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    Soliciting Multiversity: Dark Horse’s Top 10 in July 2015

    By | April 27th, 2015
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    I’ve only been doing this column for a few months and for the most part I’ve found it easy to get the list down to 10 picks. This month was a totally different story. Dark Horse is a great publisher that consistently offers some of the very best comic books but July feels bigger than usual. Before we get into it though, my #1 pick last month for the June releases was “Black Hammer” by Jeff Lemire and Dean Ormston. Ormston recently suffered a cerebral hemorrhage so I just want to wish him well as he recovers before we jump in. Get well soon!

    Let’s jump into the picks.

    10. Get To the Chopper Archie!

    At this point I’ve only read one issue of this miniseries but it’s more than enough to guarantee I’ll stick around for the whole thing. This is gimmicky but it’s very funny. De Campi’s script is full of snark and when combined with classic Archie style art, you end up with a mashup for the ages. I’m hoping the finale features total mayhem in Riverdale with Archie going full on Schwarzenegger.

    Archie vs. Predator #4 (of 4)
    Alex de Campi (W), Fernando Ruiz (P), Rich Koslowski (I), Jason Millet (C), Andrew Pepoy (Cover), Faith Erin Hicks (Variant cover), and Joe Quinones (Variant cover)
    On sale July 15
    FC, 32 pages
    As casualties continue to mount, it’s up to Betty and Veronica to put aside their differences if the gang hopes to rid Riverdale of the Predator menace—but can the girls keep their claws out of each other long enough to keep the Predator’s claws out of everyone?!
    • Variant covers by Faith Erin Hicks (The Last of Us) and Joe Quinones (Batman ’66, Howard the Duck)!

    9. The Classics Never Die

    I’ve had very little exposure to “Astro Boy” but I’m fully aware of its important place in the history of manga, comics and pop culture. This is a series that has inspired countless creators and has really stood the test of time. For only $20, you’ll get almost 700 pages of story (is this real life?) and so if you, like me, have never read “Astro Boy”, this is the chance to do so without breaking the bank.

    Astro Boy Omnibus Volume 1 TP (advance solicit)
    Osamu Tezuka (W/A/Cover)
    On sale Sept 23
    b&w, 688 pages
    TP, 4 1/2″ x 6 1/2″
    Built by a brilliant scientist to replace his lost son, but with powers beyond imagination, Astro Boy fights for the oppressed and helpless—human, alien, or robot. Created by Osamu Tezuka, “Japan’s Walt Disney,” Astro Boy is action-packed, classic fun for all ages, now featured in value-priced omnibus editions!
    • The late Osamu Tezuka is renowned internationally as a master cartoonist, animator, and storyteller.
    • Inspiration for three animated series and the 2009 feature film.
    “Tezuka is widely considered the most important and influential figure in post–World War II Japanese animation.”—New York Times

    8. Unbreak My Heart

    Love is a complicated emotion and one of the toughest things to put into words. More often than not, writers who try to write about love end up in a trap full of tired tropes and cliches. “Heart in a Box” looks like it’ll be something that aims to make the reader look inside themselves more as it strays from telling a simple “boy meets girl” story. It also helps that Meredith McClaren is the artist so if the story falters, the art certainly won’t.

    Heart in a Box TP(advance solicit)
    Kelly Thompson (W) and Meredith McClaren (A/Cover)
    On sale Sept 16
    FC, 144 pages
    TP, 7″ x 10″
    In a moment of post-heartbreak weakness, Emma wishes her heart away and a mysterious stranger obliges. But emptiness is even worse than grief, and Emma sets out to collect the seven pieces of her heart, in a journey that forces her to face her own history and the cost of recapturing it!
    • Written by novelist Kelly Thompson (Jem & the Holograms, Storykiller)!
    • For fans of Scott Pilgrim!

    Continued below

    7. A Win – Win Situation

    This is probably the second best value on this list (second to the “Astro Boy” omni) and it’s definitely the most charitable. The “100 Project” is a really neat concept the Hero Initiative runs in which they commission artists to do a cover for a specific title or character. The “Hellboy 100 Project” is without a doubt a must own book for Hellboy fans. You get great art and the Hero Initiative will get a donation. Everyone wins

    The Hellboy 100 Project HC & TP(advance solicit)
    Various (A)
    On sale Sept 23
    FC, 120 pages
    HC, 7” x 10”
    On sale Sept 23
    FC, 120 pages
    TP, 7” x 10”
    In the now-grand tradition of Hero Initiative’s previous and wildly successful 100 Project books, Mike Mignola’s signature creation comes to the fore! ALL of Hero’s original covers to Hellboy and the B.P.R.D.: 1952 #1 are on display in this great book, with art by John Cassaday, Francis Manapul, Todd Nauck, Whilce Portacio, Eric Powell, Paolo Rivera, Bill Sienkiewicz, and of course, Mike Mignola!
    • This book will NEVER be reprinted, and all proceeds go to Hero Initiative and comic book creators in medical and financial need!

    6. The Lady is a Killer

    “Lady Killer” has been a ton of fun to read. Jamie S. Rich and Joelle Jones have not only created a killer (yup) assassin story but have also offered some commentary on gender roles during this time. The star of “Lady Killer” is Joelle Jones. She’s an incredibly talented artist who has created some really dynamic action scenes and fabulous character designs. This miniseries isn’t over yet but it’s a bit late to jump in. If you haven’t had the pleasure of checking this series out, pre-order this collected edition.

    Lady Killer TP(advance solicit)
    Joëlle Jones (W/A/Cover), Jamie S. Rich (W), and Laura Allred (Cover)
    On sale Sept 2
    FC, 136 pages
    TP, 7″ x 10″
    Josie Schuller is a picture-perfect homemaker, wife, and mother—but she’s also a ruthless, efficient killer! She’s balanced cheerful domestic bliss with coldly performed assassinations, but when Josie finds herself in the crosshairs, her American Dream life is in danger! Collects issues #1–#5.
    “A level of violence that can only be described as Mad Men’s Betty Draper meets Dexter.”—Comic Book Resources
    “Lady Killer somehow manages to perfectly incorporate the quaint concept of the 1950s TV housewife with blood-fueled antics of vicious killer for hire.”—IGN

    5. Finding Light in the Darkness

    I have no idea what “Negative Space” will turn out to be. From the solicit alone this could end up being an important look at someone dealing with serious mental health issues or a more horror tinged look at depression. I hope it combines the two because mental health awareness is an issue close to me. “Headspace” is a fantastic read and that leads me to believe Ryan K. Lindsay is going to give us a deep and meaningful story.

    Negative Space #1 (of 4)
    Ryan K Lindsay (W) and Owen Gieni (A/Cover)
    On sale July 8
    FC, 32 pages
    When one man’s writer’s block gets in the way of his suicide note, he goes for a walk to clear his head and soon uncovers a century-old conspiracy dedicated to creating and mining the worst lows of human desperation.
    • An exciting new series from Ryan K Lindsay (Headspace, CMYK) and Owen Gieni (Manifest Destiny, Shutter)!
    • For fans of Locke & Key and Green Wake.
    “Ryan K Lindsay is an established authority in the comics world. He writes about comics, scripts them, and does prose too.”—Bloody Disgusting

    4. Not Actually About FDR But Still Political

    Jonathan Case is an artist who almost feels out of time. His work is in a style that just screams Old Hollywood so it’s a given that he’d do a book like “The New Deal”. This isn’t just pretty art though as Case is going to use the political storm that was this time period and tell a story about the American class story. I’m excited for this and like anything else he works on, I’ll be picking this up.

    Continued below

    The New Deal HC (advance solicit)
    Jonathan Case (W/A/Cover)
    On sale Sept 23
    FC, 96 pages
    HC, 7″ x 10″
    The Waldorf Astoria is the classiest hotel along the Manhattan skyline in 1930s New York City. When a charming woman checks in with a high-society entourage, a bellhop and a maid get caught up in a series of mysterious thefts. The stakes quickly grow perilous, and the pair must rely on each other to discover the truth while navigating delicate class politics.
    • From Eisner Award winner Jonathan Case!
    “One part comedy, one part mystery and one part historical exploration, The New Deal hopes to explore social and political themes of the era in a way that the original films never did.”—Comic Book Resources

    3. It’s Almost Over and You’re Missing It!

    It’s too late to jump in but I will again use this space to tell you that this is the best ongoing series in comics and you’re missing it. We are at the end and as the sadness sets in the excitement also goes up. This is going to be an ending for the ages.

    MIND MGMT #35
    Matt Kindt (W/A/Cover)
    On sale July 22
    FC, 32 pages
    Meru and the small resistance she has assembled are too late. Mind Management is operational, with orders to remake the world. In a last-ditch effort, Meru fights her way through a reality shaped by the Eraser, in the oversized conclusion to “The Immortals”!
    “This is the final arc and everything is coming together fabulously.”—Multiversity Comics

    2. The “POP” Team Rides Again

    Curt Pires and Jason Copland came together last year to create “POP” and it was such a good team up that they’re doing it again with “The Tomorrows”. Like “POP”, this series appears to take a similar approach at analyzing and picking apart the materialism of our society. The difference being that Pires and Copland are looking at art and it’s ties to corporations. If “POP” is any indication of what this team can do then “The Tomorrows” is going to be a must add for your pull list.

    The Tomorrows #1 (of 6)
    Curt Pires (W), Jason Copland (A/Cover), Pete Toms (C), and Dylan Todd (Cover)
    On sale July 8
    FC, 32 pages
    They told you the counterculture was dead. They were wrong. Welcome to the new reality.
    A bold new speculative-fiction comic from the mind of writer Curt Pires, with each issue illustrated by a different brilliant artist!
    The future: Art is illegal. Everything everyone ever posted online has been weaponized against them. The reign of the Corporation is quickly becoming as absolute as it is brutal—unless the Tomorrows can stop it.
    “A critical dissection of the bloated culture machine that holds power through sedation, and is as structurally fragile as it is monolithic. This is everything you signed up for when you pick up a book from Curt Pires, and more.”—Bloody Disgusting

    1. Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself

    Yes, “Barb Wire” is my top pick for July. I am aware of the history of this character but I think this new series is a chance to reinvent the character. Dark Horse’s Project Black Sky has been a great effort to reintroduce their superhero characters and it has worked. “Captain Midnight” and “Ghost” have been well received and proved that there are different ways to write superheroes. “Barb Wire” could be and I predict will be a successful reinvention because the potential is there. Fans want more female heroes and if she can be more than just a standard “strong female character” then Dark Horse could have a huge hit on their hands.

    Barb Wire #1
    Chris Warner (W), Patrick Olliffe (P), Tom Nguyen (I), Gabe Eltaeb (C), and Adam Hughes (Cover/Variant cover)
    On sale July 1
    FC, 32 pages
    Nail-hard tough and drop-dead gorgeous, Barb Wire is the baddest bounty hunter on the mean streets of Steel Harbor, where gangsters can lift bulldozers and leap rusting factories in a single bound. The hunting is stupid good and the bounties are hella big—if Barb lives long enough to collect!
    • Covers by Adam Hughes!
    • Price box, barcode, etc., will appear on the backcover.

    Continued below

    Did I leave anything out? Let me know in the comments and check out the full solicitations at CBR

    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Jess Camacho

    Jess is from New Jersey. She loves comic books, pizza, wrestling and the Mets. She can be seen talking comics here and at Geeked Out Nation. Follow her on Twitter @JessCamNJ for the hottest pro wrestling takes.


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