Due Credit: Artists & Writers In Comics

Lupacchino Supergirl

Well this conversation has come up many times in the past, I have no doubt it will continue to be a conversation had by many.  I’m of course talking about the lack of recognition given to artists by many news outlets, whether they be conducting interviews, writing reviews or discussing previews.  Often artists are excluded from this side of comics completely, something I can’t seem to wrap my head around at all.  I get why people are so invested in the writing side, without writers we wouldn’t have comics.  But without artists, you guessed it, we wouldn’t have comics.  I don’t want to diminish anyone’s efforts in making comics, there’s a huge amount of talent in all corners of the industry, even those not published on paper.  Hell, go take a look on DeviantArt, there’s a phenomenal amount of talent on there and a lot of those guys and girls can write some damn fine stories too.

The reason I’m delving into this one myself is the topic came up again on Twitter a few days ago after a tweet from Declan Shalvey showed some shocking statistics.  Have a look.

My order of preference from these choices would be Artist, Writer, Price, Star Character, Overall Importance to Universe, Publisher, Issue Number, Other.  What the hell is “other” anyway?  And how in the world is this ranked higher than artist?!  Now, I have no idea how far stretching this questionnaire was, for all I know they could have asked fifty people or five thousand people, I don’t know but it seems odd.  Comics are, after all, a visual medium and how good that visual aspect is done is surely extremely important.  Every aspect of that visual side needs to hit the right notes to go along with the story, we’re not just talking about incredible pencillers here, top quality inkers and colourists are just as important to the overall equation.  Everyone involved in a comic has a job to do, an equally important job and a comic can live or die based on how well any one of these folks are doing their job.  For me, poor art is a huge turn off for a comics, you could have Grant Morrison, Mark Waid or Ron Marz write a perfect story but you put a shitty artist on it and I’m not buying it.  On the complete flip side, you could get a hack writer to knock out any old rubbish and put someone like Mahmud Asrar or Emanuela Lupacchino on it and you’d better believe I’d be picking it up.  That’s just how I am, I’ll follow artists on to books I wouldn’t normally consider buying but if a writer moves to a book of the same type I’d more than likely skip it.

Now, as far as my preferences go, there is one exception to the order above, that being any book featuring Supergirl is an instant sell for me but outside of her, the art team is pretty much the most important thing for me.  When DC relaunched Suicide Squad and “New Suicide Squad” a year ago I picked up the first issue after flicking through the book in my local store and seeing the work of the art team, Jeremy Roberts and Blond.  I was impressed and while unfamiliar with Sean Ryan as a writer I went in for it anyway, based purely on the art.

Roberts Suicide Squad

By issue 5 I’d dropped it, since Roberts mysteriously departed without any word and Rob Hunter was brought in and while I fully appreciate the art is totally subjective, the switch in styles was both jarring and I felt a down slide.  A shame since I thought Ryan showed some promise with the book, but take a look at this page from issue 5, specifically the seventh panel with the close up on Harley, and you may well see why I jumped off.

Hunter Suicide Squad

Sure, I have favourite writers and I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of them.  Would I follow any of them on to any book?  No.  That’s the simple fact for me, the aforementioned talents like Morrison, Waid and Marz, other incredible writers such as Geoff Johns, Dan Slott, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Jeff Lemire, Matt Hawkins, J Michael Straczynski, Gail Simone.  There’s a slew of writers that have put out work that I’ll never forget it was that bloody good, whether it be creator owned work or freelance, but there’s a lot of books all of them have done that I won’t read, have no interest in reading and I have no doubt that all of them will do work in the future that I won’t be bothered about too.  That’s not a slight against any one of them, or a whole number of other writers I think are fantastic, it’s just that some books don’t jump at me and my tastes like others do.  That’s the way of personal tastes.  But I can give you a large number of artists off the top of my head right now that I would follow on to any book they do, no joke.  The previously mention Mahmud Asrar and Emanuela Lupacchino, Stjepan Šejić, Jason Fabok, Amanda Conner, Cliff Chiang, Humberto Ramos, Tony S. Daniel, Kenneth Rocafort.  All these artists (and no doubt more that I’m forgetting right now) have put out work that I absolutely adore.  There’s a bunch of artists that are on the cusp of joining this list too, but right now every one of those could go work on a book entirely populated by characters I hate and I’d still go buy it.

On top of that, you’ve got wonderful artists in their own right like Klaus Janson, Matt Banning, Danny Miki bringing solid line work and laying the foundations for colourists with their perfect ink work and the colourists themselves, Hi-Fi being my absolute favourite right now.  Without these talented individuals there is no comic, can we please give them the credit they deserve?  I’m not asking everyone to shift their focus to align with mine, that would be totally ridiculous.  If your buying preferences lie primarily with writers, or even just favourite characters, fine.  Please, carry on and enjoy what you enjoy.  Just remember the amount of work that goes into bringing these stories to life in front of your eyes, take a little longer to look at the backgrounds of scenes and really appreciate what artists bring to books.  An journalists and reviewers, interviewers and bloggers, commit to bringing artists into the spotlight more often.  Make sure they know that we love their work, we appreciate their effort.  Even as a fan that doesn’t blog or anything like that, if you tweet out to a writer that you loved their new issue and you enjoyed the art too, find the artist on Twitter before you send the tweet and include them too.  Where applicable do the same with inkers and colourists.  Let them know they’re doing an awesome job.  To close out, here’s an beautiful piece from Mahmud Asrar, enjoy!

Asrar Supergirl

DC Collectibles At SDCC 2015

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Part of DC’s great showing this year at SDCC was their new announcements for action figures, statues and various other collectibles.  They of course had a very impressive SDCC limited, exclusive action figure available to purchase at the show, the BlueLine Batman figure which came with a Jim Lee sketch reproduction and an extra limited special edition which came packaged with a one off sketch of either Harley Quinn or The Joker, check it out below.

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Let’s start off with the stuff I’m less interested in, and work our way through.  Beginning with action figures, we’ve got additions to the Batman: Arkham Knight line and CW-verse line:

I’ll probably skip most, if not all of this line.  What I do find interesting though is that in a fairly standard line we’re getting hand replacements on almost all the figures, the ones that warrant them at least.  It’s about time, DC Collectibles makes some beautiful figures but frankly posability and replaceable parts have been lacking for a while, it’s only recently DC have started doing this whereas the Marvel Legends line has had these options available for ages.  Legends is generally the line I compare DC’s in house lines too, and they’re reaching the same level of quality now, it’s nice.

Next up, DC showed off an extension to the Greg Capullo designer series (woo!) and two more designer series!  Most importantly for me, two designer series from artists I love and therefore the majority of these action figures I will absolutely be picking up.  First up, the Lee Bermejo Designer Series:

Nice to see a Lex Luthor figure not relying on being in a power suit and just a, well, suit.  All of them look great, the attention to detail is fantastic.  Superman looks powerful and imposing, I love how the Bat symbol has been incorporated into the cape and cowl rather than being a separate symbol on his chest.  Hal almost looks like a cross between a regular Green Lantern and a Spartan from the Halo series.  Great line, will be buying… all of them.

Next, the Designer line to end all Designer lines.  Darwyn Cooke.  Oh yes, DC have played a clever hand and brought in a wildly popular artist who’s contributed so much to DC Comics and this line is incredible.  Take a butchers:

So right out the gate, Supergirl is on the buy list.  Even the figure on it’s own would be plenty for me to buy it, I love Cooke’s design here but the fact that she also comes with Krypto and Streaky makes it an absolute no-brainer for me.  For Harley, Cooke has used the costume design he used for the Darwyn Cooke variant of Harley Quinn, a very slight twist on the design that’s been used in her solo adventures for a while now, another one that looks great.  Now, while the other two look pretty cool I’m running the risk of buying more Batman figures than I really want, and frankly I prefer Bermejo’s design to Cooke’s so I’ll probably take a pass on that and as for Adam Strange, he’s not really a character I’ve ever been overly bothered about so that one will probably be a skip too.  Beautifully designed line overall though, well done Darwyn Cooke and DC.

Three more figures were announced as part of the new DC Icons line, the main line of figures that’s replacing the New 52 line now that DC are no longer using “The New 52″ on any of their comics.  This is essentially DC cherry picking favourite and iconic designs of various characters from their extensive library and bringing them into the same 6” format they used in the New 52 line.  The new figures announced are just below:

First up, I’m glad to see a new, up to date Firestorm figure, I think the character is great although I’m not going to lie, there is a slight twinge of disappointment too.  I heard about the new Firestorm figure before I actually saw it and a little part of me had hoped we’d get a Firestorm figure from Futures End where Madison was the one in control (kind of) but I’ll take this too.  Then we got John Stewart, which I find incredibly interesting considering that one of the final New 52 figures to be released was a John Stewart figure, not that I’m complaining mind you, I grew up watching the Justice League cartoon so John had the honour of being the first Green Lantern I was exposed to.  Finally we have a new Joker figure, I won’t be picking it up due to not being a particularly big fan of the Joker (unless he’s being voiced by Mark Hamill) but notice the crowbar; he’s taken straight from the “Death In The Family” storyline.

On to statues next we had a line of Batman v Superman statues shown off, which granted look very nice, but I think there’s something pretty major missing…

The statues have a great level of detail and capture what we’ve seen in the trailers so far brilliantly, granted the face sculpture on Superman isn’t to the standard of Hot Toys but I’m fairly convinced that company has made some sort of pact with the devil himself to be able to make those so damn life like.  Anyway, getting off track, I feel DC Collectibles have missed a beat here making two for Batman, regular and armoured, and one for Superman but no statue to commemorate Wonder Woman’s first cinematic appearance.  What’s up with that?

There were a few more announcements but the last two I want to talk about here that, yes, I will 100&% be buying and attaching these to the parcel shelf of my car.  Welcome to Streaky and Dex-Starr Super-Pets! plush toys!

Perfect car guards!

Perfect car guards!

Granted I cheated a little with this last one since they’d already been announced and shown at the toy fair earlier this year, but  since they were available for people to see at the show I thought they’d make for a nice way to round out tonight’s post.

How much of this will you be sinking your money into?  I’m thinking I’m going to need a second job…

DC Comics At SDCC 2015

Image from @DCComics

Image from @DCComics

DC Comics have always been my biggest draw, ever since I first discovered Superman as a kid, so this year’s SDCC I was keeping a particularly keen eye out for any DC news coming through, whether relating to their comics line or new collectibles.  Certainly not disappointed, I can tell you. Firstly, there was a slew of news surrounding the “Earth One” line of DC Comics.  I’d hoped this line of OGNs would pick up a bit more traction, volumes 1 & 2 of Superman and volume 1 of Batman were great books.  Admittedly I haven’t picked up Teen Titans yet but that will probably change this week.  Anyway, DC Comics finally showed some art from Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette’s Wonder Woman Earth One meaning that maybe we’ll get our hands on it sometime this year.  Either way, it’s good to see some progress on the book, considering how long ago this book was announced.  It’s interesting, Grant Morrison actually gave Comic Vine an interesting interview explaining that now he’s off the monthly grind schedule he’s finding more time to do one off graphic novels and other works he’s had building for a while.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons why this book has seemingly moved along so slowly.  On top of the art reveal (not showing it here since all I’ve seen are photos taken of a screen showing the images during a panel) DC also revealed two new Earth One titles coming in the future, Flash Earth One which will be written by J. Michael Straczynski and Aquaman Earth One drawn by Francis Manapul.  JMS on The Flash can surely only be a good thing, I’m thrilled to see him working on more superhero books, being a big fan of his work kicking off Earth One with Superman and his superb run on Spider-Man.  Aquaman is a hero that still doesn’t get enough credit, unfortunately he became one of those characters that it became “cool” to hate on, being misunderstood for so long.  Geoff Johns helped drive this misconception away somewhat, and hopefully an Earth One book will help bring him into an even more positive light.  Francis Manapul is a stellar artist too, yet another hugely talented artist at one of the big two publishers that got their big break at Top Cow incidentally, so I can’t wait to see more from that. And back on to Grant Morrison, it looks like DC Comics have basically given him the green light to go do whatever the damn hell he wants, which as far as I’m concerned is fantastic news.  Grant will be leading the charge in further exploring the multiverse and what lies outside the multiverse.  During his Comic Vine interview he basically explained that his idea is that while there is the DC multiverse which consists of 52 universes, there could quite easily be multiple multiverses all existing separate from one another.  The idea behind this is that Morrison and others will be able to tell any story they like, no longer restricting writers to sticking to the current continuity.  All they need is a good story.  This is freaking awesome.

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To top off the great news surrounding the new Multiversity titles coming, we were treated to the news of upcoming Convergence spin-off titles, Superman: Lois & Clark, Titans Hunt and Telos.  Dan Jurgens is on writing duty for the new Superman title, bringing us a Lois & Clark that are presumably still a couple looking to make their way in a new and unfamiliar world.  Bringing visual life to Jurgens’ story is Lee Weeks, a very accomplished and talented artist, leaving me intrigued and excited for a Superman book I’ve been clamouring for for quite some time.  It’s DC’s equivalent of bringing Peter Parker and MJ back together.  Titans Hunt, written by Dan Abnett (score!) and with art from Paulo Siqueira this looks to return us to a Titans team me and a whole slew of people have been dying to see back together again.  Dick Grayson.  Donna Troy.  Roy Harper.  “An Atlantean named Garth” (we all know who this is).  Top top it off, there is also mention of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, also known as Hawk & Dove.  I’m pleased with this, I’ve always found Hawk and Dove to be an interesting team up, the problem being that every time they get a book of their own they put Rob-fucking-Liefeld on it.  Excuse me, but god damn I can’t stand his work, so I’ve only read them when they’ve shown up in other books and they seem pretty cool.  Finally we have a solo book for Telos, written by Jeff King and with art from Carlo Pagulayan and Jason Paz, this will be looking into the mysterious past of the titular character after being freed from the shackles of Brainiac.  I’m guessing we will see plenty of his current adventures too, most of which will probably involve him investigating where he came from and what happened to his friends and family from his long forgotten past life.  I can say for sure that two of these titles will be going on my pull list, Superman and Titans, and I will certainly give Telos a go mostly because I think Jeff King is a great writer, but there is a certain level of intrigue behind what makes this character tick and who he really is.

Finally, in other DC news, Geoff Johns announced a series of six one-and-done issues called Justice League: Gods and Men spinning directly out of Darkseid War.  The stories look pretty nuts, putting some of the characters in some seemingly totally ridiculous situations while remaining in canon.  I’m quite pleased, it’s nice to see Johns being able to get some more stories out while taking on more and more responsibilities within DC as a whole.

DC also announced even more Superman titles coming from Neal Adams and Max Landis, with Neal Adams’ story using Darkseid and Kalibak as the main protagonists but most interestingly it seems to be taking place during pre-flashpoint continuity, as Superman’s main allies are heroes from “New Krypton”, the sole surviving city of Krypton originally known as Kandor.  This one has been announced as a six issue mini series and I will be buying this.  The Max Landis series, American Alien, is a seven issue series looking at various times in Clark Kent’s life, I believe using rotating artists for each issue.  And in Robin news, there has already been a crossover event announced for the new Robin titles, a whole, whopping one issue in to two of them.  Seems like a bit of a stupid and contradictory move from DC but since I’m reading none of the affected titles I don’t really care.  Also announced was a new weekly title (yup, another one) called Batman & Robin Eternal which has much of the same creative team as Batman Eternal, which is cool, and won’t be running for a full year like Batman Eternal did, so it’s arguably less of a major commitment for fans.  Regardless, I’ll be skipping that one too.  I don’t feel like delving into another weekly series, especially so soon after finishing up with the three DC last ran with so I’ll consider picking this up in trade, depending on how strongly it reviews.

Anyways, that about sums it up I think, at least in regards to the stuff that jumped out at me.  A lot of really cool stuff coming out soon, DC made a real splash this year and for good reason.  Now, there was a second post due today looking at one of the trailers dropped in Hall H but due to a serious lack of sleep I’m postponing for a day or two, but they will both definitely hit this week along with all the other planned SDCC posts.  Going to get off and attempt an early night, take care folks.

Comic Con International 2015

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In case you were wondering and the image above wasn’t clear enough, no, I was not in attendance at San Diego Comic Con this year, nor have I ever been and who knows if I’ll ever make it there.  But this year, same as every other year, I strive to keep up with as much of the news coming out of the show as possible and boy was there a lot this year.  I don’t know if it was because there was more announced this year that I was interested in than previous years, but SDCC 2015 felt like the biggest yet in terms of huge, awesome news.  DC had a killer show, coming right out the gate strong and continuing with an avalanche of incredible announcements (and trailers) all weekend.  So the way I’m going to dissect and discuss everything I’ve seen this weekend is breaking it down over the course of a few days with a few special posts for a couple of really huge things.  First up for tomorrow will be a look at all the DC Comics news, Wednesday I’ll delve into the DC Collectibles announcements, Thursday we’ll take a look at Marvel Comics news, Friday we’ll look at Marvel Legends and other Marvel related collectibles and finally Saturday’s focus will be everything else that jumped out at me.  On top of that Sunday will have bonus posts breaking down and analysing two absolutely freaking huge trailers shown to the Hall H attendees.  No doubt you can guess which two got me giddy with excitement.

As if I’m not giving myself enough to do this week, this Thursday I’ll be picking up a decent headset for my PS4 so I can begin streaming on Twitch.  The plan is, I’ll be streaming The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 21:00 GMT to 23:00 GMT.  Rather than being just a simple stream of me playing a game, however, I’ll be playing on “Death March” which is essentially hard mode but to keep in the spirit of Geralt of Rivia and The Witcher in general, I’ll be drinking only vodka all the way through each two hour stream.  So who knows how bloody long it’ll take to finish this game on that difficulty and in that state, but hopefully it’ll be good fun.  My channel is over here, feel free to drop by and see the potential train wreck for yourself.

Anyway, I’m going to go get things prepared for all my posts coming this week, it’ll be a challenge to get everything out when I want but I think it’ll be worth it.  Stay frosty!

Sometimes We Get It Wrong

It happens plenty of times through our lives, we make a judgement of something which is often formed with preconceived notions and we get it wrong.  Whether those notions are of a person, a place, or a product it doesn’t really matter because it still happens.  Often those preconceived notions are born of facts we have about any of the above, sometimes it’s a gut feeling.  The most important thing to take from this, and maybe it’s just me and my incredibly poor judgement, but I’ve found that more often than not those notions are completely and utterly wrong and unfortunately it’s a lesson I’ve had a really hard time learning.  Thankfully, my judgement of people in this regard has become a thing of the very distant past.  Adulthood brought about a whole slew of new experiences and thrust me into contact with people I ordinarily wouldn’t have spoken to and I’m so thankful for that.  Sadly, this lesson has not been taken so far in to comics yet.

You thought this was going to be some really deep, personal insight eh?  Nope, this is a comics discussion.

So anyway, this lesson has been somewhat drummed into me through the last couple of months, beginning with the launch of the Netflix original series Daredevil.  I’d pretty much canned off the idea of reading any Daredevil years ago largely due to the pretty awful movie released all those years ago, so there comes the fact and experience.  You know what though?  It wasn’t just that.  I’ve always been a DC fan, there’s always been something from them for me to enjoy and I love the universe they live in so there’s always been a reluctance to try and delve into another shared universe.  On top of that, there’s always been a love of Batman and the Bat-family in general so my first impression of Daredevil was a direction comparison to Batman, a fairly negative one at that.  I don’t even know why really, looking back on it, but that’s how it was.  I only watched the Daredevil show because I have enjoyed all of the Marvel Studios movies (to varying degrees, sure, but enjoyed them all nonetheless) and it was a total eye opener for me.  Since then I’ve started reading Daredevil and loved it all immensely.  I’ve set myself up for having Daredevil on my pull list come October while continuing to buy collected editions from previous runs.  A stupid, stupid preconceived notion that I pulled from absolutely nowhere and the first of two key lessons from this year.

The second lesson came last week.  Let’s rewind a little further than that though, back to 2011.  DC relaunched their entire line of comics with a half-arsed “soft reboot” where they tried to make things easier for new and lapsed readers to jump in, monumentally cocking it up by cherry picking events from the history of their characters to keep as canon while moving forward.  It left everyone scratching their heads in confusion, especially since some characters seemed to have compressed a huge number of life altering events into a short span of time.  The New 52, a moniker that has thankfully been ditched as of last month, brought some characters back into old roles and outright lost a whole bunch of other characters.  We had Cassie Sandsmark as Wonder Girl, but somehow there was no Donna Troy.  We had a young Batman who had still managed to train three Robins and have a son in his relatively short career.  It also stripped us of my favourite Batgirl, Stephanie Brown, and Oracle, but Barbara Gordon back into the role of Batgirl.  I let that go (begrudgingly) since Gail Simone was on writing duties for the new Batgirl book and, despite some heavy handed editorial interference, Gail managed to spin one of my favourite runs for the character.

Then we got the big change, Gail Simone left/was removed from the book (whatever happened behind the scenes, I have no clue), bringing in Cameron Stewart, Brendan Fletcher and Babs Tarr and a whole new look and direction for Barbara.  It was a far cry from the book we’d been reading for the four years or so running up to this change.  Maybe there was a sense of apprehension at the thought of a change to a book I’d been enjoying so much, but my initial thought was that I didn’t particularly like the new costume and didn’t really care for the new direction the creators were taking the book in.  It was a fairly blind judgement to be honest, at the time I wasn’t particularly familiar with any of the names on the book but without second thought or willingness to try something new or different, I dropped the book from my pull list and put it out of my mind.  Funnily enough, it was partly down to Marvel that I tried Batgirl again.  Spider-Gwen wasn’t a book I would have considered reading two or three years ago and yet, right now, it’s one of my absolute favourites.  But it was Spider-Woman that really swayed me into my change of opinion.  The change Jess went through was very similar to the change Babs went through, at least on the surface it was anyway.  Yes, there was a different story behind each heroine’s change of status quo and appearance, but on the face of it the similarities were glaring.  And I loved it.  I think Spider-Woman is one of the strongest books on my pull list.

So last week, I took the plunge.  I downloaded the first issue of Batgirl from the new creative team from comixology and it piqued my curiosity enough to dive right in and pick up all five of the issues the team had done in print.  Roll around to this week and it was in my collection box at my local store and was the first book I read when I got home.  I’m impressed, genuinely, there’s so much about this book that’s just… right.  It’s given me a new appreciation of the fact that sometimes change is good, even if it doesn’t seem it at the time.  A new appreciation of my changing, or better than that evolving, tastes in comics.  A new appreciation of the fact that sometimes, even when it comes to my own tastes in all sorts of media, I get it wrong.

It’s funny really, one of the first lessons you learn as a child is “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”.  With regards to Batgirl and pretty much every other comic ever, comics being a visual medium and all, that’s exactly what I’ve done up until recently.  Less so now, moving forward, I can guarantee that.

Am I In Bizarro World?

Bizarro_World_001It would seem so, I’m not quite sure how but I seem to have been transported to htraE, a world where a huge DC fan like me comes out of the newest, biggest Batman game underwhelmed if not slightly disappointed.  A world where I can’t wait for October to roll around so I can sink my teeth into a delicious looking selection of new Marvel books that will be launching after the end of Secret Wars.  It’s pretty cool, actually, not so much the fact that Arkham Knight fell so flat for me but that Marvel are dropping a stack of books I want to read.  Now, what with the wonderful weather we’re having in the UK right now, I’m in too good a mood to reflect on anything overly negative so let’s get the Arkham elephant-in-the-room addressed first.  No Paul Dini resulted in a lack-lustre story, too much of a reliance on the new Batmobile mechanic which I don’t think was implemented particularly well, foreshadowing giving away too much to anyone that’s a fan of Batman and misplaced focus on certain characters resulting in less screen time for others than deserved.  On the plus side, the CQC was fantastic again and the voice over work was flawless.  Oh and, to be fair, Gotham looked very pretty.  Overall, I wish I’d waited for the inevitable game of the year edition.  I think The Witcher 3 had skewed my view on early purchases but I have quite thoroughly re-learned my lesson.

Anyway, let’s talk comics!

Marvel have been slowly announcing a few titles here and there for their “All New All Different” relaunch which lands when Secret Wars ends, something they actually said they wouldn’t do if I remember rightly.  Anyway, this massive leak dropped either today or yesterday, scans from a preview book sent to retailers detailing 45 of the alleged 60 new titles Marvel are releasing.  I’m assuming the 16 or so titles not included in the preview are being kept close to the chest by Marvel for one of two reasons, they’re either keeping them quiet so as to avoid major spoilers for Secret Wars or they’re saving at least some of the new titles for announcements at this year’s SDCC.  Either way makes perfect sense to me, but what’s been announced so far look pretty cool.  And varied!  So, here are the titles I am most excited for.

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OK so I only know two of the characters on the cover, and have only read anything with one of the characters in, that being Captain Marvel (the other I know is Black Panther).  This is pretty much a case of me following one of my favourite characters and one of my favourite creators.  I really like Carol, I’ve just recently started the Ms. Marvel volume that ran before her becoming Captain Marvel and have read all of DeConnick’s Cap.  Then we have Kenneth Rocafort.  What a stellar talent.  I first found out about his work when I read Madame Mirage, written by none other than Paul Dini and drawn by Rocafort and it remains to this day one of my all time favourite books.  Since then I’ve at least tried most of the books he’s worked on so this one definitely makes the list.

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Spider-Gwen and Spider UK.  Sold.  I’m not familiar with any of the folks working on this book so it’s arguably more of a gamble than some of the others but I’m willing to give it a go for the first few issues and see where it goes.  Keeping up the positivity and optimism!

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Seeing as Spider-Man 2099 is already on my pull list anyway this would have stuck around for the first few issues at least, but the fact that they’ve kept Peter David on writing duties makes this a dead cert.  Plus, that new suit is bloody cool, I’m really digging them ditching the blue for white.  He still looks like Spidey 2099, just with a sharp new update.  Also, Miguel is back in what looks like his future, rather than the future he was thrust into at the end of Spider-Verse.  Another great shout here Marvel!

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Same as Spider-Man 2099, Spider-Woman already had a place on my pull list which it will not be vacating (I’m a DC fan, sure, but a Spider-Nut too).  But this cover though!  I’m intrigued by this premise, having Jess be a mother by day and hero by night, which brings a whole new level of peril every time she steps out the door to fight crime since she has a little one to get home to.  Should set up an incredibly interesting dynamic for the book, something I’ve not seen for a very long time.

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Yeah I’m going to jump on this, give it a go.  I’m a fan of Charles Soule, think he’s a very talented writer and having recently finished my second viewing of the Netflix Daredevil show and having read the first volume of Mark Waid’s Daredevil my interest in the character is at an all time high right now.  I figure this will be as good a jumping on point as any I’m likely to see any time soon and I’d be foolish to pass it up.  No idea who the other guy on the cover is, but the most striking thing for me is that mostly black costume, which looks supremely badass.

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More Dan Slott ASM?  Yet another easy sell to me from Marvel.  I’ve loved all of Slott’s run on Spider-Man, whether it be Amazing or Superior, so I am all over this.  Add Camuncoli art into the mix and I’m super excited to get my hands on this book and see where Peter Parker’s life is heading next.

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Coming from the same team that launched Silk, I would be remiss to not give this a go, even though the cover showing her behaving very much like a villain is a bit of a put-off.  I’m going to take this as a public eye view of Silk, maybe she’s painted as a menace or villain much like Peter had been for much of his superhero career.  Optimism!  In all seriousness though, so long as we can get more insight into Cindy’s past, what happened to her family, then I’ll be quite happy.  I think the character is great, but the really big draw for me has been the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her family and with her current volume getting one more issue (I think) I doubt they’ll be able to wrap that thread up before the relaunch.

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James Robinson, check.  Kevin Wada, check.  Marvel character I’ve been meaning to read stories of since watching Age of Ultron, check.  This will certainly be one of those “try a few issues and see how it goes” scenarios, but with the team involved and the character in question, I think I’m going to get on with this quite well.

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Another book that’s already on my pull list, it seems totally ridiculous for this to be relaunching with a new number one already but I think this new Gwen is fantastic and Marvel have kept the winning team together, though only Latour and Rodriguez are mentioned I assume by the cover style they’ll also be keeping Rico Renzi on the book too.  Another easy win here.

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Yet another book that is already on my pull, although under a slightly different title than presented here.  Thankfully, again, Marvel are keeping Jason Aaron on the book who has been doing a phenomenal job on Thor for some time now and while I was initially disappointed at the loss of Esad Ribic when it went from God of Thunder to simply Thor, Dauterman has more than proved himself worthy (see what I did there) of being on this book.  Looking to be a straight up continuation of the story running before Secret Wars kicked off, I’m very much looking forward to this.

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While genuinely gutted that Kelly Sue DeConnick is no longer helming Captain Marvel, I will be carrying on with this book post Secret Wars for two reasons.  Firstly, it’s Captain Marvel so I would always be trying this out anyway, second I’m seeing Kris Anka on art duties, I’m seeing the cover and I am totally hooked before I’ve even read a panel.  I have only one demand (that’s right, not request, but demand): Chewie the Flerken must remain in this book, and not be retconned into a simple cat again.  The co-writers on this title do make this one a little bit of a gamble, I’m not familiar with either of them and from what little I’ve heard this will be their first job in comics.  Sometimes an unknown entity can be a good thing as it can help to manage expectations of a new book.  Sometimes it can be disastrous.  I wish them luck, both for themselves and for the enjoyment of this book!

Those are my 11 definites, I will 100% be picking all of these up when they drop in October.  Whether I fully enjoy them is yet to be seen, but I’ll be giving them a chance for at least the first few issues.  This isn’t it entirely though, there are a few others that have piqued my interest, mostly due to the creators that have been named on the teams.  These won’t necessarily be bought right away on release, I’ll have to see how things pan out in terms of reviews, any previews I get to see and the good old word of mouth.  Take a look at what else might be going on the list.