Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – April 2022

This is Travis starting the newest Flippin’ post in the wee hours of March 22, mere days after the March post went up, because I felt the shame of abrogating my responsibility so last month! Shame!  We’re discussing Previews #403 and DC Connect #23, and I’m of course typing in easy to do black while Greg Burgas does the heavy lifting of typing in blue and adding all the images and links and stuff (for which I don’t give him enough thanks!)!

Hey, no problem – I know you have other things going on. That beard isn’t going to groom itself!

Oh my darling?


It’s the solicits!

Good lord, Dark Crisis looks so bad.  Or not bad in and of itself, but just recycled bits of the last “30 years”, as they say (even though the original Crisis was 37 years ago now).  Just that funeral scene in both Dark Crisis and the Young Justice shows how many damn superheroes there are so that even if the Justice League “dies”, the DCU will probably be ok.  I’m sure I’ll read it eventually, but it will be from a library. (Pages 2-7)

No, it does look bad “in and of itself,” without any qualifiers, sir! And have you noticed that the word “crisis” has lost all meaning in the DCU? I mean, seriously, get a new word! And why are they treating this like this anyway? All of those folks have died over the years, and they always come back. No tears, losers!

‘Please love us like you love the oldsters!’

Black Adam (page 8) sounds like Christopher Priest wants to do Quantum and Woody again but doesn’t want to work with Valiant.

Are we really getting a comedy about Black Adam? Sheesh.

“We’ve teamed up all the main superheroes before, right?  There’s no pairing we haven’t done?”  “No, wait, what about Aquaman and the Flash?”  “How the hell will that work?”  “Fuck it, let’s find out!” (Page 21)

Peter David, as usual, was there first.

Oh, shit, the Milestones in History one shot on page 25 has a final page reveal about the future of the Milestone Universe!

“We’re all really white people!!!!”

No!  (To that reveal and to you even saying that!)

Batman’s Mystery Casebook on page 30 looks like it’s aimed too young for us, but looks like it’d be fun for young kids.  Sholly Fisch is quite good at writing comics, so it’s probably good.

‘The mystery is: How can we solve crimes when we have cataracts?!?!?’

My Buddy Killer Croc on page 32 looks fun, with bright cartoony art and a story about Killer Croc being an ex-wrestler, and a kid who looks up to him who moves to Gotham, and how Croc teaches the kid how to confront bullies.

Okay, A: I thought they already solicited the “final” issue of The Joker, but there it is on page 43; and B: They put “15 of 15” in the miscellaneous, which is actually kind of funny.

When there’s a story that good you need as many issues as possible!


Clementine on page 40 is a Walking Dead tie-in done by Tillie Walden, which is fine, but it’s too bad Walden can’t make more money doing comics like On A Sunbeam.

I saw that and said the exact same thing. I guess it’s good for her, but dang.

Public Domain on page 48 is an interesting sounding book, about a superhero creator’s family and their fraught relationship with both the character and the man who created him, but I’m not sure if Chip Zdarsky is going to be the best creator to pull off a story like this.

Pour quoi, mon ami?

He seems more like a comedy dude (although I haven’t read his run on DD, or some other “darker” stuff), and even though he wasn’t the writer on Sex Criminals, I feel like what I read of that series went more for the cheap easy laugh rather than actual deep thoughts, and I’m sure he would have offered input to make it less juvenile if he wanted to.

Domino masks are plentiful, so don’t fight about this one!

Page 52 has Skybound Presents: Afterschool, which apparently is a horror anthology series in the vein of after school specials, and the first issue sounds a lot like the Into The Dark movie Good Boy, starring the great Judy Greer (Fatty Magoo!  Fatty Magoo!) (sorry, it’s a Sunny reference).  Doesn’t mean it’s not good, but it’s a bit derivative (what isn’t?).

I’m just disturbed by the fact that they describe the dog as having a “winning smile.” What the what? Dogs can’t smile!!!!

Oh no?  Watch until the end …

Beware the Eye of Odin on page 54 sounds like a fun Norse mythology take, and the art looks cool.

I’ve never been much of a wrestling fan (I stopped watching not long before Stone Cold got popular) (RIP Razor Ramon, btw), but Daniel Warren Johnson is good and Do A Powerbomb on page 56 sounds like it might be fun, where a wrestler wants to get out of the shadow of her best of all time mom and works with a necromancer to do so, via a big wrestling tournament.

Yeah, I don’t know why you would have to be a fan of wrestling to want to read a Daniel Warren Johnson wrestling comic!

Even if you don’t like wrestling, HOW DOES THIS NOT LOOK AWESOME?!?!?!?

Jae Lee returns to creator owned comics (his first since Hellshock, apparently) (damn!) with Seven Sons on page 58, where a dude thinks he might be the Second Coming (so, like, any dude) and has to deal with that.  That cover is damn creepy, man!

I wonder what he’s been up to?

Covers, mostly.  (Oh, you weren’t entirely serious, were you?)

Page 60 has Sins of the Black Flamingo, about a flamboyant thief in Miami who’s found something to believe in with his latest heist.  Looks flashy and fun.

Boy, Kieron Gillen really leaned into that pull quote, didn’t he?

He must have owed Andrew Wheeler or Travis Moore money or something!

Well, at least. as a thief, he’s not memorable at all …

In an attempt to make me feel old, the 30th Anniversary edition of Cyberforce 1 is on page 63.  I’m sure I already have a copy of this, and if not, I think they are doing the big collection of the series.  If I find I want it that much.

Resist, man – this is super-hot garbage, and you know it!

I know, but …

Page 64 has an homage to the early Image stuff by Jonathan Luna called The Phalanx, with a very WildCATS look to it.  I think I saw this on Kickstarter, but I don’t think I ended up pledging for it.

Super Freaks on page 66 is a one shot from the creators of the Savage Fin-Addicts podcast, devoted to Savage Dragon, apparently.  I dig that Larsen isn’t so precious with his characters that he lets stuff like this happen.

The question is: How much porn will be in it?

Larsen would allow it!!!!!

On page 68 is a trade of The Creep, John Arcudi’s hard boiled detective.  I guess this collects the stories from Dark Horse Presents drawn by Dale Eaglesham, and not the more recent stuff drawn by Jonathan Case, but hopefully that will happen soon enough.

Dark Horse:


The Ward on page 103 sounds fun, about a secret hospital for supernatural creatures.

Yeah, that seems neat.

Bendis’s earliest (I think) work, Goldfish, is collected again on page 111.  I wonder why they dropped the “AKA” from the title?

For the same reason they added “Indiana Jones and the” to Raiders of the Lost Ark. People are stupid.

On page 112 is Edgeworld, which has Pat Olliffe art, which is a plus for me (I’ve liked him since Untold Tales of Spider-Man), but it’s written by Chuck Austen. It’s interesting, looking at his Wikipedia page, to see that he worked on so many interesting things, but that shit run on X-Men really ruined his reputation.  As well as interviews he did around that time, it seems, as he apparently took a lot of his internet criticism really personally (and a lot of it was personal, really).

Remember, he’s also one of the few artists who makes Alan Moore seem like a bad writer!

You love Austen!!!!

On page 119, Always Never sounds like a charming romance, told in reverse. I’m in!

Boom! Studios:

You may peruse the solicits here!

Page 185 has the trade of Regarding the Matter of Oswald’s Body, which sounds like a wacky conspiracy theory story claiming that Lee Harvey Oswald’s body isn’t in its proper grave. I think you got some of this, or at least looked at it, what did you think?

I did not get it, but the art is neat. I will be getting the trade.


Here are the solicits!

Defenders Beyond 1 is on page 26, and the first mini sounded cool.  I also can, in fact, believe who is appearing on the last page, solicit writer, as it has been revealed in promo art already.

Is it Looker? It’s Looker, isn’t it? Surprise Crossover!!!!

Boy, I’ve been annoyed that nearly everywhere that I read about this new Wild Cards series acted like it hadn’t appeared in comics before. Even Marvel here in the solicits seems to forget that it was an Epic series in 1990.  Anyway, this adaptation of the start of the series masterminded by George R. R. Martin is on page 28.  Maybe they’ll remember the old series and reprint it eventually.

That’s a cool cover, though

That’s odd. Wasn’t it a Marvel UK book, not Epic? Or am I thinking of something else? Anyway, if I remember it, I’m sure Marvel does, too!

Oh, man, now you’re making me think of all the Marvel UK from the early ‘90s.  There was Mys-Tech and Dark Angel or whatever they called her after the Hell’s Angels people sued.  There was Warheads and Black Axe and Cyberspace 3000 or whatever where Galactus appeared.  I can’t think of one that’s close to Wild Cards, though.

Page 31 has the latest from Gail Simone (in a while?  I don’t know if she’s been doing anything for a bit, but I’m not sure.  I think this is her return to Marvel.).  It’s The Variants, about different versions of Jessica Jones, and it’s got Phil Noto art, which is always cool.

Simone has been working for DC, fret you not!

Well, yeah, she was on Batgirl for the nu52 but that’s been years ago now.  Even Clean Room is over 5 years ago now.  It actually looks like that Domino series for Marvel was her most recent run on a comic.  Looks like she’s done some animation writing too.

So many Jessicas!

Clobberin’ Time on page 32 seems to be a book by Steve Skroce (with his return to Marvel?) teaming up the Thing with other heroes, so it might be fun.

“Seems to be a book by Steve Skroce”? Um, it IS a book by Skroce, as you can plainly see. Are you “shamed by you English?”

The “seems to be” was referring more to the teaming up the Thing part, but fine, I am shamed by me English (I know the reference there, sir!). Apparently they’ve already postponed this book.

Yeah, I knew what you were talking about. I just like needling you! (And I hoped you would get the reference!) (And of course it’s already delayed!)

Page 33 has a new series where Al Ewing is telling the story of everyone called Ant-Man.  Should be good.

Even that guy? You know who I’m talking about!

Did … did you skip over Deadly Neighborhood Spider-Man, even though you can clearly see that Juan Ferreyra draws it and therefore we need to shout about it from the rooftops? Come on, man, I thought we had a pact! I ignore you constant annoying pimping of whatever the hell Sim is doing every month, and you make sure you talk about how great Ferreyra is! A deal’s a deal!!!

Ooh, sorry, I think it was partly to let you be the one to pump it up, but also because, like the Skroce book, this one has been postponed.  That was announced even before this Previews came out, I think.

Well, dang, that sucks.

I saw the name “Iron Cat” and really, really hoped it was an actual cat in a suit of armor. Alas, it’s just someone pretending (?) to be Felicia Hardy. I’m not sure if I’ve ever been this disappointed by a title of a comic not matching the reality in my head.

That would be the coolest series ever.  Hell, don’t people love the cat in the Captain Marvel movie?  Put that thing in the armor!

Come on, Marvel!

On page 42 is New Fantastic Four Marvel Tales, reprinting the 3 issues of Fantastic Four with the oh so ‘90s lineup.  I should have thought of the Marvel Tales one shots when I mentioned wanting this story last time.  I’ll have to pick this one up.  Don’t know why they didn’t use an Art Adams piece for the cover instead of what they went with, though. And over on page 130 is a new printing of the Epic Collection of the New FF issues and other parts of Simonson’s run and leading into DeFalco’s run, I believe.

On page 92 is the fourth and final volume collecting all of Dark Horse’s Aliens comics, which is amazing to me that all of it fit in just 4 volumes. I also don’t remember Marvel soliciting the second and third ones either, but that’s just me.  This one has the Stokoe mini (Dead Orbit, iirc) as well as a Sam Kieth story (not sure which one that is), so it’s cool just for those.

Spider-Man 2099 gets an omnibus on page 93.  This was probably the best of the 2099 books, with Peter David writing and Rick Leonardi on the art.

The Busiek/Perez run of Avengers gets a new printing of the omnibus on page 96, probably to cash in on George Perez dying (he says cynically). I missed out on the recent JLA/Avengers reprint, which is from this same era as well.  Hopefully Marvel and DC will decide to print more copies in the near future.

The X-Cellent gets a trade on page 118, collecting the Giant Size X-Statix special from a year or so ago as well as the first 5 issues of this series. I have the special and issue 1 but still haven’t read them, as I need to reread the original stuff again.  Funnily enough, it’s actually all accessible to me for once.  Yay!

The Marvels Snapshots one shots get a trade on page 120.  Was there a hardcover of this prior?  It seems like it’s a really long time since these came out for there to just get a collection now.

Yep, there was a hardcover. I reviewed on this very blog!

I guess I should have gotten the HC, because I think I heard this trade got cancelled or postponed.  Damn paper shortage.  Cut down more trees, corporations!

X-Men First Class gets a new trade on page 132.  Jeff Parker did a good job with this stuff.

On page 135 is a Best of Stan Lee HC, undoubtedly for Stan the Man’s 100th birthday coming up at the end of the year.

I’m not sure where this is in the book, but there’s a listing online on the Previews site for an X-Men Animated Series Adaptations Omnibus, which collects the ‘90s series that adapted the cartoon … which adapted stories from the comics.  Ok.  I actually met John Hebert, an artist on this book (and on the Ghost Rider story in the first Marvel Holiday Special) at a con years ago, and the dude was pretty cool.

Back of the book!

Aardvark-Vanaheim has the latest Cerebus in Hell? on page 210, with two covers for Giant-Size Public Defenders, another double size issue of the book.  The Varkdevil cover is a little better than the other, in my view.

Abrams ComicArts has M Is for Monster on page 210, which sounds like an interesting riff on the Frankenstein story.

That does seem interesting.  The cover art shows that it seems to have an art style that is becoming more and more used.  It’s somewhat cartoony and I know there are other artists who draw similarly, but I can’t think of who right now.  Anyway …

The lesson? Sewing = Evil!

Abrams Press has, on page 212, Dirty Pictures, a history of underground comix.  I dig that stuff so I’m very interested in this one.

On the same page, Action Lab Danger Zone has Hamelin, a story where adults are killing children, with the title referring to the Pied Piper, apparently.

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this here, but the Pied Piper story freaks me the hell out. Like, seriously. Most disturbing fairy tale for me!

Interesting.  Was it always the case, or has it become more freaky since you’ve become a parent?

Pretty much as long as I can remember. It’s become freakier since I’ve become a parent, but it always disturbed me!

AfterShock has three new books that sound good.  On page 214 is A Calculated Man, which has the weird premise that a mob accountant is so good at math that he’s able to become a great killer.  I did just fine in higher math classes, but I don’t know anything I was taught that would have made me a great killer!  On page 216 is Astronaut Down, about a dude who wants to be an astronaut to alternate realities.  And on 218 is Where Starships Go To Die, about an expedition to the wreck of the first interstellar ship, in the deepest part of the ocean.

All of those sound neat. They also have the second volume of Maniac of New York on page 223, and the first volume was quite good, so I’ll be getting this.

So much math!

On page 234, Amulet Books has Generation Wonder: The New Age of Heroes, a collection of prose short stories purporting to be new takes on superheroes.  It’s edited by Barry Lyga and has illustrations by Colleen Doran, so it will look pretty, at least.

Did you skip The Best Archie Comic Ever on page 238? For shame!!!! Fred van Lente, Aubrey Sitterson, and Tim Seeley, among others? Sounds like a blast.

I guess I just assumed that it won’t live up to the title!

AWA has good stuff on 250-253, with plenty of John Lees around.  New Think is an anthology about technology a la Black Mirror, but no John Lees. ET-ER volume 2 one shot has Lees, as well as Tex art and a fun Frank Cho cover, and it’s about a hospital with extraterrestrial and weird patients.  And John Lees has two trades with Crimson Cage, a wrestling take on Macbeth, and the second volume of Hotell, the horror series that I liked the first volume of.

Birdcage Bottom Books has Everything Is Super (a new printing, so I don’t know how old it is), which sounds like a bleak superhero story. You know I love me some of those!

It appears it might have just come out in October, so maybe it was just a small print run and sold out.

On page 258, Black Caravan has some neat stuff (were they part of Scout before and separated, or am I imagining that?).  Murder Hobo: Chaotic Neutral collects a weird D&D style fantasy book, while The Ballad of Gordon Barleycorn has a dude being hunted down by a “religious debt collector”, which is an intriguing concept.

That’s an odd hat

Yeah, that was part of Scout. Good for them going off on their own! And ever since you mentioned it, I can’t stop seeing your insistence on putting commas outside the quotation marks, and it’s driving me frickin’ batty. Good job, sir!

I don’t remember if I ever “learned the proper rules”, or if I just “prefer it aesthetically”, or if it “makes more sense that the comma goes outside the quotes since it’s not part of the quote”, but that’s the way I do it.

Black Mask has a trade of Godkiller volume 3 and a hardcover of volume 4 on page 260. This is a weird but quite good comic, in case you’re interested.

I never started getting them and now I’m far enough behind that I figure I’ll eventually catch up.  Maybe.

Bloomsbury intrigues on page 262 with The Philosophy of Comics, an academic look at the medium and its overall philosophy.  Heady stuff.

Book Palace has some great stuff on page 269.  The regular issue of Illustrators, #38, spotlights John Watkiss along with an intro by Neil Gaiman, while Special 13 is a collection and history of pin-up art, and Special 14 is a history of Warren Comics, which is one of the best publishers of comics art of all time.  They’re quite spendy, though!

Cex is pulling out all the stops on pages 270-271, with everything they’re offering this month being of interest.  The Bean volume 1 is a webcomic collection that I believe is well-regarded. Egged is about a woman who inadvertently eggs the car of a conspiracy theorist, and undoubtedly hijinks ensue.  It’s got art by George Kambadais, so it should look good.  Vox has animal people and philosophical satire, and sounds like an interesting look at extremism.  The highlight is the Definitive Edition of Silencers, the Fred Van Lente/Steve Ellis super-crime series.  One issue of that that Image put out had an ad for Fell, so when I flipped through it to see who the Ellis that did Silencers was, I found out about Fell, and that was such a good book.  I probably shouldn’t have told Steve Ellis that story, though.  He does really great stuff on his own, though, and lives in my general neck of the woods.

Cool story, bro. I know I own some of The Silencers, so I’ll have to check if I have all of it. If not, I’ll pick this up. And Hanson has been doing The Bean for a long time. I got two volumes from him in Seattle in 2012, maybe? It’s a fun comic.

I’m intrigued by the Project MK-Ultra HCs on page 272 from Clover Press, because the notion of CIA agents on acid is fun to imagine, and is actually a true story.  Cover art looks good.

Speaking of Clover, Sonar on page 273 looks pretty good. Deep-sea treasure hunters find horrors, you know the drill, but the art looks nifty.

Sushi for all!

On page 275, Brian Pulido is trying to cash in on that same ‘90s nostalgia wave that Toddy Mac is riding with the Spawn characters by offering Tales from the Coffinverse, a new batch of boobs female characters facing down against evil.  Or for evil, since Lady Death is on the pro-evil side, so I don’t really know what’s going on.

Pulido lives in Phoenix, so I could meet him, if I wanted to. I don’t want to.

Page 276 has The Very Last Final Girls from Darby Pop, which has an interesting premise where the government has a program helping victims of typical slasher film scenarios cope, although who really thinks the government would do that?

If it happens enough in one of these fictional universes, sure, why not? Those libs will spend my money on anything!

I usually don’t mention Dial Books and the Ordinary People Change the World line of books that Brad (ugh) Meltzer and Chris Eliopoulos do aimed at kids, but I found the I Am I.M. Pei listing too amusing not to mention.

Interesting, the books offered by Humanoids on pages 302 and 303 (according to the order form) aren’t listed online in their offerings.  I see why the Manara book isn’t, as it’s got an Adult rating to it, but The Final Secret of Adolf Hitler must be too much for our poor eyes!

Is it ‘f’ or ‘ph’?????

It’s possible because Previews is only available in the States, but Humanoids is more European, and I know some countries (Germany, most notably) has some laws about Hitler in print. Don’t they? So we don’t want impressionable Deutscher kinder reading about this online and getting some idears about world domination, do we?

I know that there have been other books, particularly ones with swastikas on the cover, that have Diamond codes says they are unavailable in Germany, because of those Hitler laws, but as far as I know, they’re usually listed on the website at least.  I could be wrong.  Of course, there’s US politicians who apparently think a good lesson to take from the story of Hitler is that you can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get out of homelessness like he did!

Ugh, I saw that. How stupid do you have to be to do that?

I totally didn’t notice that we hadn’t looked at IDW yet.  I assume they got bumped down because I think they aren’t Diamond exclusive anymore (did they sign with Lunar, or somewhere else?).  Anyway, I’m confused about the Godzilla best of one shot on page 311, as it shows the Stokoe cover from the Treasury Edition of … The Half-Century War, I think?, but it’s not offered at a Treasury size price.  Is IDW losing the Godzilla license soon too?  Then on page 313, the TMNT HC of The Last Ronin is offered, which people apparently went nuts for.  I’m interested in it myself, though, so I’ll probably grab it eventually.

That’s probably it, but I don’t know if they’re going with Lunar or someplace else. We shall see, I guess. And yeah, I’m tempted by The Last Ronin, despite not being a big fan of the Turtles.

And I just saw that IDW is making a big push for creator owned comics, which we’ll probably see in the next Flippin’.

On page 315 Insight Comics has a new book from B. Clay Moore, who’s done some good comics before, with Endless Summer volume 1, about a former FBI agent in the early ‘60s using California teens to sniff out Commies and crime.  Sounds fun!

Legendary Comics has, on page 319, Head Wounds: Sparrow, a GN with all sorts of credits, the key ones being Mr. Live Action Moon Knight himself helped “develop” this story, and Christian Ward is doing the art, on a story about a cop who gets a mysterious head wound that only he can see which allows him to see the angels and demons fighting all around him.  I hate when my invisible head wounds start bleeding and no one else can see them to let me know, so then I’ve got invisible blood all over my face when I go to the grocery store, and then it’s just madness, I tells ya.

It’s a pickle, I agree.

Um, dude, you got a little sumthin’ on your face, there

Lev Gleason offers up some Captain Canuck stuff on page 319, including a reprint of what I believe was the last issue of the original CC series, and a new action figure, and on page 320, the new series Fantomesque appears (although it might have started in that anthology book they’ve been doing), which is about a costumed adventurer doing stuff.  The art looks neat, from the cover shown here.

On page 320, Literati Press has Glamorella’s Daughter, which I believe I saw on Kickstarter, about a neurodiverse girl who’s the daughter of a superhero, and the challenges each of them face before they have to team up together to face an enemy.  The art looks good and the story is unique enough to be interesting.

Wow, I have what you might call a “neurodiverse” daughter and I loathe that term. But this does sound intriguing.

Mad Cave Studios have a couple on page 322 that are more in the fantasy/gaming category but actually sound neat.  Potions Inc. is a series about a young man who has to quest after an artifact stolen from his parents’ potion shop to the mysterious land of … Earth!  The Last Session (ironically, volume 1) deals with a group of gamers who have gotten together throughout high school and college to game together and now that college graduation looms and they are going to play out an unfinished campaign, one woman won’t let the girlfriend of one of the other dudes in the group play.  Ooh, the drama is around the table, not within the game itself!

Apparently Moonstone, on page 326, has also gotten the Lone Ranger license, which makes sense since he’s Green Hornet’s … great uncle, I think it is.

Really? Gadzooks. And sigh.

It’s been part of his story from very early on, I know.  But I’m not quite up on the lore enough to remember exactly how or when it was learned.  The Lone Ranger appeared first, and the Green Hornet is the son of the Ranger’s nephew Dan, per wikipedia.  I think Dynamite did a “crossover” series several years ago, iirc.

Also on 326 is David Bowie in Comics from NBM.  I love Bowie, I love comics, I should like this!

Oni only has 4 different titles over pages 330-333, which has got to be the least number of new issues they’ve released since they’ve started, I think.

Opus Comics is on page 334, and not only are they challenging Z2 with music-based comics, like The Crystal Planet book based on Joe Satriani music, but they’ve also gotten the Bill and Ted license from Boom and have the new series Bill and Ted Roll the Dice.  Man, I’ve got to remember to let my friend who digs Bill and Ted know about this.

So, Satriani puts the Silver Surfer on one album cover and suddenly he’s a comic guy? Dang. If I knew it was that easy, I would have learned to play guitar when I was three!

“Suddenly”, 35 years later …

Hey, don’t get in the way of a good rant!

On 336, Penguin Classics reprint classic Marvel stories.  They’re starting with Spider-Man, Captain America, and Black Panther.  A good start, and it sounds like these aren’t strict reprints of any previous book, like the Masterworks or Epic collections, and also include “educational” or culturally significant articles contextualizing the comics reprinted here.  I recently saw a game show where the question was why did Stan Lee spell Spider-Man with the hyphen, and the answer was to avoid having the spelling look like Superman.  I’d never heard that before, I don’t think, and I’ve read plenty about it!

According to Chandler Bing, it’s because it’s not his last name – he’s not Phil Spiderman, he’s a Spider-MAN. Come on, Pelkie, it’s obvious!

I just saw something else about the lack of a hyphen in a character’s name and a commenter also made the Friends reference.  Which I do know, and forgot about when I wrote this!

Rebellion/2000AD has Black Beth on page 343, with art by DaNi. I’m sure the art will be excellent, and who doesn’t love a good sword-‘n’-sorcery revenge tale?

I think there was a one shot that came out within the last year with this creative team, but I don’t know if this book contains that special or not.

On page 345 Red 5 has a couple of trades that sound good.  I got the first trade of Angela Della Morte but haven’t read it yet (wha?!) and the second volume is here now. Fictionauts sounds especially cool, with a group of adventurers who police fictional worlds and having to face a huge challenge.

I never got the first volume of Angela Della Morte, so I’ll have to ask my retailer to grab it for me. I ordered it, but it never showed up!

Rocketship Entertainment has a bunch of neat stuff on 345-346, and apparently they’re a new company who selects what they publish alphabetically.  They get up to “D” this month.  Anyway, #Blessed is by M. Victoria Robado, who I think did cover art for Jem and the Holograms and stuff, and it’s about a young woman who’s using dating apps and is being pursued by the pantheon of gods to make a demigod to rule Earth.  Buy her dinner first, cads!  Adventures of God is a collection of a webcomic about, well, God, and why he does what he does.  Cupid’s Arrows is Thom Zahler’s new book, about a couple of Cupids who have worked together for centuries trying to get a modern couple together while they have to deal with their own feelings.  And Darbi is about a baby T-Rex and is apparently funny and ultraviolent, which is my kinda fun!

Looks fun!

On page 347 Scout Comics is cashing in on the Wordle craze with Agent of W.O.R.L.D.E. — wait, I misread that.  But it sounds fun, as it’s about a sci-fi spy and the wacky stuff he faces.  Even though nothing “phases” him.  And on 348, the Scoot imprint has Wannabes, about kids who try to become masked vigilantes a la their favorite comics.  It’s been done, but Scout does pretty good comics.

Years ago, I wrote a letter to Greg Rucka about his use of the word “phases” when he meant “fazes” in Lazarus. He sent me a nifty patch as thanks (I hope?), even though I stopped reading it not long after that.

Did he include a note that said “thanks, word nerd!”?

He certainly should have! And you’re just trolling me now with that punctuation, aren’t you?!?!?

Page 349 has Shift Presents: Empire, a new company presenting a new edition of the Waid/Kitson book about a villain who wins. I think I have some of this but I’m not sure, so this new edition sounds like it might be worth getting.  Weren’t there two series of this all told, though?  Wasn’t it one of the Gorilla books at Image, then at DC, then at IDW?

Dunno. I doubt Waid even knows these days!

Shockdom SRL lists 3 things on page 349 on the order form, but only The Better Evil: The Tin Man comes up for this company on the online form.  I assume they cancelled the other two, but since the Diamond site got attacked months back, the cancellations listings were first unavailable and now the page has been taken down completely, which is annoying because I like to know what things get cancelled, dang it!

So much consternation!

Titan Comics has an adaptation of The Man Who Fell To Earth on page 364, and it’s written by Dan Watters, who’s pretty good.  The cover makes it look like they’re trying to stick to the Bowie look with the main character.  I’ve never seen the movie but I guess there’s a new TV version.

On page 385, Vault has the trade of A Dark Interlude, the sequel to Fearscape, which I of course haven’t read yet.  But it sounded good.

That’s a neat cover

On page 412 Yen Press has a fun sounding one with The Geek Ex-Hitman volume 1, where an Italian hitman gets introduced to otaku culture and gives up his hitman ways but he’s still so sinister seeming to everyone he meets.  Also, there’s a government agent after him who also geeks out on manga.  Could be good stuff!

Kodansha has on page 421 Akita: Art of Wall box set, a collection of accordion-style books replicating the mural art from Akita that was on some buildings in Japan from 2017-2019.  Akita is friggin’ weird, but the art is cool.

I was going to fix your spelling, but it’s not a typo, as you called it “Akita” the entire time. Why do you think it’s called “Akita,” sir?!?!?!

Goddamn autocorrect!  Obviously, I meant “Shaaakiiiiiiiraaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

On page 425, besides having the latest printings of Barefoot Gen, Last Gasp has an interesting sounding manga with The Strange Tale of Panorama Island, about a dude who discovers he looks like a rich dude’s son, and when the rich son dies, he takes over the guy’s life and goes to hedonistic excess.

Flip side of the book!

On M-38, offered again but I missed it before are Mars Attacks! figures, including the Destroying a Dog one, which I wonder how they manage to translate that into 3D.  Looking up to confirm what I thought, that Wally Wood and Norman Saunders were the artists on the cards, I came across a bunch of other cool stuff that I’d forgotten about, mostly comics crossovers. I forgot they Attacked both Savage Dragon and the Image Universe at large, and I also forgot there was a Judge Dredd crossover.  And Layman’s run on the regular IDW book was good, too.

On M-45 and M-47, there are a couple of cool new Funko Pops that I’ll probably have to add to my collection.  There’s one of the artist Basquiat (who got a decent movie made about him, and that movie had an even cooler soundtrack), and then there’s one of Frank Zappa, which I definitely want.  It’s even got the soul patch!

Well, everyone, we hope you can find something interesting in Previews this month. For once, it’s my fault for the tardiness, not Travis’s, but we’ll go ahead and blame him anyway. It’s what he wants – let’s not delve too far into his twisted mind!!!!


  1. Jeff Nettleton

    Actually, Fire predates AKA Goldfish and got Bendis his first attention. It’s pretty good (spy thriller stuff). Personally, I think his Caliber/Image creator-owned material is vastly superior to anything he did at DC or Marvel. The art is pretty good, to, though he goes overboard with his David Mamet imitations.

    Wild Cards was done at Epic, in 1990 (I bought them new, as I was reading the book series, after discovering them in a local comic shop). There was also a 2008 series, from Daebel Brothers. Maybe it’s like the WWE’s version of wrestling history, where it only counts if it works for what they are trying to sell now.

    You want Iron Cat, then you need to go back to Howard Chaykin’s American Flagg, when Raul takes over the controls of Luther Ironheart. Why oh why has no one turned that into a movie of tv series after all these decades? Maybe because Chaykin got too much right, in his predictions of the future.

    Re: Generation Wonder. I tried previous superhero prose attempts and most fail miserably. Either they are doing something to which a superhero isn’t necessary, thereby missing the point of writing about a superhero, or they just don’t know how to do an adventure story in prose, rather than comics; or, they just can’t get into the head of someone superheroic. That John Varney one, from the 90s had one, maybe two good stories, those Batman anthologies, when the burton movies came out, were mostly forgettable, apart from one about a tailor who speciallized in costumes for both sides of the hero/villain battle (which The Flash had already covered, back in the Silver Age). Robert Mayer’s Super Folks isn’t bad, but fails as satire, which is how it originated. Soon I Will Be Invinicible is great, in the villain’s story; but, the superhero character falls flat. Elliot Maggin is the only writer I have read that knows how to take the character attributes of the comics and write good stories in a prose world, with his two Superman novels and the Kingdom Come novelization.

    I may be the only person who thinks this; but, every time I see the letters, AWA, in conjunction with comics, I keep expecting to see a new comic biography of Verne Gagne and/or stuff about The Bruiser & the Crusher, Mad Dog Vachon, and Nick Bockwinkel!

    1. I’d say Adam Troy Castro’s Marvel novelizations catch the comics feel too. Outside novelizations of Big Two characters I don’t want to see comics that look much like a superhero comic — it’s an opportunity to do something different with the form.
      Wild Cards, by contrast, is neither clever enough nor different enough to interest me. And god, Dr. Tachyon makes Cyclops at his most angsty look like a Stoic.

    2. Greg Burgas

      It does seem that American Flagg would be perfect for a series. I don’t even like the comic all that much and I think it would be perfect in the right hands! It does seem strange that there’s never even been a hint of it.

      1. I loved American Flagg when I first read it. Didn’t work as well when I read it a few years back. The sexism is annoying and the cynicism and corruption aren’t as novel. That said, i set it aside to try rereading again later, just in case it was me feeling out of sorts.

  2. Darthratzinger

    I´m sick of people shitting on Chuck Austen for his shit run on X-Men. He also did shit runs on Justice League and the Avengers, people.
    The Wild Cards series was indeed published by Epic. Another one was published by Dynamite. I will soon finally read them, I just need to get started on the almost thirty novels before that.
    Concerning “Hitler laws”: in the early nineties one of the two comic book stores in Nuremberg was in fact raided by the police and they confiscated all copies of Maus because there IS A SWASTIKA ON THE COVER so it will clearly turn people into Nazis. As soon as the police left the owner called his competitor to warn him. The other book I remember not even making it through customs was the Boys issue with the Superman as a Nazi analogue-cover.

    1. Greg Burgas

      I haven’t read Austen’s work on Justice League or Avengers, so it’s always going to be X-Men referencing for me! 🙂

      That’s the reason people become Nazis – they see a swastika, and it’s already too late!

  3. tomfitz1

    Dis-distinguished Gentlemen:

    BURGAS is correct, Gorilla Comics and IDW published EMPIRE (the latter published EMPIRE: UPRISING – incompleted).

    I do hope that the new edition picks up where IDW left off.

    1. John King

      I expect it will be the first series
      (Shift is distributed through newsagents whereas [unless I forgot something] Empire has previously been comic shops only so most of the potential audience wouldn’t have seen it yet)
      I hope it is successful enough for a follow-up with ALL of Uprising

  4. Bright-Raven

    Jeff Nettleton writes, “Personally, I think (Bendis’) Caliber/Image creator-owned material is vastly superior to anything he did at DC or Marvel.”

    That’s because Bendis had me, the Pruett brothers, and the late Gary Reed editing his punk ass on the Caliber stuff. Once he stopped working with us, he went all “Claremont Wannabe”, recycling his comics and DVD collection, and writing obnoxiously lengthy “small talk” that largely could and should be edited out.

    “RE: Generation Wonder — I tried previous superhero prose attempts and most fail miserably. Either they are doing something to which a superhero isn’t necessary, thereby missing the point of writing about a superhero, or they just don’t know how to do an adventure story in prose, rather than comics; or, they just can’t get into the head of someone superheroic. That John Varney one, from the 90s had one, maybe two good stories…”

    I don’t know. I thought Varney’s SUPERHEROES was a fairly strong anthology. Certainly more than just “one or two good stories” in there. But there were some rather dubious stories as well, I suppose. Which were the stories you thought were good?

    “Robert Mayer’s SUPERFOLKS isn’t bad, but fails as satire, which is how it originated.”

    Enh. It works okay as satire, but I agree it does take itself a bit too seriously as a work of satire. Michael Bishop’s COUNT GEIGER’S BLUES (Tor Books, 1993) works better as a satire story, in my opinion. (Wish that DC / Vertigo had done the comics adaptation for it, but a deal for that never got finalized.)

    “SOON I WILL BE INVICIBLE is great…” Yeah, I didn’t care for that one. Too much B.S. about the Hero and the Villain and the girl they both were into. I mean, really, it’s so much childish nonsense. “I kidnapped your girlfriend because I’ve always had a crush on her since childhood! And if I can’t have her then I will rule the world and make her my slave!” What are you, eight?


    Carrie Vaughn’s superhero fiction novels AFTER THE GOLDEN AGE and DREAMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE were pretty solid for what they are. I wish DC had talked to her about formally sending them her CHALLENGERS OF THE UNKNOWN pitch, but now it’s probably too late as most dumbass fans today would probably think it was too “SJW” or some shit. Basically the boys get themselves captured and it’s up to Corrina Stark and June Robbins to build a CotU comprised of women to go save the guys and subsequently the world – I’m massively underselling it because I don’t remember the whole details anymore – it’s been… *checks Facebook* holy crap, it’s been over SEVEN YEARS now since she and I discussed that idea! (Where the hell does the time go?!)

  5. OK, so: Both the Lone Ranger and the Green Hornet were created for radio by writer Fran Striker.

    The Lone Ranger had a nephew named Dan Reid, and the Green Hornet’s father was also Dan Reid. There was at least one reference in the Green Hornet radio show that spelled out the connection, when Dan reminisces about riding through Texas in his youth with another masked man, his uncle. They even had the William Tell Overture playing in the background to drive the point home.

    So while later writers have explored the connection more explicitly, it seems safe to say it was baked in from the beginning.

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