Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Dark Horse / Image Preview Review for October

Jim: Looks to be a little lighter month for the big two of the independents. Still enough stuff to look forward to and poke fun at.
Lee: Without a doubt there is always something to make fun of. I am starting to really look forward to the Image previews. They are putting out lots and lots of good stuff these days.

THE SWORD #1 – story JOSHUA LUNAart & cover JONATHAN LUNA 32 PAGES FC OCTOBER 17 $2.99 THE LUNA BROTHERS (ULTRA, GIRLS, SPIDER-WOMAN), return with an all-new, modern-day fantasy series: THE SWORD. It was a day like any other for Dara Brighton, a promising young college student, until three strangers knocked on her door, looking for a unique sword, and destroyed her life.
Jim: Like the hype, clean & concise, my problem is that I have never been a big fan of the creators, so it is a pass.
Lee: GASP! What happened to the hype? Where did it go? Finally a simple explanation of the story. Too bad I agree about not being a fan of the creators. Pass for me too.

You thought it would never happen! ROB LIEFELD returns to Image Comics and he's bringing YOUNGBLOOD with him. This re-mastered, re-scripted, re-imagined hardcover finally collects the first historic issues of the very first, million-selling Image Comic. Just in time for the new monthly series debuting January 2008. Plus, an all-new ending by LIEFELD and JOE CASEY! Collects YOUNGBLOOD #1-5
Jim: I just keep laughing, who the hell likes Rob Liefeld’s work and who thinks this clown will keep any deadline. God bless them if they make a ton of dough off this hard cover. It just kills me that anyone thinks there is anything worth spending money on here. In 1,000 years he will be considered a genius and they will wonder why the ancients did not appreciate his work.
Lee: Did you see the fine print that Joe Casey is scripting the issues. Which, if I were to read between the lines, means Liefield realizes the issues are crap! So, Liefield, who can’t meet a deadline to save his life, has the art complete and someone else just needs to fit dialogue to it. Good luck with that. It was crap then and it will be crap now. This hc will not be on our shelves.

32 PAGES, BW, OCTOBER 10, $2.99
From the cyberscape of ACT-I-VATE comes a BRAWL between DEAN HASPIEL 's BILLY DOGMA and MICHEL FIFFE’s PANORAMA. Mature readers of hardboiled romance gone Kirby cosmic will steep in HASPIEL 's heart-wrenching war of woo between a passionate bruiser and his knock-em-dead dame. And, fans of Manga-inspired Ditko noir will enjoy FIFFE’s psychedelic nightmare about a teenage runaway suffering from the horror of his newfound powers.
Lee: Well, lookee here! I found all the hype that was missing from “The Sword #1”. It all landed here. AND, the hype is so bad that it makes me want to avoid the book all the more. I wonder if Kirby & Ditko are offended that people use their names to sell books now. This was obviously written with the intent of “If I list a comic icon someone will buy the book”. What a waste.
Jim: It is almost like the subliminal talking bit the Dan Akroyd used to do on Saturday Night live. Pathetic.

Welcome to CRAWL SPACE! A new ongoing series in the tradition of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, featuring tales of ghoulish terror!
“XXXOMBIES,” Part One of ThreeEisner nominees KIERON DWYER (REMAINS) and TONY MOORE (THE WALKING DEAD, FEAR AGENT), return to zombie comics with fan favorite writer RICK REMENDER (FEAR AGENT, SEA OF RED) to bring you the last word in zombiesplotaion. It’s 1977, and a sleazy producer has gathered a bevy of adult stars for a weeklong film shoot. When they emerge, they discover a zombie plague has overrun a now-quarantined Los Angeles!
Jim: A book I can get behind. I mean look at the creators on this book, the Fear Agent guys and Kieron Dwyer. We have been “Zombied” to death, but this looks to be a fun horror story. I’m signing up for this book.
Lee: Porn and Zombies. So, your distaste for zombies is outweighed by your love of porn. Good enough for me!!!! Where do I sign up?

When FBI agent Ginger Brown got a promotion, she didn’t expect her new duties would involve tracking down the world’s most mysterious creatures. The Loch Ness Monster, Mothman and El Chupacabra are now on her "most wanted" list and her new partner looks an awful lot like… Bigfoot!
Jim: Image maybe the biggest proponent of having fun with stories and concepts. This book looks to be along the lines of just a flat out good time. Alien Pig Farm and Fear Agent are both books that Image had under their banner. It is a great change of pace to see creators just having flat out fun with concepts that could never make it as a full fledged movie or too expensive to be on TV. Another book I’m looking forward to getting in October.
Lee: I have to agree. Image is quickly becoming a favorite for me. They just seem to get that comics are supposed to be fun.

Anything you’ve ever wanted to know about the characters in INVINCIBLE, but were afraid to ask. Power levels, hometowns, relatives, origins, shoe sizes... it’s all here. Written in the tradition of that other famous handbook and featuring drawings from some of the top talents in comics and animation. A MUST HAVE for ANY INVINCIBLE FAN!
Jim: I love Invincible to the point that Lee is sick of me singing its praises, but this type of stuff bores me to tears and I never buy this stuff anymore. I think I burnt out on this stuff in the nineties when DC did the three hole punch loose leaf style Who’s Who. I guess if you only follow Invincible you would want this book, but how come the creator and writer of the book is not even a contributor.
Lee: NICE!!! No creator on contribution. I didn’t even notice it. Not for me anymore but this is great stuff for the next generation of comic geeks.

THE BADLANDER #1 (of 4) KEVIN FERRARA (W/A) On sale Oct. 10 FC, 32 pages $2.99Miniseries
Hot newcomer Kevin Ferrara blasts on the scene with The Badlander—a wicked zombie tale about a supernatural killer escaping damnation . . . one bullet at a time! In legend, the Badlander is a ghostly outlaw shrouded in mystery. A weird gunslinger talking the desert landscapes of Nevada. But in reality Jacob Bierce is nothing more than a rotting corpse of a man, dead in more ways than one—a loner on the run from the law, turned into the living dead and controlled like a puppet by the sinister Bog Witch.
Now, as the witch’s evil hold threatens to entrap him forever, the Badlander sets in motion a desperate plan to destroy the witch and regain his soul once and for all! Gorgeous artwork in the best Wrightson-Frazetta tradition
Jim: Yes even more Zombies. I have to say that I never thought I would have so many different Zombie books to pick and choose from. I’m over the Marvel Zombies and have passed on many of other Zombie offerings, but the lure of an unknown creator with (based on the cover) appears to be good art is something I can’t pass up. Plus just because it has a Zombie, the premises shows promise of more then just another Zombie tale. Side note: How come Marvel has not launched a Brother Voodoo series in the midst of all this Zombie madness – as least an Essential. Lee: You have to wonder how Kevin Ferrara can be a hot newcomer when I can’t find anything about him on the web. I’m hard pressed to believe the Frazetta – Wrightson accolades. This is a pass until I see some real previews.

BATMAN/GRENDEL MATT WAGNER (W/A) On sale Dec. 19 FC, 208 pages $19.95TPB, 7" x 10"
Complete in one volume for the first time, the acclaimed stories that pit Gotham’s dark detective against the embodiment of evil, written and drawn by Grendel creator Matt Wagner! Sleepless protector of his troubled but beloved city, Batman uncovers a new threat when Hunter Rose, the original Grendel, arrives in Gotham. It is a battle of might and minds as the Dark Knight faces off against this sophisticated and deadly assassin. Years later, Batman’s ceaseless vigil is disturbed once again, this time by the twisted cyborg Grendel-Prime. Seeking an artifact of terrible dimensions, Prime will stop at nothing to achieve his ends! Collecting both Batman/Grendel miniseries co-published with DC Comics, this volume presents material that’s been out of print for over a decade, starring two comic-book icons!
Jim: I would have preferred to have this as a hard cover, but I’ll take this version. Batman/Grendel/Wagner – it is a win, win, win. Can’t wait to re-read this as I sold this material a while ago on E-Bay.
Lee: I can’t remember if this was great or just good. If it was a hc, it would have come home immediately. As a trade, I might have to wait a little. I still have the originals so this isn’t a great need to have this sitting on my shelf.

ROY THOMAS (W), BARRY WINDSOR-SMITH (A), JOHN BUSCEMA (A) , ALFREDO ALCALA (A), PABLO MARCOS (A), and others On sale Dec. 19 b&w, 542 pages$17.95 TPB, 7" x 10"
In the mid 1970s following the colossal success of Conan the Barbarian, Roy Thomas helped expand the universe of Conan to showcase further stories and the talents of some of the comics industry’s best with the equally popular Savage Sword of Conan magazine. Now, for the first time in over thirty years, these primal tales, featuring Robert E. Howard’s most popular character, are available in this, the first in a series of massive trade paperbacks, collecting all Savage Sword Conan stories beginning with issue one. Included in this volume are tales by Roy Thomas, featuring the breathtaking art of such legends as Barry Windsor-Smith, John Buscema, Alfredo Alcala, Jim Starlin, Al Milgrom, Pablo Marcos, Walter Simonson, and more.
But that’s not all. Also included in this tome are Conan’s few appearances in the title Savage Tales—for the complete Conan collection! Reprinting Savage Sword of Conan for the first time since its original publication. This is the first volume in the series.
• Launching Dark Horse’s black-and-white Dark Horse Presents omnibus format. 500+ pages for the value price of $17.95!!!
Jim: Oh great another Showcase/Essential format that I have to buy. I think I will soon be able to stop buying any comics ever again and still have enough in hard cover, trades and these monster B&W editions to read till I die (and given how long lived my family is I have at least 40-50 more years, of course for the last 10 Lee may have to read them to me).
Lee: Just when I thought I was going to get off the Essential bandwagon, this shows up. I cannot tell you how excited I am about this material. It will be shrunk a tiny bit from magazine size but that’s ok because it will soooo good. There is some great material in the these early Savage Sword books.

MIKE RICHARDSON (W), BEN STENBECK (A), and RICHARD CORBEN (Cover) On sale Oct. 10 FC, 32 pages $2.99 Miniseries
Two survivors of a global catastrophe disguise themselves as corpses to survive in a land of the walking dead. From the mind of Mike Richardson (The Mask; The Secret) comes this hilariously frightening tale of Straw and Whip, two slackers who have lived through a plague that’s left the world with seven billion brain-hungry zombies. Life is tough as they try to keep up the appearance of being like the rest of the decomposing masses, and things heat up when a damsel in distress needs their help. Will they blow their cover for a beautiful young girl, or sacrifice her in the name of rock and roll? Be sure to catch this three-issue series with art by Ben Stenbeck, and covers by legendary Richard Corben, making zombies fun again.
Jim: This book is a pass for me. First off I can only do Zombies so many times and while the premise sounds amusing, how can you not publish a book that the owner of the company has written. In other words no one is willing to tell the emperor that he has no clothes.
Lee: You pass whereas this holds interest for me. The humor aspect is a bigger selling point than the western format. And with art samples located at, Ben Stenbeck looks like he can pull the visual humor off. Gotta say this looks better than Badlander.

On sale Feb. 13 5.5" long x 5" wide Ornament can be hung or placed on stand for display $29.99
Dark Horse is so appreciative of the enthusiasm of Serenity fans, that we’ve been inspired to add more ships to our line of popular ornaments. This month we bring you Inara’s Shuttle. Fans of Firefly will be familiar with the shuttle that Inara Serra, well-respected companion, rents from Serenity for her periods of separation from the ragtag crew. The shuttle appears again in the film Serenity, when Inara makes her welcome return to the renegades.
Jim: This item is sure to make your wife or girl-friend (or blow up doll) just squeal with delight when you pull out the newest Christmas Tree Ornament that is a replica from a show that lasted 13 episodes (11 aired). Now this was a good show and movie, but still………..
Lee: Talk about a stretch. This is pandering to a very, very small geek crowd. Not for me. Somehow I don’t think Christmas trees are supposed to have spaceships and Star Wars figures on them. Kinda sorta dilutes what Christmas is really about. Which, as is, few enough people remember anyway.

Jim: A little light, but there are many other items coming out that we can’t always cover. Still plenty of Zombies.

Lee: A good enough month. But, the best has got to be the Savage Sword essential. I can’t wait.


  1. BATMAN/ GRENDEL should be released as both a hardcover and softcover. Wagner said so in an interview. Might want to check that out.

    Strangely I am curious about Joe Casey's run on the new YOUNGBLOOD. I am wondering if he can reproduce the magic he had on WILDCATS.

  2. You mean you are writing the post and putting it on blogger the night before and then hitting publish the next day? Because if that's the case you can just go to options...

  3. Maybe they should make zombie ornaments. =D The goth crowd should love those...

  4. Arielle - What better way to say Christmas then adding the walking dead to your tree - great idea.