It would have been ideal for me to do this column last week when the big “Saga”/Comixology/Apple controversy was going. In case you missed it, people were up in arms over Apple apparently banning “Saga” #12 from sale on iOS due to a miniscule amount of gay sex (really, finding it was like playing “Where’s Waldo?” at first) when in actuality it was Comixology who didn’t submit the issue for their review in the first place. So Comixology winds up looking very foolish, Apple gets a pass and more titles like Joe Casey’s “Sex” and “The Boys: Herogasm” wind up being sold on the platform, and “Saga” will likely see a nice little bump in sales due to all of the controversy around it. Now that things have died down, it would appear that people have either come out ahead or learned a valuable lesson from all this. Apparently, a little controversy did help here.
Satellite Sam #1: New (ongoing?) series from Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin. It’s about a the star of a kids TV series who winds up dead in a flophouse while his son is left to pick up the pieces of his life and possible murder. The catch? It’s set in 1951, so expect lots of “L.A. Confidential”-style “seedy underbelly of the good ‘ol days” shenanigans here. I’m certainly interested.
Cyber Force #6: In which we find out just how many readers will pay for something that was previously given away for free. My guess is: not many.
39 Minutes vol. 1 HC: It’s not from anyone I’m familiar with, but the concept is intriguing. There was this movie called “Quick Change” that came out back in 1990 that starred Bill Murray (who co-directed), Geena Davis, and Randy Quaid as bank robbers who had a great plan for getting away with robbing a bank. The problem was getting out of New York. Here, though, we have a criminal (maybe a group) who are also faced with exfiltrating themselves from a bank they’ve robbed. Their solution: kill everyone in town. It’s... certainly a novel solution, but I have my doubts as to whether or not it’ll work. Part of me is curious just to see how far they take that premise, unless it turns out to be an utter lie which will be understandable but disappointing.
The Activity vol. 3: I picked up the first volume of this series at WonderCon and while it wasn’t exactly disappointing, it did leave me cold. It’s about an elite U.S.-backed black ops squad dedicated to fixing problems created by other agencies. While the stories told about the group were interesting with their attention to detail, it felt torn between the need to be all-business and to actually entertain the reader in the process. I’m not sure if it’s something I would recommend, but I may pick up vol. 2 if I see it in the half-off bins at Comic-Con just to see if things start to click.
Invincible vol. 18: The Death of Everyone: [Insert joke here about what a great sitcom “The Death of Everyone” was and how it was cancelled far too soon.] The “shocking death” of issue #100 hasn’t been spoiled yet, surprisingly. We’ll see if that will hold until July. I’m still betting it’s Mark’s mom who bites the bullet.
The Manhattan Projects vol. 3 & The Manhattan Projects #16: At first I was wondering why we were getting vol. 3 so soon after vol. 2 (which is in comic shops now and will be in my hands next week) until I looked at the issue being solicited here. Issue #16 is listed as part two of a story called “Finite Oppenheimers,” which means that part one will be collected in the new trade paperback. It’s a canny bit of marketing on the part of Jonathan Hickman or someone at Image to plan things in a way that tempts trade waiters like me into picking up the monthly issues in addition to the collected editions. That said, I have my doubts that it will work...
Skullkickers vol. 4: Eighty Eyes on an Evil Island: Speaking of collections that end on a cliffhanger, we’ll finally find out what happened to the Dwarf after he was separated from the Big Guy and the Assassin at the end of the previous volume. Of course, this is also the volume that collects the five issues of industry piss-taking where they issued new #1’s in the form of “Uncanny,” “Savage,” “Mighty,” “All-New Secret,” and “Dark Dark.” I heard that sales were up with each issue. Part of me is a little depressed that this stunt worked, but if it gets us a new volume after this one then they can keep doing it forever for all I care!