Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Comic Book Wednesday – Previews March 2018: “Diamonds in the Stuff”

By Dave

If you don’t know, Previews is the catalog that Diamond Comic Distributors use to offer the products they distribute to comic book stores around the country. This is where you can view and order (through your favorite Local Comic Book Shop) comic books, trade paperback collections, t-shirts, books, media, and toys and other collectibles from hundreds of different vendors that deal in geek-oriented merchandise. The genius part is that you actually have to pay for your copy of Previews for the privilege of ordering other things to pay for.

It’s like the Ren Fest except without the horse poo smell.

So every month a new edition of Previews is sent out to comic book stores. Contained in the pages within are products that might be currently available or could be released anytime in the next year; but are typically about two months away. Most of this month’s offerings are scheduled to ship in May.

Now it’s time to discuss a few of the weird and/or wonderful items offered in this month’s edition!

Note: I’m back to the book this month. I’ve got Previews situated awkwardly in front of me in the ridiculously limited and poorly planned space available on my desk. I’m delighted to have the hard copy in front of me rather than having to navigate walls of digital text.

Death or Glory – Image (Front Cover, 202-203)

Rick Remender has written a lot more good than bad in my opinion and the art on this title looks great. I’m just not that into the concept; which is fine. Not everything needs to be for me.

If you like car stuff and chases in comic books, give this a shot, it’s probably going to be quality stuff amongst that genre.

“Please Give Us Another Chance” - Marvel (Back Cover)


I want to give you another chance, Marvel! I love so many of your characters!

Show me some good stuff and don’t fuck it up.

Judging this cover art with zero context:

*I like Thor’s golden arm/hammer combo. I don’t know what the deal is, but it’s interesting.
*Spidey is up front, and in his most recognizable suit – good.

*Is it just me or does the Iron Man suit look happy?

*I like this art. Everybody looks like they’re supposed to look.

*Noting here stands out as trying too hard or being too gimmicky. I know who everyone is, I’m mostly familiar with their histories even if I’ve never read one of their books, and it also doesn’t feel too “bringing back old-timey stuff”.

*Two head socks is two too many, even if one is some kind of ineffectual armor. Just wear a helmet, Jean.

Free Comic Book Day (34-43)

This year Free Comic Book Day falls on Saturday, May 5th. Visit FREECOMICBOOKDAY.COM for more details!

Ether: The Copper Golems #1 (of 5) – Dark Horse (48-49)

Brace yourselves for a lot of repetition of this sentiment:

This looks really cool, but I’m buying way too many comics right now and need to cut back, not add new titles.

I have a massive stack of unread books at home and I literally cannot keep up with my monthly (or weekly or bi-weekly or seemingly daily in some cases) titles. I need to look at my pull list to see what I can cut. I also need to institute a policy of cutting a book if I want to add one.

Anyway, I’ve always loved narratives that handle the mundane world operating parallel to or in opposition of more magical realms, so this would be right up my alley. Maybe once it’s collected I’ll add it to the massive stack of trades I don’t have time to read.

Blackwood #1 (of 4) – Dark Horse (56-57)

See above.

I’d love to read this. Evan Dorkin is great and the art by Veronica Fish is super. I’m all about magical college murder mysteries.

DC Nation #0 – DC (82-83)

This is a no-brainer – it’s a comic featuring DC’s best for a quarter.

I could be cynical and say that this sort of setup/promotional book is usually offered for free, particularly this close to Free Comic Book Day, but whatever. It’s a freaking quarter and the stories within will be setting up things to come in the DCU, which has been excellent of late.

Justice League: No Justice #1 – DC  (86-89)

Metal has been awesome, so Scott Snyder is back on my good list. I’m also excited to see him work with Francis Manapul. James Tynion IV and Joshua Williamson are also on that good list, so as far as I’m concerned this looks like a home run.

It’s been a long time since I’ve given a proper Justice League book a shot and I’d love to read a good team story.

Batman by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale Omnibus HC – DC (134)

In recent years I’ve seen some people talking some trash about The Long Halloween and Dark Victory. I don’t get it. I love those stories and still feel like they fit right into the post-Year One narrative. This huge edition collects all of the Loeb/Sale Batman collaborations and it gets my highest recommendation.

DC Essentials Action Figures – DC Collectibles (148)

These do nothing for me. They toe a mediocre line between the excellent Icons and Mattel’s DC Universe Classics. They’re not enough of an upgrade over Classics for me to bother with and I have no desire to start a whole new line only to see it canceled.

I know that’s a little harsh and I still love DC Collectibles, but I feel like they’re in a spot right now where they need a big success. I don’t think this line is it. I do, however, think an Animated Justice League line could be. They need to focus their resources in the right direction.

I’d also be all-in for a Metal line.

Harley Quinn Red, White, and Black by Philip Tan Statue – DC Collectibles (151)

There are already plenty of versions of this Harley costume on my shelves, but I’m still tempted by this statue just because of the style. I love Tan’s artwork and it’s captured perfectly here. I am a little concerned about the likelihood of that hammer breaking during shipping.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends #1 – IDW (161)

This is the long-awaited conclusion of the Image Comics run. I vaguely remember picking a few issues back then and not really liking it, but I haven’t liked much outside of the original Mirage run anyway, so my opinion may not be that important here. Whatever the case, it’s always good to see creators get an opportunity to complete their vision. And IDW sure did choose a compelling image to promote this thing. I can’t help but be curious about robo-Donny and Raph in Casey’s mask.

Michael Allred’s Madman Artist Select – IDW (189)

I’ve only read a few Madman comics here and there. I don’t know what my problem is. Not with Madman – like everything else I’ve read by Mike Allred, I love it. But for some reason Madman, like Hellboy, is one of those things that isn’t ever in the front of my mind to seek out.

This collection represents Allred’s favorite stories, but isn’t a chronological omnibus. Because I’m ridiculous this turns me off of this particular collection a bit. I mean, even more than the (perfectly reasonable) $125 price tag.

John Byrne’s X-Men Artifact Edition – IDW (190-191)

Man, this is something that would be great to own. Maybe not specifically John Byrne – I love his art, but he was slightly before Uncanny X-Men did its number on me (Marc Silvestri was on by 234 – my first issue). I just love the idea of a giant book that’s basically a combination of “making of” and “bonus features” for an artist’s entire run of a comic book.

There are a few creators whose work I’d love to see get this treatment, but I’m not going to name them for fear that IDW would see them immediately put one of these premium priced books into production!

John Byrne’s Stowaway to the Stars #1 Special Edition – IDW (193)

Speaking of John Byrne, here’s a much more affordable sample of his gorgeous and imaginative artwork. I’m not familiar with this, but I put it on my list solely based on these awesome splash pages. Apparently it’s a series of these accompanied by a prose story.

Spawn #286 – Image (244)

I don’t know WTF is going on here, but that cover made me laugh out loud.

Avengers #1 - Marvel (Cover, M2-8)

Jason Aaron writing Avengers!

With art by…

Ed McGuinness.


Look, this is purely personal taste, but I don’t like McGuinness’ art. I absolutely acknowledge that he is a competent artist and that his style is wildly popular, but I don’t care for it. His characters look like square stuffed animals. Or something. I don’t know. It’s not for me.
Which is a shame, because I really want to read a Jason Aaron Avengers story.

Venom #1 – Marvel (M12-15)

I’d be up for a good Venom story. I’m not a die-hard fan, but I do like the character and the idea of the symbiote. And man, that Paolo Rivera cover is badass.

Hunt for Wolverine – Marvel (21-27)

Holy crap. I like Logan as much as the next guy, but Marvel is proposing quite the gargantuan tale here. By which I mean they’re publishing four four-issue miniseries just as part of this story.

There’s great talent involved and three of the four covers to the #1 issues are poster-worthy, but that’s a lot of comics. And money.

The Where’s Wolverine interconnected variant covers are amazing. I really would buy a poster of that.

SHIELD by Hickman & Weaver – Marvel (M42-43)

Any time Jonathan Hickman comes up I mention that I don’t feel like I’m smart enough to read his books. This series is why I say that. I loved the idea of SHIELD as a secret society through the ages, but this thing got really unwieldy as far as my tiny little brain was concerned. I bet it’s a really good story, but it was a bit too lofty for me.

True Believers Wolverine Stuff  – Marvel (M74-75)

This line of $1.00 reprints is one of my favorite things that Marvel does. I suppose it would make more sense to just join their Unlimited service, but I still don’t like reading comics on a screen.


X-Men Gold #27 – Marvel (M76)

If you’re not following Phil Noto on Instagram, you should be.

I do, and that’s how I know that Marvel specifically requested that Noto not draw the lines we’re used to seeing on Colossus on this cover. Very interesting. You can see the same thing on J. Scott Campbell’s cover for the X-Men Wedding Special.

Star Wars: Lando – Double or Nothing #1 (of 5) – Marvel (M89)

More Lando stories, please. I’ve always loved Lando’s extra-saga adventures. Charles Soule’s miniseries was excellent, and while I would have liked to see him write further adventures, I’ll still pick this one up.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Vol. 1 HC – Marvel (M110)

Worth your time to read.

Kieron Gillen is one of the best writers working today and he understands the language of the galaxy far, far away. His run on the original Marvel Darth Vader was excellent and spawned this fan favorite character. Aphra is an amalgam of many archetypes, but manages to be unique and compelling on her own.

Not to mention her great companions the murderous Droids Triple-Zero and BT-1 and Wookie bounty hunter Black Krrsantan.

Captain America by Waid & Samnee: Home of the Brave TPB – Marvel (M115)

I’ve gotta be honest – this is good, but it isn’t going to change your life like some of Waid and Samnee’s other collaborations. It started off strong and if they’d stuck with the premise of him traveling America righting wrongs and fighting evil I think I would’ve liked it more. But Cap ends up in the future and things get preachy.

It seems like Waid can’t help himself with the heavy-handed political commentary lately. It’s a shame because I think he’s a talented enough writer to get his point across more subtly.
I’m not saying Mark Waid – or any writer – shouldn’t inject themselves and their beliefs into their writing within reason. But I’m not going to stick around to read it.

A Walk Through Hell #1 – Aftershock (265)

A new horror book from Garth Ennis sounds great, especially coming from Aftershock, who are killing it with their titles. But then I read this:

“A new kind of horror story for modern America…”


I know I go on and on about this, but I can’t seem to get away from it. Politics in comics are fine. Uncanny X-Men and Batman and most of the comics I grew up reading had subtle messages, many of which probably shaped who I am today. But nowadays these guys are trading in sociopolitical outrage and proselytization. The subtlety is gone.

I guess I can’t blame them. Outrage is big business and slapping a tagline like the one above on your book is probably guaranteed to draw some eyeballs. But I’m over it. I don’t want a new kind of horror story for modern America. I just want a good horror story.

Chronicles of Wormwood TPs – Avatar (298)

This may well be the last Garth Ennis comic book I read. I recommend it. It has messages and a slant, but it’s skillfully crafted so that it entertains as much as it preaches. Honestly, A Walk Through Hell probably does the same and it’s on the publisher for throwing out that spicy little blurb.

Anyway, if you want another of Ennis’ outrageous takes on religion and spirituality, check this one out.

Hellboy: Into the Silent Sea Studio Edition – Flesk Publications (368)

You all know how slack I’ve been about catching up on Hellboy, so it probably isn’t surprising that I don’t consider myself enough of a fan to splurge on what looks like a super nice special edition. I haven’t read Into the Silent Sea, but combining Hellboy with Moby Dick – if that’s what this is – sounds amazing. I’ll track down a cheaper version someday for sure.

For those of you that are better Hellboy fans than I am, let me know how fancy-schmancy this ends up being.

Oothar the Blue – Lion Forge (392-393)

That image spoke to me, but once I read the description of a barbarian that just doesn’t feel like questing anymore I knew I had to order this. I go through that same thing a lot and while I don’t slay dragons or banish uberwraiths, sometimes I just don’t feel like grabbing the mic or reviewing the toys.

Alien Toilet Monsters – Omnimorphic (402)

C’mon you guys – I can’t just skip over a comic book called Alien Toilet Monsters. If I weren’t on new title restriction right now I’d probably even buy it despite having no familiarity with the creators or even the publisher. It’s just too ridiculous to believe.

Trish Trash: Rollergirl of Mars HCs – Super Genius (416)

These look like fun! Even though it’s only a teeny, tiny little thumbnail, I like the look of the art. Someone let me know if these are worth grabbing and I’ll do it.

Tatooine Take Off Stripe T-shirt (513)

I need more t-shirts like I need more comics, but I’d love to have this one to wear to the beach this summer.

GI Joe Flint T-shirt (521)

My GI Joe shirts have been dropping like flies lately. I bought most of them when I worked at Hot Topic, which was about twenty years ago. I need new ones, but I don’t particularly want one with just Flint on it. I mean, Flint is cool and I always liked his black shirt/camo 
pants/shotgun shell suspenders/beret look, but who really wants a shirt with just Flint?

I mean, aside from the guy that cosplays as Flint.

Nightmare Before Christmas Select Action Figures – Diamond Select Toys (526)

DST has made it to series 5 on these and I’m not sure I’ve mentioned the fact that I’m addicted to them.

I never ordered any, but I bought Jack and Sally at Toys R Us a couple of years ago for Mrs. Troublemaker for Christmas. She said she didn’t have room for them and even though I didn’t really either, I kept them. And then bought more.

The Toys R Us versions cost about ten bucks less and don’t come with as many accessories, so they’re actually a great deal. But I want that gift table. Because I am a toy masochist and love having large things that I don’t have room for.

Pacific Rim Uprising Kaiju Hakuja Vinyl Figure – Diamond Select Toys (527)

On our 2018 ToyFair episode of the Needless Things Podcast I said that I wasn’t too excited for the new Pacific Rim movie. But that lack of excitement does not extend to the toys. Especially this incredible-looking Kaiju.

While I’m looking forward to seeing DST’s Uprising figures in person, this creature looks spectacular. One of my issues with the creature designs in the first Pacific Rim – as much as I loved them – was that they were all basically the same color palette.

That is clearly not the case in the sequel. Holy shit this guy is beautiful.

DC Gallery Suicide Squad Harley Quinn PVC Diorama – Diamond Select Toys (528)

Wow, DST is coming back strong this month. I love this company and I want all of their lines to do well so they can keep making badass toys. I just don’t love everything that they make.
This Harley, however, looks great. It’s sculpted by Jean St. Jean, who has worked on more legendary toy lines than you’d even believe. Check out his Instagram.

If the final production paint job is as good as what’s pictured here, I’ll be happy.

Egon Spengler Proton Pack Legacy Series Replica – ANOVOS (542)


I have exactly one experience with Anovos, and it’s not good. That doesn’t mean That they can’t or don’t release great products, but for this much money I personally wouldn’t trust them.

I preordered a certain item from them last year. Maybe even in 2016. I got no updates, then received a shipping notice for the entire order when the bonus item (a lithograph for the first however many preorders) shipped. The lithograph was shipped in a cardboard envelope and was bent to shit.

Apparently the production process was going so badly that the artist whose work they were producing took the project back from them and is releasing it himself.

But again – that’s not to say that everything else they do isn’t super. Just a little anecdote for you.

Revival Em Cypress Mini Bust – Image (544)

Revival was a great comic. Now that it’s done I need to go back and finish from where I left off. I don’t remember exactly how it lost me, but it wasn’t dramatic – just one of those things where I found myself putting off reading it. The idea of sitting down with the complete story excites me.

This isn’t the Em I want. I don’t necessarily need an action figure, but I feel like there are better and cooler looking things they could do. For starters, a diorama of the cover to issue #6 would be awesome.

One:12 Collective Iron Man Action Figure – Mezco (546)

Intellectually I understand that this will be a massive upgrade over any Hasbro Iron Man that I own. It lights up, it has die-cast parts, there are tons of accessories. But I can’t help but look at it and feel like I already own a very similar figure for a quarter of the price. I’m dying to get this figure out of the box and see just how great it is, but so far I have not been able to convince myself to order it.

One:12 Collective A Clockwork Orange Alex Delarge Action Figure – Mezco (547)

This guy, on the other hand, I preordered direct from Mezco the day he went up.

I haven’t been buying the One:12 horror figures because lord knows I have enough Frankensteins and whatnot. But as foul as the character is, I want to own a great Little Alex. If only so One:12 Batman and Judge Dredd can punch him in the face.

ReAction Iron Maiden Eddie Action Figures – Super 7 (547)

I own these already. Buy them, they’re excellent.

Star Wars The Black Series Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder – Hasbro (554)


The same one I bought at Walmart for fifteen bucks? Good luck with that, Hasbro.
Don’t get me wrong – this is an awesome vehicle that’s actually well worth the $50ish MSRP. But I don’t collect this scale. Until it goes on clearance, anyway.


Gold Lightan GX-32R 24-Karat Gold Soul of Chogokin – Bandai (573)

The first thing I think of when I look at this figure is the old M.U.S.C.L.E. figure that looked exactly like this, but tiny and pink. I don’t know if it’s the same character or robot or whatever and to this day I’m not sure what Soul of Chogokin is, but this thing is awesome.

Unaffiliated Thoughts

*Avengers: Infinity War has been moved forward a week to April 27th, the FOURTH month of the year. Robert Downey, Jr. said that sounded FANTASTIC.

Look – if Marvel Studios has somehow managed to sneak the Fantastic Four into Infinity War without anyone knowing and that’s part of why it’s getting a singular worldwide release, I’ll be standing up screaming in the theater along with everyone else and I’m not even a big FF guy.

But I don’t want to get my hopes up and I don’t particularly believe it’s even possible anyway.

*Legends of Tomorrow is just wonderful. “Here I Go Again” was a tremendous episode that put the spotlight on how the characters interact and served as a really nice intro/palate cleanser. I am totally on board with this show now, despite thinking at one time it should be canceled and was the worst of the CW shows.

*Speaking of Infinity War, I found a ton of the new basic 6” figures (not Marvel Legends) at Walmart the other morning. I think they look great and are well worth the ten bucks. I also dig the little Infinity Stone gimmicks they come with.

There are also “Deluxe” figures for thirteen bucks. I saw Hulk and a Rocket/Teen Groot 2-pack, but I know there are more. There was also a box set with Iron Man versus Thanos. Those figures didn’t look nearly as good, but Thanos was actually something of a spoiler, so if you see the set don’t look too closely at it. I didn’t post a picture on IG for just that reason.
Let me know what you’re looking forward to in the comments, or join the discussion in the Needless Things Podcast Facebook Group!

That’s all I’ve got for this month. Start putting your pennies in your Diamond Select figural bank and remember to drop your order form off at your Local Comic Book Shop!

Be sure to follow me on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram for all of the latest toy news and live reports from the stores that carry them!


  1. John Byrne’s Stowaway to the Stars #1 Special Edition – IDW (193) The original version of this was a coloring book. I'm curious to see the colored version.

    As far as Avengers goes, I wouldn't worry. McGuiness is not known for sticking around long on a book. I suspect there's a replacement art team already waiting in the wings.


  2. It is conifimed that beebo, the god of war, will be back for The legends finale. All praise beebo!