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 September issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in November 2011.
This month long time Paradoxer Simon M joins us to see what comic book delights November has in store for us...
GUNS AND DINOS #1
Writer: Frank Cho
Art: Frank Cho
Andy H: Seems to have been a lot of 'darker' titles in my pull list of late. What I need is a good old-fashioned, trapped-in-the-past dinosaur romp! Step forward my saviour, Mr Frank Cho. If you need an artist to bring lavishly rendered dinos to the printed page he's the man. Guns And Dinos automatically makes me think of old B-movies - in a good way - where an experiment goes wrong and you find yourself transported to far flung places. This time we follow scientists searching for alternate fuel sources and methods for moving personnel for the US Military. One of the methods is 'space folding' (uh-oh) and while experimenting with moving a group of soldiers from point A to point B something goes wrong (double uh-oh) and they're all sent back in time. So, guns and dinos (and with Frank’s track record, possibly a lady or two!) this should be a cracking romp.
FANTASTIC FOUR #600
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Steve Epting, Carmine Di Giandomenico, Lenil Yu & Farel Dalrymple
Matt C: Oh yeah, like no one saw this coming! Back to the original numbering, no doubt featuring the return of a certain Human Torch, it wasn’t hard to figure out when Marvel announced the “final issue” of Fantastic Four that it’s close proximity to that 600th issue milestone meant it wouldn’t be away for long. This promises to wrap up the storyline Hickman’s been working on since he took over, so anyone who’s been following the book since then is going to want to pick this up. $7.99 is taking the piss a bit, but it’s all original material so I guess we can’t complain too much, so long as the standard is up to scratch the whole way through. After this, the next challenge for Hickman should be getting this book back to the position of being the “World’s Greatest Comics Magazine” again!
OPERATION: IRON CROSS #1
Writer: Herik Hanna
Art: Trevor Hairsine
Boom! Studios $3.99
Simon M: I've always enjoyed a good war comic but unfortunately they are few and far between these days. This new one from Boom! Studios sound very promising. Originally published in France by Delcourt in 2010 under the title Le Casse: L'Heritage Du Kaiser, I know next to nothing about the writer Herik Hanna but have enjoyed the previous art of Trevor Hairsine. The story is set in 1936 and follows a German intelligence officer being tortured by his superiors, trying to find out why he turned against them. Some of the previous reprints of French titles to the American market have been enthralling reads and here's hoping this follows suit.
Boom! Studios $1.00
Stewart R: Charlie Brown and Snoopy are two of the cherished comic and cartoon characters from my childhood and the recent but now sadly defunct meme Peanutweeter stirred a nostalgic itch within me for the Peanuts gang. Well it seems that I’m in luck as the powers that be at Peanuts Worldwide have chosen Kaboom! - the new name for the 'All Ages' imprint of Boom! Studios - as the publisher to bring all new comic strip material involving Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy and the rest of the gang to the printed page on a monthly basis. The teasers appearing in Previews this month suggest that the new creators aim to remain true to the original and hallowed Charles M. Schulz characterisation and tone and I’m very interested to see if the beloved strip can find a new lease of life and success over a decade after Schulz’s planned retirement of the strip and his sad death the day before it went to print.
Writer: Douglas Rushkoff
Art: Goran Sudzuka & Jose Marzan Jr
James R: Douglas Rushkoff is an interesting guy - for the last 15 years he's written a number of excellent and accessible books on the power of commercialism and ideas, with Coercion being the most notable. A few years back he dipped his toe into the world of comics writing with Testament at Vertigo, which had a fascinating central premise - Old Testament Biblical ideas and events were leitmotivs, and were analogous to a technology-driven society - but the modern-day conspiracy plot felt a little clunky. Despite this, it was refreshing to see an ideas man trying something different in mainstream comics, and so I'm equally interested to see how he gets on with this sophomore effort. A.D.D. stands for 'Adolescent Demo Division' and features a group of teens who "are the world's luckiest teen gamers. Raised from birth to test media, appear on reality TV and enjoy the fruits of corporate culture, the squad develop special abilities that make them the envy of the world - and a grave concern to their keepers." It's a neat premise from a smart man - I'm definitely sold!
VICTOR VON DOOM #1
Writer: Nick Spencer
Art: Becky Cloonan
Matt C: Not the creative team I would envisaged for such a project, but to be honest I never really figured on Marvel putting a teenage Doc Doom book! This could be a disastrous move on their part (Doom with acne! Doom with mood swings!) but both Spencer and Cloonan have real talent and my love of the character ensures I’ll have to check out. The decision to show one of Doom’s earlier attempts to free his mother from the clutches of Mephisto is a solid one, as it’s this singular desire that drove him through his formative years, eventually leading to his transformation into Marvel’s premier supervillain. It’s this kind of project that has the potential to really surprise, so fingers crossed here.
AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #1
Writer: Zeb Wells
Art: Joe Madureira
Stewart R: My continued fascination with comics probably owes an awful lot to Joe Madureira. Had it not been for his Battlechasers series arriving on the scene in the late 1990s I may not have found that all-important excuse to gain a full interest in collecting American comics. Admittedly his more recent run on Ultimates 3 was almost enough to shut all my comics away and never look at the medium ever again but we all have ‘blips’ along the way. Now, in late 2011, the man gets to flex his pencilling muscle once more and this time he’s tackling the his favourite Marvel character in the webbed wonder. Madureira is actually only half the draw as I’ve been something of a fan of Zeb Wells’ Spider-Man writing for few years and I think that he’s up there with Dan Slott and Mark Waid when it comes to understanding what makes the modern day wallcrawler tick. This new ongoing is said to be the big, all-adventure side of Peter Parker’s life as Spider-Man interacts with the biggest hero teams and villains in the Marvel Universe, and I’ve fingers crossed that this will be as much fun as it sounds.
BETRAYAL OF THE PLANET OF THE APES #1
Writer: Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Sara Bechko
Art: Gabriel Hardman
Boom! Studios $3.99
Simon M: The ongoing series of Planet Of The Apes has been sensational, in my opinion. Throw a new miniseries set in the original film continuity and drawn by Gabriel Hardman and I'm there! Corinna Sara Bechko is on co-writing duties (with Hardman) best known for Heathentown where she also worked with Hardman. This series is set in the middle of a conspiracy that threatens to transform ape/human relations forever. The feared and respected General Aleron finds himself at odds with Dr Zaius. If you are a fan of the Planet Of The Apes this should be worth a look.
FLASH GORDON: ZEITGEIST #1
Writer: Eric Trautmann
Art: Daniel Indro
Dynamite Entertainment $1.00
Matt C: Dynamite really seem to be going for it with all these iconic properties they’re reintroducing to the modern comic-reading audience, with the like of John Carter, Bionic Man and Green Hornet hitting the shelves over the last couple of years. Now it’s Flash Gordon’s turn, and while this may be a hackneyed and forgettable tale (no doubt followed by a bunch of pointless offshoot titles) it still stands a chance of being a good read, and at an introductory price of $1.00 it’s the kind of offer I can’t refuse. Plus there’s the Alex Ross cover: Ming the Merciless, Flash Gordon (in the Buster Crabbe mould) and Adolf Hitler! That’s worth the price of admission alone!
UNCANNY X-MEN #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Carlos Pacheco
Stewart R: Kieron Gillen has well and truly proven that he is an awesome Uncanny X-Men writer in recent months with interesting and entertaining stories that have involved everything from Breakworld to Fear Itself, and he’s not flinched once since picking up the reigns after Matt Fraction moved aside. In November he gets to deal with something of a new beginning and a new numbering as the mutants of Utopia make their choices and pick a side of the greater argument post-Schism. Marvel had been teasing for a while that perhaps Cyclops wasn’t involved on the ‘Blue’ side of the equation - the publisher seemingly making a nod to the Blue and Gold X-Men teams of the early ’90s with Wolverine’s perspective leading the Gold faction - but now it’s been revealed that he will be there, cheering on mutant-rights in some form and allowing Gillen the opportunity to write Scott Summers in that highly accomplished way. I’ll admit that the renumbering is a frustrating publicity stunt but aside from that I’m excited about the new X-Men direction.