Flying Below the Radar: September 2014

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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 September they’re ordering the things that they’ll be selling in November, 2014.

This month we have a lot of great items that could have flown below your radar!  A new series set in 1970’s Hell’s Kitchen, an examination of conspiracy theories and what if many of them were true, and Quentin Tarantino teams up with Matt Wagner to bring us a team-up of Django and Zorro!  What about people who have not only lived past lives, but can exploit the abilities of those past lives?  We have a tribute to the work of Ray Bradbury, a girl fighting her way past 9 trials from 9 gods to save her terminally ill brother, and a ape biker gang.  How about a super-hero who can’t be killed on death row, or an ongoing series for everyone’s favorite teenage witch or a photographic guide that will help you grade your comics?  Check out these and many more comics that could have easily flown below your radar!  I cover lots of 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.

Most of the items shown here are things you may 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.

kitchen-01-eb96fMULTIV-Cv4-a6b0b
CREDIT: DC/Vertigo                               CREDIT: DC Comics

THE KITCHEN #1 (of 8) [DC/Vertigo]
Ollie Masters (Writer) • Ming Doyle (Artist)
New York City, late 1970s. Times Square is a haven for sex and drugs. The city teeters on the verge of bankruptcy, while blackouts can strike at any moment.   The Irish gangs of Hell’s Kitchen rule the neighborhood, bringing terror to the streets and doing the dirty work for the Italian Mafia. Jimmy Brennan and his crew were the hardest bastards in the Kitchen, but after they’re all put in prison, their wives – Kath, Raven and Angie – decide to keep running their rackets. And once they get a taste of the fast life and easy money, it won’t be easy to stop.
THE KITCHEN takes one of the most popular genres in entertainment and, like The Sopranos, re-imagines it for a new generation to present a classic gangster story told from a fresh point of view.
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

THE MULTIVERSITY: PAX AMERICANA #1 [ DC Comics]
Grant Morrison (Writer) • Frank Quitely (Artist)
A stand-alone issue which also acts as chapter four of the MULTIVERSITY storyline.
Morrison and Quitely investigate the conspiracy on Earth-4, home of Pax Americana! Told backwards through an experimental storytelling technique that reveals new mysteries with each turn of the page, PAX AMERICANA stars The Question, Blue Beetle, Captain Atom, Nightshade and Peacemaker like you’ve never seen them before! As the assassination of the U.S. president leads to political intrigue, interpersonal drama and astro-physical wonder, the truth behind the crime and those involved will blow your mind! What confidential conversation between the president and Captain Atom could reveal everything? How far will The Question take his hunt for the truth before he hurts his former friends – or himself? And who is the steel-handed bogeyman operating in the shadows?
FC / 48 pgs / $4.99

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CREDIT: Avatar Press                             CREDIT: Legendary Comics

DARK GODS #1 [Avatar Press]
Justin Jordan (writer) • German Erramouspe (Artist)
Murdock leads The Storm, humanities last line of defense against the brewing Primordial Chaos and The Serpent, Tiamet herself! But her children slowly emerge ahead of her return, as human-monster hybrids inflicting horrors in their wake. The Storm has to keep this bottled up, prevent the rest of humanity from breaking into panic, and hold back the flood of horrors that come with the return of the original evils, the Dark Gods themselves!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

EPOCHALYPSE #1 [Legendary Comics]
Jonathan Hennessey (writer) • Shane Davis (artist)
When a mysterious space-time phenomenon causes 600 years of human history to collapse into a single era, societies from the past, present, and future are forced to coexist in a dystopian civilization. To set the timeline straight, an elite team of Resynchronization Officers must rid the world of Anachronisms — futuristic artifacts that threaten the very laws of time. To ensure our future, we must undo it. As one defiant officer leads the manhunt for elusive scientist Dr. Tomorrow and notorious outlaw The Salesman, he is challenged by shadowy agencies, rebel militias, and forbidden desire. Can our hero save history — or doom the future? By historical author Jonathan Hennessey (The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation) and artist Shane Davis (Superman: Earth One).
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

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CREDIT: Oni Press                                   CREDIT: BOOM! Studios

THE LIFE AFTER VOLUME ONE SC [Oni Press]
Joshua Fialkov (writer) • Gabo (artist)
Jump on now if you missed this in single issues!
Jude’s life is nothing special. It seems like every day is just a repeat of the last one, until one day, he meets a woman and can suddenly see into her past — revealing that he is actually in Purgatory for suicides. Now that he’s awake, he and the legendary Ernest Hemingway are on the path to change things in the afterlife for the better. Of course, that might not sit very well with the bigwigs down below or up above. Can just a few people change the course of billions of souls? Collects the first five issue of the ongoing series.
FC / 136 pgs / $9.99

DEEP STATE #1 [BOOM! Studios]
Justin Jordan (writer) • Ariela Kristantina (Artist)
You know all those conspiracy theories you hear about? Like how the Jonestown Massacre was a failed MKULTRA experiment by the government, or how Lee Harvey Oswald was trained and brainwashed to be an assassin? Well, what if some of those were true?
John Harrow doesn’t exist, and his job is to make sure that other things don’t exist, too. At any given time, the government is running dozens of black book operations, experiments that aren’t on any official record and are never acknowledged to exist. Some of these are innocuous. Some of them are monstrous beyond reason. And most of the time, they go as expected and the public is never the wiser. Most of the time. John Harrow’s job is to handle them when things go wrong, and do anything to make sure the government’s secrets stay just that—secret.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

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CREDIT: Dynamite Comics                      CREDIT: Dark Horse Comics

DJANGO/ZORRO #1 [Dynamite]
Quentin Tarantino, Matt Wagner (writers) • Esteve Polls (artist)
The official sequel to Django Unchained in the first-ever comic book sequel ever done of a Tarantino film! Set several years after the events of Django Unchained, Django/Zorro #1 finds Django again pursuing the evil that men do in his role as a bounty hunter. Since there’s a warrant on his head back east, he’s mainly been plying his trade in the western states. After safely settling his wife, Broomhilda, near Chicago, he’s again taken to the road, sending her funds whenever he completes a job. It’s by sheer chance that he encounters the aged and sophisticated Diego de la Vega — the famed Zorro — and soon finds himself fascinated by this unusual character, the first wealthy white man he’s ever met who seems totally unconcerned with the color of Django’s skin… and who can hold his own in a fight. He hires on as Diego’s “bodyguard” for one adventure and is soon drawn into a fight to free the local indigenous people from a brutal servitude, discovering that slavery isn’t exclusive to black folks. In the course of this adventure, he learns much from the older man (much like King Schultz) and, on several occasions, even dons the mask and the whip… of The Fox!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

RESURRECTIONISTS #1 [Dark Horse]
Fred Van Lente (writer) • Maurizio Rosenzweig & Moreno Dinisio (artists)
Are you near-death experienced? Framed architect-turned-thief Jericho Way has discovered he’s a Resurrectionist, one of a select group of people who can not only remember their past lives, but become them. Two groups are now after his services—the Sojourn corporation, which wants to exploit his powers for mysterious purposes, and a motley crew of modern-day tomb robbers who have been trying to pull the same impossible heist for 3,000 years—and if Jericho joins them, he may steal back his own future!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.50

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CREDIT: Valiant                                        CREDIT: Valiant

ETERNAL WARRIOR DAYS OF STEEL #1 (of 3) [Valiant]
Peter Milligan (writer) • Cary Nord (artist)
The Eternal Warrior…Gilad Anni-Padda, the Earth’s Fist and Steel…is forever charged with guarding the Geomancer and securing the Earth’s safety. After completing another brutal mission, the Earth’s undying guardian is approached with a cryptic task: find and save a baby — in whose hands might rest the fate of an entire people. But the Eternal Warrior is no nursemaid…and, to complicate matters, a thousand Magyar invaders want the baby dead. At the edge of civilization, can history’s most expert killer keep one precious life alive?
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

PUNK MAMBO #0 [Valiant]
Peter Milligan (writer) • Robert Gill (artist)
From a posh girls’ boarding school, to the slimy gutter of the London punk scene, to sniffing voodoo glue in a Louisiana swamp…how did the Punk Mambo haul herself from the upper crust to the backwater? Now, Punk Mambo is about to head back home to spread some much-needed anarchy in the UK! The punks and the voodoo priests she used to know have cleaned themselves up, and she’s a loud, belching ghost from their past, come to break in the new furniture…and break some faces!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

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CREDIT: Marvel Comics

PAINKILLER JANE: THE 22 BRIDES TPB [Marvel]
Jimmy Palmiotti (writer) • Juan Santacruz & Steve Mannion (artists)
Romance and chaos is in the air as Painkiller Jane is joined by a group of mercenary assassins called the 22 Brides… It’s nonstop action as Jane and the Brides take on a group of underground terrorists causing chaos in New York City — but when they get wind of the terrorists’ next target, their war becomes a desperate race against time, and Jane and her newfound allies must beat the clock to stop the mysterious plot before hundreds are killed! Plus: a special story by Steve Mannion, featuring Painkiller Jane on the hunt for a killer!
FC / 120 pgs / $17.99

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CREDIT: IDW Publishing                        CREDIT: IDW Publishing

SHADOW SHOW #1 [IDW]
Joe Hill, Jason Ciaramella (writers) • Charles Paul Wilson III (artist)
In Shadow Show, acclaimed writers and come together to pay tribute to the work of the one and only Ray Bradbury, the incomparable literary artist who has given us such timeless classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine. Up first is “By The Silver Water of Lake Champlain,” written by Joe Hill and adapted by Jason Ciaramella and Charles Paul Wilson III. In this haunting story, Gail and Joel, two young teens, form an unlikely bond over the discovery of a lifetime. But their lives will soon be changed, forever altered by what they found that foggy day by the silver waters of Lake Champlain.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

THE BIGGER BANG #1 (OF 4) [IDW]
D.J. Kirkbride (writer) • Vassilis Gogtzilas (artist)
The Big Bang created all life as we know it. The Bigger Bang, a universe killing event, creates just one: a being named Cosmos. Is he a destroyer? A hero? A god? All he knows is that he’s completely alone in what was our universe… so he seeks out another where he’ll try to atone for the sins of his mysterious creation. A new creator-owned mini-series from IDW.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

FIGHT LIKE A GIRL1_SOLICITSolitary1
CREDIT: Action Lab                                  CREDIT: Devil’s Due Publishing

FIGHT LIKE A GIRL #1 (of 4) [Action Lab]
David Pinckney (writer) • Soo Lee (artist)
Standing before a jury of nine gods, Amarosa pleads for a chance to risk her life and gain entry to the Wishing Well where she will attempt to fight her way through and survive nine trials to claim her prize: a single wish that will save her terminally-ill brother.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

SOLITARY #1 [Devil’s Due Publishing]
CW Cooke (writer) • Nando Souzamotta (artist)
They say orange is the new black, but does that go for superheroes as well? Tim was a superhero for a short time. One able to heal from any wound. But now, he’s on death row, awaiting execution at the hands of a corrupt warden, innocent of any true crime. Such begins the upcoming tribulation of a hero on death row… who may just be immortal. Check out a preview of #1 here.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

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CREDIT: Image Comics                             CREDIT: Image Comics

TOOTH & CLAW #1 [Image]
Kurt Busiek (writer) • Ben Dewey (artist)
Conan meets Game of Thrones meets Kamandi in an original high-fantasy epic for mature readers, as a secret conclave of wizards brings a legendary champion back through time to save the world, with disastrous consequences.
The action begins in a spectacular DOUBLE-SIZED FIRST ISSUE, with forty-four pages of story with no ads for the regular price of just $2.99!
FC / 48 pgs / $2.99

THE HUMANS #1 [Image]
Keenan Marshall Keller (writer) • Tom Neely (artist)
Apart, they are nothing…deemed by society as outcasts, misfits, losers, no good punks! But together, they are THE HUMANS! THE HUMANS is a high-octane, no-holds-barred, ape-biker-gang chopper ride into ’70s exploitation genre bliss. Follow Bobby, Johnny, and all The HUMANS as they fight and fly down the road to oblivion on a ride filled with chains, sex, leather, denim, hair, blood, bananas, and chrome.
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

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CREDIT: Image Comics                           CREDIT: Image Comics

SAVAGE DRAGON #200 [Image]
Erik Larsen & Gary Carlson (writers) • Erik Larsen, Herb Trimpe, Chris Burnham, Nikos Koutsis, Frank Fosco & Travis Sengaus (artists)
Erik Larsen has been doing this series since 1992, that’s a looong time! For the 200th issue of the ongoing series Savage Dragon is out of prison and the Vicious Circle is gunning for him. Malcolm Dragon and his stepsister Angel join forces to keep their father alive against an all-out assault in this movie-length epic. Back up stories include an Angel and Mr. Glum story drawn by Batman alum CHRIS BURNHAM, Malcolm and Savage Dragon in WWII by legendary Incredible Hulk artist HERB TRIMPE, Special Agents Strikeforce by NIKOS KOUTSIS, Vanguard by GARY CARLSON and FRANK FOSCO and Malcolm Dragon by TRAVIS SENGAUS.
FC / 100 pgs / $8.99

ODY-C #1 [Image]
Matt Fraction (writer) • Christian Ward (artist)
An epic 26 centuries in the making: In the aftermath of a galactic war a hundred years long, Odyssia the Clever Champion and her compatriots begin their longest, strangest trip yet: the one home. A gender-bent eye-popping psychedelic science fiction odyssey begins here!
FC / 40 pgs / $3.99

OverstreetCaptain Stone1
CREDIT: Gemstone Publishing             CREDIT: Titan Comics

OVERSTREET GUIDE TO GRADING COMICS 2015 [Gemstone]
Robert M. Overstreet (writer)
An essential guide for people who want to learn more about the 10-point grading scale for comics.  Since 1970, the name “Overstreet” has symbolized a vast knowledge of American comic books. This guide teaches you the importance of condition (a factor that is often the key to real collectability) and how to grade accurately. The Overstreet Guide To Grading Comics includes the 10-point grading system, as well as exhaustive descriptions of Primary and Split Grades, examples of each grade with more than 200 full-color images in all, articles on storage, preservation, and restoration, a look at the independent, third-party grading companies, and much more!
FC / 360 pgs / $24.95

CAPTAIN STONE #1 [Titan]
Liam Sharp & Christina McCormack (writers) • Liam Sharp (artist)
The world’s first and only superhero has disappeared after undergoing a cataclysmic fall from grace in the eyes of the world. Middle-aged and unable to support his operations he had made a preposterous claim that the world was in danger, a notion derided by the media and the public at large. But what if the claim is true? Outcast writer and infamous murderess Charlie Chance, AKA The Pet, finds herself searching for the one man who was able to bring her to justice – Captain Stone.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Nocturnals Legendsabrina3b
CREDIT: Big Wow Art                                   CREDIT: Archie Comics

NOCTURNALS LEGEND HC [Big Wow Art]
Dan Brerton (artist)
A twenty year retrospective celebrating Dan Brereton’s Eisner-nominated series of dark pulp heroes, the Nocturnals. Packed with many never-before-published illustrations, as well as paintings and drawings spanning the twenty year history of this influential “monster noir” series.
FC / 152 pgs / $39.99

SABRINA #3 [Archie Comics]
Roberto Aguirre Sacasa (writers) • Robert Hack & Rachel Deering (artists)
Now an Ongoing Series! Rejected by the Council, Sabrina takes matters into her own hands to find Harvey’s missing soul. Recruiting two other young witches (from a neighboring coven), Sabrina holds a seance to locate her missing friend, but as ever, Madame Satan is pulling the strings behind the scenes. What Sabrina taps into is much more dangerous and diabolical and will send our beloved teen witch on an epic quest.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Bob Bretall: bob@comicspectrum.com
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