Chris vs. Previews: July 2007, Round One

Sweet Christmas, is it that time again already?!

Yes, the inexorable march of time continues, and with the dawn of this most patriotic of all months, there’s an entirely new Previews catalog for your ordering pleasure!



Yeah yeah, you all know the drill by now: Tonight, the major publishers go under the theoretical magnifying glass of the ISB as I attempt to inform your purchases by making fun of things three months before they come out! Let’s get to it!



Dark Horse Comics


P.22 – The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite #1: I already covered this one in last month’s CVP when it was solicited the first time–which, when you get right down to it, is a little disconcerting–but even putting everything I said last month aside, this thing really does look like a lot of fun. I mean, come on:



A team of super-powered schoolchildren fighting Zombie Robot Gustave Eiffel? I honestly don’t care what happens in the rest of the book at this point, because that is awesome.


P.34 – Lobster Johnson: The Iron Prometheus #1: It’s recently come to my attention that when I did my list of 50 Things I Love About Comics last week, I left out #10, a mistake that I’d like to rectify right here:

10. Lobster Johnson, pictured here with Janos Prohaska and our sixteenth president:



DC Comics

P.74 – Countdown Presents The Search For Ray Palmer: Wildstorm #1: Earlier today, Sugarbear’s Pal Dorian pointed out an interview on Newsarama where the much-beleaguered Ron Marz promoted this series, saying (with emphasis added): “Certainly the Wildstorm Universe is not a mirror image of the DC universe. As far as we know, there are no analogous versions of Midnighter or Apollo.”

Really, Ron? Really? You can’t think of anybody those two might be analogs for? Anyone? Anyone at all? Really?


P. 74 – Supergirl #21: With the news that Tony Bedard and Renato Guedes were the new team for Supergirl for the next few issues–marking the first time that book’s had somebody that I thought had any idea what the heck was going on with it–I’ve been interested in seeing what was going to happen with the title. And as it turns out, “what happens” appears to be…



Supergirl hitting Karate Kid with a car engine. So yeah: Buyin’ it.


P. 76-77: The Black Canary Wedding Planner/JLA Wedding Special #1: I’ll be honest with you, guys: I have little to no interest in Black Canary and Green Arrow getting married. That said, I’m actually really looking forward to these, thanks to the presence of Degrassi’s J. Torres and new JLA writer (and ISB favorite) Dwayne McDuffie, who very, very rarely disappoint. Sadly, the same cannot be said for…

P.78 – The Green Arrow/Black Canary Wedding Special #1: …Judd Winick, who pretty much disappoints every time he opens up a word processor. Thus, I plan to avoid this one pretty studiously, and the same goes for the upcoming ongoing series, even though it features the absolutely beautiful art of Cliff Chiang. As for the wedding itself, the usual suspects are already debating over whether Black Canary getting married is a crime against the Sisterhood or not, and since I’m always right, I thought that I’d take this opportunity to settle things once and for all:

Black Canary getting married is not misogynistic.

Black Canary having sex with Green Arrow in a filthy dumpster after he cheated on her, however, was pretty damn Ludacris.



P.80 – Infinity, Inc. #1: Oh man! Pete Milligan writing a book about young super-heroes who have more power and fame than they can handle, dealing with the problems that accompany life in the public eye and the constant pressure of having to save the world? That sounds gr–HEY WAIT A MINUTE!


P.81 – Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #1: One of the biggest problems I have with writing these little chats we have every month is that a lot of the stuff I want to talk about is stuff that I’m actually honest-to-God excited about, and don’t really have jokes for. So, pardon me for a minute while I indulge in a little pure boosterism: I may just be misremembering here, but I’m pretty sure that when Dan DiDio announced this thing at HeroesCon, the news was met with a standing ovation, a guitar solo, and an eagle soaring int o perch majestically on his outstretched arm. And with good reason: Suicide Squad is, without question, right up there with Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing and Walt Simonson’s Thor as one of the best comics of the ’80s–and it’s still not out in trade, by the way–so this one’s gota lot of promise. Sure, John Ostrander’s gotten older, and he’s recently turned in some pretty awful stuff in the form of the “Grotesk” fill-in on Batman and his issue of World War III, but that guy has sixty damn near perfect issues the Squad to balance things out, and even though I can’t stop thinking that maybe it’s time for a guy like Greg Rucka to take things over (which he’s pretty much done in Checkmate), I know he’s got it in him to do some wonderful things with the characters. Here’s hoping!


P.85 – Showcase Presents the Metal Men v.1: Just a reminder: these stories are awesome.


P.97 – JLA/Hitman #1: I’ll probably be writing this exact sentence again when the book actually comes out, but to me, Hitman eclipses even Welcome Back Frank as Garth Ennis’s finest work. Not to get too into it, but I feel like Ennis relies on ultraviolent shock value and profanity–both things that I certainly enjoy–way too much, so when those easy outs were taken away by Hitman’s very nature as a DC Universe comic, he did some of his absolute best character work with Tommy Monaghan and his great supporting cast. Which, really, is just a longwinded way of saying that there’s a good chance that this’ll be seriously awesome.


P. 110 – Presents v.1: Man, I’ve been getting way too much sleep lately. Anybody got something that’s guaranteed to give me some truly horrific nightmares?



Ah! Thanks, CMX!


Image Comics

P. 146 – The Mice Templar #1: When I first heard about Mice Templar, I–like a lot of people, I imagine–immediately assumed that it was a completely shameless attempt to capitalize on the success of last year’s awesome Mouse Guard by David Petersen, and I’ve got to say that I was pretty surprised. I’ve met Mike Oeming at conventions a couple of times, and while that’s really no good way to gauge someone’s morality, he was certainly a lot friendlier than I expect from most seedy con-men. Needless to say, I was really glad when the whole thing turned out to be–according to all involved parties–a big misunderstanding that turned into Petersen and Oeming saying very nice things about each other in various interviews.

The other upside to that is that now I feel like I can actually look at it without the looming spectre of guilt, and I’ve got to say, it looks nice. I’ve always been a fan of Oeming’s art, and if nothing else, the work he’s doing here is very pretty, and looks to be well worth checking out.

Image Comics

P. 154 – Suburban Glamour #1: At this point, you guys all know my feelings about Phonogram, so anything I say about artist Jamie McKelvie’s new series would be suspect at best. So, in an effort to help you guys make your own purchasing decisions for once, I’d just like to point out these two panels from the ad:



That man draws pretty pictures, and that’s a fact, Jack.


Marvel Comics


P.10 – Amazing Spider-Man #544: As should be painfullly obvious by this point, there’s really nothing I’d like more than to write comics professionally one day. Sadly, my actual “talent” for loud, mildly obnoxious criticism means that I routinely and invariably shoot myself in the foot in these efforts with smartass remarks about the people who actually are making the comics. Case in point: This cover by Marvel Editor-in-Chief Joe Quesada:



That can’t be the final version, right? I mean, even putting aside the art itself, the lettering is horrible, and it all combines into one of the worst laid-out covers I’ve seen in… well, ever. Now about that Woodgod proposal I’ve got…


P. 55 – New Avengers/Transformers #3: I’ve given my share of grief to this book and its erstwhile readers in the past–mostly based on the fact that it could only be more ridiculous if Snake Eyes and Cheetara showed up to help fight Baron Zemo or whatever–but allow me, if I may, to blow your mind for a second:

Why is this book not about The Marvel Megamorphs?



Transforming Robots teaming up with Marvel Super-Heroes? Stupid.

Transforming Robots teaming up with Marvel Super-Heroes That Are Themselves Also Transforming Robots? GENIUS!


P.61 – The Order #3: From the solicitation copy:

They’re half zombie! Half hobo! ALL TERROR! The ZOBOS run roughshod on Rodeo drive! Celebutantes and debutards beware–botox is like ketchup to these flesh-eating, homeless weirdos, and they find your waxed and tanned skin DELICIOUS!

True Fact #1: This is not the first time the Champions have fought super-strong hobo monsters.

True Fact #2: That is awesome.



And that–with the exception of an issue of Wolverine where he duct-tapes some swords to his hands (no, really) and Essential Punisher v.2, which I’ll be buying despite the fact that I already own everything it reprints, takes care of the majors. But don’t put down that order form just yet! Tomorrow night, it’s the small press and the merch, with a harrowing journey through the land of terror that is the apparel section!

If you miss it, your friends will hate you!

36 thoughts on “Chris vs. Previews: July 2007, Round One

  1. You don’t use enough commas. Also more semi-colons would not be bad. And what about…you know…the ellipses?

    Brought to you by the Punctuation Appreciation League of Doom

  2. This morning, as I lay on the couch in lots of pain as my back had recently gone out, I stared at that same CMX picture of the weird ass girl with the big eyes and little present and I thought, “I hope Chris Sims writes about this.”

    Thanks for the psychic pickup, buddy.

  3. Looks like Quesada has struck the same problem most of the Image founders (and others) struck- they got more into the business side, and stopped practising their drawing. Now when they try, they’re just a shadow of their former selves. (My favourite cover ever- X-O Manowar #0)

    Or maybe he’s just trying to balance out that Heroes For Hire cover, but having a spidey-bondage crotch shot.

    Didn’t Wolvie already try the ‘tape sharp things to hands’ bit prior to his “omg, I have bone claws!?!!??” discovery?

  4. Well, really if I’m not mistaken the original Transformers miniseries starred none other then Spider-Man himself.

    So, really, this is Transformers returning to its roots.

    Which is kind of stupid, because the whole exercise was designed as a toy ad.

    And, what, you DON’T want to see Baron Zemo fight the Thundercats? Is this really the same Chris Sims I’ve grown to know and love?

  5. I’ve been dying, absolutely dying, to read any of Ostrander’s Suicide Squad. I loved his Spectre, Firestorm, Manhunter, and Martian Manhunter. Just wondering what’s so special about issue 25 since you mentioned it in the caption.

  6. I believe #25 was the issue where Rick Flag infiltrates Jotunheim, headquarters of the Jihad, to detonate a WWII era atomic bomb that he happens to know about because his father was there with HIS Suicide Squad, stealing tanks from Nazis.

    Wild enough, but the story is also framed in a poignant letter from Rick to Nightshade explaining why he feels he needs to perform this, ahem, suicide mission alone, and that she should get out of the SS and find happiness. It’s actually quite moving.

  7. I was so distracted by Marvel villains fighting semi-obscure 80s characters that I forgot to ask:

    Has Black Canary always been so short?

    I mean, she comes up maybe to Green Arrow’s elbows on that cover. I hardly ever read DC, so I don’t know if that’s how she’s usually drawn, but DAMN she’s a tiny woman.

    Either that or Oliver Queen is 7 and a half feet tall.

  8. Still only 399¢? Are they really telling the kids that or is it a joke? Just like flipping the bird at the Hentai haters out there with a Spider-web rape/bondage cover?

    Marvel, I can feel your disrespect again…

  9. I think it’s mocking the really bad 90’s covers of Amazing Spider-Man. Might as well still say “America’s Favorite Non-Dead, Non-Robot, Non-Mutant Super-hero!”

  10. I know that isn’t the standard look for Black Canary on the cover, what with being in white and all, but I like that body shape better than the normal thin one. She looks like she could hit someone and do some damage.

    Not thrilled about the wedding really, I know in my heart that comics are big soap operas with extra head kicks, but the Black Canary has been a great character for the last five years or so and I am nervous about it throwing that off the rails.

  11. Great day in the morning, Suicide Squad is back! Life is sweet again… Haven’t read that puppy in years, I tells ya. Gonna have to start buying comics – AGAIN!!
    Great blog, maestro. Guaranteed to brighten a workday lunchbreak.



  12. “Why does the Hulk need a Mecha?”

    Those words, I understand them individually, but put together in that order, it just doesn’t make any sense.

  13. “Why does the Hulk need a Mecha?!?!??”

    Doesn’t everybody need a Mecha?

  14. Judd Winnick is writing the BC/GA Wedding? Sigh. Paaaaaaass.
    (I want to know why “Pedro and Me” gave Winnick the Sensitive New Age Man cred, when Barry Ween is the JW who write funny and good. Put Winnick on Legion, tell him “no relationships or female empowerment” and watch him shine.)

    Oh, that Spidey cover. That is fantastic. Clearly, what Spidey would do with his last day is work as a side of beef in a fetish club.
    (Webbing as a ball gag? Who knew?)

  15. HITMAN is back?? By Ennis and McCrea?

    If this is followed by the reanimation of The Eye Of Mongombo, and a new volume of The Cowboy Wally Show, I believe the Lord will be taking me home.

  16. I Googled Chris’ old site for MegaMorphs references. The main one seems to be the three-word phrase “MegaMorphs was awesome.” So that’s another digest I need to buy. Sigh. Curse you, Sims. (Shakes fist at sky.) Oh – and everyone knows an Ostrander Suicide Squad Showcase is due in November, right?

  17. I am stupid. #26 is the SS issue where Rick ‘died’.

    #25 is the one where Waller is in a congressional hearing regarding the fate of the SS, while the Squad is in Ogaden rescuing a nun held captive by dissident revolutionaries. She makes a deal with Senator Eden (Nightshade’s Dad) to step down as the public head of the SS, but still remain in control of the team. In return, she promises not to tell the press that his daughter is part of the very group he was trying to shut down.

    Good issue, but I prefer #26.

  18. No love for Lucha Libre from Image? I would have thought masked wrestlers fighting tiki warriors and werewolves in LA would have been up your alley and it’s very pretty.

  19. Oeming and Petersen were seated next to each other at a comicon here last minth. They seemed to be getting along quite well. I wouldn’t be shocked if they even swapped a few ideas.

    Unrelated thought- DC should leave Jason Todd in the Wildstorm universe, at least for awhile. He’s an afterthought in the main DCU, and I’d MUCH rather see him teaming with/fighting/generally annoying Midnighter for awhile. There’s potential there…

  20. What are everyone’s thoughts on the “Captain America by Ed Brubaker Omnibus Edition”? I actually have yet to read any of those issues (even though I kinda know what happens…), and wondered if this might be worth it. The first 25 issues plus a couple specials for (I think) $75, minus whatever discount with the service I use.

  21. *cough*six page preview of Suburban Glamour #1 here*cough*

    Yeah, you should probably all go read that immediately.

    I think Mega Morphs were one of the stupidest ideas ever. Why does the Hulk need a Mecha?!?!??

    The MegaMorphs probably were the stupidest idea ever, but the actual comics by Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane‘s Sean McKeever? Those things are FANTASTIC!

    And the Hulk needs a mecha so that he can fight Red Ronin. Duh.

    I am stupid. #26 is the SS issue where Rick ‘died’.

    Don’t feel bad, that’s the one I meant to talk about. I mean, Suicide Squad is great right to the end, but man: It NEVER gets THAT awesome again.

    No love for Lucha Libre from Image? I would have thought masked wrestlers fighting tiki warriors and werewolves in LA would have been up your alley and it’s very pretty.

    Yeah, I’m actually still on the fence about it. Is there a preview up somewhere or anything?

    What are everyone’s thoughts on the “Captain America by Ed Brubaker Omnibus Edition”?

    Unless you’re just really into hardcovers, I’d figure out whether it was cheaper just to get the trades. That said, there’s absolutely no issue with the quality of the comics, as they are flat-out awesome. The 65th Anniversary Special alone is one of the best Cap comics in a long, long time, seeing as it’s got Cap, Giant Nazi Robots, and the wonderful art of Marcos Martin.

  22. “Essential Punisher v.2, which I’ll be buying despite the fact that I already own everything it reprints”

    In all seriousness, and with due respect…. if this isn’t a joke, why are you doing this?

  23. 1. Because I have a pretty large collection of Punisher comics and trades, and enjoy adding to it.

    2. Essentials, even though they’re in black and white, are often much easier to pull down from a bookshelf than going to the long boxes and pulling out the individual issues, especially if I’m reading through for a reason, like that Definitive Punisher Body Count I’ve been working on off and on. They’re much more portable, too.

    3. I freakin’ love the Punisher.

  24. “especially if I’m reading through for a reason, like that Definitive Punisher Body Count I’ve been working on off and on”


  25. That Amazing Spider-Man cover isn’t the worst I’ve ever seen. But looking at it raises two question for me:

    Why does Aunt May look like she’s gained an extra 100 pounds?

    Why does Peter Parker look like he’s constipated?

  26. I guarantee you, the whole MegaMorphs thing started for one reason only – because someone realized that Captain America driving Optimus Prime = FRICKIN AWESOME.

    At that point working out the details became a mandatory challenge, and justified a certain amount of stretching… for example, Iron Man pretty much already is a mecha, so I’m not sure why Tony Stark would bother. They either got him extra-sloshed that week, or they told him “Captain America driving Optimus Prime, that’s why,” and he got a little carried away. Wouldn’t you?

  27. Hitman is Garth Ennis’ best work, hands down.

    I really wanted to like the Suicide Squad. The writing was so good, but the art was so bad. Maybe it will look better in black & white.

  28. Yikes, poor Spiderboy! The guy’s about as equipped as a ken-doll! It’s a wonder why Mary-Jane bothered to marry the poor eunuch; she certainly wouldn’t be expecting any offspring from that tinnie-todger!
    Christ, I’ve seen pictures of Power Girl with more pubic mound! -_-

  29. “Unless you’re just really into hardcovers, I’d figure out whether it was cheaper just to get the trades. That said, there’s absolutely no issue with the quality of the comics, as they are flat-out awesome. The 65th Anniversary Special alone is one of the best Cap comics in a long, long time, seeing as it’s got Cap, Giant Nazi Robots, and the wonderful art of Marcos Martin.”

    Well, that’s the thing. Lately, for whatever reason, I really have been getting into hardcovers (for certain stories). I don’t know, in my opinion there are some books I’d rather have in a sturdy, oversized format (because they deserve to be seen that way). But I should probably just get the trades: they’re a heck of a lot easier to read.