With there being no major title announcements coming out of Comic-Con, I guess all I have to talk about here is Image’s variant theme for October. This time around, it’s tribute covers for “The Walking Dead.” As one of the longest-running and most successful Image titles, I think a stronger argument can be made for this being something the series has earned as opposed to navel-gazing on the part of one of its partners. Smartly, on the part of whoever handles the images associated with these solicitations, none of the announced variants have been revealed yet. So if you want to see what these variants will look like, you’ll have to ask your local comic shop to order them. Or, just wait until Image actually reveals them closer to their release dates, I guess.
The Family Trade #1: Steampunk and alchemy collide on an island city where a hidden family of assassins, thieves, and spies has been running the show for as long as it has been around. At least, until its youngest member manages to spark a civil war on the island and all hell breaks loose. I’d say I’m intrigued by all this, except that the only name I recognize among the creators is co-writer Justin Jordan. He graduated with honors from the school of style over substance and outside of the “Luther Strode” series nothing Jordan has done has really impressed me. Maybe co-writer Nikki Ryan and artist Morgan Breem can add some substance to Jordan’s style. We’ll see.
Maestros #1: In which a millenial from Orlando is actually the banished son of a wizard king from another dimension. When his family in that dimension is wiped out, said millenial finds himself heir to godlike power. I’m sure everything will turn out well for him as having that much power thrust into someone’s hands has never turned out badly for anyone in fiction. This comes to us from Steve Skroce who returned to comics a couple years back illustrating “We Stand on Guard” with Brian K. Vaughan. The story there wasn’t one of Vaughan’s best, but Skroce delivered some amazing visuals. Now Skroce is writing as well as illustrating this series, which means it’ll be worth picking up if the story is on the same level as “We Stand on Guard.”
Atomahawk #0: Collecting the shorts serialized in “Heavy Metal” from writer Donny Cates and artist Ian Bederman. I heard Cates talk this up at Comic-Con and this is basically meant to be the most metal comic ever created. As it’s about the adventures of the mighty Cyberzerker and his trusted Atomhawk, that actually sounds plausible. Being a “zero” issue, there are plans for an ongoing to follow sometime after this is published.
Golgotha: Here’s an intriguing-sounding sci-fi OGN from “Think Tank” and “Postal” writers Matt Hawkins and Bryan Hill. It’s the near future and a group of scientists and military operatives have been sent into space to set up our first colony on another planet on the spaceship Golgotha. However, while the travelers are hibernating technology on Earth continues to advance and newer, better, faster colony ships are subsequently sent out. The end result is that when the Golgotha’s crew arrives and wakes up, they find themselves relics of the future. Even though there’s promise of secrets underneath the planet which will change the course of humanity, I hope that Hawkins and Hill focus on the crewmembers-out-of-time aspect of the story as it sounds more interesting. Art is from Yuki Saeki, who is not known to me, and who I can’t get a feel for because she didn’t provide the cover used in the solicitations.
Plastic: In case anyone has forgotten, this is about the serial killer whose “urges” are calmed by the woman who he met online and who is forced to kill again after she’s kidnapped by a Louisiana billionaire. Said girl is also a plastic sex doll. I originally said that this setup was just the right amount of wrong to get me interested. Five months later, that feeling hasn’t changed at all.
The Black Monday Murders vol. 2: If you think that I have something against the “style over substance” approach given my comments above, well, those were specific to Mr. Jordan’s approach. In the case of Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker’s series about the black magic that props up the financial market, the style was sublime enough that I felt the series could get by on that for a while. Not that it should, which is why I want to see the creators actually give us some more background as to how magic works in this world. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Deadly Class vol. 6: Advance-solicited for November. Well, good things come to those who wait and all that. Still, this should be a particularly tense volume even by this title’s standards. We left off with Saya in a very bad place at the mercy of her yakuza brother and his followers. Can the freshmen she’s been assigned to look after (minus the one traitor) get their act together to save her? Or is it going to take the long-expected return of a couple of Kings Dominion’s most dedicated survivors to pull Saya from the fire? I’m betting on the latter, and for things to get EVEN WORSE for everyone after that.
I Hate Fairyland vol. 3: Good Girl: This is going to be the last volume, right? Based on vol. 2, I don’t think creator Skottie Young can stretch his “awful girl does horrible things to fairytale creatures” series out any further than this. Hell, after how vol. 2 turned out I may be making a huge mistake by picking up vol. 3 when it comes out.
Rat Queens vol. 4: High Fantasies: In case anyone has forgotten, this series fell apart after vol. 3 when current artist Tess Fowler found out that creator Kurtis J. Wiebe was looking to have original artist (and accused perpetrator of domestic violence) Roc Upchurch brought back on the series. As ugly as that business was, it may have been for the best. Vol. 3 ended with the team split up and one of them undergoing a rather uninteresting heel turn. Even though this volume carries on the numbering, it looks to be a clean reboot with a new artist: Owen Gieni. As it has been, “Rat Queens” has always been a series I’ve found to be more amusing in concept than execution. Maybe Wiebe and Gieni will finally get it right with this fresh start.
Seven to Eternity vol. 2: Given the events of the previous volume, shouldn’t this be called “Six to Eternity” now? Oh well. Adam Osidis and his grudging comrades continue their quest to bring the Mud King to the people who can undo his control of the people in his land. I still think this would’ve made for a more interesting series if it had been told from the Mud King’s perspective and witnessed his struggle against his captors, and the growing realization that maybe he had done the wrong thing in his struggle to seize power. Maybe Rick Remender and artists Jerome Opena and James Harren can convince me was the right one after all with this volume.