Monday, July 2, 2018

Comic Book... Monday? – Previews July 2018: “Who You Gonna Repaint?”

By Dave

This month’s edition is coming on a Monday thanks to the Independence Day holiday this Wednesday.

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 September.

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

James Bond Origin #1 – Dynamite (Front Cover, 192-195)

I love James Bond and I’m a huge fan of Jeff Parker’s work, but I have never been interested in James Bond comic books. I can’t explain why.

From what I’ve seen Dynamite has been doing an excellent job with the franchise. Writers like Warren Ellis, Andy Diggle, and Kieron Gillen are – for me – huge draws to any project. For whatever reason Bond just isn’t something I want in comics form.

Have you guys read any of these? Are they as great as I assume and am I missing out?

Stranger Things #1 – Dark Horse (Back Cover, 100-103)

Like most folks I love Stranger Things. Will Byers has essentially had his ass handed to him for two seasons straight now and I’d honestly like to know a little more about the kid aside from the fact that he’s kind of weird and that he’s the Upside Down’s favorite punching bag.

This series will follow Will through his unseen time in said Upside Down, which is something I am very interested in. We don’t know anything about that place, really. I doubt that this comic will provide the larger answers. Those will surely be reserved for the show itself. But any look at that unnerving other world and at poor ol’ Will is welcome.

Wonder Woman Earth One Vol. 2 HC – DC (1)

This is another huge oversight on my part – I haven’t read volume one yet.

For as much as I like Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette, it’s ridiculous that I never picked up their out-of-DCU-continuity take on the Amazonian warrior. Especially after enjoying the Batman volumes so much. Obviously those aren’t necessarily an indication of the quality of the Wonder Woman story, but it’s probably a fair hint at the general tone and style.

Heroes in Crisis #1 – DC  (2-3)

This just looks like a huge bummer.

Tom King has blown me away with his take on Batman and with the Miracle Man limited series. This should be a no-brainer for me, but I just don’t know how grim I want to get right now. While King can write super-duper comic book fun, there’s a deep melancholy to portions of his work that I don’t want in large doses.

For example, the Booster Gold thing in Batman. I do not want a whole book of that. Geez.
There’s no doubt in my mind that this will be fantastic and an important part of DC history for years to come, but I’m at a stage in my life right now where I want happy things. Not superhero PTSD, as fascinating as the premise sounds.

Batman: Damned #1 – DC (4-5)

Azzarello and Bermejo’s Joker was excellent and I absolutely want this follow-up. I’ll wait for the hardcover collection, but I’ll wait with excitement!

The Dreaming #1 – DC (10)

I didn’t realize that last month’s Sandman Universe was actually kicking off several different comics.

The fact that it is makes this a good spot to mention that in addition to reviewing Previews this month I am also attempting to trim my pull list down quite a bit. My unrealistic goal is ten titles a month, but if I can get down to fifteen I’ll be happy. I’ve once again let myself keep adding books without ever cutting ones that might be more of a habit than actual compelling reads.

As such, I won’t be adding this or House of Whispers to my monthly list.

I’ll update at the end of the post on how my trimming worked out.

Batgirl #27 – DC (17)

Let’s talk about Barbara’s new costume.

As most of you know I was a huge fan of the Cameron Stewart/Babs Tarr Batgirl redesign. It worked for the way they were portraying Barbara – which was essentially the same as Bryan Q. Miller’s Stephanie Brown Batgirl, who I still missed at the time Heck, I still do.

I think it’s time to move on, though, and after the amazing thrill ride that was Batman: White Knight I am good with Sean Gordon Murphy’s new design. But let’s get specific.

I’m not a fan of pointy belts. You have to be able to sit down, and something that’s going to stab you in the parts when you sit is not practical. The pouches are great, though.

I like the short, scalloped cape.

I like the colors and I particularly like the shape of the Bat symbol. I also like that the boots have retained detail on the soles.

She should probably have a cowl, but at the same time this is superhero comix and the little ears do look neat. I’ll allow it.

Overall I dig the look and hope that DC Collectibles gets back to making action figures someday so I can have one of this Batgirl.

Batman: Haunted Knight TP – DC (65)

This collects the three legendary (to me) one-shots by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, my favorite Batman creative team. This will make for perfect Halloween reading, though if I were DC I’d put it out at the beginning of October, not the end.

Batman: White Knight TP – DC (67)

It boggles my mind that DC doesn’t seem to be offering a fancy hardcover of this awesome story. I want notes from Murphy, sketches, anything I can get related to the creation of this series. I don’t understand for the life of me why this softcover collection is the first offering unless DC is doing some weird reverse double-dipping where they offer the lesser collection first.

While that actually makes more sense, it’s not how comics usually work.

Since I have the single issues I’m not going to bother with this one. I’m holding out hope that we get a nicer edition soon. In the meantime, if you didn’t pick up the single issues, go ahead and grab this one. You won’t be sorry. It’s a fantastic amalgamation of some of the best aspects of the Dark Knight’s long pop culture history, and a darn good story, to boot.

The Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes 30th Anniversary Edition – DC (80)

It may seem odd that I’d even think to recommend this, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks who just haven’t read it for one reason or another. Let me assure you as an avowed and obvious superhero comics guy – this is an amazing series. There’s nothing else quite like it. Twenty bucks is a steal for this, the first story arc, and if you don’t like it, give it to a friend and don’t bother with the rest.

But I think you’ll like it.

Scarlet Book One TP – DC (83)

When I reference things that I like that Bendis has written, this is one of them. Obviously Alex Maleev’s artwork is a strong selling point, too.

The funny thing is that this book is a lot more political than I generally enjoy, but is written in such a way that it portrays a very specific viewpoint without getting too preachy. The strong character work also helps get it over.

Asgardians of the Galaxy #1 - Marvel (12-13)

The title made me laugh.

I like this grouping of characters and hope that we can get some more characterization for Angela. Even though she had her own book, all we’ve really seen is her being tough and angry. Also, shouldn’t Valkyrie be darker skinned?

I’m kidding. I mean, I think she should because Tessa Thompson was one of the best things about Thor: Ragnarok and I have no attachment to this Valkyrie, but let’s not make every comic character just like their movie counterpart.

I’d buy a comic about movie Valkyrie, though.

Infinity Wars: Soldier Supreme #1 – Marvel (10)

I realize the draw of that cover image is supposed to be Captain America as a sorcerer, but all I can think is, “Why does Cap have a giant baby head?”

I’ll check these Infinity Wars spinoffs out when they get collected. I love this kind of stuff.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 #1– Dark Horsel (104-105)

Obviously there’s no way a MST3K comic makes any sense. What a blatant attempt to cash in on the resurgence in popularity of a classic geek franchise.

Do we need Jonah’s origin beyond the intro? Are they going to reveal the galaxy-spanning side adventures Crow and Tom Servo had while Joel was asleep? What kind of dumb BS is this?

Except, of course, this is actually a great idea. Because they’re doing exactly what the show does, only with comics. There are an almost infinite number of public domain comic books and strips out there, just waiting for Jonah and the bots to be subjected to.

Star Trek vs. Transformers #1 – IDW (147)

These two franchises totally make sense together, but it was a bit of extra genius to use these specific iterations – the 80s Transformers and the animated version of Star Trek. I love it and I can’t wait to see what kinds of wild things the creators put together.
Well, I can wait. For the trade to come out.

Batman/The Maxx #1 – IDW (154-155)

This may seem weird, but… well, it is.

I was nuts for Sam Kieth back in the 90s. I bought everything he did, I hunted for interviews, and I did my level best to emulate his drawing style. The McFarlane Toys Maxx figure is one of the few McFarlane figures I still have, along with a pile of Isz.

Kieth has written Batman before and it’s as strange as you might imagine. I’m stoked to see his most famous creation interact with the Dark Knight and his rogues’ gallery.

Garfield: The Complete Works Volume 1 – Ballantine Books (311)

Whether you still love Garfield or not, this is noteworthy.

If you’re like me, you grew up with those rectangular paperback collections of Garfield that came out (at least) yearly and were always sold at the school book fair. Rarely did any of us bother to pick up older collections because there were always new ones coming out. I certainly never would have bought one featuring America’s favorite fat cat as he appeared in his early years.

It’s nice that now, following in the footsteps of Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County, and The Far Side, Garfield is finally getting an archival series of his own. Hardcover would have been nice, but at least these are getting collected in a prestige format.

The Avenger Double Feature SC – Moonstone (383)

Chuck Miller and our pal Award-Winning Bobby Nash bring two tales of The Avenger – a character created by the same folks who brought us Doc Savage and The Shadow!

The Complete Our Valued Customers TP – Our Valued Comics (385)

Just buy this.

It’s a series of one-panel comic strips based on conversations overheard in a comic book shop. If you know what kinds of conversations happen in a comic book shop, you know how outrageous and hilarious the subject matter here can be.

Alien: Covenant – David’s Drawings – Titan (427)

Alien: Covenant was a rank turd of a movie, but the android – excuse me, artificial person – David’s story arc has been awesome. One of the most stunning parts of the film was the home David had made for himself, covered in illustrations of the diabolical genetic experiments he had been pursuing. I definitely wanted a closer look, and the fact that this is presented as an “in-universe” style collection is all the more appealing.


Ghostbusters Select Action Figures Series 9 – Diamond Select Toys (15M)

Here’s my dream for a Real Ghostbusters toy line:

Some company – DST would be great – does what DC Collectibles did for Batman: The Animated Series. The animation style would be preserved, with articulation and accessories done as needed. Once the main cast was produced, the focus would be on actual ghosts from the show, maybe with con/retailer exclusives based on the Kenner ghosts.

That’s never going to happen, though. So DST’s repaints with new heads will have to appease fans. I think they’re a neat idea, but they don’t work for me. Especially Slimer, who is based on DST’s already inaccurate movie Slimer, which makes an even more inaccurate cartoon Slimer. His faces look amazing, but he’s too big and those arms are so wrong it’s not even believable.

One:12 Collective Sovereign Knight Batman Action Figure – Mezco (47M)

The more I see this figure, the more I like it. I don’t think I’m going to get it because I already have two great One:12 Batman figures and I’m still expecting a more comic-based version at some point.

They’re doing this one in blue and grey, too, and I’m trying to remember which one I liked more.

Puppet Master Pinhead 1/1 Scale Prop Replica – Full Moon Features (50M)

Full Moon is continuing their line of prop replica puppets and I’m happy to see them. I may not love the films as much as I did when I was a kid, but I still love the puppets. I think a remake with modern sensibilities would be fantastic.

Puppet Master Tunneler 1/1 Scale Prop Replica – Full Moon Features (51M)

Funny that they named him “Tunneler” rather than the much less awkward “Driller”. I don’t know which kill was more gruesome – his or the Leech Woman’s.

Unaffiliated Thoughts

And now for the final reveal of my trimmed-down, only-the-necessary, stuff-I-gotta-have pull list:

Sorry, Phantomaniacs – I know this is lousy, but it turns out I have enough to say here for a full post, and that is a rare occurrence these days. Tune in next Wednesday for the scoop! I’ll be on vacation, so chances are there wouldn’t have been a post next week, anyway.

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!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out for The Avenger. Super excited to see it coming out.

    I understand there is a Valkyrie based ont he movie version. She will appear in the Thor book. The Val in Asgardians is the one who has been around a while.