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Flipping Through ‘Previews’ — January 2021

Flipping Through ‘Previews’ — January 2021

A new year, a new Previews!

Travis wastes no time! Okay, we’ve both been wasting a LOT of time, as this is criminally late, but January has been weird. Let’s see if we can get this done before the end of the month!

January has been weird, thank you.  I’ll probably be posting soon about why my January in re: comics has been a little extra weird.  No, really, this time.

DC Connect #8. The solicits are here!

Wow, that cover is a lot of boring.  And Infinite Frontier #0 on page 3 sounds like the more things change …

You know we can’t see the cover, right? And yeah, Infinite Frontier sounds really dull. I’d like to give it a try just because I like giving these big one-shots that the Big Two do every once in a while, but 6 bucks is too rich for my blood, especially when it sounds this boring.

People are supposed to be reading along and looking at the cover alongside our column!  It’s like those old records that read the comic book story as you flipped through it yourself!

I think we’ve said this before, but I love seeing the term “fan-favorite artist” applied to someone I’ve barely heard of.  I won’t mention the specific usage here, but it’s an interesting term.

You don’t know everyone, you know. Plus, you’re, like, old, man.

… you’re old …

Didn’t they just do the big and final Joker story, ffs?  Now he’s got a whole damn series!

It’s drawn by Guillem March, though. Soooo goooooood!

I can’t entirely tell if you’re being serious.  March is pretty good but I’m not sure how serious you are.  Then again, you did buy a Batman annual that you knew had to have a shitty story just because it had Stokoe art, so I know you can be swayed by art!

Oh, I’m about 95% serious. March is terrific, and I’m always interested in what he’s drawing. I don’t often get it, and I probably won’t here, but I might dive into the first issue just for fun …

I wish Riley Rossmo worked on stuff I wanted to read more.  This new Harley Quinn title he’s on might be ok, but I like his other work more.

Holy shit, that’s a terrible cover. I mean, my goodness.

His style has gotten a bit stranger/bad in this case.

No, not the Rossmo one. That’s not bad. I’m talking about this one:

Interesting that they’re going with backup stories now.  I’m intrigued by Superman 29 because Phil Hester is on art and the backup story is checking in on Bibbo!

At least Detective 1034 sounds like it’s going to have an actual detective story.  Let’s see how much it actually is one, though.

That’s a good team, though – Mariko Tamaki and Dan Mora. Let’s hope they can stay on the book for a while!

Actually, though, the new Batman/Superman 16 sounds neat, as it seems to be exploring other realities, including the original movie serial villain Spider Lady, from what I’ve heard elsewhere.  And Gene Luen Yang is a pretty good writer, so I might seek out the trade.

I’m amused by how the new Justice League teaser image has 9 characters on it, and the “meet the new League” only lists 8.  Also, it lists The Flash, who I don’t see, and doesn’t list Green Arrow or Black Canary.  Good job DC!

Bendis is bringing his pet character Naomi on board, too. Good job, Bendis!

Well, that was to be expected.

Oh shit, is Nightwing going to find out that the Zuccos didn’t really kill his family?  Oh hells no!!!  /sarcasm

Actually, Batgirl finds out that his parents didn’t really die, they just really hated young Dick Grayson so they faked their deaths to get away from him.

I like that even more!

In that Wonder Woman image from #770 on page 36, is that Diana slouching over on the right side of the image (in the center of the other Wonder Women), or is she supposed to be drawn to look younger, like how the backup story is focused on her younger years?  Weird look she’s got, either way.

Dunno. I don’t know which cover you’re talking about, but I can’t see anyone slouching in either one. Comic book characters sit up straight, sir!

It’s the Travis Moore (that’s my cosplay name) wraparound cover, and it’s the WW holding the lasso.  Her shoulders looked kind of weird, maybe slumped, but it could be that he’s trying to draw her “young” and that’s why she looks odd to me.  Or else I’m just weird, dammit!

Oh, I see. Dunno. Her shoulders do look a bit weird, though, but I don’t know why.

I’ll be getting Superman: Red and Blue in trade.  Should be a fun look at various takes on the big S, done in red and blue, versus grumpy ol’ Batman’s black and white!

I wouldn’t have thought that a “Johnny Constantine” graphic novel aimed at young readers could work, but seeing that Ryan North and Derek Charm are the creative team on page 41’s The Mystery of the Meanest Teacher, I have a little hope.  Plus, Etrigan!

That sounds fun.

Interesting that they’re going into HC after the success of the TP, but I will recommend Teen Titans: Raven on page 44 as a quite good reworking of her origin.  I think I said something similar before, but it’s a shame that the creators of the “regular” DCU can’t do stories that are actually mature like this without being “sex and violence” mature.  A lot of these YA and kids GNs are skewing towards the “coming of age” narrative, which I know you aren’t a huge fan of, but they’re still more interesting than some of the stuff DC has been doing in the last few years.

Damn, I didn’t realize the Neal Adams Batman vs. Ra’s al-Ghul mini hadn’t finished!  I wonder if DC jerked him around and that’s why he did that FF mini, or if he put this on hold to do the FF mini.  All I know is Neal Adams does what he wants, and it’s been almost 10 years since I paid $10 for a couple of signatures from him.

Ooh, Batman: Creature of the Night, the long-awaited mini from Busiek and Leon is in a nicely priced trade on page 68.

Did you like Batman: Kings of Fear, in trade on page 70?  I forget if I read what you wrote about it, but I assume you bought it and wrote about it, anyway.

Oh, yeah, it’s pretty good. It’s worth it for the Kelley Jones art, while the story is fine, but nothing special.

On page 73 is DC Through the ‘80s: The Experiments, a HC selected by Paul Levitz to highlight various groundbreaking works that DC published back then.  I’ll have to look up what some of this stuff is, because it’s not immediately coming to me what these things are.  Also, two issues of Warlord?!

Page 81 has an omnibus of Superman by Tomasi and Gleason, and what I’ve read of their run was quite good, but I’m not sure I’d shell out for this.  Then again, it is 46+ comics for $125, which is about $2.50 an issue or so.  Not too bad.

What the hell was this Superman: Up in the Sky trade on page 82 by Tom King and Andy Kubert?  Was this a digital first thing?  Why would you not promote this better?  Oh, it was in those Walmart exclusive compilations.  OK.  Still …

You’re so angry!

I’m not sure what it was … maybe because it was written before Wednesday, and now things seem … like they’re angrying up the blood less now!

Is the Superman: Greatest Team-Ups HC on page 83 a way of testing the water for DC Comics Presents collections, or is this going to be it?  I thought they did a Showcase (B&W) volume or more, but that was it.

This looks pretty keen, so I might get it. If it includes the story where Superman corrects the math on a chalkboard before he rescues a bunch of people … well, that would be awesome. Superman The Dick is the best Superman!

That is awesome.  Don’t be screwing around when Mr. Superman is your math sub!

Image:

I like James Harren, and Ultramega by him on page 46 should be pretty neat, with an Ultraman/kaiju type story, but is he really “the greatest artist of his generation”?  Too high praise, solicit writer!

Yeah, that’s a bold statement. I know that Layman and Gillen have written their own solicit text in the past, so maybe this is a deliberate self-aggrandizing thing by Harren as a joke? I mean, I like Harren, but that’s way too bold, man!

Page 61 has the first trade of Big Girls, by Jason Howard, another kaiju type book, with men that are monsters and the giant women that love them … to get their asses kicked!  I’ll consider this.

Inkblot volume 1 is on page 63, and it sounded interesting, about a magical cat that threatens to destroy the universe, as cats are wont to do.  It’s by Emma Kubert, a third generation comics creator, so that too is cool.  (I haven’t heard much about Stephanie Buscema in a while, so I hope that she is still working in comics, as she’s another third gen creator I know of, and her work was awesome.)

Did you just randomly bring up Buscema because she’s similar to Kubert? That’s weird, man.

I knew it was weird when I did it, but I did it anyway.  But can you think of any other third generation comics creators though?

On the next page is another $10 first volume trade, with The Scumbag, which interested me in the “different artist each issue” gimmick to it, along with an interesting story of a self-interested scumbag that gets superpowers that make him a great super spy.

Yeah, but it’s Rick Remender, and the “Rick Remender Rule” applies: First issue probably amazing, second issue slightly less so, and then a continual drop in quality from there on out. Beware! Be aware!

I know you’ve talked about this before but I can’t remember his stuff as a whole to recognize that rule.  That’s why I’m glad smarter people than I (me?) are around!

On page 65 is Stillwater by Chip Zdarsky and Ramon K. Perez, about a town where nobody dies.  Perez is a fantastic artist, so I’m interested in this one.

Dark Horse:

I think we know you’ll be getting Orphan and the Five Beasts from Dark Horse on page 84, since it’s by James Stokoe.  I’m sure I’ll eventually get the trade.

The single issues will be cheaper, you know. Dark Horse will price the trade at 20 bucks, while four issues at four dollars is $16, so …

Page 87 has Tyler Boss’s Dead Dog’s Bite resolicited, although the missing character is still named (Cor)mac Guffin, because it’s clever.  Ahem.  I’ll probably get the trade since Boss is a good (even … boss) artist.

Page 100 has The Black Ghost, an interesting sounding trade about corruption and so forth, with art by George Kambadais, who’s quite good.

IDW:

Page 114 has Godzilla: Unnatural Disasters, collecting three Godzilla related minis, including In Hell, which had at least one issue by Stokoe, and Rage Across Time, which sounds cool, with the big G fighting in different time periods.  I think I have some of this stuff but I’m not sure what.

Crime Comics Confidential on page 120 sounds like a fun collection of pre-Code crime comics, including, it implies, the comics that were looked into by the Senate and which led to the Code.  So they must be good!

Those are some great artists in there, too. Of course I’ll be getting this!

Marvel:

Page 14 has a Beta Ray Bill series by Daniel Warren Johnson, so it should at least look cool.  The first issue also has a conversation between Johnson and Walt Simonson, so that should be cool too.

Page 18 has the new Alien series that Marvel is doing.  I had the thought recently, while reading about the new Marvel TV and movie stuff, that maybe these multiverse things are going to introduce things like Alien, Predator, Ultraman, and Conan into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or TV Universe.  It won’t surprise me to read that the upcoming Doctor Strange movie has at least Easter eggs for those characters.

Wolverine Black White and Blood made sense.  Carnage Black White and Blood does not.  (Page 26.)

Well, it makes sense insofar as Marvel likes repeating ideas ad nauseum until literally no one buys an issue. The logical ending for this “Black, White & Blood” trend is, of course, Power Pack: Black, White & Blood.

Which I would buy like a motherfucker.

I assume the Captain America Anniversary Tribute on page 30 is similar to the Giant Size X-Men special they did recently, with today’s hot artists redoing the hits of yesteryear!  If they’re going to redraw it, though, hopefully not everyone is drawing Cap as if he’s actually 80 like McNiven did on the cover …

I’m not going by the book this time, so do they actually show Spidey’s shitty new costume in Previews, or was it redacted for good taste?

It’s “classified”!

Good.  Don’t look at it if you can help it.

The Cosmic Ghost Rider Omnibus on page 94 is tempting.  It’s something that sounds so dumb it might be cool, so I’m intrigued.  Maybe if I can get this at a deep discount somewhere.

Yeah, the bit I’ve read doesn’t make it worth $100. It’s goofy fun, but not essential, at least not for that price.

In your post on the greatest runs (which was so exhaustive that I got exhausted reading it all, and I’ll have to go back to it sometime soon), you seemed to imply that the Stan and Jack run on Fantastic Four was on the list more because of historical reasons rather than being so good, and I have to tell you that you’re wrong.  Maybe by the end of the run, things cooled down, but the middle of the run is friggin’ smoking good!  And that part of the run is collected in the second Omnibus on page 96, with issues 31-60 and Annuals 2-4.  I read most of these in the Epic collections recently, and they are definitely awesome.  I’d say some of the magic probably dulls a bit through being able to binge the run fairly quickly, as I think it’s a bit like having an entire package of Oreos — you CAN eat them all in one sitting, and they’re damn good, but you probably better pace yourself.

Agree to disagree, I guess. I’m not saying they’re not great comics, but it feels more like a reflex that people put them on this list – “Oh, FF by Lee and Kirby. Of course!” – without really thinking about it. I overthink those lists anyway, so maybe I’m just projecting. I still haven’t read past the Galactus story, so I still can’t really be definitive about the entire thing.

I want a job naming Star Wars characters.  It seems like it’d be fun.

The aforementioned Giant Size X-Men redux is on page 98 in a Gallery Edition HC, and since it includes the original and the redone version in a big size, along with other features, the $45 price tag doesn’t seem too horribly spendy.

It’s a little spendy, but page 102 has Wolverine Black White and Blood Treasury TP for $30.  I think the original issues were 5 bucks each, though, so a larger size might be ok for 10 bucks more.  Plus our pal Kelly Thompson has a story in there, so it might be worth it just for that.

I’m getting this, because I imagine it will look amazing. I don’t care about the extra ducats!

Page 111 has an Epic collection of the early Silver Age Namor appearances, and it’s got a number of FF issues and the classic Daredevil crossover issues as well as other appearances.  It might be worth picking up.

Dynamite:

On page 161 is the trade of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: Death of Nancy Drew, which I’ve been waiting a while for, since it sounds kinda cool.

Back of the book!

Ablaze has a new Maria Llovet book with Eros/Psyche on page 204.  Her work is very interesting, so I’ll be getting the trade of this.

Nice that her non-‘Murican work is getting published here.

The latest Cerebus in Hell? one shot on page 207 is Flaming Cerebus Comics 1, from Aardvark Vanaheim.  I’m guessing since this is a parody of the cult Flaming Carrot, the sales on this one are going to be a bit lower than some of their more recent comics.  I wonder what Bob Burden has been up to lately, though?

Action Lab has a cool one on page 209 that I’ve been waiting for, Miranda in the Maelstrom, a trade about an explorer of the multiverse and her shark-dog and how they get back to each other after getting lost.

Who doesn’t love shark-dogs?

Archie has the new Sabrina collection, Something Wicked, on page 235 from our pal Kelly Thompson and Veronica Fish.  I’ll have to grab this one and get around to reading the other trade too.

AWA has cool $10 trades on page 249, and American Ronin by Milligan and ACO is the one I’ve really been looking forward to.  Grendel KY and Bad Mother sounded ok, but not as much as the other one.

Page 294 has the New York Review Comics edition of Jimbo: Adventures in Paradise, by Gary Panter, he of Pee-Wee’s Playhouse design fame.  Jimbo is very weird stuff and I believe a portion of this stuff appeared in RAW, and it’s good and strange and I ought to get this.

Over on page 312 is PS Artbooks with another “softee” book, this time <em>Golden Age Classics Fight Comics v. 1, featuring art by Eisner, Fine, Tuska, and Fletcher Hanks, among others.

Scout has some neat stuff on pages 316 and 317, with the trade of Atlantis Wasn’t Built for Tourists, which is worth looking at based on the name alone.  There’s also Midnight Western Theatre, with art by David Hahn, so it should be a good looking supernatural western, at least.  And Provenance of Madness deals with Lovecraft’s tales.  It’s fan driven, though, so the quality may be hit or miss.

Source Point Press has a few on page 320, like the trade of Hollow, a retelling of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Cult of Dracula, which sounds like it could be a grind house-type telling of the Dracula story; and Spaced Out, a MAD style parody of … well, stuff from the ‘60s, apparently.  But it might be amusing.

Digital Manga Distribution has a couple of neat Osamu Tezuka books on pages 354-355.  Storm Fairy is a collection of fairy tales, while Crime and Punishment is an adaptation of the Dostoevsky novel.  I’m intrigued by that one in particular.

Crime and Punishment is a terrible novel, though. I don’t know how anyone visualized it, because I imagine it will dozens and dozens of pages of the main character agonizing, which isn’t fun at all.

I hope the main character is depicted like Astro Boy!

Seven Seas has a couple interesting ones on page 395, like Superwomen in Love, where the female characters are named Honey Trap and Rapid Rabbit (oh my!); and Super Sentai Himitsu Sentai Gorenger Classic Collection, the prototype series that Power Rangers later came out of.  It’s interesting at least for that historical reason, anyway.

Hi everyone. Obviously this is extremely late and most stores have already had their FOC for these comics, but Travis and I thought it would be worth checking things out. I can’t speak for Travis, but January has been a pain in the butt for me, and I just never got inspired to do much with Previews. My order form, which usually easily reaches a second page and occasionally a third, was about three-quarters of a single page this month, because the comics in Previews just weren’t doing anything for me. Am I getting old? Probably. It’s probably just an anomaly, though, as February looks a bit better. I think I’ve finally hit COVID fatigue – the kids still aren’t back in school, which is annoying for everyone, and despite people in my life getting the vaccine, it still feels like there’s no end in sight with this stupid thing. Anyway, we will definitely be better about getting this post up next month, and I hope everyone is staying safe!

8 Comments

    1. Greg Burgas

      Carlos: It’s just so damned dull, though. He kills the two women on page 70 or something like that and spends 250 pages whining about it. And he basically tells everyone he did it but no one believes him! And then we get the simpering “Christian” ending, which I hear ol’ Fyodor didn’t like but felt he needed to do. The writing is very good, I’ll grant, but dang, I don’t need an existential crisis for 250 pages!!!! 🙂

  1. tomfitz1

    The truly distinguished gentlemen of Atomic Junk Shop:

    That was … rather short. Don’t you think?

    That Stephanie Buscema wouldn’t happen to be related to the famous Sal/John Buscema, would she?

    Well, Biden is in and Trump is out but the way things are … just a powder keg away from blowing things up. So much for peace and stability, eh?

    1. Greg Burgas

      Tom: As I noted, we were just having problems getting started this month, so yeah, it’s definitely shorter than usual. We toyed with not doing one, but Travis had already done some work on it, so we zipped through the rest. Sorry about that!

      Stephanie Buscema is John’s granddaughter!

  2. Der

    I haven’t read the post, but I just searched for “Usagi” and didn’t found anything so I’ll let you know that it appears that IDW is going to release some TPBs of Usagi(called “Usagi Yojimbo Origins”) and they appear to collect the first volumes, the ones that Dark Horse didn’t collect in their Usagi Yojimbo Saga volumes.

    I remember that Greg mentioned that he didn’t had the first volumes, so maybe you can check them out(it appears that the first one will release in March)

  3. Jeff Nettleton

    Wait…Himetsu Sentai Gorenger was not a Super Sentai! They weren’t Super Sentai until Battle Fever J, the third one, I hate it when they do retcons to Japanese Nerd culture! 8(

    Doesn’t matter, though…they all pale compared to the mighty awesomeness of Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman (aka Battle of the Planets, aka G-Force, Guardians of Space, aka Saban’s Eagle Riders). Where else can you have an insane hermaphroditic mutant, created from twins, by an alien entity, who wears a stylish fox-like mask? Also, the cartoon was violent as hell (before Sandy Frank got his scissors on it)!

  4. Eric van Schaik

    I’m glad you guys respected the streak (Bull Durham quote :)) , althought a short one.
    Like the last 4 months just Savage Dragon…

    We’re still in lockdown in Holland, whicht maybe ends at the 9th of February. The first few days there were quite a few riots, but most people came to there senses I guess.

    Still waiting for Ragnarok, Parker Last Call and Nexus-Gourmando.

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