Getting Reckless With Everything Else: A Look At Previews From October 2020

Oct 25, 2020
Cover of Reckless HC

October's Previews meet finds the PCG team settled in to their Zoom-based home - recreating the pub atmosphere at our various dining tables, coffee tables and bedroom-office desks with a couple of beers (no need to worry about crashing your sofa on the way home!) and a strictly BYO pork scratchings policy.

The October issue of Previews contains some goodies with a festive air, as well as a few items which will see us into 2021 - never was a new year more craved than the one which will replace this giant bin-fire of an annus horribilis. 

Here are just a few snapshots then, of things that caused us pause on our journey through what's incoming (comments added to mine by our PCG regulars Kenny, James, Rob, Simon and Matt):

Cover of Home Sick Pilots #1

IMAGE:
Brubaker and Phillips, the best crime fiction team in comics (and one of the best creative teams in comics, period) are back with Reckless, the first instalment of a graphic novel series, with the next two chapters due to follow in the next 12 months. A new storytelling delivery method for US comics, more akin to Euro GNs? We'll see, but doubtless you know the score with Brubaker and Phillips by now - a pulp antihero with his past catching up with him is all that's needed in terms of synopsis to make the sale. And to be honest, with these guys' pedigree, you don't even need that to place your order now. (MC)

Promising to be be 'Power Rangers meets The Shining', Home Sick Pilots sounds like a ghost story with some novelty, with the protagonist the singer in a nineties punk band trapped in a house that's walking across California. The pull for this for me is Caspar Wijngaard's artwork - his unmistakable pinks and blues seem a most unusual choice for a spooky tale, so here's hoping this is going to be something a little bit different. 

That Texas Blood TP Vol 1: The Brubaker/Phillips combo continues to be the best thing happening in the world of crime comics (see above) but they're not the be-all-and-end-all in the genre. The familial connection is here in the form of Jacob Phillips, but this Southern-fried neo-noir from Phillips Jr and Chris Condon is establishing its identity with a slow-burning intensity. Fans of tales of violence and regret are advised to get in on the action now, if they've not done so already. (MC)

Cover of Expanse #1

BOOM! STUDIOS:
The Expanse is my favourite ongoing TV show, mixing up memorable characters (Amos, Miller, Drummer, Ashford, Murtry, and of course, the scene-stealing Chrisjen Avasarala) with sharp writing, logical consistency and a wide-reaching narrative vision that never disappoints. Often wary of comic book versions that claim to be adding to the creators' vision - this new four-parter declares itself to be in continuity, bridging the gap between Season 4 and the upcoming Season 5 - my expectations are guarded. That said, I’ll probably pick it up, provided I get the covers with the foul-mouthed Chrisjen on them! (RN)

Cover of E-Ratic #1

ARTISTS, WRITERS AND ARTISANS INC:
The 'teenager gets superpowers while navigating high school' path has been as well trodden as any other, but Kaare Andrews' E-Ratic #1 has a couple of hooks for me. Firstly, I won't lie, a zero-commitment one-shot definitely appeals right now - AWA seem to be tuning in to the advantages of a short 'n' sweet run - and secondly, the idea of a superpower which fizzles out after 10 minutes' use might be just enough to make this story stand out. 
 

Cover of Blade Runner 2029 #1
 
TITAN COMICS: 
This is a little bit of a cheat - not really a new title, more a next chapter. Having done a fine job expanding the Blade Runner Universe with Blade Runner 2019, Michael Green, Mike Johnson and Andres Guinaldo move the story forward a decade. Blade Runner 2029 #1 still features Ash as a protagonist (which is a good thing) and as a huge fan of the films, I'm still loving this series giving me my replicant fix (regardless of the year!). (JR)
 

Cover of Picture of Everything Else #1

VAULT: 
Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Grey gets itself a sequel in The Picture of Everything Else #1 with Dan Watters writing a gory sounding story of serial murder in turn-of-the-(last)-century Paris. I'm always drawn to art nouveau in comics, for some reason, and although I'm not familiar with Kishore Mohan's art, the initial cover for this is enough to have me on board right away. 
 

Cover of Heroes at Home #1

 
MARVEL: 
S.W.O.R.D. #1: When this team was originally introduced by Joss Whedon in Astonishing X-Men and then spun off into its own series written by Kieron Gillen, it had the just right amount of snark, heart and weird homocidal aliens. There were many unfinished threads in that short-lived book though and, as this space-based team are rumoured to be joining the MCU, they may remain forever incomplete but at least Abigail Brand is still here to head up a more X-related group of characters. (KJ)

The whole situation currently demands that we access levity wherever we can and so although Zeb Wells' and Japanese art studio Gurihiru's Heroes at Home #1, is arguably aimed at kids, this is going on my list just for manga-tinged indie fun and right now that is FINE. These strips of what our favourites have all been getting up to in lockdown were originally posted to Marvel's Instagram account which is something that completely passed us by - and I'm going to fix that error asap. (KJ)

King-Size Conan #1: This Christmas, Marvel are celebrating 50 years of Conan in comics. They bring us this festive treat in the form of a 64-page special collaborative work, made up of five unique tales. Of special interest is the return of Roy Thomas, who began Conan's journey in comics with Conan The Barbarian #1 back in 1970. Also of note is a tale of revenge penned by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator, Kevin Eastman. This marks his Marvel debut, where he is also art duties. All five of the creative teams for this book are intriguing; this should be a must-have for all Conan fans. (SM)
 

Cover of Batman/Catwoman #1
 
DC: 
Batman/Catwoman #1: Amongst Batman's rogues' gallery there is arguably only one character that is the Dark Knight's equal in all respects. If the Joker is his mirror then Catwoman is his shadow. In his run on the Bat's main title, Tom King bought the romance between Bruce and Selina as close as it has ever been - now, this spin-off from that amazing story explores the Bat and the Cat's relationship in the past, present and future, plus we get the comics' debut of the Phantasm, a character too long siloed in the animated universe of the 1990s. (KJ)

More than a couple of grumbles have been levelled at DC during this year of challenges  but when it comes down to it, no one does a Winter Special quite the way the Detective gang do. DC's Very Merry Multiverse #1 is this year's offering and with Captain Carrot featuring large on the cover, I'm hoping that this might be a festival of silliness to lighten the dark winter nights. 

Catwoman: Soulstealer GN: I'm deeply into all things Catwoman at the moment and this looks like a nice opportunity to look at one of the less well-known wearers of the suit, as Holly Vanderhees backflips onto centre stage in a story about the Cat and the Batwing, Luke Fox. Louise Simonson adapts Sarah Maas' novel into graphic novel form, with Samantha Dodge's art samples, featuring a purple suit and a sniper rifle for our titular antihero, looking both dynamic and gothic.

These are just some of the things the PCG will be seeking out soon - don't forget to tell your local comic book store what you'd like them to secure for you: they love having actual requests rather than having to guess what you'd like, because they love to put a smile on your face!

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