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 2016.
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Humberto Ramos
Andy H: While I still have reservations about the stop/start, all new, all different, all confusing direction of Marvel, there are certain titles that will strike a chord with me. In October one of those titles could be Champions #1 which cherry-picks some of the best 'new' young characters, sticking them together to make a classic team of misfits. Leaving the Avengers after the events of Civil War II are Nova, Ms. Marvel and Miles Morales, kids still learning what it takes to be a hero. Joining them is boy out of time, Cyclops, the ‘Totally Awesome’ Hulk and Viv Vision, a real rag tag team if ever there was one. If one writer can make this team work then it has to be Mark Waid (good job it is him then!) and he's joined by Humberto Ramos, an artist that can really bring this teen-team to life.
ANGEL CITY #1
Writer: Janet Harvey
Art: Megan Levens
Oni Press $3.99
Matt C: I’m always on the lookout got a good noir comic so it’s not surprising this blipped on my radar. It ticks a lot of the boxes – 1930s Hollywood setting, gangsters, corrupt cops, murder - so already it’s very appealing, and while I don’t really know anything about the creators, it’s had Greg Rucka offering his endorsement, and as he knows a thing or two about good comics I’m happy to give it a try on his recommendation.
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Phil Hester & Mark Englert
James R: To be honest, I wasn't sold on this when we first looked through the pages of Previews - as much as I love Warren Ellis, I know that for every Trees there's a James Bond, and the pitch for this left me lukewarm: a sole survivor of a mysterious shipwreck is in pursuit of a saboteur who holds the key to either his salvation or doom. However, art on this project comes from the always-great Phil Hester, and given Ellis' hit ratio of late (I've loved both Trees and Injection) this first issue has to be worth a punt. I'm hoping for something surprising in this debut to make it worth adding to my pull-list.
Writer: Bryan Hill
Art: Nelson Blake II
Image/Top Cow $3.99
Stewart R: Postal scribe Bryan Hill is going to bring us a story about a secretive organization which has shaped the path of mankind throughout civilised history via lethal manipulation and now faces one of their own agents turning against them and trying to cut the puppeteers' strings of control. This sounds like it might well be another commentary on the modern day manifest of wealth and power and to be honest, Hill should be perfect to deliver such a story. The preview art looks enticing enough, but I will be wary to see just how close this flirts with cliché considering that the likes of Black Widow and Velvet (and even Scarlet) have done the hunted-female-assassin/protagonist thing pretty darn well in recent years.
Writer: Geoffrey Thorne
Art: Khary Randolph
Matt C: As the saying goes, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but that’s only partially true when it comes to comic books as the cover is an often integral component in the overall package. And if a cover is interesting enough - whether it’s a tagline, a hint at what’s in store within the pages, or just an awesome image in itself – then it can lead to a purchase that may just prove to be a worthwhile one. The Vision #1 was the last time a took a risk on something because I found the cover particularly arresting, even though I wasn’t familiar with the writer (a lot’s changed since then!) and that turned out pretty well. I know very little about Mosaic, besides the lead character being Inhuman, but that cover makes it look like more of a left-of-centre type of concept for Marvel, and as that’s usually the area where the best stuff happens for the House Of Ideas, I’m putting this down as something to sample.
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: Eduardo Risso
James R: This is another one of those occasions where the creative team alone sells the book for me. I absolutely love it when Brian Azzarello works with his 100 Bullets partner Eduardo Risso - the two men always combine to create brilliant tales, and so their names together on a comic mean that I'll be picking it up. This time their focus is on the bootlegging era, but the blurb promises: "A horror twist on the classic gangster tale." Moonshine looks like solid gold.
Writer: Mark Millar
Art: Greg Capullo
Stewart R: In this past week's reviews I gave a big old nod of the head in the direction of Empress as Stuart Immonen's visual skills have made one of Mark Millar's comic-cum-movie pitches a must in terms of sheer spectacle. Now Millar is going about his usual thing again and this time he's roped Greg Capullo into the fold to tell the story of an 80-year-old woman who passes onto the next life and finds herself in a deadly fantasy world, “reborn as a 25 year-old woman with a sword in her hand and gun on her hip”. I'm going to guess that this may be another example of Millar's script-lite, single premise ideas which allows the artist to make the most of their vision and talents and when it comes to someone like Capullo, you've got to assume that it may well be unmissable
SERENITY: NO POWER IN THE 'VERSE #1
Writer: Chris Roberson
Art: Georges Jeanty & Karl Story
Dark Horse $3.99
Andy H: The Whedonverse has pretty much gone from strength to strength over the years. We may have seen the last of the TV shows but Dark Horse has kept Buffy, Angel and Firefly very much alive. Now it's time to revisit the crew of the good ship Serenity as they search for a missing friend. Georges Jeanty returns as series artist and is joined by iZombie creator Chris Roberson who takes over the writing chores. It's always great to return to the 'verse, it's like catching up with old friends and always makes me want to dig out my Firefly box set and watch it all over again. Good times.
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Art: Martin Morazzo
James R: As something of a pretentious geek, I love any title that incorporates high art or culture, and so this is October’s top pick for me. Written by W. Maxwell Prince with art by Martin Morazzo, the series is a unique take on the detective trope - when a change in the composition of a famous painting starts to poison the minds of people that look at it, 'Art Detective' Arthur Brut is pulled from an asylum to deal with the very thing that sent him there in the first place. It is one of those books that instantly grabbed my attention, and I'm absolutely intrigued to see what Prince and Morazzo do with this premise.
JESSICA JONES #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Art: Michael Gaydos
Matt C: Alias, which first introduced Jessica Jones to the Marvel Universe, was pretty revolutionary when it first appeared some 15 years ago, and at that point Brian Michael Bendis was on fire, himself a pretty revolutionary presence in mainstream comics, shaking things up quite dramatically with a more adult tone and a style of decompressed storytelling. A lot has changed in those 15 years, and while Bendis is still a prime player at the House of Ideas, he’s most definitely no longer a force to be reckoned with, a lot of his superhero work bordering on self-parody. His delayed but brilliant Scarlet has shown he can still pull something that feels like it’s cutting edge out of the hat, so while I’m not overly confident this reteaming of Bendis and Alias artist on this new series (which has no doubt appeared due to the success of the TV series) will match the magic of the original, I certainly can’t write off the possibility that it might.