DC's axing some books in January, which means they also have some new titles rolling out. One of those new books is the vaguely titled Threshold, which is described as "featuring the New 52 gallery of space heroes: The Star Rovers, Star Hawkins, Space Cabbie, Tom Tomorrow, Captain K’Rot, and Star Ranger!" I don't know, like, half of those characters (scratch that, I know none of them), but I can't help but love the idea. I adore anthologies and one-shots and they just don't seem to survive nowadays, so I'll take whatever I can get, especially when they look as fun as this book. And did I mention that all the backup stories feature everyone's favourite Orange Lantern / Muppet, Larfleeze? I don't know about you, but this sounds like a winning combination in my mind.
Additional dishonourable points for the fact that the solicitation for these five issues fails to include a writer or an artist. While there's a story being teased and presented here, Marvel has not included any creators. While it is likely just a mistake on their part, it's still a pretty glaring oversight.
Paul Cornell Off Demon Knights
Paul Cornell's brilliant run on Demon Knights comes to an end here, which fills me with infinite sadness. His presence with the Demon Knights will be sorely missed. On the plus side, Robert Venditti, most recently of X-O Manowar fame is coming on board as the series writer, which is a pretty decent replacement. The type of humour that Cornell has demonstrated on Demon Knights isn't exactly the type of stuff that Venditti has done in his career, but it only makes the changeover that much more interesting in my eyes.
Announced at New York Comic Con, Cullen Bunn's follow-up to Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe (which was actually pretty enjoyable in retrospect) will be equally zany and likely equally bloody. In case you haven't heard the news, the basic premise behind this series is that now that Deadpool has killed every single hero of the Marvel Universe, he's moved on to a murder spree of the most famous characters from classic literature. I'm always up for the meeting of (what are traditionally considered as) high and lowbrow culture, as it makes for some of the most exciting moments of fiction. Considering Bunn's track record of late as Marvel new wunderkind, I imagine that's what we'll be getting here.
It's the fight for Gotham, and that looks to involve some crazy kids brainwashed in Leviathan-run schools. Hopefully the Bat-family has a bunch of kid sized batarangs to knock them upside the head. Inc. still feels like the last book that still has any connection to the old universe, and is able to get away with it, so hopefully no Joker stuff or Owls decide to show up to throw the book for a loop.
This isn't so much a worse worse thing like Alpha above, but just confusion as to what the end goal is. A new Spider-Man? We have that already in Miles Morales. A more edgy Spider-Man? That's Kaine in Scarlet Spider. Someone who might be Peter's friend or ally? That's Flash Thompson in Venom. Dan Slott is a good writer and he might have a new angle to it that makes the book stand out, it's just that the Spider-world already has quite a few directions covered.
Best Things in January
EC Comics Library reprint cavalcade
Dark Horse comics have been putting an amazing amount of work into reprinting the seminal Warren publications Creepy and Eerie comics but the price tag has been enough to put off many. So why not try the (slightly) cheaper Fantagraphics editions of Warren's direct competitor, EC Comics, that instead of reprinting some of their classic comics (such as Weird Science and Tales From the Crypt) issue by issue, are compiling their upcoming books by artist. This month we have 50 Girls 50 and other stories by Al Williamson, and the amazingly titled 'Taint the meat, It's the Humanity! and other stories by Jack Davis, two of the greatest to ever pick up a pen. Comic fans love to moan about price and worth, so why get off the big two train for a month and buy one or both of these. They will stand the test of time.
One Trick Rip Off / Deep Cuts Hardcover
There is a new Paul Pope book released in January. Fans of the man will not need convincing, he could draw paint drying and it would still be entertaining. For the uninitiated, Paul Pope is one of the biggest trailblazers for creating forward thinking, creator owned comics in the last decade. Think Phillip K.Dick for the rap generation. One Trick Rip Off is a classic, almost cliched tale of young lovers out to rob some of the scariest gangs in L.A before they begin their new life out of the city, but drawn in that beautiful Pope style. Added to this is Deep Cuts, a never seen before collection of comics, strips, and artwork from one of the modern masters.
Worst Thing in January
Joe Kubert Presents Number Four
Before you all start going for your pitchforks, I love Joe Kubert, and unlike many others, both of his sons. His dynamism is unparalleled, his excitement for the medium was second to none and unfortunately, his passing marked the loss of one of the greatest artists of an era. Literally with a pen in his hand until his death, this is rumoured to be the last issue of Joe Kubert Presents. So while this is far from being the worst thing in January, (take a look at two thirds of Marvel and DC's output for that one,) it's certainly the most bitter-sweet.
Coolest Things In January
Four words. Jamie McKelvie draws comics. If that isn't enough to get you to buy this potential "Phonogram for the Marvel Universe" there is no hope for you.
Generation X Classic TPB Vol.2
Not all nineties comics were terrible. True, Scott Lobdell's writing can be ham-fisted at times but he was never better than when he was writing this. A remake of New Mutants for a (then) modern era, Generation X explored what it was like to be a child with amazing abilities yet no experience in using them. Add this to the fact that it made Chris Bachalo the artist we know and love today (one of the best,) and it hits that perfect nostalgia sweet spot.