Axel-In-Charge: Extending "Secret Wars," Excitement for a "Totally Awesome Hulk"
Raise your hand if you love Previews #255! Yee-ha!!!!
You know, it’s always fun when you open your latest Previews and see this on the inside cover:
Michael Turner may no longer be with us, but his creation lives on!
On page 28, we get the second volume of The Chronicles of Kull (7 April). Somewhere in the Pacific Northwest, Greg Hatcher is grinning that this is coming out. Roy Thomas, Gerry Conway, Steve Englehart, Doug Moench, Marie Severin, Mike Ploog, Ed Hannigan, Alfredo Alcala … good stuff!
I’ve heard good things about The Tale of One Bad Rat, which is reprinted on page 31 (28 April), so I might have to check this out.
If you’ve been waiting for the trade of Rapture, it’s offered on page 32 (21 April). As usual with a lot of these solicitations, this isn’t quite finished coming out yet, but after five issues, it’s a pretty keen twisty superhero story.
On pages 34 and 35, we get third volumes of Achewood and Wondermark (21 and 7 April, respectively). I have no idea if Achewood is as good as everyone says it is, but Wondermark is pretty damned funny, I’ll tell you that much.
If you buy your Hellboy-related material in trade format, as I do, you might want to check out Witchfinder: In the Service of Angels on page 39 (28 April), which features occult investigator Edward Grey. I’m sure this is keen-o.
Blackest Night #7 (page 61; 24 February), along with a host of other DC comics, has its cover blacked out with a red “top secret” stamped on it. Yawn. I do like the over-the-top solicitation text, though: “As Nekron continues to wage war on life throughout the universe, Hal Jordan discovers the grim, true mission behind the villain’s return. But the truth is so cosmically abysmal that it threatens to expose a secret that could tear the very universe asunder.” WOW! You know when you use “asunder,” something serious is a-going on!
Helen Slater writes a story in Supergirl #50 (page 75; 17 February). That’s … weird.
I want to like the new Human Target mini-series (page 76; 10 February), because it’s written by his creator, Len Wein, and he’s a neat character, but I fear Milligan’s take on him might have ruined him for anyone else. We’ll see.
On page 77, we get Milestone Forever #1 of 2 (3 February). Apparently all the original Milestone creators are going to finish the stories from the original runs. That’s kind of swell.
If you’re in the mood to compare and contrast Frank Quitely and Philip Tan’s art, you can pick up the Batman and Robin Deluxe Edition volume 1: Batman Reborn hardcover on page 85 (7 April). That is, if you’re a meanie.
There’s another DC Comics Classic Library edition on page 86: The Justice League of America by George Peréz (28 April). This is the second volume, by the way. I should check these out.
Speaking of Milestone, page 87 brings us a trade of the first eight issues of Hardware. This is totally based on the awesome movie, right?
The fourth and (apparently) final trade of Justice League International comes out on 3 March (page 88). That’s … what’s the word … sucky.
Here’s something I don’t get: The Last Days of Animal Man trade is offered on page 88 (3 March) and the text tells us: “By the year 2024 Buddy’s own hometown of San Diego has struggled for years to recover from a cataclysmic typhoon.” Didn’t San Diego sink in Aquaman a while back? Has that been wiped away through some deus ex machina? This is why I try not to keep track of continuity.
Wednesday Comics gets the hardcover treatment on page 90 (26 May). It’s fifty bucks, which is probably too much for what you get, but there it is!
As I don’t read Zuda comics, I don’t know if Night Owls (page 91; 24 March) is any good, but it sounds up my alley: a group of 1920s investigators solving supernatural crimes. Neat!
Geoff Johns co-writes Tiny Titans #25 (page 93; 17 February). You’ll know which pages he writes because one of the Titans will get decapitated.
The second Absolute Planetary is offered on page 97 (7 July). Yes, it’s $75, but damn, it’s good.
I read mixed reviews of Mysterius the Unfathomable, but it’s Jeff Parker, so I may have to pick up the trade on page 98 (17 March). We’ll see.
The latest of Vertigo’s crime novels is Area 10 by Christos Gage and Chris Samnee (page 103; 7 April). It sounds weird – a detective investigating a weird serial killer, sustains a brain injury that affects his perceptions of time, and becomes obsessed with trepanation. Well of course he does! The preview looks pretty keen.
Meanwhile, over on page 107, Peter Bagge has a graphic novel, Other Lives (14 April). I don’t know why, but I just can’t get into Peter Bagge. But you might dig him!
Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan reunite for a new mini-series of Demo (page 112; 3 February). I’m not in love with the original series, but it’s still pretty keen, and both creators have gotten better since then, so this might be worth a look.
Another trade is on page 114: Greek Street, collecting issues #1-5. I’m not really loving this series, but if you’ve been waiting for it, here it is. Lots of violence and nudity in it, if that’s your thing.
And hey! another trade on page 115! This time it’s the third volume of Northlanders, which is quite excellent, as you ought to know by now (24 March).
Page 130: True Blood busts. Sweet Jebus.
I’m not sure if Choker (page 136; 10 February) is going to be good, because I haven’t read anything by Ben McCool, but it’s a twisted noir story illustrated by Ben Templesmith, so I might have to check it out. At least until Fell finally returns!
Spawn #200 (page 144; 24 February) features art by the Toddster and Greg Capullo. Can you believe Spawn has reached 200 issues? Man.
The solicitation text for Invincible Returns #1 (page 148; 17 February) is kind of weird: “At long last, Invincible returns to his original costume!” Were people really that bent out of shape about the new costume? Odd. Anyway, this is a “bringing everyone up to speed” issue before the next big story arc, so I’m not sure how important it is. Apparently Kirkman has been keeping his promise about his books coming out on time, so where’s the latest trade of Invincible? It’s been a really long time since volume 10 came out, and I’m getting vexed. Especially because volume 12 is solicited a few pages later!
I’m not sure why there’s a page of Jeff Amano backlist graphic novels on page 156, but I will say that Fade From Grace is pretty good. It’s a nice romantic superhero comic.
If you’ve been really, really antsy for the trade of Cyberforce/Hunter-Killer (and honestly, why wouldn’t you be?), it’s offered on page 172 (10 February) for 15 bucks. Now that’s value!
Siege Siege Siegey Siegey Siegerini Siegeorama SIEGE!!!!!
Tales of the Dragon Guard (page 18; 17 February) sounds kind of neat: Dragons suddenly appear in a “word” [sic] of heroes and turn people into monsters, and only certain people can get close enough to kill them. Those people: virgin women. Of course! That’s perfectly fine, if a bit silly, but I hope they don’t fight the dragons dressed like this:
Still, just to make Pedro Bouça happy, you should buy this!
Page 20: Lady Deadpool? Why the hell not?
Pages 22 and 23: Hitman Monkey. Sorry, Marvel, but I’m just not feeling it.
And then Marvel brings us Ultimate Comics X #1 (page 24; 3 February). Jeph Loeb writes it, which means it will probably not be good. Yet Arthur Adams is drawing it. Damn you, Marvel! First you put Adams on Loeb’s Hulk and now this? What the hell?
Dr. Doom takes over the world in Doomwar #1 (page 40; 3 February). Wake me when it’s revealed he’s a robot. Again.
Ms. Marvel comes to an end with issue #50 (page 54; 24 February). I read a few issues of this, and while it wasn’t great, it didn’t suck. And it’s fairly impressive that Brian Reed stuck around for every issue … I think.
I didn’t realize that the dude in the latest issue of Vengeance of the Moon Knight was actually called the Scarecrow (as he’s identified in the solicitation text for issue #5 on page 58; 10 February), but that’s a nice move by Marvel to prove that Moonie isn’t a blatant rip-off of Batman.
I’m certainly not up on my Hulk family tree, but Realm of Kings: Son of Hulk on page 62 (3 February) calls the guy in it “Hiro-Kala.” Is this guy different from that other Son of Hulk? Where the hell did this one come from? (I remember, back when Peter David visited our humble blog, he mentioned something about the Hulk having two kids. I guess he knew what he was talking about!)
I’m sorry, Ben Oliver, but it’s really difficult to make Ruby Tuesday resemble anything remotely menacing …
In case you’ve never gotten around to reading all about the death of Captain Marvel, The Death of Captain Marvel (handy title, that) is re-offered on page 104 (5 May). Mostly Starlin, and pretty darned keen.
Marvel is, for some reason, printing the Clone Saga in trade format, beginning with a volume 1 on page 107 (24 February). I get that it’s fun to watch a train wreck, but why would you pay 35 dollars for the privilege?
Speaking of 35 dollars, that’s how much you have to plunk down for the entire Nextwave saga (page 111; 10 February). Yes, it’s shorter than the Clone Saga (432 to 312 pages), but these are brilliant comics, plus the letters pages are included. Dang, I’m tempted.
On page 116, Marvel gives us a trade of Daredevil #265-273 by Ann Nocenti and John Romita Jr. (24 February) this is the “Daredevil goes to Hell” story arc. I haven’t read it, but I recently got these issues cheap, so I’ll get to it soon enough.
Hey! Join me in the back of the book, won’t you?
Every once in a while, I think I should get the trades of Girl Genius, one of Phil Foglio’s non-porn comics, and now Foglio, through his studio Airship Entertainment, has reprinted the first one (page 184). It always looks kind of neat. Anyone got a recommendation?
On the same page, Ait/Planet Lar has Necessary Monsters, Daniel Merlin Goodbrey’s latest graphic novel. I saw a bit of this a few years ago, and it looks really, really cool. It’s a horror comic, and Goodbrey has a twisted sensibility that will probably work well in making it something different.
After last month’s solicitation for Obamouse, I didn’t think Antarctic Press could get any goofier. Then, on page 189, they up the ante with … Time Lincoln. Lincoln is snatched out of time right before his assassination by the time machine of H. G. Wells (no word whether Wells is involved in the rescue) and battles evil across the centuries. Well done, Antarctic, well done indeed.
I always love checking out Warren Ellis’s work for Avatar, and on page 200 he has Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island, a new mini-series with art by Raulo Caceres. It sounds like a steampunk story set in 1830 London, which means it’s the kind of comic Ellis was born to write. I’m all over it! How can you resist the title?
Boom! Studios has the first trade of The Anchor on page 207. It’s kind of difficult to tell you to get this, as issues #3 and 4 haven’t come out (this trade collects the first four issues), but it’s 10 bucks, and the first two have been pretty good!
Also from Boom! is the trade of Poe on page 209. This started strong and didn’t end quite as well, but it was still a pretty good story about Edgar Allen solving a weird mystery.
On page 221 we get the first (hardcover) trade of Buck Rogers from Dynamite Entertainment, collecting issues #1-5. It’s 25 dollars, which is a bit steep, but it’s not bad. You’ll notice I didn’t buy issue #6, because although I like the series, I didn’t like it that much.
Dynamite also has Zorro: Matanzas on page 222, which is subbing for the regular series. It’s written by Don McGregor and drawn by Mike Mayhew (Mike Mayhew doing interior work?), so it might be pretty good.
On the same page, we get an Army of Darkness Omnibus, collecting 18 issues, 488 pages, for 30 bucks. I have no idea if it’s any good, nor am I particularly interested in it, but you might like it!
I’ve never heard of Cathy Malkasian (sorry, I’m not perfect), but her latest graphic novel, Temperance from Fantagraphics (page 234), sounds really cool. A dude loses his memory after an injury in battle, and his wife does everything she can to keep him from remembering his past life. Why? I don’t know – I’ll guess I’ll have to read it!
Right below that solicitation, Kim Deitch has another book, The Search for Smilin’ Ed. MarkAndrew will be picking this one up!
The Hero Initiative has The Invincible Gene Colan on page 238, celebrating his art over the years.
There’s a new collection of Munden’s Bar stories from IDW on page 252. Never-before-printed!!!!! Can you stand the excitement?!?!?!?
IDW also has a new printing of GrimJack (the old series), this time as an Omnibus, collecting Starslayer #10-17 and GrimJack #1-13. I already have the trades IDW put out a few years ago, but this is tempting, especially if they plan to go beyond John Gaunt’s days in the series. This is 400 pages from 25 dollars, which is a pretty good deal. And the comics are freakin’ awesome.
Scott Chantler’s Northwest Passage gets a softcover trade on page 257 from Oni Press. This is a tremendously good comic.
I know you’ve been suffering from Atomic Robo withdrawal recently, and Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener feel your pain and give us … Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension on page 261 from Red 5 Comics. Just trust me – buy it!
What’s this? A new printing of The Middleman: The Collected Series Indispensibility Compendium, which has been out of print for a while? All for $19.95, which is a total bargain? It’s on page 282 from Viper Comics? Order it today!
If you’re looking for a Christmas present, check out page 316 and the Mouse Guard plush toy:
Havok: Always angry?
Let’s let Havok send us out with his rage. Remember: There’s a lot of good stuff out there if you know where to look!
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