Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

Flippin’ through ‘Previews’ – November 2022

I thought Travis would have started this by now (it’s 13 November as I type this), but apparently his whittlin’ takes up too much of his time these days, so here we go! Maybe he’ll join us at some point? In the meantime, let’s have a gander at Previews #410 and see what’s what!

I got off schedule after you were out of the country and then we had the time change, and how can one be expected to keep up with this stuff, I ask you?!

I think you need to let me come up with your excuses for you, because yours are really laaaaaaammmmme.

You keep using the whittlin’ one, and that’s more of a summer activity, dadgumit!

I got a lot more than that!

I mean … ok?


In Lazarus Planet: Alpha #1 (page 2), a volcano has erupted and the chemicals it puts into the atmosphere give people powers or change peoples’ powers? I know ideas are hard to come by in these dark times, but didn’t DC already do this with the infamous gene bomb in Invasion!? Just sayin’.

I assume this is just the updated version of that story.  When’s the last time the gene bomb got invoked, anyway?

Sadly, no one at the DC offices remembers Invasion!, even though it was awesome.

Why is Alterna-Robin dressed like a jester?

That black-and-white Howard Porter art on page 11 for Bane’s “One Bad Day” special looks amazing … but it’s not going to get me to buy the book!

It is some of the best stuff I’ve seen from him in a while.  Didn’t he have an accident at some point in the time period post-JLA, pre-nu52 where he had to relearn how to draw?  He’s gotten back on that horse pretty well!

Yes, I think so. He has come back nicely, though.

The villains look like his art, but that Kevin Nowlan Batman on the cover of Batman: The Adventures Continue Season 3 on page 12 has a very abrupt mouth or something.  Sadly, Bat-voice Kevin Conroy passed away recently, who could have been voicing these comics, if you will. Less sadly, Ty Templeton recently announced he’s cancer-free, so I hope he got a chance to contribute to this series again!

Detective #1068 (page 14) is a Two-Face story … with Ram V doing something that sounds interesting. I’m not even sure I can describe it, so just read the solicit!

That’s one of those obvious but brilliant/brilliant but obvious ideas.  It reminds me of the Greyshirt story in Tomorrow Stories 2 (I think it was that issue).  I’ll want to see this when I eventually read the trade from the library or if I do indulge in the DC Infinite subscription to access their library of titles.

Another brilliant/obvious title is on page 15 with DC’s Harley Quinn Romances.  Fun!

Yeah, I like that DC keeps doing these anthology things to coincide with certain holidays. They’re fun.

Peter Milligan’s weird Batman stories get collected (among others) in Batman: The Dark Knight Detective volume 7 on page 45. If you haven’t read about the Hungry Grass yet, you really should!!!!

I might have the original issues around.  This one also collects one of the first Bat arcs I ever bought, Destroyer, the crossover between the three Bat titles (Batman, Detective, and Legends of the Dark Knight) where the newer architecture in Gotham gets blow’d up so that the movie’s Anton Furst designs became comics continuity as well.  It’s a reach.

I loved “Destroyer,” but it was pretty stupid.

Page 46 has The DC Universe by Dwayne McDuffie, which is cool, but it amuses me that his Justice League run isn’t here (it was, of course, famously editorially jerked around).

How long was that run? If it was a decent length, it probably couldn’t fit here, and they have JLA books for that, anyway.

Oh, I know it was probably too long, and the one JLA Showcase story is probably enough to indicate that he did work on JLA, but it still amuses me some.

Travis is easily amused!


Dang, why couldn’t that variant cover with Mickey and the gang as the Avengers (page 1) be an actual comic, because I would buy the hell out of that!

So would I, sir. So would I.

They’re doing a lot of these, and I want Mickey and friends in ALL OF THEM!!!!

“Dark Web” is a really dumb sounding crossover, and I always am amused when miniseries like Gold Goblin and the Mary Jane and Black Cat one are partly their own thing, partly part of the big crossover, but if those webbed covers actually all connect into one big huge panorama, that’s kinda neato.  I’d like to see the whole thing put together, but not enough to buy any of it.

Paul Levitz is writing a Marvel comic! Good for him! Alan Davis is drawing Avengers: War Across Time (page 7), so at least it will look good!

I do love the note in the solicit that Levitz had a letter published in an old Marvel comic years ago!

Speaking of which, Sara Pichelli is drawing Scarlet Witch (page 8), so at least it will look good!

Peter David is writing a Joe Fixit series (page 14) with Yildiray Cinar on art. I always liked the Joe Fixit Hulk, so I hope this will be good!

Yeah, it seems like a fun character to explore some more.

Um, did Hulk kill that guy?

I’m sorry, but Marauders 10 on page 30 made me stop.  “An unbreathing prison”?

Um, yeah. What the crap, Marvel solicits writer?

On page 43, the Marvel Tales books that collect neat minis and other significant issues from over the years features Avengers Two: Wonder Man and Beast, by Roger Stern and Mark Bagley, which is probably a pretty fun book.

When did that come out? That’s a strange pairing of people whose careers at Marvel don’t seem to overlap too much.

Memory says sometime within 10 years ago, the GCD says mid-2000, which means memory is sippin’ the monkey juice!  I guess this was around the time after Heroes Return, and maybe around the time Busiek was having some health issues so that Stern was helping him out some, and Bagley was still at Marvel for quite a while.

Ok, the cover of All-Out Avengers 5 on page 53 — considering what we’ve heard about Greg Land and where he gets some poses from, boy, is that image of Captain Marvel getting hit in the face with Spider-Man’s webs … questionable!

Oh, man, I didn’t need to think about that. Come on, man, this is a family blog!

Talk about this at the table with your children!

Al Ewing and Javier Rodriguez’s Defenders: Beyond gets collected on page 96. I don’t know if it’s good (I mean, Ewing is good, but who knows with corporate characters?), but I know it will look cool!

It definitely looked cool, from what I’ve seen just of the covers.

Page 100 has a couple good ones, with a complete run of Deadpool by Kelly Thompson, and Marvels Snapshots in trade finally, although in the end it was only a few bucks less than the HC, wasn’t it?

I’ll probably get that Deadpool, and I don’t have the Marvel Snapshots in front of me, so I’m not sure how much my copy was. It wasn’t the hardcover, though, it was the big-sized edition.

Oh, there was a Treasury size?  I forgot that.  Maybe I need to find that instead.

Ha, yeah, the Treasury Edition. Look at me, Mr. English Major: “big-sized.” Me use words gud.

Is okay.


Image changed their format. It feels … busier.

I tried downloading the catalog from a comic web store, but it wouldn’t work, so I can’t tell just from using the Previews site and the online Order Form.

Anyway, on page 34 we get Black Cloak #1 by Kelly Thompson and Meredith McClaren, and I am here for it! Kelly has been doing this on her Substack, and I told her I just didn’t want to do Substack for anyone (although, if I did do Substack, I’d probably sign up for hers), and she told me that it would eventually get published, and here it is! Whoo-hoo! Fantasy murder mystery stuff!

I think since I subscribe to her Substack for free I can download the chapters, but I haven’t yet.  There’s another book she’s doing that looks good too, so I look forward to finally catching up with her stuff!

So many variants!

Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura reunite for Immortal Sergeant on page 38, about a cop about to be forced to retire who gets a break on an old murder case that has bothered him for years. Off he goes! Kelly and Niimura, of course, gave us the absolutely brilliant I Kill Giants (which is brilliant, despite what some soulless naysayers on this very blog might say!!!!), so I’m keen to see what they’ve come up with here!

Sounds neat, and I remember IKG being quite good, although it’s been ages since I’ve read it.

Stringer on page 50 is about a guy who strings racquets who gets caught up in the international drug trade. You know, like you do. Could be nifty!

I do like when comics writers use some weird, seemingly unrelated field and works it into a story.

On page 62, Chip Zdarsky’s Public Domain, which is about a comics creator who isn’t fairly compensated for his work (it’s a fantasy!), is collected. I’m not the biggest Zdarsky fan, but I will probably check this out.

It sounds interesting.

Boom! Studios:

I’m curious to read Mosely (page 92), as it’s written but not drawn by Rob Guillory, and I’m interested to see if he can create a good story when he’s not drawing it. It’s about an old janitor fighting against “Tech Gods,” which isn’t a bad hook.

Dark Horse:

Matt Kindt is doing spy stuff again, as we get Spy Superb on page 120, in which the perfect spy is someone who doesn’t know he’s a spy … until he finds out. Oh dear!

Sounds funnier than what I think about with Kindt, so that’s neat.

Dude’s just trying to be a tourist!

He’s also doing detective stuff again, as on page 123 we get Mister Mammoth, which he writes but doesn’t draw. Kindt is good at spy stuff and detective stuff, so I’m looking forward to this stuff!

On page 129 we’ve got the Frank Miller/Geoff Darrow collabs of Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot as well as Hard Boiled, in new(?) second edition trades!  I’ve actually never read these!

Get on it, sir!

Blab!, the comics anthology, appears on page 133 — I guess this is a new volume, because I swear this book has been around before.


On page 181 we’ve got Green Hornet: One Night in Bangkok, a new one shot that indicates that Dynamite apparently got this license back after Moonstone had it for a year or two.  I guess he gets his kicks above the waistline, sunshine!

Shannon Denton writes this, and he’s a good dude, so I might have to get it.

On to the back of the book!

Paul Tobin’s and Alberto Alburquerque’s A Calculated Man, which sounds suspiciously like a certain Ben Affleck movie, gets a trade on page 217 from AfterShock. I’m still going to get it!

Pearl Harbor?

Yes, exactly that. [NB: I thought Travis might be joking, but he really doesn’t know what movie I mean. Do any of you readers?]

On page 254, Abrams Comicarts has Queenie: The Godmother of Harlem, which is about a gangster/guardian angel in 1920s Harlem. Sounds neat.

Taking no shit!

AWA has Absolution on page 279, which is by Peter Milligan and Mike Deodato. It’s the story of a hired killer who has a month to make up for all the bad thing she’s done, or the bombs implanted in her head will explode. Milligan probably had fun with this.

Yeah, it sounds like a fun Running Man kind of thing.

On page 280 Band of Bards has Coins of Judas 1 of 2, about a family that’s fought the demons that spawn from those 30 pieces of silver. Sounds kind of interesting.

Book Palace shows up on page 283 with some sweet stuff.  Illustrators 40 features underground artists Rick Griffin and Vaughn Bodé, while there’s also a Best of/10th Anniversary book, and lastly there’s Memoir in Pictures and Words by Brian Bolland, which should be neat, even though I was confusing it for the Gibbons bio that Dark Horse offered recently.

Fairsquare Comics has a good one on page 307 with Noir is the New Black Presents Watson and Holmes volume 1.  I really liked this version of the classic detective, and this appears to collect the original issues.  I think?  Let’s hope there’s more on the way.

I assume it’s the original issues. I did like this, but it ended somewhat abruptly. I wonder if this has some new stuff that finished the story, or if there is more on the way, because it’s pretty good.

On page 329, IDW has Breath of Shadows, the latest weird horror story from Rich Douek and Alex Cormack. It’s about a 1960s musician trying to get clean in the jungles of South America. Things don’t go well, I assume. This is a good creative team, so this should be neat.

The Exile on page 340 from Living the Line sounds pretty standard – a long-gone Viking returns home to Iceland and finds that things have changed, and not for the better. But who doesn’t love a good “one man against the world” kind of story, and the art looks pretty keen.

I get what you mean but I like the notion of a Viking story being “pretty standard”.  They had a Kickstarter for this but I decided I wasn’t quite interested enough in it to participate.

Didn’t Alexander Skarsgard just star in a movie like this?

Dan McDaid is an interesting artist, and he has a graphic novel on page 346 from Oni called Dega, which is about a lone survivor marooned on an alien world and the weird shit she finds. I mean, the solicit calls it “hypnagogic,” so how can you resist it?!?!?

Why is Richard Starkings telling us to read it back to front?

How dare you question Starkings’ pull quote!!!! He probably had a few glasses of wine before sitting down to write it, so cut the man some slack!

On 358-360, PS Artbooks has a bunch of cool stuff, including some stuff that I would think DC would collect, like Plastic Man (I have a volume of the DC Archives version of this) and Military Comics, and also neat Charlton stuff like Gorgo and Konga.

Yeah, why wouldn’t DC have the Plastic Man stuff? I’m sure there’s a clause in a contract somewhere that allows PS Artbooks to do this!

Rebellion/2000AD has a new, full-color edition of Halo Jones on page 362, and I’m sorely tempted to get it. This is a terrific Alan Moore story, in case you didn’t know, and it’s very good. Hmmm …

I’m surprised you didn’t get the 3 volume version of this that came out in the last few years.  I still haven’t read it but I need to get on that.  I also need to get to listening to the audiobook of Beardy’s new story collection, Illuminations.

I already own an old copy of the story, so I didn’t feel like getting the earlier versions. But it’s a nice collection, and it’s in color … I think it’s time to upgrade!

There’s also A Very British Affair: The Best of Classic Romance Comics on page 364 from Rebellion. This is a good chunk of change, but it still sounds neat.

There’s a complete collection of Once Our Land on page 367 from Scout. It’s an interesting post-apocalyptic tale set in 1830s Germany, and it’s nice it’s getting a big collection.

Sumerian Comics on page 383 has How I Became A Shoplifter, about the “criminal lifestyle” before technology took over.  Could be fun.

That does sound neat.

Maybe spray-painting your crimes on a wall isn’t the smartest idea?

Tripwire has their 30th Anniversary HC on page 386.  I missed the Zoop crowdfunding for this, but I might still order from my local shop.

OK, that’s it for now.  I promise to get on the next post quicker!

We shall see, sir, we shall see. Have a great Thanksgiving if you celebrate Thanksgiving, everyone, and have a good weekend if you live in one of those sad, Thanksgiving-less countries!


  1. Eric van Schaik

    Almost nothing, except the 5th X-men omnibus.

    In other news: I’ve got a new job, so hurray for me.
    Tomorrow we’ll see The Cure in Amsterdam, double hurray for me. 🙂

  2. Adrien

    Haven’t read the preview of a calculated man, (which to me harkens more to Shaft by virtue of it’s title) but I assume the Ben Affleck movie you meant was the Accountant? It’s a good movie, kind of like the later John wick movies where the cast is filled with solid B listers like Anna Kendrick and Jon Berenthal.

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