Vaughan & Chiang's "Paper Girls" Builds a Familiar Yet Disconcerting World
Time once again for our monthly trip through Previews looking for cool, new comics. As usual, we’re focusing on graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues so that I don’t have to come up with a new way to say, “Alpha Flight is still awesome!” every month. And I’ll continue letting Tom and Carla do the heavy lifting in regards to DC and Marvel’s solicitations.
Also, please feel free to play along in the comments. Tell me what I missed that you’re looking forward to or – if you’re a comics creator – mention your own stuff.
Terry Moore’s Echo Complete Edition – Collecting all 30 issues of the Strangers in Paradise creator’s sci-fi epic.
Rachel Rising #1 – And kicking of Moore’s new series, featuring a girl who rises up out of her shallow grave and tries to figure out how she got there.
Sergio Aragonés Funnies #1 – I can’t think of a better publisher for a book like this and it’s nice to see Bongo’s growing beyond its Simpsons and Futurama books a little.
The Amory Wars: In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth, Volume 3 – I haven’t read these myself, but I know at least one Coheed and Cambria fan who doesn’t read a lot of comics, but snatches these up as soon as they come out. Because of that, they’re worth not only mentioning, but being happy about.
Star Wars Adventures: Chewbacca and the Slavers of the Shadowlands – I neglect Star Wars comics in these lists for a lot of reasons, including fatigue from the sheer quantity of Star Wars stuff (comics and otherwise) and frustration that a great deal of it doesn’t look any damn good. But Clone Wars has proved that there’s still gold to be got in that mine, so a kids comic about young Chewie on Kashyyyk could very well be enjoyable.
BPRD: Hell on Earth – Monsters #1 – Starting a new (very short) arc on the world’s greatest horror comic.
Criminal Macabre/The Goon: When Freaks Collide – “A match made in Heaven” doesn’t sound quite right for this, does it? And yet there’s something perfectly divine about this hellish team-up.
The Complete Major Bummer Slacktacular! – It’s been over a decade since I read these issues, so I don’t remember much outside of a general impression that they were really funny. Since they were originally published by DC, I find it hard to believe that they didn’t feature any DC heroes as guest stars, but then again this was from the same time that DC was trying some really interesting, innovative stuff like Aztek: The Ultimate Man, Resurrection Man, Chase, and Young Heroes in Love. Batman and Supergirl would show up in some of those, but not all of them. It was a fun time for DC, if a frustrating one, because of course none of it sold very well, JLA appearances or not. I guess I say all that to say that I’m glad at least Major Bummer is getting a second life at writer John Arcudi’s new home.
Chimichanga – Eric Powell’s (The Goon) story of a little, bearded girl and her pet monster.
The Last Dragon – Jane Yolen’s writing a fantasy comic should be enough to capture anyone’s interest, but Rebecca Guay’s art is so exquisite that I’d want it no matter who wrote it.
DC Retroactive: Batman – The ’70s #1 – I know I think this because I grew up then, but the ’70s were a fantastic time for Batman. Artists like Neal Adams and Jim Aparo brought a cool, gritty, realistic look to the Caped Crusader, but the scripts hadn’t gotten all dark and moody just yet. So you had this totally tough-looking, badass Batman, but he was still driving the Batmobile around in the daytime, still an honorary member of the Gotham police force, and focused much more on being a detective than scaring the crap out of people as an urban legend. I’d love to see how DC views those times through 21st century eyes.
Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth Omnibus, Volume 1 - I’ve been waiting for this since Wednesday Comics showed me how cool Kamandi’s world is.
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam!: Back in Black – My son and I have very much been enjoying these collections and this one features Freddy Freeman’s becoming Black Adam Junior. My only concern is that since this takes us up through issue #18, how is DC going to collect 19 and 20, the last two issues of the series?
Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom #1 – While Dynamite’s getting close to having too many Warlord of Mars titles for me to keep up with, so far they’re finding new and interesting corners of that world that deserve some exploration.
The Last Phantom #11 – I gave up on The Last Phantom before it ever began thanks to the character’s new look, but that’s very much the classic costume on the cover of this issue. And according to Dynamite’s blog, he’s been wearing it for quite a while. So tell me, Last Phantom readers, is this something that fans of the traditional Phantom will enjoy?
Zorro Rides Again #1 – Matt Wagner’s back for a new Zorro story. It concludes the longer story Wagner’s been telling, but at twelve issues, it promises to do so in epic style.
Comic Book Comics #6 – Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey wrap up their history of comics with a look at the rise of graphic novels, manga, and the Direct Market.
The Hidden – The three magic words: New Richard Sala. Also, mental patients on the loose.
Wormwood: Bingo Night in Valhalla #1 – I don’t know which has me more excited: that Ben Templesmith is making new Wormwood comics again? Or that this one has Norse gods, Valkyries, and a surly unicorn in it.
Parker: The Martini Edition – Good things come to those who wait. Like 65 pages of new stuff, including a brand new, 8-page Parker story by Darwyn Cooke.
Kill Shakespeare #12 – I’m breaking my “graphic novels, collected volumes, and first issues” rule because issue #12 means that this story is finally done and I’ll soon be able to read it all in one sitting the way I’ve been waiting to for over a year now. That sound you hear is me rubbing my hands together in impatient glee.
Death Valley – Sort of the League of Extraordinary Western Gentlemen, featuring Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, Frank James, Belle Star, Sitting Bull, and Black Bart.
Marineman: A Matter of Life and Depth – I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the passion for the sea that Ian Churchill has filled this series with. It’s a cool, joyful book by an artist who’s obviously pouring himself into his work.
Strange Girl Omnibus – Rick Remender’s disturbingly fun post-apocalyptic (literally) horror tale is finally collected into one volume.
Turf – A lot of good collections coming from Image this month. I’ve been wanting to read this gangsters/vampires/aliens story for a while.
Age of Bronze # 32 – Breaking rules again, but this is Age of Bronze we’re talking about. New issues are rare and so very welcome that they need lauding.
Deadlands: Massacre at Red Wing – I wish that Image’s Deadlands series was an actual series with characters I could get to know instead of a series of one-shots, but I’m certainly not going to complain about the list of creators they’ve got lined up to participate. This one’s written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray.
Defenders: From the Marvel Vault #1 – This is that Defenders story that Fabian Nicieza wrote and Mark Bagley illustrated, then it sat in a drawer somewhere – unlettered – until no one could remember what it was about, so Marvel asked Kurt Busiek to come along and create his own story over the existing art. It’s a crazy way to make comics, but Busiek says he had a blast doing it and it sounds like it could be a blast to read as well. Besides, it’s the Defenders and that’s a high baseline for entertainment value all by itself.
Daredevil #1 – They had me at “grinnin’ in the face of hell.” Well, also at “Mark Waid.”
Casanova: Gula – I don’t have to be jealous anymore listening to Graeme and Chris Mautner talk about how much they’re enjoying the newly colored version of Matt Fraction’s definitive work.
Avengers Academy, Volume 1: Permanent Record and Avengers Academy, Volume 2: Will We Use This in the Real World? – I guess I missed the Volume 1 hardcover, but fortunately the paperback version is coming out the same time as the hardcover for Volume 2. I’ve been hearing good things about this and I’m a Reptil fan (thanks, Super Hero Squad!).
Incredible Hulks: Planet Savage - The Hulk and Son visit the Savage Land and set up the current Skaar: King of the Savage Land mini-series.
That Man Flint #0 – I’ll need to catch up on some specific James Coburn movies before reading this, but I’ve been meaning to do that anyway.
Werewolves of New Idria - I’d read an entire series about an immortal knight who’s also a werewolf. So let’s hope there’s more of these coming.
Petrograd – Combining a British spy with the assassination of Rasputin is pretty genius, I must say.
Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science – The fifth Atomic Robo volume is collected. That’s all you need to know, right?
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #2: 1969 – Now I feel kind of bad for invoking the LXG name earlier when there’s an actual League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book coming out this month. Mina and her friends fight hippies, which is marvelous.
Infinite Kung Fu – Kagan McLeod, you wonderful bastard, I have waited 11 years for this book. But based on those first few issues back in 2000, I suspect it’ll be worth it.
Flight, Volume 8 – The last volume in the anthology series that proved you can do a successful anthology series.