Chris vs. Previews: February, Part One
I'm not exactly sure what new information about woefully misguided new releases and phenomenally useless statues I can provide that you can't get from Mike Sterling or others, but a few of you have recently suggested that I offer up my commentary on the Previews Catalog. And to that, the ISB says...
You Got It!
That's right, for the next couple of days, the ISB'll be offering up the web's most two-fisted reccomendations of what you should order immediately and what you should stay the heck away from. So let's get to it, shall we?
Dark Horse Comics
P. 25: Satan's ***** Baby: When the jokes about this one first started up in the pages of The Goon, I was under the impression that it was just a long-running joke, although why exactly anyone would create an entirely fictional publication is completely beyond me. Anyway, the big news here, besides the fact that it's an all-new Eric Powell story that allegedly will never be collected (thus making it a no brainer that everyone should probably order) is listed as "NOT AN ALL-AGES BOOK." You know, as opposed to The Goon, which responded to its Eisner win with a two-page sequence where a simpleton played in his own filth.
Regardless, it's listed here, but the "ordering information" is actually located in Previews Adult, which means somebody's going to have to wade through the listings for super-classy titles like Blowjob and--I swear I am not making this up--Pee Soup to find it. Yikes.
P. 48: "Serenity In Disguise" Variant Ornament: So, just to clarify here, this is a Christmas tree ornament of the spaceship from Firefly depicting the five-minute sequence where it was covered in blood and corpses? Really? Okay, well, that certainly seems both useful and appropriate.
P. 63: Full-Page Minx Advertisement: So here's something you don't here on the Comics Blogger Internet too often: I am crazy excited about Minx.
Maybe I should explain: Regardless of whether or not DC's missing the point by having an imprint targeting girls done by an almost all-male group of creators, those creators are also really good at making comics. Even beyond The Plain Janes, which features art by Jim Rugg (of Street Angel fame), but June's going to see the release of Re-Gifters, which reunites the team behind the phenomenally underrated My Faith In Frankie, and I'll even cop to being curious about how Josh Howard's art is going to work alongside Andi Watson's script. It's a solid lineup. And as previously established, I'm only about two degrees away from being a total teenage girl.
P. 78: The Original Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, v.1: Batman: Allow me to quote here:
Originally published in 1976, this extensive volume--the first in a series--includes everything you could want to know about Batman, his allies and enemies, weapons in his war on crime, and his adventures from the 1930s to the 1970s!
Translation: Hey Chris Sims! Happy Birthday!
P. 90: Justice League of America Doesn't Do Any Goddamn Thing At All But Sit Around A Table And Call Each Other By Their First Names v.1 Hardcover: The actual title's been shortened for the solicitation copy, but trust me: That's what it is.
P. 101: The Legion of Super-Heroes on the 31st Century #1: With the exception of the late, lamented Batman Adventures, I haven't had a whole lot of luck with the animated series tie-ins, but despite the fact that I've still never seen the show, I'm willing to take the chance here. I like the Legion, I like J. Torres, and I like Chynna Clugston-Flores, so it's worth the risk.
P. 129: Justice League Series 6 Action Figures: The first thing I said when flipping through Justice #9 was that the ridiculous metal-armor Super-Friends were a poorly-veiled excuse for a new series of crappy-looking DC Directs. So, just a reminder here: I am always right.
P. 172: Witchblade/The Punisher: I have read every Punisher comic. I have read zero Witchblade comics. One way or another, my perfect record will be ruined.
P. 173: Madame Mirage First Look: And again, the dilemma rises. On the one hand, it's an all-new series from Paul Dini, who is hands-down one of my favorite creators in the business. But on the other, it's a Top Cow book freaturing a ridiculously large-breasted heroine, and that's the kind of thing that tends to let you down. But, well, it's only a preview, and it's 99 cents. But that's how they hook you. Ah, screw it, I'm getting it.
Marvel manages to set a record with sixteen pages worth of full-page solicitations--including one for the new Ultimate version of a character that was introduced like two years ago--before hitting something that I actually care about. And considering that I've got a pretty strong love for the universe and its characters, that's probably not a good thing.
P. 18: Spider-Man/Fantastic Four #1: I've mentioned before that in my opinion, Spider-Man is the single greatest comic book character ever created (a theory I came up with after reading Amazing Spider-Man #33 at age 12). Unfortunately, with the exception of Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane, I think Spidey the character is the worst now that he has ever been in over 40 years of publication--and yes, I'm including both Maximum Carnage and the Clone Saga in that. So the fact that we're getting four issues by Jeff Parker--whose work over the past couple of years has been nothing short of amazing--and Mike Weiringo--whose run on Fantastic Four was no slouch in its own right--is pretty exciting indeed.
P. 24: Avengers: The Initiative #1: Again, this is one of those good news/bad news situations: At this point, there's a variety of reasons why I couldn't care less about the events of Civil War and its impact on the Avengers. But on the other, Dan Slott has never let me down, and for Pete's sake, it's got Nextwave and Sleepwalker standing right next to each other on the cover. That's gotta be worth something.
P. 39: Loners #1: And then we have this, the flipside of the coin. Believe me, even discounting their appearances in the pages of Runaways, there are very few people who want to read about the adventures of Darkhawk, Ricochet, Julie Power, and Turbo more than me. But then there's the fact that C.B. Cebulski has done absolutely nothing I've read and enjoyed. So that's a pass.
P. 45: Mighty Avengers #2: Sweet Flippin' Christmas.
Reading this solicitation, I had one brief, horrible thought: "It's MODOK as only Frank Cho can bring it!"
P. 72: X-Men: First Class #8 (of 8): The X-Men teaming up with Gorilla Man, scripted by Jeff Parker. Just thought everybody should know.
P. 77: Anita Blake Vampire Hunter: Guilty Pleasures Handbook: For some reason, I was not contacted about writing this. Clearly this was an oversight, as I'm hoping to have my annotations included in the Anita Blake trade paperback.
P. 97: Agents of Atlas Premiere HC: Not to turn this thing into Jeff Parker night or anything, but if you missed out on his and Leonard Kirk's fanastic mini-series, then you really owe it to yourself to jump on here, as this thing not only includes the series, but also the Golden Age first appearances of all of the characters, including a story from a comic called Men's Adventures. For me, that alone would be worth the $25 price tag, as Marvel's not usually that concerned with trading up their Golden Age material.
P. 100-104: The Highly Necessary Civil War Trade Paperback Library: Collecting, just so everybody knows, fifty-two issues worth of Civil War tie-ins, not counting the Punisher War Journal hardcover on p. 96 and the six CW trades solicited last month. Even Ken Burns would think that's too much Civil War, folks.
That's right: I'm ending it on a PBS joke. Feel free to ask about anything you think I missed, but be here tomorrow when I go through the rest of the comics, including the many fine offerings from Jim Balent's Broadsword Comics!
My Prediction: Pain.