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 September issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in November 2016.
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art: Jeff Lemire
James R: One of things I am most proud of in contributing to the PCG has been championing both Jeff Lemire and Scott Snyder over the years. From Snyder's run on American Vampire and Lemire's Sweet Tooth, the pair have won my 'Book of the Week' more times than I care to mention. They've crafted some of the best comics of the decade in that time, and it's been brilliant to watch their continuing ascents to the very top of the industry. Pick of the month for me will therefore come as no surprise - the two men joining forces on an Image title = GOLD. The story revolves around a future in which humanity has found a cure for death, but to be honest, I don't care what the plot is - they could be creating a book about assembling flat-pack furniture, and I'd want to read it. I can't see this being anything less than spectacular, and one of the highlights of the year.
UNWORTHY THOR #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Olivier Coipel
Matt C: Do we need another Thor series? Can’t we agree that the existing series, featuring the Jane Foster iteration of the Thunder God, is more than sufficient and doesn’t require any dilution of the storytelling pool? But okay, I’ll admit I’m curious to see what the original Thor has been getting up to of late, and if Aaron believes he’s got more tales to tell in this section of the Marvel Universe then who am I to argue? And… what’s that?? Olivier Coipel back illustrating Asgardian adventures?? Why didn’t you say so?! We definitely need another Thor series then!
Writer: Jody Houser
Art: Tommy Lee Edwards
Andy H: So far, so good with the 'Young Animals' imprint from DC. Some really good stuff coming up and it looks like November will see another strong title joining the pack. The story is set in Gotham, as there's obviously always room for one more costumed vigilante in that fair city. Violet Paige is a celebutante, she mixes with the rich and famous of Gotham but as Mother Panic she exacts vengeance upon them. For what, we don't know yet, but the hints are all pointing to a traumatic childhood. Jody Houser is a new name to me but she is writer of Valiant's popular Faith series. Tommy Lee Edwards art looks up to his usual high standard and I think will suit the dark streets and dark atmosphere of Gotham. So the only question is: how long before Batman and Mother Panic cross paths?
Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: David Rubin
Dark Horse $3.99
James R: November is an absolutely terrific month for me, as virtually all of my favourite current writers have new books out, and Ether is no exception. I have often sung the praises of the great Matt Kindt here, and I'm obviously excited for his latest work. Teaming up with artist Matt Rubin, Ether sees Kindt introduce us to the worlds of Boone Dias. Dias is a scientist who crosses dimensions to a realm where magic prevails and the residents look to Boone to use his scientific nous to solve their most fiendish crimes. Kindt's books are always full of intelligence and invention, and I'm sure Ether will be no exception. Rubin's art for the book looks striking, and even though I am supposedly trying to cut down on the books in my pull-list, I won't be able to resist this! Who needs food anyway?!
Writer: Mark Waid
Art: Mike Del Mundo
Matt C: I felt like I was done with the Avengers in comic book form for the time being when Jonathan Hickman’s magnum opus came to the end in Secret Wars; the relaunched series with Mark Waid at the helm, featuring a sort of ‘Next Generation’ of heroes being taken under the wing of the old guard, didn’t hold much appeal for me compared to what came before. This latest renumbering has my attention though. Waid’s back - which I don’t have an issue with as he’s probably the most natural superhero writer in the business - and he’s joined by Mike Del Mundo, one of the most exciting and distinctive artists on the scene. Del Mundo doesn’t seem like the most obvious fit for such a mainstream book but that’s kind of what makes this so appealing. His style is frequently phenomenal but isn’t ‘house standard’ by any stretch of the imagination - that’s why it’s exciting as it could potentially shake things up under the spotlight, and that’s always a good thing.
Writer: Alex de Campi
Art: Tony Parker & Blond
Andy H: Cold War spy comics are not my staple read but I do like to dabble. I'm a big fan of Brubaker and Epting's Velvet, for example. I'm also a fan of Alex de Campi. So her latest miniseries, Mayday, is an obvious addition to my November pull-list. Two Soviet agents are sent to America to recover top secret information and to kill a defector. All integral ingredients of a good Cold War thriller. With de Campi at the helm you can usually expect a bit of a grindhouse vibe as the mission crumbles into drugs, sex and violence. The art by Tony Parker and Blond looks suitably gritty.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Jonathan Hickman
James R: Simply put: JONATHAN HICKMAN. Sold! Hickman is one of the names that sells a book to me without me having to see a single image, or read a word. I said as much when highlighting Black Monday Murders here a few months back, and that's already proving to be one of the books of the year for me. Frontier has the extra dimension of featuring Hickman's art - those of us who have been fans for a while will attest that Hickman's style is unique and striking (check out his great work on The Nightly News and Pax Romana to see what I mean.) The promise of a new book written and illustrated by Hickman is thus a total treat. He's described it to CBR as "Like Star Trek, but super-depressing" - rather than man's expansion to the stars ushering in a golden age, it leads to humanity being expelled from a galactic alliance. Hickman is unparalleled in comics as a world-builder, and I'm thrilled to see just how far beyond he takes us in Frontier.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Mike Deodato
Matt C: The other day I was showing my kids a copy of the Marvel Encyclopaedia from ten years ago and they couldn’t believe that there was only a piddly little entry for Thanos, a character who, as far as they’re concerned, is a BIG DEAL. How times change. Joss Whedon helped bring the Mad Titan to prominence at the end of The Avengers in 2012 and since then he’s been an eternal tease in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has obviously had the knock on effect of boosting his villainous standing in the comics, leading up to this new series. I wasn’t fussed over his last solo outing but this one gets a nod from me as I think Jeff Lemire is on fire at the moment with the likes of Moon Knight, Black Hammer, Old Man Logan and Descender. Will this be to his usual high standard? Too early to say, but it would be foolish not give this a try, especially if he’s got the skills of Mike Deadato to help him out.
Writer: Dan Schaffer
Art: Dan Scaffer
Devil's Due/1First Comics $4.99
Andy H: Dan Schaffer first came to my attention with his superb Dogwitch series way back in 2002. The British-based writer/artist (and screenwriter) has a very distinct style and I've missed his work in comics. In the past his art has been in black and white so I'm excited to see how his latest offering will look in colour. Once again it's a leading lady taking centre stage in this story. A plane crash leaves Willa Harba stranded in shark infested water with the great tag line 'Two thousand miles from land, five hours from rescue, six inches from death!' Hopefully somewhere down the line Dogwitch will be reprinted as Schaffer returns to comics.
GRAND PASSION #1
Writer: James Robinson
Art: Tom Feister
James R: This title appealed to me as James Robinson's last series creator-owned series, Airboy, was one of the surprises of last year (if you haven't read it, I highly recommend that you seek it out in a trade paperback). It was so beautifully realised - smart, funny (and not without a hint of controversy) - that I feel any new creator-owned work from Robinson has to be worth picking up. Add to that, it's a book that inhabits a firm favourite of mine - the gritty crime drama. Illustrated by Tom Feister, and sporting a very handsome cover from John Cassaday, Robinson promises the book will be: "Equal parts crazy love and crazy violent." That pitch alone puts it on my pull-list and I'm hoping this crime spree lives up to the billing.