14 Oct 2016

Ten Forward: December 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 October issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in December 2016.

LOCKE & KEY: SMALL WORLD
Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez & Jay Fotos
IDW $4.99

Simon M: Any time anyone asks me to recommend a series to get them into comics, my first suggestion will always be Hill and Rodriguez’s Locke & Key. This is one of my all-time favourite reads and I was left with a slightly empty feeling when it finished in 2013. But all is not lost, IDW have announced that a new one-shot is being released this December. The majority of the books have followed the Locke family during modern times, but Hill has given us glimpses of their history in a couple of other one-shot books (Open The Moon and Grindhouse). The writer has added in a recent interview that there is 250 years of Locke family history, so hopefully the plan is to explore this a little bit more. The Locke & Key series is essentially a supernatural horror based in Lovecraft's Massachusetts, where the Locke family have access to a number of magical keys that allow anything from taking memories from a person’s head to becoming a temporary ghost. Small World focuses on Mary Locke from the early twentieth century and a key that allows her to bring an incredible dollhouse to life. Now this is great news, but that is not all! Five years ago there was a failed TV pilot through Fox. It now looks like IDW are pushing a new pilot this time with Hill penning the script. Hopefully this time it gets off the ground and we can soon be seeing another comics series brought to life on the small screen.

HAWKEYE #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art: Leonardo Romero
Marvel $3.99

Kenny J: The break out star of Matt Fraction and David Aja’s Hawkeye run, at least according to the Paradoscars, was one Kate Bishop. In fact, we were so fond of the character that she won the award for Best Supporting Character three years in a row. Now it is time for her to step out from Clint Barton's  Clint Barton and move into the spotlight with her very own eponymous title. Not her given name but the fully fledged Avenger-approved superhero moniker of Hawkeye. In the aforementioned volume and the one written by Jeff Lemire that directly followed, Kate Bishop was written as the equal of her male equivalent, a theme that Kelly Thompson is sure to continue as the new Hawkeye goes solo. With Thompson’s credits on books such as A-Force and the Jem And The Holograms we are bound to finally get a book starring Kate that is as kick ass as her namesake ever was.

HOOKJAW #1
Writer: Si Spurrier
Art: Conor Boyle & Guilia Brusco
Titan $3.99

Stewart R: Not a year goes by without the media having a shark attack to report on, further perpetuating the relative myth of shark attack danger (more people are killed by cows each year than sharks!) and maintaining the dark menace of one of the ocean's biggest predators. This December it looks like Titan Comics will be praying on the readers' fears further with Hookjaw #1 from Si Spurrier and Conor Boyle. A five-part miniseries, Hookjaw revisits the titular shark who first appeared in British comic Action #1 and will follow a group of marine scientists trapped between Somali pirates, the CIA and the ravenous behemoth from the deep. Spurrier is one scribe I'm always eager to see new works from while I've met Conor Boyle a few times at conventions and I'm excited to see his artistic skills brought to bear on this project!

THE KILLER VOL. 5 HC
Writer: Matz
Art: Luc Jacamon
BOOM! Studios/Archaia $24.99

Matt C: Archaia started publishing the adaptation of the excellent French assassin thriller The Killer over a decade ago and while the release schedule stuttered along the way, I’ve always stuck with it as it offered a fascinating insight into the mind of a paid killer (David Fincher was even circling it as a possible directing gig at one point). The last volume skipped the single issue release and went straight for the hardback edition, and turned out to be the weakest instalment by far. I’m hoping this final chapter wraps things up in fine style, because when this series was good, it was very, very good.

MOTOR CRUSH #1
Writer: Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart & Babs Tarr
Art: Babs Tarr & Cameron Stewart
Image $3.99

Kenny J: Anyone who read Batgirl #36 with its twin motorbike-mounted assassins will know that Babs Tarr is really good at drawing action on two wheels. In fact, she is really good at drawing any action especially when it's scripted by Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher, her Batgirl co-reinventors. Off the back of the success of Barbara Gordon’s time in Burnside, the trio have turned their attention to the creator-owned market with Motor Crush, a concept that could only really exist in the pages of an indie comic book. This new venture tells the tale of Domino Swift, a champion bike racer and brutal gang member as she vies for control of Crush, an engine-boosting machine narcotic. I’m hoping for Mad Max meets The Warriors but to be honest I’ll take anything when it is put together by this talented lot.

NOVA #1
Writer: Jeff Loveness & Ramon Perez
Art: Ramon Perez
Marvel $3.99

Stewart R: Abnett and Lanning's run on Nova remains for me one of the best Marvel runs of the past decade and I was truly gutted when Richard Rider's supreme sacrifice fighting Thanos took him from the 616 Universe. I've been resistant to the subsequent adventures of the younger Nova, Sam Alexander, but now it seems that writer Jeff Loveness and artist Ramon Perez are bringing one of my favourite characters back and having him team up with the newer Nova Corpsman. I'll admit that I am a touch wary of what we could get here with Loveness very much free to do what he likes with a relatively 'small fry' character in the wider Marvel scheme of things, but I just have to see what this welcome return might be like.

STAR TREK/GREEN LANTERN VOL 2 #1
Writer: Mike Johnson
Art: Angel Hernandez
IDW $3.99

Andy H: Boldly returning to the comic world, these are the continuing adventures of the Green Lanterns in the Star Trek universe. The first volume of Star Trek/Green Lantern introduced the two factions to each other and changed the Trek timeline once again. Well, sticking a bunch of ring-wielding folk into the mix will do that. Original creative team of Mike Johnson and Angel Hernandez return to continue where they left off last year. When you think about it, these two franchises are made for each other and the first book was certainly worth a look for both sets of fans. I'd hope for more of the same with this next chapter. We're promised new foes and familiar faces, the perfect recipe for this 'Elseworlds' style crossover.

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

Stewart R: The only way I'm going to miss picking up this book is if a powerful being somehow goes back in time and alters things so that we end up living in a world marshalled as a communist, Soviet State, which is actually the pitch for this third outing for Matt Kindt and Trevor Hairsine. Looking at the solicitations it seems that this concept of a 'Stalinverse' will actually be applied wider into the Valiant universe as the series proceeds, but my focus will remain with this book alone and what part the incredibly powerful Abram Adams may play this time around. It's testament to Kindt's solid writing that he's managed to produce two incredibly solid and readable four-part series on the bounce and I love the fact that he's able to continue expanding upon the ideas he's seeded and introduced. Pick yourself up the first two Divinity books in collected form and get ready for comic book glory in December comrades!

HULK #1
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Art: Nico Leon
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: I’ve always had, shall we say, a soft spot for Jennifer Walters. Ever since I properly got to know her via John Byrne’s legendary run on Fantastic Four, she’s always been my favourite green gal. Last I heard she died in Civil War II, but as is the way with superheroes, it clearly didn’t stick, and now she’s back, mad as hell, and so on. The title of this comic kind of gives the game away: this isn’t the She-Hulk we’ve all grown up with. And I’m not sure about that. A raging She-Hulk? Okay so it’s different, which is no bad thing, and while I’m not familiar with the creative team I can never turn my back on Jen, can I?

GAMORA #1
Writer: Nicole Perlman
Art: Marco Checchetto
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: My PCG colleagues will tell you I’ve got a ‘thing’ for green ladies, and while I wouldn’t really go that far (I’m a She-Hulk man, through and through – see above!) I’m fairly interested in this solo outing for the ‘Deadliest Woman In The Galaxy!’, and it has nothing to do with the colour of her skin (probably). The creative team of screenwriter Nicole Perlman (involved earlier in production with the first Guardians Of The Galaxy movie and now working on the script for the Captain Marvel flick) and Marco Checchetto (recently seen delivering superb space visuals in a couple of Star Wars books) are what’s got me curious, along with that pretty great Esad Ribic cover, so maybe I will have space from another green gal in my life?

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