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 January issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in March 2012.
Writer: Bryan K. Vaughan
Art: Fiona Staples
Stewart R: The man who wrote Y: The Last Man and the artist behind Wildstorm’s much underrated North 40 get together to bring us some breastfeeding controversy and a tale of love and young family life on the run during an intergalactic war. Not sure there’s much more that really needs to be said...! Well okay, Vaughan is a man who we know can write ongoing titles with a broad scope to a very high standard and despite this being Staples first proper ongoing gig her style should be a match made in the cosmic heavens for the strange species and creatures lurking out in the universe. In today’s risky market it might be too much to hope for another series of Y:TLM’s length and stature but one can hope!
ROCKETEER ADVENTURES 2 #1
Writers: Marc Guggenheim, Peter David & Stan Sakai
Art: Sandy Plunkett, Stan Sakai & Bill Sienkiewicz
Matt C: The first series of Rocketeer Adventures saw the likes of Darwyn Cooke, Mark Waid, John Cassaday and Bruce Timm pay homage to the late Dave Stevens’ nostalgic creation, and it was (deservedly) enough of a hit that IDW are returning with another helping in March. My embarrassing confession is that I’ve never checked out Stevens’ original work (I’ll get to it one day, honest!) but the standard of creators that have been roped in to contribute is high enough that it could probably be an Archie book and I’d still pick it up. Well, maybe. If you’re looking for comic that exhibits an uncynical love of the craft, this is somewhere you need to be directed towards.
CROSSED: BADLANDS #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows
Andy H: The original Crossed series was one of those stories you read and didn't forget about too quickly. Coupled with the downright bone-chilling visual explosion of horror I found it hard to stop thinking about it! I'm not the biggest horror fan in the world but this was a series I could not put down. The story was not just about the horror of the Crossed but also how far humanity would be changed in order to survive. Saying that, the David Lapham volumes didn't work for me so I'm excited to see Ennis and Burrows back at the helm, at least for the first three issues. Here the story starts in Scotland and is set some years after the first appearance of the Crossed. Expect the usual diverse mix of characters, moments of humour, outrageous horror and a complete sense of hopelessness in the face of overwhelming odds. There is no hope. There is no escape. There is only the Crossed! *gulp*
THE NEW DEADWARDIANS #1
Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: I. N. J. Culbard
Stewart R: Having been a bit more interested in vampires (American Vampire, Victor Gischler’s X-Men) and zombies (Walking Dead) in the past couple of years I’m certainly drawn to what Dan Abnett might be able to bring to the undead party! It seems that he’s taking a thought-provoking and amusing route by using these two horror species(?) to exemplify the class divide in Edwardian England, with the upper classes all voluntarily becoming bloodsuckers to avoid being swallowed by the lowly ranks of the poor and destitute braineaters! We’re apparently going to see a detective story unfold amongst this bizarre London setting and while I’ve not been following much of Abnett’s recent non-cosmic based work this has me locked in for sure.
THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Pitarra & Cris Peter
James R: I've said it before and I'll say it again, Jonathan Hickman either produces works of genius or baffling indifference. Pax Romana? Genius. Red Wing? Hmmm. So it's with a little trepidation I recommend this new series from Hickman which speculates that the scientists involved in the Manhattan Project did far more than create the atomic bomb - they were responsible for unleashing all kinds of weird science hi-jinx! It reminds me a lot of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that's a great thing in my eyes. At least by setting it away from the Marvel Universe we'll be spared the image of Robert Oppenheimer having a 'special cuddle' with a Deviant!
REBEL BLOOD #1
Writer: Alex Link & Riley Rossmo
Art: Riley Rossmo
Matt C: What, another zombie comic? No waitaminute, come back! This one’s got zombie animals in it too!! Still not sold? Well, I’d be in agreement with you after the glut of undead tales we’ve seen in various media recently if it weren’t for one thing: Riley Rossmo’s art. If you’ve seen his distinctive, intense work on Proof, Cowboy Ninja Viking or Green Wake you’ll know that it does stick out from the pack. Whether or not this miniseries can avoid the clichés remains to be seen, but it’s going to look unlike anything else on the stands and for me that’s reason enough to give it a whirl.
Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Lenil Yu
Stewart R: Funnily enough I’ve just this minute finished reading Mark Millar’s Superior which I now rate as one of his very best works, and lo, in the back happens to be a teaser of what’s to come during the early stages of Supercrooks. While we're not getting to see or hear much about the plot at the moment it looks nice with Yu on pencils and I’ll certainly give it a go as Millar is one of those writers that I almost love-to-hate/hate-to-love because of his rollercoaster success rate. That said, I’m a little concerned that this is yet another one of those projects that hasn’t even hit the printing presses but there’s continuing hype and talk about lining up a director to helm the live-action movie that's in the early stages of being greenlit. Such a cock-sure attitude about an idea like this has me a little wary of whether we’ll see Millar working at the top of his game or simply ‘phoning in’ this title as the big bucks are to be made with the idea elsewhere!
SAUCER COUNTRY #1
Writer: Paul Cornell
Art: Ryan Kelly
James R: Paul Cornell seems to be a comics writer who blows a little hot and cold; he's a TV writer of rightful acclaim, but his comics work has been maddeningly inconsistent. His run on Action Comics was fun, but then his work on Batman And Robin was... well, you get the idea. However, I'm curious to see what he does in his new Vertigo title, Saucer Country. The blurb says that it's a story about an alien abductee who runs for President and her campaign to make people believe her story. It looks like the West Wing crossbred with The X-Files, and the preview in Vertigo's Strange Adventures looked intriguing. I'm sad Vertigo have dropped their '1st issue for a dollar' policy, but I'm still going to give this a try.
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #0
Writers: Brian Michael Bendis & Jason Aaron
Art: Frank Cho
Matt C: Do I really care about this? Another Marvel event that will inevitably turn out to be a crushing disappointment. Well, no, not really, I’ve been burnt enough times to know better, and yet…. and yet I still have this faint glimmer of excitement erupting somewhere in the back of my mind when Marvel reel out another one of their event high-concepts. With the so-called ‘Architects’ at the helm there is always a chance this could turn out to be something memorable, something exciting, but there’s a far bigger chance it will, well, suck. I can imagine I won’t be able to resist giving this opening shot a look (at the bargain price of… $3.99! Huh?) but I’m certainly not going to get caught up in something I dislike just for some sort of narrative closure. No, sir, not me! (Please remind me of this later in the year!)
Writer: Grace Randolph
Art: Russell Dauterman
BOOM! Studios $3.99
James R: This new series, penned by Bleeding Cool's new video correspondent Grace Randolph, looks like it's got the potential to be terrific as it features the suburban life of the alter egos of a group of female superheroes (phew!) This reminds me of both Bendis' Powers (back when it was good!) and Brad Bird's The Incredibles, both of which equal fanboy gold for me! Randolph also promises to make it a topical read, bringing in the world of celebrity culture and reality TV. If done right, this could be a solid win, and I'm definitely on board for the first issue!