Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 04/17/13

Hear ye, hear ye, 'tis time for thine Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews!  As per the norm, there is an abundance of quality publications of note, including yonder Black Beetle: No Way Out #3, Chew #33, and innumerable others.  So please join us on the other side to view some of these incomparable issues!

Major Releases

BLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT #3
Written by Francesco Francavilla
Art by Francesco Francavilla

Under the watchful gaze of the mysterious Labyrinto, Black Beetle fights for his life! Is this the doing of a man that Black Beetle thought was dead? Could a zombie mobster be commanding the foes of Colt City’s dark avenger?! If he survives the night, the investigative insect will be left with questions to ponder as he takes his investigation . . . to the morgue!
• An all-new superhero tale from 2012 Eisner Award winner Francesco Francavilla!

Grant: Francesco Francavilla's Black Beetle is getting better with every issue.  The time and care that goes into these issues is evident from how well put together they are.  Black Beetle walks that line of hitting the tropes you'd expect while also taking the story places you might not.  Francavilla's work is always oozing with his personal style, and nowhere is that more true than here in the pages of Black Beetle.

BATWOMAN #19
Written by J.H. Williaims III and W. Haden Blackman
Art by Trevor McCarthy

• What is the shocking family revelation that can turn Batwoman's world upside down?

Grant: Batwoman is one of the few New 52 series that I've never really been disappointed by.  J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman have steered Kate Kane and her supporting cast in directions that make for some mighty dramatic moments and they've all felt true to the characters.  I do still (and always will) miss Williams on art, but thus far, Trevor McCarthy's second kick at the can has impressed me a lot more than his first go around.  Following the conclusion of the last story arc, I'm eager to know how all the various Kane family matters play out, so you better believe I'm excited for this issue.


New Kids on the Block

HOUSE OF GOLD AND BONES #1
Written by Corey Taylor
Art by Richard Clark

Trapped in an alternate reality, the Human must make his way to the House of Gold & Bones as he is chased by a crazed mob, and taunted by mysterious ally, Allen. What the Human discovers on his journey will be his salvation . . . or his destruction.
• Inspired by the Stone Sour album House of Gold & Bones.
• Cover art by Jason Shawn Alexander.

Grant: Here we've got another comic book penned by a musician, this time around by Corey Taylor, the vocalist for alternative metal band Stone Sour (and formerly of Slipknot).  The comic is inspired by the band's latest album, so based on that and the solicitation, this story looks to be intense and wacky in ways you may not expect.  The question is whether Taylor can translate his experience as a musician into a readable comic book.  It's hard to say, but it could be worth taking a look to find out.

MINIATURE JESUS #1
Written by Ted McKeever
Art by Ted McKeever

GOLDEN AGE FORMAT
Devil on one shoulder - angel on the other.
One tells you to do bad things, the other . . . well, you get the idea.
Bad news for a recovering alcoholic if the "good" one is MIA.
Between a liquor-gulping demon and a mummified cat hell-bent on mucking up his fragile stability with esoteric trappings of Egyptian Gods, it's all about to make our hero's day hit the proverbial fan.

Grant: Fans of Ted McKeever should rejoice as his latest comic book work drops this week.  Based on solicits and interviews, Miniature Jesus looks to be an incredibly personal and challenging story.  And based on McKeever's past output, you should also be ready for this one to be pretty out there.  We'll see how it all comes together.

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER & NINTH ASSASSIN #1
Written by Tim Siedall
Art by Stephen Thompson and Mark Irwin

Eight assassins hired to murder Darth Vader—eight assassins dead. Now the man who enlisted them seeks a ninth assassin. The price? A cost higher than all the credits in his bottomless coffers. But when it comes to avenging his son, no sacrifice is too great to acquire the one man who can kill the Dark Lord of the Sith . . .
• All-new series starring Darth Vader!
• Tim Siedell (@badbanana) has one of Time’s 140 Best Twitter Feeds!

Grant: Dark Horse have long been excellent caretakers of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, and with the announcement that the license will be returning to Marvel come 2015, Dark Horse seems to have upped their game to the next level.  A number of their recent series (including the excellent Star Wars by Brian Wood) have been exceptional, so the question is whether this one will follow that pattern or if it'll break the streak.  My money's on the former.

You May Have Missed

ATOMIC ROBO: REAL SCIENCE ADVENTURES #7
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Erica Henderson

Join Nikola Tesla's team of 19th century luminaries, the Centurions of Science, as they uncover the diabolical 'Black Coat' plot to overthrow the United States government!

Who are the Black Coats?

Where does their fantastic weaponry come from?

How far does their infiltration go? 

Grant: Brian Clevinger is trying something different with the second volume of Real Science Adventures.  Instead of following multiple short stories throughout each issue, this round will focus solely on the Centurions of Science team he introduced in one of those earlier short stories.  So hang on to your hats as we get some awesome 19th century pulp adventures featuring some of the most fun figures from the era.  Bonus points to the fact that Clevinger appears to be bringing some great web comic artists on board for the ride, including the immensely talented Erica Henderson for this issue.

FIVE GHOSTS: THE HAUNTING OF FABIAN GRAY #2
Written by Frank J. Barbiere
Art by Chris Mooneyham

“BLOOD FOR THE SPIDER GOD”

The year’s most exciting new adventure continues!

“... an elegantly designed, sharply colored, moody descent into a twilit world...an intriguing entry point into a compelling new universe from Barbiere and Mooneyham that sets a high standard for up-and-coming comics creators.” – The Comics Beat

Grant: Frank J. Barbiere and Chris Mooneyham hit the comic book world with one heck of a high concept when they dropped Five Ghosts #1 on an unsuspecting audience last month.  Fabian Gray is haunted by those aforementioned five ghosts and each one represents a character from a different literary adventure classic.  The best part of this whole business is that the book is wicked fun, offering one of the best pulp experiences you'll find in the funny pages anywhere.  You should definitely be checking it out if you aren't already.

The Balance

ADVENTURE TIME #15
Written by Ryan North
Art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb
Backup by Jeremy Sorese

A STAND-ALONE ISSUE LEADING INTO THE NEW ARC! A PERFECT JUMPING- ON POINT FOR NEW READERS! Join Jake the Dog and Finn the Human in this totally topsy-turvy take on the land of Ooo! The best all-ages series of 2012 continues!

Grant: There's nothing more fun than Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb's Adventure Time comic.  Seriously, I challenge you to find something that has the same mix of adventure, humour, and all around fun, because I honestly don't believe it can be done.  This creative team has some brilliant chemistry, as each member builds off the others, resulting in a final product that is all the better for it.  And if you haven't been reading this book, you're in luck, because this is one of Adventure Time's infamous one-shots, which are not only eminently approachable but also super enjoyable.  I'd consider it if I were you.

CHEW #33
Written by John Layman
Art by Rob Guillory

Tony takes on a load of seamen.

Grant: Oh, Chew.  John Layman and Rob Guillory have been making you for what seems like pretty much forever at this point, and you quite simply never get old.  Those two crazy dudes bring the funny each and every issue, managing to find new and innovative ways to use the book's signature food powers.  There's still a ways to go before we reach the series' final issue #60, and I'll be happy to follow Tony Chu and company's adventures as we slowly make our way.




CONAN THE BARBARIAN #15
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Andrea Mutti

Conan’s army has infiltrated the Shemite fortress protected by Bêlit! Can their love for each other survive the battle—and can they?
• “The Woman on the Wall” concludes!
• Brian Wood (The Massive, Star Wars) and Andrea Mutti (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

Grant: While Brian Wood seems to be writing every second comic book, I would venture to say that Conan the Barbarian might be his best work at the moment.  At the very least, it's the one that resonates with me the strongest.  He's made Conan a sympathetic and interesting character in ways that I never would have expected, and I find myself routinely wondering how our Cimmerian lead will get himself out of his latest scrape (or worse, as the case so often is).  The series has been built on three issue arcs, and I'm rather keen to see how this one is going to play out.

WONDER WOMAN #19
Written by Brian Azzarello
Art by Tony Akins and Dan Green

• What is the one way Wonder Woman can stop Orion?

Grant: Speaking of great warriors, it seems only appropriate that we'd jump to DC's Wonder Woman.  She continues to be as badass as ever under Brian Azzarello's direction, and while I continue to pine away for Cliff Chiang's interiors on this book, I must admit that Tony Akins and Dan Green have really been upping their game of late.  Their work isn't exactly a replacement for Chiang, but it's actually been quite a solid substitute, which is a big step forward.  The story that Azzarello and company have been telling has kind of been going on forever (as we're still dealing with many of the issues introduced in that first issue), but I don't find myself too upset with the extended length of things, as it still feels like we're getting somewhere.  Hopefully that trend continues.

Pick of the Week

It shouldn't come as any great surprise that I'm going with Atomic Robo: Real Science Adventures #7 as my Pick of the Week.  I'm a pretty big Clevinger fan and I'm quite intrigued by the change in format for the book.  Erica Henderson's inclusion on art duty only sweetens the pot, and the fact that we're focusing on Clevinger's historical super science team pretty much seals the deal for me.

What about you?  What books are you eager to race through come Wednesday?  Hit the comments to share your thoughts, should the desire move you!


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Eric van Schaik said...

Small but expensive week for me:
Batwoman 19, Cyberforce 4, Manhattan Projects TPB 2, and my winner of the week: Marshal Law Deluxe Edition HC.

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