The Goddamned, Zombies and Kaijus, Oh My: A Look At Previews From September 2020

Sep 19, 2020

Cover of Origins #1

Last month, the PCG team were delighting in the reopening of cinemas and musing on how big an impact the return of kids to schools here would have on the infection rate and thus the restrictions on meeting. Turns out we didn't have to wait as long as we had thought for news on that - it looks as though our Zoom based e-pub Previews meets are set to become a regular fixture, for the time being at least.

It's a different experience, obviously: in the Olden Days, Previews Night consisted of the team clustering around a table with a couple of copies of Previews plus the DC and Marvel additions, and trying to match the pace of page flicking in both copies so that everyone was in roughly the same place. Now we are at least all looking at the same document, albeit an electronic one, but the responsibility of page clicking has become yet weightier, as cries of "Wait! Hang on, go back, no, not that far!" ring out. A positive to note this time around: DC have adjusted the way they show their DC Connect catalogue online, making it easier to locate our favourite stuff. 

Here are just a few snapshots then, of things that caused us pause on our journey through what's incoming, mostly around December time (comments added to mine by Kenny and Matt):

Cover of The Goddamned; Virgin Brides #5

IMAGE
Crossover #1: Donny Cates is one of comics' rising stars, his move from creator-owned to Marvel being pretty seamless (Thor in particular is a huge amount of fun at the moment). Here the pitch is a comic book summer event blowing a hole through to the real world via a critical mass of energy and expectations. A bonkers idea, but a ballsy one, and Cates has a good chance of delivering on it. His Thanos partner Geoff Shaw provides some eye-popping artwork. (MC)

Seven To Eternity #14: The final arc of this story commences. I don't always know what's going on (the delays don't help with following the plot) but Jerome Opeṅa's art is so stunning and accomplished it makes the journey worthwhile. (MC)

The Goddamned: The Virgin Brides #5: After the long aching gap between volumes, it's bittersweet to be reaching the final issue in this gory, sweaty, profanity-soaked epic miniseries. Don't leave it so long next time, guys, m'kay? 

Cover of Sea of Sorrows #1

IDW
The previous series from Rich Douek and Alex Cormack, Road Of Bones, was a brutal and bloody story of escapees from a Siberian gulag that really didn't end well for anyone involved, but the bleakness and unremitting woe of the book was in counterpoint to Cormack's stunning artwork. The team are back together for Sea of Sorrows #1, which also promises historical terror, this time underwater, with a sunken U-boat full of gold.

Cover of Power Rangers #1


BOOM! STUDIOS
Origins #1: This new sci-fi epic has echoes of 2010 video game Enslaved: Odyssey To The West with its beautiful imagery of a world reclaimed by nature and populated by AI. The world building here seems like something to get lost in: comparisons could be made to Image's series Little Bird, a comic I adored from last year. (KJ)

Power Rangers #1: The tokusatsu-inspired super team was as much a part of my formative Saturday morning viewing as X-Men, Spider-Man and the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles but as yet, unlike that list, I have never taken the opportunity to read a Power Rangers comic. With this new series by Ryan Parratt and Francesco Mortarino, I'm putting that right. (KJ)

Cover of Miskatonic #1

AFTERSHOCK COMICS
Anyone who picked up Marvel's bumper-sized September new start The Rise Of Ultraman #1 might already be finding themselves in a kaiju state of mind, but would you think to mix it with a Tarantino-style heist story? Kaiju Score #1 promises just that...

Miskatonic #1 has that Lovecraftian whiff that has fans of Cthulhu related material pricking up their ears - a period murder mystery with occult tinglings and a hard-nosed female detective lead make this one a tempting prospect. 

Stephanie Phillips has chops for writing well researched and gripping historically based tales - for Red Atlantis #1 she daringly jumps into the very near future, with a story based on the upcoming US elections, and exploring the dark history of US-Russian relations. Hoping buying this doesn't get me on a list somewhere...

Cover of Year Zero #1

ARTISTS WRITERS & ARTISANS INC
Year Zero Vol 2 #1: Upstart imprint AWA Upshot have gone from strength to strength, against the odds having set out just on the cusp of the pandemic, and one of their flagship titles, zombie comic Year Zero, is one of their big success stories, with a rapidly appearing Vol 2 showing just how committed the team are to this book - and rightly so: the first arc took a different slant on the zombie genre (who knew there was a new one to take?), following the global zombie outbreak from five very distinct points of view. 

Cover of Eternals #1

MARVEL
Wolverine: Black, White And Blood #1: It is perhaps surprising it has taken Marvel so long to produce something like this. With obvious similarities to DC's offering featuring the Dark Knight, a black and white (and red) anthology series suits Wolverine like no other character. A man who has lived hundreds of years and almost as many lives is a deep well from which to draw fascinating stories.

Eternals #1: Always a tough sell, but a necessary relaunch prior to the (Covid-delayed) MCU movie, Jack Kirby's race of space gods (picking up on similar ideas he played with via his New Gods concept before he moved back to Marvel from DC) are getting their time in the spotlight again. The last time they had significant focus placed on them was in 2006 through the Neil Gaiman/John Romita Jr miniseries. Is Kieron Gillen up to the task of generating an audience for the Eternals? His past track record suggests he has a good chance of doing so. What isn't in question is whether Esad Ribić will make the pages look gorgeous. The previews are phenomenal, to the point where you can't see any other contemporary artist being suitable for the job. (MC)

Cover of Punchline #1

DC
Punchline Special #1: New addition to the DC stable Punchline gets a 48 page one-shot, which with luck will give a little more substance to her character than the couple of glimpses we have seen in the 'Joker Wars' storyline so far. Mirka Andolfo's quirky, charismatic artwork will certainly make this stand out. 

Sweet Tooth: The Return #1: With the Robert Downey Jr produced Netflix series due before the cameras soon, Sweet Tooth creator Jeff Lemire has chosen to return to concept that firmly established him as major talent. Not a sequel per se but being sold as a 're-imagining', it has a new set of characters following a similar trajectory to the first story, with Gus, the central character of the original series, being absent (although something tells me that won't last). Is six issues enough? Maybe, but an additional six instalments to add to the magnificent Vertigo series is definitely something to be excited about. (MC)

...

These are the issues which jumped out at us from the September list - what will you be looking forward to? It's never too early to start making your Christmas list - and don't forget to let your local comic book store owner know what you'd like them to have in stock. 

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