THE CAPTAIN'S COMMENTS

Forever Evil #7: DC Comics finally brings their epic Trinity War/Forever Evil storyline to its climax with three books this week: Justice League #30, Justice League of America #14 (the final issue) and Forever Evil #7 (of 7). It's been a good run, but these last few issues have been delayed -- reportedly because writer Geoff Johns wanted more pages to wrap it up -- which has delayed books like Nightwing #30 (which is affected by the events of "Forever Evil") and should have delayed the launch of Justice League United (which picks up from the last issue of Justice League of America) but didn't. So this week's wrap-up will have an element of relief that the Justice League books will catch up with the rest of the DCU ... just in time for the next crossover, "Future's End," which has already begun!

MPH #1: Writer Mark Millar's "Millarworld" group of books grows by one with this miniseries about a bunch of kids who gain super-speed from a street drug. The twist, according to the advance material, is that these kids won't be pulling on tights and fighting crime, but will instead indulge their teenage impulses. I'm a little leery of that; sometimes Millar's work seems to be a little juvenile; often he seems to just be baiting the audience (and their presumed love of superheroes), or just seeing what kind of adolescent hi-jinks he can get away with. But I'll keep an open mind.

The Shadow: Midnight in Moscow #1 (of 6): Howard Chaykin's four-issue Shadow miniseries from 1986 is well regarded, so his return to the character for this six-issue miniseries set in 1950s Moscow is highly anticipated. See the Dynamite section for details.

X-O Manowar #25: Valiant's first big crossover begins here, and the publisher is touting "Armor Hunters" with a big PR campaign that includes an array of retailer incentives. The premise is an alien task force that destroys the kind of X-O armor that Aric of Dacia is wearing, which will drag in his allies on the Unity team (and their books). X-O Manowar #23-24 were prelude issues, and a second printing of the latter book is available this week as well.

THIS WEEK'S COMICS

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

ACTION LAB

ITTY BITTY BUNNIES IN RAINBOW PIXIE CANDY LAND #1

Writer/Art/Cover: DEAN RANKINE

$3.99

Take some time for an adventure to a magical world with two cute  bunnies ... two foul mouthed, drug using, butt-naked bunnies that go on adorably  offensive, insultingly hilarious adventures! Your journey into off-color fun begins  here, with this mix of Adventure Time and underground comix!

Available in a regular cover for $3.99, and a limited to 1,000 copies alternate classic comic spoof variant cover for $4.99!

Dean Rankine is a regular contributor to Australian MAD Magazine and he drew 'My Mother is a Brain-Eating Zombie' and 'Flatman and Ribbon' for the UK's longest running comic, The Dandy. Dean's other credits include writing and drawing back up stories for Simpsons Comics (Published by Matt Groening's Bongo Comics), Mania, KidZone, Krash, K-Zone, Wacky But True and Kids Alive magazines.

Now Dean is breaking free from the confines of all ages cartooning and letting his twisted skills run wild with the tour-de-force of subversive fun that is Itty Bitty Bunnies in Rainbow Pixie Candy Land!

Oh, John Kricfalusi, what hast thou wrought?

I won't bother to post a copy, but the cover on right is obviously an homage to Action Comics #1 (1938). DC should start charging for that.

SKYWARD #7

Writer/Art/Cover: JEREMY DALE

32 pages/All Ages/$2.99

The runaway hit series continues! War is coming, and in the wake of Skerrigan's attack, where does that leave the inhabitants of the Rabite village? The rise of the Brother Kings' army starts here!  From rising star creator Jeremy Dale (G.I. Joe, Marvel Kapow!), this issue also features a stunning retailer incentive cover by Phil Noto (Batgirl, X-Men)!

ZOMBIE TRAMP VOL 2 #4 (OF 4)

Writer/Art/Cover: DAN MENDOZA

Regular Ed $2.99, Risque Variant $3.99

Now that Janey and her mysterious new friend Morning have reached their destination, things get even more volatile as a friend from the past comes to visit our Zombie Tramp. Double-crosses, revenge, and the Necronomicon all collide in the conclusion to The Taint Train of Terror!  Alternate "risqué" variant cover also available (limited to 1,000 copies).

ZOMBIE TRAMP VOL 2 (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: DAN MENDOZA

128 pgs./Mature Readers/ FC $11.99

Synopsis: Everyone’s favorite street-walking dead returns! Janey the Zombie Tramp makes a mysterious new friend and together they board an express train to more fetish, gore, cartoon grindhouse mayhem in the style that fans of the series have come to love!

Are Janey’s budding undead powers enough to see her through another deadly adventure on the … Taint Train of Terror?

Collects the entire second volume just in time for the all new ongoing series relaunch!

I still haven't gotten around to sampling this title, but it looks to be one of Action Lab's more popular ones.

ARCHIE COMICS

ARCHIE’S FUNHOUSE DOUBLE DIGEST #5

Script: GREG EHRBAR

Art: FERNANDO RUIZ, RUDY LAPICK, BARRY GROSSMAN, BILL YOSHIDA

Cover: FERNANDO RUIZ, BOB SMITH, ROSARIO "TITO" PENA

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

When Reggie selflessly gives Archie two gift certificates to a fancy restaurant, Archie’s not convinced that Reggie’s not up to something. Could it be possible that Riverdale’s infamous trickster is genuinely being kind, or is it part of a thicker plot? Find out in “Eat, Drink and Be Crazy” the hilarious lead story to a fun-filled double digest!

SONIC SUPER SPECIAL #11

Writer: IAN FLYNN

Art: JENNIFER HERNANDEZ, RICK BRYANT, JACK MORELLI, MATT HERMS

Cover art provided by SEGA

On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 3/26

128-page, full color comic, $9.99 U.S.

The secret origin of the new sonic universe: REVEALED! Discover a whole new world alongside Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic Origins, pt1, featuring new story and art from the superstar Archie Sonic team!The SONIC SUPER SPECIAL MAGAZINE gives you the world of Sonic the Hedgehog comics as you've never seen it before, with tons of comic stories, special features and exclusive articles on the latest and greatest in the world of everyone's favorite blue hedgehog-hero! Along with the all-new SONIC ORIGINS mini-feature, this issue also features a special encore presentation of the history making "countdown to chaos" storyline, and much much more! All this plus all of the extra features you love, an interview with Sonic newcomer Jennifer Hernandez AND a super special shiny foil-enhanced cover featuring awesome Sonic game art!

SONIC THE HEDGEHOG #260

Script: IAN FLYNN, ALEAH BAKER

Art: EVAN STANLEY, JENNIFER HERNANDEZ, TERRY AUSTIN, JOHN WORKMAN, MATT HERMS

Cover: BEN BATES

"SONIC VERSUS" Variant Cover: EVAN STANLEY, JACK MORELLI

On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 5/14

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

Journey under the sea with Sonic the Hedgehog in the first chapter of an EPIC new SAGA! "Waves of Change": Part One -- What could be worse than a world shattered to pieces? How about dark monsters rising from the abyss?! While Sonic and the Freedom Fighters race to find the Chaos Emeralds and Gaia Temples, Sonic ends up discovering a whole new world of adventure deep beneath the waves! But will those he encounters prove to be friend or foe? Then, in "Light in the Dark: Part one", Sally, Nicole, Tails and Antoine venture into the Eggman's latest grab for power to retrieve a desperatly-needed Chaos Emerald! Featuring all-new cover art from superstar Ben Bates and a special SONIC VERSUS variant cover from Sonic artist Evan Stanley!

DARK HORSE

#1 for $1  DRAGON AGE: THE SILENT GROVE

Writers: DAVID GAIDER, ALEXANDER FREED

Art: CHAD HARDIN

Colors: MICHAEL ATIYEH

Cover: ANTHONY PALUMBO

FC, 32 pages, $1.00

One-shot

The perfect introduction to BioWare’s dark fantasy universe! In this first issue of the essential, canonical story from David Gaider (lead writer of the games), King Alistair, accompanied only by rogues Isabela and Varric, embarks on a quest deep inside the borders of Antiva -- a nation of assassins!

* Reprinting Dragon Age: The Silent Grove #1-2, previously available only on the Dark Horse digital store and in hardbound collection!

AXE COP: AMERICAN CHOPPERS #1 (of 3)

Writer: MALACHAI NICOLLE

Art/Cover: ETHAN NICOLLE

Colors: DIRK ERIK SCHULTZ

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

New "Axe Cop" series!

President of the World Axe Cop reunites with Super Axe, an old friend from college, and the two of them decide to start a superteam of axe-wielding heroes to defend America, called the American Choppers. They are joined by Captain Axe, Axe Girl, Axe Woman, Axe Dog, and other axe-wielding heroes. The only problem is that there are no bad guys left, but that all changes when mysterious giant creatures attack the city!

Upon its debut as a webcomic in December of 2009, Axe Cop was instantly hailed by the entertainment press as a hit!

“So engaging that you can't help but read this book all in one sitting.” -- IGN

“5/5” -- Unleash the Fanboy

B.P.R.D. HELL ON EARTH #119

Writers: MIKE MIGNOLA, JOHN ARCUDI

Art: JAMES HARREN

Colors: DAVE STEWART

Cover: RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE

Variant Cover: KEVIN NOWLAN

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

20 Years of Hellboy!

As Manhattan erupts with Lovecraftian demons, a young psychic must lead the remaining B.P.R.D. crew through the monster-packed streets of New York back to headquarters for safety, as Liz Sherman goes supernova.

• Art by James Harren (Conan the Barbarian)!

• Fifth of 5 special variant covers celebrating 20 years of Hellboy!

I don't know if the cover on the right is an homage to a specific EC cover or not, but the layout/trade dress is a shout-out to the EC cover layout/trade dress of the early 1950s. Just wanted to point that out.

BRAIN BOY: THE MEN FROM G.E.S.T.A.L.T. #1 (of 4)

Writer: FRED VAN LENTE

Art: FREDDIE WILLIAMS II

Colors: JEREMY COLWELL

Cover: FREDDIE WILLIAMS II, DAN SCOTT

FC, 32 pages, $2.99

Miniseries

All-new story arc!

Agent Price’s new mission pits him against a doomsday cult leader with a political agenda that poses a direct threat to the president. But a mysterious hive mind has more menacing plans for Brain Boy. He’ll have no choice but to go head to head -- brain to brain -- with the mysterious Men from G.E.S.T.A.L.T.!

• Fred Van Lente (Archer & Armstrong) and Freddie Williams II (Green Arrow, Captain Atom) team up again!

• A great jumping-on point for new readers!

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SEASON 10 #3

Writers: CHRISTOS GAGE, NICHOLAS BRENDON

Art/Variant Cover: REBEKAH ISAACS

Colors: DAN JACKSON

Cover: STEVE MORRIS

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

The return of Dracula!

Actor Nicholas Brendon joins the creative team as his character Xander acquires help from his old friend -- um, master -- Dracula. The new vampires are still a mystery, and unquestionably similar to Drac . ... Meanwhile, Buffy and Willow track down one of those new vampires as a study specimen!

• The team from Angel & Faith takes over Buffy!

• Executive produced by Joss Whedon!

Again, I don't think the cover at left is an homage to a specific cover. But it is a familiar construction, as evidenced by these examples:

DARK HORSE PRESENTS #36

Writers: MIKE MIGNOLA, JUSTIN ACLIN, LUCIANO SARACINO, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA, MARTIN CONAGHAN

Writer/Art: STAN SAKAI, JAIME HERNANDEZ, PATRICK ALEXANDER, KEL MCDONALD, DENNIS CULVER

Art: BEN STENBECK, NICOLAS DANIEL SELMA, JUAN MANUEL TUMBURUS, BRIAN CHURILLA, JIMMY BROXTON

Cover: BEN STENBECK

FC, 80 pages, $7.99

Ongoing

Mignola! Sakai! Hernandez!

Living legends Mike Mignola, Stan Sakai and Jaime Hernandez all contribute to this final issue of Dark Horse Presents! Mignola and Ben Stenbeck deliver a new Witchfinder story, while Hernandez introduces Merlon the magician! This issue also features new stories -- Sunstroke from Luciano Saracino and Juan Manuel Tumburús, a new Clark Collins tale from Kel McDonald, two hilarious new strips from Patrick Alexander, and a surprise-ending sci-fi story from Martin Conaghan and Jimmy Broxton!

• Plus, the exciting conclusions of Cruel Biology, S.H.O.O.T. First, Usagi Yojimbo and Davey Jones!

• Two-time Eisner and Harvey Award winner!

“Dark Horse’s prestigious anthology series ... showcases emerging talent alongside some of the greatest writers, artists and cartoonists comics has to offer.” -- ComicsAlliance

MIND MGMT VOLUME 3: THE HOME MAKER (HC)

Writer/Art: MATT KINDT

FC, 176 pages, $19.99

HC, 7” x 10”

With Meru and Lyme’s partnership destroyed, the players go their separate ways in a series of interconnected one-shots revealing each character’s hidden past! As the former team continue their investigations separately, the Eraser sets her sights on a valuable new recruit -- Meru! Collects The Home Maker from MIND MGMT #13-17 and The Zoo Keeper from #18.

• New York Times best-selling series!

• Foreword by Brian Michael Bendis (All-New X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy)!

• Includes special gatefold image.

• Optioned for the big screen by Ridley Scott!

“One of comics’ most endearing instant classics.” -- Comic Bastards

I've never read this book, but I groove to the late 1950s-early 1960s vibe of the art. It's what I grew up with in magazines, comics, TV and other pop culture, but it ceased when the Mad Men culture did. And here it is back again (albeit in an ironic fashion).

THE SAVAGE SWORD OF CONAN VOLUME 16 (TPB)

Writers: CHUCK DIXON, GERRY CONWAY

Pencils/Inks: GARY KWAPISZ

Pencils: MIKE DOCHERTY, JORGE ZAFFINO

Inks: ERNIE CHAN, ANDY KUBERT

Cover: EARL NOREM

B&W, 528 pages, $19.99

TPB, 7” x 10”

OVER 500 PAGES OF HAUNTING MADNESS!

Plagued by the apparition of a lost lover in torment, Conan returns to the Valley of Howling Shadows, a forbidding land of dark magic and suffocating madness. But the visions are the conjurings of a treacherous necromancer who needs Conan’s aid to claim a treasure of ultimate sorcerous power! Collects Conan stories from Marvel’s The Savage Sword of Conan the Barbarian #161-170.

• Showcasing stories never before collected and out of print for over twenty years!

• Over 500 pages, value priced.

• Featuring stories by famed comics and screen scribe Gerry Conway.

Boy, I loved these comics when they first came out. Well, at least until Roy Thomas stopped writing them. To be honest, though, I did get tired of reading "dog-brother" as a form of address.

STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL -- SON OF DATHOMIR #1 (of 4)

Writer: JEREMY BARLOW

Pencils: JUAN FRIGERI

Inks: MAURO VARGAS

Colors: WES DZIOBA

Cover: CHRIS SCALF

FC, 40 pages, $3.50

Miniseries

Uncover the Truth of Darth Maul’s Return.

Getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi and being rejected by his former Sith master Darth Sidious isn’t going to defeat Darth Maul. In fact, it only makes him mad enough to take on the galaxy -- with an army of Mandalorians!

A part of The Clone Wars season 6 you never saw!

Based on unaired episodes of The Clone Wars television series!

Wait -- getting cut in two didn't stop him? Maybe he's got a healing factor. Everybody seems to these days.

STAR WARS: LEGACY VOLUME 2 -- OUTCASTS OF THE BROKEN RING (TPB)

Writers: CORINNA BECHKO, GABRIEL HARDMAN

Art: BRIAN ALBERT THIES

Colors: RACHELLE ROSENBERG

Cover: AGUSTIN ALESSIO

FC, 120 pages, $19.99

TP, 7” x 10”

Ania Solo and Imperial Knight Jao Assam break with the Galactic Triumvirate to track down the Sith Lord Darth Wredd. The trail leads Ania and Jao to a dead Mon Calamari planet -- and another Sith Lord and his army of pirates! Collects Star Wars: Legacy #6-10.

Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman take Star Wars to the future!

THE WITCHER #3 (of 5)

Writer: PAUL TOBIN

Art/Cover: JOE QUERIO

Colors: CARLOS BADILLA

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

Based on the hit game by CD Projekt Red!

Madness begins to plague the minds of our heroes as they wander through the horrific hallways of the House of Glass and discover the true origins of its tenants.

• The Witcher games were collectively granted over 250 awards and sold more then 5.5 million copies worldwide.

• There are currently two games available; a third is slated for release in 2014.

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Replies to This Discussion

Forever Evil #7 (Of 7) Wow, I think I bought issue #5 at Christmas?
New 52 Futures End #3, $2.99
Wonder Woman #31 (Cliff Chiang Regular Cover), $2.99
MPH #1 (Of 5)(Cover A Duncan Fegredo), $2.99
Zero #8, $2.99
Amazing Spider-Man #2
Daredevil #3
Elektra #2
Original Sin #2 (Of 8)
Uncanny X-Men #21
X-Men #14, $3.99

I don't know if the cover on the right is an homage to a specific EC cover or not, but the layout/trade dress is a shout-out to the EC cover layout/trade dress of the early 1950s. Just wanted to point that out.

I thought you were obviously right, but when I went to have a look at EC's covers, to see if there was a model for the main image, I found that, while its covers often had vertical design elements on the left, it didn't use the particular element on the B.P.R.D. cover: a series of boxes with the names of the issue's other stories and matching images. The only EC cover I've found with a matching element is that of Shock Illustrated #1.(1) Marvel used this format on a few titles in the early 50s, and I think the homage is to the early issues of Strange Tales, as there's a similarity in the logos.

While looking this up I stumbled on what I think was the model for the inset circles with images of the hosts on many of EC's horror covers. The covers of the early EC titles Animal Fables and Animated Comics had on the left the heads and names of three characters who had features in the issue. 

(1) The Marvel covers are a closer match, as on the Shock Illustrated #1 cover the images don't have their own boxes and the texts describe the stories instead of giving their titles. The covers of Psychoanalysis had images of the patients from the issue's stories (who, it turns out, were regulars), and sometimes the psychiatrist in a vertical strip.

(corrected)

That logo is sorta Strange Tales-y, isn't it? Thanks, Luke!

Luke Blanchard said:

I don't know if the cover on the right is an homage to a specific EC cover or not, but the layout/trade dress is a shout-out to the EC cover layout/trade dress of the early 1950s. Just wanted to point that out.

I thought you were obviously right, but when I went to have a look at EC's covers, to see if there was a model for the main image, I found that, while its covers often had vertical design elements on the left, it didn't use the particular element on the B.P.R.D. cover: a series of boxes with the names of the issue's other stories and matching images. The only EC cover I've found with a matching element is that of Shock Illustrated #1.(1) Marvel used this format on a few titles in the early 50s, and I think the homage is to the early issues of Strange Tales, as there's a similarity in the logos.

While looking this up I stumbled on what I think was the model for the inset circles with images of the hosts on many of EC's horror covers. The covers of the early EC titles Animal Fables and Animated Comics had on the left the heads and names of three characters who had features in the issue. 

(1) The Marvel covers are a closer match, as on the Shock Illustrated #1 cover the images don't have their own boxes and the texts describe the stories instead of giving their titles. The covers of Psychoanalysis had images of the patients from the issue's stories (who, it turns out, were regulars), and sometimes the psychiatrist in a vertical strip.

(corrected)

Yeah, I reviewed it a long time ago. I guess this is a re-issue, or something.

Border Mutt said:

Henchmen was one of the Comixology Submit comics.  I thought it was a fun read.

Batgirl Vol 3: Death of the Family - I second everything Cap said about Gail Simone.

Batman Eternal 7 

Batman/Superman 11 - That's the same solicit as issue 10, which I think ended up being a fill-in (haven't read it yet).  I had such high hopes for this book when it debuted last year, and now it feels like it has gone completely off the rails.

Forever Evil 7 - Over two months late.  I don't even remember what happened last issue, which sort of speaks for itself.

Justice League 30

Justice League of America 14

Wonder Woman 31 - Looooove those Chiang covers.

East of West 12 - tradewait

Saga 19 - tradewait

Velvet 5 - tradewait

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - I like how Dan Slott just didn't wipe away everything that happened in Superior Spider-Man.  Doc Ock is still causing headaches for Peter; the Parker luck is intact.

Avengers World 6 

Daredevil 3 - Always enjoyed the Shroud.

Hulk 3 - tradewait

Miracleman 6

Thor, God of Thunder 22 - tradewait

It was issue #4 that came out on Christmas Eve.  This issue is over two months late.

Wandering Sensei: Moderator Man said:

Forever Evil #7 (Of 7) Wow, I think I bought issue #5 at Christmas?

 

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents #8

East of West #12

Ghosted #10

Mercenary Sea #4

Mind the Gap #17 - I was totally on board with this series, but I've really lost steam since the first major arc ended. It didn't provide the reader with as many answers as I was hoping for. I would say not really worth the wait.

Saga #19

Velvet #5

Zero #8 - My last issue

I didn't see a single DC or Marvel comic for me this week.

What's The Mercenary Sea like, Travis? I've really liked the covers.

John Dunbar (the mod of maple) said:

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - I like how Dan Slott just didn't wipe away everything that happened in Superior Spider-Man.  Doc Ock is still causing headaches for Peter; the Parker luck is intact.

I just finished the fourth Superior Spider-Man trade -- out of an eventual six, I think -- and there's a scene in there where Otto-Spidey is throwing a hissy fit because of all his bad luck of late -- he's lost his job, he's been kicked off the Avengers, he's in danger of losing his patents, one of the professors on his doctoral committee is blackballing him, and that Watson woman won't leave him alone!

Slott didn't do anything with that scene, like hammer the reader over the head, or point out what was going on. Which was beautiful. As a long-time reader, I had to laugh -- and welcome Otto to the "Parker luck." Hey, doc, maybe you're not as superior as think -- or maybe it's just frickin' hard to be Spider-Man!

Again, points to Slott for not being ham-handed -- he had Ock complain, and let the reader pick up on the subtext. Or not. Works either way, which is good writing.

Travis Herrick (Modular Mod) said:

Mind the Gap #17 - I was totally on board with this series, but I've really lost steam since the first major arc ended. It didn't provide the reader with as many answers as I was hoping for. I would say not really worth the wait.

You just described the problem I have with Revival, and talked me out of Mind the Gap. I appreciate the advice!

MIND THE GAP #17

This book is so late that I have solicitations for the next three issues in my "Overset" que. Is the wait worth it, Mind the Gap readers?

I recently read the first TPB volume of Mind the Gap. I liked both the story and art and have Vols 2 and 3 already. It's good, but I'm glad I'm trade-waiting

D'oh! Now you've got me back on the fence, Richard!

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