Image Previews Picks: June 2016



This is the month where just about EVERYTHING comes back for another arc.  You’ve got titles that I read and was waiting for to return:  “Casanova:  Acedia,” “Descender,” and “Lazarus.”  Titles that I read, but wasn’t sure if they’d be coming back for another volume:  “Rumble,” and “Thief of Thieves.”  Titles that I haven’t read yet, but am looking forward to:  “Paper Girls,”  and “I Hate Fairyland.”  A title that I haven’t read yet but may get around to at some point:  “Birthright.”  [Post-WonderCon Edit:  Got the first volume.  Now I just have to find the time to read it.]  And another Mark Millar title that I’m just not going to bother with:  “Jupiter’s Legacy.”  With these titles all starting new arcs in June, it’s not likely that we’ll see new volumes for them by the end of the year.  In fact, it’s far more likely that I’ll finally get around to reading their arcs one year from now as I type this.  That’s… interesting, I guess?

Midnight of the Soul #1 (of 5):  Howard Chaykin flies solo again after teaming up with writer Matt Fraction for the entertaining “Satellite Sam.”  This series is about a former G.I. who participated in the liberation of Auschwitz and is now drunken damaged goods five years later in 1950.  He may have built a sheltered life that allows him to continue his bad habits, but it’s all about to come undone over the course of one long night.  I haven’t actually read a lot of Chaykin’s solo work.  Though I’ve heard the praises of “American Flagg!” sung over the years, I have yet to actually check it out.  One of these days, I swear!  As for this, it sounds like a fairly straightforward 50’s noir story only likely to have more explicit sex and violence because that’s the way Chaykin rolls.

Casanova:  Acedia #5:  Ah.  So the reason that the previous volume didn’t feel like a complete story like the other volumes was because it was only the first part of it.  Good to know that Fraction (and Ba, and Moon, and Chabon) are committed to finishing what they started.  Even if it sells for crap.  Hmmmm… probably a good idea for everyone to start picking up the collected editions to give these guys additional incentive to keep working on it if the single issues for this run sell as bad as the last one.  Ditto for “Rumble” too.

Invincible #129:  In which Thragg begins rebuilding the Viltrumite Empire as his hybrid children come of age.  Definitely not a good thing for the galaxy.  However, based on this news I’m willing to bet that readers can expect a sequel to “The Viltrumite War” arc sometime down the line.  While I’m sure the Earth-based Viltrumites will have no problems murdering teenagers in the name of war, the drama is likely going to come from the issues that Mark and Nolan are going to have with such an act.  Or maybe they’ll just grit their teeth, dive right in, and the war will be over in an issue.  I wouldn’t put it past Kirkman to have the story play out like that given how he plots this series.

Starve #10:  The series finale.  Well, that was quick.  I kind of doubt that the issues I had with the first volume will be fully addressed here, but no matter.  The stuff that I liked about vol. 1 is enough to get me to pick up the concluding volume when it arrives.

Stray Bullets:  Sunshine & Roses #16:  Sixteen issues and no collected edition in sight.  Just what kind of game are you playing here Mr. Lapham…

Adventures in the Rifle Brigade:  In case anyone was wondering, Garth Ennis can be just as entertaining with the war story genre when he’s ripping it a new one as when he’s playing it straight.  Pick this up if you don’t believe me.

Citizen Jack:  In which a scandal-plagued small-town politician teams up with a demon to run for president.  Given the state of the current presidential campaign, this… doesn’t seem all that outlandish or over-the-top anymore.  Hell, even without knowing more about this politician beyond the whole “backed by a demon” deal, he still sounds like a more appealing candidate than Ted Cruz.

Monstress vol. 1:  It’s the early 1900’s and a teenage girl is struggling to survive the horrors of war.  Oh, and she has a psychic connection to a monster of incredible power.  This is a title that I’ve heard good things about, even if I don’t own anything by its creators:  writer Marjorie Liu and artist Sana Takeda.  Expect that to change come this June… or July when the volume actually comes out.

Injection vol. 2:  Human deli meat is a plot point in this volume.  Just pointing that out in case you thought that Warren Ellis was starting to go soft after all these years.

The Legacy of Luther Strode:  This is the final volume in a trilogy that started with a teenage boy attaining ultimate power through one of those muscle-growth plans that you could send away for in the back of comic books.  It continued with a miniseries that was basically one big fight scene from beginning to end and a great example of how to do style over substance.  For the finale, Luther faces off against Cain (yes “the first murderer” Cain) to get some payback for all that his murder cult has done to him over the years.  After the first two volumes, I’ll definitely be picking this up.  I just hope that writer Justin Jordan and artist Tradd Moore don’t try to top what they did in the previous volume.  Mainly because I don’t think it can be done.  Adding actual substance to Luther’s quest is the way I’d like to see them go.

Velvet vol. 3:  It only comes out periodically in single issue form, but that doesn’t matter anymore because vol. 3 looks to be the finale of this great spy series.  Not much more to say than that, except to express my hope that Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting have another series in the offing to follow up this one.

jason@glickscomicpicks.com


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