I’m going to break with the format for these things because I want to talk about “Sex.”
Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski have been giving us “Sex” for months now and the time has come for them to give us lots of “Sex” at once. Up until now you had to go down to your comic shop to get “Sex” or find some way to order it online. Not anymore! Come November, you’ll be able to order “Sex” online from any respectable retailer like Amazon and even give lots of “Sex” to your friends as well. It contains eight issues, so this could wind up being the biggest, thickest, bunch of “Sex” that you’ll be able to take all at once. Is it any good? Who cares if it’s good, it’s “Sex” and it’s better to have some of it than none at all.
There are likely dozens, if not hundreds of creators who have thought of creating a series with this title before Casey pulled the trigger on it. You could sell a title like this regardless of its content based on the title alone and the willingness of thousands of arrested adolescents to make cheap jokes about it. That’s because it’s the kind of simple, dirty joke that never gets old and that everyone -- and I mean EVERYONE -- can participate in.
Black Science #1: The first of Rick Remender’s two new series for the publisher. His collaborators here are artist Matteo Scalera and colorist Dean White and the story involves a former member of the Anarchistic Order of Scientists who pierces the veil of reality and sends himself and his team on a tour of the crazed backwaters of creation. It sounds ridiculously over the top, and the cover image has the grandeur of a 70’s prog-rock album cover to match the ambition described in the solicitation text. I’m willing to give it a shot based on Remender’s “Uncanny X-Force” work, but I hope he’s learned a few lessons from “Fear Agent” to keep things from degenerating into a joyless slog.
Umbral #1: From writer Antony Johnston and artist Christopher Mitten, the creators behind “Wasteland”... Wait… they finished that? At least, I should think they did since starting up a new series while your old one is incomplete is a bad, bad move as far as convincing your audience that you’ll be able to finish this title. Wikipedia tells me that the series is still ongoing as of this writing, sooooooo what drove Johnston and Mitten to make this move? Maybe it’s all an elaborate plan to drum up interest for their series? We shall see…
Alex + Ada #1: A boy winds up with the latest in realistic androids, to his chagrin. There’s shades of “Chobits” here in this new series from co-writers Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn, with art by Luna. I can’t say that’s the best comparison to strike, but “Chobits” ultimately didn’t set a very high bar to cross for sci-fi romance. Interestingly, though he’s been at it for years with “Ultra,” “Girls,” (both with his brother Josh) and “The Sword,” I’ve never seen anything from Mr. Luna yet. Given that he’s been doing this for a while now, I think it’s time that I made an effort to fix that.
Protectors Inc. #1: J. Michael Straczynski’s latest for the publisher. It’s set in a world of superpowered individuals with no supervillains, which has apparently led heroes to seek corporate sponsorship for their escapades. This immediately makes me think of the anime series “Tiger & Bunny,” which I’ve heard no end of good things about but haven’t checked out because I’m always too busy playing videogames, reading comics, or writing. Anyway, I’m interested in checking this out because of the goodwill I have towards Straczynski’s creator-owned projects, but we’ll see how that goes after the first collections of “Ten Grand” and “Sidekick” arrive.
The Art of Millarworld HC: If nothing else, Mark Millar has a knack for getting some very talented artists to collaborate with him on his projects. I can also imagine that this book will come off a lot better than anything else he’s been involved with over the past several years because it excises the weakest part of the man’s writing: his dialogue. My interest in these projects has always been fairly minimal, and that’s even before you consider the solicitation text which compares Millarworld to DC in the 40’s and Marvel in the 60’s as a watershed imprint for the 21st century.
Hey Mark. From me to you, if you honestly believe the hype you’re putting out right there: go fuck yourself. Millarworld’s greatest achievement so far is in putting out a comic so terrible in “Kick-Ass” that the movie wound up being the first of its kind in this current cycle of comic book movies to be substantially better than its source material. I’m not going to be able to say that about the “Kick-Ass 2” movie because that would require me to read the comic in the first place.
Morning Glories vol. 6: Demerits: So a year went by from vol. 3 to vol. 4 and now vol. 6 is being solicited before vol. 5 even arrives in stores. That’s… a rather impressive production schedule from Nick Spencer and Joe Eisma. I can only hope that it comes to fruition because this is a series that reads better the less time you spend away from it.
Sex vol. 1: The Summer of Hard: So “Sex” will get you “Hard” as well now too! Alright, I’ll stop, but I am genuinely looking forward to this title based on the good word of mouth it has received so far. (Not a pun! Really!) Title aside, the series focuses on a Batman-type character who decides to stop being a superhero and finds out that he has no idea what to do with his life now. Casey said at Image’s Comic-Con panel that the whole point wasn’t to see when he’d get back in the tights as he wasn’t writing it that way. I like to think he’s telling the truth about that and I’m interested in seeing where that line of thinking goes. This volume also collects eight issues for $10, so it’s a great value for your money too.
Storm Dogs vol. 1: Described as more than “CSI in Space” in the solicitation text, this series features art from Doug Braithwaite who has done some memorable work with Garth Ennis in “Punisher MAX,” and Kieron Gillen in the first arc of “Journey Into Mystery.” I still wish the artist had stuck with Gillen for the entirety of his run, but I guess you can’t have everything. So if I do want to see more of this artist’s work, I’ll have to pick up this David Hine-written title to do that. That sounds like an equitable bargain to me.
Ten Grand vol. 1: Well look at that! The first volume of one of J. Michael Straczynski’s new series for Image. Picking this up is a no-brainer for me if only to see if the man’s time in writing “Superman” stories of dubious quality and participating in the washout that was “Before Watchmen” has heralded a complete disintegration of his talent. I’d like to hope not, but even an artist as good as Ben Templesmith won’t be able to cover something like that up.