Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews July 2014: Omnibuseses

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Aliens/Prometheus: Fire and Stone – Dark Horse (Front Cover)

It’s confirmed that Prometheus is a prequel to ALIEN, so I’m not quite sure how this is a crossover. I do like the concept of tying the same storyline in across two different eras, though. Dark Horse did this with their Star Wars books a few years ago and it was pretty cool. With talent like Paul Tobin and Chris Roberson involved I feel like this event will be well worth reading, regardless of your feelings about Prometheus (which I loved).

Teen Titans Earth One – DC (Back Cover)

Once again Previews has captured my interest with both covers. This one catches my interest because of the involvement of the Dodsons and Jeff LeMire, though the “Earth One” part doesn’t hurt. I loved Batman Earth One and am really looking forward to the follow-up. The Teen Titans aren’t necessarily favorites of mine, but I’m adding this one to my order.

Grendel vs The Shadow – Dynamite/Dark Horse (Inside Front Cover)

I’m not particularly attached to either character, but Matt Wagner’s involvement is a sure way to get me to pick something up. I’ve never been disappointed by his work.

Halloween Comic Fest (27)

This is very exciting for me. I don’t know if this is a new thing or what, but the idea of celebrating Halloween with cosplayers at the Local Comic Shop just makes so much sense. Maybe the ESO Network will be able to set something up somewhere in town. Goodness knows I won’t be trying anything like that again.

Popular Skullture: The Skull Motif in Pulps, Paperbacks, and Comics – Dark Horse (74)

This looks like exactly the sort of thing I enjoy. It’s a collection of skull-related imagery from pulps… I don’t need to say this, do I? I guess the title pretty much covers it. Anyway, this looks like a cool book that might be full of tattoo fodder.

Batman Animated Series Action Figures – DC Collectibles (124/125)

Well here’s a problem. I wanted to review the first series before I committed to the whole line, but here’s the second wave of figures. And they look awesome and are all must-have characters. But the pictures alone don’t do these figures Justice (pun intended) – these DC Collectibles releases are packed with value:

Robin comes with a bola, extra hands, an extra cape, and his grappling gun.

Joker comes with a helmet, a knife, a telescope, a brick, a comb, a makeup sponge, a pearl necklace, a Joker card, additional hands, and a cologne bottle. That is an absolutely insane (pun intended) amount of accessories. Especially when you consider that Mattel’s MOTUC figures cost more and are having accessories and paint decos cut almost constantly.

Man-Bat comes with an extra set of winged arms, a pill bottle, and a tape recorder.

Poison Ivy includes additional hands and an assortment of chemistry bottles.

Perhaps I should just call it quits on the Masters line and give that money to DCC…

Batman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition HC– DC (135)

Kelley Jones is one of my favorite artists of all time. His work on Batman over the years has had a massive influence on my perception of the character. Jones is one of the few artists with a really out-there style that I can enjoy on a regular superhero title.

This Gallery Edition is a new concept from Graphitti Designs that reproduces the original pages of artwork from key portions of comic book history. It looks awesome and fascinating and I think it’s one of the better gimmicks to come out in recent years.

I would love to have this huge edition, but the $125 price tag is a bit too much for me. Also, storing a 12x17 tome is no joke.

GI Joe – IDW (138)

Just when I was all ready to give IDW shit about restarting GI Joe again I see that Karen Traviss is writing the new title and I am going to have to add it to my pull list. Traviss wrote all of the incredible Star Wars tie-ins that detailed the history of the Mandalorians. I love her work and just can’t miss out on her writing one of my favorite franchises ever.

It’s worth noting that I intensely dislike the standard cover pictured above, but I really dig the alternate Cliff Chiang cover:

I haven’t addressed this before, but IDW’s “subscription variants” are bullshit. The way they’re listed you would think that if this book is on your pull list you would get the subscription variant, right? Not so much. These work the same way as Marvel and DC’s variant covers – the retailer must meet certain order demands to get any of the incentive covers and there’s very little chance that your lowly customer self is going to get it unless you pony up whatever grossly inflated price the retailer sees fit to slap on it.

March to Axis – Marvel

Ugh. Apparently Marvel is making the conclusion of the awesome story where Red Skull stole Xavier’s brain and combined it with his own a big crossover event. Not that the story sounds bad, but it looks like I’m probably going to have to buy some titles I don’t currently collect to follow along.
It runs through Magneto and Uncanny Avengers, which are comics that I am reading, but the description makes it sound like Magneto was unaware that a Nazi had stolen his former best friend’s brain and I just don’t see how that’s possible.

Death of Wolverine - Marvel (M5)

Do you see that? At the top there?

Regular covers will each be rendered with weapon etched holo foil”


I don’t know what in the world that is, but I am fucking excited. It sounds awesome. I’m the rare weirdo that still thinks all of the gimmicky cover crap that killed the market back in the 90s was awesome. It wasn’t the covers themselves that were the problems, it was the dumbass speculators. There is nothing inherently wrong with a gatefold, hologram, die-cut, acid-etched, Astroturf, 3D, glow-in-the-dark cover. I encourage more of this sort of thing.

Edge of Spider-Verse – Marvel (M10-13)

This crossover and miniseries sounds totally absurd. I kind of like it. I won’t buy the books, but I’ll pick up the trade when it comes out.

Superior Foes of Spider-Man #15 – Marvel (M22)

This book continues to defy me not to buy it by having awesome covers. It looks like this issue starts a new story arc, so maybe I’ll finally give in.

Fantastic Four Annual #1 – Marvel (M31)

I’m tempted to pick this one up just because of how much I enjoyed Peter David’s characterization of Valeria Richards when he used her in X-Factor a few years ago. But I have learned that it’s general a bad idea to have expectations about characters that Peter David has written when somebody else is using them. Nothing against James Robinson, but there’s no guarantee he’ll write the youngest Richards the same way.

Stephen King’s The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner
Marvel (M52/53)

I have to admit that I dropped Marvel’s Dark Tower books a while ago. It’s not that they were bad, but I felt like they really got off track somehow. I did not know that direct adaptations of the original books were happening. I’d like to check them out.

Storm – Marvel (M63)

I almost added this to my pull when the first issue was offered, but I am getting so damn many books right now and a book with a female lead – even one as strong as Ororo Munro – probably doesn’t have the best chance at success. I love Storm and I love Greg Pak, but that’s just how I feel.

But now I find out that Forge, my favorite mutant, is in the book. Dammit.

Original Sin Companion HC – Marvel – (M79)

I want to read Original Sin in its entirety, but I don’t want to spend $125 on this hardcover collection of all of the tie-in books. This thing collects a ton of issues and is probably worth the price and the most convenient way to read them, but damn.

Captain America: The Trial of Captain America Omnibus – Marvel (M82)

Ed Brubaker’s run on Captain America is definitely on my must-read list, but again – I just don’t want to spend this much on a book, even if it is a reasonable deal. Might be time to consider that Marvel app I keep hearing about.

Deadpool & Cable Omnibus – Marvel (M84)

Marvel needs to number all of the pages in its stupid little book. Are they really saving that much money by only numbering every twelfth page or whatever?

Anyway, same deal with this omnibus. I want to read all of these. I think the Marvel app is ten bucks a month and probably has all of these book s that I want to read available. So for the price of one of these omnibuses I could have access to a massive number of comic books.

Oh, and go ahead and include the X-Men: Inferno Prologue on this list as well.

The Complete Calvin & Hobbes Slipcase Edition – Andrews McMeel (241)

Sold. I missed out on this when it was first offered a few years ago. Time to pick it up and start sharing the greatest comic strip ever with Lil’ Troublemaker.

Sabrina – Archie Comic Publications (241)

I’m adding this based purely on the excellence of Afterlife With Archie, which I am still thoroughly enjoying.

DMC – Darryl Makes Comics (318)

I have far too much love and respect for RUN DMC to comment on this one, but I can’t not comment on it. So here’s my comment:

DMC is a graphic novel written by Darryl McDaniels (not McDonalds) of legendary hip-hop group RUN DMC. There are some other writers and several artists, too. It comes out in October and has 100 pages. Man. Just look at that exciting cover.

Domino Lady: Money Shot – Moonstone (344)

Check out the ESO Network’s own award-winning Bobby Nash and his singular pulp stylings. This Domino Lady adventure involves political intrigue and mob drama as the heroine fights to protect her District Attorney lover from danger and death!

WWE Superstars #9 – Super Genius (355)

The comic shop didn’t order the second issue of this for me and still haven’t. I have the third issue in my pile, unread. I liked the first issue well enough. It was certainly better than any other WWE comic I’ve read. I mention all of this because all three of the covers for this issue are awesome and make me want to pick the book back up. Heck, just the fact that the title has made it to nine issues is impressive.

Famous Monsters: El Santo Hoodie (445)

I didn’t order the t-shirt when it was offered, but a hoodie is so much more practical to own than a t-shirt. This one a is pricey, but I cannot pass it up. Even if I’m not wearing the mask this is a kickass design that I will be happy to wear.

Marvel Minimates Classic X-Force Box Set – Diamond Select (450)

I don’t collect Minimates, but I do like them. This set really hits all the right nostalgia spots for me and looks really cool.

Universal Monsters Metaluna Mutant Vinyl Bust Bank – Diamond Select (451)

I told you guys that I was going to keep pushing the heck out of these Diamond Select Toys bust banks until you all own one. I mean, look at this thing! It looks as good as any statue I’ve seen! And for under thirty bucks. I honestly believe this range from DST is the best value offered in Previews. 
Star Trek: The Next Generation Enterprise D Electronic Ship – DST (456)

Crap. I have to order this. I don’t know what, exactly, I am going to sacrifice to cover it and all of the other crap that’s coming out in October, but this is going to be a pricey month. I’ve been craving this ship since even before my recent Star Trek binge; which is still ongoing. I am actually struggling at this very moment with watching more TNG or watching RAW when I get home. If Money In the Bank hadn’t been a mostly good PPV I’d definitely be watching Star Trek.

The "All Good Things" Enterprise is also being offered again, but I just can't afford two of these things.

Batman Retro 1966 TV Series Figures – Figures Toy Company (458)

If I could instantly trade all of my Batman ’66 figures from Mattel for what has been released from Figures I would totally do it. Mattel seems to have dropped the ball on the line – as they always do – and Figures is putting out some truly amazing retro-style figures. The accessory pack alone is one of the coolest toy sets I’ve ever seen. It just occurred to me to try to get somebody from Figures on the podcast. I’ve been a fan of their company since they were doing wrestling legends and Dracula. I would love to follow their growth since then.

Nightmare On Elm Street: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Freddy 7-Inch Action Figure – NECA (468)

This looks like a truly special and amazing figure, much like the Animated Batman figures coming from DCC. It’s a great likeness of Freddy Krueger and comes with all of the accessories you could want from a first movie Freddy.

Monstarz Re-Animator Herbert West Deluxe Action Figure – (470)

Re-Animator is one of my all-time favorite horror movie franchises. All of the movies are great. I’ve been dying for a Herbert West figure for decades now. I ordered the sixth scale figure that was offered a few years ago, but something happened and it never came out.
But as much as I want a Doctor West (or two), there’s no way I’m ordering these sight unseen. Especially not with a “PI” (please inquire) as the price listing.

Firefly: Malcolm Reynolds 1/6-scale Action Figure

That’s a great likeness of Captain Tightpants and not a bad price for a sixth scale figure. But I just can’t do sixth scale anymore. Especially when there are going to be several more figures I have to have. I’ll stick with whatever Funko offers in their lines and consider myself lucky to have any Firefly toys at all.

Disney’s Frozen Busts (481)

Frozen is crazy popular and people are really fucking crazy about it, so I am only going to say this here and once and never again.

I couldn’t stand Frozen. I thought the songs were crap and the characters were bland and underdeveloped. I think it’s the worst Disney movie I have ever seen; like, including those crappy straight-to-video sequels they were doing for years. I sat there and struggled through the whole movie because everybody is so nuts about it and how good it is and when it was over I could not believe what I had just watched was the same movie or even that it had been produced by Disney. Aside from the gorgeous visuals it felt like one of those shitty knock-offs you find on Netflix – you know the ones. The adaptations of whatever Disney movie is hot at the moment. The weird Little Mermaid and Rapunzel features with shitty animation, bland voice acting, and just enough difference from the Disney versions to not get sued. Frozen felt like an original feature from the people that make those things. I felt tricked.

So there you go. I think Frozen is crap. I don’t expect anybody to agree with me and that’s the beauty of the internet.

Re-Animator: Finger Creature 1/1-scale Prop Replica (482)

Another “PI”. The term “Prop Replica” gets thrown around a lot, often being used inappropriately to describe a toy that is nowhere near the quality of an actual replica. Most of the time misuse of the term annoys me (like when Mattycollector does it); this time I hope that it is being misused and that this is simply a foam latex construct along the lines of something you would find at the Spirit Halloween store because I want this thing very badly but also want it to be under thirty bucks.

Doctor Who: “The Time of the Doctor” 5-inch Action Figure Set – Underground Toys/Character Options (503)

While I disliked “The Time of the Doctor” almost precisely as much as I loved “The Day of the Doctor”, I am thrilled to see this figure. It means that the 5-inch scale line that I collect is continuing on, even if it is in a limited form. Also, I get the Doctor in his amazing purple coat! I never thought I was going to get a figure in this costume. This set also includes Handles, which is great because he was the best part of this lousy story.

Doctor Who: Dalek Asylum Action Figure Set - Underground Toys/Character Options (503)

I don’t really need this set – certainly not for seventy-five bucks – but those paint jobs look great. The bronze Dalek is electronic, which sort of explains the high price but not really.

Doctor Who: Ace 5-inch Action Figure - Underground Toys/Character Options (503)

This is a slightly different Ace figure with a massively better head sculpt. And her boom box and a painting. I don’t; want to pay thirty bucks for another Ace, but the head on the first one is just not very good.

Cosmos Alien A Sofubi – Medicom (510)

Jeepers, this thing is just a fucking nightmare.

Godzilla 2014 S.H. MonsterArts – Bandai (516)

I wouldn’t ever pay this much for one of these, but I would love to have one to compare to the NECA version.

Rocket Raccoon Cap (526)

I would wear this hat. But I have no idea what the sizing is or anything. It looks like a fitted cap. Whatever happened to FlexFit caps? Those were so awesome! I have two Ring of Honor FlexFit caps because the first one fit so well. I used to have an Evil Dead one, but a dog ate it.

Mad Monster Party Masks (530)

I want them all. I certainly can’t afford them, but I want them. They look perfect.

The Complete Blind Dead Saga DVD – Blue Underground (553)

Okay, I wouldn’t order this from Previews, but if Amazon has it…

This series gets my highest recommendation. I love these movies to pieces. They’re so odd and so much fun to watch with a group of people. Sometimes I get really nostalgic for the days when I had roommates and we would just throw in random horror movies and enjoy them. These were some of those movies.

Dog Soldiers: Collector’s Edition Blu-Ray – Scream Factory (554)

This is an awesome werewolf movie starring Sean Pertwee. 
Leviathan Blu-Ray – Scream Factory (554)

Undersea horror starring Peter Weller. This and Deep Star Six are classics. I love undersea horror. 
Pee-Wee’s Playhouse the Complete Series Blu-Ray – Shout Factory (554)

This and the Twin Peaks set are high on my list. Not a weird combination when you think about it.

Also of Note

Nothing! There really weren’t any extra little tidbits this month.

However, I will ask that you check back in on Friday for my Independents’ Day Special, where I’ll be talking about some cool comic books that you may or may not have heard of.


  1. Many thanks for the Domino Lady novel shout out, Phantom. I'm excited to see this one in stores. Much appreciated.


  2. I used to purchase PREVIEWS to get to see cover arts and up coming comic. Sometime would use it to pre-order some new coming comic if I find it is interesting.