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Flippin’ through Previews – March 2012

It’s always fun to see what’s going on in Previews #282, right? Right!

Well, that's a fairly boring image

Dark Horse:

Jamie McKelvie is drawing The Guild: Fawkes one-shot (page 40). That almost makes me want to buy it. Now I’ll have to think about it. Well played, Felicia Day. Well. Played. (23 May)

If I told you that there was a comic with a John Layman/Sam Kieth Alien story, a Dean Motter Mister X story, and a Mike Baron/Steve Rude Nexus story, you’d be crazy not to get it, right? Well, Dark Horse Presents #12 (page 42) has all that plus a bunch of other stuff! Yay, anthologies! (23 May)

He just needs a hug!

Matt Kindt, who’s awesome, has a new ongoing on page 44 called Mind MGMT. It’s about a journalist stumbling upon a secret government program, which, yes, has been done to death, but Kindt is, as I mentioned, awesome, so of course I’m going to check this out! (23 May)

That's some unpleasant stuff in that young lady's head

If you missed Andi Watson’s Skeleton Key stories in DHP, they’re collected in a one-shot on page 46. They’re quite delightful, I must say. (2 May)

On page 61, Freaks of the Heartland gets a nice hardcover for 30 bucks. I don’t know if it’s worth 30 bucks, but it’s nice that it’s getting the treatment, and it’s a solid comic. Whatever happened to Greg Ruth? He’s tremendous on this comic, and I haven’t heard of anything he’s done recently. (11 July)

There’s another Blacksad volume on page 64. They’ve all been good, so why wouldn’t this one be? (11 July)

Awesome? Yes!


• Is copying Marvel’s bulletpoint solicits a crappy idea for DC?
• Yes!
• Who thought they were a good idea, anyway?
• I mean, really!

So, Earth-2, huh (pages 74 and 75)? It worked so well in the past! (2 May)

Ariel Olivetti has become one of those artists I avoid like the plague, but teamed with J. T. Krul on G. I. Combat (page 78)? Man, that might cause an aneurysm in my brain to explode. (2 May)

I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: It’s sad that a major point of selling a comic like, say, The Ravagers (page 79), is that “no one’s survival is certain each month”! Really, comics? Not “watch our heroes do something heroic each month!” but “we’re going to kill off characters at a frightening rate!” Jeebus. (30 May)

If comics aren’t going to get completely sexually insane, the existence of a female supervillain called “The Masochist” in Superman #9 (page 90) becomes a weird, uncomfortable thing. I mean, it’d be weird and uncomfortable if DC was willing to go sexually insane, but at least it would be a good weird and uncomfortable. As DC won’t allow that, this will be all creepy because you know Superman will want to hit her and fuck her and not fuck her and not hit her, and it will be far ickier than if they both just got naked and beat the shit out of each other before fucking each others’ brains out. You know, like the best Silver Age stuff! (23 May)

Wrong on so many levels!

Ten (11) DC comics are part of this “Night of the Owls” crossover, including a motherfucking comic that takes place in 1880. Shit, DC, are you trying to emulate every stupid thing Marvel does?
• Yes!

DC is following up that Superman graphic novel with Batman: Earth One on page 120. This is by Geoff Johns and Gary Frank, so it might be worth checking out, although much like Superman, do we really need another goddamned origin story for Batman? (4 July)

On page 129, DC gets the first volume of Neal Adams’s Batman work out in a trade paperback, some years after the hardcover came out. I thought the hardcover was out of print, but I haven’t looked for it in a while. So of course I have to buy this, because it’s awesome. (27 June)

Man, Todd McFarlane on Infinity Inc. (page 129) It’s so strange to think about that these days. Everyone starts somewhere, don’t they? (18 July)


Bernie Wrightson returns to one of his old horror adaptations with Frankenstein Alive, Again! on page 153. Yes, it’s a sequel. But man, that art looks superb.

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Dude needs a makeover

The latest “Artist’s Edition” is for Daredevil: Born Again (page 163). I managed to get a look at one of these (the Thor one), and man, they’re tremendous. I wish I had many ducats to spend on them.

On page 168, you can get your trade of Comic Book Comics, Fred van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey’s hilarious take on comic book history. It’s not quite as good as Action Philosophers!, but it’s still pretty danged good.


Mind the Gap on page 182 sounds intriguing – a woman is attacked on a subway platform and left in a coma, and no one knows who attacked her or when they’ll strike next, and I’m assuming this isn’t just a garden-variety mugging – but what’s really interesting to me is seeing Rodin Esquejo’s interior art. He’s been doing covers so much, I wonder how his sequential storytelling is. (2 May)

Well, that’s odd. Usually more from Image jumps out at me, but nothing’s really grabbing me that I haven’t mentioned before, so let’s move on!


Speaking of idiotic bulletpoints, here is the solicitation for X-Men Legacy #266 & 267:
“• Avengers She-Hulk, Falcon and Moon Knight are tasked with securing the Jean Grey School …
• And Rogue and her team of X-Men aren’t too happy about it!”
Bwah-motherfucking-ha. This isn’t the only time this month that the bulletpoint solicits don’t quite work, but by God, Marvel is committed to them!

Garth Ennis is back writing a Fury “MAX” story, which is odd, because I thought his first Fury “MAX” story was considered anathema around the Marvel offices. I don’t know if this will be any good, but it’s nice that Marvel isn’t holding a decade-long grudge!

Dave Johnson sure can put a cover together!

There are some weird collected editions in Marvel’s Previews this month. There’s X-Force: Child’s Play, which collects issues #32-37 of the old series and some New Warriors issues. Then there’s an Operation: Zero Tolerance hardcover for 75 dollars. Really, Marvel?

Man, do the Big Two comics just suck these days, or have I finally completely lost interest in them? Whatever the case, let’s move on to the back of the book. Maybe something there will catch my interest!

On page 254, Bluewater Productions gives us The Secret Lives of Julie Newmar. This can’t be any good, but I love that Bluewater is shamelessly promoting this as simply Julie Newmar being sexy. Why the hell not?

Weirdly enough, this is not as sexy as the actual 1960s Ms. Newmar

Sam Humphries is apparently the hip hot writer, because he keeps bringing out new books. On page 257 he has Higher Earth from Boom!, which tells the story of two people who cross dimensions to hundreds of different earths trying to do … something. It’s only a dollar for the first issue, but here’s something interesting – there is no artist listed. Boom! has the cover artists listed, but not who’s doing interior work. Yes, we’ve moved into the age of comics where interior artwork doesn’t matter at all, just the people doing covers! It’s a new world!

Dynamite is relaunching The Spider on page 270. It’s written by Davis Liss of the recently-cancelled Black Panther book, if that’s a draw for you. I wonder how these pulp books are doing for the various publishers who hold the license. Are they really cheap to produce?

I ought to like The Spider more than I do, but I don't

On page 296, First Second has Baby’s In Black, a story about the early, Hamburg days of the Beatles. It focuses on Stuart Sutcliffe, apparently, and sounds pretty neat (it’s on-line, but as you know, I don’t tend to read comics that way).

Metro from Metropolitan Books (page 302) sounds intriguing. It’s about a guy who gets caught up in a crime scheme set against the crumbling Mubarak regime in Cairo. At least, it sounds intriguing to me!

Claremont and Bolton’s Marada the She-Wolf gets a hardcover collection on page 316 from Titan Books. It includes a story that’s never been collected before. I’ve never read these stories, although the art does look nice, from what I’ve seen.

Tentacles ... scantily-clad women ... oh dear ...

Top Shelf has Eddie Campbell’s The Lovely Horrible Stuff on page 320. It’s a comic book about money. Yes, money. You know it’s going to be awesome!

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Who doesn't love books about money?

Valiant is back on page 327 with X-O Manowar by Robert Venditti and Cary Nord. I have no idea how it will sell, but my retailer just mentioned a conversation he had with a Valiant dude about the “talking” cover. Apparently if a retailer orders 50 copies of issue #1, he gets a cover that actually speaks. My retailer told the Valiant guy that there was no way he was going to sell 50 copies of issue #1, and even if he could get 50 bucks for the “talking” cover, it wouldn’t be worth it. The Valiant dude was actually getting mad at my retailer for saying this. My retailer has been in the business for over 25 years, so I think he knows what’s going to sell and what’s not, so why should he order far more copies than he can sell (he thinks he might be able to sell 20 copies if he’s lucky)? I get that Valiant is trying to make the book “hawt,” but why should the retailer take the financial hit just because they want to sell a gimmick cover?

Some punk named Brian Cronin has a book out on page 351 called Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellant? First of all, what a stupid title. Batman carries Shark-Repellant to repel motherfucking sharks, for crying out loud! Second of all, that sounds like a made-up name. I mean, Cronin? I’d be suspicious of that name, because it sounds fishy. Third of all, Our Dread Lord and Master actually forces everyone who writes for this blog to buy a copy of this book, but you don’t have to! Resist, good readers! Don’t get sucked in! It’s too late for us, but you can still escape!!!!!

We live in fear!!!!

And so, once again, we come to the end of another Previews. I don’t think I’m getting bored with comics, but I’m just having a hard time getting excited about DC and Marvel stuff these days. This is also a bit shorter than usual because of this:

Nothing more fun!

Yes, it’s a break in my finger. I won’t go into the embarrassing circumstances that led to me breaking my finger, but let’s just say that when you’re an out-of-shape 40-year-old, you shouldn’t be doing things that in-shape 6-year-olds do with ease. Sigh. I can still type, but it’s kind of a pain in the … well, finger, I suppose. So I wasn’t too keen to delve too deeply into Previews this time around. Forgive me!

Don’t let that stop you from digging through the catalog yourself. It’s always a fun journey!


[…] Flippin’ through Previews – March 2012 – comicbookresources.com It’s always fun to see what’s going on in Previews #282, right? Right! Dark Horse: Jamie McKelvie is drawing The Guild: Fawkes one-shot (page 40). That almost makes me want to buy it. Now I’ll have to think about it. Well played, Felicia Day. Well. Played. (23 May) If I told you that there was [… […]

Ouch! I hope your finger heals soon and you will get back to writing, reading and perhaps juggling before you know it! Yes, Blacksad is awesome, yes the bullet points are annoying and yes superhero stuff just doesn’t do it for me either these days. I will be a sucker and get Batman: Earth One though, as Johns and Frank are a good team, but I surely hope it’s better than Superman: Earth One. I actually gave a talk to some librarians this week about comics and I did recommend S: EO, not because I like it, but I know it’s accessible and was weirdly popular wit newbies. I’ll get Cronin’s book too. His last one was great and I must see how Wonder Woman is connected to Devo, if nothing else.

Travis Pelkie

March 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Wow you’re old. Ah, I kid. Hope the finger heals up quickly.

If that Masochist character turns out to be the girl from All Star Superman 10, I’m gonna be pissed. But man, what a STUPID concept.

That Previews cover is boring until you notice that blood trickling down her left ear. Ooooh!

I really need to start reading DHP. Damn me for missing the boat when it started!

That is weird that the Julie Newmar cover isn’t as sexy as the real thing. It’s not like Joe Phillips is a bad artist of the female form.

Batman needs Shark Repellant because he’s ready for EVERYTHING! Didn’t you read the Morrison run? :)

Travis Pelkie

March 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm

I could give Kris a link to show how WW and Devo are tied in from here on the site, but I don’t want to blow a sale for Brian ;)

And dammit, I totally should have done bullet points in my comment. I suppose I did, just dunno how to format that in the html.

I remember reading the Marada stories when they first appeared in Epic Illustrated (Lord, I am so old…). They were really good sword-and-sorcery tales with a humanity you usually don’t find in the genre (Marada’s first adventure was originally intended to be a Red Sonja tale). Any collection of those stories is worth the money.

The Spider really is great fun and a little scary; I always get the feeling that Norvell Page might actually have some psychoses he was working on on the page.
Besides the original pulps tho, I’ve never read anything nearly as entertaining about the character.
I have heard the old Eclipse miniseries by Truman was really solid but it’s never been reprinted so far as I know and the issues don’t turn up in discount bins–which might be a clue indicating their quality.

You overlooked the best single thing in this or any other Previews of the year:


Tom Fitzpatrick

March 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm

I don’t know. Broke my ankle couple years ago. Took me four months to heal, followed by several months of physio.

Hope that wasn’t your um-drinking hand … ;-)

However, what was Marvel’s problem with Ennis’ first Fury MAX series? Thought it was pretty good.
Very Ennis-wise and terrific Darrick Robertson art. (Tho’ I’m bummed out on the fact that he doesn’t seem to be working on the art for the last THE BOYS storyline)

Didn’t Tim Truman do The Spider before?

JRC: I own one issue of the Truman Spider series, and it wasn’t bad. I wonder if Dynamite will try to reprint it now.

RIO: Yeah, that does look cool. I may have to pick that up!

Tom: When I wrote about Fury for Comics You Should Own, there was a discussion about the fact that George Clooney was interested in playing the character but hated the Ennis mini-series and Marvel tried to distance themselves from it. I didn’t go back and look at the specifics, but if you’re interested, you can find it in the archives.

Yes, my bones are old and brittle. Luckily I’m right-handed, so I can still type fairly well, but it’s pretty annoying!

Burgas, I did not want to see this gross “Sex: M” x-ray porn all over my computer.

Do we think this G-Mozz Dinosaurs vs. Aliens hardcover is going to be (a) readable, or (b) a real comic? I’m nervous.

Travis Pelkie

March 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Wait, the guy who co-created Jonny Quest did a comic book adaptation of a Duran Duran album? I’m so confused!

Wasn’t the problem with the Fury Max series a character called Fuckface?

Re: Superman

On the surface “The Masochist” seems like cheap exploitation (also misguided as when comics tried to be topical in the 60s and 70s), but I think a character that is trying to force Superman to hurt them plays in nicely with the whole “we don’t trust this alien living amongst us” theme that they’re running with.

I’m ready for them to dispense with the whole “distrust of Superman” schtick. Batman is the one that strikes fear into peoples’ hearts, not Superman.

The Masochist may be a dodgy-looking character, but at least she wears her clothes right-side out. Unlike her opponent, as of August 31, 2011.

Greg: I’ll be a’ crossin’ my fingers then an’ hope this book does well for them, it’s usually some early success before they’ll dig into the vault for reprints–unless they can get it super cheap or think it’s a slam dunk?

I am curious how this is working alongside Moonstone’s ongoing Spider book, which from email exchange I have w/ them, is going to continue. I think all the promo stuff I’ve seen has Dynamite’s Spider wearing the movie-version hood as opposed to his more Shadow-like fedora and cloak, so perhaps there’s some fine splicing going along the license?

Ten (11) DC comics are part of this “Night of the Owls” crossover, including a motherfucking comic that takes place in 1880. Shit, DC, are you trying to emulate every stupid thing Marvel does?
• Yes

How is that emulating Marvel? Considering Identity Crisis, Amazon Attacks, Infinite Crisis, Blackest Night, Sinestro Corps and Countdown DC has just as big a track record of stupid, really forced over the top tie-ins.

I hate when DC does something bad that they have a total track record for having done in the recent past and people accuse them of stooping down to Marvel’s level, as if they’re normally better than such behavior and are only recently lowering themselves to compete. They’re responsible for setting this terrible trend in the first place.

Puzzling to have a Previews column/blog/article by someone who seems to have genuine hatred for the Big Two books and reeks of the hipster indie comic ilk.

I like my indie books too, but really CBR? Every comic shop on the planet has hang-around “fans” like this already, so I don’t need to see it here too.

Previews time is about excitment, not poser pretentiousness.

You know, if you’re going to do a comic about Julie Newmar shouldn’t your artist be able to, you know, draw the character to actually LOOK like Julie Newmar?

Y’know, I always knew, after reading this Previews thing for a couple years now, there was something wrong with Burgas, I just never realized it was that he reeks of hipster indie comic ilk. I figured it was patchouli.

And Burgas isn’t the one to turn to for excitment, that’s Chad’s deal. Y’know, Random Thoughts time, get excitd!

I’ve ignored the Spider comics in the past since they generally looked awful, as does this. The original pulps tho? They’re so damn over-the-top and violent that they make the Shadow piss himself and go crying back into Margo Lane’s arms like a widdle boy. These weren’t some decompressed nightmare with two stories stretched out over a year, that a person with a 3rd grade reading level can blow thru in a single bathroom break, these were entire 100+ page epic adventures every single month. It was like a summer blockbuster movie every month. He probably killed more mobsters and would-be dictators in a average novel than in the entire history of the 1920s Chicago gang wars.

The Big Two get ripped on because they are to quality comics what the broadcast networks are to quality TV. You get just enough quality not to throw away your TV forever, but not enough to satisfy your cravings. Unless your idea of highbrow entertainment is “2 Broke Girls”, then you should really enjoy the literary sophistication of Avengers vs X-Men (again) :/

Damn, now I really want to see a Nexus and Mr. X vs. Alien story.

Hmm, both Nexus and Mr X have dream related things to them — Nexus’s dreams about the serial killers, and Mr X lives in Somnopolis (I suppose since he doesn’t sleep, he doesn’t dream).

And a chestburster seems to be a Freudian dream image…

Damn, it could totally work!

Bill: Previews has interior art, so I assume it’s a real comic. I’m not sure how readable it will be, though! It also has “silent comic” written all over it, because who’s going to talk?

T.: Of course you’re right, but in the past two or three years, it seems like Marvel is the one doing the ridiculously sprawling crossovers. Both companies have a long track record of doing them, though. I was just having some fun with the bulletpoints!

Ben: Thanks for making me chuckle. I appreciated it.

Michael: Yeah, I should read the pulps. I have a feeling I’d enjoy them.

Oh, Ben.

“Puzzling to have a Previews column/blog/article by someone who seems to have genuine hatred for the Big Two books and reeks of the hipster indie comic ilk.”

If you haven’t read this column regularly, go back and look through the archives. I expect these to focus more on “old man comics” (e.g., pulp characters, high adventure, crime noir, classic reprints) than anything remotely aimed at “the hipster indie comic ilk.” This installment does the same.

Andrew Collins

March 4, 2012 at 8:40 am

Tim Truman and Alcatena did a couple Spider mini-series for Eclipse back in the early 90’s and I really enjoyed them both. That said, I just can’t get interested or excited for this new Dynamite version of the character. Maybe not being familiar with Liss as a writer plays some part in that. Now Ennis and The Shadow I’m all on board for…

Totally agree with the critical assessments on both Superman and The Ravagers. The weird kind of sexual politics that they’re trying to go with in that Superman story only really works in a book like The Boys or something by Millar, because they have the freedom to see such a story to its logical end. DC will never let a Superman book have any kind of freedom like that, especially on an issue like sex. Heck, they couldn’t even stomach Supes holding a bottle of root beer on a cover a couple years ago. And that Ravagers description is just depressing.

So is the Earth-2 description. I don’t need a new alternate earth that’s just as depressing and violent (if not moreso) than other DC comics. I’ve gone from being excited to just not caring about the new Earth 2 from DC…

And that Julie Newmar cover is sadly disappointing, but hey, it’s super nice to see Joe Phillips back in comics…

I expect these to focus more on “old man comics” (e.g., pulp characters, high adventure, crime noir, classic reprints) than anything remotely aimed at “the hipster indie comic ilk.” This installment does the same.

Actually, you may be getting your Gregs mixed up; that sounds much more like MY thing, honestly. Greg’s and my tastes overlap somewhat but my preferences tend far more towards what you are describing. I think Mr. Burgas leans more towards adult adventure fare like Northlanders, which I thought was just okay. On the other hand, I love the old pulps–the Shadow, Doc Savage, the Spider, etc– and I’m not sure our other Greg’s ever really looked at one.

I’m really ambivalent about Dynamite’s version of the Spider, myself. For one thing, I hate the outfit. I much preferred what Moonstone was doing– use the creepy fanged disguise Page originally describes in the novels, and slap a domino mask over it. For another, I assume if Dynamite’s got the license than Moonstone’s lost it, and I really liked what Moonstone was doing…. especially what they called their “widescreen” illustrated prose. There’s a hardcover collection of those originals called Judge, Jury, and Executioner that I very highly recommend. THAT’S how you do new Spider stories. (Their regular-sized Spider prose anthology is pretty awesome too.)

On the other hand, Dynamite has really done right by the Lone Ranger, Zorro, and the Bionic Man, and I like their Green Hornet stuff okay. The Shadow looks like it’s going to be pretty good. And I though David Liss did okay with the Black Panther. So I guess we’ll see.

Also, speaking of awesome old-man comics, Doug Wildey’s Rio is not to be missed. Story’s just okay but the art is breathtakingly gorgeous. Best-looking western ever done in comics. Considering the competition, that’s really saying something.

T.: Of course you’re right, but in the past two or three years, it seems like Marvel is the one doing the ridiculously sprawling crossovers

I don’t know, there was Blackest Night, Return of Bruce Wayne, Flashpoint and then the New 52 which is a sophisticated form of linewide crossover event of you think about it. It’s a new linewide storyline that ties into every single series and most importantly is open-ended. That’s the most insidious and biggest crossover event ever if you really think about it.

Sorry last anonymous was me.

Greg, I also found this month’s Previews (and Marvel Previews) pretty empty of desirable content. My feelings toward DC and Marvel have sunk from Antipathy to Disgust.

Blacksad should be wonderful, as usual. Marada the She-Wolf is outstanding but I already own the originals and one or two reprint compilations and I am NOT buying it again.

And regarding your X-ray — it looks like the damage could have been caused by a wedding ring that shrunk…!

Nigel: It’s right where a wedding ring would be, wouldn’t it? But I haven’t worn a ring in a few years – I took it off one time and decided I liked it better that way. My wife, somewhat surprisingly, didn’t care, so I left it off!

Y’know, if I wanted to secure the Jean Grey School, I’d send more than three people. And I wouldn’t send Falcon or Moon Knight at all.

[…] Flippin' through Previews – March 2012Comic Book Resourcesby Greg Burgas Jamie McKelvie is drawing The Guild: Fawkes one-shot (page 40). That almost makes me want to buy it. Now I'll have to think about it. Well played, Felicia Day. Well. Played. (23 May) If I told you that there was a comic with a John … 2012, Book, Comic, Flippin', march, Previews, Through […]

Greg: I read very few pulp reprints in my youth, and they never grabbed my fancy like it did yours. I should read some of them, though – your columns always make me want to read them all!

Wow, high praise for Rio. I always thought the art in Moebius’s Blueberry made it the best looking Western in comics, so that’s pretty impressive for you to aver that.

I’ll second the high praise for Doug Wildey’s Rio. It’s one of the best westerns ever! Top of the class! Jonah Hex never reached such heights, nor any of Marvel’s “Kid” westerns.

My favorite western artist was John Severin, but he was usually given short, formulaic stories to illustrate. But you can taste the dust and smell the gunsmoke in his cowboy art.

@ Greg & Greg: I’ll wait and see how this Dynamite Spider thing looks. But, I don’t see myself buying just based on the price.

The first time I saw this promoted I wrote Moonstone and asked if they’d lost the license and got a reply that they hadn’t. I can’t remember the wording very well, but I suppose there was a some “grey area” in the statement–but then, why bother being evasive? Weird.

@ Greg & Greg:

You know, I bet that I did conflate you guys. Oops!

“Greg, I also found this month’s Previews (and Marvel Previews) pretty empty of desirable content.”

For what it’s worth, this will only be the second time in about three years that I won’t place a monthly pre-order with DCBS. Instead I’m buying some Marvel Masterworks and Dark Horse Archives that I’ve had on my “want” list.

I have seen Rio and it’s at best the Great American Hope of having the best-looking western in comics. Even so, I think Warren Tuft’s Lance (which I have in the gorgeous portuguese edition) has a better claim to it:

But I have seen westerns by the top european artists and, frankly, the US production doesn’t measure up to it.

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