Good Books to Order for January 2017

The latest Diamond Previews catalog lists a lot of books worth checking out. Here are a few of them, along with others I had something to say about. You can order them now through your local comic shop for delivery in January or later.

Black Hammer: Secret OriginsBlack Hammer: Secret Origins
Dark Horse, $17.99, NOV16 0051, due out March 29
The first six issues of the series about burnt out, trapped Goldan Age science heroes collected. I find Black Hammer an interesting commentary on the superhero genre — these characters have outlasted their usefulness, and several are stuck in forms they now despise, but they’re all forced to live together on a farm, unable to leave or move on. Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston do a great job capturing the ennui and petty revenges of a magical girl trapped as a kid, an interstellar adventurer past his prime and gone slightly demented, and the others.

Beanworld: Hoka Hoka Burb'l Burb'lBeanworld: Hoka Hoka Burb’l Burb’l
Dark Horse, $16.99, NOV16 0079, due out March 8
Once upon a time, I would have loved to see another volume of Larry Marder’s series collected, but that was seven years ago, when the last hardcover came out. Now, I don’t know, it seems like I’m past cutesy alternate worlds that never have an explanation. I no longer have the imagination or patience to play along (and I’m ok with being that age). But you know, no comic has to be something we like forever.

Hey, while I’m talking about Dark Horse, I noticed that there won’t be a LARP! Volume 2 after all. It’s been cancelled by the publisher.

Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #1

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1 cover by Michael Allred

Batman '66 Meets Wonder Woman '77 #1

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1 variant cover by Alex Ross

Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1
DC Comics, $2.99, NOV16 0281, NOV16 0282 (variant cover), due out January 18
Yay for fun comics by skilled creators! Writers Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker and artists David Hahn and Karl Kesel bring us the crossover that had to happen — retro Batman fights Nazis with Wonder Woman. (Kind of impressed to see her described as “one of the greatest heroes the world has ever known”.) Available digitally starting later this month before being collected in six print issues. Wonder Woman: Her Greatest BattlesWonder Woman: Her Greatest Battles
DC Comics, $9.99, NOV16 0343, due out February 8
Continuing the “let’s trade in on the interest in her upcoming movie”, there are several collections available this month, including this one, which contains… we have no idea what. Various creators are listed, and villains featured include Ares, Cheetah, and Medusa, but there is no reprint content listing. I suspect the publisher has concluded that doesn’t matter, particularly at this bargain price.

Scooby-Doo Team-Up #22Scooby-Doo Team-Up #22
DC Comics, $2.99, NOV16 0315, due out January 25
Sholly Fisch writes the most entertaining, silly, and yet historically reverent comic stories. I never would have imagined that they would ever use Frankenstein Jr. and the Impossibles, and now I can’t wait to see it.
Batman and the Outsiders Volume 1Batman and the Outsiders Volume 1
DC Comics, $49.99, NOV16 0328, due out February 8
It is terrific that so many old comics are available so easily these days, but I do have to wonder how many people are going to shell out $50 for fourteen issues of 1980s comics. I remember liking the series — it had a couple of cool girl heroes, Katana and Halo — but I think I’d like to reread them without spending that much. Maybe this is aimed at the library market, with the hardcover binding, and I can check it out there.

Iron Circus Comics, $10, NOV16 1644, due out January 4
An excellent guide to living frugally and rethinking how money can be approached in order to “live well on less”. Not all of the advice will apply well to everyone, but anyone will find useful tips within. The sequel volume, all about travel, is also offered (NOV16 1645).

Angel City #4
Angel City #4
Oni Press, $3.99, NOV16 1716, due out January 11
I am shallow. I am plugging this issue of the series, written by former co-worker Janet Harvey and illustrated by Megan Levens (Madame Frankenstein), because they used a quote of mine from my writeup of the first issue. I did like it a lot and hope that continues as we see more.

Ten Count volume 1Ten Count Volume 1
SuBLime Manga, $12.99, NOV16 1765, due out December 21
I’m not a huge yaoi fan. My favorite series are those where there’s some substantial characterization to the boys, so they seem like people, not just sex dolls. Ten Count was promising in that regard, since one wants to help the other overcome his obsessive germ phobia.

Doctor Who: The Third Doctor #1 cover by Josh BurnsDoctor Who: The Third Doctor: The Heralds of Destruction
Titan Comics, $19.99, NOV16 1796, due out April 12
Another pull quote! This hardcover collects the miniseries, a fun flashback that never was, with a faithful portrait of the 70s characters and a surprise guest star.

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