Previews


So many great, great things in this Previews, both comics and merchandise, leading up to the end of year shopping blitz.   There are some great work coming out from all the main publishers, both big and small.  If you haven’t already, check out the new Valiant titles.  Almost all the classic characters from the 90’s version of Valiant are back up and running.  Eternal Warrior has just launched, and Unity – massive breakout hit for the 90’s Valiant is about to get an on-going series!

Of course Harley Quinn (this month’s cover gal) gets another shot at on-going series at DC which, given her popularity, will stick around for a while with a great creative team assigned.  But as always there are a few other treasures buried in the pages among so many other very desirable ‘things’.

 

Orders close for the September Previews on Tuesday 24 September, so what’ya waiting for?  Get those orders on in to me and wait for the awesome to arrive.

 

Sledgehammer 44: Lightning War – Mike Mignola’s version of an Iron Man like character during World War II was very well received first time out.  So he’s back again in the 3 part mini-series that sees him tracking down a stolen Flying Wing (where’s Indy?!) and facing a foe we haven’t seen yet called Black Flame.

 

 

 

 

Ash and the Army of Darkness – No introduction necessary, it’s Ash!  Famed horror writer Steve Niles (30 Days of Night) take the reins of this new on-going series for which Niles has said will be loaded with so much action and horror weirdness that is only fitting for this fan favourite franchise.

 

 

 

 

Battlestar Galactica Starbuck #1 (of 4) – Finally, we’re going to get the origin story told of Starbuck, including his first meeting of Apollo and more on the relationship he has with Adama with a traitor’s tale thrown into the mix.  Sound’s intriguing.  See if you can look at the alien on this cover with the two mouths without your eyes tripping out.

 

 

 

 

Star Wars Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual (Haynes) – Following on from the popular pop-culture sub-line Hayne’s do (USS Enterprise, Millennium Falcon, Thunderbirds) we now get the Hayne’s manual treatment on the mother of all battle Stations, the Moon, i mean the Death Star (Mk 1).  I wonder if it had a Thrones Room we never saw?…

 

 

 

 

Tintin: The art of Herge HC – There have been a few very good books on Herge and his Tintin work over the years (I have a treasured copy of Tintin and the World of Herge).  However, this new book will add some freshness to the story we know of Herge and his Tintin work as the author has been given access to teh Herge Museum in Belgium which has original source material that previous works would not have enjoyed.  If you love Tintin, you’ll love this.

 

 

Guillermo Del Toro: Cabinet of Curiosities – For the fan of Del Toro, or those who just love a great looking book and anything slightly ‘weird’ this will be a must have.  There is, by the way, a US$750 limited edition of this book with all sorts of bells and whistles, but there is a much more reasonably priced regular edition which will still have a majority of what you want to see, the inner working of Del Toro’s warped mind 🙂

 

 

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So the July Previews is here, signalling we’re half way through the year.  What that also means is we’re into the US Summer season, and as always the gloves come off and the big releases will be coming thick and fast.  As always, we’ve been having a look at what gems lie within the pages of this month’s Previews, some obvious and some no so.  Don’t forget to check our facebook page to as that is a quick and effective way for us to update you of highlights as we come across them.

Full listings for the main publishers’ September releases can be found at CBR – DC Entertainment, Marvel, Image, IDW, Dark Horse

So without further ado, let’s on with it!

 

Dark Horse – The Star Wars (8 part mini-series – see Previews front cover for image!)  This is based on the original draft Lucas did which changed significantly in detail in terms of what ended up on the silver screen.  But the basic framework of the saga we now know so well is there.  This could be a lot of fun to see a tale that feels familiar but will have enough difference to be entertaining.  The draft has long been available for reading, but seeing it brought to live in the magic of four colour will be hard to pass up.

 

Archie – Afterlife with Archie – Archie meets Walking Dead?  Well, they met Kiss a couple of  years back, so perhaps they were comfortable with the living dead (joke! Kiss are great – and well alive J).  If you want to see what happens when Sabrina really screws up and Riverdale is plunged into a zombie apocalypse, then this is where you want to be.  Also, if you want to see good ol’ Archie and the crew really done over, then this will suit nicely too….

 

 

 

Dark Horse – Robocop Last Stand – As far as I can tell, this is nothing to do with the reboot, this is Frank Miller’s story of ol’ tin head’s final story.  Miller is writing this so I think it should be a solid yarn in respect to this franchise.

 

 

 

Dynamite – Kings Watch – Now here’s a ensemble team I didn’t expect but I’m not surprised as ‘team’ and/or ‘mash up’ stories have been popular now for some years and these characters are certainly not unfamiliar with each other so it makes sense.  The Phantom, Flash Gordon, Mandrake the Magician, all big names of their era and still have a large fan base to this day.   The tale as you’d expect is one of earth engulfing scale.  Monsters, real monsters are walking the earth on every continent and only this band of brothers can provide any hope.  I seriously suggest this could be one of the releases of the year.  Classic characters, classic Saturday matinée story but with a classy modern level of writing talent.

 

 

Hermes Press – Howard Chaykin. Honestly that’s it.  We all (I’m fairly sure) know who Commander Buck Rogers is, where he came from and his plight.  So why would you be interested in this beyond it being Buck?  Because Howard Chaykin is writing and doing the art.  If you’re not a Chaykin fan, then nothing to see here, move along.

 

 

IDW – Mars Attacks Judge Dredd – A couple of reasons to point out this crazy 4 part mini-series.  Firstly it’s Judged Dredd.  The story deals with the Mega-City Mafia and a boss that makes a power play thanks to an ‘unknown’ benefactor (who very likely is green and Martian like!)  Secondly, John McCrea is doing the art, his zany style will suit this well and he knows the Judge well so should be a treat.

 

 

 

DC – Forever Evil – Yep, this is the biggie, it hits all 52 related titles.  Geoff Johns  is the mad puppeteer behind this.  The Justice League is dead, and Villains rule the world.  Every title will have a Villain at the centre of September’s issues to support the Forever Evil series (it’s a  7 part series).  Some titles such as Batman, will have more than one issues that month given the size of Batman’s rouge gallery.  There’s so much to discuss, the easiest way is to follow the link to the full DC solicitation and check it all out!

 

 

Also worth checking out from DARK HORSE is Boozin’ and Brusin’ – the world’s first(?) superhero to derive his powers from alcohol, but he wants to go sober!  Also Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein – a four part mini-series where Frankenstein’s monster is going blind and seeks out the world’s foremost authority on the supernatural to help him regain its sight.  This is written by 30 days of Night creator, Steve Niles.

Orders close for the July Previews on Tuesday 23 July

STK612144 Image Well here we are.  Sorry for the lack of updates on here over the last month.  Rest assured, email updates of releases for June have been going out to those of you on my mailing list.   Unfortunately WordPress updates were proving too problematic and time consuming.  But all seems well again so into it.  There is a real sense of some great story lines and planned releases as the good ol’ U.S. of A. rocks towards their Summer –  a traditional period where all publishers are operating in high gear.

Are any of you watching the second season of Comic Book Men?  Apart from having plenty of light comedic banter of a truly geeky nature, many interesting comic story lines and history is referenced which I can’t help feel enthused by which each episode I watch.

Make sure you’re on my mail out list too if you want an electronic copy of the previews.  Ok, on with the remaining highlights for releases in June….

 

BREATH OF BONES: A TALE OF THE GOLEM #1 (DARK HORSE) – From the creator of 30 Days of Night, Steve Niles tells the tale of a Golem rampage killing Nazi soldiers to protect a Jewish settlement.  Now, I was until recently ignorant to the origins of the Golem legend.  I thought it was a generic monster of legend.  But watching a recent episode of Supernatural, this dealt with a Golem and it’s origin.  Fascinating stuff, this should be a good yarn.

 

DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS #1 (OF 8) (MARVEL) – For those who enjoy some of modern masters, this series is drawn and written by Lee Weeks who has done some great Daredevil work in the past.

 

 

 

LAZARUS #1 (IMAGE) – From Greg Ruka who excels at dark gritty but engaging stories.  This is a near (buzz word alert) dystopian future.  The few rule the many.   Lazarus is a female protector of one of the families.  She dies and then the story begins which sounds like a decent opening to me.

 

 

I’ve already covered DC and IDW in my recent mail outs, so make sure you’re on my email list so you don’t miss anything.  I”ll get those posted up on here over the weekend all going well.

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So here’s the official look at the March Previews for all the releases coming out this May.  You’ll see in the below post, I’ve already highlighted a lot of the picks worth considering.  However, there are still a few more worth pointing out.  As always, a lot of nice treasures, particularly from the smaller publishers are buried in the midst of the Previews’ pages so it’s really worth taking some time to enjoy going through and see what catches your eye.

 

 

 GALATICA (Dynamite) Though this franchise isn’t new to Dynamite, this is their first comic series based on the original series.  So if you want some action with all the old crew of Apollo, Starbuck, Muffit the Daggit etc, then this is where to get  it.

 

 

 

 

FROM HELL COMPANION SC – This will be a very welcome addition to sit by anyone’s copy of Alan Moore’s ‘From Hell’.  This is a true companion with annotations, original sketches, notes, and a very sincere and candid look at everything that went into the making of this classic.  It has been put together by From Hell artist Eddie Campbell so this will be no cheap cash-in.  Given it is being produced by Moore’s preferred publisher now for all his League titles, and with Campbell’s involvement, I believe there’ll be no contention over this release and it’ll be worth every cent. (Pre-order price $44.95)

WARS IN TOYLAND HC – A striking looking graphic novel from Oni Press.  The premise has shades of Oz or Wonderland (and even Grant Morrison’s Joe the Barabarian).  Matthew finds his brother Alex has been taken to Toyland by the ‘evil’ teddy Roxbury.  Toyland though (as magical realms are apt to do) has fallen from grace as a wonderland of fun and innocence.  Matthew is taken to Toyland but a rescue of Alex is not what where the story may take us.  This is rated as an all-ages story but like all good fairy stories, it sounds as though it will have enough suitable darkness to its crafting to make for a good yarn.  The art looks fantastical and appealing.  I’d recommend this for that something different to have in your library. (pre-order price $34.95)

NEW GENESIS  – If you are, or know of, a Clive Barker fan then this should appeal.  Barker has created and written this mini-series (12 issues) and has enlisted Mark L Miller to assist with some writing.  Miller is possibly best known for his work on Zenoscope’s Jungle Book series.  The set-up is that a man who has achieve much, leaves his life behind to ‘find himself’ on a bit of a walkabout.  Of course, he stumbles upon God on his travels.  But this man who professes to be the big cheese isn’t what the devout may have expected, nor wanted.

 

 

Also don’t forget J Michael Straczynski’s new title Ten Grand from Image comics!

 

Orders for the March Previews close on Tuesday March 26 so get your emails in to me by then.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some potential gems in May’s lot.  Particularly from Image and IDW who continue to hold their own and attract top talent and let them loose with original material which can only be a good thing.  Not to say the big two are dragging the chain, they’re doing what they do well (which will always divide fan opinion) and are also doing some novel things amongst the capes too, see Harlan Ellison’s new graphic novel as an example.  The March Previews email for May releases will be coming to your in box very soon.  For the full release schedule for May for each publisher, click on the respective  company as follows: Dark Horse, IDW, Image, DC and Marvel.

 

THE GREEN TEAM and THE MOVEMENT (DC) – These two titles I can’t really tell you more about other than what’s in the solicitation blurb.  What is interesting, is these look to introduce new characters and story telling via these two ‘opposed’ (particularly if you look at the cover design) titles.

 

 

HARLAN ELLISON’S® 7 AGAINST CHAOS HC (DC) – Gems like this (well it’s a potential gem) are what makes the comics medium so relevant.  This has the trappings of a mad storyline, possibly borrowing from many story archetypes, the most likely being Seven Samurai (but don’t let that fool you into thinking you know where this is going).  The earth is going to hell in the proverbial hand-basket and these seven alien characters must figure out why time is unravelling those long departed are walking the earth and many other disconcerting anomalies – such as bursting in flames… unannounced!  The clincher on why you should shell out for his beautiful hard cover graphic novel?  Harlan Ellison’s writing and Paul Chadwick’s (Concrete) art.

 

THE WAKE #1 (DC) This is a good sounding yarn in a 10 part mini-series.  Written by hot writer of the moment Scott Snyder, this is a horror/sci-fi outing dealing with a threat under the Arctic circle that links to our origin and a very unpleasant, distant future.

 

 

KICK-ASS 3 #1 (of 8) (MARVEL) – The crazy train rolls on as part three of this booty kickin’ comes to light.  And this is to be the end of the line according to writer Mark Miller.  So if you enjoyed the madness so far, strap in for this finale which should be a cracker.

 

 

TEN GRAND #1 (IMAGE) – Ok, sit up as you may not want to miss this B5 fans.  This is a new original story from J. Michael Straczynski, who’s previous original comic works (Rising Stars, Midnight Nation) were pretty good efforts.  This sounds as though it’ll have a different flavour than those previous stories, this one blending the criminal dark side with demons and magic.

 

DOOMSDAY.1 #1 (of 4) Given how ill he was recently, fans should count themselves luck to hopefully look forward even more work after this new release from John Byrne although that may be awhile away.  In the meantime, he’s drafted up this little tale based around the supposed escape mankind had from the Mayan prophecy of 2012.   However, that would have been the easy way out according to Byrne when the earth is targeted by a giant solar flare.  Yikes.

 

HALF PAST DANGER #1 (of 6) – If you like a great pulp story, then check this mini-series out which mixes the adrenalin of the early 1940’s war time error with some  Jurassic genre stomping goodness.  This has beautiful looking art with a setting in the pacific where the monsters of long ago may not be so long gone as thought.

 

 

X #1 (of 4) – X is back and his original creators are re-launching his story.  Back in the early 90’s this character made a large impact for Dark Horse around the same time Image was launching and dark ‘good’ guys were the flavour of the time.  Well, a good idea will always come back to the surface and X had depth so if you like a bit of darkness to those trying to fight that very thing, then X is worth a look.

Hi all, well since I didn’t get any posts up over the Xmas/New Year period, I decided to save it all up for one big January Previews post instead.  And it’s a big un’.  There’s a lot of good, interesting stuff coming out in March.  March is also the month of Free Comic Book Day!  I give you a heads up on  few of my picks but for all the details, simply head over to www.freecomicbookday.com   I’ll talk  bit more about the details of ordering these books towards the end of this post.

 

 

On with the highlights!

DARK HORSE

SLEDGEHAMMER 44 #1 – Dark Horse aren’t making many bones about this, this is Mike Mignola’s version of Iron Man.  Set in WWII, August of ’44 the US drop in Sledgehammer in to an occupied France to take on the German forces might.  Under any circumstances this would be a good yarn, but with Mignola’s talents mixed in with Captain America artist Jason Latour and scripter John Arudi, this should be unadulterated fun.  It’s only a two issue series so nice addition to your orders without committing to a long haul.

 

STAR WARS OMNIBUS: WILD SPACE #1 – I highlighted this on the Dunedin Comics facebook page.  This omnibus collects a some of the more bizarre and ‘rare’ stories such as those that sere serialised in cereal boxes, action figure releases etc.  It also collects an Alan Moore  story that was released in Marvel UK publication.   As the sub title of this release states, this is Star Wars on a bit of trip so will make a nice addition to the shelf.  If you like the sound of this, I’d also recommend the Star Wars Infinities series Dark Horse did in the early 2000s where they took the original triology stories as we knew them and played ‘what if’ with them.  They too were pretty trippy.

 

DC COMICS

CONSTANTINE #1 – So John Constantine makes the leap from DC’s Vertigo to the New 52 universe.  There’s a lot of debate that this will ‘water down’ the story telling DC does with Constantine and to some extent there will no doubt be a change from the tone of Vertigo stories and what they do under that banner.  However, what I hope is that Constantine instead lives up to the power of his character and manipulates the DC New 52 universe for the better, adding a bit of dark edge and uncertainty to it.  He has already had a presence being park of Justice League Dark so let’s give them a chance when John steps out on his own.

 

TIME WARP #1 (ONE SHOT) – DC has released an number of anthology releases in recent years.  Following on from Vertigo’s last effort, comes this 80 page Time Warp issue (which is ‘relaunch’ of a title that had a 5 issue run in the 1970s) , with all stories dedicated to the sci-fi genre.  With such a mix, who knows if the seeds of the next block buster or Nova award winner will lie within.   The talented contributors include Damon Lindelof, Jeff Lemire, Mark Buckingham, Dan Abnett, Peter Milligan, Ray Fawkes, Simon Spurrier, Gail Simone, Rafael Albuquerque and Tom Fowler.

IDW

JUDGE DREDD YEAR ONE – Not too many stories have focused on Dredd’s early years, so here is a Year One story to add to Dredd’s canon.  It is written by Matt Smith (no not that one) who is the editor of 2000 AD so he should know a thing or two about good sci-fi stories, and particularly Judge Dredd.

 

 

IMAGE COMICS

EAST OF WEST #1 – This looks really interesting who like a bit of genre mixing.  A sci-fi western theme set in a dystopian America.  The visuals look really tidy and the concepts should be supported well with the story being crafted by Johnathan Hickman (Fantastic Four etc.)  The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are also woven in the story just to keep things interesting, mind you they sound a bit off the dial (to the moderate disposition they’re usually credited with of course)

 

 

SEX #1 – Yes, all the obvious puns here, Image comics is trying to sell you sex! Etc etc.  What’s worth a second look here?  Joe Casey who has written many worthwhile efforts for both Image and independently is the main reason.  While Joe is less perhaps less prolific in comics today than say in the 1990s (he writes a lot for TV now days) he basically works on titles that he is buzzed about which is probably what you want from a writer.  The story is what happens to super heroes (and villains) when they ‘stop’ being super?  What is a normal life for an ex-cape?  There’s a good review here over at Robot 6 with Casey.

 

 

STEAM WARS – As part of Steam Punk Month at Antarctic Press this one-shot should present a familiar story in a steamy, punkish sort of style!  Check out the ‘R2’ droid, looks great

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY

Ok, so as with last year, I want to give you free comics as part of this promotion.  Those retailers wear a nominal charge for the comics, we do so in the spirit of what FCB day is about.   Some of you may like many of the free comics on offer (which is understandable).  The only requirement is that if you do want quite a few, I need to cover the costs of postage on these.  Though they’re ‘free’, getting them here is still as costly as it is for a ‘normal’ comic.  So if you want say a couple, no problem.  If you’d like anymore beyond that, just let me know and we’ll work something out.  Needless to say I’m only talking a small amount to cover the postage cost, nothing else as I’m a big fan of being able to provide ‘free’ comics when they’re on offer.

 

My picks I think you should check out based on this year’s selection (and the quality of previous year’s releases) are:

Steampunk Originals Present: The Steam Engines of Oz – This will tie into the upcoming Oz re-imagining Steam Punk Style later in the year.

Mouse Guard/Rust Flip Book – This was a big sleeper last year.  Not sure if it is a hardcover like last year’s release, but if like last year, this’ll be one of the fastest FCB to go on the day.  Contains all-ages friendly content – Mouse Guard, Labyrinth etc.

Harbinger Wars and Valiant Masters – Both these titles are from the sleeping giant Valiant, who ‘awoke’ last year and are putting out great titles again.  2013 should be a big year for Valiant.

DC Superman Special Edition – Normally DC’s free comic ties into an upcoming event stoyline, but you’d have to think this has something to do with the Man of Steel movie

Walking Dead – A free walking dead comic?  I’m in.

Marvel’s – Marvel is keeping the title of their free comic under wraps for now.  Something to do with Guardians of the Galaxy perhaps???

Don’t forget to check out the link at www.freecomicbookday.com for all the details.  Also, the titles are also listed on the preview spreadsheet (attached) under the ‘everything else’ tab.

STK523039 ImageAnd so it passes that here we are at the end of another year, always marked by the release of a December Previews, which isn’t so bad a way to farewell the year that has been.   I’ve seen a number of December Previews over the years (going back to 1992!)  and what it reminds me is that I’m glad we get a Previews every month of the year, a small tease of things to come that give us something to look forward to.  The trick is also to make some time to enjoy the things we’ve been anticipating once they arrive (or living in the moment as they saying goes).

Enough of the waxing lyrical for the moment, on with the Previews preview!  We all know that the winter is a quieter time for the US comic industry, so no big events are kicking off just yet come February, but there are hints of things to come!   A big independent release is a League of Extraordinary Gentlemen one-shot graphic novel, Nemo: Heart of Ice.  Looks really nice as you’d expect with artist Kevin O’Neill teaming back up with Alan Moore.

We’ve already had a look at DC’s, Marvel’s and Dark Horses’ releases for February, so now to IDW.  I didn’t see much new stuff from Image this round I felt worth highlighting for you, so we’ll come back to them with January’s Previews.

You can check out the full listings for the February releases from Image here and IDW here.

Highlights recap:

Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova – Marvel

 Justice League of America – DC

Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror #1 – Another 4 part outing for man with the rocket pack upon his back, the Indiana Jones of the skies, the Rocketeer!    This time out it will again me more pulp-style thrills, written by Roger Langridge who has worked on the recent Popeye from IDW and also Thor.  J Bone is the artist who did the fine work on Batman/The Spirit.   Set in the golden age of Hollywood, if you love your pulp, then these recent efforts from IDW have not be disappointing.  Nice, short story lines that are simply fun and make for good summer reading.

Kill Shakespeare: The Tide of Blood #1 (of 5) – I’ll confess to having not noticed the first mini-series of this title.  But check this out, with Lady Macbeth and Richard II defeated, Hamlet now faces the threat of Prospero who only wants to wipe out all of creation.  The type of stories utilising established, classical literary characters have really come into their own.  So many mash-ups and alternate version stories have been crafted.  I guess the genesis for this revival of genre of story telling is Mr Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Ok, that’s if for this round of the previews Previews, we’ll do it all again in the New Year!

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