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 August issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in October 2019.
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Leinil Francis Yu
Matt C: A veritable no-brainer because if you've been picking up both House Of X and Powers Of X (and if not, why not?!) then you'll know Jonathan Hickman has revitalised Marvel's mutant franchise in incredible, provocative ways. Epic in scope and more vital than it has been in years, it genuinely feels like the new era they've been promoting it as. I've been out of the loop for a while but it seems like the smart move to have Cyclops front and centre in the main book, the quintessential X-Men leader, and potentially far more interesting than he's often portrayed (although wasn't he a villain for a while?? This is why we needed Hickman!) Not only that, but it seems much more of an actual family affair than usual, with everyone bar Wolverine (unless I've missed something) related to each other in one way or another. With superstar artist Leinil Francis Yu on board you've got what's unquestionably one of the most essential books of 2019.
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Andrea Sorrentino
James R: This could be called ‘The Joker: Tax Returns’ and I’d buy it - the creative team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino are responsible for one of my favourite ongoing titles (the sublime Gideon Falls) and so the announcement of a new project from them is a win for me. This is a three-part series which Lemire says will put a “new and fresh” take on the character who is as iconic as his Dark Knight nemesis. DC’s Black Label has certainly been hit and miss thus far - I’m willing to bet this one will be a cut above.
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Art: Flavia Biondi
Dark Horse/Berger Books $3.99
Jo S: If the words 'Ann Nocenti' and 'Berger Books' on the same comic weren't enough to draw my eye to Ruby Falls, then the preamble would have nabbed me anyway: the story is of three generations of women in a small mining town, the youngest of whom reignites a cold case investigating the disappearance of an 'infamously progressive' woman who impacted on the town in its mobster days. Flavia Biondi is an Italian artist, new to US comics, and her sample art looks gorgeous; clean, tight and nicely paced, it has really got my comics taste buds tingling. Oh, and if you're grumbling that Nocenti's The Seeds appeared to pause interminably, that same Berger Books sampler suggests a Nov 20th release for issue #3! What a buzz!
Writer: John Allison
Art: Max Sarrin
BOOM! Studios $7.99
Andy H: Wow. This is hard for me. I'm still finding it difficult to say the words out loud let alone write them down... Giant Days is finishing. There, I said it. I may need a moment. It's been two days, I think I'm ready to carry on. For over 50 issues, I've enjoyed the company of Susan, Daisy, Esther and their cast of supporting characters. No capes, no powers, just three friends at university. We've been through many ups and downs together, all skilfully plotted and paced by John Allison. This final issue reunites our leading ladies a year after uni finished. Secrets will be revealed, and tears will be shed (though that could just be me). Allison and Max Sarin are giving us 48 pages to say goodbye to Giant Days; a fitting farewell to a book that has been my go to read for the last four and a half years. This series has been a genuine delight and I'll miss it when it's gone.
Writer: Jeff Loveness
Art: Lisandro Estherren
BOOM! Studios $3.99
James R: I was a huge fan of Jeff Loveness’ miniseries Judas, which took a clever and nuanced view on the role played by Jesus’ traitorous disciple. I’m really pleased to see Loveness return with a totally different but yet compelling new series for BOOM! Studios. Strange Skies is set in Cold War-era East Berlin, with the Soviets attempting to harness a secret weapon - an alien monster they cannot control or understand. Illustrated by Lisandro Estherren, Strange Skies Over East Berlin looks a terrific blend of espionage thriller and science fiction - I am definitely on board for this one!
Writer: Joe Hill
Andy H: Well what do you know? Joe Hill is all over the place this month. Fresh from the excitement of a new Locke & Key issue (see below), our man Joe has a new imprint over at DC. First up from 'Hill House Comics' is the delightfully titled Basketful Of Heads. You can always rely on Hill to come up with something just slightly different and quirky enough to grab your attention. Here, it's a woman named June, searching for her kidnapped boyfriend, armed only with an ancient axe - of course, this 8th century Viking axe can slice off a head but still leave it conscious and able to speak! It doesn't really get much quirkier than that. Looking forward to this six-part miniseries and whatever else Hill House Comics may have in store for us.
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Art: Salvador Larroca
Matt C: The title alone sold it to me. Victor Von Doom is the premiere comics super villain (sorry Joker, Thanos, Luthor, Green Goblin et al) - a complex, conflicted genius, his armoured form exuding danger but demanding respect, he's one Stan and Jack's greatest creations. Writer Christopher Cantwell is know for his work on TV's Halt And Catch Fire and has recently been thrilling readers with his Dark Horse series She Can Fly, and Salvador Laorroca is a class act of course, as seen in numerous books across the years. Doom is dubbed the world's 'Most Wanted Man' following a devastating act of terrorism where he's the prime suspect. Doom on the run, relying on his wits and vast intelligence alone? I'm all in.
Writer: Leah Williams
Art: Carlos Gomez
Jo S: The cover art for this has me stressing out a little: our titular love-interest is depicted in a glam evening dress, with infeasibly long legs and impossibly skinny arms, so I'm hoping the interior art is a little more realistic. The pitch is that Spidey's best girl has her chance in Hollywood (also not my first choice for a female-led tale) but that she is beset by super-villain based issues: certainly a crowd of all of Spidey's favourite super-nasties appear on the cover too. My hope is that I'm being set up; the über-photoshopped, unrealistic MJ is just a ruse to draw in unsuspecting readers who will then get to see our star kicking butt and taking names in her own right - MJ has always had a fiery side; let's hope she burns bright in this.
Writer: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
Andy H: Well, October, aren't you being a month of highs and lows. Still recovering from the loss of Giant Days, I'm hit with fantastic news of the return of Locke & Key. Yes, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez aren't done with the adventures of the Locke family yet (thank goodness). Locke & Key was and is one of the great reads of the 21st century, a bold statement but I'll stand by it. Well paced, beautifully drawn and you never knew who was safe. Edge of your seat stuff! This one shot includes two short stories, 'Nailed It' and 'Dog Days', along with some teasers for the L&K TV series and a look at a new title by Joe and artist Martin Simmonds (Punks Not Dead). Rumours abound of a new, full series in the near future but for now this single issue will be enough to keep me going.