Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews September 2016: “More Old Than New”


If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog 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 are typically about three months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in December.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!


Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 11 – Dark Horse (Front Cover, 44-45)

Aside from season 8 I(and the first “season” of Angel and Faith) I haven’t been entirely happy with what Dark Horse has done with Buffy. But I feel I need to mention this cover because it’s one of my all-time favorite franchises and it would be weird if the guy with the Buffy tattoos didn’t acknowledge it being on the front cover of Previews.

Christos Gage is awesome and so is Rebekah Isaacs. I want to want this book. But I don’t. I feel like season 9 got so far afield of what Buffy is about and I didn’t care for much of what I heard about season 10. Heck, even the eighth season – which I mostly enjoyed – got a little too wacky.

(I did chuckle at “STAKES ARE RAISED”)

Mother Panic - DC (Back Cover, 78)

They had me at “Art by Tommy Lee Edwards”. It doesn’t hurt that the book takes place in Gotham City, my favorite corner of the various comic book universes. I’m not familiar with the writer, Jody Houser, but the whole point of the Young Animal initiative is to bring new and exciting talent to DC. Granted, Edwards doesn’t fit the “new” descriptor, but I think it’s smart to bolster that new talent with established and credible names.

Battlestar Galactica: Gods & Monsters – Dynamite (4, 328-329)

That is a compelling image. A Cylon, clearly in distress, at the mercy of some unknown robotic entity. I love the Battlestar reboot, including the ending. I don’t know that I’m in for a comic book, but that is a great image to drum up interest.

Halloween Comic Fest 2016 (35-39)

How awesome is it that this is a thing? Plenty of publishers are taking part in what is sort of a spookier version of Free Comic Book Day. On October 29th, we can all put on costumes and head out to the Local Comic Shop to grab some nifty free books! Contact your LCS now and urge them to plan an event!

Ether #1 (of 5) – Dark Horse (47-49)

Whatever Matt Kindt is working on always catches my eye, but I don’t think I’ve ever read anything he’s written. Ether is about a rational scientist dealing with a fantasy world of magic, which sounds great to me. I like the art pictured, so I’m very tempted to check this one out. Opinions on Kindt?

Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House of the Night of Dread Desire – Dark Horse (51)

Ludicrously long titles are the best. Neil Gaiman is also the best, so I’m going to have to order this comedic take on Gothic writing.

Super Powers #1 – DC (122)

Awesome all-ages action from Art Baltazar and Franco!

Deadman: Kelley Jones Gallery Edition HC – DC (128-129)

Deadman: Love After Death is the comic book that made me fall in love with both Kelley Jones and Boston Brand. It was one of the earliest titles that changed my outlook on what comic book art could look like and what superhero stories could be about. If I was ever going to buy one of these pricey Gallery Editions, this would be the one. But $125 can buy a whole lot of new material that I don’t already own. This would be a great thing to have on my shelf, but I’d prefer to spend that money on new content.

The Flash by Mark Waid Book One TP – DC (133)

Mark Waid has written some of the best comic books I have ever read. Thanks to the Geoff Johns trades I am really beginning to love the Flash as a comic book character, though I already love Wally thanks to the Justice League cartoons. I have to buy this. It’s a resolicit that I skipped when it was previously offered and have been kicking myself since. Not that trades are hard to get, but I should’ve just ordered it in the first place. I’m correcting that mistake this month.

Suicide Squad Vol. 5: Apokolips Now TP – DC (136)

There are a ton of non-Batman DC comic books from the past that I want to catch up on. Task Force X on Apokolips is DEFINITELY one of them. Sign me up.

Batman Animated Action Figures – DC Collectibles (149)

There are minor issues with all three of these figures that are going to keep me from ordering them. I like the New Adventures redesigns for Catwoman and Riddler, but her green face and his bald head always bothered me. In truth, I like the aesthetics of both more than the original Animated Series versions, but those little details bother me too much.

As for this Batman, the concept of multiple faces and capes with extra weapons is great. But not when I also have to buy the third version of a figure that I already own along with them and the whole thing costs fifty bucks. DCC is getting out of control with their double-dipping and it’s really turning me off of what is otherwise a fantastic line of action figures (except for the hips).

Side Note: I recently removed all of the stands from my DC Animated shelf because they take up so much damned space. Most of the figures are still standing, but a few topple over constantly. It’s very annoying that they don’t have peg holes in their feet so that I can put them on stands with smaller profiles.

Batman/TMNT Adventures #1 - IDW/DC (154-155)

I can’t think of a better follow-up to the excellent Batman/Ninja Turtles comic book miniseries than this. Two generations of top-notch cartoons come together for one of the most exciting comic book projects of the year! And that’s not even their pitch – that’s just how excited I am about this! If only we could get an animated version, too.

M.A.S.K.: Mobile Armored Strike  Kommand #1 – IDW (159)

Dammit. I don’t want to get sucked into another one of IDW’s licensed books only to be disappointed, but MASK is one of those treasured 80s franchises that I want to see updated. I very badly want this to be awesome.

Also, I want to read Revolution. Did any of you guys read it? Is it worth picking up the trades when they come out? I just want to know what’s going on. But I also don’t want to get sucked into this whole shared universe. My wallet can’t take it.

 Violent Love #1 (of 5) - Image (200-201)

While I’m not necessarily interested in the subject matter of two bank robbers falling in love, this art is phenomenal.

Saga Action Figures – McFarlane Toys (238)

As I’ve said almost every month since the book started, Saga is the greatest adult comic book of all time. I have wanted action figures of Alana and Marko (and the rest of the cast) since the first issue. But these figures from McFarlane are, unfortunately, deeply flawed. That’s my personal opinion and taste. The 5” scale is lame, the price point is too high, and Alana has some joints that are downright fugly. Add in McFarlane’s reputation for releasing fragile figures and I can’t justify buying these, which is a damn shame.

Avengers #1 - Marvel (Cover, M2-3)

Oh, DAMMIT.

Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in! I don’t even care about the current Avengers that much, but the team of Mark Waid(!) and Mike del Mundo(!) would compel me to buy pretty much any title. IDW could put them on a GI Joe: Lifeline limited series and I’d buy it.

Odin the Destroyer Action Figure – Diamond Select Toys (M101)

I love these oversized Marvel Select action figures. The prices are reasonable and the quality tends to be excellent. This one, in particular, looks amazing. Plus it’s basically two characters in one clever shot.

Daredevil by Mark Waid Omnibus Vol. 1 HC - Marvel (M106)

This series gets my highest recommendation. If I was building a “must-have” comic book collection for someone, this would be in it.

Star Wars: Han Solo TPB - Marvel (M125)

One of the best of Marvel’s Star Wars titles, and that’s really saying something. Marjorie Liu writes Han like few others have – you can hear Harrison Ford’s voice delivering so many of the lines as you read the comics. Additionally, this is a great story that truly feels like not just a Star Wars adventure, but a Han Solo adventure. Excellent stuff.

X-Men: Inferno Crossovers TPB - Marvel (M138)

Inferno is my favorite comic book crossover event of all time, but I have never read most of the non-X-Men titles. I picked up a couple of the Spidey books because I was reading them at the time, but I skipped the rest. I’m excited to check them out.

Batman: Long Halloween T-Shirt - Graphitti (493)

This was offered last year, but was not going to arrive in time for Halloween, which was dumb. It appears that it is currently available, which means that you don’t have to put it on your Previews order form. You can just call your Local Comic Shop right now and order one. It should be in within a couple of weeks. That’s what I’m hoping, anyway.

Ghostbusters Select Action Figures – Diamond Select Toys (507)

Initially there was no doubt in my mind that I was going to buy every single one of these. I truly like the sculpts and designs of the ones I have, but the f***ers don’t stand up. It’s put a major damper on my enthusiasm for the line, especially when you throw in the production issues and missing accessories that plagued the first series.

One:12 Collective Action Figures - Mezco (518)

These two are Previews Exclusives. They look fantastic, as do all One:12 figures. I don’t have any interest in a red and yellow Daredevil, but I think it’s cool that they’re doing one. And while this is clearly a sort of “Ultimate” Punisher figure and I’d love to have the arsenal, I never think of Punisher as wearing a leather trench coat. Not for fifty bucks more, anyway. Again – cool that Mezco is doing this, but not for me.

Unless they want to send me a free one to review.

(they don’t)

Batman Returns Catwoman Quarter Scale Action Figure - NECA (520)

I’d love to have it, but in the grand toy budget scheme of things a movie Catwoman just doesn’t make the cut.

XXRay + DC Comics 4” Vinyl Figures – Mighty Jaxx Intergalactic (524)

How cool are these? They immediately caught my eye, but I assumed they’d be $80. I think $19.99 for such interesting and detailed figures is a solid deal. Yeah, four inches isn’t very big, but for vinyl toys I think that’s not bad.

Death Becomes Her Sixth Scale Statue – Quarantine Studio  (525)

We’re big fans of the Bride in my house and this looks like it might be a very cool statue, but I sure would like to have a decent picture of it. I can’t believe this little rectangle in the corner is all that was devoted to this $220 item.

Deadpool Quarter Scale Action Figure (532)

This fool, on the other hand, might end up on my shelf. If it was the movie version it definitely would. I can’t get over how amazing this figure looks. Of course, the lame abdominal joint on the 1989 Batman still haunts me. I dunno.


Unaffiliated Thoughts

I just bought my family tickets to see Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders on October 10th. It’s another Fathom event in select theaters, like the one-night-only showing of The Killing Joke. The trailer looks great and we’re all excited.



IT’S ALMOST NEW TV TIME!!!!!! In case you haven’t checked yet, here are some premiere dates (just the stuff I care about):

9/14 - American Horror Story
9/19 - Gotham
9/20 - Agents of SHIELD
9/21 - Lethal Weapon
9/23 - The Exorcist
9/23 - Van Helsing
9/24 - Star Wars Rebels
9/25 - Bob's Burgers
9/27 - Channel Zero
9/30 - Luke Cage
10/2 - Ash vs. The Evil Dead
10/2 - Westworld
10/4 - The Flash
10/5 - Arrow
10/10 - Supergirl
10/13 - Legends of Tomorrow
10/21 - Black Mirror
10/22 - Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!

*****

That’s all I’ve got for this month. Start putting your pennies in your Diamond Select figural bank and remember to drop your order form off at your Local Comic Book Shop!

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If you’re here checking out comic book stuff and haven’t visited Needless Things before, thanks for coming by. Our writers post five times a week about toys, movies, music, and all manner of pop culture dorkery. The Needless Things Podcast posts once a week, usually on Friday. 

Our 31 Days of Halloween begins in October! It lasts all month long and everything on the site is thoroughly Halloweeny! 

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