Cloonan's "Punisher" Is A "Violent, Bullet-Riddled, Bleeding" Good Time
It’s 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, “ Mouse Guard 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.
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes - With the Flight anthologies done, the all-ages version, Flight Explorer has morphed into this. I expect it to be as lovely as its predecessors and especially like the Mystery Box theme.
Jinx – J Torres and Rick Burchett’s graphic novel aimed at tween girls.
Kevin Keller, Volume 1 and Kevin Keller #1 – Archie collects the first appearances and mini-series of their major, gay character and also launches his ongoing series.
Flash Gordon: Vengeance of Ming – The third volume in Ardden’s Flash Gordon series.
Ferals #1 – David Lapham writes werewolves.
Atmospherics, Color Edition – Warren Ellis and Ken Meyer’s re-mastered and newly painted story about a woman who’s either a disturbed witness to a UFO attack or a heroin-using serial killer.
Simpsons Illustrated #1 – Bongo launches a Best Of series collecting material from various Simpsons titles.
Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 – Reprinting Grant Morrison and Ian Gibson’s 1990 Eclipse Comics story of the other Avengers.
Peanuts #1 – Kicking off the regular, monthly series with new stories as well as reprints of Schulz’s Sunday strips.
Jungle Book - Campfire’s artwork can often be perfunctory, but I like the whimsy of Amit Tayal’s cover for this one.
Bone: Quest for the Spark, Book 2 – The second installment in Tom Sniegoski’s series of novels set in Jeff Smith’s world (with illustrations by Smith himself).
Lobster Johnson: The Burning Hand #1 – Mike Mignola’s pulp hero returns for a five-issue mini-series.
The Monstermen and Other Scary Stories - I love Gary Gianni’s linework anyway, but I especially dug his Corpus Monstrum/Monstermen stories that appeared for a while as back-up features in Hellboy comics. This volume features Gianni’s tuxedo-wearing, medieval knight fighting zombie cowboys, squid pirates, abominable snowmen, and mustachioed skulls.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – War #1 – I’m pretty much done with the Star Wars Expanded Universe, but if you’re not or are curious about it, Dark Horse is billing this as a major jump-on point to the part that covers the ancient period of the Star Wars galaxy.
Compleat Terminal City - All fourteen issues of Dean Motter and Michael Lark’s retro-scifi/noir series.
Mighty Samson: Judgment - Probably as close as we’re going to get to a Thundarr the Barbarian comic.
King Conan: The Phoenix on the Sword #1 – This four-issue mini-series adapts Robert E Howard’s first Conan story.
Dark Horse Presents #8 – Features a BPRD eulogy for Hellboy and a new Tarzan story.
Justice League #5 – Looks like the team’s finally together.
Frankenstein: Agent of SHADE #5 and OMAC #5 – As a faithful reader of Jeff Lemire’s Frankenstein, I”m actually kind of excited that this will give me some motivation to check out OMAC, which I’m hearing good things about.
Xombi - The biggest casualty (for me, anyway) of the New 52 gets its collection.
Drawn and Quarterly
Goliath - The David and Goliath story told from Goliath’s viewpoint through the filter of corporate bureaucracy and presented in a lovely, minimalist style.
The Lone Ranger #1 – I tried Dynamite’s first Lone Ranger series, was disappointed that it wanted to stretch the familiar origin story into a multi-issue arc, and immediately dropped it. Assuming that won’t be the case this time – and noticing that it’s written by Ande Parks, whose writing I’ve enjoyed very much on other things – I’m up for another try.
Olympians, Volume 4: Hades, Lord of the Dead – The latest in George O’Connor’s wonderfully exciting and insightful review of the the most important characters from Greek mythology. Hades has always been a favorite of mine, so I’m especially looking forward to this one.
Silence of Our Friends - “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Edmund Burke is supposed to have originated that quote, but it was driven home for me by Vicente Amorim’s 2008 film, Good about good Germans who were too afraid of the Nazis to assist their Jewish neighbors in WWII. But even that gave me some comfortable, historical and geographical distance from the people and events it was talking about. I expect that Silence of Our Friends, about the civil rights movement in the ’60s, will hit even closer to home.
The Sincerest Form of Parody: The Best 1950s MAD-Inspired Satirical Comics - I can’t decided if I’m more interested in the historical context of what folks were parodying in the ’50s or just looking at some cool Jack Davis and Kirby art that I’ve never seen before.
The Phantom: The Complete Sundays, Volume 1: 1939-1943 – I like daily strips too, but Sunday comics are the best.
Whispers in the Walls – Guillermo del Toro’s co-writer from The Devil’s Backbone goes solo on this tale of horror at a Czechoslovakian children’s hospital in the late ’40s.
Infestation 2 #1 – Since I’m not a zombie fan, I passed up the first Infestation even while I was loving the idea of connecting all those weird, incongruous universes. This time around it’s Lovecraftian demons, which is not only a more appealing concept to me personally; it also makes a lot of sense from a dimension-crossing standpoint. That something exists tying 30 Days of Night and Dungeons and Dragons together with Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gives me all the joy I’ll ever need.
Danger Girl: The Danger-Sized Treasury Edition - I’ve been wanting to check out Danger Girl for a while now. This collects the first three stories to get me started.
Danger Girl: Revolver #1 – And here’s the new story.
Womanthology: Heroic - The controversial Kickstarter sensation comes to life.
Doctor Who #13 – Occasionally I have to break my rule about only mentioning new series. Josh Fialkov’s taking over Doctor Who for four issues to put the Doctor in 1941 Casablanca is one of those occasions. It starts here.
Steve Canyon, Volume 1: 1947-1948 - I read these stories when Checker published them and was eager for more. Unfortunately, Checker quit, but now Milton Caniff’s globe-trotting pilot is at IDW in a great-looking hardcover.
Fatale #1 – Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ supernatural noir comic has everyone’s mouths watering, including mine. I’d buy it for the “Beauty” cover alone, though the “Beast” one looks cool too.
Prophet #21 – Two of my favorite artists, Brandon Graham and Simon Roy are collaborating on this, with a cover by Marian Churchland. That’s the exact opposite team of whatever I expected from a continuation of a Rob Liefeld book. Seriously: good on Liefeld. I’m also impressed that he’s not just starting the numbering over again with #1. Seems like that would be the obvious thing, especially with the book going in such a new direction, creatively, but it’s because it’s surprising and counter-intuitive that I like it. And it’s not even like he’s cashing in on a milestone issue-number. If my calculations are correct, he’s counting two mini-series (one, ten-issues; the other, nine), a one-shot, and an annual to get to 21. If this is what we can expect from the new Extreme, and apparently it is, my interest is piqued.
Whispers #1 – I find the Luna Brothers interesting enough that a new, supernatural thriller by one of them gets a check-out.
The Intrepids, Volume 1 - Teens vs mad scientists (and a cyborg bear).
Scarlet Spider #1 – The latest spin-off for the Spider-Man franchise.
Amazing Spider-Man #677 and Daredevil #8 – I like a couple of things about this crossover. First, like DC’s Frankenstein/OMAC one, it’s pretty unobtrusive. Second, Mark Waid’s writing both parts of it.
Alpha Flight #8 – SOB! I’ll miss you, Alpha Flight!
Wolverine and X-Men Alpha and Omega #1 – I’d usually feel ungenerous towards a mini-series spin-off of a comic that’s only four issues old, but Brian Wood is writing it and that bears looking into.
X-Men Legacy #260.1 – Christos Gage takes over from Mike Carey. I’m sad to see Carey go, but intrigued to see what Gage has planned. I hear good things about his Avengers Academy.
Daredevil by Mark Waid, Volume 1 - Waid and Paolo Rivera’s critically acclaimed run for trade-waiters.
The Big Book of Kolchak: The Night Stalker – Collects the first seven, long-out-of-print Moonstone Kolchak stories.
Possessions, Volume 3: Better House Trap - Sadly, it’s only recently that Ray Fawkes’ name has been on my radar. Now that it is, I want to check out his slapstick series about a possessed little girl trying to escape the loving, nurturing environment of the haunted house that traps her.
Wasteland #33 – Oni is celebrating Antony Johnston’s post-apocalyptic series’ going monthly with a $1 kick-off issue. I’ve fallen extremely behind in reading it, but it was one of my favorite comics at the time I decided to trade-wait it.
The Avalon Chronicles, Volume 1: Once in a Blue Moon – I’m a sucker for stories about young people who get transported to magical worlds where they discover things about themselves. Especially ones as nicely drawn as this one.
Monster Mess - Lewis Trondheim’s story of two kids who discover their ability to bring monsters to life (and have them fight each other) just by drawing them.
Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian, Volumes 1 and 2 - It’s a cute enough concept, but Michael Rex’s art and Fangbone’s deadly serious expression on the covers are what sells it.
Sunday Funnies #1 – This is kind of brilliant. I’ll just let the publisher describe it: ” A monthly, 32-page, full-size comic section containing historic Sunday pages from as far back as 1895, and including favorites such as Gasoline Alley, Little Nemo, Krazy Kat, and many other classic Sunday pages that you’ve probably never seen before. Each issue … will be a full-size 22″x16″ comic section, containing full page Sunday comics in full color. These pages are coming from the archives of Ohio State University, which, thanks to Bill Blackbeard, has the largest and most comprehensive collection of Sunday comics in existence. The retail price will be $10 and I will be selling subscriptions, 12 monthly issues for $100.” Should go well next to Wednesday Comics collections.
Bettie Page in Danger #1 – Even more brilliant. A fumetti using real Bettie Page photos to tell a story about the pin-up queen’s career fighting zombies, mad scientists, and other naked ladies.
Sparko – This sounds a little like Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere with the Thames replacing London’s Underground. I don’t mean to make that sound like a bad thing. Coming from SLG and including a murder mystery, goth goblins, and a pickpocket named Belle, I trust that it’s not.
Girl Genius Omnibus, Volume 1: Agatha Awakens – The Hugo-winning, steampunk webcomic gets the deluxe hardcover treatment.
And that’s it for me. What did I miss?