Though the Robert Kirkman/Tony Moore dustup from earlier in the year appears to have been resolved amicably, there appears to have been one minor consequence from what I can see. “The Walking Dead: Cutting-Room Floor HC,” which was originally solicited for May of this year, is now scheduled to arrive next July according to Amazon. Advertised as providing an in-depth look at Kirkman’s plots for the early issues of the series, it’s likely that Moore’s involvement in those early issues scuttled any plans to release it after he initiated the lawsuit. Now that it’s over, we apparently have to wait that much longer. It’s rare to get what I hope is going to be a guided tour of Kirkman’s creative process from the man himself, so I’m prepared to pick this up whenever it arrives. If nothing else, the commentary between him, Ryan Ottley, and company at the back of each volume of “Invincible,” indicates that it should be funny if nothing else. Speaking of which...
Invincible #100: Kirkman’s “other” long-running creator-owned series reaches the hundred-issue milestone. I doubt it’ll get the same fanfare as “The Walking Dead,” but any kind of sustained sales increase would be a nice way to celebrate what has been one of the most consistently entertaining and unpredictable superhero titles on the market. On that note, the death of a major cast member has been teased for this issue with everyone from Omni-Man, Eve, Robot, Bulletproof, and Invincible himself teased as potential victims. While it could be one of them, killing off someone who isn’t mentioned would likely provoke a greater sense of surprise and/or outrage amongst the fans. So my guess is that Invincible’s mom will be killed off in this issue. Though her presence has certainly had a strong influence on Mark’s time and choices as a superhero, her presence isn’t exactly integral to the series and killing her to explore what the title character would be like without that influence. Plus, as Kirkman has shown in “The Walking Dead,” he has no compunctions about killing off family members, or their children. We’ll see how it turns out next year.
The One-Trick Ripoff/Deep Cuts HC: Paul Pope is one of this generation’s best and most distinctive storytellers. Those of you who don’t agree with me are encouraged to check out “Heavy Liquid,” “100%,” or “Batman: Year 100” for proof. He has been busy these last few years with a couple long-gestating projects such as “Battling Boy” and re-mastering some of his older work like “THB” and this, I’m assuming. The title story involves two young gang members in L.A. who are looking to make a clean break from their current life. Said break involves ripping off their gang for the necessary cash. However, the majority of the book will be made up of shorts Pope has done over the years, including the “Supertrouble” manga he did while working at Kodansha in the 90’s. He even chronicled his experiences for Viz’s late, great seinen manga magazine “Pulp” towards the end of its run. This collection sounds like it has a lot to offer, and is easily one of the things I’m most looking forward to in the new year.
Invincible vol. 17: What’s Happening: Because, synergy! Now who wants to bet that the next volume, which will collect issue #100 will be titled “The Death of Everyone” after the current arc or will it continue the traditional naming convention of swiping a title from a 70’s/80’s-era sitcom. I can’t think of any good ones? Anyone else?
Bomb Queen Deluxe Edition vol. 1 HC: Though this series-of-mini-series has been going on for quite some time now, I’ve heard precious little to recommend it. Mainly because any word-of-mouth that reaches me tends to focus on how the well-endowed and scantily clad title character is utterly unlikeable. Also, any series that trades on T&A is going to have to have a really good story to back it up, lest I start to wonder why I’m bothering with it instead of actual porn.
Elephantmen vol. 5: Devilish Functions: This, on the other hand, is one of those titles that doesn’t get a lot of buzz. When it does reach me, however, the buzz is usually good but never quite enough to get me to pick up a volume. As the title is coming to an end soon, I guess now would be a good time to get onboard with vol. 1 (or should I start with vol. “zero”) to see what I’ve been missing.
Mind the Gap #8: I still think this is a terrible title, but now that I’ve got a copy of the first collection you’ll all be able to find out whether or not I think it’s actually any good. Tomorrow