Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chronic Spotlight: Coming Attractions!

Here's some stuff lying around Previews that you might want to think about ordering from your LCS or other comic book provider. We'll start cheap and work our way up the ladder toward your inevitable bankruptcy.

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents # 1
DC Comis

Script: Nick Spencer
Pencils: CAFU
$3.99 suggested retail

This was an ancient Tower Comics property, where a bunch of Joe Lunchboxes with regular day jobs would use technology to infuse themselves with super powers and work with the UN. As many of these stories go, it descended into a kind of Miracle Man type "who owns the rights?" Hell, only without the McFarlane stains. Those never come out, not really, I don't care how much Spot Shot you plaster onto them.

No, DC appears to own the property free and clear, and had the presence to hand it off to Nick Spencer, oh he of Morning Glories fame. Contrary to popular belief, I'm not ready to announce that Spencer is the Second Coming. Yet. But I'm not ruling it out, either.

Spencer is keeping to the tradition of using more regular folk as his starring cast. The new hook is that the powers administered to these characters are ultimately lethal. To them. My first response was "You know, I think I liked that concept better the first time I heard it when it was called Strikeforce Morituri."

The thing is, it's a really good concept, everything has been done before, and I'm more worried that it's handled correctly now. Art is by something calling itself CAFU. I don't know what that is, but it sounds illegal and I want one.

Suggested retail on this thing is $3.99, but I'm going to recommend something else. Go over to DCB Service and find the book in the "Specials" category. DC is offering this comic for 50% off....signed by Nick Spencer.

So you can either wait for your local shop to not order this and maybe pay $4 if they do. Or, you can get if from DCB Service for $2, complete with an authentic signature of rising superstar and probable Jesus/Minerva love child Nick Spencer. I know which way I'm leaning.

Dungeons & Dragons # 1
IDW Comics

Script: John Rogers
Pencils: Andrea Di Vito
$3.99 suggested retail (unknown price on module variant)

I reviewed the intro issue for this property, and it's a cute little action piece. It's not going to change your life or anything, but sometimes you just want to read an adventure story. John Rogers has screenwriting credits on Transformers and Leverage, so he knows how to do that.

I don't ordinarily get into variant covers. I get the scarcity angle, but it has no real draw for me. What IDW is doing on this book is actually quite clever, though. Rather than just staple a different cover on the variant, they dressed it up as an old D&D Module and are adding role-playing content. So after you're done reading the book, you can use it as a module for re-creating the adventure in a gaming world.

Now that is providing relevant content and added value to a product. Bravo, gents. And women. Whoever you people at IDW are.

Hack/Slash: My First Maniac S/N HC
Image Comics

Script: Tim Seeley
Pencils: Dan Leister
$29.99 suggested retail

Hack Slash is a great series. The scripts are always funny, and the Cassie/Vlad relationship is one of the best in comics. If you like horror in any genre, you like comics, or you like to laugh, this should be an automatic pick up.

Since Seeley took the property over to Image, the product is now hitting seamlessly and getting better. Here's something we never saw from DDP - a nice hardcover edition shipped fresh of the heels of the completed storyline.

Now, you can go cheap and just get the soft cover TPB for $9.99, available simultaneously. And by the way, how awesome is that to have both available instead of being forced to buy something you may or may not want just to have it now? It's super awesome.

Me, I'm going with the limited and signed hardcover edition. Suggested retail is $29.99, but I'm only going to spend $18 at DCB Service. That's just obscene. By the way, that edition is going to sell for $50 minimum this time next year and probably closer to $100. Apparently I'm the only person in this joint who isn't allergic to money, so you can just forget that profiteering stuff I just mentioned if it helps you sleep at night.

The Sword: Complete Collection Deluxe HC
Image Comics

Scripts: Joshua Luna
Pencils: Jonathan Luna
$99.99 suggested retail ($150 SRP for signed edition)

This is a product I've been waiting on for awhile now. If you've had your ear to the ground at all, you know this story gathered some rave reviews. Like, RAVE reviews. Like, anybody who has ever read this achieved a spontaneous orgasm at minimum, and its on record as lowering blood pressure and curing bronchitis. That's how well reviewed Sword is.

Now we have the entire 24 issue storyline collected in one giant tome, and I am ready to consume. This edition will be printed to order, and then it's gone for good - so get on if you're coming aboard, because it will never be cheaper than it will be to order now.

Incidentally, there is also a signed edition that will be strictly limited to 200 copies. If you can afford it, I would pull the trigger on that. The Luna Bros are a strong niche commodity, and The Sword has "comics legend" written all over it. Legends never go out of style. That signed edition? That's a $500 book waiting to happen.

Once again, it's available at DCB Service for $50 standard version and $100 for the signed limited edition.

- Ryan

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