So the biggest news over the past week has unquestionably been the announcements coming out of the Image Comics Expo. Yes, getting Grant Morrison to do his first non-DC creator-owned series with Darick Robertson is indeed exciting news, but that wasn’t the highlight for me. Finding out that Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie would be doing a third volume of “Phonogram” absolutely made my day when news of its existence came out last Wednesday. Gillen and McKelvie went to work for Marvel after the serialization of the second volume sold so abysmally that the latter wouldn’t be able to afford food if they did a third one. I can only imagine that after seeing Jonathan Hickman return to Image with much better sales for “The Red Wing,” the two decided to give it another go with their increased profiles. As for the rest of the announcements, I’ll be picking up Brian Wood and Ming Doyle’s “Mara” because I’ll buy just about anything the latter is involved with and it has an interesting premise. Everything else sounds alright, but we shall see.
Mind the Gap #1: A woman winds up in a coma after a brutal subway attack and the only clues to the identity of her attacker are in her head. It’s an interesting premise for a series and the kind of mass-appeal genre work that comics could use more of. I hope it succeeds if only to prove my suspicion that a series with a title as awful as this is destined to die an early death.
Youngblood #71: The latest in the “Extreme” relaunch, which by all accounts has been a resounding success so far, comes from the writer of “Black Swan” John McLaughlin. [Insert predictable joke about the cast joining a ballet troupe and slowly losing their minds here.] Notably, this is the only one so far to feature creator Rob Liefeld’s direct involvement. I’m not optimistic, but I’ll be happy to be proven wrong.
Foot Soldiers vol. 1: I remember way back in the mid-90’s, when I actually ordered comics through the American Home Entertainment catalog, that this was being hyped as a VERY BIG DEAL! Well over a decade later, it’s clear that it really wasn’t but it was good enough to get writer Jim Kreuger on Alex Ross’ radar and land him the job of co-writing “Earth X,” “Justice,” and more with the famed painter. Now that the series is back in a new edition, I figure I should pick it up and see what the fuss was about. Oh, and it’s about a bunch of kids stepping up to be the next superheroes in a postapocalyptic world.
Haunt vol. 3: This is my completist side showing. After all, it’ll look funny on my bookshelf if I have vol. 4, which begins the Joe Casey/Nathan Fox run, but not this. Anyway, this volume has the Kilgore brothers being chased down by a new foe called The Apparition. Will it make me regret that writer Robert Kirkman left the series to do other things, and artist Greg Capullo went off to DC to draw “Batman?” Doubtful.
The Pro (One-Shot, New Printing): Garth Ennis’ only work for Image (so far) and the only time he has teamed up with artist Amanda Conner. I’d like to see them work together again someday because they really clicked here in this story about a prostitute who gets superpowers. This leads to her encounters with the members of an ersatz Justice League as they try to show her the way to be a “proper” hero. And fail. Miserably. Easily one of the writer’s best potshots at the genre and Conner’s art gives it a sense of fun that elevates the material considerably. Definitely worth picking up if you’ve never read this before.
Supreme #64: Now that the Alan Moore scripts are gone, Erik Larsen will be taking over the series himself. Was anyone really clamoring for “Supreme” stories not written by Moore? And what about Larsen’s own “The Savage Dragon?” Does he really have a Supreme story he wants to tell so bad that he can’t do something similar in a book where he has complete freedom? Larsen has never struck me as a stupid man so I’m guessing there are some legitimate answers to all of these questions even if they’re not readily apparent.