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Sunday, January 28, 2007

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 Wanted It?!

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.

DC Comics

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.

No, seriously.

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.

Image Comics

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 Comics

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.

"It's Ultron as only Frank Cho can bring it!"

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.


Blogger seth said...

Ugh, I'm dreading this female Ultron concept.

1/29/2007 1:16 AM

Blogger Ian said...

Well it's about time someone brought in a Ken Burns ref into this whole Civil War magilla.

1/29/2007 1:25 AM

Blogger frinklin said...

I am crazy excited about Minx.

As well you should be. My wife scored a promo copy of Plain Janes at the ALA conference last week, and it is brilliant. Now I just need to get off my ass and write a review.

1/29/2007 2:11 AM

Blogger McGone said...

Re: Madame Mirage:

"Delve into Dini's Latest Mammaries" would be more appropriate. Good Lord... I'm a heterosexual male comic reader, and Iam almost offended by the cover.

1/29/2007 2:23 AM

Blogger Aaron said...

It's Paul Dini writing Jessica Rabbit dressed as Zatanna. I don't care what it's about. It's coming home with me. In triplicate.

1/29/2007 2:28 AM

Blogger Dorian said...

I suspect Justice only exists so that Alex Ross can have new action figures to play with. Why he couldn't just make them himself, instead of inflicting that horrible, self-important, direly taking itself too damn seriously comic on the world is anyone's guess.

1/29/2007 2:31 AM

Blogger LurkerWithout said...

Ok Sims, you've convinced me to give the Minx line a tentative try out. Well that and My Faith in Frankie was one of the best mini series Vertigo has put out...

1/29/2007 2:36 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's Paul Dini's latest instalment of "check it out! My wife is really, really hot!"

1/29/2007 4:23 AM

Anonymous Danicus said...

i knew Civil War was atrocious, but I didnt quite realize just how bad it really was until I read that link. i mean, MY GOD. everyone is out of character.

1/29/2007 6:41 AM

Anonymous joegross said...

1. Second the Minx review - it's excellent. My column about Plain Janes will run in Decibel in late March.

2. I have an original of the Batman encyclopedia. Yes, it rules.

3. Of the famous-in-the-past-few years mainstream writers...Jeff Parker, Fred Van Lente, Gail Simone, Dan Slott, Joe Casey, ...these are the names that make me part w/ money almost sight unseen....


1/29/2007 8:15 AM

Anonymous lowland_rider said...

In re: the Dini comic -- hey, at least she looks like she finished high school. And her mouth isn't hanging open. Anymore, these are Signs of Progress.

Cheesecake Ultron. Hurm. So I guess it's safe to assume someone at Marvel just discovered Battlestar Galactica?

1/29/2007 9:12 AM

Anonymous D Roc said...

If Sleepwaker doesn't get on to an Avengers team, I'm gonna be pissed, and maybe stop buying Marvel all together. I'd even settle for him being on the Great Lakes Avengers. Just bring back my favorite character from childhood.

1/29/2007 10:15 AM

Anonymous Van Doom said...

Good call on everything Jeff Parker. Agents of Atlas was fantastic, although it had a pretty good head start with a talking gorilla as the lead character. But still...

1/29/2007 10:42 AM

Anonymous LOTRDan said...

Bah, Burns' Civil War, historically, is questionable at best. The fact that he INSISTS that the war was caused by slavery and pretty much only slavery is dumb. But he parades out his talking head, who is perhaps the only historian who agrees with him.

But hey, at least it isn't as bad as Marvel's Civil War.

1/29/2007 12:12 PM

Blogger Mark Engblom said...

Re: Ultron:

Wouldn't you know it...one of the last remaining Robot Gods of Old transformed into yet another Sci-Fi Channel cyber-whore.


1/29/2007 12:54 PM

Anonymous TeamSmithy said...

"June's going to see the release of Re-Gifters, which reunites the team behind the phenomenally underrated My Faith In Frankie"

i did not know this and now I'm pretty excited, this might be a bit of a disapointment to you but your look at previews was actually quite useful.

1/29/2007 12:59 PM

Blogger Brett said...

Next, Frank Cho's Robby the Robot!

Danger Will Robinson, danger of passion!

I kid, I really liked his Shanna the She-Devil series.

1/29/2007 1:33 PM

Anonymous Eric L said...

There's nothing that irritates me more than the concept of a female robot. Robots are machines! They have no gender! It would be like creating a female toaster. Seeing a female robot just makes me think "Wow, the dude who created this really wants to fuck a robot." Which I assume is not Frank Cho's intention though I grant you that I do not know this for sure.

1/29/2007 2:20 PM

Blogger Bill D. said...

Re-Gifters is by the My Faith in Frankie people? Sold. Kinda dumb name aside, I really don't see why people are getting all bunched up over Minx. It's nice to see that snap judgments about a project/line/whatever before its even released aren't limited to any one group of comics fans. Or maybe it's actually sad and pathetic. One of the two, definitely.

As for Cho, at least now we know who's been ordering all those Japanese sexy robot books from out of the Bud Plant Comic Art catalog all these years.

1/29/2007 5:03 PM

Blogger Bill D. said...

That should've been "before it's even released," not "its." Lynne Truss is gonna come kick my ass now, I just know it.

1/29/2007 5:04 PM

Anonymous Julian said...

Chris, it's nice to finally read your monthly Previews picks. I hope this continues for the rest of your life. Also, thank you for praising "Spider-man loves Mary Jane". I tried it and, man, I am hooked.

I haven't browsed the actual catalogue, but according to the online solicitations, in May DC will release two new Showcase Presents...
a. The Flash (Written by Robert Kanigher, John Broome and Gardner Fox; Art by Carmine Infantino, Joe Giella and various; Cover by Infantino and Giella) and b. The War that time forgot (Written by Robert Kanigher; Art and Cover by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito).


I love Infantino's art, so I'll go the anti-you way and prioritize buying the Flash first, but these are some very sweet collections from DC, advance solicited in this Previews.

1/29/2007 5:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subliminal comment with obscure references(with apologies to Kevin Nealon):

So a female Ultron? Haven't seen that before *Alkhema*

And a Jeff Parker hc *the man is god* We need more Agents of Atlas right now or else *I'll kidnap Bendis*

I've also gotta agree with you on the Spidey thing, except for Peter David's Friendly Neighborhood Spidey *actually readable no Osborn sex*

1/29/2007 7:17 PM

Blogger Chris Sims said...

It's Paul Dini's latest instalment of "check it out! My wife is really, really hot!"

To be fair, Paul Dini's wife is really really hot.

Anyway, I forgot to mention this in the above piece, so I'll put it here:

P. 95: Showcase Presents: The War That Time Forgot v.1: And now, an actual conversation I had at work:

TUG: Why would they put out a trade of Bob Kanigher stories where soldiers fight dinosaurs?

CHRIS SIMS AND PHIL LOONEY, IN UNISON: Why wouldn't they put out a trade of Bob Kanigher stories where soldiers fight dinosaurs?!

1/29/2007 8:37 PM

Blogger Winterteeth said...

Mr. Sims,

I have begun reading the Champions vol. 2 per your recommendation and it is, of course, the finest in batshit crazy super-hero writing. I just had one question, why does Ghost Rider seem so pissed when he exclaims in an exploding balloon "She Caught Me!" on pg. 16? I would think just the exclamation mark would do the trick. More importantly, by the time I get to the MODOK story, will I still be able to think in a linear fashion or will Mantlo have ravaged my mind?

1/29/2007 11:29 PM

Blogger Adam said...

the sexy robot lady in ultron's head is jocasta. am I scaring you?

1/30/2007 12:27 AM

Anonymous The Mutt said...

"P. 95: Showcase Presents: The War That Time Forgot v.1"

I'm the happiest fanboy in the world!

1/30/2007 9:24 AM

Anonymous Cody said...

Is the new "Madman: Atomic Comics" solicited from Image? It's supposed to come out in April, I was hoping to add it to the pull list.

1/30/2007 4:39 PM

Blogger The Fortress Keeper said...

"MODOK, as only Frank Cho can bring it!"

That could be the start of a fun new game!

"Galactus, as only Frank Cho can bring it!"

"Gorilla Grodd, as only Frank Cho can bring it!"

The possibilities are endless.

1/30/2007 7:07 PM

Blogger Mike Haseloff said...

I just have to say... Maximum Carnage was good, you funking prink!

Also... Jocastatron? I'd hit it!

2/01/2007 1:10 AM

Blogger Shamus said...

When I was a kid (1970s) I sold all my DC comics because MARVEL was so much better. All these years later I've gotten back into comic books and guess what. I only buy DC. I tried MARVEL and it made me puke. They have absolutely no respect for the characters.

2/04/2007 11:16 PM

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