Axel-In-Charge: "Secret Wars" Jam Session Talking "A-Force," "Ultimate End" and More
I’m back on schedule, so let’s dig into Previews #295 and see what’s what!
Gerard Way is back with The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (page 42), which he’s co-writing with Shaun Simon and which is drawn by Becky Cloonan. I’m sure it will be good, but I’ll still probably wait for the trade. (12 June)
Meanwhile, Sam Humphries’s Sacrifice gets published in a nice collection on page 44. I haven’t read this, so I don’t know if it’s any good – maybe someone can chime in? (21 August)
Ron Randall told me he was putting together a Trekker collection a year ago, and on page 45, the Omnibus shows up. This is another comic I’ve never read, so if you have any opinions about it, feel free to share. Like most Dark Horse Omnibuses, it’s 25 bucks for well over 300 pages, so it’s not a bad deal at all. (7 August)
If you waited for the trade of The Black Beetle by Francesco Francavilla, it’s offered on page 48. The final issue is a bit delayed, but so far, it’s been a very fun and pulpy comic with superb artwork. If you’re interested in that kind of thing. (14 August)
Over on page 77, we get Creepy Presents Steve Ditko, featuring Ditko stories from both Creepy and Eerie. I’m really enjoying all this Ditko stuff that’s been coming out recently – I’m still not the biggest fan of his art, but that doesn’t mean it’s not impressive to examine. (7 August)
So on pages 84-85 we get two new Superman books, Superman Unchained and Batman/Superman. This brings the number of Superman books in the DCnU to four (4) and the number of Batman books to one thousand eighty-six (1086). I don’t get the whole “unchained” thing, but I guess they had to call it something, and “Adventures of” doesn’t sound X-treeeeem enough for the DCnU, and other Batman/Superman team-up books have done well in the past, so … way to go, DC? (12 and 5 June, respectively)
I do have to give DC credit – they just keep throwing weird shit at the wall and hoping some of it will stick, as on pages 86-87, we get Larfleeze #1 (really?) and Pandora #1 (REALLY?). I doubt if either one of these will last much more than a year (if they’re lucky), but I do like how DC is digging through the war chest to find something to publish! (26 and 19 June, respectively)
There’s nothing to indicate that Batman, Incorporated #12 (page 101) is the final issue … I thought it was supposed to go only 12? Was I misled? Anyway, perhaps Morrison did his usual thing and decided that 12 issues could not contain his awesomeness! Will it go to issue #13, or even longer? (26 June)
“Zero Year” begins in Batman #21 (page 102). Blech. The idea isn’t too bad, but 13 issues? Jeebus. (12 June)
I’ve been enjoying All Star Western, mainly because DC seems to have left the creators alone and because it’s set in the 1880s, it doesn’t have too much to do with the DCnU in the present. So, of course, in issue #21 (page 118) … “Jonah Hex visits the 21st century!” Yeah. (26 June)
Batman Illustrated by Neal Adams volume 3 is offered in trade paperback on page 135. These are really, really good comics, in case you didn’t know, and the book culminates with “The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge,” which is a superb story. (31 July)
Also on page 135, Camelot 3000 gets a new trade paperback for only 20 dollars. This features beautiful Brian Bolland artwork and Mike Barr’s story is actually ahead of its time (despite being dated; the countries in AD 3000 remain the same as they were in the early 1980s). Read more about it here! (24 July)
Page 135 is a good place to be, because we also get Superman: Phantom Zone in trade, by Steve Gerber, Gene Colan, and Tony DeZuniga. Greg Hatcher has raved about this story before (I’m pretty sure Our Dread Lord and Master has, too), so here’s your chance to see what the fuss is about!
Astro City is FINALLY back on page 139. Yay, Astro City! Yay, Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson! Huzzah! Up next: A guest appearance by … let’s say Larfleeze. You know it’s coming! (5 June)
On page 142, we get Brother Lono #1, which takes place after the end of 100 Bullets. If you’re interested in that at all. I say let things lie, but what do I know? (19 June)
The trade of Beware the Creeper shows up on page 147. I guess it’s getting collected now because of Cliff Chiang’s higher profile, right? Anyway, it’s not a great story, but it’s not bad. And, of course, Chiang’s art is really good. (31 July)
DC keeps squeezing blood from the Sandman stone, as they offer an “Omnibus” of the first half of Sandman on page 147. 1040 pages for $150. It’s certainly not the worst deal, but I shudder to think how someone is going to carry that around or even read it when they’re lying in bed. (21 August)
In the phenomenon of genre television shows continuing their “seasons” in comic book form, on page 160 we get X-Files Season 10 #1. No, it does not feature Agents Doggett and Reyes, but you know they’ll show up at some point, right? Come on, IDW, make it happen!
There’s a Xenozoic Tales: Artist’s Edition offered on page 162. As usual with all of these Artist’s Editions, I think HOLY CRAP and then move on, knowing I cannot afford it. But dang, I bet that’s absolutely gorgeous.
Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies volume 1 is offered on page 163. I don’t have a ton of interest in this, but IDW and the Library of American Comics do a really nice job with these books, so if you’re interested, they’re totally worth it.
IDW took a look at Deadpool slaughtering his way through classic literature and decided they could do that too, so we get Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated on page 178, which features three stories about Martians fighting characters from 19th-century literature. There’s some good talent on the book – Phil Hester, Beau Smith, Neil Kleid, John McCrea, Kelley Jones – and it’s only 8 bucks, so it might be worth a look!
Killogy gets a trade on page 184. It sounds nice and twisted – three murderers stuck in a zombie apocalypse, so I might have to check it out.
Honestly, the concept of Lazarus (page 194) – dystopian future ruled by oligarchic families, a protector of one who gets killed but doesn’t die – isn’t the greatest one. We’ve seen this kind of thing before. But … it’s by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark, so it’s definitely going to be worth a look! (26 June)
There are only 4 issues in the latest trade of Fatale, but it’s offered on page 199, if you’re interested. It remains a good but not great comic, and that’s perfectly fine with me. (5 June)
Meanwhile, Saga volume 2 is offered on page 206. I may be conflicted about the series, but it sure looks purty, I’ll give it that much! (19 June)
Change gets a trade on page 207. It’s a bizarre book that doesn’t quite pull itself together, but I love the ambition of the entire thing, and Ales Kot almost gets away with it. It’s certainly worth your ducats. (26 June)
The first volume of A Distant Soil gets a new edition on page 208. I’ve never read this – I suppose I should probably start. (5 June)
I didn’t read Infinite Vacation, so I can’t say if the big hardcover on page 209 is worth the 25 bucks you will pay for it, but there it is. (19 June)
Moriarty was a pretty solid comic, and it’s pretty cool that Daniel Corey and Anthony Diecidue were able to collect it in a fancy, 9-issue hardcover for only 30 bucks on page 209. It’s kind of a shame the book couldn’t last longer, but at least you can get a nice book out of it! (5 June)
On page 211, we get Spawn: The Dark Ages Complete Collection hardcover for 60 bucks (it’s 700 pages, though). I can’t imagine this is worth a look, but if you’re really keen on it, that’s not a bad price for that much comicbookery. (26 June)
Witch Doctor: Mal Practice gets a trade on page 213. This is a really good series, so if you’ve missed the single issues, check this sucker out. (19 June)
I love Marvel because they just can’t let things go, can they? On page 2, we get Age of Ultron #10 (of 10). On page 3, we get Age of Ultron #10A.I. What the fuck, Marvel? What the fucking fuck? Jeebus, just fucking end it. END IT!!!!! (19 and 26 June, respectively)
So, the gang in Uncanny Avengers is experiencing Ragnarök (page 4). Is that different from the other Marvel “Ragnaroks” because of the umlaut? Couldn’t a Marvel editor have said something like, “You know, Remender, Marvel’s had something like 17 Ragnaroks in the past dozen years. Ease back, okay?” I mean, can’t they use a different world-ending myth? There are pantheons all over the place, you know! (19 June)
Guardians of the Galaxy #4 (page 14): No Steve McNiven. Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Now, it’s Sara Pichelli on art, who’s definitely no slacker, but that still cracks me up. (26 June)
So, why did Marvel even launch Savage Wolverine? It’s not a Frank Cho book, as Zeb Wells and (bwah-ha-ha-ha!) Joe Madureira take over with issue #6 (page 16). Is it like Legends of the Dark Knight? if Marvel named it Legends of the Savage Wolverine, that would have been pretty cool. (12 June)
Marvel must have called DC to see what the secret of their success is, as the solicitation for Thanos Rising #3 (page 22) tells us it’s “so blood-soaked you’ll be glad it’s a mini-series.” Charming! (5 June)
Jamie McKelvie is a foul, evil liar (he knows why!), and so Kate Brown guest-arts Young Avengers #6 on page 26. It looks pretty cool, actually. And I’m sure the story will be groovy. (26 June)
Marvel actually launches a “Legends of the Man Without Fear” comic with Daredevil: Dark Nights (see what they did there?) on page 55. Lee Weeks, who really should get more work, leads off, and I really don’t know if this is an 8-issue arc or if each issue will be a different one-off story. I suppose I could search that out, but I’m not gonna. Deal with it! Weeks is a really good artist, but who knows how he is as a writer? (5 June)
So when Marvel teases “The End of X-Factor” in X-Factor #257 and 258 (page 62), does that really mean the book is ending? I mean, we know the instant Peter David stops writing it Marvel will probably cancel it, but is that what David’s up to? Who knows, man! All I know is that I wish Neil Edwards weren’t drawing this. It’s kind of depressing that he seems to be getting worse. (5 and 19 June)
This is weird: Marvel is publishing The Tower Chronicles: Geisthawk in a “premiere hardcover” on page 73. It’s just weird because Marvel didn’t publish the single issues. And nowhere does this mention that it’s being published in conjunction with Legendary, which originally put it out. Odd. Anyway, this is 35 bucks, which is a dollar less than the four issues cost, and while it’s not a great comic, it is wildly entertaining, with excellent Bisley artwork. It also has a fair amount of bad language, gruesome violence and nudity, yet Marvel rates it “T+.” Has it been censored? The mind reels!!!! (17 July)
Inhumans by Paul Jenkins and Jae Lee is being reprinted in a nice hardcover (page 76). It’s 40 bucks, but it is 12 issues, so there’s that. This is a phenomenal series with stunning artwork, and it’s one of those Jemas-era Marvel books where anything seemed possible. It was also one of those books that made it seem that Jenkins was going to be a huge star, and that never really worked out. Anyway, if you haven’t read it yet, you should. It’s keen. (4 September)
Daredevil: End of Days gets a hardcover on page 77. I’m certainly tempted by this, but I might wait for the softcover version. (3 July)
Larry Hama’s well-regarded run on Wolverine gets a trade on page 100, with some other stuff added on. I might have to pick this one up. I bought Bloodlust, which was the first time (I think) I read a comic written by Alan Davis, and it remains one of my favorite Wolverine stories. I know – cool story, bro. (26 June)
Hulk: From the Marvel UK Vaults is offered on page 102, with a ton of very good British talent from the late 1970s/early 1980s. I don’t know how good this is, but it’s probably pretty neat-o. (26 June)
Let’s move on from the “premier” publishers to … the back of the book!
The Strangers in Paradise Omnibus shows up on page 242. $100 for the entire epic. That’s not bad. I figure it’s about time to get this, so I can drop a hundy on it, can’t I?
Alterna Comics puts out Michael May and Jason Copland’s Kill All Monsters on page 244. I own the trade, but I haven’t reviewed it yet. I will, I swear it!!!!
I can’t imagine I’d ever want to read Poison Elves, but Ape Entertainment has collected all 20 issues from the early 1990s on page 250. If you’ve ever wondered what it was all about, here’s your chance to find out!
On page 256, Archaia has a hardcover of Mouse Guard: The Black Axe, which is a typically excellent installment in David Petersen’s epic. Check it out!
Black Mask Comics has Ballistic (page 280), which is written by the excellently-named Adam Egypt Mortimer and drawn by Darick Robertson. It’s a “madcap sci-fi buddy adventure about a wanna-be bank robber and best-friend [sic] Gun, a drug-addicted, foul-mouthed, living gun.” Sure, it sounds like something that came about after too much absinthe down at the hipster hookah bar, but Robertson’s art is usually worth a look.
Speaking of ideas that came about after too much absinthe down at the hipster hookah bar, on page 291 Simon Spurrier and Jeff Stokely drop Six-Gun Gorilla on us, which comes from Boom! Spurrier is a good writer, and Stokely appears to be a good artist (I’ve only seen a little of his work), but a “bio-surgically modified silverback gorilla toting a pair of enormous revolvers”? Sigh.
Boom!’s kid’s section, Kaboom!, has a new Herobear and the Kid from Mike Kunkel on page 297. I still haven’t read any of this comic, but it has a good reputation out there in the comics world!
Fantagraphics has its usual assortment of cool stuff, including Run Like Crazy Run Like Hell by Jacques Tardi and Jean-Patrick Manchette on page 328 and Creeping Death from Neptune: Horror and Science Fiction Comics by Basil Wolverton. The first is sure to be good because both Tardi and Manchette are good, while Wolverton’s odd art fits a horror/science fiction blend pretty well.
On page 334 Humanoids has Beirut 1990: Snapshots of a Civil War. Two Frenchmen, Bruno and Sylvain Ricard, went to Beirut in that year and later collaborated with artist Christophe Gaultier to create a graphic novel about their experience. Sounds keen.
There’s a new Atomic Robo mini-series from Red 5 on page 347. That’s it. NOTHING MORE NEEDS TO BE SAID!
Well, I would write more, but Previews seems to run out of steam after that, with nothing really jumping out at me. That doesn’t mean there isn’t cool stuff to find! Sorry that the back of the book section was a little thin this month – there’s plenty of stuff I’m going to order, but it seems like a lot of it is stuff I’ve already mentioned. So do some of your own digging, and I’m sure you’ll find some gems! Have a nice day, everyone!
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