Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews for 11/13/13

The temperature outside grows colder by the day, but that won't stop your latest edition of the Post-Crisis Comic Book Previews!  We've plenty of dandy books to look at, including Superior Foes of Spider-Man #5, Unity #1, and more, so let's hop to it!  See you on the other side.

Major Releases

Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Steve Lieber

o You can't steal the head of Silvermane without severe repercussions - a lesson the Foes are about to learn the hard way!
o Don't miss out on the next action-packed chapters of the sleeper hit of Superior Spider-Month!

Grant: This comic is so good.  Nick Spencer has been hitting every single script right out of the park, delivering some extremely irreverent - and hilarious - stories centred on some of Marvel's lowest level criminals.  I've no doubt that the success of Matt Fraction and David Aja's Hawkeye is a big part of what gave this book the green light, but all I care about is that it happened.  This is the kind of cape story I really enjoy reading - one that focuses on how, at the end of the day, everyone wearing a mask is still a regular Joe.  Thankfully, Steve Lieber is more than able to provide the perfect counterpoint to Spencer's scripts, delivering fantastic art that makes every page of script that much better.  This comic is the real deal and you should be reading it.

Written by Matt Kindt
Art by Doug Braithwaite

To kill a king, he has created an army. The world's most dangerous man, Toyo Harada, has been struck by the one thing he never thought possible - fear. Halfway across the globe, a new power threatens to topple modern civilization and, to preempt the cataclysm that is to come, Harada will unite the most lethal, most volatile, most unforgiving team the world has ever known - UNITY. Their mission: defeat the warrior king armed with the universe's most powerful weapon. Kill X-O Manowar! Be here when New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (Justice League of America, Mind MGMT) and superstar artist Doug Braithwaite (Justice, Journey into Mystery) launch Valiant's first-ever superteam into the landmark comic book event of the year with an all-new ongoing series in UNITY #1, featuring covers by a murderer's row of comics juggernauts - Doug Braithwaite, JG Jones, Bryan Hitch, Paolo Rivera, Clayton Crain, Travel Foreman, and Neal Adams! You've heard the buzz, you've seen the reviews. If you still haven't jumped onto Valiant Comics, the time is now! This November, UNITY is the perfect entry point for new readers.

Grant: Valiant has put a lot of push behind their first event comic, doing their utmost to ensure that retailers order it in large amounts.  They've also brought on some talented creators in Matt Kindt and Doug Braithwaite to tell the story, so it's clear that they mean business.  While I certainly wish the company and the team the best of luck, part of me is curious to know how replicating the publishing strategies of DC and Marvel will work in miniature.  

Written by Chris Claremont, Stan Lee, Louise Simonson & Fabian Nicieza
Art by Walter Simonson, Bob McLeod & more

• It’s the 50th Anniversary of the X-Men, ring it in with some of the greatest creators to ever work on the X-Men!
• CHRIS CLAREMONT is joined by classic X-Artist BOB MCLEOD to bring you an untold story of the X-Men starring Cyclops, Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Kitty Pryde and Rogue!
• Also jam-packed with all-star creators from X-Men past including STAN LEE, WALTER SIMONSON, LOUISE SIMONSON AND FABIAN NICIEZA!

Grant: My warm fuzzies for anthology books is well known at this juncture, and this sounds like one of the most fun anthologies of recent memory.  Bringing in a who's who of big X-Men creators to tell some new X-Men tales seems like a no-brainer, and while the book is a little on the pricey side, it just might come home with my pull list.  The only thing that could make this more appealing would be if they'd brought in the same talent, but then mixed up who was working with who - now that would have been an extremely interesting experiment.

New Kids on the Block

Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Maurizio Rosenzweig

Sexy female clowns are mistaken for contract killers and abandon their shabby traveling circus for a world of violence and cruelty-with clown makeup.

* Featuring covers by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Revival)
* By Victor Gischler (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike-A Dark Place, Punisher MAX, X-Men)!

"[Victor Gischler]'s proven . . . to be a writer that can balance humor, drama and action in an entertaining, fast paced package."-Bleeding Cool

Grant: This is here almost entirely on the strength of that solicitation.  It doesn't make all that much sense (what the heck are "sexy female clowns" and how are they being mistaken for contract killers?), but it sounds like a fine basis for some nutty adventures that will hopefully have a liberal dose of gunplay and explosions, which is sometimes all you need.

Written by Chris Dingess
Art by Matthew Roberts

In 1804, Captain Meriwether Lewis and Second Lieutenant William Clark set out on an expedition to explore the uncharted American frontier. This is the story of what they discovered lurking in the wilds... Skybound's newest original series unveils the monsters of the western frontier in the adventure of a lifetime by writer CHRIS DINGESS (Being Human) and up-and-coming artist MATTHEW ROBERTS.

Grant: Manifest Destiny is obviously kind of a complicated point in American history, so I'm curious to see whether this title addresses the complexities of the question or if it will be satisfied with using the setting as a backdrop for Western monster fighting.  I'm not overly familiar with either of the creators involved in the book, so I don't know either way.  It's certainly an original premise, and likely worth a look on that alone.

Written by Antony Johnston
Art by Christopher Mitten

'THE DAY DAWNED TWICE' A NEW DARK FANTASY FROM THE CREATORS OF WASTELAND! The young thief called Rascal witnesses the horrific murder of the royal family - now the world's dark legends will be relived, and only Rascal even knows it's happening! Master worldbuilder ANTONY JOHNSTON (Dead Space, Daredevil) and his Wasteland co-creator CHRISTOPHER MITTEN (Batman, Criminal Macabre) bring you a new fantasy world rich in mythology, history, and blood! Extra-long first issue for the regular price of $2.99!

Grant: I'm not entirely certain what we're getting into with Umbral #1, but Image has a pretty solid track record of taping quality creators to make some quality works, so I'm willing to give something like this a chance, even if it is sight unseen.  The claim of extra pages for the some price also doesn't hurt either.

Written by Joe Hill
Art by Charles Paul Wilson III

Joe Hill's New York Times Bestselling novel, NOS4A2, introduced readers to the terrifying funhouse world of Christmasland, and the mad man who rules there: Charlie Talent Manx III. Now, in an original new comic miniseries, Hill throws wide the candy cane gates to tell a standalone story that is at once both accessible to new readers, and sure to delight fans of the book.

Grant: Joe Hill has written some mighty fine works - whether in comics or in prose - so whenever he has something new it's generally worth checking out.  While he's tried out a couple of different genres, he certainly seems comfortable in the world of horror and terror, which based on the cover alone, Wraith will fall squarely within.  If that's your kind of read, this buy seems like a safe bet.

Fond Farewell

Written by Jock
Art by Jock

o Jock's sci-fi Wolverine saga comes to its thrilling conclusion! o Logan learns the sinister truth of the alien planet he's found himself on.
o But more horrifying still are the truths he finds in an underground cavern - truths he may not be prepared to learn!
o Everything comes full circle as Logan's future finds its roots in the darkest corners of his past!

Grant: I really liked the idea of a book like Savage Wolverine - a place where creators can run hog wild and tell whatever kind of story they want, showing off their chops in the process, continuity be damned.  So I was obviously keen when Jock's name came up as the next person to take on the challenge.  The majority of the first issue really impressed me, with Jock delivering some killer visuals and an interesting narration along the way.  Since getting into the meat of his story - which amounts to some mysterious space kidnappings - I haven't been quite as keen.  However, we're at the last issue of three, so I can muster one more buy to see if he can turn things around.  We'll see.

One Night Only

Written by Paul Tobin
Art by Colleen Coover

A costumed teen burglar by the nome d'arte of Bandette and her group of street urchins find equal fun in both skirting and aiding the law, in Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover's enchanting, Eisner-nominated series! But can even Bandette laugh off the discovery of a criminal plot against her life? Collects issues #1-#5 of the acclaimed MonkeyBrain digital series, plus tons of extras!

* From the creators of Gingerbread Girl!
* Nominated for four 2013 Eisner Awards!
* Guest art by Steve Lieber, Jonathan Case, Alberto J. Alburquerque, and Jennifer Meyer!

Grant: MonkeyBrain is delivering a boatload of amazing and brilliant comics on a regular basis, but none may be more amazing than Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover's Bandette.  This delightful yarn about a lady thief and her whimsical approach to thievery and everything else is a breath of fresh air compared to the general insistence of grim and gritty in comics.  There's nothing wrong with that kind of stuff, but it's nice to have alternatives, too.  Thankfully, Bandette is one of the best alternative that you can find.  It's so good that I'll happily pick up this hardcover after reading them all online.  The technoluddite in me can't resist physical comics, and I'll be pleased as punch to add this one to my collection.

You May Have Missed

Written by Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya
Art by Ian McGinty

This ADVENTURE TIME whodunit continues with hilarious team-­ups no one is expecting as Ooo searches for it's newest hero, but is Peppermint Butler any closer to figuring out what happened to Finn and Jake? Each issue is great for fans by itself but for series readers, it'll only be a matter of time before the truth finally comes out.

Grant: Speaking of whimsy in comics, it's hard to beat kaBoom!'s Adventure Time books.  And Yuko Ota, Ananth Panagariya, and Ian McGinty's Candy Capers contribution has been one of the best examples of this.  Peppermint Butler and Cinnamon Bun have been the most wonderful of odd couples, employing other, slightly less odd twosomes to try to fill Finn and Jake's strangely empty shoes as Ooo's official adventurers.  With only one more issue to go after this, it will be sad to see Candy Capers end, but I'm eager to find out how the creative team is going to cap it all off.

Written by Simon Oliver
Art by Robbi Rodriguez

With the dust still settling on the BubbleVerse disaster, Adam takes a trip into the desert to look for answers about his past and the father he never knew.

Grant: I'm never going to get over how much less interesting FBP is as a title, but unfortunately, the Collider ship has clearly sailed.  Fortunately, the actual content of the comic remains solid, so it's not all bad, I suppose.  I'm still a little unclear as to how long this series will be running for, but I'll keep reading it as long as they keep putting it out - particularly when Nathan Fox keeps doing such beautiful covers.  Seems almost a shame to defile with trade dress.

Written by Brandon Montclare
Art by Amy Reeder

'BODIES IN MOTION TEND TO STAY IN MOTION...' Teen future-cop DaYoung Johansson hits 1980s NYC like a meteor. People can't get enough of the Rocket Girl: she's fighting crime, saving citizens, and causing a sensation. But she's also trying to right a wrong in a mystery so deep it could change the future forever. There's a lot more going on here than anyone knows about - and it might be more than the 15-year-old super detective can handle. 'A time-travelling teen police force is the stuff my dreams are made of. It's drawn elegantly and masterfully by Amy Reeder. It looks like she and Brandon Montclare came up with the perfect story to go wild on.'

Grant: It seems like tomorrow will be an embarrassment of whimsy (or at least lighthearted) comics, as issue #2 of Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder's most excellent Rocket Girl is also hitting stands.  You may recall that I was something of a fan of the opening chapter, thoroughly enjoying the fun writing and gorgeous art.  Here's hoping the momentum continues as they blast off yet again.

Written by Geof Darrow
Art by Geof Darrow

He came, he "sawed," but will he conquer?! The Shaolin Cowboy proves-in 33 pages of gas-powered mayhem-that the undead and kung fu don't mix as they mix it up in issue #2. No "low T" in this one!

* From writer/artist Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled, The Matrix)!
* 33 pages of story!
* The action heats up!
* For fans of chainsaws!

"What do a talking horse and a shaolin priest have in common? Each other. Add to this strange pair a band of assassins (including a talking monkey with a gun) and you get Shaolin Cowboy" -Comic Critique

Grant: While certainly much more violent than most of the above books, I would argue that there is a certain amount of a whimsy (or at least laid-back) element to the return of Geof Darrow's Shaolin Cowboy.  The first issue was almost entirely fighting (not that I'm complaining, mind you), culminating in our hero pulling out that double bladed chainsaw you see on the cover to take care of some zombie bothers.  Now there's a fight that will be worth following.

Pick of the Week

There's a lot of comics that I could select as my pick for the week, but I'm going to have to go with Bandette.  I know it's not quite fair, seeing as it's a hardcover collection and not a single issue, but it's simply too much fun not to offer some additional recognition.  I can't wait to flip through those stories again and have an up close and personal look at Colleen Coover's wonderful art.

Hows about you?  What titles are you dying to get your hands on?

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