Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews October 2016: “No Clothes!”

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog 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 are typically about three months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in December.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Justice League VS Suicide Squad – DC (Front Cover, 78)

THE FIRST DC REBIRTH EVENT IS HERE”, to which I say, “blech”.

I’ll be fair, though – if this thing stays contained in the title book and the Squad and League books, then I don’t mind. It’s when this stuff bleeds over into the things I’m reading that I get annoyed. And drop titles.

To be completely honest, if it was an entirely self-contained miniseries I would probably buy it. It’s a great idea for a story, I just don’t want to have to buy 52 extra comic books to read it all.

Motor Crush - Image (Back Cover, 192-193)

From the creative team responsible for what is now referred to as “Batgirl of Burnside”, which I love. I should be really excited for this, but for some reason I just am not. The preview art looks fantastic and I know these guys do amazing stuff, but the concept of motorcycle racing does nothing to excite me. I hope Motor Crush finds its audience and massive success, but I also hope to see Fletcher, Stewart, and Tarr on something I’m interested in again someday.

Red Sonja #0 – Dynamite (4, 324-325)

Amy Chu (writer for DC’s recent Poison Ivy miniseries, which I enjoyed aside from the annoyingly noticeable fill-in artists) is resurrecting good, old-fashioned chain mail bikini Red Sonja. I have no idea if Dynamite’s attempt to clothe their heroines worked out or not (and I did support the move, if you recall), but it’s good to see that the original hasn’t been retired. The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what the she-devil with a sword is wearing as long as the story is good, and I’m interested to see if Chu can deliver.

Halloween Comic Fest 2016 (31-37)

How awesome is it that this is a thing? Plenty of publishers are taking part in what is sort of a spookier version of Free Comic Book Day. On October 29th, we can all put on costumes and head out to the Local Comic Shop to grab some nifty free books! Contact your LCS now and urge them to plan an event!

Aliens vs. Predator: Life and Death #1 (of 4) – Dark Horse (44-45)

I dig these crossovers that Dark Horse has been doing with the Aliens, Predator, and Prometheus franchises. I know that sounds weird coming from the guy that just complained about DC’s event (and will undoubtedly be complaining about a Marvel event sooner than later), but these are connected miniseries that are being produced for the express purpose of telling a longer-form story. They’re not trying to hook you into ongoing series that you aren’t interested in. Heck, the way these are written you could just pick up the Aliens mini and still enjoy it.

I don’t know why you would, but you could.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Newspaper Comic Strips HC – Dark Horse (54)

A few weeks ago someone sent me a link to this book, asking me if I knew there had been He-Man comic strips. I had no idea. This is absolutely bizarre. I love that Dark Horse is collecting all of this Masters ephemera. I wonder if they can get the German Golden Books or whatever Goat Man is from. Or is that Anti-Eternia He-Man? I can’t remember all of this stuff. I’m getting old.

Black Hammer #6 – Dark Horse (57)

I just want to put it out there that the first two issues of Black Hammer are great. I trimmed down my pull list recently, and this title made the cut. If you like different takes on classic superheroes, you’ll dig this. It’s like Watchmen, but less pretentious.

DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 – DC (80)

YES! I love this kind of stuff! I am all about holiday specials.

In the spirit of the season, I am going to keep my cynicism at bay and believe that this isn’t a shallow ploy to sell us on the titles related to the characters within – “READ HARLEY QUINN #9 TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS NEXT!!!” – that sort of thing.

All*Star Batman #5 – DC (82)

Great, fun Batman. Firefly and Killer Moth showed up in the first issue. They were redesigned, but I immediately knew who they were and their new costumes made sense and looked good. This wasn’t a sleeveless Captain Cold or Deathstroke that can’t sit down. If you weren’t sure about this, go on and dive in. I like it and I don’t like everything that Snyder has done.

NOTE: Many of DC’s books are listed as 32 pages for $2.99. I feel like something about that is wrong.

Deathstroke #8-9 – DC (90)

I know I’m talking more about ongoing stuff than I normally do, but I want to recommend Deathstroke. Christopher Priest told more story in one issue than many writers could in six. It was like a class in storytelling economy. And that story is great. I want to know more about this Slade Wilson and I can’t wait to see what he gets up to. He is a villain. An interesting villain and one that I think will be worth following, but a villain.

Batman: Arkham – Man-Bat – DC (132)

These collections are nearly irresistible to me. I like Doctor Kirk Langstrom a lot, but when I think about it, how many Man-Bat stories have I actually read? Not many! I know I read the pictured Legends of the Dark Knight when it was originally published and there was the whole thing with the ninja man-bats, but I know I’ve never read his origin story. And I’m sure there’s plenty more worth checking out.

Harley Quinn Vol. 5: Joker’s Last Laugh – DC (135)

If you didn’t read it the first time around, Conner, Palmiotti, and Hardin’s Harley Quinn is tons of fun.

DC Designer Series Action Figures by Ant Lucia – DC Collectibles (148)

I’m impressed that these are as articulated as they are. I would expect designer figures to be more focused on aesthetics. These are all the DC Bombshells designs and look pretty good. I’ll buy Harley for sure. Batwoman looks good, but if there’s anything I dislike more than baseball… there isn’t. Ivy’s hip joints look pretty wonky and I’m going to need to see them in person. And Wonder Woman just looks crazy



Is that a thing in the Bombshells comic? Is Wonder Woman insane?

NOTE: The action figures on pages 151 and 152 are being resolicited and all previous orders have been cancelled. So if you ordered the Animated Dark Knight Returns set or the Icons Static Shock, Swamp Thing, Wonder Woman, Deathstroke, or Cyborg, you’re going to have to order them again.

GI Joe #1 - IDW (160)

IDW has ended up letting me down with almost every licensed comic book they have published, especially my beloved GI Joe. I want to be excited about a new Joe book. I want to happily fork over my hard-earned money for two hundred issues of an all-new ongoing series.

I’m not familiar with Aubrey Sitterson, but if you’ve got a good take on GI Joe being a sort of global police force (and idea I suggested back when I first heard about the shared Hasbro universe), then I don’t care what else you’ve done.

As far as the artist – Giannis Milonogiannis – a Google search reveals a lot of cool stuff, but in a style that, to me, is not suitable for GI Joe.

But it’s GI Joe, so I’m gonna give it a chance.

Love is Love – IDW (177)

A noble and worthy project. Some of the biggest names in comics are contributing to a book to benefit the victims or the tragic night club shooting in Orlando. ALL PROCEEDS go to the cause.

Inhumans VS X-Men #1 - Marvel (Cover, M2-3)

I don’t care about the Inhumans, I have never cared about the Inhumans, and I can’t foresee ever caring about the Inhumans. I especially don’t like them in the context of threatening Marvel’s mutants, because that’s my corner of the Marvel Universe and it’s been pretty lousy for a long time now.

I want my mutants back.

U.S.Avengers #1 - Marvel (M8-9)

This looks like it should be a lot of fun. At the very least, I can get behind the idea of a super-patriotic team. And is that X-Man Nate Summers?

Hawkeye #1 - Marvel (M14-15)

My introduction to Kate Bishop came by way of Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye series, which is just as good as everyone says it is. I liked Kate a lot and have been hoping for more. Here it is.

Star-Lord #1 - Marvel (M24-25)

After his run on Howard the Duck, Chip Zdarsky is now a guy whose work I will follow wherever until he does something lousy.

Gwenpool Holiday Special: Merry Mix-Up - Marvel (M67)

Gwenpool is great. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every issue and if you haven’t followed my recommendations yet and checked it out, you’re either wrong or just no fun. Gwen Poole in a holiday special is just the best. I’m excited.

Star Wars Classified #1 & 2 - Marvel (M95)

Kieron Gillen + Star Wars = I don’t need solicitation info. Just give it to me.

Spidey Vol. 2: After-School Special TPB - Marvel (M117)

If you want a fun, all-ages Spider-Man book that isn’t tied to any continuity, this is the one. You could pick up any single issue and enjoy it, but go ahead and just buy them all. Or at least this trade collection.

Billy Tucci’s A Child is Born – Crusade Entertainment (319)

This is a beautiful adaptation of the birth of Christ. I bought a copy a few years ago and was really amazed by Tucci’s art. There are a few different editions available now, so if you godless heathens know someone that isn’t necessarily destined for hellfire and brimstone, one of them might make a nice gift.

Barbarella HC - Humanoids (365)

I can’t remember if I read about this or have posted about it before or what, but I’ve been waiting for these translated editions. I don’t know if the comic has been translated before, but I’ve never read any of them despite having been a fan of the movie for decades. Kelly Sue DeConnick is providing the adaptation.

Mickey’s Inferno GN - Papercutz (389)

What is even… what is this?!?! Apparently there’s a series called “Disney Great Parodies” and this one involves Mickey Mouse in Dante’s Inferno. Madness. I can’t wait for “The Duck Call of Cthulu” and “Tropic of Clarabell”.

The Art of Hammer/The Hammer Vault - Titan (414)

The Art of Hammer is a must-have for any horror fan. I have an older edition and it’s chock-gull of beautiful art and posters, including stuff I had never seen even in this internet age. This one gets my highest recommendation.

I do not own The Hammer Vault, but I will soon.

Dan Brereton Books (462)

Dan Brereton is one of my all-time favorite artists. I have two of these and recommend them. His art is weird and gorgeous and compelling. These are those kinds of art books that when you see the spine on the shelf, you have to grab it and look through it, no matter how many times you have before.

Star Trek Starship Legends – Diamond Select Toys (513)

These are, in my opinion, the best Star Trek toys that have ever been made. The sculpts are incredible and each starship has lights and sounds that are usually – but not always – appropriate to the particular ship. These are marked as “In Stock Now”, which means that when you order them from your Local Comic Shop they should arrive in a couple of weeks – in plenty of time for the holidays. The Next Generation Enterprise is my favorite. It’s one of the best toys I own.

(that he doesn’t know about)
Harley Quinn Hula Girl – Cryptozoic Entertainment (519)

This is one of those ingenious things that makes me wonder how nobody thought of it sooner. The sculpt is fantastic and twenty-three bucks isn’t bad for something like this.

Previews Exclusive One:12 Collective “The Cursed Earth” Judge Dredd - Mezco (531)

This is an excellent action figure and worth every penny. Check out my review here.


Rogue One is right around the corner and you know what that means – the Star Wars section is back, baby! Drink it in!

They get off to a strong start with a Black Series Jyn Erso, a Rogue One Stormtrooper helmet, and the U-Wing toy, but everything rapidly goes downhill with the rest of the section consisting of the same The Force Awakens merchandise you can currently find on clearance at your local Target. So 2015. BOO.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows Satues – Vault Productions (549)

I enjoyed the second Bay Turtles movie a lot more than I did the first, but that’s like saying I prefer diarrhea to vomiting. Is there really anyone out there that likes these movies enough to spend $350 apiece on statues of these versions of the characters? You could probably buy an entire collection of origin al TMNT toys for that.

Spider-Gwen ARTFX+ Statue – Kotobukiya (571)

This is a great-looking statue. I love the dynamic pose and the colors are nice and vibrant.

Unaffiliated Thoughts

This was a light month for me.

Gotham returned a few weeks ago and is as nuts as ever. I don’t think I accept what they’re doing with Ivy. Just because she’s physically older doesn’t make whatever they’re planning okay. Jim Gordon is still almost a villain. Barbara Keane is the character I most look forward to seeing each episode, which is remarkable considering she was ruining the show in the first season.

Let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!


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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