Since the Big Two suck let’s see what else is coming out.
Let’s start with Boom Studios. I don’t get a lot from them but they don’t publish a lot of books either. Still they now have George Perez as an exclusive artist, Mike Carey and Paul Cornell onboard as writers and they just purchased Archaia. They are a company that appears to be moving up.
In September that have Hit #1 coming out by Bryce Carlson (w) and Vanesa Del (a). I have no clue about either one of the creators, but it is just a four issue mini-series and the cover looks awesome so I will give issue #1 a shot. The premise “
. It’s 1955. It’s dark; it’s sexy. It’s dangerous. Everyone
has an angle. And while infamous gangster Mickey Cohen rots in a prison cell, Los Angeles ignores the
blackest parts of the city’s heart…where clandestine groups of LAPD detectives
moonlight as sanctioned hitmen knows as “Hit Squads.” Sounds
a little Red Team and is territory that has been done before, but I want to see
if this team can make me interested in their version. Los Angeles
Next let’s look at Dark Horse. Dark Horse has been a solid publisher over many years and recently they have restarted the super hero books they once did. This time they are rolling stuff out slowly and doing limited series to start some books. Plus they have not abandoned other type of material.
For September they have Brain Boy #1 by Fred Van Lente (w) and RB Silva (P). This is a mini-series and is taking an old Dell comic character and updating him for today. This just sounds like crazy fun. The premise “When the United States Secret Service needs to stop an assassination before the killer’s even decided to buy a gun, they call the world’s most powerful telepath: Matt Price, a.k.a. Brain Boy. But when the secret agent that can read anyone’s mind finds that a powerful psychic network has been hidden from him, Brain Boy begins to wonder whether he knows everything or nothing at all!” Van Lente will always hold a special place in my heart for his work on Action Philosophers and he has done good stuff for Marvel and Valiant comics.
Next up is Buzzkill #1, another mini-series by Donny Cates & Mark Reznicek (w) and Geoff Shaw (p). I’m unfamiliar with the writer and only have a vague recollection of the artists, but I need to try the first issue due to the premise “Ruben is not your average alcoholic; he's an unstoppable superhero who derives his powers from imbibing MASSIVE amounts of alcohol. After all the disasters it's caused in his personal life, he's ready to get clean . . . and the city's supervillains couldn't be happier!” That type of over the top odd ball premise will at least get me to buy issue #1.
Also Dark Horse has new mini-series for Resident Alien and Baltimore (Mignola’s early 1900’s Vampire Hunter).
Dynamite is an interesting company. They almost have a house style and seem to try and exploit characters in the public domain or those with less cache or utility for licensing deals. Still they have made great strides and boost a talented writer line up. They are producing a lot of very good books with original material as well as licensed work.
The first book that has my interest is King’s Watch #1, a mini-series by Jeff Parker (w) and Marc Laming (a). I have no clue about Laming and Dynamite is usually weak on art. What has me most exciting is Jeff Parker. I have loved his work from Marvel (Agents of Atlas, especially), but he never became a name at Marvel. If it was not for his name on the credits I would have passed on this oddball team up of Flash Gordon, The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician. The premise “Panic spreads across the world. Strange phenomena fills the skies. Millions have nightmares of wild lands filled with horrible creatures... then wake to find the monsters are real. What are three men willing to sacrifice to save us all? “ If anyone can pull this bizzaro shit off it is Parker. Of course expect multiple covers as only Dynamite can deliver.
Next up is Codename Action #1, another mini-series. I appreciate that Dynamite does these books mainly as mini-series. Otherwise I would be less likely to try them out as unlimited series. This is by Chris Roberson (w) and Jonathan Lau (a), both are quality creators. Roberson has my admiration for willing to speak out about what was going on at DC and of course probably burned that bridge forever. Lau’s art is solid and sometimes excellent. The book is about the old Captain Action character that DC once published as a licensed deal and the character was a GI Joe like doll for boys back in the old days. The premise “During the height of the Cold War, unknown forces scheme to heat up a global conflict. As key officials on both sides of the Iron Curtain are replaced with doppelgangers, the infiltration threatens to disrupt the precarious state of world affairs. The security of the Free World depends on a young secret agent, one assigned to shape the world's masked heroes into a force with singular purpose and unyielding resolve!” The mix of creators and premise make this a book that I want to check out. Again Dynamite does not skip on producing a host of variant covers.
Okay so now we need to check in on Image. Image seems to be the place for new projects from many people. Can’t believe the company founded by artists is more of a writers’ haven today.
The first one that I’m going to try out is Sex Criminals #1 by Matt Fraction (W) and Chip Zdarsky (A). Fraction I’m well aware of and Zdarsky I have no clue about his work. Fraction is a decent writer, but I worry that he often is trying too hard to be the cool kid and does not trust himself enough. I say that because of the Hawkeye series, where he often changes the order of the pages to make a story non-linear. The stories have been good enough and with most of the artists being strong the book has done well. So the writer is a yes, I do not judge the artist until I see the book. The premise “Suzie's a normal girl with an extraordinary ability: when she has sex, she stops time. One night she meets John... who has the same gift. And so they do what any other sex-having, time-stopping, couple would do: they rob banks.” It is being labeled as a comedy and I would guess a raunchy comedy. I’m buying number one, but no guarantee I will be buying another issue. This will be a hard premise to pull off.
Another book I want to try the first issue of is Reality Check #1 by Glen Brunswick (w) and Victor Bogdanovic. I know Glen from New Jersey Gods and have no clue about Victor. The premise is very convoluted “A struggling artist, Willard Penn, scores an unlikely hit with his new comic. The story centers on a hero more concerned with his libido than serving justice. After an unexpected sell out, Willard can't recall anything about his story. That night the book's hero shows up outside Willard's window refusing to return to the comic until he finds true love. Exasperated, Willard is forced to help the lovesick hero meet the perfect woman. But he'll need to hurry because the book's villain, a homicidal maniac, has entered his world as well.” This either works well or will be a total disaster. Let’s say this, that the first issue better be good or else this book crashes and burns. It may crash and burn anyway.
The last number one from Image for September I want to try out is Zero #1 by Ales Kot (w) and Michael Walsh and Jordie Bellaire (a). Again the writer I know from Suicide Squad and the art is unfamiliar. Ales had a good vibe on Suicide Squad. The premise “Edward Zero is the perfect execution machine – a spy who breaks the rules to get things done. When a stolen device appears in the center of a long-running conflict, Zero comes to retrieve it. The problem is, the device is inside a living, breathing, bio-modified terrorist and there's an entire army after it.” It sounds like a good premise and if the art is decent this could be a hit.
Also in September the former mini-series, Todd The Ugliest Kid #5 is due out. This was one of the funniest books I have read in years and the premise and characters are fantastic. Finally this month is almost light in what Image has planned to roll out in the coming months.
Next up is IDW. Let’s check in and see if they have any new series that are of interest. And after scanning and scanning the answer is no, which is fine as IDW has many books that I get and enjoy and I do not need new series from every publisher every month.
Next up to check in on is Valiant. This restart has been hit after hit for me. A little hyperbole but every series has been readable and enjoyable and I have yet to drop a title.
The first and only new series is Eternal Warrior #1 by Greg Pak (w) and Trevor Hairsine (a). Greg is somewhat hit and miss for me with his work. So that is both a negative or a positive, Trevor’s art is usually above average and the preview pages have looked nice. The other big plus is Valiant’s EIC seems to have a good mix of building a cohesive Universe but letting the writers be the best they can be inside the structure. The premise “Across ten millennia and a thousand battlefields, Gilad Anni-Padda has traversed the darkest, most mysterious corners of history. But the horror and bloodshed of constant warfare has finally taken its toll on the man myth calls the Eternal Warrior…and he has abdicated his duties as the Fist and the Steel of Earth for a quiet life of seclusion. But when a blood vendetta from the distant past suddenly reappears in the modern day, he must decide if he will return to the ways of war…for the child who betrayed him thousands of years ago...” The premise allows for stories to be told in modern day or the past, could be fun. I like the slow roll with how Valiant is adding titles.
Ok the final place to check is the Vertigo Imprint under DC. I hate the new DCU but always have hope that Shelly Bond can keep Vertigo alive. Checking, checking and no we have a miss for Vertigo this month.
So that is it for the new number ones I’m looking for in September, join in and try a few to avoid lenticular Villains at DC and event mania at Marvel.