Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 09/18/13

Repent!  New Comic Book Day is nigh!  But before you do, why not take a moment to look through this week's offerings in our Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews?  There's plenty of groovy comics coming your way, including Kiss Me Satan #1, Savage Wolverine #8, Zero #1, and many more!  You know you want to give it a gander - I'll be waiting on the other side of the cut.


Major Releases

DAREDEVIL #31 
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Chris Samnee

• The Jester returns! And it is no laughing matter.
• Plus: Meet Matt’s new law partner!
• Plus PLUS...News from Hank Pym!

Grant: This is a prime example of Marvel's rather terrible solicitations.  It manages to crack an unfunny joke, throw in a number of unnecessary exclamation marks, and tell you absolutely nothing about why this comic might be interesting.  I'm tempted to give partial points for the "Plus PLUS", but it's hard to tell if that's an intentional gag or if the solicit writer couldn't find a thesaurus for another word that meant "in addition".  I do think that the lack of effort in this solicitation is unfortunate, but the blow is softened by how good Mark Waid and Chris Samnee have been on this series.  Despite what this solicitation may lead you to believe, there are few superhero comics coming out that are better than Daredevil, and I continue to be glad that I can back for a second round after dropping it a year or so back.

UNWRITTEN: TOMMY TAYLOR & THE SHIP THAT SANK TWICE
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Peter Gross

This exciting, original graphic novel explores the world of the Tommy Taylor novels in a visceral and direct way and is a great entry point for new readers.

Twenty-five years ago Tom's father, Wilson Taylor, devised his subversive literary masterpiece. Now the blueprint of how a father gave his son vast power in order to accomplish a greater scheme is revealed. Partly told through Wilson's own journal entries, juxtaposed with Tommy's swashbuckling deep sea adventures with his trusty companions Peter and Sue, the story is at once a prequel and a parallel story to the ongoing series. 

Grant: My understanding is that this book will be a part comic - part storybook telling an original story starring the characters from the Tommy Taylor novels that Mike Carey and Peter Gross have created over the course of The Unwritten.  I imagine that the final product will be something more than that, but even if it isn't, that is a concept that I am sincerely intrigued to read.  And frankly, more Unwritten is always a good thing.

ZERO #1
Written by Ales Kot
Art by Michael Walsh

SAVING THE WORLD. ONE MURDER AT A TIME. Edward Zero is the perfect execution machine - a spy who breaks the rules to get things done. When a stolen device appears in the center of a long-running conflict, Zero comes to retrieve it. The problem is, the device is inside a living, breathing, bio-modified terrorist and there's an entire army after it. 

Grant: Zero sounds like a book I can get behind.  I have been eagerly awaiting this book since I heard Michael Walsh mention it while talking Comeback #3 earlier this year, and my excitement has only been increasing since then.  Ales Kot has been doing all kinds of impressive stuff in the books he's written, and this series all about superspy Edward Zero sounds like it's going to continue that trend.  It's also worth mentioning that, as Walsh said, the book's artist changes every single issue.  I generally dislike artist changes in the middle of arcs, but a comic built to have each story told through a different artistic lens sounds infinitely fascinating.  Sign me up.

New Kids on the Block

BUZZKILL #1
Written by Donny Cates and Mark Reznicek
Art by Geoff Shaw

Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he's an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing MASSIVE amounts of alcohol. After all the disasters it's caused in his personal life, he's ready to get clean . . . and the city's supervillains couldn't be happier!
• Cowritten by the Toadies drummer Mark Reznicek!
• A gorgeous new miniseries from Geoff Shaw (Batman 80-Page Giant 2011)!

Grant: As my reading habits have shown, I'm obviously a big fan of cape books.  Unfortunately, with few exceptions, it often feels like you can only get a certain kind of superhero story from Marvel and DC, which is why I'm always glad to see books like Buzzkill hit stands.  I hadn't been yearning to read about a superhero whose powers are directly related to how intoxicated he is, but I'm glad that Dark Horse is giving me the opportunity to see whether or not it's up my alley.

KISS ME SATAN #1
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Juan Ferreyra

Cassian Steele is the boss of the werewolf mafia in the Big Easy, and he's got a problem. The old witch Verona knows his secret and has gone into hiding. Cassian wants her dead. So he sends out the word: An open contract. The first monster to dust Verona gets a big payday. What no one realizes is that Barnabus Black, a demon desperately trying to regain his halo, is her protection.

* Featuring covers by Dave Johnson and Juan Ferreyra!
* By Victor Gischler (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike-A Dark Place, Punisher MAX, X-Men) and Juan Ferreyra (Colder, Rex Mundi)!

"His art reminds me of Clive Barker at his best. Things which disturb you on a deep, psychological level. Beasts which have too many eyes or hands. It always warms my black heart to see new monsters, and Ferreyra draws the best I've seen in many moons." - Adventures in Poor Taste 

Grant: This is quite possibly my absolute favourite solicitation of all time.  While I'm a sucker for humourous or self-deprecating solicits that call attention to the ridiculousness of the whole idea of soliciting comic books, this solicitation for Kiss Me Satan #1 has genuinely gotten me excited for this title.  It was nowhere near to being on my radar, but the sheer amount of crazy supernatural mob violence promised in those four sentences has grabbed me and will not let go until I get my eyes on the book itself.

Fond Farewell

DREAM THIEF #5
Written by Jai Nitz
Greg Smallwood

When vengeful spirits finally stop possessing John Lincoln, he seizes the opportunity to hunt down the man who first terrorized his girlfriend and kickstarted his endless nightmare. An escaped madman and a determined policewoman push Dream Thief to the very edge in this deadly conclusion!

* Written by Bram Stoker Award winner Jai Nitz!

"Dream Thief is drawn from the same cloth as Vertigo's 100 Bullets, in terms of artwork and storytelling, coming across as gritty and unnerving, while unswervingly professional and capable. - Fanboy Comics 

Grant: Dream Thief has been a most excellent little miniseries, as Jai Nitz and Greg Smallwood have ably introduced us to John Lincoln and the surprisingly murder-filled world that he inhabits.  Nitz's writing has been quick and punchy, while Smallwood's art has been stupidly beautiful.  I won't be at all surprised if these two soon return with yet another brilliant project for your reading consumption.  And heck, as Nitz said when I spoke with him, if we're lucky, the two might be coming back with more Dream Thief down the line.

You May Have Missed

SAVAGE WOLVERINE #8
Written by Jock
Art by Jock

• A new arc begins here as New York Times Best-Selling artist JOCK spins a tale of science fiction intrigue in a far-flung future!
• When Wolverine crash-lands on an alien planet, he’ll need more than just his healing factor to survive!
• But even if he adapts to this strange environment and its stranger denizens, will Logan be able to handle the secrets the planet hides?
• Extraterrestrial excitement hits close to home in a Wolverine tale like none you’ve seen before!

Grant: To be honest, I'd nearly forgotten about this book, but I'm glad that I managed to remember that this new arc will most assuredly be worth checking out.  In case you've suffered from similar memory loss, Savage Wolverine #8 will see Jock take over both art AND writing duties, penning a new, outside-of-continuity story about Wolverine finding himself stranded on an alien world.  I'm getting some major Planet of the Apes vibes thus far, but even if it does turn out to have been Earth all along, I cannot wait to see what Jock will do with all of this creative control.

SIX-GUN GORILLA #4
Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Jeff Stokely

Following their harrowing confrontation with Auchenbran’s corpse army, Six-Gun Gorilla and Blue retreat into the wilderness in hopes of finding the natives of the Blister — weird, abstract creatures that may hold the key to Blue’s ultimate quest to return the “locket”…

Grant: Six-Gun Gorilla continues to be ridiculously entertaining.  I've been hearing lots about Simon Spurrier and his work, but it was not until picking up Six-Gun that I had my first real firsthand encounter with it.  I must say, I am incredibly impressed.  Spurrier has created a rich and imperfect world that, in true science fiction tradition, is uncomfortably like our own.  From there, he has people it with some brilliantly rounded characters with complex hopes and dreams.  Oh, and let's not forget all the explosions and violence that he fits inbetween it all.  Thankfully, Spurrier has an able partner in crime in artist Jeff Stokely, as he is more than up for the task of rendering this madcap world in ways both beautiful and unexpected.  The only downside about this mini is that it's going to have to end, but until then, I'm going to enjoy the ride.

X-FILES SEASON 10 #4
Written by Joe Harris
Art by Michael Walsh

'Believers,' Part 4 of 5: A new government conspiracy comes to light that involves weather control and alien invasion. But what role does the Deacon and the Acolytes play in these mechanations? And what happened to Scully's missing child? Mystery upon mystery sets the stage for the next phase of Mulder and Scully's lives!

Grant: Any week where I can enjoy two comics drawn by Michael Walsh is a good week.  It's even better when one of those books is IDW's great revival of The X-Files.  Again, I will admit that I have never watched the actual television show, so it's possible that this adaptation is woefully inaccurate, but from what I've gathered, it seems like Walsh and writer Joe Harris have managed to strike the perfect balance between creating something that both longtime fans and complete newbies like myself will enjoy.

The Balance

ADVENTURE TIME #20
Written by Ryan North
Art by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb

What time is it? IT’S ADVENTURE ME…?! An adventurous one-shot from a totally new perspective! Join our two heroes as together, with their mystery guest, they stop the Gumball Guardians rampage throughout Ooo!

Grant: One way to know that it's Wednesday is that chances are strong I'll be praising one of Boom!'s Adventure Time adaptations.  I feel like I'm doing it every single week, and with good reason, as virtually every single Adventure Time comic has been algebraically amazing.  While I've been enamoured with the most recent Adventure Time: Candy Capers book, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Ryan North, Shelli Paroline, and Braden Lamb's original Adventure Time book.  These one-shots are always a ton of fun, as North and company have the habit of trying fun little storytelling tricks in them, so I can't wait to see what they'll get up to for #20.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #20
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Paul Azaceta

A twisted religious order targets the heathens Conan and Bêlit, who flee with a relic of immeasurable value. Mad warrior monks pursue the couple across a mazelike landscape, cutting off every avenue of escape. With no other options, Bêlit looks to the mysterious item, hoping to find some salvation within.

* From Brian Wood (Star Wars, The Massive) and Paul Azaceta (Amazing Spider-Man, B.P.R.D.).

"Wood is not afraid of going down new paths with a boldness that will benefit all readers." -Comic Book Resources 

Grant: Conan the Barbarian is another perennial favourite of mine.  Brian Wood has been quietly writing some phenomenal Conan comics with a rotating team of talented artists.  Paul Azaceta showed himself to be yet another quality addition to that list with his opening issue last month.  As always, things look dire for Conan and Bêlit, and I have a feeling that things are only going to get worse before they get better.

Pick of the Week

There's an embarrassing number of extraordinary comics coming out this week, but I'm going to have to go with Ales Kot and Michael Walsh's Zero #1 as my Pick of the Week.  I've been anticipating this book for far too long to consider selecting anything else.

What do you think?  Am I too excited for Zero?  Do you share my zeal or is there another title that you're more preoccupied with?  Hit the comments to share your thoughts!


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