Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 01/02/13

Happy New Year, one and all, and welcome to your very first Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews of 2013!  With the onset of another year, I'm going to be switching up the format for this Previews column.  Instead of only talking about what books I'll be buying, I'll try to take a more general look at the comics coming out for the week, listing out why different titles may or may not be of interest to you.  But fear not, I'll still take some time to talk about what books I'll specifically be picking up, because how could I possibly resist talking about myself?  These previews won't be exhaustive, but they'll mean that we'll have more books to look at on a weekly basis and we'll hopefully get a better sense of what's coming out when.  The format isn't finalized, so things may jump around a bit over the next few weeks, but in the interim, I invite you to hit the jump to check out the year's first offerings in the form of such books as Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake #1, Invincible #99, New Avengers #1, and more!

Written by Natasha Allegri
Art by Natasha Allegri


Join Cake the Cat and Fionna the Human in this totally algebraic new adventure, written and drawn by FIONNA AND CAKE creator and ADVENTURE TIME storyboard artist Natasha Allegri! When Fionna rescues a feral flame boy from a pack of wild fire lions, it starts her on a quest she’ll never forget… Don’t miss out on this sure-to-be INSANELY popular new ADVENTURE TIME mini-series!

Grant: The Adventure Time books have been one of my favourite things from the past year, and while I don't enjoy the actual show nearly as much as I do the comics, the one episode that I really dug was the gender-bending Fiona and Cake one.  That whole thing was a ton of fun, and so when I hear that the 6-issue limited series starring the lady adventurers is being written and drawn by their creator, I get pretty excited.  If you ask me, you should be getting pretty excited, too.

Written by Scott Snyder
Art by Rafael Albuquerque

“The Blacklist” is over. Lives have been shattered, alliances destroyed. Skinner and Pearl have made it halfway through the twentieth century and AMERICAN VAMPIRE hits a major turning point in the series.

Grant: American Vampire is the series that propelled Scott Snyder to comic book superstardom, and it continues to be one of his best works.  And with issue #34, we're hitting the halfway point of this phenomenal series.  Unfortunately, with all the writing gigs that have been coming his way (and presumably all the gigs artist extraordinaire Rafael Albuquerque), we'll also be hitting a break from the American Vampire universe for this dynamic duo.  There's no specific return date, but Snyder claims it will be within the year.  So this issue looks like it will have to be both a cap to the first half of this epic tale and enough to tide over readers while we wait for the series' triumphant return at some point down the line.  Expectations will be high, but I have a feeling Snyder and Albuquerque will rise to them.

Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham

• Bat-Robots versus Man-Bat armies as Leviathan takes control of Gotham City!
• Don’t miss the return of The Heretic!

Grant: Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham are back for yet another chapter of their ongoing Batman epic.  At this point, you're really either reading Batman, Incorporated or you're not, but I sincerely hope you find yourself in the former category.  Morrison has been building this story for years, and not only is it great, but with the New 52, it's the only ongoing narrative from DC that has been going on for over a year and a half, which is kind of crazy to consider.  It also helps that the whole thing is patently amazing.

Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Ross Campbell and Ulises Farinas

"WAR TORN," Part One

The entire first year of Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell's GLORY saga has been leading to this: Glory vs. Silverfall. PLUS: a special flashback sequence illustrated by Ulises Farinas finally revealing why Glory was near death when Riley found her.

Grant: If you've been following this column for any amount of time over the past year, you'll know that I haven't read a single issue of Joe Keatinge and Ross Campbell's Glory relaunch.  In fact, before looking into the comic a bit, I didn't realize this was a relaunch of an older Image property.  This iteration of Glory has only been going since issue #23 (published in February of last year - 2012), but I've been hearing so much positive groundswell around the book that I simply must check it out.  With all the good vibes coming off this series, there must be something interesting going on.

Written by Mike Mignola
Art by Dave Stewart

In Pandemonium, the dead wait for Hellboy to claim his throne, but is he interested...?

Mike Mignola returns to draw Hellboy's ongoing story for the first time since Conqueror Worm. It's a story only Mignola could tell, as more of Hellboy's secrets are revealed.

Grant: Mike Mignola is a genius when it comes to comic book art, and beyond his cover work, we've been quite starved for his output these past few years.  Fortunately, Hellboy in Hell #1 last month marked his triumphant return to drawing comic book interiors, and it is an absolute joy to have him back.  The book seems to be taking Hellboy back to his roots, figuratively and literally, as we get Mignola taking on both writing and drawing responsibilities while Hellboy finds himself dead and in Hell, the terrible place where he was born way back when.

Written by Robert Kirkman
Art by Ryan Ottley


Invincible Vs. Dinosaurus for the fate of the world! Could this be the end of Mark Grayson?!

Grant: Nowadays it feels like you can't begin to talk about long form comic book storytelling without Robert Kirkman's name coming into the conversation.  And while the first thought of many will be to link the man to his crazy popular zombie property, he actually started Invincible a few months before The Walking Dead all the way back in 2003.  However, with the way things sometimes shake out, Invincible will be hitting its #100 milestone a few months after The Walking Dead.  It's impressive for any series to hit that milestone.  It's even more impressive when the book has had the same writer and a relatively stable artist or art team throughout.  It's hard to fathom that Robert Kirkman will have two of these come Invincible #100 next month.  The guy is obviously doing something right.

Written by Joe Keatinge
Art by Richard Elson

Morbius....the hunted, haunted fugitive.
Morbius...the dead souled scientist.
Morbius...the Living Vampire.

Somewhere inside Doctor Michael Morbius is a good man who just needs a second chance. After escaping from The Raft in Amazing Spider-Man 699.1, Morbius is scraping desperately through each day trying to carve out a life in a world that has turned its back on him. However his redemption...may be worse than his sin.

NOW Morbius returns in this long-awaited ongoing series, where the line between hero and villain becomes brutally and bloodily blurred.

Grant: Speaking of Joe Keatinge, I'm clearly not the only person taking an interest in his work, as Marvel is tapping him to helm their new Morbius ongoing series.  I don't know if I would include myself in the group of people who have been long awaiting such a title, but if that sounds like you, then you're probably pretty pumped about this whole thing.  Either way, I do applaud Marvel for reaching out to different talent for some of their books.  And at $2.99, it seems like a pretty good deal even if you aren't a diehard Michael Morbius fan.

Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Steve Epting

To prevent the collision of our universe with another, the Illuminati, led by the Black Panther, must assemble NOW! It's the most powerful and brilliant team in the Marvel Universe--The Black Panther, Iron Man, Doctor Strange, Black Bolt, Mister Fantastic, Namor the Sub-Mariner and The Beast--against an infinite legion of parallel realities.

Grant: With the critically acclaimed work Jonathan Hickman turned in over in his now finished Fantastic Four run, Marvel is giving him the keys to the kingdom and moving him over to their top team and books: The Avengers.  While he's on that titular title, he's also writing New Avengers #1, which he's described as being the more clandestine and behind the scenes of the two books.  Hickman's star only seems to be continuing to rise, so chances are good that he'll be allowed to tell whatever story he wants in this book, and considering his familiarity with Steve Epting, that should make for some pretty good comics.

Written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman
Art by Damian Couceiro

BRAND NEW ARC! PERFECT JUMPING-ON POINT FOR NEW READERS! After the destruction of Ape City, Doctor Zaius, his family, Cornelius and Marcus are faced with the difficult and often treacherous task of rebuilding...but what terror lies beneath the ruins? Find out what the Ape City cataclysm has awoken...

Grant: Boom!'s been doing Planet of the Apes comics for a good few years at this point, and while I only came across them recently, I'm happy to tell you that they're really, really good.  I haven't seen any Planet of the Apes movies, whether old or new, and I was more than able to enjoy the stories Boom!'s creators have been telling.  And two of the best creators have been Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, who have been telling brilliant stories in various Planet of the Apes miniseries.  Cataclysm has been no exception, and if you're looking for something new and different, I recommend giving it a look.

Written by Scott Gimple
Art by Mark Texiera

• A Special Forces soldier is injured and his family killed in the midst of a mob execution in Central Park, but this isn't Frank Castle. This time it's a young soldier named JAKE NIMAN, but the familiar story puts Frank on the path of punishment!
• As Jake Niman heals from his wounds, why is he growing strangely stronger?
• And who is the mysterious Johnny Nightmare?
• Bullets fly, anarchy reigns, allies become enemies, the Punisher becomes the punished, and no one is safe!!!

Grant: Punisher: Nightmare is being written by Scott Gimple, who is one of the writers for The Walking Dead, which is another interesting example of Marvel reaching out to creators outside their own fold.  The mini is going to be five issues long, and the issues will be coming out each week of January, so the story will be over and finished by month's end.  I'm not a huge fan of that publishing model (why not just release it as a graphic novel?), but if it or the story of a character succumbing to similar circumstances as Frank Castle grabs you, then perhaps this is a book you should check out.

Written by Sean Murphy
Art by Sean Murphy

In this thrilling conclusion to the acclaimed miniseries, Chris and the Flak Jackets head to Jerusalem, the last stop on their world tour. But in this final concert, will the punk messiah rise above the protests from the world’s three major religions, or will he take matters into his own hands?

Grant: Sean Murphy has been setting the world on fire with his work on Punk Rock Jesus.  His first major gig as a writer, he's been acing both the written and drawn sides of this book, and with issue #6, it looks like we're barreling headlong towards our crazy conclusion.  This book has been fast and heavy, like any punk rock worth its salt.  In a similar way, it hasn't all been perfect, but it has definitely been worth experiencing.  I can't wait to see how Murphy chooses to bring the whole thing to a close.

And that's our Previews for the week.  What do you think of the switcheroo in format?  Is this any better or worse?  Would there be anything you'd specifically like to see going on in these posts?  Hit the comments (or the twitterbots) and let us know!

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Jon said...

Awesome list Grant! It's awesome and gives a wide variety of types of comics one can pick up. In this new year, I hope to pick up some new titles, and this helps a lot!

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