Man, I feel like something important is supposed to be happening today...

*My vote is already cast. Is yours?


Planetes Vol. 4 Part 1 (of 2?): The Internet has declared this book Good. It’s the hotly anticipated next installment of Makoto Yukimura’s hard-science fiction flavored series. Or, half of the next installment, at least. Actually, maybe there’s a Part 3 out there that Tokyopop simply hasn’t secured the rights to. Or maybe it’s not done yet in Japan. Anyway, at 192 pages this book is only slightly smaller than the average “Planetes” book, and I guess Tokyopop wasn’t crazy about putting out a 400-page digest-sized phonebook. The other half (?) of Vol. 4 will be out in February 2005.

JLA: Classified #1: Well, Grant Morrison is back on the American League of Justice, at least for this three-issue arc. The most interesting thing I can think of to note is that the final issue of this entire arc is tentatively scheduled for the same day as the next (and last) issue of “We3”, so think of this as your Morrison stopgap. With art by Ed McGuinness and Dexter Vines. I have a whole lot of trades of Morison’s “JLA” which I never got around to reading, and supposedly this storyline involves some characters he introduced in them, so maybe this’ll get me cracking.

BPRD: The Dead #1 (of 5): With Hellboy himself still taking a walking tour of anthologies and cinema, it’s up to the BPRD to carry forth the banner of semi-regular comics. Guy Davis is a really solid choice for a continuing artist, even if Mignola is now down to co-writer with John Arcudi. This new mini basically picks up right where the last one left off. Actually, there wasn’t really any resolution to the last miniseries at all, so I’m thinking of this as a regular title that just had a pretty long delay. Arcs in ongoing books don’t always operate like complete stories anyway, just as helpful guides as to where to set the breaks for trades, so why not let miniseries act like ongoing titles in the same fashion? At least they‘re more open about where the gaps in production are going to fall.

Astonishing X-Men #6: Speaking of which, I seriously doubt any sort of resolution is going to come from this, the nominal last issue of the title’s first arc. Is anybody out there not thinking of the entire Whedon 12-issue initial run as a single, really big story? I doubt it. It’s just a dotted line with 'Clip Here' typed along side it. At least, I really hope I’m right because it’s gonna look pretty ugly seeing all of these plot threads getting hastily tied together in little over 20 pages. But that’s not going to happen. Explicitly designated arcs mean very little in many modern superhero comics; a necessary technical matter, and little more.

Hulk and Thing: Hard Knocks #3 (of 4): HAW! Look at that cover. I like the theme of Jae Lee’s covers here: tight close-ups of one or more of the title monster faces, with an emphasis on eccentrically mounted pain. Like Ben eating Hulk’s eyebrow. Or Hulk removing Ben’s jaw. And next issue: INJURY TO THE EYE!!! Ha ha ha… ah, I wonder if this issue will be stupid?

The Punisher MAX #13: All-new story. Frank v. the Russians. Now that the Irish are done for. It’s “The Punisher World Tour MAX”, really.

Joe R. Lansdale’s By Bizarre Hands #5 (of 6):The Night They Missed the Horror Show” is this issue’s adaptation, with Andres Guinaldo of “The Drive-In” doing the art, so you can bet it’ll all look like a particularly depraved item from the 80’s B&W boom sent forward into the future to haunt us all. Good times.

The Intimates #1: New Wildstorm superbook. Joe Casey is the human incarnation of the concept of the hit-or-miss comics writer to me. Maybe. I’ll look through it on the stands.

Avengers #503: Whoops! Oh well, even with all of the surprises spoiled I’m sure everyone will have a really swell time pouring money into Marvel’s coffers and then complaining about how they do silly publicity-grab stunts that Shake Things Up (hint: their intent involves money, coffers, etc).

*Hey! Vote! I want it to be a big surprise, so I’m having a total television/computer black-out tonight. It’ll be like Christmas tomorrow! Or maybe Reverse-Christmas!