Previews running diary: May 2007

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThis latest edition of the Previews running diary is dedicated to the hardest working guy in comics, Batman, who celebrates his 68th birthday today. That’s older than my dad, and my dad is well past his prime crime fighting days. Actually, my dad’s a dentist, so he never really fought any crime. But if he had, he would’ve been a lot more spry a couple decades back. Must be nice to age in superhero years…

Birthdays aside, here’s how you play at home. Either grab your copy of Previews and read along, or, if you don’t have a copy, just read this post sans visual accompaniment. Either way you have to pretend I’m funny. This month, I’m starting out with the big book:

Page 28: For Conan #42, the cover shows Conan slicing off a guy’s head as blood sprays everywhere. I was about to get in a “this ain’t right with kids coming in the shops” fit, but then I saw some crucial words: “For solicitation only. Not actual cover.” Ah, and I like being high and mighty.

Page 37: I’m very curious how the fourth issue of Hellboy: Darkness Calls will ship by July when the first issue hasn’t even come out. I would complain more, but damn if I don’t love Hellboy.

Page 39: A bit fitting that the solicit for The Goon #19 says, “The long winter of our discontent is over — feast your eyes on the return of Eric Powell and The Goon!” For a second, I thought that meant Powell had been body snatched, which would explain The Goon’s absolute suckiness for the past couple years. As they say, no such luck.

Page 68: Let me channel Johnny Carson for a second. *holds envelope to forehead* “Amazons Attack #4, All-New Atom #13 and Outsiders #49… Name three books I’ll never have a spot of interest in.

Page 69: For Action Comics #852 — “Superman has always been Superman’s pal.” Umm, we got a copy editor in the house?

Page 71: I’m too lazy for a scan, but wow, could Frank Miller’s rendition of Babs Gordon from ASSBAR #6 ever stab an eye out with her pre-pubescent boob!

Page 72: Really cool to see a Heroes writer (Michael Green) jump into comics with Batman Confidential #7. Not cool? He’ll be writing a 6-part series about who the Joker was before he was the Joker. The vicious clown is like Wolverine — much cooler with a lot of mystery behind him.

Page 75: Superman #665 is going to focus on Jimmy Olsen’s background as part of Countdown. I think we’ve seen too little focus on the people around Supes in recent years, so this seems like a good move. But if it’s just setup to kill off Jimmy, well, that sucks.

Page 81: I’ll just come out and admit it. I’m more excited for the Sinestro Corps storyline than for World War Hulk. The yellow shower of doom begins in GL #21 and GL Corps #14.

Pages 82 and 83: It’ll be good to see Marc Guggenheim on The Flash (and a new direction, apparently, though DC’s PR is being sneaky) and Green Arrow: Year One sounds like it could be lots of fun.

Page 103: Okay you readers out there. If you take one thing away from this rambling mess, let it be this: Buy The Programme (Wildstorm) when it comes out in July. As if it wasn’t cool to have a Cold War fallout story coming from Peter Milligan, the art is by C.P. Smith, who is just way too freaking good to have not done anything in awhile. Support his work to make up for not reading New Invaders (edit: not Defenders. I always mix those up).

Page 118: Vertigo is keeping on with some cool OGNs, in this case a hardcover autobiography of rapper Percy Carey, Sentences: The Life of M.F. Grimm. From the preview, this looks pretty amazing and is a reminder of how many different forms comics can take.

Page 140: Furthering Jim Doom’s earlier contention that Jack Kirby occasionally did some really stupid stuff, Image is putting out a “visual novel” of his called Silver Star. It looks somewhere south of good.

Pages 175-182: I’m probably opening myself up to some juvenile joking here, but every single book from Top Cow looks like utter worthless crap that exists for the sole purpose of the artists being able to draw women in the most offensive outfits and poses possible. (Note: This was topped by the ad for Aspen Splash 2007 Swimsuit Spectacular, which is a bunch of swimsuit art from Michael Turner and friends. No word if Kleenex and lotion are included.)

Page 230: Mouse Guard is back! Winter 1152 picks up a bit after the events of the first series. Amid lots of snow, there are mice, and battles, and all sorts of awesome stuff. Just read it.

Now, let’s get to Marvel:

Page 5: Umm, Brian Michael Bendis is writing Halo? Is Master Chief now going to wax poetic for hours with the aliens before they do battle? I’m tempted to pick this up, if only because it seems like the exact opposite kind of book from what Bendis excels at.

Page 15: In Amazing Spider-Man #543, Peter comes up against the Kingpin! Oh, wait, I don’t care.

Pages 20-25: I was almost sold on this Annihilation: Conquest shebang until two words: “Rocket Raccoon.” Maybe not to lead off an epic space story with a character that looks like a ripoff of Starfox.

Page 36: You’ve got to figure that Mr. Fantastic is Michael Turner’s favorite character to draw. As evidenced by the cover of FF #548, Turner’s utter lack of physiology doesn’t really make a difference with a guy who can stretch into any shape. The downside? When I first looked at it, I didn’t realize that Reed was using his power.

Page 41: I am planning on getting a kick out of World War Hulk, but I sure as hell am not buying the side issues. Gamma Corps? Are you serious? Really? You’re sure you’re not joking? As if the concept of villains as heroes wasn’t well played already, the cover to this thing (by Stephane Roux) is one of the most Abominable creations I’ve ever seen (by the way, that was a pun).

Page 69: So, Thor’s coming back with a new series. I like how Marvel makes a joking reference to a previous comeback (“Not a clone!”) but it seems way too often that Marvel ends up mocking its own mistakes. This could be really interesting, though. J. Michael Straczynski has it in him to deliver the goods, and the idea of Thor returning to the post-Civil War landscape (and learning about Clor) could lead to another original Avenger on a rampage.

Page 73: Just a hint. Don’t read this preview for Uncanny X-Men #488 unless you want a very clear idea of who makes it back from space. But, I guess it wouldn’t be Previews if there weren’t a spoiler or two…