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25 Jul 2019

The Shipping Forecast: September 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 July issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in September 2019.

SPIDER-MAN #1
Writer: JJ Abrams & Henry Abrams
Art: Sara Pichelli
Marvel $4.99

Kenny J: I would say it was inevitable that one of the foremost writer/director/producer talents of the 21st Century would eventually turn his attention to comics, and what better character than Spider-Man, working with one of the Web-Slinger’s premier artists and one of my favourites, Sara Pichelli? This is going to be a fresh take on Peter Parker with a brand new villain, and those au fait with Pichelli’s work on the latter years of Ultimate Spider-Man know she is great at designing rogues for Spidey’s vast gallery - something I’m always happy to see expand.

FROGCATCHERS GN
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Jeff Lemire
Gallery 13 $19.99

James R: As regular readers will know, I’m the Jeff Lemire super-fan of the PCG, and I’ll pick up anything with his name on it! Frogcatchers is an original graphic novel written and illustrated by the Canadian genius, and looks like a very different kind of story, featuring a man awaking in a mysterious hotel room with no recollection of who he is or how he got there... and there's something ominous is lurking outside. Lemire’s entirely solo work (Sweet Tooth, Roughneck and Underwater Welder for example) always carries an extra punch for me, and this looks a potential knockout.

TREES: THREE FATES #1
Writer: Warren Ellis
Art: Jason Howard
Image $3.99

Jo S: The original Trees series is pretty much mythic for me, being probably the second book I read when new to comics. The whispers, rumours and vague promises of its return, coupled with the news that there may be a TV series on its way, have tantalised over the last couple of years, and Ellis' work in the interim has yet to grab my enthusiasm in the same way. But here it is! At last! And it looks to be a blend, not just of sci-fi and intrigue but murder-mystery too, with a body being found in the shadow of one of the more remotely located Trees. Howard's art gave the original series massive impact, the sparseness and high contrast imagery highlighting the stark nature of the silent invasion. I can't imagine how I will contain myself during the oncoming two month wait.

KING THOR #1
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Esad Ribić
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: One of the best things to feature during Jason Aaron's lengthy run on Thor was the introduction of King Thor, the wizened old bastard living out his final days at the twilight of the universe, his three granddaughters keeping him on his toes. The spiel suggests this will involve a conclusive showdown with Loki and, if the prospect of Aaron ending his time with the Thunder God wasn't scintillating enough, the fact that Esad Ribić is providing the artwork should seal the deal for anyone on the fence with this one.

INFERIOR FIVE #1
Writer: Keith Giffen and Jeff Lemire
Art: Keith Giffen and Michelle Delecki
DC $3.99

James R: Jeff Lemire has been teasing this one for a while: the Inferior Five are a parody superteam created back in the 60s, and now being given a new lease of life by Keith Giffen (of Justice League International and Legion fame) and Lemire. The latter has said that this is a passion project, and he sees Keith Giffen as a legend. The series itself takes place in the 1988 DC continuity, in the aftermath of the Invasion event (itself co-written by Giffen) so there’s a lot for me to enjoy in this one! Giffen and Lemire are two creators with unique takes on the DCU, and this miniseries is a must-read for any fellow DC fans.

THE FOREVER MAPS #1
Writer: Michael Lagacé
Art: Todor Hristov
Scout Comics $3.99

Jo S: Scout Comics' BINGE! imprint has an unusual model, where a 'world premiere' first issue is followed a couple of months later by the whole story in a single volume. This skipping-over of the series release of issues stage is an interesting development: I can see some logic to the taster approach - it's how I accessed Antarctic Press' Punchline, buying the collected volume after reading the FCBD first issue reprint. To be honest though, a comic which promises to be all about maps, especially maps leading to more maps leading to more maps in a continuous puzzle game conveying immortality on the player-navigator would have my immediate loyalty without needing any buy-in gimmick, on top of which the artwork looks glorious - just show me the way!

STEEPLE #1
Writer: John Allison
Art: John Allison
Dark Horse $3.99

Andy H: When I see a new title written by John Allison advertised in Previews, you know I'm going to be first in the queue to check it out. This new five part miniseries is not at his usual home of BOOM! Studios but over at Dark Horse and has a distinctly supernatural feel to it. Set in a Cornish coastal town, a battle between good and evil rages. We get to look forward to battling reverends, witchcraft and, hopefully, the trademark Allison talent for creating characters that have the most amazing group dynamic. Allison, not for the first time, writes and draws the series and his crisp and clean style is always engaging. Really looking forward to this one.

PRETTY DEADLY: THE RAT #1
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Art: Emma Ríos
Image $3.99

Kenny J: When I see a listing for a series I long thought finished I get excited, especially so when it reunites Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Ríos. Anything from either of these creators goes straight on my pull-list! The original was a morose but stunning psychedelic western that Ríos filled with barren prairies and lush butterfly-filled idylls. Its marrying of magical realism in the days of the cowboy was a fantastic match with the draw of the underworlds, both criminal and metaphysical; a reoccurring motif shot through with a dark beauty that only Ríos can bring. With The Rat subtitle I'm hoping for more of the same from two of my favourite creators.

NOVEMBER, BOOK ONE HC
Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Elsa Charretier
Image $16.99

Matt C: After his long stint at Marvel, Matt Fraction seemed to exit comics for a time, with only Sex Criminals appearing sporadically. He now seems to be back in a significant way, firstly with DC's new Jimmy Olsen series but, perhaps more tantalisingly, this sequence of three graphic novels following three different women whose lives cross over within a criminal underworld. The preview art looks enormously promising and I have a lot of time for Fraction: I may not have clicked with Sex Criminals but as the co-creator of the wonderful Hawkeye series with David Aja - one of the highlights of the genre in the last decade - I'm more than happy to give anything he turns his hand to a try.

RUSTY BROWN HC GN
Writer: Chris Ware
Art: Chris Ware
Pantheon Books $35.00

James R: The other amazing release for me in September is the return of a master of the medium. There is nobody like Chris Ware - I think he’s responsible for elevating the medium as an artform, and he creates comics of both incredible detail and heartbreaking content. Rusty Brown has been one of Ware’s most enduring creations, and I’m thrilled to see that he’s now getting his own fully dedicated tale. Weighing in at a substantial 352 pages, I know that I’ll be poring over this one well into 2020: this will probably be the comics highlight of the year for me.

THE ILLUMINATI BALL #1
Writer: Cynthia Von Buhler
Art: Cynthia Von Buhler
Titan Comics $29.99

Jo S: Cynthia Von Buhler is a creative polymath: she writes, she draws, she produces, she is both art and artiste - she blurs the lines between reality and storytelling, between theatre and literature. The Illuminati Ball was conceived and birthed originally as an immersive theatre experience, with an exclusive clientele invited as guests of the Pig King and his entourage of gene-spliced subjects. Now Von Buhler is releasing this as a graphic novel, again blending media in a way she seems uniquely capable of carrying off. Her Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Handcuffed Houdini series was a marvel, blending history with original writing to produce something engrossing, with elegant, luscious artwork and intelligent intrigue. This will be unmissable for me.

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