Being a comic fan can be tough. With so many publishers printing more and more books, canceling titles and starting new ones, it can be daunting when you head to the comic book shop on a Wednesday to know exactly what’s coming out.
The current system of presenting and ordering comics three months ahead of their release as set forth by the sole comics distributor, Diamond Comics, doesn’t make it any easier either. We’re not a fan of that system, we think it’s slowly strangling comics to death, but we realize it’s a harsh reality of how the industry works and we definitely don’t want you to miss out on any of the cool comics being published.
And so, as opposed to regurgitating the list of comics solicited in Previews each month, we present to you some of the highlights of things you probably won’t want to miss out on.
SPOILER WARNING – In order to get people to order comics, the publishers have a funny habit of revealing what’s happening in the books. If you don’t want anything at all to be spoiled, then you’ll probably want to skip this post and take your chances with your pre-orders and/or your shopping.
According to the “inverse ninja law” one ninja is an unstoppable force.
Dr. McNinja is one of the most reliably funny, longest-running webcomics out there. Hastings returns to print with his fifth trade paperback, and his second with Dark Horse. Icing on the comics cake? A crossover with Axe Cop.
THE ADVENTURES OF DR. MCNINJA VOLUME 2: TIMEFIST TP
Story and Art by Chris Hastings
Colors by Anthony Clark
On sale Dec 5 / FC, 232 pages / $19.99 / TP, 7″ x 10″
“More adventure than your puny mind can handle as the doctor and the whole McNinja clan battle pirates, clones, sentient dinosaurs, haunted spaceships, and sibling rivalry!Award-winning cartoonist Chris Hastings’s riotously funny, time-bending series returns with all-new tales of monsters, mayhem, and the occasional mustache.
B.P.R.D. marches towards the ’50s
I’ll admit to missing the boat on the BPRD books, but I’m pretty sure Flanagan would fire me if I didn’t include the debut of the new miniseries in this Heads Up. 1948, the third “year” mini in the Hellboy spinoff series, follows the team to a military facility in the Utah Desert where scientists are attempting nuke-fueled spacecraft propulsion. The story takes some inspiration from real-life events – in the 50s, Project Orion attempted the same feat. With less monsters, I think.
B.P.R.D.: 1948 #1 (of 5)
Story by Mike Mignola and John Arcudi
Art by Max Fiumara
Colors by Dave Stuart
Cover by Dave Johnson
Variant Cover by Mike Mignola
On sale Oct 17 / FC, 32 pages / $3.50 / Miniseries
The Nazi occult bureau threatened to destroy the peace that followed the end of World War II. One year after the war, Professor Bruttenholm, guardian of the child Hellboy, enlisted a special task force to connect the dots between a series of massacres and a mad vampire nobleman. Now the B.P.R.D. launches an investigation of an atomic-fueled space-travel experiment that’s apparently unleashed horrific monsters in the Utah desert.
Who knew snow could look this good?
Is there a writer that teams up with phenomenal artists as reliably as Brian Wood? No. No, there isn’t. Issue 9 of the Conan ongoing finishes up the three-issue “Border Fury” arc, and the surprise identity of Conan’s imposter should be a satisfying reveal. A reveal with sweet, sweet Vasilis Lolos art.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #9
Story by Brian Wood
Art by Vasilis Lolos
Colors by Dave Stewart
Cover by Massimo Carnevale
On sale Oct 10 / FC, 32 pages / $3.50 / Ongoing
Brian Wood and Vasilis Lolos’s “Border Fury” concludes, as the secret behind Conan’s impostor is revealed! Separated on Cimmeria’s frozen plains, Conan and Bêlit each fight handicapped while facing a deadly foe—Conan by the unexpected identity of his pretender and Bêlit by debilitating snow blindness!
Bang for your buck
At $7.99, Dark Horse Presents continues to be a steal. 80 pages of original stories from great creators, without an ad to be found. There’s a bit of something for everyone this time around (crime, noir, sci-fi), and new stories from Layman, Palmiotti and Gray, and Avon Oeming promise to be highlights.
DARK HORSE PRESENTS #17
Story by John Layman, David Chelsea, Carla Speed McNeil, Tony Puryear, Phil Stanford, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, Michael T. Gilbert, Michael Avon Oeming, and Colin Lorimer
Art by David Chelsea, Carla Speed McNeil, Tony Puryear, Michael T. Gilbert, Colin Lorimer, Sam Kieth, Richard Corben, Patric Reynolds, Tony Akins, and Victor Santos
Cover by Carla Speed McNeil
On sale Oct 24 / FC, 80 pages / $7.99 / Ongoing
This issue features the return of Colin Lorimer’s UXB and Michael T. Gilbert’s Mr. Monster! Plus, another Edgar Allan Poe story adapted by Will Eisner Hall of Fame inductee Richard Corben and a new short written by Michael Avon Oeming and illustrated by Victor Santos!
Pre-Code Ghosts, Gangsters and Haunted Alcohol
We are living in a golden age of archival hardcovers, friends. Every month, there are books that reintroduce us to the giants that created and defined the medium we enjoy today. This volume of Forbidden Worlds has classic work from a dozen writers and artists, including Wally Wood and Al Williamson. It’s a reminder of the unfettered bizarre-ness of some of the books that made it out before the Comics Code.
FORBIDDEN WORLDS ARCHIVES VOLUME 1 HC
By Richard E. Hughes, Al Williamson, Ogden Whitney, Paul Reinman, Edvard Moritz, Lin Streeter, King Ward, Paul Cooper, Charlie Sultan, Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, and Joe Orlando
On sale Dec 12 / FC, 264 pages / $49.99 / HC, 6 5/8″ x 10 3/16″
Microscopic Roman centurions? Elderly ghosts clobbering gangsters? A haunted vintage of French wine? No conceit is too strange for Forbidden Worlds, the playfully bizarre anthology series that hit newsstands in 1951 and continued for 145 outlandish issues! Comic-book giants Al Williamson, Wally Wood, Frank Frazetta, and Ogden Whitney helped to illustrate these pre-Comics Code gems! Issues #1 to #4 of the rare and fascinating Forbidden Worlds are now gathered into an archival hardcover, featuring the first in a series of introductory essays by comic-book historian and connoisseur of the obscure, Dan Nadel (Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries, 1900-1969)!
I Will Take What Is Mine with Fire and Blood
I binged on the first two seasons of Game of Thrones this week, which means finally have the GoT fever that has been affecting the rest of you. Use these pint glasses to drown your sorrows about the 8 month wait until season 3.
Game of Thrones Pint Glass: Stark Sigil
Game of Thrones Pint Glass: Targaryen Sigil
On sale Oct 31 / $9.99 ea
We are beginning a line of glassware featuring the house sigils from HBO’s award winning television series Game of Thrones. The first offering includes a pint glass, a shot glass, and an impressive ceramic stein from the houses of Stark and Targaryen. Any true nobleman/woman, member of the Night’s Watch, or priestess wouldn’t be caught without them!
It’s French for “Black Beast”
If you’re a fan of the anthropomorphic lead of Blacksad, you’ll want to consider adding Talbot’s Grandville series to your stack. The anthropomorphic badger lead shares a bit of DNA with ol’ Blacksad – he’s a Detective Inspector, rather than a PI – but Talbot definitely ratchets the weirdness beyond anything in Canales and Guarnido’s books. Set in a steampunk alternate world where France won the Napoleonic wars, Grandville is wonderfully strange and endlessly inventive.
GRANDVILLE BETE NOIRE HC
By Bryan Talbot
On sale Dec 12 / FC, 104 pages / $19.99 / HC, 8″ x 11″
The baffling murder of a famed Parisian artist in his locked and guarded studio takes the tenacious Detective Inspector LeBrock of Scotland Yard and his faithful adjunct, Detective Ratzi, into the cutthroat Grandville art scene to track the mysterious assassin. As the body count mounts and events spiral out of control, the investigation points to Toad Hall, where a cabal of industrialists and fat cats plot the overthrow of the French State… by use of steam-driven automaton soldiers!
The name’s Cross. Jahan Cross.
Though I thought I had long ago abandoned Star Wars comics, I was pulled back by Ostrander’s take on a James Bond-like spy in a galaxy far, far away. I’m happy to see the character returning, and the dynamic Davidé Fabbri will hopefully prove an able replacement to Stéphane Roux.
STAR WARS: AGENT OF THE EMPIRE—HARD TARGETS #1 (of 5)
Story by John Ostrander
Pencils by Davidé Fabbri
Inked by Christian Dalla Vecchia
Colors by Wes Dzioba
Cover by Stéphane Roux
On sale Oct 17 / FC, 32 pages / $2.99 / Miniseries
Jahan Cross returns to his homeworld of Alderaan for a celebration hosted by Bail Organa in honor of the current Count Dooku. But the situation turns deadly when an assassin kills the Count, and Cross finds himself working both sides of the intrigue!
Thus begins a new assignment for Cross—one that will tear at his loyalties, strain his friendships, and bring him into close contact with his own estranged father. All in a day’s work for Jahan Cross, Agent of the Empire!
You had me at Tarzan “in the half-flooded ruins of a future London.”
TARZAN: THE ONCE AND FUTURE TARZAN
Story by Alan Gordon and Thomas Yeates
Art and Cover by Thomas Yeates
Colors by Lori Almeida
On sale Oct 31 / FC, 32 pages / $3.50 / One-shot
Just in time for the 100th anniversary of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Tarzan of the Apes, artist Thomas Yeates (Prince Valiant, Conan) spins a surprising new tale that drops the lord of the jungle in an unfamiliar setting—the future! Can Tarzan’s vine-swinging skills serve him in the half-flooded ruins of a future London?
You want more? Check out Dark Horse’s full list of October solicitations.