22 Feb 2019

The Shipping Forecast: April 2019

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 2019.

Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Dustin Nguyen
Image $3.99

James R: Descender, from Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen, was a sci-fi treat, one that combined both large-scale world building and more intimate, personal stories based around the exploits of boy android Tim-21. The series wrapped up really well, and if the story of Tim had ended there, Descender would have stood as a great series in its own right. Brilliantly enough though, it seems that there’s another part of this epic to tell, and April sees the debut of Ascender: moving the story on a few years, the narrative focuses on magic rather than science, and I can’t wait to see what Lemire and Nguyen do with this.

Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Russell Dauterman
Marvel $5.99

Matt C: There's been a long build up towards this event in the pages of Thor over the last few years; some may argue that it's been too long and the enthusiasm has waned (the latest Thor book has felt a bit like padding in preparation for the no doubt strategically scheduled crossover event). Still, although quite taken with Jason Aaron's run as I once was, I have hopes this will deliver on the promised spectacle, largely because it sees Russell Dauterman back in the artist's chair. His work during Jane Foster's stint with the hammer was impressive; epic and emotive, it really put him in the top tier of artists currently plying their trade at the House of Ideas. As usual there are a ton of tie-in books that will probably be wholly inessential, but this main miniseries should contain enough thrills to satisfy and mayhap some poignant moments of immortal musings on the nature of existence too!

Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Martin Morazzo, Miroslav Mrva
Dark Horse $3.99

Jo S: The first series of Cantwell and Morazzo's deeply affecting story about anxiety and OCD was one of the first of Karen Berger's choices for Berger books to really jump out at me; her name on a Dark Horse series is now a quality mark to take notice of. Luna returns in this new arc; after a year in medical care she remains obsessed with the Flying Woman and wants to pick up the threads of her discoveries about her hero's life and family. Morazzo's art terrifyingly captures the horror of distrusting your own mind and of being unable to change the path your own thoughts are taking and Cantwell keeps meddling with our sense of trust and sympathy with characters who fluctuate between good guy and bad guy in a way that's unnervingly closer to real life than feels comfortable.

Writer: Peter David
Art: Greg Land
Marvel $4.99

Andy H: While I may be a little dismayed at the number of Spider-Man titles fighting for space on already heaving comic shelves, I still can't stop myself getting excited by this mini series. First and foremost, it's all down to the writer, Peter David, a man whose work I have followed for years and always look forward to. Secondly, David has a proven track record with Peter Parker and knows how our favourite webslinger thinks. Finally, I really enjoy stories set in a period from a hero's past. The idea that there are stories out there that we may have missed, or were just left untold, always intrigues me (see Untold Tales of Spider-Man for a good example). So here we are, back in the early days of Peter in the black suit, before it got all toothy and drooly. Plus, just to keep it contemporary, the villain of the piece is Mysterio but I'm sure that's just a coincidence and nothing to do with a movie coming out this year. Nudge nudge, wink wink.

Writer: Joe Casey
Art: Piotr Kowalski
Image $16.99

James R: No. Way. I can’t believe it - it’s back! At the end of 2016, Joe Casey announced that the excellent Sex was going on hiatus - but rather than returning as individual issues, it would come back as a series of ongoing ‘graphic novel’ chapters. As the months went by, and as the prolific Casey undertook other projects, it seemed that we fans of Saturn City were to be denied an ending to this remarkable series. But wow - there it is in Previews - Sex is back! It’s a title that really showcases why Joe Casey is a creator who is always worth paying attention to, and with Piotr Kowalski back too, it will feel like Sex has never been away - the long period of celibacy is finally over!

Writer: Robert Vendetti, Kevin Maurer
Art: Andrea Mutti
DC Vertigo $24.99

Simon M: Military history has always been one of my favourite genres to read and it has a long and proud tradition within comics going back to the Golden Age following World War II. In Six Days there is an opportunity to read about an obscure chapter following the initial D-Day landings. This story follows the unfortunate landing of 182 members of the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division in a small French village of Graignes. The soldiers found themselves 18 miles away from their intended drop site. The decision had been made to defend the village and with the aid of the local villagers (who had unanimously voted to feed and support the Americans at great risk), set up their fortifications. It wasn't long before their presence was noted by a German scout team and by the 10th of June 1944, the group of Americans were faced by the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Divison which consisted of 2000 men. Outnumbered 10 to 1, the village must hold out or the course of the War may change. This is an incredible tale of bravery, loyalty and brutality which shows how strong the human spirit can be. This is jointly written by Kevin Maurer and Robert Venditti - Venditti's uncle fought in this battle and is a key character in this story. Andrea Mutti is the artist for both the cover and interior art and is very capable of depicting the intense atmosphere that this book will need.

Writer: Adam Glass & Olivia Briggs
Art: Hayden Sherman
Aftershock $3.99

Jo S: Aftershock have had a few creative surprises up their sleeves in the last year or so and a reworking of the story of the creation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein concept seems like a fun idea; a little steampunk, a little melodrama, a little/lot of license with historical fact. For me, the draw here is absolutely Hayden Sherman's art: his work on The Few made a huge impression on me as one of the first series I picked up from new. The sample art for the series is just gorgeous: I remember Sherman's work with rain- and snowscapes captivating me previously and there is plenty of Victorianesque snow incoming, so this should be a treat!

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