Pretty quiet this month. Too quiet in one respect. All I can say is that if I don’t see a certain title in next month’s solicitations, I’ll be making a trip to the Kinokuya in L.A. sometime in the future.
B.P.R.D.: Hell on Earth vol. 3 -- Russia: This will be the first full volume with new regular artist Tyler Crook. I liked what I saw of his style in the previous volume, but as they noted in the commentary there, Mignola and Arcudi were going easy on him by having him focus on only one of the regular cast and not a lot of the creepy weird stuff that the series is famous for. Here, though, they’re throwing him in the deep end, so it’ll be interesting to see how he measures up to Guy Davis’ defining work on the title.
Gantz vol. 24: The Osaka team is mentioned again here, so I’m concerned that we’re still on the story that was started in vol. 21. Granted, things could wrap up quickly next volume and a new battle arc could be started, but outside of the opening arc, I’ve NEVER seen things resolved that quickly in this series. So I am now more concerned that the weak start of the current arc is now going to be compounded by having it drag on for an extended period. Hiroya Oku is certainly a talented storyteller, but his skills aren’t in the same league as Samura, Miura, or Inoue, which worries me that he may be digging himself a hole that will be extremely difficult to pull himself out of. We’ll see how this turns out in August.
The Massive #1: Brian Wood’s follow-up to “DMZ” with frequent collaborator Kristian Donaldson. The setup for the world isn’t so much described as “post-apocalyptic” but rather “post-everything” as a ship of environmentalists scours the oceans for signs of it’s sister ship The Massive. Wood has said the question at the heart of this series is whether or not you can still be an environmentalist after the world has gone to hell, which sounds faintly ridiculous to me as there would naturally be much larger concerns if that ever happens. Still, the man is a formidable talent and I’ll be checking this out once the first collection arrives.
Star Wars Omnibus: Clone Wars vol. 1 -- The Republic Goes to War: Dark Horse originally published nine “Star Wars: Clone Wars” collections which collected the ongoing “Republic” series, one-shots, and mini-series which chronicled the period between “Attack of the Clones” to shortly after “Revenge of the Sith.” I’m assuming the plan is to reprint all nine of these in three omnibus editions as (oddly) vols. 1, 2 and 4 are collected here. The good stuff is some of the best “Star Wars” comics ever published while the bad stuff isn’t really all that bad. Of course, pretty much ALL of the good stuff was written by John Ostrander as the real draw of these stories comes from seeing his depiction of Jedi Master Quinlan Vos’ struggle to stay on the light side of the Force as he goes undercover with Count Dooku’s separatist forces. I’d recommend an omnibus collecting just the stories he wrote without hesitation, but this is still a very good value for your money. I may end up buying this myself as the glue is starting to fail on the collected editions I own -- way to go with that “planned obsolescence” Dark Horse!