Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews May 2018: “All That Crap from Toy Fair”

By Dave

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 two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in July.

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

Note: My birthday is next Thursday, but I’ll be okay with any late gifts you order from this month’s Previews.

Additional Note: This month DC has adopted Marvel’s annoying practice of providing their own, external catalog. I don’t like it and it makes writing this post more of a hassle, but if I had to guess I’d say it’s a reaction to BOOM! And Dynamite being named Premier Publishers. That section is much more crowded than it used to be and while I don’t care for the extra books, I get the need to stand out.

It also leaves the actual Premier Publisher section feeling a lot closer to the Green Section, which isn’t great for Dark Horse and Image.

It’s also worth noting that the Premier Publisher section is no longer in alphabetical order, starting with Image, then Dark Horse, IDW, Dynamite, then finishing with BOOM!

To make things easier for myself, I’m going to start with DC and Marvel, then delve into the rest of the catalog. I won’t be spotlighting their covers anymore, just taking a look at what I think is noteworthy. Additionally, the page numbers noted are the ones within their respective catalogs.

Captain America #1 – Marvel (Front Cover, M2-5)

My current feeling on Cap books is that they’re probably just never going to be for me. When a new creative team starts one I get on board, but invariably they diverge off into some storyline that I simply don’t like.

Ta-Nehisi Coates was a huge get for Marvel and brought some much-needed attention to the publisher after they put him on various Black Panther titles. I haven’t read any of his comics work because his literary work outside of that held zero interest for me, but the various places I frequent online suggest to me that his storytelling style isn’t my thing. Which isn’t to say that I disagree with him writing Captain America. If it’s the right move in Marvel’s eyes, then I hope the relationship continues to be profitable for both the publisher and Coates. I do hate to miss out on Leinil Francis Yu’s awesome artwork, though.

Farmhand - Image (Back Cover, 42)

Farmhand is a new thing from Rob Guillory, who was responsible for the hit comic, Chew. I never read it, but I know our pal Belligerent Monkey loves it.

That’s all I got.

Free Comic Book Day (29-39)

This year Free Comic Book Day falls on Saturday, May 5th. Visit FREECOMICBOOKDAY.COM for more details!

Batman #50-51 – DC (1)

Sure, I’ve been reading this title since the beginning and don’t usually call out ongoing books in this way. Plus, it’s freaking Batman. Is anybody not reading it?

But I love what Tom King has been doing. If you had suggested a Batman/Catwoman wedding story to me a few years ago I would’ve thought it was the dumbest thing ever, but this book has treated us to some of the most fun and character-driven issues I’ve read in years. I love King’s Batman/Bruce Wayne and the choices the writer makes with him and his supporting cast.

If you haven’t been following this title, I suggest you pick up some back issues and get caught up in time for the nuptials. I have a feeling it’s going to be a wild, rewarding ride.

Catwoman #1 – DC  (2)

Joëlle Jones is an awesome artist, but I’m not sure I knew that she was a writer as well. 
Whatever the case, the Bat books have me all swept up right now so I’ll be checking out her take on Selina Kyle. The premise of a Catwoman copycat (CopyCatWoman?) is interesting and potentially placing Batman’s new bride in the crosshairs of the GCPD could yield all kinds of great storytelling opportunities.

DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 – DC (3)

By this point you probably all know that I’m a sucker for seasonal specials like this. But even more so when they feature inherently silly premises. I love it when publishers can take a break from continuity and just have some fun.

Superman #1 – DC (4)

This isn’t getting added to my pull list until I’ve read Bendis’ Man of Steel miniseries. I’m terrible about remembering to cancel stuff and given the ups and downs of my relationships with Bendis and Superman, this is a wait-and-see situation.

Justice League Dark #1 – DC (6)

This certainly is a weird team.

The characters, not the creative team. Wonder Woman, Swamp Thing, Detective Chimp, Zatanna, and Man-Bat are kind of a random roll-a-team for something like this. But I like James Tynion IV’s writing quite a bit, so I think I’m going to have to give this a shot. The inclusion of Wonder Woman as team leader is particularly odd, though maybe not so much if the rumored Justice League Dark movie is actually a thing and maybe DC and Warner have decided that a dose of Gadot might help its chances.

That’s pure speculation on my part. Maybe DC is just trying to raise the profile of someone that should be one of its leading characters. Between this and the next title it’s interesting to note that we’re getting distinctly supernatural and sci-fi flavors of the Justice League.

Justice League Odyssey #1 – DC (7)

Or perhaps Justice Trek?

Cyborg, Starfire, Jessica Cruz, and Azrael head off into space!

I don’t necessarily have feelings about the creative team on this one, but the premise absolutely has me interested.

Injustice vs. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – DC (10)

I’ve heard nothing but good things about the alternate DCU Injustice comics and as you all know I love Masters of the Universe. But the real hook here is the combo of Tim Seeley and Freddie E. Williams III. Seeley is one of my favorites and Williams III has provided absolutely fantastic art for some great crossovers like Batman/TMNT and He-Man/Thundercats. I can’t wait to see what this dynamic duo comes up with for this story.

Nightwing #46 – (DC 41)


Batman: The Caped Crusader Vol. 1 TP – DC (62)

These are Batman stories I read when I first started buying my own comics. I know that because that cover – from Batman 423 - is one that I owned, one of my first samples of Todd McFarlane’s artwork.

DC Artists Alley: Designer Vinyl Figures by Sho Murase – DC (86-87)

These got featured as part of our Toy Fair coverage. DC Collectibles didn’t have much to show, but I thought these looked awesome and were a nice new direction for static collectibles. The problem now is that I don’t know which ones I want. As you all know I love Christmas and Christmas decorations, but I also don’t want these awesome figures to be displayed for such a limited time. If I were loaded I’d just order both sets, but I’m not.

DCC is playing by Marvel variant rules for these – for every four standard figures purchased retailers can order one Holiday Variant. Both kinds come 6 per case, so that means in order to get a single case of the variants your Local Comic Shop has to order twenty-four of the standard figures.

For larger retailers it might not be a big deal to order eight sets of figures in order to get two sets of the variants, but it certainly won’t fly at most independent shops I frequent.

The note of “Approximately 6 units per carton” also means that my LCS probably won’t order them, as even if I get a full set of the standard figures they’re still stuck with one.

Amazing Spider-Man #1 & 2 - Marvel (6-9)

Nick Spencer’s Superior Foes of Spider-Man was excellent. Sign me up.

I do wish Marvel could change creative teams without a relaunch, though.

True Believers: Fantastic Four – Marvel (50-51)

As I’ve said before, I think these True Believers reprints are great. Twelve classic FF stories for twelve bucks is a great deal!

Classified #1 – Marvel (69)

Finally, the book where the X-Men start wearing nice suits into battle!

I hope someone gets that.

X-Men: Mutant Massacre Omnibus HC – Marvel (98)

My Christmas present one year was getting to order a ton of back issues of Uncanny X-Men from Mile High Comics. This tremendous crossover was part of that haul. I’ve read it several times since then and it’s still a powerful installment of Chris Claremont’s epic Mutant saga. If you haven’t read it, I recommend you check it out.

I’d actually love to grab this edition because I never read all of the non-X-book tie-ins and I’d be curious to see what happens in them. I never had a problem following the story, so the other books can’t be too critical.

Silver Surfer by Slott & Allred Omnibus HC  – Marvel (101)

You all know that I loved this series. I’ve talked about it for years now. It was great Doctor Who when Doctor Who hasn’t been great. Allred’s art is top-notch and Slott did a fantastic job of making me care about the characters and the things that happened to them.

The Quantum  Age: From the World of Black Hammer #1 – Dark Horse (94)

I’ve fallen way behind on Jeff Lemire’s take on comic book heroes. I haven’t read either of the spinoff books in my stack. But I’ve made a ton of headway on everything else, so maybe I can get caught up next week.

Or the week after…

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #0 – IDW (147)

Hello, cranky old man here.

I hate everything about this newest version of the Ninja Turtles. It is just the worst.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula – IDW (163)

This is one of the coolest things I’ve ever completely forgotten about.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula movie was a huge deal when it came out. I honestly can’t remember exactly why, but it felt like something truly special in the realm of horror and maybe even fantasy movies.

I used to own this miniseries, not because of the movie, but because of the art on the front of the first issue. I can’t remember how well I knew Mike Mignola’s work at that point, but I know I bought this adaptation because of it. I don’t remember how good the comic actually is or if it’s simply a straight adaptation of the movie, but I can tell you yhis book is worth picking up just for the art. It’s some top-notch Mignola.

Tony Millionaire’s Sea Monsters Coloring Book – BOOM! (216-217)

I wish this was just a hardcover collection of Millionaire’s art. I don’t know how sturdy these kinds of releases are, but when I see “coloring book” I think “not very”. I don’t know if these “adult” versions are nicer than what I had as a kid. I suppose for seventeen bucks they should be.

Anyway, I adore this guy’s art and might buy this just to have on the shelf.

Archie Meets Batman ’66 #1 – Archie/DC (271)

This is bound to be tons of fun. I haven’t loved every Archie crossover I’ve read, but if there were ever a perfect match for Riverdale’s favorite son, it’s the Bright Knight.

I’d like to be more excited about Jeff Parker writing this, but the last two things he was on that I dug didn’t last very long.

Junko Mizuno’s Hell Ladies – Titan (394)

Mrs. Troublemaker will love this.

I’m not familiar with the artist, but this is exactly the sort of thing the missus is into. Heck, even I’m impressed by the “Puffy, glittery, embossed cover”.

House of Waxwork #1 – Waxwork Comics (415)

Okay, if you value my opinions and taste at all and you have a record player, just go ahead and order this right now. But not from Previews. Go to the Waxwork Records website and order so you get the accompanying 7” record, which is the soundtrack to the comic.
I have the first two issues and they’re both awesome and well worth the price. I’m looking forward to Waxwork Comics #3.



Nightmare Before Christmas Select Series 6 – Diamond Select Toys (15M)

DST has managed to quietly produce an incredible line of action figures based on Tim Burton’s classic holiday film. There have been some QC issues, but overall I have loved collecting this line. And the waves are spaced out just far enough that they don’t hurt the wallet too badly.

I am a little concerned about DST’s future now that Toys R Us is going away. I’m sure a substantial part of their business came from the retails versions of their products – priced cheaper and distributed more widely than these Direct Market editions.

When smaller toy companies like DST and NECA start to falter, I hope everyone holds Walmart responsible. In my opinion and based on what I know of the market, Walmart’s ever-shrinking toy aisles and domination of the sales market is what killed the variety of mass market toy lines and Toys R Us itself.

One:12 Collective Catwoman Action Figure – Mezco (35M)

What perfect timing.

Mezco offered an exclusive variant of this figure on the day that I am finishing up this post. It’s purple. Obviously I have to have it.

Unfortunately it’s an extremely limited edition and Mezco allows each customer to purchase six of these things from their site at once. I’ve been on nights seemingly fucking forever, so by the time I woke up and was aware of any of this it was sold out.

I like this figure and design a lot, but the face is a tiny bit off. I wasn’t sure about ordering it, but the purple one was a must-have. Oh, well. The life of a toy collector.

Friday the 13th Part II Ultimate Jason Voorhees Action Figure – NECA (38M)

It’s been a while since NECA released their Part II Jason and I’m happy to see him getting the Ultimate treatment. Having a different looking Jason on my shelf full of guys in khaki pants wearing hockey masks will be nice.

Tuxedo Freddy Retro Action Figure – NECA (39M)

Another Freddy? Is that really necessary?


This is Tuxedo Freddy from Dream Warriors. How can you even call your Krueger Kollection komplete without a fantastic formal Freddy?

Re-Animator Herbert West Retro Action Figure – NECA (39M)


I – and many others, I’m sure – have been waiting for a great Herbert West action figure for years (decades?)! NECA’s retro line is excellent and I can’t wait to see Doctor West in person. I hope his tie is better than Leatherface’s, though.

Wolverine 1980 Collector’s Gallery Statue – Gentle Giant (40M)

This is a beautiful statue. I’m not in the market for a plain Jane 80’s Wolvie statue (I’m much rather have one based on Meltdown), but this will probably hit a sweet spot for a lot of collectors. And you know Gentle Giant’s stuff is great.

Possessed Ashy Slashy Puppet Prop Replica – NECA (40M)

If you missed out on the regular Ashy Slashy puppet, you can still order the toothy, more evil version! I’ve got the regular one and it’s absolutely fantastic. NECA did a great job creating an actual puppet and for the price, it’s a steal.

Buddy the Elf Retro Action Figure – NECA (42M)

Okay, so all of the amazing stuff that NECA had at Toy Fair is in this month’s Previews. Jon Favreau’s Elf is one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time and I cannot wait to get this excellent version of Buddy home. Starting the day after Thanksgiving I will take him everywhere I go.

IT (2017) Pennywise Ultimate Action Figure – NECA (42M)

IT was amazing and Bill Skarsgård was truly unsettling as Pennywise the Dancing Clown. I’m totally stoked about this figure, and for the first time find myself actively hoping that NECA releases a quarter scale version, as well.

IT (1990) Pennywise Ultimate Action Figure – NECA (42M)

I’m not a fan of the 1990 IT miniseries, probably because I actually remember it, unlike most people (apparently). But I do love Tim Curry and he did a fine job as Pennywise. I’m certainly not going to pass up the opportunity to own another version of one of my favorite Stephen King villains.

One:12 Collective Evil Dead 2 Ash Action Figure – Mezco (45M)

Okay, the face is much better than I originally gave it credit for. And as many Ash figures as I already own, I can’t very well pass up and Ash from the best action figure line of all time.

Ultimate Golden Angel Elder Predator Action Figure – NECA (44M)

This is the Predator from the end of Predator 2 as depicted in the Dark Horse comic book that explains how he got the flintlock pistol that he gave to Danny Glover.

And yet we do not have a Danny Glover action figure.

IT Action Figure 3-Packs – Funko (49M)

Lest we forget that Funko has a line of new and improved 3.75” scale action figures, here is an excellent collection of characters from IT. NECA may be releasing an amazing 7” scale Pennywise, but you won’t have any kids for it (IT) to eat.

Oddly enough I don’t mind that Funko is putting a clown in every three pack. It works for the numbers and now I’ll have a couple extra to offer my son and his friends just to see the horrified looks on their faces.

HEY. I'm not always a great dad.

“Weird Al” Yankovic Pop! – Funko (59M)

Almost as cute as the actual Weird Al.

Evil Dead 2 Ash Williams Bishoujo Statue – Kotobukiya (64M)

These are not normally to my liking. I didn’t care for the Freddy, Jason, or Chucky statues. Especially not Chucky. But for some reason this Ash works for me. I think because as a concept it just works better – Ash is a standard human hero type. The others are varying degrees of mutilated and evil. I think it’s easier to transpose “sexy babe” onto Ash. For me, anyway. YMMV.

The Shining Overlook Hotel Carpet Bearbrick – Medicom (73)

Normally I don’t give a rat’s ass about these huge, bland, overpriced chunks of plastic, but I’d love to have any kind of toy depicting the carpet pattern from The Shining. Although honestly I’d rather have the room 237 carpet.

COBRA Stripe T-Shirt (130M)

I like this design, but I like the “COBRA ENEMY” logo on the sleeve even more. I don’t usually like prints on the sleeve, but also it’s usually “Graphitti” or some ugly manufacturer logo. This one is part of the brand.

Unaffiliated Thoughts

*Avengers: Infinity War – WOW. That’s all I’m going to say until Friday’s Needless Things Podcast group review. I’m going to see it again today.

*Goodbye, Ash – Speaking of ashes, I might write a longer post about this or more likely will do a podcast episode, but I’m okay with it. I thought the series finale of Ash vs. Evil Dead was perfect, though if I hadn’t already known the show was cancelled I might not feel that way. To me it felt like a callback to the alternate ending to Army of Darkness. So long, you primitive screwhead.

*Star Wars: Resistance – Could this be the Rogue Squadron-esque show I’ve been dreaming about? Time will tell.

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!

Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all of the latest toy news and live reports from the stores that carry them!

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