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 June issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in August 2018.
Writer: Dan Slott
Art: Sara Pichelli
Matt C: Before the likes of the X-Men and the Avengers caught my attention, the Fantastic Four were the first superteam I fell in love with at an early age. It was probably the family angle that appealed the most, the bonds between the characters bringing them to life in ways that ensured the foursome found a permanent place in my heart. I've not religiously picked up Fantastic Four comics since - there have been periods were it wasn't even close to being the 'World's Greatest Comics Magazine' - but when it's been good it has up there with the best the genre has to offer, and their absence from the Marvel Universe over the last couple of years has been felt. The recent Marvel 2-In-One series was a highly enjoyable reminder of why these characters are so enduring and while there's no guarantee this relaunch will result in another classic run, it will be great to have them back.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Rob N: I used to read a lot of Bendis titles but sort of lost touch with his work after he left the Avengers and moved over to the X-Men. I kept up with Scarlet and Jessica Jones, but his mainstream superhero work fell off my radar. To be honest I've always preferred his creator driven stuff (I tend to include Jessica Jones in that category even though she's obviously Marvel owned) to his work on the traditional superhero universes, and so the launch of a new Jinxworld property through his hook up with DC is always welcome. I confess the thing I like most about Bendis's work is the very same thing that Bendis haters hate – namely his dialogue. I know I'm in the minority with the PCG when I say Bendis writes great dialogue in a snappy and realistic fashion, and his best work is usually characterised by pages and pages of nothing else. The same can be said for writers like Bret Easton Ellis and I acknowledge it's very much a Marmite thing – you either love it or hate it. Pearl continues the collaboration between Bendis and Michael Gaydos and taps into the Yakuza gangs in America with the main character being a tattoo artist who works primarily for the gangs, only to fall in love with her opposite number in a rival gang. It sounds very much like a modern update on Romeo And Juliet with its 'forbidden love' angle. Interestingly enough, Romeo And Juliet is very heavy on dialogue too...
Writer: Matt Kindt
Art: Tyler Jenkins
BOOM! Studios $3.99
James R: I was a huge fan of Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins' last collaboration, the masterful Grass Kings, and so a new series from that creative team is an immediate pull-list addition. The plot to Black Badge sounds absolutely out there: a group of elite boy scouts tasked by the U.S. government to undertake dangerous covert missions. When describing the series to others, the universal response has been laughter, and the question "Scouts?!" Whereas I can understand the reticence from some to try this out, Matt Kindt proved he was the master of reality-warping tales with his amazing run on Mind MGMT, and I'm sure he'll be bringing the same craft to these pages. Jenkins' art was a revelation in the pages of Grass Kings, and I for one am thrilled to see what these two are going to do with Black Badge.
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art: Stefano Caselli
Jo S: Kelly Thompson writing a team of Avengers led by Kate Bishop Hawkeye? Definitely a shut-up-and-take-my-money slam dunk for me. The plot setup is skimpy in the blurb for this one, letting us know only that Big Things are headed for the West Coast and that this new incarnation of the Avengers expansion team, which first appeared in the '80s with Clint Barton's Hawkeye in the driving seat, will have their hands full! Thompson’s relationship with Kate quickly produced one of my favourite series of last year, and I'm so excited to see that she’ll be bossing Clint again this time - the two Hawkeyes have a connection which Thompson just seems to ‘get’. Making the team up to a bumper six are Fuse, America Chavez, Gwenpool and Kid Omega - not familiar characters for me yet, but friends of Kate’s are friends of mine, so I can't wait to meet them.
Writer: Evan Dorkin
Art: Benjamin Dewey
Dark Horse $3.99
Andy H: When any issue of Previews lands on my desk there is always a part of me hoping that when I reach the Dark Horse pages there will be a trumpet fanfare and ray of light that will herald the return of the Beasts Of Burden. It's been two years - two long years - but the wait is finally over. A new miniseries is here but my joy is tinged with a little trepidation as this series is without regular artist Jill Thompson. Her art is so distinctive that to me she IS Beasts Of Burden. This time writer Evan Dorkin is joined by artist Benjamin Dewey and, luckily, I think this could be a good fit as Dewey was exceptional on The Autumnlands and is a dab hand at animal heroics. This series also sees a change of cast as we follow the Wise Dogs instead of our usual pack of four-legged friends. Throw in some mutant lurkers, a survivalist witch cult and a fire salamander and this has all the makings of another great chapter in the supernatural hotspot that is Burden Hill.
Writer: Paul Jenkins
Art: Wesley St. Clare
Jo S: As a mathematician, I'm drawn almost as an obsession to all thing cryptographical - solving secret coded messages, finding hidden meaning in maps, myths and conspiracies, cracking the puzzle and finding the treasure… so this new series has me absolutely grabbed. The tale of Jacob Tate, who manages to translate the secret language in which the knowledge of the lost Library of Alexandria is written, has all the Da Vinci Code/Illuminati intrigue I could want, plus, the absolute grail of books about puzzles, it promises a treasure hunt running right through the series. It's admittedly not cheap, but I'm willing to shell out the required investment to be in for the prizes offered - the combination of treasure seeking, codes and comic books all in one could have been written with me in mind.
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Art: David Aja
Dark Horse $3.99
James R: The Seeds is a series where all three of my 'New Series' boxes get ticked - good writer (Ann Nocenti was responsible for one of the great Daredevil runs in the '80s), exceptional artist (David Aja's work on Hawkeye undoubtedly ranks as some of the best mainstream comics this century), and a compelling plot. The Seeds takes place on a 'world like our own' where people are giving up their technology to go and live in the lawless technology-free 'Zone B'. Simultaneously, aliens have arrived on Earth to collect the essence of humanity for the celestial embryo bank. Both of these ideas on their own would get me interested, so I'm excited to see what the two plots fused together produces, especially as this is a four-issue miniseries. The Seeds looks short and sharp, and one of the undoubted highlights for August.