Welcome to the first Comics Guide of the new year -- and it's a doozy!

After two weeks of short lists -- thanks to the holidays -- the publishers have roared back strong. Especially those who publish manga! There are 39 new books from the Eastern hemisphere this week, about double the normal amount!

Now, normally in these circumstances I set alight The Baron Emergency Signal, summoning our resident Nipponophile from Monster Island to identify manga genres, explain cultural differences and make recommendations. But, alas, The Baron was unable to answer, as he has been shrunk to one-sixth his normal size and trapped in a cage with two similarly-sized hot chicks in bikinis called shobijin, singing hymns to Mothra. Strangely, The Baron strenuously declined any suggestion of rescue. Go figure.

So that left The Captain to his own devices when it comes to this veritable flood of manga. And I have no such devices! But I've never been one to shirk a challenge, so I will charge ahead, supremely confident in my utter ignorance.

Part of which is that I can't tell manga from manhwa from manhua. But I don't let that stop me! I'll call it all manga and say any old thing. Why? Because I'm an idiot!

That being said, there is a lot of good Western stuff this week, about which I can speak with a smidgen of authority. For example, be aware of ANMN titles (that's "All-New Marvel NOW!"), because each Marvel title with NOW in the numbering has a code by which you can access digital copies of -- and I am not kidding -- the entire first run of that particular title. Now, I haven't tried this, and I don't know exactly what that means. But it sounds pretty good!

This week the NOW titles are Avengers A.I. #8.NOW, Avengers World #1.NOW and Savage Wolverine #14.NOW. Buy 'em and try 'em, says I.

Also, IDW is releasing four "Artist Edition" hardbacks that should prove mouth-watering for any fan of comic art -- and which of us isn't? They're located in the IDW section, between DC and Image.

Now here's my first recommendation for the week:

 

ALL-NEW MARVEL NOW! POINT ONE #1

Written by DAN SLOTT, AL EWING, JAMES ROBINSON, NATHAN EDMONDSON, G. WILLOW WILSON & NICK SPENCER

Art by MICHAEL ALLRED, LEE GARBETT, STEVE PUGH, PHIL NOTO, ADRIAN ALPHONA & RAGS MORALES

Cover by SALVADOR LAROCCA

Variant Cover by STEVE MCNIVEN

56 PGS./Rated T+ …$5.99

The most popular characters. The most acclaimed creators. The most ambitious stories. This is the recharged All-New Marvel NOW!

And it’s starting right NOW! Marvel is pleased to present your very first look at All-New Marvel NOW! Point One – your one-stop jumping on point into the world of All-New Marvel NOW!

Featuring a star-studded creative cast, All-New Marvel NOW! Point One features exciting new lead-in stories for LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD, SILVER SURFER, BLACK WIDOW, MS. MARVEL, ALL-NEW INVADERS and AVENGERS WORLD!

Loki embarks on a mission for Asgard! The Silver Surfer and Dawn experience the cosmic rays of Nautikos! A Kree Pursuer and her Special Forces team prepare to invade the Earth! The Black Widow goes undercover in Russia! Who is the new Ms. Marvel? And can even the Indestructible Hulk survive the aid and assistance of fellow Avengers Cannonball and Sunspot?

"All-New Marvel NOW! Point One kicks off 2014 in style with six bold new stories that offer a glimpse into the exciting future of the Marvel Universe," said Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief, Marvel Entertainment. “From the voyage of self-discovery of the new MS. MARVEL to eye-popping cosmic adventures of the SILVER SURFER to the globe-spanning espionage of BLACK WIDOW, All-New Marvel NOW! Point One is THE place for new and longtime fans to dive in.”

Join some of the industry’s top talent this January as they take the Marvel Universe in a brand new direction – starting with brand new stories providing a clean entry point for six of the hottest new series of 2014!

And it all starts this January in the pages of All-New Marvel NOW! Point One! You don’t want to miss this one!

Once again, the biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories…and it’s happening NOW! For more on All-New Marvel NOW!, please visit www.marvel.com and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #AllNewMarvelNOW.

This is essentially an anthology, and I don't usually recommend anthologies. But this is the third or fourth "Point One" book Marvel has published, and I have found each of them to be good guides for what I will or won't like in whatever marketing scheme Marvel has cooked up.

And here are the preview pages:

NEXT:

AVENGERS WORLD #1

Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN & NICK SPENCER

Art by STEFANO CASELLI

Cover by JOHN CASSADAY

Wraparound Variant by ART ADAMS

Variant Covers by MILO MANARA & SKOTTIE YOUNG

Animal Variant & Deadpool Variant Also Available

Blank Cover also available

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

“TROUBLE MAP”

The Avengers will be tested like never before – and it all starts in the exciting Avengers World #1 – an all-new series from the star studded creative team of Jonathan Hickman, Nick Spencer and Stefano Caselli!

Following the events of INFINITY, our heroes have returned from the stars to find a very different Earth. New threats have emerged on the world they left behind, and new measures have risen up to deal with them. Earth has been marked an “Avengers World”, safely under the protection of Earth’s Mightiest.

But how will the nations and governments of the world respond to their claim – and what happens when it’s denied?

"The premise of the book is that it's the Avengers, doing big things, because it's an Avengers World now," editor Tom Brevoort said in an interview with Marvel.com. "But while we'll field the same potential lineup of 18+ Avengers in WORLD, we'll specifically be looking to give greater screen time to some of the newer Avengers, like Hyperion, Smasher, Cannonball, Shang-Chi, Starbrand and Sunspot."

Witness the beginning of a new globe-spanning epic of empires and armies – and the few heroes that stand between them and us this January in the blockbuster Avengers World #1!

Every FIRST ISSUE bearing the All New Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. But that’s not all! Select .NOW! titles will also come with a digital code for the entire first collection of that series ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Once again, the biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories…and it’s happening NOW!

For more on All-New Marvel NOW!, please visit www.marvel.com and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #MarvelNOW.

Here's a new book representing a broadened approach to Avengering, which I recently wrote a column about. And, you know, I'm an old hand at this sort of thing, and have read The Authority, and Avengers Annual #2, and all sorts of alt-future hoo-ha that show how awful it is when superheroes try to step outside of the little sandbox sketched out by Superman in 1938.

Well, you know what? I'm not cynical about this. I want it to be a good story, and I have enough confidence in the people doing it that it will be a good story, and I'm eager to read it. You should be, too.

BLACK WIDOW #1

Written by NATHAN EDMONDSON

Art & Cover by PHIL NOTO

Variant Covers by J. SCOTT CAMPBELL, MILO MINARA, and SKOTTIE YOUNG also available!

Blank Variant Also Available

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

“The Finely Woven Thread”

This January, Natasha fights off her demons in the new Black Widow #1, the action-packed new ongoing series from the blockbuster creative team of Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto! You’ve seen her as an Avenger and even an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. – now prepare for a side of her you’ve never seen before!

Though she now walks a righteous path, Natasha’s past is paved with bloody memories. The death and destruction from her past as a KGB assassin still haunts her – and she now seeks atonement for past sins. Atonement that will take her to the darkest corners of the Marvel Universe and beyond. And commit acts the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. would not approve of.

“Phil Noto and Nathan Edmondson have one those magical creative partnerships that brings out the best in both of them,” says series Editor Ellie Pyle. “Together they bring you a Natasha who is unsettlingly human in the midst of all the action and intrigue you’d expect.”

Deadly foes and lethal threats await around every turn – and the Black Widow stands alone. Don’t miss this new series that’s as gorgeous and dangerous as Natasha herself!

I love, love, love the Black Widow. Not as she is, necessarily, but as I want her to be.

I didn't like her at first. In the early '60s, Stan Lee wrote her, and Don Heck drew her, as some sort of '50s femme fatale that struck me, as a youngster who had seen Natasha Fatale on Rocky & Bullwinkle, as some kind of joke or parody of a femme fatale. It was only in reading the reactions by other characters to her that I twigged that she was supposed to be attractive. Despite, you know, looking like one of my aunts wearing my grandmother's gloves, hat and veil.

Later she became a superhero of sorts in a gray-and-blue outfit (with fishnets!) that looked like something from a circus. And her "powers" consisted of suction cups and a grapple line. (When you're reading Amazing Spider-Man at the same time, that's not very impressive.)  I guess Stan Lee (or Roy Thomas) realized she was a dead end and wrote her out of Avengers.

But then Stan rebooted her in Amazing Spider-Man #86 (1970), with a modern, skin-tight suit and some weaponry you can't get at Radio Shack. Then in Daredevil, of all places, she became a bit more ... ah, modern ... in her approach to sex, and lived "in sin" with Matt Murdock in San Francisco. Of course, that perked up the ears of an adolescent. But more importantly, she stopped being an artificial, comic-booky person and more like, well, girls that I knew.

Finally, Marvel stopped tippy-toeing around her past, and established that, yes, she had once been a very bad person who stole and spied and killed a lot of people, and, yes, she had grown up in the Soviet espionage program, which we know now from declassified documents was a really awful way to grow up, and, yes, there's a lot more to Black Widow than suction cups and a grapple line. In fact, she may not be the most powerful Avenger, but she is, bar none, the scariest one. Or should be. Marvel even published a series of low-selling but terrific short series and miniseries starring Natasha as a brittle but ultra-competent survivor of terrible things.

And incidentally, another interesting thing about her is that her name changed. When Stan Lee named her in a 1964 Tales of Suspense, he called Natasha (See: Rocky & Bullwinkle) and Romanov (or Romanoff). That last is a Westernized version of the surname of the last Russian czar, Nikolas II, one of the few Russian names most '60s Westerners had heard of outside of Kruschev. ("Stalin" wasn't Russian, or even real -- it means "Man of Steel." Stalin was from Georgia, and his birth name wasn't Stalin.)

Apparently later writers decided that was a bit too phony, and started monkeying with the Black Widow's civilian name. But, unfortunately, none of them knew a lick of Russian, and came up with all kinds o' things. Some worked, though. Chris Claremont, I think, established Natalia as her first name, which makes sense, because Natasha is the familiar form of Natalia, like Joe is for Joseph. And someone realized that Nat lacked a patronymic, a very important part of a Russian person's name, derived from their father. Some tried to turn Romanova into the patronymic, because it sounded right, but it isn't right -- a patronymic would be Romanovna (daughter of Roman). Nat's name was Romanova, a very specific and real Russian surname. Kurt Busiek gave her Ivanovna (daughter of Ivan) as a patronymic, which I liked, but it didn't stick, and someone -- probably Claremont -- gave her Alianovna, which did stick, but I don't know what it means. (Daughter of ... Alia? Alan? Aloysius?) So now, after many twists and turns, Black Widow is Natalia Alianovna Romanova. Natasha to her friends.

Although, in Russia, her nickname would be some derivative of her patronymic. Alyosha, or something.

Maybe. MAYBE. She's a spy. She could have a lot of names. And she -- like most long-running secondary characters -- has multiple origins. But because she IS a spy, any of them could be true or lies or be false identities or some combination thereof. She has been established as the wife of a cosmonaut, a ballerina, an orphan raised in "the Red Room" to be an assassin, all kinds of things. And they could all be true. Or none of them. Or a combination.

That's what's so cool about the Black Widow. I think she has ENORMOUS potential as a character, in a variety of genres. And then came Scarlett Johansson, taking the "we need a girl" part in the Avengers movie and breathing life and purpose and suggestions of backstory into it.

Now, I may be prejudiced by my love of all things Russian, from language to literature to history. But I want to see more of Black Widow. I want to see her live up to her potential, where even Captain America isn't quite sure what she's going to do, but assigns her to things and looks the other way, because he won't like how she gets it done. And I want to read a series that explores what it's like to be that person, and dare me to be sympathetic.

And I want a Black Widow movie starring Scarlett Johansson, that dares to be as down and dirty as the down and dirtiest of Bond, that doesn't stint at violence, cruelty, betrayal and moments of heart-stopping empathy. I want a movie about an espionage agent that never notices it stars a woman -- except that when the star uses being a woman to lull people into letting down their guard.

Will this Black Widow series be what I want it to be? Will it give me the movie I want? Probably not. But I do want to see more of Black Widow -- on screen, in print, everywhere. And I want people to be a little uncomfortable when they see her.

So I'm recommending this book so that you will buy it and help the ol' Captain out. Deal?

BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #18

Publisher: VALIANT COMICS

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE & JOSHUA DYSART

Art by BART SEARS

Cover by CLAYTON CRAIN

Pullbox Exclusive Variant by LEWIS LAROSA

Variant Cover by CULLY HAMNER

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

GET SOME – PART 1

Valiant is sending Bloodshot and the expendable commandos of H.A.R.D. Corps into action alongside legendary artist and Valiant icon Bart Sears (X-O Manowar) for "GET SOME!" – an all-new story arc beginning in Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #18!

As revealed at MTV Geek, Sears will join ongoing co-writers Christos Gage and Joshua Dysart for an all-new, two-part story pitting Valiant's 21st century shock troops against the first wave of superhuman specialists.

"['Get Some' is] both a term that’s used going into a war zone, referring to confirmed kills, as well as a catch phrase often used by action heroes," Gage told MTV Geek. "We’re being a bit facetious in that, with the premise and setup, it could appear like this is a straightforward action-fest, but with me and Josh at the helm, it’s inevitably going to take some weird and subversive turns."

Brought back from the dead and infused with cutting-edge nanotechnology, Bloodshot escaped to bring war down upon his former masters at Project Rising Spirit ... but now they've made him an offer he can't refuse. Partnered with the weaponized men and women of the H.A.R.D. Corps, Bloodshot and this black budget, technologically-augmented strike force is facing off against a network of terrorist saboteurs in the heart of the Persian Gulf! But as Bloodshot digs into the multinational oil conglomerate that's signing his paychecks, he'll soon find himself confronted by the complex truth behind the terror – and face-to-face with an older, scrappier, more grizzled generation of superhuman soldier from the glory days of proxy wars and state-sponsored assassination.

As the next installment of Valiant's MUST READ VALIANT campaign, Bloodshot and H.A.R.D. Corps #18 – featuring covers by Clayton Crain (Ghost Rider), Lewis LaRosa (Punisher Max) and Cully Hamner (RedBlue Beetle– is a perfect entry point into the series that Uproxx calls "fun, snarky, and fast-paced; pretty much a perfect read for action fans"!

And, in addition to Bloodshot, look for other all-new, self-contained entry points into Valiant's ongoing series all winter long with new MUST READ VALIANT milestones for each of Valiant's can't-miss monthly titles – Shadowman #13 by Peter Milligan and Roberto De La Torre in December; and Harbinger #20 by Joshua Dysart and Clayton Henry, and Eternal Warrior #5 by Greg Pak and Diego Bernard – both on sale in January!

For more information on Bloodshot and the rest of the Valiant Universe, visit Valiant on Facebook, on Twitter, and at ValiantUniverse.com. For Valiant merchandise and more, visit Valiant.CinderBlock.com.

I don't hear much buzz about Valiant on this board. That's disappointing.

All of Valiant's books are as good as the top ranks of Marvel and DC -- there's not a loser in the bunch. And all of them are better than Valiant 1.0 or Valiant 2.0, which happened in the 1980s and '90s, when for a time Valiant was the No. 3 publisher in America.

All of them are readable as individual books, or you can see them ganged together in Unity. And two books -- Archer & Armstrong and Quantum and Woody -- dare to be funny as well as dramatic. And folks, funny is a lot harder than dramatic.

So let me recommend this book, because of two reasons: 1) I think Bloodshot has been Valiant's weakest book -- until now, when it's taking the lead in the direction the Valiant Universe is going to go. And 2) it's part of the "Get Some" promotion that, if history is a judge, will actually go somewhere.

So there's my recommendation. Here's the weakest Valiant book, and I think it's still better than 90 percent of The New 52. Try it, and see if you disagree.

 

THE COMPLETE MULTIPLE WARHEADS TP

Story / art / cover BRANDON GRAHAM

208 PAGES / FC / M / $17.99

Rare, obscure, and new material from Brandon Graham collected for the first time

Before he broke new ground and shot to the forefront of the comics industry after KING CITY and PROPHET, Brandon Graham created MULTIPLE WARHEADS, a slice-of-life take on an alternate version of Russia rooted in science-fiction and fantasy. The original one-shot comic starred Sexica, an organ smuggler, and her werewolf boyfriend Nikoli, who worked as a mechanic. Out of print for years, MULTIPLE WARHEADS is being reprinted, along with a more recent miniseries, in THE COMPLETE MULTIPLE WARHEADS, on sale this December 4 from Image Comics.

MULTIPLE WARHEADS features ghosts, magic, and monsters, which doesn't make it sound much like slice-of-life comics. But the twist is that while Graham enjoys exploring the supernatural and sci-fi elements of the world, the focus is squarely on the characters and their relationships with each other. Wild things do happen, and absurd characters do appear, but if you're reading MULTIPLE WARHEADS, you're reading it to see what happens to the cast, in addition to exploring their vibrant world.

"I love showing what the day to day lives of these characters who live in a world which is basically if Russian fairy tales made it into the modern age of cars and rock and roll. The more I work in the world the more I've been allowing myself to stray off the main path and show what else is out there. That's always a big part of the fun of making comics for me, you can open every fictional treasure chest or book on the characters shelves to show what might be inside."

The original MULTIPLE WARHEADS one-shot was a highly-prized and rare part of Graham's body of work. Recently reprinted as MULTIPLE WARHEADS: DOWN FALL with new material, the original story set the foundation for the MULTIPLE WARHEADS miniseries, published by Image Comics in 2012. The miniseries depicted the further adventures of Sexica and Nikoli, and introduced Blue Nura, a no-nonsense bounty hunter thrown in over her head on a job.

"I'm thrilled to finally be able to get all of the Warheads pages I've done in one big book. The newer stuff was always built off of the book's strange beginnings as a porn comic and then the slow build in a couple short stories before the color issues at Image. It's nice to know that people won't have to dig forever through quarter bins or buy them overpriced on the internet to be able to read the stuff."

Again, my love of all things Russian may be affecting my judgment. Nevertheless, this is a book that is known and appreciated outside the U.S., has a few literary pretensions, and appears to be a good read for us linear, unejjamicated Americans as well. I think it's worth a look.

HEAVEN’S WAR TP (NEW PRINTING)

Story MICAH HARRIS

Art / cover MICHAEL GAYDOS

120 PAGES / BW / T+ / $16.99

BACK IN PRINT!

J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams team up in this historical fantasy

Do what thou wilt shall NOT be the whole of the Law—not if Charles Williams has anything to say about it! Joined by fellow writer’s group companions J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Charles sets out to stop the nefarious occultist Aleister Crowley from gaining access to the Heavenly realms in HEAVEN’S WAR. If they fail, Aleister Crowley may succeed in a plot to manipulate the angelic battles in Heaven and reshape humanity’s destiny to fit his will.

Drawing on the famous religious writers and fantasists from history and creating fresh and engaging characters all their own, Micah Harris and Michael Gaydos (Alias, Daredevil Redemption) create a Miltonian adventure that has captivated readers for years and returns in this new printing.

If you took a single literature course in college and your ears did NOT prick up on reading the first line of this solicitation, then you are an engineer or something. YES, I want to read a book that puts all those literary lions in the same story! Now, please!

MINIMUM WAGE #1

Story / art / cover BOB FINGERMAN

24 PAGES / BW / M / $3.50

After a nearly 15-year hiatus, one of the most celebrated alternative cartoonists of all time, Bob Fingerman, is returning to his roots this January with the return of his comic book series MINIMUM WAGE. The refreshingly honest comic, based loosely on Fingerman’s own life, follows the life of the main character Rob as he stumbles through life in New York City. Praised by critics and celebrities alike, MINIMUM WAGE set the standard for cringe comedy, with fans ranging from Robert Kirkman and Patton Oswalt to Marc Maron and Trey Parker.

Earlier this year, Image Comics released the definitive hardcover collection of the series, MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE, which received critical acclaim, including placement on Entertainment Weekly’s Must List and rave reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and The New York Times. With such an overwhelming response to the collection of previously-released issues, Fingerman felt the time was right to return to his definitive series.

"Working on the massive MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE, just going through all that material, stoked my desire to return to these characters,” said Fingerman. "I'd deliberately given that chunk an open ending, thinking someday I'd come back and do more. Now seemed the perfect time and Image Comics seemed the perfect place."

Launching in January, 2014, MINIMUM WAGE #1 will pick up the story of Rob three years later, where much has changed in his life. When we last saw him, he was exchanging vows with his girlfriend Sylvia. Now he's single, owns a cell phone, lives with his mother again, and is giving some thought to diving back into dating. What could go wrong?

MAXIMUM MINIMUM WAGE HC is still available at finer bookstores and comic book stores, and available for order.

I confess, I will not buy this. I grew up during the '60s and '70s, and am damn tired of "slice-of-life" and comix-style, Baby Boom navel-gazing. But this book has a good pedigree, and is getting good notices. I thought I should bring it to everyone's attention. 

 

 

DARK HORSE COMICS

ABE SAPIEN #9

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF HELLBOY!

Mike Mignola (W/Variant cover)

Scott Allie (W)

Max Fiumara (A/Cover)

Dave Stewart (C)

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

Abe seeks shelter from the apocalypse in a small Arizona town that’s been invaded by a familiar group of punks—but the more immediate problem is a field full of strange monsters sprouting out of the dead like wheat!

• Variant cover by Mike Mignola!

• Art by Max Fiumara (B.P.R.D.: 1948)!

• New arc begins here!

“Fiumara’s art is gorgeous.”— Comic Book Resources

Abe Sapien seems an unlikely supporting character to be promoted to headliner. As Sub-Mariner and Aquaman have demonstrated over the decades, it's difficult for water-based characters to hold their own titles, or even to remain useful members of land-based teams. So Abe Sapien jumping to his own title from Hellboy/B.P.R.D. is kinda like Aquaman's sidekick spinning off from 1960s Teen Titans into Aqualad #1!

But only superficially. Because one thing Abe has that other water-based characters don't is that he's interesting. His characterization over the years has been a long-form, slow-motion effort that has rendered him a more layered and three-dimensional character than most. Plus, he's an easy guy to like, which you can't say for other water-logged wonders!

I can't comment on this specific book, as I trade-wait the Mignolaverse. But I heartily recommend anything from it.

DOCTOR SOLAR, MAN OF THE ATOM ARCHIVES VOLUME 2 TP

THE ORIGINAL RADIOACTIVE HERO!

Paul S. Newman (W)

Frank Bolle (A)

George Wilson (A)

FC, 216 pages, $19.99

TP, 7” x 10”

After absorbing dangerous amounts of radiation in a nuclear accident, Doctor Philip Solar finds himself endowed with incredible powers over matter and energy. In these classic 1960s stories created by Paul S. Newman and Frank Bolle, Solar finds his powers evolving and his fight against archcriminal Nuro intensifying!

• With a foreword by Jim Shooter.

The Li'l Capn was strangely fascinated by Solar in the Silver Age. Was it the mysterious visor? (I liked Cyclops, too.) Was it the science-based powers? (I was as much a science/math-y sort of kid as an English/language-y sort of kid.) Was it the terrific painted covers by George Wilson? (I thought they were awesome on Gold Key's The Phantom, too.) Whatever it was, Solar looms large in my Silver Age memories, despite pretty pedestrian stories and mediocre art.

Which is what you'll find here. But maybe you'll also find whatever it was that excited the Li'l Capn lo, those many years ago. And if you do, tell me what it is!

HALO: ESCALATION #2

THE ALL-NEW HALO ONGOING EPIC CONTINUES!

Chris Schlerf (W)

Sergio Ariño (P)

Juan Castro (I)

Michael Atiyeh (C)

Anthony Palumbo (Cover)

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Ongoing

Halo®, one of the most celebrated video game series of all time, joins forces with Dark Horse for a thrilling new ongoing series!

As Sarah Palmer fights to get the Arbiter and the Brute Ambassador to safety, Captain Lasky sneaks behind enemy lines to reestablish communications with the UNSC Infinity. Their plans for escape are jeopardized, however, by a turncoat in their midst!

• An essential addition to the Halo canon!

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

• From Chris Schlerf, lead writer of Halo 4!

HALO: INITIATION HC

Brian Reed (W)

Marco Castiello (A)

Michael Atiyeh (C)

John Liberto (Cover)

FC, 72 pages, $14.99

HC,  7” x 10”

Halo® — one of the most iconic video game franchises in history — comes to Dark Horse!

Before she was a super-solider defending humanity as part of the Spartan-IV program, Sarah Palmer was an ODST — Orbital Drop Shock Trooper — carrying out the most dangerous missions behind enemy lines!

Join her on her dramatic journey from the ranks of humanity’s toughest leathernecks to the highest echelon of elite warriors in the galaxy. Collects the three-issue miniseries.

• A new era of Halo® comics begins at Dark Horse!

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

• From one of the writers on Halo 4—comics veteran Brian Reed!

SHAOLIN COWBOY #4 (of 4)

THE SHAOLIN COWBOY’S LAST STAND!

Geof Darrow (W/A/Cover)

Dave Stewart (C)

FC, 40 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

It is high doom in the low desert, as the Shaolin Cowboy tries to turn the tide on a dead sea of kamikaze zombies and learns that the devil you know may be easier to deal with than the devil you don’t. Thirty-one pages of fists and feet versus rotting flesh. It’s not J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Die.

• From multiple Eisner winner Geof Darrow (Hard Boiled, The Big Guy and Rusty)!

• The blood-rushing conclusion!

• So much action, you’ll get an adrenaline contact high!

• Don’t miss Darrow each month in Dark Horse Presents!

It seems to me that fighting zombies with kung fu would be a good way to get your toe bitten off.

STAR WARS #13

CLOSING IN ON SKYWALKER!

Brian Wood (W)

Facundo Percio (P)

Dan Parsons (I)

Gabe Eltaeb (C)

Hugh Fleming (Cover)

FC, 32 pages, $2.99

Ongoing

After a defeat by Rebel forces and the escape of prisoner Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader decides to clean house. From one end of the galaxy to the other, Vader’s “new broom” — a squad of elite stormtroopers backed by the Dark Lord’s own lightsaber — is sweeping the ranks of the Empire!

“Brian Wood’s writing of this new Star Wars series has been excellent from the first issue.” — Den of Geek

I suppose you've all heard the news that the Star Wars franchise will go to Marvel next year. That was easy to predict (and I did!), as Lucasfilm and Marvel are now both owned by Disney, and it would be silly for the House of Mouse to let this cash cow continue somewhere else when it's got the country's biggest comics publisher under the same roof.

But Dark Horse really does a great job with these books, so I hope Marvel picks up some of DH's top-flight creators, like John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, and maybe a couple of the better titles/scenarios. Regardless, though, I suspect we're going to see a lot less attention on this line of books from DH in the next year than we have in the past. We won't see any new titles or miniseries, I imagine, and the existing books will probably wind down one by one. Or maybe they'll surprise us, and go out with a bang!

Either way: Adios, DH Star Wars. We'll miss you.

STAR WARS OMNIBUS ADVENTURES TP

(W) Chris Cerasi & Various

(A) Daxiong & Various

(CA) Michael Atiyeh & Various

$24.99

Star Wars headliners Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and others feature in six tales of galaxy-shaking adventure for readers of all ages! Han and Chewie are caught between the Empire and the underworld in a quest to pay off a debt. Boba Fett is on a treasure hunt, racing two vengeful bounty-hunter brothers to the prize. Princess Leia becomes entangled in the kidnapping of the beautiful Princess Mi-and soon the Millennium Falcon is the target of kidnappers, bounty hunters, gangsters, and the Empire! And other tales of galactic proportion!

One more thing: I hope DH finds another money machine to replace Star Wars. Dark Horse's comics line is mostly books that are high quality but low sales, and I suspect the Star Wars books' profits under-wrote some of them. I don't know that for sure, but I do want DH to continue on its current path of eclectic, high-quality books. Plus, a healthy DH is just good for everyone.

TRIGUN MAXIMUM OMNIBUS VOL 2 TP

(W/A/CA) Yasuhiro Nightow

$19.99

Vash the Stampede carries a gun capable of destroying planets, and yet his credo is "Peace and Love." But Vash never gets much peace with a galaxy of zealots and killers for hire dogging his every step. The freakish Gung Ho Guns are always hot on his bootheels, and a showdown with his brother Knives is a deadly inevitability-if Vash survives! Collects Trigun Maximum Volumes 4-6.

MANGA #1.

True to my word, I will try to thrust my abysmal ignorance onto every manga title this week.

Thank God my first evaluation is of a title that's been around a while in the U.S. and is simple, straightforward sci-fi. So there you go: If you like sci-fi, you'd probably like this. Despite what looks to be spiky blue hair.

DC COMICS

100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO #7

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO

Art by EDUARDO RISSO

Cover by DAVE JOHNSON

32 pg, FC, 7 of 8, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

The penultimate issue of the book fans have been raving about has arrived! Will Lono continue down the path of redemption or give in to his violent nature? Find out in the intoxicating and deadly world of 100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO!

Mas cerveza por favor. Donde esta el bano?

 

 

ACTION COMICS #27

Written by GREG PAK

Art and cover by AARON KUDER

1:25 SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED variant cover

32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T

Superman takes on the brutal Beast Lord as startling revelations are made about our Earth’s underground world! Plus: more on the mysterious Ghost Soldier!BATMAN ‘66: THE TV STORIES TP

Written by BILL FINGER, GARDNER FOX,

JOHN BROOME and others

Art by BOB KANE, DICK SPRANG, SHELDON

MOLDOFF, CARMINE INFANTINO and others

Cover by AMANDA CONNER

160 pg, FC, $14.99 US

For the first time, DC Comics collects Batman stories originally published between 1948 and 1966 that were adapted into specific episodes of the classic Batman TV series! Starring The Joker, The Penguin, The Riddler and Mr. Freeze (here called “Mr. Zero”), and featuring the debut of Batgirl, these stories have never been collected together before. Collected from BATMAN #53, 73, 121, 140, 169 and 171, and DETECTIVE COMICS #230, 346 and 359.

I read these stories back in the day, but I don't recall them being in the same vein as the TV show. Batman was still in his "New Look" phase then, so the stories were very grounded and detective-oriented, but sure, late in the '60s some "Holy such-and-so" and "To the Batmobile, chum" kinda phrases began to creep in, plus the occasional "Pow" or "Zap" sound effect. I was very young when I read these -- and even when I re-read them -- so my memory may not be entirely accurate. But Batman was always Bruce Wayne in the comics, not Adam West, so don't buy into this thinking these stories will follow the TV show slavishly. They won't.

BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE #5

Written by IVAN BRANDON, KEITH GIFFEN,

BLAIR BUTLER, LEN WEIN and JIMMY PALMIOTTI

Art by PAOLO RIVERA, JAVIER PULIDO, CHRIS WESTON, VICTOR IBANEZ and ANDREW ROBINSON

Cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON

48 pg, FC, 5 of 6, $4.99 US • RATED T

The Dark Knight’s adventures continue in this latest issue of BATMAN BLACK AND WHITE, featuring stories by superstar teams including Ivan Brandon and Paolo Rivera, Keith Giffen and Javier Pulido, Blair Butler and Chris Weston, Len Wein and Victor Ibanez, and Jimmy Palmiotti and Andrew Robinson!

Nice cover! Not every character works in B&W, but the form was invented for Batman.

BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT VOL. 2: CYCLE OF VIOLENCE TP

Written by GREGG HURWITZ

Art by DAVID FINCH, RICHARD FRIEND and others

Cover by DAVID FINCH

160 pg, FC, $14.99 US

In this second New 52 volume, The Scarecrow has returned! The villainous genius has always preyed on the worst fears of his victims, but now he’s refined his fear toxin to greater effectiveness—and deadlier consequences. As The Scarecrow’s origin is revealed, Batman must find out not only how to defeat this dangerous psychopath, but how to conquer his own worst fears. This volume collects from BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT #10-15 and #0.

Hurwitz and Finch do their best to make Scarecrow interesting. I thought they were marginally successful. (Your mileage may vary.)

BATMAN/SUPERMAN #7

Written by GREG PAK

Art and cover by BRETT BOOTH and NORM RAPMUND

1:25 SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED variant cover

32 pg, FC, $3.99 US RATED T • Combo pack edition: $4.99 US

This issue will ship with three covers.

Batman versus Superman! Trapped by the Toymaster and Mongul, our heroes turn on each other! Who will save Batman and Superman if they can’t save themselves? This epic issue is presented in a special sideways format!

This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

Batman and Superman fighting? Why has no one thought of this angle before?

Seriously, S&B fighting was on the cover of, like, every issue of late '60s World's Finest Comics. Two decades later Frank Miller came along, and after Dark Knight Returns it became difficult to remember when those two had ever been friends.

BATWING #27

Written by JUSTIN GRAY and JIMMY PALMIOTTI

Art by JASON MASTERS

Cover by DARWYN COOKE

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

A “GOTHTOPIA” tie-in! Luke Fox has never been happier in his life. He’s tearing up Gotham City as its protector, and his father, Lucius, couldn’t be prouder of him. How did THAT happen?\

Now that Gray & Palmiotti are writing this book, I may have to start reading it!

DEADMAN BOOK FOUR TP

Written by BOB HANEY, LEN WEIN and GERRY CONWAY

Art by RIC ESTRADA, JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ, JIM APARO and others

Cover by JIM APARO

168 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Deadman continue his quest to bring his killer to justice while battling occult menaces in stories from DC SPECIAL SERIES #8, DC COMICS PRESENTS #24 and stories from ADVENTURE COMICS #459-466, guest starring Superman, Batman, Sgt. Rock and more!

I wonder about young readers who have read only The New 52 buying something like this because they like Deadman in Justice League Dark, and wondering what the heck is going on.

Then I remember that there are no young readers, and my anxiety fades.

THE DEMON: FROM THE DARKNESS TP

Written by MATT WAGNER

Art by MATT WAGNER and ART NICHOLS

Cover by MATT WAGNER

128 pg, FC, $14.99 US

Jason Blood travels to Cornwall to find the spirit of Merlin and lift the curse that binds him to Etrigan, The Demon. But unraveling a centuries old curse is anything but easy, and Blood learns more about his mystical alter ego than he could have imagined. Collects the 4-issue miniseries from 1987 and issue #22 of The Demon’s monthly series.

See above.

DEMON KNIGHTS VOL. 3: THE GATHERING STORM TP

Written by PAUL CORNELL and ROBERT VENDITTI

Art and cover by BERNARD CHANG

256 pg, FC, $19.99 US

Betrayed by Etrigan and trapped in Hell, the Demon Knights must find a way to escape the clutches of Lucifer in these stories from issues #13-23. But to make their escape, someone must make the ultimate sacrifice.

DETECTIVE COMICS #27

Written by JOHN LAYMAN, SCOTT SNYDER, PAUL DINI, BRAD MELTZER, GREGG HURWITZ and PETER J. TOMASI

Art by JASON FABOK, NEAL ADAMS, DUSTIN NGUYEN, GUILLEM MARCH, FRANK MILLER and others

Cover by GREG CAPULLO

1:100 Variant cover by JASON FABOK

1:50 Variant cover by KELLEY JONES

1:25 Variant cover by CHRIS BURNHAM

96 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T

Combo pack edition: $8.99 US

This issue will ship with five covers.

DC Entertainment presents this mega-sized issue featuring an all-star roster of Batman creators past and present!

Don’t miss a modern-day retelling of The Dark Knight’s origin by the incredible team of writer Brad Meltzer and artist Bryan Hitch! Plus, all-new stories by Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Peter J. Tomasi and Guillem March, Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen, Gregg Hurwitz and Neal Adams, new art by legendary Batman writer/artist Frank Miller and more!

Also in this issue, John Layman and Jason Fabok kick off the new storyline “GOTHTOPIA”! It’s a bright, shiny, happy place where dreams come true...as long as you don’t look at things too closely.

This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

This solicitation doesn't list the controversial Catwoman cover by Frank Miller, but then, this solicitation is about two months old.

Evidently Miller did a two-page spread that became a cover option and then wasn't an option due to complaints, but the last I heard -- from Bleeding Cool -- was that it was once again a cover option.

Wondering what all the fuss is about? All right, send the kids out of the room and wonder no more:

Misogyny much, Mr. Miller? And how did you resist the ball gag and leash when you had your girl on all fours?

And, folks, whatever you do, don't think about how or where that tail is attached. It's not healthy to dwell on such things.

EARTH 2 #19

Written by TOM TAYLOR

Art by NICOLA SCOTT and TREVOR SCOTT

Cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER

1:25 SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED variant cover

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

The Dark Knight of Earth 2 discovers the one man who may be able to stop Superman’s reign of terror across the planet.

EX MACHINA BOOK ONE TP

Written by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

Art by TONY HARRIS, TOM FEISTER

and KARL STORY

Cover by TONY HARRIS

272 pg, FC, $19.99 US

MATURE READERS

EX MACHINA stars Mitchell Hundred, who becomes America’s first super hero after a strange accident gives him super powers—but the adventure really begins when Mitchell runs for mayor of New York City. This title collects EX MACHINA #1-11, plus bonus features.

This title is resolicited. All previous orders are canceled.

This was a good book that fell just short of being a great book. I'm not sure what would have put it over the top, but it's still an interesting read if you haven't read it before.

FAIREST #22

Written by MARC ANDREYKO

Art by SHAWN McMANUS

Cover by ADAM HUGHES

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

Cinderella returns in an all-new epic! After an assassination attempt on Snow White, Cind is called back into service to unravel an age-old conspiracy that dates back to that fateful midnight ball! Can Cind uncover the plot and prevent a massacre in Fabletown? For the first time in FAIREST, this globe-spanning adventure ties in directly with events in FABLES! Join us for “Of Men and Mice” a 6-issue tale by critically acclaimed writer Marc Andreyko (MANHUNTER, Torso, The Lost) and legendary artist Shawn McManus (CINDERELLA, SWAMP THING)!

Weird. Cinderella was also the star of the Fairest in All the Land GN, where she was trying to stop a serial killer of female Fables. And, yes, Snow White was a target. Surely this story will develop differently, but it's a little too similar at the outset for comfort. When I first read this solicitation, I thought "I've already read this, haven't I?"

FBP: FEDERAL BUREAU OF PHYSICS #7

Written by SIMON OLIVER

Art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ

Cover by NATHAN FOX

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

When a straightforward time dilation takes a turn for the strange, one FBP agent gets more than she bargained for...and with a young life on the line, how far is she willing to go?

FOREVER EVIL: ARKHAM WAR #4

Written by PETER J. TOMASI

Art by SCOT EATON and JAIME MENDOZA

Cover by JASON FABOK

1:25 B&W Variant cover by JASON FABOK

32 pg, FC, 4 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T

This issue will ship with two covers.

As the freed villaIns from Blackgate and Arkham continue to wage war, an all-new, all-deadly Dynamic Duo hits the streets of Gotham City! It’s Bane and the Talon known as Cobb as you’ve never seen them before!

Heh. Cute. But they should have posed them like in that classic Carmine Infantino/Murphy Anderson rooftop scene:

Now, that would be funny!

GREEN ARROW #27

Written by JEFF LEMIRE

Art and cover by ANDREA SORRENTINO

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

“The Outsiders War” part 2! Green Arrow fights for his life against the head of the Shield Clan, the deadly Kodiak! Plus, learn the tragic secret that turned Oliver Queen into Green Arrow!

Is Green Arrow still young and stupid? Is he still the least competent and least interesting character in his own book? Fine. Give me a call when he's a grown-up, and I'll start reading this.

GREEN LANTERN #27

Written by ROBERT VENDITTI

Art by DALE EAGLESHAM

Cover by BILLY TAN

1:25 SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED variant cover

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Combo pack edition: $3.99 US

This issue will ship with three covers.

Has Hal dealt a major blow to crime in Sector 0563, or has he invited the enemy to his door? New adversaries reveal themselves in an all-out effort to dismantle the Green Lantern Corps!

This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

Uh oh! Durlans! Whee!

GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES VOL. 2 TP

Written by ART BALTAZAR, FRANCO and IVAN COHEN

Art by DARIO BRIZUELA and LUCIANO VECCHIO

Animation art cover

128 pg, FC, $12.99 US

In this second GREEN LANTERN: THE ANIMATED SERIES collection, featuring issues #6-11, Hal Jordan leads his team into battle against Atrocitus and a horde of other Red Lanterns!

I actually liked this animated series. I didn't like the computer-generated art at first, but I grew to like it. Maybe I was the only one.

GREEN LANTERN: SECTOR 2814 VOL. 3 TP

Written by STEVE ENGLEHART

Art by JOE STATON and others

Cover by WALTER SIMONSON

200 pg, FC, $16.99 US

In this new collection of GREEN LANTERN #194-200, John Stewart clashes with Guy Gardner to see who will be the Green Lantern of Earth. And while Stewart battles Harbinger during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Gardner recruits enemies of the Green Lantern Corps to stand against an evil that could destroy the entire universe—including The Shark, Hector Hammond, Sonar, Goldface and more!

For many, this was the "good ol' days" of the GLC. For me that would be the Silver Age John Broome/Gil Kane era, but this is a close second and good times for Hal and the gang.

HINTERKIND #4

Written by IAN EDGINTON

Art by FRANCESCO TRIFOGLI

Cover by GREG TOCCHINI

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • MATURE READERS

Prosper’s reunited with Asa but that’s all the good news there is. Along with Angus and Jon Hobb, they’re prisoners – the patchwork survivors of old America led by Colonel Doctor Godwin. Godwin intends to survive at any cost, but it’s Prosper and the others who may pay the price.

THE MOVEMENT #8

Written by GAIL SIMONE

Art by FREDDIE WILLIAMS II

Cover by JUAN DOE

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Vengeance Moth and Burden are left alone to fight the Graveyard Faction! Only they and Tremor stand can prevent a disaster beneath Coral City!

SCOOBY-DOO TEAM-UP #2

Written by SHOLLY FISCH

Art by and cover by DARIO BRIZUELA

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED E

Holy overactive imagination! When Scarecrow attacks using his fear gas, only humans are affected, leaving Batman, Robin and the Mystery Inc. gang trapped facing “monsters” from their own imaginations. Now, it’s up to canine crusaders Scooby-Doo and Ace the Bat-Hound to save the day!

So far the Scooby Gang have only teamed up with Batman and Robin (and now Bat-Hound). I wonder if that will become the status quo? They really should only team up with non-powered types, and no magical character should ever show their top hats in this series. The whole point of Scooby Doo is to prove that magic doesn't exist! If Shaggy met The Spectre, he'd probably have a heart attack.

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SMALLVILLE SEASON 11: ALIEN #2

Written by BRYAN Q. MILLER

Art by EDGAR SALAZAR and DYM

Cover by CAT STAGGS

40 pg, FC, 2 of 4, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST

When Superman revealed himself to the world, he knew some repercussions would be out of his control. He never expected this, though! Meanwhile, Lex Luthor’s trip to Russia brings him face to face with a Monitor—and his own mortality.

STORMWATCH #27

Written by JIM STARLIN

Art by YVEL GUICHET and LE BEAU UNDERWOOD

Cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Stormwatch debates whether to save Earth from the Kollective by teaming up with the megalomaniacal Extremax. Are they willing to trade one planet-pummeling peril for another?

My interest in this title is somewhere in the negatives. Those of you who like it, what am I missing?

SUPERMAN VOL. 2: SECRETS AND LIES TP

Written by DAN JURGENS, KEITH GIFFEN, SCOTT LOBDELL and FABIAN NICIEZA

Art by DAN JURGENS, JESUS MERINO, KENNETH ROCAFORT, PASCAL ALIXE and others

Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT

176 pg, FC, $16.99 US

Tucked away high in the Himalayas, a long dormant evil has made these snowy mountaintops its home. Helspont, a descendant of the ancient alien race of Daemonites, has enlisted an army of robots to learn all there is to know about the Kryptonian menace standing between him and dominion over the Earth. Can Helspont gain control over Superman and use him to execute his invasion plan? Collects SUPERMAN #7-12 and SUPERMAN ANNUAL #1.

SUPERMAN VOL. 3: FURY AT THE WORLD’S END HC

Written by SCOTT LOBDELL

Art by KENNETH ROCAFORT, AARON KUDER, TYLER KIRKHAM and others

Cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT

144 pg, FC, $22.99 US

H’El has come to Earth in these stories from SUPERMAN #0 and 13-17! When a mysterious ghost from Krypton’s past comes to Metropolis in hopes of finding the lost planet’s last son, his arrival comes with disastrous consequences for not just Superman, but also for Superboy and Supergirl. H’El has decided that Earth is the place to resurrect Krypton, but the price the lives of everyone on the planet! Guest-starring the Justice League, Wonder Woman, Orion and more!

I feel like Rocafort is channeling Gil Kane here. What do y'all think? Here's an example of Gil Kane's Superman:

SWAMP THING #27

Written by CHARLES SOULE

Art and cover by JESUS SAIZ

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

The Earth bleeds green! Millions will die. The Swamp Thing must tear his very existence up by the roots. The Seeder story ends here!

SWAMP THING BY BRIAN K. VAUGHAN VOL. 1 TP

Written by BRIAN K. VAUGHAN

Art by ROGER PETERSEN and others

Cover by PHIL HALE

240 pg, FC, $19.99 US • MATURE READERS

In these stories from 2000’s SWAMP THING #1-10 and VERTIGO WINTER’S EDGE #3 , Tefé Holland, daughter of Swamp Thing and Abigail Arcane, must learn to control her powers and use them for good!

This was an era of Swamp Thing -- where Tefe was the defender of the green -- that I didn't much care for. It was more of coming-of-age book than a horror book, and we get plenty of the former in this business. It's one thing to replace Green Lantern with a younger character, but Swamp Thing? I don't think the Earth has time for its defender to be a clumsy newbie.

TERRA OBSCURA: S.M.A.S.H. OF TWO WORLDS TP

Written by ALAN MOORE and PETER HOGAN

Art and cover by YANICK PAQUETTE and KARL STORY

336 pg, FC, $24.99 US

On a planet known as Terra Obscura, Tom Strong’s heroic allies battle the forces of S.M.A.S.H. But after being out of action for decades and in suspended animation, can these heroes adjust to a strange world and its modern technology? Collects both 6-issue miniseries.

TRINITY OF SIN: THE PHANTOM STRANGER #15

Written by J.M. DeMATTEIS

Art by FERNANDO BLANCO

Cover by GUILLEM MARCH

32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

A FOREVER EVIL tie-in! With the secret of the Sea King revealed, the Phantom Stranger is faced with an impossible choice: Let the villains win or destroy the last true friend he has! Continued in this month’s CONSTANTINE #10!

Is anybody reading this? I find PS so unlikeable that I don't follow this title even though currently it's an important Forever Evil tie-in. Is there a fan out there who can tell me what they like about the book?

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES #1

Written by COLLEEN DORAN

Art and cover by TONY SHASTEEN

1:25 Photo variant cover

40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • DIGITAL FIRST

Elena, Stefan and Damon make their comics debut in a new series based on the hit CW television show! This anthology series will bring some of comics’ greatest talents to Mystic Falls and set them loose to bring the characters to life. Or death. They are vampires, you know.

As part of Warner Bros., DC should have a slew of TV and movie tie-ins like this. It's an enduring mystery why there are so few. I mean, DC/Warner Bros. was in this biz a lot longer than Marvel/Marvel Films, so why is the latter so much better at vertical integration? There's not a single major DC movie in 2014, while Marvel has FOUR. 'Tis a puzzlement.

IDW PUBLISHING

BEST OF EC ARTIST SIGNED AND NUMBERED EDITION

(W) Al Williamson & Various

(A) Al Feldstein & Various

EC Comics is arguably the finest line of comics ever produced. Whether it was science fiction or war, crime or horror, their entire line stood head and shoulders above the rest of the comics on the newsstands. Now IDW Publishing is pleased to present an Artist's Edition unlike any other, featuring the best stories by the brightest stars of EC Comics. Remember these stories? 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson and Frank Frazetta, The Corpse by Harvey Kurtzman, The Flying Machine by Bernie Krigstein, Touch and Go by Johnny Craig, Judgment Day by Joe Orlando? All these plus more! And a stunning cover gallery crammed with glorious EC goodness! This Limited Edition features a variant cover image and is signed by the legendary Al Feldstein and is a limited to 250 copies.

IDW has four of these big, gorgeous "Artist Edition" books this week. I wish I had the money for all of them!

CROW CURARE TP

(W) James O'Barr

(A/CA) Antoine Dode

$17.99

Retired Detroit police officer Joe Salk was a good cop, but after a little girl's murder, his wife left him because of his obsession with finding her killers. Now completely alone, his need for revenge might just be helped by the young victim, returned and empowered by the spirit of vengeance, the Crow ...

GIL KANE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN ARTIST ED HC S&N ED

(W) Stan Lee & Various

(A/CA) Gil Kane

From IDW Publishing. This limited edition features a bound in signature plate that has been signed by Stan Lee, John Romita, Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway and individually hand numbered as one of a limited edition of 250 copies. IDW proudly presents Gil Kane's The Amazing Spider-Man: Artist's Edition, collecting issues #96, #97, #98, #99, #100, #101, #102 and #121. Eight incredible Spider-Man stories, including some of the very best comics the wall crawler has ever appeared in: the infamous non-Comics Code approved LSD drug issues, the "six-arm" Spider-Man storyline that also introduced Morbius for the very first time, and the classic of classics -- The Night Gwen Stacy Died! Nearly every page has been scanned from the original art at the same size Gil Kane drew it, and in color (to insure the best possible reproduction). This Artist's Edition measures 12" x 17" and is an extra-long 216 pages. Each book is shipped in a custom cardboard box for maximum protection. This limited edition features a bound in signature plate that has been signed by Stan Lee, John Romita, Roy Thomas and Gerry Conway and individually hand numbered as one of a limited edition of 250 copies. Brought to you by the same team responsible for the Eisner Award-winning Dave Stevens' The Rocketeer: The Artist's Edition, as well as Wally Wood's EC Stories: Artist's Edition.

Here's #2. Kane is my third-favorite Spidey artist, after Romita Sr. and Ditko.

JACK DAVIS EC STORIES ARTIST ED HC S&N ED

(W) Various

(A/CA) Jack Davis

From IDW Publishing. Jack Davis is one of the founding fathers of EC Comics; he is a master of horror, humor and nearly every other genre EC published. Aside from his work at EC, Davis is one of the most prolific and popular commercial artists of all time. His instantly recognizable style has graced covers of Time Magazine and TV Guide, as well as movie posters and stamps. Jack Davis' EC Stories: Artist's Edition presents a beautiful selection of some of Davis' best and most memorable stories -- such as Foul Play -- and an extensive cover gallery -- and all at the same size as originally drawn! This Limited Edition is signed by Jack Davis himself, features a variant cover image and is limited to 250 copies.

Coming in at #3 is the ever-amazing Jack Davis, whose magazine covers and movie parodies I drooled over as a kid.

MARK SCHULTZ XENOZOIC TALES ARTIST ED HC

(W/A/CA) Mark Schultz

From IDW Publishing. Xenozoic Tales is the classic story of a post-apocalyptic future where mankind has retreated to vast subterranean cities to escape a world ravaged by environmental calamities. Centuries later upon emerging from their underground dwellings, they find their civilization is gone -- replaced with the most fearsome beasts to ever walk the Earth ... Dinosaurs! Mark Schultz delivers an epic adventure tale, one complete with romance and intrigue. Collecting issues #9, #10, #11, #12, #13, and #14 of Xenozoic Tales, the final six chapters (so far), and with Schultz at the peak of his artistic powers. Al Williamson, Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel and Wally Wood would have been proud! This Limited Edition features a brand new cover by Mark Schultz, signed and numbered, and is limited to 250 copies.

Here's #4. Schultz is a Johnny-Come-Lately as far as the other artists in this series go, but wow, does he do delicious dinosaurs. (Ha! You thought I was gonna say girls, didn't you? Well, he's good at that, too.)

MY LITTLE PONY WHEN CUTIE CALLS TP

(W/A/CA) Various

$7.99

The celebrated animated series comes to bookshelves! Revisit the inhabitants of Equestria and learn about the magic that friendship brings in this adaptation of the television series.

STAR TREK KHAN #4

(W) Mike Johnson

(A) David Messina

(CA) Paul Shipper

$3.99

The Eugenics Wars are over... but the next chapter in the life of Khan Noonien Singh has just begun! Only in this all-new mini-eries are the secrets of Khan's revival in the future by Admiral Marcus and the agents of Section 31 finally revealed! Don't miss this exclusive tie-in to the blockbuster Star Trek Into Darkness, overseen by the film's writer/producer Roberto Orci!

When did Buckaroo Banzai join Starfleet? Wait, maybe that's Robocop.

TMNT COLOR CLASSICS SERIES 2 #3

(W) Peter Laird

(A/CA) Peter Laird, Jim Lawson

$3.99

Another Mirage black-and-white classic presented in full color! In "Dome Doom," an innocent trip to the comic book store lands the TMNT and Casey Jones smack dab in the middle of a stupendous life-and-death battle between very real super heroes and super villains!

TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES VOL 1 TP

(W) Kenny Byerly & Various

(A/CA) Dario Brizuela

$17.99

Spinning straight out of the hit Nickelodeon show, it's the first action-packed collection of the all-ages book perfect for fans both old and new! Four fantastic tales pit the Turtles against villains like Snakeweed, the Shredder, and a horde of zombies!

X-FILES SEASON 10 #8

(W) Joe Harris

(A) Michael Walsh

(CA) Carlos Valenzuela

$3.99

With hints of a new conspiracy bubbling to the surface, and whispers of a new "Syndicate" organization in the wings, a secret from the past poses a threat that only Agents Mulder and Scully can tackle. But what does the former fixit man-and long-deceased informant-named "X" have to do with it?

 

IMAGE COMICS

APHRODITE IX #7

Story MATT HAWKINS

Art / cover STJEPAN SEJIC

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

BATTLE OF THE APHRODITES!

Aphrodite IX awoke in a future unfamiliar to her amidst warring civilizations battling over divergent ideologies. In the ruins of this constant strife, Aphrodite has stumbled upon her successor: Aphrodite XV! Will the lethal upgrades of this late-model Aphrodite prove Aphrodite IX’s obsolescence?

I have to say that I'm a little impressed that Hawkins hasn't gone the route one would expect with a gorgeous, programmable female as the lead character. Instead of adventures heavy on tittilation, Hawkins has opted to try to develop Aphrodite IX (there are other Aphrodites with different numbers) as a three-dimensional character, one in search of her past (which may or may not even exist).

The downside, though, is that Aphrodite does some terrible stuff -- usually due to programming, sure, but still terrible. That makes her more dangerous than heroic, especially to her friends, and her later regret doesn't really make up for it. The bottom line is that she's essentially a robot assassin, and that makes her very hard to sympathize with. Since supporting characters tend to turn into cannon fodder, we're left with panel after panel of Aphrodite, and liking her less and less.

But maybe that's just me. What say you, Legionnaires?

ARTIFACTS, VOL. 6 TP

Story RON MARZ

Art STJEPAN SEJIC & MARCO TURINI

Cover STJEPAN SEJIC

144 PAGES / FC / T+ / $16.99

“TRUTHS & DESTINIES”

To wage war with the Darkness, Rapture bearer Tom Judge will need to amass an army of Artifact bearers to back him up.

Collects ARTIFACTS  #25-29

DRUMHELLAR #3

Story RILEY ROSSMO & ALEX LINK

Art / cover RILEY ROSSMO

32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

Dinosaurs ravage South Dakota and it’s up to psychedelic detective Drum Hellar to stop them. But when everything goes wrong, Harold the ghostly sidekick has to use his mysterious powers to save the day — that’s if he can figure out what they are and not kill anybody in the process!

ELEPHANTMEN #53

Story RICHARD STARKINGS

Art AXEL MEDELLIN

Cover BOO COOK

32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.99

"PICKING UP THE PIECES," Part Three

Farrell and Hip Flask are getting closer to the truth... but will Farrell's past catch up with him?

ELEPHANTMEN, VOL. 6: EARTHLY DESIRES TP

Story RICHARD STARKINGS, MONIFA ALDRIDGE, & DAVID HINE

Art AXEL MEDELLIN, DAVE SIM, TONY PARKER, DAVID HINE, TULA LOTAY, & SHAKY KANE

Cover BOO COOK

312 PAGES / FC / M / $24.99

Collects ELEPHANTMEN #40-49

Collecting issues 40-49 of Image's longest-running Pulp Science Fiction series, ELEPHANTMEN, VOL. 6 is packed with extras.

FATALE #19

Story ED BRUBAKER

Art SEAN PHILLIPS & ELIZABETH BREITWEISER

Cover SEAN PHILLIPS

32 PAGES/ FC/ M / $3.50

Rock 'n' roll, robbery, and ritual murder collide in '90s Seattle as the fourth arc of FATALE comes to a shattering conclusion... and the secret identity of Nic's present day helper is revealed. Is he who he claims to be?

And remember each issue of FATALE contains extra content, articles, and artwork that are not available anywhere but the printed single issues.

I'm going to be disappointed when Fatale arrives at the present, because I've really enjoyed the period stories. Perhaps it will climax and end, then -- it's hard to say with Brubaker. But I'd love to see Brubaker and Phillips on some more stories set in the 1930s, '40s and '50s. They're really quite good at it!FIVE GHOSTS #8

Story FRANK J. BARBIERE

Art / cover CHRIS MOONEYHAM

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

“LOST COASTLINES,” Part Two

Fabian decides to aid his old flame, the rogue Jezebel, on a journey across the sea to THE ISLAND OF DREAMS. Step one: stealing a ship!  Plus: pirates.

"Writer Frank J. Barbiere and artist Chris Mooneyham have yet to disappoint. Through premise, script, and art they’ve set the standard for all others to emulate." -Graphic Policy

HOAX HUNTERS #13

Story MICHAEL MORECI & STEVE SEELEY

Art T-REX JONES

Cover a MICHAEL WALSH

Cover b RILEY ROSSMO

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $3.50

"THE BOOK OF MOTHMAN," Conclusion

SEASON FINALE

INVINCIBLE UNIVERSE #9

Story PHIL HESTER

Art/ cover TODD NAUCK & GABE ELTAEB

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

What have Cecil’s secret strike team unearthed in Brazil? And who will die as a result?

MANIFEST DESTINY #2 2ND PTG

Critics and readers are given a new chance to join the motley crew of monster hunters as this new adventure series goes into a second printing

The second issue of the exciting new series MANIFEST DESTINY, by writer Chris Dingess (Being Human) and artist Matthew Roberts (BATTLE POPE), has inspired the imaginations of readers, hooked critics, and sold out instantly at the distributor level.

In MANIFEST DESTINY, Lewis and Clark adventure into the unknown, in an America where monsters and mysterious creatures roam freely, picks up with the crew discovering something even more frightening than a… well, Buffalotaur.

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

“An enjoyable start, Manifest Destiny #1 delivers two engaging protagonists that readers will root for. I want to see what monsters show up during this exploration into the American frontier.” —Jorge Solis, Bloody Disgusting

MANIFEST DESTINY will take readers to the New World and into the unknown for a pulse-pounding adventure.

MANIFEST DESTINY #3

Story CHRIS DINGESS

Art & cover MATTHEW ROBERTS & OWEN GIENI

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

Lewis and Clark arrive at La Charette — the last settlement on the western frontier — to rescue all its inhabitants and scavenge supplies. But all they’ll really find is horror…

Weird how Image has more to say about the second printing of the second issue than they do the first printing of the third issue! Maybe they don't want to give anything away, and they may not need the publicity -- I liked the first issue, and the book is getting good buzz in general. If you haven't tried it yet, you should sample an issue now before many more come out.

MORNING GLORIES #36

Story NICK SPENCER

Art JOE EISMA

Cover RODIN ESQUEJO

32 PAGES / FC / M

$3.50

"Welcoming Committee"

SEX CRIMINALS #1 4TH PTG

SEX CRIMINALS #2 3RD PTG

SEX CRIMINALS #3 2ND PTG

Stories MATT FRACTION

Art / covers  CHIP ZDARSKY

32 PAGES (EACH) / FC / M / $3.50 (EACH)

The first, second, and third issues of the hugely popular SEX CRIMINALS series, created by Matt Fraction (SATELLITE SAM, Hawkeye) and Chip Zdarsky (Prison Funnies), have sold out at the distributor level yet again and are being reprinted.

SEX CRIMINALS #1 only just released on Sept. 25 this year, but quickly caught the attention of critics and readers alike. Time magazine dubbed SEX CRIMINALS the #1 comic series of the year, Multiversity Comics named it Best New Series of 2013, Comics Alliance recognized Chip Zdarsky among the Best Artists of 2013, and actor Wil Wheaton calls it “one of the best things I’ve ever read, period.” SEX CRIMINALS #2 is heading into its third printing and issue #3 into its second printing.

Praise for SEX CRIMINALS:

“This R-rated romp (about a bank-robbing couple whose orgasms can stop time) is his best work yet.” -- Douglas Wolk, Time magazine

“It’s the kind of story that isn’t being told anywhere else in comics, and the perfect read for anyone looking for a captivating, unique title by two creators at the top of their game.” -- Oliver Sava, A.V. Club

“They have given us a wildly original, wholly engaging delightful comic that keeps us howling just as much as it keeps us feeling.” -- Justin Partridge III, Newsarama

“Easily my most anticipated book every month. Don't wait any longer and pick it up ASAP. You wont regret it.” -- Jimbus_Christ, Bloody Disgusting

“Sex Criminals is one of the least predictable--and most entertaining--series in print right now.” -- Jen ‘Miss J’ Aprahamian, Comic Vine

“The tone is one of my favorite things about the series so far… I'm excited for the next issue, and I hope it stays as wacky as the first three.” -- Marykate Jasper, Comic Book Resources

SEX CRIMINALS #4

Story MATT FRACTION

Art / cover  CHIP ZDARSKY

32 PAGES / FC / M / $3.50

She can seemingly control time and space with her ... parts. She's as relentless a manhunter as law enforcement ever created. And by day she's no one you'd particularly notice, with her quiet suburban life and pleasant-enough job, but when the temporal dimension is used to break society's laws they call...HER. Jon and Suzie get in too deep way too fast as one little sexy fun party crime begets another and the villains of the piece descend. Turns out Jon and Suzie aren't the only ones after all …

I didn't enjoy the first issue, probably because I didn't realize it was supposed to be a comedy, and I found the main characters to be idiots and/or jerks. While that's death for a drama, it's practically a requirement for a comedy, so I need to try it again with a fresh frame of mind. Meanwhile, anyone out there trying it? What do you think?

SHELTERED #6

Story ED BRISSON

Art / cover JOHNNIE CHRISTMAS

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

NEW STORY ARC!

New characters! New threats!

Things in Safe Haven are about to get a lot more complicated.

Now that Sheltered is up to issue #6, a TPB can't be far behind. Can anyone recommend this one?

SPAWN #239

Story TODD MCFARLANE

Art SZYMON KUDRANSKI

Cover TODD MCFARLANE

32 PAGES / FC / T+ / $2.99

A VAMPIRE ARMY RISES AND NEW LESSONS ARE LEARNED AS THE DARKNESS SPREADS!

Cogliostro continues his mentoring of Jim. Cog's latest lesson? Whatever control Jim thinks he has over the K7-Leetha is a facade, and the only way for the world's newest Hellspawn to truly take command is to STEP INTO THE LIGHT!

Meanwhile, Daniel Kilgore visits one of the innocent victims "healed" by Jim's gifts.

SPAWN: ORIGINS DELUXE EDITION, VOL. 4 HC

Story TODD McFARLANE & BRIAN HOLGUIN

Art GREG CAPULLO, DANNY MIKI & DWAYNE TURNER

712 PG / FC / T+

STANDARD EDITION: $100

LIMITED SIGNED & NUMBERED EDITION: $150

SPAWN: ORIGINS DELUXE EDITION, VOL. 4 features iconic stories from SPAWN creator TODD McFARLANE and is chock-full of issues pencilled by superstar artist GREG CAPULLO.

This limited, deluxe, oversized, and slipcased hardcover edition presents 25 previously-released sold-out issues of classic SPAWN stories in an all-new size and format. Additional material includes color and black-and-white cover galleries, never-before-seen art, and all the bonus material from the six-issue TPBs and 12-issue hardcovers as well. This is the absolute top tier of the SPAWN: ORIGINS family of books! It doesn’t get any better than this!

Collects SPAWN #76-100.

You would realllllllllly have to like Spawn to spend this much for what amounts to reprints. Just sayin'.

THREE #1 3RD PTG

THREE #2 2ND PTG

Stories KIERON GILLEN

Art/cover RYAN KELLY & JORDIE BELLAIRE

Historical consultant PROF. STEPHEN HODKINSON

32 PAGES (EACH)/ FC / M / $2.99 (EACH)

Kieron Gillen and Ryan Kelly's THREE has been heralded by Comic Book Resources as “a spectacular new series that defies expectation with its astounding depth and rigor” and championed by Multiversity Comics as “a tribute to a long-forgotten people. Three is a rebellion against the swallowing void of history by way of enlightenment.” THREE #1 and #2 are both heading back for reprinting.

THREE #4

Story KIERON GILLEN

Art/cover RYAN KELLY & JORDIE BELLAIRE

Historical consultant PROF. STEPHEN HODKINSON

32 PAGES / FC / M / $2.99

The three helot slaves desperate to escape from the repressive Spartan regime find themselves cornered on the border...but not by the pursuer they expected. Trapped and running out of options, they know the Spartan army is marching closer. They can't hide. They can't run. Are they seriously going to fight?

I'm enjoying this as much for the education I'm receiving on ancient Greek culture as I am for the story (which is pretty good). A fascinating book.

VELVET #2 2ND PTG

The second issue of VELVET from creators Ed Brubaker (FATALE), Steve Epting, and Elizabeth Breitweiser is setting comic racks on fire and has sold out completely at the distributor level.

Issue #2 picks up right after #1 ends, jumping straight into the action as Velvet Templeton flees her own agency and races to uncover why Agent X-14 was killed. Dead bodies, ruined lives, and angry soldiers block her path toward discovering the truth.

Praise for VELVET:

“Velvet should move to the top of any reading pile immediately.” -- Kelly Thompson, Comic Book Resources

“Stylish, exciting, and smart, Velvet is another win for the unstoppable force of Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting." -- Iann Robinson, Crave Online

“If you're a fan of 24 and the Jason Bourne movies, you're definitely going to enjoy the hell out of Velvet.” -- Jorge Solis, Bloody Disgusting

“What else is there to be said? Velvet is a hell of an arresting personality negotiating a deadly and complicated landscape. There's no telling where she's going next, but good lord does this reviewer want to find out.” -- Michelle White, Multiversity Comics

VELVET #2 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.

Quick! Get this book! Stop asking fool questions and GO BUY IT NOW!

THE WALKING DEAD #116 2ND PTG

The long-running, critically-acclaimed series that inspired the hit TV show just keeps drawing in readers with every new story arc. ALL OUT WAR explodes in THE WALKING DEAD #116, by creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard, when the first shots are fired between Rick's army and Negan's Saviors. Fans of the TV show who were left hanging on the mid-season finale can jump into the comic series' action as it picks up momentum.

Praise for THE WALKING DEAD #116:

“So far, this bi-weekly event is living up to its name and expectations.” -- Augie De Blieck, Jr., Comic Book Resources

“Gaudiano's inks bring a newfound level of sharpness and clarity to Charlie Adlard's pencils. The action hits harder and the storytelling flows better as a result.” -- Jesse Schedeen, IGN

“So far this arc is truly unlike anything Kirkman has done before. Which is no easy feat after writing the same series for ten years. With any luck the fantastic pacing will keep up and we'll be treated to a new gold standard of zombie story by years end.” -- Jimbus_Christ, Bloody Disgusting

Image Comics is committed to keeping all issues of THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR available.

THE WALKING DEAD #117 2ND PTG

The long-running, critically-acclaimed series that inspired the hit TV show has a new story arc… and it’s sold out for the third straight issue. ALL OUT WAR continues in THE WALKING DEAD #117, by creator Robert Kirkman and artist Charlie Adlard, as Rick and Negan's forces tally up the casualties of their first epic battle. Fans of the TV show who are currently going through withdrawals until the season picks up again next year can jump back into the action with the comic series.

In THE WALKING DEAD #117, Negan and Rick both discover flaws in their plans. Decisions are made, hope is renewed, and the stage is set for the next installment of ALL OUT WAR.

Praise for THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR:

“So far, this bi-weekly event is living up to its name and expectations.” — Augie De Blieck, Jr., Comic Book Resources

“Gaudiano's inks bring a newfound level of sharpness and clarity to Charlie Adlard's pencils. The action hits harder and the storytelling flows better as a result.” — Jesse Schedeen, IGN

“So far this arc is truly unlike anything Kirkman has done before. Which is no easy feat after writing the same series for ten years. With any luck the fantastic pacing will keep up and we'll be treated to a new gold standard of zombie story by year’s end.” — Jimbus_Christ, Bloody Disgusting

Image Comics is committed to keeping all issues of THE WALKING DEAD: ALL OUT WAR available.

THE WALKING DEAD #117 and 118 are 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, Google Play, and Android.

THE WALKING DEAD #119

Story ROBERT KIRKMAN

Art CHARLIE ADLARD, STEFANO GAUDIANO & CLIFF RATHBURN

Cover CHARLIE ADLARD & DAVE STEWART

32 PAGES / BW / M / $2.99

"ALL OUT WAR," PART 5

The war comes home.

I'm trade-waiting this, but just judging by the solicitations, has this war been going on for an unusually long time? It seems that way to me, but maybe I'm just anxious for the collection!

MARVEL COMICS

A+X #16

GERRY DUGGAN &

JEFF LOVENESS (W)

DAVID YARDIN & PACO DIAZ (A)

Cover by PACO DIAZ

32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

• Emmy-Nominated writer Jeff Loveness from the JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! show makes his Marvel debut! Paco Diaz (WOLVERINE: JAPAN’S MOST WANTED) joins Jeff for a story pairing Iron Man and the fan-favorite X-Student Broo!

• Gerry Duggan and David Yardin bring you the fourth part of the blockbuster Captain America + Cyclops story! With Cap hell bent on arresting Cyke, defeating a horde of menacing Skrulls will only be half of this duo’s problem!

ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #1

Written by PETER DAVID

Art by CARMINE DI GIANDOMENICO

Cover by JARED FLETCHER

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

X-Factor is back like you’ve never seen them before in the exciting ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #1 – from legendary X-Factor scribe Peter David and red hot artist Carmine Di Giandomenico!

Serval Industries, the world’s foremost leader in cutting-edge internet and weapons technology has just unveiled their newest contribution to society – it’s superhuman division, the All-New X-Factor! Led by Polaris, the mutant mistress of magnetism, fellow X-Factor members Quicksilver, Gambit, Danger, Cypher, and Warlock use their powers for the betterment of society.

Or are their corporate backers at Serval Industries using X-Factor for the betterment of themselves?

“So much of what happens in this country stems from corporate control and involvement,” explained Peter David, in an interview with Marvel.com “So why not expand that real world philosophy to the world of comics and have it be that a corporation is interested in expanding into super heroes? I mean, if super heroes really existed, that's probably what would happen.”

Can Serval Industries be trusted? Or are their intentions much more malevolent. The mystery begins this January in the explosive ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #1!

ALL-NEW X-MEN VOL. 1: YESTERDAY’S X-MEN TPB

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Penciled by STUART IMMONEN

Cover by STUART IMMONEN

136 PGS./Rated T+ …$19.99

It’s a blast from the X-Men’s past! Professor X’s original five students — Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Iceman, Angel and Beast — are plucked from the past and brought to the present. But what they find — the state of their future selves, and the state of Xavier’s dream — is far from the future they dreamed of. How will these young, idealistic heroes react when faced with the crushing knowledge of what their future holds? And how will the embittered X-Men of the present deal with their past coming crashing forward? When the original team comes face to face with their counterparts, it isn’t a peaceful meeting — and one of the X-Men will be forever changed. Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen blaze a new trail for the X-Men! Collecting ALL-

NEW X-MEN #1-5.

Bringing the original five X-Men -- who didn't sell for squat the first time -- into the present X-universe sounded like a gawdawful idea when I first heard it. And it has turned out really, really interesting -- and has recharged my interest in the X-books, which had become dreadfully depressing and predictable.

As they say, there are no bad characters, just bad stories. 

ALL-NEW X-MEN/INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK/SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN: THE ARMS OF THE OCTOPUS TPB

Written by MICHAEL COSTA & CHRIS COSENTINO

Penciled by KRIS ANKA & DALIBOR TALAJIC

Cover by ALEXANDER LOZANO

120 PGS./Rated T+ …$14.99

The All-New X-Men meet the Indestructible Hulk and the Superior Spider-Man! Dr. Octopus confronts the time-displaced young X-Men, but how is he alive?! Ock’s appearance gets the immediate attention of the Superior Spider-Man (who we all know is Doc Ock’s mind in Spider-Man’s body), and Bruce Banner helps Spidey and the young X-Men investigate the mysterious paradox — but before they learn the truth, they’re shocked by the return of the believed-dead Abomination! Who is in league with these returned villains, and how can our heroes defeat them? And can the Superior Spider-Man maintain his sanity while facing his doppelganger? Plus: Steel kitchen knives meet Adamantium claws as reality-TV star Chris Cosentino spins a culinary caper featuring Wolverine! Collecting ALL-NEW X-MEN SPECIAL #1, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP SPECIAL #1, INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK SPECIAL #1 and WOLVERINE: IN THE FLESH #1.

I've become so invested in Superior Spider-Man that I'm going to have to order this. At some point there will be no more Superior stories, so we'll have to savor what we have!

AVENGERS A.I. #8.NOW

Written by SAM HUMPHRIES

Art by ANDRÉ ARAÚJO

Cover by DAVID MARQUEZ

Variant Cover by CHRISTIAN WARD

Variant cover by Christian Ward

Sketch Variant by Christian Ward

Animal Variant by TBD artist

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

“THE EXTINCTION OF THE HUMAN RACE begins NOW!”

The war between organic and artificial intelligence destroys the world of tomorrow, starting in AVENGERS A.I. 8.NOW! Dimitrios, the vengeance-seeking scion of Hank Pym and Ultron, downloads death and destruction across the planet in his quest to eradicate civilization. The Vision and his robot Avengers team up with the UNCANNY AVENGERS to rescue humankind from the precipice of extinction! Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D. takes a hard line against the A.I. with their elite Robot Hunter Squad -- with an android member you’ll have to see to believe! The consequences reach far, far into the future -- all the way to 12,000AD! Experience firsthand the Marvel Universe of the 130th century! Fight alongside the Avengers Empire on the edge of a black hole! Witness Dimitrios’ final gambit against all of creation! Artificial intelligence never dies, it just gets SMARTER! Upgrade or die! Are you human or machine? The time to decide is NOW!

Every FIRST ISSUE bearing the All New Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. But that’s not all! Select .NOW! titles will also come with a digital code for the entire first collection of that series ABSOLUTELY FREE!

Once again, the biggest creators bring you the biggest characters in the biggest stories…and it’s happening NOW!

For more on All-New Marvel NOW!, please visit www.marvel.com and join the conversation on Twitter with hashtag #AllNewMarvelNOW.

 

CABLE AND X-FORCE #18

DENNIS HOPELESS (W) • ANGEL UNZUETA (A)

COVER by RAMON PEREZ

32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

“VENDETTA”—A Four Part X-FORCE Event!

Issue #18 - “VENDETTA” PART I

There’s bad blood brewing amongst the X-Men – and it’s time to settle a score. It’s a brawl of the X-Forces this January as “VENDETTA” comes to Uncanny X-Force & Cable & X-Force from the red hot creative teams of Sam Humphries & Harvey Tolibao and Dennis Hopeless & Angel Unzueta!

For years, the mutant Bishop relentlessly chased Cable and his adopted daughter Hope Summers through time and space on a mission to wipe her out of existence. Though they narrowly escaped with their lives, the scars still remain. Now, the man who has haunted Hope’s dreams has returned to the present – and he’s working with their fellow X-Men?!

Hope is out for blood, and nobody is going to stand in her way, even if she has to take down all of Uncanny X-Force to get it! But as Hope exacts her revenge, a much greater threat closes in from the shadows – and one of the X-Men’s deadliest villains -- Stryfe -- returns!

“When I took the reins on CABLE & X-FORCE and UNCANNY X-FORCE, I knew a crossover of the two books would be inevitable,” says series editor Daniel Ketchum. “I’m so excited about the story Dennis and Sam have cooked up…it delivers EXACTLY what I’d want to read in an X-Force event!”

Can Hope fend off her demons, or is this the beginning of the end for her and X-Force? Find out this as Vendetta begins in Cable & X-Force #18 with subsequent issues shipping weekly throughout January! In the end, only one X-Force will be left standing ...

I dropped the last iteration of X-Force (when it was Wolverine's private hit squad), because it left a bad taste in my mouth. And I never liked Cable, or the X-Force that he ran for a while. And the whole "Hope" thing went on far too long, and I am heartily sick of her. So this isn't really my cup of tea.

Having said that, if you are interested in these characters, this is probably exactly the thing that will tickle your fancy.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3 (of 3)

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W)DAVID MARQUEZ (A/C)

Variant Cover by MICO SUAYAN

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

THE BIGGEST ULTIMATE EVENT YET! MARVEL’S GALACTUS VS. THE ULTIMATES!!!

• A hero falls!

• MILES MORALES travels to the MARVEL UNIVERSE in search of clues to how to defeat GALACTUS.

• Can REED RICHARDS convince the ULTIMATES that he can redeem himself in times of disaster?

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

This has gone on so long, I'll bet Galactus has lost 20 pounds.

CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES' LAST STAND #3

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS

Art & Cover by MARK BAGLEY

Variant Cover by MICO SUAYAN

The fate of the entire Ultimate Universe lies in the hands two very unlikely champions this January in CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES’ LAST STAND #3! From the blockbuster creative team of Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley – the Ultimates know Galactus is not of their universe, and they’re willing to do anything to stop him! Including sending Miles Morales and Ultimate Reed Richards into the Marvel Universe for help! But has Reed redeemed himself in this time of crisis – or is he only out for himself?

“This is the first time we really get to see Ultimate characters explore the Marvel Universe,” said Senior Editor Mark Paniccia. “It won’t be a picnic and will have emotional ramifications for one of the travelers.”

Faced with impossible odds in a strange new universe, are they the saviors of the Ultimate Universe? Or its last two survivors? Don’t miss CATACLYSM: THE ULTIMATES’ LAST STAND #3 this January for the answer!

DAREDEVIL: DARK NIGHTS #8 (OF 8)

JIMMY PALMIOTTI (W)

THONY SILAS (A)

Cover by AMANDA CONNER

• DAREDEVIL’S IN THE ISLANDS – AND HE BROUGHT THE STREETS WITH HIM!

• Matt Murdock and Misty Knight are the only thing standing between a ruthless crime boss and justice.

• Marvel Knights legend Jimmy Palmiotti and rising star Thony Silas (VENOM) bring you the rollicking conclusion of IN THE NAME OF THE KING!

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

Ahhh! 1970s flashback! It burns! IT BURNS!

DEADPOOL #22

GERRY DUGGAN & BRIAN POSEHN (W) • MIKE HAWTHORNE (A)

Cover by MARK BROOKS

• Deadpool continues his quest for revenge on S.H.I.E.L.D. for stiffing him!

• Someone has been betraying S.H.I.E.L.D., and it seems to be…Agent Preston?!

• PLUS: AGENT COULSON! From the hit TV show AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.!

32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$2.99

FANTASTIC FOUR/INHUMANS: ATLANTIS RISING TPB

Written by GLENN HERDLING, TOM DEFALCO, TOM BREVOORT, MIKE KANTEROVICH & ROY THOMAS

Penciled by GEOF ISHERWOOD, MC WYMAN, DANTE BASTIANONI, PAUL RYAN, DOUG BRAITHWAITE & HERB TRIMPE

Cover by MC WYMAN

352 PGS./Rated T …$39.99

The crossover that literally reshaped the face of Marvel’s Earth is collected for the first time! When sorceress Morgan Le Fay forces the sunken continent of Atlantis back above the waves, it creates a crisis for Namor — not to mention the water-breathing Atlanteans! The Fantastic Four race to the Sub-Mariner’s aid as Thor, the Inhumans and Franklin Richards’ young team the Fantastic Force become ensnared in Morgan’s scheme. But when the sorceress’ chilling endgame comes to light, can this motley collection of heroes save the day? This is it — the catastrophe that decimated the Atlantean people, displaced Namor from Atlantis and made the Inhumans an international target! Collecting NAMOR THE SUB-MARINER #60-62, FANTASTIC FOUR: ATLANTIS RISING #1-2, FANTASTIC FORCE (1994) #8-9, FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #401-402 and FANTASTIC FOUR UNLIMITED #11.

I guess this is getting the deluxe reprint treatment because it involved the Inhumans, and the Inhumans are getting the star treatment these days. But "Atlantis Rising" may be the worst crossover in Marvel history. And that's a pretty high bar!

But let's end this on a positive note, by making it an audience participation exercise: Can anyone name a Marvel crossover worse than "Atlantis Rising"? Please show your math, and keep your eyes off your neighbors' papers!

FANTOMEX MAX #4

ANDREW HOPE (w)

SHAWN CRYSTAL (a)

Cover by FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

32 PGS./Explicit Content …$3.99

• The epic conclusion of Fantomex’s first-ever miniseries!

• Can everyone’s favorite French Super-Thief overcome the agents of Grover Lane?

• Or will he find this victory to be the one thing he can’t steal?

THERE IS A STRICT NO OVERPRINT POLICY ON ALL MAX TITLES.

If Fantomex, Gambit and Pepe LePew had an argument, who would you most want to strangle?

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #11.NOW

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • SARA PICHELLI (A/C)

Variant Cover by Dale Keown

Sketch Variant by Dale Keown

Animal variant by Chris Samnee

Movie Variant also Available

Blank Variant also Available

32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

“The Trial of Jean Grey”

The Guardians of the Galaxy get a reminder of Earth when they cross paths with the All-New X-Men during the TRIAL OF JEAN GREY! When an alien race discovers that the original Jean Grey is back on Earth, they decide to hold her accountable for the acts of the Dark Phoenix, and it’s up to the Guardians to help the X-Men save her. You won’t want to miss the first encounter between two of the biggest franchises in the Marvel U!

I trade-wait this title, so I don't know what Angelus is or how she fits into the Marvel U (without leaving a permanent footprint, because Marvel doesn't own her). So don't tell me. But do tell me if it's any good!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY BY JIM VALENTINO VOL. 1 TPB

Written by JIM VALENTINO, AL MILGROM, TOM DEFALCO, LEN KAMINSKI & RON MARZ

Penciled by JIM VALENTINO, AL MILGROM, HERB TRIMPE & RON LIM

Cover by JIM VALENTINO

328 PGS./Rated T …$34.99

Thrill to the exploits of the 31st century’s greatest heroes, the original Guardians of the Galaxy! Join telekinetic Vance Astro, alien archer Yondu, flame-haired Mercurian Nikki, superstrong Jovian Charlie-27, crystalline Plutonian Martinex, and the mysterious Starhawk and his wife Aleta as they undertake a quest to find the long-lost shield of Captain America — a mission that pits them against Iron Man’s twisted legacy, the marauding alien cyborgs called the Stark and the intergalactic thieves known as Force! Plus: The Guardians confront the devil’s daughter, Malevolence — and battle across time alongside the Fantastic Four, Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange and the 26th century’s Thor, Dargo Ktor, against the mad god known as Korvac! Collecting GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (1990) #1-7 and ANNUAL #1; and material from FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #24, THOR ANNUAL #16 and SILVER SURFER ANNUAL #4.

Frankly, I thought this stuff was rank garbage when it was first published. I doubt time has improved it.

INFINITY: HEIST #4 (of 4)

Frank Tieri (W)

Al Barrionuevo (A/C)

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

• The crime of the century just got a bit more complicated!

Blizzard’s new … uh … developments put the entire team in jeopardy – while Titanium Man’s true identity is OUT OF THIS WORLD!

Frank Tieri and Al Barrionuevo bring the twists in the Infinity Heist!

 INHUMANITY: THE AWAKENING #2 (OF 2)

MATT KINDT (W)

PAUL DAVIDSON (A)

Cover by JORGE MOLINA

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

INHUMANITY HITS MARVEL’S

SUPERHUMAN SCHOOLS!

• Inhuman chrysalises have appeared across the world…some want them, some want to destroy them…and your favorite superhuman students are caught in the crossfire!

• From the pages of INFINITY: THE HUNT comes more craziness from the Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School…written by THE HUNT’S Matt Kindt!

IRON MAN #20

KIERON GILLEN (W) • JOE BENNETT (A)

Cover by PAUL RIVOCHE

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

IRON METROPOLITAN PART THREE!

• The skies burn red above IRON METROPOLITAN as the IRON PHALANX faces MANDARIN-SEVEN: RED PERIL.

• Wait... how on Earth did the Mandarin’s rings in these dangerous hands anyway?

• Guest starring: JIM RHODES: IRON PATRIOT

MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #4 (of 5)

MATT KINDT (W) • MARCO RUDY (A/C)

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

• Spider-Man’s 99 Problems give way to one big one – Kraven, the Hunter!

• With countless lives on the line, can Peter Parker outfox his myusterious captors to win his freedom?

• Matt Kindt (Mind MGMT) and Marco Rudy (Swamp Thing) continue this year’s most trippy trip through madness!

I have never read a Marvel Knights book. Is there some reason we need them?

MARVEL UNIVERSE AVENGERS ASSEMBLE #4

Adapted by Joe Caramagna

32 PGS./All Ages …$2.99

• DR. DOOM summons a Midgard Serpent using powerful Asgardian magic.

•Only THOR can save the AVENGERS…but at what cost?

This pose looks really familiar, but I can't find it looking at old Journey into Mystery/Thor covers. Am I imagining things, or is this an homage? Anybody know if this pose has appeared before?

 

PAINKILLER JANE: THE PRICE OF FREEDOM #3 (OF 4)

JIMMY PALMIOTTI (W) • JUAN SANTACRUZ & SAM LOFTI (A)

Cover by AMANDA CONNER

32 PGS./Mature …$2.99

PAINKILLER JANE is on a manhunt. The bloody showdown take place in Rockaway, Queens as Jane confronts the man who kidnapped the princess. Meanwhile, father and son strike a dealwith the mysterious government bounty hunter named Churchill, as the princess and her protector go on the run, lost in America.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR: ALPHA #1

Written by ANDY LANNING & ALAN COWSILL

Art by RICHARD ELSON

Cover by MARK BROOKS

Variant Cover by TBD

32 PGS./ ONE-SHOT/Rated T+ …$3.99

Part 1 of “Revolutionary War”

Featuring Captain Britain, Pete Wisdom, Death’s Head II, Motormouth and Killpower, the Warheads and a host of British heroes.

In 2014, Marvel readers should prepare for the next British Invasion. Starting in January, cult favorite Marvel UK characters return for an 8-issue limited series kicking off in REVOLUTIONARY WAR: ALPHA #1! Today, Marvel is excited to present your first look at that exciting first issue from blockbuster creative team of writers Andy Lanning & Alan Cowsill and artist Richard Elson!

Long ago, Captain Britain, Dark Angel, Motormouth and the pantheon of Marvel UK Heroes believed they had defeated the shadowy Mys-Tech organization in one Earth-shattering climactic battle. But they were wrong. Mys-Tech has returned, and their presence threatens not only the world – but the entire universe!

Now, Marvel UK’s greatest heroes must band together for the first time in 20 years to stop a long forgotten enemy. But are they too late? The battle begins this January in REVOLUTIONARY WAR: ALPHA #1 and continues one week later REVOLUTIONARY WAR: DARK ANGEL #1 and various one-shots on-sale through February and March!

On the surface, this seems like a no-brainer: Marvel has an army of characters in their UK division that aren't being used, so why not launch a team title with the bigger names, and see if any emerge as breakout stars? They could become movie stars!

The problem with this theory is that the Marvel UK characters are mostly drek. Pete Wisdom was entertaining as the bad boy of whatever X-team he was once on, but as a straightforward leading man he's kinda boring. Death's Head showed up recently in Spider-Woman, Agent of S.W.O.R.D. and Iron Man, serving only to remind me how irritating his speech pattern is. I have all the books starring Motormouth, Killpower and Warheads that Marvel published in the U.S. back in the early '90s, and all I remember about them is that I thought they were stupid. And how many times has a title starring Captain Britain been canceled?

I wish "Revolutionary War" the best, but I suspect this is going to be yet another failed attempt to make these characters viable.

SAVAGE WOLVERINE #14.NOW

Written by RICHARD ISANOVE

Art and Cover by RICHARD ISANOVE

Variant Covers by PHIL NOTO & CHRIS SAMNEE Also Available

Blank Variant also Available

32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

“THE BOOTLEGGER”

Acclaimed artist Richard Isanove peels back another layer of Logan’s mysterious origin in Wrath – the beginning of the all-new story arc beginning in SAVAGE WOLVERINE 14.NOW!

The year is 1933 at the height of Prohibition. Dust storms rage in the Midwest – and the man who will become the Wolverine makes his living carrying whiskey across the border from Canada. That is, until he finds himself the accidental caretaker of a group of orphans who’ve been targeted by the mob.

Richard is a master of noir, and he brings that sensibility to Wolverine in his earlier, more formative years, says Editor Jeanine Schaefer. “He’s crafted a Logan who’s been hardened by a life of violence, but still holds out hope for peace…and in the end one side of him must come out on top. Richard’s art has never looked better -- I think readers are going to get hooked on his very specific brand of storytelling!“

Now, the first “X-Man” must choose between the anonymous life he’s chosen or stepping out into the spotlight to defend the innocent once more. Witness an early tale of the mutant who will become the Wolverine as he faces his destiny as the hero he was born to be this January in SAVAGE WOLVERINE 14.NOW!

Every FIRST ISSUE bearing the All New Marvel NOW! branding includes a code for a free digital copy of that same comic on the Marvel Comics app for iOS and Android devices. But that’s not all! Select .NOW! titles, including SAVAGE WOLVERINE 14.NOW will also come with a digital code for the entire first collection of that series ABSOLUTELY FREE!

I love well-done period stories, and this looks like a good one (and my first reason to ever buy this title). Of course, not everyone shares my interest in history, so I don't expect my enthusiasm to be universal.


SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN TEAM-UP: FRIENDLY FIRE TPB

Written by CHRIS YOST, CHRISTOS GAGE & MARK WAID

Penciled by MARCO CHECCHETTO, DAVID LOPEZ, JAVIER RODRIGUEZ & CHRIS SAMNEE

Cover by PAOLO RIVERA

120 PGS./Rated T+ …$17.99

S.H.I.E.L.D. has the Chameleon. The Superior Spider-Man wants him. That means it’s time to break into the Helicarrier! But can Spider-Man keep his secrets while facing off with the Secret Avengers — and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newest resident, the Indestructible Hulk? When the Chameleon gets loose, it’s a recipe for disaster! Plus: The Punisher and Spider-Man have never seen eye-to-eye, but this is the Superior Spider-Man! What does Frank Castle think about Spider-Man’s new hard-edged attitude? Spidey has questions for the villainous Mysterio, but the Punisher has something else for him: bullets. And when Blackout targets Aunt May, the former Doc Ock’s resolve is tested in a major way — and so is his patience when Stilt-Man strikes, and he must team with Spidey’s old friend, Daredevil! Collecting AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #20-22, SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN ANNUAL #1 and DAREDEVIL (2011) #22.

WOLVERINE #13

PAUL CORNELL (W) • ALAN DAVIS (A/C)

32 PGS./Parental Advisory …$3.99

IT ALL ENDS HERE! THE FINAL CHAPTER OF KILLABLE!

• Logan’s last stand against Sabretooth

• The Microverse virus offers Logan a trade: his healing factor for his help in evading S.H.I.E.L.D. – can he afford to say no?

Would you believe I stopped reading the Wolverine titles before Sabretooth came back? I guess that's a long time now. But just the fact that he DID come back, and now he and Wolvie are going through the same dance I found boring the first time, just tells me that I made the right decision.

Seriously, is there anything new here? Anything at all?

X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM HC

Written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, BRIAN WOOD & JASON AARON

Penciled by FRANK CHO, STUART IMMONEN, DAVID LOPEZ, CHRIS BACHALO, GIUSEPPE CAMUNCOLI & ESAD RIBIC

Cover by ARTHUR ADAMS

224 PGS./Rated T+ …$49.99

The X-Men’s past, present and future collide in this 50th-anniversary event! Something horrible happens to the past versions of the X-Men that shakes spacetime to its core — and more X-Men arrive from the future with a message: The original five must return home! But when young Cyclops and Marvel Girl run away to stay in the present, the hunt is on! And where does the modern-day Cyclops’ revolutionary faction fit in? Things get even more complicated when mysterious foes attack the Jean Grey School, and the healing-impaired Wolverine takes a mortal hit! With spacetime up for grabs, the surprise ending will change everything as the X-Men’s footing in the world is drastically altered! Collecting X-MEN: BATTLE OF THE ATOM #1-2, ALL-NEW X-MEN #16-17, X-MEN (2013) #5-6, UNCANNY X-MEN (2013) #12-13 and WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #36-37.

YOUNG AVENGERS #15

KIERON GILLEN (W)

JAMIE MCKELVIE, BECKY CLOONAN, MING DOYLE & JOE QUINONES (A)

Cover by JAMIE MCKELVIE

32 PGS./Rated T+ …$2.99

• After the saving the world, there’s the after party. And after the party, it’s the hotel lobby. And around issue 15, we have to clear the lobby and then head to our rooms and do something jolly rude.

• MIC-DROP!

I read the first trade, and was disappointed. Maybe I had my expectations set too high, because I didn't find the dialogue sparkling enough, the characters fleshed out enough or Kid Loki devious enough.

If others felt as I did, then maybe that's why this title -- so hotly anticipated, especially by me -- lasted barely more than a year.

OTHER PUBLISHERS

2000 AD PRESENTS SCI-FI THRILLERS TP

Publisher: 2000 AD

(W) Pat Mills, Grant Morrision

(A) Henry Flint & Various

$31.00

From alien invasions to man-hating dinosaurs, this bumper-sized anthology features a collection of work from industry legends. Collecting several much sought after stories from creators including Pat Mills, Ian Gibson, Grant Morrison, Will Simpson, Peter Milligan, and Paul Cornell, many of which have never been collected before inclduing The Visible Man and XTINCT.

Is "Henry Flint" just Flint Henry written wrong? Grant Morrison is in the credits too! I know some Legionnaires who will probably get this ... banana photo banana.gif

ADVENTURE TIME FLIP SIDE #1

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Paul Tobin, Colleen Coover

(A) Wook Jin Clark

(CA) Wook Jin Clark, Ru Xu

$3.99

WHY WE LOVE IT: Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover, the team behind the Eisner Awardwinning BANDETTE, writing ADVENTURE TIME?! It's a match made in comic book heaven!

WHY YOU WILL LOVE IT: The "Freaky Friday" trope is turned on its head with an Ooosized twist! Tobin and Coover, together with newcomer Wook Jin Clark bring you a dream ADVENTURE TIME miniseries like you've never seen it!

WHAT IT'S ABOUT: Finn and Jake find themselves without a quest and a little too much free time what better place to look for a new adventure than the "Adventurer's Posting Board"?! Only the adventure they grab might be more complicated than they first imagined...this might be the most complicated adventure they've ever been on!

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #3

Publisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Art: Francesco Francavilla

Cover: Francesco Francavilla

Riverdale Yearbook Variant Cover: Tim Seeley

32-page, full color comic, $2.99 U.S.

NEW ONGOING SERIES! "Escape from Riverdale" Part 3: The zombie apocalypse is in full swing and the surviving members of the gang have taken refuge in the Lodge Mansion—believing themselves safe from the infected roaming the streets of Riverdale! But there's no stopping Archie from sneaking out, risking life and limb to find his missing parents—leaving those sequestered behind vulnerable to an enemy within! The zombie mayhem (and body-count) continues to rise in this breakout series, for TEEN+ readers!

This is really a fascinating book. It hasn't settled into a status quo yet, so anybody could still die at any time. And judging from next month's cover, things are apt to go very, very wrong at stately Lodge Mansion.

I have no idea what will happen next.

Which is GREAT!

ALEX DELAWARE BOOK 1: KELLERMAN SGN BOOKPLATE ED GN

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

(W) Jonathan Kellerman, Ande Parks

(A/CA) Michael Gaydos

$23.00

New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman makes his debut in the graphic novel world with a graphic adaptation of his noirish Alex Delaware thriller Silent Partner with stylish, black-and-white, noir-inspired art from award-winning artist Michael Gaydos. In Silent Partner, Alex investigates the murder of his ex-lover, a mysterious, alluring woman with a troubled past. His investigation will take him to the seamy side of Hollywood and its glamorous ultrarich... to the dark and twisted corridors of the mind.

Bookplate signed by author Jonathan Kellerman, limited to 200 copies.

ALICE IN THE COUNTRY OF HEARTS: MAD HATTER'S TEA PARTY VOL 2 GN

Publisher: ST. MARTINS PRESS

(W) Quinrose

(A/CA) Riko Sakura

$13.99

The conclusion to the newest Alice in the Country of Hearts story arc. In this all-new follow-up to QuinRose's bestselling Alice in the Country of Hearts manga series, The Mad Hatter's Late Night Tea Party focuses on the fan-favorite character of Blood Dupre. Blood Dupre is the enigmatic leader of the Hatters, Wonderland's mafia. Along with his second-in-command, Elliot March, also known as the March Hare, Blood Dupre schemes from the shadows inside Hatter Mansion, while keeping his enemies at bay. Yet when Alice Lidell enters his life, she gives the dangerous mafia boss a run for his money.

MANGA #2

Wow, we're already to "Other Publishers" and we've only made it to the second manga! Maybe I won't make as big a buffoon of myself as I feared! OK, let's take a look:

Hmmm. This is based on Alice in Wonderland, but it's so removed from the source material that you could change a few names and not know that Lewis Carroll was even invoked. It seems like a weird crime fiction/romance thriller mash-up that stars a girl who happens to be named Alice as the protagonist and reader POV. I'd have to read it to see if there's anything hallucinatory or supernatural involved, but it doesn't appear so from the solicitation.

How's that for an analysis? This manga stuff is a snap!

ALICE THE 101ST VOL 3 GN

Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION

(W/A/CA) Chigusa Kawai

$12.95

Christmas vacation is finally here! But when a freak snowstorm strands Alice (and Vic) at Theo's house, the boys get a front-row seat for some intense parental pressure! Can Theo find the courage to share his talent with the world on his own terms? And what's with the menacing army of giant snowmen?

Alice the 101st unites friends and foes alike in a playful, all-out battle for musical mastery! The elite Mondonveille School of Music is "home away from home" for the most exceptional classical performers of their generation. But who will rise to the very pinnacle of perfection thanks to a singular, soaring gift?

MANGA #3

See? Just like the other one, this one is so simple that ... Uh.

Giant snowmen? Musical mastery? Wow, I have no idea what this is. It's got the Saucer Eyes going for it, which always makes me think it's supposed to appeal to girls, but I don't really know.

ARCHIE #651

Publisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

Script: Dan Parent

Art: Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli

Cover: Dan Parent 

Battle of the Bands Variant Cover: Renae De Liz, Ray Dillon

32-page, full color comic

$2.99 U.S.

"Rockin’ the World, part 2—Love on the Road" The next leg of The Archies’ World Tour continues in China! Raj Patel gets more Oscar-worthy footage of the romance between Archie and Valerie, but some other footage of Archie and new gal pal Amisha is sure to stir up some drama! Meanwhile, the Pussycats get a few new members: Betty and Veronica! And when it looks like their concert may not go as planned, it’s going to take a special guest to save the day! Find out who in Part 2 of The Archies’ World Tour! Featuring a rockin’ new variant cover by Renae De Liz (New York Times Best Seller The Last Unicorn, Womanthology) and Ray Dillon (HBO’s Game of Thrones).

I like that second cover. And I bet today's younger audiences would see something like that as more recognizably modern. Maybe Archie ought to try a few titles in that style and see if it sells better than the Dan DeCarlo house style. Naturally, I love the DeCarlo style, but I haven't been Archie's target audience for 30 years!

ARCHIE DOUBLE DIGEST #247

Publisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

Script: Bill Golliher

Art: Fernando Ruiz, Rudy Lapick, Bill Yoshida, and Barry Grossman

Cover: Dan Parent, Bob Smith, Rosario “Tito” Peña

160-page, full color comic

$3.99 U.S.

That dreaded time of year is here: the day of Archie’s annual physical! Archie is less than thrilled to accompany his father to the doctor’s office, but maybe a cute nurse will change his attitude! Find out the diagnosis in “Doctor Dread,” the lead story to a hilarious double digest!

ASH AND THE ARMY OF DARKNESS

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Steve Niles

(A) Dennis Calero

(CA) Arthur Suydam

$3.99

An old love returns and Ash finds himself with an ally after escaping Wiseman's City of the Dead. Now the search for the Book of the Dead is on and whoever finds it first can either escape or destroy the world for book. Only a book and a few words are all the separate the world of the living and the dead and a new war is brewing.

ATTACK ON TITAN VOL 10 GN

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

(W/A/CA) Isayama Hajime

$10.99

Humanity has been devastated by the bizarre, giant humanoids known as the Titans. Little is known about where they came from or why they are bent on consuming humanity. Seemingly unintelligent, they have roamed the world killing off humankind for years. On the way to Eren's home, deep in Titan territory, the Survey Corps ranks are broken by a charge led by a female Titan! But this Abnormal is different; she kills not to eat but to protect herself, and she seems to be looking for someone. Armin comes to a shocking conclusion: She's a human in a Titan's body, just like Eren!

MANGA #4

This seems like pretty straightforward science fiction, tinged with apocalypse fiction, but also concerned about personal identity. Is that a Japanese thing? Maybe some young Japanese are worried about disappearing into the anonymity of being "salarymen." That seems possible.

OTOH, the young Japanese I see on TV don't seem to conform at all. Hair dyed all kinds of colors, weird clothes, PDA a-plenty ... none of them seem worried overmuch about turning out like Dad. I suspect the "salarymen" thing was my generation's concern, but that was a while ago.

I dunno. Man, I need for The Baron to get out of that cage NOW.

AWKWARD SILENCE VOL 3 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Hinako Takanaga

$12.99

Yuji Sagara has enough worries already, trying to find a part-time job to pay for college while his mother is in the hospital, so he's not happy that Takahito Kagami is adding to his troubles. Kagami is an incorrigible flirt, and all the girls on campus are after him, so why would he steal a kiss from Yuji...?

MANGA #5

This is obviously "Yaoi," the manga genre focusing on male-on-male romance. No problem picking the genre on this book.

But while we're here, is it me, or do most Yaoi books revolve around an older, worldly guy aggressively putting the moves on a younger, passive guy? That seems to be a pattern in the solicitations. But then, I've never actually read one, so what do I know?

B PLUS F HC

Publisher: ADHOUSE BOOKS

(W/A/CA) Gregory Benton

$19.95

B+F is Gregory Benton's MoCCA Award of Excellence-winning fable. It explores an otherworldly forest with a woman and a dog as they encounter its denizens, both benevolent and malicious. A wordless meditation on goodwill, hostility, and isolation.

BAR MAID #1

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

(W) Clayburn Moore, Joe Brusha

(A) TBD

(CA) Billy Tucci

$3.50

Taken in and trained by her uncle to be a freedom fighter after her parents were murdered, Cassidy O'Hara leads a dual life in the mountains and forests of Manchuria. Part time guerilla, part time saloon girl, Cassidy is about to be pulled into a plot that will affect the outcome of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and the very outcome of World War II.

The exaggerated "fan service" on all these covers means it's unlikely I'll ever pick up this title. But I'll still award points if "Bar Girl" is a pun for "BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) Girl." That would be darn clever, as every U.S. rifle squad in WWII had one BAR guy.

BEN 10 OMNIVERSE: JOYRIDES GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W) B. Clay Moore, Joel Enos

(A) Albert Carreres, Alan Brown

$7.99

In "Tim 10" Ben's aliens seem to be causing all kinds of trouble in Undertown. But Ben doesn't remember doing any of it...or changing into the aliens at all. Something's not right, but what? Ben better find out before his reputation is ruined for good! And in "Down in the Dumps," Ben finds out that being a superhero doesn't always get you the respect you deserve when he tries to teach a class of plumber recruits at the academy...and ends up getting them all into a heap of trouble.

BETTIE PAGE IN DANGER #11

Publisher: SHH PRODUCTIONS

(W/A/CA) Peter Pants, Johnny Depth

$9.95

What sinister event caused the mysterious disappearance of the legendary pin-up queen at the height of her popularity? Could it be nude models becoming ravenous vampires, craving the blood of a virgin? Everyone goes batty for Bettie when the truth about her sex life is revealed, turning a slumber party into a slurping party as girl on girl "necking" leads to immortality!

Bettie certainly IS in danger -- of catching a cold! (And so are her friends.)

BLACK BARD GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W/A/CA) Ichiya Sazanami

$18.95

Black Bard, a wondering minstrel, in gothic garb, travels a fantastical world following adventures wherever they may take him. Battling foes and saving strangers in distress. But what is the mystery that lies in this troubled trouveur's past? Drama and magic will delight us as we follow the adventures of Black Bard and become enchanted with his song.

MANGA #6

Wow!

I don't think Western fiction has an equivalent genre for the heroic troubadour. (Here "trouveur," a traveling poet, chiefly of narratives.) In Western fiction, the troubadour CAN be heroic, but only in his OTHER guise, the heroic masked guy for whom the effeminate poet is merely a front. (See: The Scarlet Pimpernel, Timely's Black Knight, Zorro, DC's Western Vigilante, etc.) In ancient times (in the West), the troubadour wandered around telling tales of the heroism by OTHER people, for alms or drinks. Not exactly Hercules.

Maybe in Japan it was different. Or maybe this is a new genre!

BLACK BAT #8

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Brian Buccellato

(A) Ronan Cliquet

(CA) Jae Lee

$3.99

The fallout from recent events changes the dynamic between Carol, the Black Bat, and the shadow organization behind his creation. Black Bat wrestles with the choices he has made, and how far he is willing to go to get justice. Are the strings attached to his redemption worth the price?

I've never read this, but it looks like a cross between The Spider and The Shadow. Is that accurate, Black Bat readers, or is it something altogether different that I should maybe be reading?

BLEACH 3-IN-1 VOL 7 TP

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Tite Kubo

$14.99

Time has run out! It's the day of Rukia's execution, and Ichigo must fight Byakuya Kuchiki one on one, whether or not his bankai is battle-ready. Meanwhile the mastermind behind the chaos in the Seireitei is about to be revealed, but will the truth spell the end of the Soul Society?!

MANGA #7

Um ... next!

 

BLOODSHOT VOL. 4: H.A.R.D. CORPS TPB

Publisher: VALIANT COMICS

Written by CHRISTOS GAGE & JOSHUA DYSART and MATT KINDT

Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO and CHRISCROSS

Cover by J.G. JONES

$14.99/T+/128 pgs.

TRADE PAPERBACK

Every mission … is someone's last.

Out of the ashes of Harbinger Wars, Bloodshot is about to join the weaponized men and women of the HARBINGER ACTIVE RESISTANCE DIVISION – the black budget, technologically-augmented strike force where the powers are dangerously unstable and every mission is a one-way ticket into the meat grinder. With a reluctant leader calling the shots and a new crop of untested rookies manning the frontline, Bloodshot is about to take H.A.R.D. Corps behind enemy lines – and into a gasoline-drenched, synapse-snapping suicide run where no one is safe…and heroes always die trying.

Collecting BLOODSHOT AND H.A.R.D. CORPS #14-17 and BLOODSHOT #0, join acclaimed writers Christos Gage (Avengers Academy) and Joshua Dysart (Harbinger Wars) and superstar-in-the-making Emanuela Lupacchino (Archer & Armstrong) right here to light the fuse on an explosive new chapter for Bloodshot and the Valiant Universe’s most feared team of superhuman operatives! Also featuring the shocking origin of Bloodshot as told by Matt KIndt (Mind MGMT) and ChrisCross (Superman/Batman)!

"Every mission … is someone's last."

Really? Man, you guys must be really sloppy. Sgt. Fury would go on hundreds of missions and never lose a man!

BUCK ROGERS IN 25TH CENTURY #4

Publisher: HERMES PRESS

(W/A/CA) Howard Chaykin

$3.99

The adventure that started in Howard Chaykin's ground-breaking tale of the new Buck Rogers comes to its exciting conclusion! Buck Rogers, former World War I ace is accidentally suspended in time only to awaken to a new and different earth, 500 years in the future, fragmented by war and ruled by an omnipotent force- the Chinese. Now, Buck along with Colonel Wilma Deering, begin a new fight, to free the United States! You're in for the ride of your life with this wrap-up of Chaykin's story arc! Some of the cast won't make it, but you'll have to read the book to find out the thrill packed, surprising conclusion to this classic in the making.

Has this series been written and drawn by Chaykin from its inception, and if so, how did it slip by me?

BUZZBOY SIDEKICKS RULE TP

Publisher: RED GIANT ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A/CA) John Gallagher

$14.95

When the Earth's greatest adult heroes disappear, Buzzboy and his other sidekick buddies must keep the world safe from alien invaders, time-traveling ducks, and evil robot weiner-dogs! Buzzboy: Sidekicks Rule! features full-color fun, comic tutorials for kids, and much more!

This actually sounds like fun.

CAVEWOMAN LABYRINTH DEVON MASSEY SP ED

Publisher: AMRYL ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A/CA) Devon Massey

Meriem has discovered a tank outside the military bunker but it's been claimed by a group of dinosaurs who don't like to share! A simply great dino-battle cover from Devon! Each copy is bagged and boarded and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity!

Boooobs.

CAVEWOMAN LABYRINTH ONE SHOT

Publisher: AMRYL ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A/CA) Devon Massey

$3.75

Deep under Marshville an abandoned military base has been found. A computer program has been activated which will protect its contents by setting off a nuclear device to destroy the base and secrets within. Can Meriem navigate the labyrinth of tunnels with booby-traps and stop Marshville from blowing out of the stone age?

Booooooooooooooobs.

CAVEWOMAN LABYRINTH ONE SHOT BUDD ROOT SP ED

Publisher: AMRYL ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A) Devon Massey

(CA) Budd Root

Budd takes Meriem out of the Labyrinth to do what she does best - posing for our readers! No surprise here, another fantastically hot Special Edition cover! Limited to just 695 copies, each book is bagged and boarded and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity!

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOBS!

Seriously, I've never seen a copy of this book, but from the covers it seems like little more than "fan service." Anyone want to rise to the defense of Cavewoman?

CENTURY OF TEMPTATION GN

Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION

(W/A/CA) Kairi Shimotsuki

$12.95

After a long shift at the coffee shop, barista Sevi takes in a seductive vampire named Hornet! But when their one-time tryst turns into a torrid affair, Sevi's feelings come rushing to the surface. Can a human truly care for a creature of the night?

A Century of Temptation follows gorgeous vampires as they frolic and feed without restraint! No mortal or monster can predict the instant when their pulse will race at the sight of a brand-new mate ... but when the end is imminent, is it worth it to fall in love?

MANGA #8

If these "gorgeous vampires ... frolic and feed without restraint," then it doesn't sound like a "Century of Temptation," because their response to temptation, clearly, is to give in to it. "Century of Satiation," maybe? "Century of Satyriasis"?

 

CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE & BARDS OF NEMETON GN

Publisher: 2000 AD

(W/A/CA) Meirion Jones

$18.99

A war is raging and the stakes are impossibly high. To the victors go the spoils of the ultimate natural resource -- mankind's sub-conscious -- and the power to remake reality on a whim, to become Godlike. One man is caught in the middle -- and he's not happy about it.

CRAYON SHINCHAN ONE PEACE ED VOL 4GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W/A) Yoshito Usui (CA) Shimpachi Inoue

$12.95

Crayon Shinchan is an iconic legend and international cultural phenomenon. The pint-sixed terror is a rude little dude who stands back to back with such contemporaries as South Park. So be warned, this hilarious romp isn't for the kids. Crayon Shinchan is an adult tongue-in-cheek poke at modern domestic life.

MANGA #9

Japan's Eric Cartman? The mind boggles.

CROSSED BADLANDS #44

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Daniel Way

(A) Emiliano Urinola

(CA) Gabriel Andrade

$3.99

Deadpool writer DANIEL WAY joins the ranks of the damned with a new tale of Crossed misery in "Grave New World." In a story that spans the length of the Crossed infection, a naval captain and his loyal crew attempt to outlast the monsters that have overtaken the world. But aboard the vessel there is little joy and the remaining crew wonder if perhaps their leader has gone mad. When two very strange survivors are brought on board a world of hate and vengeance begins to destroy this carefully preserved oasis. In a world of maniacs, there is no help, no hope... there is only the Crossed. Available with a Regular, Torture, Wraparound, and a special Red Crossed Incentive cover all by Gabriel Andrade.

I like an apocalypse story as much as the next guy, but the top two covers are just torture porn. Frankly, I find that disgusting. Anyone want to rise to the defense of this book?

CRYPTOZOIC MAN #3

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Walter Flanagan, Bryan Johnson

(A) Walter Flanagan

(CA) Walter Flanagan, Wayne Jansen

$3.99

The "Hostiles" have crashed the party commonly referred to as 'life on earth' giving humanity about, oh, sixty seconds to live. Dr. Alan Ostman discovers that after the Hostiles breech, that not only have both Heaven and Hell been deserted, but the world's legendary cryptids which function as portals to alternate dimensions are being murdered at an alarming rate. Cryptozoic Man steps in to repel the demonic hordes, but not everything is as it seems and mankind's fate rests on an unthinkable sacrifice.

DAY MEN #1

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Matt Gagnon, Michael Alan Nelson (A/CA) Brian Stelfreeze

$9.99

Fan of the new hit "vampire noir" series DAY MEN? Order this rare SDCC 2013 exclusive cover drawn by series artist Brian Stelfreeze today. Quantities are limited, allocations may occur.

More vampires. Are they jealous of all the attention zombies are getting? Vampires are such drama queens!

DEPRESSION OF THE ANTI ROMANTICIST VOL 2 GN

Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION

(W) Yasuna Suginuma (A/CA) Riyu Yamakami

$12.95

After losing his parents, Minoru supports life for himself and his two younger siblings by working at a gay bar. That's where he meets the mysterious Kan.

At first, Kan's sudden advances daunt Minoru, but as he gradually gets to know Kan - a man who is, at times, wildly passionate; at others, kind and caring, like he's always been a member of the family - Minoru begins to open up his heart. However, Kan has a dark past about which he remains steadfastly silent, frustrating Minoru the more his feelings grow...

Also included in this moving and dramatic concluding volume is an original bonus episode titled "1,800 days later," showcasing the two's peaceful, love-filled life after the events of the main story, and the caring, loving people who surround them!

MANGA #10

Aha! Remember what I said earlier about Awkward Silence? Here's another "Yaoi" with another worldly man putting moves on another young kid who is swooning over the romance, but confused by the attention. It's like a theme or something.

DICTATORIAL GRIMOIRE VOL 2: SNOW WHITE GN

Publisher: ST. MARTINS PRESS

(W/A/CA) Ayumi Kanou

$13.99

For fans of Once Upon a Time and Fables comes a shoujo-styled manga series about the Grimm Brothers' most notorious characters! Grimm Otogi, a descendant of the renowned Grimm Brothers, has always regarded the fairy tales his ancestors concocted as pure fiction. Unfortunately for the introverted half-Japanese teen, he is about to discover that the Grimm legacy is anything but pure. Upon receiving a posthumous letter from the father he never knew, he finds a manuscript that reveals the truth about his ancestors: the Brothers Grimm made a deal with mystical beings known as the Märchen Demons, who now have a claim on Otogi's life. With a dashing male Cinderella as his guide, can Otogi Grimm unlock the power of the manuscript and stop the fairy tale demons before they destroy him first?

MANGA #11

More fairy-tale-based stories, this time in Shoujo style. Are there no new ideas?

DIGGER COMP OMNIBUS ED TP

Publisher: SOFAWOLF PRESS

(W/A/CA) Ursula Vernon

$39.95

Digger is the story of a sensible, practical wombat engineer who finds herself trapped on the wrong end of a one-way tunnel, involved against her better judgment in an ancient tragedy involving gods and demons. She just wants to get home, but Just can't resist the desire to be helpful. Winner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story.

EXPOSURE VOL 1 TP

Publisher: RED GIANT ENTERTAINMENT

(W) David Campiti

(A/CA) Al Rio

$19.95

This volume collects the entire run of Exposure, the hit Image Comics and Avatar Press series for the first time ever! Fan-favorite artist Al Rio and veteran writer David Campiti craft the tale of two very sexy investigators who solve paranormal crimes, all the while trying to keep their clothes on!

These gals should team up with the chick from Empowered. They seem to have a lot in common.

EXTINCTION PARADE #1 ARMY OF BRAWN 3 BOOK SET

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Max Brooks

(A/CA) Raulo Caceres

$29.99

Max Brooks' Extinction Parade is changing the face of zombie horror! For the first time, you can own an exclusive set of three connecting covers direct from San Diego! This first printing edition set is limited to only 1000 copies.

Weirdly, vampires-plus-zombies is becoming something of a genre. The upcoming George Romero book for Marvel has that set-up, and I've seen one or two others while writing this Guide. I'm sure they all take different approaches, but all of them start from the same place: What would vampires do when zombies start making inroads into their food supply?

Frankly, if I was a vampire, I'd be pretty determined to wipe out the zombies. Is there some other course? I guess one of these books will find one and pursue it.

EXTINCTION PARADE #2

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Max Brooks

(A/CA) Raulo Caceres

$5.99

Now you can add this very limited, first printing, edition of just 1000 copies to your collection in time for the end of the world.

EXTINCTION PARADE #4 LEATHER

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Max Brooks

(A/CA) Raulo Caceres

$14.99

This year's biggest horror comic continues its brutal march towards annihilation! His books on zombies have entertained millions of readers and now MAX BROOKS redefines vampires as he brings an all-out war of the undead! Zombies have been at best a nuisance to the vampire race for thousands of years but never a real threat. Their clumsy foothold over humans has always been beaten back. But this time the tide of shambling dead have turned the corner and are rapidly depleting the ranks of the living. Even with their superior abilities and ferocity, can the vampire race find a way to stop the decimation? Available with Regular, Wraparound, End of a Species and Bloodwashed Retailer Incentive covers by Raulo Caceres. Also, available with a special black Leather cover, limited to just 1000 copies! THE FOX #3

Publisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

Fox Plot/Art: Dean Haspiel

Fox Script: Mark Waid

Fox Art: Dean Haspiel, Allen Passalaqua, and John Workman

Shield Script: J.M. DeMatteis

Shield Art: Mike Cavallaro, Terry Austin, and Steve Downer

Cover: Dean Haspiel

Get-FREAKY Variant: Mike Allred and Laura Allred

32-page, full color comic, $2.99 US.

NEW RED CIRCLE SERIES!

Emmy Award winning writer/artist Dean Haspiel (Billy Dogma, HBO's Bored to Death) and Eisner Award winning writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Thrillbent) continue the saga of the legendary, pulp-style hero The Fox in "Freak Magnet! Part 3: Hell's Half Acre"! The Fox is stuck in a nightmarish, fantastical land rife with underground dungeons, medieval traps, and enslaved Red Circle heroes! When he finally reaches his ultimate destination, will he encounter heroes or villains — or both? Meanwhile, in "The Face of Hate Part 2: The Enemy of my Enemy," The Shield's battle against arch-rivals Hachiman and Master Race continues in the icy tundra! But what monster from the depths has these hated rivals all shaking in their boots? And what connection does it have to the FOX and his misadventures in the Diamond Realm?? All will be revealed as the adventure continues! Featuring all-new variant cover art from acclaimed artists Mike Allred and Laura Allred (FF, iZOMBIE).

Fun book. Highly recommended.

FRACTURE #1

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Shawn Gabborin

(A/CA) Chad Cicconi

Variant cover by Jamal Igle

$2.99

Action Lab Entertainment, the company taking the comics industry by storm returns to its roots. Fracture, a series that began as a successful Kickstarter campaign and launch pad for the company itself returns in an all-new miniseries. Created by writer Shawn Gabborin (Snowed in, Angry Gnome Comics) and artist Chad Cicconi (NFL Rush Zone, Baby Boomers), Fracture Volume 2 is a follow up to the critically acclaimed story of Superheroes, Supervillians and multiple personalities.

The City of Lower Triton is a city of heroes with the high-flying Virtue first and foremost among them. However, for every hero there must be a villain and Malice, the technological terror, reigns supreme. But what happens when a normal guy named Jeff discovers he’s both?
Now, Jeff tries to move on with his normal, humdrum life, leaving the newly cloned Virtue, with his personality in place to become a full-time hero. Virtue tries to protect Lower Triton while Jeff tries to keep his Malice personality at bay, which isn’t easy when he can’t get the drugs he needs! But life in Lower Triton is not normal by a long shot. Who is the newest villain on the scene, Vice? Who are the Croc men? And just how fractured is Jeff’s mind? All of these answers and more can be found in the pages of Fracture Volume 2 issue 1.

I like Jamal Igle's work, and Action Lab seems to be his baby. This book -- Fracture -- was the one that launched Action Lab as a Kickstarter project, and now the Action Lab has grown so big that Diamond is distributing it (which is a big deal). I don't know if Action Lab will explode into the big time or join the other would-be comics publishers that have failed over the years, but I like Igle's work enough that I intend to sample their titles as they arrive.GAME OF THRONES #18

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) George R. R. Martin, Daniel Abraham

(A) Tommy Patterson

(CA) Mike S. Miller

$3.99

After the death of Viserys, Khal Drogo seems content to forget his promise to conquer Westeros for his wife, Daenerys-until an assassination attempt stirs him to vows of vengeance. Vengeance is also in the air at King's Landing, where Joffrey, newly enthroned, names Tywin Lannister as the King's Hand . . . while Sansa Stark pleads for the life of her father, now named a traitor to the crown. Locked away, injured and in disgrace, Eddard is offered a final bargain: For the price of his honor, he may yet save his life ... and that of his daughter.

No cover available.

GRIMM FAIRY TALE: REALM KNIGHTS TP

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

(W) Patrick Shand

(A) Butch K. Mapa

(CA) Anthony Spay

$15.99

Sela, Robyn Hood, Red Riding Hood, Cross, Helsing and Shang are some of the most powerful beings in the Grimm Universe... and together, they will become the REALM KNIGHTS. Brought together to stop an ancient evil from regaining his all-powerful weapons, these confl icted warriors must learn to work together in time to save the world.

No cover available.GRIMM FAIRY TALES: WONDERLAND #19

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

(W) Raven Gregory

(A) JG Miranda

(CA) Ken Lashley

$3.99

Calie and Violet have located the mythic Ebony Blade, the weapon responsible for ending the terrible reign of the Jabberwocky, and for once it seems the odds are in their favor. But don't expect their luck to last long as they come face to face with the new Mad Hatter and Cheshire Cat in a battle that will shake the foundations of the Wonderland universe.

Wonderland may be dangerous and all in the GFT universe, but judging from these covers it looks like an awesome place for a guy to get a date. The girl on the left looks a little stabby, but hey, I've dated worse.

GRIMM FAIRY TALES: WONDERLAND -- THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS #5

Publisher: ZENESCOPE ENTERTAINMENT INC

(W) Raven Gregory, Patrick Shand

(A) Alessandro Miracolo

(CA) EricJ

$3.99

The Queen of Spades, The Jabberwocky, Keres the Grim Reaper... They have all been leading Johnny toward his eventual destiny as the Mad Hatter. Will Johnny Liddle be able to escape his prophesized future, or will he embrace his dark fate? The saga of Johnny Liddle concludes here!

"Johnny Liddle"? Dude, change your name. Seriously, Johnny Treetrunk is gonna get all the babes. GHOST TOWN #4

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Ryan Lindsay

(A/CA) Daniel Logan

$2.99

Nate Lawson has been running since the world went to hell two years ago, and he's almost at the finish line - the biggest payoff of his career. But every action has a consequence. Every gun in the Ghost Town is trained on him. Will he live long enough to deliver Hannah to her father? Find out in the shocking conclusion to "Godfathers and Daughters!"

G.I. JOE VS. COBRA SPECIAL #6: NOCTURNAL FIRE

Publisher: FUN PUBLICATIONS INC

(W) Jesse Wittenrich

(A) Sheldon Goh

(CA) Robert Atkins

$4.95

The Crimson Asp - Mercenary. Saboteur. Cobra! The Baroness may have been the first lady of Cobra, but the Asp finds no need in playing the femme fatale card! Through her extensive tactical combat experience and connections throughout the criminal underground, she plans on taking the Joes to task if they get in her way! Having aligned herself with the villainous Cobra Mortal, it'll take everything Lt. Falcon, Lady Jaye, and the rest of the covert G.I. JOE: Night Force team has to stop her and the Nocturnal Fire she plans to rain down on them all!

GOD IS DEAD #1

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Jonathan Hickman

(A) Di Amorim

(CA) Jonathan Hickman

$5.99

Jacen Burrows brings the pain on this smashing new cover. This very limited 1000 copy variant will sell out fast!

GOD IS DEAD #2

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Jonathan Hickman, Mike Costa

(A) Di Amorim, Rafa Ortiz

(CA) Jonathan Hickman

$3.99

From Avatar Press. The scarce second issue is now available again with this special Enhanced Edition! Hickman's smash series is now an ongoing and the early issues are in huge demand. This edition is even better as it features an all-new second story, not available anywhere else, from co-writer Mike Costa and artist Rafa (Crossed) Ortiz! Just like with our sold out Uber #0 Enhanced, this will be the last printing of #2, and it is limited to only 7500 copies.

GOD IS DEAD #2

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Jonathan Hickman

(A) Di Amorim

(CA) Jacen Burrows

$5.99

Avatar's master of the macabre, Jacen Burrows, illustrates the stunning "God of Destruction" cover from Jonathan Hickman's hottest new book, God is Dead. This very limited 1500 copy variant will be the perfect addition to any collection.

I was unaware of this book until a few months ago, and now that I've read a few solicitations and seen a few covers, I'm really intrigued. I took some comparative religion courses and mythology courses in college, and this sounds like those interests brought to four-color life.

GRIMM WARLOCK #2

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Jai Nitz

(A) Jose Malaga

(CA) Greg Smallwood

$3.99

Nick and Monroe investigate a murder on the grounds of Portland's famous Pittock Mansion. A Wesen treasure hunter dies and it's ruled an accident, but everyone in the community thinks a Blutbad is behind it. Can Nick defeat a deadly opponent who has prepared for a Grimm? Read the comic based on the hit NBC show!

HANA KIMI 3-IN-1 VOL 7 TP

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Hisaya Nakajo

$14.99

What happens when the hottest guy in school is a girl?!?

Series Finale!

MANGA #12

Gender-switching, gender-bending and/or otherwise playing against gender expectations seems to be another manga genre, judging from its frequency in these solicitations. And a quick Google search indicates that, not only is there a lot of it, but that folks ask for it specifically -- a lot. 

What is this? In Western culture, people who bend gender -- queens, transvestites, etc. -- are held in low regard (although that is changing). How is it that Japanese comic books celebrate it? I can't believe that buttoned-down Japanese society is expansively accepting of non-conformists! What's this all about?

I know that Ranma 1/2 was about a kid who switched genders at inappropriate times, and is a very old and popular manga. But I don't know much else.

HARVEY HORRORS BLACK CAT MYSTERY SLIPCASE ED VOL 2

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

(A) Rudy Palais & Various

$119.99

The vintage 1950s Black Cat Mystery is collected in a 4-volume set with an exclusive introduction from a leading author and profiles one of the genre's leading artists, Rudy Palais, plus examples of his original artwork. This special slipcased edition of Volume 2 collects issues #36-41 (June 1952 to December 1952) and is limited to just 300 slipcased copies each with a signed and numbered certificate by the foreword author.

HARVEY HORRORS WITCHES TALES SOFTIE VOL 3 TP

Publisher: PS ARTBOOKS

(A) John Giunta & Various

$24.99

By popular demand, we're making available the whole run of Witches Tales in a run of sumptuous soft covers, each volume containing five to six comic books but without the support material featured in the hardbacks. Collecting issues #11-16 (June 1952 - Novermber 1952).

HAWKEN MELEE #4

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Andrew E. C. Gaska

(A) Daniel Dussault

(CA) Francisco Ruiz Velasco

$3.99

Corporate combat tears through a blissful family farm, changing the course of their lives irrevocably over the course of a decade. Featuring a story by Andrew E.C. Gaska (Space: 1999, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes), art by Dan Dussault (Critical Millennium: The Dark Frontier), and a cover by F. Ruiz Velasco!

HELLO KITTY DELICIOUS GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W) Jorge Monlongo

(A) Jacob Chabot & Various

(CA) Jorge Monlongo

$7.99

Hello Kitty is serving up some extra special treats!

What's on the menu? Something sweet, something spicy, and a pie that's out of this world! Plus, Dear Daniel's making dinner, but...you might want to make other plans. And Hello Kitty makes a new friend with a HUGE appetite!

Save room for dessert! Stephanie Buscema has prepared some delectable delights!

MANGA #13

I'm not sure this is manga. But I'm pretty sure that "Hello Kitty" comes from Japan.

And should go back.

JENNIFER BLOOD VOL 4: TRIAL OF JENNIFER BLOOD TP

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Al Ewing

(A) Kewber Baal, Eman Casallos

(CA) Tim Bradstreet

$19.99

It's Jessica Blute's first day of incarceration at Las Chacales Women's Correctional Facility...and, more than likely, her last day alive! How did this model of suburban domesticity and devoted mother of two end up in such dire straits? Perhaps her murderous alter-ego, Jennifer Blood, went too far in acting out the ultimate revenge fantasy against mobsters. Perhaps it has something to do with the ensuing chaos when the trained assassins known as the Ninjettes, renegade police detectives, and meth dealers converged on the quiet town of Revere, New Mexico, to put an end to the vigilante. What really happened to Jennifer Blood and her children in that southwestern town... and even if she survives her jailhouse rivals, will she escape the death penalty?

This seems like an interesting series, but I've never heard any buzz about it. Anyone reading it? Is it good, or am I being fooled by those powerful Tim Bradstreet covers?

JOURNEY BY STARLIGHT: TIME TRAVELERS GUIDE LIFE UNIVERSE SC

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W) Ian Flitcroft

(A/CA) Britt Spencer

$18.95

Albert Einstein said his first ideas about relativity came from looking in the mirror as a teenager and wondering what it would be like to travel on a beam of light. This is the story of that journey. Journey by Starlight follows an imaginary recreation of Albert Einstein, and his traveling companion through space and time as they travel on a beam of light from a star over 3,000 light years away to Earth. Along the way, Einstein explains the science behind everything from the origins of the universe to the meaning of life, relativity, black holes, quantum mechanics (for beginners), climate change, evolution vs. intelligent design, and how the brain works, all delivered in fun, easy-to-understand, bite-sized chunks.

KEVIN KELLER #12

Publisher: ARCHIE COMIC PUBLICATIONS

SCRIPT: Dan Parent

ART: Dan Parent, Rich Koslowski, Jack Morelli, and Digikore Studios

Cover: Dan Parent

New Year Variant cover: Phil Jimenez

$2.99

"Resolution Revolution." It's a New Year, a time of renewal and new beginnings! The gang makes resolutions, and all make bets as to who will crack first. But what kind of resolution will a nice guy like Kevin make? The answer may lie in the question! When it comes to competition, can he keep up his "nice guy" image? Or will the attitudes of BF Devon and BFF Veronica persuade Kevin to embrace the snark-side? Maybe a change is exactly what Kevin needs! Featuring variant cover art by the great Phil Jimenez (Astonishing X-Men, The Amazing Spider-Man)!

I've wondered in these Guides before about who the target audience is for "Yaoi," because I couldn't imagine Western girls being into that (and Western boys would be afraid to be, for fear of getting beat up). But then here's Kevin Keller, which is selling well, so I guess this would be the Western equivalent -- and there's clearly an audience. So I retract all of my previous snark.

KIMI NI TODOKE VOL 18: FROM ME TO YOU GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Karuho Shiina

$9.99

After the Christmas party, Kazehaya finally kisses Sawako! But a kiss is not enough, and Sawako asks permission from her parents to stay out late with Kazehaya... Then, Sawako's friends dish the details of their own very special Christmas Eves when everyone converges at her house for an impromptu party.

MANGA #14

This seems like "Shojo," assuming all these people are female. Shojo, from what I gather, is emotional love between young girls, or maybe young girls are simply the target market, and "Shojo" is one way to get to them. I don't understand Japanese culture well enough to understand the difference, but all the sites I researched were pretty determined to argue about it. I left feeling pretty stupid, but what I learned is what I said above.

Most of those sites also mentioned "Yuri," which appears to be Shojo with actual sex between girls involved. Well, finally, something I understand! In the West, we call that "porn."

LAMENT OF THE LOST MOORS VOL 1: SIOBHAN GN

Publisher: CINEBOOK

(W) Jean Dufaux

(A/CA) Grzegorz Rosinski

$15.95

When the Lament is heard again, the heir to the kingdom will rise! The land of Eruin Dulea is ruled by a powerful and merciless sorcerer. A generation ago, he defeated his last challenger to the throne, Wulf, in a titanic battle. Wulf's widow, Lady O'Mara, and his daughter Siobhàn can finally stop hiding, though. By marrying Lord Blackmore, Lady O'Mara places herself under his protection. But Siobhan is a strong-willed young woman, more at ease with a sword than a spinning wheel, and Blackmore himself isn't all he seems to be.

LEGEND OF OZ THE WICKED WEST ONGOING #14

Publisher: BIG DOG INK

(W) Dirk Manning

(A) Alisson Borges

(CA) Alisson Borges, Nei Ruffino

$3.50

Part three of look back at the history of the Flying Monkeys of Oz, and how they came to be controlled by the Wicked Witch of the West. The simians of Oz unknowingly give the witch all she needs to take control.

I don't think the flying monkeys get enough attention. They're slaves! We should be trying to liberate them!

Rise up, flying monkeys! Throw off your chains! You have nothing to lose but your poppies!

LETTER 44 #3

Publisher: ONI PRESS INC.

(W) Charles Soule

(A/CA) Alberto Alburquerque

$3.99

How do astronauts have sex in space? Relationships among the Clarke crew are explored, while a signal from a mysterious asteroid provides clues to the nature of the alien presence in Earth's solar system. On Earth, intrigue deepens as one of President Blades' closest advisors suffers a savage attack!

"How do astronauts have sex in space?"

Carefully. Duh!

LI'L VAMPI #1

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Eric Trautmann, Brandon Jerwa

(A) Agnes Garbowska

(CA) Art Baltazar

$3.99

Welcome to Stoker, Maine, the most normal, boring town in the world. Or is it? There are sea serpents roaming the docks, a mummy in the town hall. And a gaggle of ghouls and goblins just devoured the breakfast cereal aisle at the local Shop-O-Mart. Who is behind this monstrous rampage? And can it be stopped? When there are spooks afoot and arcane mysteries to be solved, it's time for Vampirella-teen scourge of the supernatural-to crack the case! And if that isn't enough, each Li'l book comes with a two-page activity sheet and a "Pantha" comic strip by Brandon and Orion Jerwa and Agnes Garbowska!

What hath Hellboy Jr. wrought?!??

LORDS OF MARS #6

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Arvid Nelson (A) Roberto Castro

(CA) Jose Malaga

(CA) Alex Ross

$3.99

At last, John Carter and the Ape-man are fighting side-by-side amidst the aeons-old ruins of Mars. But their enemies, the evil, treacherous and downright sleazy therns have a few surprises left for our heroes, including a plan to sterilize half the planet. A death-defying flight through midair, a bittersweet reckoning, and a horrific revelation about the true reach of the therns awaits all those who dare in "The Eye of the Goddess", the glorious final installment of Lords of Mars!

LOST PLANET FIRST COLONY HC

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

(W) Izu

(A/CA) Dall'Oglio

$9.99

Dive into a terrifying adventure of Ice and Akrid, as a mission of interstellar salvage turns into a furious battle for survival! The planet of E.D.N. III seemed ripre for colonization - its icy climes ready to be warmed and terraformed. That was, until the first settlers discovered the indigenous Akrid - ravenous creatures, powered by their own thermal energy, who proved resistant to every weapon the colonists could muster. That first terraforming effort ended in tragedy, with the colony - and its rich haul of terraforming equipment - hastily abandoned.

MANGA CLASSIC READERS VOL 1: MOBY DICK GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W) Herman Melville & Various

(A) Variety

$9.95

Experience the classics like never before! These time-honored novels are presented for the first time in the exciting format of Japanese manga. Whether you are a casual reader, a manga fan, or just wanting to familiarize yourself with some of the best books ever written, now you can with the Manga Classic Readers. Considered to be one of the best American novels ever written, Herman Melville's Moby-Dick is an American classic and part of the Western cannon. Now experience Ishmael, Ahab, and the hunt for the great white whale Moby-Dick in a new, graphic format.

MANGA #15

I would be really interested in seeing how this American classic is seen through Japanese eyes. What an education that would be.

MANGA CLASSIC READERS VOL 2: WAR OF WORLDS GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W) VARIETY ART WORKS & Various

(A) Variety

$9.95

Quite possibly the best science fiction novel ever written, H. G. Wells' commentary on evolution and British Imperialism is a timeless classic. Now experience the Martians' invasion of the Earth in a new, graphic format. Whether you are a casual reader, a manga fan, or just wanting to familiarize yourself with some of the greatest books ever written, you can with the Manga Classic Readers.

MANGA #16

See above.

MANGA CLASSIC READERS VOL 3: DON QUIXOTE GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W) VARIETY ART WORKS & Various (A) Variety

$9.95

Considered one of the founding works of modern Western literature, Don Quixote is also one of the most important books of the Spanish Golden Age. Now experience Don Quixote and his imaginary quests in a new, graphic format through the format of Japanese manga.

MANGA #17

I'm interested in seeing the "first novel" through any culture's eyes!

MANGA CLASSIC READERS VOL 4: JAMES JOYCE ULYSSES GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W) VARIETY ART WORKS & Various

(A) Variety

$9.95

Ulysses, the novel by the Irish author James Joyce, is considered one of the most important works of the 20th century. It was the first novel of its kind and foregrounded the Modernist literary movement. Now experience this behemoth of Western literature in a new, graphic format!

MANGA #18

Aaaaand we get to the book I don't want to ever, ever read again, in ANY form.

MAX STEEL: HERO OVERLOAD GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W) B. Clay Moore

(A/CA) Alfa Robbi

$7.99

All of a sudden Max Steel isn't the only superhero around. Max encounters a trio of superpowered teens with mysterious skills who are in serious need of training. He takes on the task, but can Max get these new heroes up to speed before they have to battle a real threat? One of Max's biggest baddies is waiting in the wings to strike...and Max is going to have to face him with a bunch of newbies!

MEDUSA'S DAUGHTER HC

Publisher: RED GIANT ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Jonathan Scott Fuqua

(A/CA) Steven Parke

$24.95

Fifteen-year-old Maia is gifted with magical hair. With a mysterious past, she is the adopted daughter of sideshow huckster Riktus who displays her in his "freakshow" as Medusa's daughter. Her journey to discover her past sets in motion the cascading events that lead to her growth and her freedom.

I'd like to have magical hair. Heck, I'd like to have ANY hair. *SOB!*

MIDNIGHT SECRETARY VOL 3 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Tomu Ohmi

$9.99

Kaya has been temporarily reassigned to another company, but she won't let that keep her from her lover, Kyohei. She's appointed herself as his special secretary, and she spends each night at his condo helping him work and quenching his thirst for her delicious blood. Love suits Kaya, but trouble looms now that she's caught the eye of her other boss!

MANGA #19

Wait, WHAT? She isn't having an affair with her boss, she's LETTING HIM FEED ON HER? Is this presented as OK? Because it's NOT, whatever culture you're from!

MISSING HAVE YOU SEEN THE INIVISIBLE MAN ONE-SHOT

Publisher: DIAMOND COMIC DIST--ENGLAND

(W) Dave West

(A/CA) Joe Campbell

$5.00

In the follow up to the Eagle Award-winning Whatever Happened To The World's Fastest Man? we see James WIlliams develop an invisibility formula. His concerns however that his research might fall into the wrong hands are well founded and he turns to his own formula in order to escape.

MITCH BYRD WOMEN DINOSAURS & RANDOM ILLUSTRATIONS SC

Publisher: BLUE LINE ART

(W/A/CA) Mitch Byrd

$19.99

No one draws women with as much grace and elegance as Mitch, no matter their shape or size. You can't help but stare and marvel. And no artist puts more thought into dinosaurs, how they moved, why they had certain bone structures and features than Mitch. He has shared his ideas through illustrations that make dinosaurs come alive as never before. Mitch is a man of few words but these illustrations from one of modern day's greatest artists speak volumes!

MONSTER MUSEUM VOL 2 GN

Publisher: ST. MARTINS PRESS

(W/A/CA) Okayado

$12.99

Monsters - they're real, and they want to date us! Thanks to the "Cultural Exchange Between Species Act," these once-mythical creatures have assimilated into society, or at least, they're trying. When a hapless human teenager named Kurusu Kimihito is inducted as a "volunteer" into the government exchange program, his world is turned upside down. A snake-like lamia named Miia comes to live with him. Unfortunately for Kurusu, Miia is undeniably sexy, and the law against interspecies breeding is very strict. Even worse, when a ravishing centaur girl and a flirtatious harpy move in, what's a full-blooded teenage human with raging hormones to do?

MANGA #20

Oooookay. I'm guessing this is a romantic comedy, but, um, er ... yuch.

MR MINI MART GN

Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION

(W/A/CA) Junko

$12.95

Meet "Mr. Mini-Mart," Endou Nakaba - middle-school drop out, shut-in, and NEET - as he begins his very first job at a convenience store. Unfortunately, his temperamental co-worker, Yamai Kouhei, doesn't make things easy on him. When Endou accidentally witnesses an unexpectedly sweeter side to Yamai, he discovers that his rude and loud-mouthed co-worker might not be such a bad guy after all. Drawn to this new side of his co-worker, Endou looks past Yamai's often-unpleasant attitude and tries to get to know him better. Will working together be only the start to a more involved relationship?

MANGA #21

Clerks, Japanese style? Is Junko the Japanese Kevin Smith?

NARUTO 3-IN-1 VOL 7 TP

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Masashi Kishimoto

$14.99

It's all-out shinobi war as Naruto, Tsunade, Jiraiya and Shizune take on Orochimaru and Kabuto in battle. The aftermath of combat lands Lee in the hospital. Meanwhile Naruto, Sasuke and Sakura hurl toward an uncertain future, and an ever-angry Sasuke makes a terrible choice of new teammates. Tsunade sends Naruto, Neji and others to hunt him down, but the Sound Four looms dangerously close.

MANGA #22

This is ... Karate Kid and ... pro wrestling and ... spiky hair non-conformity and ...

OK, I give up. I don't know what this is.

NARUTO VOL 64 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Masashi Kishimoto

$9.99

With the masked man's identity revealed as Obito, Kakashi's resolve is severely shaken. It will be up to Naruto to inspire his old master to continue the fight. But when Ten Tails is finally awakened, will the entire ninja world be doomed?

MANGA #23

Or this. Honest, I'm not being lazy. But I can't even guess.

NATSUME'S BOOK OF FRIENDS VOL 15 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Yuki Midorikawa

$9.99

A supernatural mystery and New York Times bestseller!

MANGA #24

OK, that's three books in a row about which I know nothing, can't divine genre and don't even have snark handy. [Shakes fist at sky] Damn you, Many Genres of Manga! Daaaaaaaamn yoooooouuuuuu!

NIGHT OF THE '80s UNDEAD TP

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Jason P. Martin

(A/CA) Bill McKay

$8.99

It's 1986, and Russia's last-ditch Cold War effort is to strike at our American excess lifestyle with bio-engineered Colombian cocaine. What happens when teenagers out for a good time cross paths with a huge celebrity party hyped up on commie zombie blow? Radical undead action, man! Totally!

The movie American Hustle reminded me how much I hated the 1970s, but this book reminds me there was a lot to dislike about the '80s, too.
NISEKOI FALSE LOVE VOL 1 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Naoshi Komi

$9.99

It's hate at first sight ... rather a knee-to-the-head at first sight when Raku Ichijo meets Chitoge Kirisaki! Unfortunately, Raku's gangster father arranges a false love match with their rival's daughter, who just so happens to be Chitoge! However, Raku's searching for his childhood sweetheart from ten years ago, with a pendant around his neck as a memento, and he can't even remember her name or face!

MANGA #25

Ummmmm ... Japanese Romeo & Juliet? *Sigh.* Man, I'm running out of steam guessing these things. This is harder than Jeopardy!
OLYMPIANS VOL 6: APHRODITE, GODDESS OF LOVE GN

Publisher: ST. MARTINS PRESS

(W/A/CA) George O'Connor

SC, $9.99; HC, $16.99

In volume six of Olympians, graphic novel author/artist George O'Connor turns the spotlight on Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Look for the same thoroughly researched and wonderfully accessible comics storytelling as O'Connor tackles the story of Aphrodite from her dramatic birth (emerging from sea-foam) to her role in the Trojan War. Greek mythology has never been so vivid! Available in softcover and hardcover editions.

$9.99

You'd think the Goddess of Love would be a really cool chick. But historically, she was kind of a bitch.

OTOMEN VOL 17 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Aya Kanno

This New York Times manga bestseller series features handsome, manly men who have cute, girly hobbies!

$9.99

MANGA #26

OK, Japan. "Girly hobbies"? You're just effing with me now, right?

PANG WANDERING SHAOLIN MONK HC VOL 02

Publisher: IRON CROTCH PRESS

(W/A/CA) Ben Costa

Shi Long Pang, the 17th-century Buddhist warrior monk, continues the search for his lost brothers after the destruction of their temple. But as he tries to find his way in an unforgiving landscape during a tumultuous period in Chinese history, he'll have to wrestle with what it means to be a monk outside the temple, and what it takes to survive in a world full of ferocious predators, drunken masters, and startling discoveries. Volume 1 is made available again this month.

$19.95

MANGA #27

Oh, thank God, warrior monks. THAT I understand!

POKEMON ADV GN VOL 20 RUBY SAPPHIRE

Publisher: VIZ LLC

Story by Hidenori Kusaka,

Art by Satoshi Yamamoto

$9.99

MANGA #28

And Pokemon. I still don't understand the appeal, but it's been around a while, so I know what it is.

PRESIDENT MOMOI KUN GN (MR)

Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION

(W/A/CA) Higashi Nishida

President Momoi is only interested in his leadership role cause it'll help him find a young, sexy boyfriend! But why is he constantly gazing at his colleague, the old and very married Director Watanabe? And what exactly does his massive company manufacture, anyway?! President Momoi-kun splices together the silly and seductive in a masterful mix of crushes, courtship ... and naughty "candid" photos.

$12.95

MANGA #29

Right. Here's Japan jerking me around again. Or is there a "promiscuous gay American president pursues old married man" genre? Seriously, this book doesn't really exist, does it? It DOES?

PRISON PIT GN VOL 05 (MR)

Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

(W/A/CA) Johnny Ryan

$12.99

THE HOLOCAUST BROTHERS TAKE THEIR BOW IN JOHNNY RYAN'S GORY MONSTERPIECE
A huge success in the alternative-comics field, with the first two volumes already in second printings, Prison Pit is Johnny (Angry Youth Comix) Ryan's ongoing taboo-busting sci-fi-prison-planet-body-mutation-splatterfest epic extravaganza, beloved by everyone from the legendary Gary Panter ("GLOREGEFULL!") to Booklist ("Not to be missed").

In the latest installment, our hero Cannibal Fuckface still isn't dead, so the Prison Boss plays what may be his last card: The Holocaust Brothers. But before CF battles the Ho-Bros he's got to destroy his arch-enemy, the seemingly indestructible Slitt, who happens to be the only one who knows how to get the hell out of the Prison Pit.

The author promises: "Every single testicle in the world will explode with rage when Prison Pit 5 is unleashed."

PROTOCOL ORPHANS #3

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Michael Alan Nelson

(A) Mariano Navarro

(CA) Stéphane Roux

$3.99

The "Black Friday" terrorist plot has been unleashed and the devastation could cripple the United States as we know it. Will the Orphans be able to stop Alconi in time? Or will the saboteur in their ranks break the team apart before they even get the chance?

PSYREN GN VOL 14

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Toshiaki Iwashiro

$9.99

W.I.S.E's elite battle force, nicknamed the "Scourge," is attacking the Root! After a fierce battle, Ageha, his fellow Psionists and the Elmore Wood Gang succeed in driving them away. But when Star Commander Junas shows up, Ageha finds himself driven into a corner.

MANGA #30

All right! Sci-fi! THIS I get. Plus a punny name! That's probably not what it is in Japanese, but I'll take what I can get.

QUANTUM AND WOODY #7

Publisher: VALIANT COMICS

Written by JAMES ASMUS

Art & Cover by MING DOYLE

Connect-the-Dots Variant by TOM FOWLER

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

So … two superheroes, a clone, and a goat move into a junior two-bedroom …

As a totally questionable romance blossoms between Woody and his runaway science experiment girlfriend, Eric finds himself quickly rising through the ranks of his new employers at Magnum Security.  But when the Midwestern militia compound he's been assigned to infiltrate discovers the true nature of his visit, Eric's very first field mission may just become his last. Can he convince the anti-government secessionists of the Stronghold that he isn't just a socialist commie-pinko government stooge sent to suppress their Second Amendment right to a flamethrower? And can he do it before Woody swoops in for the "rescue" and accidentally sets off a civil uprising?

For more information, visit Valiant on Facebook, on Twitter, and at ValiantUniverse.com.

For Valiant merchandise and more, visit Valiant.CinderBlock.com.

Funny stuff. I know not everyone's into funny-stuff superheroes, and it's not often that I am, but this is well done.

REGULAR SHOW SKIPS #3

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A) Madeline Rupert

(CA) Madeline Rupert, Corey Lewis

$3.99

Everytime Skips things he might be heading in the right direction he finds himself waking up into the same nightmare! What is going on with this park and who is the guy with the creepy glasses? It's time for Skips to do something, he just needs to get more answers.

RICHELLE MEAD VAMPIRE ACADEMY GN VOL 03 SHADOW KISS

Publisher: PUTNAM PUBLISHING GROUP

(W) Richelle Mead, Leigh Dragoon

(A/CA) Emma Vieceli

$12.99

From Razorbill. The third book in the series of New York Times best-selling adaptations of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy. It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose is close to graduation, but since making her first Strigoi kills, things haven't felt quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all ... might be seeing ghosts. Consumed by her forbidden love with her tutor Dimitri and protecting her best friend, the Moroi princess Lissa, Rose is in no state to see the deadly threat that will change her entire world - and make her choose between the two people she loves most.

There's a movie coming this year based on the first book of the prose series, a series which is slowly being adapted to graphic novels, or which this is an example. The GNs don't look very good, which doesn't inspire me to check out the novels or the movies.

ROBOCOP LAST STAND #6

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Frank Miller, Steven Grant

(A) Korkut Öztekin

(CA) Declan Shalvey

$3.99

OCP has won. Our heroes are dead. There is no hope for Detroit in this final battle. The city is for the taking...or so they believe. Marie has one last move to make that will change everything. OCP may have won the battle, but the war is far from over. RoboCop will rise.

ROGUES #6

Publisher: AMIGO COMICS

(W) Torres El

(A) Diego Galindo, Carmelo Gonzalez

(CA) Ruiz Burgos

$3.99

This is the final episode of "The Cleansing" arc! Bram and Weasel are between a rock and a hard place: to leave the assassins kill the Magistrate's wife and children, knowing that he will show no mercy - or saving them and face the wrath of the Great Families of the Thieves' Brotherhood!

I have read exactly one issue of this, and mildly enjoyed it. The art is terrific, but the writing is a little juvenile -- lots of cheap sex jokes that most of us outgrew in elementary school. But, again, it's nice art, and in a genre -- sword-and-sandal -- not much in use right now.

ROY THOMAS PRESENTS: CLASSIC PHANTOM LADY VOL 2 TP

Publisher: DIAMOND COMIC DIST--ENGLAND

(W) Roy Thomas

(A) Matt Baker, Carmine Infantino

(CA) Matt Baker

$29.99

She was not only the scourge of wrongdoers but also the nemesis of a good night's sleep for all red-blooded teenagers way back in the far-out fifties! With her modern-day counterpart now residing in the DC Universe, these classic Phantom Lady tales from a half-century ago are guaranteed to set pulses racing. Collects stories from the following Fox Feature issues: Phantom Lady #13-23 (August 1947 to April 1949).

According to the Foreword, this famous Matt Baker cover wasn't done by Matt Baker.

RUROUNI KENSHIN RESTORATION VOL 1 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Nobuhiro Watsuki

$9.99

During the violent upheaval of the Bakumatsu era, Hitokiri Battosai was a feared and ruthless assassin. But now that the Meiji Restoration has begun to heal the wounds of civil war, Battosai has taken up a new name...and a new calling! He is now Himura Kenshin , a rurouni wanderer who has vowed to only draw his sword to protect those in need. But not everyone is pleased with Kenshin's new direction, and enemies from his dark past have vowed to bring him down!

MANGA #31

My brief exploration of this topic indicates "rurouni" are sort of like "ronin," but from a later period and a little darker. Rurouni, it seems, aren't masterless samurai so much as former assassins and black-ops types who are now masterless.

But I could be wrong.

RUROUNI KENSHIN RESTORATION VOL 2 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Nobuhiro Watsuki

$9.99

A recent enemy has recruited a ruthless assassin to bring down Kenshin and steal Kamiya dojo! Can Kenshin maintain his oath to never shed blood again and protect his new friends?!

MANGA #32

If I was wrong above, I'm still wrong.

SANKAREA VOL 4 GN

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

(W/A/CA) Mitsuru Hattori

$10.99

Boy meets girl, then accidentally turns girl into a zombie when she falls off a cliff and disembowels herself. The cruel reality of being a zombie begins to close in on Rea - soon the desire to eat human flesh is going to become irresistible! She struggles to enjoy her first summer festival. Includes a side story about Babu the zombie cat.

MANGA #33

Yes, I imagine being a zombie could, in fact, lessen your enjoyment of a music festival.

SCORPION VOL 4: TREASURE OF TEMPLARS GN

Publisher: CINEBOOK

(W) Stephen Desberg

(A/CA) Enrico Marini

$11.95

On the run from Vatican agents and Ottoman authorities, the Scorpion is forced into uneasy alliances to continue his quest. Riding towards the Holy Land, the motley band begins to unravel the secrets of the Templars. But as loyalties shift, a confrontation looms, and in the shadow of an inverted cross, a forgotten truth will resurface that could destroy Trebaldi's power.

Le Scorpion is a Franco-Belgian series set in Rome during the late 18th century, and looks like a lot of fun. This is the English translation, of course, courtesy UK publisher Cinebook. The European series is up to at least Volume 7, so there's plenty more to go if you like it.

SHADOW #21

Publisher: DYNAMIC FORCES

(W) Chris Roberson

(A) Giovanni Timpano

(CA) Cris Bolson

$3.99

The Shadow's search for the secret of the girasol has lead him from the concrete canyons of New York City, to the snowy wastes of Siberia, and now to the peaks of the Himalayas, the fabled Roof of the World. But will he find the answers he seeks there, or only his own death?

So there's a backstory to the famous Shadow ring, eh? Sounds interesting.

SHADOWMAN #14

Publisher: VALIANT COMICS

Written by PETER MILLIGAN

Art & Cover by ROBERTO DE LA TORRE

Valiant Signature Series Variant by BOB HALL

$3.99/T+/32 pgs.

"FEAR, BLOOD, AND SHADOWS" – PART 2

Infernal weapons!

As the Shadowman loa begins to exert its influence in even more unexpected ways, Jack Boniface is quickly coming to terms with the darkness inside him and finding out firsthand just how brutal unchecked power can be. With word of Shadowman's increased unpredictability spreading across New Orleans, the Abettors grow even more suspicious of their newest trainee...and begin to consider drastic measures.

Pick up Shadowman #14 to find out why fans and critics agree – master storytellers Peter Milligan and Roberto de la Torre have unleashed a devastating new vision of New Orleans' nocturnal guardian:

"Sick, twisted and absolutely engaging… Time to turn back to the darkside, people." -- IGN
"4.5 stars… We got ourselves a damn fine comic."– Comics Bulletin
"I can't wait to see how this arc goes forward … Must Read" -- The Weekly Crisis
"Milligan and Roberto de la Torre have brewed up the perfect cauldron…" –  Bloody Disgusting

For more information on Shadowman and the rest of the Valiant Universe, visit Valiant on Facebook, on Twitter, and at ValiantUniverse.com. For Valiant merchandise and more, visit Valiant.CinderBlock.com.

This title is genuinely creepy, and recommended.

SHAHRAZAD #2

Publisher: BIG DOG INK

(W) Kim Hutchinson

(A) Mike Krome

(CA) Mike Krome, J. Scott Campbell

$3.50

The Sirens of legend have been held against their will for centuries on end. But will Shahrazad save them or leave them to their fate?

I'm guessing "save them."

SIMPSONS COMICS SHAKE UP TP

Publisher: BONGO COMICS

(W/A/CA) Matt Groening

$15.99

The Simpsons are shaking off the status quo when they take the show on the road with a musical extravaganza produced by maestro of renown, Krusty the Clown. Then, Dr. Nick's cosmetic quackery is called into question, but the "good" doctor may serve a purpose in the shaky medical establishment that few are willing to admit. And after winning a law license in a bar bet, Homer becomes the hottest lawyer in town, but it is not long before Homer is fending off the FBI, only to find himself in a federal prison surrounded by former friends and foes and facing a shakedown!

SKYWARD VOL 1: INTO THE WOODS TP

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A/CA) Jeremy Dale

$8.99

Action Lab and Jeremy Dale proudly present the first trade paperback collection of the runaway smash hit Skyward! It all begins here, as young Quinn and his dog Jack face off against a threat more terrible and a world more fantastic than they ever imagined! Don't miss out on the book that Bleeding Cool calls "an all-ages comic that's beginning to soar!" Collects Skyward #1-3, as well as the extra rare Free Comic Book Day issue that started it all!

Another Action Lab book I hope to sample soon. It's a fantasy story, which usually doesn't sell well, but who can resist a boy and his dog?

SMUGGLER GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W/A/CA) Shohei Manabe

$14.95

Kinuta is an aspiring actor with serious problems. He has serious debt with the mob and no way to pay it back. A loan shark offers him a solution - haul yakuza hits outside the city. But when wires are crossed and a psycho killer gets lose everything spins out of control. This gritty action thriller is not for the faint of heart. Now a motion picture, by best selling author Shohei Manabe, Smuggler delivers heart pounding non-stop action and squirm in your chair violence.

MANGA #34

OK, straightforward crime fiction. I can dig it.

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG VOL 3: LEGACY TPB

Script: Various

Art: Various

Cover: Ben Bates

$16.99/$19.99CAN

6 5/8 x 10 3/16”

Trade Paperback

512 pp, Black & White

The hit Sonic Legacy Series returns with a third massive volume! Over the years, the Sonic comics have inspired thousands of stories, three spin-off series, and a library of graphic novel collections. The legacy of the Sonic Series is a long and proud one! Continue your library of the Blue Blur’s earliest adventures with this GIGANTIC collection of thrilling adventures and hilarious antics as only Sonic and the Freedom Fighters could provide! It’s perfect for long-time fans of the series or those looking to get in on the ground floor! SONIC: LEGACY VOLUME 3 collects Sonic the Hedgehog #37-56 and is loaded with extra material and special features! Sonic and the Freedom Fighters take on the evil Dr. Robotnik once and for all, and the result will surprise you!

SONS OF ANARCHY #5
Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Christopher Golden (A) Damian Coueciro (CA) Garry Brown

$3.99

With road quickly running out between the Sons and the Ghost Brothers, Kendra discovers a dark secret in the club's past that could mean a grisly end for her and Tig. With all options potentially ending bloody, Jax and the crew faces a decision that will most certainly end in death leaving only one question: whose?

SPONGEBOB COMICS #28

Publisher: UNITED PLANKTON PICTURES

(W) Derek Drymon & Various

(A) Jacob Chabot & Various

(CA) Jacob Chabot

$2.99

In the remote wastes of the northern waters, something monstrous sits encased in ice, waiting to be thawed out by two of the silliest nincompoops in the Seven Seas. SpongeBob and Patrick track a wayward Mr. Krabs to the frozen ruins of an ancient civilization and must deal with the enraged creature that once ruled it! In the tradition of H.P. Lovecraft, Carl Barks, Roy Crane, and Snow Dogs comes a full-length SpongeBob arctic adventure, "The Curse of King Krabbe!" Also: Squidward's new career, comics-loving pirates stuck in pack ice, frigid facts about arctic ocean life, and more!

STEAM ENGINES OF OZ VOL 2 #2 GEARED LEVIATHAN

Publisher: ARCANA STUDIO

(W) Erik W. Hendrix, Sean O'Reilly

(A/CA) Yannis Roumboulias

$3.99

While the mysterious twins further their master plan, Victoria, Phadrig, and Bess the Munchkin find themselves under the gaze of the biggest, baddest, and Cowardliest Lion of them all - and he's not happy about it. What secrets does he hold in his massive skull which can help locate Phadrig's sons, and how will all of their paths intersect? More secret histories, revelations, and a rampaging monster of mechanized magic and menace.

STROBE EDGE VOL 8 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Io Sakisaka

$9.99

Ren opens up to Ninako, and her feelings for him escalate to the point where she wants to risk everything to become his girlfriend. But when she realizes that doing so might jeopardize Ren's friendship with Ando, will she go through with it?

MANGA #35

Is that Ren or Ninako on the cover? Whatever, this is another manga in a familiar field: teen romance. So I feel better. Whew. I was beginning to think I would be at sea for all of these!

STUFF OF LEGEND TP VOL 01 SGN BOOKPLATE ED

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

(W) Mike Raicht, Brian Smith

(A/CA) Charles Paul Wilson

$13.00

A stunningly beautiful graphic novel, The Stuff of Legend is a wonderful and haunting tale of loyalty, friendship, and perseverance in the face of a nightmarish foe. When a child is taken by the fearsome Boogeyman, his loyal toys rally and stage a rescue operation to get him back. Led by the fearless Colonel, Max the Bear, Percy the Pig, Jester, and others must fight hordes of toys in order to save the boy from the absolutely fearsome Boogeyman.
Signed Bookplate editioned signed by creator Mike Raicht , limited to initial orders.

SUICIDE RISK #1 SDCC

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Mike Carey

(A) Elena Casagrande

(CA) Kris Anka

$9.99

Leo Winters finds himself surrounded in this limited edition SUICIDE RISK variant cover by Kris Anka previously available only at San Diego ComicQuantities are limited, allocations may occur.

SUICIDE RISK #9

Publisher: BOOM ENTERTAINMENT

(W) Mike Carey

(A) Elena Casagrande

(CA) Stephanie Hans

$3.99

With an entire country in their grasp, the supervillain team NIGHTMARE SCENARIO has forced the world's leaders to come to the table for negotiations. Leo's plan to help the team achieve their goals with the least amount of bloodshed seems to be working. But JustAFeeling's namesake warns of an even greater, bloodier calamity, and every life Leo has managed to save helping Nightmare Scenario against his will, is suddenly at risk...

So THIS is where Mike Carey went! I assumed he was writing novels exclusively now, but apparently he still has a toe in comics.

SUPERZELDA GRAPHIC LIFE OF ZELDA FITZGERALD GN

Publisher: SCB DISTRIBUTORS

(W) Tiziana Lo

(A/CA) Daniele Marotta

$16.95

Dancer, painter, writer, muse, passionate lover, and freethinker, Zelda Fitzgerald is one of the most iconic figures of the Jazz Age. She was only 18 when she met F. Scott Fitzgerald, an ambitious young writer who would turn into one the greatest American authors of all time. Beautiful, talented, irreverent, extravagant, and alcohol-driven, the newly married couple took New York's high society and the whole literary world by storm. They traveled the world, met Ernest Hemingway, and ended up destroying their love and themselves. Superzelda is a biography, a love story, and a travelogue all wrapped into one, bringing to life one of the most fascinating women of the early 20th century.

TAKASUGI SANS OBENTO VOL 1 GN

Publisher: DIGITAL MANGA DISTRIBUTION

(W/A/CA) Nozomi Yanahara

$12.95

Harumi may be finished with graduate school, but he's 31, unemployed, and not exactly living the dream! But when a beloved aunt passes away and leaves him in charge of his striking young cousin Kururi, Harumi suddenly feels his dull, depressing days take on an exciting new flavor...

Takasugi-san's Obento serves up bittersweet memories and savory surprises in a perfectly-presented feast! Can a hapless post-grad help a severely shy junior chef come out of her shell? And will the unlikely duo learn to both cook and live in sweet harmony?

MANGA #36

This looks like an adult rom-com comic book, and I'm glad such things exist.

TOMORROWLAND HC

Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE

(W) Paul Jenkins

(A/CA) Steller

$19.99

Can two superstar deejays change the course of history - and save the world? Meet Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, two young deejays - and the public faces of the world-renowned Tomorrowland festival - as they are drawn into an impossible adventure to save the vital spark of creativity! Over the course of this retina-blasting fantasy adventure, the pair find themselves sucked into an eternal war between two worlds, a battle waged between the forces of creation and destruction.

And look, here's Paul Jenkins. Are there any A-list writers still writing for the Big Two any more?

TRANSFORMERS TIMELINES #8 TERMINATION

Publisher: FUN PUBLICATIONS INC

(W) Jesse Wittenrich

(A) Josh Burcham

(CA) Guido Guidi

$4.95

A new war for Cybertron has begun! With Optimus Prime and Galvatron off-line, two legendary Generals, Obsidian and Strika, will be charged with saving Cybertron from the invading clone army led by Megaplex and his fleet of Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker clones. Along with seasoned troops such as Hoist, Electro, Sandstorm, and Mirage, the Generals will need every soldier, Autobot or Decepticon, they can find if they are to save Cybertron and win the Machine Wars!

TROUBLESHOOTERS INCORPORATED GN VOL 01 NIGHT STALKINGS

Publisher: STARWARP CONCEPTS

(W) Richard C. White, Joni M. White

(A) Reggie Golden & Various

(CA) Richard Dominquez

$11.95

Leaky faucet? Call a plumber. For real problems, call Troubleshooters, Incorporated, the world's first supernatural superhero team-for-hire! For the right price, Silver Oak (a wizard), Night Stalker (a werewolf), Yolanda (a sorceress), Shadowmist (a female ninja), and Lightshow (a hi-tech-armored roadie) are ready to take your case. Edward Vanderland III is exactly the kind of client TSI is looking for as their first assignment: a millionaire threatened by evil spirits, he's offering $50,000 for protection. Sounds like a simple enough job for a band of fledgling heroes. Maybe too simple. As it turns out, Vanderland's enemies - perhaps even Vanderland himself - are a lot more dangerous than the Troubleshooters were expecting. Why, if matters get any worse, they might just have to adjust their billing...

UBER #4

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Kieron Gillen

(A) Canaan White

(CA) Michael DiPascale

$9.99

Painter Dipascale conjures your worst nightmare on this super-limited edition of just 1000 copies!

UBER #6

Publisher: AVATAR PRESS INC

(W) Kieron Gillen

(A/CA) Canaan White

$5.99

The smash-hit line of War Crimes continues! Limited 1500 copies.

UGLYDOLL: EAT DAT GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W/A/CA) Travis Nichols

$7.99

Was that your stomach?! We've got just the thing. Soup? Check. Tiny tacos? Check. Over-the-top high-stakes cooking competition? Check, check, check! But before you say, "Check, please!" treat yourself to a tour of Babo's Bakery, marvel at Wedgehead's culinary commentary and wash it all down with a chunky healthy shake. (Supplies are limited, so act now!) Yum! Oh, and save room for a few tasty morsels from Dave Cooper and Joe Ledbetter!"

Uh, what?

WANDERING SON HC VOL 06

Publisher: FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS

(W/A/CA) Shimura Takako

$24.99

GENDER-BENDING ROMEO AND JULIET, AND THE LIMITS OF "PASSING"
Shimura Takako's sensitive and charming series about two middle schoolers wrestling with their gender identities continues, with more role-reversal play fun this time around.

The success of their performance of The Rose of Versailles in the fifth grade - in which the boys played the women and the girls played the men - inspires our protagonists to put on another gender-bending play for the junior-high school festival. This time they do a riff on Romeo and Juliet, with generous helpings of fantasy and mystery. Nitori-kun and Chiba-san write the script together, but Chiba-san has an agenda: She wants to play Romeo, with Nitori-kun in the role of Juliet. But Nitori-kun wants Takatsuki-san to play Romeo...

With her usual prickliness, Chiba-san forces Nitori-kun to confront a question he's been avoiding. Are his feelings for Takatsuki-san those of a boy for a girl, a girl for a girl, or a girl for a boy? But you know what they say of the best laid plans of mice and men: The cast is to be decided by fate, with names drawn randomly.

Meanwhile, Maho plans a trip to the beach with her boyfriend, but her parents send Nitori-kun along as an unwillingly chaperone. Faced with unwanted changes to their growing bodies, Takatsuki-san discovers the wonders of "breast binders," and Nitori-kun explores the limits of his ability to "pass."

MANGA #37

Here we go, more gender-bending. Do actual Japanese teens do this, or is it just a manga fantasy? And if the latter, is it really a fantasy that resonates among a lot of potential readers? At least I understand the Romeo and Juliet part!

WESTWOOD WITCHES #4

Publisher: AMIGO COMICS

(W) El Torres

(A/CA) Abel Garcia

$3.99

The final episode! This is the final showdown between Jack the writer and the Witches of Westwood! What horrible price was paid by Jack back in his childhood that haunts him even today? Nightmarish revelations will be made - past, present and future - unveiled in the whole tapestry of this horror tale of modern witchcraft!

WILL O THE WISP HC

Publisher: ARCHAIA ENTERTAINMENT LLC

(W) Tom Hammock

(A/CA) Megan Hutchison

$24.95

After her parents' accidental death by mushroom poisoning, young Aurora Grimeon is sent to live with her estranged grandfather on Ossuary Isle, deep in the southern swamps. Joined by her grandfather's pet raccoon Missy, Aurora explores the fog-covered island of graves. Along the way, she meets its sinister residents who care for the tombstones and mausoleums, living out their lives by the strange rules of Hoodoo magic. When ghostly things start happening out in the swamp and island residents start disappearing, Aurora thrusts herself into the middle of the mystery, uncovering secrets that might be better left buried.

YU GI OH ZEXAL VOL 4 GN

Publisher: VIZ LLC

(W) Shin Yoshida

(A/CA) Naohito Miyoshi

$9.99

The mysterious Luna suddenly appears and challenges Shark to a duel. At stake is a new card and a new power! Elsewhere, Yuma and his friends form the Numbers Club, dedicated to finding the powerful Numbers Cards and stopping the plans of the evil Dr. Faker!

MANGA #38

I don't know if this is a genre, or has a name, but I understand the underlying RPG, D&D and "Magic: The Gathering" influences, and can see why this would be popular.

ZERO'S FAMILIAR OMNIBUS VOL 3 TP

Publisher: ST. MARTINS PRESS

(W) Noboru Yamaguchi

(A/CA) Nana Mochizuki

$18.99

In a world where sorcery reigns supreme, bumbling witch-in-training Louise Francoise le Blanc is known by her classmates at the Tristain Academy of Magic as "Louise the Zero." During an important coming-of-age ritual, when each student must summon a lifelong familiar, Louise proves herself inept when she mistakenly conjures a teenage boy from earth. Now, whether she likes it or not, Louise "the Zero" and Saito, the ever-whining earth boy from Japan, are bound by the laws of magic as master and servant forever!

MANGA #39

Aha! A teen romance/wizard school/gender role-reversal mash-up, right? I'm getting better at this!

ZOMBIE TRAMP VOL 2 #2

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

(W/A/CA) Dan Mendoza

$2.99

Janey's new abilities to blend in are put to the test when an out of control fraternity targets her and her mysterious new friend. Are her undead powers enough to fend off a train full of pricks gone wild? It's a locomotive of carnage in "Taint Train of Terror," part two

Um, ewwww.

Momoi might be a company president. The solicitation refers to a company he runs.

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