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!
October’s Previews post is usually a little awkward because I dislike Christmas stuff showing up before Halloween is even here (though I love Christmas; it just needs to stay in its post-Thanksgiving spot on the card), but the Halloween stuff was in August’s issue and the Christmas stuff is now. That’s how catalogs full of upcoming stuff work.
Also, there are a TON of toys in this issue. I highly recommend you go to your Local Comic Shop and grab a copy.
Incoming! #1 – Marvel
I can’t pick on Marvel too specifically because my overall interest in comic books seems to be on the wane. I could spend a whole post on why, but it boils down to the fact that they’re expensive and horribly inconsistent. From the art to the writing, I haven’t found many comics in the past decade that can maintain quality for more than an arc or two.
Also, there are too damn many. Can we go back to the model where the only time you’d see a character in two issues a month is if they were in a team book? And just one team book!
You might be tempted to say, “You should read independent comics, they’re great!”
I don’t want to read independent comics. I want to read comics about Batman and Spider-Man and the X-Men.
My biggest problem with Marvel is that they do too many crossovers that tie too many titles together. I am loving what Jonathan Hickman is doing with House of X and Powers of X and I want to be excited about the titles that are spinning out of those books, but unfortunately there are like eight of them and I don’t want to read them all. And you can’t read just a few because sooner or later Marvel are going to do an effing crossover and you’ll have to buy a couple or even several issues of titles you don’t want.
So it’s easier just to say “Fuck it” and not buy any. Which is what I’m probably going to do. I’ve been compelled to buy comic book issues I do not want so many times over the last decade and I’m sick of it. I’m close to just quitting comics again. It sure would save me a lot of money.
So here we have another massive crossover, which would be cool if we didn’t have crossovers going on constantly.
Okay, full disclosure – Incoming! is a one-shot. It’s not even a miniseries. But every Marvel character is on that cover, so you know that whatever happens in this book is going to result in a crossover. And I, for one, am not interested.
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #1 – Marvel
The current era of Star Wars has left us with a lot of unanswered questions. I can’t even talk about where the movies are without going off on a rant, but fortunately the modern Expanded Universe – novels, comic books, video games – have been doing some of the heavy lifting that the filmmakers can’t seem to be bothered with.
One ridiculously unexplored arc of time is the one that begins with the heroic Luke Skywalker almost murdering his sleeping nephew and ends with our first glimpse of Kylo Ren in the village of Tuanul on the planet Jakku, right before he murders Lor San Tekka.
There’s a lot of murder and attempted murder. This is, after all, Star Wars, not Star Teatime.
How did Ben Solo go bad? Who are the Knights of Ren? Did any of Luke’s Padawans survive? How did Ben hook up with Snoke? How did he get promoted so high in the First Order? Why doesn’t he look anything like Carrie Fisher or Harrison Ford?
These are all questions that would seem much more important if Disney’s Star Wars was more like the MCU and less like the giant ball from Katamari Damacy; just an amalgamation of random crap that keeps picking up more random crap as it rolls faster and faster towards whatever collision will render it complete.
Anyway, this comic seeks to cover the aforementioned mysterious timeline. I don’t know how in-depth or satisfying it will be, but I’m definitely excited to find out. I love many of the ideas and characters that have been introduced into the Skywalker saga since Disney took over, but the execution has been shockingly slapdash and incompetent as far as the films go. The comics, overall, have been much more well executed.
2099 – Marvel
Continuing on from last month’s solicitations, the 2099 series of one-shots continues. Yes, it’s more crossover BS, but it only affects one book I’m reading and it remains to be seen how disruptive it will be.
As far as these titles, there are two things to be excited about:
1) Ghost Rider 2099 looks badass. I know the chainsaw-for-a-hand thing is super played out at this point, but if Hasbro releases this as a figure I am one hundred percent going to buy it.
2) Chip Zdarsky is writing Doom 2099. After a couple of titles that I found less than compelling I am not the Zdarskymaniac that I once was, but I bet his dialogue for Victor Von Doom is going to be legendary.
Star Wars: Empire Ascendant #1 – Marvel
Marvel has been doing an absolutely fantastic job with the main Star Wars book. Now I know why it had to conclude – because it has, within its own timeline, covered the period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. That’s not to say there aren’t more stories to tell from that timeframe, but this story is told.
Now it’s time to move on to a time of even greater hardship and tragedy – the period following the events of Episode V.
This one-shot will bridge the gap between the prior ongoing series and the new one, which will kick off with the creative team of Charles Soule and Jesus Saiz; which is pretty exciting.
It’s wild to think that Marvel is launching a story that actually won’t include Han Solo; he’s been such an integral part of the expanded universe up to this point.
Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon & John Cassaday Omnibus HC – Marvel
At the time of its release the original Astonishing X-Men comic was, well, astonishing. I devoured every page of the stories included here and loved it. I’d put it on par with Claremont’s Uncanny and Grant Morrison’s New X-Men. I haven’t read it in a few years, but my memory of it is pretty solid and I can’t think of anything that might change my opinion. Just thinking about it makes me want to revisit the whole thing.
I realize that many nerds have turned on Whedon at this point, but I’m not one of them. I still think he’s one of the greatest creators of my generation and has been responsible for far, far more excellent content than bad. As a matter of fact, the only “bad” I relate to Whedon is Alien Resurrection and I think we all know that isn’t even really his fault.
As far as his personal life goes, unless they were there I do not care about anyone’s opinion.
Harley Quinn: Villain of the Year #1 – DC
I don’t know what DC’s current “Year of the Villain” thing is all about. It seems like they have “Year of Villainy” or “Villains Attack” or “That’s So Villain” pretty much every year.
What caught my eye about this one was that it flipped the name and turned it into something ostensibly silly. That and the fact that Mike Norton did the art, and he’s great.
You can go to dcvillainoftheyear.com and… discover that there’s nothing there. Oops. Maybe get on that, WB. Or maybe it’ll be fixed by the time this posts.
New Year’s Evil – DC
At least DC is being consistent with their focus on villainy.
This year’s holiday special – don’t use the “C” word! – features ten tales starring Joker, Harley Quinn, Sinestro, and more dastardly devils. I love holiday specials, so I’ll be picking this up.
Wonder Woman: Dead Earth #1 (of 4) – DC
This is part of DC’s Black Label. Writer/artist Daniel Warren Johnson is telling a tale of Wonder Woman on a post-apocalyptic Earth and it sounds pretty interesting to me.
When a miniseries has art this compelling that is the vision of a singular creator, that makes for a project that I want to invest in. No fill-ins, no worries about cancelation, NO CROSSOVERS. Just a tight, four-issue story with a clear beginning and end.
Batwoman by JH Williams III Omnibus HC – DC
This is one of the most gorgeously illustrated runs of comics I have ever read.
I have to admit that the story isn’t as good once Greg Rucka leaves, but this is still a great batch of comics and essential reading for any Bat-fan. Kate Kane is a great and unique character and I sure wish more writers had good ideas for her.
Batman Black & White Statue by Todd McFarlane – DC Collectibles
The first time I ever saw Todd McFarlane’s artwork was on the cover of Batman 423, which I got in one of those polybags that had three comics inside. You could see the two on the outside, as they’d both have their covers facing out. But the middle comic was always a mystery and was usually junk.
The Batman cover was the one that caught my eye. I had never seen his cape drawn in that way. As a twelve-year-old I thought it was absolutely amazing and I never wanted to see his cape drawn any other way ever again.
It’s worth noting that issue #423 came out in September of 1988, so everyone involved was poised to get a lot of recognition in some form or other thanks to Tim Burton’s impending Batman movie. But this cover is definitely one of McFarlane’s stepping stones to notoriety.
As such, DC Collectibles is immortalizing it (minus the random female being hugged) in their Black & White statue collection. I have a few of these by artists I like and I will absolutely be getting this one.
DC Designer Series: Harley Quinn by Enrico Marini Statue – DC Collectibles
I have a few statues, but not many. They’re expensive and they aren’t poseable. But every once in a while there’s one that’s unique or striking and that I know won’t be produced as an action figure on a smaller scale at a lower price. This is definitely one of those.
Typically when I’m interested in one of these boutique-style releases it’s because of the artist involved. In this instance I am not at all familiar with Enrico Marini, but I absolutely love this interpretation of Harley. I have to have it.
Fortunately it comes out in May, so I’m sure someone will get it for me for my birthday.
DC Cover Girls: Supergirl by Frank Cho Statue – DC Collectibles
If you’re new to this monthly column, welcome. My name is Dave and I am a huge fan of Frank Cho’s artwork.
Unfortunately it seems that Cho’s wonderful portraits are difficult to capture in 3D form. This makes the second statue adapting Cho’s work where I feel that the face doesn’t quite look right. I have the Harley Quinn Statue that’s paying tribute to the famous bomb scene from Batman ’66 and while the face isn’t bad, they didn’t quite get it. This Supergirl looks to have the same problem.
Otherwise it’s a fantastic piece. And who knows? Maybe in person the face will look great.
Hack/Slash 15th Anniversary Celebration – Image Comics
Hack/Slash is one of my all-time favorite comics. I’ll buy this and get both covers if I can – one by Tyler Walpole and one by the incomparable Tim Seeley.
Criminal Macabre: The Big Bleed Out #1 (of 4) – Dark Horse
Wow! I don’t remember the last time a Cal McDonald comic was published!
Steve Niles is an awesome writer. I’ve got tons and tons of his books because his sensibilities appeal to me in a major way. I think 30 Days of Night was the first work of his that I read, but having read so much more over the years I think it’s my least favorite. If you haven’t delved nay further than Niles’ best-known vampire story, do yourself a favor and check out his Criminal Macabre books, Mystery Society (with Fiona Staples), or even Bigfoot, his collaboration with rock n’ roll legend Rob Zombie!
If you ever see Niles at a con, say hi. He’s one of the nicest comic book people I’ve ever met.
Hellboy and the BPRD: The Seven Wives Club – Dark Horse
I buy all of the Hellboy and the BPRD stuff, but I’m extra interested in one illustrated by Adam Hughes. Mignola and Hughes’ previous collaboration, Krampusnacht was excellent and I expect more of the same here. Adam Hughes isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when I think of spooky comics, so he was an interesting choice to illustrate Hellboy’s adventures.
Transformers/Ghostbusters: Ghosts of Cybertron – IDW
Now that this is collected I’ll probably grab it. I didn’t hear a thing about it, but I have to admit that I’m pretty out of the loop in the comics world. I like the concept and I love the franchises, so for under twenty bucks I’ll take a chance.
Crow: Hack/Slash – IDW
Speaking of things I’ll grab for under twenty bucks, Cassie Hack is one of them.
Ugh. Now I feel icky.
Anyway, Normally I’d dismiss something like this, but it’s written by Tim Seeley and if you didn’t know, I’m a fan. He created Hack/Slash and has turned out to be an excellent caretaker of other properties of which he’s a fan. Hack meeting up with one of the avatars of the crow makes a whole lot of sense.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (0f 5) – BOOM! Studios
The Power Rangers are a little outside of my field of expertise, but I love the Ninja Turtles and I am baffled that this hasn’t happened sooner. This makes the most sense of almost any crossover, ever.
Writer Ryan Parrott has handled MMPR before and Simone di Meo’s art looks fantastic. I’m not saying I’ll by this, but I’m glad it’s a thing that’s happening.
Check out some preview pages here!
Dark Ark: Arc One Hardcover – Aftershock
Cullen Bunn and Juan Doe tell the tale of the evil counterpart to Noah’s Ark.
The story of the sorcerer, Shrae, and his family doing their best to guide a vessel full of mythical beats – including the scheming vampires – is utterly engrossing. Sometimes it’s a little hard to find a protagonist, what with most of the cast being evil, but it’s still an interesting story and a clever spin on the Ark.
Jay & Silent Bob Reboot Action Figures – Diamond Select Toys
These look pretty amazing.
While I’m about two decades past any desire to own action figures of these guys, I’m honestly glad that Kevin Smith is still relevant in some way and is still doing his thing. I think he gets a lot of flak he doesn’t deserve (and some he does) and that in general nerds should appreciate him a lot more for what he accomplished.
Jason Mewes is great, too. He should’ve gotten an Oscar for Zack & Miri.
Actually, if that was a figure of Lester, I’d buy it.
Godzilla Vinimates Series 2 – Diamond Select Toys
DST’s Vinimates are sized-up, unarticulated versions of their Minimates and I honestly prefer them.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve got some neat-o Minimates that I love, including their great Battle Beasts, but all of the little parts are a nuisance unless you glue them on.
These, on the other hand, are all one part. And when they’re monsters like Big G or Rodan they become something a little cooler. For ten bucks these are great shelf items. I’ll be grabbing that burning Godzilla and Rodan for sure.
Doesn’t that regular Godzilla just look like he’s judging you hard? And Rodan looks high AF.
Alien: 40th Anniversary Big Chap Ultimate Action Figure – NECA
I haven’t seen a ton about this release yet, but I own NECA’s older Big Chap and I’d bet that this one will be worth an upgrade. That one is fantastic, but NECA has improved their product by leaps and bounds since it was released. Plus, this one includes a chestburster, a facehugger, and a base with an egg on it.
Alien: 40th Anniversary Big Chap Quarter Scale Figure – NECA
OR if a regular sized Alien isn’t good enough for you, there’s this gigantic version.
Alien 3 Dog Alien Ultimate Action Figure – NECA
This, on the other hand, I’ll need a review for before I purchase. NECA has yet to nail this xenomorph variation and it’s one of my favorites, so hopefully they’ll get it this time.
Barbie: Black & White Forever Doll – Mattel
This might seem a little outside of my wheelhouse, but I believe it’s a tribute to the very first Barbie doll, which I think is pretty cool.
One:12 Collective Harley Quinn Action Figure – Mezco
You know I’m ordering this.
Okay, well, I already ordered this. Sorry, Local Comic Shop. When it’s a HAVE TO HAVE I go straight to Mezco.
Bride of Chucky: Chucky Life-Size Replica – NECA
I would really, really like to own a Chucky prop replica, and this version is probably the one I would choose. $560 isn’t even that bad a price for a fully articulated doll if it’s nice enough, but I cannot drop that kind of coin on a toy, even if they are calling it a “prop replica”.
Bride of Chucky: Tiffany Life-Size Replica – NECA
If I was going to spend the money on chucky I’d pretty much have to get Tiffany, too.
I am not going to speculate on why some people are going to buy this life-size Tiffany doll.
You know who I’m talking about.
Annabelle Ultimate Action Figure – NECA
Somehow this one slipped by me.
As long as it includes an actual case and that’s not just the packaging I’ll probably get it.
Hellraiser: Pinhead Ultimate Action Figure – NECA
Oh, man – I could not be more excited for a whole new slew of Hellraiser figures from NECA!
I think their original line was what really put NECA on the map up against McFarlane. Those figures hold up very well, but I’d buy Ultimates of every single one of them. I hope that’s NECA’s plan.
IT (1990): Pennywise Retro Cloth Figure – NECA
For some reason the soft gods clown suit make this one look way creepier than the regular figure.
Mego’s has rooted hair and is even more of a nightmare.
S.O.D. Sgt. D Retro Cloth Figure – NECA
It’s unbelievable that there is a Sgt. D action figure coming out.
If you don’t know, S.O.D. is a hardcore band that was a side project for Scott Ian from Anthrax. They aren’t exactly well known and never were. This figure has to be purely a passion project from known NECA metalhead Randy Falk.
I’m ordering ten.
Pop! Rocks Rob Zombie Vinyl Figure – Funko
We don’t collect a ton of Pops, but when a company releases a tribute to the greatest performer in the history of music, you buy it.
Man, I hope Wilson is reading this.
Batman: The Animated Series Egg Attack Action Figures – Beast Kingdom
I’ve seen a few of these Egg Attack figures in person now and I have to say I think they’re awesome. I won’t spend this much on novelty figures like this – they’re eighty bucks apiece – but I think Batman and Joker look fantastic. They ship in May and if I got them for my birthday I sure wouldn’t turn them down!
Doctor Who: The Third Doctor Sixth Scale Figure – Big Chief Studios
Way back when Big Chief first got the Doctor Who license I preordered the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond. Eventually I decided I just couldn’t spend five hundred bucks on two figures and I canceled.
If I was going to get one of these high-dollar figures, it would be the Fourth Doctor.
But maybe the Third Doctor, too.
Definitely not Eight, as much as I love Paul McGann.
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