Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews November 2014: Trimming the Fat

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalogue that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for. It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but typically about two months away. Or sometimes never. I’ve ordered lots of things that have just never come in. Without getting into the specific politics of Diamond, let me just say that they aren’t quite a monopoly and also aren’t quite the worst distributor anybody has ever dealt with in the history of the universe.

But I’m not here to discuss that. I’m here to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition.

Preface – This one might be different. Shorter, less detailed, more colorful – I dunno. Since this is the stuff that will be coming out in January, I am thinning the herd. I’m going to make a list of the monthly titles that I think I want to continue purchasing, leaving off anything that doesn’t immediately excite me – like Batman and Superman. It’s not bad, but it’s not compelling enough that it goes on top of the stack every month. And I only want to spend my money on top-of-the-stack books.

Once I’ve narrowed the list down I am going to narrow it further. I’m not quite sure yet how much. I’ll figure that out once the list is complete.

Anyway, the point is that I’m trying to limit what I buy, so this month might be slightly lighter. It’s not like I buy everything that I write about in this feature, but I’m sure my frugality will bleed over into my willingness to spotlight items.

Spawn #250 – Image (Front Cover)

Wow. Two hundred and fifty issues of Spawn. I was there for the first fifty or so. No matter what anybody may say about Todd McFarlane (and I don’t know if people say anything – I met the guy once and he was super nice), he revolutionized two industries that I am passionate about – toys and comics. Kudos to him for living his dream like a champ.

Superman – DC (Back Cover)

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying Geoff Johns and John Romita, Jr.’s Superman book. Johns is in “good writer” mode and it’s been some of Romita’s best work. “New Powers!” is a tricky proposition with modern Superman, but so far the creative team has kept me hooked and has earned my trust. I’m excited to see what’s coming after Ulysses.

Wonder Woman - DC (91)

That’s just a kickass image of Wonder Woman.

Batman Animated Series: The Creeper, Robin, Harley Quinn, and Killer Croc with Baby Doll Action Figures - DC (139)

The first figures from this series haven’t even been released and I’m still ordering everything they offer. I just can’t imagine not buying these. They look fantastic, are loaded with accessories, and are from the greatest animated series ever produced. I can’t wait for the first few to arrive. Should be any day now. I’m really looking forward to reviewing them.

Arrow (TV) Action Figures – DC (141)

These, on the other hand, I can resist. They look great and I’d love to have them, but I have to show some restraint. I can’t collect everything.

Batman: Arkham City Clayface Deluxe Action Figure – DC (143)

THIS IS IMPORTANT – PAY ATTENTION!

Yes, we already ordered this figure a few months ago. But for whatever reason it is being resolicited. That means that all previous orders are cancelled. So you have to order him again.

Galaxy Quest: The Journey Continues #1 – IDW (153)

I can’t skip over a comic book tied into one of the greatest sci-fi comedies of all time. I feel obligated to at least mention that this is happening. As much as I’ve been hungry for further adventures with the crew of the Protector, the art shown here leaves me cold. The likenesses are pretty bad and I just don’t care for the style. If I were familiar with the writer I might be compelled to look past all of that, but I can’t do it. I’ll wait for word of mouth on this one.
 
GI Joe #5 – IDW (154)

I tried this based on my love of Karen Traviss’ Star Wars books. She’s telling a very good story, but I simply do not like the world that IDW has created for GI Joe. Every single issue it bothers me that Tomax and Cobra Commander are dead. I don’t even know how many other changes there are, but those two just keep poking at me.

I still hate the covers, though.

Hack/Slash Omnibus Vol. 1 & 2 – Image (205)

This remains one of my favorite horror comics. Now that the first two omnibuses are back in print, I suggest you pick them up if you haven’t already. Later arcs were inconsistent, but these first stories are great. 
 
SEX #19 – Image (225)

I don’t read this, but that cover is just… unsettling.

Star Wars #1 – Marvel (M4-11)

Marvel is terrible at numbering pages.

I have to buy this. I like Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, but this is new Star Wars. Moreover, it’s new Star Wars that is beyond a shadow of a doubt in continuity with all other Star Wars going forward.

Avengers: No More Bullying #1 – Marvel (M21)

WARNING: I am about to express an unpopular opinion. Skip to the next title if you are a sensitive panty-waist.

This is fucking stupid. The whole “war on bullying” is stupid. Bullying will never stop. This whole movement is ridiculous. You might as well try to end jealousy. Teach your kids to be kind when they can and strong when they have to be. That’s all you can do. Teaching kids to run to a teacher when they get beat up is the worst advice you could give outside of “strip naked and hand the bully a knife”.

Let me know when somebody has rounded up all of the shitbags and shot them into space. Then I’ll get on board with the idea that bullying could end. People will never stop creating shitbags. And decent people just can’t keep up with shitbag procreation.
 
Secret Wars – Marvel (All throughout this thing)

Marvel has been releasing titles for all of its big events for next year and they are all things that have already been big events. It seems pretty lame, but they have such an amazing pool of creators that I find it hard to believe these will all be as lame as they seem to be. I don’t plan to dive into any of them, though. I’ll be waiting for word of mouth. Well, unless there’s one that’s written solely by Kieron Gillen.

Hawkeye Omnibus – Marvel (M87)

I’ve been hearing about how great Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye is for quite some time. For some reason it’s really hard to get trade collections at my Local Comic Shop unless I remember to order them when they’re first solicited, so I missed out on this one. Now I can get twenty-two issues, an annual, and a special all in one shot.

Afterlife With Archie – Archie Comic Publications (???)

Where the heck is Afterlife With Archie? The magazine version of #4 is listed, but the regular comic is not. I think it’s doing very well, so hopefully they’re just taking a little time off. I can’t honestly say that Afterlife is better than The Walking Dead, but it’s a very close second for Best Horror Comic. And that’s darn good.

On a side note, Sabrina was great. The first issue was wild and creepy. I’m in.

Grimm Tales of Terror #7 – Zenescope (394)

This is another great horror comic. If you haven’t read my write-up of the first four issues, go check it out.

Dark Knight International T-shirts – Graphitti Designs (424)

I bet these sell like crazy. They look cool and they’re a different kind of Batman.

STOP PUTTING CAPES ON THINGS – EVERYBODY (430)

Seriously. Just stop.

I was in Target the other day. I need new boxers. I don’t like anything but knit boxers, but the only kind you can get now are the licensed ones and those are hard to find in anything close to solid colors. They had Batman ones and Ninja Turtles ones that were fairly normal looking until you turn them around and see stupid capes on the back. Of fucking boxer shorts.

The Ninja Turtles do not even wear capes.

This needs to stop now.

Star Trek Select Lt. Worf Action Figure – Diamond Select Toys (436)

Man, this sculpt is absolutely fantastic, but I am not a fan of the static poses on this line. I know DST has tried everything with the Star Trek lines, so there’s only so much left to do, but this just isn’t my thing.

In related news, now that October and 31 Days of Halloween are all done I can get back to my crazy TNG marathon. As soon as I get caught up on Sons of Anarchy.

Mechagodzilla Vinyl Figural Bank – Diamond Select Toys (437)

This is a toy disguised as a bank. Look at it. Nobody is looking at this thing and seeing a bank. This is a heck of a way around licensing limitations. The freaking head even comes off. This thing looks amazing.

Batman Retro 1966 TV Series Action Figures – Figures, Inc. (445)

I put my Mattel Batman ’66 figures up on eBay, along with the Batmobile. They have a bid right now, so soon they’ll be gone. I am okay with this. Mattel botched that line SO HARD. I wish I had known what Figures (a company I love anyway) was planning with their line. I would’ve gotten them from the start. After all, they only cost TWO DOLLARS MORE than Mattel’s.

He's not pictured here, but Egghead is the one that's really killing me. I want an Egghead.

One:12 Collective: Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Action Figure – Mezco (447)

Ah – here it is.

I saw the black version up for preorder on BigBadToyStore, but that’s not the one I wanted. I wondered where this one was. It’s a Previews Exclusive.

I don’t have any business spending this much on an action figure. But it looks so amazing. And I am a sucker for any kind of new style of action figure or action figure technology. With things like this I always plan to review it and then sell it or trade it if I don’t like it. I can justify things for review purposes. Not that I get anything for free, but it just makes me feel better.

Imaginext DC Superfriends: Hall of Doom – Mattel (448)

I hope this comes out before Christmas because Lil’ Troublemaker is definitely getting one. This is awesome.

But, you know, toy companies can’t make playsets.

Papercraft Figure Kits – MOMOT (450)
If your life isn’t already stressful enough you can spend twenty dollars on a bunch of paper that will never fit together properly.

Closing Thoughts

Once I got done with this issue of Previews, this was the list of titles I wanted to keep getting:

Hellboy & the B.P.R.D: 1952
All Multiversity books
Superman
Batman Eternal
Batman and Robin
Batgirl
Harley Quinn
The Wicked + The Divine
Star Trek/Planet of the Apes
The Walking Dead
Saga
Star Wars
Angela: Asgard’s Assassin
Thor
Rocket Raccoon
Daredevil
Silver Surfer
Magneto
Death of Wolverine books
X-Force
All-New X-Factor
Sabrina
Afterlife With Archie
Annihilator



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