If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.
It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.
So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away.
Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!
NOTE: For various reasons I’m not going to bore you with I am once again using the online catalog. It seems to be going well this way. I’m still averaging the same number of items and it’s actually a little faster to just look at everything on the site.
I’ll go back to the book when I can because I enjoy turning pages and smelling ink, but for now the site is working better than I expected.
House of X & Power of X – Marvel (Front Cover)
JONATHAN HICKMAN’S MASTER PLAN!
Marvel is hyping the heck out of this.
I was going to start by saying something snarky like, “The X-Men haven’t been interesting in over a decade and Marvel seems to know it” but that wouldn’t be fair because I haven’t given an X-Men comic a chance in a long time. Matthew Rosenberg is currently writing Uncanny X-Men and I’ve liked everything of his that I’ve read. The only reason I haven’t given his Uncanny a shot is that I’m overwhelmed by comics right now and need to cut back badly.
I think it’s time to trim the pull list again because I really want to be reading X-Men books and between this relaunch and Rosenberg I think now is a good time.
Sea of Stars #1 – Image (Back Cover)
This is a creator-owned book from Jason Aaron (and Dennis Hallum, who I haven’t heard of and Stephen Green, who was great on Hellboy and the BPRD), so it’s probably going to be great.
Space trucker gets separated from his young son in outer space. Son is developing outer space super powers and talking to space dolphins and space monkeys. Father and son must be reunited.
You know – same old story.
Unearth #1 – Image
If I had unlimited time and money I would subscribe to every horror comic that Cullen Bunn writes and probably most of the superhero ones, too. I like the guy’s style and pacing and he has about as many ideas as Stephen King. Most of them are pretty darn good, too.
This one is about supernatural body horror in the caves of Mexico, which sounds like a rockin’ good time to me.
Reaver #1 – Image
With Game of Thrones coming to an end soon, epic fantasy is all the rage as creators look to cash in on the success of the HBO series (and, most likely, the success and current absence of Saga).
If that seems familiar it’s because I used the same intro in this exact slot last month for a book called Sonata.
The difference here is that I was already anticipating Reaver thanks to Becky Cloonan’s Instagram, which you should all be following. That and the fact that this solicitation straight-up references Game of Thrones, which I kind of respect.
I’m not familiar with writer Justin Jordan. But the combination of artist Rebekah Isaacs and Cloonan’s endorsement-via-cover-art is enough for me. Check out the promo page:
Saga Compendium TP Vol.1 – Image
This is the first half of the entire run of the greatest ongoing comic book I have ever read. It includes every issue released to this point – 1-54 – so you can catch up if you’re enough of a bonehead to have not been reading this already.
We don’t yet know when Staples and Vaughn will return with issue 55, so you should have plenty of time.
Black Hammer/Justice League #1 (of 5) – Dark Horse/DC
As good as Black Hammer was, it got overwhelming for me with the number of tie-ins. So I had to stop.
I never imagined an actual crossover with DC Comics – something that seems almost too wild to be happening with the extremely derivative (in the best possible way) nature of Black Hammer. I’m expecting tropes upon tropes from this one.
I’m sure it’ll be awesome and maybe, someday when I’m retired, I’ll grab the trade holochip collection, stick it in the personal interface port behind my ear, and enjoy this.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1 (of 8) – DC
Batman: White Knight is one of my favorite Batman stories. It’s basically an Elseworlds-type tale that brings together elements from many different iterations of the Dark Knight; everything from comics to cartoons to movies.
Sean Gordon Murphy’s storytelling is phenomenal and I can’t wait to see more of his Gotham. I admire the fact that that this sequel series is sticking to the eight issue format. All too often when a miniseries is a success the creators and publisher seek to draw out the follow-up in order to maximize profits, usually to the detriment of the material.
Batman Universe #1 (of 6) – DC
I am all for Brian Michael Bendis writing any DC superhero he wants as long as it’s not in one of the main titles I’m already reading. I’m curious about his take on any solo hero and there’s no denying that he’s produced some incredible runs in his career.
I’ll give this a shot and expect to be impressed. I don’t believe for one second that Bendis is going to imbue the World’s Greatest Detective with his typical quirky dialogue.
This was previously published in the Batman Giant editions available at Walmart.
Lois Lane #1 (of 12) – DC
Greg Rucka writing Lois Lane. This will be excellent.
Superman: Up in the Sky #1 (of 6) – DC
And now we have Tom King writing Superman!
I’m very interested to see what King brings to the Man of Steel. I haven’t been reading Heroes in Crisis, but I’ve heard it’s pretty bleak, which is what I was expecting from the previews.
Note: I might be getting a little tired of King’s Batman.
This was previously published in the Superman Giant editions available at Walmart.
Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me #1 (of 6) – DC
This Wonder Woman book is probably the bigger winner of the Walmart reprints for me.
One of my favorite creative teams – Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin from Harley Quinn – takes on a character who seems to get shockingly few solo adventures considering she’s the Justice Leaguer with the best public profile right now.
Why does DC never know what to do with Diana?
This was previously published in the Justice League Giant editions available at Walmart.
See? Even this story comes from a team comic!
Of course, your average Wonder Woman fan is probably too classy to shop at Walmart.
Collapser #1 (of 6) – DC
This sounds awesome, but there’s just too much going on for me to paraphrase. Plus, I’m not familiar with anyone on the creative team, so here’s the copy:
Mikey Way, Shaun Simon (A/CA) Ilias Kyriazis
There’s a voice in the head of Liam James questioning everything he does-from his job at the nursing home to keeping his relationship with his girlfriend afloat. Liam suffers from anxiety, and the only thing that quiets it is music, which makes a weekly DJ gig his one saving grace. But Liam’s life changes forever when he receives a black hole in the mail (yes, you read that right), one that takes up residence in his chest, grants him insane superpowers, turns him into a celebrity and draws him into a cosmic conflict beyond his wildest imagination. Where did this black hole come from? Why Liam? Is power the cure? Or will superstardom turn Liam into a black hole himself? Find out in COLLAPSER, a superhero story that could only come from DC’s Young Animal!
I know I always complain about having so much stuff on my list, but I think I have to add this. It sounds too cool.
Giant Sized X-Statix #1 – Marvel
Confession time – I have never read a single issue of X-Statix. That might seem weird coming from someone who is in general a huge fan of the Allreds, but at the time it was coming out it was too weird a take on my beloved X-Men and I wasn’t interested. I also don’t love everything Peter Milligan writes.
It’s probably time to go back and check the series out because I’ve never heard anything but good things about it.
Anyway, the original creative team is back with a special oversized one-shot that, if I had to guess, is designed to gauge interest in further X-Statix comics.
Valkyrie Jane Foster #1 – Marvel
This title seems awkward, but it’s how Previews has it listed and Avengers: Endgame came out tonight so I’m not about to Google anything Marvel-related.
Or anything at all, really. Some dipshit spoiled Pet Sematary for me in a non-Pet Sematary-related article, so you never know when that stuff is gonna come at you.
While I’m still hoping for Natalie Portman to take the hammer and become Thor in the MCU, I am glad that Marvel is giving Jane Foster more stories as a superhero. Her popularity was just too much to cast her aside after her time as the God of Thunder was done.
Giant-Size X-Men #1 Facsimile Edition – Marvel
This is where my X-Men started.
My first X-Men comics were from Claremont’s run in the mid-80s, so this is the origin of my X-team. I’ve bought this many times over in several different permutations and if you don’t own it, you should grab this reprint. There’s a good chance I’m going to buy it again because it’s an actual reproduction complete with ads and everything and that’s something I don’t own.
Marvel Tales Captain America #1 – Marvel
I’m a big fan of the Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told format where key issues from a character’s history are reprinted together as a sort of greatest hits collection.
This isn’t quite that, but it’s still a cool collection of four Captain America stories that span the ages. Id’ prefer a full size trade collection, but this isn’t a bad bite-sized bit of Cap history.
Marvel Tales Hulk #1 – Marvel
See above, except this one is for the Hulk. It includes the birth of She-Hulk and the origin of the smart Hulk.
I don’t care for the choice of cover art for either of these. They’d be great for an all-ages title, but something a little more classic would be more appropriate for these reprints, I’d think.
Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Omnibus HC – Marvel
Oh, damn. I lived for these back in the day. Even if I didn’t read all of the comics, I loved reading the biographies of the various characters. These comics were my main exposure to some of the biggest heroes of today like Iron Man and Doctor Strange.
I rarely spring for omnibuses, but this one is going to be a must-have. I’ll be spending hours just poring over these classic histories and illustrations.
X-Men Epic Collection TP Dissolution and Rebirth – Marvel
This collects Uncanny X-Men #248-267, which is right after I started reading the series regularly. It begins in the Outback and continues through the introduction of Gambit. It’s a legendary run of the comic and a sentimental favorite of mine. I still have the single issues so I probably won’t pick this up, but you should.
X-Men Milestones TP: Mutant Massacre – Marvel
Much like my experience with Inferno, I only read the X-books that tied in with the classic “Mutant Massacre” crossover. This includes those as well as the issues of Thor, Power Pack, and Daredevil.
Batman the Animated Series Arkham Asylum Action Figures – DC Collectibles
You might not want to hold your breath for these, as the last wave was solicited a very long time ago and still hasn’t shown up.
I loved this line for what it represented more than for what it actually was. Even though the figures aren’t the most toyetic ever and most of them can’t even stand up on their own, I loved the idea of building a massive collection based on DC’s excellent animated universe.
But the Batman line has tapered off big time and the JLU figures are only available through DC Unlimited. The latter wouldn’t be a big deal except that they’re $28 each and come with no accessories. And from what I understand have some QC issues.
These four figures were initially released as part of a box set that included Renee Montoya, who will not be re-released according to DCC. These new versions will reportedly sport different decos from the box set figures.
Castlevania Select Action Figures Series 1– Diamond Select Toys
It took me a couple of tries to get into Netflix’s Castlevania series, but once I did I loved it. And of course, that meant I wanted action figures. Diamond Select Toys was the perfect company to produce them and I can’t wait to get these on my shelves.
The Nightmare Before Christmas Select Action Figures Series 8 – Diamond Select Toys
I’m getting behind on this series now and I have to admit that this wave isn’t lighting a fire under me. Of course the vampires and witches are neat, but I don’t look at them and get too excited. And burnt Jack is an easy pass.
Frank Cho: Ballpoint Beauties HC – Flesk Publications
Frank Cho is one of my favorite artists working today. I think everything he does is breathtaking, not just his ladies. He draws amazing werewolves and dinosaurs, too. But the ladies are probably his bread and butter.
This book was funded by a Kickstarter which I supported and I have to say it was one of the best-run crowdfunding projects I have been a part of. Updates came on a regular basis and every step of the project was completely transparent. The backer rewards were fantastic, as well. I’ll share them once they arrive.
If you didn’t back the Kickstarter, you can still get this phenomenal book from your Local Comic Shop.
The Making of Alien HC – Titan Books
If you haven’t bought any of Titan’s regular book releases then you don’t know just how classy they are. This is a publisher that releases fancy-pants books that you feel good about owning even when you’ve finished reading them.
Obviously the making of Alien is a book I want to own anyway.
Monster Mash: The Creepy, Kooky Monster Craze in America 1957-1972 – Twomorrows Publishing
This volume is chock full of articles and art relating to the American monster craze of yesteryear. Topics range from The Addams Family and The Munsters to Mars Attacks trading cards to “The Monster Mash” itself!
This looks like a must-have book for any fan of the kitschy and macabre! The cover is a little weak, but the Previews preview looks great!
Previews Exclusive GI Joe Hats – New Era
I sure would like to have some GI Joe hats. Unfortunately there are three strikes against these offerings: 1) None of the GI Joe merchandise I’ve ordered in the past year has come in, 2) The Previews Exclusive New Era Captain Marvel hat I ordered that was supposed to be in store on March 7th has not come in, 3) These pictures aren’t even actual hats – they’re computer-generated.
I no longer trust you, Previews and New Era.
RoboCop T-Shirt – Impact Merchandising
I guess if there’s a t-shirt I’m going to add to my closet full of a billion t-shirts, it’s gonna be a RoboCop t-shirt. I’m gonna have to get this.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters Atomic Godzilla 7” Action Figure – NECA
NECA’s Godzilla action figures are works of art. The 12” long (7” scale like this one) and 24” long figures from the last movie are phenomenal. I will buy every monster they release from King of the Monsters. I’d love to see more in the larger scale, but I doubt NECA will pursue that when the smaller scale seems to be enjoying such wide distribution right now. No need to confuse the market.
One:12 Collective Captain Marvel Action Figure – Mezco
Mezco’s One:12 Collective is my current favorite toy line. I don’t buy them all. Some are immediate preorders, some don’t interest me, and others I am tempted by over time until I finally cave in and buy them.
This is one of the latter, probably. Carol looks awesome, but I’m pretty happy with Hasbro’s releases. Time will tell if I decide I have to have this one.
For more on Mezco’s amazing line of action figures check out Episode 2 of the Needless Things Minicast!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 Movie Shredder ¼ Scale Action Figure – NECA
I own all four quarter scale Turtles and they are fantastic. But I’m a bit hesitant to pull the trigger on this Shredder because the 7” scale Turtles are also fantastic and take up a whole heck of a lot less space. And cost a whole heck of a lot less.
Batman The Animated Series 1/24 Scale Batmobile – Jada Toys, Inc.
If you want a smaller, great steel Batmobile these Jada Toys Metals releases are the way to go. The detailing is fantastic and the metal gives them a great feel. If I had somewhere to put a collection of roughly 6” die-cast cars I would buy all of these. Although I do like the models more than the pre-assembled kits, but it seems like those have been phased out.
Alien: Resurrection Newborn Deluxe Action Figure – NECA
This might not be NECA’s most popular release ever, but I’m excited about it because I think it’s a truly disturbing monster design that’s challenging to take in. And we haven’t seen a whole lot of that since the original Alien. Sure I the Newborn draws from quite a few sources, but the end result is completely effed up and effective.
Halloween 2 Michael Myers Ultimate Action Figure – NECA
I feel repetitive writing about some of these figures because we just covered them at Toy Fair, but I’m definitely excited for this version of the Shape. With the constantly rising price of toys I don’t buy two of much of anything anymore, but this figure includes the “bloody tears” mask and the off-spec blonde mask Ben Tramer wears that gets him hit by a car and immolated. I’d like to display both of those.
Halloween (2018) 8” Retro Action Figure – NECA
NECA’s 8” retro line has evolved into one of my favorites. I’ve got most of the slashers they’ve released (maybe all of the characters, if not every variation) and several other non-horror figures. Michael Myers is an empty spot in that collection and I was a big fan of the 2018 movie, so I’ll be happy to bring this one home.
Child’s Play 15” Mega Scale Talking Chucky – Mezco
This size and scale of toy doesn’t work for every character in my opinion, but it is absolutely perfect for some. Mezco’s Sam from Trick R’ Treat is one of the best “upstairs” toys we own (that means it’s something the missus and I both agree is nice enough to be on display upstairs). That being the case, we’re excited to see how a talking Chucky – another perfect candidate for this style – turns out. Sam needs a friend.
Friday the 13th Part V Roy Burns Ultimate Action Figure – NECA
What a magical world we live in that NECA is producing an action figure of Fake Jason!
And not just that, it’s labeled with the spoilerific moniker “Ultimate Roy Burns”, which is a thought that boggles the mind.
While the fairly hilarious unmasked head is a huge draw, the accessories included with this figure are equally as impressive. It’s not going to be too much longer before NECA is going to have to produce a Jason Battle Van for him to keep all of his stuff in.
Nightbreed Decker 8” Retro Action Figure – NECA
On one hand, Decker is not the first character from Clive Barker’s Nightbreed that I would have chosen as an action figure. On the other, he’s a genuinely creepy slasher design and deserves a spot in the 8” retro line.
It’s funny to me how this amazing movie about nightmarish monsters achieved so many incredible looks and designs and then also provided an amazing slasher just to add some extra spice.
Think I missed something awesome? Let me know in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!