17 Feb 2009

Ten Forward: April 2009

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 February issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in April 2009.

Writer: Geoff Johns
Art: Ethan Van Sciver
DC $3.99

Andy H: Bo
oks have been re-invented, re-imagined and re-jigged. These things don't sit well with me, half the time it just doesn't work and the half the time it's just not needed. Geoff Johns seems to get this and instead of changing everything we know and love about a character he takes everything on board and builds on it. If you read Green Lantern since Johns took charge you'll see what I mean. He's breathed fresh life into one of my favourite characters without trampling over the years of reading I've invested in him. So, time for the Flash to get the magic touch. This will be an odd experience for me this time round though as I've always been a Wally West Flash fan, but I'm looking forward to being won over by the 'late' great Barry Allen. He's got such an illustrious history his re-introduction could be the event of the year. Already looking forward to the first Flash and Green Lantern team-up!

Matt C: I pretty much covered the reason I was enthused by this mini when it was announced at last year’s Comic-Con. If Johns and Van Sciver can repeat the brilliance of Green Lantern: Rebirth here then maybe I can finally become a regular Flash reader. Brin
g it!

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Cameron Stewart

DC/Vertigo $3.99

James R: It’s pretty safe to say that Grant Morrison is firmly ensconced as the Marmite of the comics world – people tend to love him or really want to do something nasty to him and his cat. It’s easy to see why – for every We3 there’s a New X-Men. So, depending on your point of view the notion of a new Seaguy series could send you running for the hills. However, I rea
lly liked the first series, and it was a much better forum for Morrison than something like The Filth. Four issues of madness guaranteed.

Writer: Adam Felber
Art: Paulo Siqueira
Marvel $3.99

Matt T: The Krew is back! As a fan of the ‘90s series, which mixed some Troma-esque fun with an inter
esting team dynamic (involving a white supremacist and a woman who turned into a reject from Alien) I'm looking forward to the further adventures of Ryder and co. The 'and co' part of that may be up in the air at the moment with one member dying and 3D Man being just plain pants, so hopefully a bunch of likeminded nutters will join the cause for plenty of green-skinned mayhem. As I know nothing about the writer I'm heading in with a degree of caution, but here's hoping the spirit of the original will be kept intact.

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Cory Walker

Marvel/Max $3.99

Stewart R: Take a
superhero from the Golden Age and have him avoid the blocks of ice, the time paradoxes, the longevity serums and you end up with an octogenarian who can still kick criminal butt in today's brutal world. I'm getting quite excited by this Max title which picks up the story with Keene Marlow, The Destroyer, as he discovers that his days are numbered and he sets out to rid the planet of as many villains as he can before his card is punched. An aged hero with the strength of Captain America who's not afraid to get his hands dirty sounds a little similar to a three-clawed whirlwind that we'll all be sick of before Summer's end but I'm hopeful that this could be a contender for miniseries of the year. C'mon, it's the toughest grandad in the world beating people up!

Writer: Alan Moore
Art: Kevin O’Neill
Top Shelf Productins $7.95

Rob N: Is
there anyone who isn’t waiting for this with bated breath? Now that Alan Moore has pretty much turned his back on the style of writing that made his name in the 1980s, the League books are occasional flash backs to the heady days of Watchmen, Marvelman and V for Vendetta when he wrote books with mass appeal rather than some of the more high brow stuff he’s known for now. Moore receives perhaps more credit than he is actually due for the concept of using other people’s characters in the same ‘world’ (Kim Newman got there ahead of him with the Anno Dracula trilogy spanning the three periods of the late Victorian age, the First World War and the Fellini La Dolce Vita 1950s) but there is no mistaking he does it very well indeed. What I’m particularly excited about this time around is the inclusion of one of my all time favourite fictional characters – Michael Moorcock’s innovative Jerry Cornelius. I’m expecting great things here.

Matt T:
The bearded Brummie legend prepares to dive back into the League, filling in some blanks from Black Dossier. The battles with their French counterparts and Orlando becoming a more central character adds the icing on the cake for what looks to be a less psychedelic read than BD (let's leave the 3D glasses out of it this time, eh Alan?), giving me a level of anticipation that may result in a small explosion if we can't get it this country again (knocking on all wood available as I type). I'm already creating the necessary gap in my collection, hoping that this will be the classic is promises on paper. Don't let me down Alan!

James R: As others are also flagging this up, I’d just like to say:


Oh, happy day – Alan Moore: genius writing. Kevin O’Neil: incredible art. New team (now with added Raffles – the gentleman thief!). French bad guys (called, fantastically, Les Hommes Mysteryeaux!). Three bumper-sized issues. Do. Not. Miss!

Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Dynamite Entertainment $3.50

Andy H: Garth Ennis teams up with living legend Carlos Ezquerra for Tankies, the
third story in his Battlefields trilogy. This time we're in Normandy where a British tank (and crew) is cut off behind enemy lines. Obviously they need to get back to safety but you can rely on Ennis to throw a few curve balls in: the only chance the crew have is their commander but no-one can stand him and he isn't too fond of them either! Garth very rarely disappoints with his war stories so I hope this continues the trend and with the added bonus of Carlos on pencils it should!

Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Ron Garney
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: So what the
world needs now is another Wolverine ongoing title, right? Well, no, but while Marvel’s decision to release another book featuring the character is dubious when one is surely enough, it’s the creative team involved in this new series that ensures it gets added to my pull-list. Aaron and Garney were responsible for one of the best Wolverine stories I’ve read in years with 2008’s Get Mystique arc over in the main title, and if they can repeat that kind of quality here they may well have a red-hot title on their hands. Although Aaron’s Wolverine: Manifest Destiny wasn’t all that, I’ve got a feeling it’s the Aaron/Garney combo that brings the magic. No idea why they can’t take over the main title, but unless they’ve got something stellar lined up for that this’ll be the only Wolverine title worth a damn.

Writer: Warren Ellis

Art: Gianluca Pagliarani
Avatar $3.99

Rob N: Described by Warren Ellis as ‘Deadwood meets Buck Rogers’, and sounding very much like he’s taking the Kim Newman/Alan Moore approach of utilising public domain characters in a shared universe, this seems to be more of a ‘grand concept’ than his more recent plethora of short three-part serials for Avatar. Where Newman and Moore set a precedent for plundering Victoriana and pulp heroes, Ellis seeks to achieve a similar effect with characters from a Star Slammers of the Rocket Agents period of lurid space opera SF, depicting them many years later past their prime and wondering where it all went wrong. So nothing new really, but if you’re the sort of person who looks forward to each new volume of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, then this may well work the same kind of magic.

Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Peter Krause
Boom! Studios $3.99

James R: Now this is a nice idea – what if the world’s greatest hero became the world’s greatest villain? Writer Mark Waid has a pretty tasty track record, and I like his central conceit here - that it’s never one moment that turns you to the dark side, but a series of smaller betrayals and disappointments. And how would you stop Superman if he decided to take a walk on the wild side? Definitely a must-buy, with the potential to be one of the most memorable series of ’09.

Matt T: The world's greatest superhero becomes the greatest villain. That kind of hooked me straight away. With Waid at the helm I'm hoping that Irredeemable will fulfil the promise of the premise, showing us the dark path from saviour to destroyer. I'm all for the darker side of heroics and the moral implications of being all-powerful, and Krause is solid enough on pencils to make me think the action will be worth waiting for too.

Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Art: David Dumeer & Doglas Dabbs
Oni Press $6.00

James R: Alright, so this isn’t a new release per se, but it is something you have to pick up – check out that price! Even with our firmly crunched pound, this works out as a bargain. I got the first issue of this, then couldn’t get hold of any of the other issues due to it selling out. This is a smart series, dealing with life on Earth after a failed alien invasion; to paraphrase Robocop’s Bixby Snyder – “I’d buy that for six dollars!”

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