Were Money No Object – the December Previews Edition With Dark Horse, DC Comics, Image, Marvel, Dynamite & Oni Press
by James Fulton on December 14, 2013

Everyone’s in the midst of Christmas shopping, but it’s time to think about how to spend your money in February, you know, after you’ve paid off the Christmas credit card bills…

Dark Horse

There are a number of new mini-series coming down the pipe at Dark Horse that have caught my eye, but since they are mostly at the hated $3.99 price point, I really don’t know if I should grab them or not.  Vandroid is co-written by Tommy Lee Edwards, and drawn by Dan McDaid, and sounds interesting, but I’m not sure of it.  I kind of assumed the story about it having been a masterpiece film that was lost in a fire in 1984 was false and just clever marketing; if this is really the case, I have a little less interest in this property.

I think Pariah is worth taking a chance on.  It’s written by Philip Gelatt (who wrote the Petrograd graphic novel I’ve been wanting to read), and drawn by Brett Weldele, who is always amazing.  This series, about people trapped in space dealing with a virus or something, has a real Oni Press feel to it, which helps attract me.

One of the sporadic segments that I enjoyed most in Dark Horse Presents before I dropped that title was the White Suits stories; disconnected tales of a Russian mob.  Now writer Frank Barbiere is being joined by artist Toby Cypress for four issues, and I’m all over it.

Mesmo Delivery is getting a new printing.  Rafael Grampá’s graphic novel is something to be beheld, and worth every penny of its $15 cover price.

Brian Wood’s run on Conan the Barbarian is wrapping up with issue 25, as is the series itself.  It looks like Fred Van Lente is going to be getting a relaunched series soon enough.  Could it possibly be as good as Wood’s series was?

DC

I find nothing in the DC solicitations that excite me this month.  I’m down to only five New 52 titles a month, and still haven’t made up my mind about some of the new Vertigo titles.

The only real debut DC has this month is The Royals: Masters of War, a book that feels like it would have been published by Wildstorm a few years ago.  It looks like it could be good, but I’m not interested.

Image

Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood, who are currently working together on Wasteland, have a new series starting in February, The Fuse, that sounds interesting.  It’s set on an orbiting energy platform, and involves murder.  I don’t need much more to go on than that, because Johnston is excellent at world-building, and Greenwood is a capable artist (whose work looks better in colour, as it will be in this book).  Sold.

Another new series that looks interesting is Undertow, by Steve Orlando and Artyom Trakhanov, but as they are unknown quantities, I’ll wait to look at this on the stands before I decide about it (which probably means i’ll at least buy the first issue).

I think I’m going to take a pass on The Revenger though, a new series by Jonathan Ross and Ian Churchill.  I’ve liked Ross’s work on Turf and America’s Got Powers, but his books take forever to come out, and I’ve never been the biggest fan of Churchill.  The overly gory preview pages do nothing for me.

Now The Mercenary Sea, by writer Kel Symons and artist Mathew Reynolds, neither of whom I’ve heard of, is going to get a purchase from me.  Reynolds’s art in the previews reminds me of the Luna Brothers, and I like adventure stories set in the days before WWII.

Shaky Kane is drawing another issue of Elephantmen!  Those are always all kinds of weird.

Marvel

Do you remember about a year and a half ago, when Marvel said that they were going to cut back on launching new mini-series, to focus on established properties?  Now it seems like they are tossing ongoing series against the wall in a mad rush to find something that sticks.  Also, interestingly, more and more of their new series are being launched at the $3.99 price point; in fact, it often appears like the only reason for a relaunch is to raise the price of an existing, successful title.

Oh, look!  A new Wolverine #1.  That’s going to be worth a ton of money one day.

Case in point, the new Fantastic Four title, which is going to be written by James Robinson and drawn by Leonard Kirk.  I don’t know if there’s going to be a companion FF title or not, and while I have often liked Robinson’s work in the past, I’m not convinced that this is worth $4, especially since I’ve often only felt lukewarm about Marvel’s first family.  Pass.

Ms. Marvel, on the other hand, is a project that I’m excited about supporting.  It’s written by G. Willow Wilson, who wrote the wonderful series Air at Vertigo, and is drawn by Adrian Alphona, who is incredible.  I like the idea that this character is a Muslim teenager, and trust that Wilson, who is herself Muslim, can make this work without being condescending.

I really want to dive into The Punisher by Nathan Edmondson and Mitch Gerads, as I like their book The Activity, but that title is way behind schedule (as are Where is Jake Ellis? and The Dream Merchant, which Edmondson writes).  These two are good at realistic military-style action, but at $4, with the first two issues double-shipped, I’m not all that interested.  I don’t think this creative team can keep up that kind of pace at all.

I will be buying She-Hulk though, despite the fact that I’m not all that fond of the character.  I do like Charles Soule’s writing on Swamp Thing and the incredible Letter 44, and this series is being drawn by Javier Pulido, who is stunning.

Rick Remender is writing a 60s-set spy story in Winter Soldier: The Bitter March, so I’m looking forward to it.  Remender can do no wrong with me these days, and I like this character a lot.

The new New Warriors series is tempting.  Writer Chris Yost was wonderful on another teen book, New X-Men, and I like artist Marcus To.  Again, the price is the barrier here, so I’ll have to wait and see what I think.

Al Ewing’s been doing some good work at Marvel, but I don’t know if I’d want to read anyone other than Kieron Gillen writing a Loki series after Journey Into Mystery and Young Avengers…  The price is right though, so I might check this out.

X-Force #1 could be interesting, but there are a few barriers to pre-ordering it.  First, I don’t like Cable in this book.  Secondly, I don’t know artist Rock-He Kim’s work, and so am not sure if I’d like the look of the book.  Writer Si Spurrier is good, but he takes a bit of a strange approach to superheroes (which is probably why Marrow is on the team), and sometimes it works better than others.

Greg Land is off Mighty Avengers!  That means I can feel okay about preordering it!  I hope orders go up on the series with these issues, so Marvel gets the message that it’s the artist who is the liability on this book.

Is Rick Remender the new regular writer on New Avengers, or is he just writing #15?

So Marvel is making a big deal out of the ending of Daredevil by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, but we already know that the book is being relaunched by the same creative team, with a new setting and new price.  It’s things like this that make people hate you, Marvel.

The solicitations for Wolverine and the X-Men #41 and 42 state that “School’s out forever!  Final issues!”  Are we to assume that the school won’t continue in the other X-books?  I hope this one doesn’t get relaunched immediately; Amazing X-Men is basically the same title.

Dynamite

I’m feeling tempted by Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, which is being written by Greg Pak and drawn by Mirko Colak.  I enjoyed the Valiant take on this character, and see potential here, especially with such a talented creative team.  I’ll have to see how I feel when it comes out.

Oni Press

Sam Kieth is drawing an issue of Wasteland?  That should be interesting.

Oni is now going to start publishing The Bunker, the excellent web comic being produced by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Joe Infurnari.  I wish I’d known that before I started reading the comic digitally (I’m behind, because I never remember to read the books I’ve downloaded), and kind of want to own this on paper.  It’s a great series about a group of friends who discover that they have huge roles to play in the future when a bunker full of their memorabilia shows up from the future.

So what caught your eye this month?



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