If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.
It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.
So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in December.
Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!
NOTE: This month Diamond has added a new “AS SEEN ON TV” icon to the Green Section, which has made it pretty annoying to peruse.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: I’m still working on the format of this post for the new site. Let me know what you think in the comments!
Conan the Barbarian #1 – Marvel (Front Cover, ?)
I don’t know the particulars, but Marvel has regained the license to publish Conan books after fifteen years of adventures from Dark Horse.
I’m a little worried about Dark Horse, you guys. I sure hope this new Hellboy movie does gangbusters and gives them the clout to revitalize business.
Anyway, much like with Star Wars – almost exactly like with Star Wars, as a matter of fact – Marvel is not effing around with this (re)acquisition. This new monthly title is launching with the blockbuster creative team of Jason Aaron and Mahmud Asrar and I can’t think of two talents better suited to explore the Hyborian Age.
One:12 Collective – Mezco (Back Cover, ?)
This is weird for a couple of reasons.
The first is that it’s fairly rare for a Previews cover to be devoted to toys (though if it does happen it’s usually for December solicitations).
The second is that not a single one of these figures is offered in this issue and some of them are currently only available through the secondary market at outrageously inflated prices.
I get that Mezco wants to raise awareness of their line – which I consider the greatest action figure line of all time – but the best way to do it probably isn’t by tantalizing potential customers with products they can’t have. Perhaps the idea is “order what’s available now so you won’t be kicking yourself like you are for this Joker!”, but that’s sort of off-putting to me.
As far as I can tell the Netflix Daredevil is the only One:12 figure offered in this month’s catalog, and he’s not even on this cover!
The Batman Who Laughs #1 – DC (Cover, 1)
As much as I enjoyed the Dark Metal event, I think it’s time to move on. And I especially don’t need another “threat to the Multiverse” story right now. It’s why I dropped Justice League, even though it wasn’t a bad comic by any means. It was just too big and abstract for me to really care about anything that was going on.
This looks to be a smaller-scale story (Multiversal threat notwithstanding) and the Snyder/Jock team is a solid one, but I can’t muster much interest for this title.
Detective Comics #994 – DC (20)
Detective was one of the very best comics of the Rebirth relaunch, but I dropped it when they changed creative teams. It looks like I might have to add it back to my list, because Tomasi and Mahnke are a superstar duo worthy of oh, I dunno – producing the 1000th issue of a legendary comic book?
Absolute Swamp Thing by Alan Moore Vol. 1 HC – DC (50)
This is the thing everybody always talks about.
I honestly don’t know if I’ve read any of this. I bought a Swamp Thing comic back when I bought my first real batch that included Uncanny X-Men and a particularly weird and impenetrable issue of Batman. It was even weirder and more impenetrable. Aside from the New 52 relaunch (which I liked for a while) I don’t think I’ve read much Swamp Thing.
I know I should correct that, but I’m not spending a hundred bucks to do it.
Batman: Shaman TP – DC (53)
I think Legends of the Dark Knight is one of the best ongoing Batman books to ever be published. There were weak arcs from time to time and I never liked when it was involved in crossovers – even if I liked the crossovers – but overall it was a continuity-free anthology that spotlighted a wide array of creative talent with the freedom to tell whatever kinds of stories they wanted.
This was the first arc of the series and it was a strong start. If you haven’t read it, you should.
Mister Miracle TP – DC (62)
Buy this. It’s incredible.
As long as you have a bare bones idea of what the New Gods are all about you’ll be fine.
Superman: Kryptonite Deluxe Edition HC – DC (67)
I’ve never heard of this one, but I bet it’s great. I’m adding it to my order. Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale – what more do you need to know?
Batman: The Animated Series Action Figures – DC Collectibles (72-73)
What we have here are two must-haves and two instances of “oh, man – they look cool and I want them”.
I skipped the New Adventures Scarecrow in anticipation of this one. Crane is one of my favorites, but I don’t care for the later version at all.
The Gray Ghost – voiced by Adam West in the cartoon – was an unexpected surprise when DCC showed the figure at SDCC, but I’m delighted we’re getting him.
The android Batman from “Heart of Steel/His Silicon Soul” isn’t a character I would’ve asked for, but the execution is so strong that I want it. And an Animated Series Two-Face is nice to see, but I wouldn’t have considered it necessary after the original New Adventures offering was so great. Honestly I would have preferred a Harvey Dent.
The main thing to point out about these figures is that they are all upgrades over the current DC Animated line (even the forthcoming Justice League figures). They feature double-jointed knees, advanced elbow articulation, and noticeably different hip joints.
While I’m happy to see these improvements, I hope that doesn’t mean we’re in for 2.0 versions of a bunch of characters we already own.
NARRATOR: They were definitely in for 2.0 versions of a bunch of characters they already own.
Season’s Beatings #1 – Marvel (14)
It’s a holiday book! I’ll take it!
Winter Soldier #1 – Marvel (15)
The excellent Kyle Higgins is writing for Marvel now!
I say that as though it’s an all-new, all-different thing when in fact I’m not positive. It’s hard for me to keep track of Marvel these days.
This book is going to be about Bucky helping criminals reform and leave behind their lives of misdeeds. It sounds like a great concept and one that I believe I’m going to have to check out.
Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1– Marvel (86-87)
Marvel is launching new era-specific Star Wars comics. I’m not sure what the goal is, but I’ll be interested to see what they tackle and how they use the format. In all honesty I’d prefer several ongoing series with anthology-style arcs, like a maxi-version of the old Tales from Mos Eisley Cantina collection.
Star Wars: Age of Republic – Qui-Gon Jinn #1 – Marvel (88-89)
But as things stand I’m concerned that these era-specific series could get a little muddied due to a lack of focus. I would’ve preferred a five-ish issue Darth Maul Republic followed by a Qui-Gon arc over two separate titles under the same banner.
Regardless, I love the character of Qui-Gon Jinn and I’ll be more than happy to see how he’s fleshed out under the Disney/Marvel regime. He’s a much more different breed of Jedi than the average fan knows, and I think there’s plenty of material to be mined from his past.
Which maybe is why he has his own book rather than just an arc.
Multiple Man TPB – Marvel (122)
Even without the Faith No More and Oingo Boingo references this would be a great comic. It’s weird and funny and surprising – very reminiscent of the sorts of things Peter David would write. Between this and Punisher I’d have to say that I’m now a fan of Matthew Rosenberg.
DIE #1 – Image (40-43)
Kieron Gillen is a writer that I’ll always take a chance on. His quick description of this is “Goth Jumanji”, which sounds great to me.
A group of 40-ish friends are haunted by something that happened during a D&D game when they were kids – DIE; get it? It sounds sort of like that episode of Buffy where we found out that reserved, milquetoast Giles had a somewhat questionable past.
Hellboy Winter Special 2018 – Dark Horse (92-93)
Hellboy + holiday special = Dave buys.
And yeah, I know it says Winter special, but whatever.
Vampirella vs. Re-Animator #1 – Dynamite (172-175)
Are any Vampirella comics good?
I realized as I was looking at this solicitation that I have never read a comic where Vampirella seemed to be interesting at all, not even Paul Cornell’s recent take on the character.
I haven’t made it to her appearance in Hack/Slash: Resurrection yet, so maybe there’s hope, but beyond the standard appeal of a hot, scantily-clad vampire chick I don’t see much to the character.
Herbert West, on the other hand, is tremendous every time, even when not being portrayed in live action by Jeffrey Combs.
Hack/Slash vs. CHAOS! #1 – Dynamite (176-177)
I’ll buy anything Hack/Slash, especially if Tim Seeley is writing it. I’ve been with this franchise since the beginning and it’s given me way more good than bad. As a matter of fact, I’d say that Cassie and Vlad have been the most consistently great characters from the last fifteen years of comics.
That may seem like a bold statement, but this series has been around since 2004 in one form or another. Think about any comic book character in that time and tell me the good/bad ratio leans toward the positive.
As for CHAOS! Comics, I never got into them aside from some of the action figures Clayburn Moore sculpted, but I’m sure whatever Seeley does with them will be cool.
Barbarella Holiday Special – Dynamite (183)
The tit-ular heroine and Santa Claus team up to solve a murder! Seriously!
Red Sonja Holiday Special – Dynamite (183)
Sonja and Sir Max rescue Santa Claus from Kulan Gath! Seriously!
Godzilla vs. King Kong 12” Long Godzilla Action Figure – NECA (41M)
NECA has been delivering excellent Godzilla figures for years now.
I cannot get excited for a Godzilla from Godzilla vs. King Kong when I know we’ll never get a corresponding King Kong. I wish that the license would loosen up to include other Kaiju, because no matter how much the designs may differ on Big G over the years, I’m never going to stop wanting actual different monsters every time a new one of these is announced.
IT (2017) Pennywise 15” Mega Scale Figure – Mezco (44M)
Not every character works well in this style – I didn’t love Jason or the Nun. But some are perfect, like Max from Trick r’ Treat and Pennywise. This deformed format works perfectly for the world’s scariest clown, and I’ll definitely be bringing one home for the missus.
One:12 Collective Marvel Netflix Daredevil Action Figure – Mezco (47M)
Netflix’s Daredevil has been consistently good, and the costume design introduced in the second season is pretty cool. I’m sure this figure will be awesome, but it’s not anything I see as a must-have.
Ace Ventura Retro Action Figure – NECA (49M)
NECA continues to get wilder and to investigate broader areas of pop culture with their retro line. I never would have imagined we’d be getting a new (and great) Ace Venture figure in 2019, but here it is. He can hang out right next to Bill, Ted, and Weird Al.
Ultimate Chucky & Tiffany Action Figures – NECA (49M)
The Ultimate Chucky action figure is one of the best horror figures I own. You can get it at your local Target right now and I highly recommend you do so.
Unless, of course, you want Tiffany, too (you do).
Then you should just wait and buy this two-pack, although I don’t think it comes with as many accessories as the standalone Chucky.
Pizza Face Chucky 15” Mega Scale Figure – Mezco (49M)
Another character that’s perfect for this style. Mezco’s sculpting on these is fantastic and the addition of voice chips to this one and the above Pennywise makes them something special – almost an upgrade to the amazing Spencer Gifts horror dolls from over a decade ago.
God of War: Ultimate Kratos & Atreus Action Figures – NECA (50M)
To answer your question – yes, this set not only includes Atreus, the best weapon ever in a video game, but also Mimir’s head. Order it now.
Golden Girls Retro Action Figures – NECA (50M)
Speaking of broader areas of pop culture, let’s talk about Bea Arthur’s shoulder pads on Golden Girls.
Funko really shit the bed by not doing a wide release of their Golden Girls ReAction figures, but NECA is here to blow that junk out of the water with these incredible 8” scale retro figures. What a world we live in!
Gremlins Ultimate Stripe Action Figure – NECA (50M)
I’m so glad that NECA is continuing their Gremlins line with these Ultimate versions, because I skipped a lot of the earlier standard releases and I don’t know what the heck I was thinking.
Ultimate Michael Myers Action Figure – NECA (50M)
Finally… The Shape has come back… to NECA!
So grab your fancy little jack-o-lantern, shine it up real good, turn that sumbtich sideways, and stick it STRAIGHT UP YOUR CANDY ASS!
From what was announced at SDCC, this figure comes with two heads – one depicting the mask from the new movie and one with the mask from John Carpenter’s original, hence the “Ultimate” moniker.
Savage World Horror Action Figures – Funko (64M)
I’ll be reviewing these next week as part of our Halloween 2018 coverage!
SPOILER ALERT: Go ahead and order them.
Pinhead Bishoujo Statue – Kotobukiya (70M)
Uh. Hmm. Okay.
I haven’t been a fan of these in the past – Freddy and Jason just seemed sort of dumb to me. But the Ash worked a little better (though I can’t explain why) and Pinhead actually makes total sense.
No – really. I think gender-swapped Pinhead is a pretty logical leap. I might even get this one.
Let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!