THIS WEEK'S COMICS

Titles listed in the Comics Guide come from the weekly list at the Diamond Comic Distributors Inc. website, and are subject to change. The information in the Comics Guide comes not only from Diamond but from solicitations, press releases and previews released by the publishers, except for random comments by Captain Comics (in blue), and occasional comments by The Baron (in this here purplish color). Clicking on most images results in a larger image.

BEST BETS

For more information on Best Bets titles, consult the Guide below. Titles are grouped by publisher: Action Lab, Archie, Dark Horse, DC Comics, Dynamite, IDW, Image, Marvel, Valiant and a catch-all Other Publishers.

ALICE COOPER #1 ($3.99, Dynamite): It turns out that when Alice Cooper says "Welcome to my nightmare," he was being literal! This new ongoing series has Al doing a Sandman turn as the master of dreams, which fits his on-stage persona rather well.

THE DEATH-DEFYING DR. MIRAGE #1 (of 5, $4.99, Valiant): Shan Fong, America's foremost paranormal investigator, can contact any dead person's spirit -- except that of her deceased husband, Hwen. This re-imagining of the 1990s Dr. Mirage title is almost a 180-degree turn -- and promises to be fascinating.

DEATH OF WOLVERINE #1 (of 4, $4.99, Marvel): Marvel Comics has been building up to the "death of Wolverine" for months, and now they're finally pulling the trigger (so to speak) with this four-issue, weekly miniseries. It kicks off with this 48-pager, complete with multiple variant covers, including one with metal foil, and comes out weekly through September. Of course, nobody expects Wolverine to stay dead, but as they say, it's the journey, not the (final) destination.

EX-CON #1 ($2.99, Dynamite): Part of Dynamite's effort at giving fan-favorite writers a forum, Ex-Con is a gritty crime drama by Duane Sweirczynski. It stars a modern-day con man in over his head, ands seems to be shooting for a Parker-like vibe.

FUTURE'S END (DC Comics): This month DC ties all its ongoing "New 52" titles into the 11-month, weekly Future's End series due to run until March 2015, with 43 books set five years into a possible future where a time-traveling Batman Beyond is trying to stop the genocide of mankind at the hands of the artificial intelligence Brother Eye. Each of the "Future's End" books comes with a regular cover at $2.99, and a 3-D lenticular cover at $3.99. Check out the DC section for this week's "Future's End" books, which include Action, Aquaman, Batwing, Detective, Earth 2, Grayson, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Swamp Thing and Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger.

HAWKEYE VS. DEADPOOL #0 (of 4, $4.99): Despite the title, these two characters will compete for the five issues of this miniseries, not necessarily fight each other. And given that both are given to light-hearted stories, there will probably be lots of yuks.

KICK-ASS 3 (premiere HC, $24.99, Marvel): This hardcover collects the third Kick-Ass series (the one not yet made into a movie) that is apparently the grand finale.

MARVEL FAMOUS FIRSTS: 75TH ANNIVERSARY MASTERWORKS SLIPCASE SET ($500, Marvel): Yes, that is a whopper of a price tag. But it's also a whopper of a set: 11 hardback Marvel Masterworks, consisting of the first volumes of Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, Captain America, Daredevil, Dr. Strange, Fantastic Four, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and X-Men, plus a complete collection of the 13-issue humor title Not Brand Echhh. Most comics fans own or have read all these stories, but if you haven't, or simply want all these seminal tales in one place, this is a great starting point. 

THE MERCENARY SEA VOL 1 ($9.99, Image): Old school adventure, as soldier-of-fortune types look for treasure in the many unexplored parts of the world in 1938 in a captured German U-boat.

THE NAMES #1 ($2.99, DC/Vertigo): A new crime noir title from DC's mature-readers line, Names features a rich, beautiful trophy wife immersing herself in the upper-crusty world of the 1% to find her husband's killers and take revenge.

ORIGINAL SIN #8 (of 8, $4.99): The climax of Marvel's big summer crossover, which revealed hidden secrets of many of Marvel's biggest characters. This issue reveals The Watcher's murderer's end game -- what he's been after, and why.

REVENGE: THE SECRET ORIGIN OF EMILY THORNE (premiere HC, $24.99, Marvel): An original graphic novel reveals some of the back story of the main character in ABC's aptly named revenge drama Revenge.

ACTION LAB

BO, PLUSHY GANGSTA: KINGDOM OF BO (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: PAVEL BALABANOV

128 Pgs./ Mature Readers / FC / $14.99

Are the legends of Bo, the “teddy bear” gangsta, true? And, did we just say teddy bear gangsta?! You’re about to find out -- when the soul of Gardia City’s toughest gangsta gets imbued in a plushy bear by a voodoo priestess. It’s Scarface meets Ted in this over-the-top video game style urban epic. Collects Bo Plushy Gangsta # 1-4.

SKYWARD VOL 3: BATTLE AT THREE RIVERS (TPB)

Publisher: ACTION LAB ENTERTAINMENT

Writer/Art/Cover: JEREMY DALE

96 pgs / ALL AGES / FC / $8.99

At last, war! Herod's army has reached Three Rivers and its only hope is our small band of heroes. Also: the biggest revelation in the series history! Oh boy, it's a big one! Continuing the fantastic storybook adventure from Jeremy Dale (G.I. Joe, Marvel Kapow!), following the thrilling tale of Quinn and his dog, Jack, finding a new life amidst the invasion of his homeland. Collects Skyward #7-9!

ARCHIE COMICS

B&V FRIENDS JUMBO COMICS DIGEST #240

Script: BARBARA SLATE

Art: JEFF SHULTZ, AL MILGROM, JACK MORELLI, BARRY GROSSMAN

Cover: BILL GALVAN, BOB SMITH, TITO PENA

288-page, full color comic, $6.99 U.S.

When Veronica receives a highly coveted society invite to a celebrity party, she’s delighted – and busy! She has an outfit to arrange, paparazzi to prepare for, and Betty to gloat in front of. Little does she know, she’s not the only Riverdale resident on the list – and won’t she be in for a surprise when she finds out how Jughead Jones got an invite to one of the most exclusive parties of the year!  Find out what she does in “The List!”, the lead story in this celebratory Comics Digest! (Formerly B&V Friends Double Digest.)

DARK HORSE

#1 for $1: GHOST #1

Writers: KELLY SUE DECONNICK, CHRISTOPHER SEBELA

Art: RYAN SOOK

Cover:TERRY DODSON

FC, 32 pages, $1.00

One-shot

Ghost, the hero trapped between two worlds, fights to protect Chicago from extradimensional demons disguised as humans. When a familiar stranger destroys an el train, Ghost makes a deal with a devil for the chance to uncover her own mysterious past. The perfect issue to join this action-packed superhero title!

Look for the Ghost Volume 2 collection on sale September 10, 2014

Ghost #1 is a very, very pretty comic book.” -- IGN

It certainly has pretty covers!

ALLEY OOP VOL 2 (HC)

Writer/Art/Cover: V. T. HAMLIN

FC, 128 pages, $75.00

HC, 12” x 16”

Presenting the second in a series that collects, in chronological order, all the full color Sunday pages of the classic newspaper strip! Go back in time to the prehistoric kingdom of Moo, and follow the strange, hilarious and outlandish Stone Age antics of V. T. Hamlin’s intrepid caveman, Alley Oop! This oversized volume collects every "Alley Oop" Sunday strip from 1936 through 1938!

• After over ninety years, Alley Oop is still in publication!

• The strip has been commemorated in a hit song, a comics award statue, and a U.S. postage stamp!

ANGEL & FAITH SEASON 10 #6

Writer: VICTOR GISCHLER

Pencils/Variant: WILL CONRAD

Colors: MICHELLE MADSEN

Cover: SCOTT FISCHER

On sale Sept 3

FC, 32 pages, $3.50

Ongoing

New Players, New Rules, New Season!

Faith’s next mission for Deepscan is one she can’t resist -- tracking the missing Riley Finn in South America. The girl has got some residual guilt over that military demon hunter. ... Meanwhile, in London’s Magic Town, Angel is confronted by yet another old frenemy.

“Gischler and Conrad make a fine addition to this team and I’ll eagerly be awaiting each issue that comes out.” -- SciFiPulse

“Highly recommended.” -- Unleash the Fanboy

AW YEAH COMICS! ™ AND … ACTION! (TPB)

Writer/Art: ART BALTAZAR, FRANCO

Cover: ART BALTAZAR

FC, 152 pages, $12.99

TPB, 7” x 10”

AW YEAH COMICS!!! It’s FINALLY here!

It’s up to Action Cat and Adventure Bug to stop the bad guys! Follow these amazing superheroes created by Art Baltazar and Franco in this EPIC ALL-AGES comic extravaganza!!! With BONUS stories from the AW YEAH BULLPEN ... Scoot McMahon, Denver Brubaker, Alejandro Rosado, and Kurt Wood! Collects issues #1–4.

• ALL collected for the first time in this handsome Dark Horse trade paperback!

• An epic all-ages extravaganza!

• From Itty Bitty Hellboy creators Art Baltazar and Franco!

• The kickstarter blockbuster offered at last!

CONCRETE PARK: R-E-S-P-E-C-T #1 (of 5)

Writers: ERIKA ALEXANDER, TONY PURYEAR

Art/Cover: TONY PURYEAR

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

A Best American Comics 2013 selection!

A troubled young outcast from Earth awakens on a distant desert planet that’s gripped by gang war. Will the exiles of Scare City destroy each other or create something surprising, beautiful, and new? Concrete Park returns with volume 2’s R-E-S-P-E-C-T arc -- a sexy sci-fi saga by Tony Puryear (Eraser) and Erika Alexander!

Blockbuster screenwriter Tony Puryear co-writes and draws!

“The swagger of the characters and their surroundings just burst off of the page.” -- Read about Comics

“Every time I think I know what is going on in Concrete Park, [it] throws me for a loop. I have to read more.” -- Comics Bulletin

She's either making gang signs or telling a story about the one that got away.

FEAR AGENT VOL 6: OUT OF STEP (2ND ED TPB)

Writer: RICK REMENDER

Pencils: TONY MOORE, MIKE HAWTHORNE

Cover: TONY MOORE

Inks: JOHN LUCAS

Colors: LEE LOUGHRIDGE

FC, 144 pages, $16.99

TPB, 7” x 10”

THE LAST FEAR AGENT’S FINAL ADVENTURE!

The final tale of the last Fear Agent! Heath Huston is the only remaining human in a universe that has been totally amalgamated by Tetaldian robotic conquerors. Presented with one final opportunity to set things right, can Heath give the bastards a little back? Collects issues #28-32.

• Heath blazes into a spectacular and moving finale!

• From Rick Remender (Captain America) and Tony Moore (The Walking Dead)!

FINDER: THIRD WORLD (TPB)

Writer/Art/Cover: CARLA SPEED MCNEIL

Colors: JENN MANLEY LEE, BULL MUDRON

FC, 184 pages, $19.99

TPB, 6” x 9”

Eisner Award winner!

There hasn’t been a single place that Jaeger couldn’t infiltrate, escape or loot -- until now! Award-winning creator Carla Speed McNeil and colorists Jenn Manley Lee and Bill Mudron create the very first full-color Finder graphic novel. Serialized in the pages of Dark Horse Presents, Finder: Third World now includes seventeen extra story pages and extensive annotations by McNeil!

The first Finder graphic novel in full color!

“You’ll be addicted in no time.” -- Jeff Smith (Bone)

FURIOUS VOL 1: FALLEN STAR (TPB)

Writer: BRYAN J. L. GLASS

Art/Colors/Cover: VICTOR SANTOS

FC, 144 pages, $17.99

TPB, 7” x 10”

The creative team of Mice Templar!

Staring into a fractured mirror of her life, the world’s first superhero, Furious, seeks to atone for her past sins by doling out rage-fueled justice! But the spotlight of our celebrity-obsessed media threatens to undo her noblest efforts and expose her true identity before she can achieve redemption. Collects Furious #1-5 and an eight-page short story from Dark Horse Presents #31.

“Glass and Santos’ creation is very much a superhero for our time.” -- Comic Book Resources

“A visual treat ... filled to the brim with awesome artwork.” -- IGN

GRENDEL VS. THE SHADOW #1 (of 3)

Writer/Art/Cover: MATT WAGNER

Colors: BRENNAN WAGNER

FC, 48 pages, $5.99

Miniseries

Sparks fly and bullets blaze when the original Grendel, Hunter Rose, is transported to 1930s New York and faces off with the original dark-night avenger, the Shadow! Two pulp-noir icons go head to head in this three-issue prestige-format series written and drawn by legendary Grendel creator Matt Wagner.

• A great starting point for new Grendel and The Shadow readers!

• Matt Wagner continues his fan-favorite character -- Grendel!

In any kind of honest story, The Shadow would take care of Grendel by page three. But since the writer is the creator of Grendel, he's not going to let his baby be spanked the way he ought to be! So I'll pass.

JAYBIRD (HC)

Writer: JAAKO AHONEN

Art/Cover: LAURI AHONEN

FC, 128 pages, $19.99

HC, 8 1/2” x 11 3/4”

Charming, dark and unforgettable

Disney meets Kafka in this beautiful, intense, original tale! Jaybird is the story of a very small and very scared little bird, who lives a lonely, isolated life in a great big house with his infirm mother. Curious but terrified of the world outside, he’s never been outside the house, and he will never leave if his mother has anything to say about it. 

Gorgeously painted, humorously melancholy modern fable for adults.

THE LEGEND OF KORRA: THE ART OF THE ANIMATED SERIES BOOK TWO – SPIRITS (HC)

Writers: MICHAEL DANTE DIMARTINO, BRYAN KONIETZKO, JOAQUIM DOS SANTOS

Cover: BRYAN KONIETZKO

FC, 184 pages, $34.99

HC, 9” x 12”

This handsome hardcover gives you an in-depth look at the creative team behind the vibrant and richly detailed world of Korra. Discover never-before-seen artwork created during development of Book Two: Spirits. With detailed commentary throughout, this is an intimate look inside the creative process that brought the mystical world of bending and a new generation of heroes to life!

• Commentary by creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!

• Follow-up to smash-hit animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender!

• Never-before-seen artwork!

“Gorgeous.” -- Kotaku

MICHAEL AVON OEMING'S THE VICTORIES #15

Writer/Art/Cover: MICHAEL AVON OEMING

Colors: NICK FILARDI

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

The must-read final issue!!!

Faustus’s journey comes to a close as he rises to Ascension! Will his dark past be the end of humanity? The future of mankind is at stake!

The conclusion of The Victories!

NEW LONE WOLF AND CUB VOL 2 (TPB)

Writer: KAZUO KOIKE

Art/Cover: HIDEKI MORI

B&W, 208 pages, $13.99

TPB, 5” x 7 1/8”

THE SEQUEL TO LONE WOLF AND CUB!

In Kazuo Koike’s Lone Wolf and Cub sequel, Daigoro, son of the slain “Lone Wolf,” accompanies warrior Togo Shigekata on the road to Satsuma. But the secret message Togo carries is a fraud, and enemies have aligned to ensure the message’s delivery ... and the death of Daigoro!

• Over one million copies sold of the Dark Horse Lone Wolf and Cub editions.

• Lone Wolf and Cub omnibus program collects the entire original series in value-priced editions.

• Uncut and in authentic right-to-left format.

PARIAH VOL 2 (TPB)

Writers: ARON WARNER, PHILIP GELAATT

Art/Cover: BRETT WELDELE

FC, 104 pages, $14.99

TPB, 7” x 10”

With an entire space station at their disposal, the Vitros (genetically enhanced genius teenagers) have to fight for survival against an increasingly aggressive Earth. Collects Pariah #1-4.

“It’s a story of exceptional people being pushed to their limits, and being forced to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.” -- We the Nerdy

“An incredibly strong start to what should be a great new series.” -- All Comic 

TERMINATOR: ENEMY OF MY ENEMY #5 (of 6)

Writer: DAN JOLLEY

Pencils/Cover: JAMAL IGLE

Inks: RAY SNYDER

Colors: WES DZIOBA

FC, 32 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

Deliberately walking into a trap to save the life of scientist Elise Fong, ex-CIA operative Farrow Greene finds herself surrounded by metal monstrosities, as she contends with not only the T-800 but a host of other robot enemies reverse engineered by mercenaries!

Superstar artist Jamal Igle (Supergirl)!

"A great start to what should be a stellar mini-series that comes recommended." -- Unleash the Fanboy

"This one offers adventure and tension, same as the original movie, but throws in a noteworthy mystery." -- Comic Book Resources

"Jamal Igle's art is solid, offering a look similar to that seen in The Final Battle currently. The action is clean and the characters are expressive." -- IGN

USAGI YOYIMBO: SENSO #2 (of 6)

Writer/Art/Cover: STAN SAKAI

Cover colors: TOM LUTH

B&W, 24 pages, $3.99

Miniseries

USAGI vs. ALIENS?!

The sudden crash landing of a rocket from the heavens has shattered the warring armies of Lords Noriyuki and Hikiji. His forces all but annihilated, Hikiji himself is taken -- and when the ninja Chizu goes to investigate, she encounters bizarre beings constructing fearsome machines. Will the remaining samurai be enough to overcome the aliens’ unbelievably destructive weaponry?

From multiple Eisner Award–winning creator Stan Sakai!

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Replies to This Discussion

I suspect you've kind of spoiled Vol. 18 for me, which I'm just getting to this weekend. But that's OK; I'd still like to see how it plays out. If I wasn't somewhat unimpressed by the story logic I would have been more anxious to read the collections after that big Issue 100.

Oops.  Well everyone was talking about it anyhow.  In any case, I think Kirkman spoiled it for many of us...

Mark Sullivan (Vertiginous Mod) said:

I suspect you've kind of spoiled Vol. 18 for me, which I'm just getting to this weekend. But that's OK; I'd still like to see how it plays out. If I wasn't somewhat unimpressed by the story logic I would have been more anxious to read the collections after that big Issue 100.



Figserello said:

What pulled me out was the fact that the 'hero' of the piece keeps personally inflicting serious injury and death on Negan and his men, only to have Negan repeatedly 'see the funny side' and only kill someone close to the hero rather than the hero himself, who has proven a serious threat to Negan's life, standing and privileges.

That doesn't make any sense to me.  EIther this world works by gun-toting survivalist principles or it doesn't. 

In any case the result was the same as with yourself, Cap, as it showed us Kirkman calculating that the survival of his main character in his long-running series was more important than any internal story logic.  The little man behind the curtain, indeed.

That's a big part of it, too, of course. When Negan had the leadership of the organization he wanted to dominate in his hands, the obvious move is to kill them all. Instead, he killed one of them, and let the rest live, thereby guaranteeing A) the leadership remains in place, and B) that leadership is highly motivated to spend every second of every day plotting his demise. Seriously, I'm not an aggressive, alpha-male, ultra-violent conqueror, and even *I* know that's a really bad strategy! Why didn't Negan? Or his crew?

There were other problems with the scene, such as Rick & Co. deciding to, essentially, camp out in a completely undefended space. Um, what? Again, I'm a pointy-headed intellectual not likely to survive a zombie apocalypse beyond the first 10 minutes, but even MY first instinct is to find a defensible position for an overnight stay -- a garage, a repair shop, something with walls -- rather than just park in the middle of the road and take a nap.

But, obviously, Kirkman's plot called for Rick to suddenly be an idiot, and then for Negan to be an idiot. As you say, it shows the author's calculation -- Alex's math, perhaps -- and the wheels turning behind the curtain.

I didn't have much trouble with Negin choosing Glenn at random. He's portrayed as a charming, erratic psychopath; if he'd killed the whole group he might have come off as a murderous thug. Plus Rick's community might have become useless as a source of tribute. But I agree it's still a cowardly creative choice. If Kirkman had taken the opportunity to kill off Rick instead, imagine how everyone's mind would have been blown! It would have been real proof of the "no one is safe" dictum, and it would have given a fresh start for the story going forward.

I read the following arc over the weekend (Vol. 18 of the collections) and it committed a greater sin, to me: it was boring. We get further proof of Negin's erratic behavior; Carl commits an unpardonable act and doesn't die for it; Rick, Michonne and others come after him, and don't die for it; and that's about it. I can't recall so little happening in any other six issues of the series run.

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