Coming Up: Books Due in March 2007

I’m looking through the latest Previews catalog picking out what looks good next year. And snarking, as is my wont.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 cover
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1

The big news is the Buffy the Vampire Slayer relaunch (JAN07 0051, $2.99), but I think I’ll wait and see what it looks like. It’s gone from “Joss Whedon writing Season 8 in comics!” to “Whedon writing the first few issues”, but at least he’s writing some of it. (Compare to Marvel’s Dark Tower, which ended up as “Stephen King vaguely looked in its direction”.)

From Dark Horse, I’m more interested in the second Perhapanauts collection (JAN07 0078, $15.95), even if I do have to wait until May for it. That’ll also give them time to finish the four-issue miniseries it reprints, since only two of the issues are out so far.

Based on DC’s description of Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #50 (JAN07 0279, $3.99), I’m guessing that the series has already been given up on. They’ve got a well-known fantasy novelist (Tad Williams) taking over the writing along with a new art team (Shawn McManus & Walden Wong) in an over-sized anniversary issue. All these hooks, and the book gets only a standard half-page description. There are no preview pages and no extra promotion of any kind, which is unusual.

Dynamo 5 #1 cover
Dynamo 5 #1

It’s about time! I’m glad to see Wonder Woman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told (JAN07 0323, $19.99), although I’d like to know more about its contents. Perhaps DC learned from the outcry over the changed contents of the Green Lantern book not to promise anything ahead of time.

Regular readers know that I’m not a huge fan of superhero comics, in part because so many of them feel like I’ve seen them before. I’m very surprised, then, that Jay Faerber managed to come up with a new concept that’s not only fresh but interesting with his new series from Image, Dynamo 5 (JAN07 1918, $3.50).

Here’s the premise: a Superman-like hero has passed away. His wife finds out that he fooled around, and more than that, there are five illegitimate children out there, each with one of his powers (including strength, flight, and shape-shifting). She attempts to assemble them into a team, even though their mere presence reminds her of her husband’s infidelity.

I liked the characters, and the unique premise is intriguing. Plus, the artist, Mahmud Asrar, is quite a discovery. His work is classically styled with plenty of attitude and action. The book seems modern, especially given the character motivations, but it’s still exploring the nature of heroism, doing the right thing in the face of personal struggle. The widow has the potential to quickly become a favorite, given her steely resolve and smarts, and I also appreciated the team’s diversity. Be sure to check it out.

Casanova Luxuria cover
Casanova Luxuria

I really like Casanova, even though I haven’t managed to read any of the issues but #1 at this point. If you haven’t experienced its mind-blowing blend of graphic design and exciting spy concept yet, get the Luxuria collection (JAN07 1924, $12.99), which contains all seven issues.

Avatar, a company I usually ignore because of its lowclass porn offerings and corrupt creator practices, has done something so stupid that I must mention it. They’re offering a Lady Death Masterworks. (Masterwork? Master something else, maybe.) Aside from potentially infringing a Marvel trademark, it also misses the point: there are six different editions, each of which is only 16 pages long, and the most exclusive of which is priced at $100 an issue. It’s being pushed based on having “the lowest total print-run ever”, a combined total of 7,850 copies. Best of all, “there are no mass-produced editions, only limited and ultra-limited editions that are sure to sell-out!” Yes, Avatar has finally fulfilled the joke of only publishing the variants.

The Salon cover
The Salon

Nick Bertozzi’s The Salon (JAN07 3652, $19.95) is finally collected from Griffin Books. (It was previously announced from Alternative Comics, due in December 2004.) It’s a historical mystery using real-life personalities such as Picasso and Gertrude Stein. Bertozzi is also illustrating another historical work, Houdini: The Handcuff King (JAN07 3666, $16.99), written by Jason Lutes from Hyperion Books.

NBM this month offers Flower and Fade (JAN07 3766, $13.95). Based on some sample pages, it’s a simple, picture-driven story of a man meeting and falling in love with his neighbor. Quiet, but affecting. I’m curious to see what happens.

And that looks like it this month, with the exception of picking up the latest volumes of several good manga series. What are you excited by?

21 Responses to “Coming Up: Books Due in March 2007”

  1. Johanna Says:

    Good point, and that’s a structure he’s probably comfortable with, given his experience.

    Did you read the Serenity collection? I’m guessing if it had done better, we’d be seeing more Firefly spinoffs.

  2. Stephen Frug Says:

    It’s gone from “Joss Whedon writing Season 8 in comics!” to “Whedon writing the first few issues”, but at least he’s writing some of it.

    In all fairness, it’s not like he wrote all of Seasons 1-7 either. It sounds like he’s doing with S8 what he did with those: writing a few episodes (=arcs) and supervising the rest. Whether he’ll supervise them as closely, and whether the entire thing will translate well to the comics format, are of course open issues.

    I wait for the trade as a rule, which gives me plenty of time to read reviews. But my hunch is I’ll be picking this up once it’s in trade. I’m sort of a sucker for Whedon writing Buffy. (Even though I think it’s clear that, to date, his comics work hasn’t been as good as his TV work is/was).

    Now why don’t they do this with Firefly!?!

  3. Melchior Says:

    Dynamo 5 definitely sounds interesting.

    I’m eagerly awaiting the collection of Tarpe Mills’ WWII-era strip Miss Fury (edited by Trina Robbins) that I saw listed a few Previews back.

  4. myk Says:

    Oh. Thanks for reminding me to finally do one of these Previews picks myself. If only I HAD a Previews catalog. Last week´s shipment, with the catalog in it has been lost somewhere between two german airports. That´s 1.9 tons of missing paper. How the hell do you lose almost 2 tons?

    Just from looking over the text-based consumer order form Diamond has up on their site I´d probably add a few books (but not many) – King Cat Classix, Cross Bronx TPB for instance – but I´ll wait with that til I have the actual catalog in hands.

  5. Johanna Says:

    Yikes! I feel for you — it’s rotten when an essential part of the process gets screwed up.

    I thought about mentioning King Cat Classix — it certainly sounds like a good deal — but I still haven’t read the previous collection of his comics I have.

  6. Stephen Frug Says:

    You’re right about the Serenity collection — definitely disappointing. (But didn’t it do well commercially?) But such is my love for the show that I keep hoping for more, hoping that they’ll improve.

  7. Johanna Says:

    I would love to see more Firefly stories as well… but only if they could capture the charm of the ensemble cast, and I’m not sure how easy that would be to do.

  8. Jay Faerber Says:

    I swear I read in a recent interview that part of the magic, as far as Joss is concerned, about Firefly is the cast and crew he worked with. He was explaining why he isn’t doing more comics about Firefly, since simply writing the stories doesn’t do it for him. He really wants to work with the cast and crew again. Maybe this was in a Newsarama interview? I’m too lazy to look…

  9. Johanna Says:

    That certainly sounds plausible.

  10. Michael Denton Says:

    I had completely looked over Dynamo 5 but my partner discovered it – I have a bad habit of glossing over the Image section, old prejudices die hard. Luckily he isn’t as jaded as I am about comics.

    I’ve read Casanova through 5 and looked through 6 – it’s certainly well done, although quite manic and not exactly my cup of tea. I actually hate that I don’t enjoy it a lot since I think it’s one of the more unique and interesting things out there in comicland currently.

  11. Johanna Says:

    Isn’t that a terrible feeling, knowing that something’s great but it just doesn’t click with you?

  12. Dan Coyle Says:

    The good news is, Whedon’s bringing in Jane Espenson and other Buffy writers to help him write the season. The bad news is, he’s also bringing in Brad Meltzer and Jeph Loeb.

  13. myk Says:

    Johanna, “Yikes!” indeed. Even more so for that fact that I usually only go to get my comics once a month (the store is in another city, but since I worked there I still get employees´ discount).

    But since I´m a geek I already did my list based on Diamond´s text-only order form, still there´s always one or two items you miss doing orders this way. (It´d probably be much easier if all of the publishers solliciting their books had their web-sites up to date, or even websites at all.)

  14. Sam Hobart Says:

    Nat pointed this out in the wrong thread, but commercially at least, the Serenity comic was successful (according to my incredibly unofficial tabulations, the trade paperback was the 10th best selling trade or graphic novel via Diamond in 2006) and we are supposed to see more in late 2007 (though I have no clue how involved Whedon will be).

  15. Johanna Says:

    Oh, neat, I didn’t know. I hope the next comic is a bit more exciting.

  16. ~chris Says:

    The two March books I’m most excited by are BtVS (at least as long as Joss is writing and it has decent art), and Love the Way You Love #4.

    I’m concerned about Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane after Takeshi Miyazawa’s departure, but intrigued by the choice of new artist David Hahn. The preview pencils of a coffee house scene just doesn’t look right for SMLMJ, but those of Firestar look terrific. I do love Mr. Hahn’s work, and wish he’d return to Private Beach someday….

    Another title that looks interesting is Texas Strangers, a new all-ages Image book co-written by Antony Johnston. I enjoy his Oni Press work, but avoid his Avatar books… well, because they’re Avatar books.

    Other issues I’ll be picking up are Astonishing X-Men, Strangers in Paradise, Ultimate Spider-Man (hopefully with more Kitty Pryde, and zero clones), and Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse.

  17. Michael Denton Says:

    Eperson on Buffy! Big yea!

    Meltzer and Loeb? AAAUUGGGHHH!!! (with more emphasis on the Loeb end.)

  18. James Schee Says:

    More Buffy should be fun, but as always I’ll wait for the trade, that I’m pleased the hear that he’s bring in other Buffy writers.

    Loeb is a big yuck, and Meltzer worries me a bit as I wonder which female character gets brutalized in order to teach us all that Buffy needs to keep her Slayer identity a secret.

    Jay is right in Whedon having said that about Whedon loving the cast of Serenity in a recent Newsarma interview which prevents him from being really interested in writing comics in that world.

    Is Dynamo 5 a monthly series, miniseries or one shot? It sounds interesting… but I just don’t buy that many singles.

    DCBS hasn’t updated yet so I don’t know what’s out, and so can’t make recommendations at this time for what’s out. (though I am LOVING the Absolute Sandman and New Frontier books I got for Christmas)

  19. Johanna Says:

    D5 is ongoing, I believe. I’m glad you’re enjoying those big books! I’m looking forward to reading Abs Sandman myself. (Meltzer: hee hee hee. Good point.)

    Chris, thanks for the Love the Way You Love reminder. I’m enjoying that series, although I thought #3 just got us from here to there. It seems to be setting up for a great showdown, though.

    I suspect we won’t see more Private Beach so long as Hahn is getting work from the big companies. I wonder if even he knew where he was going with PB, it was so odd at times.

  20. ~chris Says:

    LtWYL #3 arrived here a week late, so I didn’t read it until last night. The best part wasn’t about the two main characters. (I added a comment to your LtWYL #3 post.)

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