You smell that?
No, not that. The doctor says that’s an abscess and I’ve stopped scratching it.
I mean the smell of new comic books! Image just had their expo and announced a ton of brand new titles coming in the future! Sci-fi, horror, educational (?!?), fantasy, and more! Lots of popular and lesser known writers and artists will be releasing some interesting titles with a lot of potential.
Plenty of titles have been announced at the Image Expo and we here at Adventures in Poor Taste will run them all down and give you our thoughts. Maybe we can help you find something or perhaps give you an insight into our crazy minds:
James Robinson and Greg Hinkle decide to go on an adventure and bring back the now public domain AIRBOY series of 1940s fame. Created by Robinson (THE SAVIORS, Earth-2) and Hinkle and starring, well, Robinson and Hinkle, AIRBOY is the story of two comic book creators determined to breathe new life into a series that, while once wildly successful, had fallen into obscurity.
Jordan: Using a public domain character, Airboy will be about a hero’s drug and booze fueled adventures akin to something like Adaptation and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Hmm… yep. Not feeling it, but I bet this premise sounds like it’ll instantly win someone over.
Dave: Isn’t Dark Horse already doing this with Buzzkill?
Sam: It does also say something about the series being a semi-auotbiography; that aspect of it really intrigues me.
Greg: Jordan, that “someone” of which you speak is me. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I am a total sucker for metafiction, and as a writer that’s trying to get comics published, this premise seems right up my alley. I haven’t read much from either creator, but I’m looking forward to see what Airboy #1 has in store.
In 2014, Kelly Sue DeConnick (PRETTY DEADLY, Captain Marvel, Avengers Assemble) and artist Valentine De Landro (X-Factor) are bringing the Women in Prison trope to outer space in BITCH PLANET. Sure to be a campy, kick-ass adventure, BITCH PLANET is the story of five leading ladies ready to bust out of their prison cells.
Jordan: A comic book version of a woman prison exploitation film? There’s an audience for that somewhere out there, just not me.
Dave: Yeah but it’s written by a woman Jordan. That means badassery! Who doesn’t like a badass chick — just look at Kill Bill amiright?!
Sam: Then just look at Red Sonja, not much badassery and a lot of exposition. I don’t think I’ve ever LOVED anything Sue DeConnick’s done before, but I haven’t tried enough to be certain; I’ll give this one a shot.
Greg: Careful, Sam, Red Sonja is just one comic written by one woman. That said, I’m not crazy about this premise either, but I’m curious about Kelly Sue DeConnick’s interest in the women-in-prison trope. And given such a provocative title, I’d bet that Deconnick and Valentine de Landro have more than a few tricks up their sleeves. I’d actually love to see this turn into some sort of feminist satire using the language of such a typically sexist genre.
Sean: Sounds bitchin’.
This May, Kyle Higgins (Batman, Nightwing), Alec Siegel (Captain America, Avengers), and Rod Reis (Justice League) take readers back to 1960s Chicago, in a time when the once-celebrated superhero labor union C.O.W.L. struggles to maintain their public image and regain the confidence of the people.
Jordan: This is the only premise that grabbed my attention right away: a superhero union. I don’t know why, but I’m already curious on how that’ll play out.
Dave: Why am I getting a Watchmen vibe from this? Period piece, heroes without anything to do anymore, set in a real location? Hmm, sounds like Watchmen. I’d give this a shot but if it doesn’t capture me on issue one I’m not sticking around.
Sam: It makes me a little suspicious that Higgins is going directly from one superhero book at one publisher to another publisher. I would like to see a change of genres.
Greg: I failed to get into Higgins’ Nightwing after multiple attempts, but I’m with Jordan. I think this is an intriguing premise with a lot of potential. Here’s hoping that C.O.W.L actually lives up to it.
In 2014, Brandon Graham (PROPHET, ELEPHANTMEN) will team up with four different creators to bring a series of science-fiction/fantasy miniseries set in a world ruled by eight houses to life.
The first of the series will be 8HOUSE: KIEM, written by Graham and drawn by Xurxo Penalta and follows a soldier who must project her mind into the body of her dead twin in order to fight monsters on a distant comet.
The second of the series is titled 8HOUSE: ARCLIGHT, written by Graham and featuring art by Marian Churchland (BEAST). ARCLIGHT will bring readers the chilling story of a high-ranking lady of one of the houses who has her mind trapped in a monster’s body. She will soon learn that the monster trapped in her body has taken over her old life in her absence.
The last of the series will be 8HOUSE: MIRROR, and will be written by Emma Ríos (PRETTY DEADLY) and drawn by Hwei Lim. 8HOUSE: MIRROR will examine what it means to be “human” and promises to take readers on an ironic space opera battle between self-absorbed humans intent on their own survival and noble monsters striving to save their worlds.
Jordan: I never read anything before by the writer, but creating a bunch of mini-series to create an entire universe has potential. It all depends on execution.
Dave: I simply love Graham’s artistic style and the dirty nature of his comics; just look at Multiple Warheads. He’s definitely got an inventive enough imagination to make this puppy sing.
Sam: I’ll say one thing: universe building through a couple minis seems a lot less tiresome than building a world through countless ongoings.
Greg: Yeah, it’s definitely an interesting structure. Brandon Graham is one of those creators that I’ve always been curious about but never got around to reading any of his work, so maybe I’ll change that with 8House.
Frequent collaborators Rick Remender (BLACK SCIENCE) and artist Greg Tocchini (Uncanny X-Force, Last Days of American Crime) will bring readers on another high-octane science fiction adventure, this time to the lowest depths of Earth after it has been ravaged by the sun’s radiation.
LOW is set in the distant future, after humanity has relocated to radiation-shielded cities below the sea and the surface of the planet has become a scorched uninhabitable wasteland. A probe has returned with information on a possible alternative planet for humans, but it has landed on the Earth’s surface. A few brave representatives from the warring human clans venture out to retrieve it and the hopeful news it bears.
Jordan: Set in the distant future when all things went to crap and all hope appears to be lost? Oh good, I don’t read, watch, or play enough of those stories already. Yeah, this is not for me.
Dave: Honestly I’m a little excited for this because Remender has said he’s been working on it for 3 years. That’s a good portion of time to build a realistic and interesting world.
Sam: Totally ready for this one. If Rick Remender is good at one thing, it’s despair. Definitely going to be checking this one out.
Greg: I don’t doubt that there are still new and interesting ideas to explore within the post-apocolyptic subgenre of sci-fi, but I’m not going out of my way for this series unless I hear absolutely spectacular things about it.
Did you know that more serial killers have been born in Buckaroo, Oregon than any other city in the world?
Joshua Williamson (GHOSTED, MASKS AND MOBSTERS, Captain Midnight) teams up with artist Mike Henderson (MASKS AND MOBSTERS, Venom, TMNT) to bring readers a serial killer mystery they won’t be able to tear their eyes away from this May.
Jordan: Starring a serial killer who eats fingernails and takes place in a town where 16 of worst serial killers come from. First of all, ew. Secondly, someone should really check the water. Third, not for me at all. I like a good crime drama and all, but not from the killer’s perspective.
Dave: I’ve been known to bite my nails Jordan so cool it with the “ew” bud. Seriously though, I’m wondering if this will be similar to something like Green Wake. A little weird, steeped in a dark place could be decent.
Sam: It’s an original concept, something that seems rare throughout this list. I’ll take it just because it’s so out there.
Greg: Williams says that this comic will focus more on the families of the serial killer, a perspective that I don’t think horror stories normally pay much attention to. That family drama sensibility may save it from becoming just another grisly horror story.
Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham team up once again, moving from Batman Inc. to “… all the dark stuff that Western culture’s kind of obsessed with — the zombies and everything — beyond the limit and doing hopefully for now what H.P. Lovecraft did for the wartime generation.”
From USA Today:
“The book centers on a man named the Nameless, a protagonist who’s a hero only in the post-modern 21st-century sense of the word, according to Morrison. He’s a screw-up but he’s also super-smart and, much like Benedict Cumberbatch’s modern take on the literary detective in Sherlock, “super high functioning in how he makes connections between things.”
Jordan: Not much is known about this title at this moment, but they state they are going for the ultimate horror comic. Having read lots of horror comics (American and foreign) and the team in general, I am not sure if they are actually going to able to pull it off.
Dave: My money is on this going 4 issues and getting a massive delay, but I’m game for a Morrison horror book. The man has conquered heroes so let’s see something a little different. Can he drop our jaws or will this be another eye rolling ego stroking affair? Either way the first issue is going to be a must buy for me.
Sam: It doesn’t matter if the book is nameless, the only two names that matter are the ones on the right. Anything with Morrison or Burnham’s name on it is going on my pull-list for sure.
Greg: Sam, you took the words right out of my mouth–I mean keyboard. Burnham did great work on Batman Incorporated, and Morrison is one of my all-time favorite comic book writers. It actually surprises me that this is his first horror comic. There have been several legitimately frightening moments in several of his comics of other genres, so I’m excited to see what he does with straight horror.
In 2014, Nick Spencer (MORNING GLORIES, BEDLAM) will team up with three different artists and launch three new thriller series sure to capture readers’ imaginations.
In the GREAT BEYOND, featuring art by Morgan Jeske (ZERO, SEX) a “post-life community” values the size of your bank account over morals and values—and your place in the hereafter is determined by it. But then polite society is rocked by the apparent suicide of one of its own.
Jordan: Apparently one’s bank account affects one’s status in the afterlife. Yeah, with Spencer at the wheel, this is going to be an overly complicated book like Morning Glories if I had to guess.
Greg: There’s some great potential for social satire in the premise, but I’ve never been able to get into Nick Spencer comics either. Of course, I haven’t read all that much from him yet, so…
Another Nick Spencer written title: A contemporary fantasy epic with a spy thriller aesthetic, PARADIGMS will showcase art by Butch Guice (Captain America, Superman) and explore a world that exists beyond, or more specifically behind, ours. In the shadows where magic is real, warring clans of sorcerers battle for power and the favor of their gods.
Jordan: I do like Guice’s work, but I’m not sure about this “Belief is the Weapon” tagline or Game of Thrones touch (that show does nothing for me at all). Might be for the right audience, just not me.
Greg: Nothing from the description strikes me as new or different enough to excite me.
A sci-fi thriller of dead worlds, lost secrets, and hidden dangers, CERULEAN, with art by Frazer Irving (MORNING GLORIES, BEDLAM, Batman), follows the last survivors of the destruction of Earth as they struggle to rebuild civilization on a distant planet full of its own mysteries.
Jordan: Frazer Irving and another story about survivors in a post-apocalyptic world? Oh yeah, this is SO not for me.
Greg: I like Frazer Irving, but what I know of the premise seems too done-to-death at this point.
On Restoration Day, magic comes back into the world. This is not good news.
Bill Willingham (Fables, Elementals) and Barry Kitson (Batman, Fables) reveal that the magic and gods of legend and lore are not just oral history, but real…and now they’re back in the forthcoming series RESTORATION.
Jordan: What Willingham said about this series, about how magic and creatures return to the world one day, made me instantly think of Hinterkind and Fables. I do like his work, so maybe I’ll try this. Though I would like to see something a bit different from him.
Sam: Not doing much for me, just judging by the description. Seems like too big a scope and something that could easily lose sight of characters and emotions. Good idea, but too impersonal and plot-driven (sounding) for me.
Greg: So I guess Willingham is ending Fables so that he could get a fresh start on a new series that sounds a hell of a lot like Fables. I guess that could be a good or a bad thing, depending on how much you like Fables.
Marvel Knights: Hulk and Glory writer Joe Keatinge teams up with artist Leila del Duca for her Image Comics debut in an all-new ongoing series combining urban fantasy and globe-spanning adventure, SHUTTER.
Kate Kristopher, once the most famous explorer on Earth—an Earth that’s far more fantastical than the one we know, filled with demons, gorgons, phantom ninjas, and various other monsters of lore—is forced to return to the adventurous life she left behind when a family secret threatens to destroy everything she spent her life protecting.
Jordan: The announcement didn’t really grab my attention, but the interview and artwork I’ve seen did. Someone who had discovered so much at a young age, trying to live a normal life nowadays, but the past comes back to haunt her. Okay, the premise isn’t all that original, but the fantasy and adventure element do grab my interest.
Greg: The premise didn’t wow me either, but damn, that is some good looking art.
The fan-favorite series TECH JACKET, returns with an all-new three-issue digital miniseries. Written by Joe Keatinge (GLORY, HELL YEAH) and drawn by Khary Randolph (Spider-Man, Hellboy), this miniseries is the perfect introduction to Kirkman and EJ Su’s exciting superhero.
Jordan: Apparently it was based off an older comic Kirkman wrote that I have never heard of. It really doesn’t grab my attention, but maybe fans of the original series will like this.
Sam: Oh yay, a prequel! Said no one, ever.
Greg: Never read the original series, and I’m not tempted to read this one either, no offense to the new creative team.
The Wicked and Divine
What if every 90 years the gods were reincarnated? Coming this 2014, Kieron Gillen (THREE, PHONOGRAM, Young Avengers) and Jamie McKelvie (PHONOGRAM, SUBURBAN GLAMOUR, Young Avengers) team up to infuse new life into the old mythological characters in THE WICKED AND THE DIVINE. The new ongoing series will feature guest creators and surprise arcs with alternate endings that will bring the gods of mythology to life.
Dave: Sign me up. I’m a sucker for mythical stories and this sounds like one that’ll tie into culture nicely. Reminds me of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods at face value.
Sam: Don’t love the creators, but the concept is grabbing me. I think the alternate endings and surprise arcs will be pretty fun (if not a little confusing.)
Greg: I’m trade-waiting Gillen and McKelvie’s Young Avengers, but I love what I’ve read so far, so it’s hard to imagine that this will disappoint. McKelvie’s art is just gorgeous.
Scott Snyder (Batman, Superman Unchained, SEVERED) and Jock (Batman, Wolverine, SNAPSHOT) will team up for a new, ongoing horror series called WYTCHES. Everything you thought you knew about witches is wrong. They are much darker, and they are much more horrifying.
Jordan: Now, here’s a team for me! However, Snyder describes this as being the “blackest, most twisted horror he’s ever done” and that made me pause: I’m honestly hoping it isn’t too bleak because that can really drain a person quickly.
Dave: I could take it or leave it on witches, but heck, it’s Snyder, the man can write a mean comic. Let’s see what he’s got! Oh and it’s Jock, so you know it’ll be moody and atmospheric.
Sam: These are my favorite two people in comics. Period. This book is so going to be the bomb.com — I shivered just thinking about it.
Greg: I’m not really a horror comics guy, but it’s Snyder and Jock. I’m in.
The Fade Out
Ed Brubaker (Batman, Captain America, FATALE, CRIMINAL) and Sean Phillips (FATALE, Sleeper) present THE FADE OUT. According to Brubaker: “The Fade Out is my ultimate noir story. It’s a brutal crime story set in late ’40s Hollywood, and all spinning around the mysterious death of an up-and-coming starlet,” said Brubaker. “For people who’ve been waiting for us to return to Criminal, this will be exactly what they’re looking for, but on a much more epic scale—going from studio backlots to the debauchery of the rich and famous, and even stretching back to the horrors of World War Two.”
Jordan: These two are writing another crime/noir drama? Get out of town! According to Brubaker, it’ll be a treat for Sleeper fans. I have never read that series, so I can’t be sure if that’s good or not.
Dave: Sleeper was amazing, and soon to be produced into a movie by Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, so sign me up right the hell now. I haven’t liked his noir stuff much over the years since, but this gives me hope!
Sam: Also announced with this was the conclusion of Fatale in issue 24, that means that we’ll be getting a new number one and a deluxe hardcover from this (amazing) creative team at right about the same time. Now that is exciting.
Greg: I don’t know why I never got into Brubaker/Phillips, because I love noir. Maybe now’s the time to change that. And that deal they signed with Image is pretty interesting too, but I don’t know how much bearing that will have on this particular comic.
By Fred Van Lente and Nick Dragotta
Jordan: A children’s educational comic?! Dear god, we here at AiPT are the perfect target audience for this book! Am I right?
But seriously, it’s definitely not for us, but it’s always nice to get something out there for the younger audience that isn’t a license property.
Dave: What do you know Jordan?! Maybe I wanna learn, huh, maybe I need edumacation!
Sam: The creative team seems like they are really taking this comic seriously, which is always a noble thing. I also think, Jordan, that you’re forgetting that this part of AiPT is a child. My young mind hasn’t been warped by all of this violence yet; maybe there is hope for this comic yet.
Greg: I don’t know how to read.
Seriously though, I’m all for more all-ages comics. And Van Lente proved with Action Philosophers that he can write great educational comics for adults, so I’m sure that he could do the same with a more family-friendly approach.
From Comicbook.com: Robert Kirkman announced that Skybound’s next big series, Outcast, which will be written by Kirkman and drawn by Paul Azaceta, will debut with an oversized, 40-page issue for just $2.99.
Jordan: Apparently, it’s going to be creepy and dark according to artist. Kirkman joked that it’ll be just like The Walking Dead, but I really hope it’s not. I just cannot muster any emotions for that series anymore after all it has pulled.
Dave: Frankly I’m just excited to see he’s branching away from the two books he’s written non stop for so long (Invincible and Walking Dead). Let’s see if the man has any ideas outside of managing Image!
Sam: Meh. Very meh.
Greg: Not feeling it. An Outkast comic, however, I would be totally into.