Category Archives: Comic Previews

Take this quick poll!

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Hi all!

I’m running a small experiment. Would you please take a few seconds to fill in this quick poll?

What new comics coming out this week are you most excited about? You can select up to three.

I will publish the results tomorrow. Thanks!

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It’s Wednesday! (July 31, 2013)

vertigo_collider_1_cover

 

COLLIDER #1

Written by: Simon Oliver; Art by: Robbi Rodriguez; Cover by:  Nathan Fox
Published by Vertigo

 
It started small: temporary gravity failures, time reversal loops, entropy reversals. With much fanfare a new government agency was formed with a mandate “to prevent and protect.” Its official title: The Federal Bureau of Physics. Humans, if nothing else, adapt to the changing parameters of their existence. What was extraordinary soon became ordinary, a part of people’s daily lives. They move on and do what people have always done: survive. But even that new status quo is now under threat. Things are getting worse, and it falls to Special Agent Adam Hardy and his FBP team to figure out what’s going on, before it’s too late… 
 
I consider this the first new Vertigo original series under the guidance of new executive editor Shelly Bond. The other titles – The Wake, Astro City, Tom Strong, Brother Lono, and Trillium – are either established franchises/characters or were announced when Karen Berger was still running the imprint.
 
I only know Simon Oliver from The Exterminators, which I’ve only read the first 5 or 6 issues. But it was fresh and the sort of thing I turn to Vertigo for.
 
So for these two reasons I’m giving this one a chance.
  
FIVE GHOSTS HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY #5
 image_fiveghosts_issue5Story: Frank J. Barbiere; Art: Chris Mooneyham
Published by Image Comics
 
…THE END?
 
So we already know this isn’t the end because it was announced that Five Ghosts will be returning in October as an ongoing after a two-month break. One the one hand, I’m glad for Barbiere and Mooneyham. This is one of the two pulp genre books out now that is getting it right, with the other being Francesco Francavilla’s excellent The Black Beetle, which is also coming back in October for a second 4-issue mini. On the other hand, I was counting on this mini-series coming to a close so I could try out other books once this one ended its run.
  

ADVENTURE TIME SUMMER SPECIAL 2013
AdventureTimeSummerSpecial_2013Writer(s): Becky Dreistadt, Frank Gibson, Noelle Stevenson, Ryan Pequin

Artist(s): Becky Dreistadt, Noelle Stevenson, Ryan Pequin
Published by Kaboom
 
Put on that sunscreen and grab your beach-towel, because it’s an ADVENTURE TIME summer special! Featuring all-new sun-kissed stories from acclaimed creators, starring Finn, Jake and all of your favorites and showcasing a fully-painted cover by Becky Dreistadt!

It’s the dog days of summer, and kicking back on the front porch with an extra-sized special brings back so many memories. I remember picking up a few Marvel annuals, taking them home and diving into them during the hot summer afternoons.
 
Kaboom certainly is milking the interest in the Adventure Time franchise with lots of extra issues and mini-series to accompany the regular monthly. This isn’t the first Adventure Time annual-size book in 2013. And there is still a graphic novel and an extra-sized Halloween issue to come. That said, the quality of the story and art (not to mention zaniness!) in these books is pretty good compared to what else is on the store shelves these days.
  
CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT #1
darkhorse_captainmidnight_1Writer: Joshua Williamson; Artist: Fernando Dagnino; Colorist: Ego; Cover Artist: Felipe Massafera
Published by Dark Horse Comics
 
On the run from the US government after fleeing custody, Captain Midnight has been labeled a security risk. In the forties, he was an American hero, a daredevil fighter pilot, a technological genius . . . a superhero. But since he rifled out of the Bermuda Triangle into the present day, Captain Midnight doesn’t know what or who to trust!

* Written by Joshua Williamson (Masks and MobstersVoodooUncharted) with art by Fernando Dagnino (Resurrection Man, Suicide Squad)!

 
Part of the relaunch of the Dark Horse superhero line.  This just sounded interesting, so I’m picking it up more out of curiosity than something I’d planned on picking up regularly, but I have this feeling that I’ll be looking for issue #2 in a month’s time.
  

image_sex-5_coverSEX #5
Story:
 Joe Casey; Art: Piotr Kowalski
Published by Image Comics
 
Simon Cooke’s night out has disastrous consequences! And not just socially. But, hey, at least he’s trying! Meanwhile, life in Saturn City’s criminal underworld rolls on… just not as smoothly as expected. Never forget: SEX is real! SEX is now! But, most importantly, SEX has infected your local comic book store!
 
I’m finally starting to warm up to this one.

  

And since I’ve missed a few of these, I’ll drop the occasional notable mentions from recent weeks. This time around, it’s GAMMA

 
darkhorse_gamma_OS-2013Writer: Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas; Artist: Ulises Farinas; Cover Artist: Ulises Farinas
Published by Dark Horse Comics
 

Dusty Keztchemal is a pathetic coward. He failed the entire planet, and now, the only way he can make a living is by getting punched in the face for money. But when a beautiful stranger wanders into his saloon looking for help, Dusty thinks he can conjure up the man he once was—the greatest monster trainer in the world!

* The first original story from Catalyst artist and rising star Ulises Farinas (Transformers: Heart of DarknessGlory)!

“Hilarious, awesome and hilariously awesome.”—ComicsAlliance.com

People are saying some pretty nice things about this book. I believe it reprints the 3-part story that ran in Dark Horse Presents about 6 months ago, in which case you should seek this out. Ulises’ style is great (Comics Beat described it as neo-Moebius) and the story is fun.

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It’s Wednesday! (June 26, 2013)

vertigo_theunwritten_50

Let’s take a moment to recognize the milestone reached by The Unwritten. Fifty issues is quite an achievement.

I didn’t expect this series could maintain momentum beyond the third arc. But Mike Carey and Peter Gross continue to surprise and delight. Well done, gentlemen.

In this issue:

An extra-sized issue celebrating fifty issues of THE UNWRITTEN and the start of “THE UNWRITTEN FABLES,” a 5-issue storyline that drags Tom Taylor into the heart of a world he never made from the pages of Vertigo’s hit series FABLES. The mundane realm of humanity and the fairy-tale homelands have fallen to a terrible foe. In desperation, the witches of Fabletown gather to summon the greatest mage the worlds have ever seen. And are they in for an unpleasant surprise…

Written by: Mike Carey; Art by:  Peter GrossMark Buckingham; Cover by: Yuko Shimizu

As for the rest of the week, it is insane. I don’t remember the last time I took home so many books in one week. I’m not sure if it’s worth going through the entire list.

image_prophet36I’m eager to crack open Prophet #36. The main story is unfolding at its own pace, which I’m completely cool with. It’s just an interesting book to lose oneself, much like Brandon Graham’s previous work King City. But I’ve also recently turned on to Malachi Ward and Matt Sheen who are doing the backup story.

The second issue of Jupiter’s Legacy (Mark Millar, Frank Quitely) finally arrives. Is anyone really surprised this book might not come out on schedule? Also, issue #2 of Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy’s The Wake. I still haven’t got around to reading #1. (It’s high in the pile.) And Sex #4, which I’m more interested in Joe Casey’s “Sex Talk” at the back of the book than his comic main story, but I’m still giving it a try. The Bounce #2 is also is the bag.

Young_Avengers_Vol_2_6_TextlessAt the other end of the spectrum, we have Young Avengers #6. Like Hawkeye, it took me a while to give in to this book (mostly because it’s Marvel), but I am enjoying myself. There are a few books in the catalogue where Marvel doesn’t take itself too seriously, and those tend to be my favourite reads. Speaking of Hawkeye, issue #11 is out this week as well and promises a Pizza Dog solo story. (Damn, I feel 12 all over again. I love this series.) And FF #8, which I think Fraction is writing better than the main Fantastic Four book.

And I haven’t even mentioned Valiant (X-O Manowar #14 with the cool 8-bit cover by Matthew Waite) or Dark Horse (MIND MGMT #12) yet.

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It’s Wednesday! (June 12, 2013)

image-peterpanzerfaust11

PETER PANZERFAUST #11
Story by: Kurtis J Wiebe; Art By: Tyler Jenkins

“CRY OF THE WOLF”
Having faced the wrath of The Hook, Peter and the Lost Boys join forces with the Braves in guerilla warfare from their secret hideout in the Sticks. This time, Felix is the man with the memories, and as Mr. Parsons soon learns, he’s not eager to revisit that life.

A NEW STORY ARC BEGINS HERE! PERFECT JUMP ON POINT!

This books grows stronger with each issue.

It wasn’t clear whether the series would run out of steam after the first arc, but it’s developing into a really nice story driven equal parts by character and plot. The art is great: distinct and fits the narrative so well.

Unfortunately I’m on the road and can’t dig into my back issues to provide a more insightful critique of specific points in the series. Needless to say, highly recommended.

THE BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT #4 (of 4)
darkhorse-blackbeetle4Writer, Artist and Cover: Francesco Francavilla

The epic conclusion to Black Beetle’s first series! Colt City’s caped crusader goes head to head with the mysterious villain Labyrinto! Can Black Beetle make it out of this maze of matched wits and matched blows alive?!

I’m constantly finding evidence that supports Carl Jung’s concept of collective unconsciousness. The current trend in pulp comics is one. To varying degrees of success, the books range in type from bringing pulp characters into the 21st century to doing pulp with a modern twist to planting both feet firmly in the genre and creating a classic pulp story. Francavilla’s series plays in the third space and does it marvelously.

It’s receiving lots of love from across the geek blogs. Here is a roundup of glowing reviews for issue #3.

THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #12
image-manhattanprojects12Story by: Jonathan Hickman; Art By: Nick Pitarra

“THE FERMI PARADOX”
Learn the secret history of Enrico Fermi and, more importantly, “if someone is out there” why we haven’t “found them yet.”

The thrilling FEEL GOOD, BAD SCIENCE series continues in THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #12: THE FERMI PARADOX!

This series is just really good fun and has so many elements I like in a comic. It’s a zany, alternate-history sci-fi adventure story that is so over the top I would imagine readers either love it or hate it.

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It’s Wednesday! (June 5, 2013)

image-tengrand-2

TEN GRAND #2
 Story by: J. Michael Straczynski; Art By: Ben Templesmith
“ANGELS NEVER LIE”
FDA (Federal Demon Association) Advisory. Contents contain: one cult church where incantations are encoded into the playlist; one flesh-dwelling, food-obsessed demon; one seer capable of perceiving the spirit world but blinded to this one; one missing woman; one murder; one angel with an agenda of his own; and one rendezvous between supernatural investigator Joe Fitzgerald and the woman he loves, now deceased, in what may or may not be heaven. Warning: do not operate heavy equipment while reading.

All the basic building blocks are here for a solid supernatural thriller. I have faith the creative duo of Straczynski & Templesmith can pull off something special. So far, so good.

DAREDEVIL END OF DAYS #8 (OF 8)
Daredevil_EndofDays8-maleev-withcovercopyWriter: Brian Michael Bendis and David Mack; Artist: Klaus Janson; Finished Art: Bill Sienkiewcz
The stunning conclusion to Daredevil’s final story! The mystery of Daredevil’s final words are revealed – and Ben Urich’s life will never be the same! Some of the Man Without Fear’s greatest artists bring you the conclusion of his life story!

Some people like this series. Others, longtime Daredevil readers, do not like it at all. I put myself firmly in the camp of the former. The Bendis run on the Man Without Fear is probably my favourite. Too many “gritty,” “realistic” comics come off like a cliche. And we seem overrun at the moment by a overabundance of stories filled with worlds where superheros are new and regular people are suddenly thrust into that world. (There is a larger theme here to explore another day.)

But Bendis’s take on DD and the End of Days mini-series captures the essence of the character for me. I do see him as operating on the edge, fueled by a drive for justice so deep that he is a vigilante in the truest sense of the word.

And if you haven’t already, check out our #CoverVsCover poll – this week a holy trinity of Daredevil artists.

MISTER X EVICTION #2 (OF 3)
darkhorse-misterx-2Writer, Penciller and Cover by Dean Motter; Inker and Colorist: Hamid Bahrami

Visionary artist and designer Dean Motter reintroduces his classic character! When Radiant City’s government falls to a coup, Mister X’s possession of secret city plans makes him and his friends a target of the city’s new masters!

Backup story featuring Rosetta Stone!

AVENGERS #13
Written by: Jonathan Hickman; Art by: Mike Deodato; Cover by: Leinil Yu

Avengers-13-cover“EVOLUTIONARY LEAP”
• The High Evolutionary stakes his claim on the Children of the Sun.
• Hyperion learns the true cost of the decisions he’s made at the Origin Site in the Savage Land.
• The Return of techno-titan Terminus.

Part of the purpose of this blog is to highlight books I like, steer those who share my taste and sensibility in comics toward material they would enjoy. I don’t want to spend my time and waste your time dumping on books. But having enjoyed so much of Hickman’s body of work these past few years, I feel compelled to share my disappointment with his run on Avengers/New Avengers

I know a lot of people are loving this book. They don’t mind the slow burn to the big payoff (the upcoming “Infinity” story later this summer). But the previous issue basically had no plot and there was also no character development to help drive the story in the absence of, well, a story. I read a review on The Pure Mood (I think) that delved into how each Avengers character represented a different stage of human emotional development in issue #12, which I completely agree with. But none of that helped me enjoy the story any more. In fact, if that was the intended “big concept” Hickman was aiming to deliver then, while the book delivered on that intent, it was really thin.

I hope I’m wrong. I hope I’ve missed a big part of the story that, in a few issues time, I’m going to kick myself. And maybe that’s what Infinity is going to deliver. But I just think more than a year is a really long time to wait for this story that could have been told in half the number of issues.

So, why do I keep coming back? Starbrand and Nightmask. Omega Flight. High Evolutionary. Terminus. I mean, c’mon, Terminus!

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