Monday, May 16, 2005

Previews-o-Rama part 1: The Front

It's time to go through the latest Previews to discover the good, the bad, and the strange:


Dark Horse

To lead up to this fall's Serenity movie, Firefly creator Joss Whedon and writer Brett Matthews bring us a three-issue Serenity mini that will tell a tale set between the end of the series and the start of the movie. Oh I'm sure it'll be collected into a rapid trade, but I'm a big enough Firefly geek that I'll pick it up in comics form, which is rare for me with Dark Horse these days. Alas they'll be doing a multiple covers thing with each issue, but I'll just ignore that and go with the Jayne cover by Bryan Hitch, 'cause he's one of my favorite characters.

Michael Chabon takes over the entire issue of Michael Chabon Presents the Amazing Adventures of the Escapist #7, with a full-length sotry drawn by veteran artist Eduardo Barreto.

Shadow Rock looks like it could be interesting, but 80 pages for $10 is going to look migthy thin on the bookstore shelves next to the 200 page manga volumes.

Apparently Emily the Strange has been a pop culture phenomenon for 10 years, yet I've never even heard of her before. But if you have, you might be interested in her overpriced debut comic.

Manga offerings from Dark Horse include a seventh volume of Samurai Executioner and Japan, a single volume offering from Buronson & Kentaro Miura (set in Spain, of course!)


DC Comics

You know, All Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder will probably be available for eventual purpose in multiple formats: first as comics, then as 2 hardcover collections, the as two softcover collections, then as a single expensive Absolute edition. Yet I'm sure that the first issue of the comic will be a huge seller. I'll predict it now: between 300,000 and 350,000 in the direct market. (That will include reorders and second, third, etc. printings). Nowhere near early nineties numbers, but still big. Of course, that will probably mean that retailers will adjust their numbers downward on other books, meaning the middle will get squeezed out even further.

You might be tempted to go for the Nightwing: Year One trade collection; but instead I'd recommend the Batgirl: Year One collection (being reoffered this month), as it not only has a better story, but also really nifty art from Marcos Martin & Alvaro Lopez (who are being completely wasted on Breach these days).

All of the Superman titles apparently cross over with each other and Wonder Woman this month. They should either let each title exist on its own or go back to the old 'triangle' days. Interrupting storylines every few issues for a crossover is the worst of both worlds.

There is really no reason to buy the Superman: For Tomorow hardcovers. Dodgy story aside, if you didn't buy the individual issues when they came out, you should either wait for the softcovers, or else wait for the single Absolute edition which will surely be out by the end of the year.

Who the heck asked for JLA/Cyberforce? was there really a fan outcry for this crossover? Or did Joe Kelly have such a great story that could only be told by uniting two teams from different companies? (One of which can't even support its own title!) I'd bet 'no' on both. Much more likely that a DC editor and a Top Cow editor got drunk in a bar at a convention last year and thought that this would be a good idea. you know, if we brought back prohibition, maybe there'd be a lot fewer useless crappy comics...

Warren Ellis and Butch Guide come aboard for a six-part JLA Classified arc. So far they're bringing out the big guns for this title, but how long until we're seeing the likes of Chuck Austen or Anderson Gabrych churning out stories and sales sinking down past the 20K range?

JSA Classified (gee, where'd they get the idea for that title?) kicks off with a story about Power Girl's breasts.

Gee, I'm being awfully pissy this month...

Okay, here's something nice to say: Against all odds, Kelley Puckett & Warren Pleece's Focus series, Kinetic, is being collected into an inexpensive trade (just $10 for all eight issues). The solictation doesn't say, but I'm guessing that this will be in the same smaller format as the Bite Club collection.

Plastic Man #17. More Kyle Baker. Every issue is a victory.

Seven Soldiers continues with the third issues of Guardian and Zatanna. Ryan Sook's art is so good that I don't even mind that the Zatanna cover is total cheesecake.

So if they're changing the DC logo, will they be changing that ugly huge Johnny DC logo too?

Wildstorm debut Silent Dragon by Andy Diggle & Leinil Francis Yu; I'll wait for the trade, if I get it at all.

I'm totally geeked about Jill Thompson's The Dead Boy Detectives pseudo manga.

Promethea's fifth and final volume comes out in hardcover, though I'm sure there will be a softcover in a couple of months.

100 Bullets and Y, the Last Man both get new trade collections.


Image

Bonerest by Matteo Casali & Guiseppe Camuncoli looks like it could be good, but base doneh preview it also looks like it'll be the kind of decompressed story that'll read better in a collection. I think I'll wait.

Just a few weeks ago I was going through some of my old comics and came across the second version of Jaw Lee's Hellshock; I wondered to myself if he'd ever get around to finishing it. Well he is, combining a new conclusion with the first three issues in a trade collection.

There's really nothing I can say about Guncandy that you can't determine for yourself by looking at the cover image of an upskirt shot of a thin blond girl with a big gun in one hand and sucking on a big peppermint stick with the other.

Todd Nauck has two issues of a new two-issue Wildguard series, Fool's Gold. Would it not have made more sense to siply release this as one double-sized one-shot?

Sea of Red gets a trade collection at a rather inexpensive $9.


Marvel

Hey look, lots and lots of "House of M" tie-ins, come to interrupt some of your favorite comics with yet another alternate timeline story. Aren't you excited?!

Marvel are promoting their Ultimate line with "Ultimate Starts" month, with 4 of the 5 titles starting new storyline. I bet however that more than one person will take this as "Ultimate Switch Over to Waiting for the Trades" month.

Dave Lapham doing a Daredevil vs. Punisher mini? I'm oddly intrigued...

I am, however, greatly anticipating Giffen, DeMatteis & Maguire on the Defenders mini. Face it, the Defenders are a team that just cries out to be taken only half seriously.


Not only is Peter David doing a "House of M" tie-in in the regular Hulk title, but he's also writing Hulk: Destruction, a mini that will attempt to tie together the origin(s) of the Abomination. Guess PAD is out of the ol' doghouse at the House of Ideas.

It looks as though instead of going straight to trade, Marvel is going straight to hardcover on their most popular titles instead, as evidenced this month by hardcover collections of Captain America & New Avengers. Still, they're only slightly more expensive than buying the individual issues, and there are no ads. (Just artwork and dialogue lost in the gutters...)

Machine Teen. Spellbinders. Livewires. GLA. Runaways. Gravity. All the kind of slightly-different titles that people say they want to see more of from Marvel, yet also don't seem to sell.

Does anyone else find it amusing that The Pulse "Secret War" tie-in is getting collected before the final issue of the regular Secret War series comes out? No? It's just me?

Here's my public service solicitation comment for hte month: If you were waiting for hte trade on the Doctor Spectrum series, you can safely just skip it entirely. Nothing important happened, and it was massively decompressed.

Actually, if you're looking to get a Marvel trade this month, go for the new printing of James Sturm & Guy Davis's Unstable Molecules.


Wizard

A Michael Turner Millennium Edition Limited Deluxe Hardcover? As if I wasn't depressed enough...

1 comment:

Greg said...

I agree. Marcos Martin's work on Batgirl Year One was awesome. I wish they'd put him on Robin and bring back the short shorts and the pixie boots look.