17 Dec 2009

Ten Forward: February 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 December issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in February 2010.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Raulo Caceres
Avatar $3.99

Rob N: Like Goth culture and Heavy Metal music, the Steampunk genre is one that never seems to go away. Ever since Michael Moorcock revitalised pseudo-Victorian/Edwardian SF with his Oswald Bastable series, writers have been drawn to the idea of mixing 'stiff upper lip' British boys own adventures with boiler driven SF concepts. Sometimes this turns out well (Bryan Talbot's Luther Arkwright) but more often than not it doesn't. The promo art for this title however resembles a series of woodcut prints, rather than the more common (and stereotyped) Games Workshop, Warhammer 40K style that you usually see. And with Warren Ellis's name on the masthead you have a 50/50 chance of it being an inspired work of creativity, depending on what mood he was in when he wrote it. These days 50/50 are pretty good odds in the world of comics, so personally I'm going to take the gamble.

Writers: Torajiro Kishi & Madhouse Studios
Art: Torajiro Kishi & Madhouse Studios
Dark Horse $2.99

Matt T: An interesting take on the vampire myth, with a potential plague leading to an odd side-effect (bloodlust!) and all the fun and japes that goes with it. Add to that the anime-tinged artwork from Torajiro Kishi & Madhouse Studios and I'll be hoping for that hyper-kinetic style that makes the likes of Akira so eye-bleedingly cool to watch. And with vampires being done to death right now it'd be nice for a new twist to make them something other than a bunch of pretty boys with pale skin and Vidal Sassoon hair.

Writer: Daniel Way
Art: Dalibor Talijic
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: Hitman. Monkey. Two separate words, but when you… oh for goodness sakes people, it’s a MONKEY who’s a freakin’ HITMAN!!! Daniel Way is introducing this furry little lethal critter into the main Deadpool run early in the month before we get a full on dose of Macaque madness. At $3.99 this may well get browsed through and possibly left on the shelf but we’ve got to be glad that as well as peddling as many Wolverine and Deadpool books as the House of Ideas dares, it is also willing to try new characters and give new bonkers premises a go. While Way does madcap to a highly readable standard, I wasn’t too fussed about Talajic’s work on Deadpool Team-Up, but maybe he can conjure up something special with a pint-sized professional killer.

Writers: Brea & Zane Grant
Art: Kyle Stahm
IDW $3.99

Matt T: In spite of the celebrity writer (Brea Grant was the blonde speedster in Heroes) the premise didn't exactly make me sit up and beg. Zombies in the 1920s sounds like just about every other lame, lazy cash-in from the last 10 years, putting the undead in slightly different surroundings to chomp their way through the supporting cast. Still, the art looks pretty awesome and if the characters and setting is concentrated on more than the staggering undead we should be in for something half decent at least.

Writer: Jeph Loeb
Art: Art Adams
Marvel $3.99

Andy H: Art Adams back on a regular book? Fantastic! It's only bi-monthly? Given his history (rightly or wrongly) of being a little slow this is possibly a good idea. So, still fantastic. Despite many fans reservations about Loeb’s recent work in the Ultimate Universe (and maybe Hulk) I still rate him as a writer and hope this will give him the chance to shine again. Now we're introduced to a new character who promises to change the already-in-a-state-of-upheaval Ultimate Universe forever (again?). Maybe not the most inspiring premise but, come on, it's Art Adams and that should be enough!

Writer: Brian Wood
Art: Becky Cloonan
DC/Vertigo $2.99

Rob N: No hesitation this month in picking out a gem from the Previews catalogue. I came across volume one of this comic series rather late in the day, long after it had been an Eisner-nominated critical hit. The original concept was a series of unrelated stories, each focussing on a character or characters with unusual abilities. In style it resembled the sort of independent (‘no costumes, no supervillains’) superhero stories that the filmmaker Richard Linklater (of Slacker and Before Sunrise fame) might tell. Determinedly aimed at the monthly periodical format (Wood originally claimed it wouldn’t be collected as a reprint paperback, but when it eventually was, he ensured that the bonus material from the original run was left out, as if to say, “you should have bought the monthly title…”), Demo was the sort of indie comic that mainstream Marvel/DC fans could comfortably enjoy without too much effort. Nowadays Brian Wood is a rising star at Vertigo with his DMZ and Northlanders books, so consequently the imprint has commissioned a second Demo miniseries, with original artist Becky Cloonan back on board. Frankly, you’d be a fool and a communist not to give it a go!

Writer: Raven Gregory
Art: Vic Drujiniu
Zenescope Entertainment $3.99

Matt T: The dead are coming back to life and killing their murderers, and two cops have to find out how. In one way or another it's been done before, but after having a look at some early black and white previews there's a bit more to this than just an X-Files ripoff. Some of the cop banter is a bit stagnant, but for the most part there's an atmosphere about this book that is just a touch disturbing, making it right up my proverbial alley.

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Art: Bernard Chang
Image/Top Cow $2.99

Stewart R: This year’s Pilot Season from Top Cow is certainly interesting as it is allowing one of the talented minds of the comic-writing community, Mr Kirkman, to spotlight five separate ideas and then we, the reading public, pick the winner from the selection. Stellar is a top-notch idea in my opinion which sees the titular lead as one of five super-humans created by the government of Earth. As with most of these things the process goes awry and the titular Stellar becomes toxic to other humans and subsequently drives the other four empowered individuals insane. The story seems to revolve around Stellar attempting to use her devastating abilities for good somehow, all the while being pursued by the crazy survivors. I like a good ‘overcoming of adversity’ story so this goes down on my list but I'll be watching to see how this pans out over the course of this teasing one-shot.

Writer: Ben McCool
Art: Ben Templesmith
Image $3.99

Matt T: Bristol Comic Expo legend Ben McCool finally puts his rather twisted imagination to better use than tell insane stories over curry. A noirish tale that sounds like Fell with a late night sci-fi twist sees a disgraced detective with Alien Hand Syndrome (???) have to catch the uncatchable to get his job back. As the first issue is called Pain I'm expecting McCool to churn out something suitably disturbing, and with Ben Templesmith adding his wonderfully gothic style the end product should match up perfectly.

Writer: Graham Annable
Art: Graham Annable
Dark Horse $17.99

Andy H: You now how it is, with so much product out there you're bound to miss something. Of course looking at it another way it just means there's more to discover and Grickle looks just like that to me. I don't know why but the cover grabbed me and I want to know more. This hardcover collects the best of Graham Annable’s Grickle books (originally published by Alternative Comics) plus some new material; described as “a strange twist on the everyday with heart and humor” there will (hopefully) be something for everyone.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

had a bit of Twitter-based banter with Ben Templesmith about Ben McCool. Asked him to get McCool to tell him the Jimmy White story...