12 Dec 2014

Ten Forward: February 2015

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 December issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in February 2015.

CURB STOMP #1
Writer: Ryan Ferrier
Art: Devaki Neogi
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Rob N: It's been quite a while since a new BOOM! title appeared on my radar – maybe too long – and it's probably a sign of my advancing years that I wasn't familiar with the term 'curb stomp' and had to look it up on the Internet. Now that I have done I know that it's something to do with street violence, which is something that we have no real experience of here in our sunny Bournemouth/Poole utopia by the sea. But apparently where you live it's a very different world fraught with crime and street gangs and graffiti and some of those street gangs may or may not be glamorous looking All Girl Gangs, like the glamorous looking All Girl Gang in Curb Stomp the comic! I confess I have a certain fondness for glamorous looking All Girl Gangs in genre fiction and I'd like to think that in a perfect world most street-based crime would be handled by them and not, for example, by the usual squint-eyed rat boys in oversized parkas and tracki-bottoms that are likely to jemmy open your front door and make off with your laptop while you're in the pub. Crime is ugly, yes, but as this comic shows, it doesn't have to look ugly. Nice one, BOOM!

SPIDER-GWEN #1
Writer: Jason Latour
Art: Robbie Rodriguez
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: There’s no doubting that so far ‘Spider-Verse’ has been the top dog in Marvel’s cross-title story pile for 2014 and it - and the work of Dan Slott and associated writers - has allowed for an expansion of scope for some of the new characters involved. I’ll admit that I failed to grab hold of the Edge Of Spider-Verse chapter which introduced Spider-Gwen to readers, and as a growing fan of Robbie Rodriguez’s work I’m a touch gutted I missed out. Thankfully Mr Rodriguez is onboard as series artist when Gwen gets her own book in February and when it was announced that Southern Bastards artist and former writer of Winter Soldier, Jason Latour, had been handed the writing privileges, this became a lock for my pull-list. The main thing of interest is if this will be set in the 616 Universe and if it is, just how much will Gwen interact with the familiar faces we know and how much of her own path she will forge.

DIVINITY #1
Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Trevor Hairsine
Valiant Entertainment $3.99

James R: I can't begin to tell you how excited I am for this book! It's a new title from the creative genius of Matt Kindt (currently responsible for my favourite ongoing comic in the world, the sublime Mind MGMT) and it looks to be another absolute corker. A Soviet Cosmonaut has travelled further into space than anybody else. Thought lost, he returns to Earth in the Australian outback, and now has the ability to bend space, matter and time to his will. Illustrated by the great Trevor Hairsine, this title from Valiant has my complete attention - I cannot wait for February to see what Kindt has concocted this time!

NAMELESS #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Chris Burnham & Nathan Fairbairn
Image $2.99

Kenny J: I used to be a Grant Morrison completist but as time has gone on I feel maybe he's succumbed to 'veteran comic writer syndrome', returning to the same tried and tested tropes again and again. As much as it pains me to say that, the Scotsman can still entertain and surprise albeit usually under the editorial guidance of Marvel and DC. This generally means picking up at least the first issue of any thing he puts his name to and Nameless will be no exception, especially when the art is pencilled by Chris Burnham. One of our PCG number described Burnham as the go to guy after Frank Quitely, which is high praise indeed, but Burnham impressed me in his own right over his stint on Batman Incorporated. Morrison had also stated that Burnham will be drawing things I may want to unsee and I can't take the chance that this is just the usual Grant hyperbole!

CLUSTER #1
Writer: Ed Brisson
Art: Damian Couceiro
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Simon M: Come February next year Ed Brisson is going to treat us to a sci-fi tale about the need for Earth to expand its boundaries and the resulting repercussions. When a new world is found to terraform, the native population are not too happy about the incursion. With Earth’s military forces depleted, the M.I.D (Military Inmate Deployment) program is utilized to supplement the numbers. Brisson has penned one of my favourite series of the last few years in Sheltered, so I'm excited to see what he can do with this premise. Couceiro has worked with Brission on Sons Of Anarchy and Murder Book and they seemed to have established a good partnership together.

AVENGERS: RAGE OF ULTRON OGN HC
Writer: Rick Remender
Art: Jerome Opeña
Marvel $24.99

Matt C: Yes, this is obviously designed to cash in on a certain movie due for release in 2015 (the title’s all but the same bar the addition of the letter ‘R’!) but coming from this creative team you kind of have to leave your cynicism at the door. Just look at those preview pages! Marvel’s recent original graphic novel line hasn’t exactly set the world of fire (the only one I’ve looked at so far is Avengers: Endless War from Warren Ellis, which turned out to be pretty mediocre) but when you’ve got the guys responsible for some of the best issues of both Uncanny X-Force and Uncanny Avengers (yeah, okay, Remender was responsible for all of the issues in those series, but collaborating with Opeña really nudged those specific chapters up into the sublime) the chances of this being a worthwhile purchase are far higher than they might otherwise be. Need further conniving? Look at those preview pages again!

EI8HT #1
Writers: Rafael Albuquerque & Mike Johnson
Art: Rafael Albuquerque
Dark Horse $3.50

Stewart R: Not a lot to go on with this one, but I’m a sucker for science fiction stories of a traveller(s) stranded in a strange land/dimension - Planetoid, Black Science, Aphrodite IX have all been fine examples in the past few years - and now Dark Horse and Rafael Albuquerque (American Vampire), along with Mike Johnson, are bringing us Ei8ht, which promises to add to that list. There’s to be a temporal, time-travel aspect to the story and an evident mystery as to just what the protagonist’s mission was that led him to his current predicament, and when you combine that with Albuquerque also delivering his fine pencil and ink art through this five issue miniseries this is sounding like a worthy punt in February.

THE MULTIVERSITY: MASTERMEN #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Art: Jim Lee & Scott Williams
DC $4.99

James R: I'll admit this is a bit of a cheat choosing this, as every issue of Multiversity is a #1, but man alive, what an issue! For a long time, we at the PCG have always enjoyed how Nazis have remained the ultimate bad guys almost 70 years after their comprehensive defeat, and have oft mulled what Hitler would have made of his appearance as the Hate-Monger in the Marvel Universe! This month DC go all Third Reich on us, as Grant Morrison's Multiversity takes us to a world where the Nazis triumphed in WW2, thanks to Ubermench (poor Kal-El having crashed in the Reich, rather than Kansas!) Illustrated by Jim Lee, if the rest of the Multiversity is anything to go by, this could be both genius and the most crazy comic put out by a mainstream publisher in 2015! (As a reminder, Grant Morrison claims this will open with an enraged Hitler reading a comic on the toilet… Brace yourselves!)

POSTAL #1
Writers: Bryan Hill & Matt Hawkins
Art: Isaac Goodhart
Image/Top Cow $3.99

Matt C: A murder mystery set in a community of crooks creating new identities to avoid prosecution - they operate a policy of zero tolerance for any illegal activity and there’s never been a murder before. Sounds like a scintillating basis for a crime thriller and that pitch alone is enough to get me to sit up and pay attention. I’m not familiar with two of the creators (although I’m aware Isaac Goodhart won a Top Cow talent search so this will essentially serve as his introduction to a wider audience) but Matt Hawkins is a guy I trust to create compelling stories based in his work in the likes of Think Tank and Aphrodite IX, so this easily makes my pull-list for February.

MISTER X: RAZED #1
Writer: Dean Motter
Art: Dean Motter
Dark Horse $3.99

Kenny J: Artist and designer Dean Motter takes influence from German Expressionism of the 1920s and hardboiled detective fiction of the early '30s for his charater Mister X, citing in particular Dick Tracy and Metropolis. Looking at the first few pages of interior art it’s plain to see the former's influence on the book as well as masters of the noir genre like Will Eisner and Mike Mignola. For this series even the covers seem to have shifted away from Motter’s usual Soviet agitprop and Saul Bass one-sheet inspired compositions. Instead, it reminds me of something one might see on a Hellboy comic, blood dripping candelabra and all. Dark Horse have a number of these types of titles that usually go under my radar but going on the previews alone I'll be sure add this to my pull.

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