Hit the jump to find out what we're picking up this week, our expectations for each book and feel free to let us know what you think or suggest books we should be reading in the comments below!
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Roberto Viacava
You've seen Christos Gage's work for Marvel, WildStorm, IDW and others, but you've never seen his imagination unleashed with absolutely no restrictions...until now.
ABSOLUTION introduces John Dusk, a superhero in a world where they're a sanctioned arm of law enforcement. But this veteran hero has been scarred by his exposure to man's infinite capacity for evil, and he's seen one too many perpetrators escape justice. One day he crosses the line...lets a murderer die...and discovers it feels good.
Surrounded by sociopaths, both human and superhuman, who he knows will prey on others if they're not stopped--permanently--how far will he go, knowing every step he takes puts him further on a collision course with his teammates Alpha and The Servant, not to mention his homicide detective girlfriend?
Drawing on his experience writing for TV crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU, and his years of acclaimed work on comics like G.I. Joe: Cobra, StormWatch: PHD, and Avengers: The Initiative, Gage and artist Roberto Viacava bring you a riveting, no-punches-pulled saga that fans of shows like The Shield and Dexter, or comics such as Powers and Sleeper, won't be able to put down.
He wants to be forgiven...but he doesn't want to stop.
Ryan: While I can’t guarantee that I’ll be reviewing this issue this week (my shop didn’t order the #0 issue, forcing me to hunt down a copy at the last minute), I do have a hunch it is going to be well-worth picking up. Christos Gage really impressed me with the debut of this incredibly dark series. Gage’s smart storytelling and history of great character work could propel this strong premise into being one of the strongest new series of the year.
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #601
Written by Mark Waid
Art by Mario Alberti
Prepare for the All-New, All-Deadly: DARK MARY-JANE!! Oops, sorry, that's the rest of Marvel's solicits...Actually, in this issue "Red-Headed Stranger" begins just after the surprising events of AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #600 with Pete's love life taking a turn for the worse just as his old flame Mary Jane returns to New York City. (FINALLY!! Sheesh. What took us so long?!)
Ryan: Mary Jane’s return was inevitable, but I’m glad that Marvel gave this series nearly two years of solid storytelling before putting the spotlight on MJ. While I’m really interested in how the events of One More Day affected Peter’s now “never was” wife, I’m really hoping that it won’t cause the great new supporting cast members of this series to be brushed aside.
Kirk: Jumped back on the Brand New Day bandwagon with Amazing Spider-Man #600 in prepartion for these Mary Jane issues. What they do with MJ will determine if I stick with the book or not. If they just dick around and make snark comments and "jokes" about post-OMD continuity for readers, I'm probably going to drop the book again. I'm also interested in the supposed Brian Bendis/Joe Quesada backups for the duration of this arc.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: REBORN #2
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Bryan Hitch
The race for Steve Rogers is on! On one side - BUCKY and the BLACK WIDOW and members of the AVENGERS and FANTASTIC FOUR! On the other - NORMAN OSBORN and HAMMER, THE RED SKULL and his evil hordes, with DR. DOOM waiting in the wings! And where... oh where, is the real CAPTAIN AMERICA? Ed Brubaker, Bryan Hitch and Butch Guice bring you the biggest Marvel comic of the year!
Ryan: I was extremely underwhelmed by the first issue of this miniseries. Now that my initial dismay at the manner by which Steve Rogers will return has passed, I’m hoping that Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch can win me over with the specifics of Cap’s return. This creative team certainly has the talent to produce some amazing work, so I’m hoping that the disappointing first issue was just a fluke.
Kirk: I've decided I'm dropping Captain America: Reborn. The writing and art aren't bad from a technical perspective. I just can't stand how far beyond the grounded Captain America series they've gone with the magic science guns and time bullets and what feels like an editorial mandate to bring Cap back (yes, I know Brubaker proposed an out for his return when he killed him, doesn't mean it feels right).
DYNAMO 5 #23
Written by Jay Faerber
Art by Matteo Scalera, Mahmud A. Asrar & Ron Riley
The last time Dynamo 5 encountered Whiptail, they barely survived. Now they're faced with a Whiptail epidemic! Meanwhile, Father Gideon's sinister plan kicks into high gear.
Ryan: This series has lost a lot of momentum in 2009 as it has switched focus away from the characters and more on the action. The solicitation promises more of the same in this issue, which doesn’t bode well for the series, which was once one of the best comics on the stands. The good news is that even if the issue is tremendously action-focused, Mahmud A. Asrar is going to make it look amazing.
GHOST RIDERS: HEAVENS FIRE #1
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Roland Boschi
The acclaimed GHOST RIDER run of writer Jason Aaron reaches its fever-pitched conclusion with six more issues of insanity, all jam-packed with new villains, old allies and the same old grindhouse action that Flamehead fans have come to know and love. The renegade angel Zadkiel is out to thwart Biblical prophecy by assassinating a young boy bred by Satanists to rule the world, so if Ghost Riders Johnny Blaze and Danny Ketch are going to save the world, they'll first have to save the Anti-Christ. Guest-starring Hellstorm, the Son of Satan.
Kirk: I've heard so many good things about Jason Aaron's Ghost Rider and it's even showed up in the Moments of the Week a few times, but have always held back on picking it up, always telling myself I'd get the trade. It's ironic that now that it's about to end, I find myself with room on my pull list to actually pick up an issue of it.
SECRET SIX #12
Written by Gail Simone
Art by Nicola Scott and Doug Hazlewood
A crisis of conscience splits the Secret Six right down the middle and puts them on opposite sides of a horrific war involving Amazons led by a deluded Artemis! But that's just the opening bout for the main event: Jeannette vs. Wonder Woman!
Ryan: Once again, things are looking good for DC’s strongest ongoing series. Gail Simone and Nicola Scott have been unstoppable with this series and it looks like they’ve got a whole truckload of awesomeness planned for this issue. This book always exceeds the hype, which has me incredibly pumped for the solicited showdown between Wonder Woman and Jeanette, who is one of the best characters to debut in 2009. This is definitely the frontrunner for Book of the Week.
Kirk: Agreeing with Ryan here. This is easily DC's strongest book right now and always one of the best books of the month, let alone week, it comes out.
WAR OF KINGS #6
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Paul Pelletier
This is it – the big fight for all the cosmic marbles! Shi'Ar vs. Inhuman! Black Bolt vs. Vulcan! Who will rule? The fate of two intergalactic civilizations teeters on the brink, and the outcome of this conflict will send shockwaves throughout the Marvel Universe! Don’t miss the climactic chapter in what IGN.com calls: "Action-packed but intimate and character driven…this could very well be the textbook definition of how to execute major superhero storylines."
Ryan: This is really the only issue that I think could have a chance of unseating Secret Six from the Top Spot on my Comic Book Review Power Rankings this week. The event has been phenomenal thus far, giving it a lot of momentum heading into this final issue. Could someone finally shut down Vulcan? Will Black Bolt finally step up as a true leader? Will Rocket Raccoon surprise us all by becoming the new King of the Universe? Who knows; not me, that’s for sure. The only thing for certain is that this is going to be one of the best books of the week.
Kirk: I think I'd die a happy man if this was 20+ pages of Black Bolt just beating the crap out of Vulcan. I wouldn't even care if there was a story to go with it. However, DnA have surprised me with how methodical they've been about this event. They've learned a lot since Conquest petered out a year or so ago and I suspect they've got some big things planned for this that will propel the cosmic corner of the Marvel Unvierse forward for the next year or more.
WAR OF KINGS: WARRIORS #2
Written by Jay Faerber
Art by Adriana Melo
The royal women take center stage as we spotlight Crystal and Lilandra! When a group of disgruntled Kree launch a series of bombings aimed at the Inhumans Royal Family, Crystal is charged with quelling the violence—but can she bring the guilty to justice without causing civil war? Plus: a flashback story to one of Lilandra's earliest adventures, as the future Empress of the Shi'Ar must face a trial by fire ignited by the Brood! It’s two brand new stories that spotlight key players in the War of Kings!
Ryan: Crystal has emerged from the War of Kings event as one of the most fascinating and engaging characters in the Marvel Universe. Thanks to this, her story in this issue has a lot of potential. The Lilandra story isn’t quite as interesting to me, but it does involve the Brood and that has my interest piqued a bit. Jay Faerber certainly has the talent to make this a can’t miss issue. Let’s just hope it doesn’t fall prey to disappointing execution like the last issue of this miniseries.