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Chris vs. Previews, September 2010: ‘Axe Cop,’ ‘Batman Inc.’ and the Spider-Snuggie

The 500+ page Previews catalog can be pretty tough to get through, even for the most jaded comics reader. That’s why every month, ComicsAlliance contributor Chris Sims sits down to scour the pages for the best, worst, and most mind-bogglingly insane items and bring them to you, the discerning reader, in our recurring feature, Chris vs. Previews!

P. 22 – Kull: The Hate Witch #1 of 4: This month, Robert E. Howard’s second-most popular sword and sorcery hero returns to action in an all-new mini-series that, judging by the title, is about the King of Atlantis fighting my ex-girlfriend.P. 34 – Metalocalypse/Dethklok #2: The thing about the “Previews” catalog is that, as it’s pretty much the exclusive distributor to comic book stores, it takes a niche market and then divides it into even smaller niches. Are you into “Star Wars,” zombies and action figures? Then “Previews” has something for you. Do you like anime, French maids and ridiculously expensive statues? Gotcha covered. The smaller the overlap in the Venn diagram of interests, the more likely it is you’ll find something in these pages.

That said, I think we have finally hit the most alarmingly specific product solicitation ever:

Say what you will, but that’s going to make that ONE guy who used to come into my shop ranting about the Finns very happy.


P. 44 – Axe Cop: Volume 1
: I really don’t think I need to say anything else here other than “this is going to exist”:

If, however, you’re one of the ones of people online who still hasn’t heard if, “Axe Cop” is, as the cover says, a comic written by a five year-old and drawn by his 29 year-old brother, and it is pure, unfettered imagination gone wild. As for the book, it’s slated to contain 120 pages of axe-choppin’, tough-coppin’ adventure, but whether it’s actually going to turn into a giant robot that can make its own army (as seen during Axe Cop’s crossover with Dr. McNinja and right here exclusively on ComicsAlliance)…

remains to be seen. If so, that’s definitely worth the $14.99 cover price.

P. 62 – Batman, Inc. #1: The big news this month from DC involves big shakeups in the Batman books, with “American Vampire” writer Scott Snyder taking over “Detective Comics,” the launch of a solo title for Batwoman, and two new ongoing books for Batman. I’ve been a pretty huge fan of everything Grant Morrison’s been doing on the Batman titles over the past few years, so I’m pretty excited for “Batman, Inc.”…

…although I’d probably be a little more excited if his new costume didn’t look like a janitor’s coveralls with an officially licensed Batman™ ceramic ashtray hot-glued to the chest.

P. 94 – Zatanna #7: In this issue, a sexy woman in fishnet stockings and thigh high boots fights evil muppets, including Grover:

I’m not even going to act like that doesn’t sound pretty awesome, but I am now convinced that we’re pretty much just getting Paul Dini’s illustrated dream journal every month.

P. 138 – Dungeons & Dragons #1: Under normal circumstances, a licensed comic based on “Dungeons & Dragons” wouldn’t be something I’d go out of my way to recommend — Lord knows earlier attempts at combining comics and the World’s Most Popular Form of Dice-Based Devil Worship haven’t been all that great, with the notable exception of Keith Baker’s “Eberron: Eye of the Wolf” — but this one piqued my interest for two reasons.

First, it’s written by John Rogers, the creator of TV’s “Leverage” who is familiar with far, far too few comics readers as the writer (originally with Keith Giffen, then later solo) who launched “Blue Beetle” at DC. His writing is invariably sharp, funny, and very well-structured, and it’s his involvement that gets me interested in this, even more than the fact that I actually like D&D quite a bit.

Second is the fact that they’re actually doing a version of the first issue that comes with the same story written up as a playable D&D adventure, and that’s quite possibly the best marketing gimmick this book could possibly have. Unfortunately, my experience as a former retailer gives me the idea that the “Module Edition” will be an incentive that’ll end up being prohibitively expensive for people that are only casually interested (like me), but it’d make a nifty little bonus feature in the inevitable collection, too.

P. 96 – Captain America by Jack Kirby Omnibus: This massive hardcover collects Jack Kirby’s return to “Captain America” in the mid-’70s, and while I don’t particularly care for the omnibus format (they look nice on the shelf, but they’re awkward as all get-out to actually hold and read), you really ought to check this one out if you didn’t already get the stories when they were released in paperback a few years ago.

Why?

Because this is the run where Captain America and the Falcon get involved in a deadly skateboard roller derby put on by 20th century British loyalists in order to get his shield back from a massive derby girl named “Tinkerbell.”

That’s why.

P. 301 – Atomic Robo and the Deadly Art of Science: Not too long ago, I interviewed “Atomic Robo” co-creator Brian Clevinger on the War Rocket Ajax podcast, and one of the things we talked about is how he has “Atomic Robo” plotted out up to volume 14, complete with titles. And really, as tough as it is to top the previous volume, “Atomic Robo and the Revenge of the Vampire Dimension,” I’m pretty sure that “The Deadly Art of Science” is maybe the best title that anything has ever had, ever.

Well, at least until he gets to volume 11: “Atomic Robo and the Savage Sword of Dr. Dinosaur.

Yes, really.

P. 347 – Spider-Man Throw Blankets (with Sleeves): Words cannot express how happy I am that this is a thing that exists:

And I say that as someone who both owns a Snuggie (shut up, it was a gift) and who is looking forward with all my heart towards the inevitable appearance of the Spider-Snuggie in the pages of Marvel Comics, most likely at the hands of Dan Slott and/or Stuart Immonen.

P.395 – DC Comics “Super-Heroes Have Issues” Buttons: This set of buttons features a bunch of images that were originally used on a t-shirt describing various psychological problems DC characters had. I liked the idea, but the shirt seemed a little too busy, and while I’m not really the kind of guy who loads his messenger bag up with pins, I’ve got to admit that this

…is maybe the best thing ever.

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