It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “ Life with Archie is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Richie Rich Gems Winter Special - In addition to their modern-look Richie Rich, Ape has also re-introducied the classic version in both new and reprinted adventures. I missed the solicit for Richie Rich Gems #44 last month (which picked up where the Harvey series left off in 1982), but the series continues with not only the Winter Special, but #45 as well.
Dragons vs Dinosaurs - I haven't had great luck with Arcana's books in the past, but c'mon. The title alone...
Hero Happy Hour: On the Rocks - This, on the other hand, is no risk at all. I'm a big fan of Dan Taylor and Chris Fason's superhero bar stories and this is an all-new, 80-page adventure. Not reprints; not even a printed version of the webcomic. It's all-new and I need it.
The Dare Detectives: The Snow Pea Plot Collected Edition - Archaia prepares for their publishing Ben Caldwell's Dare Detectives: The Kula Kola Caper by re-publishing the first story that was originally put out by Dark Horse.
Archie #637 - The first installment of the "Archie Meets Kiss" story. Not quite as odd as Archie's meeting the Punisher, but gettin' close.
Bliss On Tap
Andie and the Alien - An alternate-history story in which an alien prevented Europeans from colonizing North America and how that affected WWII. That's a harrowing premise and I'm eager to see how Philip and Brian Phillipson and Alex Niño (the team behind God the Dyslexic Dog) tackle it.
Outcast #1 - Undead (but not Zombie) Conan. I can get behind that.
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas - And my nine-year-old can get behind this. Just realized it's written by Caleb Monroe too and that bodes well. I really liked his stuff on Hunter's Fortune.
The Strain #1 - Pandemic stories are too scary for me and zombies make me yawn, but this might just hit the sweet spot between the two.
Hellboy, Volume 12: The Storm and the Fury - The Death of Hellboy for trade-waiters.
Star Wars: Agent of the Empire - Iron Eclipse #1 - I don't remember the last time I was interested in a Star Wars comic, but I've always supported the notion of using big, popular settings like that and Star Trek for other genres. James Bond in the Star Wars galaxy sounds kind of awesome just so long as it doesn't turn into the same Empire vs. Rebels story I've already seen too many times.
Star Wars Omnibus: A Long Time Ago, Volume 5 - Wrapping up the reprints of Marvel's 107-issue Star Wars series. I have fond memories of a lot of those comics and have been waiting to read them all back-to-back.
Dark Horse Presents #7 - Another excellent lineup of talent from Neal Adams and Howard Chaykin to Mike Mignola and Eduardo Barreto.
Empowered: Deluxe Edition - Collecting the first three volumes (and some extra material) of the critically-acclaimed superhero spoof.
Ningen's Nightmares - A warrior-monk fights bounty hunters, a witch, and her demon-samurai with art that reminds me a little of Mike Oeming's.
Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1 - Grant Morrison continues his popular, pre-New 52 Batman Incorporated story in this one-shot.
Ray #1 - Justin Gray, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Jamal Igle bring out the New 52's Ray and make him fight giant monsters.
Catwoman, Volume 1 - Collecting the first issues of Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke's much-loved time with the character.
Resurrection Man, Volume 1 - This was a fantastic series and deserving of a collection. It raises the question though: why isn't there a New 52 Aztek comic?
Lord of the Jungle #1 - It's been too damn long since we had a Tarzan comic. I just wish they didn't feel the need to retell the origin story again.
Voltron #1 - On the other hand, since I know nothing about Voltron (except that it's about a giant robot, which is really all I need to know), I can do with a re-telling of the origin story on this one. So, yes, I'm a hypocrite.
Romeo and Juliet: The War - Stan Lee turns my least-favorite Shakespeare play into a sci-fi fantasy with cyborgs and genetically enhanced humans. So torn.
Young Romance: The Best of Simon and Kirby's 1940s - 1950s Romance Comics - Not only am I extremely curious from an historical standpoint, but damn it, sometimes you just wanna read about kissing.
Flannery O'Connor Cartoons - Growing up in the South like I did, Flannery O'Connor's short stories were required reading. I had no idea she made comics too.
Mush! Sled Dogs with Issues - Sled dog soap opera! That's so crazy it just might work.
The Phantom: The Complete Series - The King Years - I really can't seem to get enough Phantom.
The Hero Initiative
Justice League of America 100 Project - Great artists drawing great characters for an even greater cause.
Before the Incal: Classic Collection - One of these days I'm going to get around to finally reading Alejandro Jodorowsky and Moebius' The Incal and when I do, I'm going to include this prequel.
Muse - Terry Dodson draws the story of a beautiful (it's Dodson; how could she not be?) governess to a mysterious family.
Memorial #1 - Magic shops are great settings for stories, but I rarely read one that lives up to my hopes for it. Maybe this one about an amnesiac girl (another favorite concept of mine, Starfire notwithstanding) will do the trick.
Magic: The Gathering #1 - I still get a little angry over the concept of a game where the advantage goes to the person most willing to spend a bunch of money on it (yeah, I'm looking at you too, baseball), but the art on the Magic cards did a great job of suggesting a cohesive world, even if I didn't understand anything about it as I was playing. I'm hoping that this series can flesh out that suggestion while also telling a good story.
Curious Cases of Sherlock Holmes - I'm a big fan of Gary Reed and Guy Davis' alternate universe Holmes in Honour Among Punks, so I'm pretty excited by the prospect of Reed's doing a comics anthology of the "real" Holmes teaming up with and/or fighting Dr. Jekyll, the Phantom of the Opera, Oscar Wilde, and Toulouse Lautrec.
Madman: 20th Anniversary Monster! - Madman's already cool. He doesn't need Peter Bagge, Kyle Baker, Peter Milligan, Darwyn Cooke, Dean Haspiel, Los Bros Hernandez, Erik Larsen, David Mack, Mike Oeming, Paul Pope, Eric Powell, Frank Quitely, Steven T Seagle, Jeff Smith, Craig Thompson, Matt Wagner, and others to make him cooler. But he's got them anyway.
Last Battle - Dan Brereton does the art on this Rome vs barbarians one-shot.
Defenders #1 - I wish this had Green She-Hulk in it instead of Red (and also that it had Valkyrie and maybe Hellcat), but it's still a revival that's past due.
X-Club #1 - The X-Men's Science Team was always a cool idea and deserves a shot at its own series, but I'm kind of scratching my head over why Beast isn't in this. Apparently it's Second-Guess Marvel Team Lineups day.
Captain Action: The Complete Adventures - Including both Fabian Nicieza and Steven Grant's runs on the series. Over 400 pages for less than $30. I'll take that Action. (Sorry.)
Inner Sanctum - I don't think I've ever listened to a single episode of Inner Sanctum, but I always get a thrill of recognition when I hear the title thanks to Bill Cosby's name-dropping it in his "Chicken Heart" story. Anyway, if you're going to do a horror anthology, you could do much, much worse than have it inspired by Inner Sanctum and completely created by Ernie Colón.
Polly and the Pirates, Volume 2: Mystery of the Dragonfish - Have I only been waiting six years for this? Feels like sixty. Volume 1 was wonderful and I can't fault Ted Naifeh for only writing this one when he got someone as awesome as Robbi Rodriguez to take his place on the art. The preview pages look amazing.
Spontaneous - The mini-series that combines Spontaneous Human Combustion with conspiracy theory gets its collection.
The Intrepid Escapegoat - Guys, it's a paranormal-investigating escape artist who's a goat. You're welcome.
The Complete Flash Gordon Library, Volume 1: On the Planet Mongo - I'm still not sure I understand the difference between this volume and IDW's (except that IDW's also includes Alex Raymond's Jungle Jim comics), but I'm mentioning it just in case there is a difference that I don't figure out until later. Seriously though: if someone knows, please explain it to me.
That's it for me. What did I miss?