Flying Below the Radar: January 2015


by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

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 January they’re ordering the things that they’ll be selling in March, 2015.

This month we have a lot of great items that could have flown below your radar!  Since this is devoted to having you notice things you might otherwise miss, the larger Publishers are covered last!   This month thrill to junior high hijinks, catching up with Merlin and a new crop of super-heroes, another revived hero from Archie’s Dark Circle, and a very cool alternate history of WWII.  BOOM! Offers up a new series from Jimmy Palmiotti, the return of Bill & Ted, and a story about breaking out of Hell at an introductory price of $1!!  Another action-packed import from the pages of 2000AD complements of Rebellion, ValiantNext debuts Ninjak, and Dark Horse gives us a new time-travel series from Matt Kindt!  Two vintage TV shows reimagined by artists Ross Campbell and Jim Mahfood!  Six new #1s from Image that have me drooling in anticipation from a creative line-up including Mark Millar, Sean Murphy, Jeff Lemire, Dustin Nguyen, Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, Eric Powell, Terry & Rachel Dodson. 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.

CREDIT: Action Lab                                   CREDIT: Afterburn

NUTMEG #1 [Action Lab]
James F. Wright (Writer) • Jackie Crofts (Artist)
Poppy Pepper just wants to survive junior high and avoid her rich rival, Saffron Longfellow, and her brownie-baking minions, The Lady Rangers. But when mysterious new girl Cassia Caraway arrives, she teams up with Poppy and together they plot to bring Saffron and crew down.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Robert W. Hickey & Bill Nichols (Writers) • Willie Peppers, Chris Dreier & Aero Zero (Artists)
SkyStorm Origins spans the width and breadth of the SkyStorm universe as a massive quest for shards of the TimeStone ramps up toward the Paradox Wars. Stories of StormQuest, Hellgirl, the Darkness Chronicles, Tempered Steele and others all tie into this epic journey! SkyStorm Origins #1 has Merlin on the run in medieval times with Marta hot on his heels. He has something that she wants and is welling to do whatever it takes to take it from him. StormQuest appears to stop her from achieving her goals. Emotions run high when they find Merlin after events from the StormQuest Graphic Novel #1.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

CREDIT: Archie Comics                        CREDIT: Avatar

THE FOX #1 [Archie Comics]
Mark Waid (Script) • Dean Haspiel (Plot/Artist)
When a billionaire philanthropist prepares Paul Patton Jr’s home town for demolition, our hero is sent on assignment to photograph the event. But what strange force lurks in the shadows, and why will it take Paul’s alter-ego, THE FOX, to stop it? The answer is the beginning of a deadly FOX HUNT and you won’t believe what happens next!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

UBER #23 [Avatar]
Kieron Gillen (Writer) • Daniel Gete (Artist)
A great alternate history of WWII with super-powered combatants that most people are not reading…
It’s the battle everyone has been waiting for, Germany’s Sieglinde vs Russia’s Maria as the most powerful women in the World unleash their epic powers in a Battleship vs Battleship ultimate carnage-fest! Kieron Gillen unleashes the thunder as super-humans face-off on a level never before witnessed. Back in Blighty, Stephanie makes an eye-opening discovery. Even in the face of the terrors that are occurring worldwide, there is still hope. But will it be too little too late?
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

conjob1a billted1b
CREDIT: BOOM! Studios                         CREDIT: BOOM! Studios

THE CON JOB #1 [BOOM! Studios]
Jimmy Palmiotti & Matt Brady (Writers) • Dominike “Domo” Stanton (Artist)
After working the same convention circuit for many years, a group of flabby action heroes, aging sex symbols, and sci-fi bit players have become close friends as they watch their lines get shorter and their autographs get cheaper. That is, until they hire a cocky new booking agent who offers them their only chance at a comfortable retirement by robbing one of the largest cons in the country!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Brian Lynch (Writer) • Jerry Gaylord (Artist)
Following the time-traveling historic epic of Excellent Adventure and the turbulent life and death of Bogus Journey, Bill and Ted must now fulfill their destiny as the inspiration for galactic harmony! How can someone hate the Wyld Stallyns as much as the evil Chuck De Nomolos? With the power of time travel, Bill and Ted set their sights on turning a young 27th-century Nomolos’ non-non-heinous attitude into something most outstanding and metal!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

halogen1a giantdays1a
CREDIT: BOOM! / Archaia                     CREDIT: BOOM! Box

HALOGEN #1 [BOOM!/Archaia]
Josh Tierney (Writer) • Afu Chan (Artist)
There’s a rumor on Cityship Q that the gigantic body ofa dead god was found floating in space. Rell, an agent woking for the HaloGen organization, is tasked with finding the location of the god and retrieving it by any means necessary. Using her ability to form hyper-realistic holograms, Rell is about to take on the first mission she might not be able to finish.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

John Allison (Writer) • Lissa Treiman (Artist)
Susan, Esther, and Daisy started at university three weeks ago and became fast friends because their dorm rooms were next to each other. Now, away from home for the first time, all three want to reinvent themselves. But in the face of hand-wringing boys, “personal experimentation,” influenza, mystery-mold, nu-chauvinism, and the willful, unwanted intrusion of “academia,” they may be lucky just to make it to spring alive.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

CREDIT: Oni Press                                  CREDIT: Titan Comics

HELLBREAK #1 [Oni Press]
Cullen Bunn (Writer) • Brian Churilla (Artist)
There are thousands of Hells, each unique, each terrible. Mega-cities ruled by vicious gangs. Empires where the most perverse are well-respected. Wastelands roamed by prehistoric monstrosities. With the proper tools and know-how you can infiltrate Hell whether you’re dead or not. With the proper tools and know-how, you can break out. Project Kerberos has developed this forbidden technology, and a special forces extraction team is dispatched to rescue lost souls from the infernal realm.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Cavan Scott (Writer) • Blair Shedd (Artist)
My favorite Doctor, the ninth, is back with a brand-new miniseries: Weapons of Past Destruction! Leaving World War II behind, the Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market! Now the threat of a new temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

CREDIT: Rebellion / 2000 AD              CREDIT: Valiant

AQUILA #1 [Rebellion/2000 AD]
Gordon Rennie (Writer) • Leigh Gallagher (Artist)
He was one of the rebellious gladiator-slaves crucified by the Romans for being part of Spartacus’ uprising, and in his final moments he cried out to the gods for vengeance. Something heard him, and brought him back from the dead in exchange for his soul. He is Aquila, and he is now the unstoppable instrument of Ammit the Devourer who hungers for the souls of men – and Aquila will keep feeding her until the debt is paid!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

NINJAK #1 [Valiant Comics]
Matt Kindt (Writer) • Clay Mann with Butch Guice (Artist)
Then: Meet inexperienced MI-6 recruit Colin King on his first mission in the field as he learns the basics of spycraft and counterintelligence, and develops a volatile relationship with his first handler.
Now: Colin King is Ninjak, the world’s foremost intelligence operative, weapons expert, and master assassin. And he’s hunting the Shadow Seven – a secret cabal of shinobi masters with mysterious ties to his training and tragic past.
FC / 40 pgs / $3.99

apocalyptigirl pastaways1a
CREDIT: Dark Horse                                 CREDIT: Dark Horse

Andrew MacLean (Writer/Artist)
Alone at the end of the world, Aria is a woman with a mission! As she traipses through an overgrown city with a cat named Jelly Beans, Aria is on a fruitless search for an ancient relic with immeasurable power. But when a creepy savage sets her on a path to complete her quest, she’ll face death in the hopes of claiming her prize.
96 pgs / $9.99

PASTAWAYS #1 [Dark Horse]
Matt Kindt (Writer) • Scott Kolins (Artist)
2015: the distant past. A crash landing strands five deep-time explorers in a primitive world of internal-combustion engines and Internet 1.0 and tears a rift in space-time that spouts dinosaurs, giant robots, and other strange phenomena! Only the marooned “PastAways” can defend the twenty-first century, unless the tensions of their unexpectedly prolonged mission tear them apart!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

jem1a miamivice1
CREDIT: IDW                                              CREDIT: IDW

Kelly Thompson (Writer) • Ross Campbell (Artist)
If you told me a month ago that I’d be excited for a “Jem” comic I’d have told you that you were nuts! That’s before I saw Ross Campbell’s take on the art for this book!
SHOWTIME, SYNERGY! Meet JERRICA BENTON–a girl with a secret. She and her sister KIMBER team with two friends to become… JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS! But what does it mean to be JEM today? Fashion, art, action, and style collide in the most outrageous comic of 2015!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Joe Casey (Writer) • Jim Mahfood (Artist)
Another property I’d have said was best left in the 1980s until I saw the creative team of Joe Casey & Jim Mahfood who are set to turn the world of Miami Vice on its head in a way that’s got to be seen to be believed! Detectives Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs are taking on crime in a city rampant with danger at every turn! An ’80s classic reimagined for an all new audience!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

chrononauts1 descender1
CREDIT: Image Comics                            CREDIT: Image Comics

Mark Millar (Writer) • Sean Murphy (Artist)
A bromance for the ages! Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly are two buddies who love to have fun. They’re also scientific geniuses. When their research leads them to a time-traveling adventure, will they use their knowledge for the good of all mankind? Or use the space-time continuum for their own ends? This is the story of man’s first, televised steps through the time-stream and everything going wrong in the process.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.50

DESCENDER #1 [Image]
Jeff Lemire (Writer) • Dustin Nguyen (Artist)
One young robot’s struggle to stay alive in a universe where all androids have been outlawed and bounty hunters lurk on every planet. A rip-roaring and heart-felt cosmic odyssey that pits humanity against machine, and world against world, to create a sprawling space opera.
FC / 40 pgs / $2.99

invisiblerepublic1 southerncross1
CREDIT: Image Comics                             CREDIT: Image Comics

Gabriel Hardman & Corinna Bechko (Writers) • Gabriel Hardman (Artist)
Arthur McBride’s planetary regime has fallen. His story is over. That is until reporter Croger Babb discovers the journal of Arthur’s cousin, Maia. Inside is the violent, audacious hidden history of the legendary freedom fighter. Erased from the official record, Maia alone knows how dangerous her cousin really is…
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

Becky Cloonan (Writer) • Andy Belanger (Artist)
NOW BOARDING: Southern Cross, tanker flight 73 to TITAN! Alex Braith is on board retracing her sister’s steps to the refinery moon, hoping to collect her remains and find some answers. The questions keep coming though–how did her sister die? Where did her cabin mate disappear to? Who is that creep across the hall? And why does she always feel like she’s being watched? Inspired by classic mysteries and weird fiction, SOUTHERN CROSS is a crucible of creeping anxiety and fear as Braith struggles with the ghosts of her past on board a ship that holds secrets best kept buried.
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

bigmanplans1 REDONE_001_CVR_COLOR_Solicitation.tif
CREDIT: Image Comics                             CREDIT: Image Comics

BIG MAN PLANS #1 [Image]
Eric Powell & Tim Weisch (Writers) • Eric Powell (Artist)
A brutal crime drama with a shocking mystery at its heart. Even the most marginalized in society can exact revenge if they don’t care how they do it.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.50

RED ONE #1 [Image]
Xavier Dorison (Writer) • Terry & Rachel Dodson (Artists)
What happens when America’s greatest hero…is a Russian Spy? Soviet Agent Vera Yelnikov is sent to 1977 Los Angeles by the Kremlin to become an American Superhero and spread communist values in the land of Uncle Sam in a funky superhero romp straight out of a Tarantino film.
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

Bob Bretall: Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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