AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #603
Written by Fred Van Lente
Art by Robert Atkins & Stephan Roux
THE CHAMELEON is poised to unleash unspeakable horror on New York City and SPIDER-MAN is nowhere to be found, so the only person who can stop him is...MARY JANE WATSON?!
Ryan: The “Red-Headed Stranger” arc has been one of the stronger storylines this series has seen in some time and has a lot of momentum after last week’s cliffhanger, which found Peter Parker dipped in a vat of acid after having his identity stolen by The Chameleon. I’m interested in seeing exactly how Mary Jane is New York’s last hope for stopping the Chameleon—and whether or not it will answer the question of how much she knows about her pre-One More Day life.
Kirk: Wow, did they steal a cover from Mad Magazine or what? Mary Jane is hideous. And why is there another new artist for this? I thought Kitson would at least finish up the Chameleon story before they brought in a new one. I've been enjoying the return of Mary Jane, or what little we've seen of her in this arc, so opening negativity aside, I'm actually looking forward to this issue.
ATOMIC ROBO: SHADOW FROM BEYOND TIME #4
Written by Brian Clevinger
Art by Scott Wegener
1971, Oaxaca, Mexico. THE SHADOW FROM BEYOND TIME is set to intersect with our universe once more, but this time ATOMIC ROBO is ready for it. Or at least he thinks he is. It's the Scientific Method versus the Unknowable Horror at the edge of reality!
Kirk: One of the things I've been loving about this volume of Atomic Robo is the jumping between time periods. The Cthulhu monster exists outside of time and the way Clevinger is jumping in and out of various time periods, showing how Robo is dealing with the threat, how it's evolving to stop him and the gathering of information by Robo on how to permanently defeat it has been great. While it adds a bit of predictability to each issue, it also frees up room to let Robo's personality shine through and has made this series probably the best Robo volume to date.
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Lee Garbett and Trevor Scott
In the wake of "Batman R.I.P." and BATTLE FOR THE COWL, a new heroine has emerged in Gotham City, and as she begins her nocturnal crusade to take back the night, she will truly learn what it means to wear the mantle of the Bat. But who is this young woman, and why has she donned the cape and cowl?
Ryan: So, just who is Batgirl? My first thought was Barbara Gordon, but thankfully DC has made it fairly clear that they won’t be taking her out of Oracle persona. I can’t imagine all of they would hype it up so much if it was just going to be Cassandra Cain remaining as Batgirl, so that rules her out as well. My pick? Stephanie Brown. While I think that Misfit (from Birds of Prey) is a more logical choice (already Batgirl obsessed, trained by Oracle, etc), I think that the former-Spoiler has more credibility to carry a new series and has already been in-and-out of the spotlight during Battle for the Cowl.
Kirk: Will look at this at the shop. If Cassandra is still Batgirl, I might pick it up. If not, leaving it on the rack. If it's Spoiler, as Ryan guess above, I may give it a chance, though. That option at least has some possibilities behind it. I just can't understand why this book has taken so long to come out. The entire post-RIP relaunch is over and this is like a complete after thought. DC is particuarly bad for this kind of follow up of late.
BATMAN: STREETS OF GOTHAM #3
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs
Co-feature written by Marc Andreyko
Co-feature art by Georges Jeanty and Karl Story
Bruce Wayne is dead…long live Bruce Wayne! Gotham's favorite son has miraculously returned, promising to lead his city into a new golden age. But while Wayne devotes his limitless fortune to rebuilding Gotham City, he fights violent opposition from Batman, Robin and a host of DC Universe heroes!
And in the Manhunter co-feature, now that Manhunter has found the previous DA's killer – or, rather, the killer has found her – what is she going to do about it? Bringing the killer in for a trial may not result in the justice Kate's been dreaming of. But is she ready to kill for justice so soon after a fresh start in Gotham?
Ryan: As much as I dig the main creative team of Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen, as well as Marc Andreyko’s Manhunter, this is going to be the make-it-or-break-it issue for this series for me. The main story has felt too much like your average throwaway Batman story and the backups have yet to live up to the original Manhunter ongoing. It’s going to take a majorly awesome issue for me to stick around after this one.
Kirk: Unlike Ryan, last issue sold me on the premise of this book. Hush posing as Bruce Wayne and Batman and company unable to touch him due to political maneuverings? I can't wait to see where they go with this. The Manhunter back-up, while good, is much like all of the other back-ups - it feels like a story cut up into 8 pages instead of written for 8 pages. Probably read better when they finally collect it, but won't complain about getting two good books in one.
Written by Ed Brubaker & Ann Nocenti
Art by David Aja & Michael Lark
This is it! The 500th issue of DAREDEVIL! What is the Kingpin's true plan? What do he and Lady Bullseye have in common? What will Matt Murdock do to make things right again? And just how will Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark leave this story for the next creative team to pick it up? Don’t miss the twists and surprises that will have everybody talking! An all-star anniversary issue featuring new stories by Ann Nocenti, David Aja, and others!
Kirk: While I gave up on Brubaker's Daredevil run due his basically fridging ofMatt's wife, Milla, and then having Matt cheat on her with relatively little guilt shortly after sending Milla off to the mental institute, I'm interested in Andy Diggle's upcoming run and figured this anniversary and final issue for Brubaker's run would be a good enough jumping on point before Diggle takes over with issue 501.
MIGHTY AVENGERS #28
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Khoi Pham
Guest-starring the YOUNG AVENGERS! When the adults are away, it's the perfect time for VISION and STATURE to sneak a few friends into the Avengers new headquarters and throw a party. No, not that kind of party. It's a hunting party-- and the target they're after is...THE SCARLET WITCH! Also: QUICKSILVER and US AGENT face off against a longtime Avengers villain and their new team. All this and the start of a strange cosmic odyssey for HANK PYM.
Ryan: There really aren’t any runaway favorites for Book of the Week dropping on Wednesday, but this issue could definitely has what it takes. You’ve got the solid creative team of Christos Gage and Khoi Pham, plus the return of the Young Avengers. I’m not as pumped about the Quicksilver and US Agent portion of the issue (why is US Agent even on the team?), but I think that a “cosmic odyssey” for Hank Pym could be a ton of fun. This series has been gradually picking up steam and this could be the issue where it really breaks out as a can’t miss title.
POWER GIRL #4
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Amanda Conner
"Space Girls Gone Wild!" part 1 of 2! A trio of sexy alien marauders hits Earth for the ultimate party. Unfortunately, by their standards, that means destroying it! Of course, it's up to Power Girl to crash their festivities.
Ryan: Under normal circumstances, I would have no interest in an issue that promised a “trio of sexy alien marauders” would star in a storyline called “Space Girls Gone Wild,” but I’ve got faith in this creative team to turn out a considerably less visceral (and offensive) storyline than the solicit might imply. I think we can expect something a bit more tongue-in-cheek than straight-up t-&-a. Plus, even if it does turn out to be ridiculously vampy, you know it will look good being drawn by Amanda Conner.
Written by Sterling Gates
Art by Jamal Igle
"Codename: Patriot" part 3! It's Supergirl and Mon-El versus Nightwing and Flamebird! Find out what happens when the Girl of Steel has to face off against Flamebird, one of her oldest and dearest friends! At Project 7734, General Lane puts the next part of his plan into action – with the help of the man known as Atlas. Concluded in SUPERMAN #691!
Ryan: In all of my time as a comic book reader, this is the first time I’ve approached a crossover by only reading the portions for the book I was already reading anyway. I just don’t have enough interest in the other Super-books to get sucked into another line-wide crossover. That being said, I honestly have no idea what to expect from this issue. I know that Gates and Igle will do their best to make it readable, but there is a good chance I may be so lost on this one that I won’t actually enjoy it.
Written by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
It's the start of an all-new arc bringing an old foe back from the dead who endangers the loved ones of both Superman and Batman! With Lois Lane and Alfred Pennyworth kidnapped, the secrets of the World's Finest heroes are an open book for one villain to exploit.
Kirk: Confession time. I hate talking gorillas. Absolutely loathe them. I can't fathom why DC continues to use them as villains in their books or why they show up so goddamn often. I know I wanted to take a chance on Superman/Batman now that Albuquerque is doing the art chores, but with Grodd as a focus, this had better be good or I'm skipping this arc and will have to check back in when it's over.
TINY TITANS #19
Written by Art Baltazar and Franco
Art by Art Baltazar
Love is in the air...and in Titans Treehouse! Plasmus and Bumblebee are hanging out more, and the other Titans are starting to notice. And Robin just wants to write his school report, but for some reason the girls won't leave him alone. Plus, the return of the Titans Ape Club! Eek!
Ryan: I never include Tiny Titans in my Rankings, but it is one book that I absolutely never miss. With this issue promising some hilarious romance-related antics, I’m sure this will be another great issue. Don’t believe me? Check this issue out and see for yourself, especially if you are a fan of the Teen Titans franchise. It may be marketed towards kids, but Art Baltazar and Franco are clearly putting this one together for the fanboys and fangals.
WOLVERINE: WEAPON X #4
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Ron Garney
The red-hot, sold-out "Adamantium Men" storyline continues! Wolverine is intent on bringing down the evil corporation Blackguard, one executive at a time if he has to, but when he finally comes face-to-face with the man at the top, he finds the soldiers of Strikeforce X waiting for him, laser-claws and all. Can you say SNIKT? Part 4 (of 5)
Kirk: Is it me or has it been a few months since we last saw an issue of this series? Feels like a long time anyways. However, for whatever reason, I don't feel the least bit upset or disappointed, unlike with the Millar/McNiven Old Man Logan story or other oft-delayed comics. Weird. Anyways, Weapon X showcases every reason why Wolverine is as popular as he is and is one of my new favourite comics. Definitely worth picking up in trade if you can't track down the first few issues.
X-MEN: LEGACY #227
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Dustin Weaver
While San Francisco is still reeling from the onslaught of the Dark Avengers, Rogue struggles to cope with the power and perspective of a God, the young X-student Trance undergoes a terrifying transformation, and X-Men Legacy takes a dramatic new direction.
Ryan: Oddly enough, the best issue tying into the Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men crossover, Utopia, thus far wasn’t from either of those books—it was X-Men: Legacy #226. Mike Carey has always been hit-or-miss with me, but I’d love to see him repeat the strength of the last few issues of this title again this week. After this issue, he will be officially kicking-off the new direction for this series, focusing mostly on Rogue’s new role in the X-Men, and another strong issue here would be a great way to jump start that transition.