19 Apr 2017

Ten Forward: June 2017

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 2017.

WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD #1
Writer: Steve Niles
Art: Alison Sampson, Stephane Paitreau, Jordie Bellaire & Aditya Bidikar
Image $3.99

Simon M: The first thing that grabbed my attention about this book in Previews was the title. I mean come on: Winnebago Graveyard, how can you not be intrigued! Once you get past the name and see that one of the modern masters of horror comics is writing this tale, then it’s time to seriously take note. Steve Niles (30 Days Of Night) is responsible for getting me back into the horror genre. The story revolves around a family on vacation that gets stuck in a small American town with a dark secret. The premise of the book reminds me a lot of the Jack Starrett film, Race With The Devil from 1975. Now that film scared the you-know-what out of me as a 10 year-old kid and therefore it left an indelible mark on my memory. If Niles can remind me of that feeling even a little bit, then it’s money well spent. There is quite a lot of preview art available and it all looks suitably dark and disturbing. Alison Sampson has done a fantastic job creating the atmosphere that is needed to make this book work. So, load up the RV and let’s head out on the highway to horror!

WONDER WOMAN: STEVE TREVOR #1
Writer: Tim Seeley
Art: Christian Duce
DC $3.99

Jo S: Wonder Woman will always draw my attention but I'm really intrigued to see how this particular story is developed. The idea of Wonder Woman having a romantic interest has always jarred awkwardly for me: her heritage suggests she has no need of a male partner and it has always interested me to see how Trevor, who must surely be a strong male character, imbued with the male-dominated structure of a military lifestyle, could come to feel comfortable in a relationship with a woman who not only could kick his ass from here back to Themiscyra, but keeps having to rescue him from whatever scrape he's got into this time. In this modern era of equality and diversity we are seeing huge strides made in writing strong female characters but I'm fascinated to see how this team treat the consort to such a character. DC’s blurb refers to their partnership as ‘tumultuous’; I'm betting that's an understatement.

DARTH VADER #1
Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Giuseppe Camuncoli
Marvel $4.99

James R: After an acclaimed run from Kieron Gillen, Marvel decide to tell a new Darth Vader tale in June. Rather than being set in and around the events of the Original Trilogy, this new title written by Charles Soule and illustrated by Guiseppe Camuncoli is basically 'Vader: Year One'. Focusing on Anakin Skywalker's early days as the Dark Lord of the Sith is a potentially great storytelling idea and I'm intrigued to see just how Soule approaches the character. At a time when Marvel's Star Wars line seems to be stuttering a little, I'm hoping Darth Vader renews my faith.

JAZZ MAYNARD #1
Writer: Raule
Art: Roger
Lion Forge $3.99

Matt C: One of those books where it’s difficult to get hold of the details straight away but the title and pitch stands out enough that it kind of doesn’t matter. From what I can gather, it’s a Euro comic that’s seen a release digitally in the English-speaking market and is now arriving in print form for those of us who try and fail at keeping up with these things. It appears to be a crime book that will zip from New York to Barcelona, involving kidnapping and who knows what else. Fundamentally it’s got a character with a cool name and that always a pretty good place to start from, don’t you think?

CLUE #1
Writer: Paul Allor
Art: Nelson Daniel
IDW $3.99

Jo S: I love a murder mystery and there can surely be no more iconic murder mystery tale than that of the ill-fated Mr Boddy and those four unfortunate suspects, Plum, Mustard, Scarlett and Peacock, whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, at least in approximately 75% of cases! This series is based on the Hasbro classic board game and it will be interesting to see how Allor manages to break out of the limitations which that must present to produce something intriguing enough for comic book fans. IDW are promising that the four variant covers will each offer different clues and a different conclusion to the story so, of course, I shall be saving my pocket money so I can collect the full set! *raises cynical eyebrow* My money’s on that old dog Colonel Mustard.

OLD MAN LOGAN #25
Writer: Ed Brisson
Art: Mike Deodato Jr
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: With Jeff Lemire leaving this title, I figured I’d be off it too. He’s done such a fantastic job with a character who was previously beginning to feel tired and two-dimensional that I doubted anyone could follow in his footsteps, but damn if that Mike Deodato preview art doesn’t make me change my mind! Ed Brisson has produced some great indie work but I’ve not clicked with his Marvel stuff so far, but Lemire is leaving the series in such great shape that I’m hugely reluctant to walk away from it at this point if there’s even a hint that the same level of quality can be retained.

BATMAN/ELMER FUDD SPECIAL #1
Writer: Tom King
Art: Lee Weeks
DC $4.99

Andy H: Last month we saw DC and Hanna-Barbera characters team up to help fill the last week of a five-week month. June is not a five-weeker but DC are looking at another team-up and it's closer to home this time. Venturing into another Warner Bros stable it's time for the Looney Tunes to enter the fray. Some weird and wonderful combinations are on offer including this gem: Batman and Elmer Fudd. This is not a hoax! Written by current Bat-scribe Tom King and illustrated by Lee Weeks, it looks like rabbit season is over and Bat season is open! We know Elmer hasn't been lucky with rabbits, how will he fare hunting Bats? This team up is one of six and the others are definitely worth a mention. Jonah Hex and Yosemite Sam, Legion of Super-Heroes and Bugs Bunny, Lobo and Road Runner, Martian Manhunter and Marvin the Martian and finally, Wonder Woman and Tasmanian Devil. Looking at these there is a strong possibility they will all end up on my pull-list. That's all folks!

BRIGGS LAND: LONE WOLVES #1
Writer: Brian Wood
Art: Mack Chater & Lee Loughridge
Dark Horse $3.99

Simon M: Initially, I thought this was a spin-off of the highly enjoyable Briggs Land series but after further investigation, it appears this is the second arc of the main book. The story that unfolded in the first arc centred around Grace Briggs as she wrestled control of the family from her husband Jim. The Briggs family own over 100 square miles of land and is one of the largest secessionist movements in America. It is not only a story of family power struggles but also encompasses federal branches of law enforcement. One of the most interesting plots from the first arc was the family dynamic between Grace and her sons. It is one of these sons, Isaac, that this first issue expands on. Isaac stumbles upon two hikers that have wandered onto the family land. Already dealing with demons from his military tour of duty in Afghanistan, he now finds himself having to protect the family from potential media exposure. Wood is one of my favourite writers and as he continues this story I know he will maintain the same high standard that the first series delivered. Not only is Wood back on the book, but Mack Chater also returns on art duties. Chater has the talent to bring majestic landscapes to paper and do them the justice they deserve. To add even more good news, Wood is working with AMC to bring Briggs Land to the small screen. I feel this story would lend itself beautifully to television and I shall be watching when it airs.

MURDER BALLADS TP
Writer: Gabe Soria
Art: Paul Reinwand
Z2 $24.99

Matt C: This has got my name written all over it. Not literally of course, but I’m down with the Blues and I love comics that cover the need people have to express themselves through music in harsh, unforgiving environments, particularly as it has to evoke this through words and pictures alone. But wait! This one’s cheating! It actually includes a soundtrack and Dan Auerbach from The Black Keys is partially responsible for this musical accompaniment! Part of me thinks that’s going a bit too multimedia for my liking but a larger part thinks it just might work. It’s a pricey gamble I guess, and outside of Auerbach I’ve not heard of anyone else involved, but this is the kind of project that really appeals to my sensibilities and while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I’m optimistic that this one could potentially make a bit of an impact.

DARK DAYS: THE FORGE #1
Writer: Scott Snyder & James Tynion IV
Art: Jim Lee, Andy Kubert & John Romita Jr
DC $4.99

James R: This past 12 months has seen my monthly pull from the Big Two dwindle to virtually nil. I've felt that there are very few interesting voices or titles coming from Marvel and DC at the moment but yet, I can never fully walk away! June sees the start of Scott Snyder's new mega-event for DC kick off in the shape of Dark Days: The Forge. I'd be interested as it's Snyder anyway, but the fact that the writer claims that this event features the culmination of a plot that he began to construct when he first worked on Batman... well, that's too enticing to ignore. Snyder also claims that the book can be read 'cold' - you don't need to be reading a plethora of other titles first (good) and boasting the art of Jim Lee, John Romita Jr. and Andy Kubert means that this event book has managed to get my attention.

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