Were Money No Object – The August Previews Edition With Pope Hats, Feel Better Now, Shade, Star Trek, Avengers & More

Another month has gone by, and Previews has delivered the promise of hundreds of new items for the discerning comics reader to consider.  Here are some random things that got me excited, or made me wonder.  We won’t know until October how it’s all going to turn out…

Adhouse

I bought the first issue of Pope Hats two or three years ago at TCAF, and really liked its Scott Pilgrim-esque feel.  Like Pilgrim, it’s set in Toronto (also having scenes in Sneaky Dee’s), but its cast of characters (not counting the ghost) are more real and believable.  This was a nice surprise when I read it, and I’m very happy to see that it’s finally being continued.

Archaia

I love historical comics, even when they are horror-based, so Black Fire, which features soldiers from Napoleon’s army dealing with weird stuff in an isolated Slavic town sounds pretty interesting, even if I don’t know anything about creator Hernan Rodriguez.

I wonder how many times Archaia is going to solicit The Grave Doug Freshley before we actually see it.  Years ago it was going to be a limited series, and then Archaia imploded for a while.  Then, I thought I’d read that it was going to be a $10 trade, but it never came out.  Now it’s a hardcover, but it still looks good, if you like Westerns.  Me, I’m mostly interested because of mpMann’s artwork, but who knows if it will ever happen.

Avatar

If Avatar is soliciting the trade for Captain Swing, does that mean that the final issue is actually going to come out?

Dark Horse

Orchid sounds interesting.  I immediately feel like I should ignore it because it’s written by a musician from a band I don’t listen to (Rage Against the Machine), but I learned my lesson by shunning the Umbrella Academy.  The story sounds familiar – teen prostitute with a destiny in a post-Apocalyptic world, but with a one dollar introductory issue, I’ll check it out.  I love the Shepared Fairey variant – this is the first variant cover I’ve seen in years that I’m tempted to buy…

David Lapham is writing Kull?  That’s tempting, but I’ll probably see how it is reviewed and trade wait it.

There is a collection of random BPRD solo stories, Being Human.  A terrific collection of artists (Corben, Stenbeck, Moline, and Davis).  I imagine this would be a good introduction to these characters, and the best title that Dark Horse publishes.

DC

Matt Kindt is writing a Robotman strip in My Greatest Adventure?  If it weren’t for the other two stories in this comic, or if he were drawing it himself instead of (I assume) Matt Ryan and Scott Kolins, I’d be all over this.  I hope this gets collected on its own some day.  At least Kindt is drawing this month’s issue of Sweet Tooth, which should be cool.

I’d also be all over a Huntress series, but Paul Levitz’s poor showing on recent Legion books has left me cold to the man.  I’ll look through this one on the stands, but it’s probably a no.

Now, I’m very excited about James Robinson’s new Shade series.  I’m also nervous, as the man hasn’t written anything good since Starman finished.  My hope is that returning to the world of Opal City will bring out the best of Robinson again – at least with an artist line up including Cully Hamner, Darwyn Cooke, Javier Pulido, Jill Thompson, Frazer Irving, and Gene Ha, it will be pretty to look at.  Here’s the thing though – if there was no Justice Society in the DCnU, how could there be a Starman Museum?  I would think most of what made Starman so good has been negated…

Brian Wood is writing a Supernatural series?  I’m torn – I love Wood’s work, but this is a licensed comic for a TV show I’ve never seen.  I’m probably going to pass; I remember being excited when David Lapham was writing a Call of Duty mini, but that was not good.

Spaceman, on the other hand, reuniting Azzarello and Risso at Vertigo, is a definite purchase.  Even if the first issue wasn’t only a dollar…

The Unexpected should be great.  It’s an anthology like the Strange Adventures one that came out a few months ago, and features work from Dave Gibbons, Brian Wood, Josh Dysart, and Jill Thompson, with a cover by Rafael Grampa, who we have not seen enough from.

IDW

As much as I love the Legion of Super-Heroes, and have been enjoying Chris Roberson’s writing on iZombie and Cinderella, I don’t think I am going to pick up Star Trek/Legion of Super-Heroes.  I just can’t see it ending up as a good comic, as both franchises have so much history and baggage, plus the burden of fans who will want to see the material handled correctly.  It could be goofy fun though, so I may get it in trade…

John Byrne’s new book, John Byrne’s Cold War also intrigues me, but I don’t have the trust for the man that I used to.  I’ll have to see how it’s reviewed before sampling it.

October marks the third month in a row I’m not preordering anything from IDW.  Before that, all I was getting was Kill Shakespeare.  I guess this company just doesn’t appeal to me.

Image

Image is the new house of ideas, developing a ton of new and exciting projects over the last couple of years, often by unknown creators.  I’m always a little leery of preordering something that I don’t have more foreknowledge of than a Previews solicitation and maybe a few preview pages.  Luckily, I frequent a comics store that orders heavily on Image books, so there’s usually a copy or two to peruse on the shelf.  This month, I’m interested in The Strange Talent of Luther Strode, which is about a kid who gets a bodybuilding course out of a comic, but it works better than he could have imagined.  The Last of the Greats is another book I’m on the fence about – I like writer Joshua Hale Fialkov a lot, especially after Echoes, but it’s a $4 book, and I’m not sure if it’s a mini or an ongoing.

There is no doubting Feel Better Now, a 40-page one-shot written and drawn by Jonathan Hickman – the first thing he’s drawn since Pax Romana, I believe.  I’m not even reading the solicitation – I want the content to be a surprise.  This may be the most exciting thing in Previews this month.

Xenoholics is a book I’m going to take a chance on.  It’s about people with an addiction to getting abducted, and perhaps probed, by aliens.  This comic is giving off a Chew vibe, and I don’t want to be scrambling to get caught up like I had to with that title.

I’m stunned to see that The Infinite Horizon‘s fifth issue has been resolicited.  This was supposed to be out a couple of years ago, and I’d given up on it.  It’s a terrific series with art by Phil Noto.  It is about an army captain in a near future, who is trying to return to his home after war in the Middle East has kept him away.  It’s modeled on the Odyssey, and it was both smart and beautiful.  This is very good news.

Marvel

Marvel’s two big San Diego announcements are starting in October, and at the moment, I’m being cautious and not pre-ordering them.  The Fearless will need to have a pretty good story reason to get me to read it (you can thank Marc Bagley for my reticence), while I need to wait and see if every issue of The Incredible Hulk is going to be $4 before I make a commitment.  I love Jason Aaron’s writing, but I have little affection for the Hulk, and don’t think Marc Silvestri’s the right artist for the project (granted, he won’t be around long – or the book will only come out four times a year).

Ahh, the membership drive cover.  What better technique to draw some interest in a comic?  Looking at the cover for Avengers #18, I’ll say right now that I hope it’s Photon (that’s what the girl Captain Marvel is called now, right?) or Black Panther.  Cloak would be cool too.  Let’s say no to Blade, Iceman, Storm, and Ghost Rider right now please.  Is it just me, or is there a high percentage of African-American (and just African) characters on this cover?  Maybe they’ll announce who the new Avengers are at Newsweek, and racist Americans can get all angry and blame Michelle Obama again.  Good times.

I loved Solo Avengers as a kid – it had a Hawkeye lead story, and a back-up featuring someone else each month.  It was often very good.  Now we have Avengers: Solo, with writing by Jen Van Meter, which is really tempting, but I’m trying to avoid $4 books.  As for Avengers 1959 by Howard Chaykin – not a chance.

Legion of Monsters sounds awesome, just because Juan Doe is involved, but with an unknown (to me) writer and a $4 price tag, I’m going to pass.  Anyone remember when Marvel announced that all new books would be $3?  Lies…

I’m very much on the fence about the post-Schism X-Men line.  I like the idea of having the two main titles – Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine & The X-Men; I just think it’s the right time for Marvel to trim the line a little, and ditch Astonishing X-Men, X-Men Legacy, and plain old X-Men.  Five monthly books (not counting Generation Hope, Uncanny X-Force, and New Mutants) is just too much.  If the title can’t be unique, it shouldn’t exist.  Or, be more blatant about it, and call it More Of The Same X-Men.

October’s Winners

Pope Hats and Feel Better Now are the two items in this catalogue I’m most looking forward to, with Spaceman and Shade tied for second.

So, what would you get Were Money No Object?

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,