INTERVIEW: DiDio & Lee on "Dark Knight 3," Vertigo's Future & DC's Evolving Readership
One thing really cracked me up about this month’s Previews … and then someone else pointed out how stupid it was before I could. Damn it!!!!!!
The Terminator: 1984 is offered on page 26, and while I don’t have any interest in it, a pull quote caught my eye. “Reads like a collection of storyboards for lost scenes from the Terminator line of movies,” read the quote, and it’s by someone at the Mothership. I don’t want to bash Our Dread Lord and Master’s Dread Lord and Master, but is that supposed to be a good quote? It doesn’t really seem like a good one – “This stuff ended up on the cutting room floor, and now we’re charging you for it!” – and I wonder if it was supposed to be. Beats me – it doesn’t attribute it to anyone, so it might be hard to find on the site. Maybe I’ll have a look. Maybe I won’t. It’s a mystery!!!!! (29 September)
In our local newspaper (the Arizona Republic, don’t you know), there was a brief story about the Evanoviches’ new graphic novel series, Troublemaker (page 29). It was fascinating because the elder Evanovich, Janet, actually mentioned that they planned this to be graphic novels because the setting (south Florida) lent itself so well to the format. That’s kind of cool. I still feel badly for Joëlle Jones, whose name barely makes it onto the cover. I suppose the money she’s making will soothe her. (3 November)
There’s yet more Kull stuff on page 32, as DH brings out The Savage Sword of Kull (vol. 1), with old-school art from Bernie Wrightson, Howard Chaykin, Barry Windsor-Smith, and the Severins. It’s in black and white, but I’m sure it still looks good. As always with these 1970s Marvel reprints of Howard stuff, I look to Greg Hatcher to tell us if this stuff is good or not! (3 November)
And, as always with European reprints, I look to Pedro to tell us about The Wednesday Conspiracy by Sergio Bleda, which shows up on page 38. It’s about a support group full of strange characters who turn out to be the only defenders of Earth against a demon invasion. Sounds neat-o, but who knows. Bleda’s art is pretty keen, though. (3 November)
Bill Reed is on the hook, because page 44 has The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects, and if it’s not as good as he claims, I’m going to hunt him down like the dog he is! Okay, maybe not. But I am particularly geeked about this getting reprinted. (25 August)
I wasn’t blown away by the first mini-series of Billy the Kid’s Old Timey Oddities, but it wasn’t bad. Now Eric Powell and Kyle Hotz have a sequel called “The Ghastly Fiend of London,” and it’s offered on page 48. I am slightly tempted, but we shall see if I pick this up. (8 September)
You know, I know it’s all coincidental, but with what’s been going on with Ryan Choi and Jason Rusch and others, I just crack up whenever I read “White Power Battery” in a DC solicit. Yes, I’m childish. I never claimed otherwise!
Hot damn, I like that Cliff Chiang cover (page 71):
I’m certainly happy that DC is releasing five “War” one-shots (pages 76-77), and the talent involved is fairly good, but I think I’ll wait to see how much the trade is. $4 for each issue? No thanks. (Every week in September)
There’s a lot wrong with New Teen Titans: Games, the new hardcover graphic novel on page 78. Don’t get me wrong – it could be amazing. But it sounds desperate. “Harking back to the era when NEW TEEN TITANS was the best-selling monthly comic series …” Well, it’s not anymore, is it, and it feels like a shameless nostalgia grab (which, of course, it is). “Set in the 1980s …” You know my feeling about pegging any comics to a specific time period if they’re not going to let them age. That’s just going to be weird. “Twenty years in the making …” What does that mean? Have Wolfman and Perez been working on it since 1990, or did someone propose this back then and they started working on it two years ago? If they actually began working on it in 1985 and did it sporadically over the years, that might be an interesting look at how the writing and art styles changed (although Perez hasn’t changed that much), but other than that, it seems like this is DC jumping up and down saying, “Hey, look! People used to care about Teen Titans! Remember?” (3 November)
Lee Garbett on the final issue of The Return of Bruce Wayne (page 82)? Really? Was Ryan Benjamin busy? Come on, DC, pay someone good. Is this the one Cameron Stewart was supposed to draw before he moved over to Batman and Robin? Even if it was, DC still has two months before this issue is supposed to ship. You mean that they can’t get someone good to draw this? Or maybe Garbett has gotten a lot, LOT better in the past two years or so? Is that it? Sheesh. (1 September) (I discovered that Stewart was supposed to draw issue #4 and was replaced by Georges Jeanty, which seemed to send some people at the DC blog into a right tizzy. Wait, they don’t like Jeanty but are okay with Garbett? Some people said that no one should mention Jeanty in the same sentence as Stewart, which is fair, but those same people should also say you can’t mention Garbett in the same sentence as Jeanty! This appears to indicate that Garbett was the first choice. That makes me die a little inside.)
I’m puzzled about Guillem March on Azrael (page 84). Presumably he was on Gotham City Sirens because of his cheesecake abilities. So why move him to another lower-tier Bat-book without as much cheesecake? If he couldn’t keep up a monthly schedule, I could see them using him on mini-series or such, but speed doesn’t seem to be his problem. What’s the deal, DC? Is it just another one of your absolutely bone-headed moves? (15 September)
Freedom Fighters #1 (page 89): Exactly what blackmail material do Palmiotti and Gray have on Dan DiDio, anyway? (1 September)
The Great Darkness Saga gets a deluxe hardcover edition on page 100. This is okay, but it’s not all that. And for $40, it’s definitely not worth it. That’s just my two cents, of course – many would beg to differ with me! (17 November) (Am I allowed to use the term “all that”?)
The JLA Deluxe Edition Book 4 hardcover (page 104) is not a bad deal, if you ask me. It includes Morrison’s issues #34, 36-41, JLA: Classified #1-3 (even though that should go with Seven Soldiers, as it’s a prelude to that epic), AND JLA: Earth Two, which is more awesome than any of us deserve! All for $35, which is a pretty groovy price. (10 November)
Hey, was North 40 any good? There’s a trade coming out on page 113, and I’m thinking about getting it. But I heard very little about this series, good or bad, when it was coming out in single issues. Help, comics Internet! (13 October)
Madame Xanadu #27 (page 128): That’s a keen cover:
IDW jumps into the weekly comic thing with 5 Days to Die, shipping every week in September (page 153). A tough cop was in a car accident that left him with a brain injury and he has five days to live, which he can spend tracking his wife’s killer (the car accident was no accident!!!!!) or comforting his daughter, who’s in critical condition. Oh dear, that’s a conundrum. This might actually be cool. We shall see.
Blondie volume 1 collects the earliest strips for the first time (page 158). I’m not sure if I want to pay 50 bucks for it, but seeing how much the strip has diverged from its origins might be kind of neat.
Ben Templesmith’s Singularity 7 gets a reprint on page 162. This isn’t bad, even though the writing is a bit uneven. But it’s Templesmith on art, which is always fun.
AHHHHHHH! A new J. Scott Campbell “Fairy Tale Fantasies” calendar on page 164! My eyes! MY EYES!!!!!!
This is the cover of Next Gen Warz #1 (page 174):
And this is what that lady on the left looks like from behind:
I know it claims to be a parody, but that’s a bit much, ain’t it? It’s not quite as bad as Phoenix: Legacy of Fire, but it’s in the same ballpark. (I did a Google search on Legacy of Fire, and what do you know – Ryan Kinnaird did both comics! What a shock!)
On page 178, we get a second volume of Liquid City, showcasing creators from Southeast Asia. The first volume was actually quite good, so this might be one to check out. (29 September)
Boy, last month there was a ton of interesting Image stuff. This month they still have cool stuff, but not much so new and wild I feel like I should mention it. Let’s move on!
I was having some fun picking on Marvel’s weird “Astonishing” line, and I didn’t get Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine (page 4) because I knew it might take even longer than every other month and why not wait for the trade, but the solicit for issue #3, in which Spider-Man and Wolverine are in the future and must deal with DOOM: THE LIVING PLANET makes me want to reconsider. It sounds so ridiculous it might just work. I’ll still wait for the trade, though.
As funny as the cover of Deadpool #27 is (page 15), I always wonder why comic book characters (obviously, it’s the writers, but bear with me) talk about beating up nerds a lot, when the only people who read comics are nerds. Do nerds have some kind of self-flagellation reflex or something? Explain this to me, nerds!
So. Amazing Spider-Man #642. Page 22. “With Peter Parker’s ONE MOMENT IN TIME behind him and Mary Jane back in his life …” GAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!
I Am An Avenger #1 (page 27): “What is it that makes one an Avenger?” Based on the cover and the history of the team, I’d say it’s a willingness to dress in spandex. And maybe yell “Avengers Assemble” without feeling embarrassed. Other than that, not much!
Secret Avengers #5‘s (page 29) penciler is “TBA.” I always get worried when I see that in the solicits.
So Marvel renamed the comic Franken-Castle for, what, three or four issues? And now they’re returning Frank Castle to his human self? Is the book itself cancelled? So much weirdness!!!! Still, Franken-Castle #21 (page 51) is drawn by Daniel Brereton, which means this comic will look fantastic. I’m very tempted.
I’m worried about Hulk #25 (page 55). It features the new creative team of Jeff Parker and Gabriel Hardman, which makes me think one of two things: Hardman will no longer be the artist on Atlas, or Atlas itself is not long for this world. I’ll take the first option, obviously, but neither fills me with glee.
Thor #615 has Matt Fraction and Pasqual Ferry (page 67). Haven’t we been waiting for this team for what seems like years? It’s odd that it’s only happening now.
Simone Bianchi draws a seven-issue mini-series, Thor: For Asgard (pages 68-69). Any bets on when this finishes? 2013? 2015?
Dashing Mike Sterling already made the joke that Marvel promoting Wolverine #1 as “The Only Wolverine Series This Month!” is a bit, well, idiotic, but it’s worth mentioning again. Really, Marvel? That’s how you’re promoting it? Mr. Sterling did the math (and, surprisingly, missed Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine #3, although he did count the “Director’s Cut” of issue #1) and finds, well, a lot of Wolverine. I know, SHOCKING!!!!!
Hey, there’s more Incognito on page 85! That’s good to know. I do like how Marvel touts it as “One of the biggest Hollywood options of the year!” I don’t know much about the movie biz, but I do know that getting optioned means, well, diddly-poo. My dad wrote a story about the strange mole he found between his toes, and that got optioned!!!!!* But I’m glad the comic is back, because it’s good stuff.
* Note: This may not be true.
Speaking of comics that might not finish until 2013, Mark Millar brings us Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall (page 88). In case you didn’t get your fill of 11-year-olds slaughtering people and saying “cunt.”
There’s an Acts of Vengeance Omnibus on page 92, which is probably not worth the $100 (!!!!) Marvel is asking for it. Remember when this was an interesting concept, pitting villains against different heroes than they’re usually associated with? Marvel doesn’t even mention that in the solicit, which is kind of weird.
I like how the hardcover version of Heralds (page 98) has Tonci Zonjic as sole penciler. Especially, as more than a few people have pointed out, James Herron has a wildly different style than Zonjic does.
Captain America: War and Remembrance gets a hardcover on page 107. This is certainly a good solid comic, but I’m not sure if it’s worth $30. You know they’ll do a softcover fairly soon (if you can’t find it already, as it’s still around), so it’s probably better to wait for that.
I feared that Spider-Man: Fever would be collected with some other three-issue series that I didn’t want, but Marvel doesn’t do that (page 117). Instead, they stick Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2 in there and charge $15 for it. That’s actually not a bad deal and makes me wish I had waited for the trade. Oh well.
Is that …? Why, yes it is the back of the book! Let’s forge on, shall we?
Archaia has a new Mouse Guard series on page 230. Mouse Guard: The Black Axe tells of the first warrior to wield the weapon. It will kick much ass, I assume.
There’s a new Aspen statue on page 240-241 that was designed by Michael Turner. How long did it take to make this sucker? Turner died two years ago, after all.
On page 244, we get a new printing of Crécy from Avatar. This is quite good and features beautiful art. I’ve seen it around, but maybe it’s hard to find?
If you were waiting for the trade of Die Hard: Year One by Boom!, it’s there on page 252. I have no idea if it’s any good or not, but there it is!
There’s also a softcover of The Unknown, Mark Waid and Minck Oosterveer’s nifty detective story, on page 257. Why Boom! hasn’t put the two series together for an 8-issue big’un is beyond me, as they’re basically one long story.
I’m just going to start listing the solicitation texts, completely unedited, of Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose (page 260). For issue #64, we get this: “Jealous that Tarot is spending too much time with her girlfriend, Licorice Dust fights Tarot for the affections of Boo Cat. It’s Witch versus Vampire in this supernatural, fangs against magick, cat-fight!” I love that Jim Balent makes comics.
Dynamite shows up on page 263 with Vampirella Archives volume 1, which might be your thing. It collects the first 7 issues of the original magazine. And keep your fingers crossed for not-creepy-at-all photographs of Heidi Saha!
Speaking of Vampirella, Dynamite also has a trade of the Grant Morrison/Mark Millar run on the character (page 264). I remember this but didn’t have a lot of interest in it. But there’s a trade now!
Berlin #17 is offered on page 284 from Drawn & Quarterly. I mention this not because I’m going to buy it, but because it means that the journey to the end of the series and the third trade paperback, which I will buy, begins here! I only have to wait another five years for the story to conclude!!!!! (I suppose I really ought to buy the single issues, as this is a great, great comic, but I honestly don’t know if I want to wait so long between issues. Does that make me evil?)
Humanoids has what might be an interesting book: Madwoman of the Sacred Heart, on page 297. A professor impregnates a student who believes the baby is John the Baptist reincarnated. Well, that sounds bizarre. I haven’t read Incal, but it’s by the same people.
Down on page 298, we find Chicagoland Detective Agency: The Drained Brains Caper from Lerner Publishing Group. Trina Robbins writes a tale of a girl at a fancy summer school that has plenty of secrets, which she’s determined to uncover! This book is certified “Kid-Friendly!” If that’s your thing, that is.
Footnotes in Gaza comes out in softcover on page 300 from Metropolitan Books. This is a really good graphic novel, and it’s only 20 bucks.
On page 306, Oni has All Saints Day by Christina Weir and Nunzio DeFilippis (yes, there should be an apostrophe after the ‘s,’ but let’s move on). It’s the second mystery from these creators starring Amy Devlin, and the first, Past Lies, was quite good. This seems like it’s in a similar vein. I’m debating about getting it because it’s a hardcover for $20 and I’m sure a softcover will be out in the future, but I’m torn. I’m sure it will be good, but enough to justify the price tag?
Stuart Moore, who occasionally writes decent stuff, and Jon Proctor, who’s not a bad artist, show up with Shadrach Stone: The Big Man on page 308 from Penny Farthing Press. A man whose lies have cost him everything finds a group of people who need him to lie. Sounds intriguing!
I don’t know if The Ballad of Halo Jones is out of print, but Rebellion/2000AD has a new printing on page 324. This is a phenomenal work (it’s Alan Moore, so no surprise there) with gorgeous Ian Gibson art. Can you afford to live without it?
Well, I suppose that’s it for another journey through Previews. I can’t spotlight everything, people! Dig through it yourself! Demand your copy for free from your retailer! Ordering all sorts of cool stuff will offset his loss of giving it to you! Appeal to basic economics!!!!!
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