We’re well into the depths of summer at this point, and where I live, that means that it’s possible to have a heat wave and a monsoon at the same time. No matter where you are, though, the dawning of a new month means another five hundred pages of stuff that you don’t really need!
That’s right, folks: It’s time once again for another two-fisted tour of what’s what in July’s Previews. Tonight, it’s the Major Publishers!
Dark Horse Comics
P. 26 – Solomon Kane #1: Despite the fact that I picked up a copy of The Savage Tales of Solomon Kane when Del Ray was doing all the nice paperback Robert E. Howard books, I’ve never actually read a story with the character. I have, however, heard him consistently described as “Puritan Conan,” and since the Amazon keywords for the above include phrases like “dark pallor,” “cleft skull,” “long rapier,” and “Tower of Death,” I think there’s probably some potential there.
Either way, I’m looking forward to it. I’m a pretty big fan of Howard’s more famous creation, especially what Dark Horse has done with him under Solomon Kane writer Scott Allie, Conan‘s former editor, and with a pretty entertaining Kane story up on MySpace Dark Horse Presents, it looks like it’ll be well worth reading.
P. 36 – Buffy the Vampire Slayer #18: So hey, remember that time there was an issue of Buffy where the cover was Faith wearing nothing but a scanty campfire, and we all thought that there was no way they could do a cover that was more exploitative or directed at a narrower fetish market?
Well congratulations, Dark Horse…
…you have hit a new low.
P. 58 – DC Universe: Decisions #1: Okay, look: I want to make it clear that I’m saying this as someone who has bought and enjoyed pretty much every book DC’s put out with Bill Willingham’s name on it. Fables? Proposition Player? Thessaly? Love ’em. Wouldn’t trade ’em for the world.
But this, a series exploring the political spectrum of the DCU co-written with Judd Winick, who gives the leftist perspective? This sounds like the worst idea I have ever heard.
Seriously, think of the worst idea in comics that you can. Electric Blue Superman. The Clone Saga. Nightcat. Letting Dave Campbell actually write a comic book. This sounds worse.
P. 62 – Ambush Bug Year None #3: So last week when I was going through Previews the first time and I saw this cover…
…I made an offhand comment in an email to bitterandrew, which led to us and a few other people spending the next few hours discussing the intricate relationship map that connects The Inferior Five and Angel & the Ape to the rest of the DC Universe (see, I’d thought Angel O’Day and Dumb Bunny were cousins, but they’re actually half-sisters).
And that, my friends… is what home feels like.
P. 83 – Jack Kirby’s The Demon Omnibus: FUCK YEAH!
When you get right down to it, that’s all that really needs to be said about another Kirby collection, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that we can all thank Dr. K for this one. For those of you who missed the story the first eighteen times we told it, I’ll explain:
Last year at HeroesCon, Dr. K and I went to the DC Nation panel and, despite the fact that we were told “no plans at this time” to everything we asked for, they all ended up coming out. My requests were the last two unpublished Bob Haney stories (which were later released in Teen Titans: The Lost Annual and Saga of the Super-Sons) while he asked for more Kirby collections along the same lines as the Fourth World books. Now, I’m not saying that DC has decided to take their publishing cues directly from us or anything, but if next year rolls around and we’ve got a Sugar & Spike collection and a Steve Ditko omnibus, you know who to thank.
P. 140 – Youngblood: Bloodsport #1 and 2: Believe it or not, I’m not going to make any value judgments about this comic book tonight, because in this rare instance, I feel like it’s my duty to provide facts instead of opinions to make you a more well-informed consumer. With that in mind, I’d just like to point out that the first issue of Bloodsport (which originally came out like three years ago from one of Rob Liefeld’s nine or ten failed companies) features a scene where the guy on the cover, “Shaft,” fights the zombie corpses of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
P. 8 – Marvel Illustrated: The Odyssey #1: According to Previews, the Odyssey is an epic poem written by Alexandre Dumas. This is not technically true, but considering that last month, they said that Chris Ware is “probably best known as the drummer for the Replacements” (p. 329), and that Tarot is “female-empowering,” it’s at least a step in the right direction.
P. 12 – Ultimate Spider-Man #126: Now, I stopped reading Ultimate Spider-Man at about the time that the dialogue went from “repetitive” to “atrocious” and the instances of Peter crying in his basement instead of going out with his hot girlfriend spiked, but if there was one phrase that could get me back into it, I think “Silver Sable and her Wildpack on his gooey trail” is its exact opposite.
P. 44 – Deadpool #1: Here’s something that’s not going to shock anyone: I’m actually a pretty big fan of Deadpool. Or at least, I like Deadpool when he’s being written by Joe Kelly or Gail Simone or making wisecracks in Ultimate Alliance. Outside of that pretty narrow area, however, he tends to go from “highly amusing” to “unbearable” pretty quick.
Still, I think there’s a place in this crazy world of ours for an action-comedy about a disfigured mercenary who makes pop culture jokes while murdering people like a highly lethal installment of Best Week Ever, so this one’s got me torn. On the one hand, Daniel Way writes what is unquestionably Marvel’s funniest title, Wolverine Origins, and his stuff on Ghost Rider was always good for a laugh, too. On the other, I’m pretty sure that Wolverine Origins isn’t actually supposed to be funny, despite the fact that it’s a comic about Wolverine wandering around with a Katana fighting his long-lost bone-clawing fauxhawked son, Dokken, or Daken or whatever. Decisions, decisions.
P. 91 – Punisher Omnibus v.1: Okay, seriously Marvel, what the hell?
Don’t get me wrong here: I love the Punisher, and the first Garth Ennis mini-series is a personal favorite, which should be obvious to anyone who has ever seen this website, but soliciting a hardcover that collects the first mini-series and Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe (and another big chunk of the eight-year Ennis run) ONE MONTH AFTER new versions of Welcome Back Frank and PKTMU? For real?!
P. 99 – X-Men: Magik – Storm & Illyana Premiere HC: And while we’re on the subject of things I have trouble understanding, there’s this:
I realize that I’m in a difficult position to comment on this one, seeing as I’d buy a Wild Dog Omnibus in a heartbeat, but… it’s just… Really?
I mean, I thought it was weird when they gave the Premiere Hardcover treatment to Kitty Pryde and Wolverine, and that one’s at least got Wolverine in it, but this… is there anyone who has been demanding a high-end reprint of Magik?! Hell, is anyone even demanding a reprint of it? Because I’m pretty sure that any place with a quarter bin can hook you up with the entire series for about one twenty-fifth of what the hardcover’s gonna set you back. I mean, Secret Wars and Infinity Gauntlet are out of print right now, but there’s gonna be a premiere hardcover of Magik.
And even weirder: The hardcover for Marvel Boy–which actually does need to come back in print, especially with another Grant Morrison/JG Jones book that people are interested in–has to share a page with Kevin Smith’s Daredevil. Magik, however, gets a page all to itself.
And on that overly disbelieving note, I’m calling it a night. But be here tomorrow as the ISB takes on the back half of the magazine for a look at the indies and the merch, featuring another look at Mad Engine’s rapid descent into outright madness.