hearted romp!Also on page 293, the second volume of John Byrne's Compleat Next Men comes out. I assume this finishes the series. The first volume was pretty darned good, so I'm looking forward to the conclusion!

Here's something that vexes me. On page 297, Kronos Entertainment (which doesn't have a web site) offers The Killers trade. Two soldiers on opposite sides in World War II engage in a cat-and-mouse game that blurs morality. It sounds pretty keen. In fact, it sounded pretty keen in April and May, when the two issues were solicited. I never got those issues. Does this mean they aren't coming out and I should order this? Or am I still waiting for the two issues to come out? Kronos also has Spy School, which is about, well, a school for spies. That sounds cool too. But dare I order it? DARE I?????

If I say there's a new book from Mohawk Media, you know it's about ... Mr. T!!!!!! Yes, page 301 gives us what is sure to be a modern masterpiece, as T the bodyguard gets involved in all kinds of crap and probably (hopefully!) tells kids to stay in school and lay off the drugs. You know it'll be awesome!

People keep telling me that Danijel Zezelj is really, really good, and Optimum Wound Comics gives us a chance to see for ourselves, as they offer King of Nekropolis, a private detective story in a creepy world. I've seen a little of Zezelj's art, but I'm curious to see how he is as a writer.

Rampart Press offers Cleburne on page 313. It's the story of Patrick Cleburne, the Confederate general who came up with the plan to enlist slaves into the rebel army. This didn't make him terribly popular in the South. I like historical fiction, as you know, so this sounds neat. There's a preview on pages 314-315, so check it out.

I don't want anyone to think I'm a pervert, but Titan Publishing's collection of Jane: The (Mis)Adventures of a Bright Young Thing (page 319), a cartoon strip about a British pin-up girl, sounds really interesting. I've actually read about this in History Today, which is an Anglo-centric history magazine to which I subscribe, and it sounded neat then. 20 bucks for 256 pages!

As we move to the magazine section, we find Back Issue #31 on page 352, which is all about Steve Gerber! Seven dollars for all the Gerber you can stand!

Girls and Corpses has always been a bit goofy, so the fact that the solicitation text for their 2009 wall calendar on page 354 reads: "The perfect gift for your pastor, cellmate, or parents - or even the calendar for your office!" makes me chuckle. I will buy it for you if you can prove you actually gave it to your pastor. I'm totally serious!

As you know, I dig the espionage stuff, so Super-Spies and Secret Agents, a new fanzine on page 358 dedicated to, well, super-spies and secret agents (duh!), sounds keen. It might not be, but I might have to check out the first issue, at least.

That's all for this edition of Previews. I hope you find some good stuff as you trawl through the slab! Fear not!

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