Pipeline, Issue #491


  • I had my issue numbers all mixed up last week when I called Marvel's AVENGERS ASSEMBLE! Volume 4 the final collection of Kurt Busiek stories. It isn't. There's another 15 to go, including the first few with coveted Alan Davis art. I would imagine that a fifth volume would pack that all up, unless they have other material I'm forgetting right now to pad it out to two more volumes. Wouldn't an AVENGERS FOREVER hardcover be nice? (Thanks, Erik, for pointing that out.) #41-56
  • One other correction from last week: My Belgian friend, Mario, was kind enough to remind me that the XIII trade paperback is a Belgian creation, not French. Belgium represent!
  • The Pipeline Book Club is starting back up again. This time, it will be centered on Alan Moore and J.H. Williams III's PROMETHEA. Read along at home and discuss one of the more interesting comics of the past five years.
  • I need to wish my comics shop, Dewey's Comic City in Madison, NJ, a happy 15th anniversary. Congrats to Dan on a crowning achievement -- it's been an, er, interesting industry to succeed in for these past 15 years. Imagine starting your business just a couple of years before the industry's greatest crash and still succeed. On a related note, here's something to add to your events calendars: Adam Kubert will be making an in-store appearance at Dewey's on Saturday, December 2nd at noon. Maybe I'll see one of you there. . .
  • I forgot to mention it last week, but I've brought back the Various and Sundry DVD Podcast I quit about four months ago. It's a limited run engagement right now, but if the support is there and the listenership is vocal enough, I could easily be convinced to do more. You can subscribe to it here, or find out more at the show notes for the latest edition of the show.
  • The Pipeline Podcast, in the meantime, is busier than ever. I have two more creator interviews lined up for November, the first of which should be appearing here next week. Plus, the monthly Pipeline Previews Podcast turned out to be so long that I'm going to break it into two parts. The first part will appear later in the week along the Pipeline Podcast's feed.

  • Speaking of PREVIEWS:


Phil Winslade is keeping busy. He's drawing BATMAN: LEGENDS OF THE DARK KNIGHT #214, as written by Christos Gage. It's the final issue of the series, and appears to be a one shot. Looks like a great Jumping On point, doesn't it? Winslade is also drawing THE HELMET OF FATE: IBIS THE INVINCIBLE, as written by Tad Williams, and sharing art duties with Butch Guice in AQUAMAN: SWORD OF ATLANTIS #48. Personally, I'd rather see him drawing a book I can get excited about.

ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #10 looks like fun, sporting an all-star cast of artists including Art Adams, Joe Kubert, Pete Woods, Rags Morales, Kevin Maguire, Eric Wight, and Tony Daniel. Gary Frank does an alternate cover. Geoff Johns and Richard Donner are the writers, but an untrained monkey could be writing this book and I'd still buy it just for the art. (Nothing personal towards Johns and Donner there, honest.)

The best DC monthly for my money gets its first trade paperback on February 21st. CHECKMATE Volume 1: A KING'S GAME collects the first seven issues of Greg Rucka's superheroic political thriller. It's $15 for 168 pages, which also makes it a bargain, as far as I'm concerned. If you want to hear more, I recommend the two-part Rucka interview the guys at Around Comics did last month.

Given the way the book market works and PREVIEWS solicitations work anymore, I have to point out that this book isn't scheduled until the end of February, not January.

Yup, that's it. Moving on. . .


Image has an obsession with religion. It would seem that it's the single most important topic of discussion for creators with books there. If you're book isn't flat out referencing the Pope or God or Jesus Christ, then it has to include a goddess, an archangel, some demons, and hell. If you can force two or three of those together into one book, you'll get your page in PREVIEWS through Image.

If we skip all of that, let's see what highlights is leaves us.

BRIT, Volume 1: OLD SOLDIER is a new trade paperback collecting the original three one-shots orchestrated by Robert Kirkman a few years back. For the first time, they're being printed in full color. If you're just jumping aboard the Kirkman bandwagon, these books are gems you missed the first time around. They feature art by Tony Moore and Cliff Rathburn, with the new colors by Val Staples. The book is set in the same universe as INVINCIBLE and SAVAGE DRAGON, and you'll even see some familiar characters crossing over here. The stories are a lot of fun, with beautiful art, and Kirkman's own lettering throughout. It's 176 pages for $18.

Doug TenNapel's next original graphic novel isn't due out just yet, but you can go back and picked up GEAR in January. GEAR is TenNapel's older comic that was adapted to become CATSCRATCH on Nickelodeon. The book "depicts stupid cats hijacking giant robots to fight in a war against insects and dogs." All that in 160 pages for just $15

Chuck Dixon's THE IRON GHOST mini-series is collected into one 144-page volume for $16. This color series is set in World War II, as a ghost (not quite a religious figure, so I'm counting it) is pursued by the non-Nazi German police. This kind of historical action drama piece should be right up Dixon's alley. Art is by Sergio Cariello and Flint Henry.

SAVAGE DRAGON gets an 80-page issue for its 132nd anniversary. No, really, there's no anniversary-related reason for a bonus-sized issue. It's just bigger because that's what Erik Larsen wants. There's a "Rock City Diner" backup story featuring some Dragon secondary character favorites, too: Rock, Widows, Beast Boy, and Feezle, amongst others. The art on that story is by one-time TMNT artist, Frank Fosco.


Antarctic Press is giving them what they want: PIRATES VS NINJAS #1. Even better, the promo ad includes the tag line, "Whose Side Are You On?" Beautiful.

I love the cover to GOLD DIGGER #81, an homage to the popular Nintendo DS game, PHOENIX WRIGHT: ACE ATTORNEY.

Dynamite Entertainment gets the award this month for Funniest Goof. Check out their ad on page 249. There's a mockup on there of the BATTLESTAR GALACTICA hardcover, featuring a Steve McNiven cover. Check out the lettering on the binding: "Battlestag Galactica." Whoops!

Gemstone officially raises the price of UNCLE SCROOGE and WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES to $7.50 with this month's solicitations, but at least gives us great content for it. The former reprints Don Rosa's "Return to Plain Awful" story alongside a Romano Scarpa story. The latter gives us William Van Horn's "A Louse In The House," with more Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse and a John Lustig Donald story. Plus, Don Markstein and Noel Van Horn contribute a new Bucky Bug story in time for that character's birthday.

To top it all off, EC ARCHIVES: TWO-FISTED TALES Volume 1 sees print that same month. This one reprints the first six issues of the series edited and often drawn by the great Harvey Kurtzman, whose work was the highlight of the WEIRD SCIENCE volume I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it's $50, but find yourself a retailer who will give you a discount and jump at it.

Heavy Metal brings the return of CORTO MALTESE to North America, although without much fanfare besides on skyscraper ad in PREVIEWS on page 281. This is a classic European comic series that hasn't seen print in English in a long time. The first graphic novel, BALLAD OF THE SEA, leads things off for just $15 at 164 pages. It's a softcover and black and white, but I hope there's more press and advertising for it in the weeks and months ahead. I'm looking forward to this one a lot, and it seems odd to me that the solicitation for it in PREVIEWS is just one short sentence and a bad black and white cover scan.

Oni Press brings us the collection of B. Clay Moore and Jeremy Haun's mini-series, THE LEADING MAN. I've only read the first two parts of the series so far, but it's a keeper. The characters are interesting, and Haun's art is lively and engaging. It's full color, 144 pages, and $15.

TokyoPop contributes to the downfall of civilization with BRATZ Volume 1. It's a 24 page Jr. Cine-Manga formatted comic at 6 x 9 inches for $4. I'm sure it'll be a big gift-giving item. I suppose I should be happy to see material for younger girls available in the comics listings, but does it have to be BRATZ? Is there any redeeming qualities to that crap?

Hidden down in the DVD section comes 40 YEARS OF THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN on DVD. I have an earlier version of this collection, which sadly came across more than a dozen CDs. Now, they're able to pack it all into one DVD. That's a beautiful thing, and very time saving. Included on the disc are PDFs of every issue of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN from the first to the 500th, including annuals. It's only $50 for the set. Similar sets are available for UNCANNY X-MEN, AVENGERS, and FANTASTIC FOUR. The scans include all the letters columns and ads, so you get a good feel for the era, as well as the comics, themselves. Great stuff.

Next week: I've run out of PREVIEWS material, so I'll come up with something new.

The Pipeline Podcast will update multiple times in the coming weeks, starting with tonight's look at the Top Ten most interesting new weekly releases. The Pipeline PREVIEWS Podcast will follow, I hope.

Be my friend? This offer is only good if you're an actual person, not a comic book character or business. Thanks!

My blog, Various and Sundry is still updating daily, with plenty of link dumps and Wii talk. Less than two weeks to go before the Wii hits stores and I stop blogging so incessantly about it.

You can e-mail me your comments on this column, or post them for all the world to see and respond to over on the Pipeline Message Board.

More than 700 columns are archived here at CBR and you can get to them from the Pipeline Archive page. They're sorted chronologically.

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