23 Aug 2012

Ten Forward: October 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 August issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in October 2012.

Writer: Rick Remender
Art: John Cassaday
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: The cynical part of me sniffs at the idea of Marvel relaunching many of their ongoing titles AGAIN as it not only smacks of a sales driven stunt but also a reaction to DC's New 52. But the fanboy in me looks at the list of titles, and the creators attached, and can't help but get excited by what's on offer. As this is the book that's first out of the gate you can sort of assume that it's considered to be one of, if not the, most important books of the Marvel NOW! event. Teaming Remender and Cassaday on any title would get my immediate attention, but the fact that it's essentially a team of both Avengers and X-Men and it spins directly out of the aftermath of Avengers Vs X-Men means it has a guaranteed place on my pull-list already. Remender has proven to be a dab hand at Marvel team books, with Uncanny X-Force being the most obvious example, and Cassaday has been away from interior artwork for too long, so while it'll obviously be a sales smash hit, I'd be really, really surprised if it turned out to be a creative failure.

Writers: Damon Lindelof, Jonathan Larsen & Tom Taylor
Art: Jeff Lemire, J.G. Jones, Nicola Scott & Wayne Faucher
DC $3.99

James R: I know what you're thinking - "What, another Bat-book?" - and I would normally agree with you. DC has got plenty of Gotham-related titles on the racks at the moment but this one grabbed my interest as it sees DC publishing the Batman short stories that were previously only available as a digital download. This means that we iPadless types can finally read the much-lauded collaboration between Damon Lindeloff and Jeff Lemire. Lemire drawing Batman?  I can definitely make room for that on my pull-list!

Writers: Marc Silvestri & Matt Hawkins
Art: Khoi Pham & Sunny Gho
Image/Top Cow $0.00

Andy H: Cyber Force has been flitting in and out of my comic radar for a number of years.  Silvestri was always a favourite artist of mine on Uncanny X-Men and Wolverine so it was natural that I would follow him on his new venture. It was all very pretty with some interesting (some would say almost X-Men-like) characters to get to grips with, but it didn't stick, for me anyway. Cyber Force have been reintroduced several times and pretty much disappeared again, so why the interest this time? Well it's another reimagining, so it's not that. Creatively the team looks good; Silvestri co-writing with Matt Hawkins and Khoi Pham providing the art. But this is something new... it's FREE! Yep, we're promised the first five issues for free. If that doesn't get you interested in picking up a new title I don't know what will!

Writer: Brandon Graham
Art: Brandon Graham
Image $3.99

Matt C: The first issue of this miniseries was originally released by Oni Press back in 2007 but due to work commitments and personal stuff on that part of Brandon Graham it was put on the backburner. It's five years later and now Image are putting it out, but the story remains the same, described by Graham as "me just running all over a red-magic fantasy/sci-fi version of Russia". Normally this I'd consider this kind of off-the-wall concept (that started gestating back when Graham was doing porn comics!) as too far out for my tastes, but having become quite infatuated with the writer's recently relaunched Prophet I'm convinced enough by his talent to check this out. Characters named Sexica, werewolf mechanic boyfriends and the smuggling of magic organs? Looks like I'm signing up for the weirdness.

Writer: Jay Faerber
Art: Koray Kuranel
Image $2.99

Stewart R: With a recent rise in the number of prominent black and white or greyscale comic books on the shelves - see Punk Rock Jesus and Think Tank - my eye was drawn to yet another example in the latest issue of Previews when I spied Point Of Impact.  Faerbar and Koranel initially experimented with greyscale for their murder mystery tale before deciding that the artist’s artwork stood out perfectly well on its own - certainly the preview pages look superb and have that clean yet dark feel of a near-noir story.  The plot focuses around the death of a young woman and the efforts of three individuals, all connected to the recently departed, to solve the mystery of her demise.  Faerbar has chosen specific character elements that lend themselves well for such detective work: the husband is an investigative reporter, the friend is a police officer and her lover is an ex-soldier, and while that might look a little contrived on the face of it I’m certainly interested to see how the plot shows them tackling the case from differing angles and motives to form one whole picture.  Sat here writing this I’m actually getting more excited by the minute to see what the finished product looks like! Roll on October!

Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Tom Raney
Marvel $3.99

James R: I have avoided all the spin-offs and tie-ins to Marvel's big summer event, as in my experience they tend to be pointless and extraneous reads, but this 'aftermath' title is going on my pull-list for one reason - Kieron Gillen. The writer has absolutely won me over with his work on Uncanny X-Men, and as far as I'm concerned any chance to read more X-Men work before he's dropped into the world of Tony Stark is one that's too good to pass up. Hopefully this will be a strong epilogue to an event that's swung from mediocre to outstanding and back again. 

Writer: Jason Aaron & Various
Art: Rebekah Isaacs & Various
12-Gauge Comics $5.99

Matt C: I'm pretty sure this was originally solicited at some point last year, so I guess it's a case of better late than never for this anthology one-shot. It features stories by creators with ties to the American South such as Jason Aaron, Nathan Edmondson, Rebekah Isaacs and Jason Latour, to name a few. These are the kind of folks whose general output I take an interest in, so it's kind of a no-brainer that I'm excited to see how this turns out. Plus, it's all for charity (100% of the proceeds go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund) so  that kind of makes it an essential purchase as you’re not only getting good comics but you're doing a good deed too!

Writer: Jesse Blaze Snider
Art: Jason Craig
Dynamite Entertainment $3.99

Andy H: I think we can in all honesty call this a cult classic. While it may not have sold in the quantities of X-books or Bat books, Ernie had a dedicated fan following. In the original CHAOS! comics, Ernie was charged by Lady Death to kill everything on Earth; Megadeath! I remember it being a 'fun' read but not one if you wanted the good guys to win. They didn't! After all, this is Ernie's book! Looks like the Dynamite version will differ from the original as here the human Ernie has a deal with the Devil and  goes on a killing spree. Will this incarnation of the Evil One capture the minds of readers as it did before? I hope it does, but I will probably need to find a new happy place after reading each issue.

Writer: Nick Spencer
Art: Riley Rossmo
Image $3.50

James R: I was a huge fan of Warren Ellis' Fell (and I still hold on to the hope that one day the oft-promised new issues will see the light of day) but in the meantime this new series from Morning Glories writer Nick Spencer looks like it will fill the pitch-black void nicely. The plot revolves around Madder Red, a homicidal maniac and crime lord who is brought to justice, seemingly rehabilitated in prison, and with a new identity begins to work as a consultant for the police. A man with a dark past on the trail of grizzly murder sounds like a blast in my book, and it's another example of Image comics showing Vertigo how it's done.

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Salvador Larroca
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: For four years this title has been a regular attendee at the party that is my pull-list and more often or not it’s been a keen contender for the ‘life of the party’ award. Fraction and Larroca have month in, month out worked tirelessly and damn hard to chronicle the occasional ups and ever present downs of Tony Stark’s life, and in doing so have created something very special: a comic read that has the feel of the best dramatic TV shows with all the superhero and technophile action you could wish for.  With the unpredictable Marvel NOW! looming large it’s time for Fraction to draw the curtains on this huge chunk of Tony Stark’s life and what better way to do it than have that all important and highly anticipated battle of wills with his arch nemesis?  I do slightly question the timing of this conclusion simply because it would seem somewhat logical to have timed a Mandarin-centric plot with the advent of the third live-action film late next Spring. Then again, Marvel do like to simplify and chase those seemingly non-existent hordes of ‘new readers’ with bright and shiny new stories and the large amount of plot-threads that Fraction has begun to tidy in his book could potentially be a bit daunting if diving in midway through.  Regardless, I just know that when that highly missable effort - probably written by Bendis - does eventually comes along I’ll still be thinking back to possibly the strongest and most consistent four years of writing that this title has ever seen.

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