Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 05/01/13

It's time once again for our Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews, and there are some dandies coming your way on the morrow.  We're spotlighting plenty of these quality titles, including Ten Grand #1, The Movement #1, Hawkeye #10, and many more.  So click that cut to check 'em all out!  We'll see you on the other side.

Major Releases

Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Francesco Francavilla

• The most acclaimed new book of the year continues!
• Who pulled the trigger?
• Where have you seen him before? Have you seen him before? Maybe. But not like this.
• It's murder, mayhem, and greasepaint make-up for the money, kids -- and that means playtime is over, Monsieur Hulot. Caw caw.

Grant: After last month's tragic cliffhanger, it's hard not to be extra excited for the latest issue of Hawkeye.  Add in Francesco Francavilla as the guest-artist for the issue, and Hawkeye #10 has quite a lot going for it.  This series sometimes makes me feel like a broken record, because like virtually every issue before it, this should be good.

Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Ben Templesmith

Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agreed to one last job, little realizing that the man he'd been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survived Joe's attempt and came after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lay dying, an angelic force (who may or may not be what she appears) pointed out that where she is going, he can't follow, and where he is going, he wouldn't want her to follow. But if he will agree to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn't most people.

A bold new era begins with the long-anticipated return of Joe's Comics, the imprint that brought you MIDNIGHT NATION and RISING STARS. All-new stories from J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI (Babylon 5, Jeremiah, Thor, Amazing Spider-Man, Superman: Earth One) return in 2013 with an action packed line up featuring everything from superhero action to supernatural thrillers. Watch this space as a new wave of exciting, challenging and experimental stories begins!

Grant: First of all, that is possibly one of the longest solicitations I have ever seen.  Seriously, it just kind of keeps going and going.  Second of all, it's hard to say that J. Michael Straczynksi's name is as well-respected as it was before his questionable Superman and Wonder Woman runs (made all the more so by the fact that he didn't bother to actually finish either of them), but I imagine there are enough people willing to check out his next big thing.  And while that solicit seemingly never ends, it does at least have some interesting things to say.  It's hard to say how long that kind of concept can last you storywise, but it sounds like it's worth checking out for a little bit.

New Kids on the Block

Written by Brian Buccellato
Art by Ronan Cliquet

A classic pulp from the 30’s returns in this modern take on a seminal character that inspired several well-known comic icons. Tony Quinn is a brash Defense Attorney to the mob who compromises his ethics for financial gain. When he refuses to cross the line and commit murder, he is tortured and blinded by his gangster employers. But when a fortuitous meeting with a covert agency gives him a chance to make amends, Tony transforms into the Black Bat and embarks on a redemptive quest to right the wrongs of his past.

Grant: Dynamite's relaunching of their pulp properties continues this month with Black Bat #1.  I'll be interested to see the numbers on these books as they develop down the line, because while I find Dynamite's initiative of going out to find high-calibre creators for their characters intriguing, I'm rarely all that familiar with who those characters actually are.  Black Bat is a similar case, as I've never heard of him before seeing the solicit for this comic.  He sounds intriguing - if rather similar to Daredevil - but will that be enough to bring in readers?

Written by Dean Motter
Art by Dean Motter and Hamid Bahrami

Dean Motter and his groundbreaking creation are back in a new series perfect for first-time readers and longtime fans! Radiant City’s government has been overtaken in a coup, and only the mysterious Mister. X can stop its new masters from using authoritarian psychetecture to remake the minds of every citizen!
• From visionary artist and designer Dean Motter!
• A great jumping-on point to the classic series!
• Features an additional, standalone Mister X tale!

Grant: Speaking of older characters (although not quite so old), Dark Horse looks to be bringing back Dean Motter's Mister X for some comic book shenanigans.  Originally published in the 80s, it was starred a character who rarely slept trying to fix elements of the dystopian Radiant City.  I'm hazy on much more than that, but considering the wicked design work you have on the cover here, I'm willing to give it a closer look.

Written by Gail Simone
Art by Freddie Williams II

We are faceless. We are limitless. We see all. And we do not forgive.

Who defends the powerless against the GREEDY and the CORRUPT? Who protects the homeless and poverty-stricken from those who would PREY upon them in the DARK OF NIGHT?

When those who are sworn to protect us abuse their power, when toxic government calls down super-human lackeys to force order upon the populace...finally, there is a force, a citizen’s army, to push order BACK.

Let those who abuse the system know this as well: We have our OWN super humans now. They are not afraid of your badges or Leagues. And they will not be SILENCED.

We are your neighbors. We are your co-workers. And we are your children.

Grant: Another longish solicitation for Gail Simone's new book (which I actually appreciate in this instance, considering how short DC usually runs their stuff).  That said, "new" is perhaps a misnomer, as the Occupy Movement which clearly stands as the marketing inspiration for this title is not the newsmaker that it once was.  It certainly remains to be seen if DC has missed the boat on this title, although Simone and Freddie Williams II can make the question irrelevant if The Movement ends up being a bastion of creativity and good comics.  Considering what the state of the vast majority of New 52 comics at the moment, one can only hope.

You May Have Missed

Written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie
Art by Sebastián Fiumara

Abe Sapien battles his way through terrible Ogdru Hem and human monsters as the world comes crashing down around him, on his quest to reveal his own role in the end of the world.
• Sebastián Fiumara (Loki, Mystery in Space) joins the Mignolaverse.

Grant: The second issue of Mike Mignola, Scott Allie, and Sebastán Fiumara's Abe Sapien series hits stands tomorrow, and Abe's return to active duty looks to be off to a good start.  That opening issue was perhaps a little exposition-heavy, but now that that is out of the way, I imagine we can really get into the nitty gritty of Abe's story and ongoing adventures.  He looks to be on the run from the B.P.R.D. for the immediate future, so I look forward to seeing how that all plays out.

Written by Max Bemis
Art by Jorge Coelho

With great power comes great responsibility, but who has time for that in the New York City art scene? Tim is finally realizing that his powers are not just a manifestation of his manic depression, and what better way to use them than to exact total revenge on the hipsters and jocks that have tormented him? Tune in to issue #2 of POLARITY where Tim defames and debases hipsters as only SAY ANYTHING frontman Max Bemis could write.

Grant: Polarity #1 was a pleasant surprise, as Max Bemis and Jorge Coelho told the story of a manic depressive protagonist who may or may not have developed super powers.  While it seemed clear that said super powers would end up being real, I'm a little disappointed to see that reveal spoiled here in the second issue's solicitations.  I'm also leery of the solicit's references to making fun of hipsters, as the parts of the opening issue concerned with mocking hipsters were among the weakest part of the book.  Bemis looks like he actually knows his way around a comic book pretty well; hopefully we'll see more evidence of that in the issues to come.

The Balance

Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by John Paul Leon and Steve Pugh

The battle against the Rot has left Buddy’s family in ruins, and now they must withstand another force trying to subvert him: his own celebrity!

Grant: The sudden focus on Buddy Baker's celebrity still feels a little unnatural considering his depictions earlier in this series run.  He seemed like far more of a washed-up actor than anyone people would be interested in knowing about, so it's frustrating to see the narrative gloss over the why of the media's new found interest.  However, it has only been one issue, so perhaps Lemire will be able to lend some credibility to that element of this storyline.  Also, Jae Lee's cover for this issue looks damn fine.  I know the interiors won't look like this, but I have a feeling that this imagery will be somewhat representative of what's going on in this issue.  We'll see about that, I suppose.

Written by Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren & Anthony Johnston
Art by Facuno Percio

Moore's visionary tale reveals the truth and horror behind the lavish trappings of Celestine's fashion empire. As the world teeters on the verge of self-destruction, and Doll witnesses the final moments of her benefactor, a choice must be made. And Doll does the unthinkable by proclaiming who the phoenix of Celestine's empire will be... The end is near and the choices made will either spell the salvation of it or usher in its utter ruin. 

Grant: Fashion Beast is still somewhat inscrutable in my opinion, which again, is odd considering that this series will be ending with issue #10.  But while I'm still not entirely certain what the point of this story is or where it's going, I continue to enjoy the journey of getting there.

Written by Jason Latour
Art by Nic Klein

• Jason Latour (Loose Ends, Wolverine) and artist Nic Klein (Dancer, Viking, Doc Savage) bring to life the penultimate chapter of THE WINTER SOLDIER’S newest deadly mission.
• Seated high above Earth in a S.H.I.E.L.D. satellite, The ELECTRIC GHOST has set her world-shattering plan in motion. A plan that only Bucky knows the truth behind.
• But what good can he do while at death’s door?
• Plus: the origin of Tesla Tarasova revealed

Grant: I'm still mostly here for Nic Klein's art, as on the whole, Jason Latour's script feels pretty average for a superhero book.  That being said, I am a little disappointed that the series is being cancelled after next month's Winter Soldier #19.  While Latour and Klein's collaboration hasn't been perfect, there have been moments of brilliance, and I had hoped that they would get the opportunity to keep improving together.  Alas, it seems that the pages of Winter Soldier will not be the place for such a thing.  Fortunately, I'm pretty confident that both Latour and Klein will be shifted onto other titles, as they're too talented to be sitting idle for long.

Pick of the Week

I am intrigued by Straczynski's Ten Grand, but whether or not it will be good is more of a question mark than a guarantee.  An issue of Hawkeye penned by Matt Fraction and drawn by Francesco Francavilla on the other hand is all but a lock to be a thing of greatness, so I have little choice but to go with Hawkeye #10 as my pick of the week.

How is the week looking on your end?  Which of the many titles hitting stands tomorrow has you chomping at the bit?  Let me know in the comments, should the mood strike you.

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Anonymous said...

Yeah, I'd like to say something awesome and in-depth but I'm totally on-board with your pick. I'm pretty stoked to see Francavilla's art in what is one of my favorite new books.

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