24 May 2012

Ten Forward: July 2012

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 May issue of Previews which includes comics scheduled to ship in July 2012.

Writer: Walter Simonson
Art: Walter Simonson
DC $22.99

Matt C: Back in 2008 at the Bristol Comic Expo myself and various other members of the Paradox Comics Group had the opportunity to sit down for a late night chat and a drink with Walt and Louise Simonson. At one point Walt rushed back to his hotel room, returning with the first few pencilled pages of The Judas Coin. He sold us on the premise instantly - the journey through history of one of the coins Judas received for selling out Jesus - and the art sealed the deal. It's been a long, long wait for this but now it's been scheduled I'm eager to get my hands on it. Original hardcover graphic novels from DC aren't usually something I'd put down the cash for, but if ever there was an exception to a rule, this is it.

Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Riley Rossmo
Image $3.50

Stewart R: Green Wake is no more, but here comes Debris from the same fine creative team to give me a glimpse into their collective vision of a desolate future for mankind. Wiebe and Rossmo are set to show us Earth as a giant rubbish heap many, many years in the future on which one small tribe of humans eke out their existence with the bare minimum to sustain them and the garbage surrounding them the only means of providing them refuge from the elements and strange creatures that lurk in the wasteland. Having seen Rossmo's preview art for this I must say that it's some of his tidiest to date and when coupled with the environmentally-themed story there seems to be just the slightest resemblance to Miyzaki's Nausicaa which earns a thumbs up from me. Sigh, yet more apparent Grade A material from Image that means I must part with the monetary material in my wallet!

THE CAPE: 1969 #1
Writer: Joe Hill & Jason Ciaramella
Art: Nelson Daniel
IDW $3.99

Andy H: Did you read The Cape? What a fantastic tale! A riveting story of just how 'evil' one man can be and the trail of destruction he levels at anyone he feels slighted him. The Cape itself remains a mystery. It gave the wearer the power of flight but was there more to it than that... and where did it come from? Here the original creative team return and take us back to 1969 and the Vietnam War. Somewhere in the jungle strange things exist and we may just learn the origin of the Cape. If you missed the original one-shot and mini series I heartily recommend them, they were a real page-turners and you were always surprised at just how dark one man's soul could be.

Writer: John Layman
Art: Rob Guillory
Image $3.50

Stewart R: Despite all of the hilarious and promising absurdity with Chew, I actually never expected or anticipated the possibility of a spin-off and yet here we are, on the verge of one of the greatest comic book ideas that mankind has ever seen. Okay, so maybe I'm overdoing it a touch there, but then that's the terrific fine line that John Layman and Rob Guillory tread with Chew every month and no character (or creature) has reached further over the line of 'overdoing it' than Poyo, the deadliest fighting rooster ever to have pecked at this planet's surface! A recent reappearance actually garnered a 'Whoa-ho-ho!' from me when I turned the page and saw him rendered there by Guillory's fine hand. In my book, any comic creation that gets that sort of reaction definitely deserves more exposure and a greater amount of page time. I'd mention something about plot here now, but the truth of the matter is that I don't know presently what this story will entail. However, when you've got a comic book resting its success purely on the strength of a terrifyingly lethal example of poultry perfection, plot will always be a delightful bonus! Do you want this in your life? I certainly cock-a-doodle-do!

Writer: Sean Murphy
Art: Sean Murphy
DC/Vertigo $2.99

James R: Recently, Dan DiDio was pressed on the future of Vertigo, seeing that a number of books that would have once been Vertigo titles (Swamp Thing, Animal Man) are now under the aegis of the New 52. He said that DC were looking to strengthen the line and redefine it. This series looks like a fine first step in this process. The brilliant Sean Murphy - penciller on Joe The Barbarian and American Vampire: Survival of the Fittest - handles both script and illustration duties on the book, which centres on a reality show that plans to clone Jesus... and stage a search for who will be his mother. It's clear that Murphy is thinking big with this one, examining pop culture's obsession with reality TV, religion and teenage rebellion. Murphy's pencils alone would make this a must-read for me, and I'm fascinated to see what tale he can weave together from such rich themes.

Writer: Christos Gage
Art: Jorge Lucas & Felix Serrano
Image/Top Cow $1.00

Matt C: I'm not picking this so much for the story itself (described as a "two-fisted tale of revenge and redemption") but for Image/Top Cow's decision to release the first chapter of a graphic novel a couple of weeks beforehand as a one dollar one-shot. I often see these original graphic novels listed in Previews and think, "Ooooh, I like the look of that!", but the price-tag usually puts me off taking a risk. I can't say I would have considered Sunset if was released at $19.99 (I'm not familiar enough with the creators' work) but taking a punt on this one-shot means there's at least the possibility that it will have the desired effect and get me to invest in the main event.

Writer: Simon Furman
Art: Andrew Wildman & Stephen Baskerville
IDW $3.99

Stewart R: Two decades later and we're back with Optimus Prime and the rest of the Transformers as they try to rebuild their lives on the reborn Cybertron. We've 20 issues to look forward to as Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman pick up from where they left things rather swiftly back in the 1990s. I'm interested to see if Furman keeps things on more of a nostalgia footing for the planned run considering the wider wealth of other Transformers material in the IDW canon, or whether he'll bring in new characters, new situations and simply use the history as a base from which to spin things off in a brave new direction. Whatever the case I'll be sticking around for the entire run as these creators add an extra chapter to one of my favourite comic series of all time.

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Cully Hammer
DC $3.99

James R: As I've often said on this here blog, I love a one-shot. Like a prose short story, they're deceptively hard to write well, but when they're delivered with skill and verve they have as much impact as a 300-page graphic novel. As a result, I'm absolutely drawn to this new endeavour from DC. National Comics is an ongoing series of one-shots (though I feel for poor Andy H trying to guess how many copies of this to order month by month!) and the curtain raiser can only be described as solid gold: Jeff Lemire writes and Cully Hammer illustrates a Kid Eternity tale. The story focuses on a police coroner who gains the power to raise the dead - I'm guessing like Pushing Daisies but with more edge! I'm all for the Big Two trying new things, and I'm certainly on board for this title.

Writer: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art: Brad Walker, Andres Guinaldo & Mark Irvin
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Matt C: You know that Free Comic Book Day has been a success if you find at least one new title to add to your pull-list. BOOM!'s offering for FCBD 2012 was an introduction to Hypernaturals which dealt with the centennial iteration of the futuristic superteam whose membership is made up of those heroes who have been selected after rounds of rigorous training. Although there's essentially nothing knew behind the concept, if you want some writers to mix up some future/cosmic superheroics, Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are the men for the job. For a while there at Marvel they were on a winning streak with cosmic titles like Nova and Guardians Of The Galaxy, books that rattled along with genuine wit and a breakneck pace, and the possibility of them repeating the same trick with characters they've cooked up themselves is very promising indeed.

Writer: Len Wein
Art: Jae Lee
DC $3.99

James R: This month sees the second wave of Before Watchmen, and as before with Minutemen the talent on display here means that regardless of your opinion on the ethics of the project, this book demands to be seen. Len Wein - the editor of the original Watchmen series - is entrusted to tell the backstory of the smartest man on earth, Adrian Veidt. My sceptical eyebrow is up a little on this as Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons did a flawless job telling his backstory in the penultimate chapter 11 of Watchmen, but the art by Jae Lee, even in preview form, looks spectacular. As a comics fan who likes me a purdy picture to look at, I'm keen to cast an eye over Lee's work here.

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