25 Sep 2019

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

DEADPOOL #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art: Chris Bachalo
Marvel $4.99

Jo S: Got to admit it, I do like a bit of Deadpool, there's something about that rogue that charms his way past my defences, so I'll always have a quick glance at any new outset but, oh my, what is this?! Superstar writer Kelly Thompson writing our favourite motor-mouthed unicorn-lovin' fourth-wall-smashin' red-suited super-dude? Rarely is the phrase 'Shut up and take my money' so very apt: Thompson's smart, often smart-ass humour and knack for writing lovable scamps will, I think, be the most perfect fit possible for the 'Pool and with Chris Bachalo's fantastically technical, detail-focussed art style to boot, I think this is going to be one of my most looked-forward-to of the year.

JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER #1
Writer: Si Spurrier
Art: Aaron Campbell
DC $3.99

Andy H: Just over six years ago, John Constantine was put out to pasture. After 300 issues it was over. It had been a wild ride with such luminaries as Garth Ennis, Warren Ellis and Pete Milligan guiding the Hellblazer down a dark path. DC brought Constantine back but for me it wasn't the same. It was Hellblazer lite: the regular DC Universe just didn't fit. Now John is returning, hopefully in a manner more fitting his unique skill set. Writer Si Spurrier is, probably, a perfect choice to recapture the magic that Vertigo once weaved and made Hellblazer one of my go to comics for many years. Vertigo may be no more but Black Label ('Sandman Universe') could go a long way in being a worthy successor.

FAMILY TREE #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Phil Hester, Ryan Cody
Image $3.99

James R: It’s double Lemire goodness for me this month! First up is Family Tree, with Lemire scripting and art from the outstanding Phil Hester. This series is described as ‘genre-defying’, and it certainly looks to be a full-on read. The story sees an eight-year old girl discovering the horrifying truth that she is slowly transforming into a tree - and she and her grandfather must travel across the shadier parts of the US in the hope of discovering a cure. This appears to be a spiritual cousin to Lemire’s astonishing Sweet Tooth, and the preview art from Hester looks terrific. A post-Halloween dark treat lies in store with this one.

HEARTBEAT #1
Writer: Maria Llovet
Art: Maria Llovet
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Kenny J: Maria Llovet is one half the creative team that brought us Faithless, drawing Brian Azzarello's nightmarish visions in beautiful delicate style. However, reading the description of her new book, Heartbeat, where she provides both the story and the art, it seems she has a dark streak all of her own, telling the tale of a school child turned vampiric. There is no mention of the undead here so I’m expecting a more cultish and disturbing look at the darker side of humanity. A book full of chilling imagery that it is hard to look away from, especially when they are created by hugely talented Llovet.

UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY #1
Writer: Charles Soule & Scott Snyder
Art: Guiseppe Camuncoli & Daniele Orlandini
Image $3.99

Matt C: Not an adaptation of one of the superior Star Trek movies by some comics heavyweights unfortunately, but perhaps something just as good. Soule and Snyder are both in the top tier and Camuncoli is an excellent, often overlooked, talent. The idea of the USA walling itself off from the rest of the world for three decades is a strong one, and with it already being optioned as by New Republic Pictures (for a seven-figure sum, apparently) it's obviously got a lot going for it, so it's unquestionably one of the most important releases in November.

HAZEL AND CHA CHA SAVE CHRISTMAS: TALES FROM THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY
Writer: Gerard Way, Scott Allie
Art: Tommy Lee Edwards
Dark Horse $4.99

Kenny J: With the third volume of the main Umbrella Academy recently wrapped and another on its way, as well as a second season of the Netflix adaptation being cast, it was inevitable that the world of Hargreaves' adopted superhero team wouldn’t leave us for long. It is not the titular dysfunctional family team that are the stars of this spin-off but the gun-toting, mask-wearing assassins of the second volume, Dallas. Gerard Way is sharing writing duties with Dark Horse and industry stalwart Scott Allie but for me the more surprising addition to the creative team is Tommy Lee Edwards. All previous issues have been drawn by Gabriel Ba and Edwards’ art will bring a completely different feel to the series. If this is the first inkling of an expanded Umbrella Academy universe then I’m all for it and all in at the very beginning.

PUNISHER SOVIET #1
Writer: Garth Ennis
Art: Jacen Burrows
Marvel $3.99

Matt C: The Punisher - essentially a cold-blooded serial killer - isn't a character I generally engage with but if anyone has made him compelling over the last couple of decades, it's Garth Ennis. And he clearly can't leave Frank Castle alone - he keeps coming back! On the receiving end of Castle's homicidal tendencies this time are the Russian mob, which in itself is a scintillating prospect, but the icing on the cake here is the artwork of Jacen Burrows, Ennis' Crossed collaborator, getting an opportunity to put the Punisher through the motions. If there's anyone who could fill the hole left by frequent Ennis partner Steve Dillon's passing, it's Burrows.

FAR SECTOR #1
Writer: N K Jemisin
Art: Jamal Campbell
DC $3.99

Jo S: New to comics, N K Jemisin already has chops as a sci-fi author and here she brings us a sci-fi (tick) murder mystery (tick) set in a city where peace has reigned for 500 years due to the citizens being stripped of the ability to feel (ooh, interesting, tick!). A Green Lantern story for DC's Young Animal imprint, this might have passed me by if it wasn't for Jamal Campbell's art credit: his work on Naomi elevated that whole series into something really very special and makes any new output from him worth seeking out.

QUESTION: THE DEATHS OF VIC SAGE #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Art: Denys Cowan & Bill Sienkiewicz
DC $6.99

James R: If you had told me that there was a Black Label Question book coming out with art from the legendary figures of Denys Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz I would have been very interested anyway, but add a script from my favourite writer Jeff Lemire, and I’m 100% on board! As the title suggests, this story deals with Vic Sage as the Question, rather than Renee Montoya (Lemire has wisely noted that Montoya is Greg Rucka’s character, and he understands her voice better than anyone else) and it builds on Denys Cowan and Denny O’Neil’s run on the character from the Eighties. The plot sees the Question learning that he is stuck in a cycle of reincarnation dating back to the Old West, and Lemire has said this story has a political edge and social relevance, but is also a great detective story. That’s a lot to get excited about in one package, and looks like another intriguing release from DC’s Black Label.

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