STAFF PICKS :: UNCANNY AVENGERS #1 :: JANUARY 28, 2015

January 22, 2015 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: UNCANNY AVENGERS #1: Another Marvel relaunch destined to inspire endless diatribes of Internet nerdsnark. Nevertheless, I’m excited to see a new iteration of the Avengers’ Unity Squad. Including a historical Avenger like the Vision on the roster only deepens this group’s significance, and throwing in a left field B-lister like Dr. (Brother) Voodoo is super cool (70s genre Marvel is kinda my jam). Also, Rick Remender and Daniel Acuña play well together, so let’s check the cynicism at the door and have a little fun, shall we?

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STAFF PICKS :: AVENGERS & X-MEN AXIS #1 & PUNKS THE COMIC #1 :: OCTOBER 8, 2014

October 07, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICKS: AVENGERS & X-MEN AXIS #1: I wasn’t a big Marvel reader in the Heroes Reborn days, and the subsequent emergence of the villain called Onslaught. But when promotional material started showing up for Marvel’s next big event – Axis – featured that iconic armor with the Red Skull’s head peeking out, I was intrigued. It’s been a while since the Red Skull was such a major threat, and Uncanny Avengers (the series that laid the foundation for Axis) has been one of Marvel’s more consistently entertaining titles. So this is an event I actually look forward to with some anticipation. With Rick Remender, one of my favorite writers, at the helm, I know I can count on a certain level of quality.

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PUNKS THE COMIC #1: Speaking of Mr. Remender, my first exposure to the guy was an interview he did with Dog, a character from Punks, in a special that came out in the mid 2ks. The premise is simple: four roommates, Abe Lincoln, Dog, Skull, and Fist, share a domicile and engage in various shenanigans. It’s absurd and hilarious, and the art style Kody Chamberlain employs, an analogue collage approach, suits the subject matter perfectly. Now, Chamberlain and writer Joshua Hale Fialkov unleash new misadventures of this unlikely foursome via Image Comics, and I urge any fan of quality humor comics to give this one a go. Chuckles guaranteed.

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STAFF PICKS :: LOW #1 :: JULY 30, 2014

July 28, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK:: LOW #1: What I won’t do with this recommendation is to go on and on about why I love Rick Remender’s comics. That’s been done already. What I can do is talk about the concept behind this promising new Image comic. The story is set at the bottom of the ocean, where humanity was forced to go after the sun’s enlargement turned the Earth’s surface into an uninhabitable wasteland. While that alone could offer plenty of interesting stories, the twist is that the remnants of humanity receive notice that one of the probes they sent ages ago to discover more suitable planets finally returned. Unfortunately, it returned to that irradiated nightmare that is the Earth’s surface. With a strong writer and a strong concept, there’s plenty to be excited about in this new series. This time around, however, I’m most interested in seeing the work of artist Greg Tocchini. The multitude of sci-fi and fantasy elements here seem ready-made for his work to flourish in, and the preview pages released strongly reflect that. If you need even more Remender comics this week, don’t forget that his other excellent sci-fi series Black Science also returns this week with issue seven and a new story arc. low1

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STAFF PICKS :: DEADLY CLASS TP VOL. 1 :: JULY 16, 2014

July 11, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: DEADLY CLASS TP VOL. 1:  Rick Remender is a writer who continues to tell entertaining and expansive stories regardless of whether he’s writing creator-owned properties or popular Marvel characters. Continuing their recent trend of affordable debut trade paperback collections, this week you have the opportunity to pick up the first six issues of Remender’s excellent Image title Deadly Class for a mere $9.99.  This series, set in the 1980s, follows a new student at the world’s premiere high school for assassins. It’s wonderfully brought to life by the art of Wesley Craig, who perfectly matches the tone and energy of the writing.  This collection is well worth your attention, and gives you yet another chance to see why so many of us Heroes staffers dig Remender’s impressive body of work. deadlyclass_tp_v1

Bonus Pick: Cap’n Dinosaur One Shot: The latest from the inimitable Shaky Kane is bound to be a fine addition to his fabled catalog of pop culture explosions. Besides the title character, who has one of the great charcter names in recent history, you can likely expect to see an abandoned amusement park, giant insects, monsters, weird killers and/or clowns. If all of those strange entities don’t appear, I’m sure there will be plenty of comparably odd inclusions to entice you.  Shaky Kane is another creator whose work many of us around here love, and hopefully a few of you will give this standalone book a shot. capndinosaur

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1 :: May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: BLACK SCIENCE TP VOL. 1: There are several reasons to pick up this first volume of the acclaimed series Black Science. Firstly, it’s an energetic sci-fi tour de force from Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera. There’s a reason these single issues sold out quickly, and if you missed any of them, here’s the perfect opportunity to see what we’ve all been talking about. Secondly, and of equal importance, this collection is only $9.99! Image Comics has been using this price point for the first volumes of their new series’ trade paperback collections, and it’s a smart publishing initiative. In fact, you could pick up this volume and the first collections of Manifest Destiny and Pretty Deadly for just over $30 plus tax. That’s a lot of good comics for not a lot of money. BlackScience_v1

Bonus Pick: Southern Bastards #2: This is yet another sold out Image series, and my favorite new title of the year. Jason Aaron and Jason Latour’s southern crime story employs finely tuned writing and meticulous art to brilliant effect. Their cinematic use of tension and release remind us of how comics can still be used to tell unique stories in unique ways.

Bonus Pick #2: Devil Dinosaur by Jack Kirby TP: This is not the King’s greatest comic work, no, not by a long shot. But it is a series where he draws all kinds of dinosaurs and monsters, and that’s enough for me. Plus, this is the first time the whole series is available in a single trade paperback.

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STAFF PICKS :: APRIL 23, 2014

April 21, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: Some weeks, doing a staff pick can be pretty tough. I mean, I know there are homeless and starving people in the world, but do THEY have to sift a SINGLE comic book – out of hundreds – to highlight on a weekly basis? NO. Clearly, my plight is underrated. Taking a cue from our man Phil, I’m just going to babble about a few things that’ve struck my fancy of late. We’ll call this the Southern Variation, since that’s an appropriately nerdy in-joke one out of ten of you will understand.

First of all, Uncanny Avengers. This is my favorite Marvel comic going right now (but it better watch its back, She-Hulk’s creeping up fast). Rick Remender packs more into a single issue than most writers manage to squeeze into a trade paperback. The pacing can be pretty glacial, and he wanders off on a lot of tangents, but man, are they good tangents. Remender is one of those guys that really understands the synthesis of plot and characterization, and how crucial that alchemy is to comics. Too many of his contemporaries seem to sacrifice one for the other, and it makes for some pretty boring and/or predictable comics. Of course, having Daniel Acuña illustrate your scripts is never collateral damage, and this guy’s stuff just gets better and better. I liken his artistic development to whittling: the more he shaves off, the more beauty is revealed. Uncanny Avengers #16 is part two of a big denouement for the series – Avenge the Earth – and even though the involvement of Kang makes any incident inherently undoable, it’s about the trip, not the destination.

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If you’d like to take a different trip, why not visit the fantastical land featured in Chris Roberson and Paul Maybury’s new Image sword and sorcery series, Sovereign? Issue two is out this week; #1 teased just enough to really whet the imagination.  Understandably, it concerned itself more with exposition and conceptualizing, but hinted at broad enough conflicts to fuel this title for some time. The focus is split between a few different classes: religious, royal, and warrior, and an underlying sense of dread informs the whole issue. This is an obvious choice for fans of Saga or Game of Thrones, and the art! Paul Maybury is consistently overlooked as a reliable and deft storyteller. The guy deserves more eyes on his stuff. Provide a pair, won’t you?

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Lastly, my generation will not permit the publication of a Simpsons one-shot without at least a passing remark. After the likes of Mr. Burns, Professor Frink, and even Lisa Simpson have proven to be shining solo stars, who could warrant the treatment next? Moe Szyslak? Bumblebee Man? The Captial City Goofball? Close, but no cigar! It’s the one, the only…DUFFMAN! That’s right, Springfield’s resident swill shill is ready for Spring Break with an issue of his very own comics magazine! What shenanigans may ensue are anyone’s guess, but here’s hoping the Seven Duffs show up (“Surly only looks after one guy: Surly.”). I suppose for this particular issue, we’ll have to move back to the former genre rack residency…but then again, what 80s kid didn’t adore Spuds MacKenzie? Alas, those were different, heady times.

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Welp, that’s the top of the heap for me this week. Good night, and good luck. See you in the funnypages. Etc.

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STAFF PICKS :: DEADLY CLASS #1 :: JANUARY 22, 2014

January 17, 2014 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_smlSETH’S PICK :: DEADLY CLASS #1: You’ve undoubtedly heard one or more Heroes staffers extolling the recent virtues of writer Rick Remender.  With quality work on titles like Captain America, Uncanny Avengers, and Black Science, Remender is approaching that sought after balance between writing big mainstream super hero comics and critically acclaimed creator-owned titles.  This week Remender returns with yet another new creator owned series for Image: Deadly Class.  Produced in collaboration with artist Wesley Craig, this series set in the ’80s features disaffected high school students who happen to study at a school for world class assassins.  It’s all the angst of high school combined with the frenetic energy of an action movie.  With yet another promising new series (Low) coming from Image later this year, Remender continues to reiterate his place among the comic writing elite. deadlyclass

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STAFF PICKS :: TMNT UTROM EMPIRE #1 :: JANUARY 22, 2014

January 16, 2014 By: Justin Crouse Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

staff_picksjustin_staff_picksJUSTIN’S PICK :: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES UTROM EMPIRE #1: I’m a Turtles guy, and this three issue miniseries fleshes out the plans of warlord Krang and his assistant Baxter Stockman to complete their Technodrome and devastate the Earth. There are enough reference points in that sentence to perk the ears of any Turtles fan, but the real, true reason I’m blathering about this comic book can be boiled down to a single name: Andy Kuhn. This guy is one of the most criminally underrated artists working today. His clean, high contrast style adapts incredibly well to anything he chooses to work on (see his creator-owned Firebreather with Phil Hester, or issue #33 of Secret Avengers he did with Rick Remender to see what I mean). Any time Andy lays pen-to-paper, I’m there; that he’s back on the Turtles only sweetens the deal.

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STAFF PICKS :: BLACK SCIENCE #1 :: NOVEMBER 27, 2013

November 25, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

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seth_staff_picksSETH’S PICK :: BLACK SCIENCE #1:  If you missed Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera’s run on Secret Avengers, you should treat yourself go back and read it.  It was full of imaginative comic craft, and  felt unique among the other Marvel comic it stood beside.  As memorable as that run was, I wondered what kind of comic these guys would create if they had complete control over it.  That question is finally answered this week in the form of their new series Black Science.  Conceptually, it’s a sprawling science fiction epic featuring rogue anarchist scientists who break the barriers of reality and find themselves amid an endless amount of alien worlds.  This is the kind of big concept Remender seems to relish, but is made all the more interesting by the bombastic art of Scalera.  It’s been a while since there was so much early buzz surrounding a new creator owned sci fi series.  This book seems primed to not only live up to its hype, but very likely surpass it. blacksci

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LOOKING AHEAD :: NOVEMBER PREVIEWS

September 18, 2013 By: Seth Peagler Category: DISCUSS, Looking Ahead

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seth_smlSeth Peagler (SP): It’s been a few months since we featured our “Looking Ahead” column.  Between HeroesCon, warehouse sales, and traveling to other cons, we’ve all had our hands full.  It’s back now, though, and this time a Heroes married couple will be perusing Previews for your benefit.  Orders are due very soon, so make sure to get yours in this week!  With that, Heather, where do you think we should start?

heather_smlHeather Peagler (HP): Instead of just calling this “Looking Ahead” this month, I think we should call it “Looking Ahead to Heather’s Birthday.”  Clearly Marvel and DC knew that I had a birthday in November since they are choosing that month to give me an awesome Nightcrawler return and a Harley Quinn that feels like old times.  There’s so much fun stuff to choose from!  Just consider all my picks to be a nice birthday list and everyone get to shopping!

SP: We all know that comic characters never stay dead.  It’s probably no surprise that Marvel is bringing Nightcrawler back now.  This resurrection in particular looks promising.

HP: BAMF! BAMF! BAMF! the appearance of a familiar blue visage at the end of Wolverine and the X-Men could only lead to the awesomeness of a pirate Nightcrawler.  Jason Aaron should get a huge cookie basket from Marvel for making X-Men so very amazing.  Speaking of being amazing, make sure Amazing X-Men #1 by Aaron and artist Ed McGuinness is on your pull list for November!

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SP: Aaron and McGuinness are a perfect fit to herald Nightcrawler back from the beyond.  I’m excited for this as well, but am equally excited that Marvel is collecting the earliest of Captain America’s Golden Age adventures into an omnibus. It’s Joe Simon and Jack Kirby pitting Cap and Bucky against Hitler and the Nazis!  You all know how nearly impossible it is to dig up single issues or reprints of these books, so this is an opportune way to finally get these stories if you’re interested in a nice slice of comics history. Along with Golden Age Cap, Marvel is finally bringing their Silver Age Ant-Man stories back into print, via a brand new trade paperback in the Masterworks series.  This collection has long been out of print, so here’s your chance to brush up on Ant-Man knowledge before the upcoming Marvel film adaptation.

HP: Speaking of issues that are hard to find, Marvel must have gotten my subliminal messages about Chris Giarusso’s Mini Marvels as they have assembled a complete collection for my reading pleasure! It even includes a complete run of Mini Marvel comic strips! This is a great collection for kids and adults alike.  Marvel also has a collection that’s the opposite of kid-friendly coming soon with volume 1 hardcover is the latest Deadpool series.  The first twelve issues of this hilarious series by writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn are collected within.

SP: Another new Marvel collection I’m looking forward to is the Avengers: The Enemy Within TP by Kelly Sue DeConnick.  I’ve enjoyed her take on Captain Marvel, and this collection should please all members of the Carol Corps, official and honorary.

HP: Perhaps it is Halloween coming that has me in the spirit for reading the new ongoing series of Ghost by the writing team Kelly Sue DeConnick and Chris Sebela and interiors by Ryan Sook! I really enjoyed the last mini-series and am looking forward to reading more.

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SP:  Along with Ghost, we can’t ignore Dark Horse’s newest horrorific Black Beetle series.  Black Beetle: Necrologue #2 continues the pulpy goodness wrought by Francesco Francavilla, the busiest artist in comics, and features more horror elements than the last mini series.  And though it isn’t overtly a horror title, there’s plenty of gruesome genius on display in Geof Darrow‘s Shaolin Cowboy #2.  I’m thrilled that Darrow found time to bring Shaolin Cowboy back to the masses, and this series’ inclusion of zombies makes it a perfect accompaniment to Dark Horse’s other ghoulish November titles.

HP:  Over at DC there’s Harley Quinn! I absolutely adore Harley Quinn, or the early version of her anyway.  I yearn for the days of Mad Love Harley and do so miss her looniness.  I have great hope for Harley Quinn #0 to return to old school Harley and give readers back that cute and quirky homicidal maniac missing from the current pages of DC.  The creative team lends itself to the fun of Harley with artists like Darwyn Cooke, Walter Simonson and Art Baltazar all contributing.  If you share my love of Harley be sure to check out all the new t-shirt offerings on page 421 of Previews! I want at least three of them!

SP: Trust me, folks, she’s not kidding about wanting that many Harley shirts.  I think fans of all ages DC stories should enjoy the new Scooby Doo Team Up series.  Issue #1 features Batman and Robin, so if you have a young reader in the house, or are yourself a young-at-heart reader, don’t forget this one.

HP: That Scooby Doo Team Up series reminds me of the old cartoon when everyone from the Harlem Globetrotters to Sonny and Cher to Jonathan Winters would show up and take part in the hi-jinx! If it wasn’t for those meddling kids!! Speaking of kids, is it ever too early for love to be in the air? Especially when that love is expressed as A Very Vader Valentine’s Day? With art by Katie Cook, the adorable book with 36 valentine card is sure to be loved by both the kids and Star Wars fans in your life.

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SP: November definitely looks to be an especially kid-friendly publishing month.  Along with the new Scooby Doo title, there are debut issues of Ben 10 and Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and a new stand alone graphic novel in Adventure Time vol. 2: Pixel Princesses.

But if I was forced to pick a book of the month, I’d have to go with Image’s Black Science #1.  Not only does it mark Rick Remender‘s return to Image, but re-teams him with talented collaborator Matteo Scalera.  You can ascertain that the series focuses on dark science fiction, but I have a feeling this is going to be not only a big seller, but a critically acclaimed book.  That means that like Saga, the first several issues of this series might move quickly.  Get in on the ground floor with the first issue in November.  Remember to let Justin ([email protected]) or any of the store staff know what you’d like from Previews, and we’ll make sure you get your books!

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