Holy Buckets, is it the ninth already?!
Normally I would’ve gotten around to my Previews Roundup last week, but with HeroesCon fast approaching and the ISB Convention Special needing a few etra finishing touches, I just couldn’t bring myself to slug it out with a 552 page monster that includes statue of a busty anime girl with, and I quote, “removable lingerie.”
But never let it be said that the ISB didn’t rise to a challenge, even in the face of abject horror! There’s still a couple days before the order deadline, after all, so join me for another cataclysmic commentary on Diamond’s August offerings! Tonight: The majors!
Ring the bell, sucka! School’s back in!
Dark Horse Comics
P.28 – The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1: There’s no easy way to do this, so I’m just going to come right out and say it: I really like My Chemical Romance, and I don’t care who knows it. I mean, yeah, they’re highly derivative and I know intellectually that I probably shouldn’t like the music as much as I do, but I’ll be damned if they’re not pretty entertaining.
Plus, they did a cover of “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and while I’d rather chug turpentine than listen to Mariah Carey, I do love that song.
Even so, I was all set to openly mock frontman Gerard Way’s efforts on the Free Comic Book Day preview of The Umbrella Academy–because that is, after all, my custom–but after I actually read it, it turned out to be way more awesome than I was expecting. This, of course, probably has a lot to do with the fact that Way’s joined by the phenomenally talented Gabriel Ba (of Casanova fame) on art and James Jean on the covers, but it’s all added up to a book I’m actually really excited about reading.
P.33 – Groo 25th Anniversary Special: While we’re on the subject of mildly embarrassing confessions, I might as well get this one out of the way: Despite being a fan of Sergio Aragones’ work in MAD for as long as I can remember, I’ve never actually read an issue of Groo. Shameful, I know, but it’s always been one of those runs that I can never put together. Needless to say, though, I plan on rectifying this oversight with the anniversary special.
P.66 – Countdown 39-35:
Sorry, DC: I’ve already dropped Countdown, and no amount of goth cheerleader bondage is going to get me back on it now.
P.66 – Countdown To Adventure #1: Clearly, the campaign to Free Buddy Baker has achieved its first major victory, but I’m more excited about the new addition to the gang from the largely interminable Space Heroes storyline from 52 than anybody we’ve already seen: The Forerunner. Admittedly, she probably has nothing whatsoever to do with Neutrog the Forerunner–you know, that guy Metamorpho fought that one time in 1967–but I will say that if this whole thing ends up being about Adam Strange and Animal Man squaring off with a two-foot tall galactic conqueror who can only be defeated by guitars that also shoot lasers, this will be the single greatest comic book ever published.
P.79 – Action Comics #855: I’ve mentioned my distaste for the alleged Geoff Johns/Richard Donner run on Action Comics before–mostly based around the fact that it’s not very good and involves a Fortress of Solitutde with no door, a concept I fundamentally disagree with–but man, there’s really no way I can say no to seeing Bizarro World by The Goon‘s Eric Powell. At the very least, it’ll be very, very pretty.
P.88 – Dr. Thirteen: Architecture and Morality TP:
Just a reminder here: Despite the fact that it was lumped in as the backup story in the otherwise atrocious Tales of the Unexpected, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s Dr. Thirteen story was amazingly entertaining. And now, thanks to the miracle of Modern Technology, it can be yours without the risk of accidentally reading part of the Spectre story while flipping to where Chiang’s gorgeous artwork starts! Everyone’s a winner!
P.118 – Confessions of a Blabbermouth:
A comic about blogs on a blog about comics?! OH SHIIIII–
P.129 – DC Direct Justice: Series 7 Opera Diva Gorilla Grodd Action Figure:
P.140 – Special Forces: Under virtually any other writer in the comics industry, a solicitation describing a book about retarded soldiers as “the wackiest boot camp since Stripes,” promising to include both “a violent mental patient hot chick felon and at least one ‘Don’t ask don’t tell'” would probably sound like the most atrocious thing since, say, Hewoes, but considering that this is the new Kyle Baker book, solicitation text hardly matters. Of course you should get it.
P.151 – Steve Niles’ Strange Cases: Hey, you guys remember that time Steve Niles stole that dude’s girlfriend and then threatened to kill him? Now that was a pretty strange case.
P.17: Spider-Man/Red Sonja #1:
There is a certain segment of the population to which a cover featuring both Venom and a poorly drawn woman in a chain-mail bikini will represent the pinnacle of comic book art. They’re the ones that even the people buying New Avengers/Transformers are going to be making fun of.
Then again, I bought Witchblade/Punisher this week, so clearly, my hypocrisy knows no bounds.
P.29 – Daredevil #100: I didn’t really want to fall into the trap of talking about the covers for Marvel’s entire lineup here or anything–although I could probably go on all night about the pure shot of awesome that is Star-Lord #2’s–but it looks like your choices for this August’s big Daredevil are this one…
…which features most of DD’s major villains, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Black Widow, Elektra, and Iron Fist punching a Ninja right in the freakin’ face, or this one…
…which scores thematic points by looking like it was actually drawn by a blind man. The choice is yours, folks.
P.46 – Heroes for Hire #13: I know, I know: Again with the covers, but really, if I didn’t get around to talking about this thing at some point, I think they’d revoke my comics blogger license. Anyway, as much as this is going to hurt my chances in the upcoming elections for treasurer of the He-Man Woman Haters Club, I’ve got to say that I actually agree with Lea Hernandez, who tried to salvage any sort of workable content from a cover depicting three heroines in immediate danger of being sexually assaulted by Lovecraftian horrors.
It is, to say the least, a pretty herculean task, but just by changing their faces–especially in changing Black Cat’s expression from terrified disgust to just plain grossed out–goes a long way towards turning the piece from pure exploitation to parody, which I have to think was the goal all along. The only other possibility–that somebody thought tentacle rape was enough of a selling point to slap on the cover–is too depressing to even consider.
I still can’t figure out why Black Cat’s wearing a collar with a bell on it, though. I mean, that’s just nuts.
P.58 – Series Title To Be Announced #2: At this point, everybody probably already knows that Matt Fraction and Barry Kitson’s new series–originally titled The Champions, before Marvel was gently reminded that they no longer own the copyright to that name–has been re-titled The Order. Me, I had Mighty Defenders in the pool, because, come on: That woulda been awesome.
And that’s it for the majors. Feel free to discuss anything I didn’t bother to talk about amongst yourselves, and be here tomorrow as I take on the small press and merchandise for three-hundred pages of sheer terror!
Do you dare miss my thoughts on the latest offerings from Yaoi Press? Be there!
BONUS FEATURE: Oh Why The Hell Not?
Since you asked, the cover for Annihilation Conquest: Star-Lord #2: