So the word on the street this week is that the latest issue of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s “Sex Criminals” is worth picking up now as opposed to waiting for the trade. The short version is that the two were planning on doing a “musical” sequence in this issue set to “Fat Bottom Girls” by “Queen.” Appropriateness of the song notwithstanding, they couldn’t get the rights sorted out in time so they improvised in as clever a manner as you’d expect from Fraction. Did it convince me to pick it up? No, but I’m still planning on buying the trade when it comes out.
Pun. Not. Intended.
The Fuse #1: “Wasteland’s” Antony Johnston teams with newcomer Justin Greenwood for a series about a homicide cop who works on an orbital platform 22,000 miles above the Earth crammed with half a million people. “Homicide” meets “Battle Angel Alita?” I’m game. It’s certainly a unique setting and Johnston has already shown that he knows a thing or two about proper worldbuilding with “Wasteland.” This certainly has promise.
The Revenger #1: Jonathan Ross is best known as a talk-show host in Britain though he has been delivering some diverse comics over the years. “Turf” was about a gang war between mobsters and vampires in the prohibition era while “America’s Got Powers” was a superhero story filtered through the lens of a reality show. This one involves a washed-up movie star who hits it big again, only to have it all taken away. Starting with his face, apparently. Though the setup doesn’t sound all that original, it does have art from Ian Churchill -- hopefully channelling his more detailed style from the late 90’s/early 00’s. If anything this serves as another reminder for me to check out Ross’ other works. The main obstacles to that being “Turf” exists in an overpriced $40 hardcover and “AGP” hasn’t arrived in a collected format yet. So there’s that.
Apocalypse Al #1 (of 4): Because writing “Ten Grand,” “Sidekick,” “Protectors Inc.” and a “Twilight Zone” comic wasn’t enough, J. Michael Straczynski gives us a miniseries about a female private eye trying to prevent the end of the world. While his recent prolificacy is certainly impressive, I’m still waiting to read most of this in trade paperback form. As his DC work left a lot to be desired, I’m still holding out hope that the man who gave us “Midnight Nation” hasn’t lost his touch when it comes to creator-owned work.
The Mercenary Sea #1: A crew of expats, mercenaries and treasure hunters onboard a refitted German U-boat go looking for adventure and a good time in the South Seas circa 1939. It’s a formula that worked well for “Black Lagoon” so I’m intrigued to see what the creators do with it here. Writer Kel Symons and artist Matthew Reynolds are unknown to me, so I’m hoping to be pleasantly surprised by what I find here.
East of West vol. 2: We Are All One: Oh hell yes! The first volume was awesome and I’m hoping to see Hickman and Dragotta continuing the magic here. Nothing more, nothing less.
Invincible vol. 19: Angstrom Levy is back. The last time he showed up resulted in the memorable “crossover in a single issue” where the entire Image Universe teamed up to beat the evil Invincibles from alternate worlds. The cover indicates we’ll be getting some more of that action as well as following up on the revelation of Nolan’s new status as Viltrumite royalty. However, what I’m most looking forward to seeing in this volume is some kind of follow-up on what happened with substitute “Invincible” Zandale Randolph, his wife Carla and the… encounter they had with his parents. That was certainly a disturbing moment and subsequent sequence in the last volume and I’m dying to see how these two deal with what they did. Given how these things usually end in “Invincible,” expect lots of blood and broken bones.
Prophet vol. 3: Empire: Am I glad that we’re getting vol. 3 a lot sooner than we got vol. 2? Yes. Yes I am. Let’s keep up this pace for vol. 4 and the series finale.
Revival vol. 3: A Faraway Place: I never got around to writing about it, but the second volume of this title was an improvement on the first. Not only did writer Tim Seeley deliver some interesting subplots and dig further into the unique qualities of a town where the dead return to life, he made me happy too. It turns out that my favorite character from the first volume, the demonologist/exorcist/mechanic, survived his snowrider accident and is part of the actual living. I’ll look forward to seeing how his recovery is coming along in this volume as well.
Sidekick vol. 1: Straczynski’s tale of a superhero sidekick’s downward spiral gets its first volume. As I said about the first issue, there’s a tricky balance to be found here between making the character be hateable enough to deserve everything that’s done to him, but sympathetic enough that we’ll want to keep following him on his downward spiral. Prolonging the train wreck as much as humanly possible in other words. Of course, even train wrecks would likely become boring if they’re dragged out long enough. We’ll see if that’s what happens here.
Great Pacific #13: In which the existence of extraterrestrial life is teased. When I reviewed the first volume, I expressed my hope that the title would be dealing more with the real-world concerns and logistics of staking a claim to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The solicitation text here does not inspire confidence. I can only hope that this is misdirection on the part of writer Joe Harris, because unless he has a really good angle on this, it seems like a desperate grab for attention.
Satellite Sam #6: Volume two? I know that the series was pitched around the murder of the star of a sci-fi TV show in the 50’s, so did they solve it in volume one? This never struck me as a series that would work on an ongoing basis, so I’m kinda curious to see what Fraction and Howard Chaykin have planned here. I’ll have to get vol. 1 when it comes out first, though.
The Walking Dead #122: From the solicitation text, “Negan has a plan.” Because he’s one of the cleverest monkeys.