Dec 082012
 

Only the good die young.

That’s the case with Dennis Hopeless’ Avengers Arena, anyway.  As one of the characters in the first issue points out, there’s been a recent popularity in the teenagers-forced-to-kill each other genre of late, but there’s never been any superhero books that have adapted the concept.  Until Avengers Arena #1.  Spinning out of Christos Gage’s Avengers Academy, Brian K. Vaughn’s Runaways, and the X-Men books, this Battle Royale of teen heroes is violent, emotional, and shocking.  Fans of LOST will love the series, as well, since each issue is structured around one or two characters, making the large cast accessible as well as heightening the tension of who will live and who will die.  And, trust me, there’s a lot of death going around here.

And if you are planning on grabbing a copy of Avengers Arena #1 and, Dennis’ other Marvel NOW! series, Cable & X-Force on Wednesday, he’ll be at the store from 12-8 signing copies of these books as well as any of his previous work!  We’ll also have copies of every variant cover for the book, so if you’re the collector type have Dennis sign one of those for piece of Marvel memorabilia.

One of the most popular cult series of all time, The Crow, receives a new chapter from its creator, James O’Barr, this Wednesday.  After having been away from the series for nearly twenty years, O’Barr returns as both writer and artist for the three-part Crow:  Skinning the Wolves miniseries.  O’Barr has been planning to write this story ever since he created The Crow, setting the character into one of the darkest situations in human history: the holocaust.  Seeking vengeance against his captors, one victim is brought back from the dead by The Crow‘s powers, setting him on a course of violence against the Nazi scum who are committing the atrocities around him.  Anyone who knows anything about The Crow knows that the series has had troubles with remaining in print since it first was released, so if you want a copy Wednesday, show up early.  You may not get the chance later.

If movies have taught me anything, it’s that small towns are invariably supernatural.  Revival has become one of Image Comics‘ most popular ongoing series since its release, being dubbed the new Walking Dead, in some cases.  Taking place in a tiny rural town, the story revolves around the town’s residents coming back from the dead.  Not, however, in a zombie-esque sort of way, though, but instead returning just as they left and having to reincorporate themselves into the population.  Obviously, there are some questions over how and why this is happening.  Tim Seeley, the creator of Hack/Slash, and Mike Norton, artist on Battlepug, are making Revival a must-read series each month, and this collection of the first six issues is exactly where you need to jump in.

What do a wealthy rapper, a thieving screenwriter, and a cosmonaut on his last legs have in common?  They star in Ales Kot’s new Image comic, Change.  Also, they are Los Angles’ only hope against evil forces who threaten the city in time periods throughout history.  His sophomore comic effort after the surreal experience that was the Wild Children one-shot from earlier this year, Ales Kot brings his unique voice to the sci-fi genre with the time-jumping madness that is Change #1.
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!

May 052012
 

It may come out four days after Free Comic Book Day and it may not be free, but Higher Earth #1 is only a $1 and demands to be read. Written by rising comic genius Sam Humpries, Higher Earth is a triple threat sci-fi/alternate reality/future comic book. Much like the recent popular series Saga, Higher Earth focuses on a young redheaded girl and an ex-soldier must race across a legion of alternate Earths while being threatened by the one Earth that rules them all: Higher Earth. Sam Humpries, as I mentioned, is on the rise after penning books like Our Love is Real and Fanboys vs. Zombies, so I’m sure this is his next great series. And for a $1 how can you pass it up?

Many parents may not realize that there is an abundance of great reading material for children that is not related to any property from Marvel or DC. Brian Michael Bendis, the current writer of The Avengers, recently, in fact, published a graphic novel called Takio about a superteam of sisters designed for younger readers. Because of the book’s success, he is now shifting the story into a new ongoing series. Taki and Olivia, the masked sisters, may squabble and argue, but they eventually have to work together to take down Kelly Sue, their newest enemy and ex-friend, who gained special abilities around the same time the girls did. With poppy, cartoony artwork from frequent Bendis collaborator, Michael Avon Oeming, this series will be a great introduction to comics for any young reader.

Can’t say I regularly get the urge to hug the TARDIS. But this little beauty may change that.

Yes, following after the talking plush Dalek from last year (a blue version comes out this Wednesday), the TARDIS is getting in on the cuteness trend.

The new squeezable, huggable, noise-making TARDIS plush comes out Wednesday and will likely be gone the same day…and not because it will vanish into the time vortex, if you get my meaning.

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.