It's time to go through the latest Previews to discover the good, the bad, and the strange.
Randy Queen jumps on the bandwagon and transforms his formerly T&A Darkchylde into a manga-esque all-ages Manga Darkchylde.
The wait for the trade is over, as there's finally a trade collection of Busiek & Nord's Conan.
Peter David & Pop Mhan's SpyBoy: Final Exam gets collected.
Mike Richardson & Rick Geary tell the story of early 20th century con-man Arthur Craven in Craven. Pretty much anything that Geary does is worth a look, though you may want to wait for the trade, as this is a 72-page hardcover.
The CrossGen rebirth continues with Ron Marz & Jeff Johnson's Dragon Prince #1.
There are two more revised Sin City collections: The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard.
The latest Cal McDonald collection, Last Train to Deadsville, has art by Kelley Jones.
A new manga series: Katsuya Terada's The Monkey King. Monkeys!
The big debut is Grant Morrison's Seven Soldiers #0, with art by J. H. Williams. This is the project I'm most geeked about for 2005. Morrison also has the first issue of Vimanarama! with Philip Bond. Morrison has been on a roll lately, so I hope it continues with these two projects.
Ed Brubaker & Doug Mahnke give us a "Joker: Year One"-style one-shot with Batman: The Man Who Laughs, a re-telling of the first encounter between The Joker and his arch-nemesis.
Action Comics #824 is not written by Chuck Austen, but threatens to continue the same stupid stories of Preus & Doomsday.
The "Supergirl" story from Superman/Batman gets a hardcover collection.
Giffen, DeMatteis, Maguire & Rubinstein take over JLA Classified as their "I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League" takes over the title with issue #4.
Carlos D'Anda continues doing 'guest' art on Outsiders. I think that he's done more issues lately than supposed 'regular' artist Tom Raney. Unfortunately, D'Anda's style is completely unsuited for this title.
Paul Pope is the man for Solo #3.
There are two new manga series from CMX: Gals!, apparently a young-girl's shojo (with those typical super-huge eyes), and Tenjho Tenge, a high school combat series. And here I thought that we'd get soemthing more original from CMX than the same-old same-old...
The early Alan Moore series Skizz gets a collection.
Devlin Waugh: Red Tide has art by Steve Yeowell & Jock.
The new Howard Chaykin series Legend as art by the legendary Russ Heath. All together now: "Wait for the Trade".
Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti try again, this time with Twilight Experiment,
DC's current best comic, Alan Moore & J. H. Williams III's Promethea, comes to a close with #32. Buy two copies so you can dissassemble one to make the giant double-sized poster.
Tom Strong #31 starts a two part tale by writer Michael Moorcock.
Lucifer gets another collection, Exodus, which inexplicitly skips issue #45...
Bruce Jones's Freak Show features art by the legendary Bernie Wrightson, but it's a limited edition black & white hardcover. I image that there'll be a paperback collection soon, so I'll wait for that.
The Expatriate #1 has a well-worn plot (CIA agent on the run from his employers), but it's written by hawaiian Dick writer B. Clay Moore, so it's potentially worth a look anyway.
There's a new A Distant Soil (#38), but I wait-for-the-trade on this one.
Todd Nauck's reality-series-meets-super-heroes comic Wildguard: Casting Call gets a trade collection. If you enjoy old-fashioned super-hero fun, check this out.
Black Panther returns, written by Birth of a Nation co-creator Reginald Hudlin and drawn by John Romita, Jr. There's also a collection of Jack Kirby's old Black Panther series as well.
I'm not sure about Young Avengers, but it does has art by Jim Cheung. I can almost guarantee that this'll get a trade collection, so I think I'll wait.
Ditto on Adam Warren & Rick Mays's Livewires.
Runaways returns with a new #1, and gets a third Marvel age collection as well.
Does anyone else find the cover of Spectacular Spider-Man #25 to be creepy and wrong?
The biggest 'why bother' of the month comes in the fact that Marvel Age Fantastic Four and Marvel Age Spider-Man are given new #1s as Marvel Age Fantastic Four Tales and Marvel Age Spider-Man Tales. Nobody buys these in comics form anyways, so what difference will a new #1 be?
X-Force: Shatterstar: because you don't have enough crap in your life.
The three-issue story Doctor Spectrum finally comes to an end with #6.
Frank Cho's Shana, The She-Devil comes from the Marvel Knights imprint, not MAX, so I guess he went back a drew in skimpy leopard-print jungle-bras...
Collections include: Hulk & Thing: Hard Knocks (Jae Lee art!); Clarmont & Davis's Uncanny X-Men - The New Age, vol. 2: The Cruelest Cut (say that 10 times fast!); Rogue: Going Rogue; What If...? (no need now to buy the individual issues this month, unless you've already pre-ordered them like I did--idiot); an Essential Luke Cage; and Marvel Weddings--pop quiz: how many of the marriages featured here are still together?
That's it for part 1. Part 2 tomorrow (probably...)