There really isn’t that much to talk about with the publisher right now. It’s been one of those months. However, they did announce at Kumoricon that they’ll be releasing the “Fate/Zero” manga that was adapted from the prequel novel for the popular series. Adaptations like this are usually of inconsistent quality, so I don’t see any reason to get excited about it. It is, however, another conservative license for the manga publishing side of the company. Let’s hope that whatever success it enjoys allows them to fund the acquisition and release of more esoteric titles in the future. Like the Mamoru Oshii/Satoshi Kon joint that’s mentioned in this month’s solicitations.
Blood Blockade Battlefront vol. 7: While this series has yet to catch on in the same way that “Trigun” did, that may change in the future. It was recently announced that Yasuhiro Nightow’s over-the-top supernatural action manga will be getting an anime adaptation. Given that it was the “Trigun” anime that fueled sales of the manga over here, we’ll see if a “B3” series can do the same for its source material. As for the manga itself, I got vol. 6 last week and it was another fun read in spite of the conventional nature of its stories and occasional trips into incoherence. I can’t say it’s an essential read, but it still provides an enjoyable dose of style-over-substance-based-entertainment.
B.P.R.D. vol. 10: The Devil’s Wings: While my copy has yet to arrive, there’s every indication that vol. 9 is going to be a major turning point in the series as the organization takes the fight to New York and ZinCo. Though the solicitation text doesn’t give anything away, thankfully, it doesn’t look like the crew will be getting a rest afterwards in this new collection. Kate: Possessed! Johann: Fighting Japanese monsters from another dimension! Normally I’d be excited by such things. Now I’m hoping that the series doesn’t burn itself out on the drama. That’s a silly fear considering the fact that I haven’t read vol. 9 yet, and the title’s overall track record. So my fears are likely unfounded…
Conan vol. 16: The Song of Belit: Brian Wood’s run on the title comes to an end, as does Conan’s relationship with Belit. Save for the fact that it involves her death, I know nothing of the specifics of this event. However, Wood has done a great job of building their relationship over the course of three volumes (particularly with the final issue of the last one). So even though I know what’s coming here, I’m still very much looking forward to seeing how it all plays out.
The Goon: Occasion of Revenge vol. 1: The first part of the next major “Goon” storyline is collected and… huh… As all of Dark Horse’s trade collections are advance-solicited, this won’t be arriving until February of next year. Which means that this will be the first year in a while that we haven’t received a new “Goon” collection. This just means I’ll have bigger expectations for this new one when it drops next year.
Hellboy and the B.P.R.D. #1 (of 5): Do you miss the days when the world in the Mignolaverse wasn’t ending and Hellboy used to go out on missions with the B.P.R.D. to fight the forces of darkness. I do. Which is why I’m looking forward to this latest series, which I believe to be the start of a new series-of-miniseries, spotlighting the title character’s adventures with the organization that took him in. In fact, we’re getting Hellboy’s very first adventure with the B.P.R.D. as he goes to investigate a Portuguese fortress in a Brazilian village. Headstrong yet untested investigator mixing it up with people he has likely just met along with forces he doesn’t understand? I’m sure that’s going to go real well for everyone involved. Mignola and Arcudi write, while Alex Maleev provides the art. You know, I could say something about the state of the artist’s collaborations with Bendis here, but I’m sure he’s going to knock this out of the park and make me sad that he can’t do more of these things.
Seraphim: 266613336 Wings: That Oshii/Kon joint I mentioned earlier? This is it, and the solicitation text points out the fun fact that this series was published in the same magazine as “Nausicaa of the Valley of Wind.” Because nothing creates unrealistic expectations like pointing out that a series is connected in some way to my favorite comic of all time. Fortunately, I’ve seen enough of Oshii’s work to know that while it can be quite good and thought-provoking, he’s also prone to bouts of ponderousness and disappearing up his own ass. The random string of numbers in the title has me fearing that this could be one of those bouts. If it’s explained, good. If the story is great without providing an explanation, even better.
Usagi Yojimbo: Senso #5 (of 6): In which we’re promised, “The BIGGEST cliffhanger of all time!” Given that “biggest” is getting the ALL CAPS treatment, I’m guessing we’re meant to take that in a literal rather than figurative sense. I’m going to guess and say that the final page will have Usagi riding Godzilla into battle to take on the Martians that have crash-landed in feudal Japan. Hey, it’s no more unrealistic than the premise for this series already is.