Ambidextrous: Pit Stop

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Ambidextrous – Pit Stop

A sincere apology to those that have come here expecting a commentary called Haters Be Hating. Not to worry. My most controversial and flamboyant article thus far is coming your way very soon…it’s just that the headmasters presiding over SBC have decided to allow Ambidextrous to reside within the confines of this esteemed site on a regular basis. Which presented a slight problem schedule-wise, because the next article deserves to start things off in my regular and hopefully permanent spot.

Editor extraordinary Craig Lemon suggested that I devote a column to interesting offerings in the latest Previews. Probably had something to do with the fact I was flipping through the latest issue shortly before his gave me the promotion. Instead of mindlessly picking upcoming comics with impressive covers as my November must-haves, I decided to implement a small theme. A method to this madness.

Let’s discuss a buzz-word in the comics world known as the jumping-on point. An issue meant to serve as an appropriate entry into any self-respecting series. Let’s ignore the principal issue that ALL comics should be written as someone’s potential first, because that’s seldom how things happen. And it’s no one’s fault in particular. Just happens that way. So in the spirit of continuity at its finest, I’ve assembled a list of interesting possibilities that will allow the virgin reader to experience storytelling at its finest, from the very beginning…or at least at a point where everything makes sense:

Wizard #123:

Whatever you do…don’t call them the Ultimate Avengers. These are the Ultimates people…wake up and smell the money coming Marvel’s way. Pair Mark Millar, fresh off an acclaimed run on The Authority, and ongoing architect of the continuity flush (which I think is a good thing by the way) known as Ultimate X-Men, with Bryan Hitch, one of the co-founders of widescreen storytelling and a veteran of not only The Authority, but the JLA as well, and watch the fans go absolutely nuts.

Couple this with the claim that this title will usher into life a new breed of superheroic adventure devoted to the resolution of real-world conflicts, and even the mouth of a cynic waters. What the hell does this have to do with Wizard you ask?? This is where you’ll find the first 22 pages of the saga, and you know you want a sneak peek.

Catwoman #1:

Did you realize that Catwoman’s monthly book had been canned by DC a few months ago?? Me neither. Forget what has come before…Selina Kyle is back in a slinky black number with a renewed purpose and a fresh creative approach. To be honest, her appearance reflects the revamped design she sported in the latest episodes of The New Batman/Superman Adventures that aired for a couple of years before experiencing the horror of cancellation. The fact that the artist for the project seems to present a style highly reminiscent of the animated series is setting off my weird coincidence meter.

No matter. The thing looks like a lot of fun. Writer is a man by the name of Ed Brubaker, and though I’m not quite enamored with his run on Batman, I’ll be watching this one very closely. The first four-issue arc throws Selina back into a life she’d thought a distant memory. We’ll see if my suspicion that this story has something to do with murdered prostitutes proves true.

JLA/Haven: Arrival:

Even if the promos for this one-shot, leading into the year-long maxi-series, Haven: The Broken City, weren’t featuring beautiful art from Ariel Olivetti, I’d give this one a look. Ignore the fact that this series replaces the massive crater left in the DCU following the destruction of Coast City, and that it establishes a new alien presence on Earth for the JLA and the rest of humanity to deal with…the writers of the project broke down a couple of perceived barriers getting here. And that gives another waiting on the sidelines infinite hope that one should never say never.

Ashley-Jayne Nicolaus and Matthew P. Schuster had never written a comic professionally, they didn’t pair up with an artist to peddle their wares, and they handed out the proposal for this saga at a convention. Three established no-no’s when trying to kick down the walls as a writer…and to them it meant next to nothing. It’s inspiring guys and gals and I’ll happily line their pockets with royalties. It also helps their cause immensely that the story sounds damn intriguing and the art is gorgeous.

Cannon God Exaxxion #1:

This one may raise a few eyebrows. Cannon God comes from Dark Horse and is the latest translated manga offered from the guys at Studio Proteus that are giving us Blade of the Immortal, which I haven’t had the opportunity to check out, and the title that prompted this recommendation…Gunsmith Cats.

I was first exposed to the Cats through the anime series released by A.D.Vision and became subsequently hooked. This led to a rabid following of the comic series I discovered that Dark Horse published from creator Kenichi Sonoda’s secret stash. In a sentence, Gunsmith Cats presented the adventures of two female bounty hunters operating out of Chicago and was riddled with bullets and stylish car chases. Good stuff to be sure.

The Cats are no more unfortunately, but this is their creator’s latest work. Not only is the art highly expressive and detailed, but this new series features nanotechnological battlesuits that make the wearer superhuman, alien invasions, city-smashing giant robots, insanely powerful handguns, and cover-to-cover action. I’ll be there.

Cla$$war #1:

Last but definitely not least is this fascinating offering from the boys at Com.X, who are based across the world (at least from me) in the UK. Met these cats at the San Diego Con, bought a handful of their books and had them autographed with little hesitation. The vibe these guys gave off was insanely cool (which is why I sent them a submission recently), and I watched them grin from ear-to-ear while telling me their first release, Bazooka Jules, was completely sold out and therefore I couldn’t have one. The guys were proud of their sales and they had one of the coolest free posters available at the con. A class act to be sure.

About Cla$$war though, it’s yet another superhero tale, but one with an interesting twist. Two men, one an ex-CIA operative, one a genetically enhanced super soldier, are intent on showing ordinary people that there’s a life outside of the authoritarian corporations, corrupt politicians, and imposing wealth that is commonplace in their lives. The people in charge aren’t going to sit back and lose their seats of power however, sparking an all-out war. Superheroes and gritty politics in full-color. And Com.X is also releasing collected editions of their unavailable works soon too. Can’t wait.

That’s all folks, just something to get your November’s heated properly. Be back on Thursday for the true premiere of Ambidextrous, cut completely loose and released on the unsuspecting public.

Apparently, you people wanted this…and I’m the man to make sure you get it. Thursday. Haters Be Hating. Silver Bullet Comics. Don’t miss the train.

Brandon Thomas

In the meantime, head to the message board and leave the name of a title you’ve always wanted to try but were afraid that you wouldn’t understand clue one if you picked it up. Please. Mine are Blade of the Immortal and Sin City. If we start talking television shows…Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Step up and be heard. Message boards are fun.

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