17 Apr 2015

Ten Forward: June 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 April issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in June 2015.

STRANGE FRUIT #1
Writer: J.G. Jones & Mark Waid
Art: J.G. Jones
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Simon M: Now this is a series I'm looking forward to! Two industry legends working together for the first time on a story that will take us back to early twentieth century Mississippi. Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come) and Jones (Y: The Last Man, Wanted) have written a story that is sure to provoke many different emotional responses. The story centres on the small southern town of Chatterlee during the great Mississippi flood of 1927. As the rains threaten the levees, events in Chatterlee cause tension through the racial and social divides of the former plantation town. It is during this crisis that a mysterious giant of a man appears giving hope to some and causing fear in others due to the colour of his skin. Waid has been very clear in the fact that this is not a superhero story, but more of a historical fiction with a sci-fi element. He also said it's unlike anything else he has ever written and expects it to be controversial. There are a fair few preview pages available and the art from Jones is incredible. There is also a lithograph available of a narrative series of panels from the first issue for $19.99 which is also very tempting.

BLACK CANARY #1
Writer: Brenden Fletcher
Art: Annie Wu
DC $2.99

Kenny J: DC has had a bit of a revelation. It seems they have realised that there are people out there who don’t just want to read comics featuring muscled superheroes punching each other ad infinitum. The success of the recent reboot of Batgirl written by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, drawn by Babs Tarr, is proof of this, taking a fan-favourite character and making them relevant to a large demographic of the comic reading populace and, to be frank, beyond. Something Marvel has been doing for a while now. So enter one of the supporting cast of Batgirl, Dinah Lance, also known as Black Canary, still with Brenden Fletcher penning the stories but with Annie Wu taking on art duties. This means we’ll be seeing more of a rock star badass Dinah.

BLACK HAMMER #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart
Dark Horse $2.99

James R: It's a new series from Jeff Lemire - that's all I need to know! Okay, that's a little scant so I'll explain just why this is going on my pull-list. Jeff Lemire has gone from strength to strength over the last few years, showing that he has a unique and utterly compelling gift for story in titles such as Sweet Tooth and Descender, whilst also being at home on superhero books (his run on Animal Man was one of the good things to come from the New 52 project). This series looks to be a winning combination of both: with the help of artist Dean Ormston, he is bringing us a tale of superheroes from a lost era. A superteam find themselves trapped in a small town following a big comics 'event' and the story begins after the characters have been trapped there for ten years. The series looks like Lemire bringing his independent sensibilities to reflect on comic book history and mythology. I can't see this as being anything other than majestic, and it's easily my top pick for the month.

WEIRDWORLD #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Michael Del Mundo
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: There’s no denying that Marvel’s Secret Wars and 'Battleworld' event appears to be a touch insane with a dash of bat-shit crazy! The strangeness of the whole affair has put me off a little bit and I’ve only found a few nuggets amongst the pile of associated books heading our way this summer, Weirdworld #1 being one of those (hopefully) shiny pieces. When you look at the two talents involved it’s hard to see this being anything other than an instant hit. Aaron is working wonders both with Marvel (Thor, Star Wars) and with his creator-owned work (the exquisite Southern Bastards), while Del Mundo’s work on the recently completed Elektra series guarantees my full interest in any of his future projects! Weirdworld itself looks an interesting prospect, harking back to a 1970s fantasy title of the same name by Doug Moench and Mike Ploog. Arkon is not a character I’m familiar with and the general free-reign that this creative pairing may have with a loose, fantasy themed, Secret Wars tie-in book is just too good an opportunity to miss.

SQUADRON SINISTER #1
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Art: Carlos Pacheco
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: I’m very excited for the main Secret Wars series this summer as, after following Jonathan Hickman’s Avengers work for the past couple of years or so, I expect him to leave on a high note. The rest of the ‘Battleworld’ tie-ins? No, I think I can safely leave them on the shelves. Except this one maybe. Pacheco’s art is the main draw for me; I’ve been a fan of his since probably Avengers Forever way back when. Guggenheim can deliver the goods too when necessary, as anyone who checked out Halcyon (for example) will confirm. There’s usually a gem amongst the peripheral titles involved in a big event, and I’m hoping this villain-centric series will be it.

STARVE #1
Writer: Brian Wood
Art: Daniel Zezelj & Dave Stewart
Image $3.50

Kenny J: I think it's safe to say that the food comic is definitely a genre. From Chew to Lucy Knisley’s Relish and Ryan Kelly’s webcomic Cocotte, food is something we all have an interest in even on a very base level. Now the latter creator’s some time collaborator, Brian Wood, is turning his hand to the culinary with his latest Image offering, Starve. The title alone is enough to let us know that this isn’t going to be light, instead weaving a tale of celebrity cooking, illicit recipes, and television all through the prism of social awareness Wood has become known for. The solicitation for this immediately bought forth memories of Ravenous, the Robert Carlyle film, but Danijel Zezelj’s dark art also invokes Wood’s own Northlanders and The Massive. Either way this is sure to be a rare steak of a comic book from two interesting creators.

ROBIN: SON OF BATMAN #1
Writer: Patrick Gleason
Art: Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray
DC $3.99

Stewart R: The has been a distinct rise and fall in my DC purchasing over the past half decade, but one constant has been clear; the teamwork of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason maintained my attention throughout. From Green Lantern Corps to Batman And Robin, their storytelling kept me coming back for more, and thanks to their efforts my interest for the adventures of Damian Wayne materialised. This creative duo dynamic have gone separate ways (for now), and while Tomasi has ventured elsewhere in the DC sphere, Gleason has taking young Damian’s future in hand from both an illustration AND writing standpoint. The big question here will be how will this new book and Gleason’s scripting compare to the Batman And Robin work that has come before. Gleason has managed to hit so many emotional beats with his linework through the years that I’m positive that he’ll deliver a fine new DC title that hopefully gets the audience it’ll deserve.

BROKEN WORLD #1
Writer: Frank J. Barbiere
Art: Christopher Peterson
BOOM! Studios $3.99

James R: This is one of this titles that just leapt out of the pages of Previews at me. In Broken World, Frank J. Barbiere and Christopher Petersen bring us the end of the world - or the imminent end, as this story takes place as an extinction-level asteroid is due to smash into the Earth. I have a bizarre soft spot for apocalyptic tales, and the plot of this one is good, centring in on Elena, a character who has been refused entry to an escape ship while her family have been accepted. Why has she been denied? Can she escape? It's a great pitch, and certainly one to watch for this month.

AIRBOY #1
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Greg Hinkle
Image $2.99

Kenny J: With an industry as we know it fast approaching its centenary there is wealth of obscure characters that stock the vaults of many a company, both those that are still with us and those that for one reason or another failed along the way. Airboy is one of these characters that has fallen under the public domain banner making him fair game for numerous reimaginings and reboots. This time it’s at Image Comics under the pen and pencilship of James Robinson and Greg Hinkle. Here Airboy is going all meta as Robinson and Hinkle spin a tale of two comic creators trying to breathe life back into the Airboy franchise by writing a new comic book starring the high flying hero. I am really hoping that life imitates art and both their real and literary selves succeed.

YEARS OF FUTURE PAST #1
Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Art: Mike Norton
Marvel $4.99

James R: I'm still not excited about the whole Secret Wars shenanigans, and looking through Previews, I didn't see an awful lot to change my mind about it - bar this! I sadly stepped away from the X-Men books when Bendis took over the helm and effectively ended the great runs of Jason Aaron (on Wolverine & The X-Men) and Kieron Gillen (on Uncanny X-Men.) This miniseries looks like it can give me the hit of Marvel's Mutants that I've sorely missed. Spinning out of one of the most beloved X-plots, Days Of Future Past, it's written by Marguerite Bennett, a definite rising star of mainstream comics. Having done some fine work on DC's Earth 2, she's also the writer on Marvel's highly anticipated A-Force. With art from Mike Norton, I think this could be one of the gems of Marvel's summer event.

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