Written by Rob Levin, Darren Bousman, and Troy Peteri
Art by Bing Cansino
After a brutal massacre takes place in a gorgeous house, real estate agent and family man Richard Ashwalt is assigned the impossible task of picking up the pieces and selling the property. As Richard inspects the blood-soaked grounds a twisted old man journeys to the house with a sinister and terrifying purpose. Richard is about to be drawn into a web of shadows, murders and massacres that will shatter him to his very core!
Ryan: Murder and real estate? I can’t say that I’ve ever read a comic that used that as a starting point, but Radical Comics has a habit of pushing boundaries and constantly impressing me with their output. Darren Bousman, co-writer of the issue, is one of the directors of the Saw film series, so I expect lots of inventive and grisly violence in this issue. Whether or not that will translate into success is uncertain.
ACTION COMICS #894
Written by Paul Cornell and Nick Spencer
Art by Pete Woods and RB Silva
Guest-starring Death from SANDMAN! Yes, you read that right! Death! From SANDMAN! In ACTION COMICS! Lex Luthor finds himself literally at Death's door, which leads to a fascinating look not only into the mind of one of the all-time greatest villains, but also at what Death means in the DC Universe...
And in the JIMMY OLSEN co-feature, an alien race has chosen Metropolis to be the host of their millennial celebration! And who better to show them around town than James Bartholomew Olsen? But when the alien princess gets wasted and her brother starts picking bar fights, it's up to Jimmy to get things under control before all of Metropolis is destroyed!
Ryan: With the announcement of DC dropping the co-features in January, leaving Jimmy Olsen unfinished (until a one-shot, I believe), I considered trade waiting that story and skipping over this issue. I’m still on the fence about it, but after I had a lot of fun with the lead story last issue (even after skipping a few issues in the storyline), I think I’ll pick this one up. Plus, Death makes her first full DCU appearance since the end of the Vertigo embargo, which could mean very interesting things.
Kirk: Paul Cornell has been excellent on Action Comics so far and this appearance by Death after Luthor's untimely demise last issue has the makings of something great.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by John Romita Jr.
The blockbuster Avengers book continues!! Kang versus Ultron with Avengers from every era right in the middle. The end of this issue is a shocker that sets up one of the biggest new threats to the Marvel Universe!! Plus: another chapter in the oral history of the Avengers!
Ryan: Avengers has been very haphazard since the reboot, but really started to come together last issue. With the threat finally established, I’m hoping that there will be enough focus for Brian Michael Bendis and John Romita Jr. to finally reach the incredible potential that they have as a creative team. This should be THE can’t miss book on the stands, not a book I have to justify picking up.
BRUCE WAYNE: THE ROAD HOME – ORACLE
Written by Marc Andreyko
Art by Agustin Padilla
Barbara Gordon and Bruce Wayne have long been allies and friends, acting as Gotham City's primary defenders. Their reunion is sure to have lasting effects on Barbara's role as Oracle and the other Birds of Prey.
Ryan: Here is all that you need to know about this issue—Barbara Gordon, written by Marc Andreyko. Andreyko is perhaps the finest writer that DC has but rarely uses and this is a perfect time for him to remind the world of his awesomeness. Road Home has been great thus far, but this issue could make it even better!
BRUCE WAYNE: THE ROAD HOME – RA’S AL GHUL
Written by Fabian Nicieza
Art by Scott McDaniel
When Ra’s al Ghul first heard that Bruce Wayne had tied, he refused to believe it. Now the Demon’s Head is proven right as his longtime arch enemy returns and the villain’s master plan can continue in earnest…
Ryan: Ra’s al Ghul’s war with Batman has been a major ongoing thread in the Bat-comics for the last several years, with numerous twists and turns in nearly every single title in the stable. Will we finally see what Ra’s al Ghul has been planning all this time? Truthfully, it doesn’t matter because a Bat-comic written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Scott McDaniel should be fantastic no matter what.
DYNAMO 5: SINS OF THE FATHER #5
Written by Jay Faerber
Art by Julio Brilha
Sins of the Father concludes as one member of Dynamo 5 goes to drastic measures to defeat the alien invaders, which will have lasting consequences for the entire team. Plus, our exclusive NOTORIOUS back-up series concludes as Notorious faces his moment of truth.
Ryan: The first miniseries in the new Dynamo 5 format has been a lot of fun, with Julio Brilha doing a brilliant job of taking over from Mahmud Asrar. The heroes have had their backs against the wall against the Sons of Dominex for several issues, so I expect we’ll see something big and surprising in this finale—unfortunately that surprise won’t be an announcement that this book is going back to its ongoing format.
GI JOE: COBRA #9
Written by Mike Costa and Christos Gage
Art by Sergio Carrera
The shocking conclusion to ""Serpent's Tales!"" Scoop has gathered a wealth of information on Serpentor's cult, the Coil. Now he plans to escape and reveal it to the world. Can one man bring down the Coil, or does its reach extend farther than anyone imagined?
Ryan: This storyline has been full of great concepts and characters, but Mike Costa and Christos Gage have relied too heavily on exposition and the art from Sergio Carrera has been simply disappointing—making it a major step down from the opening arc on this series. I’m hoping those concepts will add up to a big win here, otherwise I’m not sure that I’ll be sticking around after this issue.
GREEN ARROW #5
Written by JT Krul
Art by Diogenes Neves
Witness the power of the BRIGHTEST DAY as the dead walk once more in the mysterious forest. Plus, Green Arrow battles the master of disguise known as Nix while more secrets regarding the Queen are revealed.
Ryan: This series has been great thus far, but a bit uneven as JT Krul tries to balance the grounded aspects of Green Arrow’s personality and threats against the more supernatural elements of the Brightest Day tie-ins. Krul has done a good job, but the book is at its best at street-level—which it doesn’t sound like we’ll see here. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
HOTWIRE: DEEP CUT #2
Written by Steve Pugh
Art by Steve Pugh
For detective-exorcist Alice Hotwire, waking in a jail cell is an unwelcome flashback to youth. With Bertus Rantz and his team of private contractor ghost-hunters out to win a permanent city contract by any means necessary, Alice must first escape to keep the job she hates, then compete with Rantz to capture a blue-light possessed robot and rescue the injured woman he has taken hostage. Can Alice outwit Rantz, who has little intention of bringing them in ""alive,"" save the hostage, and return safely home to her boyfriend from hell?
Ryan: I seriously cannot recommend Hotwire by Steve Pugh enough. The debut series was great and the first issue of this follow-up miniseries followed suit nicely. Alice’s situation isn’t looking the greatest in this supernatural thriller, but can she keep her ego in check long enough use her wits to fix her situation? I look forward to finding out in this incredibly well crafted series. Radical Comics aren’t the easiest books to find, but I can guarantee that this one will be worth hunting down.
INCOGNITO: BAD INFLUENCE #1
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips
It's been over a year since Zack Overkill came out of Witness Protection to build a new life. But working for the government isn't that different from being controlled by them, and his new secret identity is becoming more trouble than it's worth... So what will Zack do when tasked with a mission that sends him on a hunt into the darkest corners of the super-criminal underworld where he was raised?
Ryan: The last Incognito series read much better in one sitting than it did monthly, which has me considering the trade wait on this follow-up miniseries. Now that Zack Overkill is officially on the side of the “angels,” I’m interested in seeing where Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips take the story. I know I’ll like it more if I can wait, but I’m not so sure that I can be that patient!
JLA/THE 99 #1
Written by Stuart Moore and Fabian Nicieza
Art Tom Derenick
A threat from beyond the stars brings the World's Greatest Heroes together with the World's Newest Heroes to stop a globe-spanning invasion of Earth in this 6-issue miniseries! DC Comics' JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA joins forces with Teshkeel Comics' THE 99 to create an unstoppable army of super-powered beings the likes of which the world – and comic shops – have never seen before!
Ryan: With an already bloated budget this week, I’m not actually going to pick up this issue, though I have definite plans to pick the miniseries up in trade. However, since most American readers won’t have heard of, let alone read any comics featuring The 99, I felt it was worth mentioning. Their series had more of an all-ages feel than your average DC comic, but it was a solid superhero comics with some intriguing characters. I’m glad to see DC bringing The 99 to American audiences, though it will be interesting to see how an Islamic-inspired superteam will be received in the current political climate. I’m excited for this one and I hope that some of y’all check this one out.
KILL SHAKESPEARE #6
Written by Conor McCreery and Anthony Del Col
Art by Andy Belanger
Rebellions end in glory—or death! In the series’ thrilling first-half conclusion, Hamlet witnesses the peaceful town of Shrewsbury—fueled by Juliet and the Prodigal movement—become a bubbling cauldron of insurgency. But with Richard’s men marching on Shrewsbury, Hamlet must choose what role he wishes to play—and for what side.
Ryan: Kill Shakespeare has been one of the most pleasant surprises of 2010 and I’m incredibly excited for this title to reach its half-way point with this issue. Hamlet, the “hero” of the series, has been at the crossroad between those loyal to Shakespeare and those loyal to Richard III from the very first issue—what is going to tip him to either side in this issue? Either way, it’s going to be equal parts irreverent and thoughtful, I’m sure, as that has been the lay of the land for this fantastic series.
SECRET WARRIORS #21
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Mirko Colak & Alessandro Vitto
In "Night" part two, predestined events come to pass as chaos reigns in the world of Nick Fury and his Secret Warriors! Join us as all the pieces begin to fall into place and we get one month closer to the concluding story arc of Secret Warriors, the book that has IGN.com saying: "As crazy as the war between Leviathan, HYDRA and Fury has become, it's as enjoyable and engrossing as ever'a consistently great series."
Kirk: Last issue was the biggest disappointment in the series for me. Felt rushed and lacked the usual quality of previous arcs. It was like Hickman was getting ready to end the series and just summed up several plot points in the span of a page or two to get them out of the way. The art did that issue no favours either. Im hoping it was a one-time occurance and one of my favourite titles gets back on track with this issue.
SUPERGIRL ANNUAL #2
Written Sterling Gates
Art by Matt Camp
In a special story that has direct ties to the regular monthly SUPERGIRL series, the Girl of Steel visits The Legion of Super-Heroes on Halloween in the 30th century! But Halloween proves to be just as spooky a holiday a thousand years from now as it is today, because a horrible new threat has awoken thanks to Supergirl's arrival. And that horrible new threat's name is – Satan Girl! Brainiac 5 has a plan, but it may come at the cost of shattering his potential romance with Supergirl!
Ryan: Supergirl visiting the Legion? Assuming this is the same Legion as seen in Paul Levitz’s ongoing series, I’m pretty jacked up for this. Hopefully this issue can show me why the Supergirl/Brainiac 5 relationship is supposed to be compelling, as I’ve never cared much for Brainiac at all (in fact, I think he is probably the worst character in the entire Legion). Plus, how can you not be excited about a Legion villain named Satan Girl in a Halloween issue? This should be fun.
TEEN TITANS #88
Written by JT Krul
Art by Nicola Scott
It's here! A new day dawns for the Teen Titans, brought to you by the dynamic duo of J.T. Krul (GREEN ARROW, BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS) and Nicola Scott (WONDER WOMAN, SECRET SIX)! Packed with action, steeped in emotion and featuring your favorite heroes, TEEN TITANS is ready to explode off the racks!
Starting right here, the team finds itself pushed in new directions and brought to new heights while also rediscovering its roots. With the rise of a mysterious new threat called the Feral Boys, Superboy, Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Raven, Beast Boy and the newly returned Ravager will have the chance to rebuild their camaraderie in the face of all that might endanger it. But if they discover the truth behind the Feral Boys, will they be able to stand together to face it? Find out here as the new era of the Teen Titans begins in this perfect jumping-on-point issue!
Ryan: I’m not sure that there has been a single issue I’ve been more excited about than Teen Titans #88 this year. After suffering under writer Felicia Henderson for far too long, this once great series is poised for a comeback with one of the strongest creative teams in comics today. JT Krul has done wonders with the Titans characters he’s written so far—especially my personal favorite, Ravager—and Nicola Scott is simply one of the best artists in DC’s stable. This issue is going to be the first step in this series finally returning to its rightful place amongst DC’s strongest.
ULTIMATE COMICS: SPIDER-MAN #15
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Poor Peter Parker. All his friends hate him, his girlfriend has stopped speaking to him and to top it off, the whole world despises Spider-Man. What's a dude to do?? How about save the world and maybe meet the new love of his life? Fan-favorite BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (NEW AVENGERS) and rising Ultimate sensation, SARA PICHELLI (RUNAWAYS) bring you a new and exciting Spider-Man story you don't want to miss!!
Ryan: The only good thing to come out of the otherwise lackluster Chameleon(s) storyline is that Peter Parker has now hit the bottom in his life. That is the perfect chance for Brian Michael Bendis to do some excellent character focused writing. While I’m excited for this plot point, the real excitement for this issue comes from Sara Pichelli coming on board with this issue. Pichelli simply blew me away with her Runaways issues and I couldn’t think of an artist I’d rather see on this title than her.
UNCANNY X-MEN #529
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Whilce Portacio
If ""Light #4"" registered in Kiev, Ukraine, then why the heck isn't he there? The X-Men race to find the latest of the new mutant activations while things come to a head between Emma Frost and her prisoner Sebastian Shaw!
Ryan: I really want to like the current state of Uncanny X-Men more than I am. The plot is fun and Matt Fraction is one of the best writers in the business, yet somehow it just doesn’t seem to be coming together. It doesn’t help that While Portacio’s art has simply been subpar. I hate that I’m constantly dropping and undropping this series with each shift in creative team and status quo, but I’m really having a hard time justifying this purchase.
WONDER WOMAN #604
Written by J. Michael Straczynski
Art by Don Kramer
This is it! The mysterious leader of the paramilitary organization finally confronts Wonder Woman as she continues learning what happened to the Amazons and why reality is askew!
Ryan: Even though I’ve been enjoying the new take on Wonder Woman far more than I ever expected to, I’m glad that we are finally going to get some answers here as I feel that an explanation for JMS’s bold new direction is long overdue (especially since much of this story could have been accomplished without a semi-reboot of the character). So, that is interesting. At the very least, I know this issue will be worth the purchase for Don Kramer’s art alone, as he has been blowing me away on this series!
Kirk: While I've enjoyed the JMS Wonder Woman so far, this issue will make or break whether I stick with it long term or wait for a trade colleciton. Wonder Woman is facing the man that destroyed Paradise Island, killed her mother and who has pursued her and her people since then. It's time to pull back the veil on what this new status quo is about and give the story some direction and focus. If we don't get that here, I'll likely be dropping the title.
X-MEN: LEGACY #241
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Clay Mann
It all comes down to this. Rogue. Magneto. Indra. Anole. Loa. Five mutants stand between Mumbai and its utter destruction at the hands of the Children of the Vault. Will five X-Men be enough to save a city? Maybe. But one thing's for sure: Victory won't come without sacrifice.
Ryan: X-Men Legacy has been a mixed bag since the end of Second Coming in terms of writing, art, and entertainment value. I’ve been enjoying it enough to keep picking it up, but much like Uncanny X-Men, I’m just not sure if its good enough to stick around for long term. Hopefully the conclusion to the Mumbai storyline will be strong enough to convince me that this book is still worth the monthly purchase—if not, this could be the last issue I pick up.
Written by Paul Dini
Art by Yanick Paquette
Zatanna has been taken captive by the demon who intends to steal her soul – and it's up to her playboy gadabout of a cousin, Zach Zatara, to free her!
Ryan: Another issue without Stephane Roux on interiors? That’s a total bummer, though I do think Yanick Paquette could be a strong fill-in. As long as he can keep pace with the charm of Paul Dini’s script, we should be in business. There have been few books quite as entertaining as Zatanna this year and I hope that winning tradition continues this week.