Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 10/02/13

No time to beat around the buses, because your Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews have arrived and are ready for your viewing pleasure!  We've plenty of enticing books coming your way tomorrow, including Mara #6, The Occultist #1, Ghost Town #3, and more!

Major Releases

LAZARUS #4
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Michael Lark and Brian Level

'FAMILY,' Part Four The conclusion of the first arc. Forever moves to defend her Family with blood and steel as the Twins' plot against their father is revealed.

Grant: Greg Rucka and Michael Lark's Lazarus has been a revelation since its summer start.  They have imagine and realized a terrifyingly real dystopian future that reflects some very real societal concerns that we are currently facing in a way that speaks to those ills while also telling an engaging narrative.  The opening arc has been full to bursting, and I have no doubt that this issue will be just as dense, tying up lots of threads while introducing new pieces for coming issues.



SAVAGE WOLVERINE #9
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: So I jumped the gun earlier this month when I mistook the solicitations for Savage Wolverine #8 as the start of Jock's stint on the title, but it appears that that fateful day will finally be upon us this week.  While my comments came early, they still hold true, as I'm incredibly excited to see Jock draw and write this story of Wolverine crash landing on some alien planet in the far future.  I'm definitely taking a Planet of the Apes vibe off of it, but that's not a bad thing.  We already know that Jock is a crazy talented artist, so I can't wait to see what he comes up with writing his own stories.

TRILLIUM #3
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Jeff Lemire

After her mind-altering encounter with William, the wounded soldier from 1921, Nika is flung back to the far future, where she must face the repercussions of her actions. But will she be able to make sense of what's happening to her in time to stop Earthlab's genocide of the indigenous alien tribe? And can she find her way back to William?

Grant: Jeff Lemire's writing is top notch, but he'll always be a cartoonist in my heart of hearts, so I continue to be thrilled that he has returned to writing and drawing with Trillium.  It also doesn't hurt that thus far the story has kept its promise of being a strange, science fiction love story between two people separated temporally by centuries.  It's been a really interesting character study, with plenty of time for the story to continue to grow and bloom.

New Kids on the Block

BUSHIDO #1
Written by Rob Levin
Art by Studio Hive

VAMPIRES IN FEUDAL JAPAN! Kichiro is an outsider in feudal Japan. Lacking the Japanese blood that would allow him to become a samurai, Kichiro must fulfill his dreams of serving the shogun in a less traditional manner . . . by eliminating every foreign supernatural threat that rears its fangs! This Halloween month, treat yourself to an issue of BUSHIDO each Wednesday! All FIVE issues of Top Cow's and Heroes and Villains Entertainment's latest series will be released in October. Order now . . . if you dare!

Grant: I don't know much about this whole Bushido thing, but a mixture of feudal Japan and vampires, while perhaps a little on the nose of the current cultural zeitgeist, admittedly still sounds pretty cool.  I'm not exactly wild about the idea of all five issues coming out during the coming five weeks of October, but that's more reflective of my buying habits than the series itself.  And besides, if it's as enjoyable as the premise appears, being able to read it all sooner rather than later wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: LIVING LEGEND #1
Written by Andy Diggle
Art by Adi Granov

When a top-secret orbital research station is dragged from the sky by an unknown alien force, army-of-one Steve Rogers finds himself caught between two global superpowers on the brink of war!

But how does it involve Volkov--a decorated Russian officer he last crossed paths with during the closing days of World War II, who disappeared on an ill-fated lunar mission over forty years ago?

Andy Diggle and Adi Granov send living legend Captain America on a one-man mission into the heart of darkness--in search of another!

Grant: I must say that I'm almost as interested in the "how" behind Andy Diggle and Adi Granov getting to create a Captain America four-issue miniseries that seemingly has little to do with current continuity as I am in the miniseries itself.  That being said, the solicitation does a surprisingly good job of both explaining what this book will be about and making it seem worth picking up, so I just might do so on the morrow.

FANTOMEX MAX #1
Written by Andrew Hope
Art by Shawn Crystal

The X-Men's own International Super-Thief in his own MAX miniseries! Sexy secret agents, weird weaponry, vintage champagne and a damsel in distress.

All the uncensored action you could ever want in a comic . . . and MORE!

Grant: I've never been hugely into Marvel's MAX titles, as they often feel a little overly gratuitous for my taste, but I can certainly understand the appeal.  Just as I understand the appeal of Fantomex, a character who seems to be reaching greater and greater prominence these past few years (thanks in large part to Rick Remender's treatment of the character, I would say).  So it really only makes sense that Marvel would want to combine the two to see what comes of the mixture.  I'm going to go out on a limb and guess lots of profanity and explosions, with a liberal dose of murderousness.

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #1
Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Marco Rudy

From the haunted heights of a mysterious castle to the dizzying depths of the deep seas, the Amazing Spider-Man has to take on not one, not six, not twelve - but ninety-nine of the Marvel Universe's deadliest villains to save the lives of countless innocents!

Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing) bring you a defining hour in the life of the webbed wonder in a race against time and a battle against evil.

Grant: I continue to be pleased to see Matt Kindt getting more and more writing gigs around the comic book industry.  He's an incredibly hard working, incredibly nice guy, so it's always nice to see that rewarded.  It's also a plus when the rewards take the form of what is looking to be one heck of a Spider-Man story.  Ninety-nine villains sounds like a lot, but if Kindt and Rudy can balance their number with an intriguing story, I'd be more than happy to see the results (especially since it will likely include more than its fair share of B- and C-list villains, which I can never get enough of).

OCCULTIST #1
Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Mike Norton

An evil witch doctor needs the book of spells known as the Sword to reject the Occultist. He needs the weapon itself to decide that he is a bad host in the ongoing war against the realm of the dead. The solution lies in a Catholic schoolgirl who dabbles in death for a quick high.

* Art by Mike Norton (Battlepug, The Answer!, Revival).
* Written by Hack/Slash creator Tim Seeley!
* Variant cover by Eisner winner Paolo Rivera.
"The Occultist is a comic you should be checking out."-Comic Book Resources

Grant: Tim Seeley and Mike Norton have done some quality work together on Revival, so I'm eager to see what they do with this project that seems to be focused far more in the fantastic and the mystical.  I imagine that same grounded in reality atmosphere will still be around, but the change of genre should make for a nice change of pace.

Fond Farewell

MARA #6
Written by Brian Wood
Art by Ming Doyle

CONCLUSION! A few short months ago, Mara Prince had the world in the palm of her hand. Now the world has so completely rejected her she has no place left to go. Or does she? The dramatic conclusion to MARA is here.

Grant: It's been a bit of a while since the last issue of Brian Wood and Ming Doyle's Mara.  So much so that I had legitimately forgotten that this series hadn't ended already (although the realiziation that it hadn't did explain why the ending I remember seemed so incomplete...).  All that being said, while this series has had some identity issues in determining what kind of story it wants to tell, the journey to answer that question has nonetheless made for some interesting reading.  Considering where the story has taken us, it will be intriguing to see what Wood and Doyle ultimately decided on (should they decided at all).

You May Have Missed

BEDLAM #9
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Ryan Browne

"Hiding Something."

Grant: I don't rightly know why this cover credits Riley Rossmo as the current artist, seeing as Ryan Browne has been on the book for a couple issues at this point.  While I was initially leery of the change, the switchover in artists has been an all around improvement for the book.  The visuals are obviously quite different from Rossmo's, but Browne brings his own unique flair to the book that fits right in with what Nick Spencer has been writing thus far.  And more than that, the infusion of new creative blood has led to much stronger and more focused comics these past few issues.  Hopefully Spencer and Browne can keep the momentum going as the current story arc speeds along.


GHOST TOWN #3
Written by Ryan K. Lindsay
Art by Daniel Logan

For Nate Lawson, breaking into the Ghost Town has been a lucrative thrill ride, retrieving treasures left behind in the wake of the terrorist act that left Washington a cordoned off nightmare.

He's made plenty of money, but he's never taken a job like this. He's never rescued a person. And he's never faced off against a monster like Tyrell Desmond.

Grant: While the conceit of a bomb being sent into some uncertain future time resulting in a mostly - but not quite entirely - abandoned Washington D.C. is a little far-fetched, I did enjoy what Ryan K. Lindsay and Daniel Logan did with it in issue #2 of the book (which was the beginning of their run).  There were some nice competing interests introduced and established, so this issue should see them putting some of those forces up against each other.  I look forward to seeing the fallout of the collision.

The Balance

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #2
Written by Rafael Grampa, Dan Didio, Rafael Albuquerque, Jeff Lemire & Michael Usland
Art by Rafael Grampa, J.G. Jones, Rafael Albuquerque, Alex Nino & Dave Bullock

The Eisner Award-winning series continues with a second amazing issue! Don’t miss new takes on the Dark Knight from legendary creators including Rafael Grampá, Dan DiDio and J.G. Jones, Rafael Albuquerque, Jeff Lemire and Alex Niño, and Michael Uslan and Dave Bullock! Plus, a cover by the amazing Jim Steranko!

Grant: Issue #1 of Batman: Black & White was a bit of a mixed bag when it came to its stories.  Some were quite excellent, some were so-so, and others were downright confusing.  However, that is the lot of an anthology book, where quality can diverge wildly from story to story.  The important thing in my opinion is that DC is continuing to pick some of the best and most exciting creators to contribute to this book (with some exceptions - I'm looking at you Dan Didio), which should result in solid shorts.  My only real complaint with this title is that the price point is a little steep for a book that isn't even being printed in colour...


CATALYST COMIX #4
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Dan McDaid, Ulises Farinas & Paul Maybury

Dark Horse wants you to party hard! That’s why you’re invited on a galactic date with Amazing Grace! To the dance club with the Agents of Change! And on a superactivist world tour with Frank “Titan” Wells! Once again, Catalyst delivers all the super those other comics can’t handle!

• Masterminded by Joe Casey (Sex, Gødland)!
• Wraparound cover by Rafael Grampá (Mesmo Delivery)!
• Artists Dan McDaid (Doctor Who), Ulises Farinas (Gamma), and Paul Maybury (Aqua Leung)!
“Ulises Farinas draws in the neo-Moebius style with an incredible level of detail and imagination . . . We expect him to be a superstar.”—Comics Beat

Grant: I continue to dig Joe Casey and company's Catalyst Comix.  The three artists on three different stories scheme they have going on is really working for me, and I can't wait to see what will happen next - and how those three stories related to each other.  Should be good times!

SUICIDE RISK #6
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Elena Casagrande

Trapped in the clutches of the Nightmare Crew, Leo Winters must find a way to protect both his family...and his sanity. But Leo soon discovers the lengths he will go to do both might scare even the supervillains who have him trapped...

Grant: The one-shot from last month was a nice interlude from the main narrative, but with the story picking up again in earnest, I'm hoping that Mike Carey and Elena Casagrande can deliver a bit more purpose to Suicide Risk.  I really dig the concept of people buying superpowers and the majority of them turning bad for reasons unknown, but there doesn't seem to much more to the story beyond that quite yet.  Fingers crossed that Carey and Casagrande can pack in a greater sense of purpose or urgency in the near future, otherwise I'll eventually determine that the risk isn't worth it.

Pick of the Week

I have to go with Savage Wolverine #9 this week.  Considering I wrongly thought it was coming out a few weeks ago, my anticipation has only increased in the interim.  Normally that can be the recipe for disaster, but I think that Jock will be able to exceed those expectations, even if they are elevated.


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