13 Mar 2008

Ten Forward: May 2008

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the ten titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the March issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in May 2008.

Writer: Jon Favreau
Art: Adi Granov
Marvel $3.99

James R: “Vegas baby, Vegas!” was the cry from Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn in their seminal movie Swingers, and a decade and some change later Favreau heads back writing a mini-series based on his latest film project Iron Man. If the excellent trailers are anything to go by Favreau has a brilliant understanding of Tony Stark and with Adi Granov (the man behind Iron Man’s current armour and main influence for the cinematic appearance) doing the artwork this will be essential for any Shellhead newbie or the most grizzled veteran of the Armour Wars!

Matt C: With this and Matt Fraction on Invincible Iron Man Marvel are going in all guns blazing with their Iron Man books this month. One look at the cover and talent involved and you know this will be heading straight to your pull-list.

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: J.G Jones
DC $3.99

Matt C: With Countdown finally drawing to a close we’re all on the edge of our seats to find out how it will spin into this year’s big crossover, Final Crisis. At least that’s what DC are banking on. Trouble is, Countdown has been so creatively bankrupt that my enthusiasm for this new book is pretty close to zero. I find Morrison’s work to be hit-and-miss, so all in all this isn’t the most exciting proposition ever. Being the sucker that I am I’ll be picking this up just in case I miss something important.

Matt T: Ho hum, another crossover. 52 was great, but I get the feeling DC should have quit while they were ahead. As a reader I’m getting desensitised to all the various ‘big events’ being thrown at me featuring minor characters in supposedly major incidents, especially when continuity is so skew-wiff. With Morrison occasionally chucking out something decent the planets may align and make this worthwhile, or the whole thing could supernova in our faces.

SABRE - Hardcover 30th Anniversary
Writer: Don McGregor
Art: Paul Gulacy
Desperado publishing $14.99

Rob N: In an industry where every six-issue run of a comic is deemed worthy of reprinting in book form, it’s easy to overlook collected editions that actually have some significance to the history of the medium. In the late Seventies two of Marvel’s then top talents; Don McGregor (writer on Marvel's War of the Worlds) and Paul Gulacy (artist on Master of Kung Fu); collaborated together on one of the very first ‘graphic novels’ as we now know them. Entitled, Sabre: Slow Fade of an Endangered Species, it was a typically stylised 70s post apocalypse SF story, similar in tone to some of McGregor’s later Killraven stories. It saw print two months ahead of Will Eisner’s more famous work, A Contract With God, at a time when independent comic publishers were as rare as hen’s teeth. With a price tag of six dollars, it was comparatively expensive and since it wasn’t distributed through newsagents in the UK, I was never able to track down a copy. Now, thirty years later, the book is being reprinted in a hard cover edition worthy of its pedigree. Needless to say I’ve waited a long time to read this!

Writer: Paul Cornell
Art: Leonard Kirk
Marvel $2.99

Andy H: Not too much has been given away about this title, probably because it’s a Secret Invasion tie-in. Not sure how Paul Cornell will handle the book but as it’s Captain Britain it’s got to be worth a go. Plus it means the return of John the Skrull, who was one of the best characters in the Wisdom mini-series.

Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art: Paul Pelletier
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: Yes! Another cosmic book from Abnett & Lanning, the team behind Annihilation: Conquest and Nova, two fantastic series that have helped to reinvigorate Marvel’s space-dwelling characters. I have a hard time convincing my colleagues to pick this stuff up, so maybe it’s time to resort to more drastic measures? Could we turn a blind eye to torture if it’s brings this title to a wider audience? Whatever it takes, man, whatever it takes...

Writer: Clark Westerman
Art: Kody Chamberlain
Image $3.50

James R: Great title! If comics have a rich history in anything other than spandex, it’s crime: from the original Detective Comics to 100 Bullets, hard-boiled two-fisted tales have been served up pretty well. Hopefully Image’s Pretty Baby Machine, which involves the notorious real-life gangsters Machine Gun Kelly, Baby Face Nelson and Pretty Boy Floyd, will be an enticing diversion from secret invasions and final countdowns. Image have been quietly turning themselves into a byword for quality, with Jonathon Hickman and Warren Ellis putting in star turns, so Pretty Baby Machine’s team of Chuck Westerman and Kody Chamberlain could soon put their stock even higher.

Writer: Brendan Hay
Art: Nate Watson
Boom! Studios $2.99

Matt T: An innovative take on the slasher genre, with the sub-human creature falling for the buxom teen heroine! Any horror comic with a healthy dose of black humour is fine in my book, especially with the likes of Freddy vs Jason vs Ash doing so well. As the writer is one of those responsible for the hilarious Daily Show this should at least tick the humorous box, and with the art of Nate Watson looking suitably atmospheric the scary bit should be well catered for too. Let the blood n’ laughs fly!

Writer: Jim Krueger & Alex Ross
Art: Steve Sadowski
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: Cap returns from the dead (kind of!) in this time travelling epic. Pitting various Avengers against - and eventually with - the Invaders of old, there’s bound to be plenty of confusion as to who is and who isn't supposed to be alive. With lessons to be learnt on both sides and the considerable talents of Krueger and Ross involved, this should be something to look forward to, if only to see Steve Rogers back in action.

Writer: Steve Moore
Art: Admira Wijaya
Radical Comics $0.99

Andy H: This one kinda snuck up on me. Radical Comics, who I hadn’t heard of before, bring us Hercules! Herc and his band of mercenaries will go anywhere for a decent fight, but when they’re hired to train an entire army for the King of Thrace they realise how far they’ve fallen. The idea sounds enticing and the art looks fantastic, plus issue one is only a dollar! Kerching!!

Matt C: What the hell?? Who are Radical Comics and what do they want with my wallet? Based on the art previews for this and the other series they’re putting out (Caliber) I’m definitely down for these, and so should you be! At only a buck each what have you got to lose?

Writers: Matthew Sturges and Bill Willingham
Art: Luca Rossi
DC/Vertigo $2.99

Rob N: While I don’t necessarily have great expectations for this book, only a fool or a communist would dismiss out of hand any new Vertigo title. Patchy their hit rate may be these days, but Vertigo can still deliver some unlikely surprises when you least expect them – most recently the excellent Northlanders that has shot to the top of my favourites list. House of Mystery is billed as an anthology series with an ongoing supporting cast of characters who find themselves trapped in the eponymous house, unable to leave of their own volition. They entertain itinerant travellers who pay for their hospitality by telling stories. With a vague link to the established Sandman mythos, this could veer into fluffy Goth territory, or it could come across like Clive Barker’s Books of Blood. And since we’re promised rotating writer/artist teams for each arc, it’ll probably be a bit of both. Whether the proposed framework of ‘stories within a story’ will work remains to be seen.


Unknown said...

damn, there goes my bank account. I can see about 6-8 on there I'll probably buy, and at least 4 that I'll have to if the next 'big events' are to make any sense. There's a good crop of indies worth a punt too, especially Radical Comics. 99 cents for a comic? I'll buy that for a dollar! Wait, that doesn't make any sense....

Matt Clark said...

Loads of other things that we didn't get a chance to mention this month....

A new Image series called Gemini from Jay Faerber (Noble Causes & Dynamo 5 fans take note)...

Greg Rucka joining Brubaker on Daredevil #107...

Millar's Marvel 1985 #1...

A new newuniversal series from Marvel (waitaminute... the other series didn't even finish?!)...

And the fantastically names I Was Kidnapped By Lesbian Pirates From Outer Space from Platinum Studios. And this is one we were all really excited by, but not one of us had the balls to have it as one of our top picks....