How Lee & Kirby's "Fantastic Four" Birthed the Marvel Universe, Part 1
Three words: “Neal,” “Adams,” and “Batman.” Yes, it’s Previews #260! Go get ‘em!
Doctor Solar, Man of the Atom #1 shows up on page 24. It’s written by Jim Shooter and drawn by Dennis Calero. I just wanted to point this out because Doctor Solar seems to show up all over the place. Who owns him? He’s been around so long I can’t imagine it’s one person. Someone’s estate? Help me, Greg Hatcher, you’re my only hope! (14 July)
Dark Horse can’t get enough of Conan, it seems, as on page 32 we get a collection of Conan: The Newspaper Strips. Creators include: Roy Thomas, Doug Moench, John Buscema, Ernie Chan, Alfredo Alcala, and Tom Yeates. That can’t be a bad book, can it? (8 September)
What’s that on page 33? Fear Agent #28? Can it be? It’s apparently the final arc, and Mike Hawthorne jumps on board with Tony Moore to draw it. I buy Fear Agent in trades, so I’m sure I’ll have to wait a while for it, but this should be … well, I don’t know if fun is the word, because Fear Agent is a horribly tragic comic, but it will be good, I’m sure. (28 July)
I suppose I should point out that there’s another volume of Empowered coming out on page 35. I’m not really a fan of Empowered, but several people like it, so there it is. (8 September)
On pages 36-37, we get new volumes of Sin City with new covers. The covers, according to the solicits, are “some of [Frank Miller’s] first comics art in years!” Well, I mean, they’re just covers. And given Miller’s really minimalistic style, is it worth it to get these if you already have them? Yeah, no. (1 and 15 September)
Over on page 39, Vampire Boy shows up. I’m not the biggest fan of vampires, but Carlos Trillo and Eduardo Risso are a very good team. This is 480 pages long for only 25 bucks, so I might have to check it out. (22 September)
I would have no interest in The Atom Special #1 (page 69), but Jeff Lemire writes it and Mahmud Asrar draws it, which makes it very tempting. (7 July)
I know some people are gushing about Oliver Queen becoming a new Robin Hood (as implied in Green Arrow #2 on page 70), but damn, that sounds like a phenomenally stupid idea, beginning with the forest in downtown Star City itself. Maybe J. T. Krul can make it work, but it sounds really dumb. Of course, as we’ll see, it’s not the dumbest idea in DC’s section of Previews! (28 July)
Guess what the fight of the century is? According to the solicit for Titans #25 (page 75), it’s … Deathstroke versus Osiris? I don’t even think that in the DC Universe is that the fight of the century. (14 July)
You know, I don’t even care what the solicit text for Batman: Odyssey #1 says (page 78). IT’S WRITTEN AND DRAWN BY NEAL FUCKING ADAMS!!!!! It could be a story about Batman eating his father’s corpse with a side of mozzarella sticks and you’d buy it, fanboys! (7 July)
Damn, that’s a cool cover for Streets of Gotham #14 (page 82; 21 July):
Speaking of dumb ideas, J. Michael Straczynski destroys Paradise Island in Wonder Woman #601 (page 97). I have a feeling it will be back fairly soon, but it just annoys me when a new writer pulls crap like this just to make a splash. Tell good stories, JMS, don’t destroy Paradise Island! This kind of Big Event storytelling is what makes me not want to read regular superhero books anymore. (28 July)
Ex Machina ends on page 106. I wonder if this comic is any good? (28 July)
Gail Simone brings back Welcome to Tranquility on page 110. I’m not familiar with the artist, Horacio Domingues, but I enjoyed the first series, so I’m looking forward to this new mini-series. (21 July)
I wasn’t too, too impressed with the first Darwyn Cooke adaptation of Richard Stark’s Parker series, but it sure looked good, at least! On page 151, IDW does a nifty thing: For $2, they have a preview of the new adaptation, which is coming out in the fall. It’s 24 pages, so it should give you a fairly good idea if you want to get the entire graphic novel when it shows up. Not a bad idea.
Mike Grell’s original Jon Sable, Freelance stories are collected in a nice Omnibus over on page 158. 16 issues, 452 pages, full color, 30 bucks. That’s not a bad deal at all.
Page 163 brings us Archie Goodwin and Al Williamson’s X-9: Secret Agent Corrigan comic strips. Dang, that might be cool. It’s $50, so I might have to be persuaded by our resident grumpy old men, Greg Hatcher or MarkAndrew. What say you gentlemen? Yay or nay?
Fractured Fairy Tales on page 166 sounds kind of neat. Various comics creators retell fairy tales with their own twisted takes. Here are some of the creators: Ben Templesmith, Bill Morrison, Bryan Talbot, Doug Tennapel, Jill Thompson, Larry Marder, Nick Spencer, Peter David, Juan Ferreyra, Shannon Wheeler, Terry Moore, Whilce Portacio, Ted McKeever, Scott Morse, and Phil Hester. That’s not a bad line-up. (14 July)
Kody Chamberlain has a new mini-series on page 174 called Sweets. A detective tracks a killer in New Orleans just as Katrina is about to hit. The preview looks pretty cool, the story sounds neat, and Chamberlain is a swell guy. So why not check this out? (14 July)
Chad Nevett is probably happy, because Joe Casey has a new big-sized comic (it’s 48 pages, so it’s not quite a graphic novel) on page 178 called Officer Downe. We get full-color art by Chris Burnham and what sounds like some typically groovy Casey Craziness as a bad-ass cop stalks the criminal underworld. I can’t believe this won’t be awesome. (14 July)
If you haven’t been buying Chew in single issues and if you haven’t gotten the trades yet, you can get a hardcover version of the first ten issues on page 182. Yes, it’s 35 dollars, but it has a ton of extras and it’s a fantastic comic. So there!
I remember buying the special introductory issue of The Crusades back in the day, but I never got the regular series. Now the old Vertigo series gets a trade on page 183, featuring ten issues of the series. Is it any good? It’s Steven Seagle and Kelley Jones, so it should be good, but a decade ago, the special just didn’t grab me. Maybe I should give it another chance. (14 July)
I love that Image is offering a trade of Four Eyes on page 184, collecting the first four issues. It’s a very good comic and I encourage you to get the trade, but I find it humorous because they’re so confident that issue #4 is actually going to show up before July. Hope springs eternal! (21 July)
I’ve been reading good things about Orc Stain, so I might have to get the trade on page 186. We’ll see. (28 July)
I know I’m supposed to enjoy Kaare Andrews’ covers for Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis in a kitschy way, but dear Lord, they’ve been terrible (page 7). I’m not even talking about Emma’s breasts, which fit Andrews’ exaggerated body type for her in this picture. It’s just a generally ugly picture, and look at that hair!
I know this joke has been made, but check out THESE headlights (page 22)!
So, instead of forgetting the clusterfuck that is “One More Day” and hoping everyone else forgets it too (I mean, it did what the arrested adolescents at Marvel wanted it to do, so just move the fuck on!), Joey Q is actually milking by retelling what happened the day Peter and Mary Jane got “married” (page 25). God, let it go. Please?
I’m not sure if I’ll get Avengers: The Children’s Crusade (page 35), but it sure would be nice to see Jim Cheung actually doing a lot of interior work again. I’ll probably wait for the trade, because Young Avengers was not a bad book at all.
Jeff Parker’s attempts to get you to love Atlas continues with yet another mini-series starring an agent, this time Ken Hale (page 46). I don’t mind this at all, because all of Parker’s stuff that is connected with Atlas has been quite good.
The Rawhide Kid #2 cover (page 48):
Really, Marvel? That’s the best you can do? Come on – you can be far more offensive if you just give it a try!
Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee are working on Thor: The Mighty Avenger (page 63). Holy crap, that’s going to be awesome. Is it an ongoing? I’m trying to wait for trades on mini-series, but if this is ongoing, I might have to get the single issues.
Marvel is proudly proclaiming the “First X-Men #1 in 20 Years!” on page 67, as Victor Gischler and Paco Medina jump into the fray. A couple of points. Do we really need another X-Men #1? Second, is this a third X-Men ongoing? The other two don’t seem to be going anywhere. And if it is a third ongoing, let’s remember that the second ongoing was launched with Claremont and Jim Lee at the helm, and now we get Gischler and Medina. I’m not commenting on the quality (I’ve never read anything by Gischler and couldn’t pick Medina’s art out of a lineup), but they’re not exactly the superstars of the last #1 issue, are they?
And then, on page 73, we get the white whale of foreign X-Men comics: X-Women #1 by Claremont and Milo Manara. You’ll note that on the cover, it appears that Kitty, Betsy, Rogue, and Ororo are all having simultaneous orgasms, based on their facial expressions. That’s something! I like Manara to a degree, but his claim to fame is naked women, so what’s the point of having him draw a comic where no one gets naked?
Marvel finally gives in and actually calls a comic “Sex and Violence” (page 76). It’s an X-Force spin-off mini-series, so what else would it have? Gabrielle Del’Otto deigns to do some interior work for this, so there’s that.
Casanova #1. Page 78. Just buy it, would you?
Scarlet (page 80) certainly doesn’t sound as revolutionary as Marvel would like it to sound, but it still sounds neat. I mean, if it’s so revolutionary, how can Marvel compare it to every other female protagonist that Bendis has ever written? And how is Bendis/Maleev one of the most successful teams in modern comics? I love hyperbole! But I’ll still probably get this.
So here we go … into the back of book!
On page 216, Slave Labor brings us the first volume of The Warlord of Io trade. Yay! This is the book, you might recall, that Previews refused to carry in single issues because it didn’t sell enough. So James Turner did it digitally. I’ve been hoping that it would get a trade so I could read it in old-fashioned format, and here it is! You should buy it. If you like awesome comics, that is.
Man, I didn’t find anything noteworthy until page 265, when we find CBGB #1 from Boom! It’s an anthology series, presumably focused around the club (but who knows) and it features people like Kieron Gillen, Rob G, Jaime Hernandez, Chuck BB, Kelly Sue DeConnick, and Marc Ellerby. Might be pretty keen.
Dynamite has an interesting book on page 275. It’s 18 Days, and it’s written by Grant Morrison. But it’s an “illustrated script book,” so it’s more a behind-the-scenes book than a comic, as it’s an animated series that the God of All Comics is developing. Just thought you should know.
There’s a trade for The Trial of Sherlock Holmes story from Dynamite on page 290. This isn’t bad.
On page 312, we get a nice hardcover of I Am Legion from Humanoids. It’s a nifty horror World War II thriller, with typically gorgeous John Cassaday artwork.
I’m not sure if Honey West from Moonstone on page 315 is any good, but it’s the “world’s first female private eye in fiction!” Come on, that’s fine stuff! Actually, I mention it because it’s written by Trina Robbins and drawn by Cynthia Martin. Two women creators on a pulp comic? That can’t be legal, can it?
NBM has Networked: Carabella on the Run on page 316. It sounds interesting: Aliens are using our technology to prepare an invasion, and only a blue-skinned girl from another world can save us!!!!! What’s interesting is that it’s by Gerard Jones and Mark Badger. Good to see them doing some comics!
If you missed it on Free Comic Book Day, you can order The Sixth Gun from Oni Press on page 320. This is a really cool comic, by the way. I recommend you give it a look!
There’s the sixth volume of some book about some kid called Scott Pilgrim on page 322. You might enjoy that. Beats me. Looks kind of dumb. Maybe if they made a movie about it starring Justin Bieber I might be interested. I hope that’s in the pipeline!
Radical has what looks like some keen comics. On page 324 we get Time Bomb by Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Paul Gulacy. A group of people goes back in time to stop Hitler’s doomsday weapon from going off? That’s gold, Jerry! Meanwhile, on page 328, Steve Pugh brings Hotwire back for another round. Hotwire is batshit insane, so you must love it!
Bad Planet gets a trade on page 334 from Raw Studios. This took quite some time to actually come out, but it’s a fun, insane alien invasion story with a lot of blood and violence. Just the way you like it, fanboys!
Well, there’s a lot of terrifying stuff further in the back, but let’s end things there. Not quite as much as usual, but some very cool stuff to check out. So get to it! What are you waiting for?
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