2 Jul 2008

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

Writer: David Tischman
Art: Glenn Fabry
DC/Vertigo $2.99

Rob N: The ‘realistic’ superhero genre is like a Cornish tin mine that has mostly been stripped bare, but still retains a few seams of ore provided you’re prepared to do some serious digging. The 'we don’t do superheroes’ imprint, Vertigo, offers us the latest in a long line of ‘what would it be like if superheroes really existed’ books by imagining them in a rock n’ roll style. And so we get a super team that are for all intents and purposes the Super Beatles, in a tale that begins in the Sixties and ends several decades later. It’s not totally original of course – Grant Morrison cheekily based a couple of his Cloud Nine characters in Zenith on John Lennon and Jim Morrison, and Zenith himself was effectively Rick Astley with super powers – but no one’s yet fleshed the concept out properly. There is a strong possibility of course that this is going to reek of dumb rock n’ roll clich├ęs, and if so I’ll drop it quicker than a Phil Collins Genesis album, but curiosity compels me to at least sample issue one, even if I do fear that the 1970s period will inevitably resemble the Stonehenge-era Spinal Tap, without actually being a comedy…

Writer: Karl Kesel
Art: Ramon Bachs
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: You do look at this and your first impression is: what the hell are Marvel thinking?! Monkeys?!? Yeah, it sounds ridiculous but then again they made the zombie thing a success beyond what anyone expected so maybe lightning will strike twice. Or maybe not. I’ve yet to be entirely convinced but you never know, this could be the surprise hit of the year.

Writer: Steff Hutchinson
Art: Jeff Zornow
Devil’s Due Publishing $3.50

Matt T: Going back to the well of Halloween - which has been sequeled to buggery in the film world - didn’t seem like an enticing prospect before the Nightdance mini, so this series, picking up with the most famous Myers’ survivor between films, may be something special. Steff Hutchinson proved himself with the aforementioned mini, so I’m hoping he carries on that good form into this book.

Writer: Christopher Morrison
Art: Denis Medri
Image $5.99

Andy H: The Western has definitely seen resurgence in comics of late, but not to the point of overkill as happens in some genres, so I'm ready for more cowboy goodness in this 48 page one-shot from Image. Set in a fantasy 1860s, we learn of a clandestine group of marshals that operated with complete federal authority. Now they are to be disbanded and the 13th Marshal has been charged with collecting all 13 Territory Peace Keeper pistols, only one has been stolen by an insane mining baron and must be retrieved at all costs! I'm not familiar with the creative team but I'm loving the concept and the preview art looks solid and well laid out.

Writer: Clark Castillo & Mel Smith
Art: Alex Nino & Moose Baumann
Image $3.99

Rob N: What the world doesn’t really need is more zombie comics, but in this case I’ll make an exception to the rule and pick out Dead Ahead. It’s a story touted as ‘Dawn of the Dead on a boat’ which in itself shouldn’t excite you enough to wave used bank notes at your local comic dealer, but the package stands head and shoulders above its undead rivals solely on the basis that it features art by comics legend, Alex Nino. Nino was one of the extraordinarily talented Filipino artists (whose ranks also included Tony DeZuniga, Alfredo Alcala and Nester Redondo) who collectively astonished jaded comics fans in the early Seventies with their incredibly detailed fine line work in various black and white magazines for Marvel and Warren. Like many of his contemporaries, Nino works on few assignments these days, so the announcement of this title came as quite a surprise to me.

Writer: Joe Brusha
Art: Ralph Tedesco & Jason Craig
Zenscope Entertainment Inc $2.99

Matt T: The Reanimator is one of my favourite gore-fest film series, at the centre of which is the legendary Herbert West. If the talent involved can somehow channel the maniacal performances of Jeffrey Combs into this series, then the little-known Zenescope comics may be onto something good. Otherwise it’ll be an unholy mess that’ll make me wish for the long awaited movie sequel.

Writer: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Art: Mike Perkins
Marvel $3.99

Andy H: I'll be the first to admit I'm not the greatest follower of the works of Stephen King. I have dabbled with a few and even watched some of his book adaptations on the big (and small) screen, but that's as far as it went. Until now...

Somewhere on a secret army base something has gone horribly wrong (as of course things do in Mr. King's books). Charlie Campion and family flee into the night unaware they are carrying a deadly virus, a virus that will spread like wildfire bringing disease and death, prefacing humanity's last stand! After the success of the Dark Tower comics, Marvel are publishing another book based on a King bestseller and the creative team - as before on Dark Tower - are well picked. Aguirre-Sacasa always handles darker stories with style and Perkins work on Captain America was fantastic, so I expect nothing less here.

By Dave Gibbons, Chip Kidd & Mike Essl
Titan Books $39.95

Rob N: Watchmen needs no introduction to anyone remotely interested in comics. Since its publication in the Eighties it has enjoyed a prominent position as the benchmark by which all other ‘realistic’ superhero stories are judged. Now, with the promotional push of a big budget Hollywood movie on the horizon, artist Dave Gibbons has compiled his own archival Making Of book. Thankfully Gibbons is one of those rare creators who retains all his notes, sketches and reference materials long after a project is completed, and so this promises to be an in depth analysis of how Watchmen was created from the very first conversations with Alan Moore to the finished book itself.

Writer: Garth Ennis & Jimmy Palmiotti
Art: Mihalio Vukelic
Image $2.99

Matt C: Now he’s off The Punisher it was looking like Garth Ennis would be steering clear of hardcore crime tales for the foreseeable future - seems like he’s still got a taste for it though (for a while at least) if the premise of this mini is anything to go by. I don’t always get on with all of Ennis’s work but I’ve got a good feeling about this one and hopefully it I’ll join the current crop of great crime comics doing the rounds at the moment.

Writer: Scott Allie
Art: Mario Guevara
Dark Horse $2.99

Rob N: Dark Horse expands its Robert E. Howard franchise with this miniseries based on the 17th century Puritan adventurer, in an adaptation of an incomplete REH manuscript fragment entitled The Castle of the Devil (originally published posthumously in 1968, and set in the German Black Forest). Unlike Howard’s more famous Conan of Cimmeria, Solomon Kane is a historical character, albeit one who more often than not faces magic and supernatural creatures not dissimilar to those of the Conan books. Dark Horse has of course done a commendable job with its regular Conan title (compare and contrast with the sorry state of the Dynamite Red Sonja comics to fully understand what a pig’s ear Dark Horse could have made of the Cimmerian if quality hadn’t been the watchword!), so expectations remain high that Solomon Kane will be equally true to its source material.

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