Previews 2-In-One - The PCG Catches Up

Sept 29, 2021
Newburn #1

Sometimes life gets in the way, doesn't it? The PCG team have missed a month of Previews-perusing due to what we're grandly referring to as 'scheduling conflicts' so there are a couple of places here where we've dipped back into the August edition to signal something really important that we just couldn't leave unmentioned. 

The books here are scheduled to appear in October, November and early December. Let your local comic book people know if you see something you like: it helps them plan their ordering which can save them a lot of stress!

James: A new noir-infused crime series from Image comics, with art duties from a Phillips, published by Image... There's something about Newburn #1 that feels very familiar. A regular comics reader can't help but draw parallels with the brilliant crime books by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips - but this title looks like it could well be the equal of those comics. Newburn is written by the great Chip Zdarsky, and illustrated by Jacob Phillips (who has been making a real name for himself on That Texas Blood) and focuses on a private detective without loyalty, embroiled in cases concerning the criminal underworld. I'm a massive fan of noir comics, and when they're done right, they often represent the medium at its finest - I'm looking forward to seeing what this creative team can add to the genre.

What’s The Furthest Place From Here #1

Jo: Regular readers may already be aware of my towering enthusiasm for all things Matt Rosenberg, but even without the terrific bias I'm aware I harbour for his work, What’s The Furthest Place From Here #1 must surely look like an unmissable event for all comics fans. Rosenberg teams up again with artist Tyler Boss, a symbiosis which bore fruit in the hip and affecting 4 Kids Walk Into A Bank. It's a post-apocalyptic set up with gangs of kids the only survivors in a ruined world, which is enough to get me on board, plus the first issue is triple (triple!!) length with only a tiny increase from standard cover price - c'mon, you know want to give it a try! Rosenberg also continues to express his passion for local comic book stores, and actually puts some real weight behind his support: every issue of the series has a Deluxe edition, featuring a 7" vinyl record, containing two original songs written specifically for the project by indie and punk bands of the moment (Rosenberg's taste in music is A1) - and these Deluxe editions are only available through comic book stores, what a hero!

We missed a few interesting issue 1s during our little Previews holiday last month and one of those worthy of mention was Gunslinger Spawn #1, so I'll redress the balance here. The Spawn universe is in the process of rolling out a series of new starts and the persistent cowboy gets his own title. His appearance in the King Spawn compilation was eloquent though nearly wordless and if you need a little additional persuasion to consider this, it's worth knowing that Aleš Kot will be joining originator Todd McFarlane to produce this story - Kot's book Days Of Hate was, in my opinion at least, a masterpiece and I'm fascinated to see where he takes the hard-to-kill-permanently Gunslinger. 

Geiger 80-Page Giant #1

Matt: The final issue of Geoff Johns and Gary Frank's Geiger caught me off guard as I thought we were dealing with a self-contained story that would have a definitive conclusion. Apparently not. The character of Geiger is one of a set of individuals from the history of this fictional world, collectively called The Unnamed. Johns and Frank are bringing a Junkyard Joe series out via Image next year, the second Unnamed character to be explored, but before that we pay one more visit to the era we've just acquainted ourselves with in Geiger 80-Page Giant #1. Alongside the creators, writers such as Sterling Gates and Pornsak Pichetshote and artists like Bryan Hitch and Kelley Jones get to focus on elements that the miniseries didn't have the time for. Knowing now this tale is operating on larger canvas has only made it all the more appealing.

Regarding The Matter of Oswald’s Body #1

Matt: Writer Christopher Cantwell is currently impressing with his Iron Man run, but is perhaps known to the wider world as the showrunner for the acclaimed TV series Halt And Catch Fire. The cover image for his new BOOM! series, Regarding The Matter Of Oswald’s Body #1, completely grabbed me, and the synopsis - a thriller based around the conspiracy theory that's it's not actually Lee Harvey Oswald's body in his grave - sealed the deal. Conspiracy theories always provide ripe material for exciting fiction (see also Department Of Truth) and anything to do with JFK's assassination still fascinates, all these decades later.

Jo: I continue to allow myself just the merest hint of smugness at having got on board form the jump with Something Is Killing the Children but, in skipping a month of Previews, we nearly missed our chance to give you a heads up about a new beginning from an expanded creator team in House of Slaughter #1. Recent issues of the main title have taken us back to show us lead character Erica's induction into the monster hunting society - this new start promises an origin story for her handler-nemesis Aaron. Tynion IV and Dell'Edera are joined by Tate Brombal of Barbalien fame and Chris Sheehan, whose artwork for Vault on The Autumnal I am regretting having missed. 

Batman Secret Files - The Gardener #1

Jo: DC Connect gave us a treasury of goodies this month, with multiple Bat titles in particular. Batman Secret Files: The Gardener #1 caught my attention immediately, bearing as it does the dream creative team of James Tynion IV (currently wearing the crown of Busiest Person in Comics) and the unparalleled Christian Ward and providing an origin story for new Bat-rogue Bella Garten. 

Villains are everywhere in Gotham City Villains #1 - I do have a soft spot for the DC compilation books, they're inevitably a mixed bag but often showcase new or rising talent, and the roster here certainly looks interesting - top billing goes to - yes, that Danny DeVito!

The hallmark of Stephanie Phillips' writing is her research, often into the historical context of her stories, and her back catalogue is rich and varied. Combining this with Mike Hawthorne's stylish, vintage-y art, Wonder Woman Evolution #1 could be something really special. The premise, of Diana being spirited away from Earth to stand trial as a proxy for humanity, to decide whether we are worthy to continue to exist, offers great opportunity to stretch the Amazon's skills. 

The Thing #1

Matt: This is a strange one. Acclaimed crime novelist Walter Mosley has decided to make his Marvel comics writing debut (at the age of 69, no less) with The Thing #1. Mosley seems to be a bit of an FF fan though (he curated an art book entitled Maximum Fantastic Four back in 2005) and if any of the quartet would seem a good fit for his street level sensibilities, it's obviously going to be Ben Grimm. The ever-lovin', blue-eyed Thing is a firm favourite of mine, so a new solo book featuring him would have my attention at any time; Mosley's involvement makes it that much more intriguing.

Jo: I'd feel exceptional levels of guilt in not including Hawkeye #1 this month - the impending arrival of a Hawkeye series on Disney+, featuring both Clint and Kate, must certainly be a factor in this miniseries appearing in November but I'm not dissing that, I'm just excited to see another outing for 'my' Hawkeye, with her hip-holed suit and pony-tail... Kate's on a side-quest on her way back to New York, involving a jewel heist and a possible trap! New York Times writer Marieke Nijkamp and artist Enid Balám are both new names to me and I'm confident that anything where Kate gets to be the boss of her own story will get my vote. 

Crimson Reign #1

James: As the fully committed Star Wars fanboy (or middle-aged man to be precise) of the PCG, I'm looking forward to Star Wars: Crimson Reign #1 this month. I'm someone who firmly believes that a number of the ideas introduced in the under-appreciated Solo deserved a second story; Enfys Nest, the nascent Rebellion, and the crime clans are all rich with potential. In the recent War Of The Bounty Hunters event, it's been great to see the return of Han's first love Qi'ra - and to learn that she's alive and well during the Original Trilogy. Crimson Reign continues her story, and with Charles Soule delivering the script, it's guaranteed to be quality. Stephen Cummings provides the art for this five-part series, which I hope makes a great Star Wars character even more compelling.


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