A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson
It dawns on me that I haven’t done a Previews spotlight in awhile. What a great month to do one now! All of the following items are solicited in the new Oct/Dec Diamond Previews — out TODAY!
LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED
One of the more important projects this month is the benefit book Love Is Love. Published by IDW (and supported by DC Comics), it’s a 144-page oversize collection to honor those killed in Orlando this year. It’s filled with moving and heartfelt material mourning the victims, supporting the survivors, celebrating the LGBTQ community, and examining love in today’s world. It features work by many of the greatest talents in comics today, including Phil Jimenez, Cat Staggs, Steve Orlando, James Asmus, Denys Cowan, Paul Dini, Ming Doyle, Brian Michael Bendis, Gerry Duggan, Phil Noto, Joe Kelly, Victor Santos, Dan Beals, David Lafuente, Emma Vicelli, Ed Luce, Kieron Gillen, and many more! There’s a cover by Elsa Charretier with Jordie Bellaire, and the book features an introduction by the project’s organizer, Marc Andreyko. All proceeds from the book go to the survivors, victims, and their families via Equality Florida. This looks like a great project with a wide range of comic book talent participating for a really excellent cause!
THAT’S REALLY SUPER, SUPERGIRL!
PLUS, DC COMICS: SUPER HOLIDAY REBIRTH!
DC Comics has a cool new Supergirl four-part Prestige Format series beginning in December by some notable creators: Eisner Award winner and Caldecott Honor-winning writer Mariko Tamaki and Eisner Award-nominated artist Joëlle Jones. Supergirl: Being Super is a coming-of-age story, as the young Kryptonian teen goes through the same growing pains as all adolescents. Except Kara has to deal with a deadly earthquake that rocks her hometown of Midvale at the same time. The Girl of Steel has to decide: let her world die, or overcome her adolescent insecurities and be super! This looks really Super, full of teenage angst, and the first issue may be one of comics’ best-ever post-Christmas gifts. (It’s on sale December 28.) What little art I’ve seen of Supergirl: Being Super by Jones is evocatively amazing.
Speaking of DC Comics and holidays, it wouldn’t be a Christmas without a new comic special issue. DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 spotlights the Rebirth titles/characters for the first time. This 96-page one-shot features a Chanukah crisis for Batwoman, a Flash family Christmas, Wonder Woman interrupting John Constantine’s hellblazing pagan party — plus the return of Detective Chimp! Also, writer Paul Dini crafts a Harley Quinn holiday tale featuring DCU guests that bridges all the stories in the weirdest, wildest way. Other writers include James Tynion IV, Steve Orlando, Vita Ayala, Cullen Bunn, Tim Seeley, James Asmus, Heath Corson, K. Perkins, and more, with art by Robbi Rodriguez, Gustavo Duarte, and others. Cover by Dustin Nguyen. DC’s Holiday Specials are always entertaining and even occasionally controversial. (I’m just glad Supergirl’s not dead anymore. Hi Mark! More below.)
Oh, and also, the first trade paperback collections of these new new new DC Rebirth series are also solicited this month — including Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lanterns, Justice League, Nightwing, and Superman. Each volume collects the character’s Rebirth #1 issue and at least five additional issues. (Several volumes have more.) Solicited now for January shipping.
HEY NOW, YOU’RE A ROCKSTAR…
I’m not always a big Image Comics fan. (I’m old school, so I expect a standard comic series to put out something close to 12 issues a year. I’m not crazy about creators who can’t seem to accomplish that with their creator-owned pride and joys. Kudos to those that don’t keep their fans waiting!) But a new series jumped out at me this month, combining my two big hobbies (comics and music). Rockstars #1 by Joe Harris and Megan Hutchison promises to explore rock ’n’ roll’s untold “mysteries and secrets”. The series features Jackie Mayer, a rock nerd with a strange connection to music’s urban legends and lost history, who discovers a new pattern to a series of unsolved “groupie” murders from the 1970s that appears to resume in present-day Los Angeles. Together with muckraking music writer Dorothy Buell, Jackie uncovers a vast conspiracy involving a legendary band, demonic possession, and sacrifices to the dark gods of rock. (Just another Friday night in LA…) The art by Hutchison is both appropriately evocative and claustrophobic… in all the right ways! (So good of Image to provide four-page art samples in their solicitations.) And pluses for the female protagonists!
ARCHIE’S HERE… BETTY’S HERE… VERONICA TOO… REGGIE’S HERE… HEY JUGHEAD! WHERE ARE YOU?
I’m not sure why Archie (the company) thinks that a new Reggie and Me title (soliciting this month with 10 variant covers) will be successful, considering the original Reggie and Me was one of their more boring comics, cancelled after just #126 issues. (“Just,” he says… Like anything today would run that long…) Reggie’s “Wise Guy” Jokes fared better in my childhood neighborhood, because of the snotty humor. (Although it apparently didn’t sell for beans either, being cancelled at #60. Of course, both of those titles were last seen at least 35 years ago!) This new Reggie and Me #1 is written by not-so-secret Archie fan (and former Archie employee) Tom DeFalco, so it stands an excellent chance of actually being funny! Artwork and the main cover is by Sandy Jarrell. He’s drawn DC Bombshells, Batman ’66, Black Canary, and more! According to his blog, he also likes Jim Steranko romance stories and music history, so he’s alright with me! This looks like fun, so I’ll be picking it up!
I’ll also be buying these two new cover collections: Archie: New Riverdale Cover Book and Betty & Veronica: New Riverdale Cover Book. I’m guessing that the Archie folks in New York heard me screaming about not being able to afford ALL of the B&V #1 variants a month or so ago and wanted to shut me up! (I am pretty loud when I need to be, despite my mild-mannered disposition most days.) Pretty simply, these collect all of the cover art from (respectively) Archie #1-12 and Betty & Veronica #1-3 in an 88-page, 7” x 10” format. It’s not specifically spelled out, but I hope that means all the variant covers will be included. (And I’m crossing my fingers — but not holding my breath — that also means the hard-to-get retailer variants as well! That would be a most-cool Christmas present! How’s about it, Jingles?). I’m not listing all the cover artists, because that would wear down my fingerprints, but here’s a few: Fiona Staples, Adam Hughes, Annie Wu, Veronica Fish, J. Scott Campbell, Stephanie Buscema, Francesco Francavilla, Chip Zdarsky, Marguerite Sauvage, Jaime Hernandez, Rebekah Isaacs, David Mack, Allison Sohn, Rachel Stott, and many more.
DOC BRUCE BANNER, BELTED BY GAMMA RAYS… (sniff…)
Because Marvel is Marvel (and never Mark Twain shall meet), they have about another dozen new #1s available for ordering this month. As per usual, we don’t know which are actually series and which are just unannounced miniseries. (We bet Marvel doesn’t know either — until sales come in, and magically series become miniseries depending on those numbers.) Some seem to be shoring up what seems to be the franchise which might potentially take the place of the soon-to-be-eliminated (?) mutant titles. So there are plenty of new “space” titles, most of which revolve around the Guardians of the Galaxy (and I’m sure, coincidentally, a new upcoming movie). These include Gamora #1, Star-Lord #1, Rocket Raccoon #1, and Nova #1.
There’s also a new Hulk #1 — which is logical since they seemingly (SPOILER ALERT! Seriously, does anyone not know this by now?) killed off the old one in Civil War II. It’s primarily got a red cover, BTW… There’s also a new Hawkeye #1, which stars Kate Bishop solo (YAY!!!), which I’m sure will make everybody wonder about what Clint “Hulk Killer …um, Hawkeye” Barton’s current status will be. And then there’s Slapstick #1, which has got to be just for copyright extension reasons, right? RIGHT? Last, but not least, IVX #1, which stands for Inhumans vs. X-Men. It will probably be a lot of fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes… The dead rising from the grave! Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! You know… And, most likely, if all of those variant covers are to be believed, a lot of dead mutants. Um… yay?!
Plus, Kirby Monster fans (calling out Karl Kesel now!) should not miss the new Monsters Unleashed Prelude paperback out in January collecting 264 pages of pre-Marvel Universe monster stories! Pretty scary, huh, kids!
KC CARLSON SAYS: Speaking of Supergirl, we were having a discussion at Westfield East the other day about which DC character was the most screwed-up overall continuity-wise (historically speaking, of course) — and so I suggested Supergirl, due to her seemingly endless reboots and even identities. To which fellow Westfield columnist Wayne Markley responded, “Sounds like that should be your next column.” Should it? Comments below, please.
WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. Yes, the end of this column shamefully borrows memorized dialogue from both Ghostbusters and Count Floyd/SCTV. I grew up weird. This is how we all talked, all the time… Still do, I guess…