Were Money No Object – the August Previews Edition
by James Fulton on August 10, 2013

Time to dig through the Previews catalogue once again, and find out what’s going to be looking good come October.

Dark Horse

One of the most exciting things in this catalogue is the fact that Geof Darrow’s Shaolin Cowboy is coming back in all-new comics.  This series was originally published by the Wachowski brothers’ company Burleyman, and it was always plagued by delays before the company just disappeared (taking the rather wonderful Doc Frankenstein, and maybe artist Steve Skroce with it).  This comic has never been much of an intellectual high, but it has been gorgeously detailed and bizarre.  I can’t wait.

The new series Grindhouse is intriguing – it’s an eight-issue mini-series that will tell four B-movie like stories, starting with one called “Bee Vixens from Mars”.  I don’t think I’ve ever read anything by writer Alex De Campi, despite having heard a lot of good things about her work, and I’m not familiar with artist Chris Peterson.  This is something I’m going to take a good hard look at on the stands.

DC

In September, DC suspended (will suspend – it’s weird that I’m speaking in past tense about something that hasn’t happened yet) all of their regular titles for their Villains Month gimmick.  This caused me to pre-order the smallest number of DC books ever (or at least since I started pre-ordering my books back in the early 90s) with five titles.  Now in October it’s back to business as usual (although there are less than 52 books in the New 52), and I’m wondering if I bounce back to my usual number of orders, or if this is just a good excuse to cull my DC purchasing.  Let’s look…

I’m not interested in Forever Evil, so I’m going to be skipping the three new tie-in mini-series to that event.  Suicide Squad presents a problem for me.  I was really liking Ales Kot’s run on the title (of which only three issues have come out so far), and was very disappointed to learn that he was off the title in the usual manner of DC comics not retaining interesting creators.  He’s being replaced on writing by Matt Kindt though, and thus my dilemma.  Kindt’s creator-owned work, like his Mind MGMT or his recent Red Handed graphic novel, is brilliant.  His corporate stuff, like DC’s Frankenstein, has not been as impressive.  I’m not going to preorder this title any more, but I will probably give Kindt a chance or two, as the premise of the book is up his alley.  The fact that this is being tied in to Forever Evil is a definite strike against it though.  Were he drawing it, there would be no discussion at all – I’d be so excited to buy this.

Justice League 3000 could be an interesting concept, but as a long-time fan of the Legion of Super-Heroes, I have no interest in reading about a new take on the familiar Justice League characters operating in the Legion’s time.  The fact that this book is being made by the Giffen/DeMatteis/Maguire team that made me love the Justice League once upon a time is intriguing, but some of their work together has felt dated of late.

Wonder Woman is one of my favourite DC books, and I like a lot of what I’ve read from Chris Soule so far, but Superman/Wonder Woman is not for me.  Pass.

Damian: Son of Batman is a new four-part mini-series written and drawn by Andy Kubert.  There are some problems with this.  One, Damian is dead, which means that the book will have to be set in the past.  Two, this book may not even fit in New 52 continuity – who wants the headache of figuring all that out again?  Thirdly, Damian is a great character for character writers.  Andy Kubert is not a writer.  Pass.

Is anyone else surprised to see that Katana and Justice League of America’s Vibe both made it to their eighth issues?  This has been the cancellation threshold at DC for the last year or more.  Who would have thought?

The Darwyn Cooke cover to Batwing #24 almost makes me want to buy the book.  If he were drawing the interiors, I definitely would be getting this.  As it is?  Pass.

I’ve been enjoying the Green Team over its first three issues, so I think it’s time to add it to the pull-list.  I kind of haven’t been enjoying The Movement though, despite its being written by Gail Simone, so I’m going to do a straight swap here.

I resent the Swamp Thing Annual, because of its price mostly, but I’ve liked Charles Soule on this book, so I’ll get it.  Grrr.

That brings us to the end of the New 52 section.  Final count?  I’m ordering only 7 titles (8 comics if you count the Annual as a separate thing), which is down from 11 in August.  I really feel like DC does not want my business in their mainstream departments.

I am tempted by Batman Black and White #2, because it has a story from the incredible Rafael Grampá (although they misspell his name in the solicitation text).  Depending on how long his story is, I may have to have it (the book is $5, so it’s not a decision to be entered into lightly).

The effort to resuscitate Vertigo continues apace, with what promises to be the biggest book of the fall, The Sandman: Overture.  This is going to be a gorgeous prequel to the Vertigo classic, which pairs writer Neil Gaiman with artist JH Williams III.  I’m strangely not excited about this at all, although I know I’ll love it when it comes out.  I think I’d rather see Gaiman and Williams do something new – The Sandman is over.  But this is comics, and most of us would rather look backwards than forwards…

Two other new Vertigo series are debuting the same month – Coffin Hill and Hinterkind.  I know that I’m going to end up sampling both of them, but at this point, neither one of them is a definite enough want to get placed on my pull-list.  They both just seem a little too ‘Vertigo’ to me, without seeming very new or fresh.  Hopefully I’ll be wrong about that, as I do like writer Ian Edginton and artist Inaki Miranda.

IDW

I never watched the Samurai Jack cartoon, but the fact that Jim Zubkavich, the twisted and hilarious mind behind Skullkickers, is writing this new comic, I’m a little tempted.

Image

No other company can compare with Image Comics when it comes to the diversity and quality of their line.  I don’t remember the last time I opened a Previews and didn’t get excited by something in the Image section.

Pretty Deadly is a new series by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios.  Skimming the solicitation I see words or phrases like ‘magical realism’ and ‘western brutality’.  Stop.  I’ve already decided to buy it.  I don’t even need to look at the gorgeous preview pages.

Likewise with Velvet, a new series by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting (with colouring by Bettie Breitweiser).  It looks like it stars Nick Fury’s ex-girlfriend, and it’s all spy-ish.  I loved their Captain America, so I’m down.

I’m not sure about Rocket Girl though. I like Amy Reeder’s art, but her one-shot with writer Brandon Montclare, Halloween Eve, was only so-so.  I’ll look at this on the stands.

Three is a historical comic about Spartans by Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly.  I can not wait to read this.

To round out the new and notable books, the CBLDF Liberty Annual and the Thought Bubble Anthology are both coming out in October.  These are usually excellent collections of short comics.

Marvel

Do you remember the days just after Fear Itself limped to its conclusion, and the powers that be at Marvel came to the realization that they’re publishing way too many mini-series that have little to no hope of finding success?  Apparently neither does Marvel, as they go back to the well again and again, offering us Infinity: Heist, Infinity: The Hunt, Hunger, Cataclysm, Marvel Knights: Spider-Man, Captain America: Living Legend (only the first issue of which is by Adi Granov), Thor: The Crown of Fools, Punisher: Trial of the Punisher, and a trio of Specials (All-New X-Men, Indestructible Hulk, and Superior Spider-Man) by the guy who wrote DC’s Blackhawks.  Is there a market for all of this?

I’ve resisted reading Guardians of the Galaxy, mostly because of the price, the abundance of Brian Michael Bendis in my pull-list already, and the recent addition of Angela, a character I care nothing for.  But now Francesco Francavilla is drawing an issue.  I may have to get this one.

I don’t want to support the return of the Marvel Knights line, especially since these stories are likely to be out of continuity, but the Marvel Knights: Spider-Man book is being written by Matt Kindt and drawn by Marco Rudy, who I think is a phenomenal artist (the next JH Williams).

TBA is drawing Uncanny X-Force!  I love his stuff.  Note to Marvel: If you don’t know who is going to draw the book yet, maybe you shouldn’t solicit two issues for that month.  Just saying.

Is that Jock’s whole cover for Savage Wolverine #10?  Because it’s really pretty strange.

I’m interested in Fantomex Max, but I’m unfamiliar with both Andrew Hope and Shawn Crystal, so I’m going to have to wait and see.  Were Francesco Francavilla drawing more than the cover, there would be no question of my buying it.

:01 First Second

How long have people been waiting for Paul Pope’s Battling Boy?  It’s finally coming out, and the people at First Second have wisely given readers a choice between the soft and hardcover editions at the same time (one is $9 cheaper, for those of you who are as cheap as I am).  I’m very much looking forward to this book.

Oni Press

Letter 44, a new series by Charles Soule and Alberto Alburquerque looks like it has a lot in common with the recently cancelled Saucer Country, in that it involves aliens and presidential conspiracies.  The first issue is only a dollar, and Soule has been on fire lately.  This is worth getting.

Valiant

Shadowman hasn’t really done it for me, but the Halloween Special is being written by Jim Zubkavich, so I’m intrigued.  I wonder if he’s going to play it straight or bring in some of his Skullkickers humor.  Pairing him with artist Roberto De La Torre is kind of interesting.

So that’s the catalogue (unless you like looking at weird merchandise in the back).  What would you be buying Were Money No Object?



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