12 Jul 2013

Ten Forward: September 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 July issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in September 2013.

SONS OF ANARCHY #1
Writer: Christopher Golden
Art: Damian Couceiro
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Simon M: Sons Of Anarchy has been one of the best things on TV over the last 5 years. I would even put it in the same conversation as The Sopranos (the best show ever in my opinion) so I was intrigued when BOOM! Studios announced that it was launching an SOA comic in September. Now the big question for me is whether the raw, gritty, no-holds-barred drama of the show can be replicated in comic book form. If it can, then BOOM! are onto a certain winner. Christopher Golden has stepped forward to take on the daunting task of moulding already well-established characters and bringing them to a new medium. Golden is an author of horror, fantasy and suspense novels and although he has not done a lot in the comic industry, he co-wrote Baltimore: The Plague Ships with Mike Mignola, one of best comics I read in 2010. Damian Couceiro has done a few bits and pieces for BOOM! already (Nola and Hawks Of Outremer) and the preview art for this book looks great. The story in this first miniseries consists of six issues and is an all-new original tale called ‘The Whistle Blower’ which, according to Golden, will fit in with events from Season 5 of the TV show. Considering how successful the franchise is, this must surely be worth a look.

GOD IS DEAD #1
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Di Amorim
Avatar $3.99

James R: It’s Jonathan Hickman with this title alone? SOLD! We’re big fans of Hickman here, and when he’s on form – combining 'Big Science' ideas with mind-warping narratives - he’s currently unparalleled in modern comics. His new title from Avatar looks to add to his catalogue of irresistible titles. A tale of Gods returning to Earth to see what has happened in their absence, and immediately being targeted by mankind, this six-issue miniseries illustrated by Di Amorim looks phenomenal. Here’s hoping it actually makes the stands (Feel Better Now from Image has still to resurface in any form) and it’s more of a Pax Romana than a Red Wing.

SEX CRIMINALS #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Chip Zdarsky
Image $3.50

Stewart R: The title will no doubt catch the eye of many - in similar fashion to the way in which Joe Casey’s Sex has in months past - and possibly throw a few people off by what they expect to find within the pages based on initial assumptions from the combination of those two words. This new book from Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky however follows the exploits of Suzie, a regular girl who discovers that when having sex she has the ability to stop time. When she then happens to meet John, who curiously possesses the same ability, the two decide to do what any couple would do in the same situation: they become bank robbers! Fraction arguably works at his best when there’s an undercurrent of humour to his work and this sounds like the perfect platform for his brand of loopy story and grin-inducing character work. Image aren’t afraid to play with more risqué ideas and I for one am glad to see promising titles like this get some exposure... oo-er.

THE STAR WARS#1
Writer: J.W. Rinzler
Art: Mike Mayhew
Dark Horse $3.99

James R: Like many of my PCG colleagues, Star Wars comics tend to leave me a little cold – I think it’s often the lack of verisimilitude with the source material – and it was only the work of Brian Wood that made me consider picking up a Star Wars book at all. The Star Wars however, is a different proposition. Adapted from George Lucas’ original screenplay, this offers fans the chance to see just how far the story was streamlined from Papa Lucas’ mind to the silver screen. For a Star Wars geek like me, it’s an irresistible opportunity.

RAT QUEENS #1
Writer: Kurtis J. Wiebe
Art: Roc Upchurch
Image $3.50

Andy H: With mega events, crossovers and double shipping I need a break and Rat Queens could be what I'm looking for. Messing around a bit with your standard dungeons and dragons style characters, writer Kurtis J. Wiebe (Peter Panzerfaust) promises a rollicking, monster killing epic. The group of leading ladies are made up of an Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit and Human all with a twist. They're out for a good time and aren't worried about any mayhem they may leave in their wake. Art is provided by Roc Upchurch whose last work I saw was in Image's Vescell and very nice it was too. It goes without saying, that as a new Image #1 it's got to be worth a try.

ZERO #1
Writer: Ales Kot
Art: Michael Walsh & Jordie Bellaire
Image $2.99

Matt C: It’s rare for a month to go by without a new Image title bursting out of the pages of Previews, asking to be bought. Zero sounds enticing, featuring a spook who doesn’t play by the rules chasing down bio-modified terrorists, and the art looks really slick and dynamic. Don’t know much about these creators (bar seeing Kot in the comics news over the last couple of days for being booted off Suicide Squad) but that’s part of the fun of taking a spin on Image #1s: discovering new talent doing their own thing, potentially before the get sucked into the Big Two slipstream to possibly diminishing returns. There are other new #1s from Image in September, of course, but this is my pick of the bunch.

BRAIN BOY #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: R.B. Silva & Rob Lean
Dark Horse $2.99

James R: I’ve got a huge amount of time for the writing talents of Fred Van Lente. Not only do I use his (and artist Ryan Dunleavy’s) outstanding series Action Philosophers in my classroom, but his Taskmaster four-parter for Marvel remains one of the best miniseries in recent memory. His new book, Brain Boy, looks to be phenomenal too – a character first introduced by Dell publishing for a very short-lived (and not approved by the Comics Code) run in the ‘60s, Brain Boy focuses on psychic youth Matt Price on a mission of high espionage and adventure. Promising a “certain degree of Tom Clancy techno-thriller” and a revision of some of the more edgy themes that gave the book notoriety in the ‘60s, this seems to be the perfect vehicle for Van Lente’s talents and another highly promising book from Dark Horse.

REALITY CHECK #1
Writer: Glen Brunswick
Art: Viktor Bogdanovic
Image $2.99

Stewart R: It seems that for the biggest haul of regular, new comic book material you have to look in Image’s direction these days and so it is that they add to their collection of September debuts with Reality Check by Glen Brunswick. Another title that seems to, on paper, aim for the funny button, Reality Check tells the tale of a comic book writer Willard who hits the big time following his creation of crime fighter Dark Hour who just happens to have a near insatiable libido. All goes well until Dark Hour jumps from the page into Willard’s reality demanding that the bemused writer help him find the love of his life. The problem: Dark Hour’s transition into the ‘real world’ appears to have made Willard forget the story entirely AND Dark Hour’s arch nemesis has made the trip across too just to add danger to the predicament. I do like the idea of a writer interacting directly with his creations and the memory-loss premise coupled with a hero looking for love should hopefully provide plenty of laughs.

SAVAGE WOLVERINE #9
Writer: Jock
Art: Jock
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: This is unexpected. Savage Wolverine never appealed to me from the off – I mean, seriously, how many Wolverine titles do we need? (The answer is “Lots”, apparently) – buts seeing Jock listed as the artist on this issue turned my head. Seeing him listed as the writer too got my full attention! Now, you all know what he can do with his drawing skills, but his writing skills... that’s a different matter entirely. Perhaps he’s put words to his pictures before, but I’m not personally aware of him doing so, and so this could either be a case of an artist getting ideas above his station or it could be the chance to check out an exciting new comics scribe. Time will tell, and I’m definitely down for this, hoping it’s the latter scenario, as a sci-fi tale featuring the Ol’ Canucklehead continuing his immortal existence far off into the future could prove to be the perfect premise for Jock to illustrate, especially considering it’s an idea that originated from his own noggin.

KISS ME, SATAN #1
Writer: Victor Gischler
Art: Juan Ferreyra
Dark Horse $3.99

Stewart R: I followed Victor Gischler’s entire run on X-Men and enjoyed the horror and adventure vibe that he brought to his corner of the superhero Marvel universe. It’s about time therefore that I invest little more wholeheartedly in a comic book series where Gischler gets to indulge in the supernatural genre for which he seems to excel himself. Up steps Kiss Me, Satan from Dark Horse which will follow the trials and tribulations of a fallen angel, battling werewolves and other beasties in the streets of New Orleans in an attempt to reclaim his lost halo. That sounds like the kind of premise Dark Horse really like to back and do well with, Gischler is guaranteed to bring some magic to the script and sass to the dialogue, and the preview artwork from Ferreyra looks to be very strong indeed.

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