The world of comics is constantly expanding, and for the modern reader there is so much choice and variety out there it can be difficult to appreciate all the genres, characters and creators presented each week. With a multitude of publishers available comics exist now very much outside the core ‘Big Two’, indeed Image over the past few years have gained so much market-share due to their high quality produce there is an argument that now exists for a ‘Big Three’.
The purpose of this new monthly column, produced in conjunction with the UK`s Premier Comic Retailer Inter-Comics.com, is to pick some of the highlights (in my opinion, and discussion is welcomed!) out from forthcoming solicitations which will be available to order online and my ‘quick picks’ to pull. Due to the vast amount of comics available monthly these days, there will be a focus on Marvel, DC and Image; although there will no doubt be honourable mentions to such juggernauts as IDW, Boom, Dark Horse and hopefully all manner of ‘indie’ publishers.
Before we start properly, perhaps it is best to introduce myself for those who are unfortunate (or as some would say fortunate) enough to have avoided my presence for so long! I am a massive comic book fan; I was introduced to comics at a tender age as I was lucky enough to have an Auntie who owned a store in Canada who would ship boxes to me every so often. These musky boxes contained all types of characters, and I remember in the late 1980`s and earlier 1990`s being introduced to the likes of Lobo through the pages of L.E.G.I.O.N, Barry Allen as The Flash and, of course, Batman. This led to me having an obsession in my teenage years, and although I gradually read less as I got older and was introduced to the social extravaganza that is the teenage years, I always had a fixation with comics and pop culture in general. I was ‘re-introduced’ to reading comics again properly a good few years ago now, and like any ‘new’ reader this led to me mass buying back issue after back issue to catch up on everything.
Now, eventually, several years later although there are still things I want to read and catch up on, each month I find myself now eagerly scanning the solicitations to make sure I don`t miss out again on the next great read or the introduction of some brand new iconic characters. This has led to me building a not so insignificant pull list, but thanks to the new subscription service from Inter-Comics.com all that is needed is a few quick lines of text and they do the hard work for me and I just get the enjoyment that comes when freshly printed, crisp and bagged comics lands through the post box.
So with that brief introduction, and the formality that goes with it over and done with, it`s time to get scanning those previews and taking a look at what`s to come in November 2014.
Following on from what promises to be an epic month in October, Marvel look to have raised the bar further with some of its published solicitations for this coming November. Readers are set to see the introduction of a different kind of Iron Man, a familiar character take over the mantle of Captain America, the continuation of the Axis event and all manner of ‘Spider-Verse’ books.
A much maligned variant cover has detracted somewhat from the return of a Jessica Drew solo series but Spider-Woman #1 from the team of Dennis Hopeless and Greg Land has the potential to be a great read. Of course this ties in directly with the events of the two issue series Spider-Verse, with #1 out in November. So if you like all things Spider-Man; or simply want to learn more about their world then these two books are definitely worth checking out. Of course, these aren`t the only Spidey related titles this month; highlights include the continuation of Dan Slott`s Amazing Spider-Man with issues #9 and #10, Spider-Man 2099 from acclaimed writer Peter David, another new book in Michael Costa`s mini-series Scarlet Spiders #1 and the finale of Nick Spencer`s fantastic run on Superior Foes of Spider-Man with issue #17. All these titles; and much more are available to pre-order from Inter-Comics.com.
November 2014 is also the month that Sam Wilson takes over the mantle of Captain America, and not only does he get to do it in his own solo series All New Captain America #1 from Rick Remender, but he also gets a good old fashioned team up book from Al Ewing in Captain America and The Mighty Avengers #1. It will be interesting to see how Sam copes with the added pressure of taking over from Steve Rodgers, but it is great to see Marvel bringing a much loved character to the forefront. Speaking of Avengers, November also sees the launch of Superior Iron Man #1 from writer Tom Taylor; which will see guest appearances from Daredevil and others as the reader is introduced to a character “more stylish, more confident, and more cunning than ever before.” Hopefully this will take Iron Man in a completely new direction, and serve to refresh the character to the same effect Superior Spider-Man had on its own title character.
Other Marvel highlights for the month include the Guardians of the Galaxy #21 where the Guardians will be visiting a world full of symbiotes, the continuation of Hickman`s epic run on Avengers with issue #38, the next issues in Thor and Bucky Barnes: The Winter Solider both on issue #2 after being introduced in October 2014, the brilliant Magneto from Cullen Bunn and if you liked the Guardians of the Galaxy movie be sure to check out Skottie Young`s all ages series Rocket Raccoon.
Each month I will highlight one book from each publisher that I simply urge you to pre-order and pick up from Inter-Comics.com; so consider this my Marvel quick pick recommendation for November 2014:
Written by RICK REMENDER • Art and Cover by STUART IMMONEN
• This is it! The all-new, Spy-Fi, highflying adventures of Sam Wilson Captain America and Nomad begin here!
• Hydra is growing, the terrorist band have has infiltrated the Marvel Universe completely! But what is their ultimate goal?
• United by Hydra, Cap’s rogue’s gallery gathers to take down the new untested Captain America and Nomad!
32 PGS./Rated T+
After what is predicted to be a stellar October for DC, November 2014 sees a creative shift on one of the New 52`s more consistent books and the arrival of another Batman related title.
Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have been turning in a high quality book, loved by member of the Inter-Comics Podcast, month after month in the form of their Wonder Woman title. With issue #36 the title is set to face a significant change in direction. The creative team of David Finch and Meredith Finch will be taking over, and are set to introduce characters such as Swamp Thing into a new ongoing arc for Diana Prince. For those wanted to dip into the world of DC`s Amazonian Legend ahead of her introduction onto the big screen in Batman Vs, Superman: Dawn of Justice, this is the perfect jumping on point!
Talking of jumping on points, November sees the launch of a particularly interesting title for lovers of all things Bat-Family and the horror genre. Gotham By Midnight #1 is an all new ongoing title which will look at the ‘paranormal’ side of DC`s most famous city. From a creative team with a background in horror, Ray Fawkes writing and Ben Templesmith on art, this could take Gotham in a previously unheralded direction.
Other highlights from DC for the month include the continuation of Grant Morrison`s The Multiversity, with the release of The Multiversity: Pax Americana #1, in which the acclaimed writer will continue to do what he does best and give the reader a complex and compelling narrative that keeps you coming back. Cullen Bunn`s Lobo will continue with issue #2, as will the other books introduced in October such as Klarion, Trinity of Sin and Deathstroke, which will hopefully develop the characters to both new and old readers. Scott Snyder’s next big Batman story ‘Endgame’ continues in Batman #36, alongside the regular plethora of Bat-Family titles such as Batman Eternal #31 – #34, Batgirl #36 which continues with the new team of Cameron Stewart and Brendan Fletcher and the impressive Grayson from Tim Seeley with issue #4.
Also this month, DC continues its variant themes with the introduction of Lego covers for several books across the New 52. These covers are impressive and highly collectible, when Marvel did a similar range they flew off the shelves, so don`t forget to pre-order them at Inter-Comics.com.
Continuing the pre-order pick, the DC title that is not to be missed in November 2014 is;
Written by RAY FAWKES
Art and cover by BEN TEMPLESMITH
1:25 Variant cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO
Strange doings are afoot in Gotham City! Look out, though – Jim Corrigan is on the case in this new series by writer Ray Fawkes (CONSTANTINE, BATMAN ETERNAL) and artist Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Ten Grand).
32 pg, FC • RATED T
Image is probably the publisher hardest to write for monthly; they are constantly producing new top-quality titles month after month. Guess what? It appears November 2014 is set to repeat that trend with the launch of several new titles from brilliant creative teams, and the continuation of some already well-established favourites.
One obvious stand out title comes from Matt Fraction and Christian Ward and according to Image is a ‘psychedelic sci-fi retelling of The Odyssey’. ODY-C #1 will look to appeal to all readers of sci-fi, lovers of cosmic chaos and could well be the next Image ‘must-have’, following on the mantle set by titles such as East Is West, Black Science and Manifest Destiny.
Whilst discussing ‘must-have’ titles, the previews of new fantasy title Tooth & Claw #1 from Kurt Busiek look superb. The first double-sized issue launches this November and has been described as a ‘high-fantasy epic’, if you’re a fan of Game of Thrones or fantasy in general be sure to pre-order this title as its set to be a big seller.
November looks to be a big month for Ray Fawkes, previously mentioned with Gotham By Midnight #1, he launches Intersect from Image too and has complete creative control over the books as he is on writing, art and covers. If you are a fan of his work, or are just looking to ‘dip you toe’ into the Image world this may be the books for you.
Other new titles launching this November from Image include mind-bending sci-fi series Drifter #1 from Ivan Brandon, the crazy looking The Humans #1 from Keenan Marshall Keller, Sinergy #1 from Michael Avon Oeming and Taki Soma which has the potential to become a sought after indie gem, and American Legends #1 – #5 which will see Image take a crack at the ‘weeklies’ market with a title depicting some stalwarts from America history of a madcap quest to take on Napoleon!
Every Image title is worth checking out and November sees the next issue of Rick Remender`s relatively new series Low with #5, Manifest Destiny continues to serve up thrills in issue #12, the brilliant horror series Nailbiter features a guest appearance from non-other than the legend that is Brian Michael Bendis in issue #7 and the ever popular The Walking Dead continues with #134, just what has turned the whispers into screams?
If you only want to buy one Image title this month and you’re looking for something new, the quick pick recommendation is the already mentioned ODY-C #1 from the brilliant Matt Fraction;
Written by MATT FRACTION
Art and Cover by CHRISTIAN WARD
An epic 26 centuries in the making: In the aftermath of a galactic war a hundred years long, Odyssia the Clever Champion and her compatriots begin their longest, strangest trip yet: the one home. A gender-bent eye-popping psychedelic science fiction odyssey begins HERE, by MATT FRACTION (CASANOVA, SEX CRIMINALS, SATELLITE SAM) and CHRISTIAN WARD (INFINITE VACATION, OLYMPUS). INCLUDES SPECIAL EIGHT-PAGE FOLDOUT!
40 PAGES / FC / MATURE READERS
To see this and the full range of Image Comics titles available for November, please check out Inter-Comics.com and reserve the titles using their new subscription service to ensure you never miss an issue again!
Other Titles of Note
In November 2014, Boom! Studios are launching two particularly noteworthy new titles. Deep State #1 comes from the mind behind Image Comics Spread and Dead Body Road, Justin Jordan and looks at conspiracy theories in an all new light. If you know your Koba`s from your Caesar’s and your Chimps from Orang-utans, then the new min-series Dawn of the Planet of the Apes #1 may be of interest. If you loved the recent film, why not continue the experience in print?
IDW continues its marketing ploys by combining two of their more popular titles with the publication of Transformers Angry Birds #1 from John Barber. This is more of interest to see exactly how it works; but will certainly appeal to children, how exactly will the ‘Allspark’ work on Piggie Island? This bizarre unification could lend itself to this being one of the years more somewhat ‘interesting ‘reads.
Dark Horse have published some must read mini-series` recently and November sees the conclusion of some of those; both POP from Curt Pires and Dark Ages from Dan Abnett conclude with their respective issue #4`s. Yet as some good things end, November sees the dawn of a book with some superb potential. Following on from his previous series Grindhouse, Alex de Campi brings readers its sequel; Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1. If all those comics weren`t enough, and you and the kids’ weren`t taken with Transformers Angry Birds offering from IDW, Dark Horse are bringing us Itty Bitty Comics: The Mask #1 from Art Balthazar which is the first Mask comic in over a decade and with its cutesy art is sure to be a big seller.
So if you’re looking for a title outside the usual big hitters, the quick pick recommendation that should find its way onto your pull is Grindhouse: Drive In, Bleed Out #1;
Written by Alex de Campi
Art and Cover by R. M. Guéra
Grindhouse is back from the dead, and it’s meaner, badder, and dirtier than ever! In the first of four new exploitation opuses, Scalped’s R. M. Guéra joins series writer Alex de Campi for “Slay Ride,” a brutal holiday tale of revenge and supernatural terror in the driven snow!
FC, 32 pages
November looks set to be another month of non-stop comics, with something to appeal to everyone across all publishers and genres. I hope that you have enjoyed my look at some titles; and don`t forget if you see something that appeals to you they are all available to pre-order at Inter-Comics.com, the Uk`s premier comic retailer.
Don`t forget to check the fantastic range of premium toys and figures available in previews, as well as the ever expanding world of Pop Vinyl Funkos all available to order via Inter-Comics.com; please contact them if you are looking to order something not featured on the site and they will do their very best to accommodate your order. The guys from the Inter-Comics Podcast will be offering up their weekly picks so please tune in to them to see what they believe you should be buying.
Until next month, thanks for reading, and if you’re not bored enough of my ramblings you can catch more on Twitter @vintagelaureate. Have a great month!
Posted on September 8th, 2014
Category: ALL NEW MONTHLY VIEW, PREVIEWS & UPCOMING RELEASES
Tags: All New Captain America #1, DC Comics, Gotham By Midnight #1, Image Comics, marvel comics, November 2014 DC Solicitations, November 2014 Image Solicitations, November 2014 Marvel Solicitations, ODYC #1