It turns out that there really weren’t any hard feelings between J. Michael Straczynski and Ben Templesmith after a communications breakdown and personal issues led the latter to drop out of illustrating “Ten Grand” after issue #4. Templesmith will be providing an alternate cover to issue #10 of Straczynski’s “Protectors, Inc.” So it would seem that the promise of new work from the two may not be as far-fetched as originally thought. Whatever they do will likely be after Templesmith has finished his commitments to “Gotham by Midnight,” however.
Then again, it’ll probably happen sooner than something like this. My opinion is that someone figured it’d be fun to troll Johnston with the information. Surely Morrison has better things to do than to waste his time on a character like that?
ODY-C #1: It’s from Matt Fraction and artist Christian Ward. What the hell is that title supposed to mean. Wait… the main character is called Odyssia and it involves a quest to return home after a long galactic war. OH, I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE MATT! We’ll see if the series itself is as clever as the title when it arrives.
Tooth & Claw #1: This new series from Kurt Busiek and artist Ben Dewey is described as “Conan” meets “Game of Thrones” meets “Kamandi” as it involves a secret conclave of wizards bringing a legendary warrior back through time only for things to immediately go wrong. They were kind of asking for it with that kind of thing. Really. As for the title itself, I don’t need the whole blend of three titles high concept to be interested in this series. All they had to do was put Busiek and “Conan” in the same sentence and I’m there. As good as Tim Truman’s work with the character has been, it was Busiek’s writing that really sold me on the idea that “Conan” comics would be a worthwhile read. His “Born on the Battlefield” remains the high point of Dark Horse’s comics output involving the character. Even if this is going to be a version of “Conan” with the serial numbers filed off, I’m excited enough by the thought to give this a read when the first collection hits.
The Humans #1: It’s about a biker gang. Made up of monkeys. That takes its inspiration from 70’s exploitation movies. This isn’t the strangest premise I’ve ever read. In fact, it actually feels kind of random. Whether or not it turns out to be strangeness for strangeness sake or entertaining on the level of “Chew” is something I’ll be wanting to hear about once it comes out.
Sinergy #1: The title is cheesy as hell -- it refers to the energy generated by sin that interdimensional demons feed off of. Jess, our protagonist, was able to see these demons after her first sexual experience. Coincidentally, her boyfriend is also one of them. This comes to us courtesy of Mike Oeming and Taki Soma, and while “from the co-creator of ‘Powers’” still carries some weight with me, I think I’ll have to check out his “The Victories” series from Dark Horse to see how well he carries on without Bendis. Speaking of which, since Oeming is starting another series it’s starting to look less and less likely that we’ll ever see a new issue of “Powers” before the show starts on the Playstation Network. I could be wrong, but history is on my side.
Savage Dragon #200: I’ve never read an issue of this title, but 200 issues is still an impressive landmark. Here’s where I’d talk about how I’m going to have to get one of the omnibus collections of the early issues to check it out. Problem is that my post-Comic-Con reading pile has been going down very, very, very slowly at the moment. Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll have to continue not reading “Savage Dragon” for the time being.
Prophet: Earth War #1 (of 6): I was wondering when this was going to show up. This is the six-issue miniseries from writers Brandon Graham and Simon Roy that will wrap up the new take on the old Rob Liefeld character that the former kicked off to great acclaim a couple years back. If you’re like me, then you’re anxiously awaiting the fourth volume to find out where things were left off at in advance of this miniseries.
Saga Book One HC: THAT COVER. I don’t think that Vaughan and Staples are out to troll Dave Dorman for his criticism of how “breastfeeding” was featured on the cover to the title’s first issue. But I can just see the artist sitting there and silently fuming once he sees the cover to this three-volume omnibus. Plenty of extras are advertised here, but nothing compelling enough to make me consider re-buying this after picking up the first three volumes. Still, this will likely make a great gift for some of my friends who haven’t read it yet…
The Bounce: Joe Casey’s superhero series had its fans, but not enough of them for the title to survive past twelve issues. Given that his “Sex” has been a kind of anti-superhero book, I wonder if there’s something to be gained by comparing the two since this title was meant to fully embrace the genre. At $20 for 270 pages, I’m inclined to find out. Then again, there could be a very good reason that this only lasted twelve issues. If there is, I will let you know.
Invincible vol. 20: Friends: So after twenty volumes Kirkman has finally moved on to drawing from 90’s sitcoms for titles to these collections. Anyway, the real draw to this volume is going to be issue #111 which was originally billed as “three issue #1’s in one.” What it actually turned out to contain was carnage on a scale that had people comparing it to “Miracleman #15” when Kid Miracleman bent the city of London over and… You can probably see where I’m going with that. This series has been no stranger to ultraviolence, so if Kirkman and artist Ryan Ottley can raise the bar in a meaningful fashion, then I’m all for it.
Lazarus Book One HC: Not to be outdone by “Saga,” apparently. One thing these two hardcovers have in common is that they’re more expensive than buying the single volumes individually. I guess the extras both volumes contain are meant to ameliorate that issue. As for “Lazarus” itself, it’s the less flashy of the two but still a very solid read. I’ll have my thoughts on the second volume up eventually; though, anyone interested can rest assured that it follows up on the first in fine fashion.
The Manhattan Projects vol. 5: The Cold War: Because nothing heralds the holiday season like a group of overly ambitious, morally-challenged scientists about to dive into their versions of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the JFK assassination. Well, nothing except…
Rat Queens vol. 2: The Far-Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth: In which the Queens’ pagan cleric Dee’s god apparently demonstrates that even if she doesn’t believe in him anymore, he certainly believes in her. Given the title of this volume, he sounds like the Cthonic type. Which means tentacles. Which means that we can expect to see lots of phallic symbols sliced and diced repeatedly in this volume. Or I could be completely wrong about this and we won’t!
Ten Grand vol. 2: In which Joe’s quest to find his girlfriend’s soul reaches its conclusion as he journeys into Hell. Looking forward to it.
The Walking Dead vol. 22: A New Beginning: Arriving right in that sweet spot for the middle of the first half of season five of the TV series, holiday shopping, and people like me who are starting to get antsy about wondering what the post-”All Out War” world will look like. All I know is that there’s going to be a jump in time between the previous volume and this one. Most likely to cut out all of the real boring peacetime rebuilding and bonding -- essentially, things going really well for everyone in the book. Then we pick up with their story and things start going to crap again. I’d feel bad for them, if the suffering of Rick and co. wasn’t so entertaining to behold.
The Wicked + The Divine vol. 1: The Faust Act: We now have come full circle with punny titles in this solicitation roundup. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s series about the gods as pop stars gets its first collection. There’s not much more to say than Gillen has yet to write something that has disappointed me, and he’s always at his best when paired up with McKelvie’s incredible art. Can’t wait for this!