Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 01/23/13

I don't know how the weather's been where you are, but it's been cold, cold, cold 'round my parts.  Fortunately, our new and improved Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews are here to fill you up with warm comic booky goodness!  This week we're spotlighting some of Marvel's new releases, including Uncanny X-Force #1 and Young Avengers #1, as well as other titles, such as Revival #6 and Chew #31!  Hit the jump to see all these books and more!

Major Releases

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

• This issue guest-stars everybody!
• In this penultimate chapter, everything that’s been happening in BATWOMAN comes to a head!
• Plus, a new hero is introduced, and Wonder Woman fights monsters!

Why You Should Care: Batwoman is one of the best titles that DC is publishing on a monthly basis and has been pretty much since its launch back in September of 2011.  J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman have thrown down some absolutely amazing writing, managing to fill the rather large void that was Greg Rucka's departure from the character.  Of course, the other vital ingredient is Williams' mind blowing artwork.  This book is simply not the same when he's not on art duties, and that will unfortunately be the case soon enough as Williams needs to take some time away to focus on the upcoming Sandman prequel with Neil Gaiman.  In the interim, I would suggest getting all the Williams' drawn Batwoman action you can get.  As an added bonus, this Wonder Woman teamup arc has been terrific, so there's that.


Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Ron Garney

THE DARKEST CORNERS OF THE MUTANT UNIVERSE: EXPOSED! The X-Men: sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them. UNCANNY X-FORCE: charged to deal with situations the X-Men fear and hate! Psylocke and Storm lead a new team of outcasts and scoundrels, including fan-favorite Puck, the villainous Spiral, and the mysterious Cluster. The first adversary to strike out from the darkness? X-legend BISHOP!

Why You Should Care: Rick Remender's Uncanny X-Force was among the cream of Marvel's crop before it ended in December, and while that magic will most certainly not be recaptured, it's hard not to be curious as to what Sam Humphries will get up to with the title.  Books featuring characters who are more or less off the grid can get up to some mighty interesting situations, and it looks like this iteration will share that in common with the last one.  It's also hard not to get interested in the character choices for this comic.  Psylocke returns, now joined by mohawk wearing Storm, ridiculous Canadian shortman Puck, multi-armed Spiral, and Lady Fantomex Cluster.  What's not to love?

Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Jamie McKelvie

Legacy isn't a dirty word... but it's an irrelevant one. It's not important what our parents did. It matters what WE do. Someone has to save the world. You're someone. Do the math. The critically acclaimed team of Gillen/McKelvie/Wilson (with added Norton Sauce) decide to reinvent the teen superhero comic for the 21st century, uniting Wiccan, Hulkling and Hawkeye with Loki, Marvel Boy and Ms. America. No pressure. Young Avengers is as NOW! as the air in your lungs, and twice as vital. It's the book that knows Hyperbole is the BEST! THING! EVER!

Why You Should Care: Speaking of love, here's a creative team that deserves all of yours.  Kieron Gillen is coming off his instant classic run on Journey Into Mystery and Jamie McKelvie arrives from his time on the X-Men: Season One graphic novel, as well as numerous stints on other Marvel books.  More importantly, you should recognize these two as the creators of the critical darling, Phonogram.  The two finally announced that said series would be getting at third volume, but had to follow that up with an admission that people might have to wait awhile, since they were getting up to Young Avengers first.  While part of me is disappointed by the Phonogram delay, I'm also incredibly excited to see what these two incredibly talented blokes will get up to with some of Marvel's younger characters.  It should be a ton of fun (kind of like that Bryan Lee O'Malley variant cover)

New Kids on the Block

Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Matteo Lolli

• Deadpool has already killed every hero in the Marvel Universe.
• He isn't through.
• This time...Deadpool's gonna take most famous characters in classic literature!

Why You Should Care: Deadpool is arguably Marvel's most oversaturated character (although that dubious honour could just as easily be given to Wolverine), so I wouldn't blame you if you weren't eager to check out yet another series starring the Merc with a Mouth.  However, my inner-English Lit major can't help but get excited at the prospect of Deadpool killing literary classics.  It's gimmicky as all get out, but if you're a fan of the English canon, it could very well be the very gimmick you never knew you wanted.

Written by Mike Norton and Dennis Hopeless
Art by Mike Norton

Devin McKenzie is an insomniac librarian with a knack for solving puzzles. The Answer! is a masked crime fighter with a giant exclamation point on his face. Aside from a penchant for late nights, they share nothing in common... until both become embroiled in a deadly mystery surrounding a sinister motivational speaker!

Why You Should Care: Dennis Hopeless' name has been all over the place lately, with him taking on some major projects at Marvel such as Avengers Academy and Cable and X-Force (as well as the aforementioned X-Men: Season One with Jamie McKelvie).  The same could be said of Mike Norton, whose Battlepug and work on Revival have both been garnering positive buzz.  I like Hopeless' writing and Norton's art enough to want to check out a collaboration between the two, so I'll be doing just that on Wednesday.

You May Have Missed

CHEW #31
Written by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory

The second half of CHEW starts here. With a funeral.

Why You Should Care: Thirty-one issues in and it's still a bit of a challenge to describe exactly what John Layman and Rob Guillory's Chew is all about.  There's Tony Chu, our cibopathic lead who can know the experiences of anything he eats, a nation-wide ban on eating chicken after bird flu wiped out a large portion of the population, and then lots of other completely insane stuff, like a killer rooster, Tony's cybernetic police partner, and a seemingly never ending list of other food-related powers.  This series has been packed with crazy ideas, and they've somehow all managed to come together and gel in an incredibly enjoyable whole.  There's a whackload of plot threads up in the air right now, and as we hit the halfway point, I imagine that Layman and Guillory will start tying these all together in ways that are just as unexpected as the first thirty issues of this series have been.

Written by Tim Seely
Art by Mike Norton

A great jumping on point for new readers. 

Dana investigates the murder of a prominent psychologist who specialized in coping with returned love ones. Cooper gets a visitor. And May Tao visits the hopsital.

Why You Should Care: Revival hasn't gotten the most fanfare ever, but it definitely deserves your attention.  Tim Seely and Mike Norton have been slowly building a fascinating story that straddles between horror and drama, engaging with such heady topics as the meaning of faith and life in a world where death isn't always as permanent as we once thought.  The book's bimonthly release schedule has made it a little harder to gain momentum - people are notoriously good at forgetting about things that aren't on the shelf every month - but if you can look past that, Seely and Norton are telling an interesting story that is worth your time.

Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Matthew Southworth

The conclusion of Eisner Award-winning writer Greg Rucka and acclaimed artist Matthew Southworth latest STUMPTOWN mystery! Stupid skinheads, angry DEA agents, and extremely irritated Portland Police are all focused on “Baby”--rockstar Mim Bracca’s most precious guitar! Can Dex navigate the politics, egos, and attitude to get the axe back without producing even more tabloid fodder?

Why You Should Care: Greg Rucka is a writer that you can trust.  Regardless of what he has on the go, you may rest assured that it will be good.  This is often doubly true for strong, female protagonists, which he seems to have a particular knack for.  Dex Parois would probably not rank as his best known creation, but she's certainly one of his most fun ones.  A private eye based in Portland, she seems to have a particular knack for getting into trouble.  The first series had her finding a way to get out of it, too.  As this is the conclusion to the second volume, we'll soon find out if that streak holds true.

The Balance

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Riley Rossmo

The First

Why You Should Care: While that solicit is rather lackluster, this book has been anything but.  Nick Spencer and Riley Rossmo have been making some really twisted comics together as they tell the story of Madder Red, a supervillain whose lunacy could give Joker a run for his money.  Thus far, the book has been a combination of present day actions mixed with plenty of flashbacks, giving a surface impression of what's all been going on by Madder Red of late.  Things are still a little murky, but it is clear that they aren't going incredibly well for the man.  The mystery has worked well thus far, but hopefully we start getting a bit in the way of answers to maintain reader interest and engagement.

Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Matt Kindt

We've learned some of the secrets of Henry Lyme; now get ready to meet the rest of MIND MGMT, beginning with the Ad Man! With the remains of MIND MGMT on Lyme's tail, the former spy is forced to seek help from other defectors.

Why You Should Care: While I haven't seen a lot of his work beyond his fill-in on Sweet Tooth, Matt Kindt has been getting all kinds of kudos of late, and Mind MGMT is a big part of that.  There seems to be a general consensus that there's some really exciting stuff going on in this book, and while I personally couldn't tell you what it's all about,  I'm mighty tempted to grab myself a copy to find out.  Kindt's looking to make some big strides in 2013, so if you haven't given him a proper look, maybe you should pick up Mind MGMT, too.

Written by Brian Wood
Art by Garry Brown

The Kapital stumbles upon a newly declared sovereign nation—a community of hundreds living on oil platforms with dreams of a new utopia. With the world's governments and economies in shambles, is this new "country" the hope for the future that Callum Israel and Ninth Wave are looking for?

Why You Should Care: I've been drifting in and out of Brian Wood's The Massive, but the fact remains that it's one of the best post-apocalyptic comics out there right now.  This is in large part due to Wood's meticulous research into what a world where the sea level suddenly rises might look like.  Most everything going on in this title is speculation on his part, but due to Wood's keen writing and character work, it feels incredibly real.  This series has also been blessed with some mighty talented artists.  Ironically, for a series that looks at what happens after the icecaps melt, the pacing has been somewhat glacial, which is often my main complaint for this book.

Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Cliff Chiang

• Wonder Woman and her half brother Milan must grapple with the dangerous New God known as Orion!
• What strange alliance has the terrifying First Born made?

Why You Should Care: I only know of so many ways to tell you that Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang are exactly what the Wonder Woman franchise needed.  While so much of DC's New 52 has been more or less business as usual, the talented team on this book have really been mixing things up, changing Diana's backstory at will.  I've never seen Wonder Woman stories engage so directly with the Greek myths that she is ostensibly born of, and it's been a wonderful ride to see how Azzarello and Chiang have interpreted the character through that lens.  Add in the emergence of the New Gods, and there's a lot of really interesting things happening in this book that thoroughly deserve your attention.

Written by Robert Venditti
Art by Trevor Hairsine

The countdown to PLANET DEATH starts now!

New York Times best-selling author Robert Venditti and superstar artist Trevor Hairsine (Ultimate Six, Cla$war) kick off the two-part prologue that will lead to the X-O Manowar event nearly a year in the making. The Vine invasion fleet has finally reached Earth, and they aren’t leaving until they reclaim their sacred X-O Manowar armor. Standing in their path is Aric of Dacia, the first human to ever wield the armor’s power. But the armor is capable of so much more than even Aric knows and he’ll face adversaries old and new in his battle to save humanity from extinction. The war begins here!

Why You Should Care: Valiant is moving headlong into their first major events right now, with Planet Death being the name chosen for the X-O Manowar series.  Robert Venditti has been doing a pretty decent job of juggling Valiant mandated requirements (such as the return of Ninjak) with solid stories, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he'll be able to do the same with this event (that admittedly ties in perfectly with the story he's been building since issue one).  It really looks like this whole Planet Death thing is Valaint's marketing seizing on something that would have happened anyways, so if you've been keen on this book, I imagine it will continue to please in much the same way that it has thus far.

So are you feeling warmed from your head to your toes?  I certainly hope so, as there are plenty of excellent looking books coming your way on the morrow.  Which titles are you hoping to snag?  Hit the comments to let us know!

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Hansel Moreno said...

I am excited for YA NOW. Kieron and Jamie are some of my favorite comic creators. Issue three has an awesome Tradd Moore Variant.

Comic Books At KC said...

Very well written. Incisive about some of my favorite comics.

I will surely be bookmarking this!

...and looking into this fine site as well!

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