Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 12/19/12

Welcome to the last full week of comic book releases for 2012!  With December 26th being a relatively light week for pretty much every publisher in the comic book industry, we've got ourselves one rather full entry of Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews!  There's a cornucopia of awesome books dropping tomorrow, including Black Beetle - Night Shift #0, Comeback #2, Django Unchained #1, and lots, lots more.  So hit the jump to check all these books out!

Written by Ryan North
Art by Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb
Backup Story by Zack Giallongo

BRAND NEW ARC! PERFECT JUMPING ON POINT FOR NEW READERS! Join Jake the Dog and Finn the Human in the latest of their totally math adventures! Get on board for what critics are calling “the best series of 2012″!

Grant: Boom!'s Adventure Time solicitations have always left something to be desired.  Fortunately, the actual comics have done no such thing.  The time travel arc that finished last issue was a ton of fun, bringing in more time travel references and jokes than you can shake a stick at.  Due to this lackluster solicit, I'm not entirely certain what the next arc will be about, but knowing Ryan North and company, I'm confident that it will be a dandy of a good time.  And as a bonus, I do know that the backup story by Zack Giallongo stars Brave Susan, so if you're a fan of the character, here's yet another reason to grab this wickedly good book.

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

• The Batwoman/Wonder Woman team-up continues!
• The action is out of control as Bones, Chase, the DEO, Abbot and the Religion of Crime all descend on Gotham City to take part in the fight against Medusa!
• And then at the end of the issue the all-new…ah…we can’t tell you but it’s awesome!

Grant: No J.H. Williams III on art?  That is genuinely disappointing.  I mean, Williams mind-bending art is not the only reason to pick up this book, but it's definitely the main one.  I'm not exactly a fan of the switching art teams this book has had (in that I'd rather have Williams constantly drawing this title), but at least when they did the switch last time it was in between arcs, instead of in the middle of one, which is what we seem to be getting here.  I understand that DC wants all their books to come out on time, but that doesn't make this kind of thing any less frustrating.  The mid-story art switch won't help the eventual trade either.

Written by Francesco Francavilla
Art by Fancesco Francavilla

When a powerful totem of dark magic shows up at the Colt City Natural History Museum, Hitler sends his fearsome Werwolf Korps to collect the piece. Unfortunately for the führer, Colt City’s protector, the Black Beetle, is on the case!

From the mind of 2012 Eisner Award winner Francesco Francavilla (Batman: The Black Mirror). Collects three Dark Horse Presents stories from issues #11–#13.

Grant: Speaking of great artists, I shouldn't have to remind you of how good Francesco Francavilla is.  He's definitely among my favourites, and the distinctive way that he colours his work is as big of a treat as the art itself.  But while he's mostly known for his artwork (there is a reason he won that Eisner...), Francavilla does dabble on the writing side of things as well.  Black Beetle is one of those forays, while these material in this issue was already published in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, that's no reason not to check it out.  Indeed, Dark Horse is actually giving Francavilla and the Black Beetle a four issue miniseries come January, so you could give this comic a gander to get an idea of what to expect.  And should you be thirsting for more Black Beetle action, you can always check out this free story on Francavilla's website.

Written by Joey Comeau
Art by Mike Holmes

HOT NEW SERIES FROM THE CREATOR OF ADVENTURE TIME! This clown planet is getting the Bravest Warriors super-down, man. But if someone needs saving, then they’re the dudes to do it! The comic adaptation of the new show from ADVENTURE TIME creator Pendelton Ward!

Grant: Behold, yet another example of Boom!'s lazy solicitation writing.  While I really dug Bravest Warriors #1, for reasons that I have yet to determine, Bravest Warriors #2 just didn't feel as exciting and fun.  It was an odd realizations, seeing as the second issue shared quite a bit in common with the first.  All the absurd, ridiculous situations and jokes were still there, but they just didn't rub me the same way.  However, I am a pretty big fan of both creators on this book, so I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and take it out for another spin.  We'll see how it goes.

Written by Ed Brisson
Art by Michael Walsh

An FBI raid throws RECONNECT, an illegal time travel agency, into a panic. Trapped in the past, RECONNECT agent Mark Thomas has lost the woman whose life he was sent to save. He must find her and throw the FBI off his trail or lose his only method of getting back home.

Grant: One of the most frustrating parts of The Weekly Crisis going down last month (beyond, you know, being completely offline) was that I couldn't rave about how great Ed Brisson and Michael Walsh's Comeback #1 was.  I'd picked up an early copy at New York Comic Con and had been waiting to share with all of you how great this comic was.  Alas, it was not to be.  Fortunately, Comeback #2 offers an excellent opportunity to make up for that miss, and I intend to take full opportunity of it.  You should be reading Comeback.  Brisson's writing is crazy tight and Walsh's art must be seen to be believed.  Don't worry if you missed out on the first issue; if you see Comeback #2 on your store's shelves, grab a copy and do not let go.  It'll be worth your while.

Based on the Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino
Art by R.M. Guera & Jason Latour

• Oscar-winning writer/director Quentin Tarantino’s latest epic film script is adapted for comics!
• The blood-soaked tale of a bounty-hunting dentist and his partner, a recently freed slave, in the post-Civil War South!
• This is an adaptation of the full screenplay, including scenes that may not make it into the final theatrical cut!

Grant: I'm terribly excited for Django Unchained.  Quentin Tarantino makes some pretty great films, and based on the previews, this looks like it'll fit right in with the rest of his filmography.  So when I heard the movie would be getting a comic book adaptation, possibly based on an extended version of the script, I was intrigued.  I love adaptations of all kinds.  The process of translating a story from one medium to another is always fascinating to me, and the inclusion of R.M. Guera as the book's main artist seals the deal on my interest here.  It's hard to say how the whole thing will translate, but I'm more than willing to find out.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Darick Robertson

With a day left until Christmas, and time running out for Santa’s innocent victims, Happy the Horse learns what turned Nick Sax from golden cop to broken-down hitman. But can he convince Nick to do the right thing or is it Happy’s turn to face some uncomfortable home truths?

Grant: Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson have been telling one odd story with Happy.  Two issues in and I must say that it's still not entirely clear what the point of this whole story is.  As I've said before, there's some intense violence and vulgar language set to a pretty bleak view on the world, all with a ridiculous imaginary blue horse in the middle of it trying to convince the book's protagonist that the world's not as bad as it looks?  Again, I'm still a little fuzzy on the why of this exercise, but the journey to determine that answer is more than enjoyable enough to warrant a repeat purchase.

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by David Aja

• David Aja returns to the most critically acclaimed comic of 2012!
• The Ace Archer Clint Barton faces DVR-MAGEDDON!

Grant: Thank goodness that David Aja is back.  The great success that's been Marvel's Hawkeye is about as surprising as the character's recent popularity due to The Avengers movie this summer.  While the former's existence obviously sprouts directly from the latter, it's still impressive to see how great Matt Fraction and David Aja's take on the character has been.  And while I know there are those who disagree with me on this one, I only really care for their take when both creators are involved.  The past two issues of Hawkeye with Javier Pulido filling in for Aja were just not as good as the norm.  I doubt that that will be the last fill-in artist this series will see, but I'll do my best to enjoy Aja while he's here.

Written by Mike Bullock
Art by Fernando Peniche

The legendary Joe Palooka name returns in this all-new version, as Joe fights for his freedom and for his life around the world. Set in the violent and dangerous world of top- tier mixed martial arts, this series will get you in its grip and not let go until you tap out.

Accused of a murder he didn't commit, Nick Davis flees a police manhunt, picks up the name Joe Palooka in a Tijuana tough-man contest and then travels the world seeking to clear his name while making a name for himself at the same time. 

Grant: Comics is a medium that is heavily built (some would argue exclusively built) on properties from the past.  It often feels like all of the biggest names in comics were created over fifty years ago - if not earlier.  So it's not super surprising that comic book publishers have the habit of trying to resurrect older properties, even when it's unclear where the demand is coming from.  IDW's Joe Palooka seems to be one of these attempts, transferring the classic boxing character into the world of MMA fighting.  I don't know if anyone's been clamouring for this book, but part of me can't resist seeing what they've come up with, so I'll be giving the first issue a look.

Written by Chris Roberson
Art by Alex Ross

Powerful criminals and crooked politicians have taken over New York, and instituted a fascist police state. With the law bent to their own purposes, the so-called 'Justice Party' and their army of Black Legion troopers imprison, extort, and execute any citizens who stand in their way.

Only vigilantes like the Shadow, Green Hornet, and the Spider have any hope of standing against them, but instead of operating outside the law as they have always done, these masked heroes must now oppose the law in their fight for justice. But they will not be fighting alone, as more men and women don masks and emerge from the shadows to stand alongside them. 

Grant: Speaking of resurrected classics, Chris Roberson and Alex Ross' Masks continues its run this week with their second issue of the Justice League of classic pulp characters.  It was great to see some Alex Ross interiors on that first issue, but I felt that Roberson's writing left something to be desired.  It was a tad too heavy-handed and could have benefited from a bit more subtlety on his part.  However, that clearly wasn't enough to keep me away, as I'm interested enough to come back for issue #2.  We'll see if it can hook me in for yet another.

Written by Brian K. Vaughan
Art by Fiona Staples

Former soldier and new mom Alana has already survived lethal assassins, rampaging armies and alien monstrosities, but now she faces her greatest challenge yet: the in-laws.

Grant: What can I tell you about Saga that you don't already know?  Despite the recent controversy with Image's changed and then unchanged reprinting policy, Saga is good comics.  Heck, it's great comics.  Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have one of the best series going from any comic book company right now, and the title is getting better every single issue.  You're probably already planning on picking this up, but if you aren't, you should reconsider that choice, because it's the wrong one.

Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross

In the classical underworld of Hades, Tom takes on harpies, sinister ferrymen and multiheaded dogs. But none of these encounters prepare him for his meeting with the king — or for the responsibilities he has to take on for some very familiar damned souls.

Grant: With so many other Vertigo titles either finishing or finished, it's nice to know that there's at least one ongoing that you can still depend on from the imprint.  Mike Carey and Peter Gross routinely offer some of the highest quality comic book storytelling around with their continually wonderful book, The Unwritten.  This has been one heck of a year for the series, and I'm quite eager to see how they're planning on closing things out.  Should be good.

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

• Who is Orion — and what are the New Gods?!
• Massive changes are coming for Wonder Woman and the entire DC Universe!
• Get ready for round 1 of Wonder Woman vs. Orion!

Grant: Whoa, man.  The New Gods have been on the fringes of Wonder Woman for a while now, but it's hard to believe some of them will finally be taking centre stage.  Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang's Wonder Woman continues to be the breath of fresh air that this character so sorely needed, and I can only imagine how bringing in elements from the Fourth World will push this book even further over the top.  As a side note, this cover is possibly one of my favourite "reflection" comic book covers I've ever encountered.  The way Wonder Woman mingles with Orion's helmet is unreal.  It'll be a shame to cover this picture up with the issue dress.

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Lee Garbett

X-O Manowar and Ninjak unearth The Vine’s ultimate endgame!

Deep within the halls of the MI-6, a sinister plot by The Vine’s alien agents is about to come to fruition. Their goal? Wipe humanity off the map – beginning with X-O Manowar. To get the job done, The Vine has enlisted Ninjak, the world’s most lethal assassin, but by doing so, they may have sealed their own fate. What began as a war between two men must become an uneasy truce...or Earth will fall. Betrayal, death, and a changing of the guard await in this explosive conclusion to the smash hit arc establishing X-O Manowar in the Valiant Universe.

Grant: The X-O Manowar - Ninjak storyline has certainly been an interesting episode in Robert Venditti's relaunch of Valiant's classic character.  Things really seem to be building (especially with all the hype Valiant is trying to create for the next arc), so I'm interested to see how Venditt and Lee Garbett will be closing this one out.

Lots of good stuff to choose from this week, and this is only a small sampling of what's dropping on the morrow!  What books will you be looking forward to finding in your pull box for the week?  Hit the comments to let us know.

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