13 May 2008

Ten Forward: July 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 May issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in July 2008.

Writer: Ed Brubaker & Matt Fraction
Art: Greg Land & Terry Dodson
Marvel $3.99

Matt T: As the pundits often say “form is temporary, class is permanent”, and Uncanny X-Men #500 has some seriously classy talent. The writing of Brubaker and Fraction has been superb of late, and Land and Dodson are always good value. Bringing back a few classic characters should make for an interesting issue, as long as doubling up on the talent doesn't ruin the flow. We certainly need to see the X-Men back on track, and if these four can't do it, no one can.

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Goran Parlour
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: It's had its highs, it’s had its lows (and when it was good it was very, very good!) but as with all good things, Garth Ennis' run on Punisher finally comes to an end. He's taken the title from the black comedy of his initial mini with Steve Dillon to its current position as one of the darkest (and most violent) titles Marvel's ever published. Having no real interest in the character before Ennis took over it's highly likely this will be the last issue of the book I buy for the time being.

Writer: Dan Brereton
Art: Dan Brereton, Viktor Kalachev & Ruben Martinez
Image $6.99

Andy H: We don’t get to see enough of Brereton’s gorgeous artwork these days, so I’m glad he and The Nocturnals are back. Not sure if Dan is doing all the art in this one-shot (it’s not made clear from the blurb) but he tells a great story, so I’m looking forward to more adventures with Doc Horror, Starfish, Halloween Girl and Gunwitch. If you missed them before then give yourself a treat and enter the world of The Nocturnals.

Writer: Ron Marz
Art: Stjepan Sejic
Image/Top Cow $2.99

Matt T: It may be yet another Witchblade/Darkness crossover, but as the two characters are so intrinsically linked there's little to be shocked about there. What does look good is the art, and on top of that there’s the fact that Marz and Sejic were both on the Witchblade event, First Born, which went down reasonably well by all accounts. As a sucker for Darkness-related material I'm hoping this will be at least halfway decent, with some pretty looking art along the way.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Art: Tim Sale
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: I imagine I'm not alone in thinking that Jeph Loeb's output since returning to Marvel has been pretty poor (bar the Fallen Son mini) but this project still gets me excited. His previous collaboration's with Tim Sale for Marvel and DC have all been memorable to varying degrees so I've got my fingers crossed the pair can recapture the magic for this WWII set tale.

Writer: Joss Whedon
Art: Karl Moline
Dark Horse $2.99

Andy H: At last, the return of Fray! Cast your minds back a few years and you may well remember the adventures of Fray, a future Slayer - if not check out the collected edition which is still available from all good comics stores! :) Joss reunites with Fray artist Karl Moline for a team-up we never thought we'd see: hoping to unlock the secrets of her Scythe, Buffy is transported to an unknown world and into the path of …Fray. Can’t wait.

Writer: Kevin Grevioux
Art: Geraldo Borges
Red 5 $3.25

Matt T: Zombies might well be the comic genre-de-jour at the moment, but New Warriors writer Kevin Grevioux is at least trying a different take on them, with the US utilising the walking dead as weapons of mass destruction (hence the title). Horror-related war satire can become a bit heavy handed, but with the right amount of good old black humour this could be a enjoyable read, or at the very least some gory fun.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Gianluca Pagliarani
Avatar Press $6.99

Matt C: They ought to change the company's name to Warren Ellis Press and be done with it – I mean, how many books can this guy have out at once?! All joking aside, the fact that, like last year's exceptional Crecy, it's on the Apparat imprint, and it's described as “a detective Steampunk version of London circa 1907 stumbles upon the secret of the world”, well, that's more than enough for me to perhaps foolishly proclaim that Aetheric Mechanics will be one of the best reads of the year! Hopefully I won't be forced to eat my words.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Simone Bianchi
Marvel $2.99

Andy H: As frustrating as Astonishing can be, I’ve stuck with it (even though, at the time of writing, I’m still awaiting Whedon’s final issue). Now that Joss has passed the baton to new scribe Warren Ellis I expect the frustration of waiting for the next issue to continue, but….. it’s Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi!! I can hear my inner fanboy voice screaming at me! Woo hoo!! The preview art looks fabulous and Ellis has worked wonders with X-teams in the past, so I predict this book will outsell all the other X-titles.

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Art: Marco Turini
Marvel $2.99

Matt T: After the events of Ultimate Power crossover, Nick Fury has been stranded in the wrong universe, providing an interesting insight into the general madness occurring. With more characters from the original series turning up in somewhat altered states, it seems like the Squadron is becoming more like the Ultimates than the Ultimates.....if that makes any sense! Anyway, Greg Land is only doing covers this time leaving newcomer Marco Turini the unenviable tasking of following one of the most recognisable artists in comics today. Colour me intrigued, but cautious.

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