I doubt we’ll ever see the original artist of “The Walking Dead,” Tony Moore, ever come back to that series for anything besides a variant cover. Meanwhile, over at “Invincible,” original artist Corey Walker just can’t seem to stop making return trips to that title after all these years. He usually shows up to pinch-hit for regular artist Ryan Ottley whenever he takes on a side project or the story demands a different visual style. In this case, Walker’s latest return to “Invincible” is precipitated by the former as Ottley takes some time off to deliver his creator-owned “Grizzly Shark” series. Originally a one-shot that depicted the adventures of the world’s most feared land animal, it’s now back in color with an unspecified amount of new issues to follow. Which is good because it’s always easier for me to pick up trade paperbacks as opposed to single issues. As for “Invincible,” Walker is illustrating the story that picks up after the fallout of the “Reboot?” arc where Mark went back in time to the beginning of the series and did something to his timeline that I’ve read vague enough things about to make me interested in seeing just what the heck it is.
Black Road #1: Garry Brown, who illustrated most of Brian Wood’s misguided “The Massive,” teams up with the writer again for another arc of “Northlanders.” Er, I mean this new series about a viking who pursues the people who murdered an official under his care to the far reaches of Norway. This viking goes by the name of Magnus the Black and is described as neither clean or sober, nor Christian or Pagan. Sounds like a fun guy to read about, and someone to stay the hell away from in real life. Even if this is “Northlanders” with the serial numbers filed off, most of the stories in that series were quite good. I am a bit concerned that this isn’t listed as a miniseries since the premise sounds great for a short run, but not something to build an ongoing out of.
The Fix #1: This is the story of crooked cops, scheming mobsters, corrupt politicians, the sex toy that can bring them all down, and a drug sniffing beagle named Pretzels -- who is named as the star of the story here. All of this is brought to you by the creative team of Nick Spencer and artist Steve Lieber. Better known together as the creative team that brought us the excellent “The Superior Foes of Spider-Man.” That series isn’t name-checked here, which is good because superheroes were an intrinsic part of that title’s appeal. However, “Criminal” and “100 Bullets” are as the creators want to apologize for letting fans of of those crime series who decide to give this one a shot down in advance. Good to know that the irreverence which powered their previous series is still a big part of their new one.
Aloha, Hawaiian Dick #1: This is the third miniseries about a private investigator in 1950’s Hawaii. The first two were fun, up until the point that their ostensibly grounded stories detoured into “X-Files”-style supernatural shenanigans. As a result, I think I can feel safe on letting this third one pass me by.
Criminal: 10th Anniversary Special Edition: To celebrate a decade of “Criminal,” creators Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillps return to the Lawless family for an oft-mentioned, but never shown chapter of their history. That would be the time that the young Tracy Lawless served as a getaway driver for his criminal father Teeg. Why would a father put his son into that kind of situation? Because unlike his brother, Tracy was big enough so that his feet could reach the brake and gas pedals. Be prepared for nothing but good times here, as we see how the resentment Tracy has towards his dad in his previous “Criminal” stories is formed here. As this is a 64-page one-shot, and the previous one-off was 48 pages, both of them together sound like enough pages for a new volume! Or, I could just go out and get them both in April.
Chew: Demon Chicken Poyo #1: Come on! You didn’t think that a little thing like being sent to Hell was going to keep the most badass cyborg chicken in history from getting a third one-shot all to himself? Still, I wonder how creators John Layman and Rob Guillory are going to top the scene of Satan and his demons running away in fear after Poyo’s appearance on the scene in the regular series. What is there left to say after that?
Think Tank: Creative Destruction #1: Now an ongoing series according to the solicitation text, and one which starts off with the destruction of the U.S.’s technological infrastructure and protagonist David Loren working to make “Iron Man” suits a reality. One of the things I liked about the original series was that Matt Hawkins always made clear in the backmatter to each volume that even the craziest bits of military tech he brought up still had some basis in DARPA fact. This time… I don’t know what it says about me that I feel the destruction of our “technological infrastructure” sounds less plausible than creating “Iron Man” suits. But I’m sure Hawkins has an explanation for that too.
The Walking Dead Coloring Book: Believe it or not, coloring books for certain titles are a thing now. There are a couple of issues of “Deadpool” designed for this and a “Spawn” one is also solicited here. I’m kind of mystified as to who the audience for these things would be aside from aspiring colorists, but if we get the next Dave Stewart or Jordie Bellaire out of this then bring ‘em on!
The Covenant vol. 1: Siege: An alternate title, “Rob Liefeld’s Bible Stories!” This first volume features the battle for the Ark of the Covenant against the Philistines! You should already know by know if this is the kind of story you want in your library!
The Goddamned vol. 1: Meanwhile, Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera serve up the first volume of their “biblical life before the Flood” series. The short version: It kind of sucked. I have no idea what this is going to be about beyond showing us a world that God felt the need to destroy by sending a flood. Still, it’s from the team who gave us “Scalped,” so I am definitely onboard with seeing whether or not it’s going to be any good sight unseen.
We Stand on Guard & Airboy Deluxe HCs: Here are a couple titles that I was looking forward to reading, but now have to decide whether or not I want to read them in hardcover or wait for a paperback edition. The former would appear to have the better chance of being bought when it comes out as it’s longer and comes from Brian K. Vaughan. That said, the buzz for it wasn’t sustained after it launched in July. “Airboy,” on the other hand, is a lacerating bit of self-parody from writer James Robinson that got him in big trouble after some bits from the first issue were criticized as trans-phobic. Even if it is shorter, I’m actually more inclined to pick this up because it’s so out-of-character considering Robinson’s output over the years. Expect to read reviews of both titles at some point. If not in April, then sometime further down the line.
Black Science vol. 4: Soooooooo… anybody want to start taking bets on whether or not this will be the volume where Grant McKay and his cohorts actually have something good happen to them or make a positive difference in their trip to the Eververse? Anyone?