AVENGERS AI #1
Written by Sam Humphries
Art by Andre Lima Araujo
HARDER. BETTER. FASTER. STRANGER.
• When a brave new world is unleashed, only one team of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes can save us from the future – AVENGERS A.I.!
• THE VISION! HANK PYM! VICTOR MANCHA! DOOMBOT! The mysterious ALEXIS! MONICA CHANG, AGENT OF S.H.I.E.L.D.!
• The AGE OF ULTRON is over! The AGE OF A.I. is NOW!
Grant: Marvel seems to be really keen on getting readers excited about a book of bit characters who all just so happen to be robots (or a prolific creator of robots), and while I appreciate a gimmick book as much as the next guy, I'm not really sure why this book is supposed to be exciting. I've liked what I've seen from Sam Humphries and Andrew Lima Araujo, but it seems to be that neither of these names are really big enough to carry a book about characters that the vast majority of people don't care about. However, I've been wrong before, so maybe Avengers AI will be a far more pleasant surprise than I'm currently imagining.
BATMAN INCORPORATED #12
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
Leviathan and the Heretic are on the ropes. . . could Batman be on the verge of avenging all he's lost?
Grant: Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham are ostensibly almost done their epic run with DC's Caped Crusader, but with two issues remaining, I'm really starting to wonder how they're planning on wrapping the whole thing up. The fact that the last issue was a Burnham solo effort focused exclusively on the Batman of Japan and some virtual reality puns doesn't help that curiosity too much. However, Morrison is the type of writer whose past body of work goes a long way to reassuring concerns when it comes to his present output, and I'll be happy to give it a chance to see how they manage to get that cherry on top of the finished product.
MASKS & MOBSTERS, VOLUME 1 HC
Written by Joshua Williamson
Art by Mike Henderson, Ryan Cody, Jason Copland & Justin Greenwood
One of USA Today’s Best Digital Comics of 2012
When Mob enforcer Bobby Silver killed masked hero Doctor Daylight in cold blood, it sent shock waves through the Masked community. Now in the eyes of the heroes, the mob is their #1 enemy—and it’s war!
Grant: It's hard to pick an absolute favourite from the many gems that Monkeybrain Comics has been putting out, but Masks & Mobsters would be a definite contender. Joshua Williams' story has been a fascinating mixture of old fashioned crime stories and superhero sensibilities, and his artistic collaborators have all been top notch. Mike Henderson has been the go to guy for the better part of the issues, but Ryan Cody, Jason Copland, and Justin Greenwood all did a great job on their individual issues. If you haven't been checking out this series, this collection would be a great opportunity to catch up on the whole thing. And if you're looking for more Masks & Mobsters goodness, issue #9 will be hitting digital stands over at Comixology this week.
SATELITTE SAM #1
Written by Matt Fraction
Art by Howard Chaykin
SEX • DEATH • LIVE TV!
NEW YORK CITY, 1951: The star of beloved daily television serial "Satellite Sam" turns up dead in a flophouse filled with dirty secrets. The police think it was death by natural causes but his son knows there was something more… if only he could sober up long enough to do something about it. This noir mystery shot through with sex and violence exposes the seedy underbelly of the golden age of television.
By MATT FRACTION (CASANOVA, Hawkeye, FF) and HOWARD CHAYKIN (BLACK KISS I & II, AMERICAN FLAGG!).
Grant: Matt Fraction has been thrilling comic book readers everywhere with his brilliant work over at Marvel Comics these past few months, and Howard Chaykin is a longstanding, and mighty talented, name in the industry. Putting the two together might not have been my first instinct, but seeing it here in the solicit, it certainly makes a lot of sense. It's hard to know exactly what this book will be about or what shape the story will take, but it seems like a good bet that it'll be worth reading.
New Kids on the Block
CATALYST COMIX #1
Written by Joe Casey
Art by Dan McDaid, Ulises Farinas & Paul Maybury
Straight from the glory of Comics' Greatest World, Frank "Titan" Wells, Amazing Grace and the Agents of Change are back, baby! But you've never seen them like this! Superhero comics get a back-alley facelift as these very different champions confront cosmic threats and personal demons—and it all starts at the end of the world as we know it!
Grant: Joe Casey seems to be a master of the convoluted comic book narrative, and it looks like Catalyst Comix will fit right in with that wheelhouse. Catalyst will tell three interlinking stories about superheroes, cosmic threats, and the end of the world, with each narrative being done by one of three series' artists. It's not yet clear how closely these stories will be overlapping, but with Casey at the helm and such talented artists working alongside him, I have a feeling that this book will be something special.
DARK SKULLKICKERS DARK #1
Written by Jim Zub
Art by Edwin Huang and Jim Zub
Yup, we're beating this re-re-re-re-boot dead horse one... more... time.
DARK SKULLKICKERS DARK - it's the comic the industry needs, it just doesn't know it yet! Our fourth story arc ends and darkness begins! Secrets are revealed, continuity is poked and, of course, violence is unleashed.
For die-hard collectors keeping up with our old sequential numbering, no problem! Our B cover legacy variant is a classic issue twenty-three.
P.S. RETAILERS: Rack this comic beside every 'Dark' comic you've got. Titles with the word 'Dark' in it and dark subject matter. Tell customers this one has twice the darkness of the other ones.
Grant: Jim Zub and Edwin Haung are back for one last retitled issue of Skullkickers to cap off the series' fourth arc. Skullkickers remains an incredibly enjoyable fantasy series whose modus operandi is having as much fun as possible while still telling some solid tales of adventure and derring do. This arc has maintained that successful formula, giving us a jungle island filled with deadly apes, unexpected team-ups, last minute resurrections, and much more!
DEADPOOL KILLS DEADPOOL #1
Written by Cullen Bunn
Art by Salva Espin
• The final act of the Deadpool Killogy begins!
• Deadpool sets his sites on the ultimate target...himself!
• Contains over 700% of your daily recommended Deadpool!
Grant: The initial Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe miniseries wasn't really my cup of tea, but it was an interesting exercise to see Cullen Bunn play with everyone's favourite fourth wall breaking character to go on a killing spree of the Marvel Multiverse. My interest was once again piqued when Deadpool came back to lay waste to the literary classics of the English canon. Part of me is still surprised Bunn has managed to give this concept such great staying power, but now that we've apparently hit the final act of this now trilogy, I once again can't help but wonder what will happen in the pages of this series. I mean, there's obviously going to be a lot of killing; I'm mostly curious as to the orientation and optics of it all.
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY: TOMORROW'S AVENGERS #1
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Mike Oeming, Ming Doyle & Michael Del Mundo
• LEAPING OFF THE PAGES OF THE BIGGEST COMIC OF THE YEAR COMES STORIES ABOUT THE BIGGEST HEROES IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE!
• FIND OUT WHO THE GUARDIANS ARE – AND WHY THEY’RE WORTHY OF GUARDING THE GALAXY.
• FEATURING: ROCKET RACCOON, DRAX, GAMORA & GROOT!
Grant: I literally have no idea what this comic is about - and I must say that this solicitation doesn't help clear up that question at all - but the creative talent tied to the title alone makes this issue worth checking out. Brian Michael Bendis has long been Marvel's go to writer, and Mike Oeming, Ming Doyle, and Michael Del Mundo are some crazy talented artists. If you have any attachment to these creators or the characters they're working with, I well imagine this will be the book for you.
Written by J.T. Krul
Art by Hubert Khan Michael
Fear the shadows, the Owl has returned! Lost for 50 years in an ethereal limbo, the Owl has come back to find a violent and desperate world of strangers. The woman he loved is gone, but he remains determined to continue his fight for justice. Can the Owl withstand the challenges awaiting him. . . or will this new reality crush his body and spirit?
Grant: Dynamite ongoing efforts to revamp and expand their line of pulp fiction characters continues with the launch of a new Owl book. I mean, I'm assuming it's a new Owl book, because I have no idea who or what the old Owl book would have been about. Seeing as it's Dynamite, I have to assume it's another pre-existing character that they've either licensed or that has fallen into the public domain, but like a number of their selections, the Owl is so obscure that one can't help wondering why this don't just come up with some new characters and write stories about them.
SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #1
Written by Nick Spencer
Art by Steve Lieber
BRAND NEW ON-GOING!
Boomerang and some of Spidey’s deadliest baddies prove that with terrible powers come terrible responsibilities!
Rising Star Nick Spencer teams with Eisner Award winning sensation Steve Lieber for a walk on the Spider-Verse’s evil side!
Grant: Marvel is really going hard on this whole Superior Spider-Man thing, with Avenging Spider-Man being relaunched as Avenging Spider-Man Team-Up and the company handing Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber the new Superior Foes of Spider-Man to focus on some of Spidey's rogues. From the cover image, it doesn't exactly look like it'll be made up of A-listers, but that actually makes this book more appealing in my mind, as I think that could give the characters some real desperation to prove themselves and get back at an increasingly violent Spider-Man. Books focusing on villains can sometimes be a little one-dimensional, but I have high hopes that this one will be going places.
THE EMERALD CITY OF OZ #1
Written by Eric Shanower
Art by Skottie Young
THE EISNER AWARD-WINNING CREATIVE TEAM OF SKOTTIE YOUNG (WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, NEW WARRIORS) & ERIC SHANOWER (WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ) BRING THE BEST OZ SERIES YET!
• In Kansas Uncle Henry can’t pay the mortgage, so Aunt Em, Dorothy, and he must leave their home.
• Where can they go? To the Land of Oz, of course!
• Will anyone in Oz survive after the Nomes attack through a secret underground tunnel?
Grant: I don't follow these books in singles, but every now and again I'll pick up the most recent Oz trade from Eric Shanower and Skottie Young, and they are always a treat. Shanower's writing perfectly captures the whimsical nature of the world, and Young's art is more than up to the task of doing the same. These are excellent books if there are any young comic book readers in your life.
TRINITY OF SIN: PANDORA #1
Written by Ray Fawkes
Art by Daniel Sampere and Jonathan Glapion
The mysterious woman connected to the creation of the New 52 gets her own series! Pandora is on an action-packed, blood-soaked mission to hunt down the horrors she inadvertently unleashed upon the world. Can she save the DCU—and redeem herself in the process? A prequel to the upcoming “Trinity War”!
Grant: It's still kind of mystifying that DC's Trinity War event is only going to include their three Justice League titles. Especially considering how big of a deal Pandora was at the end of Flashpoint and in the first month of the New 52. However, it appears that whatever plans they may or may not have originally had for the character have been scrapped, with this mini-event taking their place. Will it be worth the wait? I'm going to go out on a limb and guess, "No."
WHAT IF AVX #1
Written by Jimmy Palmiotti
Art by Jorge Molina
• The biggest event of 2012 is now the biggest miniseries of 2013!
• We all know what happened to the Avengers and the X-Men... but what if the story had gone differently?
• The one and only Jimmy Palmiotti brings his signature style to a mind-blowing reinterpretation of a key event in the history of the Marvel Universe.
• Featuring Magneto, Hope, and every Avenger and X-Man you can imagine!
Grant: I did not follow AvX in any sense of the term, but I do rather enjoy Marvel's post-event What If? books. I've always seen them as a nice bit of speculative fiction playing with their own continuity, and the more lighthearted stories that often find their ways into these pages are also a welcome addition to a comic book marketplace that is too often concerned with dark and serious.
ADVENTURE TIME FIONNA & CAKE #6
Written by Natasha Allegri
Art by Natasha Allegri
THE FINAL ISSUE OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED SERIES!
Fionna and Cake have uncovered the flame boy's secretÖand it's a royal surprise! Don't miss the series critics are calling "charming" and "one of the best of 2013"! Written and drawn by Natasha Allegri, the creator of fan-favorites Fionna and Cake!
Grant: Natasha Allegri's Adventure Time with Fionna & Cake miniseries has gotten a little lost along its trajectory, but it's hard to be too upset about it when the book has looked so good and been so much fun. I will be quite sad to see this mini end, but I'm mighty glad we had these issues to spend together.
FIVE WEAPONS #5
Written by Jimmie Robinson
Art by Jimmie Robinson
Tyler's life hangs in the balance between a master assassin, saving his parents, and the wrath of the school principal. This could be the biggest caper ever pulled off, or the end of the world at the School of Five Weapons.
Grant: Five Weapons has been an incredibly pleasant surprise from Jimmie Robinson. Focusing on the Five Weapons school, this book has been all about a school that teaches youngsters how to be the best assassins they can be and the young man whose arrival has thrown off the status quo. Despite the strangely morbid tone to such a description, this book has been incredibly fun and family-friendly. The story has been getting a little too convoluted for its own good these past few issues, so it will be interesting to see whether or not Robinson can stick the landing in this finale. I certainly hope he does.
Written by Max Bemis
Art by Jorge Coelho
Did Tim really think he was the only one? What destruction could other mental illness powers hold? With Tim being only as powerful as he is insane, he's going to have to get a little crazy to save the happiness he's finally found, as he goes up against the mental cases Mays has up his sleeve. . .
Each issue comes with a free download for a new original song written and performed by Max Bemis!
Grant: Polarity has been another welcome surprise this year, with Max Bemis and Jorge Coelho telling one heck of an off-kilter superhero tale. Bemis has done an excellent job of using his real life experience with mental illness to weave a narrative all about mental illness as a source of super powers. It's been a fascinating read thus far, with each issue pulling back yet another layer of the building mystery. Coelho's art has been the perfect accompaniment, as his exaggerated style has gone hand in hand with the manic subject matter of the book. I'm quite eager to see how the two will tie the whole thing off.
DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS #2
Written by Lee Weeks
Art by Lee Weeks
• A gorgeous new series featuring the greatest talents in comics brings you the rest of the Man Without Fear’s story!
• The mother-of-all blizzards has completely shut down NYC, Daredevil’s recovering from a severe concussion – and is the only hope for a little girl in desperate need of a heart transplant!
• Daredevil Legend Lee Weeks returns for Angels Unaware!
Grant: Gorgeous indeed! The first issue of Daredevil: Dark Nights was prettier than a picture, with Lee Weeks' many snow-swept scenes as a great highlight for the title's interiors. The plot wasn't quite as tight, but the general gist of Daredevil suffering short term amnesia and working to be a hero nonetheless still holds a lot of promise and potential within it. Hopefully Weeks will be able to further unlock some of that in this week's issue.
SUICIDE RISK #3
Written by Mike Carey
Art by Elena Casagrande
WHEN THERE ARE ONLY VILLAINS, BEING A HERO MAKES YOU A. . . SUICIDE RISK.
Barely able to grasp the unexpected turn his life has taken, simple beat cop Leo Winters launches his own, off the books investigation into the supervillains that decimated his unit and put his partner in the hospital. With little to go on but the image of Memento Mori turning people into dust with all but a touch, Leo must delve into a her past to discover the key to his future. . .
Grant: Suicide Risk has been a bit of a downer thus far. Granted, with a name like Suicide Risk, maybe I should have been expecting it. Regardless, things are not well in Leo Winters' life, as his partner has been horribly maimed, he is suspended from active policework, and his investment in illicit super powers has been putting him on edge and isolating him from the people he loves. In a world where everyone with super powers seems to end up going bad, it'll be interesting to see how it affects Leo.
Pick of the Week
There are a lot of quality books dropping tomorrow, but I'm most intrigued by Catalyst Comix #1. I really enjoyed Joey Casey on Butcher Baker Righteous Maker, I'm a fan of all the artists he's collaborating with, and I'm quite excited to see how the whole mixture will end up on the comic book page.
What titles are you an eager beaver to get in your hot little hand? Hit the comments to share your thoughts on the matter!