12 Nov 2009

Ten Forward: January 2010

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 November issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in January 2010.

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Sean Murphy
DC/Vertigo $1.00

Rob N: Vertigo is on a roll recently with an impressive roster of quality titles ranging from Scalped to The Unwritten. Even old titles like Hellblazer have fared exceptionally well under the pen of Diggle and Milligan and some exceptional artists. Grant Morrison's latest offering looks promising, and as it's pegged to launch with a dollar price tag for the first issue, you don't stand to lose much if you try it. The basic concept of an ordinary person being transported into a fantasy land as a champion of sorts is an old fantasy cliché that has only occasionally benefited from a classic twist. Hopefully Morrison has some kind of twist in mind.

James R: As the leading defender of Grant Morrison in the Paradox group, may I point you towards Joe The Barbarian? Morrison's new series about a boy with an incredible double life... or just a severe mental problem. I know Rob is covering this too, so all I'll say is that Morrison works really well when he's given a limited series - look at We3 and Seaguy - and when he's on form there's nobody else like him working in comics. On top of this, Sean Murphy's art looks beautiful. A six-issue treat for the new year!

Writer: James Robinson
Art: Fernando Dagnino
DC $2.99

Matt T: The return of Starman. With James Robinson at the helm. I'm pretty much sold regardless, but the fact that he's tying it all into Blackest Night makes me look forward to it all the more. A Starman has returned from the dead, and occasional villain/hero/scallywag The Shade is about the only person able to keep Opal safe. In anyone else's hands I'd be concerned, but Robinson has crafted such a superb universe I'm anticipating this far more than anything else this month.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Olivier Copiel
Marvel $3.99

Matt T: Ok, so Bendis is writing another big Marvel event. And Norman Osborn is still heavily involved. For those who are still reading this, and aren't swearing like sailors, hear me out: the little I've heard of the central plot is far better than Dark Reign, and it's all going to be over in four months (hopefully), so with the return of Cap and the good guys surging back against ol' ruffle head I'm actually quite optimistic about Siege. By all means bring this up in March when I'm burning my Marvel collection in protest....

Writer: Scott Allie
Art: Marco Guevara
Dark Horse $3.50

Rob N: A second miniseries outing for one of Robert E Howard's better known characters, no doubt timed to coincide with the upcoming movie. I felt that Dark Horse gave the previous mini due deference, and so far they have only disappointed me with the Pigeons From Hell adaptation (if you can call it that). A far better pedigree to date than the woeful mess Dynamite have made of Red Sonja and Thulsa Doom.

Writer: Peter David
Art: Valentine De Landro
Marvel $3.99

Matt T: X-Factor is awesome. So awesome you all need to start reading it right now. Go on. I can wait. Done it? Good. Then I don't need to recommend this book any more. For those left (I'll call them fools) not reading it, this details Madrox's investigations on the X-Men’s island retreat, and as he always seems to upset everyone he comes within 50 yards of, I'm fully expecting fireworks from Logan et al. I'm confident Peter David will conjure up something special, and that this will be one of the few worthwhile minis I'll read next year.

Writer: Jeff Parker
Art: Gabriel Hardman
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: I’m getting a little tired with the number of miniseries that turn up with the $3.99 price-tag slapped across their covers and with no guarantee that the contents will be up to the expected quality that should come with shelling out that sort of cash on 30-40 pages. That said, Jeff Parker’s Agents of Atlas storytelling is a hands-down no-brainer for me, such is the quality of his previous efforts with the team. Stripped of their own title and kicked to cameos, back-ups and miniseries, Marvel still obviously sees the potential in (a) the team and (b) the creative talent that has brought them to us this past year or so. The usual bonkers time-travel and older incarnations of popular Marvel properties should see an entertaining and polished four-parter.

Writer: Paul Salamoff
Art: Daniel Gete
Bluewater Productions $3.99

Rob N: I actually have some doubts about this one as I've never read anything published by Bluewater before (a quick Google search of their back catalogue doesn't exactly fill me with optimism either), and the cover art hardly looks top rate, but it's worth mentioning simply because the original novel by William F Nolan and George Clayton Johnson is my favourite SF book of all time. Sadly, due to it being out of print for what seems like decades, very few people seem to have read it. If a comic book adaptation gets it a little more publicity, then that's no bad thing in my opinion.

Writer: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Art: Guy Davis
Dark Horse $2.99

James R: Even though he's (unfortunately) only on covers duty at the moment, Mike Mignola has really stepped up the Hellboy universe this year, with B.P.R.D.:1946/8, Witchfinder and The Wild Hunt providing a steady stream of moody & spooky reads. It looks like the trend is going to continue into 2010 with the terrifically named King Of Fear, a B.P.R.D. tale that revisits the location of the brilliant Conqueror Worm and fan favorite Lobster Johnston. During the press for the second Hellboy movie Mignola hinted that he was bringing this line towards a natural endgame, and so for us fans of Big Red this title looks like the beginning of the end...

Writer: James Stokoe
Art: James Stokoe
Image $2.99

Stewart R: I've been appreciating another comic title where the writer also handles the artistic duties themselves of late – see Sweet Tooth – so I’m interested to find out whether James Stokoe can deliver another winner into my hands. One Eye is a disenchanted (not in the fairy dust sense) Orc who’s left spiritually broken following years of war amongst his kind, and he now loots graves using his ability to see the weakness in any structure. When the armies of an Orc Tsar come looking for One Eye in order to use his unique abilities he has to rely on his wits – something also lacking amongst most Orcs – to survive. Stokoe is crafting a very imaginative and colourful world by all reports and I have to say that any comic that promises “an as-yet unnamed creature who wears a giant log as a helmet filled with attack woodpeckers” has to be worth picking up for a taster.

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Sheldon Mitchell
Image $2.99

Matt T: Your Dad was a superhero, but unfortunately he's a bit too old to keep fighting evil. So you step in, kicking ass and taking names. Who hasn't dreamt of that before? Well, thanks to Pilot Season and Robert Kirkman we're getting some of that in Stealth, although it sounds far grittier than the usual happy-go-lucky 'passing down of the cape' fare from the mainstream. I'm loving the artwork I've seen so far, so count me in.


Matt Clark said...

No contributions from me this month because nothing really sprung out at me. Disappointing. I'll give Morrison's new Vertigo book a spin, but my love/hate relationship with his work means it could go either way...

Stewart R said...

I get a sneaking suspicion that Joe the Barbarian may be picked up by quite a few people. The preview art is certainly looking impressive.

Tom P said...

Grant Morrison + $1.00 = Yes Please

Andy H said...

Plus any book with a pet rat gets my vote. Yay rat fans!!