22 Feb 2018

The Shipping Forecast: April 2018

Every month we spend an evening scouring the pages of the latest issue of Previews and pick the titles we are looking forward to the most. This month it's the February issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in April 2018.

Writer: Various
Art: Various
DC $7.99

James R: Superman was the first comics character I can remember loving as a kid, and I've always retained a special affection in my heart for the Last Son of Krypton. In April, DC and Kal-El reach a significant milestone - the one-thousandth issue of the comic that truly kick-started the Golden Age of superheroes, Action Comics. There's certainly no expense spared here, with a plethora of the industry's finest making contributions to this epic issue (of particular interest to me are the stories from the current man of the moment Tom King, and Brian Michael Bendis' first story ahead of his Man Of Steel series). Kudos to DC too for not making any of the covers 'chase variants', insisting that comic stores buy hundreds to get one - each will be available to order, so if you're looking forward to this one like I am, I advise you speak to local comics retailer to get your artist of choice!

Writer: Jim McCann
Art: Dario Brizuela
Marvel $3.99

Jo S: Though I do have a soft spot for gruesome comic horror and no problem with gratuitous comic book violence, there are some days when I just want something wholesome and happy in my pull-list and I'm hoping that this new run of Marvel Super Hero Adventures gives me exactly that, along with something I can, with a clean conscience, recommend to those folks who ask “Do you have anything my kids would like?” The series starts with a mighty Marvel team up, as Doctor Octopus attempts to raid Wakanda for its store of vibranium - can Spidey and Black Panther work together to protect T’Challa’s nation from the eight-handed marauder! I'm betting the answer is a big, bright, colourful “Yes indeed!”

Writer: Ace Atkins
Art: Marco Finnegan
Image $14.99

Matt C: This has got my name written all over it. Not literally you understand (that would be silly) but I’m a sucker for any tales set in the era of early blues, particularly if the myth that erupted following Robert Johnson’s untimely death is utilized. Nick Travers is part-time detective who’s appeared in a series of novels by writer Ace Atkins – I won’t pretend to have known anything about them before Googling them a minute ago, but I trust the jump to a new medium won’t carry expected knowledge of the character. It’s the Robert Johnson connection that’s stoked my interest, that and the fact that the story will feature a hitman who thinks he’s Elvis Presley!

Writer: Joe Haldeman & Gay Haldeman
Art: Marvano
Titan Comics $5.99

Jo S: I’m terrifically excited about this follow-up to Haldeman and Marvano’s adaptation of Haldeman’s class sci-fi novel, The Forever War. Mandella has returned to the Earth he gave up lifetimes to fight for, to find that it is changed beyond recognition and left him a sidelined dinosaur. Joe and Gay Haldeman worked closely with Belgian artist Marvano on the first series to create something truly moving on the nature of Man and the pointlessness of war and Marvano’s simple, clean, retro-style art counterpoints the gut-wrenching shocks of acts of war which, though based in a high-tech future, feel far too real for comfort.

Writer: Dan Abnett
Art: I.N.J. Culbard
BOOM! Studios $19.99

Andy H: After two miniseries this outstanding story is concluded in trade paperback form. I'm slightly saddened it's not being completed as a regular series but, oh, so grateful that it is at least being wrapped up. Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard have created and crafted a world and characters I care about and the fear and sense of danger just drips off the pages. Likened to War Of The Worlds meets Wind In The Willows, this anthropomorphic tale is more gripping than No More Nails! Last we saw, our heroes escaped the alien invasion in their sleepy country village only to discover the invasion was in full swing across the land. The last page of Volume 2 was a real show stopper and just left you wanting more - and here it is.

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dean Ormston & Dave Stewart
Dark Horse $3.99

James R: All right, so this is somewhat of a cheat as, strictly speaking, it's not a new series, but the most exciting thing about April's releases for me is the return of the best ongoing book being published today. After a hiatus which has allowed for the exploration of the world of Black Hammer in the Sherlock Frankenstein miniseries, Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston are back down to business with the first issue of 'act two' of Black Hammer. The ominously-titled 'Age of Doom' takes us back to the otherworldly farm and our trapped heroes - and not a moment too soon for me. There has yet to be a single issue of this series which hasn't enthralled me; its return to a regular release schedule just made my April even brighter.

Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Art: Javier Rodriguez
Marvel $3.99

Kenny J: Sometimes the Marvel timeline gets so convoluted that the only thing to do is to pluck characters directly out of the decades-old narrative. Luckily there is a place for these characters to go, namely the Exiles. I’ve read several versions of this time-and-dimension-jumping group of mutants and other assorted misfits, and the very fact they no longer belong to any particular version of the Marvel Universe allows for some fantastically inventive tales. Just look at the cartoon version of Wolverine that features on this team alongside an older Kamala Khan and, one of my favourite characters, Blink! Add to this the fact that prolific Jordie Bellaire is adding colors to Javier Rodriguez’s art this is a book that will definitely as fun to look at as it is to read.

Writer: Joe Henderson
Art: Lee Garbett & Antonio Fabela
Image $3.99

Jo S: A quirky idea is the foundation for this near-future story: how would we cope if Earth’s gravity was suddenly at a fraction of its current strength? This premise reminds me of my dad, who once wrote a sci-fi story about how the world would be different if ice suddenly sank instead of floating - and I'm hoping that writer Joe Henderson doesn't fall into the same trap as my Pops, who came up with an ingenious idea but then forgot to write a plot! The blurb promises a lead character who stumbles onto a treacherous plan to restore gravity, presumably for profit; the art looks fun in a kind of Hanna Barbera kind of way, so let's hope the inventive story idea has some weight behind it.

Writer: Charles Soule
Art: David Marquez
Marvel $5.99

Andy H: They killed off Wolverine a few years ago but it looks like he got better. Finally the phrase 'Because you demanded it!' actually rings true. With the events in Marvel Legacy we saw the cracked open adamantium 'cocoon' that had encased Wolvie since the Death Of Wolverine miniseries. Now, after killing him off, writer Charles Soule returns to resurrect our favourite mutant. How is he back? Where is he? These are the questions that will be explored and, hopefully, answered in a satisfactory manner. I think a lot of fans have missed the 'real' Logan so it's great to see him heading back to the Marvel Universe and our pull-lists.

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