Were Money No Object – The March Preview Edition

Nothing brings more excitement to the comics fan than a new issue of Previews, chock full of the promise of ever-growing events designed to drain your wallet, double-shipped books, sexy statues, and, somewhere between all the filler, some new projects legitimately worth getting excited about.  So how is May shaping up?  Read on…

Dark Horse

Dark Horse has been using Dark Horse Presents as a proving ground for new titles, and the latest story to make the jump to its own mini-series is Peter Hogan and Steve Parkhouse’s Resident Alien.  Last month they solicited a ‘0’ issue that reprints the DHP strips, and now the story of an alien hiding out in a small town who is pressed into becoming the town doctor continues.

I don’t know if I would normally go for a one-shot starring The Guild‘s nemesis Fawkes, but it’s drawn by Jamie McKelvie, and I can’t think of a more perfect artist for The Guild, so I’m in.

Dark Horse is also becoming the new Vertigo, as we can see with the new on-going series Mind MGMT.  It’s written and drawn by Matt Kindt, who has been lurking around Vertigo for a while now (Revolver, Sweet Tooth), and is taking over for Jeff Lemire on Frankenstein Agent of SHADE.  This is a science fiction espionage series by the guy who did Spy Stories; how can it not be good?

DC

DC will be trotting out their new ‘New 52’ replacement titles in May.  Earth Two has been getting the biggest push, and I have to say that my original enthusiasm for this title is quickly disappearing.  At first,  I heard James Robinson, Nicola Scott, and Justice Society, and was very happy, especially since Robinson has redeemed himself for the horrors of Justice League Cry for Justice with his work on The Shade (which everyone should be pre-ordering!).  However, for the last few weeks, DC has been releasing pictures of alternate, Earth Two versions of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.  I have no interest in reading another comic with these characters, despite their historic ties to the JSA.  I’ll probably pick up the first issue on the stands, but right now, I’m not very enthused.

Likewise, the concept of World’s Finest, which is going to feature the Earth Two Power Girl and Huntress trapped in the ‘New 52’ reality, and will feature art by Kevin Maguire, lost me when I heard that Paul Levitz was going to be writing.  I admire Levitz’s work from back in the day, but his last couple of years on Legion of Super-Heroes has caused me to drop one of my all-time favourite series, and I’m not looking for anything more with his name on it.  This is going to have to have amazing reviews for me to buy it.

Batman Incorporated, on the other hand, is a guaranteed buy, even if it is going to cause any number of continuity problems for DC.  I’m very pleased that Chris Burnham is joining Grant Morrison on the title, and I hope they’ve had enough time to prepare their issues that it will stay on schedule.

Dial H sounds intriguing, despite the fact that I’ve never read anything by China Mieville before.  The concept has been around for a long time at DC, and is due for a new approach, although I’m surprised that they haven’t changed the name to ‘Text H’.  What’s a dial?  Mateus Santolouco, the artist, has a style very similar to Rafael Albuquerque, so this should look nice.

GI Combat has four things working against it in descending order of offensiveness:  Ariel Olivetti, $3.99, JT Krul, and Dan Panosian.  Too bad, because if this was handled differently, I could have loved it.  If you are interested in the Unknown Soldier back-up, I suggest reading Joshua Dysart and Alberto Ponticelli’s recent run with the character at Vertigo instead – it was brilliant.

Hey, The Ravagers – 1994 is calling.  This was never meant for someone like me anyway.  I hope someone enjoys it.  (Should we expect Ian Churchill to last more than two issues?)

I haven’t yet been interested in picking up an issue of DC Universe Presents, but with their ninth issue, the new creative team is James Robinson and Bernard Chang, in a story about Vandal Savage’s daughter.  It sounds a little Silence of the Lambs-ish, and is only three issues long.  I’m on board.

I’m not too happy about all this ‘Night of the Owls‘ crossover nonsense.  Scott Snyder has been telling a great story in Batman, but I don’t think that having it branch into all the Bat-related titles was part of the original plan.  Instead, it sort of feels like DC is just grasping at a way to draw more attention to some of their weaker titles.  I’ll pick up the Annual, but otherwise, I’m only going to get the books I already get.

I’ve flirted with the idea of buying Justice League Dark since the relaunch, but haven’t been too impressed with the title thus far.  Now that Jeff Lemire’s taking over the writing, I’m on board.  I was going to buy it even before I found out that Black Orchid is going to be in it – icing on the cake as far as I’m concerned.  I thought putting Peter Milligan onto Stormwatch might be enough to get me to order the comic again, but now I see that he’s bringing in one of the stupid Red Lanterns, so I am going to have to wait and see…

I am, however, unequivocally dropping Grifter, now that Rob Liefeld is going to be writing it.  Likewise, Deathstroke, which I’ve been picking up from time to time, and which is going to feature Liefeld’s art as well as his writing, is on my banned list.  I don’t understand why DC would hand this guy three titles – his Hawk and Dove had the lowest sales of the New 52, and was rather reviled.

The Shade has a ‘Times Past’ issue with art by Jill Thompson.  This may be the most exciting thing in DC’s solicitations this month.

Vertigo is doing another DHP-sized anthology this month called Mystery in Space.  It features work by Paul Pope, Kyle Baker, Michael Allred, and Ann Nocenti.  Sold.

Image

Leave it to Rob Liefeld to mess things up again.  The reason why his Prophet and Glory relaunches have been so successful is that his name is nowhere on them, and they are original and creative departures from what went before.  Not being happy with that, Liefeld is relaunching Youngblood, but is himself providing some of the art.  This is just the same old crap as before, based on the preview, from a guy who is also supposed to be working on three DC books every month.  This reminds me of when he tanked Joe Casey’s cool run with these characters so he could draw Barack Obama into the book every month, and only one of the three or four he solicited ever showed up.  I hope this doesn’t take down Prophet and Glory with it.

I like Nathan Edmondson (Grifter, The Activity, Who is Jake Ellis?).  I like Nic Klein (Viking).  Simple arithmetic suggest I will like Dancer.

Robert Kirkman is soliciting two issues of The Walking Dead for May?  I remember when that book’s schedule was so messed up, we’d be lucky to see a new issue within three months.  Clearly, we are living in exciting times.

Marvel

I still feel very ambivalent about the whole Avengers Vs. X-Men thing.  I’m unhappy that what I feel to be two very good runs – Kieron Gillen on Uncanny X-Men and Jason Aaron on Wolverine and the X-Men are going to be messed up (and probably finished) because of this thing.  I also don’t like that the X-books will be getting yet another new status quo out of this event, as we’ve only barely begun to explore the potential of where these books are now.  I told myself that I wasn’t going to buy any of these comics, but the relentless marketing is beginning to wear me down – at the least, I’m going to try to stick with the titles that I already buy; I just don’t want to spend the money that this crossover is going to be demanding, especially so soon after Fear Itself taught me to dump big events once and for all.

I am interested in the Exiled crossover, simply because I’m already reading and enjoying Journey Into Mystery and New Mutants.  I rather wish that five parts of the story didn’t all come out in the same month though…

I was ready to drop The Defenders, but as this issue involves the Immortal Weapons, it gets a reprieve.

Previews lists May’s two issues of X-Factor as being priced at $3.99, but their website says that it’s $2.99.  This is an important detail, as X-Factor is almost always double-shipped, and while entertaining, not worth an extra $2 a month.  If the higher price is correct, I’m dropping this book.  Does anyone know what’s going on?

 Avatar

I like the idea of David Lapham returning to crime comics with Dan the Unharmable, but as I see it, there are three strikes against this series – Lapham is not drawing it, it’s published by Avatar, who I now equate with ridiculously late books, and it’s $4.  I’m going to trade wait this one I think.

Boom!

There’s a new alternate universe ecology series called Higher Earth being published by Boom and written by Sam Humphries (new co-writer of Ultimates and the writer/publisher of Our Love is Real and Sacrifice).  Boom has managed to line up some six cover artists, but apparently don’t have anyone to draw the interior of the book yet.  That doesn’t bode well.  Trade waiting this too.

Drawn & Quarterly

It’s not a comic, but it’s the book I’m most excited about this month.  Michael Cho is an artist who has been drawing the back alleys of Toronto for a few years now.  I have two of his prints hanging in my bedroom.  Now D&Q are publishing Back Alleys and Urban Landscapes, a softcover book collecting his various pieces.  This is very cool stuff.

Oni Press

One of my favourite Image series of a few years back was Brahm Revel’s Guerillas.  About half the story was printed when Revel switched to Oni, and to a graphic novel format.  Now, finally, there is some new stuff coming!  Guerillas is about a group of trained chimpanzee soldiers who were sent to fight in Vietnam.  It’s incredibly cool, and worth checking out.

Valiant

I’m not too sure what to make of the Valiant relaunch.  I was a big Valiant fan back in the day, collecting almost all of their titles when they were at their biggest.  The company is coming back with X-O Manowar, and I’m intrigued because it’s by Robert Vendetti (Surrogates, Homeland Directive) and Cary Nord, but at the same time, my fear is that it’s just going to go over familiar ground.  I’m going to wait to see what this issue is like before I commit to anything.

So, what would you buy in May Were Money No Object?

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