"Justice League": Exploring How Superman Returns (Again)
Film, Comic Books
There is one book in Previews, issue #259, that you must order. YOU MUST!!!! But, pray tell, which one might it be? Can you guess????
I still haven’t seen a trailer for the new Predator movie, but DH is coming out with a four-issue weekly mini-series that sets it up (pages 26-27). I don’t know anything about the artists, but Marc Andreyko and David Lapham are writing it, so it might be pretty keen. (June)
I have no interest in Serenity: Float Out (page 30), but I love Steve the Pirate so much that even a comic with him in it makes me take notice. And you might like a Patton Oswalt comic! (3 June)
There’s some more old Conan stuff on page 35, as we get a collection of King Conan by Roy Thomas and John Buscema. You can borrow it from Greg Hatcher when he inevitably picks it up! (25 August)
Zero Killer gets collected in a trade on page 36. It’s not great, but it is rather good, so if you’re interested, check it out! (4 August)
So page 40 has a solicitation for Dave McKean’s Cages. It claims that it’s “finally back in print!” Well, it would have been back in print a year ago, when Dark Horse first solicited this. I wonder what the hold-up was? (25 August)
I do like that DC acknowledges that even in the middle of “Brightest Day,” they’re not changing too much, because that would be, you know, crazy: The Flash #3 solicit (page 74) reads thusly: “It may be BRIGHTEST DAY, but when a mysterious group of so-called heroes turns up, another Rogue ends up dead.” Frankly, I don’t care if DC and Marvel slaughter every single character in their stable in the most bowel-churningly ways possible, but I do like how they imply that even though they’re making this push to be lighter, let’s not be too nutty, right? (9 June)
You know, just because Judd Winick has an unnatural and even unholy love of Jason Todd doesn’t mean DC has to indulge him with more tales of the Red Hood (page 78), does it? DOES IT?!?!?!? (3 June)
Hey, we’re finally getting the Frazer Irving arc on Batman and Robin (page 80). Good to see it! (3 June)
Kelly Thompson brought this to my attention, and there really is something disturbing about this Adventure Comics cover (page 88):
Is that Anoxeria Girl and Bulemia Lass on either side of Superboy? They’re just … ugh. (3 June)
I really like the cover for Zatanna #2 (page 96), but what is up with her rack? (23 June)
More Sgt. Rock in a Showcase volume on page 101. There’s really nothing more to say, actually. (21 July)
Over on page 102, we get the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali double-shot! You get the biggun version, just like the original, which is forty bucks. You could also get the twenty-dollar version that’s smaller but features unpublished artwork. Which should you buy? Oh, it’s exactly like Sophie’s Choice! (10 November)
You may not read the Johnny DC books, but you can’t deny that they have kick-ass covers:
There’s a new Tom Strong comic? That’s … odd (page 107; 3 June).
Peter Milligan has, apparently, never lost his love of Shade, as he guest-stars in Hellblazer #268 on page 121. That ought to be fun. (16 June)
I haven’t loved Madame Xanadu, but issue #24 (page 122) begins an interesting arc, as each issue is drawn by a relatively unknown female artist. The only ones I know are Laurenn McCubbin and Marian Churchland, both of whom are quite good. This arc might be kind of neat. (30 June)
Meanwhile, Northlanders #29 (page 123) is a standalone issue about a Viking boat that goes horribly off-course. If you’ve been resisting this title, give it a look! (30 June)
Speaking of standalone issues, Unknown Soldier #21 is one, guest-arted by Rick Veitch. It’s all about a rifle moving around Africa! That’s gold! (30 June)
Hey, IDW has moved on up to a DEEE-luxe apartment in the “premier” section! Good for them!
I’m not a fan of James Patterson (granted, I’ve only read one of his books), but The Murder of King Tut on page 148 sounds kind of neat. We go back and forth between Tut’s time and Howard Carter’s time, with the Egyptian stuff drawn by the excellent Christopher Mitten and the archaeological stuff drawn by the not-bad Ron Randall.
Meanwhile, on page 149, Robert Bloch’s Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper gets adapted by Joe Lansdale, John Lansdale (his son?), and drawn by Kevin Colden, who’s very good. I like Jack the Ripper but I’m not a crazed fan, but this might be pretty cool.
If you’ve been wanting to read the DC issues of Peter David’s Fallen Angel, IDW has collected them in a big ol’ Omnibus edition with all 20 issues (page 158). This is quite good, and shows why you should hire David Lopez – he’s very good and he draws really fast!
Love and Capes gets another collection on page 159. I really ought to get the collections – this is a charming series.
Hack/Slash moves to Image on page 172. Good for Tim Seeley? I don’t read it, but maybe it will be easier to find now. (9 June)
Dynamo 5 is back! Yay! The preview art on page 175 looks really good, too. I’m happy! (23 June)
Based on the solicitation that includes the words “Pin-up girl and awesome robot world,” I probably wouldn’t enjoy Dust Wars (page 176). It sounds and looks oddly intriguing, though. Who doesn’t love alternate history? (3 June)
Ted McKeever has a new series on page 178 called Meta 4. It appears to be a typical Ted McKeever story, if that’s your thing. As in, really freaky. The preview art looks amazing. (9 June)
Brigade returns (page 180)! Is it the Apocalypse? IS IT THE APOCALYPSE?!?!?!?! (30 June)
Sea-Bear and Grizzly Shark #1 (page 181) cannot possibly be as awesome as Shark-Man, but with Ryan Ottley and Jason Howard bringing it to you, good readers, it might be twisted fun. (23 June)
How many times has The Pro gone out of and then back into print? It’s back again on page 182, in case you’ve never gotten it. I haven’t read it in a long time, but I remember thinking it was a waste of time. Amanda Conner’s art looks great, but if you think Ennis treats superheroes poorly in The Boys, you should probably avoid this. (3 June)
There’s a new printing of the I Kill Giants trade on page 183. I don’t know how often I have to tell you to buy this, people! (3 June)
Pug is resolicited on page 185. I mention this because Derek McCulloch is a good writer and his OGNs seemed plagued by tardiness (this was originally offered a year ago, for instance), and this sounds pretty good. If Mr. McCulloch is reading this, I couldn’t get your e-mail address, sir. If you look at the “Contact Us” section, you’ll find my e-mail address, and if you check out the “Where to Send Review Copies,” you can find my home address. Whichever works for you! (30 June)
You know who draws Shuddertown #4 (page 195)? It’s Adam GEEN, damn it! (30 June)
Look! It’s a Marvelman Primer on page 4! Joey Q is just laying the groundwork for the Jeph Loeb/Joe Madureira “reimagining” of the Alan Moore run! YOU KNOW IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN!!!!!!! (30 June)
A few other people have commented on the cover of Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #2 (page 5), but it’s worth going over again:
Dear. Sweet. Lord. What the hell, Emma? Is she looking at the baby’s vomit, or is she wondering, “Where the hell did THOSE come from?” (9 June)
I certainly don’t hate the Jelena Kevic-Djurdjevic cover to Heralds #1 (page 8), but I always find it very weird that DC and Marvel have artists doing covers to books that aren’t known quantities whose art is so very, very different from the interior stuff. Tonci Zonjic’s art is quite good, but very different from the cover art. I felt the same way about Tomm Coker’s cool covers to the recent Dr. Strange mini-series, which was very different from Emma Rios’ interior stuff. (Weekly in June)
David Lapham writes Deadpool Team-Up #892 (page 18). It won’t be enough to get me to buy it, but it’s kind of keen. (3 June)
There’s a Spider-Ham 25th Anniversary Special on page 27. Tom DeFalco writes a story, as does Tom Peyer. Tom Peyer is a funny man, if you’re wondering. (3 June)
I’m actually kind of interested in Avengers Academy #1 on page 31. I know it’s basically a new version of Avengers: The Initiative, but it still sounds neat. (3 June)
On page 44, we get a weird book: Fantastic Four Annual #32. It’s weird because it’s drawn by Bryan Hitch. When did he do this? I know Marvel took him off the regular book so he could do Captain America: Reborn, so is this book much older than that? Weird. Well, I think it’s weird. You might not. (3 June)
So they’ve actually renamed the comic that stars Frank Castle Franken-Castle (page 46)? That might be the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen from Marvel. Seriously. (23 June)
I love this cover (page 58):
‘Nuff said. (9 June)
Juan Jose Ryp draws an issue of Moon Knight (page 65). I still don’t know if I’m going to keep buying the series, but damn, I want to see that issue. (3 June)
Much like Avengers Academy, I’m kind of interested in Sean McKeever’s Young Allies (page 67). I guess the “Heroic Age” is working for Marvel, even if it hasn’t actually started yet. It’s probably because I dig Gravity. However, the stereotypical gigantic, shirtless, do-rag-wearing illegal immigrant gives me pause. Wouldn’t it be neat if he actually wasn’t the illegal, and it turned out that Angelica Jones had entered the country illegally from … Toronto! Oh, the horror! Why won’t someone stop the Canadians from coming here?!?!?!? (3 June)
Lots of “Second Coming” stuff in here. I just point this out because of this hilarious review of Second Coming #1
Criminal: The Sinners gets a trade on page 82. If you like awesome comics, you might want to pick this up. (16 June)
Ghost Rider by Jason Aaron Omnibus is offered on page 85 (yes, that’s what it’s called). I bailed halfway through the second arc, but then everyone said it got awesome again. So, it’s $50 for 538 pages, and I’m going to assume it’s totally worth it. What say the readers? (1 September)
Wasn’t Our Dread Lord and Master writing about how cool the “Under Siege” story in Avengers was recently? Well, on page 101 it gets a nice hardcover trade. It’s 30 bucks, and apparently Brian’s selection caused some controversy among those who said it sucked, but there it is. (1 September)
Marvel stuck an “X-Men” in front of the S.W.O.R.D. trade paperback on page 117. Maybe they should have considered that when it was coming out, because then maybe more people would have bought it. Oh well. You really should get the trade, because this is good. Why wouldn’t you trust me? Have I ever steered you wrong? Okay, don’t answer that. (23 June)
Hey, let’s check out the back of the book, now sans IDW!
I have no idea if The Royal Historian of Oz from SLG is any good (page 218), but it’s only a dollar! How can you beat that? (Well, it could be free, but let’s not go crazy, okay?)
I guess the reviews for Time Lincoln weren’t great, but Antarctic Press is bringing us a sequel: Time Lincoln: Fists of Führer (page 221), in which Lincoln fights Hitler on top of Mount Rushmore. Oh, Abraham Lincoln, you rascal! On page 220, there’s The Last Zombie #1, which actually sounds halfway decent: a man must travel cross-country in an America that is mostly over the zombie plague but is still in bad shape. I don’t love zombie comics, but this sounds not bad at all.
Avatar has a fourth trade of Freakangels on page 235. See, I don’t steal my comics on-line, I wait until they’re collected and pay good money for them, so I’m looking forward to this.
On page 241, Bluewater Productions has Rock N’ Roll Comics #1: Joan Jett & the Runaways. I have absolutely no interest in this book, but with the new movie out, I learned that Lita Ford was in the Runaways. I didn’t know that. Sing it with me: “Come on, pretty baby – kiss me DEADDDDDDDDLYYYYYY!!!!!”
Boom! Studios is bringing out the series that you, apparently, demanded: Darkwing Duck (page 252). And hey, it’s written by noted bon vivant Ian Brill! Man, now that he’s gone big-time, he’ll probably never buy me the dinner he owes me.*
* Note: Ian doesn’t owe me dinner. He was perfectly willing to pay, but I wouldn’t let him.
Power Out from Canal Press on page 257 sounds interesting. A fourteen-year-old boy is separated from his family after a power outage, and he needs to learn how to survive. Given that it’s about adolescence, it could be terribly annoying, but it sounds good, at least!
If you can slog through the Green Hornet stuff from Dynamite, you find tucked away in the lower right corner of page 267 a solicitation for Bullet to the Head, which is written by Matz (who wrote The Killer) and drawn by Colin Wilson, who’s excellent. I’m sure our European readers can tell us if this is worth it, but with that creative team, I’m on board already!
Dynamite is DC-esque in getting their trade paperbacks out, as they finally offer the second trade of Zorro on page 274 (now that the third arc is finished, mind you). This is the weakest story so far, mainly because Francesco Francavilla didn’t draw it, but it’s still pretty good.
Comic Book Comics #5 is offered on page 286 from Evil Twin Comics. You don’t need to have read the first four issues, as each issue tells different stories about the history of comics, and this one is all about lawsuits! Who doesn’t love lawsuits? This series is not quite as good as Action Philosophers!, but it’s still a fantastic read.
Humanoids is back with a few offerings on page 292, including the end of Metabarons. I’ve never actually read Metabarons, but there it is!
As you know, I’m just not that big into vampire stories, but some still catch my eye, one of which is coming from Moonstone on page 298. I noticed it because it’s called Vampire, PA, and of course I will always have a soft spot for Pennsylvania, as I grew up there. Then I noticed it was written by J. C. Vaughn and drawn by the Fraim brothers, who have done good work together in the past. I’m still on the fence about it (it sounds like a somewhat standard vampire book), but those creators make me curious …
Oni Press has its usual stuff, including a nice hardcover edition of Past Lies (page 303), which is a pretty good mystery by Christian Weir, Nunzio DeFilippis, and Christopher Mitten. I wish Weir and DeFilippis would do more mysteries with the main character, an unlicensed private investigator.
On pages 304-305, Radical offers After Dark, a new science fiction series conceived by Antoine Fuqua and Wesley Snipes (which isn’t really a draw) and written by Peter Milligan (which is). Plus, it’s only a dollar. That’s always cool!
Down on page 310, Rebellion offers the book you should all buy when it appears. I’m so not kidding. Yes, D. R. & Quinch is BACK IN PRINT!!!! What, you might ask, is D. R. & Quinch? Funny you should ask! It’s only Alan Moore and Alan Davis’ comedic masterpiece from the early 1980s. If you ever thought Moore was just some grumpy old man, read this. It’s HILARIOUS. It’s on the short list of funniest comics I’ve ever read, and it’s gorgeous, of course, even though it’s early in Davis’ career. It’s been out of print for a long, LONG time (my Fleetway copy is from 1991, and I think it went out of print not long after that), and I’m tempted to get this just because it’s brand-spanking new. Seriously: If you order one thing from Previews this month, make it this. You won’t be sorry!
Reaching page 318, we find The Playwright by Eddie Campbell and Daren White from Top Shelf. It sounds like a nice, twisted tale about, as the text puts it, “the sex life of a celibate middle-aged man.” Campbell is an underrated writer, so I’m intrigued to read this.
[EDIT: Leigh Walton of Top Shelf, all around good guy, sent me an e-mail explaining that the attributions were reversed on this – Campbell is doing the art, while White is writing. I’ve read one short story by White (I think), so I’m not sure if the writing on this will be great, but it’s always keen to see Campbell’s art!]
I don’t mean to pick on Zenescope for doing what they do, but the fact that they’re celebrating the fiftieth issue of Grimm Fairy Tales (page 332) when their excellent series, The Straw Men, didn’t make it past three issues makes me sad. Oh well.
And with that, we end our long, strange journey through Previews. I hope you discovered some things worth checking out. And I’m totally serious: Buy D. R. & Quinch. It will make your day!
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