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Flippin’ through Previews – December 2011

Are you looking to do a little Christmas shopping? Well, too bad – Previews #279 is NOT for you! (Because it, you know, has books for February and beyond, so it’s too late for Christmas shopping, so it’s funny that it’s the “December” issue, right, and … oh, let’s just move on.)

Did Batman miss with that punch, or is he about to connect?

Okay, this is a really weird cover. Usually a company will advertise something big happening in one of their books. The back issue of Previews does this with Dark Horse advertising Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan (?!?!?!?) on Conan (which sounds really awesome, by the way, and it’s very cool that Dark Horse went that way). But DC isn’t advertising any big event, they’re just slapping a drawing of Batman fighting the Penguin on the cover and telling you that Tony S. Daniel (why is he suddenly using the “S.”?) is writing and drawing Detective. It’s bizarre. DC could have advertised the fact that this issue begins Amy Reeder’s arc on Batwoman. They could have advertised Batman Beyond Unlimited #1, which features new Batman art by Norm Breyfogle. They could have advertised any of the cool trades they have coming out. Why they chose an innocuous issue of ‘Tec is mysterious. Who am I to argue with the wise bigwigs of DC, though?

Dark Horse:

Speaking of Conan, Dark Horse fires it up on page 26, with a “perfect jumping-on point for new readers!” As usual with all the Conan stuff, I’ll be waiting for the trade, but this will probably be really, really good. Of course, almost all of Dark Horse’s Conan stuff has been really, really good, so there shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment! Plus, both covers are awesome. (8 February)

James Harren is drawing the new B.P.R.D. mini-series (page 32). This is a good thing. (15 February)

Speaking of B.P.R.D., I’m sure you buy it in giant-sized hardcover format, and the third such offering is on page 34. For everyone who says I need to read Mignola’s Hellboy-verse, I do. I just read the stories in giant-sized format. (4 April)

John Ostrander and Jan Duursema return to Dark Horse’s Star Wars franchise with Dawn of the Jedi, a one-shot set 25,000 years before the regular series (page 43) which then morphs into a five-issue mini-series on page 44. That could be interesting. I was never in love with Ostrander and Duursema’s work on the title, but it wasn’t bad. This might be cool. (1 February)


Re: Justice League #6 cover (page 68): Who misses Darkseid’s cute little dress? You know you do! Raise that hand! (15 February)

Only the meanest SOB in the DCU could have pulled off that dress, and Darkseid did it marvelously!

DC Comics Presents #6 is a new story arc, this one starring the Challengers of the Unknown (page 75). I don’t have much interest in it, but you might! (15 February)

With all this rebootiness going on, I do wish creators at DC would come up with different names for characters if they’re going to completely re-invent them. I mean, who didn’t love the old Gentleman Ghost? And now Tony S. Daniel and Philip Tan are turning him into some kind of insectoid cyborg (page 77). He doesn’t look terribly gentlemanly nor ghostly. Yet they kept the monocle and top hat. I mean, that was just goofy enough when he actually was a gentleman ghost, and now it looks beyond stupid. I guess those guys know what they’re doing, though. Right? (22 February)

I mean, honestly

It’s a rough month for Supergirl. On pages 80-81, she’s insensate in Superman’s grasp (Superman #6), about the throw down with Superboy (Superboy #6) and getting driven toward the ground by some evil alien (Supergirl #6). Dang. Sucks to be her. (22, 8, and 15 February, respectively)

I may not love Greg Capullo’s art on Batman (it’s pretty good, but not great), but manischewitz, that’s a nice cover (page 82):


(15 February)

Speaking of Batwoman (page 89), I’m really looking forward to seeing Amy Reeder draw the book. Not as much as I look forward to seeing Williams draw the book, of course, but I’m very curious about what Reeder does with it. (8 February)

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The Shade #5 is solicited on page 104. Of course, it might not make it that far, according to a James Robinson tweet. I will have more to say about this, oh yes. (29 February)

Here’s something odd: On page 109, Blackhawks #6 is solicited. CAFU is listed as the penciller. CAFU is, naturally, NOT the artist of Grifter #6 on page 106. So, um, what the hell? I can get it if an artist can’t keep up with the monthly grind, but to take the artist from one book and put him on a different one instead of keeping him on the original book and putting a fill-in artist (Scott Clark, as it turns out) on the book that needs a fill-in seems … well, stupid. I know I’m using that word a lot to describe what’s going on with DC in Previews this month. My daughter would be disappointed in me, because we’ve told her not to use that word. But what other word fits???? (22 February for Blackhawks, 8 February for Grifter)

DC is releasing a bunch of Flashpoint mini-series together in trades, which is kind of annoying (if not … stupid!). On page 116, they give us Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint Featuring Batman, which collects the two best mini-series: Knight of Vengeance and Secret Seven (plus Deadman and the Flying Graysons and Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager). It’s only $17.99 for 12 issues, which isn’t bad at all. The other trades are on pages 117 and 118, if you’re interested. (14 March)

I’m not sure if the “heir of Batman” books are still out of print, but DC collects Son of the Demon, Bride of the Demon, and Birth of the Demon in one big ol’ 30-dollar book on page 119. I own the first two, and think Son of the Demon is excellent, and it has wonderful Jerry Bingham art. I may have to pick this sucker up. (7 March)

Meanwhile, next to it on page 119, we get Bob Haney and Jim Aparo doing The Brave and the Bold in a nice shiny hardcover. Holy crap, that would have to be awesome, wouldn’t it, if Our Dread Lord and Master is to be believed. I know it’s 50 dollars, but I may have to get this sucker. (4 April)

It's funny because Batman is about to die!

100 dollars for an Absolute Final Crisis (page 121)? Wow, that’s … something. I mean, it’s better when read all at once, but still – that’s tough. (18 July) (Wait, 18 July? Really?)

On page 123, we get Showcase Presents: The Losers vol 1. Two words: “Robert” and “Kanigher.” SOLD!!!! (21 March)

Eric Trautmann, Brandon Jerwa, and Steve Lieber are the creators of Shooters on page 129, which is a story about a mercenary whose life goes to shit. You know I’ll be all over that! (18 April)

Black Orchid Deluxe Edition shows up on page 132. This is … fine, I guess, and McKean’s art is neat-o. I’m not sure if it’s worth $24.99, though. Maybe.


IDW has been putting drawings of their employees into Previews for a while, but this month they seem to have all of them. It kind of freaks me out, to be frank.

Next Men is back on page 146. Apparently this is the last arc of Byrne’s epic. I can’t decide if I should wait for the trade or not.

Well, that wasn’t much going on from IDW this month. Lots of G.I. Joe stuff (they’re making a sequel? really?) and Transformers stuff and some Godzilla stuff. You know the drill!


Robert Kirkman, Nick Spencer, and Shawn Martinbrough have Thief of Thieves (page 172), about a master thief whose life stinks and who has the FBI on his trail. Who knows if it will be any good (things like this are all in the execution), but it’s always nice to see Martinbrough’s work. Too bad it’s not colored like his run on Detective. Man, that was neat, wasn’t it? (8 February)

Glory returns with issue #23 (page 178; I’m still not loving Larsen’s weird “Let’s not renumber these series even though their previous issues haven’t shipped in years just to show Marvel and DC that we don’t need to renumber them,” but whatever), and it’s written by Joe Keatinge and drawn by Ross Campbell, and it looks motherfucking awesome. (15 February)

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Hells yeah!

Alpha Girl (page 182) is the story of a girl in a world where a cosmetics company creates a pheromone that turns women into “crazed man-eaters” and makes the world spin out of control. It sounds dumb, but Robert Love’s art is really cool, so there’s that. (1 February)

I’m not sure if Queen Crab (page 190) is going to be any good, but at least it sounds different. It’s a horror story about a woman whose husband tries to kill her, and then the world goes insane. Of course it does! The reason it could work is that Jimmy Palmiotti writes it, and Palmiotti is pretty good at weird horror. (1 February)

King City gets a trade on page 194. I imagine I will be buying this because I hear tell it’s good. (22 February)

Yes, I'm bad because I didn't buy the singles, but it all worked out in the end, didn't it?

On pages 194 and 195, Near Death and Pigs get their first trades. Both of these series are pretty good, and Near Death, at least, has 5 issues for 10 bucks, which ain’t bad. (22 and 1 February, respectively)

Speaking of Pigs, issue #6 (page 207) claims that it’s “so controversial that it had to be censored for Previews!” Um, really?

Arrrgghhhh! My eyes!

As Mike Sterling pointed out, Previews allowed a cover of The Boys with semen on it to appear in their fine publication – is this worse than that? I mean, sure, that dude is wacky, but controversial? I don’t know. (15 February)


I’ve kind of given up on Ed Brubaker’s Captain America franchise, and the fact that Marvel is launching a third series in it (Winter Soldier) doesn’t fill me with confidence (pages 2-3). Down in the solicits for issue #2, we see: “Also featuring – talking gorillas! Yeah, you heard me.” Does that really sell anyone on the book? Haven’t we moved past the “Let’s make supposedly cool things even cooler by adding something incongruous and everyone will buy it!” meme in comics? I guess not. Oh, and Bucky: Yeah, not dead. How pointless was Fear Itself? Very. (1 and 15 February)

Oh, look, there’s a “conspiracy ten-thousand years in the making” in Defenders #3. I’m so glad there’s yet another conspiracy in the Marvel Universe, because I think the 795 they already have aren’t interesting enough. (1 February)

I don’t know what’s been going on in Journey Into Mystery (I planning on buying the trade), but it seems to me that when one of the bullet points in your solicitation for issue #634 (page 12) is “Nightmare is still a bad guy …”, you probably don’t have enough to say about the issue. In fact, every solicitation should contain something like that: “Wolverine is still the best there is at what he does …”, “Tony Stark is still a recovering alcoholic …”, “Bucky Barnes is still dead … NOT!”, “Cyclops is still unbelievably boring …” It works for every comic! (8 February)

New Avengers #21 (page 16): “RAGNAROK!” Fucking really? How many times is this? Jeebus. (15 February)

I don’t mean to be crude (okay, so I do, but it’s the nice thing to say), but I still can’t get past the fact that Red Hulk looks like he’s giving Cable some of his spicy sausage on this cover, ifyouknowwhatImeanandIthinkyoudo (page 21). I’m not the only one who thinks so, but why isn’t one of those people who thinks that Ed McGuinness, who drew this? Maybe he did and he just didn’t care. Maybe the book is about the weird, violent love that Red Hulk shares with Cable. You better believe I’d buy that! (1 February)

Marvel: Forcing us to confront secret man/monster love through the healing power of comics!

Speaking of things not looking like they’re supposed to and Greg having a more twisted mind than he really should have, the Scarlet Spider gives new meaning to the phrase “shitting bricks” on this cover (page 31, 8 February):

'Man, what was in that burrito?'

Avenging Spider-Man #4 (page 32): When Joe Mad needs a break, who do you call? Greg Land! (15 February)

Torso gets a hardcover edition on page 71, which is nice, considering the first time I read it, my softcover version almost fell apart. Nice work, Image! Torso isn’t bad – it’s classic early Bendis, but it’s not as good as Jinx, which is the classicest of classic early Bendis. Still, it’s not bad. (8 February)

Okay, I have never actually read “The Crossing,” but I’ve heard enough about it to think it’s one of the worst stories ever told from the House of Ideas. So Marvel is now releasing it in an Omnibus hardcover for – wait for it – $99.99. Holeeee shit. It appears there are 29 issues collected within, and I can’t believe you can’t find every single one of them for a dollar or less. If you really need to read it, that is. (2 May)

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I guess Marvel is going to collect Bruce Jones’s Hulk run in “Premiere Hardcover” format, because on page 89 “The Return of the Monster” gets the treatment, with the Azzarello/Corben Startling Stories included for good measure. This is actually a very good comic, as Jones started really strong before going completely off the rails. Avoid the later issues, but if you’re interested, check this out! (2 May)

For those of you who thought it was awesome that Dazzler got two “Essential” volumes, Marvel brings us Quasar Classic volume 1 on page 118. Yes, you never thought the words “Quasar” and “Classic” would ever go together, but Marvel boldly went there! Pick it up today! (22 February)

If you buy this, you can never pick on 'Essential Dazzler' again. EVER.

Onward we go, toward the back of the book!

AdHouse Books prints Tom Scioli’s American Barbarian on page 226. The little I’ve seen of this looks awesome, so you know I’ll be getting this sucker.

He's American ... AND a barbarian! It writes itself!

I suppose that in order to keep Gold Digger going, Antarctic Press needs to do a lot of other … shall we say, less than highbrow stuff, so of course, on page 230, we get Victorian Secret Agents: Steampunk Angels:

That girl's skirt looks so low it's about to head into the 'too controversial for Previews' zone, man!

Oh, steampunk craze. You never fail to amuse us!

Archaia continues to offer stuff, and on page 233, they have a nice hardcover of The Secret History: Games of Chance, which collects the now never-to-be-published single issues. I don’t mind getting this instead of single issues, but I do hope it actually comes out at some point. That would be nice.

If you’ve been missing the old Garth Ennis/John McCrea series Dicks, Avatar brings it back on page 248. It appears that this is the old material recolored, and then there will be new adventures. I never got into Dicks, but it might be something for your taste!

On page 260, Boom! reprints the Doug Moench/Mike Ploog Terror on the Planet of the Apes from 1974. I imagine this is fairly good, but someone like Greg Hatcher can probably say for sure.

Kevin Huizenga’s Gloriana is offered on page 288 from Drawn & Quarterly. I haven’t been impressed with the very little Huizenga I’ve read, but I imagine that some people will enjoy this! On the same page, America by James Sturm is re-offered. I’m far more interested in this!

First Second always has interesting comics even if they’re not always for me. I really want to read some Faith Erin Hicks comics, because she’s awesome, but Friends With Boys (page 291), sounds like it’s very much a teenaged girl book. That doesn’t mean it won’t be very good, but I doubt if I’ll really like it (yes, I know I can read it on-line and never tell, but I still thought I’d mention it). Still, if you have a teenaged female relative, you might consider picking this up!

NBM has another of their Louvre-centric comics with On the Odd Hours (page 303), in which a night watchman wanders the museum when no one else is around. I liked The Sky Over the Louvre, one of the other books in this series, and this sounds pretty intriguing.

Everyone loves French comics!

The third trade of The Sixth Gun shows up on page 305 from Oni, if you’re reading the series in that fashion. This arc wasn’t as strong as the first two, but it was still pretty good, especially the first few issues. It kind of fizzled at the end. But that’s no reason to not get it!

Also from Oni, on page 206 Ted Naifeh’s Courtney Crumrin gets a hardcover volume in full color. I ought to get this, oughtn’t I?

Also from Oni, Sharknife volume 2 shows up on page 310. I guess this has been delayed for a bit?

Top Shelf offers Harvey Pekar’s Cleveland on page 320. It is, perhaps not surprisingly, about Cleveland.

I've never been to Cleveland. What am I missing?

It seems that grumpy Harvey Pekar is the perfect place to end this tour through Previews. Be sure to get your copy and pre-order the stuff you want to read! It’s not going to read itself!


Tom Fitzpatrick

December 3, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I don’t know about the new Darkseid outfit … I kinda missed the skirt. (I just heard Travis Pelkie vomitting)

I’d be extremely annoyed with DC, if they cancel The Shade before it finishes the 12-issue mini-series.
Why even bother printing the series in the first place if they’re THAT concerned about sales?
The Shade wasn’t meant to be on-going anyway. Take the hit, DC and leave the Shade be, you can afford it. jeez.

I surely hope that you’re wrong about John Byrne’s Next Men being its last. Tho’ I do remember something Mr. Byrne said in the letter columns of the original series, that the Next Men might have gone about 50 issues.
Does specify in PREVIEWS how many issues the Next Men: Aftermath runs?

I do so love those snarky, snippy, sarcastic comments you tend to make underneath those panels.

You really put Travis Pelkie in his place. ;-)

I really don’t get it. Sal Buscema used to turn out over 100 pages a month and they all looked great.

Even George Perez, with his ridiculously over-complicated backgrounds was on four monthlies.

Yeesh. Kids today.

Ironically, the new Darkseid design draws more attention to his groin.

i don’t like all this new stuff

that Jim Aparo hardcover is $50 for about 500 pages, BTW, which I think is a pretty good deal.
compare to the Hulk book which is 264 for $30. (prices less on Amazon)
Also consider that the Hulk book is one story in six parts, and the Batman book is several stories. More BAM! POW! SOCK! for your bucks.

It’s not a skirt, dammit, it’s a tunic.

Bob Haney and Jim Aparo may be my favorite Batman team ever.

Talking gorillas make everything better. Especially if the talking gorilla in question is Gorilla Man.

“I never got into Dicks, but it might be something for your taste!”

Good to know!

Yeah I thought that Batman choice wasn’t really Previews cover worthy either, but I’m not really paying any attention to DC’s stuff these days. It used to be the first section I’d go too. Not anymore.
NBM’s On The Odd Hours is pretty cool. Plus there’s something about reading European comics that just makes you feel all arty and educated.

I’ve never seen the Penguin look quite as much like the Joker as he does on that Tony Daniel teaser. I mean, the nose is a giveaway, but between the smile, the hair and the fact that they wear the same pants, he’s looking mighty Jokeresque.

@buttler: Maybe Gambi opened shop in Gotham, and is selling Joker and the Penguin off the rack purple suits. Or else Prince’s closet exploded. But yeah, it’s the Joker with a Penguin head. But he’s got an umbrella and a top hat, it MUST be the Penguin! Geesh.

Tony Daniel’s been using the S. for a while now, I think. I think the 2 Batman issues with GMozz that “filled in” between RIP and FC, he used it, and was using it here and there prior to that. Detective, from what I hear, is a big ass seller, so that might be why it’s being featured. But why?!

I miss Darkseid’s skirt too. Stop letting Jim Lee design stuff! Wait, his groin…it looks like Supergirl’s groin symbol! He’s a Kryptonian! or she’s an Apoktoliptian! Oh shit!

That Challengers of the Unknown is Ordway and Didio, isn’t it?

Shade won’t continue because you’re not buying the singles, Burgas!

I love your bit in the Marvel section with the …is still…. Great stuff.

Red Hulk better wear protection so he doesn’t get that Techno-Organic Virus shit.

That Scarlet Spider shit a brick is good. WHY is there a Scarlet Spider, though? W…T…F…Marvel?

Ugh, the bits I read of the Crossing were horrid. Mock the people who buy that before you mock Dazzler or Quasar. Especially the Quasar thing — Jeff Ryan will kick your ass!

Man, if only Harvey Pekar had lived, he could have made a guest appearance on Hot in Cleveland, and gotten with Betty White. Alas…

I pre-ordered the hell out of the Haney/Aparo hardcover, and I did it back when Amazon thought the retail price was 30 bucks so it’s only costing me 20 bones plus shipping. That is the stuff.

Thanks for pointing out the American Barbarian collection, I missed that it was coming out. I hope it fits in the ol’ budget along with King City.

On The Odd Hours isn’t as good as The Sky Over the Louvre, but it’s still worth getting, if not just for the amazing Éric Liberge artwork!

Boom! reprints the Doug Moench/Mike Ploog Terror on the Planet of the Apes from 1974. I imagine this is fairly good, but someone like Greg Hatcher can probably say for sure.

I can and it is. I’ll be getting it just to finally read the whole story. It’s been maddeningly elusive in back issues, I only have pieces of it.

Tom: It doesn’t say in Previews how long Next Men: Aftermath runs, but it definitely says it’s the final arc. And I’m glad you like the snarky comments. I enjoy writing them!

salamurai: That’s a good point about the price and page count.

Travis: I didn’t think anything dirty about that when I typed it, but then when I proofread it, I caught it, then decided to leave it in. Why not?

I didn’t notice Daniel using the “S” on the Morrison fill-in-the-blanks issues. I know he wasn’t using it before that. Either way, he’s still been around comics for years, and only started using it recently. I wonder why?

Yes, the Challengers story is DiDio and Ordway.

Bill: Look at you, being all clever with good prices on stuff!

Pedro: Thanks for the knowledge. I was going to get it anyway, but it’s always nice when you chime in with your opinion.

Don’t cancel the Shade mini DC or I am done with you…I buy a lot of your books…even some of the really shitty ones. No I don’t…but I will be pissed.

[…] Flippin' through Previews – December 2011Comic Book ResourcesAre you looking to do a little Christmas shopping? Well, too bad – Previews #279 is NOT for you! (Because it, you know, has books for February and beyond, so it's too late for Christmas shopping, so it's funny that it's the “December” … […]

I am reasonably sure that Tony Daniel has used his middle initial prior to Detective (in signing art for stuff). I’m thinking maybe the Tenth, maybe some other stuff. I also think when he was first starting, he was going by Anthony Daniel, even.

The fact that I’m sorta arguing this disturbs me.

You decided to leave your Dicks (comment) in. hee hee hee.

The Next Men story is going to be five issues long.

Byrne said it was going to be longer, but it turns out during the time he came up with it, and when its finally come out, Dr. Who apparently in the two part season finale also did most of the same things he was going to do with the story overall.

So he’s reshaping it and in doing so, it will now only run those five issues.

And I also hope the Secret History: Games of Chance HC actually does come out. I got tired of seeing the single issues solicited and cancelled twice.

Of course, I”m not surprised that happens and then Archaia starts wondering why the single issues don’t sell anymore (besides the fact they’re always so very late).

Mark Gruenwald wrote those Quasar issues. Good stuff.

Black Orchid is a really good book. I love all Gaiman’s weird early stuff with McKean, especially Mr. Punch.

The reason this is the Previews cover is that the cover looks sort of wintery. December issue! And I agree that I thought that was the Joker at first.

And seriously, DC. When you make a vow to get your books out on time, I thought that also meant you wouldn’t cancel a miniseries midway through a story arc. We get enough of this from Marvel.

” When Joe Mad needs a break, who do you call? Greg Land! ”

Wasn’t Avenging Spider-Man created for Joe Mad to show off his work? If so, why not just put the book on hiatus until he turns in some more issues, rather than giving it to a less impressive artist (and one who makes many readers, myself included, cringe by the mention of his name alone)?

Ragnarok is the name of the Thor clone in the Marvel Universe. Its use refers to him, not the end of the world event.

Alemander: Really? Jeez, I can’t decide if that’s brilliant or stupid. But thanks for the info!

Hey Greg,

Thanks for the shout out! FYI, just to clarify, “Rohan at the Louvre” is a new book in the Louvre series, and “Odd Hours” is an older title in the series.


NBM Publishing

Ragnarok is the name of the Thor clone in the Marvel Universe. Its use refers to him, not the end of the world event.

I guess they couldn’t go with “Clor” forever.

Penguin and Joker definitely need to stop sharing their pants.

Can’t find much I want in this Previews. I’ll buy the final Next Men arc. And probably Pekar’s Cleveland. I’ll buy the Shade.

Sorry, DC and Marvel. You lose. With your 37 Batbooks and 29 Avengers books.

thanks for talking up Glory, Greg!!! hope you like the book. :D

I’m surprised there’s no super-team made up of Ragnarok, Kaine, Madelyne Pryor and X-23. The Clone Warriors! I’m sure we could think of plenty more to fill the ranks.


December 14, 2011 at 7:08 am

So you don’t like the idea of making things ludicrous to be “awesome” such as speaking apes in Winter Soldier, but you highlight American Barbarian later on and say it writes itself. Seems very much the same type of idea to me.

AverageJoeEveryman: There’s a difference between saying “Look, we have talking apes, isn’t that cool!” and actually doing a cool comic with talking apes. I suppose because I’ve seen some of American Barbarian, I have more faith in Scioli to pull it off. I don’t necessarily object to talking apes, but I am sick of people thinking a comic is awesome just because it has talking apes or anything else that is “cool.” That’s the difference, as I see it.

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