Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Frank Quitely
"Batman Reborn" concludes the explosive reteaming of Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely (ALL-STAR SUPERMAN, WE3, New X-Men)! Witness Batman and Robin's final showdown against Professor Pyg and the Circus of Strange! The future looks bright for the new Dynamic Duo as they prove themselves in battle, but lurking in the shadows is a mysterious red-hooded vigilante. Also, the origin of Scarlet!
Ryan: I’ve been enjoying this series so much more than I expected and I have a feeling it is only going to get better as Frank Quitely bows out after this issue (I’m sorry, I’m not a fan of his work, except We3). Still, look for this issue to continue the book’s winning ways as Batman & Robin take on Pyg and his henchmen. I expect zany, action-packed fun.
Kirk: If Morrison can continue with the All Star Superman-like treatment on Batman and Robin, I'll continue to buy it. It's just been plain fun to read. Unlike Ryan, I actually dread the upcoming artist rotation as I'm not as big a fan of the others as I am Quitely.
BETA RAY BILL: GODHUNTER #3
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Kano
Beta Ray Bill has stalked his prey across the universe…driven to punish the ever-feared Galactus. Now, with the Planet-Eater on his knees, Bill discovers he has one final, brutal price to pay. In an apocalyptic battle to decide the fate of world upon world, can Bill make this ultimate sacrifice?!
Kirk: If Beta Ray Bill: Godhunter is any indication of how good Kieron Gillen's upcoming Thor run will be (he's the new writer come November), I think we're all in for a treat as this has been downright epic and the best Bill has been written since he was first introduced by Walt Simonson in his own legendary run on Thor.
BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS #1 (OF 3)
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Ed Benes and Rob Hunter
Black Lantern Titans are descending together onto Titans Island! Will the Titans be prepared to fight off their deceased allies? And how can Beast Boy not lose his heart to Black Lantern Terra?
Explore the effect BLACKEST NIGHT has on the greater DC Universe in this 3-issue miniseries from writer J.T. Krul (JSA CLASSIFIED, Fathom) and superstar artist Ed Benes (JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA)!
Ryan: While I had lofty ambitions of picking up most of the Blackest Night tie-in miniseries, this is the only one that escaped the tightening of my wallet. When you think of dead friends, few characters have suffered more than the Titans, which gives J.T. Krul a lot to work with here. We could see a lot of returning faces here, though with Ed Benes tackling the art chores, it is more likely that we will see a lot of returning asses and boobs.
DARK AVENGERS #8
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Luke Ross
Norman's X-Men, as led by Emma and Namor, are the face of mutant law and order! The X-Men look played out of position as Osborn's dark reign falls over California-- but Scott Summers isn't done yet. The X-Men strike at Norman, at H.A.M.M.E.R., at his fraud X-Men and his sham Avengers all at once! This is the book where, at long last, the Marvel Universe starts to fight back-- and it sets the stage for next month’s unbelievable conclusion in UNCANNY X-MEN/DARK AVENGERS - EXODUS!
Ryan: While this crossover has been incredibly repetitive at times, the tail end of the last issue of Uncanny X-Men kicked things in high gear as Cyclops prepared an all-out attack on Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers. This issue should be incredibly intense as this attack and the setup for the final installment of the crossover begins. Could this really mean big changes for the X-Men or is this more empty hype? This one is sure to be filled with action, but only time will tell if it contains much else.
DARK REIGN: ELEKTRA #5
Written by Zeb Wells
Art by Clay Mann
Elektra finds her answers! As her quest for survival races toward its conclusion, the world’s most dangerous assassin discovers why every other killer in the world is gunning for her. Who put the 82-million-dollar price tag on her head? What was her impostor responsible for while Elektra was held captive? What will Elektra do about it?! By Zeb Wells (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN) and Clay Mann (DAREDEVIL)!
Kirk: Was this book delayed? It seems like it's been a while since I last read an issue of this miniseries, which is a shame because I've been really enjoying it. Wonder if this will dove tail into the new status quo for Andy Diggle coming out of Daredevil #500?
DARK WOLVERINE #77
Written by Daniel Way & Marjorie Liu
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
Daken has proven himself capable of wearing many masks, but who's the real man underneath? As one of Norman Osborn’s Avengers, he has it all: power, fame, access...but what if it's not enough? Could Wolverine's son have a heart after all—and if so, will it be the Fantastic Four who help him discover it? Or will they find themselves on the receiving end of a betrayal so huge it will put them at war with the Dark Avengers? Part 3 (of 3)
Ryan: The slew of twists and turns have made the last two issues of this series incredibly engaging, while the amazing character writing by Daniel Way and Marjorie Liu have made it even more entertaining. Every time Daken does something worse, I find myself liking him more and the possibility of him double-crossing both the Dark Avengers and the Fantastic Four has me extremely excited for this issue. While this may technically only a rebranding of the old Wolverine series, I consider it to be one of, if not the best "new" series of 2009.
DETECTIVE COMICS #856
Written by Greg Rucka
Art by JH Williams III
Co-feature art by Cully Hamner
"Elegy" part 3 of 4! Batwoman unites with an unlikely ally to momentarily defeat the fairytale villain known as Alice. But when Kate is forced to attend a high society event, she soon learns that her worlds are colliding as Alice's plans for Gotham's elite put Kate's father directly in harm's way.
Plus, in the next part of The Question co-feature, writer Greg Rucka and artist Cully Hamner bring Renee's search for a missing girl to new depths when The Question is trapped inside a sinking car. Will her life and her leads end up at the bottom of the river?
Kirk: First impressions can be a big deal, especially in the age of $3.99 comic book series and Detective Comics blew me away with its first issue, primarily on the strength of JH Williams's artwork. While I was away and unable to review the second outing for the team, I did enjoy it - just not on the same level or with as much enthusiasm as the first one. It was good, but the whole newness factor of it had worn off a bit. I'm definitely in for the long haul, but the honeymoon is over and it's time to deliver some stronger plots to go with the beautiful artwork.
DYNAMO 5 #24
Written by Jay Faerber
Art by Mahmud Asrar
Why does Father Gideon hate Dynamo 5, and what is his shocking connection to the team? Find out this issue, as he and Synergy launch their attack. This is the story that changes everything!
Ryan: Last issue’s revelation that Father Gideon is the son of Maddie was a game-changing shocker that puts a lot of momentum behind this issue. It will be interesting to see if this can help the series over the slump it has faced this year. The solicitation promises that this story “changes everything,” but all I want it to do is return this book to amazingness it was known for!
FANTASTIC FOUR #570
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Dale Eaglesham
Brand new creative team - Brave new comics experience! Be there as Marvel's newest exciting creator, Jonathan Hickman, teams up with superstar artist, Dale Eaglesham, to give you the Fantastic Four experience you've been waiting for! It's adventure, it's family, it's tough questions in dark times...See what happens when Reed Richards tries to SOLVE EVERYTHING.
Ryan: In a slower week, I’d definitely be jumping back aboard Fantastic Four to check out the debut issue for Jonathan Hickman and Dale Eaglesham. The creative team is well worth checking out, but the solicitation doesn’t provide much insight on the story and there are a ton of other books on the stands this week that I normally pick up. My decision on this one could come down to a quick flip-through at my shop on Wednesday.
Kirk: I love me some Jonathan Hickman writing, but I'm just not sure if Fantastic Four is a book that can be done properly in the confines of the Marvel Universe. If Hickman puts the fantastic into the Fantastic Four, I may stick around with the title, but as of right now, I'm only checking out this debut issue to see how it holds up.
THE FLASH: REBIRTH #4 (OF 6)
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Ethan Van Sciver
Barry Allen left a legacy that thrived after his death. Now his return threatens it all. What secrets does Barry hold inside him about the fate of the Flash Family? What destiny awaits Wally and his twins? What murderous force targets Bart Allen? And what does it truly mean to be a speedster?
Kirk: Did this balloon up to six issues when I wasn't looking? I faintly recall an announcement of it going up to six, but could be mistaken, too. I was honestly hoping this book would be similar to Johns era on the Flash, but it seems to be more about telling us how great and super Barry Allen is than actually telling a story. Mabye with last issue's villain reveal the story can finally start moving forward.
GOTHAM CITY SIRENS #3
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Guillem March
With their uneasy alliance in place, the sirens encounter trouble in the form of the mysteriously returned Bruce Wayne. He's dazzling, he's dangerous and he's got his sights set on Harley Quinn! Has romance sparked between these two long-time enemies – or is Wayne playing a more sinister game?
Ryan: I had considered passing over this good, but unnecessary series, but I’m a sucker for Harley Quinn and the solicitation for this issue is just too much fun. I’m not sold on the concept of Hush filling in for the missing Bruce Wayne, but Paul Dini could take it in some very entertaining directions by teaming him up with Harley. Plus, given Hush’s recent history with Catwoman, it interesting to see what Selina has to say about this pairing.
GREEN LANTERN #45
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
BLACKEST NIGHT continues! The Black Lanterns descend on all the Corps throughout the universe! Sinestro's assault on the Star Sapphires' homeworld of Zamaron is interrupted by another Sinestro Corps – one made up of those who died during the Sinestro Corps War! And while the War of Light flickers, deep in the darkness of space, John Stewart comes face-to-face with his deceased wife – and longtime Green Lantern – Katma Tui.
Ryan: While the War of Light was alluded to be the backdrop of Blackest Night, we really haven’t seen much of it since the event kicked into high-gear. I’m hoping that we’ll see a bit more of that as Sinestro takes on the Star Sapphires. I could care less about what John Stewart is up to, though, so hopefully the adventures of Sinestro will dominate this one. If not, at least I know it is going to look great thanks to Doug Mahnke.
Kirk: Finally, some Sinestro and other corps show up to the party that is Blackest Night. I had convinced myself the whole War of Light would be the initial salvo and all the death would lead into the Black Lanterns. As it is, everything Lantern related, of any colour variety, has taken a backseat to wanton killing and Black Lantern reveals. Looking forward to seeing some actual Green Lantern subplots picked up again.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #17
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Wes Craig
A WAR OF KINGS TIE-IN! In order to save the universe, Adam Warlock takes desperate action and seeks the help of allies you won’t believe! This must-read issue will have profound effects not only for the Guardians of Galaxy, but for the very Marvel cosmos itself! It’s more mind-blowing galactic action from the book Ain’t It Cool News describes as “just damn cool…Lanning and Abnett continue doing cosmic right.”
Ryan: Considering his current allies include a time-displaced hero carrying Captain America’s shield, a gun-toting raccoon with an itchy trigger finger, and a talking tree, I find it hard to believe that Adam Warlock will find any allies that can shock me. That being said, I look forward to see him try.
Kirk: Hmm, curious as to how this will play out. The team 'died' in the future, but sent a distress signal to the past. However, Black Bolt and Vulcan already tore space and time asunder in War of Kings. Should be interesting to see how DnA solve this predicament.
INCREDIBLE HERCULES #133
Written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak
Art by Rodney Buchemi
Beginning a storyarc so earth-shattering, so momentous, so, well, incredible, we just had to give it to you TWICE A MONTH! (Well, for the three months, anyway). When terrible threats rise in Svartalfheim, the land of the Dark Elves, only Mighty Thor, Son of Asgard, can hope to triumph! But what happens if the Odinson is temporarily...unavailable? It's Hammer Time for Hercules as the Lion of Olympus gets his thunder on! Meanwhile, in Incredible Hercules 133, the Secret Origin of AMADEUS CHO begins! Who really killed Amadeus' family? What is his true relation to Hercules? And, most importantly, what is the connection between him and The Twelve's MASTER MIND EXCELLO? Everyone's favorite irascible boy genius is after the answers himself -- but to get them he's going to have to go through his arch-nemesis, PYTHAGORAS DUPREE, the sixth-smartest man on Earth!
Kirk: While I'm more than happy to shell out the cash for double doses of Hercules each month, I'm actually more interested in the Herc than his sidekick, Amadeus Cho. Solicit makes it sound like we'll get continued Herc action, though, so I'm happy.
INCREDIBLE HULK #601
Written by Fred Van Lente & Greg Pak
Art by Ariel Olivetti
Gamma fans rejoice -- the rumors are true! The INCREDIBLE HULK book returns as an ongoing series written by acclaimed PLANET HULK and WORLD WAR HULK scribe Greg Pak! Get ready for Bruce Banner as you've never seen him, the Son of Hulk in a whole new world of smash, and an insane new adventure that changes everything for everyone's favorite Green Goliath! With art by Ariel Olivetti (CABLE) and introducing a new, regular bonus backup SAVAGE SHE-HULK story written by Fred Van Lente and drawn by Michael Ryan!
Kirk: Not sure what to expect here. Pak and Van Lente have been greaet on Hercules and Pak's Planet Hulk was the first time I'd actually enjoyed a Hulk title, so I'm willing to take a chance on one issue, despite having no interest in Skaar and absolutely hating Olivetti's artwork.
Written by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by Andrea Di Vito
A WAR OF KINGS TIE-IN! It’s the final showdown between Nova with the surviving members of the Nova Corps against the most ruthless members of the Shi'Ar Imperial Guard! Can Rich survive and can he save the life of his brother, Robbie, who finds himself caught between the ruthless Ravenous and murderous Strontian? Be there and find out why ComicPants.com raves: “The level of writing, creativity and just the sheer level of comic book joy that each issue holds amazes me every single time.”
Kirk: With Captain America on hiatus, Nova is probably Marvel's best title currently published, possibly tied with Incredible Hercules. Very much looking forward to seeing Nova finally back in the sattle and kicking ass again.
Written by Kathryn Immonen
Art by Sara Pichelli
It’s the end of the Runaways’ California dreamin’ as they attempt to make their escape from Klara’s chlorophyll lockup…only to be denied by heavily armed outside forces who are about to foreclose on the property in a big way! Chase finally tells the truth about a violent event in his past. And when the kids have no choice but to turn to Hunter Stein to find a way out of this mess, he reveals a Malibu Beach House secret they never would have guessed. But it’s not easy sailing because Chase is about to make a unilateral decision that looks a lot like...murder?
Ryan: The Kathryn Immonen-Sara Pichelli era of Runaways is 1-and-1 thus far with an excellent debut issue and a disappointing follow-up. The solicitation promises a healthy mix of action and character-focus, so the creative team should certainly have a lot to work with here. I’m most interested in seeing how Chase’s “violent secret” plays out, especially since this could be what he hinted at several years ago when the team went to New York to save Cloak and Dagger (Issues #9-12 of Volume 2).
SECRET WARRIORS #7
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Alessandro Vitti
Baron Strucker and Norman Osborn team up to drive out the Marvel Universe's ultimate covert superteam. It's wall-to-wall insanity as the Dark Avengers and the Thunderbolts go after the Secret Warriors. It's time for Ares to get his son back! GOD OF FEAR. GOD OF WAR. Part one of four!
Kirk: Disappointed that we've switched to fill-in art for Casselli already, but it's par for the course in comics, so won't beat that dead horse here. The first arc of Secret Warriors was fantastic, but many books start with a great concept and stall or sputter out after the initial big reveal or first arc conclusion. Will the Nick Fury centric title continue to be great? This issue should answer that question.
TEEN TITANS #74
Written by Bryan Q. Miller
Art by Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson
Co-feature written by Sean McKeever
Co-feature art by Yildiray Cinar and Júlio Ferreira
The assault against the Teen Titans continues this issue as the team struggles to even the odds. Will they be defeated by a foe with superior leadership?
And in the co-feature, Ravager is attacked in her arctic hideaway. Who wants her dead? That's what she wants to know…
Ryan: Bryan Q. Miller’s last few issues have injected a lot of life into this series, so it will be sad to see him go. At least we’ll find out who the mystery Titan in the casket is, though the solicitations don’t make any allusions to it—could it have been a swerve all along? If so, this could cast a dark shadow on what has been an otherwise superb story.