It’s time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. We've each picked the five comics we're most anticipating in order to create a list of the best new stuff coming out two months from now.
As usual, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell us what we missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
G.I. Joe #1: As if G.I. Joe wasn't entirely in my guilty pleasure wheelhouse already, IDW Publishing relaunches the title with Fred Van Lente as writer and the tease of social and media commentary as the team is forced to go public in its fight against Cobra. Seriously, that's just unfair, people. (IDW, $3.99)
Hawkeye, Vol. 1: My Life As A Weapon TP: One of the best-looking comics around, thanks to David Aja (and Javier Pulido, on a couple of the issues contained herein), and something that I suspect I'm going to want in a collected edition to give to friends wanting some fun, fast-moving action stuff to read. Best thing Matt Fraction's done in a long time, too. (Marvel, $16.99)
New Tales of Old Palomar HC: Continuing my Love and Rockets education, a chance for me to pick up Gilbert Hernandez' return to Palomar in this new collected edition of his Ignatz series. This is definitely my favorite of Beto's work, so I'm happy to see more. (Fantagraphics, $22.99).
The Sixth Gun: Sons of The Gun #1: A new spin-off series from Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt's spectacular horror western? Why, I really don't mind if I do, thanks very much. For added benefit, having Brian Churilla show up for art duties is pretty sweet, as well. (Oni Press, $3.99)
Young Romance: A New 52 Valentine's Day Special #1: Even if I'm feeling less than enthused about the majority of DC's superhero line lately, I have to admit, the idea of a Valentine's Day special one-off is just far too tempting for me to ignore. (DC Comics, $7.99).
Nova #1 (Marvel, $3.99): I’m one of the many that has found some of Jeph Loeb’s recent work not up to the memory of his more classic material, but to me the mathematical formula of him + Ed McGuinness + Nova seems like some genuine magic. Nova was initially created as a homage to the teenage superheroics of Lee and Ditko’s Amazing Spider-Man run, and this new series – and new Nova, in Sam Alexander – looks like it could finally live up to that legacy.
Fairy Quest #1 (BOOM! Studios, $3.99): I wrote about this book before when Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos self-published it, but I was negligent in actually tracking down a copy. Thanks to BOOM! Studios, the book is being serialized for a wider audience and I get to finally taste this rare fruit. I’ve been a big fan of Ramos since X-Men 2099, and I find his high point to be his creator-owned series like Crimson and Revelations. I’ve read his Amazing Spider-Man work, but it never seemed to have the same magic it does when he’s on his own. And from what I’ve seen of Fairy Quest, this could be Ramos’ best creator-owned project yet.
The Secret History of D.B. Cooper HC (Oni Press, $29.99): This was a series much talked about upon its debut, but I was unable to find a copy for myself . Although it’s sadly ended its run, I’m able to come in now and get the whole series under one roof (or binding) with this. Brian Churilla looks to be a real talent, and making a story based on the true mystery of D.B. Cooper is right up my alley.
Nemo: Heart of Ice HC (Top Shelf, $14.95): Count me among the legion (or would it be "league") of Alan Moore fans, especially with Kevin O’Neill. This new graphic novel sees that duo spin off the Captain Nemo character from their League of Extraordinary Gentlemen in a refreshing solo tale, something I think the series has been begging for for a while. Part of me wants to re-read the original Captain Nemo stories before getting this, but I think it’ll take it in without those original stories weighing me down and see what kind of ship Moore and O’Neill can float.
Assassin’s Creed: The Chain GN (Ubiworkshop, $19.95): Assassin’s Creed is a game I’ve wanted to play forever, but I’ve heard tales of freelancers being lost into the world of video games. Thankfully, there’s a comic now, and it’s got two of my favorite cartoonists -- Karl Kerschl and Cameron Stewart -- at the helm. I hope I’m not lost by not playing the games, but I trust Kerschl and Stewart to give me what I need to know to soak up this amazing-looking story.
Putting my list together after Graeme and Chris means I have both the advantage and disadvantage of editing it based on their selections. As they covered the new Sixth Gun and Nemo books, I can skip those, which helps to narrow my long list down to five selections:
Dragon Age: World of Thedas: When it comes to Dragon Age, I'm a total fanboy, buying up the comics and novels as I wait for the next edition of the game. This hardcover from Dark Horse looks like the kind of sourcebook that appeals to my inner fan, and I'd like to think I'll spend as many hours pouring through it as I did the original Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe when it came out. Bring it on!
Five Weapons: I've been a fan of Jimmie Robinson since I picked up Amanda and Gunn, and although I stopped reading Bomb Queen after the fourth miniseries, I'm eager to see his new creation.
Fearless Defenders: I've been looking forward to this ever since Cullen Bunn introduced the possibility of a new group of female heroes in the Fearless mini, replacing the Valkyrior with heroes from Midgard. I like the idea of pulling in Dani Moonstar and Misty Knight, and I can't wait to see who else he introduces to the team.
Justice League of America #1/Vibe #1/ Katana #1: Another way I can narrow my list is to combine "like" items. DC Comics is releasing three new Justice League-related titles, including the Geoff Johns/David Finch Justice League of America, a new Vibe title (yeah!) and a Katana series written by Ann Nocenti.
Snapshot: Andy Diggle and Jock reteam for a new, creator-owned series from Image, about a guy who finds a hitman's phone and the pictures of all his kills. These two have created some wonderful stories together, most notably The Losers, so this should be worth a look.
Nemo: Heart of Ice: I fell behind on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen after getting bogged down a quarter of the way into Black Dossier, but focusing on Nemo is exactly the way to pull me back in. I'm not a Jules Verne fan and would discourage Chris from trying to slog through 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but the mysterious captain is still a great character, especially in the hands of Alan Moore.
Fairy Quest #1: I'm just stealing Chris' list so far, but he's got great taste. Like him, I'm a huge Humberto Ramos fan and especially loved the Revelations mini-series he did with Paul Jenkins, so their version of Fables/Once Upon a Time is something I'm extremely eager to see. Also like Chris, I've been aware of this project for a while, but have never put my hands on a copy. Thanks, BOOM!
Courtney Crumrin, Volume 3: The Twilight Kingdom - Special Edition: The first two, full-color Special Edition volumes were amazing and I'm all excited to continue the series. I'd collected the black-and-white volumes, but never gotten around to reading them, so I'm experiencing Courtney's adventures for the first time. I'm kind of glad to be introduced to them in this format, but also happy that I can check out the uncolored versions as soon as I finish each volume.
Secret Avengers #1: I had a tough choice picking between this and Fearless Defenders, so I'm glad JK talked about Cullen Bunn and Will Sliney's all-female team. That lets me point out Nick Spencer and Luke Ross' all-spy team in Secret Avengers. Well, it's all spies (Black Widow, Nick Fury, Hawkeye, the Winter Soldier, Maria Hill and Phil Coulson), plus the Freakin' Hulk. Could not be more excited about that.
The Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1: I was pretty cautious about People Who Are Not Dave Stevens making Rocketeer comics, but Mark Waid and Chris Samnee drew me in with Cargo of Doom and way exceeded my expectations. There's not many people I'd be interested in following that up with, but Roger Langridge and J. Bone are on that short list. Plus, there's a "plucky girl reporter" involved, so they got me.