As those of you with real jobs may have noticed from the fact that you didn’t have to go to work, last Monday was Labor Day, and before I came down with the plague last week, I decided to celebrate appropriately. After all, for today’s modern jet-set comics reader, there’s nothing more laborious than having to go through the five hundred-page monster men call… The Previews Catalog.
Yeah, I know: That opening would’ve worked a lot better last week, but darn it, this is the ISB and we don’t re-write our segues around here, no matter how ridiculous they’re getting!
Maybe it’s best if we just move on with another no-holds-barred look at this month’s solicitations! Tonight, it’s the major publishers, and only one of us is gettin’ out in one piece!
Dark Horse Comics
P. 37 – The Goon Fancy Pants v.2: The Rise and Fall of the Diabolical Dr. Alloy: Despite the consumerist mania that has led me to own New Gods #1 in at least three formats, I’ve been trying to cut back lately on buying new versions of comics that I already own. That said, I’m still going to be getting this one, for the simple reason that the last Fancy Pants hardcover is one of the best-looking, best-produced, and signed-by-Eric-Powell-iest things I own.
Besides, do you guys realize how many deluxe-format hardcovers there are based solely around tough guys beating the living crap out of rampaging cyclopaean robots? Even if you count the Metal Men Archives, the answer is Not Enough.
P. 80 – Superman Annual #13: You know what I like about Superman? The fact that he’s the last Kryptonian. It makes him unique in the universe, but it also gives him that sense of tragedy in his past that drives him to do good: He saves the world because he’s from a planet that didn’t get saved, leaving him as the only survivor–
…Oh. Well, nevermind, I guess.
P. 87 – Justice League of America #15:
You know, it’s just not the Justice League until someone’s in iminent danger of being brutally murdered by a telepathic gorilla.
That said, the idea of Dwayne McDuffie on Justice League has got me excited to an almost unreasonable level, and not just because I’d like to see a comic about the JLA that’s actually readable again. No, it’s because he not only made an Injustice League with the characters’ arch-nemeses and evil opposites, but also somebody’s baby-mama. That’s genius.
P. 95 – Harley Quinn: Preludes and Knock-Knock Jokes HC: I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that I like Karl Kesel a lot. As a misguided teenager who had given up on Spider-Man for the relatively greener pastures of Gen 13, it was his amazingly underrated run on Daredevil (alongside Conan‘s Cary Nord) that brought me back to Marvel and rekindled a love for the character that continues to this day.
That said, Harley Quinn is fucking awful.
To be fair, it’s a lot better at the start than it is once A.J. Leiberman comes on to run it right into the ground for the last couple of arcs, but aside from the art of Terry Dodson–who’s awesome when he’s drawing anything that isn’t Trouble–there’s not a whole heck of a lot worth reading in this thing, especially when you can find the back issues on the cheap for far less than the $25 a completely unnecessary hardcover’ll set you back.
P. 96 – The Legion of Super-Heoroes: An Eye For An Eye: This, however, should be considered absolutely essential. As long-time ISB readers might recall from last year’s Badass Week Finale, the 1984 Paul Levitz/Keith Giffen Legion relaunch, wherein the Legion of Super-Villains decides to get serious about killing their counterparts and gets to it with brutal efficiency–is one of my all-time favorites. I mean really, from Light Lass running around naked for three issues to the final battle between Karate and Nemesis Kids, this one has it all.
If you’re going to read one Legion story in your lifetime, it should be… well, it should probably be The Great Darkness Saga, but that one’s out of print and this one makes a darn good alternative. Plus, at this point, any Legion trade is a trade worth getting.
P. 96 – Batman/Superman: Saga of the Super Sons: Collected in trade for the first time: The adventures of Superman and Batman’s sons, who pretty much just roll around in a van kicking ass and fighting bikers.
By Bob Haney.
P. 108 – World of Warcraft #1:
Given that my taste in video games leans heavily towards lawyer simulations, side-scrolling adventure, and Guilty Gear, my interest in World of Warcraft is so low as to only be represented in nanoratasses. And yet, I’m fully planning to buy the comic. Why?
Two words: Walt Simonson.
It might be hard to understand for those of you who haven’t read it, but Simonson’s work on Thor is, without question, one of the greatest comics of all time, and when you throw in his runs on Fantastic Four and Orion, it starts to make a little more sense that I’ll buy pretty much anything that guy does.
Besides, if there’s one thing he’s known for, it’s the great way that he blends mythology, action, and super-heroics in a way that might actually work against the backdrop of the game’s setting. And besides, the preview pages include a scene where a guy punches out a crocodile, so it’s already better than Hawkgirl. But really, what isn’t?
P. 4 – Marvel Illustrated: The Picture of Dorian Gray #1:
Huh, that’s weird. I don’t remember Sarah Michelle Gellar being in that story at all.
P. 5 – Marvel Illustrated: Treasure Island #6: Like anyone else who dreams of writing comics for a living, I often find myself wondering what would be the most fun job in comics, and now I know: Writing solicitation copy for the Marvel Illustrated titles, wherein the classics of Western Literature are shilled to the massses in the Mighty Marvel Manner.
I mean really: This one promises both a stunning conclusion AND a cutthroat climax as Jim Hawkins takes on Long John Silver and his scurvy crew, and if that’s not a sign of Robert Louis Stevenson being filtered through the lens of Bill Mantlo, then brother, I don’t know what is.
P. 10 – Ultimates Saga: So, to review: This is a book designed to catch you up on all the intricate details you might’ve missed in a series that has a grand total of twenty-eight issues, including annuals. One can only assume that this is being marketed to goldfish, or maybe people that stopped paying attention to this joke forty-three words ago. Either way, good luck ordering it, suckers.
P. 25 – Ghost Rider Annual #1: Not to knock the good people with the thankless job of putting together the ad copy for Marvel Previews or anything, but there’s a banner across the top of this one alerting us to the fact that Ghost Rider Annual #1 introduces a brand-new character to “the Ghost Rider Mythos!” Even putting aside the fact that Ghost Rider having a “mythos” is, at best, a pretty tenuous stretch, has it really gotten to the point where the introduction of a new villain is really so unheard of that we need to flip out over it?
I mean, unless the new guy’s a demon made out of bees with rocket-launchers for arms and a devil-may-care attitude matched only by the speed of his Winnebago or something. Now that’s worth $3.99.
House of M: Avengers #1: PROS:
-Christos Gage and Mike Perkins, the creative team behind Union Jack.
-An Avengers team consisting of Power Man, Iron Fist and Misty Knight among others.
-Luke Cage back in the yellow shirt that he seriously never should’ve stopped wearing.
–House of M really, really sucked.
P. 56 – Sub-Mariner #6: So you guys want to know what happens when you start your drawing too high on the page and don’t leave yourself enough room at the top, so you have to draw the head really small to make up for it?
At least, I think that’s how it happened. The only other possibility’s that Michael Turner has very little grasp on anatomy, but really: What are the odds?
And that’s all for the majors. Tomorrow night, the small press and merchandise sections have their turn, but until then, feel free to discuss anything that caught your eye, like, say, why Judd Winick thinks it’s a good idea to have Cyborg include a guy who tried to rape Supergirl on his new team of Titans.
(HINT: It’s not.)