19 Jul 2012

Ten Forward: September 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 July issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in September 2012.

Writers: Mike Raicht & Brian Smith
Art: Charles Paul Wilson
Th3rd World Studios $3.99

Matt C: With Hollywood now taking interest in the book, eyeing it up for a potential movie adaptation, hopefully The Stuff Of Legend will see its profile raised to the level it deserves. This series isn't really a jumping on point as every new mini continues the ongoing narrative, and coming in at this point wouldn’t do anyone any favours. It's best to start at the beginning and fully immerse yourself in this dark, emotive fairytale to truly discover the delights of one of the best comics in any genre currently gracing the shelves of your local comic shop. Those of us who have been on board since the start (or who've caught up in between) will know to expect the kind of universally appealing storytelling and fully realised, engaging characters that we've been treated to up to now. Yes, so that may be another way of saying "more of the same", but when the quality is of this standard that's exactly what you want.

Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Darick Robertson
Image $2.99

James R: I'm always pleased to see new work from Grant Morrison and this month brings us this potential gem from the mercurial scribe. Happy is, on the surface, a hard-boiled crime tale, but the mysterious presence of a child's toy means that (as usual) we can expect the unexpected from Morrison. Illustrated by Darrick Robertson, the pages in Previews looked superb, and once again it seems that Image is the place to find new and exciting comics in 2012.

Writer: Matt Wagner
Art: Simon Bisley
Legendary Comics $7.99

Andy H: In my 'younger' days the comic of choice was 2000AD and one of the many delights was Simon Bisley on Slaine or ABC Warriors. Ah, good times. Since then the Biz has kept busy, most recently on Hellblazer where I got to appreciate his work all over again. Now he and writer Matt Wagner bring us a new supernatural book. John Tower is a bounty hunter but not your usual kind. For a price he will rid you of demons, ghoulies and other assorted things that go bump in the night. Wagner has a great way of fleshing out his characters and that means Tower is bound to have an interesting backstory I'm sure. This is the first of four chapters for book one of a trilogy, plus this debut issue gets a Jim Lee cover. All sounds rather promising to me.

Writer: Chris Ware
Art: Chris Ware
Pantheon Books $50.00

James R: For me, Chris Ware is the greatest talent currently working in comics. The man brings a sublime level of invention and incredible emotion to every one of his works, and October sees the release - at last - of his Building Stories, a box set of smaller volumes that highlight the lives of a three-story Chicago apartment. Ware constantly stretches the limits of the medium, and he's doing it again here - the book is designed with no distinct beginning or end. It comes with a hefty price tag, but for us connoisseurs of Ware's work, it's cheap at double the price.

Writer: Jim Starlin
Art: Ron Lim
Marvel $7.99

Stewart R: The summer's heavyweight cinematic spectacular Marvel's Avengers (Assemble if you're in the UK) lives long in the memory and while Loki was cast as the primary antagonist, the mysterious cosmological force behind the Asgardian god's plotting was none other than the Mad Eternal himself, Thanos!! (Oh, we're so far beyond spoilers here, so shush!) With that cat now well and truly out of the bag Marvel seem obviously keen to expand on the super-villain's exposure leading up to further cinematic offerings in the not-so-distant future. While there will be some new comic content surrounding this enigmatic figure hitting shelves in September – see Bendis' Avengers Assemble series – I'm most looking forward to the opportunity to get hold of some much heralded reprint material in the form of Thanos Quest. My first experience with this powerful character came when he 'resurfaced' during Starlin and Lim's tenure on the ongoing Silver Surfer title and the opportunity to take a further look into the backstory that these two talented creators breathed life into is too good to pass up. This one-shot collection looks at Thanos' continued attempts to woo Death herself by obtaining the all-powerful Infinity Gems and killing half of the universe with them. Having not read this before I imagine it adds a great deal to the work that Starlin put in to this complex and (relatively) unpredictable menace when he was front and centre in the Infinity Gauntlet event, so bring it on!

Writers: Mark Waid & Caleb Monroe
Art: Steve Bryant
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Rob N: Compared to the rest of the Paradox group I'm very, very old. Old enough in fact to have seen 2001: A Space Odyssey in the cinema when it was first released (though technically I was far too young at the time to know what I was actually watching). Despite that, I'm not so old that I watched the TV series The Avengers when it was first screened, but in later years, when it received a DVD release, I found myself hooked by the daredevil exploits of John Steed and Emma Peel. Especially Emma Peel. If you haven't seen the show, I can assure you it is beyond spoofing, for even the likes of Austin Powers can't even begin to approach its psychedelic and surreal approach to a 1960s world that never existed, but you can't help wishing it did. I was initially reluctant to commit to this comic because BOOM! aren't showing off any of the interior art, which usually only means one thing. That said, it has Mark Waid on writing duties, and he's like, a proper writer and everything, so I will be naively optimistic once again.

Writer: Alan Moore
Art: Facundo Percio
Avatar Press $3.99

James R: Back in the 1980s, Alan Moore was arguably at the peak of his powers as a writer. Having won widespread acclaim for Watchmen, he was thrust into the spotlight of the mainstream media, and consequently came to the attention of the Sex Pistols' infamous svengali, Malcolm McLaren. McLaren met Moore, and the Northampton shaman agreed to write a screenplay for him. The film never got funded, and Fashion Beast joined Moore's Twilight (no, not the sparkly vampire nightmare!) as one of the author's lost gems. The good news is that Avatar have decided to bring the work to life, and with the help of Facundo Percio, October will see this particular lost gem on the racks at last.

Writer: Matz
Art: Luc Jacamon
Archaic $19.95

Matt C: One of the best Euro-comics I've read in recent years, The Killer has been an utterly compelling look into the morally blurred mind of an assassin, regularly throwing up interesting observations on what makes people tick. Before now Archaia have broken the original French volumes up into the standard US 22-page format, which would have been okay if there wasn't such regular delays in the release schedule. This time around we get the latest tale all in one hit, and even if that means we're also paying for it all in one hit too, if it's anywhere near the quality of the previous storylines then we're most definitely in for a treat.

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Matthew Southworth & Rico Renzi
Oni Press $3.99

Rob N: I suspect I'm the only person in the PCG who loves the current Greg Rucka run on The Punisher, and that is because I generally love Greg Rucka's style of writing. I have no idea what he's like on big bright superhero books, but when he does street level stuff like Queen & Country, Gotham Central, Whiteout etc he always manages to impress me. The first Stumptown mini was enjoyable but it really felt like an introduction story of sorts, coming across a bit like the Bendis/Maleev comic, Alias (albeit without any superpowers). With the groundwork now laid, and the characters familiar enough, I'm looking forward to seeing where Rucka goes next. 

Writer: Geoff johns
Art: Gary Frank
DC $2.99

Matt C: I'm really not fussed about this whole DC 'Zero Month’. Obviously it's timed to coincide with the first anniversary of the launch of the New 52 but it does smack slightly of desperation, like a stunt is required to reignite interest in flagging titles. That's the cynical view anyway, born from the fact that I'm currently down to three ongoing DC Universe books. Justice League happens to be one of the three but I wouldn't flag this up if it was the League themselves taking centre stage though. This issue is all about Captain Marvel (or Shazam, or whatever they finally decide to call him) and the backup Shazam! feature currently running in Justice League has been a thing of beauty, the combination of Johns and Frank creating an absorbing rejig of the Shazam/Captain Marvel mythos, which regularly surpasses the quality of the main feature. If Shazam! was a full ongoing title itself, it would have a guaranteed slot in my monthly horde, either as a companion to Justice League or potentially a replacement. The Zero Month concept bores me, but that doesn't stop me being tremendously excited about this single issue.

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