Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Oh, Previews. Welcome to the next 300 issues with October’s slab, #301!
The first item in Previews is Terminator: Salvation – The Final Battle #1 (of 12!?!?!) on page 36. This is by J. Michael Straczynski and Pete Woods, so it will probably be entertaining. I don’t know – I’m still waiting for JMS to write a truly great comic book, and I doubt a licensed one will be it. Plus, I’m spoiled for Terminator comics ever since I read the James Robinson/Matt Wagner one. That was pretty excellent. (4 December)
I like Tony Parker a lot – he’s a very nice dude and his art just keeps getting better. He just keeps working on random things that I have no interest in, unfortunately. This time it’s Mass Effect: Foundation volume 1, which gets a trade on page 45. I mean, video games and I have no history together, and I just don’t care to dive into this. Parker needs to do something I want to read, damn it! (5 February)
On page 51, Brain Boy #0 is offered. This collects the story from Dark Horse Presents, and it’s not bad. It’s by Fred van Lente and Freddie Williams II, and it’s an interesting take on telepaths working for the government. (11 December)
You know, I’m still enjoying The Massive, but I worry that Dark Horse claims on page 57 that the eighteenth issue is when it “heats up.” Um, shouldn’t it already have heated up? I mean, really. (18 December)
47 Ronin gets a hardcover trade on page 59. I didn’t get this in single issues because I figured it would get collected in a nice trade, and here it is! (19 February)
In the Mignola-verse, there’s a third Lobster Johnson trade on page 65. I like these trades. They’re fun, pulpy goodness. (12 February)
Justice League 3000 gets resolicited on page 89, now with 100% less Kevin Maguire! I really don’t get this move, but I guess DC thought they just didn’t have enough serious books in their stable, so they needed another one! (4 December)
Jeff Parker takes over Aquaman with issue #26 (page 90). That’s pretty cool. Parker doesn’t get as much acclaim as some writers, but he’s damned good, so let’s hope DC leaves him alone a bit (yeah, I know, I’m laughing as I type it). (31 December)
I made a joke last month about Harley Quinn getting ready for the roller derby, and now, in Harley Quinn #1 (page 103), we find out that she’s actually joining the roller derby! Holy crap, that’s weird. Anyway, Amanda Conner isn’t drawing the series, Chad Hardin is. Hardin’s not bad, but he’s no Amanda Conner. (18 December)
Tom Peyer shows up as a guest writer on Batman ’66 #6, in a story about the Bookworm (page 121). Go check out John Layman’s Twitter feed to see the daily jokes he makes at Peyer’s expense (Peyer responds in kind, naturally). #shouldhaveahashtag (18 December)
On page 129, DC is releasing a collection of stories called Batman ’66: The TV Stories, which has Batman stories that were eventually adapted into episodes on the show. That might be interesting. (Elvis’s birthday)
The Demon: From the Darkness trade (page 130) collects Matt Wagner’s four-issue mini-series and the one issue of the monthly series he did. I own all of these, and they’re pretty good. Not great, but Wagner’s art is always a treat. (15 January)
Dead Boy Detectives, the concept that just won’t die (if you’ll pardon the pun), gets a new monthly series on page 136. This has always been a charming concept, but it’s not the most amazing idea in the world, but people who work for DC really seem to like it. So it keeps showing up! I guess we’ll see if it has legs this time out. (31 December)
On page 140, Animal Man volume 5 gets released. This is not the current series, but the post-Morrison issues from the original series. So we get Peter Milligan’s brilliant six-issue arc that followed Morrison, and then Tom Veitch takes over. I haven’t read those issues, but just for Milligan’s story, this is worth a look. (22 January) [Edit: Whoops, this is the wrong solicit text. This should collect only Veitch’s run – maybe issues #38-50? DC screwed up. Oh well.]
Next to that, another trade of Garth Ennis’s Hellblazer shows up, collecting some middle issues of the run, including Constantine’s 40th birthday issue, which is pretty darned good (and funny). (31 December)
If you’ve never gotten into The Invisibles, DC is releasing the series in big hardcovers starting on page 142. I was never a huge fan of the series, but it’s been a long time since I sat down and read it (since it was coming out, probably), so one day I’ll have to give it another shot. (12 February)
I guess someone mentioned to the PTB at DC that Brian K. Vaughan is writing a pretty popular book, because DC cranks out a trade of his run on Swamp Thing from back in the day (page 144). This collects the first ten issues. (Elvis’s birthday)
John Byrne gets credited for the “art” on Star Trek Annual 2013 on page 155, even though it’s trumpeted as a “fotonovel” that features stills from the television show. I get that Byrne found the stills and manipulated them to fit his story, but should he really count as the artist? Either way, this looks wacky.
Darwyn Cooke is back with a new Parker adaptation, Slayground (page 159). These are excellent comics, people. You really should check one out.
IDW solicits The Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction #4 on page 177. What happened to that series? It kind of disappeared.
I’m a bit puzzled by Dead Body Road on page 182. It’s a revenge tale, which doesn’t interest me, but Justin Jordan is a decent writer, and Matteo Scalera is a good artist, so it’s intriguing. I’m puzzled by Scalera, though, who is the regular artist on Black Science, the first issue of which hasn’t even shipped yet. So has this been in the can for a while and Scalera won’t have a conflict? Or can he actually draw two books a month for six months, which is how long this mini-series is? So many questions! (11 December)
The Saviors (page 186) is about a dude who “stumbles upon an extraterrestrial conspiracy to take over the world.” While that sounds fine as ideas go, this is written by James Robinson and drawn by J. Bone, so of course I’m going to check it out! (26 December)
There’s the Black Kiss Christmas Special on page 192. I’m sure that will be charming! (18 December)
Mind the Gap begins a new story arc in issue #16 (page 198), and we’re promised it’s a good place to jump into the series. I doubt that. I mean, it’s a perfectly fine series, but it doesn’t seem to lend itself to jumping in 16 issues in. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong! (11 December)
There’s a second volume of A Distant Soil on page 199. Apparently the story gets more confusing. Bring it on! (18 December)
I’ve been waiting for Multiple Warheads to come out in trade, and on page 201, it shows up! Yay! If you haven’t checked out Brandon Graham’s amazing comics yet, here’s your chance! (4 December)
Snapshot comes out in trade on page 201. It’s not bad. Nice art, decent enough story. (11 December)
I wonder if Secret #7 was supposed to be the final issue of the series, or if Hickman retooled it when it was clear the book was never coming out (and I have no idea if that Hickman’s fault or Ryan Bodenheim’s, but it’s still annoying). Anyway, the final issue is on page 217. (18 December; taking that with a HUGE grain of salt)
What’s the over/under on number of issues of Inhumanity (page 2) that Olivier Coipel draws? Or is this another series where they only plan three issues for him and then he’ll zip off somewhere else? (4 December)
Origin II gets offered on page 10 by “superstars” Kieron Gillen and Adam Kubert. I picked on Gillen on Twitter because I wasn’t aware he had reached “superstar” status at Marvel, but that’s nice for him. Don’t forget to get your acetate cover!!!! (25 December)
So, Avengers #24.NOW = Avengers #1 in the All-New Marvel NOW? What the flying fuck does that mean? The incessant rebranding of the Big Two smells really desperate, doesn’t it? I mean, why even put numbers on the books, amirite? Jeebus. Seriously, what does that even mean? (25 December)
Speaking of “superstars,” the solicit for Young Avengers #14 is brilliant: “We gather in a night club, and have a string of connected and overlapping stories starring our cast. It’s a completely and unprecedented approach to a story in comics history. There are no parallels. We refuse to accept it.” If you don’t know why that’s funny, you really need to read pre-Marvel Gillen comics. (18 December)
Wait, Peter Parker is back? Amazing Spider-Man #700.1, .2, .3, .4, AND .5 (pages 24-26, and yes, I’m crying a little inside) bring him back to the Marvel Universe? I mean, I’m shocked. SHOCKED!!!! (December)
You know, I looked at the cover of Captain America #14 (page 37) and thought, “I bet Dean White colored that.” And then I looked at the credits. Man, I’m good. (11 December)
If you have $125 lying around, you can buy the Spider-Man by Roger Stern Omnibus on page 70. It’s 1248 pages, so there is that. I haven’t read all of this, but these are some great stories, so if you have that kind of cash burning a hole in your pocket, pick this up. (26 March)
On page 72, Marvel has The Muppets Omnibus by Roger Langridge and a few other people. This is only $50 for (really?) 1296 pages, if you’re interested in it. I was not blown away by Langridge’s Muppets stuff, but I know it has its fans. (5 March) [Edit: Another mistake by Marvel. This book is something like 500 pages, but someone from Marvel cut and pasted the page count from the Stern Omnibus. Silly Marvel!]
The Battle of the Atom hardcover is on page 74. It’s $50 for 10 issues (224 pages). That seems a bit excessive. Anyway, according to the solicits, the Original X-Men have to go back to the past, but O. G. Scott and O. G. Jean don’t want to. Is Bendis really going to put the X-Men back where they belong? I have difficulty believing that. (Elvis’s birthday)
If you want the entire Rick Remender Uncanny X-Force between two covers, you’ll need $100 (page 76). According to me, the epic went downhill steadily from its early peak, which was the first story arc. By the end it wasn’t a terribly good comic. But others like it! (5 March)
There’s a Days of Future Past hardcover on page 77, which will set you back $40. It has some good stuff in here, although it also has some not very good stuff, too. Oh, so many decisions! (5 March)
Now that X-Factor has run its course, Marvel is collecting the series in giant trades, so the first one shows up on page 97. This has the Madrox mini-series and the first 12 issues of the ongoing for only $35, which isn’t a bad deal at all. (22 January)
You know what’s next: The back of the book!!!!
Action Lab has a trade of Princeless short stories on page 236. That’s awfully nice of them.
The latest from Gerry Alanguilan is Where Bold Stars Go to Die, out from SLG on page 238. It’s the story of a dude who falls in lust with an old, forgotten starlet. Alanguilan’s last book, Elmer, was superb, so I’m looking forward to this. He’s not drawing this, though, so we’ll have to see what it looks like.
Jim Mahfood writers and draws Hawken: Melee #2 from Archaia on page 246. That’s … strange.
I know that Ardden Entertainment made a big splash when they launched, but I haven’t seen much about them since. Well, on page 257 they have Devil’s Hopyard #1, which is about a cop in a superhero world. Oooh, it’s “R-rated”! That’s exciting. I mention it because it’s written by “Flash Gordon scribe Brendan Deneen!” I was really hoping he wrote the 1980 movie, but they’re talking about the comic book series from Dynamite. Dang. [Edit: This is my bad. Deneen actually wrote the Flash Gordon book that Ardden put out. Bad research on my part. Sorry!]
There’s a new Fearless Dawn one-shot on page 257 called Fearless Dawn: Jurassic Jungle Boogie Nights, coming from Asylum Press. Yes, it’s Nazis using dinosaurs to fight the good guys. Yes, it’s ridiculous. But you really need to check out Steve Mannion’s artwork, and he totally embraces the ridiculousness, so it becomes charming. It’s only $3.99! Put down that drab issue of New Avengers and get this instead!
Garth Ennis has a new book out from Avatar on page 261 called Rover Red Charlie. It’s about the end of the world … and the three stars are dogs. Yep. That could be interesting, to be sure. I’m not sure if it’s going to be “shockingly original,” as the solicits call it, but whatever. It has fully painted art, which is interesting. Oh, Garth Ennis – you’re such a nut.
Boom! keeps bringing out these imprints, which is great even though it’s a bit odd. Is the original Boom! brand name so pervasive that they feel the need for a bunch of imprints? Anyway, on page 275 they have The Midas Flesh from Ryan North, in which a crew of astronauts lands on a gold-covered planet to investigate what’s going on. Sounds neat.
Steven Grant has a new comic out called Deceivers on page 281. It’s about two con men who are recruited by a rogue CIA agent to catch a thief. Of course they are. Grant loves stories like these, and he’s quite good at them, so this should be pretty keen.
Dynamite continues its attempts to get Greg Hatcher to buy every single comic they publish, as Chris Roberson writes Doc Savage on page 290. Hatcher has to be consulting with Dynamite, right? He has to be telling them which comics to publish, doesn’t he? (11 December)
I won’t be spending $150 on the Frank Thorne Red Sonja Art Edition on page 292, but I still love the fact that comics companies are doing this. Man, I wish I had piles of cash lying around. (11 December)
On page 298, David Liss writes Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives, which focuses on Moriarty after he went over the Reichenbach Falls. I don’t know if this is going to be a story about Moriarty “as you’ve never seen him before,” because there was a Moriarty series from Image not too long ago, but it’s still an interesting idea. (11 December)
Drumfish Productions has Bugged on page 314, which is a story about a dude who finds a talking cockroach that allows him to see the evil committed by others. He decides to right all those wrongs with the help of the roach. Well, that sounds odd. But, you know, interesting.
Humanoids has the first comic by Nicholas de Crécy, Foligatto, on page 323. De Crécy is a good artist, and this book – about a carnival in a rural town which features the homecoming of a famous opera star – sounds pretty cool.
Pang, the Wandering Shaolin Monk gets a second volume on page 324 from ICU Press (of course, you can read this on-line, but that’s no fun, is it?). The first volume was pretty good, so let’s hope this keeps up the level of quality!
Sullivan’s Sluggers finally gets resolicited on page 326 from Maneki Neko Books. I wanted this back in the day, but the ugliness over the Kickstarter campaign has kind of soured me on it. Plus, it’s $50, which is a bit steep, even for 200 pages of James Stokoe art and what sounds like a decent story.
Watson and Holmes hasn’t finished its first arc yet, but the trade gets offered on page 328 from New Paradigm Studios. So far, it’s pretty good, so if you’ve been waiting for the trade, here it is!
Oni has Down Set Fight! on page 333, which is co-written by Chris Sims. It sounds like a typical Simsian comic – an ex-football player is suddenly attacked by sports mascots, and he has to fight them. It doesn’t sound like my thing, but good for Sims! (12 February)
The Absence on page 344 from Titan Comics sounds keen. In 1946, a man returns to an English coastal town with plenty of secrets. There’s also a newcomer who has visions of a horrible future. It sounds eerie and bizarre.
In Greg Hatcher’s latest post, Perry Holly expressed surprise that The First Kingdom was being collected and published, so I’ll point out that volume 3 is offered on page 344. Pre-order it today!
Peter Milligan takes over Shadowman with issue #13 on page 352 from Valiant. Will it be Good Milligan or Bad Milligan? The world holds its breath!
On that ominous note, let’s wrap things up for this month. Have fun trawling through Previews! You know you want to! And be sure to check the comments for when Travis points out all the things I might have missed!
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