Feb 03 2015

Pull List: Comics to read in February 2015

Nameless #1 (Chris Burnham)

In a world where money is shorter supply than quality comics, you must choose your new investments carefully every month. 

All throughout 2015, we will pick the books every month that we think are probably worth having a look at. We’re not saying you have to look at all of them, but they are a good place to jump aboard this crazy comics bandwagon we’ve been riding into the sunset for a while. This month seems to be dominated by new takes on sci-fi, the return of some favourites, and the launch of several events.

This is PULL LIST.

NamelessNameless #1

Image Comics, Grant Morrison (writer), Chris Burnham, Nathan Fairbairn (artists)
Release date: 4 February

The Batman Incorporated creative team reunite for something entirely of their own creation. A very cryptic story involving an astronomer killing his family, a Veiled Lady of nightmares and a group of billionaire futurists called the Nameless, the solicits promise we should “abandon all hope and experience ultimate horror.” The tease that Morrison is working on something that is flat-out genre horror is irresistible. It’s also going to be a big year for Morrison with this, Sinatoro and his magnificent work on The Multiversity going out into the collective. Kick off the year right with this little piece of awesome.

Superman: Earth One Volume 3Superman: Earth One Volume 3

DC ComicsJ. Michael Straczynski (writer), Ardian Syaf (artist)
Release date: 4 February

DC’s headlining original graphic novel series for the last few years has been Earth One, when it kicked off with SUPERMAN: EARTH ONE in 2010.  The second volume was released just over two years ago, and now Geoff Johns (a wee bit busy with writing pretty much everything else) is returning to finish this trilogy. Response to these volumes has always been mixed, but Johns always knows how to tell a solid Superman story as evidenced by his current arc on Superman with John Romita Jr.  In this volume, Lex and Alexandra Luthor have been hired to take out the Man of Steel, so it’s a classic tale of Kent v Luthor. Ardian Syaf (The Dresden Files) replaces Shane Davis as the “series” artist, and he’s been most recently seen with the Kryptonian on Batman/Superman.

Cluster #1 (Boom! Studios)

Cluster #1 (Boom! Studios)Cluster #1

BOOM! Studios, Ed Brisson (writer), Damian Couceiro (artist)
Release date: 4 February

Sheltered‘s Ed Brisson debuts a new comic this month, and throws itself firmly into the hard-boiled sci-fi genre with a Dirty Dozen meets and industrial James Cameron twist. Re-teaming with his Sons of Anarchy and Murder Book collaborator Damian Couceiro, it takes place in the future, where criminals are given the opportunity to serve as guards for the increasingly spread out deep space colonies. It’s being pitched as the book that highlights the same kind of wretched hives of scum and villainy that we would have seen in Mos Eisley. It’s definitely a golden age for sci-fi in comics at the moment.

Imaginary Drugs TPBImaginary Drugs 

IDW, Various writers and artists
Release date: 4 February

This anthology has already been floating around digitally and in print thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign early last year, but it’s being sold more widely this month and is definitely worth a look. From the solicitation, you can expect that it “tackles the possible future origins of human life, our increasingly dependent relationship with technology, and the ass-kicking absurdity of beating a nest of blood-suckers into submission with a cosmically powered baseball bat.” Not convinced? Edited by Michael McDermott, who also writes 8 of the 36 stories, it’s filled with a variety of writers and artists, including a very cool piece by Australia’s own Nic J. Shaw and Louie Joyce called “Little Red”, along with a few other bits and pieces.

Saga #25Saga #25

Image Comics, Brian K. Vaughan (writer), Fiona Staples (artist)
Release date: 4 February 

It’s back! What else do you need to know? The last issue came out in (what seems like an eternity ago) October 2014, part of the annual wait the creators make us endure to ensure the book’s continuing excellence. They haven’t let us down so far, with this most awarded of comics going from strength to strength since its inception. A winning combination of sci-fi, fantasy, and real (in)human drama, after so many issues its not surprising that it keeps managing to surprise us. A highlight of this or any other month that it is released.

Black VortexGuardians of the Galaxy & X-Men: The Black Vortex Alpha (Event)

This one’s not so much an individual comic to pick up but an entire event with a checklist, and you could easily blow your monthly budget on these things. Marvel will also launch THE BLACK VORTEX crossover in early 2015, uniting Guardians of the Galaxy and the X-Men again. Kicking off in The Black Vortex: Alpha (Marvel, February 2015) writing its story across Guardians of the Galaxy, Legendary Star-Lord, All-New X-Men, Nova, Cyclops, Captain Marvel and more. While we were less-than-plussed with last year’s The Trial of Jean Grey crossover between X-Men and Guardians of the Galaxy, this promises to be some old-school MacGuffin chasing across the Marvel cosmic universe. We’re in for a little look at the very least.

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1 (Marvel)

Star Wars: Darth Vader #1Darth Vader #1

Marvel, Kieron Gillen (writer), Salvador Larroca (artist)
Release date:11 February

After the success of Jason Aaron’s 1 million sales (and 63 variant covers) in last month’s Star Wars ongoing series, a little trip to the Dark Side is in order for this month’s foray into the Star Wars universe. Set immediately after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, it tells the story of the rebellion against the Empire from the perspective of the people with the big industrial  hardware. Kieron Gillen is skilled at showing the fine line between concepts of good and evil in The Wicked + The Devine, so his take on one of the most famous film villains should be intriguing. Also out this month is the second issue of Star Wars by Jason Aaron and John Cassaday, and that too is a must read.

Divinity #1 (Valiant)Divinity #1

Valiant, Matt Kindt (writer), Trevor Hairsine (artist)
Release date: 11 February

There’s a lot to be excited about this new mini-series coming out from Valiant. Being launched as part of Valiant Next, a new line of prestige format titles from the publisher, it’s (another) spin on sci-fi from the Harvey and Eisner nominated writer of Mind MGMT. Set during the Cold War, it’s about a Soviet man sent so far into the reaches of space that he comes back vastly changed, with the power to bend reality. Armour Hunters: Bloodshot and 2000AD artist Trevor Hairsine is on art duties, and you know he’s good when he is being compared with Bryan Hitch. The notion of “God is a communist” is just too irresistible too.

The Multiversity: Mastermen #1The Multiversity: Mastermen #1

DC ComicsGrant Morrison (writer), Jim Lee, Scott Williams (artists)
Release date: 18 February

Grant Morrison. Nazi Superman. Jim Lee. Do you really need any more convincing? After completely knocking it out of the park with his magnificent The Multiversity Guidebook last month, the only place you can really go is by turning Superman into a Nazi. It’s Earth 10, where the Nazis not only won the Second World War, but dictated the course of the next 60 years thanks to having the Overman on their side. It is only now that a group of Freedom Fighters rises to help fight back the menace. Lee’s recent stint on Superman Unchained will make a great contrast for this Elseworlds tale, the seventh chapter in this increasingly complex and brilliant deconstruction of a comic book universe.

EI8HT #1 (Dark Horse)EI8HT #1

Dark Horse, Rafael Albuquerque, Mike Johnson (writers), Rafael Albuquerque (artist)
Release date: 18 February

If you’re a fan of Scott Snyder’s American Vampire series, then the name Rafael Albuquerque will immediately grab your attention and excite you. Continuing a month where science fiction is dominating the expected releases, Albuquerque co-writes this with Johnson (Supergirl) about a chrononaut lost in an inhospitable dimension in time called the Meld, with no memory on how to get back. The intriguing concept is definitely worth a look, as time travel has been sorely missing from our lives for some time.

Saint Cole (Fantagraphics)Saint Cole

Fantagraphics, Noah Van Sciver
Release date: 22 February

The highly anticipated sophomore release from Noah Van Sciver is one of those ones that you know will connect with fans of indie comics. Back in 2012, Van Sciver released Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln, a biography of the early days of the 16th President of the United States. His latest release will delve into similar territory, depicting the life of Joe, a man in his late 20s who retreats into alcohol when he begins to feel trapped by his suburban life, girlfriend and infant child.

Metabarons 40th Anniversary

The Metabarons (Humanoids 40th Anniversary Edition)The Metabarons: Humanoids 40th Anniversary Edition

Humanoids, Alexandro Jodorowsky (writer), Juan Gimenez (artist)
Release date: 25 February

Not to be mistaken for The Metabarons‘ 40th anniversary, as the 1992 tome is one of the many classics being reprinted as part of the celebration of 40 years of Les Humanoïdes Associés, the French publishing house that is reprinted in the US under the Humanoids banner. Founded to publish Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal), over the years they’ve published the likes of Mœbius, Jean-Pierre Dionnet, Philippe Druillet, and of course, Alexandro Jodorowsky. Its the latter’s Dune-inspired sci-fi epic that comes back to print in this new hardcover edition, and is essential reading by virtue of its reputation. No, it’s not new: but it is awfully cool.

Suiciders #1 (Vertigo) - Artist: Lee Bermejo Suiciders #1

Vertigo, Lee Bermejo (writer/artist)
Release date: 25 February

One of our favourite books we’ve covered on the show will always be Batman: Noël, and was in fact one of the first graphic novels we covered on our podcast. Lee Bermejo’s dark and realistic art style has graced the likes of Joker and Luthor, and now he applies that same eye to an original series from DC’s mature readers imprint. Set in a future Los Angeles where the “big one” has left the city in tatters, crime and survival have been turned into entertainment. The twist is that the combatants have been modified and enhanced with technology and drugs. This looks to be brutal, bloody, and a must-read.

Surface #1 (Image Comics)The Surface #1

Image Comics, Ales Kot (writer), Langdon Foss, Jordie Bellaire (artists)
Release date: 25 February

“What would happen if Moebius and District 9 had a baby?” is the intriguing solicitation line behind Ales Kot (Zero) and Langon Foss’ (Get Jiro). It completes a month of sci-fi epics, following three “hacker lovers” who are “searching Tanzania for the place that can change everything.” The intriguing premise has an all-star creative team, enhanced all the more by the fact that Jordie Bellaire is on colours, somehow managing to fit in this title on top of her work on just about everything else at the moment.

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