Podcast 130: Favorites of 2017

Direct Download (1:23:53)

It’s time for my annual tradition of looking back at the previous year of comic books and talking about my favorites. I talk about my following favorites:

  • Independent comics (2:53)
  • Image comics (18:43)
  • Marvel comics (37:46)
  • DC comics (51:49)
  • Most Disappointing (1:06:47)
  • Covers (1:11:11)
  • Most Anticipated for 2018 (1:17:13)

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Previews! (November 2015)

Here are some recommendations from this month’s Previews catalog for product shipping mostly in January. You can also see some pix that I took of other items from the catalog at my Instagram page (#previews).

Dark Horse

  • Hellboy gets a Winter Special one-shot, featuring art by Michael Avon Oeming and Tim Sale. Writing credits to Mike Mignola (natch!), Chris Roberson, and Chelsea Cain. I’m not big into Hellboy, but this looks like some potential wintertime fun.
  • But I am into Leaving Megalopolis by Gail Simone and Jim Calafiore, and there’s a sequel called Surviving Megalopolis. The first volume was a high octane survival tale in its own right, so I’m very interested to see where this six-issue tale in this universe takes me.

DC Comics

  • There’s a new Green Lantern Corps six-issue limited series: Edge of Oblivion. I like this idea of doing focused stories as limited series in lieu of an ongoing, sort of like how the Brits do short tv seasons.
  • Wonder Woman gets the obligatory origin story with the 9 issue Legend of Wonder Woman by Renae de Liz writing and arting, along with Ray Dillon. The preview image looks lovely.
  • There’s another miniseries with Poison Ivy: Cycle of Life and Death by Amy Chu and Clay Mann. I’m not as enamored with this character as many I’ve seen online are, but I support DC focusing on other characters besides Batman with these limited series.
  • This is interesting, and yet another six issue series: Suicide Squad Most Wanted: Deadshot/Katana. This appears to be two distinct stories in this first issue focusing on each of the titular characters, so I wonder if the rest of the series will be this way? I wonder why DC is doing this? It’s too soon at the front end to somehow tie in to the Suicide Squad movie, but the series will end close to the release. Why not start the series right before the movie? Perhaps they have other titles in the works.
  • Swamp Thing by Len Wein and Kelley Jones is the second DC miniseries that I will be getting. It’s Len Wein returning to his character along with the perfect artist for this.
  • Titans Hunt #4 features Hawk and Dove! I’m very excited about this because I love those characters.
  • Speaking of returning to the past, Batman/Superman #28 starts an arc examining one of the early adventures, and I’m a sucker for those ever since the New 52 began. It’s only three issues, so it’s not a huge commitment.
  • Robin War #2 ends the titular mini (?) event.
  • I didn’t read these but heard from many who enjoyed the Bat-Mite and Bizarro miniseries. These are now collected into trades.
  • If you’re newer or younger to comics and didn’t get into Dark Knight Returns like this old fogey but you’re interested because of the hubbub surrounding DK III, well, there’s a new edition of the trade for DKR.
  • The superhero fun of the Darkseid War in Justice League gets its first hard cover collection.
  • Speaking of Justice League, there’s a new trade collecting the initial Silver Age adventures of the team, if you’re so inclined.

IDW

  • If you’re a fan of George Perez’s Avengers run from the last century, then the Marvel Artist Select Series hardcover is for you. There will only be 999 copies made (and signed!), so order now!
  • DC gets similar treatment in an Artist’s Edition hardcover featuring the Best of DC War. This will feature material by Robert Kanigher, Russ Heath, Jack Kirby, Joe Kubert, John Severin, and Alex Toth.
  • The four issue miniseries Gutter Magic by Rich Douek and Brett Barkley looks interesting. I may not wait for the trade.
  • The Orions get the spotlight in a two-part tale starting in Star Trek #53. Also, the next John Byrne Star Trek: New Visions photobook features Mr. Checkov’s early days on the Enterprise.
  • If you were a fan of the webcomic Insufferable by Mark Waid and Peter Krause, or just knew of it but didn’t want to shell out the $4 per month entry fee for Thrillbent access, now you can get the first print collection of the series, which is pretty good.

Image

  • Image starts the new year with new story arcs on many titles, starting with Bitch Planet #6.
  • Even better, Nowhere Men returns with a new story arc starting with #7. Those first six issues were a hoot, and I’m happy to see this return after a 2+ year hiatus.
  • The Walking Dead #150!!! ZOMG!
  • I haven’t yet read the conclusion of Nameless by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, and Nathan Fairbairn, but I’m going to recommend you get the hard cover collection because its a trip.
  • Every Invincible trade collection that I order I ask myself if this is the last one, and I wonder the same thing with volume 22, Reboot.

Marvel

  • Bunch of new number ones and Star Wars comics that I’m not interested in.
  • The long awaited Captain America: White by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale gets a hard cover collection. I think I’ll wait for the trade.
  • However, this hard cover I will be getting: Miracleman: The Golden Age, Book 1 by Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham. We’re getting closer to new Gaiman Miracleman stories!
  • Do you like the early Spider-Man and X-Men stories? Then you’ll want the new omnibus printings.
  • Hmm, I might be interested in the Black Widow collection (Itsy-Bitsy Spider) of stories from 1999 and 2001 by Greg Rucka, Devin Grayson, J.G. Jones, and Scott Hampton.

Other publishers

  • Master comic storyteller Terry Moore has a new issue of Rachel Rising.
  • ZOMG! Boom is launching The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with a zero issue and 7 different covers featuring each Ranger.
  • Remember Classic Illustrated? Well, they’re back with a vengeance in this month’s Previews with 10 titles! I wonder if the Les Miserables trade comes with a soundtrack?
  • First Second’s series of Greek god spotlight trades appeals to the younger me.
  • Supporting character Faith from Valiant’s Harbinger series gets a spotlight miniseries. Faith was a breath of fresh air in that series.

What are you ordering this month?

Previews! (September 2015)

Here are some recommendations from this month’s Previews catalog for product shipping mostly in November.

Dark Horse

  • If you missed the Midnight Society miniseries, you can get the trade collection. I was pretty surprised by a turn of events in the second issue, and I was already interested in the story I thought I was getting.
  • Westerns seem to be making a comeback or sorts (if only to try to mimic the success of Sixth Gun), and Kingsway West is one of those. The preview art in the catalog shows what look like mutated jackalopes and a small dragon. This ain’t your Daddy’s Old West, son.

DC Comics

  • Erm. Dark Knight III is here y’all. Yippee? I talked about this a bit in episode 87 of the podcast, but I’m not too excited about this, though I’m very certain it will be a huge money maker for DC.
  • What I am excited to read is Superman: American Alien. Writer Max Landis made an empassioned plea for his story on Twitter, and that tipped me in favor of preordering this limited series.
  • Despite Jim Lee’s involvement in issue 1, I won’t be getting Batman: Europa either.
  • Wow, Scooby-Doo Team-Up #13 features some ghostly DC characters: Deadman, Spectre, and Phantom Stranger. Ruh roh!
  • If you’re a fan of Neal Adams’ Batman art, then DC has an omnibus for ya with over 1000 pages!
  • I want to get that Demon: Hell’s Hitman trade featuring stories by Garth Ennis.
  • Lex Luthor gets the 75 years omnibus treatment. I still hate the DC won’t tell us what issues are in these 75-year celebratory tomes.
  • Ok, I highly, highly recommend the Superman: Secret Identity deluxe edition HC. It’s  a great Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen story. Get it, read it, love it.
  • Because DC knows that I’m a sucker for all things classic Titans, I’ll be gladly paying for the DC Comics Presents: Titans Hunt 100-Page Super Spectacular. At least I’ll have better quality versions of the early Teen Titans stories.
  • Of the new Vertigo books (which all sound interesting), I’ll be spending my money on Red Thorn because, you know, Scotland.
  • Capitalizing on the success of the iZombie tv show, DC is giving us the titular comic in omnibus form.

IDW

  • Do not pass Go, do not collect, er, wait, DO get this wonderful collection of Infinite Loop. It’s probably going to get my vote for best limited series of 2015.
  • If I wasn’t already at my budget limit for this month’s comics, I would be buying Alex Robinson’s Box Office Poison and his new trade Our Expanding Universe.

Image

  • Jason Aaron has become a comic book creator like Mark Waid, Grant Morrison, and Brian K. Vaughan where I will seriously look at, if not preordering, anything that he is involved with. Case in point, The Goddamned. It also does not hurt that the artist from Scalped, R.M. Guera, is back with Aaron on this series.
  • When Monstress was announced at the Image Expo, I really liked the cover image. The preview art also looks good, though darker (in composition, not tone) than I expected (despite the title).
  • Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Circle gets a volume 2, delving into the past of the characters introduced or mentioned in Jupiter’s Legacy. I enjoyed both Legacy and Circle volume 1 a great deal, so getting this was an easy choice.
  • And Millar is trying really hard to clinch those movie deals by giving us another new series that sounds pretty interesting: Huck. It’s about a superpowered guy who tries to do good deeds anonymously. You can imagine that things don’t go his way. The Rafael Albuquerque art looks amazing.

Marvel

  • This will mostly be a list of those All-New, All-Different series that I’m adding to my pull list. Case in point: Avengers. It’s mostly for Mark Waid, but I like many of the characters on the team, including Thor, Vision, and Spider-Man.
  • I really like alternate universe stories, and Web Warriors gives me a bunch of Spider characters, including Spider-Girl and Spider-Ham! C’mon!
  • I like Tom King, but this take of the Vision as a family man with his synthezoid family (based on the cover image) has got me wondering (if I’ll like it or not). Is this a comedy or parody? I guess I’ll have to read and see (see what I did there?!).
  • The Ultimates and Illuminati seem to be flip sides of the same coing, but either way, I’m interested.
  • More of Jason Aaron writing Thor? Yes, please. Take all of my monies.
  • Interesting. Marvel is releasing a prose adaptation of Civil War, but it also has illustrations. Hmm, if they added more illustrations, they could rerelease a trade collection of the comic book. (I don’t get this–who wants to read a prose version of Civil War?)
  • I will be getting the second complete collection of Christopher Priest’s Black Panther series.

Other publishers

  • Will Eisner is celebrated by Paul Levitz in Will Eisner: Champion of the Graphic Novel book.
  • Terry Moore is releasing a trade collection of SIP Kids. If you haven’t read these stories and you’re a fan of Strangers in Paradise, you are missing out.
  • Action Lab is trying its hand at an event series with Actionverse. I’m mostly getting it for the Molly Danger inclusion.
  • I don’t know why, but the Mother Russia trade from Alterna Comics keeps catching my eye.
  • I love Grant Morrison, but I don’t know about his take on Santa Claus in the new Boom miniseries Klaus. Maybe I’ll ask for it for Christmas.
  • James Bond returns in the new series by Warren Ellis and Jason Masters (and right before the new film that I’m dying to see!).
  • Finally, don’t forget to order the newest Alter Ego and Comic Book Creator magazines. The former features an interview with Jim Shooter, and the latter spotlights Gil Kane.

What are you ordering this month?

Previews! (August 2015)

Here are some recommendations from this month’s Previews catalog for product shipping mostly in October.

Dark Horse

  • I almost ordered the Dead Vengeance mini-series, which is about a dead PI who somehow comes back to life to take down the mob gang that killed him.
  • The Steam Man, a mini-series about a steam-powered robot battling monsters in the Old West looked interesting.
  • I did order the first trade of Harrow County.
  • Nexus: Into the Past and Other Stories collects work from Dark Horse Presents.

DC Comics

  • There’s a new weekly Batman book, Batman and Robin Eternal, but it appears to be focusing on Dick Grayson about a case he and Bats worked on five years earlier. I’m really looking forward to this, even if I don’t understand the significance of the word Eternal for these series (other than we will eternally buy Batman books?).
  • One of the Convergence minis that I looked forward to reading the most was the featuring Superman and Lois Lane still married and expecting their child. For some reason, DC decided that they should continue this story in Superman: Lois and Clark. It’s an ongoing, so it’ll be interesting to see where this book will go and how it will tie in to the main DCU.
  • Telos continues that character’s story from Convergence, but I passed on it despite Jeff King’s and Dan DiDio’s assertions that the events out of Convergence mattered and had some weight. We’ll see. I see this similar to the Trinity of Sin: Pandora book, which is to say it ties to an event and should be important in some way but will likely mean next to nothing to the overall universe.
  • Yet another Convergence tie-in, but something that I am excited about: Titans Hunt. This is a 12-issue limited series, so that itself is interesting, but more so is that there seems to be some sort of secret history involving the teen heroes of the DCU, including Robin, Donna Troy, and Arsenal, among others. When the New 52 debuted, Red Robin, in Teen Titans, made a comment about a previous Titans team, but then the official line from DC was that there was no previous Teen Titans group, and that line was scrubbed in the trade release. Are we now back to a first Titans team involving the classic heroes?
  • There’s a bunch of one-shot tie-ins to the Darkseid War events in Justice League under the Gods and Men banner. I’m a sucker, I guess, because I ordered them all. I don’t have high hopes for them, but it doesn’t hurt that two of them are written by Peter Tomasi and Tom King.
  • Speaking of Peter Tomasi, I am reuniting with Detective Comics because he’s now writing that title and will feature the new Batman teaming with the Justice League.
  • There are some new Vertigo series that I’ll be trying out: The Twilight Children, Clean Room, Survivor’s Club, and Art Ops, but the last two only because of a DCBS 75% off bundle. It’s really the first two that I wanted to read, though Survivor’s Club has an interesting premise, and one that I thought of doing a story about many years ago.

IDW

  • Back to the Future fans get a mini-series involving the characters from the movie series. Having three writers involved on the surface makes me cringe in advance a little bit, though.
  • I find it interesting that Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is being adapted in comic book form. Someone let me know how it is, please?
  • Star Trek reaches 50 issues! I started getting this because when the title started, it was telling original series episodes but with the new cast/alternate universe. It’s become more than that, and I have been enjoying it consistently all these years. The new story goes to territory that was well-trodden in the Deep Space 9 series: the Mirror Universe! It should be fun.
  • Mark Waid’s and Barry Kitson’s Empire sequel, Uprising, gets its first trade collection. I passed on it for now because I want a trade that collects more than 4 issues at $17.99.
  • Finally! Walt Simonson’s Ragnarok series gets its first trade. I hope it’s good.

Image

  • Mr. I will buy anything he writes Brian K. Vaughan teams up with Cliff Chiang with Paper Girls. I don’t even care what it is about.
  • You are ordering the CBLDF Liberty Annual, right? If not, shame on you. Don’t forget the companion Comics Are for Everybody t-shirt.
  • Secret Identities was a series that I wished I had ordered in singles, but now there’s the first trade, and I can find out if my instinct that this was a good read is correct or not.
  • I almost jumped on to the monthly Invincible with this Reboot storyline. Almost.
  • I did order Greg Rucka’s and Nicola Scott’s Black Magick because it’s that creative team. The preview pages look amazing.
  • I ordered the first Injection trade, but not the Jupiter’s Circle one because I got that series monthly.

Marvel

  • Secret Wars is ending, and the All-New, All-Different Marvel is debuting. I opted to try Avengers #0 and Jason Aaron’s and Chris Bacchalo’s Doctor Strange.
  • Other new series launching with #1 (though I didn’t order any of them) include Amazing Spider-Man, Blade, Astonishing Ant-Man, Howling Commandos of SHIELD (hmm, maybe I should have on this one–it looks somewhat interesting), and Karnak by Warren Ellis (???).
  • There’s a new series called Contest of Champions, but you can also order the original series from 1982 in trade format.
  • And there’s a bunch of Secret Wars trades for those who were waiting.

Other publishers

  • The wonderful Terry Moore gives us more SiP Kids goodness with #4, the Halloween themed issue.
  • Don’t forget to order Action Labs’ Venture #3. Issue 1 and 2 were fun.
  • Has it really been 30 years since Calvin and Hobbes started? Wow. Well, a bunch of the seminal comic strip collections are available to help celebrate that milestone.
  • Dark Circle adds to its collection of old Archie superhero properties with The Hangman, which was one of my favorites.
  • Rowans Ruin from Boom is a series that I’ll be waiting for a trade.
  • As I was reviewing Previews for this post, I realized that I forgot to order the Giant Days trade, so I stopped typing and revised my order!
  • New to me publisher 451 Media Group has an interesting series, Sunflower, that I will also be trade waiting for.
  • Word of advice: don’t order the Scarlet Couture trade. It was rubbish.
  • Oh man, I forgot to order Will Eisner’s Comics and Sequential Art!
  • Did you know that you can get The Official DC Super Hero Cookbook?! It comes with cookie cutters, logo stencils, and character cutouts! I’m going to keep an eye out for this at CostCo.
  • I will be ordering (from Amazon though) the Star Trek: Ships of the Line Posters Book. I love the Star Trek universe ships!
  • Finally, it was a big order this month, in part because of the second t-shirt that I ordered (remember the CBLDF t-shirt I mentioned above?): the new Superman “Truth” version, which is similar to the Fleischer cartoon S symbol.

What are you ordering this month?

Previews! (April 2015) – Part 2

Here are some thoughts and recommendations about this month’s Previews catalog for product shipping mostly in April. Part 1 covered DC and Marvel. This part will cover highlights from the rest of the companies.

Dark Horse

  • Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire, Dean Ormston, and Dave Stewart looks like fun. What happens to superheroes who are removed from their continuity?
  • Drew Edward Johnson’s Midnight Society: The Black Lake looks intriguing. Or maybe I’m just on a secret agent kick right now.

IDW

  • Fans of the Ghostbusters franchise may be pleased that the two versions of the guys team up. Am I the only person who doesn’t understand why there are two versions of the Ghostbusters? What’s the deal/diff?
  • The X-Files ends its Season 10 with #25, but fear not I Want to Believers! It will be back for a Season 11.
  • Star Trek goes back to its roots in exploring old tv plots with the new Star Trek paradigm. This time, in #46, it’s the Tholians and their webs.
  • Go buy the Star Trek: New Visions trade, volume 2 by John Byrne.
  • I am tempted to get the Miracleman Artifact Edition.
  • And then there’s the Mike Zeck’s Classic Marvel Stories Artist’s Edition. I was never a big fan, but I knew many who were.
  • IDW is dipping its toes so to speak in the romance comic genre with the Long Distance mini.
  • I almost didn’t notice this, but I kind of want the Bacchus Omnibus by Eddie Campbell.

Image

  • I’m sure it will be an interesting experiment, but count me out of Airboy by James Robinson and Greg Hinkle.
  • Announced at a previous Image Expo, 8House arrives with the first book in a shared universe, Arclight.
  • The Covenant might be good, but I just don’t have faith in it.
  • Chew hits 50! Plus, you can order the first eight trades.
  • A new story arc begins in Sex Criminals #11.
  • There are several trades that you might want to get: volume 5 of Criminal: The Sinners, Danger Club, volume 2 (just buy it!), Invincible, volume 21 (I have a feeling my relationship with this title may be winding down), and The Wicked + Divine, volume 2.
  • *Sad crying face* My beloved Alex + Ada is ending with #15.
  • But I get new issues of Lazarus, Nameless, and Saga to help me cope.

Other

  • Rachel Rising continues with #34. You’re buying this, one of the best books on the stands, right?
  • History is being made with Archie #1 by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples, along with 21 variant covers by many wonderful artists (if variant covers is your thing).
  • I am very interested in The Fiction (especially now that Unwritten is gone) by Curt Pires and David Rubin (from Boom Studios).
  • But I will be getting Strange Fruit also from Boom. This is by J. G. Jones and Mark Waid. What if “Superman” arrived in 1920s Mississippi? The preview art looks amazing. Note that this arrives in July.
  • The teenager in me really wants the George Perez Sirens (Boom) art portfolio.
  • Comicmix is giving us the Jon Sable: Freelance Omnibus, volume 1 for fans of the Mike Grell adventurer.
  • This is a bit odd: Home: Lighter than Air, from Double Take, partially takes place in the Night of the Living Dead universe, but the film folks have nothing to do with this comic. That raises a red flag, doesn’t it?
  • Hmm, J. M. DeMatteis’ and Paul Johnson’s former Vertigo book, Mercy, is getting a new printing from Dover Publications. Did any of you read that back in the day?
  • I have yet to see any of the movies featuring those funny, loveable (I guess) yellow Minions, but Titan Comics is putting out  a two-issue mini-series/tpb digest/hard cover–take your pick!
  • From Quirk Books comes The League of Regrettable Superheroes by Jon Morris. This book examines some of the scores of failed superhero characters from the Golden and Silver Ages and beyond.
  • Back Issue magazine #82 (Twomorrows Publishing) takes a loving look at pivotal Bronze Age events, like Crisis, Secret Wars, and more. It’s a must-read for me.

So, what indie books are you ordering from Previews this month?

Here’s an abridged version of this list via my YouTube channel: