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 2014.
Writer: Peter Steigerwald
Art: Peter Steigerwald
Aspen MLT Inc $3.99
Stewart R: One of the standout offerings from Free Comic Book Day 2014, Aspen co-owner Peter Steigerwald’s The ZooHunters, looked quite, quite beautiful and had my eyes drooling for more after only a handful of pages. Thankfully this coming October sees the series proper debut and it turns out now that the main protagonist of The ZooHunters didn’t even appear in the FCBD preview, he was merely mentioned. That’s an interesting twist as it now gives the readers the added insight of just who is pursuing Abros and his son, but with the mystery as to why still intact. Aspen have rarely ever tempted me to their products through my comic reading days yet I find the lure of this exotic science fiction landscape with the plethora of bizarre fauna living within it to be too much to resist!
Writer: Scott Snyder
James R: This was the standout title for me this month. Scott Snyder remains one of the shining lights of mainstream comics and news of a new title from him is a cause for celebration. Those of us who have followed his career over the last few years will be delighted to see him start up another horror title. In Wytches, Snyder hypothesises that those figures in history who have been accused of witchcraft have, in fact, been covering for the true, hidden witches. It's a great elevator pitch, and when combined with the art of Jock, I can't see this book as being anything other than a smash. A perfect book to mark the onset of Halloween too...
Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Gerardo Sandoval
Kenny J: Long before the motley crew currently gracing the silver screen and the pages of our comics called themselves the Guardians Of The Galaxy, there was another group that went by the that moniker. In fact, in an act of headache inducing comic continuity, the Sixties team of Major Victory, Charlie-27, Martinex, Starhawk and Yondu Udontu inspired the current team from a thousand years in the future. A cosmic conundrum created by Dan Abnett when he presided over that corner of the Marvel Universe. A ten-page short story also drawn by Gerardo Sandoval proved so popular that Abnett and Sandoval are back to reintroduce the team to a new audience. Sandoval's approach is perfect for depicting the curves and edges of this distinctively varied team, and with a style permeated by that of Joe Madureira, he's sure to be a future star.
ZENITH: PHASE ONE HC
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Steve Yeowell
Andy H: Oh boy! If you can hear the odd 'popping' noise in the background, that's just me, unable to contain my excitement with this re-release of one of my all-time fav books. Out of print for over 20 years while all sorts of legal wranglings were taking place (I won't go into detail here) it's finally available again. First serialised in 2000 AD, this was the story I could not wait to read every week and when it was in chunks of only 5 or 6 pages, it was like torture, but soooo worth it! Now it's coming out in a series of hardcovers. Zenith isn't a hero. He may have superpowers but he's not going to put himself in harm’s way. His music career comes first and all the spoils it brings... women, drink and fame. But when the world is threatened by the Many-Angled Ones, a group of ‘60s superhumans, Zenith must be convinced he is our only chance of survival. Morrison created a fantastic series with a great main character and superb supporting cast. For me though it's the black and white art of Steve Yeowell that makes this book an absolute winner. Hard to believe there's a whole generation of people out there that have not had the good fortune to read this story. Do yourself a favour and grab a copy as soon as you can or you'll be beaten to it by all of us who want to read and own it all over again. BOOM!
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Brian Churilla & Jordie Bellaire
Oni Press $1.00
Matt C: Oni Press clearly love being in the Cullen Bunn business as the writer has provided them with two excellent additions to their current roster in the form of Sixth Gun and Helheim (along with Damned if you go back a little further). Hellbreak looks like it will make it a hatrick. A special forces team pulling lost souls out of the numerous Hells in existence sounds like something that’s right up Bunn’s street and with frequent collaborators Churilla and Bellaire by his side, it’s one that should be considered even if it were at a regular price. For a dollar, I expect you all to give it a shot!
MEN OF WRATH #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Ron Garney
James R: Just when you think Marvel Icon is done as an imprint, they drop this on us! Those of you who have been (like me) enjoying Jason Aaron's take on the Deep South in Southern Bastards will be just as keen to read this. A tale involving a hard-as-nails hitman and the past that's shaped him? SOLD! When Aaron works on creator-owned material, he seems to go up a gear and with art from Ron Garney, I can't wait to add this to my pull-list.
Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Matt Martin
Simon M: There are some writers out there that you can just trust more often than not to produce high quality offerings and for me, Garth Ennis is one of them. When he's also writing a war book then it almost goes without saying that it will be fantastic. Ennis has been showing his military tale talents from as far back as 1997 with Unknown Soldier for Vertigo that then led to Weird War Tales and War Story also with Vertigo. He later did an outstanding series called Battlefields for Dynamite Entertainment set in WWII (and this doesn't even cover the great work in Punisher or Preacher). Matt Martin probably isn't known by many outside of regular Avatar readers, which is a bit of a shame, but this book could be the chance to change that. Martin has a style that allows detail without clutter and the cover images for issue #1 look great. The new series out in October called War Stories will see Ennis take true events from modern conflicts and bring them to life as only he can. The first arc ‘Castles In The Sky’ focuses on the heavy bomber crews and the many difficulties they face.
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Russell Dauterman
Matt C: You may have heard something about this around the internet and suchlike. Thor’s becoming a woman. I have no idea how this is going to happen but apparently this isn’t some bizarre sex change, the Thor we know and love is still going to be in play, but somehow he no longer becomes worthy to lift Mjolnir. You could argue this is a cynical attempt on Marvel’s part to whip up sales for the character’s book by ensuring the change generates enough column inches in the press to keep curiosity piqued among regular comic readers and beyond (and based on the reaction to the announcement, it worked). That’s the cynical view, and I imagine an element of that comes into play, but conversely Marvel have enjoyed success, both critically and commercially, when they put Bucky in Cap’s costume and Doc Ock’s mind into Peter Parker’s head, so there’s no reason why this won’t reinvigorate the character creatively. It’ll only be temporary (obviously), and to be honest my interest in Jason Aaron’s Thor: God Of Thunder had begun to wane significantly, so maybe this change in direction is just what was needed. I’ll definitely be around from the start to see if that’s the case.
Writer: James Tynion IV
Art: Eryk Donovan
BOOM! Studios #1
Stewart R: ‘One does not simply write a comic about a meme destroying mankind!’ So Boromir would tell us, but he’s not around - I heard he’s got arrow-related problems, or is possibly off twerking on some holiday island whilst taking photos of his hot dog legs, one or the other - and it seems that James Tynion IV has not heeded the dire warning from this Fellowship of the Ring member and has concocted a story for BOOM! Studios based upon that very idea. So here we go with a three-part, oversized comic series that follows the fall of civilisation across just 72 hours as one single weaponized meme image rapidly works and twists its way around the globe and spells the end for all humankind. It’s a really interesting idea for sure, one that might even impress an unimpressed lizard and earn a fist pump from a determined toddler!
GOTHAM ACADEMY #1
Writer: Becky Cloonan & Brenden Flecther
Art: Karl Kerschl
Kenny J: DC has undergone a bit of a revival in these parts. First with Superman and now with several new and retooled titles that piqued our interest when perusing the publisher's Previews pages. Along with fresh creative teams on Catwoman and Batgirl, the brand new Gotham Academy title seems to be an attempt to play to a demographic not interested in their previously mostly muscle bound line. Describe by co-writers, Brendan Fletcher and Becky Cloonan, as a supernatural mystery that is parts Harry Potter and Batman: The Animated Series, this is definitely one aimed at the teen audience. However, if similar titles at other publishers are anything to go by then books like this can have a large cross generation appeal. What with a new show focusing on Gotham's young criminals hitting television screens soon there's no better time to take a closer look at the city's educational establishments.