Letting creators like Brandon Graham fool around with the characters he created as part of the “Extreme Studios Relaunch” two years ago was only the second-most entertaining thing I’ve experienced from Rob Liefeld. The most entertaining thing was when he let Alan Moore loose on his ersatz-Superman character Supreme and the legendary writer got to tell all of the stories he wanted to do about the Man of Steel only with the serial numbers filed off. These stories were reprinted in two volumes from Checker Comics which are unfortunately out of print at the moment. Why am I mentioning this? That’s because a little over a week ago Image started passing around a “Supreme”-centric teaser which indicated that the character would be coming back. As for the people who would be doing it, well, I don’t think anyone was expecting who we got…
(Unless you’ve already read the news last week, in which case that last bit has likely failed to instill any suspense at all.)
Supreme: Blue Rose #1: Brought to you by Warren Ellis and artist Tula Lotay. Between this, “Moon Knight” and his recently announced gig relaunching “Project Superpowers” for Dynamite, Ellis seems to be indulging his love of doing strange new things with characters who people had forgotten about or never really cared for in the first place. The results of this in the past have ranged from the unevenness of his “Counter-X” work on second-tier X-titles back in the late 90’s, to the unmitigated brilliance of “Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E.” I’m actually more encouraged for this than his creator-owned Image title “Trees” mainly because the solicitation text does a good job of being quite creepy and selling you on the idea that something very wrong is going on here. As for Ms. Lotay, I’ve only encountered her work briefly in “American Vampire,” but if she can keep up that level of quality on a monthly basis then this is really going to be something special.
Low #1: When this launches, Rick Remender will be writing five monthly titles. In addition to this, “Black Science,” and “Deadly Class” for Image, he’s still doing “Uncanny Avengers” and “Captain America” for Marvel. I’m definitely onboard for his Marvel work, and the first volumes of “Black Science” and “Deadly Class” (the latter of which is titled “Reagan Youth” and will also be shipping in July) should give me an idea as to whether or not his creator-owned titles will be on that level or more in line with the depressing dirge that was “Fear Agent.” Hm… It’s almost like the inverse of my expectations for J. Michael Straczynski’s Image titles.
As for the title itself, “Low” is a sci-fi title where humanity has retreated underwater in the wake of the Sun’s expansion irradiating the Earth. After millennia underwater, a probe that was sent out to scout for a habitable planet crash-lands on Earth’s surface. You can probably guess what happens next, and it sounds like as good a jumping-off point for sci-fi adventure as anything.
Death Vigil #1 (of 8): Stjepan Sejic has been a fairly prolific artist at Image over the years. Specifically, he’s been prolific over at the Top Cow side of things illustrating the likes of “Witchblade” and “Artifacts,” which is why the only time I’ve bothered to check out his work is when someone has linked to his efforts in poking fun at DC comics or the more adult work he’s collaborated on with his wife. This title actually looks like a comic series I’d want to read, as the tone of the solicitation text and its cover indicate that the relatively grim premise will be executed with tongue firmly in cheek. That’s about the best way to deal with a series where having to die first to join an army against something called the “Primordial Enemy” is a key plot point.
Spread #1: New from Justin Jordan of “Luther Strode” fame, and of a bunch of New 52 titles I don’t read. The hook here is that humanity dug up something called “The Spread” that assimilated everything it touched into more of itself. While its growth has been slowed, the key to wiping it out lies in a little baby girl. Based on the cover it’s clear that Jordan and artist Kyle Strahm are going for a kind of “Lone Wolf and Cub” vibe here. Yet, with the baby being the cure for a kind of plague, I’m reminded of what is one of the best pieces of downloadable content I’ve played in gaming so far: “The Pitt” from “Fallout 3.” Though its actual mechanics weren’t anything special, the role the baby girl played there actually got me to change my mind about how I wanted to go through this scenario and led to me turning on the people who had recruited me to save them. There’s no way this will have that kind of effect on me, but we’ll see if it can find a clever way to rise above its inspirations.
Black Kiss 2: XXXMas in July: Courtesy of Howard Chaykin. “Because nothing says holiday fun like an endless stream of incredibly nasty revenge sex.” Never stop staying classy, Howard.
Chew: Chicken Warrior Poyo #1: Billed as the most important literary achievement of the 21st Century and something that will render all other comics irrelevant. So… what they’re saying here is that reading this will ruin anyone’s love of comics. How will I be able to enjoy any more of them after this latest one-shot featuring the cyborg kung-fu rooster’s latest exploits has pushed them down into irrelevance? There’s only one way to avoid this fate: DON’T READ THIS COMIC! This should be easy enough for people who read single issues, but if they put this in the latest trade, then I’ll be screwed if I accidentally glance upon one of its pages and am compelled to finish it. If the site goes dark after the volume this is collected in comes out, you’ll know the reason why.
Bad Dog vol. 1: In the Land of Milk and Money: From the solicitation text, “Two bounty hunters, an angst-ridden werewolf and his deviant partner, stumble through the southwest in search of cash, booze, and the meaning of life. Mostly, they find booze.” Okay. I’m game.
Five Weapons vol. 2 & Murder Me Dead: Both of these series couldn’t be more different. The former is a full-color series about a kid who enrolls in a school for assassins armed only with his mind. As for the latter, it’s the latest edition of David Lapham’s black-and-white noirish tale of obsession, sex, betrayal and murder. So what do they have in common? I picked up volumes relating to both of them at Wondercon. Those would be the first volume of “Five Weapons” and the “Uber Alles” edition of Lapham’s most famous crime series, “Stray Bullets.” Expect me to pick up both of the titles solicited here if I like reading what I just bought.
Sex vol. 2: Supercool: The first volume collected eight issues while this one only has six. Clear evidence that “Sex” is shrinking. That you’re now paying more to get less “Sex.” Or maybe that “Sex” will be coming at you from a different angle. You’ll be so surprised by the quality of the “Sex” you get here that you won’t mind that you’re getting less of it. Yeah, I think that’s what I’m hoping for when I get my latest dose of “Sex” in July.
The Walking Dead vol. 21: All Out War -- Part Two: Arriving the week of Comic-Con. Now the question becomes do I buy my copy there for full price or wait for Amazon to ship it for a discount? Decisions, decisions...