Flying Below the Radar: February 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 February they’re ordering the things that they’ll be selling in April, 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 Archie continues reinventing itself with titles that have piqued my interest from Dark Circle. BOOM! puts out some collected editions perfect for people who missed some of the best of 2014 the 1st time around. One of the best sci-fi comics on the stand enters a new phase from Oni Press, Joe Benitez is back with his creator-owned steampunk heroine, and Des Taylor debuts his new creator-owned super-spy. Dark Horse bring us the unlikely pairings of a teen icon and a monster from space as well as the father of the US vs. the forces of the supernatural before bringing it back to ‘normal’ with a straight action/history book from the pen of Brian Wood also set during the Revolutionary War. Disney comes back to comics, and it’s not with their subsidiary Marvel, how’s that for a vote of ‘no confidence’?  IDW puts out a new lower-cost version of the Artist’s Edition, called an ‘Artisan Edition’ in Softcover, starting with Wally Wood’s work, and many more new 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 Spider-Man), 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: Archie/Dark Circle                       CREDIT: Archie Comics

THE SHIELD #1 [Archie/Dark Circle]
Adam Christopher and Chuck Wendig (Writers) • David Williams and Gary Martin (Artists)
Archie continues reinventing itself in the Dark Circle Line, definitely worth checking out!
“Daughter of the Revolution, Part 1” Since the dawn of the republic, whenever her country faces its blackest days, she returns: a spirit of the revolution sent to fight for what is right. But when she reappears for the first time in a generation with no memories—not even of her own identity—and encounters an evil force expecting her arrival, all the Shield can do is… run!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

BETTY & VERONICA #275 [Archie]
Michael Uslan (Script) • Dan Parent (Artist)
The girls have arrived in Mumbai, India! They’re ready to move into their temporary homes… and their new identities as Veronica takes on the role as “Betty,” and Betty takes on the role as “Veronica”! Will anyone catch onto their little game? Meanwhile, back in Riverdale, the boys are enjoying the acquaintances of the new transfer students Violette and Banni! But can these two new transfers ever really take the place of their beloved Veronica and Betty? Plus, we’re commemorating this milestone 275th issue with a double-sized issue featuring plenty of bonus content and multiple collector covers!
FC / 48 pgs / $4.99

BOOM_Thomas_Alsop_v1_TP-227x350 BOOMBOX_Lumberjanes_V1_TP-227x350
CREDIT: BOOM! Studios                   CREDIT: BOOM! Box

Chris Miskiewicz (Writer) • Palle Schmidt (Artist)
What would you do if you had the magical ability and responsibility to protect the island of Manhattan from supernatural forces of evil? Well, if you’re Thomas Alsop, you get a reality television show and make some money off of it, that’s what! Alsop is the current “Hand of the Island,” a title handed down from generation to generation. He guards Manhattan from evil, using his family’s prowess for magic. Thomas has money and fame, but also the burden of a being this generation’s occult warrior. Can he survive the battles both within and without? Collects issue #1-4.
FC / 112 pgs / $14.99

Noelle Stevenson & Grace Ellis (Writers) • Brooke Allen (Artist)
At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams! Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here. Collects issues #1-4.
FC / 128 pgs / $14.99

letter4415 bloodshotreborn1a
CREDIT: Oni Press                                           CREDIT: Valiant

LETTER 44 #15 [Oni Press]
Charles Soule (Writer) • Alberto Jimenez Alburquerque (Artist)
Jump on board one of the most original series in comics that may have been flying below your radar!
World War Three. Nine months have passed since US President Stephen Blades revealed to the world the existence of an alien presence in the asteroid belt. The planet has erupted into chaos, with sweeping social, economic and military upheaval touching every corner of the globe. Nine months have passed since the crew of the Clarke was abducted by the alien visitors and brought aboard their moon-sized space station, the Chandelier. They have been living there ever since, not allowed to leave or communicate with Earth – but enough is enough. The time has come for answers.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Jeff Lemire (Writers) • Mico Suayan and Jeff Lemire (Artists)
Bloodshot’s nanites made him a nearly unstoppable killing machine. His enhanced strength, speed, endurance, and healing made him the perfect weapon, and he served his masters at Project Rising Spirit — a private contractor trafficking in violence — very well.
Now, Bloodshot is a shadow of his former self. He lives in self-imposed exile, reeling from the consequences of his past life and the recent events that nearly drove him mad. But when a rash of shootings by gunmen who appear to look just like Bloodshot begin, his guilt will send him on a mission to stop the killers, even if it means diving headlong into the violence that nearly destroyed him.
FC / 40 pgs / $3.99

CREDIT: Benitez Productions                  CREDIT: Titan Comics

LADY MECHANIKA: THE TABLET OF DESTINIES #1 (of 6) [Benitez Productions]
M.M. Chen (Writer) • Joe Benitez (Artist)
After a young friend shows up unexpectedly on her doorstep, Lady Mechanika finds herself on a globe-spanning trek in search of the Tablet of Destinies, an ancient Mesopotamian artifact reputed to hold the knowledge of the gods and the secrets of the universe. Join us for the beginning of an all-new adventure with our favorite steampunk heroine!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

SCARLETT COUTURE #1 [Titan Comics]
Des Taylor (Writer/Artist)
Beautiful. Intelligent. Deadly. Scarlett Couture is all of these things, and more. She’s a spy. Using her cover as Head of Security for her mother’s internationally renowned fashion house, she gathers intelligence for the CIA. In this explosive first issue, Scarlett follows her instincts right into the middle of the action and finds she needs to use all her wits to get herself out of hot water!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

infiniteloop1 wallywood
CREDIT: IDW                                                    CREDIT: IDW

Pierrick Colinet (Writer) • Elsa Charretier (Artist)
A dynamically graphic, science-fictiony, poetical, paradoxical wunderkind of a sexy, time-traveling, adventure-packed comic series begins here!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

Al Feldstein, Harvey Kurtzman, And More (Writers) • Wally Wood (Artist)
Introducing a new format within the Artist’s Edition brand — the Artisan Edition! Softcover format, 8 x 12 inches, but still collecting complete stories that are all painstakingly scanned from the original art. If you have been holding off exploring the wonderful world of Artist’s Edition, this is the perfect place to begin!
BW / 152 pgs / $50

CREDIT: IDW                                                 CREDIT: Dark Horse

Jonathan Gray & Rodolfo Cimino (Writers) • Romano Scarpa (Artist)
Disney’s richest epic hero returns in stories originally produced for an Italian audience! In “The Wrath of Gigabeagle,” the McDuck Money Bin meets a monster-sized Beagle Boy mech!
FC / 48 pgs / $3.99

ARCHIE VS. PREDATOR #1 (of 4) [Dark Horse]
Alex de Campi (Writer) • Fernando Ruiz & Rich Koslowski  (Artists)
America’s favorite teen meets the galaxy’s fiercest hunter! Archie and friends hit Costa Rica for Spring Break, where party games and beach games are soon replaced by the Most Dangerous Game! What mysterious attraction does the gang hold for the trophy-collecting Predator, and will the kids even realize they’re in danger before it claims them all?
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

CREDIT: Dark Horse                                         CREDIT: Dark Horse

THE ORDER OF THE FORGE #1 (of 3) [Dark Horse]
Victor Gischler (Writer) • Tazio Bettin (Artist)
Before he fathered a nation, young George Washington forged his legend in blood! Imbued with the mystical powers of America’s original inhabitants, George—along with his friends Ben Franklin and Paul Revere—must stop an evil governor who wishes to rule an empire!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

REBELS #1 [Dark Horse]
Brian Wood (Writer) • Andrea Mutti (Artist)
In a rush of great public resistance to an oppressive and excessive government, a homegrown militia movement is formed in rural America. This is not 2015, but 1775. With the war for independence playing out across the colonies, young Seth and Mercy Abbott find their new marriage tested at every turn, as the demands of the frontlines and the home front collide. Live Free or Die!
FC / 32 pgs / $3.99

CREDIT: Pop! Goes the Icon                    CREDIT: Image Comics

OLD WOUNDS #1 (of 4) [Pop! Goes the Icon]
Russell Lissau (Writer) • John Bivens (Artist)
Check out a preview of the first 1ssue here:
Retired vigilante Michael Lane thought his secrets were long buried in the past, along with his cloak and mask. But when his ex-wife Lori is suddenly killed in a house explosion and his former associates become the targets of similar attacks, those secrets threaten to come back to haunt him.
BW / 32 pgs / $2.99

NO MERCY #1 [Image]
Alex de Campi (Writer) • Carla Speed McNeil (Artist)
It was just a trip, before college. Build schools in a Central American village; get to know some of the other freshmen. But after tragedy strikes, a handful of once-privileged US teens must find their way home in a cruel landscape that at best doesn’t like them, and at worst, actively wants to kill them.
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

Pisces_01 RunLoveKill_01
CREDIT: Image Comics                                CREDIT: Image Comics

PISCES #1 [Image]
Kurtis J. Wiebe (Writer) • Johnnie Christmas (Artist)
Former fighter pilot Dillon Carpenter found everything he wanted when he returned from the Vietnam War. A loving partner, a dream career training with NASA to travel through space, and soon, he will learn, a prime candidacy for a secret mission, one that will forever change the world: First Contact. But as Dillon prepares, his war trauma returns and he’s haunted by dark visions of his future. There is but one constant; the voice whispering from the stars.
FC / 32 pgs / $3.50

Jonathan Tsuei & Eric Canete (Writer) • Eric Canete (Artist)
Sought after by elements from her violent past, fugitive and assassin Rain Oshiro has just 24 hours to escape a barricaded city while trying to evade a military force determined to either capture or kill her.
FC / 32 pgs / $2.99

Bob Bretall: Covering the full spectrum of comics culture

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