NEW MUTANTS #1
Writer: Zeb Wells
Art: Diogenes Neves
Andy H: The 'real' New Mutants are back! A blast from the past as the original team return, but I have questions straight away: aren't half the team featured on the cover dead? Do you know what? Who cares! The New Mutants were a great team, young mutants coming to terms with their place in the world. Moonstar, Karma and Cannonball were personal favourites so great to see them all again (I know Cannonball is still about but you know what I mean). Now older and wiser, they must face a deadlier than ever Legion. Zeb Wells is still a bit hit and miss with me but always worth a try. Diogenes Neves really impressed me with the art on X-Men: Worlds Apart and I’m looking forward to his take on the team.
TERROR, INC: APOCALYPSE SOON #1
Writer: David Lapham
Art: Koi Turnbull
Matt T: As anyone with even a passing interest in this blog knows I’m a big fan of the horror books and Mr Terror, who can rip off other people’s limbs to use as his own, has been a character that’s piqued my interest on a number of occasions. Being that he isn’t exactly a nice guy anyway and tends to get blown to bits quite frequently I’m really looking forward to this, especially as David Lapham has churned out a superb 30 Days of Night spin off already.
X-MEN: MAGNETO TESTAMENT PREMIER HC
Writer: Greg Pak
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
James R: I'm flagging this one up as my fellow Paradox Groupers were united in their acclaim for this mini-series about Magneto's youth during the Holocaust. If ever a series looked a worthwhile investment in a trade this should be it. However, as a teacher, I'm also interested as this hardcover comes with a teacher's guide in the back as supplementary material. It goes without saying that the events of the Holocaust and WW2 should be the part of every school curriculum, and a tip of the hat to Marvel for both actively encouraging the educational world to consider the value of comics as an educational tool and for publishing something with such gravitas.
HOWLING COMMANDOS #1
Writer: Jesse Alexander
Art: John Paul Leon
Matt C: Don’t know if I’ve read any of Jesse Alexander’s comics work – quite possibly I have but it obviously didn’t impress enough to register. I couldn’t tell you which episodes of Heroes or Alias he wrote either, so maybe you’re thinking I’m giving this a nod for John Paul Leon’s art. Well, I’ve been impressed by his work in the past but the artist's not the main draw for me. I’m highlighting this because….. it’s the goddamn Howling Commandos! Nick Fury! Dum Dum Dugan! Percy Pinkerton! And some others! I have a lot of affection for the ‘60s title and while I’m not anticipating gold here, I can’t resist, and maybe I’ll end up pleasantly surprised. It apparently links into the Loeb/Sale Captain America: White, which is a bonus (if that ever comes out). Wah-hoo indeed.
THE UNKNOWN #1
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Minak Costerveer
Boom! Studios $3.99
Rob N: New comics these days seem to be accompanied by single sentence Hollywood descriptions, or what they call 'elevator pitches' in my own line of business. Despite the element of dumbing down that this involves, it does help when you're ploughing through the telephone directory size catalogue that is Previews each and every month. So, The Unknown is from the pen of Mark Waid and it gets compared to his short lived Victoriana series, Ruse from Crossgen (which I enjoyed), because the main character is the world's greatest detective who believes there's a rational explanation for everything, but with only six months left to live due to cancer she wants to know what happens next after she dies. The one line pitch reads, 'what if Doc Savage were written by David Lynch?' which of course begs the answer, it would never have got printed, but that's not the point. If it implies an element of Twin Peaks weirdness then I'll be giving it a look-see.
THE RAPTURE #1
Writers: Michael Avon Oeming & Taki Soma
Art: Michael Avon Oeming
Dark Horse $2.99
Stewart R: The husband and wife team of Michael 'Powers' Oeming and Taki Soma have a vision of The Rapture: disappearing super-beings, a decimated civilisation, religious cannibals and the break-up of a relationship. A world left devoid of super-powered heroics, left to rot in a whirlwind of biblical maniacs sounds an interesting enough premise but the relationship element that the writers are aiming for seems even more interesting. Plus, c'mon, there are cannibals!!! This promises to be a work of love in every sense and I personally cannot wait to pick up the first issue - bring on The Rapture!
Writer: Mark Rahner & Robert Horton
Art: Dan Dougherty
Matt T: A taut thriller set in Old West involving a family with some dark secrets and a couple of Agents in over their heads? Count me in! The fact that the ‘dark secret’ happens to be the zombie daughter and there’s a race against time involved before she chows down on one of the agents makes it all the better.
THE UNWRITTEN #1
Writer: Mike Carey
Art: Peter Gross
Rob N: In a rather smart marketing move Vertigo has decided to offer #1’s of their new projects at a pocket-money friendly dollar price. The Unwritten is one of the first new titles to benefit from this approach. Written by Mike Carey, who has a proven pedigree at Vertigo, and drawn by the talented Peter Gross (who doesn't get nearly as much attention as he deserves), it concerns a man who is famous for the fact that his Dad allegedly based the lead character of an insanely popular Harry Potter style series of fantasy books on him, but with the possibility that the fiction and reality begin to blur. So another stab at the contemporary fantasy genre which Clive Barker popularised in the mid-eighties and Vertigo has always specialised in. Mike Carey at his best can rival (and often overtake) Neil Gaiman for sheer inventiveness with these kind of books. Whether it achieves the longevity of Lucifer or ends up being cancelled at #18 like Crossing Midnight remains to be seen of course.
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW? HC
Writer: Brian Fies
Art: Brian Fies
Abrams Comicats $24.95
Matt C: This sort of sprung out at me in Previews. The premise if is really cool: father and son visit legendary New York World’s Fair in 1939 and are inspired by concepts that seem to have spilled out of the pages of sci-fi pulp magazines. The story runs up to the final Apollo space mission in 1975 and is intercut with the comic book tales of Commander Cap Crater. Makes me think of all those times I watched BBC future-prediction show Tomorrow’s World back when I was a kid, imaging how I’d be driving a flying car when I grew up. In space. I’m unfamiliar with Brian Fies’ work, but I’m tickled enough to give this a punt.
SUPERMAN: WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE MAN OF TOMORROW? DELUXE EDITION HC
Writer: Alan Moore
James R: In all the huge amount written about the Watchmen movie, I was intrigued to see the sneering review from someone in the States who declared “Alan Moore hates superheroes.” Well, clearly they've never read this - the 'final' Superman story. A two-parter originally published in Action and Superman, this was the last story told before DC rebooted Superman's continuity with John Byrne in 1986. It was released the same month Watchmen and has a lot of the same beats and concepts that the legendary series does, whilst cleverly tying in (at that point) 50 years of continuity. Brilliant storytelling, and certainly one of the best Superman tales ever written. After giving The Killing Joke the hardcover treatment in 2008, it's nice to see DC doing the same for Moore's other great take on a DC legend.