I’m running about a week late with my latest monthly look at upcoming direct market releases, so let’s get to it. Last week the May edition of the Previews catalog came out and here are eight titles that I’m looking forward to checking out come July — plus an action figure thrown in for good measure…
Captain America: White #0 (Marvel) — Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, the Eisner award winning team (DAREDEVIL: YELLOW, SPIDER-MAN: BLUE, HULK: GRAY, Batman: The Long Halloween, Superman For All Seasons, Television’s HEROES) return to Marvel and their prestigious “color” book series. CAPTAIN AMERICA: WHITE is their newest creation, peeling back an untold tale of Captain America and Bucky during World War II. Their unique combination of in-depth characters and high stakes action shines here with Cap’s deadliest mission of all. Marvel is proud to bring you Captain America: #0 this summer as a taste of what’s to come. Featuring an all new full story about the Origin of Bucky Barnes and how he came into Cap’s life, this special edition features a cover gallery, sketchbook, script samples, and an interview with the creators. They are happy to be back at Marvel and we’re thrilled to have them! Plus, the whole story seen in black-and-white.
Two words — “Loeb” and “Sale” — are enough to bring me on board. I dig that cover!
Billy Batson and the Magic of Shazam! #1 (DC Comics) — Welcome to the brand-new, all-fun adventures of Billy Batson as the World’s Mightiest Mortal — Captain Marvel, from acclaimed writer/artist Mike Kunkel (Herobear)! Thanks to a magical rift created when Captain Marvel battled Mr. Mind’s monsters, 14-year-old Theo Adam has been returned to Earth from banishment. For Theo, there’s just one problem: He can’t remember the magic word that gives him the powers of Black Adam. There’s only one solution: follow Captain Marvel and get the word out of his alter ego, 11-year-old Billy Batson.
Any book by Mike Kunkle I am going to check out. I fell in love with his Herobear, and I can’t wait to see where he takes Billy Batson and Captain Marvel.
Frank Frazetta’s Creatures #1 (Image Comics) — Acclaimed writer RICK REMENDER (The Atom, The Punisher War Journal, Fear Agent) spins the untold adventures of Teddy Roosevelt, Rough Rider, President of the United States and paranormal investigator as he uncovers a plot concocted by a band of nefarious aliens in cahoots with a malevolent ancient Mayan demon to eradicate humanity and claim Earth for their own purposes. A merging of The X-Files, Ghostbusters, and Indiana Jones, Creatures promises high-adventure starting one of America’s greatest heroes of the early twentieth century brought to glorious four-color life by Swedish superstar PETER BERGTING.
I believe Remender is trying to jockey for the title of the “hardest working man in the comic book business.” It’s not always easy to keep on top of what Rick is coming out with, but it’s worth it. The idea of Teddy Roosevelt battling the paranormal — I dig it. (I got some ideas of my own regarding mysterious adventures of Ben Franklin inf anybody is interested.)
I Kill Giants (Image Comics) — Barbara Thorson is your new hero: A quick-witted, sharp-tongued fifth grader who isn’t afraid of anything. Why would she be..? After all, she’s the only girl in school who carries a Norse war hammer in her purse and kills giants for a living… At least, that’s what she’ll tell you…but where does the fantasy end and reality begin in the heart of this troubled girl? And what if she’s telling the truth? Brought to life with unexpected tenderness by JOE KELLY (Supergirl, Action Comics, Deadpool) and breakout talent J. M. KEN NIIMURA, I KILL GIANTS is the bittersweet story of a young girl struggling to conquer monsters both real and imagined as her carefully constructed world crumbles at the feet of giants bigger than any one child can handle.
I can’t quite put my finger on why this title intrigues me, but from the few preview pages that I’ve read, and the tone that I’m picking up on in the solicitation copy, I’m going to check it out.
Dugout (AIT/Planetlar) — It’s action on the field and off as two great American pastimes collide in a new graphic novel by the team of Adam Beechen and Manny Bello (HENCH)! It’s 1960, and the only thing that can save in-debt manager Cookie Palisetti and his sinking pro baseball team is getting his star pitcher out of prison. When the courts won’t show mercy, Cookie plans an exhibition game against the prison team — as cover for the wildest, most unlikely jailbreak ever!
I dig baseball, and I dig comic books. Someday I’m going to hopefully write an entertaining baseball-themed comic book of my own. (Any artists out there itching to do a baseball story?) Until then, I’m going to be checking out titles like Dugout.
The Transformers: All Hail Megatron (IDW Publishing) — The Decepticons have won, the Autobots are defeated, and the time for conquest is at hand! Or is it? This all-new series picks up one year after the Revelations saga, and finds the Decepticons alone and triumphant on Earth, with not an Autobot in sight. With no one to stand in their way, how will the planet survive? And what of the missing Autobots?
I was there from the beginning of IDW’s current Transformers run — the Infiltration, the Escalation, the Devastation… I know writer Shane McCarthy has been brewing this tale for awhile, and artist Guido Guidi is amazing with the pages that he produces. This should be epic.
Jesse James Vs Machine Gun Kelly: Dust 2 Dust (One-Shot) (Moonstone) — A Moonstone Wild West Event. “Dust 2 Dust.” Jesse James has survived an assassin’s bullet and the long arm of the law. Now a deranged man of the cloth, people are paying attention to his fervent fire and brimstone! Born under a bad sign, outlaw Machine Gun Kelly steamrolls into town, a scorched earth in his wake, and he’s ready to slash and burn for kicks. The incendiary-thermite of two psychopaths in one small town only lights the fuse to an explosive conflagration… and one blazing holy war, where there are no laws, just Old Testament fiery curses. See who’s not roasting when the dust clears!
If you’re going to do a one-shot, what better way than to pack it with two gun-totting icons like Jesse James and Machine Gun Kelly? I’m looking forward to seeing how friend Michael May, along with Alex Ness, and Joel Vallmer pull it off.
Apocalipstix, Vol. 1 (Oni Press) — Mandy, Megumi, and Dot were on track to be one of the greatest rock bands in the history of mankind and then… Armageddon happened! Well, with a name like “The Apocalipstix,” you know these girls aren’t going to let a Doomsday get in the way of their world tour! The trio are heading for whatever clubs and bars are left standing and no pirate, mutant, or environmental collapse is going to get in the way of their next gig!
First off, any clever “punny” title will get my attention. Throw in apocalyptic elements and sassy n’ sexy heroines drawn by Cameron Stewart and it’s a no-brainer, I’m picking the title up. This looks like a megaton bomb of fun.
Night of the Living Dead Mego-Style Zombie Action Figure (Emce Toys) — The first zombie from Romero’s classic comes to life (sort of) in this fully poseable 8″ retro MEGO-style action figure. Figure bears the likeness of actor BILL HINZMAN, who granted permission to develop the toy. Figure is packaged in MEGO-style blister with backing card bearing illustrations by original MEGO packaging illustrator HAROLD SHULL. The head is sculpted by fan favorite JAMES (“MegoMadhouse”) BRADY.
They’re actually releasing two figures, the other being Duane Jones, a.k.a. Ben, the film’s hero. I grew up on Mego action figures. I had them all — Action Jackson, Worlds Greatest Super Heroes (grrrrr…), Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, S.W.A.T, Chips, etc… How can I pass up on an eight-inch fully articulated Night of the Living Dead zombie?
That wraps it up for July books. Until next month…