Axel-In-Charge: Waid & Samnee on "Black Widow" and the Dawn of the All-New, All-Different Era
So many other people look at the solicits when they show up on-line, but I don’t go in for that new-fangled stuff. Print RULEZ, man!!!! So let’s check out Previews #299, because we can always find super stuff in there!
Look, I really, really, really love the fact that Shaolin Cowboy shows up on page 36, and that it’s a new ongoing and that it’s a great place to start reading if you missed the older issues, but let’s be honest – how often is an issue going to come out? I mean, I love Geof Darrow’s art and want to read this, but do I want to wait two years before the second issue comes out? Decisions, decisions … (9 October)
Francesco Francavilla brings us a new Black Beetle mini-series on page 40 called Necrologue. If you happened to miss the first series, well, that’s too bad, but now you have a chance to jump right in! (23 October)
If you’ve been anticipating Dan Jolley and Leonard Kirk’s return to an actual Bloodhound series, Crowbar Medicine gets solicited on page 41. I don’t know if I’m going to pick this up, but it’s nice that they got the rights back and do what they want with the character! (16 October)
Shannon Wheeler’s short stories from Dark Horse Presents get collected in a single issue, Astounding Villain House, on page 47. They’re not bad, although the solicits call it “the funniest superhero comic on the stands,” which might be stretching it just a tad. (30 October)
The second trade of The Massive is on page 49. I’m still buying this, and it’s taking its time getting good, but this trade is where it started to take better shape, so if you were disappointed with the first trade, this is better. Just in case you’re curious. (18 December)
Victor Santos, who’s not a bad artist, gets his webcomic Polar printed as a hardcover on page 50. I haven’t read this, but it’s a spy comic, so it’s right up my alley. I’ll have to check this out on-line to see if I want to pick up the book, but it is only 18 bucks for 160 pages, so it’s not a bad deal (unless you consider paying anything for something you can read for free a bad deal). (11 December)
There’s yet another Conan mini-series on page 52 called Conan and the People of the Black Circle. On the one hand, Fred van Lente is writing this. On the other hand, Ariel Olivetti is “drawing” this, and Olivetti is one of those select few artists whose work I will not read no matter what. You might like this, though! (23 October)
Elfquest Special: The Final Quest is offered on page 54, as a one-shot prologue to the final series. I’ve never read Elfquest, but I guess it has a good reputation? Anyway, here this is. (9 October)
Alex de Campi shows up on page 67 with Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight, a bunch of short stories that mimic grindhouse cinema. I’ll probably wait for the trade on this one, but it’s not a bad idea, and de Campi is a pretty good writer. (2 October)
Last month Dark Horse offered Violent Cases, and now they’re bringing Signal to Noise, another olde-tymey Gaiman/McKean book, back into print on page 74. Like Violent Cases, this is another book I haven’t read in probably 20 years, and I remember exactly nothing about it. It looks cool, though! (11 December)
The fourth Grendel Omnibus on page 74 includes Past Prime, a novel written by Greg Rucka. I’ve never read that, but I guess I will when I pick this sucker up. Let us hope Grendel Tales Omnibuses are on the horizon! (4 December)
Well, I want to read Justice League 3000 #1 (page 92), and I might, but I fear that even the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire team will not be able to resist the evil influence of the DCnU. Resist, gentlemen, resist!!!! (2 October)
I cannot stop laughing at the idea of a Superman/Wonder Woman ongoing (page 93). I’m not sure that’s the reaction DC wants, though. (9 October)
I also cannot stop laughing at Damian: Son of Batman (page 94). The idea that this is showing up in stores cracks me up, because DC, as usual, wants to have its cake and eat it, too. “Wait, he’s dead? Well, let’s do a series with him anyway!” Of course it will sell like crazy, and we’ll get Damian back even sooner than scheduled. Sigh. (30 October)
Batman #24 (page 108) is listed as 64 pages, which of course means far less in actual story, but still – it doesn’t list anything but the main story, and no artist beside Greg Capullo. If Capullo does draw the entire story and keeps up with the schedule, that’s pretty impressive. It’s Joe Eisma-esque, I’d say! (9 October)
In Batman ’66 #4 (page 125), Batman and Robin head to London because “hats are being stolen from England’s famous Beefeaters.” Frankly, if this doesn’t guest-star The Beefeater, Parker and Case will have missed the boat! (16 October)
Well, it took DC 25 years, but they’re finally getting around to collecting Mike Grell’s Green Arrow, beginning on page 135. I’ve always wanted to read this series but haven’t been able to find many issues, so I hope the television series continues to do well so that Grell’s run can eventually get completely collected. That would be nice. (27 November)
Joe Kubert Presents is offered in trade on page 136. I’ll be picking it up! (13 November)
Just underneath that, DC collects the entire Joker series from the 1970s. DC is weird. I mean, that’s cool that they’re collecting it, but they collect some weird things and leave others out in the cold. (27 November)
The Judas Coin gets offered in softcover on page 137. This is a phenomenal comic – the art, obviously, is stunning, but Simonson’s story is pretty cool, too. Pick it up for 15 dollars! (6 November)
As much as I’m looking forward to Sandman: Overture (page 142), Gaiman succumbs to silly hype in the solicits. He’s quoted: “I should warn you: one of the Endless dies on page five.” Really, Neil? You’re falling into that trap? First of all, as we know, the Endless can’t really “die.” Second, if anyone has read the series, they know that one of the Endless has died before. So this is just obnoxious pandering to bloodthirsty fans. It’s annoying. (30 October)
Jim Zub and Andy Suriano take over Samurai Jack on page 158. I’ve only seen a little bit of the television show and none of the comics, but that’s a pretty good creative team, so this might be something to check out.
IDW is ambitiously publishing every Star Trek story in chronological order by stardate in Star Trek: The Stardate Collection volume 1 (page 171). This is really weird. I guess they have the rights to every Star Trek comic ever? Is that the deal? I’m not interested in this, but it’s an interesting idea.
On page 174, we get a collected edition of The Colonized, which has looked like a cool book when I’ve seen it in the store. Has anyone been reading it?
Pretty Deadly #1 is solicited on page 188. A Western starring Death’s daughter isn’t the greatest hook, but Kelly Sue DeConnick isn’t a bad writer and Emma Ríos is drawing this, and the preview pages look absolutely stunning. So yeah, I’ll be picking it up. (23 October)
As dumb as the protagonist’s name is in Velvet (page 192) (that’s her name and the name of the comic), it’s Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting doing “Miss Moneypenny kicking ass,” so yeah, it’s a must-buy for me. Plus, Epting is colored by Elizabeth Breitweiser, not Frank D’Armata, so that’s a big bonus! (23 October)
Halloween Eve, the last comic Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder did together, could have been better, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try Rocket Girl (page 200), in which a teenage cop is sent back in time from a high-tech, futuristic 2013 to 1986 and discovers things are a bit odd. Reeder’s art is quite good, and the story sounds cool. We shall see if it’s a good comic, shan’t we? (9 October)
Three (page 202) boasts a fine creative team – Kieron Gillen, Ryan Kelly, and Jordie Bellaire – and it’s about a class war in Sparta back in the good old days of the fifth century BCE. Yeah, you won’t be able to keep this away from me. (9 October)
John Layman has been telling me about his plans for a Chew Smorgasbord Edition for a while, and it shows up on page 209. It’s $100 for the first 20 issues plus a bunch of extras. That’s a bit much, of course – 5 dollars an issue – but it’s still cool that they’re able to do this. I skipped the “Omnivore Editions” because I knew this was coming, so I might have to pick it up! (9 October)
I thought Gods Hates Astronauts had already been solicited, but there it is on page 210. I haven’t read a lot of it, but I read the first bunch of pages, and it didn’t really grab me. Yes, I know everyone is creaming their jeans over it, but maybe I just didn’t read enough of it. I’m still tempted to get this. (9 October)
For 10 dollars, you can get Lazarus volume 1 (page 211), which collects issues #1-4. I liked the first issue, and the second issue was even better, so that’s pretty keen. (9 October)
Planetoid finished a while ago, didn’t it? Well, on page 212 there’s a trade. I’ll probably get this sucker. It looked pretty neat when I checked out some of the single issues. I think everyone’s favorite commenter, Travis Pelkie, thought this was good, and if you can’t trust Travis, who can you trust? (2 October)
As you know, I have “awesome” fatigue, and reading Marvel’s solicits wear me out. I know a certain Marvel editor (let’s call him the Candyman, because if you say his name five times to a mirror Tony Todd shows up behind you and guts you) wants you to be worn out just by reading the solicits because that means you’re so dazzled by the awesome that you just can’t wait to read the actual issues, but man, they exhaust me AND they make me want to skip the books, because they’re rarely as awesome as the actual solicits. Of course, I’m old. But still.
The “Infinity” solicits are actually kind of boring, because they’re so vague as to be meaningless. Then we get Mighty Avengers #2 (page 18), in which we learn that the one hero who can stop a bad guy from “killing New York City one block at a time” is “at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.” I mean, that sounds awesome. Then I look at the three black-and-white pages accompanying the solicit and remember that Greg Land is drawing this. Pass! (Yes, I know I’m being a dick to Al Ewing. He didn’t have to work with Greg Land, though.) (2 October)
Another Al Ewing book, Avengers Assemble #20 (page 23), also has a cool solicit: “A giant naked man punches a Quinjet” and “an eight-year-old girl fights a centaur at the heart of an atom” are the first two items. I doubt if the book will be as cool as that sounds, though. Maybe? (16 October)
Meanwhile, Hunger #4 (page 30) promises “the death throes of a universe!” Yes, that sounds cool, but either it’s a lie or it’s not the universe in which most of Marvel takes place, so who cares? (2 October)
Over on page 39, we find out that in Scarlet Spider #32, “Kaine’s life is being ripped apart piece by piece,” with “his body broken, his soul is next.” I mean, that sounds really neat, but you just know it’s not going to be as dramatic as that. Sigh. (9 October)
I will say that Matt Kindt (who is currently writing 77% of everything Marvel and DC publishes, plus does his own comic on the side that kicks almost everything’s ass) and Marco Rudy doing a Marvel Knights Spider-Man mini-series is pretty cool (page 40). I mean, it’s 4 bucks a pop, so I’m not buying it, but it’s still pretty cool. (2 October)
Back to bitching: Captain Marvel #17 (page 42) is promised as “THE special oversized issue to end all oversized issues!” It’s 40 pages, which means probably 28-30 pages of story. So, yeah, I don’t believe you, solicit text! (30 October)
The solicits for Captain America: Living Legend #1 (page 48) is puzzling. “Andy Diggle and Adi Granov send living legend Captain America on a one-man mission into the heart of darkness – in search of another!” Another what? Living legend? That seems to make the most sense, grammatically, but what the heck does it mean? I’m just wondering. (2 October)
Kieron Gillen is changing things FOREVER in Iron Man #17 (page 52). How often has Iron Man been changed forever in the past five years? Man. (16 October)
Over on page 59, FF #13 asks the question: “Is this the beginning of the end of everything?” Let me answer that for you: No. (23 October)
Fantomex Max #1 (page 75) says that it has “all the uncensored action you could ever want in a comic … and MORE!” If it’s not more “uncensored” than Faust, I want my money back. (2 October)
Journey into Mystery may be canceled, but you should still get the second trade offered on page 89, because it’s a really good comic. Too bad no one read it! (23 October)
On page 108, we get a Spider-Man: Life in the Mad Dog Ward trade. I’ve never read the sequel to the first story, but the first three-issue story is pretty cool. It’s probably easier to find it in the back issue boxes, though. (23 October)
Is it the back of the book? Why, yes, it is!
Antarctic Press offers a trade of Crawling Sky on page 244. Unless I missed it, the final issue hasn’t shipped yet, but it’s not a bad little horror comic, beautifully drawn by Brian Denham.
Page 250 has Old City Blues volume 2 by Giannis Milogiannis from Archaia. I liked volume 1 but didn’t love it, so I’m not sure if I’m going to get this. Nice art, though.
Blue Angel is offered on page 272 from Arsenal Pulp Press. This is the lesbian love story that was made into a, I guess, controversial movie? I seem to recall there being some controversy about it at Cannes. Anyway, the comic is supposed to be brilliant. Let’s hope the translation doesn’t mess it up!
Battling Boy by Paul Pope shows up on page 320 from First Second. I think we can all agree that this will be awesome. At least I hope so!
Ray Fawkes has a new graphic novel, Spectral Engine, on page 329 from McClelland & Stewart. It’s a ghost story! But it sounds like a lot more, too. Fawkes is a fascinating creator, so give this a look!
Oni offers Letter 44, a new ongoing written by Charles Soule, who’s writing Swamp Thing these days. It sounds like a sci-fi horror thriller kind of thing, which is fine with me. It’s also one (1) thin dollar for issue #1, so there’s that. (16 October)
Well, that’s odd. There’s not really anything of major interest after “O” – there’s good stuff, of course, but nothing that I haven’t mentioned before. So I guess I’ll wrap up here. Thanks for reading, and enjoy checking out the giant slab o’ comics that is Previews!