21 Mar 2020

The Shipping Forecast: May 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 March issue which includes comics scheduled to ship in May 2020.

Writer: Paul Grist
Art: Andrea Di Vito
Marvel $3.99

Andy H: While there are many, many titles spinning out of Empyre, this is the one I will be picking up. Following in the footsteps of Excalibur and Knights Of Pendragon, the UK has another superhero team; The Union! Featuring Choir, Kelpie, Snakes and Brittania, four heroes from four nations. It doesn't stop there though. We also get the return of a favourite 'old' hero, Union Jack. This new team will be part of the planet's defence as the Empyre saga unfolds. Paul Grist is series writer and I'm really looking forward to his depiction of Union Jack, a character he once submitted a story for but was rejected. He went on to rework this idea and created Jack Staff - looks like it's finally gone full circle.

Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: R M Guéra
Image $3.99

Jo S: The long-awaited second volume of Aaron and Guéra’s biblical masterpiece is finally incoming! The five issue Volume 1, from 2015-16, was one of the initial recommendations made to me by PCG members as a way of learning what good comics were and, looking back over the first issue of that in preparation for this new start, the awe and, frankly, disgust came rolling back. This was the first book that gave me a sense of how strongly a comic can smell - it’s visceral, it has a stench of decay and depravity about it - and to hear that there will soon be more has me thrilled with anticipation. The preamble tells of a story of the first nunnery - a secret mountain-top enclave where orphaned girls are raised in Eden-like seclusion: but a dark, inescapable future awaits them when they reach womanhood.

Writer: Chris Condon
Art: Jacob Phillips
Image $3.99

Matt C: We've seen some of Jacob Phillips' illustrations in the back pages of various comics produced by his dad Sean and Ed Brubaker, and his colours have brightened the recent volume of Criminal. Now he gets the chance to show what he really can do as an artist and the preview pages suggest that while his style is reminiscent of his father's, he's bringing his own slant on hardboiled noir here, and it looks fantastic. I'm not familiar with Chris Condon but the crime genre is most definitely my bag so I'll be excited to see what this new creative team can bring to it.

Writer: Neil Gaiman
Art: P Craig Russell, Mike Mignola, Jerry Ordway
Dark Horse $3.99

Andy H: P Craig Russell is one of those artists that can just take your breath away, his unique style has always stood out amongst his peers and he is also well known for adapting books for the comic medium - his Fairy Tales Of Oscar Wilde series was just stunning. Now he's back, collaborating (again) with Neil Gaiman, this time bringing Gaiman's version of the Norse Gods to the comic masses. From the creation of the Nine Worlds through to Ragnarok, we'll drop in on plenty of familiar names: Odin, Loki and of course Thor. The combination of Gaiman and Russell has always been a winner in the past and I can only imagine this will only add to the list of hits.

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Art: Sean Phillips & Jacob Phillips
Image $16.99

James R: This was the stand-out title for me this month. I’m a huge fan of the Brubaker/Phillips team, and would pick up anything with their names attached, but this one looks really special. A story that fuses their pulp noir sensibilities with another classic publishing genre - that of the Old West. Set in the 1930s, this sees a pulp writer caught up in a web of Nazi spies and bank robbers, his story mirroring the Wild West stories that he churns out, and being described by the solicit as ‘one part thriller, one part meditation on a life of violence’, this is one of those releases that I know I’ll love before I even read the first page.

Writer: Rich Douek
Art: Alex Cormack
IDW $3.99

Jo S: Rich Douek and Alex Cormack’s team-up on Road Of Bones is all I need to pick this up - having come to that series from Cormack’s work on Sink, it was a revelation to find that he could actually extend on to something yet more gory when working with Douek! Road Of Bones was terrifyingly beautiful, a story of desperate gulag escapees forced to band together to survive in a frozen wasteland, and Sea Of Sorrows also promises a story of icy desolation, this time aboard a deep sea salvage vessel in search of a submarine hoard of gold. Douek and Cormack have the chops for historical horror, and so even the single page of cover art currently available is enough to set my senses tingling and a shiver running down my spine.

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Art: Rod Reis
Marvel $4.99

James R: Hickman’s phenomenal turn with the X-Men continues in this one-shot featuring Fantomex, one of the more curious additions to the cast of mutants from Grant Morrison’s run in the early noughties. Clearly based on the Italian character Diabolik and the French original Fantomas, Fantomex was a product of the Weapon Plus programme, he’s been a fairly constant presence on the X-Men universe, and here Hickman is taking him back inside the World - the advanced laboratory that created him. With art from the great Rod Reis, I’m excited to see what Hickman does with this character, and as a one-shot, I simply can’t refuse!

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