Friday, October 12, 2007

Spiritual Solicitations, August-October 2007

Have 3 issues of PREVIEWS piled up already? Dang, I'd better get posting. Some of these are probably even out already. It's a long list, for which I apologize in advance. In no particular order:

SUPERMAN: REDEMPTION TP
Written by Kurt Busiek and Fabian Nicieza
Art by Walter Simonson, Carlos Pacheco and others
Cover by Al Barrionuevo
Collecting Superman #659 and #666 and Action Comics #848-849! The Man of Steel travels to hell and back in this collection of stories that touches on the supernatural side of Superman.
Advance-solicited; on sale January 2 • 112 pg, FC, $12.99 US

Oh, the conflict: This collection contains Superman #659, which is one of my favorite Supes stories ever. (Read my review here.) But it also contains Action 848 and 849, which were dreadfully bad. (Read my reviews here and here.) Were they bad enough to want to stick on a bookshelf as a sterling example of how not to do religion in comics?

INDIA AUTHENTIC VOLUME 1: THE BOOK OF SHIVA TP
Virgin Comics
Created by: Deepak Chopra
Written by: Saurav Mohapatra
Art by: Virgin Illustrations
Cover by: Abhishek Singh
Acclaimed author Deepak Chopra and Virgin Comics invite you to a world of exotic legends and alluring myths, a land called India. Featuring the origin tales of some of the iconic deities in the Indian pantheon like Ganesha - The God of endeavors; Kali - The primal facet of the Indian Mother Goddess; Indra - The King of Gods; Uma - The All-Mother; and last but not the least, the enigmatic and powerful Shiva – The Great Destroyer.
Collects issues #1 thru #5 of the groundbreaking and critically acclaimed series from Virgin Comics. Featuring an introduction to each tale by Deepak Chopra, every foreword enumerates the significance of the myth to the modern world and explores the archetypes and themes with respect to current times. Volume 1 – THE BOOK OF SHIVA is written by Saurav Mohapatra (DEVI, SADHU : THE SILENT ONES) and features art by Abhishek Singh (RAMAYAN 3392 AD) and Satish Tayade (KAMASUTRA, RAMAYAN 3392 AD).
SC, 7x10, 144pgs, FC $14.99

Has anybody read any of these Hinduism-Reloaded things from Virgin Comics? And are they any good at all? And does Deepak Chopra's name really bear any weight with your average comics fan? (Or anyone else?) A couple more collections (Ramayan 3392, Devi) are due out later.

MYSTERIUM FIDEI HC
Last Gasp
by Daniel Martin Diaz & Michael M. Brescia
Mysterium Fidei, Latin for "Mystery of Faith," is the new collection of art from Daniel Martin Diaz. In this collection of oil paintings, drawings, and prints, Diaz contemplates human suffering and one's undying faith in the afterlife. His mystical imagery reflects the influences of Byzantine iconography, Retabalos, Ex Votos, the Illuminati, ephemera, alchemy, and 16th-century anatomical engravings. Collected in a beautiful clothbound hardcover. (C: 0-1-2)
MATURE THEMES
HC, 10x10, 184pgs, FC SRP: $39.95

Intriguing. I hadn't heard of this artist before reading this solicitation, but he's pretty interesting, especially if you're into medieval art (I am).

CHRONICLES OF WORMWOOD: THE LAST ENEMY GN
Avatar Press
by Garth Ennis & Rob Steen
Wormwood, Jimmy, Jay all return and the world hasn’t gotten any better since their last adventure. Wormwood still produces questionable TV shows and pines for Maggie, his lost love. The boys all share drinks at their favorite pub and try to get on with their lives, but Pope Jacko has his own plans for Wormwood. In order to dispatch the Anti-Christ once-and-for-all, he dispatches his finest Holy assassin, Brother One, the Killer Eunuch! If you loved the original series, then you don’t want to miss the next chapter of Garth Ennis’ new sacrilegious masterpiece!
MATURE THEMES
SC, 48pgs, FC SRP: $7.99

I've been cutting back my comics budget, and Garth Ennis is one of the first writers under the knife—I'm increasingly convinced that he doesn't have another Preacher in him. Still, if this series must have a sequel, I'm glad to see it's a standalone graphic novel rather than another miniseries.

DEATH OF THE NEW GODS #1-2
DC Comics
Written by Jim Starlin
Art and covers by Starlin & Matt Banning
Variant cover issue #1 by Ryan Sook
The title says it all! For months now readers have witnessed the unimaginable and unthinkable as New Gods across the DCU have seemingly died, with Lightray’s death in COUNTDOWN the biggest of them all. Now, the carnage continues but the mystery and adventure is just beginning! Jim Starlin — master of the cosmic odyssey — writes and illustrates this epic tale of death and destruction on a scale never seen before. With a cast of hundreds and cameos by the entire DCU, this intergalactic 8-part series cannot be missed!
Retailers please note: Issue #1 will ship with two covers that may be ordered separately. For every 10 copies of the Standard Edition (featuring a cover by Jim Starlin & Matt Banning) ordered, retailers may order 1 Variant Edition (featuring a cover by Ryan Sook). Please see the Order Form for more details.
Issue #1 on sale October 17; issue #2 on sale October 31 • 1 and 2 of 8 • 40 pg,
FC, $3.50 US

I never got into the New Gods, but this and the recent Eternals revival have convinced me that Jack Kirby's wacky '70s cosmic theology is probably worth looking in to.


OUR GODS WEAR SPANDEX SC
by Christopher Knowles; illustrated by Joseph Michael Linsner
Was Superman's arch nemesis Lex Luthor based on Aleister Crowley? Can Captain Marvel be linked to the Sun gods of antiquity? In Our Gods Wear Spandex, Christopher Knowles answers these questions and brings to light many other intriguing links between superheroes and the enchanted world of esoterica. (6962/1-578634-06-7) (C: 0-1-2)
SC, 7x9, 224pgs, B&W SRP: $21.95

A book about religion in superhero comics? Why would that interest the readers of this blog? We may need to look into doing a full review of this one, methinks. It looks like they didn't take the approach I would have—which is fine, since I eventually want to write a book of my own on the topic, and don't want to retread too much ground.

GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: ARTHUR AND LANCELOT HC
by Limke & Yeates
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: BEOWULF HC
by Storrie & Randall
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: ODYSSEUS HC
by Jolley & Yeates
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: SINBAD HC
by Croall & Hilinski
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: THESEUS HC
by Limke & McCrea
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: HERCULES, THE TWELVE LABORS SC
by Storrie & Kurth
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: ISIS & OSIRIS, TO THE ENDS OF EARTH SC
by Limke & Witt
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: KING ARTHUR, EXCALIBUR UNSHEATHED SC
by Limke & Yeates
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: THOR & LOKI IN THE LAND OF GIANTS SC
by Limke & Randall
GRAPHIC UNIVERSE: THE TROJAN HORSE SC
by Fontes, Fontes & Purcell
Lerner Publishing Group
Hardcovers: $26.60; Softcovers: $8.95

A Classics Illustrated-style take on assorted myths. If you've heard of the artist, it's probably only available in hardcover, so these are almost certainly too pricy to consider. PS: This is one of 3 versions of Beowulf coming out this month. Only one of them has anything to do with the Neil Gaiman-penned movie. Just conventient timing, I suppose.

LEGION GN
IDW Publishing
Salvador Sanz (w & a)
Bloody rain is falling over the city of Buenos Aires. The sky opens, dropping demons on the city. It’s the legion: the dead and their destruction. The architects from Hell build a huge tower of human remains on the city's horizon. Why have they come? What do they want? Nobody knows, but only Felix—a guitar player from a local band—has the key to find out. Presenting a special standalone tale of demons and destruction, courtesy of film director/writer/artist Salvador Sanz (Gorgonas).
FC • 48 pages • $7.49

Sounds kinda like The Six-String Samurai, which is a great movie that nobody's seen.

THE ATHEIST #4
Desperado
by Hester & Volley
Sharpe and Nguyen face the horrifying reality that our world is being invaded by the restless spirits of the dead. The only thing capable of stopping this ghostly army is a doomsday device so terrible that even the Department of Defense has tried to destroy it. Sharpe does not share their compunctions, but will he be able to use it if it means the death of those closest to him? By the new creative team for the upcoming 2008 series sequel Antoine Sharp.
RES. from Previews Vol. XV #8 (AUG051667)
32pgs, B&W SRP: $3.99

I was intrigued by the title when the first issue of this came out a while back, but I haven't actually read it, so I don't know if it has any real bearing on the content. Anybody out there read it?

CRIME BIBLE: THE FIVE LESSONS OF BLOOD #2
DC Comics
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Jose Saiz
Cover by John Van Fleet
The Dark Faith spreads throughout the DCU as the Daughters of Lilith take the forefront in a recruitment drive to convert people to the Religion of Crime through the Lesson of Lust. And only The Question, who must work under cover, can stop a United States colonel from sacrificing his life — and his country.
On sale November 7 • 2 of 5 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US

The Crime Bible was one of the more intriguing ideas to come out of 52, but it didn't have much room to develop within the cramped pages of that series. Perhaps this will give it some room, though my faith in Rucka is not as high as it could be.

JUDAS VOLUME 5
Tokyopop
Creator: Suu Minazuki
Judas, cursed for his sins, is the spirit of Death--he is without form, and has enslaved young Eve to carry out the most heinous of acts. Together in spirit and body, they must slay 666 people so that Judas can regain his humanity. Using Eve as his vessel of destruction, the dark, blood-soaked journey will leave a trail of sin, death, and--hopefully for Judas--redemption.Salvation may be at hand, but now is the time for prayer...
ISBN 978-1-4278-0204-0 $9.99

The description above is from the first volume of this manga series; this is the final one. Intriguing concept with a LOT of room to turn into something dreadfully bad. Has anybody read it? Is there any point to the religious symbolism, or is it just "bload-soaked"?

RAMA TP
Arcana Studio
by Dr. Barbara Jackson & Ashok Bhadana
Ramayana is not just a literary monument, it is held in such reverence that the mere reading or hearing of it can set individuals free from sin and grant every desire to the reader or listener. In this retelling of Ramayana, author Dr. Barbara Jackson enlightens and enables the reader to understand the righteous path - dharma - for the life on earth."

Another comic based on Hindu mythology. Lest you be confused, this is the one that doesn't have Deepak Chopra's name on it.

3 comments:

sfgirl said...

Very cool blog! I found you through "Physicality of Words", another neat site. Very original and informative. Thanks!

Elliot said...

Well, I have at least head of Six-String Samurai. And I read one of the comics based on it.

Anyways, cool round-up!

Elliot said...

Er, 'head' should be 'heard.'