ADVANCE SCOUT: Conspiracies, Cover-Ups, and Curses

ASFeature

SITUATION:

With Image EXPO in the rear-view mirror, there has been a great deal of news in comics media this week about independent publishers. This site asked earlier in the week whether Image should still be considered independent at all, given their new use of exclusive deals and the growing trend towards showcasing established talent.

Regardless, they still found their way into this week’s selections, which include a little bit of super-hero fare but still provide you with the wide variety you’ve come to expect from ADVANCE SCOUT.

Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S SELECTIONS:

1. “Skyman #1”

"Skyman #1" (w) Joshua Hale Fialkov (a) Manuel Garcia Dark Horse Comics $2.99
“Skyman #1”
(w) Joshua Hale Fialkov
(a) Manuel Garcia
Dark Horse Comics
$2.99

With the impending departure of the Star Wars license inching ever closer, Dark Horse is looking to expand its own library of intellectual property in a silver-age style revamping of golden-age classic character Skyman.

Whether the venture is going to be a long-term success is something that Mai addresses in her complete Advance Review, which you can find HERE.

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2. “X-Files: Conspiracy #1”

"X-Files Conspiracy #1" (w) Paul Krilley (a) John Stanisci IDW Publishing $3.99
“X-Files Conspiracy #1”
(w) Paul Krilley
(a) John Stanisci
IDW Publishing
$3.99

IDW has always done some of its best work when playing with established franchises that, for whatever reason, are no longer front and center. Their recent X-Files ongoing has been a stellar example of this and looks to capitalize on the growing sense of unease and a little bit of paranoia. Featuring the Lone Gunmen, this event seeks toe examine what happens when internet traffic from the future reveals a coming cataclysm.

It has all the ingredients needed for an excellent yarn, and novelist Paul Crilley has obviously spent a fair amount of time in the darker corners of the real-world internet, where this book has its genesis.

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3. “Protectors Inc. #3”

"Protectors Inc. #3" (w) J. Michael Straczynski (a) Gordon Purcell Image Comics $2.99
“Protectors Inc. #3”
(w) J. Michael Straczynski
(a) Gordon Purcell
Image Comics
$2.99

J. Michael Stracsynzki’s exploration of privatized super-heroics has been intriguing to this point, if somewhat slow to develop.

The series has focused on the normal population’s reaction to and operation within a world inhabited by super-humans. What Straczynski has done in setting the titles up as a series of investigations by a “normal” police detective has helped to show the stark line between the sort of person one is without power and what one becomes after having received them.

The throwback feeling of Gordon Purcell’s art helps sell this as few others could. You really feel like they are dissecting the silver age in a way few have attempted successfully.

I look for Straczynski to ramp up the stakes in this month’s installment, so be sure not to miss it.
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4. “Curse #1”

"Curse #1" (w) Michael Moresi (a) Riley Rossmo BOOM! Studios $3.99
“Curse #1”
(w) Michael Moresi
(a) Riley Rossmo
BOOM! Studios
$3.99

There have been a number of titles in the last year that explored derivations on classic horror tropes. Curse attempts to do much the same thing, by placing a desperate man hunting a murderer in order to fund his son’s leukemia treatment (a very real problem in the world) up against supernatural prey in the form of a werewolf.

Michael Moresi has shown in his work on Hoax Hunters that he knows as well as anyone how to update these themes for modern times, and paired with artist Riley Rossmo, whose work on Drumhellar has been utterly spectacular, one can justifiably expect BIG things from this series.
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5. “Harbinger #20”

"Harbinger #20" (w) Joshua Dysart (a) Clayton Henry Valiant Comics $2.99
“Harbinger #20”
(w) Joshua Dysart
(a) Clayton Henry
Valiant Comics
$2.99

Valiant has been producing some of the most daring work in the industry since their relaunch, and Harbinger has been at the forefront of that effort.

With this issue, the series launches a new arc which should allow readers who may have missed the earlier boat to climb aboard for what has been an intriguing exploration of how people react when they discover gifts and how they change as they learn to control them. The elements of government overreach inherent in this title have made it a fascinating read to this point, something that should continue as the series pushes forward in a new direction.
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ANALYSIS

For the first time in a long time, we managed to spread the week’s picks evenly among publishers, with no one coming out on top. How that trend looks moving forward will be anyone’s guess, but this week’s selection managed to be very balanced indeed.

See you next week!

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Thanks for checking out ADVANCE SCOUT! Be sure to check back next week for more recommendations, and don’t forget to share the link below!

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Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He also hosts the weekly Infinite Crossover podcast in cooperation with Fanboys Inc. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville. contact: joshuadepstein@gmail.com

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Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein is the Publisher for the Capeless Crusader website. He’s a lifelong comic nerd, and “Superman” is the first word he ever read aloud. He is also an actor, singer, and resident of a real-world Smallville.

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