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    Soliciting Multiversity: Dark Horse’s Top 10 in September 2013

    By | June 17th, 2013
    Posted in Columns | % Comments

    Greetings and Solicitations!

    The month of September brings a couple of essential collections for Dark Horse Comics and manga fans, a couple of interesting comic adaptations of movie properties, and something for “fab four” devotees. That’s right, roll up for the magical, mystery tour! Step right this way:

    10. You had me at “Porno Droids”

    We loved the first issue of Gerard Way & Shaun Simon’s “True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.” It may be a “sequel” to a My Chemical Romance album, but it reads beautifully even without that knowledge. In fact, it’s a better comic than the album is an album. That’s a testament to Gerard Way’s nose for writing comic books, something we would like to see him do a lot more of down the road. A regular ongoing gig, anyone? Becky Cloonan’s art, too, is among the most assured work of her career. This issue looks to focus more on Blue & Red, a couple of “porno droids” who were sparingly used, but very intriguing in the first issue.

    Gerard Way (W), Shaun Simon (W), Becky Cloonan (A/Cover), Dan Jackson (C), and Gabriel Bá (Variant cover)
    On sale Sept 11
    FC, 32 pages
    “Love. It makes people do dangerous things . . . It’s an emotion better suited for the uncivilized class.”
    Wanted fugitives Blue and Red, porno droids that have disobeyed the strict rules of Battery City in the name of love, make a run toward freedom. Will they make it to the city line before BLI pulls their batteries? In the desert, the Girl makes a life-changing discovery and suffers the loss of a dear friend. The party’s over and it’s time to fight!

    9. Come with Alex Ross, if you want to live

    Apparently this is the first interior work Alex Ross did as a professional work-for-hire artist? That alone is enough to give this one a looky-loo. Remember that crazy war of red lasers that we got a glimpse of in the first Terminator film? Well, that got fleshed out in this miniseries. Fans of the property always seem to want to see more of that event. Now it’s here and it will certainly be fun to catch up with it.

    The Terminator: The Burning Earth TP
    Ron Fortier (W) and Alex Ross (A/Cover)
    On sale Nov 13
    FC, 136 pages
    TP, 7” x 10”
    Witness the birth of an artistic legend, in Eisner Award–winning painter Alex Ross’s first professional work! As Skynet prepares a nuclear strike to wipe out humanity, John Connor leads a small team to destroy the sinister AI’s mainframe.
    • This definitive collection features a new cover painting by Ross!
    • Foreword by Brandon Graham (Prophet)!
    • Experience the machine war that leads into the classic film!

    8. All good dreams must come to an end

    Dream Thief is a terrific comic that we’ve been pimping here at Multiversity through a variety of means. I get to talk about it one final time in ‘Soliciting Multiversity’, as the final issue is solicited for September. As is evidenced by the cover, this story started in one place and will have gone to some very different places before it all comes to a close in issue #5. And if issue #1 was any indication, what a ride all of that in between stuff will have been.

    DREAM THIEF #5 (of 5)
    Jai Nitz (W), Greg Smallwood (A), and Michael Golden (Cover)
    On sale Sept 18
    FC, 32 pages
    When vengeful spirits finally stop possessing John Lincoln, he seizes the opportunity to hunt down the man who first terrorized his girlfriend and kickstarted his endless nightmare. An escaped madman and a determined policewoman push Dream Thief to the very edge in this deadly conclusion!
    • Written by Bram Stoker Award winner Jai Nitz!

    7. Bigger than Yeezus

    The biggest band in history gets a behind-the-music comic story told about them. Well, it’s really about Brian Epstein, their enigmatic manager, but fans know how integral he was to their success. The art looks terrific and being a big Beatles fan I can tell you that the story is a fascinating one, if you’re into the behind-the-curtain stuff. Plus, there’s some extra pieces by Kyle Baker thrown in, which is one hell of a nice surprise.

    Continued below

    The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story HC, COLLECTOR’S EDITION HC, AND LIMITED EDITION HC
    Vivek J. Tiwary (W), Andrew C. Robinson (A/C/Cover), and Kyle Baker (A/C)
    On sale Nov 19
    FC, 144 pages
    HC, 8″ x 12 3/16″
    On sale Nov 19
    FC, 168 pages
    Collector’s Ed. HC, 8″ x 12 3/16″
    On sale Nov 19
    FC, 168 pages
    Limited Ed. HC, 8″ x 12 3/16″
    The Fifth Beatle is the untold true story of Brian Epstein, the visionary manager who discovered and guided the Beatles to unprecedented international stardom—yet died painfully lonely at the young age of thirty-two. More than merely the story of “The Man Who Made the Beatles,” The Fifth Beatle is an uplifting, tragic, and ultimately inspirational human story about the desire to leave behind a legacy, amidst the struggle to overcome crushing personal obstacles and insurmountable odds.
    • Features a special section paying homage to the 1960s Beatles cartoons, lovingly drawn by multiple Eisner and Harvey Award-winning cartoonist Kyle Baker (Why I Hate Saturn, Plastic Man, Nat Turner).
    • Collector’s edition features a textured cover and a section of bonus material, and Beatles memorabilia.
    • The limited-edition hardcover features a gorgeous slipcase design, bonus material, and will be signed by the creative team.

    6. Steve Niles returns to Frankenstein’s Monster

    Steve Niles has been integral to the Bernie Wrightson-drawn adaptation of “Frankenstein Alive, Alive.” This “return” to the character looks to be a little more informal and perhaps even a little irreverent. Steve Niles is the foremost authority on comic book horror writing and always a good bet for a spooky time.

    Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein #1 (of 4)
    Steve Niles (W), Christopher Mitten (A), Michelle Madsen (C), and Justin Erickson (Cover)
    On sale Sept 25
    FC, 32 pages
    While dealing with ghouls dying all around him and his own mysterious illness, occult detective Cal McDonald encounters the Frankenstein’s monster, who needs a new set of eyes. Can a rich entertainer who claims to be the world’s foremost authority on the supernatural help the monster regain its sight?
    • A perfect starting point for new readers!
    • Steve Niles’s Criminal Macabre returns!

    5. Fred Van Lente drops a Dark Horse Hero of his own

    It remains to be seen how successful Dark Horse’s “hero” initiative is from either a critical or financial standpoint, but they sure are racking up the talent. Fred Van Lente and R.B. Silva sound like a pair that makes the perfect recipe for a fun comic book. Silva has a playful style that’ll play really well with a humorous writer like Van Lente.

    Brain Boy #1
    Fred Van Lente (W), R. B. Silva (P), Rob Lean (I), Ego (C), Ariel Olivetti (Cover), and Juan Doe (Variant cover)
    On sale Sept 11
    FC, 32 pages
    When the United States Secret Service needs to stop an assassination before the killer’s even decided to buy a gun, they call the world’s most powerful telepath: Matt Price, a.k.a. Brain Boy. But when the secret agent that can read anyone’s mind finds that a powerful psychic network has been hidden from him, Brain Boy begins to wonder whether he knows everything or nothing at all!
    • Written by New York Times best-selling author Fred Van Lente (Archer and Armstrong, G.I. Joe) with art by R. B. Silva (Superboy, Jimmy Olsen)!

    4. Essential Manga Alert!

    If you read one manga in your life, make it “Lone Wolf and Cub.” We’re talking about one of the most influential Japanese stories in the history of the medium. Koike & Kojima’s masterwork and the techniques therein have been endlessly referenced, homaged, cribbed from, and downright copied throughout comic history – to great success. But there’s no beating the original, so treat yourself to one of comics’ most enduring stories in a cheap, but also beautifully rendered format. These things are thick and only $20. Should be a no-brainer.

    Continued below

    Lone Wolf and Cub Omnibus Volume 3 TP
    Kazuo Koike (W), Goseki Kojima (A), Frank Miller (Cover)
    On sale Nov 13
    b&w, 720 pages
    TP, 5” x 7”
    The roads of feudal Japan are rife with brigands, but for Ogami Itto and his son, the roads are deadly. Shogunate agents and Yagyu Retsudo’s assassins dog their every step, but each step brings the Lone Wolf and his Cub ever closer to Yagyu . . . and to vengeance.
    • Over one million copies sold of the original Dark Horse series!
    • Cover by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley.
    “Koike sets up every story with superb character development and fascinating snippets of Japanese history.”- This Week in New York

    3. “Here’s some money – go see a Star War.”

    Now this is something I never thought I’d see. Much has been made of the differences between George Lucas’ original screenplay and what ended up on the final page, but it’ll be really neat to see this stuff play out visually. Read that solicitation – an alien Han Solo? That’s nutty and, frankly, will probably be infinitely more interesting than what Lucas ended up doing with the misguided ‘Special Editions’ of the original trilogy. And all it took was Sean Parker telling George Lucas to drop the “The” for the whole ball to start rolling into the billion dollar property it is today.

    The Star Wars #1
    J. W. Rinzler (W), Mike Mayhew (A), Rain Beredo (C), Brad Anderson (C), Nick Runge (Cover), Jan Duursema (Variant cover), and Doug Wheatley (Ultra variant cover)
    On sale Sept 4
    FC, 32 pages
    Before Star Wars, there was The Star Wars! This is the authorized adaptation of George Lucas’s rough-draft screenplay of what would eventually become a motion picture that would change the world.
    Annikin Starkiller is the hero . . . Luke Skywalker is a wizened Jedi general . . . Han Solo is a big green alien . . . and the Sith . . . Well, the Sith are still the bad guys. High adventure and derring-do from longer ago, in a galaxy even further away!
    • Official adaptation of George Lucas’s original screenplay for Star Wars!
    • Features regular, variant, and ultravariant covers!

    2. Keep that Mignolaverse Train a Rollin’

    Hellboy, BPRD, Lobster Johnson, Baltimore – the Mignolaverse is just brimming with quality storytelling. These are properties handled with such care and such a “hands-on” approach from the core creators that you rarely end up with a dud. That makes a recommendation like a new “Baltimore” story something of an automatic reflex. The “Baltimore” stories are a little outside of the scope of BPRD and Hellboy, but for my money, they are among the best stories that have been told in this universe.

    Baltimore: The Infernal Train #1 (of 3)
    Mike Mignola (W), Christopher Golden (W), Ben Stenbeck (A/Cover), and Dave Stewart (C)
    On sale Sept 4
    FC, 32 pages
    While Baltimore hides out in Budapest awaiting the arrival of the sadistic Judge Duvic, a strange woman shows up with a bizarre invention she promises will rid the world of vampire plague.
    • Dark Horse still does vampires right!

    1. It’s a Conan world and we’re just living in it

    Conan has been something of a “dark horse” in recent years. By Crom, that’s a bad pun. But it’s also a fitting statement, I think. Despite efforts to get quality adaptations in other media have fallen on their faces, the comic has been incredibly solid for the better part of 10 years under Dark Horse Comics. Whether adapting Robert E. Howard stories or diverting down paths of their own, the creative teams have been very good to the property. Brian Wood is penning an underrated run with the character as we speak, and Tim Truman is amid a terrific adaptation of ‘The Hour of the Dragon’, but this is where it all started for Dark Horse and this thick set is sure to look beautiful on your shelf.

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    The Colossal Conan HC
    Kurt Busiek (W), Timothy Truman (W), Mike Mignola (W), Cary Nord (A), Tomás Giorello (A), Thomas Yeates (A), Greg Ruth (A), Eric Powell (A), Rafael Kayanan (A), Paul Lee (A), Leinil Francis Yu (A), Joseph Linsner (A), Ladrönn (A), Tony Harris (A), Paul Lee (A), Dave Stewart (C), Richard Isanove (C), JD Mettler (C), Tony Shasteen (C), José Villarrubia (C), and Mark Schultz (Cover)
    On sale Nov 13
    FC, 1,264 pages
    HC, 8” x 12”
    Finally, a collection gigantic enough for Conan the Cimmerian himself! This truly massive tome collects Conan issues #0 through #50—from the definitive early work of Kurt Busiek and Cary Nord through the famous collaborations of Timothy Truman and Tomás Giorello. With an introduction from Busiek and an afterword from Truman, this is a must-have for any Robert E. Howard devotee!
    • For nearly ten years, Dark Horse has published the greatest Conan comics ever!
    • Featuring the early, career-defining Conan work of Cary Nord!
    • Introduction by Kurt Busiek, with an afterword by Timothy Truman!

    Those were our picks for Dark Horse’s September 2013. Need to see more? The full solicitations can be found over at CBR.

    //TAGS | Soliciting Multiversity

    Vince Ostrowski

    Dr. Steve Brule once called him "A typical hunk who thinks he knows everything about comics." Twitter: @VJ_Ostrowski


    • vjj

      I’m going to pre-order “The Colossal Conan HC”. Kurt Busiek & Tim Truman’s run were always entertaining – which is more than I can say for Brian Wood’s run. Dark Horse let Kurt Busiek expand Conan’s world with interesting new characters like Janissa and a new version of Kalanthes. Some say Brian Wood’s Conan is like George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire and while it’s sort of true, the problem is Martin did a lot of world building in order to enhance the characters and their stories – Brian Wood has added nothing to Hyboria.