16 May 2018

The Shipping Forecast: July 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 May issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in July 2018.

Writer: Nick Spencer
Art: Ryan Ottley
Marvel $5.99

Andy H: With a slight sense of deja vu, it's time for an Amazing Spider-Man #1! I've kind of lost count of the issue #1s over the last few years but you learn to roll with it. It's all change at the creative helm as we bid a fond farewell to Dan Slott and welcome Nick Spencer as series writer. Nick is no stranger to the Spideyverse following his great Superior Foes Of Spider-Man title. He's also well versed in 'big' stories and was the writer of last year's Secret Empire. Joining him on art duties is Ryan Ottley. Ryan is probably best known for his 100-plus issue run on Invincible. I believe this is his first work for Marvel, and what a way to start! His art is very clean and uncluttered and I look forward to seeing how his style will work in the Marvel Universe. This really feels like a new beginning for Spidey and in the hands of Spencer and Ottley could be something special.

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Martin Morazzo, Miroslav Mrva
Dark Horse $4.99

Jo S: Taking a different angle on the superhero story, She Could Fly looks at the story of teenage Luna, who is fixated on finding out about the mysterious Flying Woman who vanished in an aerial explosion before anyone had a chance to ascertain who she was. Luna is lost and troubled: her obsession with discovering the truth about her hero could be the saving of her but will the news be what she wants it to be? Writer Christopher Cantwell is known for his work for TV series Halt And Catch Fire - it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the comic book medium. Art duties are in the hands of Martin Morazzo: I'm enjoying his work on Ice Cream Man currently, where his knack of twisting fun bright colours and sprinkle-topped sweetness into something creepy and horrific really appeals to me.

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Wilfredo Torres, Dave Stewart
Dark Horse $3.99

James R: The closest thing to a no-brainer in comics for me. Favourite working creator? Yep. Another spin-off of a favourite monthly book? Tick. Other spin-offs been good? Absolutely! So, the Quantum Age, Jeff Lemire's take on the Legion of Super-Heroes refitted for the Black Hammer universe, is a must-buy for me. I loved the teaser in Dark Horse's FCBD sampler, with Wilfredo Torres art looking the perfect fit for the tale of the young heroes of the year 3000. I'm enjoying watching the Black Hammer universe expand ever outwards, and with Lemire's Descender ending in July, I'm pleased Quantum Age will be filling the gap in my pull-list.

Writer: Joe Casey
Art: Ulises Farinas
Image $3.99

Kenny J: Two of my favourite creators come together again on a new book from Image. Ulises Farinas was one of the many artists that worked on Joe Casey’s Catalyst Comix project back in 2014. Farinas is no stranger to writing either with his anthology book Amazing Forest showcasing some brilliantly inventive stories. Now they both return on New Lieutenants Of Metal, a book I know little about apart from the pedigree of the creators. From the little I can ascertain, it follows a group of metalhead heroes as they fend off their adversaries. The names on the book are enough for me to check issue number #1, I’m hoping their inventiveness keeps me reading.

Writer: Ales Kot
Art: Tradd Moore, Heather Moore
Image $4.99

Matt C: I think Ales Kot's current near-future series, the powerful, prescient Days Of Hate, is the best thing he's done so far, and is an early contender for miniseries of the year. I will now pick up anything he turns his hand to; this series again deals with an alt. future, this time following the Second Civil War. Described as 'ballistic sci-fi action romance miniseries - in the vein of Mad Max and Romeo & Juliet', it sounds a little less seriously minded than Days Of Hate, but with Kot you never quite know what you're going to get, and he should never be underestimated.

Writer: Joëlle Jones
Art: Joëlle Jones
DC $3.99

James R: I will always be tempted by a Catwoman book for two reasons: 1. I've always had a soft spot for Selina Kyle as a character, and 2. the last time she had a solo book (initially written by Ed Brubaker and illustrated by the late, great Darwyn Cooke) the first issue made a huge impression on me. I'm equally excited for this first episode too - it's a smart decision  handing the reins to Joëlle Jones; she's shown that she's an amazing artist of both Gotham and Catwoman in the pages of Batman, and I love the idea of her up against the corrupt elements of the GCPD. I've said it's a great time to be a Bat-fan a lot over the last year, the Catwoman relaunch just cements this opinion even further.

Writer: Ed Piskor
Art: Ed Piskor
Marvel $5.99

Kenny J: Picking up the first issue of X-Men: Grand Design back in December 2017 was mostly due to intrigue. I had heard that Ed Piskor’s previous work on Hip Hop Family Tree was a lavish tribute to the major players of that genre and I love a Marvel handbook for any title let alone when it's for the X-Men. What I got was not merely a summary of different characters but a painstakingly realised history of the X-Men, their friends and foes - no small undertaking as it is one of the most convoluted and confusing lores in fiction and the first two issues only dealt with the formative years of the original five X-Men! With the return of the book, and the subtitle Second Genesis, we will see the origins of some of the most famous mutants - including Wolverine - and I cannot wait to be shown how little I know about one of my favourite franchises.

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Art: Lenil Francis Yu
Marvel $4.99

Matt C: Marvel's longest serving character (give or take) returns for his umpteenth relaunch with a new creative team and what looks like a welcome incursion into more political territory. Ta-Nehisi Coates has a good track record in this arena, not only with his recent work on Black Panther, but also during his career as a journalist. Now seems like a particularly good time to take a look at America via a character who represent the country at its best. I've warmed a lot to Lenil Francis Yu's style over the years after a long time where I wouldn't consider myself a fan, and my fingers are now crossed that this run will have something important to say, as there are some stories that can only be told effectively with this particular character.

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Serif and Mustafa Karasu
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Jo S: Cullen Bunn has been a powerhouse over the last year, producing book after book, and confirming his skill in the horror genre with titles such as The Unsound and Regression. Bone Parish promises a dark mystery involving a thriving family business selling a drug made from the ashes of the dead, whose side effects appear to include terrifying visitations from the former owners of the active ingredient. Twin brothers Serif and Mustafa Karasu make their debut on the art: the samples look great, with detailed character styling and a rich shadowy graveyard blackness already evident. My enthusiasm for horror comics has come as a surprise to me and Cullen Bunn’s name appears on the cover of a significant proportion of my collection to date - this looks like a promising way to increase that ratio further.

Writer: Tom King
Art: Various
DC $4.99

Andy H: There's always been a 'spark' between Batman and Catwoman but never in a month of Sundays did I imagine they would be walking down the aisle. Over the years the bond between the two has grown stronger and, since DC's 'Rebirth', Tom King has brought the couple closer and closer until we reached this point. As in all classic comic book weddings, I can't help but wonder if some stroke of fate will step in to ruin the big day or will this actually be the happiest day of their lives? King remains master of ceremonies but, for this issue, is joined by a Who's Who of artists to celebrate the Batrimony. What does the future hold for the Bat and the Cat? I'm pretty sure it's going to be complicated but it does also mean Catwoman gets her own series again.

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