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Previews July Geekscape

To Filed: July 2008 by scherem

Another month ends, and another Previews catalogue is waiting for me in my pull box. My love for previews has been weaning as of late, as the more I read in it the more I find myself getting disenfranchised with current comics. Do we need to have so many tie ‘specials’ for event books? Do we need to have weekly comics, or family-wide events while other events carry on? I don’t want to be cynical, and I don’t want my cynicism to be contagious– but at times its hard to find ones smile. While this months catalogue left me being more of a cynic then I’d like, I did find a couple of books that I feel will bring a smile to my face.

The first book was Final Crisis: Rogues’ Revenge. While I have little to no interest in the main series, the announced tie-in specials, specifically this one and Legion of Three Worlds, have grabbed my attention. Rogues’ Revenge’s features the work of Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins’ , who were part of the reason I came back to reading monthly comics after my self-imposed comic shop exile ended (coincidently around the same time as my current romantic relationship ended). One the thing that interested me about their run on the Flash at the time, was not the fights with the villains ,but the actual villains themselves. They took the Rogues and managed to humanize and develop them further as characters in a series of single issues then the DCU as whole had done in the 30+ years of their existence. I find myself once again excited to see what Johns and Kolins’ can do with these characters in this three issue mini-series, especially considering the turbulent year the Rogues have had.

Booster Gold continues to walk the flirt with the fine line that is nostalgia for me, with its release of issue #1,000,000. So far, I’ve found the Booster Gold series at its best when its set in the past DCU, revisiting some of the stories that made it great, and some of the stories that were not nearly as great. Harvesting the past of the DCU for story settings is a pretty fertile but dangerous ground to mine. As each time you set a story in a past event, you risk ostracizing readers. That being said, I’d like to see a Booster Gold story set in Final Night and other DCU events. In this issue, Booster Gold meets his counter part from 1,000,000 A.D. (they should have used the year 85,271), Peter Platinum. Will this issue tie into the DC One Million event, is it just an excuse to poke fun at the DCU past events, or part of a larger story? Either way I’m interested to see what approach is taken.

With issue 81, the current Catwoman series draws to a close and ends the great ‘Can Selina handle a regular series’ experiment. In the past decade we’ve seen two Catwoman series and both taking a different approach to the character. This last series, has had great creative teams on it, and still it could not find an audience to keep interest in the series high. Will Pfeifer, the last creative force behind the title deserve some strong praise as he told some truly great stories during his time on the title. His time can be summarized as being three large story-arcs: Catwoman and the Black Mask, Catwoman and the baby, and Catwoman and the forced tie in to major DC events. This title excelled with the first of these arcs, stumbled but ended strong with the second, and was at its worst with the other. As of this writing there are still two issues left in the series, so it’ll be interesting how, or if, they tie up some of the lose plot threads of the series. As sad as I am to see this go, I’m excited to see how they wrap it up.

The final book I want to highlight is the Collected Zot coming out by Harpercollins press. The manga influenced Zot was created by Scott McCloud, who is best known today, for his academic-styled musings on comics. To many Zot was a lighthearted reaction to the darker trend of story telling that was sweeping comics in the 1980′s, to me Zot was a web comic (http://www.scottmccloud.com/comics/zot/index.html) that McCloud published in 1998 that didn’t leave me with a strong impression. I remember when I was reading this webcomic as it was being released finding it simple. It was drawn simple, it was a simple story, and ultimately I was left unimpressed. In the ten years since, I’ve grown to appreciate and understand such simple and fun stories. With the current trend in comics once again focusing on somewhat darker matter (invasions, wars and crises), it’s a great time to re-release this work. I gladly welcome this volume when its released to my bookshelf.

So what are you looking forward to in the Month of July?

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