As much as I like looking into the crystal ball to see what new comics are coming down the pipe, there’s something sad about sitting down in the second week of summer to think about what I’ll be reading when it’s over.
Dark Horse has been pretty successful lately in pumping some new blood into their Star Wars line, especially with Brian Wood’s excellent series being set between the first two movies. Now they are adapting George Lucas’s original screenplay into comics, and it looks like the story is vastly different from what eventually made it onto the screen. The thing is, I’m not going to be buying this. I don’t have a clue who the writer, JW Rinzler is, and I can’t help but think that ideas the George Lucas rejected should probably stay hidden away, not celebrated. I love Star Wars, but there are so many cringe-worthy things that made it into that first movie…
I really liked the first Resident Alien mini-series, so I’m going to be buying Suicide Blonde, the new one. It’s about an alien who crashed into the American Northwest years ago, and is hiding out, posing as a small-town doctor who solves mysteries.
For September, DC is suspending the usual New 52 publications for something called Villains Month (no possessive, apparently). To that end, they are stopping many of their lower-selling titles, and instead putting out multiple comics under the same title (i.e. Batman #23.3) regardless of whether or not the content is by that series’s usual creators, or connects to its stories. Every one of these comics is coming with a fancy 3D cover hologram thing, making the comic $3.99, regardless of its regular price. Furthermore, many of these comics are being created by writers and artists who do not normally work on that title or character, and many of the ones listed in Previews are people I’ve never heard of before (and I like to think I know a thing or two about comics creators).
People who are much more knowledgeable than I have written about why this is a bad idea (Brian Hibbs’s piece is the best I’ve read so far), so I’m just going to give my thoughts as I peruse this month’s offerings, and see which comics I’m going to buy. I’m most curious to see how my pre-ordering will differ this month from what I usually get from DC.
Justice League #23.3 is basically a continuation of Dial H, the brilliant series that will be cancelled in August. It doesn’t make sense to me to give it another issue, and there is no connection between this book and Justice League, but Brian Bolland’s cover is probably the only one I’m excited to see in this special treatment.
Justice League of America #7.1 is a Deadshot comic, written by Matt Kindt and drawn by Pasqual Ferry. I love Deadshot (although not so much since the revamp), and admire both Kindt and Ferry, although Kindt’s mainstream DC work is not usually as good as his creator-owned stuff. It would make more sense if Ales Kot, the writer for Suicide Squad was doing this, but I’ll check it out. I won’t be grabbing Earth 2 #15.2, also by Kindt though, as I’ve given up on the Earth 2 books now that James Robinson has left. I wonder if this Villains Month stuff was part of the reason he bailed… I see that Kindt is also writing a Harley Quinn story in Detective Comics #23.2 – I wonder if we should infer that he might be taking over Suicide Squad soon. That would be a shame, as I like what Kot is doing with it.
It looks like Green Arrow #23.1 and Wonder Woman #23.2 are continuations of the regular series, and feature the regular creators (well, I don’t know who that is drawing WW), so they go on the pile. Same with Swamp Thing #23.1.
It’s interesting that Deathstroke’s solo series was cancelled a little while ago, but here he is getting his own issue yet again. Do the bean counters think anyone is clamoring for this? We know he can’t carry a title.
Here’s a list of creators involved in Villains Month that I’m not familiar with. Marguerite Bennett, Rob Hunter, Derlis Santacruz, Aco, Raymund Bermudez, Christian Duce, Jaime Mendoza, Corey Mays, and Dooma Wendschuh. Is DC treating this like a try-out initiative? I don’t understand what they are trying to do with this month at all.
So, let’s look at the final numbers. Below is a list of the number of New 52 books I’ve pre-ordered over the last six months. Sometimes I ended up buying a few more.
May: 10 (including an annual)
July: 12 (including two annuals)
Well, that’s kind of interesting, isn’t it? I think the biggest question will be how many of those previous ten or eleven titles will I feel like picking up again after a month’s hiatus. These numbers include books like Dial H, Batman Incorporated, and Demon Knights, which have all been cancelled, and there are a few other titles I’ve been increasingly on the fence about, such as Batman and The Movement. Way to drive away customers DC.
I’m actually going to be buying as many Vertigo books in September as I do DCU books. That hasn’t happened for a few years.
I see that Matt Fraction is launching another book at Image, Sex Criminals, with artist Chip Zdarsky. It’s about a pair who can stop time while having sex, and use that ability to rob banks (do they have to maintain their coupling while doing it? that could be interesting). I trust Fraction more on his own books than I do when he writes for Marvel, so I’ll check this out.
Ales Kot also has a new series, Zero, with artist Michael Walsh, who drew Comeback. I was perplexed by Kot’s Changes, but his recent DC work has been a lot clearer, and the preview for this book about an assassin looking for a device stolen by terrorists makes the book look pretty cool.
I’m a huge fan of Brandon Graham’s Multiple Warheads, and so was excited to see that there is a one-shot coming out called Down Fall, but I think I already own two-thirds of the material reprinted here, so I’m going to have to wait for this to come out before I decide if I’m going to buy it or not. If you don’t own these stories, you should get them. Graham is amazing.
I’m really not sure what to do about the new Mighty Avengers series. On the one hand, it features characters like Luke Cage, Monica Rambeau (now called Spectrum), and the new Power Man, all of whom I really like, but the book is being drawn by Greg Land, whose work I can’t stand. I stopped reading Iron Man, by Kieron Gillen, because of him. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to stomach this book, but I do want to read it.
I’m not sure if Marvel learned their lesson from Fear Itself, because they are launching a bunch of tie-in mini-series to their Infinity event that seem ill-advised to me. Infinity: The Hunt sounds a little like Avengers Arena, and even though it’s written by Matt Kindt (who is all over the place these days), I think I’ll pass. Likewise with Infinity Heist, which has the best solicitation I’ve seen in a while: “Frank Tieri and ARTIST bring you the biggest score – it’s the Infinity Heist.” Is this another example of Marvel picking the artist rather late in the development cycle, or did someone just forget to copy-edit this stuff?
The combination of Carlos Pacheco and the character Nuke both showing up in Captain America is mighty tempting.
David Lapham is taking over Daredevil: Dark Nights for a story. It’s very rare to see Lapham draw these days, so I’m looking forward to this.
It seems that Fearless Defenders has increased in price. I’ve been on the fence about this title, but that just helped me make up my mind.
I’m not all that excited about the X-Men: Battle of the Atom cross-over, but since I currently buy all the titles involved in it, I guess I’ll be reading the whole thing. I might be dropping Wolverine and the X-Men after it though, as that book has not impressed lately. I hope this event doesn’t derail the excellent work that Brian Wood has been doing on his X-Men title.
Jock is writing and drawing an arc of Savage Wolverine. That, I will definitely be buying.
I’ve kind of started ignoring Avatar’s books of late, mostly because I don’t really like the house style they use for their art, but now they are publishing God is Dead, written by Jonathan Hickman, which explores what happens when the gods of ancient myth return to the Earth. I don’t know who the artist, Di Amorim is, and there are no interior previews, but I like Hickman’s stuff enough to not care. Sold.
I just started watching Sons of Anarchy in the last week, and now I see that Boom is coming out with a licensed six-parter featuring these outlaw bikers. Were RM Guera doing interiors, and not just the cover, I would definitely buy this.
Gene Luen Yang, who did the brilliant American Born Chinese has Boxers & Saints coming out in September. This is a two-volume set that explores the Boxer Rebellion in China. It should be pretty interesting.
The Valiant line keeps expanding, and now they are bringing back The Eternal Warrior in his own title, written by Greg Pak and drawn by Trevor Hairsine. With these creators involved, I feel safe in ordering this.
I’m going to wait and see if I’m going to be getting the re-named Bloodshot and HARD Corps though, although I trust both Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart to write a good series. I don’t normally care about variant covers, but that Rafael Grampa one is incredible.
So, what would you buy in September Were Money No Object?
Tags: Ales Kot, Avatar Press, Batman, Batman Incorporated, Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps, Boom, brandon graham, Brian Wood, Captain America, Carlos Pacheco, Christos Gage, Daredevil: Dark Nights, Dark Horse, David Lapham, DC, Demon Knights, Detective Comics, Dial H, Earth 2, Eternal Warrior, Fearless Defenders, First Second, Green Arrow, Greg Land, Greg Pak, Image, Infinity, Jock, Jonathan Hickman, Joshua Dysart, Justice League, Justice League of America, kieron gillen, Marvel, Marvel NOW!, matt fraction, Matt Kindt, Mighty Avengers, Multiple Warheads, New 52 (DC Comics), Pasqual Ferry, Resident Alien, RM Guera, Savage Wolverine, Sons of Anarchy, Star Wars, Swamp Thing, The Movement, trevor hairsine, Valiant, Vertigo, Villains Month, Wolverine and the X-Men, Wonder Woman, X-Men: Battle of the Atom, Zero