22 Nov 2019

The Shipping Forecast: January 2020

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 November issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in January 2020.

Writer: Charles Soule
Art: Jesus Saiz
Marvel $4.99

James R: Just when I thought I was out... they drag me back in! I stopped reading the main Marvel Star Wars title with the departure of Jason Aaron, as I felt his run captured the spirit of Star Wars (in the way subsequent writers perhaps didn’t) and that I’d had my fill of adventures set within the Original Trilogy continuity. But then there’s this! The relaunch of the title comes with a script from Charles Soule (who is arguably the most successful writer in terms of channeling the Star Wars magic in comics, his Darth Vader series being rightfully lauded by fans) and some incredible-looking art from Jesus Saiz, and we’re now focusing on the events in between The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi. I’m looking forward to seeing how this shapes up, and let’s face it: I can never say no to Star Wars!

Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art: Javier Pina
Marvel $3.99

Jo S: Ripley Ryan, a reporter caught up in the storm of Nuclear Man's attacks in the current series of Captain Marvel, looks set to become that rare thing; a new Marvel character making the break from being a second string into leading her own story. Star is a Kree-human warrior, apparently created by the machinations of Dr Minerva, and the word is that, having planned this spin-off from the start of this run of Captain Marvel, the creative team have been delighted with fan reactions to her so far (so that worked out well). Carmen Carnero travels from the mainstream book with the newly fledged super, but only for (wow, knockout!) covers, with the main artwork being in the hands of Javier Pina - but you all know why I'm here: Kelly Thompson writing a sassy female lead with a complicated back story? Oh yes, please, to that!

Writer: Donny Cates
Art: Nic Klein
Marvel $4.99

Matt C: Following Jason Aaron’s impressive run on the title it’s now time for a new writer to step in and generate further adventures for the Thunder God. Donny Cates has shown he has the skills for Marvel’s cosmic milieu so it makes sense that he’s take that one step further into a more godly environment. It’s Nic Klein’s art that’s the selling point in the previews - seek some pages out and you'll see what I mean - it looks glorious. Thor’s always been an absolute favourite of mine so any new creative team will have me there for their first issue, no questions asked.

Writer: Simon Roy & Daniel M Benson
Art:Artyom Trakhanov, Jason Wordie & Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Image $3.99

Kenny J: When it comes to post-apocalyptic tribal settings, Simon Roy has tonnes of experience having worked on Brandon Graham for Image's reboot of Prophet as both a co-plotter and artist. Now it's time for Roy to bring his vision of rack and ruin with Protector #1. Art duties this time fall to several of the best indie creators around with a variety of styles and tones that have one thing in common: they always bring beautiful images to amazing stories. With a great James Stokoe cover to boot this might be the whole package.

IRON MAN 2020 #1
Writers: Dan Slott & Christos Gage
Art: Pete Woods
Marvel $4.99

Matt C: The Machine Man miseries that appeared 35 years ago (and was reprinted in the weekly UK Transformers comic as a backup story) was highly memorable for me, not least for the introductory appearance of Arno Stark, the Iron Man of the future. Well, what do you know; here we are on the cusp of 2020 dealing with yet another piece of fiction that's imaginings of a world several decades hence were far off the mark (see also 2001, Terminator, Blade Runner and more). I’m not bitter though (no jetpack for me!) and to be honest it’s more about nostalgia than anything else here, but the original tale had enough of an impact way back when that I’m far more than a little bit curious to see how this one plays out.

Writers: Alex Ross & Jim Krueger
Art: Well-Bee
Marvel $4.99

James R: Back in the late '90s, there were two things that got me back into reading comics after a late-teenage hiatus. One was Alan Moore’s ABC line of books, and the other was Earth X. The latter was a Marvel book of the type I’d never seen before - it projected a dark future for the Marvel Universe, with society having virtually collapsed after every human on Earth had their X-gene activated. The story came from Jim Krueger and Alex Ross (who also provided the covers) and was illustrated by John Paul Leon, and this ambitious comic showed me that there was a lot of amazing storytelling potential beyond the standard Marvel team-up/event books. (Far too) many years later, I’m excited to see that the original creators are going back to the world of Earth X for a prequel story, focussing on David, ‘the last boy on Earth’. I can’t wait to return to a series that still means a lot to me!

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Art: Otto Schmidt
Marvel $3.99

Jo S: The timing of my entry point to regular comics reading was such that this Hawkeye is not 'my' Hawkeye - though Kelly Thompson did introduce us via the pages of West Coast Avengers - but I'll take a chance on him anyway, with a couple of sound reasons. First of all, Matthew Rosenberg remains one of my favourite writers: his wit and structure works for me and I can imagine that it would be a good match for Clint Barton too, in spite of the grittier sounding storyline, with a mysterious other Ronin crashing about the city and Barton taking the blame. Secondly, I'm intrigued to see more of Otto Schmidt's art - I'm not directly familiar with his work (though I understand he's made a name on Green Arrow) but a browse of his sample art looks stylish and dynamic, even including some very classy Catwoman examples, and I'm fascinated to see what his team-up with Rosenberg will produce.

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