I mentioned Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Luca’s “Shutter” for possibly the first time in these solicitations a few months back. That’s because the final arc for their series was being hyped by advertising that the collection of the final issues wouldn’t be arriving for quite some time afterward. No word on if that has boosted sales yet, but they’ve got a more comics-traditional stunt in the offing for the title’s 25th issue. That would be a crossover with other famous Image (superhero) characters including Invincible, Witchblade, Savage Dragon, Glory, and more as everyone sits down for a brunch. Considering how most of the characters noted in the solicitations are veterans of the over the top, all-ACTION, all-CAPS, ALL THE TIME antics of the 90’s the idea of all of them sitting down for a brunch sounds appealingly against the grain. One more reason for people to pick this series up as it’s coming out, and for me to get on board with it at the beginning.
Motor Crush #1: Congratulations Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr! You’re coming off a very successful and influential run on “Batgirl.” What’re you going to do for an encore? Why head on over to Image and launch a new creator-owned series, of course. It’s part futuristic racing spectacle and part motorcycle vigilante by night series. Aside from the fact that the title refers to an engine-boosting substance, there’s really not much insight offered into the world of the series or its mythology. So “Motor Crush” is effectively trading on whatever goodwill you have for this specific creative team. Which is quite a bit in my book.
East of West #30: Kicking off the final year of the Apocalypse. Hickman and Dragotta originally said that the series was set to run for around 45 issues, so they’re on target to wrap up as planned. Which is good to know as the series has been thoroughly entertaining up to this point.
A.D.: After Death Book 2 (of 3): Oh, so this is scheduled to come out on a monthly basis? If this is how Snyder and Lemire wanted to deliver this, then I guess that’s why it took so long for it to come out. I appreciate their discipline there. Now if only Snyder can apply that to “American Vampire”... Ah, who am I kidding. We’re NEVER going to get the third cycle of that series (he said in the hopes of being proved wrong sooner rather than later).
Monstress #9: Most adorable cover of the year? I think so.
The Walking Dead #161: Part five of “The Whisperer War.” I got the latest volume last week and… Wow, it was really goddamned incredible in the way that it completely upended my expectations by the end of it. The volume also gave the impression that the “pairing” seen in the covers for this arc may just be a clever bit of misdirection. You know, given what happens to Alpha and what we learn about Negan’s true allegiance there. Which is good, because I’d be worried about what kind of violence Maggie would visit upon Eugene if given enough reason to as this cover implies.
Black Science vol. 5: True Atonement: This series turned a corner in its previous volume as eternally suffering protagonist Grant McKay finally stopped screwing around and made an effort to be a better person. Here’s hoping he’ll continue to reap the dividends of his new perspective on life as he heads off to a new corner of the Eververse to get the rest of his family back. In case anyone was worried that this series was going to become too upbeat, this volume also promises the dimensionauts return home to their Earth and the revelation of the damage that the Pillar has wrought all through creation. Between these developments and Grant’s new outlook on life, maybe Rick Remender has finally found the right balance of light/dark for this title.
I Hate Fairyland vol. 2: Fluff My Life: Vol. 1 was a triumph of art over storytelling. Skottie Young’s astonishingly demented and violent take on traditionally cute and family-friendly fantasy tropes was a genuine feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, its story only worked if you didn’t think about the broader implications of the effect being stuck in such a fantasy world would have on its 33-year-old-in-a-six-year-old’s-body protagonist. That volume ended with Gert finding her fate even more inextricably tied to Fairyland, and that will no doubt result in some more great art. As for the story… If I could keep myself from thinking about how horrible Gert’s situation really is for the first five issues, I’m sure I can pull it off for that length again.
Invincible vol. 23: Full House: Only two more volumes (and old sitcom titles) to go! Also, for the first time since vol. 1, co-creator Corey Walker returns to provide the art for an entire volume. That’s cool and all, but the real attraction here will be seeing how Mark Grayson adjusts to being away from his friends, family, and enemies for a full four years. I’m sure Kirkman has some great ideas as to the changes this development has wrought on “Invincible’s” status quo. However, with the announcement that the series will be wrapping up next year, it’s hard not to look at this and see it as the beginning of the end. So get ready, folks, it’s going to be brutal from here on out!
Manifest Destiny vol. 4: Sasquatch: Lewis & Clark vs. Bigfoot. ‘Nuff said, right? Well, that’s not all the story we’re getting here. I seem to recall the solicitations for the issues collected here mentioning the exploits of the explorers who came before our protagonists and their crew. Given all that we’ve seen so far in this series, it’s not surprising they were never heard from again. But was it the title creature that did them in, or something worse? Or, are they even dead? Maybe they’re mutant vampire cannibals by now. After what I’ve seen in this series so far, I believe that to be a legitimate possibility.
Rumble vol. 3: Immortal Coil: In which we see Bobby deal with his mother’s emergence from her coma, and Rathraq with finding out that a demon has possessed his original body. It’s going to be weird, but John Arcudi and James Harren have shown themselves to be quite good in making stuff like that appealing in this series. Assuming you’re willing to put in the effort, that is. Anyway, this volume is advertised as clocking in at 160 pages for the five issues collected here. That’s… quite a lot, and it has me thinking that the creators realized the sales for the single issues weren’t going to sustain the story any longer. So they decided to wrap it up here. I could be wrong. After seeing the sales for the issues from vol. 2, I was honestly shocked that this third volume is even seeing the light of day.