Tuesday, June 5, 2012
June is here, meaning that summer is officially (technically?) beginning! With the hope of near future warm weather and bbqs in mind, I welcome you to our summer bonanza Post-Crisis Previews! It's pretty similar to our regular Previews, except I got to use the word "bonanza", which is a victory in my books. Speaking of, why don't you hit the jump to see my thoughts on the forthcoming books for this week, including such treasures as Animal Man #10, Before Watchmen: Minutemen #1, X-O Manowar #2, and more!
ANIMAL MAN #10
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Steve Pugh
• “EXTINCTION IS FOREVER” part two!
• Guest-starring JOHN CONSTANTINE and JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK.
• BUDDY BAKER seeks the help of THE TOTEMS to return to his family.
Grant: After seeing Lemire's inaugural Justice League Dark issue two weeks back and reading the outstanding Animal Man Annual last week, I'm pretty darned excited to see what he can do when he brings both worlds together. I never thought that Animal Man would be one of my favourite DC books, but Jeff Lemire just doesn't seem to be able to steer me wrong. Two issues of Animal Man in two weeks is a-okay by me when they're this good.
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Marcus To & Ryan Winn
• BATWING fights pirates known as THE JACKALS as they attempt to smuggle a mysterious cargo.
• BATMAN’S investigation leads him to China to face an unexpected member of his ROGUES GALLERY!
• Guest-starring BATMAN!
Grant: Last month's "Night of the Owls" tie-in wasn't exactly my favourite issue ever, but I'm definitely still enjoying Batwing, our latest addition to the Bat-family. My only problem is that I'd love to see Batwing get a wee bit more independence from his inspiration (and chief financer). I don't think there's been a single issue that Batman hasn't shown up in for at least a page or two. As great as the Caped Crusader is, he already has a bajillion books that he gets to star in. I don't think it would be such a bad thing if he gave Batwing a bit of room to breathe.
BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #1
Written by Darwyn Cooke
Art by Darwyn Cooke
“Little did we know that poor boy would lead to the end of us all.”
Plus: Don’t miss the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup story by writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!
Grant: It's almost immaterial that this is a Before Watchmen book. Any comic written and drawn by Darwyn Cooke should be a no brainer - this guy is one of the modern day greats and anything he does is worth a look. The fact that he's the creator that DC has entrusted with the opening salvo of their
moneygrab relaunch of the Watchmen franchise - starring the original Minutemen team, no less - says a lot about the confidence the company has in Cooke. And I'm sure that it's not misplaced. This event might be a huge success or a huge flop, but I bet Cooke's contribution will be pretty danged good.
CREATOR OWNED HEROES #1
Written by Steve Niles, Jimmy Palmiotti & Justin Gray
Art by Phil Noto & Kevin Mellon
"AMERICAN MUSCLE," Part One
by STEVE NILES & KEVIN MELLON
The world ended a long time ago. How it happened exactly and what exists in the wasteland have always been a mystery. Now Chloe, Gil and a gang of rebels have escaped the last human stronghold and are blazing across Post-Apocalypse America in search of paradise.
"TRIGGERGIRL 6," Part One
by JIMMY PALMIOTTI, JUSTIN GRAY & PHIL NOTO
In this sci-fi thriller, the sixth in a series of genetically modified assassins born in a secret laboratory sets her sights on the ultimate target. But what happens when the perfect killing machine takes a personal interest in her target only to uncover a conspiracy that may change the fate of the entire human race?
PLUS! An interview with NEIL GAIMAN! Triggergirl cosplay! Con photos! And original articles all celebrating the creator-owned spirit of independence!
Grant: The whole concept of original comics by well known creators appeals to me in a whole slew of ways, but I'll be honest with you here. As much as I love all the creators we have listed for this initial issue, I'm picking up this issue for Kevin Mellon. I loved his work on Heart and I've been jonesing for more since that mini ended. Here's hoping that we'll get a good chunk of Mellon with this series. And while we're at it, here's hoping that Blair Butler gets a new series herself in the near future.
DIAL H #2
Written by China Mieville
Art by Mateus Santolouco
• Part two of the five-part opening story!
• As our hero learns to use the H DIAL, he begins to suspect there is something sinister at work.
Grant: The opening issue of this new series, despite my China Mieville misgivings, was actually really good. Though new to mainstream comics, Mieville seems to have an incredibly strong sense of what some of the things the medium is capable of. And if that issue and this cover are any indication, he isn't constrained by what so many creators have done before. We may already have a stupid amount of superheroes flying around between all the comics of the past 70 or 80 years, but Mieville seems to have somehow found a way to come up with brand new ones that haven't been done before. As long as he keeps up the originality, I'll happily keep purchasing this series.
SWAMP THING #10
Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Francesco Francavilla
• The deadly return of ANTON ARCANE!
• This is the beginning of a new chapter in the SWAMP THING saga and a perfect time to start reading!
Grant: Speaking of the terrific Animal Man Annual from last week, I think that it was good enough to finally convince me to give Swamp Thing another look. Ever since I made the decision to stop reading with issue #1, I've been hearing good things about this title, and my resolve is finally at a breaking point. The fact that it's still being penned by Scott Snyder is a definite plus, and Francesco Francavilla's presence on art is never a bad thing. It also doesn't hurt that this solicitation claims that this is a great place for people to jump on and start reading. We'll see if there's any truth behind that claim.
SWEET TOOTH #34
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Jeff Lemire & Nate Powell
A special stand-alone story called “The Ballad of Johnny and Abbot” with incredible guest art by multiple award-winning artist Nate Powell (Any Empire)! Johnny and Abbot are brothers, but they couldn’t be more different. What created this rift between them, and can Johnny fix it before it’s too late?
Grant: I feel like I've spent most of this column praising the work of Jeff Lemire but that isn't exactly a big departure from any week when he has books coming out. But as much as I love Animal Man and the rest of his DC efforts, Sweet Tooth is the first series where I first encountered Lemire, and for my money, it's still his best work. The story is engaging as heck and Lemire is never afraid to experiment and try something new. That's exactly what happened last issue and it seems to be what we're getting this issue, and I'm darn excited for it. I love Lemire's writing, but it's always better when it's accompanied by his art.
WINTER SOLDIER #6
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Michael Lark
• Winter Soldier finds himself on a twisted trail from coast to coast and past to present...
• ...chasing the insane man who will become his worst enemy.
• And an inciting incident you won’t forget!
Grant: I still maintain that Winter Soldier has some of the lamest covers and worst solicitations of pretty much any comic hitting stands right now, but the fact remains that the actual comic happens to be off the hook. Ed Brubaker is killing every single issue, and while I've really dug Butch Guice's work, I must admit to being super excited to have Michael Lark on for the immediate future. I'd kind of forgotten how much I love his work, but his collaboration with Greg Rucka earlier this year on Punisher was a clear reminder. I can't wait.
X-O MANOWAR #2
Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Cary Nord
The landmark return of the Valiant Universe continues! Held captive by the mysterious Vine, Aric of Dacia must survive the brutal Vine Colony ship if he has any chance of returning to Rome to free his family. Joining forces with the other prisoners, he devises a scheme to get his hands on the only weapon that can free him — the X-O Manowar armor! He’ll need every ounce of his Visigoth courage and warrior’s training, but all his efforts may be in vain because the armor’s history holds a dark secret — one that could be Aric’s undoing…
Grant: The opening issue of this brand new series was a mighty interesting one. Robert Venditti and Cary Nord seem to be taking the time to properly develop their world and its protagonist, and I'm really enjoying the experience. Things seem to be taking as long as they need to, which isn't something that can always be said for an ongoing. I'm enjoying that change of pace, and I honestly hope that these two gentlemen will be able to maintain it, giving things as much or as little time as they need.
My, oh my. What a bonanza that was, eh? I know I'm raring for these books to drop on Wednesday. How are you feeling about the whole thing? Excited for Before Watchmen? Pumped for more from Valiant Entertainment? Looking forward to other books maybe? Let me know down in the comments!