Celebrating the Unpopular Arts
 

Flippin’ Through ‘Previews’ — March 2021

It’s already that time again!  It’s more comics and products from Previews #390!

Take your finger out of the electrical socket, Sonja!

DC:

Here are the solicits!

The new Wonder Girl is on page 3, and while the character sounds like she could be interesting, I wonder (HAHA!) if people are really clamoring for this.  The CW wasn’t, for instance.

Yeah, I have no interest in this. Of course, I’m bitter and cynical!

‘Hey,’ sez WG, ‘pay attention to me!’

In case the stories didn’t sound depressing enough, Future State: Gotham on page 5 is a series in B&W.  So it’s totally cool, man!

So edgy!

Cool-ass STOKOE cover, though

Milestone Returns: Infinite Edition 0 on page 8 should be cool.  I always liked those characters, even if I didn’t like the coloring.

Is that because you’re racist?

Dude!  No, I meant the coloring of the pages, of course.  It was similar to the Valiant coloring at the time, too, and I wonder if it was that they were digitally coloring but still printing on newsprint so that all the little tweaks they were able to do on the computer screen just mushed together as the paper absorbed the ink.

Well, I don’t know. You’ve been pretty quiet for a few years here on the blog – maybe you started thinking the ex-prez made some good points!

Wow, man, wow!  I’ve just been really lazy!

So, on page 23, we have Batman: The Detective, which is the renamed Batman: The Dark Knight.  Which is such an improvement.

Batman Holmes? Lord Batman? Bat von Man? Die Fledermaus-Mann? Le Batman? COME ON, DC!!!!

Even “Le Detective” would be better!

On page 49 is Sensational Wonder Woman 3, with a story written and drawn by Colleen Doran, which is always a cause for celebration!

Superman Red and Blue 3 on page 54 has a great lineup, with STOKOE!  Also, there’s Steven T. Seagle, Michel Fiffe, Duncan Rouleau, Christian Ward, and other cool creators.  It should be a good collected edition!

Truth and Justice 4 on page 56 has a Jason Todd story drawn by Rob Guillory, which means I may have to get a Jason Todd story!

Yeah, Guillory mentioned this on Facebook. I dig Guillory, but not enough to get this. Or maybe I will. I dunno.

See, I think Guillory would kill on a Joker comic, because he makes him cheery even as he’s psychotic!

I like how on page 64, in the solicit of the SC trade of Batman: Damned, it says it collects the “revised” version of the story.  A.K.A. the Bat-Dickless version!

That’s a shame. Bat-Penis is all I live for!

Um, did I type that out loud?

Don’t deny it or be ashamed!

Page 71 has Suicide Squad: Casualties of War, which reprints the Giffen run of this book.  I liked it from what I remember, but then I’m a big Giff fan!

Image:

Image does its own solicits, damn it!

The Good Asian on page 32 sounds interesting. It’s about a hard-boiled detective in 1936, and he’s Chinese-American, so that adds a nice layer of racism and assimilation and such to the whole thing. I’ll check it out when it gets collected.

I presume this is something of a check on Charlie Chan, who was a big character in this era.  I’m glad to see Pornsak Pichetshote is following up the very good Infidel.  I saw recently that he was writing an episode of Two Sentence Horror Stories, which is apparently on the CW but I think also on the Netflix that the kids like to chill with.

And, of course, he has perhaps the greatest name in comics, so there’s that.

Oh, so now Charlie Chan is canceled? Where will it end, libs?!?!?!?

On page 40 is Aquarius: Book of Mer #1, which is about mermaids, which in and of itself doesn’t overly excite me, but it’s being done by Afua Richardson, who’s a really good artist, so I may have to get this in trade down the road.  Holy shit, though, she’s an amazing polymath — look at her Wikipedia page!  It doesn’t even mention the work on Lovecraft Country that this solicit talks about (and which makes me want to see that show even more because I really liked the book), but she’s a singer/dancer/flautist, and she drew Genius, which was another favorite series of mine.  Hmm, maybe I want this book in singles after all!

I don’t think I’ve read anything by her (unless I forgot about it), but I do like her art, so I’ll probably get this in trade. And Lovecraft Country is … fine, I guess. A bit all over the place, but the actors make it work as well as it does.

Crossover is offered in trade on page 55. This sounds pretty keen – basically a world where everything in fantasy is real – and Donny Cates is a decent enough writer, and I dug the art on the first issue. Full speed ahead!

I inadvertently got spoiled on the ending of the third issue, but that actually made me want to read the series even more, to see how they got there and where they would go from there.  Good job, Cates and the people who spoiled this for me (including me!)!

On page 56, volume 1 of Home Sick Pilots is offered. It’s about a walking haunted house. You know, normal stuff. Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard are good creators, so I trust them to make this work!

Ooh, and it’s 10 bucks for 5 issues, which you know I like!

Dark Horse:

Solicits here!

The House of Lost Horizons on page 80 is a locked-room mystery set in Hellboy’s world, so it’s Mignola doing his thing with Chris Roberson co-writing and Leila del Duca drawing, and yeah, that sounds fun.

That does sound fun.

The skull is neat

Page 88 has Raptor, the new GN by Dave McKean, about a raptor living two different lives, one human and one bird, and how he copes.  It should look interesting, anyway!

I thought this was a resolicit, or else I would have mentioned it, because, yeah, even though McKean the writer isn’t as good as McKean the artist, he still writes interesting (and gorgeous, naturally) comics.

On page 89 is the novel Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League, which is apparently the official sequel to the movie.  I still haven’t seen it, but I think when Jim talked about it a while ago, I found it to watch on some streaming services but didn’t watch it yet.

You haven’t seen the actual movie? Dang, what kind of a nerd are you? And yes, at the end of the movie they promise a sequel about the World Crime League.

EC Archives Vault of Horror is offered in trade on page 98, so if you’ve passed up these collections in the past for being too spendy, this version is only $20!

I’ve ordered one or two of the hardcovers, and I don’t think they’ve ever shown up at my store. It’s very weird.

I don’t know if Heart in a Box is out of print, but it’s offered again on page 104, and you should get it. This is Kelly Thompson’s first big splash in comics, and it’s absolutely superb. The story is terrific, and Meredith McClaren’s art is stunning. I loved it when it came out, and I can’t recommend it enough!

Presumably it’s out of print since there’s a second edition coming out.  This one says it’s a bigger size, new cover, and new back matter, so I’ll have to grab this when it comes out.

Operation Dragon is on page 105, about how Japanese soldiers had trained dinosaurs in WWII.  The solicit says that WWII buffs will “love the historical accuracy”, which is a comical notion.  If you’re adding dinosaurs in the mix, does it matter if the rest of the stuff is 100% historically accurate?!?!

That’s awesome. I mean, look at the woman on the cover. There’s no way she’s historically accurate, and she’s on the cover!

Historically accurate!

Hey, there’s a new volume of Bandette (HC 4) on page 106.  I really need to get around to reading the first 3!

You should. They’re keen.

IDW:

I don’t really want to get Rob Liefeld’s Snake Eyes, which is in trade on page 116, but I fear I won’t be able to help myself. Stop me, someone!!!!

There’s no way in hell I’m talking you out of that one!

Marvel:

Check out the solicits!

Heroes Reborn (which I guess is a weekly series?) sounds gloriously stupid, which means I might have to get it in trade. It’s a world without the Avengers (so sad!), which is protected by the Squadron Supreme. This isn’t spinning out of anything, is it? It seems like all Marvel and DC do these days is simply pile one event on top of the other. I want a big stupid event that stands alone, damn it!!!!

It presumably is coming out of Jason Aaron’s Avengers run, as the Squadron Supreme has been a part of his run.  Sorry to burst your bubble about that.

I assumed it was, but it still seems like you can read it without worrying about that, because it seems like a pretty simple idea. That’s what I meant. I’m thinking of the last event I read, Fear Itself (also by Aaron!), which was garbage but which you could read pretty much on its own, even if you hadn’t been reading Aaron’s Thor. I know all events come out of things that I might not have read, but if it’s a simple idea, like this seems, you don’t need to read anything first. I could be wrong, of course.

That is a good point, and it should be what the companies aim for.  Although they’d rather have you “have” to buy all the tie-ins.

On page 20, there’s a Reptil mini-series? What fresh hell is this?

I can’t even remember what book that character came out of.  Avengers Academy, was it?

… Yes?

There’s another Shang-Chi mini on page 22, but didn’t they just do one?  Are they not even going to have a subtitle or volume number on this one?

When things sell well, you strike while the iron is hot! Don’t you know anything about sales, Mr. Pelkie?

I find it hard to believe that this sold that well …

Page 24 has Fantastic Four: Life Story, which is written by Mark Russell, so it should be good.  I didn’t read the Spider-Man Life Story book, but I think this has the same conceit where the characters live through real time.

That’s what it says in the solicit. The Spider-Man one was pretty good, and Russell is good, so I’ll get the trade! (The solicit claims it’s six issues, but at the bottom, it claims it’s a “one-shot.” What the heck, Marvel?)

This looks like Moon Knight is crashing a FF cover!

Marvel Tales: Thanos Quest on page 38 reprints the two issue series from 1990 for just 8 bucks, which probably isn’t a bad deal.

Because I am a sucker, I will be getting Kull the Destroyer: The Original Marvel Years Omnibus on page 90 for $125. The 1970s Marvel REH comics are quite good, across the board. So why not?

Some great artists on that, too, with the siblings Severin, Ploog, and Wrightson.

Page 94 has the Death of Captain Marvel Gallery Edition HC, which would be spendy for just that GN for 45 bucks, but it actually includes 6 other books, so it might be worth it to see the stories of this Captain Marvel at large size.

I might actually get that, because I’ve never actually read the graphic novel. Marvel has only reprinted it 76,493 times, so I don’t know what my problem has been.

Same here, oddly enough!

Fantastic Four: Fate of the Four HC on page 98 collects the recent Marvel Two-In-One run, with Thing and the Torch looking for the rest of the Four.  From what I read of it, it was pretty good stuff.

Not a bad price for 13 issues, either, especially in a hardcover.

Page 103 has a new edition of the Captain America Bicentennial Battles Treasury Edition, which is all Kirby action!  I don’t know if this is a new edition of the original, or if there was a more recent reprint that this is reprinting.

Let’s get to the back of the book!

On page 207 is the Aardvark-Vanaheim offerings for the month, with the monthly one shot of Cerebus in Hell? being Baby Yoda Comics, and the second collection of the one shots, Swords of Cerebus in Hell? Volume 2.

Abram ComicArts has Black Star on page 207, which is about two people trapped on a hostile alien planet with only a shuttle for one for rescue. Things, presumably, do not go well. Sounds neat.

They must have heard different things than I did, it’s a strange way of — oh, I’m being told that this is NOT, in fact, an adaptation of David Bowie’s last album.  Oops.

It certainly looks Bowie-esque!

I’m not sure Garth Ennis is the best person to write about black aviators in World War II, but he probably is the best person to write about World War II, so I’ll pick up the trade of Dreaming Eagles, which is about the Tuskegee airmen, on page 220 from AfterShock. It’s drawn by Simon Coleby, which is an added bonus.

The trade of Penultiman is on page 222 from Ahoy Comics. Ahoy hasn’t put out anything bad yet, so I’ll be picking this up.

I wish I’d paid attention when the fourth of 5 issues were offered, so I could have made a “penultimate Penultiman” joke.

Speaking of Ennis, on page 244 is AWA’s new book of his that I’ve been looking forward to, Marjorie Finnegan, Temporal Criminal, which is apparently an 8 issue series, with art by Goran Sudzuka.

That’ll be good … as a collected edition!

Behemoth has Osaka Mime on page 248, which is a story of a supernatural killer that takes the form of the last thing it eats. So of course it’s terrorizing Osaka? Anyway, sounds keen.

Over on page 249, we find Jeanne & Modigliani: Paris in the Dark from Black Panel Press, which is about Modigliani and the last woman he hung out with. Was she the woman who threw herself off the roof when he died even though she was pregnant? It wasn’t the woman he threw through a window, I don’t think. Modigliani sounds like a complete dick, is what I’m saying. Good artist, though.

I know the name more than the art, and I don’t know either that well.

He painted portraits that look like the one below, which is of the woman who’s the subject of the book.

On page 258 is yet another Great Gatsby adaptation, this time from Clover Press.  I saw recently that the reason these are happening is because the novel fell into public domain with the turn of the calendar, so that’s why we’ve seen so friggin’ many of these lately.

Conundrum Press has The Gift on page 261, which is a story about Anastasia Romanov that sounds like it has some interesting horror elements in it. Well, why not?

That does sound strange and intriguing.

Spooooky!

On the same page, from Crown Books for Young Readers, is Ham Helsing, Vampire Hunter.  That’s right, the dude from Dracula, but a pig.

On page 268, Fantaco has Gorgo Attacks! in both SC and HC, collecting the ‘60s giant monster comics that… Dell?  Charlton? did.  Not sure why the big price difference between the two versions, but it might be fun.

Hard covers are 20 dollars more expensive. Take an economics course, ya lazy butt!

Yeah, I guess that’s not as far off as I was thinking when I typed it.

Fantagraphics has a couple on page 270 and 271, with Ed Piskor’s new monthly comic Red Room, with at least this issue about murders on webcam (fun for the whole family!), and Richard Sala’s final work, apparently (I don’t remember hearing that he died last year, but I may have when this was first solicited), Poison Flowers and Pandemonium, an anthology collection.  His stuff was sort of fun horror.

Those are two creators that I know I should like because all the high-brow people like them, but I just can’t get into them. I recognize the craft and skill, but something about their work just doesn’t do it for me. I probably will check out the Piskor book, because I like him a bit more than Sala, but I guess I have to turn in my comics snob card, because I just don’t love either dude.

On page 282 is Hermes Press giving us the first of 3 volumes of DC’s run of The Phantom from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.  From what I see, there was a four issue mini (featured here), and a 13 issue run (the first 2 of which are here), meaning the remaining 11 issues are coming in the remaining 2 HCs that Hermes has planned.  Which is kind of ridiculous, since I doubt these books go for much on the back issue market, and a collection of all 17 issues in one book would probably be about 400 pages, which probably would be worth a $50 HC.  But three of them?  I highly doubt it.  Plus, from what I recall, Hermes has had problems getting things out in a timely manner.  But if this is the kind of thing you’re into, maybe you’ll go for this.

On page 291, from Last Gasp Comix, is Slow Death Zero, the ecologically minded underground comix book.  Lots of great creators on this.

Ray Fawkes’s self-congratulatory note on page 305 about his new book, One Line (from Oni), doesn’t dissuade me from getting it, despite my mixed feelings about Fawkes’s solo work. I like that he pushes the boundaries of comics storytelling, but his stories don’t always cohere, exactly. But there it is, and if you’ve never read a Fawkes book before, why not try it?

Creators need to not write self-congratulatory pieces about their own work.  I would have eventually hated Identity Crisis, of course, but I hated it from the get-go because I read the collection that had Meltzer and Morales talk about how fucking great they did and how much the stuff they did was awesome and of course it was because sales.  Also, that book has an intro by Joss Whedon about how “of course” the heroes would do the mind wipe shit because they would have had to, which made me question his judgment, so none of the recent accusations against him surprise me.  Yeah, I went out of my way to shit on Whedon, but I brought up Identity Crisis, and until I purge all of my ugly emotions about that book out, I will be unclean.  (Jean didn’t want Ray Palmer back, she’d moved the fuck on!  Read the Atom Special by Peyer and Dillon, you fucking morons!!!)

I feel better now.

Good for you! Well done!

PS Artbooks has Tales from the Tomb magazine on page 313, horror comics written by John Stanley of Little Lulu fame (and “art” by Tony Tallarico, among others).

Renegade Arts Entertainment, on page 317, goes all Hitchhiker’s with Shame, offering both the collected trilogy as well as books 4 and 5 of 9 in the series.  A trilogy of trilogies, perhaps?

I own the first book, and it’s not bad. Bolton’s art is terrific, but the story isn’t too great. I don’t know how Kindzierski managed to get nine books out of it, but maybe I’ll pick them up at some point to see!

Scout has a number of good ones on pages 318-319.  Joseph Schmalke does art and writes both Cherry Blackbird, which mixes the whole “27 club” rock thing with the “collect souls for the devil to free yourself from a pact with him”, but this one is so adult it has to be polybagged, like it was a middling mid-90s Image book!  Oh, shit!  And the other one from Schmalke here is the Phantom Starkiller Legendary Edition, an Artist’s Edition of the recent one shot.  That’s kind of neat, but a bit spendy too.  The trade of Sweet Downfall has a crash test dummy who does mob hits, which sounds a little close to Scud the Disposable Assassin to me, but I believe you said you liked the creator, Stefano Cardoselli.  I haven’t read them yet, but I have been getting the Gutt Ghost one shots, and now there’s a collection coming.  It’s got enough new stuff in it that if I do like the singles I’ll probably also get the trade!

Cardoselli’s comics are kind of bananas, so I’ll get this one. Looks ginchy!

That’s a cool cover

Source Point Press has several neat sounding ones on page 323.  Yuki vs Panda is about a girl who wronged a panda 10 years ago [Edit: Like you do], and how the panda still craves revenge [Edit: Like they do, lousy bloodthirsty pandas!].  Seis Cuerdas: Defender of Mexico is about a reluctant mariachi who must become a hero, and unfortunately my Spanish is rusted over and I only know that it’s 6 something.  Classic Pulp Ghosts one shot should be pretty good, as the horror and Ellery Queen one shots have been.  There’s the trade of Backfired, where a writer has a chance to pitch his superhero comic to Hollywood, but everything seems to conspire against him.  And on page 324 is Touching Evil volume 2, which I think picks up the story after the HC I got a number of years ago and STILL haven’t read (no surprise, right?), so if I like that, I’ll have to get this trade eventually.

Robert Rodriguez may sue!

TwoMorrows does their usual awesomeness on page 335, with Alter Ego 170 being a Kirby issue, and Back Issue 128 being a Bronze Age TV tie-in issue.  Should be plenty of fun stuff covered!

Vault has a slate of good stuff, starting with The Blue Flame on page 344, which sounds like something of the best Astro City stories, examining a superhero standard and thereby examining superheroes in general.  And Money Shot is back on page 346 with issue 11, after several months off.

And it appears Rebekah Isaacs is no longer drawing it. Sad emoji.

Z2 has one on page 350 that looks neat.  Anthrax: Among the Living is a … is this an adaptation of the album?  And Grant Morrison is among the writers?  WTF is going on in comics?  The rest of the writers, sure, but GMozz has never struck me as a metalhead!

Did it never come up whilst you were hanging out with them for all these years?

You think I’m cool enough to hang out with either Anthrax OR GMozz?!

On page 359 is Digital Manga Distribution’s latest presentation of some of Osamu Tezuka’s work, with a mixed grab bag of stories on the darker side, Under the Air.  I usually associate his stuff with being a bit less serious, which I’m not sure why, because the origin of Astro Boy is pretty dark and heartbreaking stuff.

Flipside!

On M-38 are figures of Sam and Max that look really neat.  I guess they’ve had more success as video games than as comics or cartoons, but the comics and cartoons I’ve seen of them are just so damn funny.

As usual, we’re ridiculously late (I’d blame Travis, but then he’d blame me, and it would just get ugly fast, and I mean that literally, if you’ve ever seen either one of us!), so we apologize. There’s still time to pre-order from Previews, so we hope you find something interesting here! Have a nice day!

6 Comments

  1. tomfitz1

    I’ve read DREAMING EAGLES when it came out, as I pretty much read anything by Ennis. It was pretty good.

    Looking forward to reading MARJORIE FINNEGAN: TEMPORAL CRIMINAL while waiting for BATMAN: REPTILIAN and the next Punisher project (with Goran Sudzuka(.

  2. Eric van Schaik

    I wish the next time this post will arrive a bit sooner guys.
    I hope I can still order some stuff you mentioned. Last weekend was the possibility to order.
    I already browsed through the next digital version for this month.

  3. Jeff Nettleton

    Yeah, WWII buffs will love the historical accuracy, like those 1980s ammo pouches on the web gear of the guy in the foreground. Weaponizing dinosaurs; all you need is a flame thrower and it is dino-steaks time; and, the US Marines love a good barbecue!

    The DC Phantom was pretty good; but, yeah, 3 volumes?

    Seis cuerdas means “6 strings,” as in guitar.

    Gorgo was from Charlton, originally based on the film, then further monster stories. They had Gorgo, Reptilicus (which became Reptisaurus), and Konga. They also had a solo Dino comic, but he didn’t do as much rampaging through the city; just Fred’s living room.

  4. Well, figure six, six, and five issues respectively for the DC Phantom collections, I guess. But what’s annoying about it is, if you’ve got the Phantom license then just frigging do them ALL. There was a three-issue mini from Marvel when they had the rights for fifteen minutes or so in the nineties, and a bunch of one-shots from Moonstone in the oughts as well. None of them had enough volume or longevity to justify breaking them out by publisher. So volumes one and two for the DC books and then volume three is Marvel/Moonstone. Somewhere in there you had a Phantom 2040 book as well, but I can’t remember how long it ran. The DC series is definitely the best of the lot but none of them were BAD.

    1. Jeff Nettleton

      I was questioning the collection strategy, rather than the quality, as I was on board for those. Just seems like an odd split; but, paper economics probably plays some factor in 3 smaller books than two bigger ones.

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