17 Jan 2013

Ten Forward: March 2013

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 which includes comics scheduled to ship in March 2013.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Steve McNiven
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: Abnett and Lanning's adventures involving the greater Marvel cosmos, in particular the Nova and Guardians Of The Galaxy titles, are some of my favourite comics of all time. With the announcement of the live action movie due to hit screens in the summer of 2014 Marvel were always going to revisit Guardians in a new comic and the news that Bendis would be sat in the author's chair sent a cold chill of dread down my spine initially. Then it was announced that Steve McNiven was set to deliver his high grade pencils on the title and that the team would be comprised of most of DnA's roster. To that end things are looking good. I'm wary that Bendis may be messing around with Peter Quill in terms of origin, recent history (if Bendis erases Quill's sacrifice in the Cancerverse I'll be more than displeased!) and voice, but I can still hope that the best of the previous series can be carried over into this and lead us merrily on our way to a superb cinematic outing next year!

Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Art: Chris Mooneyham
Image $3.50
 Matt C: I could have easily skipped over this in Previews (sometimes it’s a case of “Oh, look, another Image #1!”) but on closer inspection I became more intrigued. A treasure hunter possessed by the ghosts of five literary archetypes (including Sherlock Holmes, Dracula and Robin Hood) is an arresting premise, but what really caught my attention was the selection of preview pages displaying the moody art talents of Chris Mooneyham, suggesting that a pulp/noir visual aesthetic was the order of the day here. It looks very promising and, yes, it is another Image #1, but surely we know by now that that’s often a very good thing indeed?

Writer: Mike Mignola, Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba
Art: Fabio Moon & Gabriel Ba
Dark Horse $3.50

Rob N: As far as creative teams go, the sportsmanlike pairing of brothers Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba is nothing short of perfect and certainly good enough to draw me briefly into the BPRD universe. Apparently it's a sequel to 1947 and 1948, which doesn't mean a great deal to me because I've never read a BPRD comic before (old Hellboy issues not withstanding) but hey, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba! Do you need to know more? Their Daytripper series for Vertigo and Casanova for (now) Marvel Icon were absolute stand out pieces of work, and since then I've been eagerly awaiting more comics by them. This one will do nicely, thank you.

Writer: Robert Venditti
Art: Renato Guedes
DC $2.99

Andy H: I have to wonder about the thinking behind this. I'll be honest, it bugs the hell out of me that Hellblazer has been cancelled. It's been a staple on my pull-list for years and has been graced with some of the greatest creators in comics. Surely it should be a case of “if it ain't broke don't fix it” but the powers that be have gone ahead and 'fixed' it. And my fear for this book is it could be fixing it in the way you take a dog to the vets, but this time you would be neutering John Constantine. Blurgh! Don't get me wrong, I'll certainly give it a go. It would be unfair not too but Constantine will have a hard act to follow. So far the New 52 interpretation has left me cold, even when Hellblazer scribe Pete Milligan was handling the writing chores on Justice League Dark. I'm currently reading X-O Manowar, written by Venditti, and am enjoying it, so I hope he brings the same flair to this title. Bringing Constantine into the DC Universe fully is going to be tricky  and only time will tell if it works. Until then it will always be hard to shake of the great memories of the one, true Hellblazer!

Writer: Erik Warfield, Paul Grimshaw
Art: Edward Laroche & Marc Sandroni
Art Of Fiction $3.95

Matt C: I know very little about this, and a quick online search reveals it may have had some sort of release already at the tail end of last year, but it’s in Previews as a new release, so that’s what I’m taking it as, and it’s certainly new to me. Regular readers of this blog may have spotted I’m rather partial to a good crime comic, and with a pull-quote recommendation from current King of Crime Comics (!) Ed Brubaker and an excellent cover from Bruce Timm, well that was all the prompting I needed to add this down as a pre-order. No idea what it’ll be like, and I kind of want to keep it that way until I crack open the pages. I will hopefully report back in March with my thoughts!

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Bryan Hitch
Marvel $3.99

Rob N: The massed ranks of the PCG are probably less than overjoyed at the thought of Bendis returning to the pages of Avengers so soon after he departed, but for those who followed his lengthy run on the two core titles, the Age Of Ultron saga is essentially unfinished business that he hinted at over a long period of time. For a while now I thought it might be one of those projects that was probably going to be shelved once it became obvious that Bendis was moving on, but apparently not. I'm squarely in the camp of the minority who really liked Bendis's unconventional approach to the Avengers, and it'll be good to see him wrapping up with a proper apocalypse storyline, benefiting from (or suffering from – your opinion) his traditionally 'snappy' dialogue.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Nick Dragotta
Image $3.50

Stewart R: Jonathan Hickman and Nick Dragotta's occasional team work on Marvel's FF series was really the highlight of that comic for me, melding Hickman's broad ability when it comes to scale, emotion, tension and fun with Dragotta's terrific character expression work and his clean and ever-so-retrotastic style. The announcement that the duo are 'getting the band back together', so to speak, is brilliant news, not least because it involves a creator-owned property at Image AND it's a sci-fi western involving the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and a plot to kill the President of the United States. That plot and the combination of creators has me locked onto this for sure come March and I just have to hope that with all of the other irons that Hickman has in the fire - Avengers, New Avengers, Secret (from Image... had two issues, awaiting the third... anyone?) and S.H.I.E.L.D. Vol 2 (which Dustin Weaver has been applying the 'Marvel Method' to apparently due to Hickman's crammed schedule) - that this doesn't turn into one of those projects that ends up on hiatus or the dreaded back burner due to other commitments.

Writer: Garth Ennis
At: Raulo Carceres
Avatar $3.99

Matt C: I don’t have much interest in Crossed when it’s not in the hands of series creator Garth Ennis (although I do intend to catch up with Si Spurrier’s Wish You Were Here web-series following Stewart R’s recommendation!) so when he returns for another tale I’m first in line to join him (I still view the first mini as one his finest works). This story features a group of tough Brit soldiers attempting to reclaim this scepter’d isle from the Crossed, which sounds ripe for some Ennis trademark mix of gore and highly humanised social commentary. Can’t wait!

Writer: Robb Horan
Art: Osvaldo Pestana Montpeller
Ape Entertainment $2.99

Andy H: Well, this has got me in a real pickle. Poison Elves is still one of my favourite indie comics. I was blown away by Drew Hayes when I discovered this book. The black and white art was sumptuous, as were the characters. There was a mix of magic and technology that added a 'special' quality to what could have easily been mistaken for another D&D comic. How wrong could you be, this title sizzled with attitude and originality. It had kick-ass elves, sexy (kick-ass) lady elves, Parintachin (an imp that lives in Lusipher's head) and the rather strange Purple Marauder! And this is where there could be a problem. If you didn't already know, Drew Hayes passed away in 2007. Drew WAS Poison Elves! Anyone else could never come close. Now in 2013 we get to return to the world of Lusiphur Malaché in the, hopefully safe, hands of Robb Horan, who worked closely with Drew and artist Osvaldo Pestana Montpeller (crikey!). From the preview shots I've seen the art looks pretty intense, just the way it should be. We're assured Drew left notes aplenty about future plots and the general direction PE was taking and hopefully he would be happy with the results from this continuation of his legacy. It’s one of those titles that I really want to work and my fingers are firmly crossed.

SEX #1
Writer: Joe Casey
Art: Piotr Kowalski
Image $2.99

Stewart R: The creator collective known as Man Of Action are a very talented bunch indeed and when they take time away from their various successful television projects to deliver some comic book goodness I tend to pay attention these days. Joe Casey has certainly been one of the more prolific writers from the group in recent years and I've really enjoyed the likes of Vengeance, Butcher Baker, The Righteous Maker and his current run on Haunt. Well now he's taking a look at Sex. This is going to be a book that delves into the superhero lifestyle and just what these heroes and villains would do and go through when hanging up their boots and then potentially 'knocking' them. A lot of the buzz will revolve around the saucier adult themes and by all accounts this will put the 'adult' in that label when it comes to the visuals, but Casey has tended to be a writer who tackles stories and ideas from several angles and I expect this to be a cut above you standard picturebook titillation. Casey has said he'll be examining characters who have spent much of their early adult life hunting crime or performing it night after night rather than seeking anything resembling comfortable or pleasurable human contact and I'm looking forward to seeing how he has these repressed and extraordinary characters try to live a 'normal' life as this series unfolds.


Andy C said...

How wierd. It was only this evening I was wondering whether 'Secret' would ever see another issue. Sad but absolutely true!

Tim Knight said...

As terrified as I am by the prospect of Bendis writing The Guardians they're characters I love so I'm jumping on-board to see what he does with them. (Hopefully, Marvel will bring in a replacement writer as soon as possible!)