Jan 052013
 

Star Wars is receiving some what of a resurgence lately, what with the stream of Fantasy Flight card, miniature, and role playing games featuring the characters of a galaxy far, far away.  Now, Dark Horse is getting in on the action with a fresh original universe Star Wars book title…wait for it…STAR WARS!!!!  Set during the first trilogy of films, this series will focus on individual stories featuring leading characters like Han, Leia, Luke, and Vader.  If you’re tired of the extended universe stories set 1000 years before A New Hope or a million years after, then this is the series for you.  Written by Brian Wood (Massive, Mara, Local, Ultimate Comics X-Men) and featuring covers by the incomparable Alex Ross, Star Wars #1 is a new hope for fans of the original universe.

No turtles, no turtles, no!  Foot, foot, foot, FOOT!

That remastered version of the infamous Vanilla Ice “hit” “Go, Turtles” was brought to you by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Secret History of the Foot Clan.  Yes, Turtles fans, it’s all Foot, all the time in this new miniseries, which spins out of the highly successful IDW TMNT relaunch of the last year.  And, as you might be able to tell from the title, the story focuses on revealing the untold origin of Turtles arch-rival.  Find out how Shredder joined the Foot Clan.  Find out who originally started the Foot Clan.  Find out secrets that will affect the ongoing story of the main TMNT series.  And see all of those secrets illustrated in beautiful, watercolored artwork by Mateus Santoluco.

The sad story of comics nowadays is that they are not written for kids anymore.  So, when a parent comes in asking for a Batman series that they’re son or daughter can read, there are not tons of options.  Luckily, this Wednesday we’re getting a Bat-boat load of young reader Batman comics.  Each of these digest volumes features Batman facing off against one of his classic foes, such as Clayface, Joker, Scarecrow, or Poison Ivy, in the style of the famous nineties Batman the Animated series (the best cartoon ever made!!!).  If dark, broody Batman isn’t your flavor, don’t worry, because there will be plenty of equally kid-friendly Superman volumes shipping as well.  If you’re wanting to get your kid started in comics, these are one of the best, cheapest ways to do it.

The Octopus is out of the bag, Peter Parker is dead.  Long live the Octopus.

If you read Amazing Spider-Man #700, you know that Peter left Doc Ock with some serious baggage to deal with, making Doc vow to become a Superior Spider-Man.  This Wednesday is your chance to see how that goes, as Superior Spider-Man #1 by Dan Slott and Ryan Stegman ships.  If you’ve seen any of the sample pages from the Marvel NOW! preview books, you’ll know that Doc Ock has a little trouble at first.  Oh, and with Peter Parker’s face, you know Doc’s going to make a house call to Mary Jane Watson.  Yeah, this isn’t going to be your daddy’s Spider-Man.

And be sure to get to the store early so that you can nab any and all of the rare variant covers for the book, as this one’s going to be worth some money down the line.

Dec 222012
 

Tonight’s topics of discussion where easy to choose, because I’m, literally, going to mention every book that comes out next week.  Thank the holidays, folks.

First up, the most prominent of all the releases is the 700th issue of Amazing Spider-Man.  It is also the last.

As some of you might know (by either reading the book or a comics news site in the last three months) Peter Parker has been having a rather bad time lately.  Doc Ock has swapped brains with Peter, only moments before the his own death, leaving Peter with minimal options of escape.  Having managed to survive, Peter as Ock, calls on the Sinister Six to aid him in returning his brain to his body.  #700 picks up from there, answering the dire question of whether Peter can return his consciousness to his body before the one he’s in gives out.  Trust us, True Believers, if you thought the twist ending of AMS #698 was a doozy, your brain with self-destruct over this one.  Truly an event that will change the course of the Spider-Man universe for the foreseeable future.  And, if you’re the collector type, the issue ships with multiple variant covers by Humberto Ramos, Marcos Martin, and more, each celebrating the many decades of web-slinging that has lead to issue #700.

Avenging Spider-Man 15.1 is the only other book that comes out from Marvel this holiday week, adding an important epilogue to the landmark issue.

On the DC front, the first massive crossover between the Justice League and Aquaman series begins, with Justice League #15 and Aquaman #15.  Both issues also come with their own variant covers (like the one pictured on the right).  And what has drawn these two flagship DC titles together, besides the mutual presence of the King of the Seas?  As Aquaman has been away from Atlantis since he was a young boy, his half-brother, the Ocean Master, has ruled in his stead.  But now Arthur wants his throne back.  This Grecian-esque power struggle will rage across land and sea, drawing in the other heroes and villains of the universe, including the newly created creatures known only as The Trench.  As Geoff Johns writes both series, expect a tightly controlled, character-driven event kept lively by sprawling battles.

DC also finishes up another of the terrific Before Watchmen series this week, with Nite Owl #4.

With the big two out of the way, let’s focus on the artistic world of creator-owned independent comics.

And by that I mean a balls-to-the-wall smash’em up extravaganza known as Deathmatch!  Written by Paul Jenkins (Sentry, Hellblazer, Thunderbolts), Deathmatch may remind you of the Hunger Games, Battle Royale, Running Man, Civil War, and, oh, possibly that recent Dennis Hopeless title Avengers Arena.  Basically, a bunch of superheroes are trapped by a villain of unknown origin and told to murder one another to get free.  Not a new concept, but one that will be taken to its most violent conclusion by this series; if Avengers Arena is the character-driven version of this premise, Deathmatch is the gorey, all-fights-all-the-time version.  And issue #1 is only a $1.00!!!!

Brian Wood, author of such politically-motivated, socially conscious series as DMZ, Local, and The Massive (Plus the upcoming Star Wars series from Dark Horse), tackles the topic of celebrity worship with his new Image miniseries, Mara. Starring a young woman, who’s already world-famous from her exceptional physical prowess as an athlete, spontaneously manifests superhuman abilities on live television.  As the only superpowered individual in the world, Mara immediately becomes the center of global attention.  Things don’t play out so well from there.

And that’s the entirety of next week’s comics, folks!  Happy holidays!