Yes, in an effort to actually beat the order deadline this month, it’s time once again for the ISB to bring you the rootinest, tootinest roundup of the Previews catalog, jam packed with stuff you don’t need! Tonight, I’ll be your guide through what the major publishers are putting on offer this month, so let’s get to it.
Dark Horse Comics
P. 39 – Conan the Cimmerian #7: I don’t mean to fall back into more political matters–as I wouldn’t want to scandalize my more sensitive readers–but if I don’t mention this, I know I’ll get a ton of emails about it: It came out today that among his many other qualities, President-Elect Barack Obama collects Conan the Barbarian comics, and I’m pretty sure that this fact is totally awesome. I mean, not since Teddy Roosevelt have we had a leader that could truly appreciate the sight of a man punching out a panther.
In other news, I have never been quite so conflicted as I was when I read that this issue would crescendo into “a flurry of swords and emotion.”
P. 71 – Vigilante #2: According to an interview with Marv Wolfman, “we will learn who the new Vigilante is, but not in the first issues. Hints will be given but we also won’t drag it out too long. Although there are connections to previous characters, who he is in the DCU is less important than his life itself. We will be following a character in the midst of personal redemption and hopefully his personal story will be of interest as well as the individual plots themselves.”
Sharp-eyed readers and fans of things that are totally awesome will of course recognize this as the exact premise of DC’s greatest Iowan counterterrorist, Wild Dog, whose mysterious secret identity was a plot point for the first four-issue miniseries. I think it’s safe to assume, then, that the new Vigilante will eventually unmask to reveal another mask, which will in turn reveal Jack Wheeler, in his new role as the Babushka Doll of the gun-toting crimefighter set.
P. 73 – Superman #681: Hey, I didn’t know they were doing a grim and gritty revamp of Bazooka Joe!
He blew the biggest bubbles, until one day… they consumed him. Now, he’s back… for revenge!
P. 83 – Green Lantern #38: Now, I’m not a regular Green Lantern reader, so when I saw this cover, I had to go find a friend to explain if this was indeed what it appeared to be, a cover featuring a woman vomiting copious amounts of blood:
His answer was that yes it is, because when you become a Red Lantern, you puke out all your blood so that it can be replaced with hate.
P. 89 – The Losers by Jack Kirby HC: Fuck yes.
This one was already discussed in the comments section of last month’s Previews post, but aside from the fact that I’m pretty excited about it (which should be obvious, since it’s Kirby stuff I’ve never read before), there’s something you need to know: This is yet another one that we have Dr. K to thank for, meaning that he’s only a Steve Ditko hardcover and a Sugar & Spike showcase away from a perfect record of convention requests and predictions.
P. 117 – Sandman Mystery Theatre v.7: The Mist and Phantom of the Fair: No joke for this one, just a general recommendation: Despite its ostensible tie-in to their gothy flagship, Matt Wagner and Steve Seagle’s Sandman Mystery Theatre–which focuses on the Golden Age Sandman and the many, many times he had sex with his girlfriend Dian–is probably one of Vertigo’s most unappreciated masterpieces. It’s great stuff, and in addition to “The Mist,” a fun, sort-of-tie-in to James Robinson’s Starman, this one has “Phantom of the Fair,” which, given its reputation as the best story of the run, has always been one of the hardest to track down in back issues.
So, if you like well-done period mysteries with the maximum amount of super-hero content that Vertigo will allow, check it out.
P. 146 – G-Man #1: And speaking of things that I wholeheartedly endorse, this month sees a reoffer of Chris Giarrusso’s G-Man, which everyone should own. Pretty much everybody knows Giarrusso from the Mini-Marvels, but some of you might not know that he brought that same sense of fun to his own universe of kid super-heroes. They originally ran as back-up strips in Savage Dragon–which, when you get right down to it, seems like a pretty odd place for the all-ages adventures of a hero-in-training–but in this one, it branches out into a longer story that’s some of Giarrusso’s best work. Well worth it.
P. 29 – Spider-Man: Fear Itself #1: This January, Marvel will finally be giving in to massive demand and putting out a team-up between Spider-Man and the Macabre Man-Thing! Because who hasn’t wanted that, right?
In any case, this issue will apparently deal with a situation that “connects to both Peter Parker’s youth and his present-day adventures,” and… wait a second. Something from Peter Parker’s youth? And since this is the Man-Thing, whose touch burns those who know fear, it’s gotta be something he’d be afraid of even today. And since the latest Spider-Man issues have been dealing with people from his past showing up… Oh man.
This is gonna be the return of Skip Westcott, isn’t it?
P. 50 – Punisher #1: One of the stranger pieces of news from Marvel this week is that Punisher War Journal is getting canceled and replaced with The Punisher (volume eight), while The Punisher (volume seven) is being renamed without being canceled to The Punisher: Frank Castle (volume… one? I guess?) for what appears to be no damn reason at all.
Anyway, now this is happening:
Yes, everyone’s favorite non-Wild Dog vigilante is going to take on the Sentry, and while I’m not sure what writer Rick Remender has planned for the series, I’m guessing that Frank’s gonna shoot him so hard that he goes back in time to the Silver Age, and the only time we see him from now on will be in the pages of awesome Jeff Parker/Paul Tobin Age of the Sentry stories.
What? S’what I’d do.
P. 58 – Thor #600: A Mighty Marvel Milestone from the creator of Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn’s Ninja Babies and the writer of Nightcat! Do you DARE miss it?!
And that’s about it for the major publishers. As always, feel free to mention anything that caught your eye this month, and be back tomorrow for a look at the small press and the merchandise.
Me, I’ll be over here trying to graph out that Punisher thing until it starts to make sense. It, uh.. It might take a while.