Scumbags, Criminals and Killjoys: A Look At Previews From August 2020

Aug 23, 2020
Alex Ross variant cover Colossus New Mutants #13

In the days before everything went nuts, and we started to realise how precious a night down the pub with pals actually was, the PCG team were in the habit of spending an evening each month rifling through the most recent issue of the Previews catalogue, plus its DC and Marvel additions, and pulling out the gems that appealed to each of us. We'd follow this up with a piece on the blog in which each of us would write a few words about those things which had us most anticipatory, titled Ten Forward and, later, the Shipping Forecast. And then the world stopped - or at least, comics deliveries and pub-going stopped.

Now that things are back in the swing, at least in terms of comics deliveries, we think it's time to start looking ahead again - we all need things to look forward to in these tricky days, right? So we've started up our Previews meets again, via the 'virtual pub' medium of Zoom, clicking rather than flicking through an online version of the mighty catalogue. 

Here are just a few snapshots of what had us saying "Ooh, stop there!" as Matt made his way through the list...

Cover of Criminal Deluxe Edition

The Scumbag #1: Rick Remender on story duties would normally cause at least a pause to check for details and the sample art from Lewis LaRosa and Moreno DiNisio comfortably sealed the deal here: the titular scumbag is a super-serum-induced super-spy in an espionage-based comedy actioner. 

Walking Dead Deluxe #1: Yes, they're dead all over again, but this time in colour! The full series, now released on a fortnightly schedule, with special character introductory covers and additional content, and all now in full colour instead of the iconic monochrome of the original. An interesting choice - one wonders who will collect these instead of jumping to the trade format - but if monochrome is just too... grey, I guess this is for you!

Blue in Green OGN: Writer Ram V presents a story of a young musician's pursuit of creative genius but it's the art that jumps out here: do check out the preview here to see a sample of Anand Rk's beautiful work.

Planet Paradise OGN: Personally, I'm kicking myself for missing last month's Hedra, a wordless one-shot from the same writer-artist, Jesse Lonergan. The graphic design for Hedra was reminiscent of Chris Ware, structured like beautiful modern architecture. One of the PCG team hypothesised when this was discussed that there would be more to follow Hedra - I shall make sure I don't miss out this time. 

Criminal: The Deluxe Edition: I know it's only August, but the die-hard Brubaker/Phillips fans of the PCG (oh, we have several!) will be rapidly scribbling this onto their Christmas lists - an oversized deluxe hardback edition featuring Coward, Lawless, and The Dead And The Dying, plus a droolsome list of additional goodies - what better way to treat the comic fan in your life? 

Cover of True Live of the Fabulous Killjoys #1

Norse Mythology #1: Neil Gaiman bestrides geek culture like one of the gods he so often plunders for source material: here he teams with P. Craig Russell and artists Mike Mignola and Jerry Ordway to produce the comic book version of Gaiman's novel of the same name. 

The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys: National Anthem #1: Gerard Way's work is picking up attention once more with the recent release of a second season of Netflix's adaptation of his Umbrella Academy series and his knack of mixing what's confidently real with what's more than a little off kilter, creating a level of surreality where nothing feels reliable, looks to be apparent in this new series of Killjoys - they've been rebooted into the modern day in this new outset. 

Colonel Weird: Cosmagog #1: Jeff Lemire's Black Hammer world of tributes to comic book superhero history continues to expand - here into actual space in a sci-fi adventure for Randall Weird. 

Cover of The Seeds TP

The Seeds TP: Absolutely my 'cannot-wait' of the month, probably the year - Nocenti and Aja's first couple of issues in this series, about a collapsing society, an arriving crew of alien seed collectors and the coordinated swarming of Earth's bees, were electrifying, and the wait to hear where the story goes has only intensified my interest. 

Drawing Lines: An Anthology Of Women Cartoonists HC: Andy, our esteemed LCS owner, has already cottoned on to the fact that anything which features the work of Joëlle Jones is an automatic shut-up-and-take-my-money from me, but this has so much more - now reproduced in comic book size format where previously it was more pocket-sized, this might just about be here in time for my Christmas list. 

Locke & Key Sandman: Hell and Gone #1: IDW combines two mighty titles, as Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman combine sources with artwork by Gabriel Rodriguez. This is sure to be a treat for all fans of either franchise. 

Cover of BRZRKR #1

Dune: House Atreides #1: With a new Dune movie slated for appearance in December (though at the moment, frankly, who knows), there's a resurgence of interest in this franchise, now in the writing hands of Brian Herbert, son of original author Frank. I will always take an interest in anything from the Duniverse as it was one of the first sci-fi books I tried (at an inappropriate age for the content, but isn't that how every sci-fi fan starts out?). 

BRZRKR #1: DUDES! Keanu Reeves is writing a comic book! What else could you possibly need to know? 

Cover of Resistance TP

The Resistance TP, Year Zero TP, Hotell TP: A sample here of some of the miniseries, now to be collected into trades, from upstart new publisher AWA Studios, whose AWA Upshot imprint launched with spectacular timing, with a series about a global pandemic, in March of this year. There's a whole lot to like about this plucky little team, from what we've seen so far, and it's a very positive sign for trades to appear so quickly and to come in at under the $10 mark. Several of the early issues of a number of these series sold out astonishingly fast, and were going for silly, silly money on eBay and others - but here's a way to lay hands on the full series for a small outlay: let your LCS know you're interested right away!

Cover of Captain America #24

Not a lot of new titles this month from Marvel, possibly reflecting the through-flow of work slowing during the height of the pandemic? Something did jump out at us though: 

Captain America #24: Alex Ross, multi-time winner of our Paradoscar for Best Cover Artist is finally getting the recognition he deserves elsewhere in the industry... just kidding! Ross has produced variant covers for 14 books in the Marvel roster under the Timeless banner - they are, as you might expect, stunning. The cover for Captain America #24 is a particular favourite in the PCG team, I also loved the Iceman cover for Marauders #13 and the Colossus cover for New Mutants #13 (I do like shiny things). 

Cover of American Vampire 1976 #1

Rorschach #1: It's tricky to explain the wrench this will cause at least one member of our PCG number: a Watchmen spin-off is controversial at the best of times, but when it's penned by Tom King and drawn by Jorge Fornés, the internal struggle may just become intolerable. King must be using his CIA tactics on us somehow: his treatments of several classic not-quite-top-of-the-list characters (The Vision, Mister Miracle, Adam Strange - oh, and that Bat guy) have become essential reads, I'm truly fascinated to see what he does with Rorschach. 

American Vampire 1976 #1: Rafael Albuquerque's cover for this Scott Snyder penned new series is breathtakingly cool, and the black and white sample interior art looks fantastic enough to have me considering picking up the original series and getting up to speed. 

The Last God: Songs Of Lost Children #1: DC Black Label has become a near infallible mark of quality at this stage, but it seems an unusual decision to place this follow-up one-shot in the hands of a different writer and artist from those on the original series. 

Cover of Wonder Woman 1987 #1

Wonder Woman #1 1987 Facsimile Edition: George Pérez' iconic series, including Wonder Woman's origin story in Themyscira, is being reproduced in facsimile, and is sure to be popular as the excitement for the Wonder Woman 1984 movie gathers momentum.


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