20 Feb 2020

The Shipping Forecast: April 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 February issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in April 2020.

Writers: Various
Artists: Various
DC $9.99

James R: The latest icon to get the anniversary treatment from DC is Selina Kyle, the infamous Catwoman. I’ve always loved Catwoman as a character; not quite one of Batman’s rogue’s gallery, but never someone who could be described as a hero either. She’s Batman’s equal and opposite in every way - most recently, Tom King rightfully realised the power of her character in his Batman run. King makes an appearance here along with a truly phenomenal cast of creators to celebrate 80 years of Ms Kyle. DC have done a brilliant job so far with these celebratory issues (both the Action Comics and Detective Comics ones were must-reads) and with that talent roster, I’d argue that this one looks purr-fect (sorry)!

Writer: Matt Fraction
Art: Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson
Image $3.99

Jo S: The Image pages of Previews have felt increasingly focussed on fantasy-type books recently (possibly just to me) but the publisher has frequently been the place to go for something a bit novel, a bit unusual, and Matt Fraction's new start (which I have carefully checked the typesetting of - it's a win for camel case) AdventureMan falls into that category of quirky that Image so often seems to nail perfectly. A story about a mother and son who appear to be the only people who remember an eighty year old hero franchise, AdventureMan is about that spark of superhero magic of long ago being rekindled in the modern day. The sample art is the real draw (pun fully intended) for me though - sudden double-take stuff from Terry Dodson and Rachel Dodson.

Writer: Kieron Gillen & Jim Rossignol
Art: Jeff Stokely & Tamra Bonvillain
Image $3.99

Kenny J: There’s something about the description for Gillen, Rossignol, Stokely and Bonvillain’s new Image title that reminds me of some of the great French comic albums, and it's not just the mention of Asterix but the scope and immense world building these long form stories often took. One only has to look at the interior art to see the influence of books like The Incal or Valérian And Laureline, with vast alien races, overbearing royal families and action packed set pieces. Recently, Tamra Bonvillain’s colours brought the perfect vibrancy to the Doom Patrol; combined with Stokely’s European-tinged pencils I think this is going to be a book as fun to look at as it is to read.

Writer: Al Ewing, Dan Slott
Art: Valerio Schitti
Marvel $5.99

Matt C: I know the default reaction is to suggest that event books are cynical money-grabbing exercises that are gradually destroying the durability of the genre but, while I'm not so keen on seeing the market flooded with tie-ins, I'm still a sucker for big, high-concept blockbusters. And here's the thing a lot of people neglect to mention when criticising their existence: some of them are pretty damn good (I enjoyed the heck out of Secret Empire a couple of years ago, for example). This new event has the Kree and Skrull empires join together and head to Earth, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four awaiting them. The latter want to broker peace, the former believe that that moment is way past and are preparing for a battle. And if Earth's two premiere superteams can't see eye to eye, what hope does the rest of the planet have? There's no guarantee this'll be any good (although some event books hit the bullseye, many others miss their target) but with an idea like this at its core it would be foolish to dismiss it too readily.

Writer: Declan Shalvey
Art: Gavin Fullerton, Rebecca Nalty
Image $12.99

James R: This one looks very special - Declan Shalvey is always a talent to watch, and here he turns writer, with art from Gavin Fullerton, to tell a story of ‘crime, survival and regret’. An Irish gangster on the run from a job gone wrong encounters a woman lost in the Dublin mountains, and the two must try and survive both pursuers and the desolate environment. This looks to be a labour of love for Shalvey, and this definitely warrants being presented in the original graphic novel format.

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Art: Maria Llovet
BOOM! Studios $3.99

Kenny J: If you like your horror beautiful then Faithless is for you. The first volume had some disturbing imagery, thought up and delivered by the incredible partnership of Brian Azzarello and Maria Llovet, but did not skimp on the character progression as the titular Faith was a completely different person by the end to that in panel one. Now decamped from the art cafes and galleries of New York to the high fashion capital, Turin, which just so happens also to be the black magic epicentre of the world. I’m hoping for something akin to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Neon Demon - a tale of naked ambition set in a world of razor sharp angles that it won’t hurt to look at.

Writer: Kelly Thompson
Art: Elena Casagrande
Marvel $3.99

Jo S: Kelly Thompson is rapidly rising to the top of my must-read writers list, and with a Black Widow movie following hot on its heels, this is an essential for me in 2020. Thompson's talents include writing complicated characters - misfits with heavy responsibility - and I'm confident she will be perfect for Natasha Romanoff. As if the above wasn't sufficient to whisk the cash from my wallet, artist Elena Casagrande will be taking up her pencils for this new series. Although making a Marvel debut, Casagrande should have no trouble with our leather-clad spy-assassin: she has the chops to have been artist on the Catwoman series at DC while Joëlle Jones has been concentrating on the writing side, and so is fully used to the pressure of filling (and drawing) those faultlessly stylish black boots.

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