Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews November 2015: A Real Money Saver!

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.

Devolution - Dynamite (Front Cover, 291-297)

Wow –that’s a lot of interior pages. They are pushing the heck out of this one.

I initially thought that Jae Lee was doing interiors, so I was in. Now I’m going to have to give this more thought. Jonathan Wayshak’s art looks good, but isn’t blowing my mind. There was a time when I would have bought a Rick Remender title no questions asked, but after finding Black Science and Deadly Class to not be to my taste I’m a little more cautious.

DC Goes Green – DC Comics (Back Cover, 67,69)

All I need to convince me to buy a book are the words “Artist Kelley Jones”. I’m sure he’ll only be around for the first story arc, but I’m okay with that. Give me six good issues (or twelve given how today’s storytelling goes) and I’ll be happy. And I can’t overlook the fact that one of Swamp Thing’s creators, Len Wein, is writing the book. This, to me, is the only combo that would guarantee me checking out a Swamp Thing title.

As for the Ivy book – I’m not familiar with the writer and have only a passing knowledge of Clay Mann, though his work looks great here. Mostly I am not a fan of Ivy’s New 52 look, so I’m going to pass on this one.

I’ll spare you my comments on the dumbness of “DC Goes Green”.

Hellboy Winter Special – Dark Horse (29)


Tim Sale on Hellboy makes me incredibly happy. And I always love Hellboy anthology collections. This should be a lot of fun. Also, I need to remind my Local Comic Book shop to order collections 5 and up of the Hellboy trades. I think they forgot.

Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird #2 – Dark Horse (33)

This didn’t catch my eye last month (which I’m assuming is when the first issue was offered), but this cover is awesome. Because of it I looked at the description and now I find myself dying to read this book. In case my picture isn’t great, here’s a close-up:

That sounds pretty intriguing to me. I have to check this out. And I’m not familiar with any of the creators, so this solicitation is something pretty darned special. Good job, Dark Horse. Or whoever put this together.

Dragon Age: Magekiller #2 – Dark Horse (41)

I mention this not because I’m interested in it, but because I know a lot of you guys play Dragon Age, but might not be familiar with the writer of this comic book, Greg Rucka. He writes excellent comic books. I recommend you check this out.

Green Lantern Corps: Edge of Oblivion #1 – DC (65)

I don’t know the story behind Green Lantern: Lost Army getting cancelled and I don’t know why the story is continuing in a new comic that is not being written by Cullen Bunn, but instead by someone I have never heard of. Ethan Van Sciver is doing the art, which is impressive, but I was really enjoying Bunn’s story.I don’t know that I’d feel too good about picking this up.

Side Note: I just Tweeted Cullen Bunn about this. He recommended the new book, so I guess I’ll give it a chance.

The Legend of Wonder Woman #1 – DC (66)

This could be a hugely significant event for the most important woman in the history of comic books. It could essentially be Wonder Woman’s version of Batman: Year One and establish a powerful new continuity and starting point for what should be an important and valuable character. I don’t know if any of that is DC’s intent, but it certainly should be.

At least, it should be more so than continually redesigning Wonder Woman’s costume so that she keeps becoming less recognizable and dumber-looking.

Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot/Katana #1 – DC (68)

I’m not interested in this, but this cover art is gorgeous. If Cary Nord was doing the interiors I’d buy it.

Astro City #31 – DC Vertigo (124)

That monster design is fantastic.

Egypt TP – DC Vertigo (126)

This is one of the first books that turned me on to Vertigo. I don’t know what drew me to it, but I bought the individual issues back when they first came out. It’s awesome. I don’t know how often DC reprints this, but I highly recommend it. Peter Milligan at his best with beautiful artwork.

DC Comics Icons Action Figures – DC Collectibles (137)

This line continues to tempt me. Firestorm is my favorite of these three, though Joker would be a must-have if not for that hideous joint at his waist. It might not be so terrible in person, but I’ll be waiting to see. John Stewart looks great, but I’d prefer a regular Lantern uniform over the Mosaic version.

It’s worth noting that the price has gone up on these. The first thirteen figures were $24.99 each – steep but a deal if you compare them to other, similar figures on the market. These are $28.00 apiece, which is just steep.

Silver Surfer #1 – Marvel (M14-15)

Same creative team, same story. They’re just starting at number one again because of Secret Wars. This has been one of Marvel’s best comics for a long time, so I recommend you check it out.

The Totally Awesome Hulk #2 – Marvel (M20-21)

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks to me like whoever designed Lady Hellbender likes Becky Lynch as much as I do. I hope she sees this and has ring gear like this made.

Side Note: I just Tweeted this picture to her. I do not expect a response, as it is not related to Monty Python.

New Avengers #5 – Marvel (M28)

I love this art. That’s all.

True Believers: Deadpool – Marvel (M68-69)

This is very cool. Ten different key Deadpool books for a buck each. I’d say it’s probably worth picking them all up, just for fun. Granted, it’s just a way to make you want to spend more money on the books that these are attached to, but it’s still a good deal and a neat concept for promoting the Deadpool movie that’s right around the corner.

Deadpool & Cable: Split Second #2/All-New Wolverine #4 – Marvel (M80-81)
This had to be planned. Those covers are just too complimentary for it not to have been.
Obviously the Back to the Future tribute is great, but I really like the Wolverine one, too. And I think Weapon 23’s new Wolverine costume looks great. I’d probably check out both of these books if I wasn’t having to be so stingy about comics right now.
The Ryan Sook variant cover kicks ass.
Side Note: Look for info on the Needless Things Patreon sooner than later. It’s a thing that pretty much has to happen now.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 – Marvel (M90-91)

I’m down with this. Charles Soule is good and you guys should all know how I feel about Marco Checchetto by now. This has the potential to be a more fun, light-hearted adventure comic; at least, I hope so. It would be nice to see this pair just traveling around the galaxy righting wrongs with minimal interpersonal drama. Let’s see the bond develop, you know?

Spider-Woman Vol. 2: New Duds – Marvel (115)

This is a fun story that is essentially Marvel’s equivalent of Batgirl, but with slightly tighter storytelling and a faster pace. Give it a try if you didn’t while it was single issues. This is the full first story arc of the new direction.


Alright, Phantomaniacs – this is a one-time special offer to see if I can get a recurring column going again. If you would like to see me review some random-ass, potentially shitty comic book from The Green Section, let me know in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and I will order and review it. Nothing is off limits. Find something you’re genuinely curious about or just try to pick out the worst-looking or weirdest thing you can. I will give it an honest review.

Red Sonja (vol. 3) #1 – Dynamite ((298-299)

This is part of Dynamite’s new initiative to put slightly more clothes on characters who have traditionally gotten by on being not-very-clothed. That’s not to say that there haven’t been good stories featuring Dejah Thoris, Vampirella, and Sonja. There have. Plenty. But these three are also characters that have probably spurred more impulse buys based on covers than any other characters in comics. I know I’ve got a few Vampirella comics that I bought straight off the shelf without even knowing who the creative team was.

I will give Dynamite some credit and say that this strikes me as less of an attention-getting ploy than oh, say, turning Bobby Drake gay all of a sudden. I don’t think there’s much SJW appeasement going on here, I think they’re just looking to broaden the appeal of some very famous characters they happen to have the license to write and sell stories for. Time will tell.

Public Relations #5 – Devil’s Due/1First (309)

I picked up the first issue based on the solicit a few months ago and the second issue based on how absolutely hilarious the first issue was. If you have a sense of humor and like fantasy worlds. I recommend you give Public Relations a try. It’s very good.

GI Joe vs. COBRA: Welcome to Springfield Island! Special – Fun Publications Inc. (329)

What the heck is this? IDW has the license for GI Joe comics, both past and present. This is listed as having 32 full color pages, which is a comic book description, but I don’t get it. I suppose I’m going to have to order this thing just to find out what it is.

Army of Darkness Necronomicon Zip Hoodie (450)

There was a time when I would have ordered this without even thinking about it, especially with it being a zip-up hoodie rather than a pullover. I can’t stand pullovers. It’s not a bad design, but there’s nothing special enough about it for me to drop fifty-plus bucks.

Classic Spider-Man Cardigan – Mighty Fine (454)

I’m not gonna lie – I really, really like this. I don’t think I’m going to order it because I’m just not a cardigan guy and also because I don’t know when I would ever wear it, but I dig it. A lot.

The Muppets Action Figures Series 1 – Diamond Select Toys (465)

I would love to collect these. They look incredible – definitely as good as Palisades’ figures from a few years ago. And I couldn’t have hand-picked a better first assortment – these are all of my top-tier characters.

Star Trek TOS Classic Enterprise NC-1701 Electronic Starship – Diamond Select Toys (471)

This is the first item I’ve seen that specifically says it’s for next year’s fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek. It’s the original NC-1701 with the exterior details of the HD version of the show. I must have this. All of DST’s Starship Legends have been fantastic, so a new version of a starship I don’t have is a no-brainer.

Star Wars Madness – Various Vendors (474-483)

The massive Star Wars section is still lumbering on! By the time these items hit comic shops, we’ll all have seen The Force Awakens (I got my tickets for Friday night.

Star Wars The Ultimate Vinyl Collection OST LP – I would love to have this, but no way am I paying $249 for it. It’s a fantastic collection and probably worth that price considering today’s collecting standards, but I just can’t justify that.

Stacking Mugs – I had mugs with similar illustrations on them when I was a kid. Mine had the entire character on one mug, though. I don’t really understand these. Who wants to drink out of Boba Fett’s crotch? Or Bossk’s? Yuck. IG-88 is a droid, so it isn’t quite as off-putting. There might even be some sort of container or something there. I don’t know how those guys are built.

Doctor Who : The Curator 5-Inch Figure – Underground Toys (491)

Look – I’m as delighted as anyone that they’re not only continuing the far superior 5” scale Doctor Who action figures but that they’re also doing a figure of Tom Baker’s character from The Day of the Doctor (the last story I truly, whole-heartedly enjoyed). But forty dollars for one 5” action figure is horseshit. Baker was one of my first and greatest heroes, but I’m not going for that. I don’t care how lenticular his landscape of Gallifrey is.

Creatureplica Action Figures (498)

I’ve been following these online for a while. They’re monster figures by the guy that sculpts many of Diamond’s action figures. They look awesome. I can’t wait to get my hands on one. I believe the Louisiana RouGarou is going to be my first pick.

TMNT: Leonardo 1/6 Scale Figure - Mondo (502)

I’ve mentioned this line several times since Toy Fair. I can’t see spending this kind of money on them, but I thought it might be worth pointing out to you guys that you can get them through your Local Comic Book Shop.

Robyn Hood 1/6 Scale Action Figure - Zenescope (504)

I think it’s cool that Zenescope has a toy of this caliber coming out. It looks really good. Plus, this was a very good comic. If they make one of the chick that “hosts” Grimm Tales of Terror I might have to get it.

Game of Thrones Iron Throne Lamp (558)

The perfect gift for anyone that likes stabbing the crap out of their hand whenever they turn a light on!

Full Moon Features Page of Awesome (561)

If you’re any kind of horror fan, you must love Full Moon. They’re the studio that brought us Puppet Master, Subspecies, Trancers, and innumerable other memorable and gimmicky flicks. While I’ll always respect Troma, Full Moon was my studio of choice.

It seems like this page is going to be a recurring feature in Previews, but it looks like it’s more of an ad than an actual product page. There are no codes or anything. That’s okay, I’ll just hit up their website. A Ghoulies posable statue is not a thing that I can pass up. Also of interest are the “Ultimate Pleasure Box”, which includes a selection of Full Moon’s sci-fi cheesecake movies and the seemingly overtly racist Ooga Booga “Badass Doll”.

Unaffiliated Thoughts

This month’s order form is nearly empty. Part of it is that I am feeling broke – as I always do at this time of year – and resisted a few things that I might otherwise have ordered. And another part is that there just wasn’t a lot of exciting stuff. Today’s post is shorter than it has been in a while.

Marvel is still owning DC in the “Covers that are nice to look at and make me want to buy the book” department.

We watched Supergirl. It was okay. I had trouble paying attention. Melissa Benoist was delightful and Mrs. Harrison Ford was entertainingly bitchy, but I didn’t care one bit about any of the rest of the cast. I think part of it might be that I watched that preview that went up a couple of months ago and it gave pretty much the whole episode away. By this time I should have seen the second episode. Tune in to the Needless Things Podcast and I’ll probably have more thoughts.

Arrow and The Flash are still varying degrees of awesome, but the big winner right now is…
Gotham. And I never thought I’d be saying that. It’s fucking bonkers and I am okay with that. I can’t really say that it’s a good show, but it sure is entertaining. I look forward to watching it every week.

Maybe that says more about me than it does the show.

Can’t wait to see John Constantine on Arrow tonight. I hope it leads to further Matt Ryan adventures (under a better guiding hand than his own show was).


That’s all I’ve got for this month. Start putting your pennies in your Diamond Select figural bank and remember to drop your order form off at your Local Comic Book Shop!

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