22 Apr 2016

Ten Forward: June 2016

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 2016.

Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Patrick Gleason & Mick Gray
DC $2.99

Stewart R: Words and art, art and words. First it was beckoning me into their world of Green Lantern Corps and keeping me there. Then it was dragging my eyes and heart willingly through Batman And Robin's emotional father/son drama as they explored Bruce, Damian and Alfred's relationship. So yes, without hesitation, I will be buying and reading Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's Superman come this new 'Rebirth' as this creative combo have delivered the most consistent and gloriously high calibre DC superhero experiences to me since I've been reading works from the publisher. Doug Mahnke is joining in on the fun as a regular artist (to keep up with DC's challenging/punishing schedule) in tandem with Gleason and that should be a reasonable fit for visual consistency. Tomasi is currently dealing with the mortality of Superman in the current volume so we shall see what sort of rollercoaster he inevitably delivers when the Last Son of Krypton is reborn this June.

Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Frank Quitley & Peter Doherty
Image $3.99

Tom P: Frank Quitley. From The Authority (his first Millar collaboration) to WE3 and All Star Superman, Quitley has the visual skill and taste to elevate everything he works on with pages and compositions that always dazzle and amaze me. He always seems to have the ability to innovate and show you something new that you just can't experience in any other medium. I skipped the Jupiter's Circle books that appeared in between the first and second volumes of Legacy (which I'm told by some was a mistake) but with Quitley back on art duties, I'm in until his final panel.

Writer: Marjorie Liu
Art: Mark Brooks
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: I love Han Solo. At a young age he was unquestionably the coolest guy in the universe (and by extension, during the period between Empire Strikes Back and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Harrison Ford was untouchable). His recent appearance in The Force Awakens reiterated his status as perhaps the greatest rogue in science fiction, so I should be all over this new book from Marvel’s Star Wars line. But I’m apprehensive. While I’ve enjoyed his appearances in the main Star Wars book I’m worried that overuse will lessen his standing. I have the same reservations about the ‘Young Han Solo’ movie that’s currently looking for its lead actor, so it’s nothing against the creators of this book in any way, and it makes sense that Marvel would give the character his turn in the spotlight (even C-3PO got there before him!). So, the apprehension's there, but does that mean I’ll be avoiding this book? No chance – it’s Han Solo, man!

Writer: Tom King
Art: David Finch & Matt Banning
DC $2.99

James R: Regardless of what you might think about the rights or wrongs of DC's 'Rebirth', it's impossible to deny that DC have assembled some exciting creative teams for their flagship books. Foremost in my eyes is Batman, with DC replacing one of their only real successes from the New 52 (Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo) with 2016's breakout talent - Tom King. As the book ships bi-monthly, art duties will be handled by David Finch and Mikel Janin. For me, this is reminiscent of Snyder's ascent; he grabbed the attention with a Vertigo Series (American Vampire) and impressed with his first foray into superheroes (Marvel's Iron Man Noir). King has made a splash in 2016 with Vertigo's Sheriff of Babylon, and won plaudits for his work on Marvel's The Vision. Can lightening strike twice? I have every confidence it can, and along with Snyder's All Star Batman, this is the DC book to watch.

Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
IDW $3.99

Simon M: We have all heard 'Brought to you from the creative minds of so and so, because you demanded it' before - well, on this occasion I did demand it! Okay, maybe I didn't demand it out loud so that anyone else could hear me, but this would have been such an occasion to do so. The team that brought us Locke & Key have collaborated together again on a new 4-issue miniseries based on the 1983 TV anthology series.  The epic story of Locke & Key will go down as one of my all-time favourite series and is one of the recommendations I will give if asked "I'm new to comics, what should I read?" Originally written by Hill as the teleplay for an updated version of the '80s show, the material has now been adapted for this comic. Hill has been quoted as saying “The original Tales From The Darkside was a fun, bleak little spin on The Twilight Zone style anthology. My idea is to give readers a little more. Every story is meant to stand alone, but gradually, you will come to see how they all connect, to tell a single larger story." Come June, let this modern master of horror bring chills to your warm summer nights.

Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: Brad Walker & Drew Hennessey
DC $2.99

Stewart R: I'm not sold on many of the books coming out of DC's 'Rebirth' venture, but I will give some time to Dan Abnett and Brad Walker coming together to bring us a new Aquaman title. I barely looked at the character during the New 52 launch so my exposure to Arthur Curry's adventures remains pretty minimal. I adored Abnett and Walker's work (along with Andy Lanning) on Guardians Of The Galaxy a good few years ago and giving Walker a deep sea playground to perform his visual magic within should be a recipe for eye candy. It'll be interesting to see if this latest volume of Aquaman has a mandate to steer things towards the cinematic universe and the upcoming live action film, or whether it forges its own path, but regardless, Abnett is a scribe who can definitely work grand plans through his narratives and the early issues will have my dollars backing them.

Writer: Greg Rucka
Art: Liam Sharp
DC $2.99

Rob N: Do this long enough and it's a certain bet that you'll get a sense of deja vu as history repeats itself – case in point, it wasn't all that long ago (relatively speaking) that we here at the PCG were analysing the 'coming soon' New 52 DC reboot that promised as much wonderment as we could possibly cope with. I recall picking out the Brian Azzarello reboot of Wonder Woman as a title I was particularly looking forward to on the grounds that Wonder Woman has always been a favourite character of mine, but on the whole I've felt she hasn't had the creative teams she deserves. Azzarello seemed to be a radical departure from the norm but one that I felt sounded promising, and indeed the first couple of issues did suggest interesting things, but very quickly it became obvious that Wonder Woman herself was for the most part lacking in any notable personality during the story arc. Fast forward to the present day and I'm now anticipating great things for the Greg Rucka relaunch of Wonder Woman with far more in the way of certainty. For starters, I've yet to read a bad Greg Rucka story, and bearing in mind his volume of work to date that's quite an achievement as even Alan Moore has disappointed me once or twice. And secondly, Rucka has past form on the title, having been responsible for a brief but inspiring run which I consider to be one of the high points in Wonder Woman's history. In fact, the only thing I can imagine going wrong here is if DC Editorial's notoriously draconian policy of dictating to its writers was to continue. I'd like to think that DC has learnt its lesson from the recent past, for most of the mistakes made have been by editors thinking they know better than the writers in how to tell a story. These days writers like Greg Rucka don't necessarily need the monthly superhero assignment any more and I suspect Rucka has already had that particular conversation with DC and made it clear he'll walk if he's not allowed to tell his own story in his own way.

Writer: Fred Van Lente
Art: Guiu Vilanova & Mauricio Wallace
Dark Horse $3.99

James R: Fred Van Lente is one of those creators whom I'm always excited to see new work from. His books are always smart, funny and fresh - a rare combination in the mainstream. I was thrilled to see the announcement of Weird Detective in Previews - H. P. Lovecraft is certainly enjoying something of a renaissance in comics, firstly through Alan Moore's phenomenal Providence, and now this from Van Lente and Conan The Avenger illustrator Guiu Vilanova with a pulp-inspired detective tale that has the horror of the Elder Gods at its core. That's a whole lot of things that I love in a single comic, and when you add Van Lente's magic to the mix, this is an essential purchase for me.

Writer: Mike Mignola
Art: Mike Mignola & Dave Stewart
Dark Horse $2.99

Tom P: I first came to the world of Hellboy via the first movie adpatation which I wanted to see having enjoyed the work of Guillermo Del Toro on Blade 2 (for which Mignola was a concept artist). Having loved Hellboy I instantly picked up the first few trades and I was hooked. I once read Mignola was worried the films would overtake him and he was determined to get to the finale where Hellboy transforms into what he was always meant to be first. Sadly, we still await that last movie, but I can't wait to see here whether he can escape his doomed destiny.

Writer: Joshua Williamson
Art: Carmine Di Giandomenico
DC $2.99

Matt C: I think there’s so much potential with this character that’s not always tapped into by various creators who have crafted his adventures over the years, but when someone really gets it, the Flash is revealed as one of the most fascinating creations in the DC pantheon, far more than just a guy who runs really fast. Early issues of the previous volume were some of the most impressive to come out of the otherwise disappointing New 52 relaunch several years back so I’m hoping for something similar here. Strong creator-owned work from writer Joshua Williamson (Birthright, Nailbiter) leads me to think he’s the right man for the job of making the adventures of the Fastest Man Alive unstoppable once again.

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