Johns & Frank Aim for 'Surprising and New' in Latest "Batman: Earth One" Volume
Yes, I’m a week late thanks to being out of town, but I hope you’re ready for a Very Special Guest to help me go through this months Previews #283!
Last month, I perused the catalog and lamented that it seemed a bit weak. I got a comment from 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. 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, Ben was right. Previews time IS about excitement, and I just couldn’t muster up much with regard to last month’s DC and Marvel comics. So I pondered who I knew who WAS excited about DC and Marvel comics and could perhaps provide me with some perspective. It didn’t take long for me to come up with my old friend Ivan Hart Dominguez-Carson, who last autumn helped me after I turned my cold, black heart on DC’s new #1s. I knew I had to call him, quick! Sure enough, he arrived at my humble abode and we taped our conversation. I’ll tell you – he’s quite the tonic! I also let him come up with all the captions for the pictures, so be warned! Ivan is totally unfiltered in this conversation, so I do hope he doesn’t offend anyone.
Greg: Ivan! I’m so glad you could join me!
Ivan: DUUUUUUUUUDE! You’re totes lucky, dude. I was out my some of my bros scoping some babes when you called. You’re such a friend, though, so I decided to come over and help out.
Greg: Your mom said you were eating Frankenberries and watching the Karen Gillan parts of Doctor Who on slo-mo when I called–
Ivan: DUUUUUUUDE!!!!! DL that shit, bro! I got a rep to uphold! And even if I was, have you seen Karen Gillan? You should always watch her in slo-mo!!!!!
Greg: Yes, well, that’s neither here nor there. You ready to flip through Previews?
Ivan: You fucking know it, bro. MOTHERFUCKING COMICS!!!!!
Greg: On page 30, Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson’s The Massive is offered. If you missed the hype about it, it’s a story of environmentalists after the world has ended. The “preview” stories in Dark Horse Presents have been intriguing, and this looks very cool.
Ivan: Listen, bro, that’s not how you sell it. It’s right here in the text: “Pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves.” You know what nerds like? Pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves – four things they will never be. They dig that shit!
Greg: So you’re excited about this comic?
Ivan: Oh, no way, dude. Brian Wood writes comics that make me think. I don’t read comics to think. That’s what FHM is for!
Greg: Moving on … Gilbert Hernandez shows up on page 32 with Fatima: The Blood Spinners, which is about a drug that eventually turns people into zombies. Well, they should probably stop taking it, then! What do you say, Ivan?
Ivan: She’s wearing a belly shirt. SOLD!
Ivan: Check it out, dude. Conan’s totes stabbing someone on page 52. You get these Conan trades, right?
Greg: Yep. They’re good.
Ivan: I’ll have to borrow this one. I fucking love it when Conan gets all stabby.
Greg: You already have three of my Conan trades, and you’ve never given them back.
Ivan: Well, shit, man, I’ll get ‘em to you, y’know? I got a lot on my plate right now.
Greg: Yes, trying to decide whether to go see Wrath of the Titans or stay home and do a Dukes of Hazzard: The Coy and Vance Season marathon is a tough decision …
Ivan: Fuck right it is!
Ivan: Man, check out that Empowered Deluxe Edition volume II hardcover on page 61. That chick in it is soooooo hott!!!!!
Greg: I think she’s supposed to be a parody of most sexy women in comics. She’s not meant to be taken seriously.
Ivan: Bro, you think nerds care about that when their moms are out shopping and they’re along in the bathroom? No fucking way, dude!
Greg: Really, Ivan? You went there?
Ivan: I calls it likes I sees it, bro!
Greg: On page 63, there’s the third volume of The Manara Library hardcover series. You’ll like that.
Ivan: Is Manara that dude who draws naked chicks all the time?
Ivan: All right, dude, this is why you called me, so I’ll take point, ‘k?
Greg: Be my guest.
Ivan: Dude, look at this Before Watchmen shit on pages 74, 75, 76, and 77. You’re going to buy the shit out of this, aren’t you?
Greg: Probably not.
Ivan: DUUUUUUUDE!!!!! What the fuck, bro? It’s the characters from the best comic book ever … in new stories!!!! MORE ALWAYS MEANS MOTHERFUCKING BETTER!!!! You know how you wish Darwyn Cooke would get his head out of his ass and stop doing crime fiction by some writer no one cares about? Well, he’s doing a motherfucking Before Watchmen book! You know how Amanda Conner makes every woman drop dead sexy? Dude, nothing’s sexier than repressed 1940s chicks! You know how Brian Azzarello writes comics with no sense of humor whatsoever? He’s doing a Comedian comic! It’s ironic gold! You know how J. Michael Straczynski wrote motherfucking Babylon 5, which all nerds love? How can you pass up a Nite Owl comic by that dude? THIS IS GOING TO MOTHERFUCKING EPIC!!!!!
Greg: O … kay.
Ivan: And then look at Justice League #10 on page 78! No one knows who the villain is yet, but it will be revealed in this very issue! You know it’s going to be awesome!
Ivan: Oh, and check out page 81! It’s World’s Finest #2! You know what’s hotter than girls down on their hand and knees with energy blasts pouring into their backsides? Oh, wait a minute. Dude, that’s not cool. What the fuck?
Greg: Are you already losing your enthusiasm for mainstream superheroes, Ivan?
Ivan: No fucking way, man. Sure, Power Girl is in a stupid position, but Huntress is totes going to make that dude pay! Yippee-kay-yay, motherfucker!
Ivan: Okay, look at page 87. Green Arrow fights Doctor Cognate! I don’t even know who Doctor Cognate is, but he sounds awesome!
Greg: Do you know what a cognate is?
Ivan: No, but who cares? It sounds cool, bro!
Ivan: And check out the next page, 88. Damn, that looks awesome.
Greg: The Savage Hawkman #10?
Ivan: Shit, yeah. “The first scene in this issue just might be the best battle you see all year”! Damn, DC wouldn’t let that into Previews unless it was truly epic. Right, dude?
Greg: Sure, I guess so. But look at all his teeth!
Ivan: Liefeld knows what the people like, and the people like teeth! He’s just like Neil Gaiman, bro!
Ivan: That Corinthian dude had a lot of teeth. I bet Liefeld totes designed him, too.
Ivan: Shit, check out Action Comics #10 on page 89. G-Mozz named a villain Nimrod the Hunter. Dude, nobody’s ever done that before!
Greg: If you say so.
Ivan: Fuck you, bro, it’s awesome. Naming villains after shit from the Bible NEVER GETS FUCKING OLD!
Ivan: Oh, damn, check out Supergirl #10 on page 91. “What happens when a KRYPTONIAN loses control of his or her powers? MASSIVE DESTRUCTION!” Damn, that’s gonna fucking rock!
Greg: Do we really need more massive destruction in superhero comics?
Ivan: HOW THE FUCK WILL YOU KNOW HOW FUCKING HARDCORE THEY ARE IF THERE AIN’T, BRO?!?!? Seriously, dude, it’s like you’re living on another planet sometimes.
Greg: So what do you think of this Batwoman artist controversy, as Trevor McCarthy is now drawing the book, as we see on page 97.
Ivan: Dude, fictional lesbians are hott. Rucka totes knew that, and so does Williams. Have you ever seen a real lesbian? I mean, live and let live, is what I say, but they don’t shave, bro. DC lesbians, though – yowza!
Greg: Was your last date in this decade?
Ivan: Uncool, bro. No PBR for you!
Ivan: So, you know all those secret lesbians who didn’t like the way Starfire was being portrayed in Red Hood and the Outlaws? Well, check out issue #10 on page 101: “RED HOOD learns that STARFIRE is one of the most respected and feared commanders in all of space! Who knew?” Ha, ha, fuck off, haters. Lobdell totes schooled you!
Greg: That seems a bit harsh, Ivan.
Ivan: Yeah, I’m sorry. It’s just that she was obviously so much more than a fuck-buddy – it’s called “subtext,” haters, look it up – in that first issue, and everyone missed it because her fuck-buddiness was so out there. It was obvious Lobdell was subverting our expectations and showing that a woman dressed solely in a tiny bikini could, in fact, take out a tank. I mean, just because you can take out a tank doesn’t mean you can’t prance around in very little clothing and have no idea which men you’ve fucked. She was just acting like a bro, bro! I’m sure if she had heard all the jokes about her sluttiness, she totes would have joined in. She’s like a bro you can have sex with, right?
Greg: Whatever you say, Ivan. Whatever you say.
Ivan: Dude, check out Green Lantern #10 on page 102: Next issue there’s a “shocking turn of events that can’t be missed!” You have to be STOKED for that!
Greg: I do?
Ivan: Shit, bro, why do you even read comics? FOR EVENTS THAT CAN’T BE MISSED!!!!! And then check out Swamp Thing #10 on page 109. ANTON ARCADE IS BACK, DUUUUUUUDE!!!!!
Greg: How many times has he been killed? And you know at least once he’s become a good guy. Maybe we could get someone a bit less used up?
Ivan: But it’s Arcade, man! He’s, like, the most awesomest Swampy villain EVER!!!!!
Greg: But —
Ivan: Chillax, Greg. Don’t harsh on DC – they’re just committed to giving us the best comics in the world!
Greg: What about Marvel?
Ivan: Dude, we’ll get to them. Don’t worry! I mean, look at I, Vampire #10: The Order of the Van Helsings! DC knows that if One Van Helsing = Cool, then Many Van Helsings = Even Cooler! That’s just basic math!
Greg: Well, I’m glad you’re excited. How about the Absolute Batman and Robin on page 127? All of Morrison’s Batman and Robin in one handy package for 100 bucks.
Ivan: That’s pretty sweet. The best arc was the one Philip Tan drew, you know. That Flamingo dude was awesome!
Greg: Let’s check out some Vertigo stuff. On page 136 there’s Right State, a graphic novel by Mat Johnson and Andrea Mutti. I’m not sure it’s for me – it’s about a plot to kill the president and an ex-Special Forces soldier who infiltrates the right-wing group doing the plotting – but I always like to see graphic novels from the Big Two, and you might like it.
Ivan: Are there superheroes?
Greg: I’m fairly confident that there are not.
Ivan: Well, I still might check it out. Special Forces guys are like the real world’s superheroes, right, dude?
Greg: You could say that.
Ivan: I totes just did, bro!
Greg: There’s the American Vampire: Lord of Vampires mini-series on page 138. It’s drawn by Dustin Nguyen, so you know it will look beautiful.
Ivan: I bet he draws some naked chicks. I’m down with that!
Greg: Speaking of Morrison, on page 140 we get The Invisibles Omnibus for $150. It collects every single issue of the series. What did you think of The Invisibles, Ivan?
Ivan: Do you not recall what I said about thinking when I read comics, dude?
Ivan: Check it out! Mars Attacks #1 on page 150 by John Layman and John McCrea … and 56 different covers! Look at that set you can get on page 151 for 200 bones featuring all the covers. I think I’m having a nerdgasm!!!!
Greg: Dude, go in the bathroom for that shit.
Ivan: … All right, bro, I’m back. Where are we?
Greg: We’ve moved on to
Ivan: Dude, Spawn is celebrating its 20th anniversary on page 180. Holy shit, I feel old. I remember buying 20 copies of issue #1. I figure I’ll be a millionaire soon!
Greg: Don’t hold your breath.
Ivan: Check out the Creator Owned Heroes book on page 186. They show some preview art – look, Phil Noto draws two pages of a hot chick getting dressed. The man knows what the people like! Up top, bro!
Ivan: Don’t leave me hanging, bro!
Greg: Hey, look at page 192. There’s The Red Diary/The Re[a]d Diary flipbook. It’s a Teddy Kristiansen comic translated by him and Steven Seagle, plus you can flip it to read a different script by Seagle before he translated the book. That sounds bizarre AND awesome!
Ivan: Sorry, what?
Greg: Are you watching that YouTube video of Kate Upton’s breasts?
Ivan: Have you seen Kate Upton’s boobs?
Greg: Fair enough. Can we get back on point, please?
Ivan: Look at that awesome non-spoiler cover of Skullkickers #15 on page 215 with the kitten on it. All comics should have covers with kittens on them!!!!
Ivan: Uh, I mean … hot chicks! Hot chicks with guns and swords and ripped clothing! I CANNOT COUNTENANCE KITTENS ON MY COMICS!!!!!
Greg: Maybe we should check out
Ivan: Awwww yeah, AVX: VS #3 on page 1: Hot chicks with guns and swords! No ripped clothing, though. Still, I knew Marvel wouldn’t let me down!
Ivan: Man, in Avengers #27 on page 5 there’s a traitor to the team! Now that’s drama! I wonder who it is?
Greg: Perhaps you should look at the cover?
Ivan: Dude, no way is Bendis that obvious. He’s totes clever like that – faking you right out of your Underoos!
Ivan: Oh, man, in Avengers Academy #32 the X-Men try to melt that Sentinel dude. I bet Sentinel dude’s pal will be all like, “He’s a motherfucking robot, you can reprogram him!” and the X-Men will be all like, “No way, bro, Sentinels are born evil!” and the Sentinel dude’s pal will be all like, “I can’t argue with your logic, but I’m still gonna fight you, dudes!” and it’ll be totes EPIC!!!!!
Greg: Yes, I’m sure it will be.
Ivan: So there’s a new book called Dark Avengers but it’s starting at issue #175 on page 15? Dude, I love the Avengers. I’m totes gonna start buying that! Marvel knows what we want, dude!
Greg: Or you could have been buying it all along as Thunderbolts.
Ivan: Listen, bro, no one wants to read a book about weather. But now, they’re like Avengers, but all dark! How awesome is that?
Greg: I bow to your logic, Ivan.
Ivan: Damn straight!
Greg: What do you think of this whole “classified” Spider-Men solicit on page 19?
Ivan: Dude, anything that is “classified” is automatically awesome. Marvel should classify their entire solicitations! They’d totes make a mint!
Greg: It doesn’t annoy you?
Ivan: Listen, bro, if Marvel says “history will be made for the Marvel Universe,” YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE!!!! Why would they lie?
Greg: To get you to buy the book?
Ivan: No way, dude. BECAUSE IT’S TOTES HISTORICAL!!!!!
Greg: What do you think of the new Spider-Man movie?
Ivan: What the fuck, dude? WHAT THE FUCK?!?!?
Greg: I thought you’d be all over that!
Ivan: Man, they made Emma Stone a blonde. There are plenty of hot blondes in the world, dude! Emma Stone used to be all, you know, scorching, but now she’s all blonde.
Greg: She’s not hot anymore?
Ivan: Well, I mean, she’s still pretty hot, but now she’s like an eight when before she was like a nine. I mean, that’s a serious drop. I might have to rethink her position on my “list.”
Greg: Wasn’t your last date five years ago when your mom forced you to take your cousin to her son’s Dungeons and Dragons tournament?
Ivan: Dude, DL! DEEEEE-ELLLLLLLL!
Greg: Sorry, Ivan. Okay, let’s move on. What about that charming cover of Amazing Spider-Man #688 on page 23? If there’s something I want from my superhero comics, it’s the Lizard chomping on Spidey’s neck. That’s quality stuff!
Ivan: You know it, bro. It’s totes edgy! Just what Spider-Man needs, dude!
Greg: Okay, Ivan. Parse this sentence for me from the solicit to Journey Into Mystery #639 on page 34: “The MANCHESTER GODS dread URBAN PANTHESISM arises in the north of Otherworld, the British Subconscious!”
Ivan: Dude, that’s too many words. And there are totes no tits on that cover. And I just got a hankering for some Devil Dogs, dude!
Greg: But I have no idea what that solicitation sentence means. Gillen’s story gets good reviews, and I’m sure the actual issue isn’t all that confusing, but I have no idea what that sentence means. Maybe one of our readers can help.
Ivan: Whatevs. I WANT DEVIL DOGS!!!!!
Ivan: Check out that cover of Defenders #7 on page 42. The Dodsons know what we like – tits! Why put Iron Fist in front when you can put the Black Cat and her skin-tight leather?
Greg: What about the utter lack of background?
Ivan: TITS! or GTFO, dude!
Greg: What about the new Man-Thing story on page 43 by Steve Gerber and Kevin Nowlan? That’s going to be cool, right?
Ivan: Probably. Horror in the swamp, bro!
Ivan: Hey, Greg, check it out – a Hit-Girl mini-series on page 65! You know what’s awesomer than superheroes kicking ass? Pre-teen girls kicking ass!
Ivan: Shit, yeah. I hope her body count hits triple digits!!!!
Ivan: Check out page 68: the Marvel Zomnibus hardcover. Dude, they turned “Omnibus” into “Zomnibus”! That’s so awesome!
Greg: Moving on … on page 71 we get a Marvel Masterworks of Iron Fist, when Claremont and Byrne were working on the book. Everyone keeps saying these are good issues, but I don’t know if they’re worth 60 bucks. I hope Marvel brings out a softcover!
Ivan: Dude, look at the Schism trade on page 97. You know what’s better than X-Men fighting Avengers? X-MEN FIGHTING X-MEN, bro!
Greg: Well, we’ve reached the end of the front of the book. Are you going to stick around to check out the smaller publishers?
Ivan: Sure, bro. I don’t know what I’ll have to say, because when it comes to comics, you know what real fans like?
Greg: What’s that?
Ivan: Tits and punching, dude. Or maybe punching and tits. Do your fancy comics in the back of the book have those?
Greg: Some of them do.
Ivan: Lead on, dude!
Greg: Well, on page 237 Archaia has Iron: Or, the War After, which has anthorpomorphized animals struggling to survive after a horrific war. It sounds pretty keen.
Ivan: You totes lost me with “anthropomorphized.” Five syllables? Really, dude? How about the “Girls of Steampunk” from Antarctic Press on page 232? Busty girls with odd guns? What’s not to love?!?!?
Greg: Can we move on, please?
Ivan: Sure, bro. Hey, check out Betty and Veronica in bikinis on page 242! Archie Comics is getting edgy, man!
Greg: I’m uncomfortable looking at that cover.
Ivan: Dude, embrace your skeeviness! It’s okay! Archie should totes suggest what we’re all thinking he should have suggested years ago. It’s the new millennium, dude! People shouldn’t be bound by hidebound gender and sexual roles!
Greg: Did you just say that last sentence?
Ivan: I’m a totes modern dude, dude. You know it’s true!
Greg: Boom! has a trade of Valen the Outcast on page 266. I’ve heard a few good reviews for this. Are you interested?
Ivan: “King Valen Brand … killed in battle … resurrected as one of the walking dead.” Zombie Conan? Dude, I’m totes not a zombie fan, but I can dig a high concept like that.
Greg: Why aren’t you a zombie fan?
Ivan: I know you’re getting the trade of Tarot on page 270, right, bro?
Greg: Probably not.
Ivan: Oh, yeah, I forgot – it has tits and punching, and liberated chicks dig it, so you’re totes not into it. Dude, are you sure you don’t “putt from the rough”?
Greg: I like you, Ivan, but do you need to resort to being offensive? I don’t like Tarot because it’s bad, not because it offends me.
Ivan: I’m just funnin’ with you, dude. You can putt from wherever you like! I just like the gravity-defying fun bags in Tarot. You never know when they might pop like balloons!
Greg: First Second has an interesting-looking comic on page 293. Marathon is written by Boaz Yakin and drawn by Joe Infurnari, both talented individuals. It’s about the first marathon back in the 5th century BC.
Ivan: That dude on the cover is almost totes naked. That’s awesome.
Greg: Weren’t you just throwing around slurs about that?
Ivan: Come on, dude. Be secure in your sexuality!
Greg: I read Casanova and Butcher Baker. There are more dicks in there than a John Holmes Lookalike Contest!
Ivan: See? I knew you could be secure in your sexuality! Just because I like tits doesn’t mean everyone does, dude.
Greg: You’re so enlightened.
Ivan: Oh, totes, dude.
Greg: Los Tejanos and Lost Cause on page 295 from Fantagraphics sounds kind of neat. Stories of Texas history, in comic book form!
Ivan: Whatevs, dude. I’m watching EuroTrip on Netflix. I bet it has more tits than that comic!
Greg: Yeah, that’s an underrated classic, I must agree.
Ivan: The dude from Justified is in it, too. Awesome.
Greg: Look, we’ll watch EuroTrip later, okay? Let’s get back to Previews.
Ivan: “Scotty doesn’t know …”
Greg: Stop singing, or I won’t want to finish this! Okay, on page 300 there’s Balkan Comics: Women on the Fringe from Mark Batty Publisher. This is a bunch of stuff from female cartoonists of the Balkans. I think it sounds very cool, but I’m going to assume you don’t care about this at all?
Ivan: You totes wound me. Eastern European women are HOTTTTT!!!!
Greg: It’s not pictures of Eastern European women, Ivan.
Ivan: Oh. Carry on, then!
Greg: There’s a new Atomic Robo mini-series on page 312 from Red 5. You’re into Atomic Robo, right, Ivan?
Ivan: Dude, it’s called “Flying She-Devils of the Pacific.” How can you not be into that?
Greg: Some people don’t like awesome comics.
Ivan: I have no time for those people.
Greg: On the same page, Alan Grant has a new graphic novel from Renegade Arts Entertainment called The Loxleys and the War of 1812. It’s about a Canadian family that resists the American invasion during the war. Sounds keen.
Ivan: Sounds anti-American. What the fuck, bro? U! S! A! U! S! A!
Greg: Top Shelf has the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen comic on page 318. It sounds like things are getting really weird.
Ivan: Is that the comic with Voldemort feeling up that chick?
Greg: In the last volume, yes.
Ivan: Yuck. Why is Alan Moore raping my childhood?!?!?!
Greg: Ivan, you were thirty when you saw the first movie, and you haven’t read the books.
Ivan: ALAN MOORE IS RAPING MY ADULTHOOD!!!!!!
Ivan: Dude, look at those awesome three pages – 338 to 340 – of Zenescope comics. Every single one of them feature strong female leads who like to show their tits. I bet your feminazi friend Kelly thinks all of these comics suck.
Greg: Well, she is entitled to her opinion, you know.
Ivan: I don’t know, dude. The world started going downhill when we started listening to girls’ opinions. They bring me down, man!
Greg: Well, you’ll have to take that up with her.
Ivan: So, are we done?
Greg: Unless you have something else you’d like to spotlight.
Ivan: Naw, I think I did enough. I’m going to go back to watching EuroTrip.
Greg: Wait a second, and I’ll join you.
I hope nobody minded that Ivan helped me out this month. He tries to be more sensitive, but sometimes, he gets carried away. But he’s enthusiastic about his comics, isn’t he? Have fun checking out Previews this month, because as we tried to show this month, there’s quite a bit out there that you might enjoy. And remember: “Fiona says she’s out shopping, but she’s under me and I’m not stopping …”
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