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. 38 - Beasts of Burden/Hellboy: I think the record will show that there are very few things the ComicsAlliance staff loves more than Evan Dorkin and Jill Thompson's "Beasts of Burden," the Eisner award-winning series about a group of neighborhood pets who do battle with the supernatural. It's sharply written, absolutely beautiful, and genuinely creepy, and if you're not reading it, you need to be.And like pretty much everyone else, I'm also a pretty big fan of of Mike Mignola's Hellboy, and every time I see those two titles sitting next to each other on my dedicated Dark Horse Horror bookshelf, I hear that little Peter Venkman voice in the back of my head say "Oh we have got to get these two together." And now it has happened:

I'm pretty excited about this for a number of reasons, but chief among them is just how darn good Jill Thompson's Hellboy looks. The handgun alone, man!

P. 41 - Metalocalypse: Dethklok #1: Apparently Dethklok's crossover with the Goon last year was sufficiently lucrative, because this October, the world's second-most brutal black metal band (right after Detroit Metal City) is getting a second shot at comics.

I've got to admit that I'm intrigued, but a little wary: For me, "Metalocalypse" is really hit-or-miss, although when it hits, it's absolutely hilarious and the misses are a lot less common as the series goes on. Still, if I'm honest, I'd rather see "Metalocalypse" creator Brendon Small revisit his previous series, "Home Movies," if only to get a 32-page one-shot of Walter and Perry just wandering around.

If it had one of those sound chips that they put in greeting cards that would just do those voices for the entire time it took to read it, they'd sell... well, I'd get one.

P. 56 - Archie Firsts HC: My status as one of the Internet's foremost scholars of Riverdalean culture puts me square into the target market for a reprint of the first appearances of Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and Reggie...

...but what I find really interesting is that between this, IDW's recent reprints of "The Best of Dan DeCarlo" and the Pureheart the Powerful stories, and the main line (which actually launches a crossover in this "Previews"), there are actually three different companies putting out Archie books right now -- not counting DC's upcoming Tiny Titans/Little Archie crossover.

Clearly, this is the time for me to finally get out there with the "Crisis on Infinite Riverdales" pitch I've been preparing for years. Call me, Archie.

P. 85 - Action Comics #894: The biggest thing about this issue for most people was that the "Sandman" version of Death, friend to pallid cosplayers everywhere, was making her return to the DC Universe proper. For me, though, it was the solicitation for the backup featuring Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen. Now, as some ComicsAlliance readers may be aware, I consider Jimmy Olsen to not only be the single greatest character of the Silver Age, but probably the most underused character of the Modern Age, and I've been really curious to see how Nick Spencer was going to approach the character and whether it was going to live up to those great Silver Age stories.

Then I read this:

An alien race has chosen Metropolis to be the host of their millennial celebration! And who better to show them around town than James Bartholomew Olsen? But when the alien princess gets wasted and her brother starts picking bar fights, it's up to Jimmy to get things under control before all of Metropolis is destroyed!

Nick Spencer, I think you and me are going to get along just fine.

P. 100 - DC Comics Presents: Batman #1: I'm not sure what to make of the new "DC Comics Presents" line just yet. It seems like an interesting experiment that's attempting to find a middle ground between trade paperbacks and the old 80-Page Giants, and while I'm not sure why they're going with this rather than just doing a bunch of similarly sized and priced trades, it's nice to see some of this stuff finally get reprinted -- especially the first few issues of Ed Brubaker's awesome and underappreciated run on "Batman."

P. 140 - Richard Stark's Parker: The Outfit:

Not to be confused with the saga of Spider-Man's alien costume (you may all commence groaning), "Parker: The Outfit" is the second in Darwyn Cooke's adaptation of Richard Stark (a pseudonym for writer Donald Westlake)'s hard-hitting crime novels. The first, "Parker: The Hunter," was one of the best graphic novels of 2009, and "The Outfit" looks to be just as sharp, which I know because IDW put out an oversized 24-page preview -- "The Man With the Getaway Face" -- for only two bucks. I believe it's still available, and if you haven't read it, it's well worth picking up.

P. 150 - Khan Plush Doll: Never before have Ricardo Montalban and his plastic chest been so adorable:

"I will leave you as you left me, as you left her: marooned for all eternity at the bottom of a toybox ... buried alive!"

P. 16 - Deadpool Team-Up #888: I'd be pretty excited about a comic by Cullen Bunn (the wildly underrated writer of "The Damned" and "The Sixth Gun") and Tom Fowler (the wildly underrated artist of "Mysterius the Unfathomable") regardless of what it's about, but the fact that this is a story about Deadpool and the Thing going toe-to-toe in what appears to be a Hell in the Cell match?

Let me tell ya something, Ben Grimm! And when ol' Deadpool's yapping, you better listen and listen good! You may think you're fantastic! But if you're gonna walk that aisle and get in the ring, you're better off with me than against me! I'm all about limousines, fine-looking ladies and-woo!-championship belts! By my side ... under my tutelage ... you might just amount to something! When it comes to clobbering time ... it's time to go to school! And you can take that to the bank, brother, because what ya gonna do ... when Deapoolmania runs wild ... on you!?!

That's just the jet-flyin', limo-ridin', kiss-stealin', wheelin'-dealin' icing on the cake.

P. 314 - CLiNT Magazine:
We here at ComicsAlliance have had our share of fun with Mark Millar and his astoundingly over-the-top self promotion before, but with the soliciation for his upcoming (sigh) "CLiNT Magazine" (get it?), he has topped himself:

According to the solicitation, "CLiNT" will not only be covering "superheroes, vampires, super-villains and science fiction," (an intriguing, if oddly specific array of topics), but will also be "the most important comic-book event in over thirty years." That's right, folks, the cultural impact of Mark Millar's new magazine is going to outweigh "Watchmen," "The Dark Knight Returns," the boom, the collapse, the advent of digital art, the advent of digital distribution, the rise of creator-owned independent comics, DC restructuring their universe in "Crisis on Infinite Earths," DC unrestructuring their universe in "Infinite Crisis," all of Barack Obama's 892 comic book appearances, and and the entire comics careers of Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Robert Kirkman, Geoff Johns, Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, and The Rob Liefeld. There is still no word on whether it, like "Nemesis," will make "Kick Ass" look like $#!T."

God bless you, Mark Millar. You may not be the huckster we want, but I'll be damned if you're not the huckster we need.

P. 426 - Tinkerbell With Candy Cane Figurine: As far as the statue section goes, this month's "Previews" is actually a little light on the strangeness, but there is this one, and seriously?

All the people from Disney's licensing department who had to approve this thing, and nobody thought it totally looks like Tink's sizing up a pint-size stripper pole and getting ready to spin around to "Pour Some Sugar On Me?"

It's just me?


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