Were Money No Object – the April Previews Edition with Dark Horse, DC Comics, Image & Marvel

It’s time to look through the new Previews, and see how the comic world will be in June.

Dark Horse

I’ve learned to be skeptical of pop/rock-star involved comics, and ignored Gerard Way’s Umbrella Academy when it first came out, and only discovered that it was indeed very good.  I’m not going to ignore The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys though, but that’s more because comics goddess Becky Cloonan is drawing it than for Way’s track record.  Really looking forward to this…

I see that Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose’s previously self-published series Sacrifice is getting the hardcover treatment this month.  I highly recommend this time-travelling adventure set in the Aztec world just as the Spanish start showing up in the region.

DC

It’s time for DC to roll out their newest New 52 replacement titles, and it looks like they are going with safe bets this time.  The new titles are Superman Unchained by Scott Snyder and Jim Lee (I don’t want to read it, but I’m sure a lot of people will), Batman/Superman, with art by Jae Lee, Larfleeze (because Lanterns sell, but this might be stretching it too thin), and Trinity of Sin: Pandora (okay, this one won’t last long).  It looks like they are getting a little desperate, and therefore are aiming towards straight-up fan service with the first three titles, and are attempting to pump up their long-discussed but little-anticipated Trinity War with the last.  I will not be buying any of these books.

Lately, I’ve been concerned about adding titles to my pull-file list, because DC appears determined to replace solicited writers with great regularity.  Now that it’s been a few months, I figure it’s safe to start pre-ordering Green Arrow.  I like what Jeff Lemire’s been doing with the book since he took it over, and he seems to be one of the ‘safe’ writers at the company.

Francesco Francavilla is drawing Batwoman?  I’d rather have JH Williams doing it, but still, this should look very nice.

I’m very tempted to pick up Astro City, but I’d want some kind of assurance that the book is going to stick to its schedule.  Were this a $3 book, I’d be all over it.

I’ve mentioned before how I feel that Vertigo is being allowed to atrophy itself to death.  Well, it looks like someone is trying to revive the line a little this month, although they are doing it by looking backwards (which is, of course, a very common thing in comics).  A spin-off to 100 Bullets, called Brother Lono is launching this month.  Truthfully, I’ll buy anything by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, so I’m in, even though I don’t think this is a title that needs to be revisited at all.

Likewise, I was surprised to see that a one-shot is coming out under the American Vampire banner, since that title is supposed to be on hiatus.  It’s a Travis Kidd story, and it’s drawn by Rafael Albuquerque, so I’m in for it too (although $7 is kind of steep).

I can understand the business reasons behind having The Unwritten cross over with Fables, but I have to say that it is kind of making me want to drop the former title.  I like Mike Carey and Peter Gross’s series a lot, but I’m pretty done with Fables.  Maybe Carey can get me to like that title again, but I kind of doubt it.  I may not stick out all five issues of this arc…

Image

Turning to the Image section for the month, the first thing listed is Lazarus, by Greg Rucka and Michael Lark.  Sold.  I’m not even going to read the preview pages provided.

New Age of Bronze?  This section just keeps getting better!  I’m kind of pleased to see that there aren’t a lot of new Image titles debuting this month – I end up buying way too many of them for it to be sustainable.

Marvel

Okay, I want to take a moment to talk about something I don’t understand about Marvel right now.  Their Marvel NOW! round of relaunches has done quite well for the company, and has gotten a number of people to be excited about titles that have not received much positive word of mouth or strong sales for a while now.  That’s all good, right?  So then, they come along with a big event book that is overdue by a few years (Age of Ulton), and as a way of explaining away any number of continuity inconsistencies, they decide to do some huge, universe-rattling thing at the end?  Okay, that’s annoying, but kind of standard for Marvel these days.  And then we discover that one of  the things they are doing is incorporating a creator-owned (thanks to a court decision) character from the 90s that debuted in Spawn, and that hardly anyone remembers, and even less people care about.  Why?  Is anyone excited by this?  I’d rather just stick around the titles I’m enjoying, all of which were given new approaches just a few months ago.  When Marvel NOW! starts feeling like Marvel THEN!, that’s the time to do something like this.

And for the record, while I enjoyed Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman’s time on Miracleman, I don’t see that the character would be a good fit for the Marvel Universe any more than Sentry was.

Hey look – Zeb Wells and Joe Madureira are the new regular team on Savage Wolverine, for a story guest-starring Spider-man!  Looking at the cover, this is the Peter Parker Spidey outfit, not the Superior one, which makes me think this was supposed to be the second arc of Avenging Spider-Man, the last title that Wells and Madureira were announced on.

Is Dale Eaglesham the regular artist on Iron Man now?  Is Greg Land coming back?  Because if I knew that Land was gone for good, I’d probably start buying the title again…

Why doesn’t anyone know who the artist on Uncanny X-Force issues 6 and 7 are?  I’m not upset that it’s not Ron Garney, but still, for a recently relaunched book, should we really be guessing at art by the sixth issue?  It’s like trying to figure out who is actually writing books at DC, and it does little for consumer confidence.

Speaking of DC’s shuffling writers, I see that Joshua Hale Fialkov is taking over the Ultimates, and that the storyline is being tagged Disassembled, like when Bendis first wrote the Avengers.  Here’s hoping this doesn’t mean that they want him to kill off Ultimate Falcon…

I don’t know what to make of Daredevil: Dark Nights.  To begin with, it’s listed here as an eight-issue mini-series, but the solicitation text only refers to it as “a gorgeous new series featuring the greatest talents in comics”.  This issue is written and drawn by Lee Weeks, who is a great talent, but I’m left wondering – is this an anthology-style series, with new creators coming on every issue?  Are there short arcs?  When Marvel can’t explain what a new book is, I don’t know how retailers are supposed to know what to do with it…

Strangely, I have nothing to say about the back half of Previews this month.  Nothing there got me too excited, although I’m interested in the Rubicon graphic novel from Archaia.

So, what would you preorder Were Money No Object?

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