Flying Below the Radar: July 2014


This is a Blog I do once a month as I read through the advance solicits for comics shipping in two months.  Every month your local comic shop (LCS) places orders with Diamond Comics for what comics will be on their rack two months down the road.  That means in July they’re ordering the things that they’ll be selling in September, 2014.

This month we have the return of characters we’ve not seen in years, famous authors, new Artist Editions showcasing original art, successful kickstarter campaigns continued in new comics series, a new series from Grant Morrison that could have easily flown below your radar, and lots of other cool stuff that you may miss if you’re not reading though all the solicits like I do…  I scour the solicits so you don’t have to!

Comic shop owners are typically aware of the books from the big publishers particularly superhero stuff and “hot” indie books (usually AFTER they become hot) – beyond that there are no guarantees.  Even if they know about a particular comic they may not order it to put out on their racks.  I keep track of advance solicits that get posted on-line on the ComicSpectrum website each month, if there is something you really want that’s not guaranteed to be on the rack (like Batman or Avengers), you should consider letting your comic shop know you’re interested so they’ll know to order it.

I’ll point out stuff here each month that catches my eye and I typically do not see on the racks in every comic shop.  If it looks cool to you, make sure you ask your LCS to order it.  Heck, start a pull list at your shop and add the books you’re interested in so your shop will save them for you and you don’t have to worry about them selling out.

CREDIT: Dark Horse                                   CREDIT: Dark Horse

Dark Ages #2 (of 4) [Dark Horse]
Dan Abnett (Writer) • I. N. J. Culbard (Artist)
I missed issue #1 last month, so this flew below MY radar!  I’m a big fan of both Abnett and Culbard so this is a “must buy” for me!
As hell comes forth from the skies above, the heathen war band seeks refuge and redemption in a fortified monastery. But inside lies a dark secret that could ensure their salvation — or seal their fate!
FC / 40 pages / $3.99

Grendel vs. The Shadow #1 (of 3) [Dark Horse]
Matt Wagner (Writer/Artist)
Grendel Returns!!
Sparks fly and bullets blaze when the original Grendel, Hunter Rose, is transported to 1930s New York and faces off with the original dark-night avenger, the Shadow! Two pulp-noir icons go head to head in this three-issue prestige-format series written and drawn by legendary Grendel creator Matt Wagner, who has also been doing great work with the Shadow for Dynamite!
FC / 48 pages / $5.99

silver-surfer-cover-eaa80 RotNRuin01-cvr-4f9d0
CREDIT: IDW Publishing                            CREDIT: IDW Publishing

John Buscema’s Silver Surfer: Artist’s Edition HC [IDW]
Stan Lee (writer) • John Buscema (artist)
John Buscema was one of the most important artists at Marvel Comics for decades. He produced gorgeous pencils for some of the most iconic characters at the House of Ideas, including The Avengers, Thor, The Fantastic Four, The Amazing Spider-Man, Conan the Barbarian and many more. Buscema is perhaps most acclaimed for his stunning rendition of the noble Silver Surfer. This Artist’s Edition will include Silver Surfer classics #5 and #6, both double-sized issues, as well as other stories, a cover and classic page gallery, plus more! All done with the full endorsement and cooperation of the Buscema family.
HC / B&W / 144 pages / 12” x 17” / $75.00 cost to your store, retail price will be higher

Rot & Ruin #1 [IDW]
Jonathan Maberry (writer) • Tony Vargas (artist)
Brand new adventures set in the world of Rot & Ruin! Written by NY Times best-selling author and multiple Bram Stoker award-winner, Jonathan Maberry, this all-new storyline continues events from the award-winning series of novels. We meet Benny, Nix, Lilah and Chong as they travel through the Sierra Nevada mountains just one faltering step ahead of zombie hordes and one giant leap behind the plane flying through the sky that set them on their journey of discovery.
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

Gallery01 NAMES-Cv1-0b58e
CREDIT: DC Comics                               CREDIT: DC Comics/Vertigo

Doug Moench (writer) • Kelley Jones, John Beatty and others (artists)
Graphitti Designs borrows the Artist’s Edition format from IDW publishing with this inaugural book featuring Batman! For the first time ever, Dark Knight fans and collectors will have the opportunity to see and own museum-quality reproductions of memorable Batman art…as it was originally conceived by the artist. Printed in color from high-resolution scans of the actual original art, every page is reproduced at original size on heavy paper stock, capturing the artwork – stray pencil marks, whiteout, coffee stains and all! The pages are alive with all of the subtleties and nuances one would expect from investment-quality original comic art.
BATMAN: KELLEY JONES GALLERY EDITION is the first in a series of deluxe, hardcover books from Graphitti Designs that faithfully reproduces the original art from select, key DC Comics series. This volume contains the covers and interior pages from BATMAN #515 through #525, minus the interior of issue #520, which Kelley did not draw. These stories are written by Doug Moench, with most pages inked by John Beatty.
B&W / 248 pg / 12” x 17” / $125.00 US

THE NAMES #1 (of 8) [DC/Vertigo]
Peter Milligan (writer) • Leandro Fernandez (artist)
New York City. Forty-year-old Kevin Walker is a successful trader. He’s incredibly rich. He has a young, sexy wife and a son he adores. He has everything. Until…
The mysterious man known as the Surgeon walks into Kevin’s office. He takes a seat and tells Kevin to write a suicide note. Trembling but obedient, Kevin does what the Surgeon says. Then, at a word from this well-dressed figure, Kevin jumps out his window and falls fifty stories to his death.
Thus begins THE NAMES, an 8-issue miniseries by writer Peter Milligan (HELLBLAZER, SKREEMER) and artist Leandro Fernandez (Wolverine, Punisher: Max). THE NAMES is a dark, contemporary thriller set in the world of Big Money: hedge funds, leveraged buyouts, market raids, flash crashes. High-end finance that can ruin entire economies, run by a cabal of the world’s richest (and sickest) people.
Now, it’s up to Katya Walker – the beautiful and deadly wife of the late Kevin – to take on this hidden power structure and find out who killed her husband, and why. No matter what it takes. No matter who she has to kill.
FC / 32 pages / $2.99

CREDIT: Valiant Entertainment           CREDIT: BOOM! Studios

THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE #1 (of 5) [Valiant]
Jen Van Meter (writer) • Roberto De La Torre (artist)
Death was just the beginning…
Doctor Mirage talks to the dead…but the only spirit Shan Fong can’t find is that of her late husband, Hwen. Instead, America’s favorite semi-retired paranormal investigator is haunted, using her gift to solve homicides and bring peace to the recently bereaved. But when a big-time occultist with a classified military past hires her for a special job, Shan discovers a lead that might close the greatest mystery she’s ever tackled – how to get Hwen back. Now, Doctor Mirage must enter the undiscovered country and cross all the realms of the underworld, if she has any hope of rescuing the man she loves…or be forever lost beyond the earthly plain.
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

WILD’S END #1 (of 6) [BOOM! Studios]
Dan Abnett (writer) • I.N.J. Culbard (artist)
When a rural English community of the 1930s is the victim of an alien invasion, the residents’ lives are upended by the harsh realities of life-and-death violence. Led by the town’s outsider and retired war veteran, they will have to rally together to uncover the secret of their invaders and ultimately fight back.
Inspired by the sci-fi aesthetic of War of the Worlds and the anthropomorphic characters of Blacksad and Mouse Guard, readers will be blown away by Culbard’s art while fans of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg’s Cornetto Trilogy (SHAUN OF THE DEAD, WORLD’S END) will fall in love with Clive, Peter, and Gilbert as they try to survive an alien invasion.
FC / 32 Pages / $3.99


GEORGE PÉREZ’S SIRENS #1 (of 6) [BOOM! Studios]
George Pérez (writer/artist)
A sci-fi adventure story that spans time and space, featuring a team of female heroes that kick butt across the universe. If you like strong female sci-fi characters like Battlestar Galactica’s Starbuck, Star Wars’ Princess Leia, and Alien’s Ripley, you’ll find nine reasons to love this series.  As an intergalactic force enslaves planets across the galaxy, the legendary team known only as the Sirens must reunite to save it—but is that even possible when the Sirens themselves don’t even remember who they are? And the rest of the universe only remembers them as…villains?
FC / 32 Pages / $3.99

Copperhead-01-26748 GodHatesAstronauts-01-B-e390e
CREDIT: Image Comics                           CREDIT: Image Comics

Jay Faerber (writer) • Scott Godlewski & Ron Riley (artists)
Welcome to Copperhead, a grimy mining town on the edge of a backwater planet. Single mom Clara Bronson is the new sheriff, and on her first day she’ll have to contend with a resentful deputy, a shady mining tycoon, and a family of alien hillbillies. And did we mention the massacre? This gritty 24th Century Western debuts with an extra-long first issue.
FC / 32 Pages / $3.50

Ryan Browne (writer/artist)
The farcical cult-sensation and Kickstarter success story returns with a new story that’s a perfect jump-on point for new readers! And look at the GREAT variant cover by Geoff Darrow!
A NASA funded group of arrogant “super people” must stop a rash of farmers that have been using rocket-powered silos to launch themselves into outer space! As these Astro-Farmers fire themselves all over the galaxy, NASA must utilize their every resource (a guy with a ghost-cow head, a bunch of magic bears, and a Chicago cop with robot arms) to avoid an intergalactic incident!
FC / 32 Pages / $3.50

CREDIT: Image Comics                          CREDIT: Oni Press

ROCHE LIMIT #1 [Image]
Michael Moreci (writer) • Vic Malhotra (artist)
Twenty years after this promise, billionaire Langford Skaargard’s dream of cosmic exploration is no more. Roche Limit, a colony situated on the cusp of a mysterious energy anomaly, is a melting pot of crime and terrible secrets. When Bekkah Hudson goes missing, the search to find her will plunge her sister and a cadre of the colony’s underworld figures into an odyssey that reveals a grim future for mankind. Blending 2001: A Space Odyssey with Blade Runner, ROCHE LIMIT is the first part of a bold sci-fi/noir trilogy.
FC / 32 Pages / $3.50

STUMPTOWN v3 #1 [Oni Press]
Greg Rucka (writer) • Justin Greenwood (artist)
The fan favorite private eye is back in a new ONGOING series illustrated by Justin Greenwood (Image Comics’ THE FUSE)! Things never go according to plan for Dex Parios — it doesn’t matter whether it’s work or play. When a weekend of soccer fun (both playing and watching!) turns ugly, it’s up to Dex to get to the bottom of the violence before a heated rivalry transforms into an all out war!
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

CREDIT: Amigo Comics                              CREDIT: Archie Comics

El Torres (writer) • Juan Jose Ryp (artist)
At last! The long-lost story where the Rogues were born, now remastered and with new-brand-extra pages. The first work of Juan Jose Ryp and El Torres with their creation, the Rogues! Follow the first adventure of Bram and Weasel: A robbery to a nobleman went really well. Now they are the owners of an unique bright jewel that everybody in Gerada wants– thieves, soldiers, and even mages!
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

Sabrina #1 [Archie]
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (writer) • Robert Hack, Jack Morelli (artists)
New ongoing series! Terror is born anew in this dark reimagining of Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s origin. On the eve of her sixteenth birthday, the young sorceress finds herself at a crossroads, having to choose between an unearthly destiny and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey. But a foe from her family’s past has arrived in Greendale, Madame Satan, and she has her own deadly agenda.
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

CREDIT: Dynamite Comics                     CREDIT: Dynamite Comics

EX-CON #1 [Dynamite]
Duane Swierczynski (writer) • Keith Burns (artist)
Ex-Con is the newest book in a series of creator driven comics from Dynamite designated as “The Creators Unleashed”, featuring all new concepts and characters from the industry’s best and brightest!
1985: L.A. con artist Cody Pomeray had a gift for looking inside a mark’s soul with just a glance. But one fateful night, he targeted the wrong man — and was sentenced to the most savage prison in California. Pomeray would have been beaten to death on his first day if not for the intervention of Barnaby Creed, the most powerful crime lord in the Southland…
1989: Now Pomeray’s out on parole, robbed of his special ability and tasked with doing Creed “a little favor.” He has no idea he’s just stepped into a long con, and this time, he’s the mark…
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

ALICE COOPER #1 [Dynamite]
Joe Harris (writer) • Eman Casallos (artist)
The X-Files’ Joe Harris takes on The Prince of Darkness – Alice Cooper in his FIRST ongoing comic series! Rock n’ roll legend Alice Cooper was never a stranger to the mystic and the macabre. His stage shows were the stuff of legend, featuring snakes and pyrotechnics and the invocation of dark themes and darker forces. But while he was a legend in the waking world, few knew his role as “The Lord of Nightmares” beyond it, where he watched over us while we dreamed, and delivered horrors unto the deserving. Only someone took it all away from him, cast him out of his realm and locked him away… until now. And if he’s going to reclaim his dark throne, he’s going to need all the help he can get!
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

CREDIT: :01 First Second Books            CREDIT: Bongo Comics

Battling Boy: The Rise of Aurora West [:01 First Second]
Paul Pope, JT Petty (writers) • David Rubin (artist)
The extraordinary world introduced in Paul Pope’s Battling Boy is rife with monsters and short on heroes… but in this action-driven extension of the Battling Boy universe, we see it through a new pair of eyes: Aurora West, daughter of Arcopolis’s last great hero, Haggard West.  A prequel to Battling Boy, The Rise of Aurora West follows the young hero as she seeks to uncover the mystery of her mother’s death, and to find her place in a world overrun with supernatural monsters and all-too-human corruption.
160 pages / $9.99

by various writers & artists!
If you like zombies, we got Zombies! It’s an all-out Zombiefest at Bongo in this Simpsons annual horror tradition! First, Homer leads an ever-diminishing group of survivors in their quest to stay alive against a marauding horde of cannibalistic zombies! And Bart and his friends must fend off the shopping dead while trapped at the Springfield Mall. Then, Homer and Bart must protect the nuclear power plant from a zombie invasion. Finally, a Zombienado strikes Springfield! It’s a lighthearted, night of the living dead, laugh riot!
FC / 48 pages / $4.99

CREDIT: Asylum Press                              CREDIT: Black Mask

Steve Mannion (writer/artist)
Originally funded as a Kickstarter campaign & now available to everyone!
Meet “One-Eyed Hans”, the roughest, toughest, meanest old hombre ever to bust up the FEARLESS DAWN camp! And he’s got one eye. Well, he’s actually got 2 eyes but one is made of glass. So, yeah. He’s got one eye. And he has been sent to aid in the BREAKOUT of Fearless Dawn’s arch Nemesis, Helga Von Krauss. Can Fearless Dawn stop ol’ One-Eye? I don’t know man. But one thing’s for certain, we got a pretty cool comic for you this time out. I mean, we don’t want to spoil it too much but all sorts of crazy stuff happens. Action! Intrigue! Giant Monster Transformations and Psychotherapy! Whew, it’s a doozie!
B&W / 32 pages / $3.99

PIROUETTE #1 [Black Mask]
Mark L Miller (writer) • Carlos Granda (artist)
The circus is the Greatest Show On Earth, unless you’re the attraction. Raised from infancy by duplicitous clowns who entertain by day and menace by night, Pirouette dreams of washing the paint from her face and escaping to a better life far away from her cruel adoptive circus family… because when the spotlights dim and the crowd disperses, the clown princess’ big-top dreams give way to a nightmarish world of monsters with painted smiles.
FC / 32 pages / $3.99

annihilator1 towncalleddragon

ANNIHILATOR #1 [Legendary Comics]
Grant Morrison (writer) • Frazer Irving (artist)
This six-issue series from the extraordinary mind of Grant Morrison is a subversive sci-fi adventure like no other, brought to life with stunning artwork from Frazer Irving (Judge Dredd, Necronauts).  Washed-up Hollywood screenwriter Ray Spass is caught in a downward spiral of broken relationships, wild parties, and self-destruction. Out of luck and out of chances, he’s one failed script away from fading into obscurity. Little does he know he’s about to write the story of his life. As his imagination runs rampant, Ray must join forces with his own fictional character Max Nomax on a reality-bending race to stop the entire universe from imploding… without blowing his own mind in the process.
FC / $3.99

A TOWN CALLED DRAGON #1 [Legendary Comics]
Judd Winick (writer) • Geoff Shaw (artist)
On the surface it seems like your average all-American tourist trap, but this snow-covered town hides a burning secret. After centuries of lying buried within the depths of an icy mountain, the world’s last dragon egg finally hatches – endangering modern life as we know it. Now an unlikely group of dangerously unqualified, ordinary citizens must band together, battling the elements – and each other – to slay this menacing creature. This five-issue series is an original story.
FC / 56 pages / $3.99

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