AVENGERS ACADEMY #6
Written by Christos Gage
Art by Mike McKone
Reptil goes Jurassic on Tigra! When Humberto is elected class leader of Avengers Academy, it should be a dream come true...but instead it's a nightmare! As he struggles with the weight of his repressed grief and anger, added to the responsibility he feels to keep his teammates on the heroic path, something's got to give...and it might just be Reptil's humanity! Plus: more on Quicksilver and Finesse, the villainy of Mentallo, and another Avengers guest appearance.
Ryan: It looks like an exploration of Reptil’s origins and motivations are up next in Avengers Academy, which, like those previous, should be highly engaging. Christos Gage has not missed a single note on this series and I don’t expect that he will start here. Avengers Academy is probably the strongest comic being released by Marvel at the moment (rivaled only by Thor: Mighty Avenger) and I expect that this issue will be another prime example of why it deserves such strong accolades.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #16
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Cameron Stewart
Don't miss this fantastic finale as BATMAN AND ROBIN's storyline connects with THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE! The climactic showdown between Batman and the Black Glove is finally here. It's payback time for The Dark Knight as Batman and Robin face the ultimate evil. Will Damian betray his father's legacy? Will Bruce Wayne return just in time to see Dick Grayson die? Plus, The Joker and Professor Pyg! This is only the beginning of a startling new status quo for the Batman...
Ryan: The last issue of Batman and Robin (just two short weeks ago) was a great example of what this series is capable of with focused storytelling. As Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart (with an art assist from the awesome Chris Burnham) tackle the last issue of Morrison’s run on this title, how will things go? This is the finale battle between Batman and the Black Glove, plus the return of Bruce Wayne, so it has all the makings of an epic…but will that be an epic failure or an epic win?
FREEDOM FIGHTERS #3
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray
Art by Travis Moore
Only the Renegades stand between the Freedom Fighters and the first artifact they're searching for, but is the combined power of these villains too strong? With Uncle Sam out of the picture, our heroes may end up being the first witnesses to the death of America!
Ryan: Last issue saw the demise of Uncle Sam at the hands of the ancient mystical warriors guarding the artifacts they search for—what does that mean for the team? As the embodiment of America, I’m sure he’ll be back (again), but it will be interesting to see how the incredibly outmatched Freedom Fighters can survive without him. Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Travis Moore haven’t let off the gas since page one of issue one, so I can only imagine that the Freedom Fighters’ reaction will somehow involve big, explosive action and fast-paced storytelling..
GENERATION HOPE #1
Written by Kieron Gillen
Art by Salva Espen
Spinning directly out of UNCANNY X-MEN comes the most important new X-Book in years - GENERATION HOPE! When Hope Summers returned from the future she triggered the rebirth of the mutant gene. Five lights appeared on Cerebra and five mutants' powers came to life, but their activations have been chaotic and dangerous, nearly killing each of them. It was only the touch of Hope that saved their lives. With Rogue and the four new mutants who were gathered in UNCANNY X-MEN, Hope heads to Japan to join Cyclops, Wolverine and the fifth light. But will this new light be a hero or a villain?
Ryan: With the first four “lights” (first post-M-Day mutants) already seeming to side with the X-Men without much hesitation (though its hard to tell with the dude who acts like a dog), I can only imagine that the fifth light will either be a villain or one of the other four will betray Hope at some point in this series. While all three main X-books (Uncanny, Legacy, and Adjective-less) have faltered since the end of Second Coming, I’m hoping that the strong premise and fantastic writer behind this series will mean a return to awesome for Marvel’s merry mutants.
GI JOE #24
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Robert Atkins
M.A.S.S. Destruction' continues as Mainframe and Dial-Tone engage in long-range combat in the Hindu Kush using predator drones. They bring the fight to COBRA from ten thousand miles away and learn that, even in a virtual war, the heart can be a casualty. See StormShadow in action, and also, what will a captured COBRA Viper reveal to the Joes?
Ryan: StormShadow + Robert Atkins = Must Read. We only saw bits of the badass Cobra ninja at the end of the last issue, so hopefully this issue will feature more of the incredibly awesome character drawn by the best artist this series has seen (and one of the best GI Joe artists period, in my opinion). I’m sure the rest will be a good read, but this alone makes me super jacked up for this issue!
HAWKEYE AND MOCKINGBIRD #6
Written by Jim McCann
Art by David Lopez
Attention new readers: This shock-filled issue is a great jumping-on point! After last issue's daring developments, learn what will impact our deadly duo next! What is Hawkeye's new mission? Why is Mockingbird in the Savage Land? What secret is Dominic Fortune keeping? And who is the mysterious organization that is launching plans to destroy the lives of our troubled tandem?
Ryan: If rumors hold true, it makes me sad that this solicitation says that this is a great jumping-on point new readers when it is the last issue before the series-ending crossover with Black Widow. That doesn’t mean new readers shouldn’t jump on here, because it is one of my favorite Marvel books, it just means they shouldn’t get too comfortable. Even if you’ve never read the series before, I highly recommend checking out this issue. Hopefully you’ll dig it and you’ll tell two friends, who’ll read it and tell to two friends, who’ll read it and tell two friends, etc. until everyone that should have been reading this book from the beginning finally checks it out and sees what they were missing.
SECRET SIX #27
Written by Gail Simone
Art by J. Calafiore
The confrontation you never thought would happen is here! It's Bane vs. Scandal in a time-lost world, as the two Secret Six teams find themselves on opposite sides of a vicious war that could destroy Skartaris!
Ryan: I’ve been chomping at the bit for this book since the shocking final pages of last issue. Things were not looking good for Bane (or anyone else for that matter) as the Secret Six battled his Substitute Six. This has been a weaker-than-usual arc for me, but with the stakes being raised last issue, I’m hoping it will be back to form for this amazing series with this issue.
Written by Jeff Lemire
Art by Pier Galo
Superboy is back in a brand-new ongoing series! Join Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and amazing up-and-coming artist Pier Gallo as they take Superboy on a journey to a side of Smallville not even Superman knows about! What mysteries lurk beneath the surface of this all-American town - and what are their direct ties to Superboy? The start of the next great DC Universe epic begins right here!
Ryan: I’m trying to keep my Pull List as small as I can, but the previews for this book look really great. I’ve only read Jeff Lemire’s indie and Vertigo books (seriously, Essex County is so amazing), so it’ll be interesting to see how he handles a superhero—hopefully he’ll bring the same heart and thoughtful storytelling that built his name. I really dug the 1990s Superboy book as a kid (despite Superboy’s horrible costume), so hopefully this book can bring back that joy.
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Renato Guedes
Logan's soul is trapped in hell, fighting off hordes of old enemies who all want to see him suffer. Meanwhile his demonically-possessed body is running around on earth, looking to slaughter everyone Logan has ever cared about. Who could possibly help sort all this out? Maybe a certain flaming-skulled biker and his buddy, the Son of Satan? Plus, the dramatic return of the toughest, most two-fisted dwarf Marvel has ever seen.
Ryan: Last issue saw Puck return (in Hell) as Wolverine struggles to keep control while being tormented, so that should be pretty interesting. I’ve always enjoyed me some Alpha Flight. Plus, Mystique enlisting the help of two Ghost Riders and Son of Satan should put an interesting wrench into the works. This storyline is really starting to grow on me thanks to the strong work of Jason Aaron and the ever-improving Renato Guedes. You can expect this one to Rank high this week.
YOUNG ALLIES #6
Written by Sean McKeever
Art by David Baldeon
Emma Frost guest stars! Just as the Young Allies have found themselves thrust together, the Uncanny X-Men's devious Emma Frost threatens to pull them apart! Are her plans for former pupil Firestar sincere...or sincerely evil? Plus: Toro and Nomad get (re-)acquainted!
Ryan: Sadly, this is the last issue of the very awesome Young Allies. After months of praising this book, I’m very sad to see it end. Sean McKeever’s fantastic characters and David Baldeon’s art had me hooked from issue #1, but without any marquee characters, it simply couldn’t put up the numbers needed to stay alive. As with Hawkeye and Mockingbird, I highly recommend checking out this book, even if you’ve never read the previous issues. A big surge in new readers could re-spark interest in this series and, hopefully, could create an outcry for future stories.