Ten Most Amazing, Insane Moments from Frank Miller's "Dark Knight" Saga
It’s getting on to summertime, which means … more and more comics! That’s always odd to me – it’s not like movies, where the kids are out of school. If you buy comics, you buy them all year, right? Anyway, Previews has what you’re looking for!
I always get amused by new books of The Guild (page 36), mainly because the way Dark Horse chooses to describe Felicia Day (I’ve never read the comics, so I shan’t comment on their goodness or lack of goodness). This time around she’s “Internet Superstar Felicia Day.” How is that different from a run-of-the-mill superstar? Is it better or worse? Does that mean that “Felicia Day” might actually not be a cute redhead but might be a fat 45-year-old dude with Cheeto-stained fingertips who created the “Felicia Day” persona so people would interact with him on-line? Beats me. But she’s an Internet Superstar, that’s for sure. (22 June)
There’s a new Empowered comic on page 39, this time a short, “regular-sized” book that’s partly in color. I was not impressed with my one foray into the “Empowered” world, but I am dying for Kelly, Maddy, and Sue to review one of the books for their podcast. Not because I think they’ll love it or hate it, but because most of the people I’ve ever read saying how “empowering” it is are men, and I’d be interested in a woman’s (or in this case, three women) opinion(s). Can I demand that of our favorite Y chromosome-challenged podcasters? How about it, ladies? (8 June)
The Goon returns on page 44. As you may recall, I don’t like The Goon, but I understand some people think it’s a pretty big deal. So there it is! (29 June)
In a completely surprising (in a good way) WTF moment, Dark Horse has volume 13 of Eden: It’s an Endless World! solicited on page 54. I reviewed the first twelve volumes back in July and bemoaned the fact that Dark Horse seemed to have given up on it. Now it’s back! Yay! This is a really gripping series, and I hope this means Dark Horse will finish reprinting it. On a different note, I really should get back to reviewing manga, shouldn’t I?
You know what I really hate about the solicitations for the various “Flashpoint” mini-series? How they’re all one sentence preceded by “FLASH FACT!” That’s just annoying.
So after many, many people have weighed in on the creative teams of the mini-series, DC finally gets around to soliciting them in Previews, so I can weigh in on them! I do find it interesting that as I am trying to get DC and Marvel mini-series in trade form, I’m a bit torn about these – they’re three issues, which doesn’t sound like optimal length to fit in a trade. So DC will probably either combine them or dump some unrelated issue or two into them and jack up the price. Damn you, DC! So I might have to make an exception if I actually want to read these. Let’s break them down, FLASH FACT style!
Batman – Knight of Vengeance by Azzarello/Risso (page 71): FLASH FACT! “Broken City” was unimpressive, but this will probably rock. (1 June)
Secret Seven by Milligan/Perez (page 72): FLASH FACT! Milligan writing Shade, drawn by Perez – sounds like a winner! (1 June)
Abin Sur: The Green Lantern by Schlagman/Massafera (page 73): FLASH FACT! Schlagman is an assistant editor and Massafera is Brazilian – it’s the state of DC comics, 2011! (1 June)
The World of Flashpoint by Ogle/others/Siqueira (page 74): FLASH FACT! Ogle is an assistant editor and Siqueira is Brazilian … wait a minute!!!! (1 June)
Emperor Aquaman by Bedard/Syaf/Cifuentes (page 75) FLASH FACT! They couldn’t make him work in the real DCU, so they turned him into a Nazi! (8 June)
Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager by Palmiotti/Bennett/Dell (page 76): FLASH FACT! Modern-day pirates don’t really look like that. (8 June)
Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown by Lemire/”Not Chris” Roberson (page 77): FLASH FACT! Yeah, I’ll probably get this one. (8 June)
Citizen Cold by Kolins (page 78) FLASH FACT! This doesn’t appear different from the regular DCU in any way! (8 June)
Wonder Woman and the Furies by Abnett/Lanning/Clark/Beaty (page 79) FLASH FACT! So this is basically the same as Emperor Aquaman, huh? (15 June)
Deadman and the Flying Graysons by Krul/Janin (page 80): FLASH FACT! This comic would be at least one billion times better if Cliff Chiang was doing interiors as well as covers.
Legion of Doom Starring Heatwave by Glass/Buchemi/Marzan Jr. (page 81): FLASH FACT! Literally no one in the world cares enough about Heatwave that he needed a “starring” credit. (15 June)
Lois Lane and the Resistance by Abnett/Lanning/Nunez (page 82): FLASH FACT! Far be it from me to agree with Kelly, but are Abnett and Lanning the only DC writers capable of writing women? (22 June)
The Outsider by Robinson/Fernandez (page 83): FLASH FACT! This could be kind of awesome. (22 June)
Kid Flash Lost Starring Bart Allen by Gates/Nome (page 84): FLASH FACT! The DC solicit (“Where is he? Or should we say when?“) is not actually a fact at all!!!!!
Project Superman by Snyder/Francis/Ha (page 85): FLASH FACT! Gene Ha could illustrate an IKEA instruction manual and it would look cool, so I’ll probably give this a look. (29 June)
Hal Jordan by Schlagman/Oliver (page 86): FLASH FACT! Even in an alternate universe, he’s a douchebag! (29 June)
Grodd of War by Ryan/Guera (page 87): FLASH FACT! David Brothers is totally right about this. (15 June)
Reverse Flash by Ryan/Gomez (page 87): FLASH FACT! Yeah, I can’t even be bothered to make something up about this. (22 June)
Green Arrow Industries by Pichetshote/Castiello (page 88): FLASH FACT! Um, DC, war profiteering isn’t all that uncommon or even illegal, so why is the fact that Oliver Queen is doing it so astonishing? (29 June)
The Canterbury Cricket by Carlin/Morales (page 88): FLASH FACT! Okay, so this isn’t even a fact. It’s a total fuck the heck moment here. I mean, if every Flashpoint off-shoot were totally new characters, I’d get it, but why this? Does Carlin have that much power? This is seriously fucked up, people. The Canterfuckingbury Cricket? Really?
Whew, that’s all of them. Holy crap, that’s a lot of ancillary product. Who’s getting what, people? You know you can’t resist the dramatic stylings of Adam Schlagman!!!!
I see from Birds of Prey #13 (page 99) that they haven’t gotten rid of Huntress’s ridiculous costume yet. Doesn’t that give the bad guy a good window to Helena’s “tickle zone”? I mean, that’s how someone should take her out of a fight, just to prove how idiotic it is. (8 June)
Superman #712 (page 101): Supes battles prejudice against Muslims. Bwah-ha-ha-ha! I like the final line of the solicits: “… are there some problems too big even for the Man of Steel to solve?” You think, DC? Man, Chris Roberson doesn’t deserve this, does he? (8 June)
So I guess Wonder Woman is getting her old costume back (page 103). I’m glad all the people who didn’t like the new costume kept their heads and realized she’d be back in the metal underwear soon enough. That happened, right? But at least she got some new boobs as she was wandering around her new reality! (29 June)
Man, I did not see Power Girl (page 107) getting to more issues without Amanda Conner than it did with her. There’s no accounting for some people’s taste in crappy comics, I guess! (15 June)
Frazer Irving is still on art as of Xombi #4 (page 110). What’s the over/under on issues he’ll actually do? Five? Six? (29 June)
On page 114, DC collects “The Trial of the Flash” in a Showcase volume. I’ve heard this story sucks, but it’s still impressive that Bates was able to drag it out for almost 30 issues. (20 July)
There’s the Steve Ditko Omnibus volume 1 Starring Shade the Changing Man (phew!) on page 117. It’s 60 bucks, but it’s 464 pages in glorious color, so I really might have to pick this sucker up. (3 August)
The first Astro City mini-series gets a new hardcover and trade on page 122. As good as Astro City has been after these six issues, this is really strong, and it’s a good place to start if you’ve never gotten into AC. I know Busiek has promised a new ongoing, so it’s time to hop into the world he’s created! (24 August)
Gail Simone’s Welcome to Tranquility: One Foot in the Grave gets a trade on page 123. This wasn’t as good as the original series, but it’s still not bad. It’s a bit weak in the middle, but it starts and ends strong. (20 July)
The Vertigo Crime series has a new “Perdition” novel, Return to Perdition by Max Allan Collins and Terry Beatty (page 124). It’s set in the early 1970s, as we’ve moved on in time. I’m fairly sure that Greg Hatcher will be all over this, so get yours before he buys every copy! (24 August)
American Vampire is such a success, apparently, that there’s now a spin-off mini-series, Survival of the Fittest, on page 126. Sean Murphy is drawing it, so I will be tempted. Or more likely I’ll wait for the trade. Still, it’s going to look great. (8 June)
Revolver shows up in trade on page 131. As it’s Matt Kindt, you know it’s good, even though it’s not as good as some of his other work. Still, it’s Matt Kindt! (6 July)
Vertigo Resurrected collects Petrefax from the old Sandman Presents series on page 131. That was a weird series of mini-series, wasn’t it? Anyway, I’m sure the fact that Mike Carey wrote this is a reason it’s getting collected now. This wasn’t a great story, but it wasn’t bad. Nice Leialoha art, though. (22 June)
If you’ve been waiting for the trade of Next Men, IDW has it on page 147. It’s about what you’d expect from a John Byrne creator-owned book. If that’s your thing.
I always try to get Hero Initiative books, because it’s a good cause, and the one on page 156 is rather odd (in a good way). Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth, and Mike Dringenberg reunite for a story … but the solicit doesn’t say what kind of story it is (I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s not a Sandman tale). John Layman and Rob Guillory have a Chew short story, and Richard Starkings and Doug “I Refuse to Call Him Dougie” Braithwaite have an Elephantmen story. That’s a damned good line-up for $3.99, say I!
The Suicide Forest is collected in a trade on page 165. That’s serendipitous, as the final issue shipped this past week, and I can say that it’s definitely worth a look. It’s pretty keen.
Robert Kirkman is apparently taking over the world, as he has a new imprint under the Image banner, and the first title is Witch Doctor on page 170. It’s about a doctor of the macabre, and although I’ve never heard of the writer or artist, the preview pages don’t look bad. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing that Warren Ellis calls it “mental” or not. (29 June)
David Hahn has a new mini-series called All Nighter on page 172 which looks kind of neat. It stars a 20-year-old art student, which means I should hate it (stupid hipsters!), but I’ll still probably get it! (22 June)
Ron Marz, who will apparently never finish Samurai: Heaven and Earth, decides to write a modern samurai story, so we get Shinku on page 182. Lee Moder’s preview art looks pretty cool, so I’ll probably give this a look. (1 June)
I’m really not sure if Trailblazer (page 186) will be a train wreck or not, but the Palmiotti/Gray joint is … well, it’s something. There’s a new witness protection program – participants are sent back in time to the Old West. Yes, it’s so crazy it just might work! If I buy this, will the creators forgive me for not buying Jonah Hex? (15 June)
On page 190, there’s a trade collecting the first thirteen issues of Sam and Twitch. This is, I assume, when it was good (Bendis wrote these issues). I still can’t wrap my head around Angel Medina drawing a hardboiled detective comic, though – whenever I see examples of this series, Medina’s art looks so wrong for it. It’s $30 for 13 issues in an “oversized” format, though, so it might be worth a look! (29 June)
Shaky Kane draws Elephantmen #33 (page 197). That should be … something. (22 June)
I really don’t like when solicitations promise that someone dies, and it cracks me up when we get a solicit like the one for Fear Itself #3 (page 1): “[A] major Marvel hero falls at [Loki’s] hands.” Well, if it’s a major hero, okay. It’s not enough to kill off cannon fodder anymore – they need to promise that it’s a major hero! But what constitutes “major,” I wonder? (1 June)
Yeah, this is a great cover (page 2; 8 June):
The cover to Herc #4 (page 6) would have been much cooler if the tentacles had him wrapped up and dripping milk-white goo all over him. What’s good for the fucking goose, Marvel, right? (1 June)
I didn’t know Valkyrie’s real name was Brunhilde (page 9), but it gives me a chance to dazzle you with knowledge, because I wonder how the name “Brunhilde” became associated with Nordic characters. The “original” Brunhild, as you should all know, was a Visigothic princess from Spain who was married off to Sigibert I, the Merovingian king of Austrasia (in France) in the 560s. Her husband died in 575 and Brunhild basically ruled the kingdom until her death, first through her son (who died in 596) and then through her two grandsons. She was executed in horrible fashion (tortured and then dragged by a wild horse until its hooves crushed her) in 613 by Chlothar II, an act which united the Merovingian kingdoms and began a brief Golden Age. Brunhild was a frequent correspondent with Pope Gregory I but she ran afoul of Columbanus in Gaul, and that put her at odds with the great noble families of the region, which helped lead to her downfall. Brunhild was a powerful woman who did a lot of horrible things, but also managed to rule a kingdom for close to 40 years. That she somehow transformed from a Visigothic Spanish princess and Burgundian queen into a valkyrie always cracks me up a little bit. Isn’t history cool? (22 June)
I like how the Ultimate line is having an event actually called “The Death of Spider-Man” and yet the issue in which it occurs (I guess it’s issue #160 on page 21) is polybagged so we can’t find out what happens unless we read it. Um, maybe Spider-Man dies? I don’t know where I would get that idea! (22 June)
I find it interesting that on page 34, the solicitation for Amazing Spider-Man #663 claims that the issue is called “The Ghost of Jean DeWolff” yet the text does not mention Jean DeWolff at all. I guess we’re supposed to believe the Wraith is the ghost of Jean DeWolff, but that’s unclear. Who the hell knows with Marvel? (1 June)
Andi Watson is writing a mini-series about a teenaged girl at a tennis academy (page 40). No, you didn’t read that incorrectly. Yes, it’s being published by Marvel. No, I don’t know what the hell is going on, either. (8 June)
I don’t know what the heck Mystery Men (page 48) is, but I’m sure Patrick Zircher’s art will rock. I’m very tempted! (8 and 22 June)
S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on page 51 with … a new number 1 issue. Yeah, because that won’t be confusing. Not volume 2, number 1, not even something silly like “2.1” … just S.H.I.E.L.D. #1. Way to go, Marvel! (1 June)
Page 52: Dark Phoenix? Really? (8 June)
Oh, look – X-Men #12 and 13 (page 59) introduces a group of bad guys who fought the original X-Men … but no one remembers them. As you may know, one of the things I absolutely hate about comics these days is going back an inserting crap into characters’ histories, so this sounds like a really, really bad idea. Blech. (1 and 15 June)
The hardcover trade of Scarlet shows up on page 72. It’s 25 bucks, which is a bit steep for five issues, even with the extra junk. As you know, I tried to like this comic but think it’s a hot mess, and I won’t be continuing with it. But other people really like it! (6 July)
There’s a new Criminal on page 74. Do yourself a favor and buy it! (1 June)
On page 107, there are new trades of Daredevil: Yellow and Hulk: Gray. I would think Marvel wouldn’t want to remind fans of the “color” series that the Captain America one has, you know, disappeared, but I guess not! (29 and 15 June)
Man, they’re finally getting a tenth volume of Essential Spider-Man together (page 115). Of course, this will leave me 8 issues short of the first issues I actually own. Dang it! Still, I’m looking forward to reading these suckers. (29 June)
Heed … the siren call of … the back of the book …
Markosia doesn’t often publish things that I’m all that interested in, but on page 218, they have Cancertown, which sounds kind of neat. A man with a brain tumor keeps getting sucked into an alternate universe he calls Cancertown, and now others are too, and he has to enter it fully and confront what’s there. Sure, it’s twisted, but it might be pretty keen. This is “back in print,” so does anyone know anything about it?
On page 225, Arcana offers Spy School, which I believe was solicited quite some time ago (it doesn’t say in Previews, and although I have my old order forms – don’t judge me! – I can’t be bothered to look through them right now). Anyway, it’s about two smart kids who are recruited into, well, spy school. Frank Tra isn’t a bad writer, and I’m keen to read this. If it comes out, that is!
The Secret History gets a spin-off mini-series on page 225 from Archaia. I don’t know why this isn’t just part of the main series, but I don’t really care. It’s not drawn by Igor Kordey, but I’m sure it will be neat-o.
Aspen knows that if you have one good thing, three more of the same thing is three times as good! So they bring us Executive Assistant: Iris #0 (page 232) along with three more executive assistants: Orchid, Lotus, and Violet! Boy, there’s nothing better than that! Read the series that Kelly Thompson calls “superb!”*
* Note: Kelly may not have actually called this series superb. I like to think she did, though. And yes, I mentioned Kelly three times in this post, so I will get a “I Hate Men and the Comics They Make” badge in the mail. I rock!
While I’m curious to see whether Chad is right about Irredeemable being something interesting, I really don’t want to pony up $75 for the Definitive Irredeemable hardcover that Boom! has on page 248. That’s a crapload of money for 12 issues!
On page 249, Boom! offers Soldier Zero #9 and Starborn #7 … which cross over with each other. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
Boundless Comics, the latest home of Lady Death, has a new series on page 252 called War Goddess. I mention this not because I think it will be any good, but because it features Hellina (and we all know how frickin’ awesome Hellina is, right?) and is drawn by some dude named Pow Rodrix. He’s Brazilian, so maybe that name is not quite as awesome in Portuguese as it is in English, because in English, it’s pretty awesome.
Fantagraphics continues to reprint early Jaime Hernandez work with Esperanza on page 282. As usual with Love and Rockets stuff, I have no idea where to start. That vexes me, because I’d like to read the series at some point.
Whenever I need to know if books from Humanoids are any good, I ask our European readers to chime in. I’m looking at The Bombyce Network on page 290, which is set in early 20th-century France and sounds like an interesting thriller. What’s the word on this sucker, people?
Rick Geary has another “Treasury of 20th Century Murder” volumes on page 295 from NBM, this time focusing on Sacco and Vanzetti. I’m always wary about getting Geary’s work, because his very nice art style often doesn’t overcome his very dry writing style, but Sacco and Vanzetti are fairly interesting, so I might have to check this out.
Ray Fawkes’ One Soul from Oni on page 297 sounds … well, certainly interesting. He tells the story of 18 different people, and it appears each panel moves from character to character, capturing a moment in their lives. This could be brilliant or really, really awful, but I love ambitious projects, and this certainly is that!
If you love the Bronze Age, check out Back Issue #49 (page 334), which features all sorts of stuff from the 1970s. Greg Hatcher would want you to buy it!*
* And yes, if I mention Other Greg three times in a post, I get a “Get Off My Lawn and Give Me Your Cheesy 1970s Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television Show DVDs While You’re At It” badge, so I was one short this time around. Stay tuned to see if I can pick that sucker up!
And so we reach the end of another Previews. Well, not really, as there’s all that toy crap even further back, but if you really want a “Ghostbusters Lucy Bishouju Statue,” I really don’t want to know about it. So have fun digging through the catalogue for all the comics goodness contained within!
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