I suppose it’s fortuitous that the new Previews catalogue came out the same week in which I had nothing to feature in my weekly look at upcoming graphic novels and trade paperbacks. So instead, you get my monthly ruminations on all the exciting new projects and head-scratchers that will be coming our way in December.
Usually, I jump at any project involving David Lapham, and when you add to that project the names Guillermo Del Toro and Mike Huddleston, I’m even more intrigued (sorry – I’ve never heard of the third co-writer, Chuck Hogan, who apparently writes books I’ve never heard of), but there’s something about this project, which involves biological terrorism and ‘ancient threats’ that makes me nervous. Since the first issue’s only a dollar though, I’ll check The Strain out.
I loved John Ostrander’s Star Wars Legacy series. It was the best Star Wars story I’ve ever taken in, ranking above five of the films in my esteem. Now Ostrander is writing Star Wars: Agent of the Empire – Iron Eclipse, a five-issue mini-series with an unnecessarily long name, although it suggests that there will be follow-up series. I don’t know that I’m all that interested in reading a series set during the film continuity, but with Ostrander writing, I’ll give it a shot. Too bad Jan Duursema’s not drawing it; they work very well together.
I’ve become a huge fan of the Guild in the last couple of months. I’ve watched all the episodes, and read most of the character-focused comics. I’m overly excited about The Guild: Zaboo though, because it’s being drawn by Becky Cloonan! She does seem busy these days, what with her Victor Von Doom series at Marvel, the upcoming MacGuyver series at Image, and the soon-to-be-announced Conan series she’s doing with Brian Wood. I’m not complaining – I love her art; I just hope she’s not getting stretched too thin. And really, if you aren’t watching The Guild, you should be. I’m not a gamer, and I still find it hilarious.
It’s month 4 for the New 52, although as I’m going over my pull-list, I have only read a handful of second issues, so I’m still basing my order on the strength of the first. I’m also assuming that retailers will be ordering these in good enough numbers that I’ll be able to find something if I don’t order it and decide that I want it. Flash gets put on the pull-list this month.
Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes is probably just the two issues of Grant Morrison’s monthly that were running late before the relaunch. I’m still unhappy that this title got messed around by the changes in the rest of the DCU; I would be happiest if this is still set in the old universe, although with Chris Burnham and Cameron Stewart on art, I don’t really care.
I’m going to wait and see what The Ray looks like. I liked the comic when it was written by Christopher Priest, but didn’t enjoy Palmiotti and Gray’s take on him in Freedom Fighters. Will this character work without the legacy aspect? And what’s with the generic looking re-design? He looks like a cross between Captain Atom and Apollo.
What’s most interesting about DC’s solicitations is what’s missing. There are, for the third month no new on-going titles being published in the DCnU (which makes me think they will keep the number 52 stable, and not announce Justice Society until they cancel something else), nor is there anything new coming from Vertigo.
Memorial, a new fantasy on-going title written by Chris Roberson sounds interesting. I like his iZombie a lot, but am not about to start buying another $4 series, even if it does have covers by Mike Kaluta. I’ll watch for the trade though.
Both Grifter and Who Is Jake Ellis? prove that Nathan Edmonson is just the right person to write a book like The Activity. It’s about some sort of intelligence special forces something or other with cool code names. I don’t read solicits when I like the writer this much – the preview pages look cool; I’ll order it.
The Li’l Depressed Boy is given a prequel trade paperback this month. I presume that this is going to collect some of the earlier web comics. Apparently, it has art from Jim Mahfood and Sam Kieth, which should be cool. $10 for 96 pages? I guess it’s all good.
At first glance, it’s hard to tell what distinguishes Defenders from being just another Avengers title. Two of the roster are currently Avengers, one is an X-Men, and another is an Annihilator. It might have been more interesting to use some characters with less exposure. Also, Matt Fraction hasn’t been too impressive just lately when working in the Marvel U; I’ll give this book a try, but it has a short leash.
Alan Davis has saved Captain America from getting the ax. I’ve been totally underwhelmed by this series since it relaunched, but I’ll give it another chance now that Davis is joining the team.
As much as I love comics, I’m always looking for reasons to drop titles and try to make my purchasing a little less insane. Thankfully, Marvel is playing right into my hands by putting Jeph Loeb in charage of ‘The countdown to 2012’s status quo-shattering epic’. I won’t buy anything with Jeph Loeb’s name attached to it anymore, so Avengers: X-Sanction will not be read by me. I will, however, read internet commentary about how bad it is. What is X-Sanction supposed to mean anyway? I get it that all the cool names like X-Tinction were taken, but really? Part of me hopes that Loeb is going to take over some of the Avengers titles, so I can finally drop them.
I see there have been some creative changes on Captain America and Bucky. I’m sad to see Marc Andreyko and Chris Samnee go, but am excited to see Francesco Francavilla draw this book. I don’t understand why he isn’t a higher-profile artist, he’s amazing.
Aside from Defenders, there aren’t any new on-goings at Marvel either this month. Are they starting to slow down? I guess when you keep churning out a third of your books twice monthly, you don’t need to come up with as many new titles…
Dear Archaia – As of right now, I have preordered two issues of The Secret History, and five issues of the spin-off The Secret History: Games of Chance. Why are you soliciting yet another issue, when the one that was supposed to come out in May hasn’t shown up yet? Even if you published them weekly, you wouldn’t be on time with Book 19. Just saying.
Strangely, there was nothing else to talk about in the independents section this month. In fact, there seems like a lack of noteworthy product coming in December in general – I guess all the best gift books are shipping in November.
So what would you buy in December Were Money No Obect?
Tags: Avengers X-Sanction, Batman Incorporated, Captain America, Captain America and Bucky, Dark Horse, DC, Flash (DC Comics / Barry Allen), IDW, Image, Li'l Depressed Boy, Marvel, New 52 (DC Comics), Star Wars Agent of the Empire, The Activity, The Defenders, The Guild, The Ray, The Strain, Were Money No Object