I’m still suffering from San Diego Comic Con overload. So many different projects were announced that it is almost too much to process. I try and follow the comic news, but the main news sites have been still pouring out stories with no end in sight. Magnus and Solar coming back, Archie and Milestone heroes coming back, Barry Allen is back, but I’m still more interested in some of the smaller companies because a lot of them do not have a license deal and do not have decade old characters to fall back on and try to be more forward looking. Don’t get me wrong, done right any older character can still be a hit, but give me something different also.
One more side note I read a rant about someone not liking Barry being brought back and how DC is not moving forward. While I understand the sentiment, it struck me as funny that no one can complain about Marvel, because they have never really moved forward. Almost every main character they have is still the same person it was forty years ago.
Creepy Archives #1 – I have been really looking forward to this. The old Warren magazines were some of my first exposures to things outside the norm of ‘regular comics”. What inside “Gather up your wooden stakes, your blood-covered hatchets, and all the skeletons in the darkest depths of your closet, and prepare for a horrifying adventure into the darkest corners of comics history. Dark Horse Comics further corners the market on high quality horror storytelling with one of the most anticipated releases of the decade, a hardcover archive collection of legendary Creepy Magazine. This groundbreaking material turned the world of graphic storytelling on its head in the early 1960s, as phenomenal young artists like Bernie Wrightson and Neal Adams reached new artistic heights with their fascinating explorations of classic and modern horror stories.Brilliant, classic Creepy stories from 1964-1966 raised from the dead after twenty-five years. Featuring work by such comics luminaries as Joe Orlando, Al Williamson, Alex Toth, and Frank Frazetta. Archive editions of Creepy will be the cornerstone of any comic-book library. Volume One reprints the first five terrifying issues of the magazine's original run, reprinted in the original magazine size!”
Grendel God and The Devil TP – I’m a little disappointed that I have to get this as a trade. When a publisher commits to reprinting something I like to see it done as hard covers all the way and in order. What’s inside “In the centuries since the mask of Grendel was last seen, humanity's survived a third World War, the fall of Western Civilization, and the rise of an all-powerful church state. But when the depraved Pope Innocent XLII begins construction of a new church tower hiding a powerful and deadly secret, two men will rise against the church's corruption. One is Orion Assante, a man determined to expose the Pope for who he really is. The other is a mysterious figure wearing the all-too-familiar face of Grendel!”
Sword #10 – Last issue was an exciting cliff-hanger as Dara was ready to kill one of the gods she has promised to take revenge on. I have a feeling he will not go down easy. The official hype “Dara has found Zakros. But that was the easy part.” Okay that has to be the shortest official hype on record for any book.
Bond of Saint Marcel #1 (of 6) – I was going to skip this book, but I was so happy to see Archaia Studios Press printing books again I wanted to give it a try. The company line “Catherine Johnstone is the black sheep in an old Boston family whose wealth and influence stretches back to the American Revolution. When Cat’s family is murdered, she discovers that the only one who can save her life is Eamann, a vampire that was bonded into her family’s service against its will 200 years ago. Running for her life, Cat forms an unlikely friendship with Eamann. But as she uncovers more about her family's past, they discover the killers are only hunting Cat in order to set Eamann free.”
Comic Book Comics #2 – The guys from Action Philosphers continue their series about the history of comics. The most educational and entertaining books on the market, school should have been this much fun. The word “The incredible saga of the comic book industry in the irreverent, award-winning Action Philosophers style continues! As comics enters its Golden Age and the United States slides closer and closer to war (no coincidence there), Joe Simon & Jack Kirby have to fend off the draft - and their own publisher! "Our Artists at War" tells how Will Eisner revolutionized the Pentagon's training program - using comics! "All You Need Is Love" details the true confessions of romance comics! "The House of Fear" details the birth of - Gasp! Choke! - William M. Gaines' E.C. Comics!” See a preview here.
Crossed #0 (of 9) – A new Garth Ennis series from Avatar press, which means there are no limits to what will be allowed in this book, an exciting prospect and one that fills me with a vague sense of foreboding at the same time. The hype “Garth Ennis has pulled out all the stops to write the most twisted book of his career, Crossed! Through ten heart-stopping chapters, Crossed is his horrifically visceral exploration of the pure evil that humans are truly capable of indulging. This gut-wrenching vision is brought to vivid - and more than a little disturbing - life by his partner in crime Jacen Burrows. Imagine, for a moment, the worst crimes against humanity. Picture the cruelest affronts to decency. Conjure your darkest nightmares - and then realize it could all be so much worse. When civilization crumbles in one terrifying moment; when people are gleefully breaking into unthinkable acts of violence all around you; when everyone you love has died screaming in agony: What do you do? There is no help. There is no hope. There is no escape. There are only the Crossed. Certain to be the most depraved and corrupt book of the year, this one is not for the faint of heart! This #0 issue is not a preview, it features the essential first chapter of the story.”
Kid Houdini and the Silver Dollar Misfits GN – See our review of the preview from free comic book day here. Targeted for the younger set, but it looked like so much fun I had to get it. The official hype “In 1886, ten year-old Harry Houdini runs away from home only to find himself a prisoner in Professor Murat's circus. Using the circus as their headquarters, Harry and his new friends Lydia the snake girl, Hans the legless boy and Jacques and Joe the Siamese twins, form a unique detective agency that will brave any ghost, goblin or ghoul to solve a mystery if you can pay their fee: one shiny silver dollar. The creator of “The Surreal Adventures of Edgar Allen Poo” Dwight MacPherson is back with his latest all ages adventure, don’t miss it.”
Killer #7 (of 10) – This is another Archaia Studios Press title and one that I have really been missing. Killer is an excellent story and one that I hope is collected as a trade or hardcover of all 10 issues when completed. The company line “"Blood Ties," Part One. The Killer's picked Paris for a bit of soul-searching, buying time and laying low while his wounds heal. But reality will intrude, and for the Killer there's no way to stay detached and no way to avoid trouble. It's time old debts were paid and old favors called in, and when it's a question of survival, the Killer will do just about anything.”
Rest #0 – I’m not of fan of Zero issues, but some companies are in love with the concept. This book had escaped my notice until just this week and the concept was too interesting to pass up. The word “REST, a pulse-pounding sci-fi thriller in the tradition of The Bourne Identity and The X-Files! REST tells the tale of John Barret, a white-collar New Yoker whose life changes when he becomes addicted to a drug that prevents him from falling asleep!”
The Sisterhood #2 (of 3) – A third Archaia Studios Press book coming out. The first issue was a while back ago and I remember the book was a lot of fun, with hot looking sword wielding nuns fighting demons. The hype “Sister Eden Parish continues her investigation into the murders of the exorcist nuns of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre. Along with Vatican Special Agent, Michael Tysko, Eden begins to uncover an insidious plot that could lead to the release of a power so evil, that it could very well bring about the end of humanity.”
Terry Moore’s Echo #5 – One of the best written books on the market and should be a top new series for 2008. What’s inside “The Heitzer Nuclear Reserch Institute (HeNRI) hires bounty hunter Ivy to track down Julie Martin because she possesses part of their secret weapon - a liquid metal bomb that can destroy the planet! Ivy has never failed, but Julie finds an unexpected ally in the spirit of a dead woman with a molecular bond to the metal she wears!”
Titanium Rain #1 (of 12) – Okay, Archaia is back with a vengeance this week, releasing four titles. I hope their disappearance and silence has not hurt their sales. The hype “To be alive is to be at odds with the world. Man against nature. Man against man. The instinct to survive is what has made us who we are. In year 2031 mankind’s survival instinct is put to the test when a civil war in China spirals into global conflict. Nations are destroyed. Millions are killed. And for many, like US Air Force pilot Alec Killian, survival will mean shedding some of his humanity in exchange for biotech and machine.
Is this the ultimate corruption of nature? Or the birth pains of a new chapter in mankind’s evolution? From Josh Finney and Kat Rocha, the team who brought you the acclaimed cyberpunk series, Utopiates, Titanium Rain is a sci-fi war epic for the post-millennial age. In the spirit of films such as Ghost in the Shell, Innocence, and Blackhawk Down, Titanium Rain follows one pilot’s journey through mankind’s worst, only to discover its best.” See a preview here.
Authority #1 – The Wildcats restart was okay and I’m looking forward to this re-launch of the Authority. I hope the WU gets rolling again this time. The company line “The Authority has survived the cataclysmic events following NUMBER OF THE BEAST — but just barely! Do they have a hope of rebuilding their "finer world," or is that hope dead and gone? Don't miss the beginning of an astounding new direction for the series! Plus: Part 2 of the John Lynch backup story that began in WILDCATS: WORLD'S END #1”
Detective Comics #847 – Officially a RIP tie-in, but last issue was more the reintroduction of Hush and the arc focuses on hush. The company line “A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Secrets shared years ago between Bruce Wayne and Tommy Elliott begin to have dangerous repercussions in the present. Why is this mystery driving Hush to destroy Batman's life? And what part does Catwoman play in Hush's plans?”
Final Crisis #3 (of 7) – So far this big event has been a slow burning fire. I actually like it that way, as it feels like something different then just another generic big event. The word “Batman missing in action! Superman immobilized! Green Lantern on trial for his life! A shadow is falling across Earth's super heroes — and now it's Wonder Woman's turn to face the Evil Gods! What bizarre warning from beyond awaits Frankenstein, The Question and the agents of S.H.A.D.E. in the shadows of the Dark Side Club? What grim fate lies in store for The Human Flame? What happens when the Anti-Life Equation hits the internet? Can the Fastest Men Alive outrun The Black Racer — Death himself? And who are the Justifiers? The answers are all here as the unstoppable rise of evil continues in FINAL CRISIS #3 by Grant Morrison and J.G. Jones.”
Hawkman Special #1 – Poor Hawkman, Geoff Johns had straightened out his continuity and done a decent job with it and DC screwed it up again. Not sure if this issue will address any of that, but still I would like to see Hawkman back as a major character again. What’s inside “Spiraling out of the events of RANN/THANAGAR: HOLY WAR! Hawkman finds himself face to face with a force of unspeakable evil: Synnar. The things Hawkman will learn in the course of their confrontation may lead him to question his very existence!”
Hellblazer Presents Chaz the Knowledge #2 (of 5) – The first issue was a good read and I learned a lot about being a London cabbie as well as a good supernatural tale. The hype “A demon is loose in London, and where's John Constantine? On a beach in Ibiza with a mai tai and a Brazilian model. That leaves Chas alone to solve a bloody mystery – but when one of his old friends goes missing and a new friend emerges to turn his life upside down, saving the city is the last thing on Chas's overburdened mind.”
House of Mystery #4 – I hope this series can become another cornerstone series for the Veritgo line. A great start to a new series. The hype “In part 4 of the 5-part "Room and Boredom," things are going from bad to worse for our heroine Fig Keele – she's starting to believe that she may never actually escape from the House of Mystery, and that the people she's trapped with may be less friendly than they appear. But the greatest danger, she will soon realize, comes from the House itself.”
Infinity Inc #12 – The final issue of this series. I have enjoyed it, but it really was a poor launch of a title and it actually earned it’s fate. The company line “A Dark Side Club tie-in! The mystery of Professor Fogel and his allegiance to the Dark Side Club are laid bare in this harrowing final issue, in which the Infinity Kids find themselves outmatched in every way! A dream comes to an end, but for Infinity Inc., the nightmare is just beginning.”
Jack of Fables #24 – This has been a good story of times past for Jack and Bigby. The word “The tumultuous year 1883 comes to a close with the final showdown between Smiling Jack Candle and the Sheriff without a Gun. Get the women and children off the streets and board up your doors and windows — there's gonna be a killin'!”
Jonah Hex #34 – Always a good read and the best western on the racks by a mile. The hype “All Jonah Hex wanted was some peace and quiet. He built a cabin in the woods, hoping to start a new life away from the lawless world. But what evil deed will call him back to action – and will he be able to escape his troubled past?”
Manhunter #33 – This series has done a nice job getting back up and running in no time. I still think it should have re-launched as a new #1. The company line “Manhunter finds a shocking link between the disappearances of immigrant workers and big business – and that means attorney Kate Spencer's going to court, if she doesn't become a target first!"
Nightwing #147 – Nightwing ties into RIP. The rumors are rampant as to what is going to happen with all of the Bat family and I’m hopeful if anyone takes over being Batman it should be Dick Grayson. The word “A "Batman: R.I.P." tie-in! Two-Face hits New York City – but when he takes a bite out of the Big Apple, he finds it rotten to the core. He'll make Nightwing and all of New York pay for their crimes…unless Nightwing can save one of Harvey Dent's old flames from an assassin's bullet!”
Robin #176 – The second part of Robin’s book being part of RIP. That was a fast turn around from last issue, which was late, so I’m guessing we maybe caught up again already. The hype “A "Batman: R.I.P." story! The shocking conclusion that will start of the rest of Tim Drake's life — or is it the end? With Batman missing, Robin becomes the new Dark Knight. It's Robin and Spoiler in an all-out brawl with Gotham City's underworld — but with Batman's trail growing cold, the end of this fight will decide the future of the Bat family!”
Showcase Presents House of Secrets Volume #1 – I really need to stop buying these volumes. It contains “Written by Mike Friedrich, Gerry Conway, Marv Wolfman and others ; Art by Jerry Grandenetti, Bill Draut, Werner Roth, Dick Giordano and others ; Cover by Bernie Wrightson. More than 500 pages of mystery tales from the pages of THE HOUSE OF SECRETS #81-98 (1969-1972)!”
Storming Paradise #2 (of 6) – The first issue was outstanding and I’m really looking forward to this book. The word “The bloody tale of World War II and Operation Olympus continues as the first U.S. Marines storm the beaches of Japan! But the Land of the Rising Sun will not consider surrender, and every man, woman and child is prepared to make the Americans pay for their impudence. The battle that could have been is only just beginning in this amazing alternate world epic!”
Supergirl #32 – Okay once Sterling Gates takes over this book and it starts to tie into Superman and Action more it had better be better or I will drop it. This time I really mean it. The company line “It's the moment of truth, as Supergirl struggles to do the impossible by fulfilling her promise to find a cure for a young boy's fatal illness. If she succeeds, she will change the course of history – and maybe not for the better! And if she fails, a child will die.”
Tor #4 (of 6) – This has been a great read. I really enjoy Joe Kubert’s work a lot. Also I like that they push all the ads to the back of the book for his projects. The hype “Tor and his female companion fight their way back to the surface world, but their bloodthirsty pursuers haven't given up their plans for Tor – plans that involve ritual sacrifice! Can Tor survive in this strange, prehistoric world?”
Trinity #10 – This series is a decent read and an entertaining event. The last couple of issues have won me over with this series. I’m amused by the hype “This month in TRINITY: The Justice League joins Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman to stand against the threat that the Crime Syndicate brings to Earth. And, in this month's co-features, members of Batman's "family" search for clues to what ties several thefts together – and what links them to the cosmic conflict that has resulted!” This is the same hype for the next two issues.
Criminal 2 #4 – The first new story arc since the comic re-launched. This is a good series, but it has been eclipsed by Scalped as the best crime drama in comics. The word “A woman in trouble, friends on the run from cops and mobsters, and a secret no one is prepared to face! All this and more await readers in the beginning of a hard-hitting new noir tale 'Bad Night' Part 1 of 4, as Criminal's new expanded format keeps the hits coming! Five years ago, Jake was a happy family man, long-retired from the life of crime he grew up in, and then the police made him the prime suspect in a horrible crime and ripped his life apart. Now, years later, Jake is less than a shadow of his former self, a hopeless insomniac who walks the city streets at night. But one night, he walks into the wrong place at the right time, and his whole life changes again... For the better or the worse, is the question.”
Twelve #7 (of 12) – I have absolutely loved this series so far. JMS has hit a home run with this story and Chris Weston’s art has been perfect. The hype “It's the return of Captain Wonder's time-lost sidekick, Tim! But where the Captain spent the intervening years locked away in cryogenic deep-freeze in a Nazi time-vault, Tim was forced to live every torturous moment of those six long decades. Now he's back‹with a life-changing question for his one-time mentor! Plus: the birth of the most unlikely twosome on television: The Blue Blaze and Electro!”
Ultimate Origins #3 (of 5) – Last issue was solid and one of the best re-telling of Cap’s origins done in a long time. It was so similar to the regular MU, you could hardly tell that it was the UU. The company line “Wolverine...Nick Fury...Captain America...Magneto & Professor X...how are they all connected? Witness the first meeting between Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men, and Eric Lehnsherr, the mutant who will come to be known as Magneto!”
So this looks to be a good week with comics and I’m anxious to see what the Creepy Archive looks like. If done well (and Dark Horse almost always does well) I will be getting all of them, plus I read that Eerie will also be getting the archive treatment.