Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 10/17/12

It's Post-Crisis Comic Book Preview time, and boy do we have some cool comics this week! There's plenty of good stuff to choose from, ranging from Top Cow's new Cyber Force #1 to the latest Hellboy universe story in B.P.R.D. 1948 #1. And let's not forget such wonderful mainstays as Batwoman #13 or Chew #29. But these are just the tip of the iceberg, so hit the jump to take a closer look at what I think will be some of the better books dropping tomorrow.

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Dustin Nguyen

The final chapter of the new blockbuster AMERICAN VAMPIRE miniseries is here! Felicia and Hobbes have chased The Coffin all over post-war Europe, but as the chase comes to a bombastic conclusion, Hobbes’s life hangs in the balance and Felicia faces her greatest challenge alone. This epic conclusion will dramatically change the AMERICAN VAMPIRE landscape!

Grant: I'm on the fence on whether I believe that the conclusion to this miniseries will forever change the American Vampire world, but even if that overblown piece of solicitation doesn't come true, I have every confidence that this will be an appropriately impressive conclusion to Scott Snyder and Dustin Nguyen's miniseries.  The comic has been filled with excitement since page one, issue one and Nguyen's artwork has been as good as ever (if not slightly better).  These two guys have been telling a solid story, and sometimes that's the most important thing.

Written by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman
Art by J.H. Williams III

• Batwoman and Wonder Woman team up!
• Batwoman and Wonder Woman team up! (We’re so excited we had to say it twice!)

Grant: Excuse me, I'm still trying to recover from how good Batwoman #0 was.  J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman have honestly been telling some of the most engaging and some of the most beautiful stories with this character over the past year, and this arc looks to continue that impeccable track record.  The opening issue from two months back was just as excellent as you would expect, but more than that, there was something in the issue that gave you the sense that this Batwoman-Wonder Woman team up was going to be something special.  I, for one, can't wait to see how it all shakes out.

B.P.R.D. 1948 #1
Written by Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Art by Max Fiumara

The Nazi occult bureau threatened to destroy the peace that followed the end of World War II. One year after the war, Professor Bruttenholm, guardian of the child Hellboy, enlisted a special task force to connect the dots between a series of massacres and a mad vampire nobleman. Now the B.P.R.D. launches an investigation of an atomic-fueled space-travel experiment that's apparently unleashed horrific monsters in the Utah desert.

Grant: This flashback series to the origins of the B.P.R.D. has, like most other Hellboy universe books, made for some top shelf comics.  As a rule, I try to get my hands on any and all books from the Mignolaverse, and this holds especially true for the B.P.R.D. 1940 books.  This titles have repeatedly had compelling conflicts, big ideas, and some of the best characters around, and I'm eager to see how it all translates to a problem that's occurring on American soil.

CHEW #29
Written by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory

"SPACE CAKES," Part Four
On the trail of the vampire!

Grant: This solicitation is admittedly a little terse as to what one can expect from Chew #29.  Fortunately, the terrific work by John Layman and Rob Guillory over the previous 28 issues makes for a pretty strong recommendation.  The story of a cop who can experience the lives and memories of any living being by eating part of them continues to have such a ridiculous amount of legs that the protagonist has been in a coma for pretty much this entire arc and the supporting cast has easily stepped into that void to provide for some of the most enjoyable and hilarious comics around.  I say bring on the vampires!

Written by Marc Silvestri & Matt Hawkins
Art by Khoi Pham & Sunny Gho


Top Cow celebrates its 20th anniversary with the return of the series that started it all: CYBER FORCE! Top Cow founder MARC SILVESTRI (THE DARKNESS, INCREDIBLE HULK) returns to his first Image series as co-writer, art director and cover artist! Co-writer MATT HAWKINS (THINK TANK, LADY PENDRAGON) and artist KHOI PHAM (MIGHTY AVENGERS, DAREDEVIL) join SILVESTRI to bring you a contemporary re-imagining rooted in cutting edge, real world technology. 

Carin Taylor, codenamed Velocity, has escaped from the CDI-controlled Millennium City and is desperately trying to find the one man she believes can help her prevent the end of the world. When she runs a group of other CDI escapees, will they help her… or turn their backs? 

Not content in pushing the envelope just in terms of story and art, Top Cow will be the first major US comic publisher to launch one of their biggest properties with top tier creators concurrently for both the traditional print market and exploding worldwide digital market for FREE. That’s right: Thanks to the support of fans through Kickstarter and participating comic shops, you can get the first FIVE issues of CYBER FORCE at no cost.

Grant: I was not reading comics when the original Cyber Force books came out, so I have pretty much no knowledge of who these characters or any of that stuff.  All I know is that Top Cow managed to fund this entire project through Kickstarter, so the first five issues of this series will be FREE.  That's right, there will apparently be no cost to pick up any of these five issues.  I have no idea how they squared that with retailers or how retailers figured out how many they should order, but the project interests me based on that alone.  Who knows, maybe it'll be good too.  Anything's possible.

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja

• What is the Vagabond Code?
• Barton and Bishop mean Double the Hawkeye...and Double the trouble.
• Fraction and Aja are back with a chase that will blow not only your mind, but several your ancestors’ minds as well. 

Grant: This series has been so much fun.  The series concept of "what Hawkeye gets up to on his day's off" is a nice little starting point, and Matt Fraction has taken the idea and run with it, providing for two rather enjoyable issues thus far.  However, the thing that's really distinguished this title from the competition for me has been David Aja's brilliant art and colours.  His style has a great simplicity to it that doesn't sacrifice anything in the way of detail, his layouts are always really exciting, and his brilliant use of hues and shades of purple as a principle colour in the book's palette has given the title an excellent visual cohesiveness that just looks right.

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

• A terrible betrayal forces Wonder Woman to make a deal with the gods who want her dead!
• Ares, god of war, takes a sudden interest in the Amazing Amazon!

Grant: Like Hawkeye, even though I really dig the writing on Wonder Woman (and I think that Brian Azzarello has been doing an amazing job of changing around Diana's story to make the Wonder Woman character engaging in a way she hasn't been in a long time), a big part of my love for this title is all about the art.  Cliff Chiang is a wonder.  Everything he does just has this strength and beauty to it that I simply cannot say no to.  I'm always a little sad when he isn't drawing this book, so I'm definitely happy to see when he is around.  For my money, no one has a better handle on drawing a Wonder Woman who is both beautiful and feminine and who also looks like she can kick your butt without breaking a sweat.

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Lee Garbett

Ninjak vs. X-O Manowar: Round 2!

Aric of Dacia has bonded with the most powerful weapon in the universe, but his command of the sentient X-O Manowar armor will lead him to cross swords with Ninjak, the world’s most skilled weapons specialist. Hired by members of The Vine hidden deep within Earth’s governments, Ninjak has been sent to bring back the Manowar armor at any cost. It’s raw power versus stealth and cunning in the second installment of the espionage-edged thriller that pits two of Valiant’s most popular heroes against each other – to the death.

Grant: To the death?  Call me a jaded comic book reader, but I really doubt that's true.  For one thing, X-O Manowar only happens to be Valiant's flagship title, seeing as they relaunched their company on its back.  And for another, Ninjak is apparently their most popular character in history if I've been understanding things correctly.  Which, considering he's a ninja, makes sense.  Anyways, even though neither of these two characters will be dying in this issue, I am excited for it.  Robert Venditti has really shown a flair for writing this character, providing Aric some real threats in terms of opposition in the form of the Vine and now Ninjak.  I'm still a little unclear where this whole thing is going (beyond a fight for the survival of humanity between Aric and the aforementioned Vine), but I'm willing to wait and see.

And there we have it.  Lots of quality books to choose from, which is always a good thing.  Are you getting ready to board the Cyber Force train?  If so, are you being brought in by the characters or by the price (or non-existence of one, to be precise)?  Hit the comments to share your thoughts on the matter or any other that tickles your fancy.

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