13 Jun 2013

Ten Forward: August 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 June issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in August 2013.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Jim Cheung
Marvel $4.99

Stewart R: Marvel’s Free Comic Book Day effort for 2013 was a satisfactory affair and provided us with a tease of what Jonathan Hickman and Jim Cheung would be bringing us later on in the summer in Infinity #1. Thanos is of course getting a hefty share of the villainous limelight following Marvel’s live action success in 2012 and Hickman has been working at his creative loom over on his Avengers title, bringing us new antagonists and threats dating back to the creation of the universe in the form of The Builders. In this six-part Infinity series (and all of the associated and inevitable Avengers crossovers) Hickman is going to be bringing all of these ingredients together to provide Earth’s Mightiest Heroes with one of their most deadly predicaments yet as their home comes under attack while they’re off dealing with dangers that threaten the entire cosmos. Hickman is on a scorching hot streak at the moment and these grand scale stories are where he truly does excel himself. Jim Cheung is a natural fit for such epic vision and with Dustin Weaver and Jerome Opeña to follow him this will certainly be one heck of a beautiful blockbuster event. While it’s a bit of a shame to have that aforementioned FCBD work wrapped up in the page count here, this weighs in at 56 pages for the $4.99 price tag and that’s not bad value.

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Jeff Lemire
DC/Vertigo $2.99

James R: So far this year this is my most anticipated new title. If you check in with this site from time to time, you'll no doubt know of my rabid fanboy love for the work of Jeff Lemire, and as good as he is when working on mainstream books, when it's a creator-owned project he goes into another gear of genius. Trillium promises to be a love story, a historical tale and an SF epic, as two people separated by centuries fall in love. In the 1920s, William Pike leads a group of explorers in Peru looking for a lost treasure of the Incas, while in 3797 Nika Temsmith researches plant-based life forms in the furthest reaches of space. How do these two come to meet and fall in love? I simply cannot wait to find out!

Writer: Howard Chaykin
Art: Howard Chaykin
Hermes Press $3.99

Andy H: You can't keep a good man down and Buck Rogers has proven that again and again. The usual starting point for our hero’s journey into the future is the present (as in whenever it was written) but now Howard Chaykin returns to a more traditional start for Buck with the story beginning in the late 1920s. Accidentally suspended in time, the World War I ace awakens 500 years in the future! Okay, we know the story, but with Chaykin’s flair this could be a real hit. Dynamite Entertainment brought him back a few years ago but after a good start lost the plot pretty quickly. This being a miniseries should help keep the story flowing and the preview art looks cracking as Chaykin really seems to enjoy portraying characters from the past and future.

Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Mike Mckone
Marvel $24.99

Matt C: We've not seen much comic work from Warren Ellis for a while, so maybe some folks have forgotten what a force to be reckoned with he is when he's on his game (Planetary, anyone?). On the other hand, there've been a little too many projects in recent years that he's seemingly abandoned, mid-flow (Doktor Sleepless, Fell, Newuniversal, to name a few), which hasn't been the best state of affairs, so hearing he's returning on a high profile original graphic novel (ie one that will have an ending!) is good news indeed. Ellis hasn't had much dealings with the Avengers in the past (bar his acclaimed stint on Secret Avengers a couple of years back) but he's great with team dynamics and his 'big ideas' should nestle in nicely with what Jonathan Hickman (another ideas man) is doing on the core Avengers books at the moment.

Writer: Paul Hogan
Art: Steve Parkhouse
Dark Horse $3.99

Stewart R: Resident Alien was one of those 2012 series that I just happened to stumble across whilst perusing the shelves at Paradox and at the time I was quite surprised by just how important the #0 issue in that four-part series had proven to be having read #1 and realised that it felt like I’d missed a fair amount of the plot and sought out the prelude immediately. Well now, a year on, it looks like we’re going to be visiting Harry, the alien masquerading as a human doctor in a sleepy town, once again as he finds himself wrapped up in yet another murder plot. Harry made for an interesting lead in that first series, longing to find his way home yet filled with compassion for the townsfolk, his duties as a doctor and the desire to do the right thing. With his deduction skills called into action once more and the Feds starting to breathe down his neck we could be in for a sequel that outshines its predecessor.

Writers: Various
Art: Various
DC/Vertigo $7.99

James R: While American Vampire is on hiatus (understandable given Scott Snyder's full plate of Batman, Superman Unchained and The Wake!) DC are good enough to satisfy our bloodlust with this anthology of tales set in the world of Skinner Sweet and co. Along with a tale from Messers Snyder and Albuquerque, there's a dazzling array of talent pitching in: *deep breath* Becky Cloonan, Jeff Lemire (yay!) Gail Simone, Greg Rucka, Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon! The listing then adds 'and more'! so, ahead of the second half of the undead epic, this looks to be a considerable treat for fans of one of the last remaining Vertigo greats.

3 GUNS #1
Writer: Steven Grant
Art: Emilio Laiso
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Matt C: 2 Guns was one of the first series to come out from the then newly formed BOOM! Studios back in 2007, and by extension it was one of the first times I realised that this was a publisher that meant business. A five-part tale involving two undercover operatives from two separate government agencies who aren't aware they're both on the same side, it was a nifty crime thriller with an imaginative premise and decent character interplay, which is obviously something drew the attention of some Hollywood suits as, lo and behold, a movie adaptation starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg is due later this year. So, before you can say the words "new franchise" here comes a sequel to the original series, written again by Steven Grant, and hopefully it exists because he's come up with a great idea rather than getting something in print before opening weekend numbers raise the possibility of a live action sequel. Either way, 2 Guns was entertaining enough that I'll certainly be giving 3 Guns a look.

Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
IDW $7.99

Andy H: Long term readers will know I have been flying the flag for Locke & Key since tit first apppeared so my apologies for returning to this excellent series as it reaches its conclusion. The last few years have been spent following the Locke family as they return to their family home and discover the secret of the keys. Wonderful, fantastic things happen but, of course, there is a dark side and one key will open the black door and let the 'demons' out! Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez have kept us enthralled from day one and now we reach the payoff in the final oversized issues of this must-read series. I have every confidence that the conclusion will be equal to what has gone before. If you are looking for a great read I would heartily recommend Locke & Key.

Writer: David B., Brian Evenson & Sarah Evenson
Art: David B.
Uncivilised Books $19.95

James R: I like me a bit of pretentiousness at the best of times, and as we flicked through Previews this month my pseudo-intellectual sense tingled at the listing for the first volume of Incidents in the Night. The story focuses on the title's creator David B. as he stumbles across a mysterious 19th century journal that leads him into a world of "Fanatical Bonapartists, occult conspiracies and the angel of death." I was sold on that sentence alone! This is my wild card pick for the month, and its part of why I love comics so much - will this be too arch for words or have I unearthed a new favourite? I can't wait to find out.

Writer: Corinna Bechko
Art: Gabriel Hardman
Dark Horse $2.99

Stewart R: Dark Horse Presents is a comic book series that still evades my radar, yet month after month it seems that I spy something in Previews that collects a complete story that was initially serialised within its paper and ink bosom. This time around it’s Station To Station by the collaborative duo of Beckho and Hardman who seem to be developing into quite the quality partnership. This looks to be a glorious science fiction effort involving mysterious labs, unexpected disasters and monsters by the bucketload, be they tentacled colossi, prehistoric resurrections or perhaps human in nature. I do love Hardman’s art style and it is perfectly suited for such a suspension of disbelief as this and I know he and Beckho will have worked hard to make this as enthralling a tale as possible.

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