13 Sep 2012

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

JUDGE DREDD #1
Writer: Duane Swierczynski
Art: Nelson Daniel & Paul Gulacy
IDW $3.99


Andy H: Unsurprisingly I can't help asking myself will a non 2000AD version of this character be dreadful or Dredd-full? Dredd has such a history here in the UK it's sometimes hard to imagine him, the Judges, Mega-City One, the iso-cubes and the mass of characters born in the pages of 2000AD anywhere else. It's been tried before when DC had a crack at it and for me it really didn't or couldn't hit the mark. Will it be different this time round? IDW have a good track record with taking known properties and breathing new life into them - Transformers, TMNT, Star Trek and soon My Little Pony (I kid you not) - so Judge Dredd should be worth a punt. I hope writer Duane Swierczynski will keep true to the original and from the interviews I've read, it looks like this may be the case, but it can't hurt to throw in a little something new now and again. Even after 35 years there are still a lot of stories to be told and hopefully the return of some favourite characters; Anderson and Judge Death would top my list. So, don't make me hold a Lawgiver to your head, buy this book. After all, it is... THE LAW!

GREAT PACIFIC #1
Writer: Joe Harris
Art: Martin Morazzo
Image $2.99


Stewart R: Survival tales with hints of an environmental message appear to be order of the day over at Image lately - see the rather excellent Planetoid and Debris - and in November it looks like they’ll be adding yet another to the roster.  Great Pacific follows the heir to an oil company who eschews his family business to found a new land upon the Pacific Garbage patch; an artificial island formed from decades of discarded plastic and junk that collected itself at the middle of the ocean.  This sounds like the sort of survival fiction that I really do enjoy and Chas Worthington is going to have to start with nothing but his skills and smarts and try to forge anything like a life upon the mass of man-made detritus.  With the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico still living on in the mind and the planet’s continued and growing reliance upon oil and plastic, I’ll be interested to see just how much of an environmental allegory this turns out to be and what shocks based upon fact and true events surface within its pages.

IRON MAN #1
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Art: Greg Land
Marvel $3.99


Rob N: For several years now Invincible Iron Man has been my favourite superhero title. Not only has the quality been consistently good, it’s also come out on time without fill-in art issues as a stop gap. But inevitably nothing lasts forever, and it seems that Iron Man is to fall in line with the Marvel NOW! initiative and the corresponding juggling of creator teams across the flagship titles. So this is something of a double pick which I get to do because this month sees the end of a classic writer/art team and the beginning of a new run at the hands of Kieron Gillen and Greg Land. Straight off I’ll put my hand in the air and say I like Greg Land’s art, seductive catalogue model poses and all. It’s not even a guilty pleasure - I just happen to like it. Gillen is something of an unknown to me, superhero wise. I’m familiar with his indie title Phonogram, which started out well, but suffered after a while with a creeping “I have a better record collection than you” smugness, which of course was unwarranted and frankly wrong, because I’m sure I have a better record collection than him! But that aside, the PCG crew seem to rate him in spandex terms, so I’m willing to be cheerfully optimistic that Mr Gillen’s not going to ruin the great legacy that he inherits this month.

WHERE IS JAKE ELLIS? #1
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Art: Tonci Zonjic
Image $3.50


Matt C: Who Is Jake Ellis? was a cracking espionage-themed miniseries that first introduced me to the talents of Nathan Edmondson and Tonci Zonjic, so I’m enormously pleased that they’ve both returned for round two. I don’t want to spoil myself by looking into the specifics of what they have planned for the continuing adventures of the ex-government agent and his ‘imaginary friend’ as it’s one of those books that likes to keep the readers on their toes. Tightly written with slick, moody artwork, this should be another winner for Image.

LOCKE & KEY: OMEGA #1
Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
IDW $3.99


Simon M: It is with a tinge of sadness that I write this preview, as the last four odd years have delivered a masterpiece of comic literature that has constantly been my favourite book on the months it has been released. November sees the last arc of Locke & Key begin and although I am very excited to see the fate of the Locke kids and Dodge, I will be disappointed that the tale will be coming to an end. Hill and Rodriguez have crafted a wonderful story full of horror and beauty that cannot be praised highly enough. In this final arc, Hill has promised that all of the loose ends will be tied up and the story will come to a satisfying end, but for whom? There is a silver lining though. We have been promised a series of standalone tales following the rest of the Locke family through various stages of the Keyhouse history.

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribic
Marvel $3.99


Matt C: If you were to ask me who my favourite superhero is, chances are I’d tell you it’s Thor (although the answer could differ from day to day, depending on my mood). I was very disappointed by where Fraction took the character over the last couple of years so a change in creative team is most welcome. I would say this is my most eagerly anticipated of all the Marvel NOW! relaunches. Aaron has proven himself to be an immensely versatile writer, moving from the bleaker realism of Scalped to the clever high school hi-jinx of Wolverine & The X-Men, but one thing that remains a constant is his adherence to the importance of truthful characterization. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s the right fit for the Thunder God, but I’m damned if I’m not going to find out! And then there’s the art from Ribic to consider which, judging by the black and white previews, is suitably epic and generally terrific. Fingers crossed for this one.

X-MEN: LEGACY #1
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Tan Eng Huat
Marvel $3.99


Stewart R: For better or worse it appears that there’s a new age of X heading to the Marvel Universe as the boat has been rocked, the table flipped over, and the old status quos of the past few golden (in this writer’s opinion) years blown away by the events of Avengers Vs X-Men.  I’ve next to no interest in what Brian Michael Bendis is going to bring to the All New X-Men and will instead place X-Men: Legacy squarely in the hole left by the demise of Uncanny X-Men.  That was pretty much a guaranteed decision as soon as it was announced that one of my new favourite writers, Simon Spurrier, was going to be sat upon his scribing throne for this title.  His work on X-Club convinced me that he definitely has the writing chops to play around in the world of the Marvel Mutants and I’m intrigued by the focus on Legion, a character who I have very little prior knowledge of.  Having a lead character with dissociative identity disorder and quite the family tree to live up to should mean that Spurrier gets to play around with some great ideas and personality development and I can’t wait to see what unfurls over the first few months. Artist Tan Eng Huat’s work I have come across before in the Annihilators series from late 2011 and while not initially impressed with his style it had grown on me by the end of that title; I’ll certainly be interested to see him hone his skills once more on this book!

BATTLEFIELDS: THE GREEN FIELDS BEYOND #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Carlos Ezquerra
Dynamite Entertainment $3.99


Rob N: Contribute to the Ten Forward column long enough and it seems you’ll start to experience a sense of déjà-vu, as I’m sure I’ve waxed lyrical about this title before. Whatever I said then holds true now, as Garth Ennis and war comics are the perfect match. The guy obviously knows his military history and, with but a few exceptions, his treatment of World War 2 is generally respectful, which is more than you can say for any of his ‘superhero’ titles. What’s more, given the right subject that he’s passionate about, Ennis is capable of writing excellent short stories – tight, punchy and often perfectly executed. Why no one gives him this sort of stuff as a regular writing assignment is beyond me.

COMEBACK #1
Writer: Ed Brisson
Art: Michael Walsh
Image $3.50


Matt C: Image seem to be unstoppable at the moment. Rarely does a month go by without them releasing one new series that looks like a worthwhile investment. One of their latest batch, Comeback uses the sci-fi staple of time travel in an interesting manner by having a company sending agents back to retrieve loved ones from untimely deaths so they can be reunited with their family in the future. It’s a tweaked version of a familiar idea (see Minority Report, for example) but knowing something’s bound to go wrong – would there be a tale to be told otherwise? – leads me to think this five-parter will be interesting to say the least. The preview art from Walsh seems to put him in the same visual category as the likes of Michael Lark and Sean Phillips, so that’s another (strong) reason why I’m down for this.

STORM DOGS #1
Writer: David Hine
Art: Doug Braithwaite & Ulises Arreola
Image $3.50


Simon M: There aren’t too many things you can count on, but Image bringing out a new #1 is definitely one of them. There has been no stopping them of late and on the whole they have been high quality offerings. This November sees them release Storm Dogs, a six-issue limited series describe by David Hine as “CSI in space”. The first six issues are a “season” with plans to do more later on. This will allow the extremely talented artist Doug Braithwaite time to catch up as it is difficult for work of his quality to be produced as an ongoing monthly.  Hine has apparently combined science-fiction with the noir genre and thrown in a Western feel for good measure.  It should be an interesting read and I know the art will be fabulous.  Image could well be on to another winner here.

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