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Soliciting Multiversity: Best of the Rest For October 2021

By | July 30th, 2021
Posted in Columns | % Comments

Hello and welcome to Multiversity’s look at the “Best of the Rest” of what’s coming your way in the now-available August 2021 Previews catalog. Matt is taking a little break so I’m filling in for him this month. Having already taken a look at what Marvel, Dark Horse<, DC, Image, and the Manga/Purple Previews sections have lined up for us, it’s now time to check out the other 75% of the catalog. Before we jump into the things you should keep an eye out for, a quick reminder:

As one-half of the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, I go through the whole Previews catalog each and every month with co-host Mike Romeo, talking about things that catch our eye and quicken our pulse. If you listen to those episodes, you should still read this column because there will not be a 100% overlap, and if you don’t listen to those episodes, they are a great way to hear Mike & I go into further detail about some of the things I’ve spotlighted here.

That said, let’s dive in!

10. So Many Mirrors!

If there’s one thing long-running sci-fi likes to do that I can’t look away from, it’s give us evil versions (with different facial hair) of good characters. Star Trek is the epitome of that trope, so whenever I see them doing another “Mirror Universe” story, it gets a nod from me. This kicks off a 13-issue mini that’s actually the latest story in an arc of Mirror TNG stories from the Tiptons; the prior ones recently collected by IDW.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – The Mirror War #1
Written by David Tipton, Scott Tipton
Illustrated by Gavin Smith
Published by IDW Publishing

Return to the Mirror Universe of The Next Generation with this brand-new series from writers David & Scott Tipton, where familiar faces and exciting new surprises await around every corner!

To conquer the Mirror Universe, Captain Picard must first seize control of the ship-building planet of Faundori! The only problem? Faundori is inside Klingon-Cardassian Alliance territory


9. That War Was A Whole Different Animal…

Think Marvel’s The ‘Nam or Don Lomax’s Vietnam Journal, but with slightly anthropomorphized animals. Kobayashi originally drew these comics back in the late 80s after his earlier human-cast war comics didn’t grab anyone’s attention. Antarctic is reprinting them at full US comic size, which makes an already good deal even better.

Cat Shit One (v3) #1
Written & Illustrated by Motofumi Kobayashi
Published by Antarctic Press

Perky, Rats and Botasky, the members of special forces unit Cat Shit One, have left the jungles of Southeast Asia for the island tropics just off South America. For our hirsute heroes, it ain’t just the humidity, it’s the heat of battle!


8. What The Cluck?

Glad to see Buccellato & Sherman figure out crime & chicken go together like chicken & waffles (Los Pollos Hermanos, anyone?). I’m a fan of both creators, especially Sherman after seeing his work on Thumbs with Sean Lewis. And I do like me some chicken and crime.

Chicken Devil #1
Written by Brian Buccellato
Illustrated by Hayden Sherman
Published by Aftershock Comics

Mitchell Moss is about as regular as it gets. He’s married with two children, and co-owns a successful chain of Memphis Hot Chicken restaurants. It’s not the life that screams hero/vigilante…until he discovers that his business partner is in bed with the mob and owes them $2 million. Unfortunately, Mitch is ill-equipped to be a badass – he’s just a guy who makes really good chicken. Can he protect his family from cold-blooded gangsters? Absolutely not.

But maybe the CHICKEN DEVIL can…

Writer Brian Buccellato (Detective Comics, The Flash, Witchblade) and artist Hayden Sherman (COLD WAR, MARY SHELLEY MONSTER HUNTER) serve up a darkly comedic crime drama that’s juicy, tender and finger-lickin’ hilarious.


7. A Barbarian By Any Other Name

While Marvel has been doing right by Conan since reacquiring the license in 2019, Ablaze has been doing us a favor by publishing this series of miniseries that translate new European adaptations of REH Conan material. It may say “The Cimmerian” on the cover to appease The Mouse, but make no mistake, it’s Conan on the inside. And Conan done by a rotating creative team that really play to the strengths of each particular story, which Ablaze also includes as backmatter text pieces.

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The Cimmerian: Beyond The Black River #1 (of 3)
Written by Robert E. Howard and Mathieu Gabella
Illustrated by Anthony Jean
Published by Ablaze Publishing

Robert E. Howard’s Conan is brought to life UNCENSORED! Discover the true Conan, unrestrained, violent, and sexual. Read the story as he intended!

The Picte country is an obscure jungle where the border between civilization and barbarism is thin. Only one thing symbolizes it: the Black River, which it is claimed that no white man was able to cross and come back alive. None, except Conan. It is in the heart of this green hell that the Cimmerian meets Balthus, a young voluntary peasant whom he saves at the last minute from the clutches of fierce Pictish warriors. Together, they will try to lend a hand to the colonists who have established themselves here, on these hostile lands, in the last bastion of civilization. With a dozen men, they will have to find the powerful sorcerer Zogar Sag before he succeeds in uniting the clans and initiating his bloody invasion…


6. It Means From The Library Of…

I can’t recall seeing Matt Madden’s name before or his previous book 99 Ways, but I do really love seeing cartoonists play around with comic storytelling techniques. So I’m going to check this out!

Ex Libris OGN
Written and Illustrated by Matt Madden
Published by Uncivilized Books

A character is trapped in a room with nothing but a futon and a bookcase full of comics. As they peruse covers, read stories and fragments of stories, they begin to suspect that the comics contain hidden messages and… a threat. Fiction and reality blur; sanity and madness become increasingly intertwined as the reader becomes convinced the key to their predicament is to be found between the panels of the strange books. With a dizzying array of inventive visual and narrative styles, Ex Libris continues the line of exploration and play that Madden initiated with 99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style.


5. Shell Shock Revisited!

This is basically an oversized softcover reprint of the original TMNT backups collection Shell Shock, which is good because those were some of the Turtles stories that hooked me back in the day.

TMNT The Ultimate Collection v6
Written by Kevin Eastman & Peter Laird
Illustrated by Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, Michael Dooley, Michael Zulli, and more
Published by IDW Publishing

A thorough look back at the TMNT’s comic book origins from their earliest stories with insightful annotations from co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Rediscover the underground roots of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with this special collection of 29 short stories created between 1985-1989, handpicked by Kevin Eastman. With over 250 pages of mutated-martial arts action along with annotations full of original story notes, preliminary art, personal photographs, and more following each story, this volume is perfect for fans to relive the glorious days of the Turtles’ origins as well as an excellent place for new readers to see where the TMNT phenomenon began.


4. Unpossibly Good!

Samnee is so good I don’t know how other artists can look at his work and not want to just want to go pencil-down the rest of the day. He makes everything look & read so effortlessly, especially when teamed with Matt Wilson like he is here. The fact we’re getting 2 Samnee ongoings at the same time might be an indication we don’t actually live in the worst of all possible timelines. Don’t sleep on this book!

Jonna and the Unpossible Monsters #7
Written by Chris Samnee & Laura Samnee
Illustrated by Chris Samnee
Published by Oni Press

The search to find their missing father has led Rainbow and Jonna through monster-infested wastes, desert lands, dank caves, and now, a hidden city. They have experienced the best and worst of humanity in their short time in the bustling, if ramshackle, metropolis. It’s safe to say that they’ve both had enough, so Rainbow ventures deep into the monster fighting pits to rescue her sister as only she can! One thing leads to another, and it’s dueling rescues in this incredible tour-de-force issue.

Continued below


3. Awesome Series Title

As much as I’m loving Ewing’s work over at Marvel (and I am), I feel like this creator-owned series is really letting him fulfill some of that 2000AD potential he’s had built up since leaving the Progs. Wonderful blend of sci-fi with historical flavoring. And Di Meo’s work on this is jaw-droppingly good. The title designs on the covers alone make it like nothing else on the stands today.

We Only Find Them When They’re Dead #9
Written by Al Ewing
Illustrated by Simone Di Meo
Published by BOOM! Studios

How far are the Worshippers willing to go for the cause?

Bristow has always done whatever is needed to rise through the ranks of the security services, but now he’ll make his move and reveal his true ambition.

And Bristow’s secret meeting with a shadowy devotee may alter Jason and Chen’s fates forever…


2. Double Dip? Why Not?

I’ve heard about this book but never got around to reading it; looks like Fantagraphics has me covered.

Written and Illustrated by R. Kikuo Johnson
Published by Fantagraphics

Two Maui high school students, Loren and Shane, get mixed up in a petty crime, and their friendship is put to the test. One of the most critically lauded graphic novel debuts in the medium’s history is now in hardcover for the first time!

First-rate prep school, SUV, and a dream house in the heights – an island paradise was handed to Loren Foster when he moved to Hawaii with his father six years ago. Now, with the end of high school just around the corner, his best friend, Shane, has grown distant. Rumors abound. Loren suspects that Shane has left him behind for a new group of friends. Their friendship is put to the test when they get mixed up in a petty crime. Johnson has a naturalistic ease in exploring these relationships, which sets this drama apart. This graphic novel debut is at once an unsentimental portrait of that most awkward period between adolescence and young adulthood and that rarest of things – a mature depiction of immature lives. His lush-yet-unsentimental-depiction of Maui creates an immersive, visceral sense of place.

In 2006, critics heralded R. Kikuo Johnson’s Night Fisher as one of the most exciting debuts in the medium’s history. Johnson won the prestigious Russ Manning Newcomer Award at the 2006 Eisner Awards, the Harvey Award for Best New Talent, and a Harvey Award nomination for Best Graphic Novel. On its 15th anniversary, Fantagraphics is proud to publish this new edition of Night Fisher in hardcover for the first time.


1. Dredd Reimagined!

I don’t think this is the first kind of Elseworlds take on Dredd that we’ve seen, but I can’t for the life of me think of any others. It could also be the fact that Dave Taylor makes this Langs-Metropolis-by-way-of-Ladronn-and-film-noir take on the Lawman of the Future look so absolutely mind-blowing I can barely firm a coherent thought. This strip already finished up in the Megazine so you can get the whole thing in one volume right here.

Megatropolis TPB
Written by Kenneth Niemand
Illustrated by Dave Taylor
Published by Rebellion/2000AD

Experience the iconic city of Mega-City One as never before, in this visionary comic from Kenneth Niemand and Dave Taylor. In this radical reimagining of the world of Judge Dredd, join disgraced Officer Amy Jarra and Detective Joe ‘choirboy’ Rico as they navigate the crime-ridden underbelly of the glamorous Metropolis, attempting to solve the murder of undercover Detective Fisher. Transforming Mega-City One into an art deco cityscape, Niemand and Taylor spin a tale of futuristic noir with luscious art and jaw-dropping set pieces. This over-sized hardcover collection includes a gallery of cover art and never seen before concept sketches.


Well, that was fun! Matt will be back next month. If you want to hear about more Green Section goodness, be sure to check out the Robots From Tomorrow August Previews episode coming soon and hear us talk about these books and a whole lot more. And let us know what books YOU’RE excited for in the comments section.

//TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

Greg Matiasevich

Greg Matiasevich has read enough author bios that he should be better at coming up with one for himself, yet surprisingly isn't. However, the years of comic reading his parents said would never pay off obviously have, so we'll cut him some slack on that. He lives in Baltimore, co-hosts (with Mike Romeo) the Robots From Tomorrow podcast, writes Multiversity's monthly Shelf Bound column dedicated to comics binding, and can be followed on Twitter at @GregMatiasevich.


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