Mar 072014
 

Secret Avengers #1

-The best spy book currently being written is Ales Kot’s Zero from Image, which makes him the absolutely perfect author to take the reins on Marvel’s premier spy book, Secret Avengers.

-Features a team of Marvel movie characters, like Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, Hawkeye, and Black Widow, plus the newly added Spider-Woman!

-How will this team of secret agents stop defunct S.H.I.E.L.D. satellites from falling to the Earth?

-Kot excels at weird, weird storytelling alongside concise action and startling cliffhangers.  Expect to be surprised by the end of issue one.

Captain Marvel #1 (of 6)

-If you, like me, missed the boat on this cult favorite series, now’s your second chance.

-This series is still written by the woman that made Captain Marvel what she is today, Kelly Sue DeConnick!

-Carol Danvers heads off into space during the first arc, facing the implosion of galactic war!

-Support female characters and writers in comics by picking up issue one!

Stray Bullets: The Killers #1

-One of the most acclaimed crime serials in all of comics returns from Image Comics!

-David Lapham (whose name you HAVE heard), writer of Crossed, Young Liars, Age of Apocalypse, and tons more, returns to the series he created!

-Noir to the bone, Stray Bullets features single issue stories that link together over the course of many issues (think 100 Bullets).

-In issue one, a father and son commit a hit-and-run only to find out a stranger witnessed the crime.  To what twisted lengths will they go to avoid being caught?

Avengers Undercover #1

-Dennis Hopeless returns to the characters of Avengers Arena for, in television terms, a second season!

-Basically, 21 Jump Street in the Marvel Universe.

-Those who survived the arena want revenge against the man that put them there, Arcade, but he’s gone underground in the safety of a supervillain city.  Now these heroes have to pretend to be villains in order to catch him.  Will some slip a little too far?  And what happens when they catch up?

-With Planet Con coming up next weekend and the fact that Dennis will be attending, you should totally pick up the super rare variant cover for this issue and get it signed by him!

Feb 012014
 

Batman:  Joker’s Daughter #1 (One-shot)

-Not, we say NOT, written by Anne Nocenti, the writer who handled the Joker’s Daughter Villains Month issue (and for those who read it, you know why we’d mention this)!

-Instead, a better female writer, the up-and-coming Marguerite Bennett (a pupil of Scott Snyder), takes the reins.

-This one-shot issue further explores the twisted origins of the woman calling herself The Joker’s Daughter, as she continues her attempts at controlling the sewers and underground waterways of Gotham City.

-Bennett wrote the rather good Batman Annual #2 from last year as well as the Lobo Villains Month issue, showing a talent for constructing tight, focused done-in-one stories.

Punisher #1 

-Nathan Edmondson has already delivered a successful All New Marvel NOW! series in the form of Black Widow.  What will he do with the Marvel Universe‘s most infamous vigilante?

-Frank Castle needs a change of scenery as he head’s out West.  A major crime syndicate has arisen in L.A., and The Punisher is hot on their trail.

-Edmondson excels at espionage tales as well as action narratives (as the first couple issues of Black Widow attest), so his style is perfectly suited to The Punisher.

-Oh, and did we mention that Frank’s not the only one on the hunt?  He’s got a mafia hit squad chasing him as he chases their bosses.

Loki, Agent of Asgard #1

-Forget Thor, we all know Loki‘s the real reason anyone goes to see any movie set in Asgard.

-With a brand new body, Loki is more mischievous than ever and ready to put that talent for mischief to good use.

-Al Ewing, who is writing the hell out of Mighty Avengers right now, unleashes his pure fun, classic Marvel style onto the Asgardian section of the universe.

-As an Agent of Asgard, this series will see Loki sent on covert missions, missions that rely on his talent for trickery.

Ms. Marvel #1

-Following in the footsteps of Kelly Sue Deconnick’s cult favorite Captain Marvel series, Ms. Marvel adds another Marvel series written by women for women about women.

-Kamala Khan is an entirely new hero for an All New Marvel NOW! era, both a teenager and a Muslim, Kamala adds some needed diversity to the Marvel Universe.

-A perfect entry point for teen readers, Ms. Marvel finds Kamala trying to balance an overbearing father, new superpowers, and the regular hormonal difficulties of high school.

-G. Willow Wilson (Air, Cairo) and Adrian Alphona (The Runaways, Uncanny X-Force) are, possibly, the most exciting creator pairing in the entire All New Marvel NOW! relaunch!

Apr 062013
 

Regular-sized Batman is cool and all, but Li’l Batman is where it’s really at!

Dustin Nguyen, artist extraordinaire known for his covers and interiors on Batgirl and Batman: Streets of Gotham, brings his painterly pencils and ability to cute the reader out of existence to the Batman universe.  Batman:  Li’l Gotham #1 is the beginning of a new ongoing series featuring short stories packed to the brim with tiny versions of every famous Gotham resident.  Think Charlie Brown noir.  The first issue is a cavalcade of holiday tales featuring Batman, Robin, The Penguin, and more.  If you’re kids having been begging for some Batman, but you’ve kept them away from Scott Snyder’s recent run for obvious reasons, Li’l Gotham is the answer.

Zombies.  Robots.  Aliens.

Generally, a combination of the above three creatures would be a bad thing.  In the case of IDW‘s The Colonized miniseries, it is actually a very good thing.  Written by Chris Ryall, the creator of Zombies vs. Robots, and graced with covers by the reclusive Dave Sim (Cerebus), The Colonized blends horror and sci-fi by dropping aliens into the middle of a zombie apocalypse.  A surviving member of a zombie resistance camp has his hands full when a spacecraft lands in the middle of town and a government agent begins pulling tricks in order to nab the compounds gun stash.  What follows is when there’s no leader for the martians to be take too.

Your mind is not your own.

Matt Kindt, the ingenious comic creator behind Revolver, 3 Story, and the Justice League of America back-up stories, has been writing one of the most unusual, inventive comics being published for the last year and few have noticed.  Now, that may be because one of the agents from the books has been blocking your interest to hide its secrets or it may be because it’s far outside the norm of mainstream comics.  Basically, Kindt has constructed an intricate world of espionage based around the Mind MGMT agency, a secret organization that uses mental powers to control the ebb and flow of history.  They can wipe your mind, insert memories, make you hate your lover, stop you (or themselves) from feeling pain, or plant subconscious suggestions in the media, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  Kindt uses every last inch of the comic page to tell his story, even writing secret code in the margins and on the back cover of each issue.  This first hardcover collection includes the first six issues of the series…or maybe that’s just what it wants you to think?

The Fantastic Four have always been my least favorite Marvel team.

That is, until Matt Fraction took over the series with Marvel NOW!  For the last six issues, Fantastic Four has proven to be one of the best Marvel series on the stands right now.  And if you’ve missed these first issues, don’t fret because Fantastic Four v.1:  New Departure, New Arrivals comes out Wednesday.  Not only does this volume contain the first three issues of the  main Fantastic Four series, but also the first two issues of FF, the companion series.  This first arc involves the departure of Marvel‘s first family, as  Reed and Sue take their kids on a cosmic field trip, and their replacement by four stand-in Fantastics.  Fraction balances classic Marvel storytelling in Fantastic Four and post-modern wackiness in FF beautifully, offering two entirely different reads in one great package.

Oct 132012
 

Point one is usually considered an unimportant amount. But not this coming Wednesday.

Marvel NOW! Point One is extremely important for those who’ve got an interest in the forthcoming Marvel NOW! refresh! This over-sized issue will contain original short stories previewing and leading into future Marvel NOW! titles, including FF, Young Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, Nova, and Cable & X-Force. That means stories by the likes of Kieron Gillen, Matt Fraction, Mike Allred, and Dennis Hopeless.

Wait, did I say Dennis Hopeless? Yes, former Pulp Fiction employee (like you didn’t already know), Dennis Hopeless. Dennis’ story is absolutely key to understanding his future Cable & X-Force series. It will show how Cable brought the, currently insane, Forge onto the team. Check the issue out for a great preview of upcoming titles. And don’t forget the Scottie Young baby variant!

Speaking of Scottie Young and babies (which seem to be utterly linked these days), A-Babies vs. X-Babies also drops this Wednesday. If you were one of the many who wished Cyclops and Captain America would stop acting like babies during Avengers vs. X-Men, this…is probably not the issue for you. However, if you love cute Marvel parody books lampooning the ridiculousness of giant crossover events, this IS the book for you. And you don’t even have to worry about a baby variant because the whole book is full’a babies!

Nathan Edmondson is one of those up-and-coming young comic writers you always hear about. He’s written great espionage series like Who is Jake Ellis?, Dancer, and Grifter, but now he’s turning his talents to Ultimate Comics Iron Man. This four issue miniseries will delve deep into the history of the Ultimate Universe’s version of the iron avenger, revealing his secrets for donning the armor in the first place. Oh, and did someone say Ultimate Mandarin? Followers of The Ultimates should give this miniseries more than a cursory glance.

It’s a known fact that everyone who reads the engrossing Morning Glories series has said, at one time or another, “I’d love to see this cover artist do interiors!” Well, that has finally happened. Mind the Gap is written by Jim McCann and, more importantly, drawn by Rodin Esquejo, the phenomenal cover artist for Morning Glories. Enough about Morning Glories, though, because Mind the Gap more than stands on its own. Not quite a murder mystery, this coma mystery centers around a sketchy cast of characters, all of which have their own motives for placing the lead character into a coma. But don’t count her out just because she’s unconscious, from her own mindscape she attempts to piece her memories together to catch the culprit. Just like Saga, Prophet, and, yes, Morning Glories before it, this first volume of Mind the Gap (the first six issues) is only $9.99! You can’t beat it!

Sep 152012
 

The women of comics barely ever get their due. Last year’s Womanthology HC (which we just got a restock on last week), a giant collection of stories written and drawn by only women, was a huge success both as a Kickstarter project and as published through IDW, so a sequel was in order. Womanthology: Space is a five issue miniseries, containing three stories an issue, based around the concept of “space” in all its various definitions. Packed full of artwork, in both written and drawn forms, this series is a one-of-a-kind showcase of female comic talent of all experience levels and a wonderful example for any young woman hoping to break into the business some day.

If you’ve had dreams about Star Trek mixing with Back to the Future, those dreams have just come true. No, there’s not actually a Star Trek/Back to the Future crossover, but Star Trek the Next Generation: Hive is the closest you will ever come. Written by Brannon Braga, former TNG producer and writer, this four issue miniseries has the Next Gen crew jumping into a future where the Borg have overtaken the entire galaxy; they are its only hope. IDW has been kicking butt with their current Star Trek ongoing title as well as their Doctor Who/Star Trek crossover, so I expect great things from this series.

Ed Brubaker has written the main Captain America book for around eight years now (soon to be replaced by Rick Remender), and in those eight years he has turned Bucky Barnes into one of the most fascinating characters in the Marvel Universe. So, couple his love of Barnes (aka the Winter Soldier) with his absolute talent for crafting espionage stories and you have the extremely enjoyable Winter Soldier v.1 trade paperback. In this first volume of the highly under rated series, Bucky and the Black Widow team-up to uncover what happened to the other brainwashed soldiers who went through the process that turned Barnes into the Winter Soldier. Expressively illustrated by Butch Guice, Winter Soldier is a dark, gritty, mysterious compelling spy movie spread across the comic page. And it has gorillas with machine guns.

To end the evening, I pose to you one question.

Why open your own beer when you can acquire a herald to do it for you?