Well, it’s that time again! Another month, another round of solicitations to trawl through and pick out the ten most interesting comics coming out in August. As always, I will be looking at Image’s selections for us and this month is a bit of a doozy. Some big returns and the launch of a new series I am terribly excited for.
What are we waiting for, then? Let’s get to it!
10. Enter The Extreme
This is technically an Advance Solicit for September with #6 being what’s solicited in August, but I wanted to highlight the trade paperback because if you’re reading this column and you haven’t read “Extremity,” this is the book for you. You need to be on this paperback because “Extremity” is one of my favourite series of the year.
Daniel Warren Johnson is a staple of my time on Art Of The Week with his incredibly kinetic artwork, his unbelievable layouts and his detail-focused linework. That, plus his writing which blends a sense of awe-inspiring fantasy with the aesthetics of Mad Max? You’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you missed this.
EXTREMITY, VOL. 1: ARTIST TP
STORY / ART / COVER: DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON
COLORS: MIKE SPICER
SEPTEMBER 06 / 136 PAGES / FC / T+ / $16.99
Thea dreams. Not of a better life, but of revenge on the clan that ruined her family. With ferocious battles between man, machines, and monsters ahead…who knows where her quest for vengeance will take her? Creator DANIEL WARREN JOHNSON (Space Mullet) and colorist MIKE SPICER present a bold new vision, where the beauty and imagination of Studio Ghibli meet the intensity of Mad Max, in this all-new Skybound Original. Collects EXTREMITY #1-6
9. Rocket Girl, Burning Out Her Fuse Up Here Alone
It’s been… a while since we last saw an issue of “Rocket Girl.” About two years, to be precise, because #7 came out in December 2015. That feels like such a long time ago…
Now, I know Montclare and Reeder have been focusing on their work on “Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur” over at Marvel and that series is a delight, I’m glad we’re finally getting more “Rocket Girl.” I had genuinely thought the series was just over and done with, but seeing this in the solicits gave me a boost of joy I haven’t felt in years.
ROCKET GIRL #8
STORY: BRANDON MONTCLARE
ART / COVER: AMY REEDER
AUGUST 02 / 32 PAGES / FULL COLOR / T+ / $3.99
DaYoung Johansson relaunches her investigation into crimes against time as the teen-cop-from-the-future’s adventures in the ’80s pick up.
8. Play That Carlos Santana Because It’s Back Bay Bee!
With Greg Rucka wrapping up his run as writer of “Wonder Woman,” he and Nicola Scott can finally bring “Black Magick” and I’m very excited. I love Greg Rucka as a writer, but I was less than enthused by his return to “Wonder Woman” compared to his writing at Image and “Black Magick” having to go on hiatus so early in it’s run was really disheartening after how stellar its first arc was.
That doesn’t matter now, though, because it’s back! And, hopefully, it’s here to stay at least for a little while.
BLACK MAGICK #7
STORY: GREG RUCKA
ART / COVER: NICOLA SCOTT
VARIANT COVER: MICHAEL LARK
AUGUST 30 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
“AWAKENINGS II,” Part One The Holy has been desecrated, the Hammer is closing in, and the Dunridge case hits a snag…one that only reinforces Morgan’s growing suspicion that the killer he and Rowan are seeking may be none other than Rowan herself.
7. Between A Rock And A…
There are so many #1 debuts at Image this month, that there are a number that I just had to kick to the curb or I’d never be able to talk about anything else. Now, in a lot of ways, “The Hard Place” is your typical Image fodder that thinks it’s hot shit because it gets to rub shoulders with “Saga.” It’s a neo-noir crime story with a focus on gang violence and cars and Russian mobstahs (you know the like) and reading through this solicit text felt like the Image edition of Madlibs.Continued below
So why’s it on this list? Well, it has a Brian Stelfreeze cover that is astonishing and I wanted to show that off, to be honest. I don’t know if this comic’ll be any good, but I know that cover deserves to be in August’s Face Value
THE HARD PLACE #1 (OF 5)
STORY: DOUG WAGNER
ART: CHARLIE KIRCHOFF, NIC RUMMEL
COVER: BRIAN STELFREEZE
VARIANT COVER: NIC RUMMEL
AUGUST 23 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
After five years in prison, AJ Gurney, a legendary wheelman in Detroit, has decided it’s time to go straight. He returns home to work in his father’s garage and disappear into anonymity. But during a visit to the bank, AJ is recognized by two violent bank robbers, and they demand AJ be their getaway driver. To ensure his compliance, they take a young female hostage; unfortunately, she happens to be the daughter of a Russian crime lord. AJ now finds himself pursued by a bitter police department and hunted by every asset of the Russian mob. Without a doubt, he’s in a very hard place.
6. Not Quite A One Man Show
“Annual” is a bit of a strange concept. It’s somewhat analagous to a collection of short works or essays by a prose author, except that it’s a varying collection of short comics work written by Joe Casey in the last year. From his work in Playboy to his strip for Stela (which might be the first time one of those is seeing physical print?), this is basically all of Joe Casey’s short work in one place for $10.
And, honestly? That’s a pretty great. I mean, think about it: you have Joe Casey holding the whole thing together along with artists like Jim Rugg, Nathan Fox and Wilfredo freakin’ Torres. That’s worth a look, I’d say.
STORY: JOE CASEY
ART: JIM RUGG, LUKE PARKER, NATHAN FOX, WILFREDO TORRES
COVER: SONIA HARRIS
SEPTEMBER 27 / 128 PAGES / FC / T / $9.99
ANNUAL IS HERE! ANNUAL IS NOW! ANNUAL IS A NEW-FORMAT COMIC BOOK ANTHOLOGY FOR THE 21ST CENTURY! It all starts here: pulp popcorn tale, THE WINTERNATIONAL! The CASEY/FOX collaboration from Playboy! New-millennium mythology with JIM RUGG! Plus, more all-new material and special features! A once-in-a-year artistic pleasure orgy that you simply can’t afford to miss!
5. It’s No “She-Wolf,” But It Will Do
Since the release of “Dark Corridors,” I’ve gone from not knowing Rich Tommaso to eagerly awaiting his next work and, like the title says, I’m pretty sad that we’re not getting any more “She-Wolf.” But the story behind “Spy Seal” makes me almost fine with that in a weird way. Spy Seal is a character Tommaso created as a teenager and posted and image of it to Facebook and now, well, it’s a new comic. Funny how life works, right?
I’m also excited to see Tommaso step away from the noir and dark storytelling that defined “Dark Corridors” and “She-Wolf” into a lighter story in the vein of Tintin. It’ll be interesting to see what that turns out like.
SPY SEAL #1
STORY / ART / COVER: RICH TOMMASO
AUGUST 16 / 32 PAGES / FC / T / $3.99
“THE CORTEN-STEEL PHOENIX,” Part One Journey into the thrilling world of international espionage as one of Britain’s most covert MI-6 divisions, The Nest, recruits a brand-new secret agent to their team: SPY SEAL! An exciting new comic series—reminiscent of The Adventures of Tintin and Usagi Yojimbo—and created by SHE WOLF author, RICH TOMMASO.
4. You Ever Think About How Earhart Is A Weird Name?
This is a concept I’m torn on. On the one hand, it’s the kind of thing I’m surprised isn’t explored more. Amelia Earhart has become a huge historical figure and her disappearance is still something of legend. On the other hand, she was a real person and her death was a real tragedy in an attempt to do something incredible and something rubs me the wrong about playing that against a strange fantasy comic. I’m sure “Elsewhere” will be nothing but respectful and it’s not like this is the first in it’s kind of alternate history biopic stories, it’s just a weird sense of uncomfortableness I have with those kinds of stories.Continued below
STORY: JAY FAERBER
ART / COVER: RON RILEY, SUMEYYE KESGIN
VARIANT COVER: ANDREW ROBINSON
AUGUST 02 / 32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.99
COPPERHEAD WRITER JAY FAERBER TEAMS WITH RISING STAR SUMEYYE KESGIN TO UNVEIL ELSEWHERE: THE FANTASTIC STORY OF WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO AMELIA EARHART! Mysteriously transported to a strange new world filled with flying beasts and alien civilizations, Amelia desperately struggles to return home. Along the way, she forges alliances and makes enemies as she goes from aviator to freedom fighter in a rebellion against a merciless warlord!
3. I Can’t Think Of Any Jokes That Aren’t Incredibly Dirty
I mention this last month, but I’ve never read “Mage” despite being a huge Matt Wagner fan. Thankfully, I can turn that around with the new series and the upcoming reprints of the previous series in new collections.
This is a hell of a solicit and, thankfully, gives the kind of information that retailers (the people who solicits are really for) would need. It’s a 15 issue limited series with a double size finale and there will be new editions of the previous books solicited throughout it’s run. That’s the useful kind of information that retailers can use to inform customers on the new series. More solicits need to focus on information about the comic over the story.
MAGE: THE HERO DENIED #1 (OF 15)
STORY / ART / COVER: MATT WAGNER
AUGUST 16 / 32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.99
LEGENDARY WRITER / ARTIST MATT WAGNER RETURNS FOR THE THIRD AND FINAL VOLUME OF HIS EPIC FANTASY TRILOGY—MAGE: THE HERO DENIED! This first full-sized issue begins 10 years after the climax of THE HERO DEFINED and finds the everyman hero Kevin Matchstick at an unexpected point in his life. It’s been some time since he’s utilized his powers as the reincarnated Pendragon, wielder of the mystical weapon Excalibur. Despite his reluctance to fulfill what two different Mages have declared as his destiny, dark forces have gathered to once again force Kevin into action. Throughout these events, Kevin keeps hoping for the same mystical guidance that has mentored him in the past. “Who is the third Mage?!” MAGE: THE HERO DENIED will be a 15-issue limited series climaxing in a double-sized finale. Newly repackaged editions of the previous books from the trilogy—THE HERO DISCOVERED and THE HERO DEFINED—will be released over the course of the new series. MAGE has been a perennial favorite with old and new readers alike for nearly three decades.
2. I Don’t Think Scottish People Are Allowed To Make Bad Irish Accents
It’s a great month for Red Cube Studios. With this and the next entry, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire are quickly running everyone else out of the game at Image. Not content with putting out one of the consistently fantastic comics with Warren Ellis in “Injection,” they’ve both turned they talents to writing.
While I’m sadly not as familiar as Philip Barrett as with Shalvey or Bellaire, “Savage Town” is perhaps the most Declan Shalvey graphic novel it could possibly be and it sounds fantastic. The kind of hard-edged Irish noir it speaks is something rarely seen in comics where the settings are generally America or… well, London if you’re setting it in Britain. But a graphic novel about the the local gangs of a wee town in Ireland? Now, that’s an interesting setting.
SAVAGE TOWN OGN
STORY: DECLAN SHALVEY, PHILIP BARRETT
ART / COVER: JORDIE BELLAIRE, PHILIP BARRETT
SEPTEMBER 06 / 144 PAGES / FC / M / $16.99
In Limerick City, Jimmy “Hardy” Savage is a gangster on the rise, facing trouble from all sides. With the local cops, rival gangs, his best mate, and his mammy all out to stick a knife in him, will the bollocks live long enough to get to the top? More importantly, will he pay me back for that fiver I gave him last week? From the savage minds of DECLAN SHALVEY (All-Star Batman, INJECTION), PHILIP BARRETT, and JORDIE BELLAIRE (Vision, THEY’RE NOT LIKE US) comes an original Irish graphic crime novel that’ll leave you gaspin’…for a pint!
1. Those Red, Red Lands
Oh boy, I have been so excited for this book ever since it was announced. I’ve been chomping at the bit for it to show up in the solicits just to gush about it for a couple of paragraphs. For one, Jordie Bellaire is one of my favourite creators working today and is a stunningly talented colour artist and I cannot wait to see her turn at writing. For two, Vanesa R. Del Rey is another of my favourite artists working today and her work on “The Empty Man,” “Zero” and “Scarlet Witch” make her a fantastic fit for this kind of moody horror comic.
For three? Witches. Witches in Florida. God, this comic is going to be so cool.
STORY / ART: JORDIE BELLAIRE, VANESA R. DEL REY
COVER: VANESA R. DEL REY
AUGUST 09 / 32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99
A brand-new horror book from the minds of Eisner Award-winner JORDIE BELLAIRE (PRETTY DEADLY, Vision, Batman) and critically acclaimed artist VANESA R. DEL REY (ZERO, Scarlet Witch, Constantine) brings you to the sleepy, sunny town of Redlands, Florida. The police are failing to maintain control of their old-fashioned town, and a coven of killer witches plan to take everything from them. This summer, hide your bibles.