THE CAPTAIN'S COMMENTS

Every week Marvel hogs the Comments section with a flood of number ones, and this week is no different. But at least we get to start with a number one from another publisher: Dynamite. Because Flash Gordon #1 comes out this week.

And I couldn't be happier. In the first place, I just love the idea of there being a Flash Gordon comic book. He's sort of the great-grandfather of Star Wars, the sci-fi adventure character that launched a thousand memes, may of which are now cliches.

Which just goes to show how good an idea Flash Gordon was, that virtually every aspect of the strip has been adopted as sort of the standard. Now, I know that Gordon was created to compete with Buck Rogers, but let's face it, it was far superior not only in writing and art, but sheer creativity. I mean, were there antecedents for Mongo and its bizarre races? I'm sure Alex Raymond was inspired by something, because even giants like Raymond stand on the shoulders of other giants. But, honestly, I can't think of much. H.G. Wells? Jules Verne? None of that really says "Flash Gordon" to me, so maybe there's something else.

Which isn't really important. Flash Gordon, whatever his roots, was a bolt of lightning to writers and artists when he appeared in 1934 -- and possibly still today. Ming the Merciless lived on as Fu Manchu and the Yellow Claw, among others, while the heroic troika of Hero-Girlfriend-Scientist (Flash-Dale-Zarkov) continues to turn up in all sorts of places, like Gold Key's Mighty Samson (Samson-Sharmaine-Mindar) and Eclipso in Silver Age House of Secrets (Bruce Gordon-Mona-Dr. Bennett) Flash Gordon is such a pure, seminal character, he belongs in print in perpetuity.

Which can't and won't happen unless you put a talented creative team behind him, and Dynamite is off to a good start with writer Jeff Parker, whose work I've enjoyed in a myriad of genres, from Agents of Atlas to X-Men: First Class to Batman '66. And he's already established his take on the character, in the five-issue miniseries Kings' Watch, which has received good notices on this very board.

I know less about the artist, Evan Shaner. He's worked on Deadpool, which I've read/collected for the last decade or so, so presumably I've seen him -- and didn't like him or hate him enough to check the credits. Not that it matters, because nobody can compete with Alex Raymond on his own turf, and no one should try. Instead, what's needful is a solid craftsman who puts his own stamp on the book, and presumably Shaner is capable of that.

Meanwhile, there's the inevitable wave of Marvel number ones:

All-New Doop #1 (of 5): Pass. I know it's part of the joke -- and presumably the character's charm -- that Doop is so disfigured and physically repulsive. But given that he's a mutant, that just seems like a birth defect to me, which I don't find funny. In fact, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I'm supposed to laugh, especially now that in this series the poor creature is apparently smitten with Kitty Pryde. Ho, ho, beauty and the beast, hilarious! Maybe we should whip him in the public square, like Quasimodo, just to make it even funnier.

All-New Ultimates #1: What a weird collection of characters form this new team in the Ultimate Universe: Spider-Man (Miles Morales), Black Widow (no idea), Kitty Pryde, Bombshell (Tabitha Smith?) and Cloak & Dagger. That's so eclectic it could be fun. (Although they're not exactly the Ultimates in firepower, are they? I guess not many heavy hitters are left after Galactus dropped by for lunch.)

But there is one thing that bugs me: If there really is a world-wise catastrophe of some sort, as happened in the Ultimate U recently, I'd bet good cash money that New York City would be among the first places wiped out. But in comics, it's always Kansas or some other flyover country that becomes uninhabitable (see Kingdom Come, Judge Dredd, etc.), while NYC remains basically unchanged. I find that really hard to swallow, especially since even in the Ultimate Universe Magneto drowned Manhattan, and then there was some other major catastrophe that I didn't follow that put Captain America in the White House, and now Galactus. Surely Manhattan is a wasteland by now! But no, it's still the same old place, and I guess I must accept this convention.

Iron Fist: THE Living Weapon #1: This one I'm looking forward to. I don't know much about writer/artist Kaare Andrews, but I love the backstory Ed Brubaker invented for Danny Rand, which Andrews will mine. Plus, the description says the book will embrace Rand's original, vengeance-driven persona, instead of the upbeat, perpetually sunny, zen-like personality so many writers graft onto Iron Fist, a persona that makes my teeth ache. So there's another plus.

Nightcrawler #1: Again, pass. I burned out on Chris Claremont a loooong time ago, and am not at all thrilled to see him back on an X-book. And Nightcrawler has never been one of my favorite characters -- he's an odd assortment of tics and parts and add-ons that don't seem to fit together for me. He's an acrobat with weird fingers and toes -- oh, AND he's a teleporter! He's German, which you can tell because he uses German catchphrases! He's Catholic, which we can't forget because writers keep bringing it up! He's got a tail AND his face is perpetually in shadow, for no reason whatsoever! Oh, and he might be part demon! Or whatever's in Limbo, which is an actual place, and not just a dance! Or maybe a gypsy! Wasn't he the son of a sorceress before he was the son of Mystique? I've lost track!

OK, I'm being a little mean. While I won't get the book, I'm glad it exists for all the big Nightcrawler fans out there.

TICKER: The first collection from the new Astro City series is out ... Image launches Shutter, starring a modern-day Indiana Jones ... the first Three trade is out ... Mark Grayson's life changes dramatically in Invincible #110 ... 19 artists contribute to the double-sized All-New X-Men #25 ... Mark Waid looks back on 50 years of the Man Without Fear in Daredevil #1.50 ... The Merc with a Mouth gets hitched in Deadpool #27 ... What If? Age of Ultron #2 explores a world where Iron Man dies before the Armor Wars ... "Mission Improbable" -- the assassination of Obadiah Archer -- comes to a climax in Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #21.

THIS WEEK'S COMICS

The Comics Guide is assembled from the Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. website, and is subject to change. Clicking on most images results in a larger image. All information is from Diamond and/or publisher solicitations and press releases, except for random comments by Captain Comics (in blue), and occasional comments by The Baron (in this here purplish color).

ARCHIE COMICS

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #4 (2ND PTG)

Writer: ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA

Art/Cover: FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

$2.99

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE, the acclaimed ongoing series written by newly minted Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Eisner Award-winning artist Francesco Francavilla, has now sold out for the fourth time in a row at Diamond Comic Distributors, the leading comic book distributor in the world.

One of the year’s most talked about comic books, the latest issue of AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE continued to garner praise and mass media attention from numerous mainstream outlets with an issue that can only be described as heartbreaking and essential to fans of the series. The latest sellout confirms that AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE is a certifiable hit with comic shops across the country and cements its status as not only a critical darling, but an unstoppable force in the direct market gaining momentum as it shambles toward the epic finale of the ongoing series’ first arc.

“We are on a roll, and AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #4 is just the latest in what’s sure to be an ongoing success for Roberto and Francesco,’ said Archie Comics Publisher/Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “This issue really ups the stakes and the audience has spoken with a resounding ‘Yes!’ We couldn’t be happier about the supremely positive response from fans, critics and retailers. Let’s keep it going!”

Series artist Francavilla has created a stunning new cover for the second printing of AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #4, featuring an image of Archie’s dog Vegas, the heroic hound who plays a pivotal role in the issue.

For more information visit AfterlifeWithArchie.com

If you cried at the end of Stargazing Dog or Laika, then you have to read this.

ARCHIE COMICS SUPER SPECIAL MAGAZINE #5

Writers: GEORGE GLADIR, DAN PARENT

Art: DAN PARENT, FERNANDO RUIZ

Cover DAN PARENT

Something amazing is happening in Riverdale! The quarterly Archie Comic Super Special Magazine rolls on with this spring fling edition! Spring is in the air, flowers are in bloom, and Archie's probably missing all of it because he's stuck in detention! It's classic fun from the Archie vault. All this plus creator spotlights, the latest Archie news, a brand new multi-color foil-enhanced cover and much, much more in this jam-packed magazine!
UPDATE: This solicitation has changed since the Guide posted.

ARCHIE DOUBLE DOUBLE DIGEST #250

Script: GREG CROSBY

Art: FERNANDO RUIZ, RUDY LAPICK, VICKIE WILLIAMS, BARRY GROSSMAN

Cover: FERNANDO RUIZ, RICH KOSLOWSKI, ROSARIO "TITO" PENA

320-page, full color comic, $5.99 U.S.

Ol’ Archie’s got himself in a familiar predicament -- he’s asked both Betty and Veronica out on the same night! But this time he’s got a foolproof plan to keep everyone complacent … just take both girls out to dinner! What could possibly go wrong?! Find out how Archie’s “Double Date” goes in this hilarious lead story to a jam-packed double double digest!

"Ol’ Archie’s got himself in a familiar predicament -- he’s asked both Betty and Veronica out on the same night! But this time he’s got a foolproof plan to keep everyone complacent … just take both girls out to dinner!"

Oh, Archie, that trick never works! [/Rocket J. Squirrel voice]

SONIC SELECT 9: THE GAMES (TPB)

Script & Art: Various

Cover: Patrick "SPAZ" Spaziante

$11.99/$13.99 CAN

6 x 9” Trade Paperback, 128 pp

Sonic the Hedgehog's most popular graphic novel series is BACK!

Grab your controller and play along with this game-themed edition of Sonic Select! Sonic the Hedgehog raced into the world in video games first, and his digital birthright still holds true today. Many of Sonic's game adventures have followed him onto the printed page, sometimes with new and exciting twists. Join Sonic in a race with all-stars on a star-studded track! Meet the newest villains in the Sonic game pantheon: the deadly six! Thrill as our hero gets entangled in Blaze's search for the Sol Emeralds! Knuckles and Tails prepare for the Marauders while Sonic aids the wizard Merlina! All this and more await you inside these pages of the latest and greatest volume in the SONIC SELECT series! Bringing you the finest in Sonic stories from throughout the comics' 20 year history!

DARK HORSE

Four books? FOUR BOOKS?!??

The rumor mill (i.e., bleedingcool.com) says that DC is trying to buy Dynamic Forces. If that doesn't pan out, or if it really is just a rumor, then Dynamite will probably become the fifth-biggest publisher soon. Especially with Dark Horse losing the Star Wars franchise at the end of the year.

I hate that, because DH is the most fan-oriented, comprehensive reprinter of a lot of pre-Silver Age material we can't get anywhere else. So I want DH to thrive.

Maybe they're focusing on their nascent superhero line, and that will prove to be a big seller. I hope so.

But Skyman and X aren't exactly Superman and Batman.

CREEPY COMICS #16

Writers: RACHEL DEERING, TED NAIFEH

Art: TED NAIFEH, PETER BAGGE, VANESA R. DEL REY

Cover: JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO

B&W, 40 pages, $3.99

Ongoing

IT WILL MAKE YOUR SKIN CRAWL!

It’s a sickening sweet sixteen! Join Uncle Creepy for some sensational scares from a cavalcade of cursedly clever creators! Rachel Deering and Vanesa R. Del Rey wind up a lovesick mechanical monstrosity, and Ted Naifeh gives a lurid lesson in blackmail and bewitching bedlam! It’s a fright delight!

• New story and art from Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things)!

• Horror’s rising star Rachel Deering (Anathema, In the Dark)!

MEGATOKYO OMNIBUS (TPB)

Writer/Art: FRED GALLAGHER

B&W, 576 pages, $19.99

TP, 5 1/18” x 7 1/4"

MEGATOKYO RETURNS TO DARK HORSE!

Join an unruly otaku, Piro, and his game-obsessed freakazoid friend, Largo, on their unexpected adventures after they’re stranded in Japan! They may not find love, but they’ll definitely find mayhem. The first three volumes of Fred Gallagher’s popular otaku-gamer fantasy epic are finally collected -- with new material exclusive to this edition!

• Affordable entry point for new readers!

• Celebrating Fred Gallagher’s popular, long-running webcomic!

• Features extra material exclusive to this edition.

I've read and enjoyed this series in the past, although it can sometimes be a little hard to follow. There's one character who speaks only in "l33tspeak", and that can be difficult to interpret occasionally.

STAR WARS #16

Writer: BRIAN WOOD

Pencils:STEPHANE CRETY

Inks:JULIEN HUGGONARD-BERT

Colors: GABE ELTAEB

Cover: SEAN COOKE

FC, 32 pages, $2.99

Ongoing

Establishing the new Rebel base on Arrochar, Wedge Antilles teaches the local pilots Rogue Squadron’s secret tactics, Luke Skywalker joins the Arrocharian militia on a “routine” mission, and Princess Leia balances her duty to the Rebellion with her upcoming duties as a royal wife. So why is everyone so uneasy?

Writer Brian Wood gets to the heart of Star Wars!

X #12

Writer: DUANE SWIERCZYNSKI

Art: ERIC NGUYEN

Colors: MICHELLE MADSEN

Cover: GARRY BROWN

FC, 32 pages, $2.99

Ongoing

X faces his greatest challenge of the series as four villains -- suicidal maniac Deathwish, stargazing supercriminal Carmine Tango, risk-taking assassin Gamble, and a new threat no one suspected -- converge on Arcadia’s lone vigilante ... but the cruelest stab of all comes from a friend!

• The bullet-ridden, lacerated climax of the “Siege” arc!

• Cover by Garry Brown (The Massive)!

I've got the first trade, but darn it, I haven't found time to read it. But I want to!

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DC COMICS

100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO (TPB)

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO

Art by EDUARDO RISSO

Cover by DAVE JOHNSON

192 pg, FC, $16.99 US • MATURE READERS

The Eisner Award-winning team of writer Brian Azzarello (WONDER WOMAN, JOKER) and artist Eduardo Risso (SPACEMAN) return to the saga that made them superstars with 100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO, an all-new tale of shattered trust and bloody vengeance! When last we saw Lono in 100 BULLETS, Dizzy Cordova had shot him through the chest ... but Lono always was too tough to die. Now, the ex-Minuteman finds himself in Mexico working on the side of the angels.

"It's a story about a man's life heading south," says Azzarello. "It's a very different type of story, and we are telling it in a different way. We're not repeating ourselves here at all. The analogy I've been using is, people have told me that 100 BULLETS reads and looks like jazz. Once you get the rhythm you can really sort of follow tune of the art and the language that we use. I've been saying that BROTHER LONO is mariachi death metal."

Three years ago, the mangled wreck of a man named Lono stumbled into Father Perez's church outside Durango, Mexico. What emerged from the padre's confessional was no longer one of the world's most feared killers, but he wasn't any kind of a saint, either. Things are heading for a classic Mexican standoff, with everyone aiming their guns squarely at Brother Lono! This edition collects the entire eight-issue run of the limited series starring the cold-blooded killer you hate to love!

PRAISE FOR 100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO:

"It's damn good to be back in the world of 100 Bullets." -- Nerdist

"A showcase for two masters of the medium and it's a comic you need to read." -- IGN

"A true return to Azzarello and Risso's vivid world, intact in texture and mood." -- Comic Book Resources

DC sent me this trade for review. I, uh, haven't gotten around to it yet.

 

ASTRO CITY #11

Written by KURT BUSIEK

Art by BRENT ANDERSON

Cover by ALEX ROSS

32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

When you’re the Silver Adept, one of Astro City’s newest and most powerful mystic heroes, your life is full of magic, battle, demons, apocalypses and more. When you’re the Adept’s personal assistant, though, life gets really weird. A look at the woman behind the hero. Plus: sushi.

ASTRO CITY: SHINING STARS (TPB)

Written by KURT BUSIEK

Art by BRENT ANDERSON

Cover by ALEX ROSS

RESOLICIT • 208 pg, FC, $16.99 US

Retailers: This title is resolicited. All previous orders are canceled.

In these tales from ASTRO CITY: SAMARITAN #1, ASTRO CITY: ASTRA #1-2, ASTRO CITY: SILVER AGENT #1-2 and ASTRO CITY: BEAUTIE #1, Astra Furst is graduating from college. It’s a time of friends and family,
new opportunities, changing relationships – and danger! Plus: the story of the Silver Agent’s fateful journey through time is revealed, including his origin and much more!

ASTRO CITY: THROUGH OPEN DOORS (HC)

Written by KURT BUSIEK

Art by BRENT ANDERSON

Cover by ALEX ROSS

192 pg, FC, $24.99 US

The first collection from the new run of ASTRO CITY is here, featuring issues #1-6 of the acclaimed series! As the story begins, a mysterious door appears, heralding the arrival of the Ambassador. But when an ordinary man is caught in a cosmic conflict, it is up to favorites like Samaritan and Honor Guard, as well as new heroes, to rise to the occasion and save the world! Plus: a look at a woman who uses her super-powers to help bring adventure to the silver screen and more!

DC has also sent me this book for review, and I haven't gotten around to it yet, either. But it's not because of disinterest, like Brother Lono above, but because A) I've already read all the individual issues, and B) I want to savor it.

Yes, I'm going to read (or re-read) it soon, but it's not going to be in the middle of the night when I get home from work, or a rush job before leaving for work, or piecemeal over several nights. Nope, this series is so good that I'm going to set aside a couple of hours on a weekend night on my comfiest couch, with my favorite beverage, with my dog snoozing in my lap, with my wife at the other end of the couch with a book of her own, and with no distractions. The best circumstance, the best night possible.

Now there's a review for you!

BATGIRL #30

Written by GAIL SIMONE

Art by FERNANDO PASARIN and JONATHAN GLAPION

Cover by ALEX GARNER

1:25 MAD Variant cover

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

An ordinary day takes a turn for the worse when Barbara Gordon must find a way to save her roommate Alysia Yeoh from fan-favorite villain Ragdoll!

Gail Simone was the writer who re-thunk Ragdoll into an interesting character, but also a very lethal one. Yikes!

BATMAN ETERNAL #1

Written by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV, JOHN LAYMAN, RAY FAWKES and TIM SEELEY

Art and cover by JASON FABOK

1:50 Variant cover by ANDY KUBERT

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

Don’t dare miss the start of the Bat-story so big it’s going to take every week of the month to tell! A massive cast of Gotham City’s best (and worst) examines the relationship between Batman, his allies and his city. In this debut issue, Commissioner James Gordon is caught on the wrong side of the law!

BATMAN ETERNAL is an all-new weekly series that comes to you from “showrunner” and BATMAN writer, Scott Snyder, along with writers James Tynion IV, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, and Tim Seeley, and artist Jason Fabok.

BATMAN ETERNAL will “set the stage for a new Gotham and new characters and a new set of stories that will take Batman into 2015,” explained Snyder. “We want this to be a place where you get to tell a story about anything you want in Gotham, so long as we're also moving this big story forward in the background. You'll see bombastic arcs as well but there'll be plenty of room for Ray to explore some of the darker, more mystical aspects of Gotham that he loves or Tim to explore some of the crime we haven't seen before.”

“We're five guys doing our best to give you an exciting Gotham that's changing under the feet of its characters,” Snyder continued.

This will probably be a pretty good book, given the talent and corporate resources devoted to it. But I have to say I find the title ... well, stupid. For the record, I felt the same way about Batman Forever as a movie title. It's just dopey.

COFFIN HILL #7

Written by CAITLIN KITTREDGE

Guest art by STEPHEN SADOWSKI and MARK FARMER

Cover by DAVE JOHNSON

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

Travel back to the 1950s to witness another fateful night in the Coffin Hill Woods – a night that young Ellie Coffin might not survive! Lost, alone and haunted by the spirits that dwell in the forest, Ellie must find her way home before sunrise or stay trapped with the ghosts of Coffin Hill. Guest artists Stephen Sadowski (FAIREST) and Mark Farmer (FABLES: WEREWOLVES OF THE HEARTLAND) join writer Caitlin Kittredge for this stand-alone story!

The first trade is scheduled for May, and I suppose I'll  have to buy it. Because I'm hooked now!

CONSTANTINE #13

Written by RAY FAWKES

Art by ACO

Cover by VICTOR IBANEZ

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Lost and confused in the face of the fallout from his actions in “Forever Evil: Blight,” John Constantine has sold himself out to the Cold Flame and is vulnerable to attack by Spellbinder!

"The Blight" is whatever wiped out most humans in the Vertigo title Hinterkind, but this is obviously a different Blight. Just wanted to mention that for the record.

Meantime, it appears that a THIRD story is evolving out of Trinity War and Forever Evil. I rather like that, as it shows that events have consequences, which is something that all superhero stories need to have, or at least fake.

Plus, I haven't the slightest idea what this Blight might be, which is always a treat for an old fan. I mean, I've read thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) more comic-book stories than today's crop of comic-book writers, so it's difficult for these children to surprise me. I really enjoy it when they do.

EARTH 2 VOL 2: THE TOWER OF FATE (TPB)

Written by JAMES ROBINSON

Art by NICOLA SCOTT, TREVOR SCOTT and others

Cover by NICOLA SCOTT and TREVOR SCOTT

176 pg, FC, $16.99 US

In these stories from EARTH 2 #0 and 7-12 and a story from DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #0, the World Army has begun rounding up the Super Heroes of Earth 2, but for what dark purpose? In an attempt to avoid capture, Dr. Fate and Kid Flash find themselves in the magical realm of Nabu, and Wotan seeks Dr. Fate’s assistance...

EARTH 2 VOL 3: WAR (HC)

Written by JAMES ROBINSON, PAUL LEVITZ and TOM TAYLOR

Art by NICOLA SCOTT, TREVOR SCOTT, YILDIRAY CINAR and others

Cover by JUAN DOE

160 pg, FC, $22.99 US

The heroes of Earth 2 take on the forces of Steppenwolf and the Hunger Dogs of Apokolips when all hope is lost in these stories from EARTH 2 #13-19,EARTH 2 ANNUAL #1 and EARTH 2 #15.1: DESAAD. Now a new Batman enters the fray, but is he enough to turn the tide and stop Darkseid?

This is OK stuff, but it's not Starman level, which is what we all hope for from James Robinson. Plus, it's the Justice Society, for Pete's sake, which means it should be epic, iconic and seminal. This book should be like mainlining superhero myth. But Robinson's Earth 2 heroes are kinda ... I dunno, bland concepts. None of them really resonate like you'd expect the Ur superheroes to do.

Heck, it's three years into it and I still don't really have a handle on Jay Garrick -- his personality, who he is, and why he does what he does -- and he's the one character that's been in almost every issue. And runner-up Alan Scott is kind of an arrogant jerk. Meanwhile, I barely know who any of the others are, and don't really care what happens to them. Especially the new Atom, who is a boring guy who follows orders, whose powers are kinda a mish-mash (He grows! He has an atomic punch! His hands glow for no reason!) and whose outfit is also kind of all over the place (half-soldier, half-1940s mystery man). Although I do kinda like the new Batman, who is really (SPOILER!) the new Hourman!

Earth 2 is OK, like I said. It's just not EARTH 2, if you know what I mean, and I wanted it to be. Still, it's one of DC's most consistent titles, so I'll keep reading.

FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #9

Written by SIMON OLIVER

Art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ

Cover by NATHAN FOX

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

After a beautiful moment is shattered, Rosa and Adam get to see firsthand why Nakeet is known as the strangest town north of the 48.

I read the first trade of this, and while I enjoyed it mildly, my initial assessment remains unchanged: It's got cool physics talk -- SCIENCE! -- but I don't really care what happens to any of these people.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #30

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI and VAN JENSEN

Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG

1:25 MAD Variant cover

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

John Stewart and his team are under siege – and things are about to get way worse! It’s become impossible to know who can be trusted and who’s a shape-shifting Durlan spy! And you won’t believe the twisted origin of the Durlan species!

JONAH HEX: SHADOWS WEST (TPB)

Written by JOE R. LANSDALE

Art by TIMOTHY TRUMAN and SAM GLANZMAN

Cover by TIMOTHY TRUMAN

392 pg, FC, $24.99 US • MATURE READERS

In these twisted tales from JONAH HEX: TWO-GUN MOJO #1-5, JONAH HEX: SHADOWS WEST #1-3 and JONAH HEX: RIDERS OF THE WORM AND SUCH #1-5, Hex battles a doctor determined to transform him into a zombie, joins up with a Wild West show and learns the dark secret behind the existence of a demonic baby, and discovers an ancient race of man-eating worms from beneath the earth.

I read these Tim Truman Hex stories back in the Long Ago Time, when they first came out, and I remember enjoying them.

But I don't remember why I enjoyed them, so I can't recommend them outright. It could just be that I wanted to support a Western (non-superhero) book at the time. It might be because I always found Truman's quirky writing and art offbeat and interesting. Or maybe I just liked marrying magic and the old West, something I've liked for years -- and might have even learned that here, if not from certain Clint Eastwood movies. Or it might just be that I had a specific viewpoint born of my age at the time, or the state of comics then, or something else specific to time and place. Or maybe something entirely different.

The point is, I liked these books when I read them decades ago. I don't know if I'd like them now. But I suspect I would, so there's my tepid recommendation.

JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #5

Written by KEITH GIFFEN and J.M. DeMATTEIS

Art by RAYMUND BERMUDEZ and WAYNE FAUCHER

Cover by HOWARD PORTER

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Cadmus tries to add a new member to Justice League 3000. We say “tried to” because the last thing Firestorm wants to do is join what he considers to be a group of losers. It gets complicated.

THE ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR #3

Writer: ROB WILLIAMS

Art/Cover: SIMON COLEBY

32 pg, FC, 3 of 6, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

1942. The Battle of Midway rages and The Royals are in its midst, fighting for control of the Pacific. Henry and Arthur find themselves cast as heroes alongside the newsreel-manufactured American super team “The Allies.” But how long can they stomach the killing and how long can Arthur stomach the commoners? Meanwhile, members of the Japanese Royal Family create water giants to smash American destroyers in two, and whispers swirl that The Emperor Jimmu is with his fleet -- a power none can defeat.

Delayed a couple of weeks, but I'm still interested. Obviously, World War II can't go specifically the way our history has it with super-powered people involved, but any way you write an alternate WWII history, if the U.S. doesn't win the Battle of Midway things change so radically that whatever follows must be completely divorced from our history. Midway was to Japanese naval power as Stalingrad was to the Wehrmacht -- if those two battles don't end in Allied victories, then EVERYTHING changes.

SCOOBY-DOO, WHERE ARE YOU? #44

Written by MATT MANNING

Art by ROBERT POPE and SCOTT McRAE

Cover by SCOTT NEELY

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

The gang is trying to take a nice, peaceful vacation at an island resort, but the Jabberwocky infestation at the nature preserve next door isn’t making that easy! Shaggy and Scooby could be scared off by red-eyed monsters with lion-like paws, unless Velma’s keen eye for clues puts an end to the mysterious beasts!

SUPERBOY #30

Written by AARON KUDER

Art by JORGE JIMENEZ

Cover by KEN LASHLEY

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

A FOREVER EVIL aftermath issue! Superboy is returning to the world post-FOREVER EVIL, but it may not be strong enough to survive this twisted Teen of Steel and his allies from the future. His plan is simple: Wipe out all Super Heroes!

SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #7

Written by CHARLES SOULE

Art and cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA

1:25 MAD Variant cover

32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

This issue will ship with three covers.

Doomsday has awakened and the Earth and heavens tremble! And discover how Superman and Wonder Woman survived a nuclear blast!
This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

So that's what happens if you date Wonder Woman for any length of time. I knew it! She's too much woman for any man. Even Superman!

WORLDS’ FINEST #22

Written by PAUL LEVITZ

Art by R.B. SILVA and JOE WEEMS

Cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Following their team-up with Batman and Superman, Power Girl and Huntress have some difficult choices ahead. What’s next for the Worlds’ Finest ... and what world will they choose?

"... and what world will they choose?"

Wait, they have a choice? Then they go home. They're sensible girls; they only stay in a hostile, foreign land without their own Facebook page if they DON'T have a choice.

But I guess they're going to stay, or there's no book. OK then, Levitz, you're on notice: You'd better provide a strong, plausible, inarguable reason for them to stay, or I will snark unmercifully.

You have been warned.

DYNAMITE

BAD ASS #2

Writer: HERIK HANNA

Art/Cover: BRUNO BESSADI

32 pages/Mature/$3.99

With the Green Dragon and his nefarious den of gangsters felled, Dead End is forced to face the music ... of Amadeus Kitty. Just when he thinks he's in the clear with the cash, Dead End is sucked back into yet another fight of epic proportions. Backed into a corner- not just by Amadeus Kitty, but by the entire city's police force as well -- Dead End takes a moment to assess the situation, light up a cigarette, and kick some ass.

I guess after Kick-Ass kicked open the door, there would be more books with titles that, as a kid, I was told were swear words and I shouldn't use them.

Well, I'm a grown-up now and I know swear words sometimes have their uses. But I don't think they should be used for comic-book titles. Not because I'm a bluenose, but because it creates a distracting controversy (and a headache for retailers) that isn't necessary or useful.

P.S. This book -- the second in a new series -- was due out originally in February. That's no way to build an audience.

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA ANNUAL 2014

Writer: ROBERT PLACE NAPTON

Art/Cover: KEWBER BAAL

Teen + / 40 pages / $4.99

The origin of the traitorous Baltar is revealed at last! As portrayed by legendary genre actor John Colicos, Baltar from the classic Battlestar is one of the most unforgettable and enigmatic characters of the original series. Who is the man that was recruited by the Cylons and helped bring about the destruction of the colonies? What became of him after the final episode of the original Battlestar series? These questions and more will be answered in this special annual that delves into the decades long mystery of who Baltar was and what turned him into the betrayer of mankind.

FLASH GORDON #1

Writer: JEFF PARKER

Art: EVAN SHANER

Cover A: GABRIEL HARDMAN

Cover B: JONATHAN CASE

Cover C: DECLAN SHALVEY

Cover D: MARC LANNING

80th Anniversary Variant: STEPHEN MOONEY

Li'l Flash Variant: KEN HAESER

Blank Authentix Variant

Name of Store Variant

Teen + / 32 pages / $3.99

ON SALE DATE: April 9

Dynamite proudly announces that writer Jeff Parker (Batman '66) will continue the science fiction thrills of a science fiction legend in Flash Gordon #1, a new ongoing series illustrated by Evan "Doc" Shaner (Deadpool) and featuring the colors of Jordie Bellaire (Pretty Deadly). Slated to debut in April 2014, Flash Gordon marks the 80th anniversary of the fictional icon, follows Parker's critically acclaimed Kings Watch miniseries, and includes beloved cast members Dale Arden, Dr. Hans Zarkov and the infamous Ming the Merciless.

"Dynamite and editor Nate Cosby have put together the dream team for Flash Gordon, and I'm the lucky writer who gets to work with them," says Jeff Parker. "We're bringing Flash back for a new audience. It's over-the-planet high action and adventure where Flash's spirit and optimism are as powerful as anything the forces of Ming the Merciless can dish out. We also have some of my favorite artists contributing covers -- make no mistake, this book is going to absolutely kill!"

The new Flash Gordon series places the ultimate sci-fi hero on the bizarre planet Mongo, where his thirst for thrills and danger makes him the perfect weapon against world-breaking Ming the Merciless and his awful inter-planetary swarms of terror. Can the cocksure Man From Earth funnel his overconfidence into saving worlds, or will the universe fall to Ming?

Dynamite has assembled a team of three highly respected creators for the new Flash Gordon series, individuals whose recent comics work has made their names instantly recognizable to fans. Writer Jeff Parker's recent successes at DC Comics -- including Aquaman and the retro-chic Batman '66, follow his many years as a contributor to Marvel titles including Agents of Atlas, X-Men: First Class and Hulk. Evan "Doc" Shaner will bring his kinetic visual style seen in Deadpool and Ghostbusters to the Flash Gordon project, just as Jordie Bellaire will bring the coloring flair she's known for on such titles as Pretty Deadly, Captain Marvel and The Rocketeer.

Flash Gordon #1 will feature a wide selection of cover variants, presented by some of comics' most talented artists: Gabriel Hardman, Jonathan Case, Declan Shalvey and Marc Laming. Stephen Mooney provides a special 80th Anniversary Cover, illustrated to capture an aesthetic of the bygone golden era, while Ken Haeser provides a cute Subscription-Only Variant Cover of "Li'l Flash", intended as a reward for dedicated fans who pre-order with their local comic shop retailers. A Blank Authentix Cover will be created for the first issue, featuring blank white space on the cover perfect for convention artist commissions or the creative whims of the do-it-yourself fan.

Comic shop retailers are invited to create store-specific cover editions, as well:

Dynamite has designed a "Death to Ming" propaganda-style cover as a Retailer Exclusive Variant Cover, available for retailers to order through Diamond Comics. Numerous retailers can share the "Death to Ming" artwork, but have personalized store names built into the front cover design.

Yeah, baby!

KINGS WATCH #5

Writer: JEFF PARKER

Art/Cover: MARC LAMING

Subscription Variant: RAMON PEREZ

Teen +/$3.99

Final Issue!!!!! The Cobra and Ming The Merciless have dealt our world an apocalyptic blow that will change the course of the 21st century! In the 11th hour, Flash Gordon, Mandrake The Magician and The Phantom will all make the toughest decisions of their lives for the sake of Earth! Daring risks and ultimate sacrifices. The biggest adventure of the century just got bigger! It all ends -- and begins -- here!

I remember some discussion on this months and months ago, so I guess it's really late. (At least three months, by my records, but it could be longer.) Did anyone ever explain to me why The Phantom looks like a Skid Row bum? If not, please do so now. Thenk yew.

THE LONE RANGER #23 $3.99

Writer: ANADE PARKS

Artist: ESTEVE POLLS

Covers: FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

32 pages/Teen +/$3.99

Bank Job! This special issue takes place entirely in the few hours following a bank robbery in the old west. The Lone Ranger and Tonto join a posse in hot pursuit of a ruthless gang who has taken off with a pile of gold and a hostage. The Ranger will employ everything he knows about tracking and fighting before he enters a chasm in pursuit of the murderous robbers ... a chasm much like the one that claimed his father and brother years earlier.  

Originally solicited for January. I'm guessing this title is heading for the ol' corral.

MAGNUS: ROBOT FIGHTER #2

Writer: FRED VAN LENTE

Art: CORY SMITH

Covers: GABRIEL HARDMAN

Subscription Variant: JONATHAN CASE

Teen + / 32 pages / $3.99

Russell Magnus thought he was a normal man living a normal life ... until massive robots tore him from his home and thrust him into a world where men are controlled by machines! How does he get back to his family? Who is the mysterious and deadly Leeja Clane? And why is Magnus so damn good at fighting robots? FRED VAN LENTE (G.I. Joe) and CORY SMITH (Fathom) bring mechanized mayhem to the Gold Key Universe!

I'm looking forward to the first trade. I'm guessing that "Russell Magnus" is actually from the future, and was sent to our present with implanted memories to protect him until he was needed. I actually hate it when I guess how a story is going to turn out, so I'm hoping Van Lente will surprise me.

THE TWILIGHT ZONE #4

Writer: J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI

Art: GUIU VILANOVA

Cover: FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

Teen + / 32 pages / $3.99

ON SALE DATE: April 9

Trevor Richmond had it all, then lost it all, leaving behind a trail of ruined businesses, damaged relationships and criminal charges. He escaped into a new identity, free of consequences, only to find someone else living in his old identity...someone who is doing a much better job at it than he ever did. And now Trevor wants his life back. The final confrontation between two men fighting for one life comes to its fiery conclusion ... and only one of them will survive.

I'm actually getting a bit weary of Francesco Francavilla cameos everywhere. Dude! Get some Black Beetle issues out, and get Afterlife with Archie back on schedule! I can live without Twilight Zone covers! Priorities, man, priorities!

IDW PUBLISHING

DEADWORLD: RESTORATION #5 (of 5)

Writer: GARY REED

Art/Cover: SAMI MAKKONEN

Subscription Variant: SAMI MAKKONEN

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

The conclusion to the latest edition to the zombie classic! For Bowker, things go horribly wrong as he must deal with Donna’s deal with Moloch. He may survive, but at what cost? Dan must decide between rescuing the woman he loves in Donna or saving Deake, the lunatic who may be able to turn the tide against the zombies. And a new hope appears … or does it?

Everybody wants their own The Walking Dead, so lots of publishers are launching their own zombie titles. But here's one that isn't a launch -- it's a revival. Deadworld started seven years before The Walking Dead at tiny Arrow/Caliber. If it had launched from a bigger publisher, who knows? Maybe Walking Dead would never have happened, and we'd be watching Deadworld on AMC. Luckily for Robert Kirkman we'll never know, but I did want to point out that this book isn't jumping on the Walking Dead bandwagon -- it's the bandwagon Walking Dead jumped on!

G.I. JOE: AMERICA'S ELITE VOL 3: DISAVOWED

Writers: JOE CASEY, MIKE O'SULLIVAN

Art: JOSH MEDORS

Cover: S L GALLANT

TPB • FC • $19.99 • 140 pages

COBRA COMMANDER has been absent for a year, his whereabouts unknown, but while officials in the government take that as good news the G.I. JOE team knows better. Meanwhile, The Phoenix Guard is being proposed to replace the team led by former G.I. JOE commander Philip Rey.

Collects issues #13-18 of America's Elite.

G.I. JOE: SPECIAL MISSIONS #14

Writer: CHUCK DIXON

Art: WILL ROSADO

Cover: PAUL GULACY

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

G.I. JOE -- AMBUSHED! When the SPECIAL MISSIONS convoy faces a surprise attack from COBRA troopers and a dangerous sniper, it’s up to LOW LIGHT -- G.I. JOE’s own long-range specialist -- to turn the tables and get the team out in one piece!

Join the SPECIAL MISSIONS team for one last covert mission!

• The end of SPECIAL MISSIONS!

• Variant Cover by S L Gallant!

As of March 29, there were four more G.I. Joe books scheduled to run this week. As of April 5, they'd all been bumped.

INDESTRUCTIBLE #5 (of 6)

Writer: KEN KRISTENSEN

Art: GIANCARLO CARACUZZO

Cover: BERNARD CHANGE

Variant: JOSE LOPEZ

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

With great power, comes great … er … celebrity! Now that the world believes Greg to be a superhero, everyone wants a piece of him -- the League of Defenders, Hugo Boss, his roommate, groupies, Hollywood agents, uber-villains, and his mom. Some want to put him on a pedestal. Others want to bury him under one. Ken Kristensen (Todd, the Ugliest Kid on Earth) takes the reigns for the next arc of Jeff Kline's Indestructible.

JUDGE DREDD #18

Writer: DUANE SWIERCSYNSKI

Art: NELSON DANIEL

Cover: SHANE PIERCE

Subscription Variant: MICHAEL AVON OEMING

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

“Cold Cold Ground, Pt. 2”

The Dark Judges are here!

Judge Death and the 12 other Dark Judges have targeted Mega-City and found the entire population guilty of the most serious crime … living! While the Dark Judges prepare their “Affordable Death Care Act,” a desperate Justice Department, facing mass-murder of unreal proportions, draws up an apocalyptic plan that will change the city forever. And the only person standing between the city and certain death -- Judge Dredd -- is a billion miles away on the Titan penal colony. But he turns out to have allies in the strangest of places.

I'm delighted that Dredd has found a home in American comics.

THE MAXX: MAXXIMIZED #6

Writer: SAM KIETH, WILLIAM MESSNER-LOEBS

Art/Cover/Subscription Variant: SAM KIETH

After Laying on the couch and feeling sorry for himself, and being spied upon by some isz … Maxx plunges down the proverbial rabbit hole and encounters the "Crappon in the Hat," tries to save a fish, spills some beans, discovers a little girl (who is somehow connected to the Jungle Queen), and then finds himself on Julie's couch, confused and afraid … right back where he started!

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Featuring an all-new cover by Sam Kieth!

MY LITTLE PONY: FRIENDS FOREVER #4

Writer: ROB ANDERSON

Art/Cover: AMY MEBBERSON

Subscription Variant: DEREK CHARM

Variant: CHAD THOMAS

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Twilight Sparkle plans to spend some much needed quality time with her brother, Shining Armor, in the Crystal Empire. However, when a mysterious ghost starts haunting the castle, the siblings will have to use all of their combined monster knowledge to save the day!

The first comic set in the Crystal Empire!

POWERPUFF GIRLS #8

Writer/Art/Cover: DEREK CHARM

Subscription Variant: PHIL MOY

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

MONSTER DAY continues as King Steve and the residents of Monster Isle tear through Townsville. This looks like a job for the Powerpuff Girls! So where the heck are they?!

ROCKY & BULLWINKLE #2 (of 4)

Writer: MARK EVANIER

Art/Cover: ROGER LANGRIDGE

Subscription Variant: STEPHANIE BUSCEMA

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

In “The Washed-Up Wizard,” Rocky and Bullwinkle help an aged magician regain his fame…but why do the evil Boris and Natasha care about his powers of prestidigitation? That can’t end well! Plus, a Dudley Do-Right story!

A comedy classic from Eisner-winners Mark Evanier and Roger Langridge!

If Evanier's involved, it's probably a quality read.

SAMURAI JACK #7

Writer: JIM ZUB

Art: BRITTNEY WILLIAMS

Cover: ANDY SURIANO

Subscription Variant: AGNES GARBOWSKA

FC • 32 pages • $3.99

Samurai Jacqueline and the Scotswoman fight giants and wee folk alike as they struggle to free themselves from the gender-bending curse of the leprechauns. Cartoon Network’s hit animated series continues at IDW!

SAMURAI JACK or … SAMURAI JACQUELINE?!

“If you miss Jack and his samurai ways, go pick this up. If you never watched the show, buy the book anyway because it’s just plain fun.” – Reading Pictures

TRIPLE HELIX (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: JOHN BYRNE

TPB • FC • $17.99 • 104 pages

Where TRIO stopped, HELIX starts! There's a MONSTER on the loose in the City … but will the mysterious CHANGELINGS of TRIPLE HELIX destroy it before they realize it's really an old FRIEND?

Another modern masterpiece from John Byrne!

"Another modern masterpiece from John Byrne!"

It actually looks like a masterpiece from 1986 to me!

IMAGE COMICS

EAST OF WEST #11

Writer: JONATHAN HICKMAN

Art/Cover: NICK DRAGOTTA

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.50

“THE NATION, XIAOLIAN”

The Bride of Death makes her first moves in the great game of Nations. The Chosen begin to splinter.

I've got the first trade, but am waiting for an opportunity to read it when it's got my full attention. Because, y'know, Hickman.

EAST OF WEST, VOL. 2: WE ARE ALL ONE (TPB)

Writer: JONATHAN HICKMAN

Art: NICK DRAGOTTA

144 PAGES / FC / T+ / $14.99

Collects EAST OF WEST #6-10

The second volume of the most exciting new book in the industry is here! "We Are All One" follows our cast around the fractured future-scape of America as we learn more about a world that's rapidly coming to a end.

Gah! Volume Two already? Now I really need to get to that first trade!

GREAT PACIFIC #14

Writer: JOE HARRIS

Art/Cover A: MARTÍN MORAZZO

Cover B: ADAM POLLINA

32 PAGES / FC / M / $2.99

“DOPED”

New Texas has attracted pioneers, homesteaders, and hard-working laborers, all toiling to transform the plastic wasteland into the paradise of Chas Worthington’s dreams. But when a new, powerful drug derived from the terraforming processes threatens productivity, Chas has to make some tough decisions.

Special “Trippy” variant cover by ADAM POLLINA!

It occurs to me that I don't know anything about this book, which has been out from a major publisher for more than a year. I need to fix that. Anyone reading it?

INVINCIBLE #110

Writer: ROBERT KIRKMAN

Art/Cover: RYAN OTTLEY & JOHN RAUCH

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

All good things must come to an end.

Read the preview below, and come back. I'll wait.

OK, done? Listen, I've never had any kind of argument with a girlfriend like this. And I've dumped plenty of girls, and been dumped by plenty of girls -- hey, I've been through those rapids plenty of times. But in all of those occasions, the "I haven't even raised my voice" argument has never happened.

I believe they exist, though, because they happen in fiction all the time! So it must be relatively common, at least among fiction writers. And THIS one is so specific ... well, I'm guessing it's almost word for word from writer Robert Kirkman's personal experience.

Tough break, bud. But I hoped you learned something from it other than to write this scene!

 

MANIFEST DESTINY #5 (2ND PTG)

Story: CHRIS DINGESS

Art/Cover: MATTHEW ROBERTS & OWEN GIENI

32 PAGES / FC / T+
/ $2.99

The fifth issue of Chris Dingess (Being Human) and Matthew Roberts’ (BATTLE POPE, FOUR LETTER WORLDS) critically acclaimed Skybound series MANIFEST DESTINY has sold out instantly and will go into its 2nd printing. Join readers and critics on a fantastic journey through a New World riddled with mysterious phenomena. Here there be monsters.

Praise for MANIFEST DESTINY:

“Historical fiction can be a gamble in comics… By keeping it weird and focusing on their characters, Dingess and Roberts make a great case for how well it can work.” -- Marykate Jasper, Comic Book Resources

“Salvation lies west, and Manifest Destiny is proof—taking a smart spin on otherwise barren narrative territory, Chris Dingess, Matthew Roberts and Owen Gieni have produced an opening issue that will pique your interest and get you invested in our heroes. This is the kind of trailblazing you won't want to miss.” -- David Pepose, Newsarama

“Dingess and Roberts have done a terrific job here, establishing the ugly side as well as the wonder of this expedition to the West. Manifest Destiny is looking to be one revelatory journey.” -- Michelle White, Multiversity Comics

“Manifest Destiny #1 promises to be some really solid storytelling, focusing on a time when the world was still a mystery to those who thought themselves above it, and a world which too often valued the pioneer spirit above basic human decency.” -- Andy Hunsaker, Crave Online

“It is way too early to start making best comics of the year lists, but we can safely put Manifest Destiny on the contenders list.” -- Cody Ferrell, Comic Book Therapy

MANIFEST DESTINY #5 has completely sold out at the distributor level, but may still be available in comic stores, and is currently available digitally on the Image Comics website (imagecomics.com) and the official Image Comics iOS app, as well as on Comixology on the web (comixology.com), iOS, Android, and Google Play.

MANIFEST DESTINY #6

Story: CHRIS DINGESS

Art/Cover: MATTHEW ROBERTS & OWEN GIENI

32 PAGES / FC / T+
/ $2.99

With the flora infestation overrunning their outpost, can Lewis and Clark deliver frontier justice to a savage, savage world? The first chapter of their thrilling ongoing adventure ends here!

OK, OK, you've got me, you've got me! I've ordered the first trade!

PETER PANZERFAUST #18

Writer: KURTIS J. WIEBE

Art/Cover: TYLER JENKINS

32 PAGES / FC / T / $3.50

“THE HUNT,” Part Three

One of the Hunters has a secret, and what’s kept hidden is far more surprising than any trap he’s laid for Lily!

SAVAGE DRAGON #194

Writer/Art /Cover: ERIK LARSEN

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.99

SAVAGE DRAGON: THE NEXT GENERATION!

Malcolm Dragon has big shoes to fill. His father saved the world on a few occasions and kept Chicago's notorious criminal organization the Vicious Circle at bay for decades -- can the younger Dragon hope to live up to the legacy of his famous father? Not if the new nemesis Torment has anything to say about it! With a benevolent voice in one ear and a sadistic one in the other, he may just be the most conflicted killer of them all, and Malcolm Dragon is the only one standing in the path of this fearsome new foe!

This was due back in November. Three more issues have been solicited since then and, of course, not shown up.

I've never been much of a Larsen fan -- not his artwork, even back in his Big Two days, and not his writing, with Savage Dragon and all of its myriad spinoffs. I'm not putting it down; it just doesn't appeal to me. But Savage Dragon has lasted almost 200 issues, so there must be a lot of people buying it. And I'm sorry for you guys, having to wait interminable months between issues. And I hope, for you guys, that Larsen catches up.

SHOTGUN WEDDING #2 (of 4)

Writer: WILLIAM HARMS

Art/Cover: EDWARD PUN

32 PAGES / BW / M / $3.99

Mike Stone wants nothing more than to marry the woman of his dreams. Denise is smart, sexy, teaches the second grade, and loves Mike more than anything in the world. What she doesn't know is that Mike is one of the world's top assassins and was once engaged to a fellow assassin named Chloe. And when Mike abandoned Chloe on their wedding day, she vowed revenge ...

I've had some crazy exes, but never a hitwoman. You win this round, Harms!

 

SHUTTER #1

Story: JOE KEATINGE

Art/Cover A: LEILA DEL DUCA

Cover B: DUSTIN WEAVER

Cover C: BRANDON GRAHAM

Cover D: EMMA RÍOS

32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

INDIANA JONES FOR THE 21ST CENTURY!

Marvel Knights: Hulk and Glory writer Joe Keatinge teams up with artist Leila del Duca for her Image Comics debut in an all-new ongoing series combining urban fantasy and globe-spanning adventure, SHUTTER.

Kate Kristopher, once the most famous explorer on Earth -- an Earth that’s far more fantastical than the one we know, filled with demons, gorgons, phantom ninjas, and various other monsters of lore -- is forced to return to the adventurous life she left behind when a family secret threatens to destroy everything she spent her life protecting.

Kate’s character can be described as a contemporary Indiana Jones. “We’re looking at the 21st Century, where it’s at and where it’s going, and considering what the Adventurer for its time might be like -- what would Indiana Jones be like if created in 2014? What’s after Lara Croft?” said Keatinge. “We’re at a much different time than the pulps and serial Indiana Jones and, to an extent, Lara Croft, were rooted in -- information from all remote corners of the world comes from great ease, where we’re more knowledgeable about other cultures, where technology enables us to access we could only dream about. Where do you go from there?"

Leila del Duca was brought on for SHUTTER’s art by Keatinge himself. “Joe Keatinge was the first industry name who showed real interest in my work and I really enjoyed his writing on Glory and Hell Yeah,” del Duca explained. “When he pitched Shutter to me, I was ecstatic about the concept. Joe's imagination is incredible and he's writing me a script perfect for my interests, with lush visuals and diverse subject matter.”

SHUTTER is a new, ongoing fantasy, adventure series. The first issue of which will feature variant covers by Dustin Weaver, Brandon Graham, and Emma Ríos.

I like the idea of this more than I will probably like the actual title.

 

SPAWN #242

Story / Cover: TODD McFARLANE

Art: SZYMON KUDRANSKI

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

After the annihilation at the construction site Bludd tries to figure out his next move. Clown is the last place he’d seek help, but may have no alternative. Sara begins having excruciatingly demonic nightmares, but, unfortunately for Sara, her visions my not be a dream.

THREE (TPB)

STORY: KIERON GILLEN

ART / COVER: RYAN KELLY & JORDIE BELLAIRE

HISTORICAL CONSULTANT: PROF. STEPHEN HODKINSON

APRIL 9 / 144 PAGES / FC / M / $14.99

Collects THREE #1-5

“In Sparta are to be found

those who are the most enslaved

and those who are the most free.”

-- Kritias of Athens (460-403 B.C.E.)

Nearly one hundred and twenty years after the 300 held off the mighty Persian empire at Thermopylae, three helot slaves do the unthinkable: In one blood-soaked night, they rebel against their Spartan masters. Three helot survivors -- Klaros, Demar, and Terpander, the eponymous three of the April Image Comics graphic novel THREE by Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly -- survive the slaughter and run. To save the reputation of Sparta, three hundred warriors set out to capture and kill them. The desperate helots and their determined, brutal pursuers leave a trail of blood across Greece.

Writer Gillen (PHONOGRAM, Young Avengers) and artist Kelly (Lucifer, Local) consulted with Professor Stephen Hodkinson from the University of Nottingham to accurately capture an era of Spartan history when the city-state’s power was waning. The graphic novel includes an interview with Hodkinson, as well as annotations. However, just as important as historical accuracy in THREE is emotional truth. With heavy inks and earthy colors splashed with red by colorist Jordie Bellaire depicting this story of violence, tyranny, and freedom, THREE is a work of intensity and humanity.

“[A]s a writer, you reach a point where you feel you have to write,” said Gillen of his research process in an interview at Comic Book Resources. “You immerse yourself in the world to a point, and then are basically pregnant with it.”

THREE collects the five-issue miniseries published by Image Comics in October 2013 through February 2014. It will be in comic book stores on April 9 and bookstores on April 22.

Praise for THREE:

“The real reason you should pick up this book, aside from Gillen’s writing and Kelly’s art, is because it is a tribute to a long-forgotten people. “Three” is a rebellion against the swallowing void of history by way of enlightenment.” -- James Johnston, Multiversity Comics

“[i[t’s a story that its creators believe in, a brutal action story with a meaningful core, a response to a familiar tale that they hope will take you somewhere unfamiliar and leave you enjoying the ride, and maybe doing some rethinking of the myths you’re comfortable with.” -- Sarah Jaffe, Comics Alliance

“Beneath this visual finery is the foundation that is Gillen’s work, made solid by extensive research and passion that’s unshakably part of every step the story takes and every word uttered by its players. Gillen cares about these helots, and so shall his readers, endeared by their strength in the face of certain death, their defiance, their humor, their history. Likewise, Gillen inspires hatred and frustration with his villain, wielding fate that is as cruel and stupid as life -- and history -- has always been.” -- MJ Feuerborn, Comicosity

“I've read many series with a great sense of movement -- fluidity, drive, etc. -- but few that have "Three's" sense of moment. It moves like a drumbeat. Nothing flows quickly from one panel to the next; rather, each panel is a strong, distinct beat. It makes for heavy storytelling, amplifying the dread or importance of every action.” -- Marykate Jasper, Comic Book Resources

For some reason, this hasn't arrived from Amazon yet. But I've read enough that I can't wait!

THE WALKING DEAD #125

Story: ROBERT KIRKMAN

Art: CHARLIE ADLARD & STEFANO GAUDIANO

Cover: CHARLIE ADLARD & DAVE STEWART

APRIL 9 / 32 PAGES / BW / M / $2.99

"ALL OUT WAR," Part 11

The f*ck f*cking f*ckity f*cking penultimate chapter of All Out Motherf*cking War!

END. THIS. STORY.

Pretty please!

MARVEL COMICS

ALL-NEW DOOP #1 (of 5)

Writer: PETER MILLIGAN

Art: DAVID LAFUENTE, LAURA ALLRED

Cover: MIKE ALLRED

Artist Variant by ADI GRANOV

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

The strangest mutant of them all is thrust into the spotlight in ALL-NEW DOOP #1 -- a new series written by co-creator Peter Milligan (X-FORCE), cover by co-creator Mike Allred (X-FORCE, FF) and innovative interior art by David Lafuente (AVENGERS, ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN)!

Who is Doop? Actually … what is Doop? Living in the margins of the X-Men, Doop’s origins have always remained shrouded in mystery as he hovered around with his video camera -- freaking out readers and fellow X-Men alike. But his time has finally come! Where did Doop come from? What is he? The Doop shall inherit the Earth! And this adventure will prove once and for all that Doop is, in fact, the most powerful X-Man!

“Doop has been a favorite character of mine ever since his first appearance in X-FORCE,” says Senior Editor Nick Lowe. “But fans have really taken notice since he’s been showing up in WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN and his popularity has surpassed that of even Gambit and Cable! And with Doop co-creators Peter Milligan (writing) and Mike Allred (covers) involved, along with David Lafuente on interior art, this is going to be amazing.”

From the pages of the blockbuster X-Men crossover Battle of the Atom comes the story you didn’t see! Did you know Doop was an integral part of stopping the evil X-Men from the future? Don’t believe us? You will! Plus, don’t miss Doop finally express his feelings for Kitty Pryde -- in a way only Doop can!

Don’t miss an untold tale of one of the X-Men’s weirdest that will have you on the edge of your seat when ALL-NEW DOOP #1 hits comic shops and digital devices!

ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER #2

Writer: FELIPE SMITH

Art/Cover: TRADD MOORE

Variant: FELIPE SMITH

Vehicle Variant: POP MHAN

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

ON SALE APRIL 2

“ENGINES OF VENGEANCE” PART 2

The pedal hits the metal in ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER #2 -- the explosive new series from creators Felipe Smith and Tradd Moore!

Robbie Reyes has been imbued with awesome supernatural powers. But can this teenager control his new powers, or will it lead him down the path of destruction? What are the bizarre Pink Pills -- and who is behind their creation? Who owns the HAUNTED RACE CAR and what will they do to get it back?

The streets of East LA are riddled with gangs, drugs and violence. War is brewing in the criminal underworld. And it’ll take a new kind of hero to battle back the darkness.

Don’t miss the next thrilling chapter in Robbie Reyes’ heroic journey in ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER #2!

ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #1

Writer: MICHEL FIFFE

Art: AMILCAR PINNA

Cover: DAVID NAKAYAMA

Variant: DAVID MARQUEZ

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

ON SALE APRIL 9

THE NEXT GENERATION OF ULTIMATES IS HERE!!!

Witness the birth of a super-team unlike any you’ve seen before in ALL-NEW ULTIMATES #1 – the brand new series from critically acclaimed creator Michel Fiffe and rising star Amilcar Pinna!

As the world attempts to rebuild following untold destruction, we need heroes more than ever. Witness the birth of a new team of Ultimates – as Spider-Man, Black Widow, Kitty Pryde, Bombshell and Cloak & Dagger officially unite to tackle a vicious, rampant crime wave plaguing the streets of New York City!

“It’s a war zone in the streets of New York, Hell’s Kitchen in particular.” says Michel Fiffe, in an interview with Marvel.com. “Certain neighborhoods have been torn apart by the recent galactic cataclysm and crime is exponentially growing; local super-powered gangs rule the environment. That’s where Miles and the gang come in, to act with a grittier, more immediate problem while trying to find their own footing as super heroes.”

But Hell’s Kitchen isn’t the new Ultimates’ only problem. Diamondback and her gang of Serpent Skulls run the city’s drug & weapons trade and deal in citywide terror. NYPD detective Brigid O’Reilly and her anti-gang unit are on the hunt for Scourge, a new serial killer who’s exterminating anyone in a mask. They’ll get close, but not without a few casualties! And that’s just the first issue!

ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #6

Writer: PETER DAVID

Art: CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO

Cover: KRIS ANKA & JARED FLETCHER

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

ON SALE APRIL 2

• Reunited -- and it feels so BAD?!?

• It’s X-Factor and Cypher vs. Warlock!

• Serval Industries brings you the super team you can count on!

 

ALL-NEW X-MEN #25

Writer: BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art: ART ADAMS, BRUCE TIMM, DAN HIPP, DAVID MACK, DAVID MARQUEZ, J. SCOTT CAMPBELL, JAKE PARKER, JASON SHIGA, J.G. JONES, JILL THOMPSON, KENT WILLIAMS, LEE BERMEJO, MARIS WICKS, MAX WITTERT, PAUL SMITH, RAFAEL GRAMPA, ROBBI RODRIGUEZ, RONNIE DEL CARMEN & SKOTTIE YOUNG

Cover: STUART IMMONEN

Variant: RAFAEL GRAMPA

Variant: FRANK CHO

40 PGS. / Rated T / $4.99

OVER-SIZED 25th ISSUE!

New York Times bestselling writer Brian Michael Bendis is joined by the best and brightest artists in the comic book industry for ALL-NEW X-MEN #25 – the oversized, landmark anniversary issue! Featuring the all-star talents of Bruce Timm, Art Adams, Rafael Grampa, Lee Bermejo, J. Scott Campbell, JG Jones, Paul Smith, Jill Thompson, Kent Williams, David Mack, David Marquez, Skottie Young, Ronnie Del Carmen, Jake Parker, Dan Hipp, Robbie Rodriguez, Jason Shiga, Max Wittert and Maris Wicks!

Senior Editor Nick Lowe says “This is the single greatest artist lineup assembled under one roof! From mainstream superstars to masters of animation to illustrators to web-comics geniuses, this book has it all!”

They have ventured from the past to an uncertain future, but the All-New X-Men were never meant to stay. When a mysterious stranger visits the Jean Grey School, Hank McCoy will learn the disastrous effects he has wrought by disrupting the timestream. Consequences that could destroy the entire universe! Is it too late to stop its cataclysmic side effects? Find out when the oversized, overstuffed ALL-NEW X-MEN #25 hits comic shops this April!

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 PRELUDE (TPB)

Writer: TOM COHEN & STAN LEE

Art: WELLINTON ALVES, NEIL EDWARDS, STEVE DITKO, JOHN ROMITA SR. & ANDREA DIVITO

144 PGS./Rated T/$14.99

Get ready for the upcoming AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 with an awesome adaptation of the web-slinger’s latest hit film! Witness young Peter Parker’s transformation into the Amazing Spider-Man, and his epic clash with the lethal Lizard! Then, go “between the scenes” with a story inspired by the film -- featuring Gwen Stacy, Captain George Stacy, Dr. Curt Connors and more as the fledging Spider-Man prepares to swing into action! And how does Spider-Man’s battle with a new organized crime ring, and the damage he suffers, lead directly into AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2? Plus: classic tales featuring the incredible origins of Electro and the Rhino! Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: THE MOVIE ADAPTATION #1-2, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: THE MOVIE #1-2, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #9 and #41, and AMAZING SPIDER-MAN: CINEMATIC INFINITE COMIC #1.

(On-Sale 4/9/14)

AVENGERS A.I. #11

Writer: SAM HUMPHRIES

Art: ANDRE LIMA ARAUJO

Cover: DAVID MARQUEZ

32 PGS./Rated T+/$2.99

• Journey ten thousand years into the future of the Marvel Universe with the Avengers!

• Humanity is extinct -- and machines battle across the galaxy!

• What is ... the Galactus Bomb?

 

AVENGERS VOL 2: THE LAST WHITE EVENT (TPB)

Writer: JONATHAN HICKMAN

Art: DUSTIN WEAVER & MIKE DEODATO JR.

Cover: DUSTIN WEAVER

136 PGS./Rated T+/$19.99

The Avengers scramble to deal with the threat of another Universal System as the New Adam’s true self is revealed -- and the most dangerous hero on Earth is created! As the team faces the World Breaker and discover the imminent threat to the Avengers World, the hidden connections between the events of Avengers and New Avengers are slowly revealed. What good is a White Event if it destroys the planet it was meant to transform? Plus: Canadian super-team Omega Flight gets lost in a Garden Origin Site, and the Avengers learn why “adaptation” is the scariest word in the Marvel Universe! Then, as Shang-Chi battles an ancient enemy, the Avengers…hang out in Hong Kong’s swankiest casino? But they soon find out it doesn’t pay to gamble in the spy business! Collecting AVENGERS (2012) #7-11.

AVENGERS UNDERCOVER #2

Writer: DENNIS HOPELESS

Art: KEV WALKER

Cover: FRANCESCO MATTINA

Variant: JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER

32 PGS./Rated T+/2.99

GO INSIDE THE MASTERS OF EVIL!

• Our teen heroes infiltrate the Avengers’ arch nemesis … but will they ever get out?

• Bloodstone + the Son of Satan = Hell on Earth!

 

CAPTAIN AMERICA VOL. 3: LOOSE NUKE PREMIERE (HC)

Writer: RICK REMENDER

Art: CARLOS PACHECO & NIC KLEIN

Cover: CARLOS PACHECO

136 PGS./Rated T/$24.99

Captain America has returned home! But his years in Dimension Z have left him out of synch with the world he knows. And his return coincides with shocking news: Someone has set the deranged super-soldier Nuke loose in a foreign nation, and he’s on a rampage! The disturbing existence of the Weapon Minus program is revealed, but who is the Iron Nail? What will make him Cap’s newest arch-nemesis? And what secrets are held by Dr. Mindbubble, the unbelievable super-soldier created during the 1960s? Captain America takes on Nuke with the lives of thousands on the line -- but as the Iron Nail’s revenge takes form, Nuke’s true mission is revealed! Captain America and the Falcon are in for the fight of their lives! Collecting CAPTAIN AMERICA (2012) #11-15.

I don't think I've ever enjoyed a story with Nuke in it.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #2

Writer: KELLY SUE DECONNICK

Art/Cover: DAVID LOPEZ

Artist Variant: J.G. Jones

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

ON SALE APRIL 9

• Higher, faster, further ... WAR?!

• Captain Marvel forges towards the final frontier -- and is thrown into the frontlines of battle.

• Can this half-alien survive in an all alien-world?

• The breakout hit of 2012 makes a glorious return!

Carol Danvers is usually drawn to seem like a grown-up -- very attractive, but probably in her thirties, maybe Katee Sackhoff territory. This cover makes her look, what, 16? And vaguely familiar, like her face is modeled on a young actress well-known enough that even the old Captain would have seen her picture. Anybody got a guess?

DAREDEVIL #1.50

Writer: MARK WAID,
KARL KESEL & BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art: JAVIER RODRIGUEZ, KARL KESEL & ALEX MALEEV

Cover: PAOLO RIVERA

Decade Variant Covers: MARCOS MARTIN (set of 5)

Variant: CHRIS SAMNEE

40 PGS./ONE SHOT/Rated T+/4.99

Grab 50 fearless years by the horns in DAREDEVIL #1.50, a special anniversary issue brought to you by superstar creators from Hornhead’s past and present – including Mark Waid & Javier Rodriguez, Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev and Karl Kesel!

“We’re celebrating the Man Without Fear's 50th anniversary not by looking back, but by looking forward,” says Waid. “With a special story set in the future, on Matt Murdock's 50th birthday, peppered with clues for sharp-eyed readers as to what the rest of 2014 will hold for Daredevil!”

On Matt Murdock’s 50th Birthday – tragedy strikes the city of San Francisco, forcing the Man Without Fear out of his long earned retirement. What will happen to Matt Murdock in the future? Who lives? Who dies? Don’t miss the twists and turns that will have readers buzzing!

But that’s not all! DAREDEVIL #1.50 comes jam-packed with new backup stories from legendary past Daredevil creators! Experience new stories from Karl Kesel and Brian Michael Bendis & Alex Maleev as they examine untold tales of Matt Murdock’s most triumphant victories…and heartbreaking losses.

What will tomorrow hold for Matt Murdock? And how will this year’s events play into his unexpected future? Can a man truly stay fearless forever? The answers – and even more surprises are coming sooner than you think! Look out – here comes DAREDEVIL #1.50!

This looks like fun. How could you order Daredevil's various eras into a seamless narrative? You probably can't, nor could I. But I bet Mark Waid can.

 

DAREDEVIL BY MARK WAID VOL 5 (TPB)

Writer: MARK WAID

Art/Cover: CHRIS SAMNEE

144 PGS./Rated T+/$16.99

A mystery takes Daredevil to the edge like never before! When Matt Murdock receives fateful news about someone close to him, will he be forced to abandon his super-hero identity to save one of his dearest friends? As a life-or-death medical drama plays out in Matt’s personal life, the hidden foe behind Daredevil’s recent troubles steps out of the shadows to play his trump card. The Man Without Fear comes face-to-face with his opposite number -- an unstoppable enemy with a mysterious connection to the accident that gave young Matt Murdock his powers. The first two years of Mark Waid’s award-winning run on the most critically acclaimed series in comics come to a head in this heart-stopping adventure! Collecting DAREDEVIL (2011) #22-27.

(On-Sale 4/9/14)

DAREDEVIL & ELEKTRA: FALL FROM GRACE (TPB)

Writers: DG CHICHESTER, GREGORY WRIGHT & MINDY NEWELL

Art: SCOTT MCDANIEL, SERGIO CARIELLO & KRIS RENKEWITZ

Cover: SCOTT MCDANIEL

464 PGS./Rated T/$44.99

It’s the epic saga that reintroduced Elektra to the Marvel Universe! The Hand ninja clan unleashes a super-virus on New York, and only Daredevil can stop them -- but not without some unexpected help from a long-lost love and a new, armored costume! Can the Man Without Fear come to terms with his past with Elektra in time to halt the Hand’s terror plot, even if it means the end of his secret identity? And when Baron Strucker assembles a team of cyber-terrorists to plunge the world’s computer systems into global anarchy, will even Captain America’s aid be enough to defeat them? Guest-starring Nick Fury, Black Widow and more! Plus: 15 rare, new story pages from the original 1995 FALL FROM GRACE trade paperback! Collecting DAREDEVIL (1964) #319-332 and ANNUAL #10.

(On-Sale 4/9/14)

 

DEADPOOL #27

Writers: GERRY DUGGAN, BRIAN POSEHN, FABIAN NICIEZA, MARK WAID, JOE KELLY, CHRISTOPHER PRIEST, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, FRANK TIERI, GAIL SIMONE, DANIEL WAY & VICTOR GISCHLER

Art by MIKE HAWTHORNE, SCOTT KOBLISH, SCOTT HEPBURN, JOHN MCCREA, PACO MEDINA, NIKO HENRICHON, JOHN TIMMS, DEXTER SOY, ALVIN LEE, CARLO BARBERI, & BONG DAZO

Cover: SCOTT KOBLISH

Variant: MARK BROOKS

Taco Time Variant: MATTHEW WAITE

Issue #27 Anniversary Variant: ART ADAMS

100 PGS./Parental Advisory/$9.99

Save the date! The Merc With a Mouth is about to become the Merc in Matrimony this April in the pages of the super-sized DEADPOOL #27 – from current Deadpool writers Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn along with an epic assortment of past Deadpool writers!

A day you never dreamed would come has finally arrived – and it’s going to be anything but traditional. For starters, his bride Shiklah is an ancient and royal succubus (see Deadpool: The Gauntlet). Believe us, the ceremony is going to be one for the ages!

“We’re complicating his life and we’ll be pulling him in different directions,” said writer Gerry Duggan in an interview with Marvel.com. “I think that’s something everyone can relate to, and will lead to some more fun comic books.”

But the main story is just the beginning! This super-sized issue is packed to the gills with new stories from all-star Deadpool writers of yesteryear – including Fabian Nicieza, Mark Waid, Joe Kelly, Christopher Priest, Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri, Gail Simone, Daniel Way & Victor Gischler!

You will not want to miss this monumental issue as Wade Wilson ties the knot in front of friends and family alike when the oversized DEADPOOL #27 hits comic shops this April!

It’s the most important issue #27 in the history of comics!

INFINITY COMPANION (HC)

Writer: KELLY SUE DECONNICK, CHARLES SOULE, AL EWING, MATT KINDT, ZEB WELLS, CHRIS YOST, FRANK TIERI, CULLEN BUNN, ED BRISSON & BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art: SCOTT HEPBURN, PAT OLIFFE, JEFTE PALO, BARRY KITSON, PEPE LARRAZ, STEVEN SANDERS, GREG LAND, PACO MEDINA, MARCO CHECCHETTO, AL BARRIONUEVO, WILL SLINEY, LUKE ROSS & FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

Cover by MARKO DJURDJEVIC

696 PGS./Rated T+/$99

All roads lead to INFINITY! As the Thunderbolts, S.H.I.E.L.D., the Fearless Defenders, the Superior Spider-Man, Luke Cage’s new Mighty Avengers, Wolverine’s Jean Grey School, the Avengers Academy and more face off against Thanos’ invading hordes on Earth, the war’s second front is fought in deep space — where Spider-Woman and Black Widow plot to rescue Captain Marvel, the Avengers battle the Builders, the new Nova takes on Thanos’ forces with help from the New Warriors and Star-Lord debates betraying the entire universe! Collecting CAPTAIN MARVEL (2012) #15-16, THUNDERBOLTS (2012) #13-18, AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #18-20, INFINITY: THE HUNT #1-4, MIGHTY AVENGERS (2013) #1-3, NOVA (2013) #8-9, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP #3-4, INFINITY: HEIST #1-4, FEARLESS DEFENDERS #10, SECRET AVENGERS (2013) #10-11, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2013) #8-9 and WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN ANNUAL #1.

It was wise of Marvel to separate these stories from the Infinity HC, because that book was confusing enough as it is!

IRON FIST: THE LIVING WEAPON #1

Writer/Art/Cover: KAARE ANDREWS

Variant: DALE KEOWN

Animal Variant: MIKE DEL MUNDO

Young Variant: SKOTTIE YOUNG

Blank Cover variant also available

32 PGS./Parental Advisory/$3.99

High above the city, in a multi-million dollar penthouse, Danny Rand, a.k.a. Iron Fist, “The Living Weapon,” is haunted by the consequences of choosing death over life. A message from Iron Fist’s mystical homeland of K’un-Lun brings Danny back to his blood-soaked origin of betrayal and vengeance! Revenge is a weapon that cuts both ways. ... Will Danny survive the bloodletting? A one-of-a-kind kung fu action epic directed by the inimitable Kaare Andrews!

Kaare explains, “I have two intentions with this project. The first is to tell a bare bones story that does not impede itself with the layers and layers of continuity that Iron Fist has become enriched with. The second, and more important, is to reach into the core of the character and re-explore who Danny Rand is. Reinvention through core exploration.”

“Danny is going to be put through the wringer like never before,” says Kaare Andrews in an interview with Marvel.com. “I love to punish my characters. To make them bleed. Watch them struggle against impossible odds, and see if they can find the strength inside themselves to survive -- the truth that will be the biggest hurdle of them all. He's been hiding from it for too long. He doesn't have to uncover it, so much as survive it. The truth will be coming for him like a freight train. And there will be a reckoning.”

“It’s pretty incredible to have such a singular vision on a comic, but what’s even more astounding is how much Kaare’s pushing himself at every turn,” says Editor Jake Thomas. “He’s experimenting with color, taking risks with his writing, investing the layout of every page with meaning. This is an artist firing on all cylinders, then building strange, radical cylinders on top of those cylinders. Kaare is the genuine article, if you cut him he’d bleed comics, and IRON FIST is him bleeding all over the page.”

“It is beautiful visual storytelling, personal and compelling, and I cannot wait till readers get a chance to see it for themselves.”

In the character’s early history, starting with his first appearance in 1974, Danny was on a path for revenge as he hunted down the man who murdered his father, and Andrews promises to return to how it all began, “The defining aspect of Danny Rand is the loss of a father and a quest for honor and vengeance. Yet, these are themes that haven't been explored again since his origin story back in the '70s. We need to bring Danny back to this state of blind rage and self-destruction. Remember -- this is a man who traded immortality for vengeance. And the consequences of that are what I'm most interested in.”

Kaare Andrews is not the only one within the “House of Ideas” who respects and honors the character of Iron Fist. Marvel’s Editor in Chief, Axel Alonso, reminisces, “Iron Fist first appeared in Marvel Premiere #15 May, 1974. That self-contained issue, which tells the origin of Iron Fist, remains one of my favorite comic book stories of all time!”

Alonso continues, "Iron Fist: THE Living Weapon is a project close to my heart for two reasons: the character -- being the first -- and the creator, writer/artist Kaare Andrews. I consider Kaare to be one of the most gifted storytellers in the medium. Kaare has crafted a stirring and action-packed tale that cuts the very heart of who Iron Fist is.”

Through Iron Fist’s history, it has been revealed that Danny Rand is the most recent of an ancient lineage of Iron Fists and Andrews promises to continue to expand on that eclectic library of characters while still keeping it a great entry point. Andrews says, “For readers who already know Iron Fist, we introduce a couple of new characters and make use of the world already established -- but focus on keeping this story contained and accessible. For new readers, I'm trying to keep his condensed mythology very streamlined and fresh.”

When the mystical city of K'un-Lun comes under siege, the prodigal son, Danny Rand must come home – in more ways than one. Is Iron Fist prepared for a threat that hearkens back to that horrible day when his father dropped to his death on a Himalayan mountaintop? Can anything prepare him for the truth that's waiting for him in the rubble that was once the city of K'un-Lun -- the place of Iron Fist’s birth?

Iron Fist: The Living Weapon will also include a code for a free digital copy of the very same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. For more on Iron Fist, please visit marvel.com and join in the conversation on Twitter with #ironfist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRON MAN #24

Writer: KIERON GILLEN

Art: LUKE ROSS

Cover: MIKE DEL MUNDO

ARTIST VARIANT COVER by TBA

CAPTAIN AMERICA TEAM-UP VARIANT ALSO AVAILABLE

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

THE NEW EPIC CONTINUES, “RINGS OF THE MANDARINS”

• TONY STARK on a black op behind enemy lines that goes horribly wrong? He’s fine with that.

• When the enemy lines is “Svartalfheim, home of the Dark Elves” and MALEKITH THE ACCURSED wants to wear your skin, things get complicated.

• Will Tony have to resort to a very special IRON MAN suit?

For some reason, I find the idea of Iron Man in an Asgardian milieu really groovy. I guess it's the tech vs. myth aspect, sort of like A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, if King Arthur's Court had Frost Giants and Rock Trolls.

KICK-ASS 3 #7

Writer: MARK MILLAR

Art/Cover: JOHN ROMITA JR.

Sketch Variant by JOHN ROMITA JR.

Variant cover by TBD

32 PGS./Mature/$3.99

Hit-Girl’s day of reckoning has arrived. Tied up mentally and physically, she’s an easy mark even for a washed-up super-villain like Chris Genovese (formerly known as The Mother F**ker). Where is Kick-Ass when she needs him most? What’s happened to ALL the costumed superheroes? A major character death is imminent and with only one more issue before the series finale, it could be anyone!

Finally! This has been delayed interminably.

 

MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #7

Adapted by Joe Caramagna

32 PGS./All Ages/$2.99

• The ultra-powerfull Hyperion arrives to save the Earth, but his methods are too extreme

• The Avengers must stand up to Hyperion’s might to save humanity from total domination.

MARVEL UNIVERSE HULK: AGENTS OF S.M.A.S.H. (DIGEST)

Adapted by JOE CARAMAGNA

112 PGS./All Ages/$9.99

Featuring screen-capture images from MARVEL’S HULK: AGENTS OF S.M.A.S.H.

Join the Incredible Hulk and his larger-than-life teammates as they tackle threats too enormous for other heroes in this all-new all-ages comic based on the hit Disney XD animated series! Featuring Hulk, Red Hulk, A-Bomb, Skaar and the Sensational She-Hulk — and special guest-stars Spider-Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy! Hulk’s family of smashers continues to grow, as does the property damage, when the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. face off against the Collector, Annihilus and more! Collecting MARVEL UNIVERSE HULK: AGENTS OF S.M.A.S.H. #1-4 and material from FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2013 (AVENGERS/HULK).

It's nice that there are Marvels for kids. This delights me no end.

MIGHTY AVENGERS #9

Writer: AL EWING

Art/Cover: GREG LAND

Captain America Variant by TBA

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

ON SALE APRIL 2

• The Blue Marvel faces a nightmare from the depths of the Neutral Zone -- and the depths of his past!

• Meanwhile, Ronin can’t hide from the Deathwalkers any longer...

• ... or from the readers! This ish -- the mask comes off!

I know this is an homage cover -- but to what, I can't remember. I want to say the original was drawn by John Romita Sr., but I may be thinking of the cover below, which I don't think is what's tickling my memory (but may be conflated with it). I can't put my finger on whatever cover this reminds me of. Can anybody else remember? It's driving me buggy!

NIGHTCRAWLER #1

Writer: CHRIS CLAREMONT

Art: TODD NAUCK

Cover: CHRIS SAMNEE

Variant: HUMBERTO RAMOS

Animal Variant: CHRIS SAMNEE

32 PGS./Rated T+/$2.99

On sale April 9

NIGHTCRAWLER IS BACK!

Newly-returned from the afterlife, veteran X-Man Kurt Wagner finds himself in a world that’s a far cry from the one he left. But determined not to let his new lease on life go to waste, Nightcrawler hits the road alongside Wolverine, eager to right some wrongs and safeguard the future mutantkind … and he’s going to do it by the means he loves most: swashbuckling, lady-charming and -- of course -- BAMFing!

“He’s smart, tough, creative and daring, with an instinctive understanding of people and situations. He has a wicked sense of humor and a devastating charm,” says proliofic and iconic X-Men writer Chris Claremont, in an interview with Marvel.com. ”His ‘normal’ is revolutionary to most people; throw him a problem, he’ll find a way to solve it that’s unique to him. He quite simply is the kind of man others trust; to know him is to have faith in him.”

“Nightcrawler has been one of my all-time favorite X-Men,” says artist Todd Nauck. “He’s a fun, cool character and he’s easy to care about. He’s a guy you root for.”

When Nightcrawler sacrificed his life to protect mutantkind, a hole was left in the X-Men’s ranks that has never been filled. Now, with his recent resurrection in the pages of Amazing X-Men, the world Kurt Wagner left behind has changed. Charles Xavier is dead. Scott Summers leads the mutant revolution as a fugitive. Wolverine guides the mutants of tomorrow at the Jean Grey School for higher learning. Deep schisms divide the X-Men, and his closest friends now find themselves bitter enemies.

Where will he go? What will he do? Don’t miss the start of a brand new adventure as Nightcrawler and Chris Claremont make their triumphant return to the X-Men fold for NIGHTCRAWLER #1!

 

SECRET AVENGERS #2

Writer: ALES KOT

Art: MICHAEL WALSH

Cover: TRADD MOORE

Variant: DECLAN SHALVEY

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

• Earth is in danger. Massive decommissioned S.H.I.E.L.D. satellites are about to fall on us all. It’s a P.R. nightmare in the making!

• Speaking of things falling from space: Nick Fury and special agent Phil Coulson are about to die painfully.

• Unless Hawkeye, Black Widow and Spider-Woman save them!

• Maria Hill is wounded. The hitman made it personal. Hill’s potential savior? M.O.D.O.K.!

THE SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN #11

Writer: NICK SPENCER

Art: STEVE LIEBER

Cover: JOE QUINONES

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

• They don’t get NOW-er than the Superior Foes of Spider-Man!

• Is there a rat in the Sinister Six?*

(*=there’s still only five members.)

• Spencer & Lieber continue the sleeper hit of the NOW-lenium!

I just read the first trade, and now I see why everyone's been saying nice things about this title. It's a lot of fun!

 

THUNDERBOLTS #24

Writer: CHARLES SOULE

Art: PACO DIAZ LUQUE

Cover: JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO

32 PGS./Parental Advisory/$2.99

• The T-Bolts turn adventurer as they trek into Central America!

• Thrill, chills, and romance in the heart of the jungle!

• A mysterious power that’s too much for anyone to contain!

Usually when I hate a Big Two book, it gets canceled pretty quickly -- evidently, my tastes are pretty mainstream. Not so with Thunderbolts, at least not so far. Does this mean that I have become, at long last, NOT the target audience?

WHAT IF? AGE OF ULTRON #2

Writer: JOE KEATINGE

Art: RAMON VILLALOBOS

Cover: CHRIS STEVENS

Variant: JAMES STOKOE

32 PGS./Rated T+/$3.99

THE SECRET ARMOR WARS!

• In a world without Iron Man, the Armor Wars are fought without a victor, scorching the Earth!

• Years later, one of the last remaining superheroes, an aged Amazing Spider-Man, must form a Fantastic Four the likes of which our world has not seen in years!

• Teaming with Ghost Rider, the Incredible Hulk and Wolverine they are in pursuit of the one weapon that could unite the planet -- The Forgotten Iron Man!

VALIANT COMICS

BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #21

Writers: CHRISTOS GAGE & JOSHUA DYSART

Art: TOM RANEY

Cover: LEWIS LAROSA

Interlocking Pullbox Variant: JORGE MOLINA

Variant Cover by TOM FOWLER

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

MISSION: IMPROBABLE – FINALE! Bloodshot! Archer! H.A.R.D. Corps! Armstrong! It all comes down to this!!

"Mission: Improbable" rockets into its explosive climax as four world-shattering forces collide! Will Bloodshot re-capture Archer for Project Rising Spirit…or is a double-cross in the works?! Will H.A.R.D. Corps figure out how you kill an immortal like Armstrong … or are they going home in body bags? Only one thing's for certain … it doesn't matter who loses -- you win!

UNITY #6

Writer: MATT KINDT

Art: CAFU

Cover: CLAYTON CRAIN

Variant: RAUL ALLEN

Variant: MICHAEL WALSH

Variant: CAFU

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

Drawn into the WEBNET!

Unity is anything but unified as the team fractures and must start from scratch. But they'd better hurry because a new threat is looming … and Ninjak must tackle a viral epidemic that has been lying in wait for generations. A sickness is spreading across the land and only the doctor has the cure … Dr. Silk!

X-O MANOWAR VOL. 5: AT WAR WITH UNITY (TPB)

Writer: ROBERT VENDITTI

Art: CARY NORD with VINCENTE CIFUENTES and TREVOR HAIRSINE

Cover: CLAYTON CRAIN

$14.99/T+/112 pgs.

X-O Manowar -- locked in battle with Valiant's all-star superteam, Unity!

X-O Manowar finally has it all, and his people finally have a land they can call home … but threats from all sides now threaten to destroy the man inside the armor, Aric of Dacia, and the peace he has struggled to secure. While unrest stirs and Aric’s camp threatens to rebel against him, the most dangerous strike force ever assembled -- Unity -- have joined forces with the Harbinger Foundation’s Toyo Harada to achieve but one goal: destroy X-O Manowar before his actions push in western civilization to the brink of all-out nuclear annihilation.

Collecting X-O MANOWAR #19-22 by New York Times best-selling writer Robert Venditti (Green Lantern) and acclaimed artists Cary Nord (Conan), Vincente Cifuentes (Batgirl), and Trevor Hairsine (Eternal Warrior), prepare yourself for an all-new story arc of the epicenter of the year’s biggest comics event that will leave X-O Manowar -- and the Valiant Universe with him -- forever changed.

 

 OTHER PUBLISHERS

ACG CLASSICS COLL PACK FORBIDDEN WORLDS (SIGNED SLIPCASE EDITION)

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

Writer: STAN NICHOLLS & Various

Art: EDWARD MILLER & Various

$169.99

Forbidden? Heck, these are worlds you wouldn't even want to venture into! And as PS moves forward even farther into the ACG pre-Code firmament, here we go collecting together the first 25 issues, featuring four sumptuous slipcased volumes, one signature sheet (for Volume One) and four Introductions from folks who know their spooky stuff and how! These classic anthologies -- available now at a knock-down price -- will thrill you today as much as when they were first published, plus you get a paperback edition of PS's Showcase sampler.

ALICE IN THE COUNTRY: CLOVER NIGHTMARE (GN)

Publisher: ST. MARTINS PRESS

Writer: QUINROSE

Art/Cover: YOBU

Mature/$13.99

Nightmare in his own solo adventure! Nightmare Gottschalk, the personification of bad dreams in Wonderland, often appears to Alice when she sleeps.

Which is not at all creepy!

But now the sickly incubus, often seen coughing up blood, has come to Alice in person, and claims to love her.

Which is also not at all creepy!

Alice must decide if the eccentric Nightmare, who sports an eyepatch and can read minds, is truly the man of her dreams.

If I thought this would end with her getting a restraining order against him, I’d be tempted to look at it.

Also includes a special bonus Crimson Empire short story!

Oh, well, then …

ANNOYING ORANGE VOL 5: TRANSFARMERS (GN)

Publisher: NBM

WritersArt/Cover: SCOTT SHAW, MIKE KAZALEH

$7.99

A family of gigantic aliens from outer space has invaded our planet. Their mission? Harvest all of Earth's fruit! Annoying Orange and his produce pals from Daneboe's Supermarket must to try and stop these monsters: Blendorr, a titanic living juicer; his colossal wife Juolie-Annn, a sentient slicing device; and their only-slightly-less-gargantuan son, Rronko, a mysterious gizmo of a thousand uses! If our band of fruitastic heroes can't pull off Orange's annoying defense plans, they'll be fed into the galactic juicers!

I’d just like to say that ”Annoying Orange” sounds like the worst Kool-Aid flavor ever.

BIG NATE: GREAT MINDS THINK ALIKE (TPB)

Publisher: POCKET BOOKS

Writer/Art/Cover: LINCOLN PEIRCE

$9.99

Two heads are better than one, except when they're crashing into each other! But that won't prevent Big Nate and his pals from hatching great ideas for fun. Nate Wright is a wisecracking 11-year-old who knows he's destined for greatness. Nate is the star of Big Nate, the daily and Sunday comic strip that made its debut in 1991. Nate's a sixth-grade chess prodigy, a self-described genius, and the all-time record holder for detentions in school history. He's often in hot water with his teachers and classmates, but Nate's winning personality and can-do attitude always make him a big hit with readers.

I'm not very impressed with "Big Nate." It seems like a pedestrian strip whose best bits are "Calvin and Hobbes" swipes. Any fans out there who want to set me straight?

CALIBAN #1

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

Writer: GARTH ENNIS

Art/Cover: FACUNDO PERCIO

Mature/$9.99

Master storyteller GARTH ENNIS and Fashion Beast artist FACUNDO PERCIO team up to deliver a haunting new epic of science fiction horror. The crew of the Caliban travels hyperspace on nothing more than a routine trip for the giant vessel. Just human beings that have been inside a bit too long, confident of no other life in the Galaxy, and all the vastness of space to remind them how far they are from home. But when an impossible accident suddenly causes the Caliban to slam into an abandoned alien ship, a nightmare in space begins to unfold. Ennis delivers his unique brand of flawed characters, spot-on dialog, and trademark flare for the unexpected in a new series in the vein of Alien. This is the beginning of the end for the crew of the Caliban. Available with Regular, Wraparound, Terror, and Design Sketch Incentive covers by Facundo Percio and a ultra-limited Dark Matter edition of just 1500 copies.

Man, writers LOVE to name their characters Caliban. But, you know, taking a name out of Shakespeare doesn't make your character Shakespearean. Nor does using Shakespearean names make a given writer more Shakespearean. (Chris Claremont, I'm looking at you!)

CASE CLOSED VOL 50 (GN)

Publisher: VIZ LLC

Writer/Art/Cover: GOSHO AOYAMA

$9.99

A reporter is found dead just before an interview with the Junior Detective League.

If you’re in a comic, never go within a hundred miles of anything called “the Junior Detective League,” unless you’re eager to get murdered.

Conan is determined to close the case ... but with his teacher watching, he has to do it without letting on that he's smarter than the average first grader! Then flash back to one of Jimmy's first cases! When a death takes place at a ski resort, everyone believes a legendary ghost has struck again. But two middle schoolers think otherwise: young Jimmy Kudo and young Harley Hartwell! Which boy genius will solve the mystery first?

CLIVE BARKER NEXT TESTAMENT #8

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: CLIVE BARKER, MARK L. MILLER

Art: HAEMI JANG

Cover: GONI MONTES

Mature/$3.99

Tristan & Elspeth finally reach Providence, but after Wick's latest strike, their efforts may be in vain. And what does Julian want in Paris?

COSPLAYERS #1

Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

Writer/Art: DASH SHAW

$4.99

Annie and Verti are two teen cosplayers with too much time on their hands. Annie wants to act, and Verti wants to be a photographer/filmmaker. Together, they embark on making a film starring themselves and featuring an unsuspecting cast of extras they record via hidden camera. What could possibly go wrong? A one-shot dose of humor and melancholy from the creator of New School, BodyWorld, and The Bottomless Belly Button.

It was only a matter of time, wasn't it? Frankly, I'm glad about any trend that brings women into our sandbox, but it's kinda sad that there's an industry growing around young, attractive women being rewarded for dressing up like comics characters they will never read about. And, yes, being judged on their looks, in the most superficial way possible. Some things never change.

CRITTER VOL 4 (TPB)

Publisher: BIG DOG INK

Writer: TOM HUTCHISON

Art: FICO OSSIO, ALISSON BORGES

Cover: FICO OSSIO

$14.99

High Tide hits the United States as Tidepool returns from the Depths with a vengeance. Critter must muster the troops from across the country and from across the dimensions to fight off this unearthly manifestation that is already responsible for the sinking of Atlantis - and the United States may be next. Collects issues #11-15 of the ongoing series.

DAWN OF THE ARCANA VOL 12 (GN)

Publisher: VIZ LLC

Writer/Art/Cover: REI TOMA

$9.99

Princess Nakaba of Senan and Prince Caesar of Belquat only married each other for the sake of peace between their two warring countries, yet the two develop feelings for each other while political forces threaten to tear their world apart. With Caesar's departure to Belquat, the couple separates. Meanwhile, Nakaba manages to take control of Senan as ruler! But once Caesar's father, King Guran, decides to break the peace treaty and invade Senan, what will Caesar do when he's caught between his father and the woman he loves?

Yes! No! Maybe! Wait, what was the question?

DEADMAN WONDERLAND VOL 2 (GN)

Publisher: VIZ LLC

Writer/Art/Cover: JINSEI KATAOKA, KAZUMA KONDOU

$9.99

Falsely accused of murdering his classmates and sentenced to death in Deadman Wonderland, Ganta begins to learn more about life inside the prison walls. Upon hearing that the Red Man, the strange being that killed his friends, is in the G Ward, Ganta heads there seeking answers -- and revenge. Instead he finds a mysterious man who calls him &"Woodpecker."

Being from Boston, the name “Wonderland” makes me think of the dog track that used to be up in Revere as often as it does Lewis Carroll, which means that this title makes me think of Boston Brand betting on the puppies.

DECEIVERS #4

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: STEVEN GRANT

Art: JOSE HOLDER

Cover: LORENA CARVALHO

$3.99

The tables have turned as Lincoln and Nicky dupe Patrice, tracking her back to Ulysses' base. But little do they know, the truth is much stranger than the pile of fictions they've been dealt. ... The twists and turns continue to build as DECEIVERS races towards its conclusion!

DISNEY FAIRIES VOL 14: TINKER BELL & BLAZE (GN)

Publisher: NBM

Writer: TEA ORSI, CARLO PANERO

Art/Cover: MARINA BRAGGIO, MANUELA RAZZI

TPB $7.99/HC $11.99

Tinker Bell is Pixie Hollow's best tinker and she's always on the lookout for new lost objects that she can turn into amazing, magical inventions! But when Tink goes on a scavenger hunt at the beach, she forgets to invite her firefly friend Blaze. Can these two repair their friendship, or will Blaze leave Pixie Hollow forever? Plus: eleven more exciting tales of faith, trust and pixie dust!

Is there an etymological root to "Tinker Bell"? Is it some kind of Middle Ages guild reference, like "cobbler" or "cooper"? Does it mean or imply something? Just curious.

DREDD UNDERBELLY MOVIE SEQUEL (ONE SHOT 2ND PTG)

Publisher: REBELLION/2000 AD

Writer: ARTHUR WYATT

Art: HENRY FLINT

Cover: JOCK

Mature/$3.99

The one-shot sequel to the critically-acclaimed movie! In the wake of Ma-Ma's death, other criminal gangs in Mega-City One are moving into the power vacuum, trying to fill the gap in the market left by the Slo-Mo drug. When a corpse dump is discovered in a rad-pit, the bodies are all revealed to be mutants. Could the dead be connected with an outfit smuggling illegal refugees into the city from the Cursed Earth? Dredd once again teams with Psi-Judge Anderson as they scour the underworld for the perps responsible, to bring them to justice!

I liked this movie. I wish it had made more money.

EVIL EMPIRE #1 (2ND PTG)

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: MAX BEMIS

Art: RANSOM GETTY

Cover: WILLIAM PYLE

Mature/$3.99

From BOOM! Studios.

WHY WE LOVE IT: After Polarity, we just had to work with writer (and Say Anything lead singer) Max Bemis again, and his thrilling take on how our modern society could evolve into an evil empire is absolutely terrifying.

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: Every fan of fiction is aware of the trope of the "evil, sinister empire" i.e. the Empire in Star Wars. Oftentimes, when we are introduced to these totalitarian establishments, they are already fully in power and it's up to our hero to bring back order and peace. However, in Evil Empire, we explore how that would unfold in a real-world setting. How close to the precipice are we right now in the world we live in? Would we let it happen? More specific to this tale: Would we secretly want it to happen?

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Told through the perspective of an underground rapper named Reese, Max Bemis' gripping story explores a scenario in which we watch our modern society gradually evolve (or is it devolve?) into an evil empire.

GARFIELD SHOW VOL 3: LONG LOST LYMAN (GN)

Publisher: NBM

Writer: JIM DAVIS, CEDRIC MICHIELS

Art/Cover: ELLIPSANIME/DARGAUD

TPB $7.99/HC $11.99

This is the story Garfield fans have been waiting for! Years ago, Lyman left his dog Odie with Jon and was never seen again. When Jon learns that Lyman may have disappeared while searching for a mythical beast in a distant jungle, Jon, Garfield, and Odie set out to find him. It's a journey decades in the making in this historic Garfield graphic novel!

GRAPHIC LIBRARY: JACKIE ROBINSON (GN)

Publisher: CAPSTONE PUBLISHING

Writer: JASON GLASER

Art: BOB LENTZ

$7.95

Only one jersey number is retired throughout baseball -- Jackie Robinson's #42. The man who broke baseball's color divide joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black major league baseball player of the modern era. Discover his inspiring story in this graphic novel biography.

GRAPHIC LIBRARY MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. (GN)

Publisher: CAPSTONE PUBLISHING

Writer: JENNIFER FANDEL

Art/Cover: BRIAN BASCLE

$7.95

The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s had a charismatic and literate speaker in its leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. From his pulpit as a Baptist minister to meetings with Presidents, Dr. King spoke forcefully for the need for every American to be equal, regardless of creed or color.

You know, I swear I saw this book out already last Wednesday.

GRAPHIC LIBRARY: ROSA PARKS MONTGOMERY BUS BOYCOTT (GN)

Publisher: CAPSTONE PUBLISHING

Writer: CONNIE COLWELL MILLER

Art: DAN KALAL

$7.95

An avalanche begins with a pebble, and the "pebble" for the Civil Rights Movement was an unassuming woman named Rosa Parks. After a long day at work, she was told to move to the back of the city bus because of her skin color, but Rosa Parks refused because she was tired. Her defiance of the bus line's rules led to a boycott of public transportation system until the bus line changed their discriminatory policies.

GRIMM FAIRY TALES: ASCENSION #3 

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

Writer: PATRICK SHAND

Art: BUTCH K. MAPA

Cover A: RICHARD ORTIZ

Cover B: ERIC J

Cover C: GIUSEPPE CAFARO

$3.99

WHO WILL DIE AT THE HANDS OF THE NEW GODS?

Death has struck the Grimm Universe, and nothing will ever be the same. As the Being continues his culling, Sela and Van Helsing scramble to find a way to stop him and the New Keepers. Things go awry, though, when Jacqueline loses control of her powers and Julian reveals his true loyalties. A battle for the fate of the world is coming, and not everyone will make it out alive!

GRIMM FAIRY TALES: ROBYN HOOD LEGEND #2

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

Writer: PATRICK SHAND

Art: LARRY WATTS

Cover A: EMILIO LAISO

Cover B: STJEPAN SEJIC

Cover C: IVAN NUNES

$2.99

THE FINAL ARC OF THE ROBYN HOOD TRILOGY CONTINUES!

Robyn has returned to Myst with a group of uneasy allies, but she finds the realm much different than when she left it. Nottingham is being ruled by the powerful and evil Sheriff, and there doesn't seem to be a way to pierce his defenses. With nowhere else to look, Robyn turns to the villainous Avella for help ... but will her old nemesis offer her answers, or a just more problems?

I read an article somewhere that said GFT had turned the corner from being a fantasy/sexploitation line, and is now legit -- plus, the (re-) introduction of Robyn Hood has increased female readers of Zenescope books to a higher percentage than the industry overall.

I want to believe stuff like that, but I don't. Especially since the author didn't offer any concrete evidence for his insights. Still I may try a trade or two.

HARVEY HORRORS COLL PACK WITCHES TALES (SIGNED SLIPCASE EDITION)

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

Writer: RAMSEY CAMPBELL & Various

Art: BRYAN TALBOT & Various

$279.99

Dare you read these eerie tales of the supernatural from this forgotten classic? Hey, no: scratch that. Dare you not read 'em? All 28 issues of Harvey's notorious Witches Tales, with special introductions from some of the top movers 'n' groovers in the literary and four-color fields, beautifully illustrated slipcases and specially commissioned artworked signature sheets, plus a copy of the acclaimed PS Showcase paperback and all for a fraction of their originally published prices.

ITSUWARIBITO VOL 11 (GN)

Publisher: VIZ LLC

Writer/Art/Cover: YUUKI LINUMA

$9.99

Still seeking the Kokonotsu treasures, Utsuho arrives in Sasaka, a country with a peculiarly troubled history that turns out to have involved one of his companions. Meanwhile, Kuroha seizes a moment to share some personal history, revealing what's really behind her rivalry with Utsuho to find the Kokonotsu!

Meanwhile, the Punisher and the Russian …

JOHN CARPENTER'S ASYLUM #5

Publisher: STORM KING PRODUCTIONS, INC

Writer: BRUCE JONES

Art/Cover: LEONARDO MANCO

Mature/$3.99

A game of cat and mouse with a body-jumping demon leads Duran and Beckett toward madness ... and death.

KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA VOL 8 (GN)

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

Writer/Art/Cover: TSUTOMU NIHEI

$12.95

One of the manga world's most intriguing artists returns with a science fiction tour-de-force which combines post-apocalyptic action, modern sci-fi video game tropes, and a traditional Japanese aesthetic in The Knights of Sidonia. In his follow up to the hit Biomega series, Tsutomu Nihei tackles the world of hard science-fiction by creating a modern space comedy inspired by the genre's hits from his youth. Nagate Tanikaze was a homeless teen living in the depths of a space colony with a thing for simulation games and stealing rice. Now he is the lead fighter pilot protecting said space colony from a race of shape-shifting space giants!

This sounds vaguely like The Last Starfighter.

LEGEND OF OZ: THE WICKED WEST #17

Publisher: BIG DOG INK

Writer: TOM HUTCHISON

Art: CARLOS RENO

Cover: CARLOS RENO, NEI RUFFINO

$3.50

The field mice make their play to keep General Jinjur from releasing the dreaded Nome King from his underground prison.

LEGEND OF OZ: THE WICKED WEST VOL 4 (TPB)

Publisher: BIG DOG INK

Writer: TOM HUTCHISON, DIRK MANNING

Art/Cover: ALISSON BORGES

$17.99

Presenting the untold origin story of the Flying Monkeys of Oz! As Dorothy Gale returns from her self-imposed exile, a band of flying gorillas fails to heed her call even though she is in control of the Golden Cap. What follows is a story Gale was not prepared to hear, and unable to rectify. Collects issues #11-15 of the ongoing series.

LIBERATOR (TPB)

Publisher: BLACK MASK COMICS

Writer: MATT MINER & Various

Art: JAVIER SANCHEZ ARANDA & Various

Cover: TIM SEELEY

Mature/$14.99

Acclaimed from the NY Post to Earth First, Liberator is the hard-edged vigilante story of heroes who avenge the torture of animals, because real heroes don't wear capes ... they wear ski masks. Issues 1-4 are collected here for the first time in this trade paperback with brand new Liberator stories by Ales Kot (Zero, Iron Patriot), Ed Brisson (Sheltered, Secret Avengers), Alex de Campi (Grindhouse), Tim Seeley (Revival, Hack/Slash), Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts), and more!

LILITH DARK & THE BEASTIE TREE (GN)

Publisher: ALTERNA COMICS INC

Wrtier/Art/Cover: C DOWD

$14.99

An all-ages epic just in time for Free Comic Book Day! Lilith Dark has no time for tea parties and princess stuff; she's far too busy fighting off wicked creatures and fantastic beasts, or at least that's how she imagines things. One day, Lilith follows a mysterious kitten into an old tree and discovers an entire world of real beasties that has been living right under her nose! With her big sister held captive, Lilith must face her fears, rescue her sister from the evil beasties, and save the day before bedtime!

LOLA XOXO #1

Publisher: ASPEN MLT INC

Writer/Art/Covers: SIYA OUM

$3.99

Aspen's newest hit series debuts!

In the "Wasteland," Lola, a young woman with a resolve fortified by a lifetime of survival on her own, must journey across the nuclear-decimated United States in order to find the family that was taken from her! As her quest for the truth begins, Lola uncovers the true inhumanity of the Apocalypse, as those who seek to hold power in a new frontier, will do so at all bloody costs-including her life!

Aspen is proud to bring you artist Siya Oum's highly anticipated new series! Sure to be one of 2014's most exciting debuts, LOLA XOXO is ready to take you on an incredible adventure unlike any other!

Nice covers. Somebody went to art class.

LUMBERJANES #1

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: NOELLE STEVENSON, GRACE ELLIS

Art: BROOKE A. ALLEN

Cover: NOELLE STEVENSON

$3.99

WHY WE LOVE IT: Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp ... defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons ... what's not to love?!

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT: It's Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets Gravity Falls and features five buttkicking, rad teenager girls wailing on monsters and solving a mystery with the whole world at stake. And with the talent of acclaimed cartoonist Noelle Stevenson and talented newcomer Grace Ellis writing and Brooke Allen on art, this is going to be a spectacular series that you won't want to miss.

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they're not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! Not only is it the second title launching in our new BOOM! Box imprint but LUMBERJANES is one of those punk rock, love-everything-about-it stories that appeals to fans of basically all excellent things.

LUNITA #2

Writer: XAVIER MORELL

Art/cOVER: SERGI SAN JULIAN

Mature, 7×10, 32pgs, FC, $3.99

There is a drug that links people to the supernatural. And yet, this drug is on the streets … and that’s a huge problem!

D.E.A. Agent Summer joined her forces with a weird agent from a Spanish agency, the mysterious Lunita.

Now, they are both hunted by the nebulous organization that traffics with the supernatural drug across Europe. This leads them to hide in the depth of the woods … ancient Spanish forests plenty of tales, legends and mythical creatures … that could be real!

Enjoy the amazing art of Sergi San Julián and join D.E.A. Agent Summer and Lunita in the depth of the woods, where you’ll have to be very careful if you want to survive!

I was afraid this firm had gone belly up. It's been a while since we've seen an offering. (And this one sounds interesting.)

MAGI VOL 5 (GN)

Publisher: VIZ LLC

Writer/Art/Cover: SHINOBU OHTAKA

$9.99

Aladdin has found Alibaba at last, but Alibaba has changed and perhaps for the worse. In the city of Balbadd, the Fog Troop, a gang of thieves, struggles against a corrupt government. The leader of the Fog Troop, Cassim, was Alibaba's childhood friend and has pressured him into becoming the figurehead of the gang. Aladdin and Morgiana hope to rescue him with the help of King Sinbad, but powerful forces stand against them, including another Magi ...

I don’t remember Aladdin and Ali Baba being buddies.

Were they even contemporaries? Sinbad's in this, too, and he surely never met either of them. No fable is safe any more!

MINECRAFT OFFICIAL MOJANG REDSTONE HANDBOOK

Publisher: SCHOLASTIC INC.

$7.99

It's time to wire up and get connected to one of the most complex areas of Minecraft, Redstone. Redstone experts guide you through all aspects of working with Redstone including mining, smelting, using repeaters, circuit components and circuit designs. This handbook also includes exclusive tips from game creator Notch himself and some of the most extraordinary Redstone creations ever made. So power up and get switched on to Redstone!

NELSON MANDELA (CAMPFIRE EDITION)

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

Writer: LEWIS HELFAND

Art/Cover: SANKHA BANERJEE

$12.99

In 1948, justice and equality were outlawed in the country of South Africa. The people needed one voice to speak up when the world fell silent. They needed one leader to stand up when the world looked away. One man answered that call; one man who sacrificed his own future for the future of his people and transformed a nation. Nelson Mandela focuses on the man as a positive leader and the face of change in South Africa.

NEOZOIC TRADERS GAMBIT #3

Publisher: RED 5 COMICS

Writer: PAUL ENS

Art/Cover:J. KORIM

$3.50

At Monanti City, a perimeter check leads to answers behind a raptor stronghold. Meanwhile, the divergent cultures of the swapmeet must come together to survive when a predator dinosaur sets off a chain reaction of fire, destruction, and espionage.

REGULAR SHOW SKIPS #6

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer/Art: MADELINE RUPERT

Cover: LAURA KNETZGER, MADELINE RUPERT

$3.99

It's the final issue and things are crashing down! Will Skips and Ted be able to figure out how to get out of this never-ending cycle of park torture? They might have finally gotten a handle on Mordecai and Rigby but the problem is going to end up being a lot more complicated than that ...

RETURNING #2

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: JASON STARR

Art: ANDREA MUTTI

Cover: FRAZER IRVING

$3.99

Beth seemed to have nowhere to turn until -- a mysterious man who calls himself Marcus seemingly comes to her aid. Now, as they move through Indiana, Marcus not only claims to know why the NDE victims turn to violence, but also information about Beth's family. But, can he be trusted?

RIO VOL 1: SNAKES ALIVE (GN)

Publisher: NBM

Writer: STEFAN PETRUCHA

Art/Cover: JAMES SILVANI

TPB $7.99/HC $11.99

Blu and Jewel, the last known surviving Blue Spix Macaws, are having a great time raising their children in the safety of the Blu Bird Sanctuary, but there may be trouble in paradise! When Blu overhears Tulio and Linda talking about their money troubles, Blu takes it upon himself to save the sanctuary and his friends' livelihood -- if only he could think of a way. When bulldog Luiz tells Blu about a legendary elixir hidden somewhere in the jungle, Blu thinks that could be the answer!

ROGUES (VOL 2): THE COLD SHIP #1

Publisher: AMIGO COMICS

Writer: TORRES EL

Art/Cover: LOLITA ALDEA

Colors: SANDRA MOLINA

Mature, SC, 7×10, 32pgs, FC, $3.99

New story arc and new artist! The spectacular art of Lolita Aldea illustrates a new adventure of Bram and Weasel, whose friendship is strong, but it will be put to the test when one gloomy night, a dark ship appears in Geradas' harbor and the grim crew commands Bram, the Northerner, to join them in their deadly quest!

What I liked about Rogues Vol 1 was the art. I found the writing kinda peurile, straining for cheap sex and fart jokes. So I'm sorry to see the art change.

ROY THOMAS PRESENTS COLL PACK HEAP

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

Writer: ROY THOMAS & Various

Art: MIKE PLOOG & Various

$89.99

Long established as one of the main movers in the far-out 'n' four color world of comics, Roy Thomas has pushed for PS to make available all three volumes of their reprinted series of the world's very first muck monster in one easy-to-buy (and easy to afford!) special set with a copy of the acclaimed PS Showcase paperback. On October 12, 1918, Baron Von Emmelmann, a German pilot, was shot down over Wausau Swamp in Poland. Dying from his wounds, his body slowly merged with the morass. Wander the swamps and mangrove pathways and encounter all manner of creatures, courtesy of Roy Thomas, PS and all the great writers and artists of the 1950s.

ROY THOMAS PRESENTS COLL PACK HEAP SGN SLIPCASE ED

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

Writer: ROY THOMAS & Various

Art: MIKE PLOOG & Various

$216.99

Roy Thomas presents the original muck monster in exclusive slipcased three volume set. Roy Thomas has pushed for PS to make available all three volumes of their reprinted series of the world's very first muck monster in one easy-to-buy (and easy to afford!) special set, offered with special certificates signed by Mike Ploog, Frank Brunner and Stephen R.Bissette and a copy of the acclaimed PS Showcase paperback.

SONS OF ANARCHY #8

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: ED BRISSON

Art: DAMIAN COUCEIRO

Cover: GARRY BROWN

Mature/$3.99

The town of Charming is more dangerous than ever in the wake of Damon Pope's death, and when two prospects are killed in what was supposed to be a regular ride of guns, Jax must find a way to bring order in a more chaotic world that's more dangerous than ever.

SPONGEBOB COMICS #31

Publisher: UNITED PLANKTON PICTURES

Writer: JOEY WEISER, CHUCK DIXON

Art: VINCENT DEPORTER, RAMONA FRADON

Cover: GREGG SCHIGIEL

$2.99

After staying up past their bedtimes, SpongeBob and Patrick vow to go for it and stay up All Night. Their mission, to become "Kings of Night" -- and the nocturnal antics that ensue are worth donning those night-vision goggles you've been sitting on. Then, Silver Age legend Ramona Fradon (Plastic Man, Metamorpho) joins with Batman scribe Chuck Dixon to weave a tale of Mermaid Man's run in with true love, in a story we could only call "The Lovely Lure of Lady Mackeral." Also in this issue: SpongeBob tries out different shapes to improve business at the Krusty Krabb, and poker-playing Pirates try out a new deck of SpongeBob-themed cards. All this plus "SpongeFunnies" by James Kochalka (Dragon Puncher), tidal trivia by Maris Wicks (Primates), and a back cover by Eleanor Davis (The Secret Science Alliance)!

STONE COLLECTOR VOL 2 (GN)

Publisher: GEN MANGA ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: KEVIN HAN

Art/Cover: ZOM-J

$14.95

Pieces of curse fall from the sky as if to mock the cruelty and evil of humanity. These stones create wretched beasts and the blood of these beasts turn human flesh into the undead. There is only one thing that can destroy these hellish fiends -- Jade Stone. This is the story of a Stone Collector. One who wields Jade forged blades. A man whose family was murdered by these evil abominations and he now has vowed to rid the world of the foul presence.

THANIEL #1

Publisher: OSSM COMICS

Writer: OMAR SPAHI

Art/Cover: TERRY HUDDLESTON

Mature/$3.99

Throughout the universe there is one constant; everything dies. Growing up on the streets, losing everyone closest to him, Thaniel knows this harsh reality all too well. Born with a mysterious power that he's struggling to control, Thaniel begins to wonder if those he loves are gone because of him.

WAYWARD SONS VOL 3 (TPB)

Publisher: RED GIANT ENTERTAINMENT

Writer: BENNY POWELL

Art: WEILIN YANG & Various

Cover: WEILIN YANG

$19.95

Ancient mythology and science fiction meet on ancient Earth! The war in ancient Egypt is here! It will take all of their skill and cunning for the hopelessly outnumbered Ulympeans to pull off a victory against the entrenched Tytans. If they lose, mankind will forever be under the thumb of Kronos and his minions. If they win, will mankind be any better off? The fate of the world hangs in the balance!

WHAT DID YOU EAT YESTERDAY VOL 1 (GN)

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

Writer/Art/Cover: FUMI YOSHINAGA

Mature/$12.95

From the Award-Winning author, Fumi Yoshinaga, comes a casual romance between two 40-year-old men and the many meals they share together.

"In other news, the yaoi genre of manga officially ran out of ideas today …”

A hard-working middle-aged gay couple in Tokyo come to enjoy the finer moments of life through food. After long days at work, either in the law firm or the hair salon, Shiro and Kenji will always have down time together by the dinner table, where they can discuss their troubles, hash out their feelings and enjoy delicately prepared home cooked meals!

...Is Nightcrawler still a Catholic priest (the coming back to life , well...........)...I thought that Deadpool was married already?? (That " Deadpool Family " title a couplish-years?? back . )...Flash Gordon's start did owe quite a bit to " When Worlds Collide " .

Regarding antecedents for Mongo: there's Burroughs's Barsoom and early imitations of the same. I don't agree the comparison of Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers is so completely to the former's advantage. Buck and Wilma were more interesting characters than the early Flash and Dale,(1) and the early Buck Rogers was inventive and playful. Before Flash met the Lion Men of Mongo Buck had met the Tiger Men of Mars. Buck Rogers also had its own scientist character in the form of Professor Huer.

Brick Bradford also started before Flash Gordon, but only by a few months.

(1) Buck was a cleverer hero than the early Flash, more likely to think his way out of a trap. Wilma was a more capable heroine than Dale, much as a car is more mobile than a tree.

If Marvel was going to give Nightcrawler his own book, what's the point of Amazing X-Men?

The writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs do seem to be a likely inspiration for Flash Gordon. The numerous strange races that Flash encounters is very similar to what you find in many of the Tarzan novels as well as in ERB's science fiction work. In 1934 Burroughs was still publishing new work and with the massive popularity of Tarzan his influence on other creators may have been at a peak.

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