25 Jul 2018

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

STAR TREK VS. TRANSFORMERS #1
Writer: John Barber & Mike Johnson
Art: Philip Murphy
IDW $3.99

Andy H: Okay, I admit it, this is a strange one for me. I was never really a fan of Transformers and I can only vaguely remember the Star Trek cartoon. The thing is, the Star Trek comic crossovers from the last few years have all been great. The crew of the Enterprise have met the Green Lantern Corps (twice!), played nicely on the Planet of the Apes and even entertained Doctor Who, all of which have been highly entertaining. This series is drawn in the style of the '70s cartoon and captures the animated visuals of both series. It's a galaxy spanning team-up as the Federation and the Autobots must face the Klingons and Decepticons! Sometimes you really have to be grateful to be a comic fan. Where else could you find these mind-bending combinations?

HEROES IN CRISIS #1
Writer: Tom King
Art: Clay Mann
DC $3.99

James R: Mainstream comics' writer du jour Tom King is taking things to another level - after producing four magnificent runs back-to-back (Sheriff Of Babylon, Vision, his ongoing Batman run and Mister Miracle) he's now going for an event book. Heroes In Crisis features a series of murders happening in Sanctuary, a secret hospital for heroes traumatised by their experiences fighting crime. DC's Trinity are called in to get to the bottom of the mystery, and that's good enough for me! As an ex-CIA operative who experienced post-invasion Iraq, King has used the trauma of conflict as his theme in a number of stories, and I'm sure this one will be as great as the others. With art from Clay Mann, who has been responsible for some beautiful issues on King's Batman run, I am ridiculously excited for this.

DICK TRACY: DEAD OR ALIVE #1
Writer: Lee Allred & Michael Allred
Art: Rich Tommaso, Michael Allred & Laura Allred
IDW $3.99

Kenny J: The only exposure that I have had to the yellow overcoat-wearing private detective is the 1990 film starring Warren Beatty and Madonna. It may have stayed that way if I hadn't spotted the Mike Allred cover to this new series from IDW. As well as providing the covers, Mike will be writing the book with his brother, Lee Allred. In fact, it is a family affair as Laura Allred takes on art duties alongside Rich Tommaso. This is a perfect group to bring back the strange and seedy characters that Chester Gould created over 87 years ago. Having been a fan of the Allred’s work for a while, I'm most intrigued in seeing Tommaso render the crime riddled world Dick Tracy and his gallery of weird enemies. He could be the perfect artist for this, with his art reminiscent of the '60s pop-art strip style of Mike Allred’s own work but tempered with the stillness and line of someone like Daniel Clowes.

ASGARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Art: Matteo Lolli
Marvel $3.99

Jo S: The ever-adaptable, ever-busy Cullen Bunn, teaming up here with his Deadpool colleague Matteo Lolli, brings us a spin-off from the Infinity Wars event starring an eclectic mixture of heroes, near-zeroes and downright freakin’ weirdos. Naughty Nebula has designs on ruling the galaxy, her determination steeled by the events of Infinity Wars, and a more-than-usually motley band of Asgardian odds and ends are tasked with stopping her in her maniacal tracks. Come for the Valkyrie and stay for Throg, Frog of Thunder, Thor’s half sister Angela (these gods do seem to generate more than the average number of demi-siblings) and a rabble of other mace-wielding, armour-clad teamsters. Whether this new character team-up will find purchase in the host of titles whirring out of Marvel currently remains to be seen but the Bunn-Lolli team-up looks to be bang on target.

CEMETERY BEACH #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
Image $3.99

Kenny J: With Shipwreck finished and Injection on hiatus, the comic book shelves are looking particular short on Warren Ellis titles. Sure, there is the brilliant The Wild Storm at DC but Ellis’ recent creator-owned work has been of such a high standard recently that it is a shame not have a least a couple of titles to read each month. This is why I'm so pleased that we are getting Cemetery Beach in September. A non-stop action story for which Jason Howard has already completed the art. The premise sounds suitably manic as two escapees from a torture camp on a distant off-world colony try to flee while evading the murderous inhabitants. Howard wanted to draw an action book according to Ellis and it sounds like that is exactly what he got. This does mean that Trees, the other title made by these two creators, is still way off from from completion, but going by the quality of that book I'm sure this new project will more than make up for its disappearance.

MY HEROES HAVE ALWAYS BEEN JUNKIES OGN HC
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips
Image $16.99

Matt C: A slight cheat as this is actually due for release in October, but as it gets an advanced entry in the July instalment of Previews, it earns a mention here. We're kind of in no-brainer territory as it is anyway because at this point any Brubaker/Phillips joint should be making its way onto your pull-list, no matter the premise. This was initially pitched as the duo's first 'romance comic', but reading the blurb it's clear it veers closer to more familiar territory: think doomed romance with a healthy dose of crime. It does mark itself out as different than the norm in another way though: it's an 'original graphic novel' rather than a monthly comic, so we can dive into the whole story here, thrill at the masterful craftsmanship on display, and then eagerly wait on whatever's next on their schedule.

BATMAN/THE MAXX #1
Writer: John Layman & Sam Kieth
Art: Sam Kieth
IDW $4.99

Jo S: If you've been following the PCG over the last year or so, you might have picked up that Layman and Kieth’s recent series Eleanor And The Egret swept me clean off my feet., so Layman-Kieth project that also includes Batman  immediately gains a shut-up-and-take-my-money stamp of approval. The Maxx is reaching his 25th year of existence, but creator Sam Kieth, along with writer Layman, has opted to have the character celebrate his quarter-century locked up in Arkham Asylum and the subject of some very shady psychological experimentation. The sample artwork has whet my appetite: Kieth’s Batman is sharply nightmarish, the Maxx a garish freak, lovably hideous; this one will stomp its big black boots straight into the number one spot in my list.

FROM HELL: MASTER EDITION #1
Writer: Alan Moore
Art: Eddie Campbell
IDW $7.99

James R: When I first heard about this, I wasn't sure: From Hell is one of the greatest stories told in the medium, representing Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell at the top of their games, and the monochrome of those pages felt perfect for the dark and murky tale of Victorian London. However, learning that Eddie Campbell himself is behind the colourisation of the book has softened my stance, and to be honest, the sample pages in Previews looked fantastic. Cynics may say it's a way to make us geeks buy something we already own, but damnit,  I really want to read this! A no-brainer purchase for September, From Hell: Master Edition brings a new dimension to a classic.

RETURN OF WOLVERINE #1
Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Steve McNiven
Marvel $4.99

Andy H: 'HE'S BACK, BUB!' That's about all the blurb Marvel needed to put out in the latest Previews magazine. Marvel's favourite mutant is indeed returning but you would need to be hiding under a fairly massive rock to have missed that news. The last few months have seen four miniseries involved in the Hunt For Wolverine but in September he will be found! Charles Soule and Steve McNiven were the creators responsible for killing Wolvie off, now they're back, putting things right. Not quite sure how I feel about the new power though: heated claws? Do we really need to mess with things? I guess it's another one of those 'time will tell' scenarios. Wolverine was always a favourite but the last few years have not been good for Marvel's mutants and their popularity seems to have waned, so it will be interesting to see just how big an impact he will have now.

NEWBURY & HOBBES #1
Writer: George Mann
Art: Dan Boultwood
Titan $3.99

Jo S: Steampunk is admittedly not everyone’s delicate porcelain demitasse of darjeeling but it floats my paddle-boat admirably and so I'm looking forward to seeing how artist Dan Boultwood shepherds George Mann into the comic book world, with this adaptation of Mann’s series of steampunk mystery novels. Mann has been producing novels in this genre for a decade, so I suppose it should be no surprise that each book comes with a backup prose short story included. As if the titular investigative duo chasing down zombies and uncovering threats to the Crown weren't enough, there's the promise of rogue automata to boot, so that gives me all the reasons I could need to look forward to September.

BATMAN: DAMNED #1
Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: Lee Bermejo
DC $6.99

James R: It's been an excellent year for us Bat-fans, both in the main title, and with some of the prestige titles (for example, Busiek and Leon's Creature Of The Night) but it looks like it's about to get even better. Batman: Damned is one of the first releases from DC's Black Label, an imprint that allows creators to tell stories free from the constraints of continuity, and with a 'mature' label. Written by Brian Azzarello (whose 'Broken City' run is one of the most under-appreciated of the century in my opinion) and illustrated by his Joker co-creator Lee Bermejo, Damned tells a story where the Joker has died, and Batman has a worrying amnesia over how it happened. It's a great creative team, and the idea of these two being able to tell a Batman story free from the usual constraints is a delicious proposition.

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