11 Jun 2008

Ten Forward: August 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 June issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in August 2008.

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Doug Mahnke
DC $4.50

James R: I won’t lie to you, I’m not hugely excited by Final Crisis: I was flabbergasted by the dimension-punching antics of Infinite Crisis and bored by Countdown, so Dan Didio’s latest assault on my wallet isn’t a course for excitement. In spite of that, this offshoot has called to me - Grant Morrison’s run on All Star Superman has been consistently great and shows him at his innovative - rather than infuriating - best. The pitch is “Superman on a mind-blowing voyage to the end of the DC Universe…..and beyond!” Damn it Didio, you win this round!

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Doug Braithwaite
Marvel $2.99

Matt C: It seems to be slim pickings for non-Secret Invasion titles from Marvel in August, but out of all the multitude of books involved in the crossover this is the one that stuck out for me. Fraction impressed with his take on the Odinson in Thor: Ages Of Thunder and has – deservedly so – positioned himself as Marvel’s new Golden Boy. It’s unlikely to be essential reading for those wrapped up in the Skrull infiltration, but on top of Fraction’s scripting, Braithwaite’s always good value, and throw in an appearance by Beta Ray Bill and I’m sold.

Writer: Wayne Chinsang
Art: Erik Rose
Image $5.99

Matt T: Imagine if two of history’s most notorious serial killers end up retired, in the same home, and looking for a way to entertain their darker urges. What you have there, in comic form at least, is The Roberts, pitting the Boston Strangler against the Zodiac Killer against a backdrop of adult diapers and mashed bananas. This will hopefully be a book that’s both bloody and bloody good!

Writer: Terry Moore
Art: Humberto Ramos
Marvel $2.99

Andy H: While we are still awaiting on end of Joss Whedon’s run on Runaways we have the next relaunch to look forward to. Terry Moore brings his unique style to the team of teen heroes and is joined by one of my favourite artists, who isn’t necessarily to everyone’s taste, Humberto Ramos. So if you’re stuck by the much-delayed current run or want a fresh start, pre-order this book now!

By: David Petersen & Luke Crane
Archaia Studios Press $34.95

Rob N: Being that rare species of comic fan who also enjoys role-playing games, the prospect of a Mouse Guard RPG piqued my curiosity when Matt C drew my attention to it several weeks ago. Mouse Guard is one of my favourite titles at the moment, and by all accounts this looks like it’s going to be a quality package. David Petersen has been heavily involved in the design of the book, having contributed 60 pieces of original art and copious background notes detailing the society and world that the mice inhabit. The idea of spinning off RPG systems from comic books is nothing new of course. Previous examples have included Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright series and Wendy and Richard Pini’s Elfquest. The Marvel and DC universes have each spawned RPG systems, as have licences such as Judge Dredd and Slaine but, by and large, the games have suffered from having little or no input from the original comic book creators (a notable exception of course being the Watchmen RPG supplements which benefited from co-operation and approval by Alan Moore). This looks like it could buck the trend. Even if you don’t play RPGs; if you have a love of the title, it should prove to be an interesting read for the background material alone.

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows
DC $1.00

James R: If you ever get the chance to read anything other than comics, one essential book is Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Set in a post-apocalyptic future, it’s the story of one man struggling across a burnt America in the desperate hope of survival, having to dodge pockets of humanity that have devolved to their baser instincts. Hilarious, eh? No, honestly it’s great! Now Garth Ennis has grabbed the post-apocalyptic ball, ran with it, and then rammed it somewhere very uncomfortable! Like The Road, this is a tale of survival against a horrific backdrop. Sure, it’s not Spider-Man but when you look at the greatness Ennis can weave from the darkest parts of humanity, (most notably Chronicles Of Wormwood), I think Crossed could be a comic that will stay burnt into your imagination longer than any other in 2008.

Writer/Art: Andy Runton
Top Shelf $10.00

Matt C: Words and phrases like “all-ages” and “heartwarming” get chucked around a lot when it comes to material that’s pitched towards kids, and often adults are more likely to think something like “childish” or “twee” is more apt. Not when it comes to Owly though – Andy Runton’s creation transcends easy pidgeon-holing and works on such a primal, instinctive level that it should appeal to just about anyone with eyes. Seriously, give it a shot.

Writer: Phil Hester
Art: Jorge Lucas
Top Cow $2.99

Matt T: Jackie Estacado is depowered, having to rely on himself for the first time since the Darkness took hold. So logically, he seeks out his former mortal enemy, Sara Pezzini aka the Witchblade! I’m not normally a fan of these seemingly far-too-frequent crossovers, but with the writer of the current standalone Darkness book Phil Hester at the helm, this should be decent. I hope.

Writer & Art: Ben Templesmith
IDW $3.99

Andy H: The ever-busy Ben Templesmith is back for what looks like another disturbing tale. The Hoxford correctional and mental facility is a place where patients transfer in, but never transfer out, and inmate Ray Delgado is the latest arrival with no chance of parole. Only Dr Jessica Ainlet is interested in helping Ray and discovering the dark secrets behind Hoxford. Ben Templesmith always delivers, and at the forefront is a great premise. This deserves as wide an audience as possible.

Writer: Martin Pasko
DC $49.95

Rob N: The Marvel Vault was one of the most inspired pieces of merchandising designed to separate people like me from their hard earned disposable income. Cranking the ‘must buy’ factor all the way up to eleven, it didn’t simply offer you pages of full colour Marvel history, but lots of replica badges, post cards, sketches etc housed in clear plastic inserts. It was like inheriting a shoe box full of memorabilia from an older brother who used to buy comics in the Sixties. Obviously a DC version was a foregone conclusion, and here it is, promising (amongst other things) replicas of early sketches, covers, memos, press materials, and a working reproduction of a 1942 Junior Justice Society of America decoder! Throw in some facsimiles of a series of Public Service Announcements featuring Superman and Batman and I’m breaking open my piggy bank full of spare change as we speak…


Matt Clark said...

If the DC Vault is anywhere near as awesome as the Marvel Vault, then it's guaranteed to be, well, awesome!!

Unknown said...

Hell yes. I, for one, am looking forward to that when it hits. And the EC collection of Vault of Horror.