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!

Apr 072012
 

Take your wallet out of your pocket. Look at it. Compare it to the picture on the left. Now cry.

Don’t worry, I’m crying, too.

But there’s no reason to be crying after Wednesday, because that Batman Wallet ships along with many other Super Wallet options. For instance, Spider-Man, Wolverine, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and more. Trust me, no will ever mug you with a wallet like this.

And when your money is carried in a wallet like the above it’s going to beg to be spent on a Batman comic. Luckily, a new miniseries called Batman: Arkham Unhinged launches this week. Tying into last year’s extremely successful Arkham City game, this miniseries will follow events leading up to the game’s storyline, focusing on Two-Face and Catwoman‘s rivalry.

Did you see who got voted off last night?

Probably not, because America’s newest popular reality show hasn’t launched yet.

But it does this Wednesday.

America’s Got Powers is a new creator-owned series from Jonathon Ross and Bryan Hitch (Ultimates, The Authority) that takes full advantage of America’s fascination with reality television and applies it to the superhero genre. Think The Hunger Games meets Running Man meets Survivor meets Teen Titans. Hundreds of teenage super powered kids will compete. One will win. All will cause property damage. Judging from the last couple of Image miniseries, this is a book you’ll want to pick up quick, because they will be gone soon after their release.

There has been a vast influx of horror comics over the last year, but none have been better than Scott Snyder’s Severed. A period book set during the Great Depression, Severed follows a young, musically-inclined boy who’s taken to the open road in search of his father. Along the way he runs into some very, very bad people. If you’ve been reading Swamp Thing or Batman by Scott Snyder, you understand how well Scott Snyder can write horror, as he posses a unique talent for pacing scares on the page. Back that up with extremely expressive artwork from Attilla Futaki and you’ve got the spookiest book of 2011.

Monster hunting can be a messy business. All sorts of fluids and grisley bits. Find out just how messy in the new Dark Horse miniseries, Alabaster Wolves. Based off of Catilin R. Kiernan’s best selling fantasy series, Alabaster Wolves stars a young girl named Dancy Flammarion who’s hunted creepy crawlies since she could walk. But she’s about to meet her match. Fans of Whiteout will be happy to see Steve Leiber’s gorgeous artwork return to comic pages, especially with a series that contains so much vivid imagery. Add to that the gorgeous painterly covers and you’ve got the whole package.

Finally, with so much horror and spookieness going about it’s only proper to end on a like-minded book for youngsters. Oni Press, after garner much acclaim for previous series, is launching an ongoing, color series for Courtney Crumrin. If you’re unfamiliar, Courtney’s adventures involve the dark, demonic, and nasty things of the world, making for a young readers book with a bit of bite to it. These new color issues look amazing and continue the series beloved by many. If you like the Series of Unfortunate Events novels, you’ll fall right into step with Courtney Crumrin.