Were Money No Object – The Septembers Previews Edition With Dark Horse, DC Comics New 52, Image, Marvel Now & Valiant

It’s time to wander through Previews once again, and see what looks interesting or puzzling.

Dark Horse

As much as I respect and admire John Ostrander, his Star Wars Dawn of the Jedi mini-series have been a disappointment so far, mostly because of the massive amount of world building that he’s crammed into them.  So now, with this new arc, Force War, I have to wonder if it’s going to be more of the same thing, or if he’s going to have reached the point where he can just tell a good story.  I’ll probably check this out to find out…

DC

It’s interesting that DC is positioning Batman‘s ‘Zero Year‘ event as a more central cross-over than Forever Evil, with more tie-ins, and a place of prominence in this month’s Previews, especially since these cross-overs look to be of the ‘red skies’ nature.  In a lot of ways, these stories, which are supposed to be set five years before the New 52 launch, and subsequently at a time when none of these other heroes were active, is just going to be revisiting the same territory that the ‘zero’ issues of last September did.  Or, because this is DC, to contradict them.  Are people who don’t normally read these books going to be tempted to buy them?  And why is a 40 page issue of Batman priced at $4.99, while the same-sized Action Comics isn’t?  Are we experimenting with $5 being the new $4?  Oh wait, it has an embossed cover.  That should be worth a dollar more.  Of course, this being DC, I’m sure they’ll manage to screw up the orders on this too…

Is John Layman taking over Catwoman?  He’s writing issue 25.  That’s tempting, but for the $4 price tag which is keeping me from buying his Detective Comics.

I don’t like that Charles Soule is using the Greek gods in Superman/Wonder Woman.  Brian Azzarello has done a brilliant job of re-envisioning them for the New 52, but I can’t see any other writer keeping the characterization (and the predilection for using puns) consistent with his work.  I’d be tempted to check it out anyway, but it’s $4…

I’ve never liked Harley Quinn as a character in the DC Universe, but the zero issue to her new series involves Amanda Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Paul Pope, and Walter Simonson.  That’s a sale.  Future purchases will depend on whether or not the writers can overcome the annoying factor of the character.

Image

Before moving over to Marvel, Rick Remender firmly established himself as a writer who is not afraid to take his stories into some pretty strange and wild places.  Now he’s launching Black Science, with artist Matteo Scalera, and I could not be more excited.  Scalera is a very dynamic artist and seems like the perfect collaborator for Remender.  I can’t wait to read this.

Umbral is a new series from writer Antony Johnston and artist Christopher Mitten, the team behind Wasteland.  I’m a little surprised to see them working together (part of me wishes that Mitten could have just returned to Wasteland, which has suffered since his departure), but also very happy about it.  I don’t know how I feel about ‘dark fantasy’, but this team has earned my respect, and my $3 for an extra-long first issue…

I love reading comics from the Luna brothers, so it’s nice to see that Jonathan Luna is starting a new series, Alex + Ada.

Manifest Destiny has intrigued me.  It’s about the Lewis and Clark expedition (which has already gotten its own graphic novel), and so appeals to my love of historical comics.  I don’t know anything about Chris Dingers or Matthew Roberts, but the preview pages look nice, so I’ll give this a shot.

Marvel

As Infinity winds down, Marvel is launching another cross-over in the Ultimate line, with four mini-series under the Cataclysm umbrella.  I have no interest in reading this stuff, mostly because the main title is by Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley, a writer I’m always ambivalent about, and an artist I really dislike.  Since we all can safely assume that this is going to end with the dissolution of the Ultimate line, and with Miles Morales (a.k.a., the only Ultimate character that still sells) moving to the 616, I have to wonder why I’d care how it all finishes.  The one thing that has stood out about Joshua Hale Fialkov’s run on the Ultimates is how little he’s made me care about the characters.  Just let it end.  I’ll probably still get the Spider-Man issues, but that’s mostly because I really like Miles, and it looks like it continues the current story, with Cloak and Dagger appearing.

According to the solicitation text, Superior Spider-Man Annual #1 “ain’t no regular Annual buck-o!  This one counts!”  What does that say about the Wolverine and the X-Men Annual solicited some ten pages before?  I guess Marvel is telling us we don’t have to buy it, because it doesn’t count.

There are two issues of Superior Foes of Spider-Man coming out in November.  Get them – you won’t be sorry.

At Fan Expo this year, artist Marco Rudy promised that his art in Marvel Knights: Spider-Man is going to be pretty wild, and that he’s going all out on his layouts.  I am very excited for this mini-series, by Matt Kindt and Rudy, who I think is one of the most slept-on artists working today.  I’m also very excited to get Marvel Knights: X-Men, which is being written and drawn by Brahm Revel.  I’m a huge fan of his series Guerillas, and can’t wait to see what he’d do with such mainstream characters.

So this Amazing X-Men thing seems like a problem to me.  First, I’m kind of excited about the idea of Nightcrawler returning, if he’s handled properly, but the cover, which looks like it has him in full-on swashbuckling mode and fighting the Draco, worries me.  I’ve been increasingly disappointed in Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men, as I haven’t always liked the madcap humour approach that he’s taking, and this looks to be no different, especially with Ed McGuinness coming on as the artist (for what, four issues?).  I feel like I’m either going to buy this title, or Aaron’s other one, but probably not both, especially if Marvel is going to keep double-shipping them.

One of my favourite artists to follow at Marvel is TBA, who often gets to draw random issues of double-shipped books that are mid-list, sales wise.  Now, it seems that TBA’s cousin, TBD is drawing X-Men Legacy for two issues this month, as well as an issue each of Uncanny X-Force and Cable and X-Force.  He or she must be the hardest working artist at Marvel.  Here’s the thing – what does TBD even stand for?  To Be Decided?  I wonder who gets to decide?  It’s a good thing people don’t buy comics based on who is writing or drawing them…

Valiant

I like the idea of Unity, mainly because of who is making the book, namely Doug Braithwaite and Matt Kindt (who must never sleep, and is working for four companies).  I’m not sure if the concept – a bunch of Valiant characters team up to deal with X-O Manowar – is enough to sustain an on-going series, but I’ll give it an arc or two.

It’s clear that Valiant is trying to rejig Shadowman, which I can understand, as it’s been the book that appeals to me the least, and they seem to be between creative teams.  Last month they solicited a one-off issue by Jim Zubkavich; now they are doing an anthology issue, with three short stories in a standard-sized comic.  The creators include Ales Kot and Clayton Crain, so this is probably worth picking up.

So what catches your eye this month, and what would you buy Were Money No Object?

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