Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews November 2015: “Star Wars Section No More!”

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.

This is a week later than it should have been. I typically don’t hit the comic shop on Wednesday, but I forgot to stop by on the weekend after this month’s issue of Previews came out. This is mostly because I was too excited about a special project Miss Lady Flex and I were working on for the Dirty Dirty Con Con Game Game Show Show (18+ please). More on that very soon.

In other news, I recently dropped my pull to fifteen titles a month, give or take some miniseries. I’m spending way too much on comics and only a few of them – perhaps not even fifteen – really deserve my precious time.

No worries for you guys, though – I can still sit down with Previews every month and speculate about what’s cool and what isn’t.

Wonder Woman: Earth One Volume One - DC (Front Cover, 68)

I’m surprised that I haven’t seen any online outrage over Wonder Woman being chained up on the front of this book.

I’ve been longing for a great Wonder Woman comic book for years. The New 52 reboot was a cool book, but it wasn’t really a great Wonder Woman book. Now, with the character being committed to film in the very near future, DC obviously sees the opportunity to give her the spotlight she deserves. Between this and The Legend of Wonder Woman I’m hoping we can finally get some great stories.

While that title is a new ongoing debuting next year, this one is another of DC’s special projects almost along the lines of Elseworlds (and if there were any successful corporate synergy attached to the brand “Elseworlds”, I guarantee you these would be stamped with it). I was a big fan of the Earth One Batman and I love Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette (who my son and I once watched paint a picture of Swamp Thing and it was magical), so this is a no-brainer for me. I’m always interested in non-continuity alternate takes.
Unless they involve the entire Universe, I suppose.

Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comics Series HC – Dark Horse (36)

I thought I had read most of the earliest Alien comics from Dark Horse, but a comic book sequel to James Cameron’s Aliens – particularly one that is contradicted by Alien 3 – does not ring a bell. Dark Horse always does nice special editions, so I’m on board for this one.

Hellboy in Mexico TP – Dark Horse (37)

This collection of stories of Hellboy’s adventures south of the American border gets my highest recommendation. From vampires to luchadores to tequila, this book has it all!

The Dark Knight Returns: The Last Crusade #1 – DC (66)

These guys brought you prequels to Watchmen. Are you really surprised at this?

I’m not saying it won’t be good. It might. But this is another instance of a thing where I think I might prefer the backstory be left in shadows. Part of the coolness of DKR is not knowing exactly how things got where they are when the book started. I don’t really want it all explained. Which is what I’m assuming this book is going to do, not that you can tell from the description.

Superman: The Coming of the Supermen #1 – DC (67)

I hope this is twice as bonkers as Adams’ Batman: Odyssey, which I couldn’t even finish because it was so fucking insane.

Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death #2 – DC (82)

Wait – so Ivy doesn’t have some stupid black bodysuit anymore? I don’t even need her to be half naked like many of your more lascivious artists have drawn her (not that there’s anything wrong with that), I just hated that black leotard. If you’re going to do anything, put her in green. Maybe I’ll check this out. It does sound like an interesting story.

Swamp Thing #2 – DC (84)

I know I don’t normally mention a book that I’ve covered in a previous column, but LOOK AT THAT GORGEOUS KELLEY JONES COVER!

Coloring DC – DC (110)

Sixteen dollars for a coloring book.

Look – these are a neat idea and this whole “adult coloring book” thing probably isn’t nearly as lame as I’m inclined to think it is, but that is a lot of money for a coloring book.

Batman: Europa HC – DC (111)

Now I’ll buy this. I like the idea much more as a collected edition than as a monthly miniseries.

Batman: Endgame TP – DC (116)

I recommend this. It was solid storytelling that moved along at a pace that not many comics do now. Of course, I also recommend you read “Death of the Family” first. I think it stands as one of the best Joker stories ever written.

Robin Vol. 2 TP – DC (118)

I loved all of these Chuck Dixon Robin comics when they were coming out. I lost or sold them long ago, so I’m very happy that DC is collecting them.

Gotham Central Omnibus HC – DC (119)

I have heard so many good things about this series and I came to love several of the main characters thanks to Rucka’s work on other books. This is a great price for forty issues of a comic, but I already have so many collected editions and omnibuses laying around that I don’t think I can justify buying another one to add to the pile.

Icons Static Shock Deluxe Action Figure – DC Collectibles (133)

Forty-five dollars!?!

There’s no denying that this looks like a great action figure. And my recent reviews of the Deadman and Batman Icons have shown that this is a great line. But that price is crazy for a 6” scale action figure of this style.

DC Comics Designer Series: Darwyn Cooke Action Figures – DC Collectibles (134)

Clearly the long-dreaded I(by me, anyway) DC Collectibles price hike is in full effect.

These figures are twenty-eight dollars apiece, which seems a bit steep for DCC’s standard limited articulation. I also find it odd that they’re doing a Batman, given the fact that we got a very similar one in the Frontier line a few years ago. I would’ve taken the opportunity to release a character that hadn’t been done in Cooke’s inimitable style already.

All that being said, I’d love to have this Harley and I’m finding that Supergirl to be almost irresistible, what with Streaky and Krypto. But toys are getting more expensive across the board and I’m really starting to be conscious of that.

Batman Black & White Batman and Robin by Carmine Infantino Statues – DC Collectibles (136)

These are beautiful and classy, but I wish they were just regular color statues. I’d love to have Infantino’s versions of the Dynamic Duo, but I want them in glorious full color. To me, the Black and White collection is more of a solo Batman thing. That being the case, I want a Jim Aparo Batman ASAP.

Wonder Woman The Art of War by Amanda Conner Statue – DC Collectibles (137)

This is by far my favorite of this series of artist-specific interpretations of DC’s greatest female superhero. I am very tempted by this one. I don’t have many statues, but this one might join them.

Street Fighter X GI Joe #1 – IDW (142-143)

I have zero interest in this one. I haven’t enjoyed what IDW has done with (to) GI Joe and I’m not much of a fighting game guy, let alone a Street Fighter fan.
I will, however, vouch for artist Emilio Laiso, as his artwork on Hack/Slash: Son of Samhain was fantastic.

Spider-Man #1 – Marvel (Marvel Cover, M4-6)

The inevitable has happened and Miles Morales has finally been incorporated into the 616. I was very cynical about Miles when he was first introduced. Partially because I am always suspicious of the intentions of publically traded companies, but also because he was ending the run of one of my favorite comic book characters of all time – the Peter Parker of Earth-1610.

At this point it’s nothing but good news that Miles is joining the proper MU. He’s established, people love him, and Bendis has taken very good care of him as a character that people can get invested in.

Power Man and Iron Fist #1 – Marvel (M8-9)

I loved Kaare Andrews’ recent Iron Fist comic and want to read more adventures starring Danny Rand. I’ve only read a smattering of stories featuring Luke Cage (and enjoyed him on Jessica Jones), but I’m up for this one.

Spider-Woman #4 – Marvel (M47)

A number of Marvel books got dropped after Secret Wars because I saw it as an opportunity to… uh… drop books. This was not one of them. I almost didn’t buy it when it came out, but it’s just so good. I couldn’t let it go. This is one fo the titles I truly look forward to reading every month.


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.

Femme Fatale Sally PVC Figure – Diamond Select Toys (295,465)

You might be thinking, “Gee, isn’t ‘Femme Fatale’ a little inappropriate for our sweet, innocent, stitched-together patchwork Franken-girl?”

Check yourself.

I say that because we should all offer up a prayer of thanks to the geek gods that this isn’t a statue of Sally bent over in a thong with wacky skulls stuck to her boobs.
Granted, I haven’t made it to the Imports section yet.

Dejah Thoris #1 – Dynamite (296-297)
Dynamite Entertainment’s rebooting of its ladies continues this month with a slightly more demure Princess (now Queen, apparently) of Mars. I think it’s a brave move, as there’s no denying that saucy T&A covers sell comics. But I definitely approve of an emphasis on storytelling and excitement, particularly for a character with as much genre credibility as Thoris. Granted, she has been depicted as 98% naked in the almost one hundred years since her first appearance, but the world is a much more prudish place now. Apparently.
Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor #1 – Titan (378)

Titan, would you please let Diamond number your effing pages?

I have to mention this one even though I haven’t read any of Titan’s Doctor Who comics. I hear they’re good. I don’t know exactly why I’m hesitant to give them a shot, but it probably has something to do with how much I don’t like the show right now. If all goes as planned, I should’ve posted about that yesterday.

Anyway, if you’re a fan of Titan’s comics and of Tom Baker, this is happening.

My First Wonder Woman Book – DC (428)

Oh, come on.

Flash TV Show T-Shirts – Graphitti Designs (449)

I’d like to have a Flash shirt. I’d also like to have a S.T.A.R. Labs shirt. But I do not care for the little “Graphitti” that adorns the left sleeve of the shirts they make. It’s not present in any of these pictures, but that doesn’t mean much. I wouldn’t include my tacky logo on licensed stuff I was trying to sell, either.

Harley Quinn Stars T-Shirt (449)

This is a great image of Harley Quinn, but that’s not why I mention it. I don’t know who this girl is, but from the look on her face she was into Harley before you were.

iZombie Liv Moore “Full On Zombie Mode” Previews Exclusive Action Figure – Diamond Select Toys (460)

I ordered the standard release Liv that was offered a couple of months ago (and that should be arriving any week now). I love this show and it only seems to be getting better, but I can’t help but feel like this could have just been an extra head packed in with the other figure. I don’t think the color of the clothing is even different.

Superman Retro Series 2 8” Action Figures – Figures Inc. (472)

In a way this wave of figures represents one of the biggest wants of my youth – regular people. I always wanted civilian action figures to go with GI Joe, superheroes, and even Star Wars. Without them, who were the good guys fighting for? I love that Figures is making the likes of Jimmy, Lois, and Perry.

Doctor Who Action Figures – Underground Toys (476)

I am beyond thrilled to see a figure of Paul McGann as he appeared in the “Night of the Doctor” short that preceded the Fiftieth Anniversary Special. The Eighth Doctor is more than deserving of a better figure than the two we’ve gotten from the TV movie and the head that came with the John Hurt figure.

I may not be enjoying the show now, but I do like Michelle Gomez as Missy. Combine that with the fact that Mary Poppins is secretly one of my favorite movies of all time and this figure is a must-have.

They’re also making a new Clara figure. I’m not buying that one.

Gremlins 2: Bat Gremlin Action Figure (482)

Must-have! I’ve got the Spider Gremlin from NECA and I don’t even like spiders. I actually thought that this guy had already come out and that I had missed him. I’m happy to see him here.

TMNT: Donatello 1/6 Scale Figure - Mondo (486)

If I was going to get one of these awesome looking Turtles, it would be Donatello. He’s always been my favorite. Not just because of the purple, but because he’s the geeky one that I always identified most with.

Justice League Crazy Foam (520)

Hey kids – now you can bathe in the vomit of your heroes!”

Everyone else is sort of phoning it in, but Superman looks like he’s really going for it. Can you imagine the force of Kryptonian projectile vomiting?

Unaffiliated Thoughts

Jessica Jones is phenomenal. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do. I liked it more than Daredevil, which I loved. The characters of Jones got me more. Krysten Ritter is powerful.

Supergirl is fun. It isn't the best show ever, but it's finding its way. It uses powerful emotional moments to great effect in the midst of lighter superhero fare. Melissa Benoist has an amazing range. And is adorable. I think my son has a crush on her.

Ash vs. Evil Dead is not very good. The cast is incredible. I could watch them read the phone book. Those folks and the occasional awesome practical effects are how I'm able to hang in there for a show that is decidedly sub-par. There - I said it.

This isn’t comic book related, but Into the Badlands is also amazing. I highly recommend this mix of Mad Max, Deadwood, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. This is a BADASS show.


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!


  1. Yipe, that DC Collectibles price jump is scary. Really want Static, too.

    I have a few old trades of the <a href=">Aliens</a> stuff contradicted by Alien3: they were initially with Hicks and Newt, but changed the names later so they were just similar characters.

  2. I suspect publishers and editors will see a lot of colors samples from Hush and Mad Love in the near future thanks to those coloring books. I also second the nods to Jessica Jones and Supergirl. Both are amazing, but in different ways. Phantom, your son has good taste. Our Supergirl is adorable.