Were Money No Object – The February Previews Edition With April 2014 Solicitations

It’s time to dig into the new issue of Previews, and imagine how in April 2014all this snow will be gone, the trees will be in bloom, and Marvel and DC will be sending tons of new series our way.

Dark Horse

Matt Kindt is writing a four-part Star Wars mini-series, Rebel Heist, which features Han Solo.  Dark Horse has been doing very well with their higher-profile Star Wars books of late, and we all know that the party is ending soon, as the rights revert to Marvel in 2015, so I figure it’s good to enjoy it all while it lasts.  I’ll be grabbing this for sure.

Fred Van Lente is taking over the newly-relaunched Conan the Avenger, and I’m tempted, but I don’t see Van Lente being able to put the same kind of humour in this book that made his Hercules and Archer & Armstrong so enjoyable.  I’m taking a wait-and-see approach to this one.

DC

It looks like it’s time for DC to try some new titles out, and while they aren’t taking the ‘everything including the kitchen sink’ approach that marks Marvel’s latest expansion, there are a few things here that I’m skeptical about.

To begin, I’m not sure we really need a weekly Batman title such as Batman Eternal.  The solicitations say that this book is designed to examine ‘the relationship[s] between Batman, his allies and his city’.  Isn’t that kind of what Peter Tomasi has been doing in Batman and _____ since Damian’s death?  I’m not about to commit to a weekly comic that seems kind of poorly defined.  It’s cool that the writers are bringing Stephanie Brown back in the third issue, but there is already a surplus of potential female sidekicks in the Bat-books (Carrie Kelly, Harper Row) that a new one, even a fan-favourite, seems unnecessary.  Pass.

I really want to buy, read, and enjoy Justice League United.  As a Canadian, there is that need to support comics set in the country, especially when written by a hometown writer (Jeff Lemire), but I’m too concerned that the book won’t last more than a couple of issues before being too tied-in to the other Justice League books that I don’t want to read so as to make it incomprehensible on its own.  Mike McKone is an incredible artist, and I really like this line-up of characters (except for Supergirl), but I’m going to wait until I’ve got a better sense of the book’s direction before I commit to it.

What are the chances, with Suicide Squad being canceled, that we’re going to get a revival of Secret Six in the next few months?  Put Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore back on it, and you have a guaranteed purchase from me, DC.

I love the old Secret Origins comics from back in the day, and am pleased to see DC resurrecting the title for the New 52, but the last thing I want to read is Superman’s origin again, even if it’s written by Tony Bedard.  Maybe I’ll buy some later issues, when it starts getting a little more oddball.

I love that Francis Manapul is taking over Detective Comics (with Brian Buccellato).  I’ve liked John Layman’s work on the book, but it’s time for a visually inventive and exciting artist to come onto a Bat-Book.  I love Patrick Gleason’s work, but all the other Gotham titles look a little drab, or too 90s Image for my liking.  If this book weren’t $4 a month, I’d be all over this.

Ragdoll’s showing up in Batgirl?  Is this proof that the Secret Six are coming back?  That’s kind of exciting, or would be, if I read this title regularly…

I like the colour-based theme of the new Vertigo Anthologies which start with this month’s Cyan, and with Fábio Moon being involved (but not his brother Gabriel Bá?), I’m definitely picking this up.

Image

I haven’t really loved Jason Aaron’s work at Marvel, but his Scalped is one of my all-time favourite comics.  Now he’s pairing up with Jason Latour for Southern Bastards, a crime series that has some real potential.  Looking forward to this.

I’m also looking forward to The Field, a new book by Ed Brisson and Simon Roy, about an amnesiac guy who has woken up almost naked in a field.  From the description, which like Southern Bastards references meth, it feels like a theme month is underway at Image.

Nathan Edmondson has the one-shot Genesis coming out in April, and unlike Edmondson’s other Image books (The Activity, Where is Jake Ellis?, and The Dream Merchant), I can feel confident in buying this that I’ll get to read the conclusion when I’m supposed to.  Edmondson is a very good writer; I just wish he’d finish more of his comics.

Sina Grace also has a one-shot, Self-Obsessed, filled with his autobiographical comic strips.  He can be very good (whatever happened to The Li’l Depressed Boy anyway), so I’ll grab this.

Marvel

Who is writing and drawing the proper Original Sin series/event when it comes out?  I don’t have enough of an understanding of this event, which has something to do with the Watcher getting killed, to know if I want to be involved or not.  Taking a wait and see approach here.

Am I the only person disappointed to learn that Superior Spider-Man is ending, and that the Amazing Spider-Man is coming back?  I’ve never really loved Peter Parker, and so I’ve found Otto Octavius a much more interesting (and, in his Superior costume, better looking) character.  Sure, it will be fun for a month or two to see how Peter goes about putting his life to rights, but after that, I imagine we’ll be back into the same old guilt-fest.  I do love the Marcos Martin variant for Amazing #1 though…

Iron Fist by Kaare Andrews?  This is a definite purchase, and I can’t wait for it.  I wish we could revisit Danny Rand without the inevitable trip back to K’un-Lun, but with Andrews drawing things, I’m sold.

I’d like to be on-board for Elektra as well, especially with Michael Del Mundo drawing things, but to me, this is not a $4 comic.  Also, the fact that Marvel changed writers between announcing the series and soliciting it, really doesn’t give me much confidence in it.

My Nexus colleague, John Babos, has had a lot to say about Marvel’s relaunching of series for just about any reason of late (I wonder how they decide which series gets a ‘fake number one’, as Babos calls them, and which gets a ‘real’ one), and the relaunch of Hulk (who I guess is no longer Indestructible?) is a prime example.  I’ve liked Mark Waid’s work with the character, but adding Mark Bagley to the art chores is the easiest way to chase me away.

The new X-Men Legacy has already been renamed Nightcrawler, since he’s the main character.  I’ve always had fondness for Kurt, and am curious to see what Chris Claremont might do with the character, but I’m not sure that I’m up for more Claremontian narration.  Did anyone else find it interesting that Rogue is on the cover?

So Inhuman is being resolicited, with a new writer, after Marvel and Matt Fraction chose to part ways on this book.  It bugs me.  This is supposed to be a pretty major new book for Marvel, and clearly there would have had to be numerous discussions between Fraction and the powers that be, yet it was only after the book was originally solicited that Marvel decided they wanted it moving in a different direction?  Is Dan Didio moonlighting at Marvel now?  I really like Charles Soule’s writing, but between this mess, and the fact that even with a couple months of delay, it will be no time at all before artist Joe Madureira falls behind in the art department, I’m going to pass on this one.

I’m incredibly tempted by All-New Doop, but there are just too many $4 titles that appeal to me to be able to get the B-list ones.

I love Daredevil, so feel like I have no choice but to buy #1.50, his fiftieth anniversary issue, despite the $5 price tag. I’m hoping that the unnamed guest creators include people like Frank Miller, David Mazzuchelli, and Ann Nocenti, but I’m not holding my breath for the first two.

Prior to Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn writing Deadpool, I’d never bought the character’s book.  Now, out of the blue, Marvel is deciding to marry him off in a story that begins in a digital-only comic, and then culminates in Deadpool #27, a 100 page, $10 comic.  I think that makes it time for me to jump ship.  I wish they’d just left this thing alone, because I was enjoying it.

Okay, as much a I complain about Brian Michael Bendis’s mainstream Marvel titles, he’s made me love Miles Morales, which means I’m onboard for Ultimate Spider-Man #200, despite the fact that I’ve never read any of the Ultimate Peter Parker issues.

Last summer, I read the first collection of Michael Fiffe’s series Copra.  It was interesting, although nothing about it suggested that Fiffe would be working for Marvel within the year.  Strangely, he’s the new writer on All-New Ultimates, a team made up of the aforementioned Miles Morales, and his friends Cloak and Dagger, Bombshell, Kitty Pryde, and Black Widow (which doesn’t really make sense, unless this is Spider-Woman in a new identity).  I like the way Bendis has developed most of these characters, so I’ll be getting this.

Despite the fact that I enjoy Joshua Hale Fialkov’s independent writing, I’m going to stay on the fence about Ultimate FF, despite the intriguing line-up of Sue Storm, Iron Man, Machine Man, and the Falcon.

I hope that Marvel’s abandoning of the Superior for the simply Amazing in its main Spider-Man book does nothing to disrupt the Superior Foes of Spider-Man, my favourite Marvel comic.  I’d be very sad to see this go.

Greg Land is back on Mighty Avengers this month?  That’s very disappointing, but I’ve enjoyed Al Ewing’s writing enough that I don’t want to drop the title, especially when we are supposed to finally find out who Ronin/Spider-Hero really is.

Rogue, Scarlet Witch, and Wonder Man are all on the cover of Uncanny Avengers Annual #1.  Is that because the story takes place before the current storyline, or are we being telegraphed an ending that is going to be much cheerier than what Rick Remender usually writes?

Dynamite

Similarly to their new Turok and Magnus Robot Fighter series, I’m very tempted to pick up Dynamite’s new Solar: Man of the Atom series.  It’s being written by Frank Barbiere, whose work I’ve been enjoying lately, and drawn by Joe Bennett, a solid superhero artist I’ve always admired.

So those are my thoughts.  What are you looking forward to in April?

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