May 2014 Alternate Comics Diamond Previews Review

May 2014 Alternate Comics Diamond Previews Review


Time to check out the rest of Previews Issue # 308, dated May 2014, with product solicited to start shipping in July 2014.

Leaving Megalopolis HC          Dark Horse is bringing us a Kickstarter success by Gail Simone (W) and Jim Califiore (A). Leaving Megalopolis HC is 120 pages of hard hitting action when we witness the greatest heroes become the biggest threat and threaten to destroy the world’s safest city. What would make them turn on the citizens they protected for so long? I look forward to finding out because Jim and Gail have shown that they can handle teams and bad guys in the pages of DC Comics Secret Six. This is a great deal for $14.99 and an excellent chance to see 2 creators play in a sandbox of their creation.


Groo vs Conan #1          Groo Vs. Conan #1 (of 4) is a dream cross-over. Both characters will be drawn by specific artists with Sergio Aragones handling the art for Groo and Thomas Yeates handling the art for Conan. Mark Evanier writes the story that sees once and for all who truly is the greatest barbarian in the pages of a comic book.


Massive #25          The Massive #25 begins the last storyline for the book. “Ragnorak” will provide the answers that have plagued the cast of the book since the first issue. With the world tearing itself apart will the questions even have time to be answered. I dropped this book shortly after the first year but my need to know where The Massive is never went away. Brian Wood (W), and Garry Brown (A) will surely craft a wonderful, and hopefully happy (at least for some characters) ending that will leave The Massive as one of the best post apocalyptic series to hit the stands in recent memory.


Ragnarok #1 subRagnarok #1          Ragnarok describes the Twilight of the Gods, the destruction of the 9 realms, and is also the name of the new bi-monthly series from legendary creator Walter Simonson who is providing both writing and art. His take on Thor was epic but this looks to push past anything he has done before when he brings us the ultimate tale of vengeance in a time when hope is in short supply. Ragnarok #1 is brought to us by IDW.


Transformers vs GI Joe #1 Transformers vs GI Joe #1 sub          Also from IDW is the fun looking Transformers Vs. G.I. Joe #1. No longer a mini-series but instead an ongoing series set during a time when the Transformers have just arrived on Earth. This is not in continuity with the other books and for that reason, and the amazing art by Tom Scioli, I will be picking this book up. Tom Scioli brings an early 80’s indie vibe to the book and it is a look you wouldn’t normally associate with two of the larger franchises to infiltrate Saturday morning cartoons, the cinema, and comic books.


X-Files Year Zero #1 X-Files Year Zero #1 sub          IDW will also be showing us where and when the X-Files started in the pages of The X-Files: Year Zero #1, the first of a five issue mini-series by Karl Kesel (W), Vic Malhotra (A), and Greg Scott (A). Mr. Zero has provided many leads to the FBI, leads that are unusual to say the least and in the 40’s, through a suburban housewife, the seeds were planted for what would become the X-Files.


Supreme Blue Rose #1          Image brings back Supreme in Supreme Blue Rose #1. Warren Ellis writes and Tula Lotay provides beautiful art that is unlike anything we have seen in a Supreme book before. Warren Ellis is a writer who has shown a knack for re-envisioning characters and concepts in ways we have not seen before including the under-appreciated Counter X reboots at Marvel and the currently running and brilliantly written Moon Knight. This will be a hot book that will surely have buzz in the back issue market.


Life With Archie Comic #36 Adam Hughes cover Life With Archie Comic #36 Fiona Staples cover Life With Archie Comic #36 Francesco Francavilla cover Life With Archie Comic #36 Mike Allred cover Life With Archie Comic #36 Ramon Perez cover          Archie Comics does the unthinkable and kills their namesake, Archie, in the pages of Life With Archie #36 and two weeks later in issue #37 we see how Riverdale has moved on one year after the tragic death. Even though this title is not in continuity it will be an emotional story since few non super heroic characters have had the long and sustained readership that Archie and the gang has experienced.

Life With Archie Comic #37 Alex Ross cover Life With Archie Comic #37 Cliff Chiang cover Life With Archie Comic #37 Jill Thompson cover Life With Archie Comic #37 Tommy Lee Edwards cover Life With Archie Comic #37 Walt Simonson cover          Judy has the reservation list at Book Fair for Life With Archie. There will be 5 different covers each for #36 and #37, as well as a combined #36/#37 in the regular magazine format and in a comic Life With Archie GNLife With Archie #36 magazine format sized graphic novel. Come and see Judy before Wed. May 28 to pick out which covers you would like or if you would like them all.


Tuki Saves the Humans #1          Jeff Smith writes and draws a new series when Tuki: Save the Humans #1 premieres. A tale of the first human to leave Africa seems like an interesting premise and Jeff Smith on a regular series is always a welcome sight. This comes from Cartoon Books in July.


The Devilers #1          Joshua Hale Fialkov is writing a new series for Dynamite Entertainment called The Devilers #1. This is team book unlike any others. Fialkov collects seven exorcists, each one with a different belief system, who must battle Satan and protect humanity at all costs. Having done an amazing job of writing I, Vampire over at DC, I am more than ready to jump into anything supernatural that Joshua may pen. Matt Triano provides art.


          That’s really all that jumped out at me this month in Previews. See you again soon when we check out next months issue.

May 2014 Marvel Comics Diamond Previews Review

May 2014 Marvel Comics Diamond Previews Review

Original Sin #6July is all about Original Sins over at Marvel. Many previously unseen secrets are about to be retconned * into the Marvel 616 universe.


Amazing Spider-Man #4 SIN          Spider-man wasn’t the only one bitten by a radioactive spider the day Peter had his origin. It turns out a young lady by the name of Silk was also bitten all those years ago and in Amazing Spider-man #4 by Dan Slott (W) and Humberto Ramos (A) we find out where she has been all this time.


Original Sin #5.1One of the more interesting retcons * coming out of Original Sin is the revelation that Angela is actually related to Thor, and via adoption, Loki, and comes from a tenth realm. This is being brought to us from Jason Aaron (W), Al Ewing (W), Simone Bianchi (A), and Lee Garbett (A). This is kind of interesting but will undoubtedly cause many colorful message board rants. Thor Vs. Loki #1-5 sounds interesting and I imagine will have far reaching consequences for the God of Thunder and his mischievous adopted brother Loki.


Daredevil #6 SIN          We have always known that Daredevil’s mother was a nun but in Daredevil #6 by Mark Waid (W) and Javier Rodriguez (A) we find out exactly what prompted that life changing event in this Original Sin tie in.


Uncanny X-Men #23 ANMN          Issues #23 & 24 of Uncanny X-Men are Original Sin tie-ins and promise to shake the X-Men to the core with “The Last Will and Testament of Charles Xavier”. Brian Michael Bendis writes with art in issue #23 by Kris Anka, and Chris Bachalo providing the art in issue #24. The solicits hint at (surprise, surprise) a retcon * when a previously unknown power threatens them like nothing before. I hope this is a smoother retcon * when compared to all of the X-Men teams that have been pushed into the timeline before the one we all know and love so well.


Rocket Raccoon #1          Hidden within all of the Original Sin tie-ins are several new releases, carrying on the All-New Marvel Now slate of books, first of which is Rocket Raccoon #1. Skottie Young handles both art and writing for this series that Marvel has made a point of saying is in-continuity. The in-continuity part scares me because Rocket Raccoon could be an amazing comic book for the all ages readers but in-continuity means that if a crossover happens, chances are it will impact this book. Either way Skottie has proven he is a fun artist who has graced many variant covers and that he can write. This book should make Rocket Raccoon the star he deserves to be.


Spider-Man 2099 #1 ANMN          The book I am somewhat excited about is Spider-man 2099 #1 by Peter David (W) and William Sliney (A). I only say somewhat because the book is set in the present day. Part of the fun of the 2099 universe was the world itself and how much it added to the atmosphere of the book. I hope that Peter David is allowed to avoid the Spider-family cross-overs and get to create his own set of supporting characters for Miguel O’Hara. I am hoping a return to 2099 or the much rumored Superior Spider-man 2099 series will be announced soon. Either way this is a must have just to see a possible return to greatness for this long overlooked character.


Storm #1 ANMN           Storm of the X-Men is getting a solo series from Greg Pak (W) and Victor Ibanez (A). Storm will be traveling all over the globe to right wrongs and bring about the peaceful world she envisions. I am not a fan of solo X-Men titles since I personally find they function better as smaller parts of a larger whole. I am interested in how this book does only because this seemed to be a ninja solicitation, kind of tucked away and hidden. In a month where there are so many special issues, Original Sin tie-ins, and a few launches it may not have been wise to launch this series now since it is very over-shadowed at the moment. Best of luck to the creative team though.


ELektra #4 ANMNMs Marvel #6 ANMNShe-Hulk #6 ANMNBlack Widow #8 ANMNWith the amazing female led books Marvel is putting out (She Hulk, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Elektra, etc.) this one may add to the pile of strong women who kick butt and look good while doing it.


All New Invaders #7 SIN Avengers #32 SIN Deadpool #31 SIN Fantastic Four #7 SIN


Short article for Marvel but since most books are embroiled in Original Sin it isn’t really a surprise. Good reading everyone!

(shortened form of RETroactive CONtinuity; first made popular in the comic book world)
1. (original meaning) Adding information to the back story of a fictional character or world, without invalidating that which had gone before.
2. (more common usage) Adding or altering information regarding the back story of a fictional character or world, regardless of whether the change contradicts what was said before.

May 2014 DC Comics Diamond Previews Review

May 2014 DC Comics Diamond Previews Review

Hello readers and welcome to our look at the Previews magazine dated May 2014 with solicitations for product shipping starting in July 2014. First up, as we review Issue 308 of Previews will be DC Comics.


By July, Forever Evil will be done and Future’s End will be the focus as we ramp up to the Earth 2 weekly that will undoubtedly tie into Future’s End. There were many changes wrought as a result of Forever Evil and because of those changes we are getting DC’s version of an All-New set of relaunches.


Grayson #1          Let’s look at those first and see if any of them are bringing anything new to the DC line up. The character that went through the wringer most was obviously Nightwing who we now find is Dick Grayson, super-spy. For me the draw is the artist, while the writer Tim Seeley is hit or miss with me, mostly miss, Mikel Janin on art has piqued my interest. He did some solid work on Justice League Dark that made me a fan. When I initially saw the cover I was worried that it was indicative of the art for Grayson inside the book. Not that the cover is a bad cover it is just too Howard Chaykin for me and I have a hard time connecting with his art unless it is his original creations he is illustrating. That being said I will be checking out at least the first issue. Here’s hoping it’s new reader friendly.


New Suicide Squad #1          New Suicide Squad #1 comes to us from the team of Sean Ryan (W), and Jeremy Roberts (A). This book has me excited. I never got into the initial run of Suicide Squad and after having read the first 15 issues that a friend had, I was hooked. Throwing in Joker’s Daughter will further strain the team dynamics and I look forward to the colorful exchanges that are sure to come up between Harley and Joker’s Daughter. Deathstroke and Black Manta will also add more edge to the team. I’m thinking this is going to be the most volatile team in comic books, since ever. I will be checking out the first issue of this book.


Teen Titans #1          A relaunch that I am staying away from because I have little to no faith in the property at this time, and I have taken a sit and wait approach is Teen Titans #1. Will Pfeifer writes with art provided by Kenneth Rocafort. While I am one of those that is not a fan of the cover, I will not open that can of worms, that is not the sole reason for me not wanting this book, nor is it the creative team, both of which I have enjoyed in the past. At this time I just feel like they are putting out a Teen Titans book because they feel they should have one, and not because they have a good story to tell. The idea of a team of young heroes who will almost police the other young heroes is intriguing but I will wait to hear feedback on the first arc before I test the waters. Once burned, twice shy as the saying goes.


Star Spangled War Stories GI Zombie #1          Even though DC has tried two different war series and neither succeeded with G.I. Combat not able to make it past issue #7 and the first wave title Men of War gone with issue #8, they are trying again, this time combining zombies and war in Star-Spangled War Stories featuring G.I. Zombie. Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti write with art by Scott Hampton. Even though the saying is “Third time lucky” I have a hard time seeing this title lasting past the first year.


Out of the 4, I will be sampling New Suicide Squad and Grayson just because they are trying a totally new direction for the character (Grayson) and taking qualities I already liked and ratcheting up that tension even further (New Suicide Squad).


Robin Rises Omega #1          The march towards Damian’s return continues in the July shipping one shot Robin Rises: Omega #1 by Peter J. Tomasi (W), Andy Kubert (A), and Jonathan Glapion (A). The forces of Apokolips gets thrown into the mix which may raise some eyebrows considering Darkseid’s upcoming role in the Earth 2 weekly and the Future’s End event. This may be a book to watch.


Wonder Woman #33          Wonder Woman #33 is the first part of the final storyline by Brian Azzarello (W) and Cliff Chiang (A). I have raved about this title since the first issue and while it is sad that this teams run is coming to an end, it has been a consistent run where the creators have left their definitive mark on the character, and for the first time I cared about Wonder Woman. It is time to place the rightful ruler in charge of Olympus and with the possible candidates Wonder Woman has her work cut out for her.


Batman #33 Zero Year          Scott Snyder writes the final issue of his Zero Year origin story in Batman #33. Clocking in at 48 pages this will give us the big final battle between Batman and Riddler. I am looking forward to a possible Absolute collection for this story and have my fingers crossed that we will see that solicited within the coming year. Greg Capullo (A), Danny Miki (A) and Scott Snyder (W) bring the roller-coaster ride to an end and we will be left with the definitive Batman origin in the New 52.


After having learned from their mistake during the last 3-D cover debacle last September, DC is releasing basic solicitations for the upcoming event books. Unfortunately there are no creators listed so people are going to be ordering based on the characters or the story. Other than the Justice League titles I will be passing on most of them, but there are some interesting tidbits to be had.


          Grayson is the top super-spy in Russia. Black Canary takes her place at the head of the League of Assassins. The Suicide Squad attacks the White House. Batwoman is a vampire. Selina Kyle is Black Mask. Those are just some of the stories that will be told in Septembers event. There will be 3-D covers and 2-D covers available. I would love to recommend some of the books but honestly without a creative team it is hard for me to justify any recommendations. At this point I would say get the books you already collect and maybe check out other ones once we start learning the creative teams.


Judy has the reservation list of 41 DC Futures End Titles for September at Book Fair. She has to know by Wed. May 28th at the latest, which titles you may want to pre-order in either 3D or 2D. These are sure to sell out fast and will not be available to order after this date. DC said they may have pictures available online by May 27th. Stop by the store and reserve your copies This Week to avoid disappointment in September.


Infinite Crisis Fight for the Multiverse #1          Another video game tie in is heading our way, Infinite Crisis: Fight for the Multiverse #1 by Dan Abnett (W), Carl Potts (A), Szymon Kudranski (A), and others. This is fun partially because of the tie in (although I suck at the game, it is really pretty to watch), but mainly for all of the alternate takes we will see of our favorite DC heroes and villains. Being a fan of Elseworlds, What Ifs, and anything that smells like a multiverse I am so down with this book.


Well that is all for DC, up next, Marvel!

April 2014 Alternate Comics Diamond Previews Review

April 2014 Alternate Comics Diamond Previews Review

Emily & the Strangers Breaking Record #1          Well DC and Marvel are done. That leaves us with the rest of the Previews. Let’s dig in. Dark Horse brings the return of Emily and the Strangers in June with the first issue in a three issue mini-series called Emily and the Strangers: Breaking the Record. With a feature film in the works (what comic book doesn’t have a movie deal these days) this would be a good jumping on point. Great for fans of the medium who want to see a book well written and done in a way that is a strong book for female readers but open to fans of any age, or gender.


Complete Elfquest TP vol 01 Original Quest          If you’re like me and missed the beginnings of the Elfquest saga 35 years ago Dark Horse has you and I covered with an impressive 720 page collection of the original Elfquest stories. The Complete Elfquest Volume 1: The Original Quest TP reprints the first twenty issues of the series, all in black and white, by the creative duo of Wendy Pini (W/A) and Richard Pini (W). For $24.99 you can’t go wrong and miss this exciting collection.



Angry Birds Comics #1 Angry Birds Comics #1 var            IDW has proven time and again that they can get all ages books into the hands of kids and in June one of the biggest franchises that appeals to young and old alike in the pages of Angry Bird Comics #1. The creative team will appeal to comic readers with the intriguing addition of fan favorite Jeff Parker as writer.   Rocky & Bullwinkle #4 Angry Birds varGhostbusters #17 Angry Birds varThe art looks terrific with David Baldeon bringing a translation of the characters and their world to the paper that is exactly as you would imagine. Be on the lookout for Angry Bird variants for several of their other titles including Ghostbusters, Rocky and Bullwinkle and more.

Cartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #1 subCartoon Network Super Secret Crisis War #1  Samurai Jack #9 subSamurai Jack #9

Powerpuff Girls #10 subPowerpuff Girls #10

Normally the big crossovers are the domain of Marvel and DC but IDW has tipped their hat into the ring with many of their licensed properties but on that looks like more fun than it should be is the Cartoon Network: Super Secret Crisis War! #1 (of 6).  Powerpuff Girls, Ben 10, Samurai Jack, and more crossover when a demon gathers together the baddest of the bad from the Cartoon Networks rogues galleries, and attempts to stage an interdimensional takeover. Louise Simonson writes and Derek Charm provides the art for this not to miss crossover.

Outcast by Kirkman & Azaceta #1

          Image leads their solicitations with a new book by a writer who is worth taking notice of, Robert Kirkman. The man behind The Walking Dead, and Invincible, brings us a new book with art by Paul Azaceta and Elizabeth Breitweiser. Kirkman can bring new voices to the superhero community but it can’t be argued that horror is one of his strongest genres and Outcast #1 looks to a fine addition to his darker books. The lead character is plagued by demonic possession that could lead him to the end of all of our lives. The artwork looks suitably moody and disturbingly relatible. This should be another hit in the Image stable.


The Wicked & the Divine #1Phonogram TP vol 02 Singles ClubPhonogram TP vol 01 Rue Britanna         First Phonogram, then the recently wrapped run of Young Avengers, no Kieron Gillen (W), Jamie McKelvie (A), and Matt Wilson (A), bring us a whole new story in The Wicked + The Divine #1. The story details a new batch of gods that rise every 90 years and what they do with their abilities, whether it be good or bad. This book is sure to be one to follow.


Big Trouble in Little China #1          Boom Studios adds another licensed property to its repertoire and this one was one I never expected. Big Trouble in Little China #1 hits in June with story by John Carpenter and Eric Powell, with Eric also tackling the art. These are all new stories brought to you by the original creator of the story and one of the best talents in the industry. Jack Burton is sure to have some rough times ahead, and that can only be a good thing for the readers.


New Vampirella #1 A New Vampirella #1 B New Vampirella #1 C New Vampirella #1 D          Dynamite Entertainment adds another classic character to their library with New Vampirella #1 by Nancy A. Collins (W) and Patrick Berkenhotter (A). It has been 45 years since this scantily clad vampire first appeared and her iconic look has never looked better. Any story that involves the Vatican sending Vampirella out on a mission has got to be good.


Doctor Who 10th #1 Doctor Who 10th #1 sub Doctor Who 11th #1 Doctor Who 11th #1 sub

Even though IDW was putting out some of the best Doctor Who comics in a long time, the license went to Titan Comics at the end of last year. June sees the launch of not one but two Doctor Who comics. One for the tenth Doctor, Doctor Who: The Tenth Doctor by Nick Abadzis (W), and Elena Casagrande (A), and Doctor Who: The Eleventh Doctor #1 by Al Ewing (W), Rob Williams (W), and Simon Fraser (A). These promise to be all new stories with a whopping 15 issues each to be released per year. Doctor Who fans should be adding these to their pull lists.


Well that’s the look at some of the standouts for June. See you in a few weeks when we take a look at our July shipping products. Good reading everyone.

April 2014 Marvel Comics Diamond Previews Review

April 2014 Marvel Comics Diamond Previews Review


Original Sin #3 Original Sin #4          Marvel Comics is deep in crossover territory in June 2014 as Original Sin continues to trek through the 616. Original Sin #3 from Jason Aaron (W) and Mike Deodato (A) looks to add another murder to the story thanks to a discovery made by the Winter Soldier and his team and the fourth issue teams Punisher up with Dr. Strange.


Fantastic Four #6 All New Invaders #6 Original Sins #1 Original Sins #2 Original Sin #3.1 Original Sin #3.2 Original Sin #3.3           Let’s not forget the tie ins, in no particular order: Fantastic Four #6, All-New Invaders #6, Nova #18, Original Sins #1, and #2, and Original Sin #3.1, 3.2,  3.3,  3.4.

Avengers #31But that’s not all. Avengers #31 takes the team into the future (again) to see what their actions today have created in the future.



Mighty Avengers #11          In Mighty Avengers #11 we see another Avengers team from 1972 that no one knew existed. Part of me wishes that Marvel would stop shoe horning these “pivotal” past events into the timeline. Al Ewing is a capable writer and if anyone can make it work he would be one of a small handful that can.


Deadpool #30          Dazzler appears to team up with Deadpool in his Original Sin tie in in issue #30 of his series. Oh, and they fight vampires.


New Avengers Annual #1 ANMN          New Avengers Annual #1 focuses on Doctor Stephen Strange, the Sorcerer Supreme of the Marvel Universe. With his recent name drop in Captain America: Winter Soldier it is clear that his profile will soon be on the rise. We aren’t that far from Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Frank J. Barbiere (W), and Marco Rudy (A) tell us a story of the good Doctor and a debt he is called upon to pay up by some Himalayan techno-monks.


New Avengers #19 New Avengers #20          In New Avengers #19 and #20 we get to see the continued battle between the Illuminati and the latest version of the Justice League, Marvel style. At the end of the day we all know which Earth will survive but the passive aggressive knock towards the Distinguished Competition looks like a fun thing to see play out.


Uncanny Avengers #21          Rick Remember (W) and Daniel Acuna (A) close out the epic “Avenge the Earth” storyline, with the fates of 7 different futures at stake. Uncanny Avengers #21 brings the final battle in June.


Silver Surfer #4          Let the Guardians of the Galaxy onslaught begin. The team of big screen heroes pays a visit to the pages of Silver Surfer #4 in June when Dan Slott (W) and Michael Allred (A) show us what happens when the Surfer goes to drop off his human companion at Earth. Apparently the Hulk and Doctor Strange show up as well. Defenders and Guardians in one book, with Allred providing the art? This sounds like fun.


Wolverine #8 Wolverine #9          Well the cat, or wolverine, is out of the bag. The Canucklehead who is the best at what he does has his days numbered as 3 Months to Die brings us the supposed final story of Wolverine before he bites the big one. No offence to the talent involved but comic book deaths really don’t mean anything to most fans these days, especially when it comes to one of the most bankable characters. We’ll find out the permanency of said death in three months. I, myself, am thinking it is going to be a “bold, new direction” in three months, and then a few months later when they do wave 4 or 5 of All-New our tough as nails mutant will be back to his familiar status quo.


          Well surprisingly this month Marvel had a much shorter column than DC. With more launches coming from the big two in the coming months I expect to see some slightly longer columns. See you soon when we look at the rest of the publishers and their offerings starting in June.