Comic Book Wednesday: Previews July 2019 “In the Nick of Time”

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!

3Spider-Man #1 – Marvel

Personally I think Marvel really blew it by making such a big deal out of JJ Abrams and his kid writing a Spidey comic.

The countdown to nepotism they released on social media just left a bad taste in my mouth, and I don’t even have a problem with privileged folks getting a shot that the rest of us wouldn’t get. I know that sounds crazy, but look – if I had to choose between having Paul the local filmmaker or David Fincher’s son on the Needless Things Podcast; I’d be going with Fincher, Jr. In the long run it’s going to give my show more exposure and down the line I’ll be in a better position to help the Paul the local filmmakers of the world.

Now, I’m not suggesting that’s necessarily Marvel’s thought process, but I can’t be mad at Henry Abrams for who his daddy is. Unfortunately a lot of people seem to be and what could have been a great start to a writing career seems tainted.

He probably should have taken the Joe Hill route.

Anyway, I’m interested to see how this all works out and Sara Pichelli – the artist on Spider-Man – is fantastic. So there will at least be beautiful visuals to look at.

4Strikeforce #1 – Marvel

Wow! I barely finished looking at the solicitation splash page before I added this to my pull list.

Blade, Jessica Drew, and Angela together in one comic is enough for me to check out the first issue, but Tini Howard writing is enough for me to subscribe. In my eyes Howard is a huge rising star, with notable runs on Hack/Slash, Rick and Morty, and a Belit miniseries from Marvel’s Conan books, as well as tons more. She gets humor and the macabre and is the person to write whatever the heck this book is going to be about.

With one quick scan of a page I went from intrigued to excited. Add in a little Google search for series artist Germán Peralta and now I’m flat-out stoked.

Acts of Evil! – Marvel

I used to love it when DC and Marvel would publish annuals that shared themes. Not events, mind you – you could read just one and still get the story. But if you wanted to you could grab all of the involved annuals and see how whatever crisis was occurring was effecting other characters in their own books.

I can’t seem to find a specific tagline for “Acts of Evil!”, but in reading the solicitations for the Ghost-Spider, Moon Knight, and Wolverine annuals it sounds like the heroes are facing villains they might not have dealt with before. Cool.

6New Mutants: War Children #1 – Marvel

Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz reunite for a new story from the era of their original run on New Mutants! SOLD.





7Star Wars Jedi: The Fallen Order – Dark Temple #1 & 2 – Marvel

Normally I probably wouldn’t mention a media tie-in as direct as this one, but it’s being written by Matthew Rosenberg, who is very good. I’m also fairly interested in the Fallen Order game at this point, so it would be nice to have some backstory before playing it.



8Marvel Select Avengers Endgame Hulk Action Figure – Diamond Select Toys

Since I don’t want to wait another year or more for Hasbro to release a Hulk figure I actually want, I might just grab DST’s. It’s the appearance from Endgame that I wanted and it includes the Nano Gauntlet.




9Harleen #1 – DC

I know I’ve seen Stjepan Šejić’s art quite a bit, but I’m not sure I knew he was a writer, as well.

I’m all for a modern day retelling of Harley’s origin. I think there’s room for a little more depth and examination of Harleen Quinzel. If anything, Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight proved that.

Šejić’s gorgeous artwork certainly makes the concept even more appealing. It also helps that it’s a self-contained, three issue series. Three $7.99 issues, mind you, but still.

10Gotham City Monsters #1 – DC

DC’s Frankenstein is back, baby!

Steve Orlando takes the reigns on a new book featuring Frankenstein, Orca, Lady Clayface, Killer Croc, and Andrew Bennett from I… Vampire. DC’s Frankenstein is one of my favorite versions of the character, and while I’ve enjoyed everything they’ve done with him since the New 52, none of it seems to last. Maybe this will be Frank’s big break!


11DC Cover Girls: Batgirl by Frank Cho Statue – DC Collectibles

My outrage-o-meter is having trouble with this one. While Babs has a signature Cho “Body by Wheatcakes” booty and that cheeky little bat is clearly increasing visibility of said booty, Batgirl is fully clothed and isn’t in some exploitative pose.

I think it’s great, but I am hardly the arbiter of good taste and sensibility.


12Harley Quinn Red, White, and Black by Joshua Middleton Statue – DC Collectibles

I need to be careful with these. I have several already, but the price point has been creeping up since the first one I ordered.

Middleton’s Harley has a great look already, but if you look closely you’ll see that her wardrobe is sparkly. It looks super cool and makes me want to order this one even though I’m not necessarily a mega-fan of Middleton’s work. I am a fan of gimmicky deco, though.


2Battlepug #1 – Image Comics

The incomparable Mike Norton returns to the world of the last Kinmundian and his faithful steed with an ongoing title!

I first bought Battlepug as a laugh. I love pugs and I love Conan and I expected it to be a silly little gimmick book that I’d get a kick out of. But it ended up being so much more – a well-crafted, loving tribute to the wild world of barbarians. I highly recommend the original collected books and, sight unseen, this new saga as well.


13Transformers Legacy: The Art of Transformers Packaging – IDW

I will buy every toy-based Transformers book IDW releases. I sure wish they’d do something with GI Joe, though.




14GI Joe #1 – IDW

From Previews:

Tyranny is on the rise as Cobra topples governments and spreads its ruthless power across the globe. In these trying times, desperate measures are taken. The new G.I. Joe program recruits civilian spies and saboteurs: ordinary people, living in occupied territories, who will put their lives on the line to strike back through clandestine but high-impact missions. Join these new recruits as they resist Cobra control, fight to make a better world for all, and find out just what they are capable of.
* Featuring your favorite Joes, alongside brand new characters!
* A new vision of G.I. Joe for a new generation!
* G.I. Joe like you’ve never seen before!

Opening narration from GI Joe: Retaliation:

Accused of a crime they didn’t commit, a ragtag band of fugitives fights a covert battle to clear their names and expose the insidious enemy that is… Cobra. Some call them outlaws. Some call them heroes. But these determined men and women think of themselves only as “Ordinary Joes”. And this is their story.


Don’t get me wrong – I don’t think this is a bad idea for a reimagining of GI Joe. But I’ve never heard of the creative team and I’m not looking forward to a Trump-analog Cobra Commander.

Fool me once, IDW, shame on you. Fool me however many dozen times you’ve tried to reboot GI Joe now without having a clue what the core of the franchise is about, shame on me.

Also that cover looks like some indy-wank garbage about scooter racers in a dystopian society where hugs are outlawed.

As always, I could be wrong and I would love to be. I want a great new Joe book.

15Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt Oversized Hardcover – Dynamite

Don’t worry if you’re not already familiar with the character Peter Cannon. It doesn’t matter.

I read this miniseries as the individual issues came out based on my love of Kieron Gillen’s work. It instantly became a “top of the stack” title every month. I couldn’t wait to read each issue. I was making a point of going to the comic shop on the Wednesdays it came out.

From beginning to end this is a thoroughly satisfying story that goes places I never expected. It’s engrossing and wonderful and, best of all, self-contained. If there are more Peter Cannon stories from Gillen in the future, that’s great. If not, I am happy with this one. This collection gets my highest recommendation.

16Something is Killing the Children #1 (of 5) – BOOM!

I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by James Tynion IV and the preview pages look great. Sign me up.






17Vampire State Building – Ablaze

I had been reading The Walking Dead since Charlie Adlard’s first issue in 2004. A friend gave me the first trade collection for my birthday and I was hooked.

I believe fifteen years is the longest I have ever stuck with a single comic book. No other title has lasted that long and kept my interest. I hadn’t really thought about that until just now and while I am one hundred percent satisfied with how the Walking Dead concluded, it is a bit devastating to realize I won’t be living in that world anymore.

Fortunately Charlie Adlard is on to some more of that ol’ horror business in this new title from a new publisher. Vampires invade the Empire State Building and believe me – I am going to be there for it. I’m not familiar with writer Ange-Renault, but I need to see that beautiful Adlard artwork every month. Now in glorious color!

Here are some preview pages to tide you over!

18The World if IT Hardcover – Abrams

I was ready to pass this one over until I noticed Andy Muschietti’s name in the credits. If the director of the fantastic IT: Chapter One and the hopefully amazing IT: Chapter Two is directly involved in this, I am in.

IT is my favorite Stephen King book and I adored the first movie. I want as much information about the making of that movie as I can get. And this tome covers both films.


19Little Nessies PVC Figurines – Toynami


I’m ordering a case.




20Pennywise (2017 Movie) 18” Rotocast Plush Doll – Mezco

This is the stuff nightmares are made of.

I love that NECA and Mezco are both getting the opportunity to put their own spins on Pennywise. It’s (IT’s?) such a versatile and weird character that there are tons of toy options to explore. This one, though. This thing is horrifying.




21One:12 Collective Moon Knight Action Figure – Mezco

I don’t give a fig about Moon Knight, but as soon as Mezco put the pictures up I knew I had to have this figure. It looks absolutely amazing. I preordered it directly from their site once it was available.

They offered a different version as a Summer Exclusive, but this all-white one is far more striking in my opinion. It’s really going to stand out on my One:12 shelves.

For more on Mezco’s amazing line of action figures check out Episode 2 of the Needless Things Minicast!

Be sure to join the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group and get in on the conversation!

You can follow Dave as Phantom Troublemaker on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all the best pop culture commentary!

Hungry for more movies, music, and pop culture? Visit the Needless Things Archives for a decade of dorkery!


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