The annual Image Expo was held earlier this month and (BIG SURPRISE) a lot of cool-sounding new titles were announced. “The Black Monday Murders” is Jonathan Hickman’s new title with artist Tomm Coker and is based on the idea that all of the major financial institutions that run the world are actually secret schools of magic. Bonus world-building material is promised in each issue which may give me an incentive to pick it up (digitally). Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are back with “Kill or Be Killed,” about a troubled young man who is compelled to go out and kill who he perceives to be bad people. Pitched as a thriller and deconstruction of vigilantism, it also sounds like Brubaker is working out his desire to write “The Punisher” independent of Marvel. Another creative team I’m quite fond of, Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso, are doing their first Image title with “Moonshine.” The title is both a reference to the prohibition-era setting of the story and the fact that it appears to involve werewolves in some fashion. The “Batgirl” creative team of Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr is giving us “Motor Crush,” about a woman who competes in a motorcycle racing league by day and is a skull-cracking vigilante by night.
These are just the titles from the creative teams that I like. Plenty more titles were announced and I’ll be checking them out as word-of-mouth dictates. Hey, for all I know it could be one of those that turns out to be more entertaining than the ones I’ve mentioned here. Except for the Remender/Opena joint I didn’t, that is.
Snotgirl #1: From “Scott Pilgrim” creator Bryan Lee O’Malley, who’s writing it, and newcomer Leslie Whung, who’s drawing it. This is about Lotte Person, a social media star who is either living a life to be envied or a disgusting allergy-ridden mess. A year after this was announced I’m still wondering who would read a title about someone’s allergy-related hang-ups, even if they’re diehard fans of O’Malley. Then again, I’m sure the creator has thought this through and has a solid idea about where to take this. It could be possible that before the end of the year you’ll be reading a review where I’m forced to eat my words. I don’t think it’s likely, but stranger things have happened to me.
Millarworld Annual 2016: On one hand, this is obvious self-promotion for Mark Millar and all of the titles he has created under the “Millarworld” banner. On the other, it’s a chance for new writers and artists to get some exposure and a foot in the door of the industry. So I guess Millar deserves some appreciation for that. It’s not going to make me pick this up, but if it turns out to be the entry point into the industry for my next favorite writer/artist then the endeavor will have justified itself (years from now).
Spawn Kills Everyone!: Pretty much what it says on the cover, which is a good 20 years past its sell-by date. I’ll be very interested in knowing what the sales numbers are for this series since it seems like the kind of thing that only diehard fans of the character would be interested in. Also, while this one-shot tells us that Spawn is going to kill EVERY hero, it’s worth pointing out that he did have his ass handed to him by one of the alternate-universe Mark Graysons in the done-in-one crossover event issue of “Invincible.” Artist Ryan Ottley even published a sketch he did of that Mark grinning while holding Spawn’s bloody chains. A one-shot depicting that battle is one I’d actually be interested in buying.
Cry Havoc vol. 1: Mything in Action: As I recall, the original pitch for this series was “not about a lesbian werewolf going off to war.” Coming from Si Spurrier, the man who gave us the Legion arc of “X-Men: Legacy,” and “Crossed: Wish You Were Here,” this sounded like something I wanted to read. Now that the first collection is out, what this series is about becomes a bit more clear. While what I said above is true, the series looks to focus on its protagonist, Lou, at three stages in her life: When she was attacked on the street by a werewolf. When she went off to fight in Afghanistan with other shape-shifters. When she was captured and became MIA. Now I’m even more interested in checking this series out when this collection arrives.
Bitch Planet vol. 2: President Bitch: The series that makes taking the patriarchy down a notch fun returns for a second volume. I’m not sure how you’d be able to pass it up with a subtitle like that either. Still, if you’re wondering how the president got that nickname, then you’re going to want to read this volume.
Prophet vol. 5: Earth War: Was this series coming apart after a promising start, or did I just need to give it a full re-read after vol. 5 didn’t really thrill me? Expect the answer to that quandry after I get my hands on this final volume of what started out as Brandon Graham and co.’s re-invention of the Rob Liefeld-created character and has now extended into the creator’s whole universe. Even if this does wind up being a bunch of well-intentioned, well-illustrated gibberish, Liefeld deserves credit for letting Graham and co. run completely wild with one of his toys.
Revival vol. 7: Forward: At the end of vol. 6, Officer Dana Cypress’ life had come completely apart as she went on the run with her revival sister Emily. While they’re both still committed to solving the mystery of the revivers, as well as who killed Emily, this time around they’ll have to deal with an… Amish assassin? Uh, if you say so (writer) Tim Seeley. Not that this is a series that has suffered for quirk, but this particular development doesn’t sound like the kind of thing that would fit neatly alongside all of the other strangeness here. At least the promise of Military Governor Cale unleashing her plan for the citizens of Wasau sounds like something I want to read about.
Starve vol. 2: Will chef Gavin Cruikshank’s quest to get back what his his while burning his former show to the ground sentiment and sanctimony? Or will creators Brian Wood and Daniel Zezelj deliver a bitter yet satisfying story of everyone getting exactly what they deserve in satisfyingly creative ways? This is advance-solicited for August, so you’ll just have to wait that much longer to find out!
Sunstone vol. 5: Lisa and Ally’s relationship hit a rough patch (to put it mildly) at the end of the previous volume. While the present-day sequences in the previous volumes make it clear that they eventually get over it, the mystery of how that’s going to happen is likely to drive the story here. Creator Stjepan Sejic has shown a keen understanding of human nature with this series so far, and I’m betting he’ll make his protagonists’ journey back to each other one that feels worthwhile rather than a forced plot point. This volume is also advertised as the end of the series’ “first arc” with the promise of more to come. Hopefully sooner rather than later.