COMICS GUIDE FOR DEC. 24, 2014

Titles listed in the Comics Guide come from the weekly list at the Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. website, and are subject to change. The information in the Comics Guide comes not only from Diamond but from solicitations, press releases and previews released by the publishers, except for random comments by Captain Comics (in blue).

BEST BETS

For more information on Best Bets and other titles, 
consult the "This Week's Comics" section below.

AVENGERS & X-MEN: AXIS #9 (of 9, $4.99, Marvel Comics): This is the climax to Marvel’s latest big crossover story, in which many of the world’s heroes and villains have had their alignment – you know, good/evil, lawful/chaotic – flipped. Evidently some will stay that way, some will die (at least temporarily), and this issue will tell us who ends up what.

THE AVENGER SPECIAL 2014: THE TELEVISION KILLERS ($7.99, Dynamite): This is one of three Dynamite specials this week starring pulp characters in pulp-style adventures, with pulp-style covers. (The other two are DOC SAVAGE SPECIAL 2014: WOMAN OF BRONZE and THE SHADOW ONE-SHOT 2014: AGENTS OF THE SHADOW, $7.99.) They had me at “pulp”!

THE COMPLETE CORTO MALTESE VOL 1: UNDER THE SIGN OF CAPRICORN (TPB, $29.99, IDW Publications): “Corto Maltese” is a legendary adventure strip by the legendary writer/artist Hugo Pratt about a globe-trotting sailor named … well, you know. It’s so legendary, in fact, that an island on “Arrow” is named Corto Maltese. Now IDW is planning to reprint the entire series in a 12-volume collection, starting with “Under the Sign of the Capricorn.” I can’t really say how good it is, as I’ve never read it, but I sure intend to. After all, it’s legendary.

GRAVEYARD SHIFT #1 (of 4, $3.50, Image Comics): Image describes this new miniseries as “Fright Night-style thrills and Castle-style crime-solving as a homicide detective and his girlfriend find their love put to the ultimate test when they run afoul of a gang of vampires!” Vampires have been kinda overdone lately, but Image has been on a roll lately, and the writer of this series – Jay Faerber – won me over with Noble Causes.

ROBIN RISES: ALPHA #1 ($4.99, DC Comics): I never thought I’d miss Damian Wayne, but the little creep really grew on me. So I’m glad to see him back, which happens in this issue – but in what form, DC won’t say.

THEY’RE NOT LIKE US #1 ($2.99, Image): The description of this new series makes it sound like “What if mutants appeared and there was no Professor Xavier to teach them to play nice?” In other words, the teens in this series who get super-powers acts like teens everywhere: Rude, selfish and borderline psychopathic. Sounds like fun!

THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Titles are grouped alphabetically by publisher, in this order:  
Archie Comics, Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, IDW Publishing, Image Comics, Marvel Comics, Valiant Comics and the catch-all Other Publishers.

ARCHIE COMICS

BETTY & VERONICA COMICS DIGEST #229

Script/Art: FERNANDO RUIZ

Cover: JEFF SHULTZ, BOB SMITH, ROSARIO “TITO” PEÑA

160-page, full color comic, $4.99 U.S.

The Lodge Mansion becomes the meeting spot for all of the clubs in Riverdale High while the school is being cleaned, thanks to a “bright” idea from Archie. It turns out that there are a lot more afterschool activities that go on at Riverdale High than everyone imagined—will there be enough space to house all of them? And how will Mr. Lodge react to this afterschool invasion? Find out in “The Club House!” the new, zany lead story to this comics digest.

SONIC UNIVERSE #71

Script: IAN FLYNN & ALEAH BAKERWEB LYNX

Art: TRACY YARDLEY, JIM AMASH, JACK MORELLI AND MATT HERMS

Cover: TRACY YARDLEY & BEN HUNZEKER

Variant Cover: RAFA KNIGHT

32-page, full color comic, $3.99 U.S.

ALL-NEW STORY ARC! “Spark of Life” Part One: Nicole detects a distress signal from the Digital World—but how can that be if nobody is supposed to know about the Digital World?! Sally, Tails and Big must travel to Isolated Island to answer the call for help! Who is Dr. Ellidy? And in what way does he link the lives of Sally and Nicole? Featuring a stunning new cover by Tracy Yardley and “Web Lynx” Variant cover art by rising Sonic star Rafa Knight!

DARK HORSE

ALIENS FIRE AND STONE #4

Writer: CHRIS ROBERSON

Art: PATRIC REYNOLDS

Colors: DAVE STEWART

Cover: DAVID PALUMBO

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Miniseries

STRANDED SURVIVORS CLASH -- ALIENS FEAST!

Tying in with the Prometheus and Aliens films, this tale of stranded survivors and the tenacious xenomorphs that stalk them comes to a close! Scientist Derrick Russell makes more stunning discoveries about the strange planet the Hadley’s Hope refugees crashed on, while Aliens close in on him!

• Ties directly into two hit motion pictures!

• From critically acclaimed writer Chris Roberson!

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 10 #10

Writer: CHRISTOS GAGE

Art/Variant Cover: REBEKAH ISAACS

Colors: DAN JACKSON

Cover: STEVE MORRIS

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

With the responsibility of writing new rules in the Vampyr book, Buffy and crew are literally the bosses of all magic -- but as more baddies learn who has the power, protecting the book is becoming a full-time job!

“A fantastic continuation to the Buffyverse.” -- Unleash the Fanboy

CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT #18

Writer: JOSHUA WILLIAMSON

Art: FERNANDO DAGNINO

Colors: JAVIER MENA

Cover: MICHAEL BROUSSARD

FC, 32 pages, $2.99

Ongoing

With teleporting assassin Helios on a tight leash, Captain Midnight and his allies soar south to infiltrate an impenetrable jungle compound and attempt to capture Midnight’s sidekick turned enemy, Chuck Ramsey, and force him to answer for his crimes. But what traps lie waiting in the undergrowth? And what mysterious forces is Chuck tapping into?

“Joshua Williamson is putting out a great book month after month.” -- All-Comic

COLDER: THE BAD SEED #3

Writer: PAUL TOBIN

Art/Cover: JUAN FERREYRA

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Ongoing

Sequel to the Eisner nominated series!

A glimpse into Declan’s past holds a startling and strange revelation, and causes him to slip further into the insane and dangerous Hungry World.

• Art by Bleeding Cool’s 2013 artist of the year, Juan Ferreyra!

• Don’t miss Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra on Prometheus: Fire and Stone!

This is one of the strangest homages I've ever seen. Remove the standing man, the fallen man and the bloody stump, and you have Andrew Wyeth's classic painting, "Cristina's World."

Cristina was a real person, and that was her farm, where she lived with her bachelor brother. (She was in her 50s when this was painted, but Wyeth used his twentysomething fiance as a model as well.) Cristina had an undiagnosed degenerative disease (probably polio), but refused to use a wheelchair, and instead crawled or dragged herself around the farm. Note the wasted arms on Cristina, and that she's not standing -- because she can't. And she's a long way from that farmhouse. Her posture is one of ... what? Longing? Sadness? Dread? Determination? Everyone sees something different.

Wyeth's father had died in an accident in 1945, three years before he painted "Cristina's World," and those who know these things say that his palette became more muted and his subjects more strained and plaintive, as if they were acting out his grief. I'm no expert, but certainly "Cristina's World" is unforgettable even if you don't know the back story.

What on earth it's doing on this comic book cover, I have no idea.

CONAN THE AVENGER #9

Writer: FRED VAN LENTE

Art: BRIAN CHING

Colors: MICHAEL ATIYEH

Cover: STEVE ELLIS

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

A war, a spy, and false allies stand in Conan’s way as he and his comrades fight to free the slave girl Natala in order to learn the location of a legendary treasure!

• The chronological journey through Conan’s life continues!

“Guaranteed fun every month.” -- Comic Bastards

FATHER'S DAY #3 (of 4)

Writer: MIKE RICHARDSON

Art/Cover: GABRIEL GUZMAN

Colors: JAVA TARTAGLIA

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

A father-daughter road trip should be a happy time ... unless that daughter hates her father and his former mob employers want him dead. And how does an ex-hitman who has renounced violence fight back? Maybe with the help of a former colleague who has renounced nothing! 

• An action-packed crime thriller written by Dark Horse publisher Mike Richardson (The Secret, The Atomic Legion).

GRINDHOUSE: DRIVE IN, BLEED OUT #2 (of 8)

Writer: ALEX DE CAMPI

Art/Cover: R. M. GUERA

Colors: GIULIA BRUSCO

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

Scalped artist R. M. Guéra!

When you think of comics that really bring the Christmas spirit, put Grindhouse at the top of your naughty list! We’re leaving sex and violence under your tree this year, as the desolate plains of the West fall victim to a terrifying quartet of cold-hearted demons, in “Slay Ride”’s gory climax!

• The nasty holiday gem “Slay Ride” concludes!

• Alex de Campi (Smoke/Ashes, Lady Zorro) is back with a vengeance!

• R. M. Guéra (Scalped, Django Unchained) paints the snow red!

HALO: ESCALATION #13

Writer: DUFFY BOUDREAU

Pencils: SERGIO ANNO

Inks: JUAN CASTRO

Colors: MICHAEL ATIYEH

Cover: DANIEL CHAVEZ

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Ongoing

A GREAT JUMPING-ON POINT!

Requiem has been destroyed, but the real war between Commander Sarah Palmer’s Spartans and Jul ’Mdama’s New Covenant is just beginning . . . and everything hinges on control of one all-powerful artifact. Duffy Boudreau (BlackAcre, Bloodshot) and Sergio Ariño (Ms. Marvel) team up for an all-new chapter of the Halo saga and a great jumping-on point for new readers!

• The Halo franchise has sales eclipsing $3 billion over its lifetime!

• The beginning of an all-new story arc!

THE MASSIVE #30

Writer: BRIAN WOOD

Art: GARRY BROWN

Colors: JORDIE BELLAIRE

Cover: J.P. LEON

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

The final issue!

Dead calm. Quiet seas. Second chances? The Ninth Wave crew enter a brand-new chapter in Earth’s history.

“Garry Brown and Jordie Bellaire simply rock this book’s artwork; every page seems so rugged and calculated it’s scarily good.”—Geeks Unleashed

“Please go out and pick this up. I really can’t urge you enough.” -- Comic Bastards

MIND MGMT #29

Writer/Art/Cover: MATT KINDT

FC, 24 pages, $3.99

Ongoing

New York Times bestseller!

Meru takes on the Eraser one on one, with deadly results. But will a familiar face in sunglasses show up just in time?

“Kindt outdoes himself on so many levels.”  -- IGN

“It will blow your mind.” -- Unleash the Fanboy

NEON GENESIS EVANGELION: THE SHINJI IKARI RAISING PROJECT VOLUME 15 (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: OSAMU TAKAHASHI

B&W, 184 pages, $9.99

TPB, 5 1/8" x 7 1/4" 

Is it just an optical illusion, or are Rei and Shinji actually getting closer to one another? Asuka isn’t too sure—but one thing you can be sure of is that she’ll be giving this perception test a hard stare! And on that note, is Asuka falling victim to the same baka-tivity that afflicts her childhood friend, as she decides to use some of Shinji’s “techniques” to help bring Toji and Hikari closer together?

• The most famous anime franchise of the last 20 years!

• The most successful Evangelion spinoff manga -- now with more volumes then the original!

If this looks familiar, it's because it was solicited for last week, too!

RESURRECTIONISTS #2

Writer: FRED VAN LENTE

Pencils: MAURIZIO ROSENZWEIG

Inks/Colors: MORENO DINISIO

Cover: JUAN DOE

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

New ongoing series!

Jericho Way is a Resurrectionist, a unique person who can unlock the memories and abilities of his past lives. The architect-turned-thief is on the verge of sparking the connection to his own history with the help of an enlightened Resurrectionist called the Scout, but time is short. The evil Sojourn corporation is wise to their actions and will stop at nothing to destroy their plans to complete a heist three thousand years in the making. 

“Van Lente gives readers just enough of everything to satisfy curiosity without overwhelming . . . on a tear of late as a writer, infusing a lot of fun in the stories he tells.” —Comic Book Resources

SUNDOWNERS #5

Writer: TIM SEELEY

Art: JIM TERRY

Colors: SEAN DOVE

Cover: CHRIS BRUNNER

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

The Sundowners are on the run, pursued by the law and a horde of invisible aliens! Will they be able to forge a superteam from the remnants of their support group, or do they need to turn to a new “hero” to lead them?

• From Tim Seeley (Revival, Hack/Slash)!

• Covers by Chris Brunner (Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight)!

TERMINATOR SALVATION FINAL BATTLE #12 (of 12)

Writer: J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI

Art/Cover: PETE WOODS

Colors: MATT WILSON

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

STRACZYNSKI ENDS IT ALL!

This is it! With John Connor’s fate now sealed and Skynet taken over by the psychotic intelligence of Thomas Parnell, has humanity reached its final hour?

• Celebrate 30 years of The Terminator!

“Straczynski and Woods are on a roll and they show absolutely no sign of stopping or slowing anytime soon.” -- Comic Bastards

One thing I've always wondered about with the Terminator franchise is why the people of the future were armed to the teeth with automatic weapons -- weapons that seemed utterly useless against the Terminators, and were probably more dangerous to each other in a firefight.

Shouldn't they have developed weapons specifically useful against robots? I'm not sure what that would be -- maybe something that shot talcum powder into their gears? Paint guns to cover their sensors? I'm no engineer, but there had to be something they could cobble together that would be more effective than bullets, which in the course of all those movies and TV shows, never stopped one single Terminator.

Anybody know if there's an in-story explanation? Or are the guns simply there because they look cool?

TOMB RAIDER #11

Writers: GAIL SIMONE, RHIANNA PRATCHETT

Pencils: NICOLAS DANIEL SELMA

Inks: JUAN GEDEON

Colors: MICHAEL ATIYEH

Cover: DAN SCOTT

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

“Without a doubt it easily comes recommended.” -- Unleash the Fanboy

The newest addition to the Tomb Raider saga, cowritten by Gail Simone and Rhianna Pratchett!

Lara’s risking her life to reveal a terrifying secret -- however, while she’s globetrotting, things aren’t right at home. What price must Lara pay to learn the truth?

• The classic character reimagined!

• The events of the comic will lead into the Tomb Raider sequel!

VAMPIRE HUNTER D NOVEL VOL 22: WHITE DEVIL MOUNTAIN PARTS 1 & 2 (SC)   

Writer: HIDEYUKI KIKUCHI

Art/Cover: YOSHITAKA AMANO

$11.99

From Dark Horse Comics. Commissioned by a vampire ancient to recover the coffin containing the body of the demonic Gilzen, hated even by his own kind, D travels to a frightening mountain landscape perennially shrouded in snow. Within a castle piercing the mountainside, D discovers a group of knights tasked to protect Gilzen at any cost.  It's time for D to use all the forces and powers at his command to prevent Gilzen's resurrection! This volume of the long-running series combines two novels and features 11 original illustrations by Final Fantasy designer Yoshitaka Amano.

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That Nova #25 cover (with the helmet-maybe-skull image) reminds me of something, too, but not a cover, a splash page.

Could you be thinking of a splash page of Timothy Truman's Scout (#1, I think)?

(Sorry, don't have an image.)

The pull list for me:

Avengers X-Men AXIS #9

Graveyard Shift 1

Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Ten 10

My Little Pony 26

Black Science 11

All-New X-Men Annual 1

Daredevil 11

Uncanny X-Men 29

I'm tempted by the Showcase: Legion of Superheroes Vol. 5 but I might wait a future collection in color.  I'm also tempted by the Roy Thomas Presents: Planet Comics collection but not for $50.  I might sample Unity #13 though that book has been hit or miss for me.  And, finally, I think I'm stuck with one more issue of Cyclops.  I enjoyed the first arc by Greg Rucka but the quality dropped like a rock once the new writer took over. 

Also, I preordered Batman by Len Wein so that should arrive in the mail a few days after Christmas. 

Aliens: Fire & Stone #4. One more chapter of this story done. Once all the Fire & Stone issues are done, I'll go back & try to figure out how they all line up.

Terminator Salvation: The Final Battle #12. The reason they don't have advanced weapons is *availability*. SkyNet hadn't created the advanced plasma-weapons seen in the first Terminator by the first strike of Judgement day, and with so many military & recorded paramilitary armories hit at that time, the Resistance had to scrounge what they could (intact gun stores, S-Mart style big-box places, homes with gun cabinets, ect.). Raiding a SkyNet weapons cache was insanity, especially with those first Terminators hunting down anything even remotely human. The plasma-weaponry the Resistance uses, seen in the flashbacks of T1 & T2, are salvaged from downed H-Ks, Tankers & infantry units. SkyNet used human slave labor in it's factories until the automated assembly systems could be placed, upgraded & activated.
Most likely any soldier that had an energy-weapon either scavenged it, stole it or had it passed to him from another soldier (most likely taken off the others' corpse).

Batman '66 #18. STILL loving this series.

TMNT/Ghostbusters #3: Not really enthusiastic about this crossover, but I am picking it up. Will wait until the last issue hits & then read.

How many times has Sgt. Pepper's cover been homaged?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not as often as Abbey Road's !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :-)

 

 

 

 



Ron M. said:

How many times has Sgt. Pepper's cover been homaged?

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