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.
Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!
NOTE: Due to weather conditions(?!?), the actual physical copies of Previews did not make it to Metro Atlanta are comic shops(!). As a result this month’s post is being composed using the online catalog. This means everything will be wacky and out of order, but I trust you guys to handle it like the mature adults we all are.
For instance, I definitely didn’t have a few moments of, “Well F**K IT THEN. I just won’t write it this month!”
A side effect of writing the post this way is that it’s likely to be much leaner. Without being able to see blurbs and creative teams at a glance I’m probably going to end up skipping a few interesting things.
Star Trek Year Five #1 – IDW (Front Cover)
First I’d like to point out that this is the prettiest front cover Previews has sported in a long time. That’s no knock against stuff on past covers, just an acknowledgement of what a master Greg Hildebrandt is and how nicely Trek fits with his style.
If they can get the tone right and tell the stories in a compelling way that isn’t hurt by modern comic storytelling style (dragging things out for the eventual collected editions), then a look the fifth year of the Enterprise’s mission is very exciting. I’m sure there have been books or comics that have taken place during this time before, but I’ve honestly never gotten too deeply into Trek’s equivalent of the Expanded Universe. I don’t even know how material outside of the movies and TV shows is referred to.
I’m not familiar with any of the talent involved (other than Hildebrandt), but all that really matters is that they get Trek and tell good stories. I’ll wait for word of mouth to find out, but I’ll definitely be hoping for the best.
The War of the Realms – Marvel (Back Cover)
Marvel’s massive crossover event continues…
To not be read by me.
This is in no way the fault of Jason Aaron or any of the creative talent involved in the event. Looking at the art and reading about the plot excites me, even. I can’t even put my finger on why I’m not interested in Marvel (for the most part) right now; I’m just not.
I think a lot of it is that I can’t trust them. Over the last decade I’ve gotten invested in Marvel books only to have them canceled or have the creative teams leave early on too many times to count. I have so many titles in my long boxes that end with issue 3 or 7 or 9 because of that. And I’m not interested in doing that again. It’s much easier to just pass on starting new things.
That being said, if any of you are reading his one, I’d be interested in hearing how it is.
Ascender #1 – Image
Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s Descender is my favorite comic book that I haven’t read yet.
I ordered it when it first came out, but the shop didn’t pull it for me and I never remembered to follow up. I have the first hardcover collection and just haven’t read it yet. A such, I’m probably just going to wait for this – the sequel to that series – to be collected as well. But it still gets my enthusiastic endorsement, just based on following Nguyen on Instagram.
Section Zero #1 (of 6) – Image
Several things appeal to me about this miniseries:
*Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett are a solid creative team
*I like MYSTERIES OF THE UNKOWN type stuff
*That’s a neat cover (though as we all know putting any stock into covers is sort of silly)
*It’s a miniseries
Chances are there’s an intent to launch a series of miniseries, but knowing that this story is planned to last six issues is very appealing to me.
Saga Marko & Alana T-Shirt – Image
I love Saga – it’s the greatest comic book of all time – but thirty bucks for a t-shirt seems excessive. Heck, I prefer XXL and my price would be thirty-two dollars. I’m sure it’s a nice, well done shirt, but that’s gonna be a “nope”.
There’s also a nifty Prince Robot shirt, but since I’m not even thinking about paying $30 for a t-shirt I’m not listing it.
The Amazing Screw-On Head and Other Curious Objects – Dark Horse
Some of Mike Mignola’s best stuff comes when he’s just playing around without a continuity to serve. The Amazing Screw-On Head is one such story, and if you haven’t seen the animated adaptation you should hunt it down right now. Unlike the animated Hellboy features, it faithfully recreates Mignola’s style for the production.
Don’t get me wrong – those Hellboy cartoons are great. But there’s something about seeing Mignola’s spare, craggy style in motion that’s just wonderful.
I’ve read the other listed stories somewhere or other and I can tell you they’re worthwhile, but for the price you’re getting a solid volume of Mignola fun, so just go ahead and order.
Bravo for Adventure TP – IDW
I mainly know Alex Toth’s work from animation like Space Ghost, Super Friends, and Sealab 2020, but I adore his style and you only have to say “reluctant swashbuckler” once to get my attention.
I’m not familiar with the character Jesse Bravo, but I’ll definitely be giving this a look.
Go-Bots TP Vol 1 – IDW
THIS SERIES IS SO WEIRD AND AWESOME.
It’s hard for me to put into words what it is that’s so wonderful and fun about this series, but I’m three issues in and have been constantly delighted.
Swamp Thing Protector of the Green Essential Edition TP – DC
One of the few things that I genuinely enjoyed about DC’s New 52 was the idea of the war between the Green, the Red, and the Rot. It made the Swamp Thing and Animal Man series compelling for as long as it lasted.
I wish this was a more complete edition that included the Animal Man run because I’d enjoy reading everything in a collected volume that made it a little easier to follow, but I’ll still recommend this as an interesting story with some phenomenal art.
This is, by the way, where Heavy Metal Album Cover Swamp Thing appeared.
Batman Haunted Knight TP – DC
This collects Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s one-shots, including the Legends of the Dark Knight Halloween Special that kicked off their successful collaboration on Batman stories.
Deadman Kelley Jones Gallery Edition HC – DC
These are the comics that made me love Boston Brand and Kelley Jones. If I was going to spend $125 on a comic book hardcover, this would be the one.
Green Lantern #6 – DC
Ongoing books don’t often get brought back up here (and maybe they should), but I have to tell you how excellent this title has been. It’s everything I wanted from a Grant Morrison Green Lantern comic and Liam Sharp’s artwork is uniquely suited to presenting Morrison’s insane ideas.
For those concerned about said insane ideas, it’s simply wild outer space stuff and not overly-convoluted. I’m a dum-dum and I’m not having any trouble following the story. I’m super happy with this one.
Legends of the Dark Knight: Michael Golden HC – DC
DC Comics is presenting a series of collections of specific artists’ work on Batman comics. I mainly know Michael Golden from his work on Marvel’s GI Joe: A Real American Hero, but he did plenty of work on the Dark Knight, as well.
Legends of the Dark Knight: Norm Breyfogle Vol 2 HC – DC
Breyfogle is one of my favorite Batman artists. I got the first collection of his work and I’ll be buying this one, too.
Batman Black & White by Marc Silvestri Statue – DC Collectibles
This got previewed on Instagram first and it blew my mind. This is simply an incredible-looking Batman, but to see the Dark Knight in such a Conan-esque pose is just badass. This is going on my order form for sure.
Star Wars Age of Rebellion Special #1 – Marvel
I was ready to dismiss these Age of Rebellion books after wasting my time on the pointless Darth Maul one-shot. However, stories about IG-88, Yoda, and Biggs and Porkins sound too much like the old EU fodder I loved to pass up.
Star Wars Age of Rebellion: Princess Leia #1 – Marvel
Leia Organa teaming up with Bossk in order to legitimize her Boushh identity is a story that sounds familiar, but is one I’m into. I’m pretty sure the old EU covered this at some point, but it’s worth updating, I think.
There’s also a Grand Moff Tarkin one-shot this month, but as much as I love the character, “the secret story of Grand Moff Tarkin” doesn’t do much for me. Especially after the somewhat disappointing Tarkin novel.
Star Wars: TIE Fighter #1 – Marvel
This is part of a truly exciting new project. Marvel is producing this comic about the Empire’s Shadow Wing squadron concurrent with a series of novel’s about the Alliance’s Alphabet Squad.
These both take place at the same time – right around the fall of the Galactic Empire – and look to present narrative viewpoints of both sides of the war. It’s ambitious as heck and slightly odd to be doing in two different mediums, but I’m in.
Symbiote Spider-Man #1 – Marvel
Peter David is one of my all-time favorite comic book writers and of course, like anyone around my age I’m a big sucker for black-suited Spidey. This sounds like a neat concept and the sort of thing for which David probably has some pretty cool ideas.
That title is pretty clunky, though. There had to be better options.
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge #1 (0f 5) – Marvel
Some folks are being a little cynical about a comic book tie-in to Disney’s upcoming theme park, but I’m all for it. Personally, I love Star Wars and want as much of it as I can get. And I especially appreciate something that’s going to give some backstory to an all-new type of Star Wars that’s unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced.
I’m already saving money for the inevitable trip to Galaxy’s Edge sometime after it opens, so I might as well spend a few more bucks to get the whole story.
Thor by Jason Aaron Complete Collection TP Vol 1 – Marvel
After reading the very good new Conan comic from Jason Aaron (and fantastic artist Mahmud Asrar) I want to read this run on Thor more than ever. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.
Megadeth Omnibus – Heavy Metal
This book includes 35 short stories inspired by Megadeth’s song library, including work by Brendon Small, Dan Fogler, Michael Moreci, and Tim Seeley. This is awesome and a must-have for any fan, but then there’s a special edition that includes a 4 LP vinyl edition of Megadeth’s new greatest hits album.
I don’t trust Diamond with shipping this, so I’ll be looking elsewhere for my purchase.
Chronicles of Wormwood – Avatar Press
Ah, the classic story of the Antichrist and his pal, Jesus, neither of whom want anything to do with their fathers’ plans.
This might seem a little more religiously questionable than what I am typically comfortable with, but the subject matter is handled in a way that is subversive without being disrespectful or, for lack of a better term, blasphemous. It’s basically just asking if we all wouldn’t like to be better people than we are and that maybe the people in charge aren’t so great.
It’s also funny as f**k, which should be no surprise coming from Garth Ennis and Jacen Burrows.
Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Battle – Avatar Press
The continuing adventures are just as good. Go ahead and just order them both.
Captain Marvel T-Shirt – Impact Merchandising
This is a cool-looking, subtle comic book shirt. I absolutely love Carol’s Kree uniform in the movie and am actually sort of tempted to order this despite my surplus of t-shirts. It’s available in men’s and women’s cuts and as a hat, as well.
Captain Marvel Starforce Flexfit Cap – New Era
And since I’m writing this without an order form I am going to go ahead and mention this hat, as well. Flexfit caps are all I will wear and, as I mentioned, I love the teal Starforce uniform. So I’m in on this hat.
Hellboy BPRD T-Shirt – Graphitti Designs
This is just cool. I want one.
Gary’s Pick of the Month
(that he doesn’t know about)
Cthulhu in 2020 T-Shirt – Off World Designs
I feel like Lovecraftian goodies have been in short supply for quite some time now and there’s been very little worthy of being called “Gary’s Pick”, but this month Off World designs is coming back strong with a suggestion that, quite frankly, couldn’t be much worse than what we’ve got now.
SH Figuarts Cowboy Bebop Spike Spiegel Action Figure – Bandai
You might not know this about me, but there are a few anime franchises that I like. Cowboy Bebop is one of them. This is awesome and it looks like I’m gonna be spending some money collecting the Bebop crew in the coming years.
One:12 Collective Diabolik Action Figure – Mezco
I already have this preordered from the wonderful folks at BigBadToyStore.com because I am not effing around with this figure. Danger: Diabolik is one of my all-time favorite movies, and while I believe this figure is based on the original comic book and not the Mario Bava film, I have to have it. This is, in my opinion, the coolest One:12 figure so far. The only thing that might top it would be a Blue Demon.
Megadeth Peace Sells Vic Rattlehead Retro Action Figure – NECA
2019 is the year of amazing Megadeth merch!
This is part of NECA’s excellent line of Mego-inspired 8” clothed action figures. It’s awesome and I have to have it. Now I just have to hope that they do a full-on deluxe Hangar 18 set with Vic and the cryo tube alien!
Think I missed something awesome? Let me know in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!