This marks the second month in which I’ve used a new and improved matrix for determining the Top Twenty comics of the month! I can’t reveal any trade secrets but in theory it should be a more accurate reflection of the Cosmic Comix community zeitgeist. Of note is that there isn’t a single Marvel issue until you get down to #10. Strange! But that just might be the way the cookie bounces.
In case this is your first time, the Top Twenty is an ongoing monthly look at two ordered lists comprising A) The top twenty single issues of the month and B) the top twenty current series in comics. How did we come up with the lists? Well, the Cosmic Comix Top Twenty Committee took several things into consideration: Best Book nominees, poll winners and poll votes, sales numbers and general buzz levels surrounding each book. Yes, your input is not only appreciated but also counts toward the rankings. So let us hear it!
Top Twenty Comics of June 2012 The Best Single Issues
SAGA #4 – I almost feel a little dirty including this one, because there was some pretty outrageous stuff happening there on planet Sextillion. But the overall story is just so interesting at this point and you guys seem to love it as well (it dominated the poll) that it’ll have to go down as the best book of the month!
BATMAN #10 – There was a little controversy on this issue, as it seemed to rewrite some of Bruce Wayne’s history. But, like Saga, the story was highly interesting and it crushed the poll in its respective week. It may not say Night of the Owls on top, but it absolutely is continuing that story.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: SILK SPECTRE – It was the second Before Watchmen title we saw (so far we’ve seen four) and it is still the best. The story of mom Sallie and daughter Laurie Jupiter. Some cool little touches totally made this book for us.
EARTH 2 #2 – One of the most talked about comic books of the year! At least in the eyes of the national media, that is. People around here (judging by the poll) just seemed to think it was a solid comic book, establishing Earth 2 as a concept in the New 52 very well. Oh, and also there was that thing about Alan Scott being gay.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #10 – I wanted to put this somewhat high on the list because I often give it short shrift in favor of the main Batman title. And I sort of had to do that again this month, given the poll results, but this issue was excellent! War of the Robins! As Damian wants to prove to the other Robins that he’s the best. Just great.
AMERICAN VAMPIRE LORD OF NIGHTMARES #1 (OF 5) – There were actually two American Vampire issues this month. This one and American Vampire #28. They were both excellent as always, but Lord of Nightmares was probably a shade better because it had several "WOW" moments… not the least of which is the promise of a certain vampire whose name begins with D. (And I’m not talking about Diane from True Blood.)
BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 – While the first issue was all about reestablishing this title in the New 52, this second issue was all about history. In particular the history of Talia al Ghul.
I VAMPIRE #10 – This book was just flat-out ridiculous. The Van Helsings (thousands of them, it seems) are on the attack and we got some incredible action, told through the beautiful art we’ve come to expect in this book.
BEFORE WATCHMEN: MINUTEMEN #1 – That’s two Watchmen titles in the top 10! But I had to do it. This was the first, the most exciting, it got a few votes on the poll, and it was just downright good! Darwyn Cooke tells the story, told in little snapshots, of the original superhero team.
X-MEN #30 & 31 – Definitely a little odd to see this title in the Top Twenty… nay, the Top Ten! But that’s what happens when you put Brian Wood on a book. The story has nothing to do with Avengers vs. X-Men, though it does follow continuity to a degree, but that doesn’t matter at all. It’s just good!
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5 & 6 (OF 12) – Iron Man’s Phoenix Killer suit was a little goofy, but you have to give Marvel credit for making this event one of the most action-packed events of the year. And I dig the whole Phoenix-getting-split-up-between-five-X-Men-and-them-getting-a-superiority-complex thing.
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #12 – Might have actually been the best AVX book of the month, but I had to but AVX #5 & 6 in front of it because that’s where all the plot is happening and those issues were arguably more compelling. As for this one, it was just a fantastic Rachel Summers story. She’s on the hunt for Hope… and she finds her!
MASSIVE #1 – Speaking of Brian Wood, a brand new title from the man behind Conan and the afore-mentioned X-Men #30 & 31! A very cool post-apocalyptic type thing — caused not necessarily by humans but by that fussiest of mistresses, Mother Nature. Still in the early stages, but signs indicate we’re in for a cool ride.
WALKING DEAD #99 – Though I (and many others) often bust on Walking Dead for nothing ever happening in it, even I can admit that plenty happens. Even if there’s no slicing and dicing, the characters are constantly evolving, and this issue was a good example of that.
WINTER SOLDIER #7 – This was the second Winter Soldier book of the month and, though both were good, this one was probably better. So much action! And everyone has a plan, from Bucky to Natasha to the sleeper agent.
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #5 – Once again, excellent. The second part of the "Argos Deception" finds Conan on the way to the gallows. Rusty always talks about the narration, and it totally makes the book what it is. That plus all the sword fighting and general awesome Conan-ness.
HIT-GIRL #1 (OF 5) – I doubt this issue really "dazzled" anyone, and in fact the blood flow was pretty light compared to past Kick-Ass stories, but it’s freaking Hit-Girl! And you can’t not love Hit-Girl.
X-O MANOWAR #2 – We recommended the first issue, and now we’re recommending the second issue! Aric (our hero) is imprisoned on an alien planet. But you better believe he’s about to become the title character!
RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #10 –So, so funny. This is another one that I often forget to put in the Top Twenty, but this issue was killer. Jason was on a date!
CHEW #27 2ND HELPING ED – Am I even allowed to include Chew? This issue did come out last year and what came out this month was a second printing… BUT… it was awesome! Again!
Top Twenty Titles of June 2012 The Best Current Series
SAGA – Savor the flavor, Saga, because I’m not sure how long it’s gonna last! And you might only be getting this spot because Chew put out a second printing this month. But the people love you, we love you, and we look forward to reading you every month now.
CHEW – See above. Chew remains the best pound-for-pound comic on the rack. I fully expect it to be back in its rightful spot next month. (TPBs)
AMERICAN VAMPIRE – As you can see, I’m giving American Vampire a promotion this month. Not only did we get two issues, but they were both outstanding! The bar is extremely high on that series right now. If you’re not reading it, get on it! (TPB)
BATMAN – It started out as the best book of the New 52 and still has a firm grip on that title. Scott Snyder’s vision of Gotham City, its past and its present, is totally refreshing. (TPB)
AVENGERS VS. X-MEN – Once again, I’ll use this spot to recognize Avengers vs. X-Men as an event. And, as I said above, it is a great one. Nice scale, good reading, and stuff is happening! That’s all we ask.
GI JOE: COBRA – Didn’t even get a nomination this month, if you can believe that, so it slides a little in the rankings. But it’s still excellent. Might just need to tighten itself up a bit. (TPBs)
WALKING DEAD – People have been asking, "When is issue #100 coming out?!" The answer, my friends, is two weeks. Prepare thyselves. (TPBs)
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN – What do you think about Chris Bachalo’s art on this series? Cool and different? Or muddled?
UNCANNY X-MEN – Didn’t get a nomination, but I loved this month’s issue and I continue to love this series. Mr. Sinister!
I VAMPIRE – Dark. Intriguing. Smart. And some of the best artwork in comics. What’s not to like?
BEFORE WATCHMEN – I’m not quite ready to separate them out by series yet, but so far we have to give kudos to the Before Watchmen event. It wasn’t an easy task and the creators are handling it very well.
DAREDEVIL – Did very well in the poll this month, thanks to a dynamite last page on issue #14. We love this book and you guys do, too.
SCALPED – Has Scalped ever not been in the top 10? I don’t think so. And I hated to do it. Because it’s still a good read, but I think we all have a good feeling for where everyone is going to end up. And it’s not the retirement home. (TPBs)
NIGHTWING – As Rusty said, Kyle Higgins is doing a great job with Nightwing. That’s a quote!
INVINCIBLE – I think this title suffers because it’s not an easy one to just pick up and read. But if you’ve been reading all along you know how good it really is. (TPBs)
CONAN THE BARBARIAN – More people should be reading this!!! Yes, it’s Conan and it’s sword and sorcery and all that. But it’s the best Conan we’ve read in a looooong time.
ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES – Takes a little but of a hit in the rankings this month, due to an issue that sort of missed this month. But we’re not giving up on it yet! It’s got enough good will in the bank to last a while.
BUFFY / ANGEL – No nomination for Buffy this month, but Angel got an emphatic one!
BATMAN INCORPORATED – Batman Inc. is back, baby! And we’re glad to have it. I highly expect it to creep up in the rankings with each passing month.
WINTER SOLDIER – We didn’t think we’d be into the sleeper agent story, but we are SO into it!
Others receiving votes for the Best Current Series:
Writer Ed Brubaker is leaving Captain America after writing the character for over a half of a decade. Though Brubaker will be staying on Winter Soldier, he has decided to pursue creator-owned work from now on instead of Work-For-Hire stuff. So other than Winter Soldier, fans should expect Mr. Brubaker to be turning out more projects like Fatale and Criminal rather than more mainstream Marvel work.
Writer/Artist Tony Daniel will be ending his run on Detective Comics. His last written and illustrated issue is #12, and he will then provide the art for Detective Comics #0 for writer Gregg Hurwitz. Hurwitz recently took over writing duties on Batman: The Dark Knight, but he will not be on Detective Comics after the Zero issue in September. The new creative team has not been announced yet. Daniel said he enjoyed his time on the Batman titles, but he has new projects coming down the pike that will allow him to flex his muscles, and one of those will be announced at Comic Con.
Speaking of Batman, Paul Dini is in final negotiations to do a big “personal” Batman story as an original graphic novel. I do not know about the rest of you, but more Paul Dini Batman is always a good thing.
X-O Manowar #2 has sold out of its first printing and is going to second print. I know I have said it before, but these new Valiant comics are worth checking out, especially X-O Manowar!
INCORRUPTIBLE is of course the companion series to Irredeemable and answers the question: What if the world’s greatest super-villain decided to become the world’s greatest hero? These two titles have been home to some of the most inventive and often brutal superhero stories of the past year.
INCORRUPTIBLE VOL 1 TP $16.99
Super-villain Max Damage had an epiphany the day Plutonian destroyed Sky City. When Plutonian turned his back on humanity, Max Damage decided to step up. Now Max Damage has changed his name to Max Daring and turned from his formerly selfish ways to become Incorruptible.
Sure, you’ve got your Cyclops and your Wolverine. But arguably the most important mutant in the Marvel Universe in recent years is and has been Hope Summers. She was the first mutant to be born after the Decimation, an event in which the Scarlet Witch used her reality-altering superpower to turn all but 198 of the world’s mutants into regular, depowered humans. And even more recently she appears to be the next host of the Phoenix force! (Yet to be determined.)
We’ve gone through the X-Men trade paperbacks of the past several years and put together her story from the very beginning, starting with ENDANGERED SPECIES, moving through MESSIAH COMPLEX and MESSIAH WAR, and culminating in SECOND COMING! If you’ve been wondering how the members of the mutant population, and Hope in particular, got to where they are today, these are the books you need to read!
X-MEN: ENDANGERED SPECIES TP
"No More Mutants." They say words can never hurt you. But they never met Wanda Maximoff. At the height of her madness during the crisis known as M Day, the Scarlet Witch uttered those three little words that obliterated nearly the entire species of mutants, consigning them to the dustbin of Darwin’s evolution. Following in the wake of DECIMATION, and setting up the final showdown with fate in the X-Men event MESSIAH COMPLEX, ENDANGERED SPECIES finds the Beast in a race against the clock to see what he can do to save the destiny of his fellow mutants before time runs out. Alone and with the future in his hands, can he stumble upon the key that will bring about a positive change, or will a species now endangered be headed irrevocably for extinction? Collecting the story originally serialized in the X-MEN: ENDANGERED SPECIES one-shot X-MEN #200-204, UNCANNY X-MEN #488-491, X-FACTOR #21-23 and NEW X-MEN #40-42.
Last week I read Pandemonium, which was an outstanding horror story reminiscent of Stephen King’s The Shining. It was such a scary story that I felt reading another horror story would make the latter suffer by comparison. So this week I needed something completely different, and I found that in The Compleat Terminal City, written by Dean Motter and illustrated by Michael Lark.
Terminal City is a place which isn’t quite the future nor is it a steam-punk past. It’s the future as seen by Philip Marlowe with some technology and a seedy underside that hasn’t changed in years; it’s where old entertainment super-stars like Cosmo Quinn, the human fly, wash windows to make ends meet; it’s a place where L’il Big Lil, the gangster queen, comes when hired for a job. Most of all, it’s about the crazy residents of the Herculean Arms Hotel and the adventures that befall them in a week that isn’t anything close to normal.
It should come as no surprise that Dean Motter, creator of the classic series Mr. X, wrote an outstanding story. More than just writing a fun story, Motter engaged in world building with a large ensemble cast of interesting characters, a large over-arching plot, and a plethora of sub-plots. It’s everything you could ever want in a story. The cast is truly wonderful and has someone that everyone can relate tool: there are older characters dealing with end of life issues, young people trying to find themselves, and people in the middle still trying to figure life out. You can’t help but relate to someone. The plot, with just a pinch of noir and a splash of human interest, weaves each of the characters in and out of their respective storylines with perfect skill.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art by Sara Pichelli
Before we begin I want to say I really disliked the first issue quite a bit. It was not that it was particularly bad or anything, but it was extremely deconstructed in its storytelling and as a result did not do much besides transport Peter Parker to the Ultimate Universe. Although this is an important aspect of the series as a whole, I did not like that the only thing that happened in the first issue…is exactly what readers expected to have happened before they even read the book.
Even though I was not a fan of the first issue, this one makes up for it in spades. I absolutely loved it. The plot only moves forward a little bit, taking almost as much time as the first issue to go anywhere, but it does get to a better place than we were left at the end of issue #1. And it leaves lots of awesome storytelling possibilities in its wake.
After the obligatory superhero meeting/fight, Peter wakes up in the custody of SHIELD, and in a humorous interrogation scene Nick Fury and Peter come to the conclusion that Peter is from another version of the Marvel Universe. Fury decides the best thing to do while they investigate the anomaly is to have Miles Morales take Peter around and teach him everything he knows about the Ultimate Universe’s Peter Parker. Upon leaving SHIELD headquarters, both Spider-Men are attacked by Mysterio, the villain responsible for the dimension hopping in the first place.
Brian K. Vaughan’s latest series Saga is definitely on a roll. Each issue has gotten better and better and you, the Cosmic Comix community, love it. So much so that it won last week’s poll! Beating out Daredevil #14 and a second printing of Chew #27 (that’s how good Chew is, ha).
As for this week, plenty to be excited about. From the latest Before Watchmen seriesd to the return of Hit-Girl to Batman Incorporated to Wolverine and the X-Men and much more! Get in there and vote!
What was the best book of the week?
I Vampire #10 (5 Votes)
Aquaman #10 (3 Votes)
Spider-Men #2 (3 Votes)
These choices are hotter than the weather! And yet... they leave me cold. (2 Votes)
I was a little disappointed in some of my comics this week. INCREDIBLE HULK #10 promised me Russian bears in space! And while I got Russian bears in space, it really wasn’t very good. Bummer. Then ULTIMATE COMICS ULTIMATES #12 had Iron Man outsmarting City of Tomorrow Reed Richards with a brain tumor hologram! Which is even more ridiculous than Russian bears in space! Sigh. And I must say that I am a little annoyed with SCALPED #59 these days. The delayed shipping schedule — don’t expect to see the final issue (#60) anytime soon — has almost ruined the ending to one of my all-time favorite comics. And at this point I just want it to end so I can read it all again! Patience, Rusty, patience.
Still plenty of books that didn’t disappoint. Nominees!
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #28 – The Blacklist Part One! What else can I say about American Vampire? It’s so consistent. Everything that happened in this issue tied into everything that’s gone on before, while still telling an engaging story and it is absolutely worth reading. And it looks like this arc will be about Pearl and Skinner Sweet teaming up to hunt vampires in the Hollywood hills. Bring it on!
ANGEL & FAITH #11 – I really enjoyed. Willow is back. Gunn is back. Connor is back. And they are off to the alien world, Quor’thoth, where Connor grew up. It was wordy. It was long. And it might have been the best issue of the series so far.
BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1 (OF 4) – J. Michael’s turn! And once again totally different than the previous three titles: Minutemen, Silk Spectre and the Comedian. Tied into the original Watchmen series far more than the others. They’ve already caught up time-wise and some of the pages looked almost identical. Did get more Nite Owl back story. Would have to put it in a tie for third. Silk Spectre is still winning. With Minutemen in second place. Although I have liked them all. BEFORE WATCHMEN OZYMANDIAS #1 comes out next week. Then we will start seeing some issue #2’s.
BATMAN INCORPORATED #2 – I loved. Batman was only in a couple pages. It was the history of Talia Al Ghul. Damian’s Mom. If you knew the history, I thought it worked. If you didn’t know the history, now you do. It was great.
HIT-GIRL #1 (OF 5) – Very subdued for Kick-Ass. Story takes place right after the first mini-series ends. Picks up with Hit-Girl going back to school, living with her parents, and planning to take down more mobsters! All I ever want from any Kick-Ass comic is to see Hit-Girl taking out bad guys left and right. Well, she didn’t kill anyone this issue and it was still awesome.
I VAMPIRE #10 – Seriously. How can you not love this book! The conversation between Professor Troughton and the leader of the Van Helsings was fantastic. Who deserves to live. Who deserves to die. And why. But. But. The Van Helsing’s bomber brigade napalmed Andrew Bennett and his merry gang of Vampires. And then parachuted down for an all-out battle. In which most of them died. And then… oh… I’m not even gonna tell you. Plus the double page spreads were incredible. It’s cool. It’s whacked. It’s I Vampire!
RESIDENT ALIEN #2 – So simple. So good. Got some back story on our Resident Alien. And the murder mystery seems to be solved, although the perpetrator has yet to be located. But the best thing about this issue was the following statement in the back. Next Issue: The finale to our first Resident Alien story arc. Which made me so happy. One more issue is nowhere near enough. We totally need more Resident Alien and it looks like we will get it.
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #12 – I loved. Rachel Summers is great. Loved what they did with her in this issue. She’s a hound! Featured a prolonged fight between the Avengers and the X-Men. Kid Gladiator was great. Thor was great. Wolverine. Captain America. Iceman. Beast. Wolverine. Liked the end with Rachel and Hope. It was great.
X-MEN #31 – The second issue from Brian Wood! Really just continued the story he set up last issue. Does need a “these events happened prior to AVX #1” box but other than that it was all good once again.
How many is that? Nine. Room for one more. Let’s see. Could go with FATALE #6, a very high quality comic which I enjoy reading every time out, although I’m still not quite sure what’s totally going on, trade paperback also came out this week, a re-read may be in order, or JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #10, Jeff Lemire’s second issue takes Constantine and his gang on a trip to the House of Mystery, or MANHATTAN PROJECTS #4, which featured some freaky aliens at the beginning and a brand new Einstein at the end, or SPIDER-MEN #2, which was way better than the first issue and I really liked the interaction between Peter Parker and Miles Morales, or X-MEN LEGACY #269, which of course would be almost purely for personal reason as Rogue fights Ms. Marvel!
But my last nominee has to belong to JUSTICE LEAGUE #10. The entire Justice League now lies dead at the feet of our mysterious new villain! Which can only mean that next issue we will get nothing but 40 pages of the Shazam! story. Which is good news indeed.
PS — Oops. Almost forgot. Best Book of the Week. I don’t know…I Vampire was off the hook! And will most likely get my vote. Thinking the poll might just come down to Batman Incorporated, which might get dinged for lack of Batman, but was fantastic, vs. Wolverine and the X-Men, which might get dinged for the art although I thought Chris Bachalo did a great job. See who wins! Vote it up!
(Guest columnist Matt H. is filling in for regular Best Covers columnist Andy B. this week. If you, too, have an interest in writing a Best Covers column — perhaps because you think you could do a better job… to which I say, GOOD LUCK, CHUM — just send us an email!)
Andy needed a break from the tremendous mental labor of choosing the four best covers each week and I was dragooned into service. Or maybe it was more like impressment, since this is the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. In any case, I must say they are big shoes to fill. Literally. The man has clown feet.
X-MEN LEGACY #269
Cover by Mark Brooks
Seeing all of the covers laid out in their full-color glory can be an overwhelming experience so when a cover jumps out at you, it’s a winner. X-Men Legacy #269 at first blush looks to be just another A vs. X book. “Oh look, it’s Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue. Ho-hum.” Then you start thinking, wait, they have a history right? Didn’t Rogue steal her powers for a while? Then you look closer and realize, “Oh, it’s not just Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue it’s Ms. Marvel vs. Rogue’s comic book!” She’s literally ripping through the front cover with an angry look on her face. Rogue is either in pain, terrified, or both. Ms. Marvel don’t take no mess!
J. Michael Straczynski is one of the most celebrated writers in comics (and sci-fi), but at the same time one of the most enigmatic. He’s the man behind the modern incarnation of Thor, Midnight Nation and a powerful run on Amazing Spider-Man. But he’s also the guy who announced a retirement from monthly comics, which resulted in the Earth One books. At any rate, his work is always worth checking out. And combined with the might of the Watchmen franchise? And the talent of Andy Kubert? This week’s Before Watchmen release is a no-brainer!
BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #1 (OF 4)
Written by J. Michael Straczynski, Len Wein
Art by Andy Kubert & Various
Cover Art by Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert
"The hero known to the public only as Nite Owl announced his retirement today."
DC Comics’ Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #1 comes out this Wednesday!
Leading off for DC this week is Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham’s Batman Incorporated #2! The first issue (which we still have in stock) was absolutely fantastic. You might remember a last page with a Damian who may or may not have been killed? And a certain… Bat-Cow!
BATMAN INCORPORATED #2
Written by Grant Morrison
Art by Chris Burnham
This is the story of a man and a woman fighting over the heart and soul of their child. Unfortunately for the world, the man is BATMAN, the woman is TALIA AL GHUL, and the child is DAMIAN.
Moving over to the Vertigo camp, we’re definitely stoked about both American Vampire #28 and Scalped #59. The former kicks off a new story arc called "The Blacklist," and takes the reader to 1950s Hollywood during the heard of the Red Scare! The latter, meanwhile, takes readers toward an inevitably dark conclusion.
Back to the New 52, there’s also Aquaman #10, which continues "The Others" and the story of Aquaman’s violent past… not to mention is violent present with a certain Black Manta!
Finally, there’s Justice League #10. Seems like we’ve been giving the Shazam back-up story more love than the main story, which may be correct… but make no mistake: Justice League is still the flagship of the New 52! But mam that Shazam story really is good…
JUSTICE LEAGUE #10
Written by Geoff Johns
Art by Jim Lee
"THE VILLAIN’S JOURNEY" part two! The identity of the Justice League’s newest and deadliest foe is revealed! Part four of the debut of SHAZAM!
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
Everybody loves Hit-Girl. Myself included. And this week we’re happy to see her starring in her own series! I am picturing copious violence and liberal uses of certain disparaging words. (One such word I have blacked out from the cover.) And it wasn’t too long ago that Kick-Ass 2 came to its bloody conclusion. But that doesn’t even matter because this series takes place between volumes 1 and 2!
Written by Mark Millar
Art by John Romita
From Marvel Comics. Hit-Girl spins off into her own blood-soaked series by the sales-busting creative team of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. This story takes place between Kick-Ass Volumes 1 and 2 as Mindy McCready tries to settle into life as a regular school-girl, but wants nothing more than to be dispensing hot justice to the scum of New York City. Her mother and step-father think she’s doing her homework, but in reality she’s taken Kick-Ass on as her sidekick and is training him up to punch, shoot and stab… just like Daddy would have wanted.
Marvel Comics’ Hit-Girl #1 comes out this Wednesday!
Since Marvel news in recent weeks has been dominated by the Avengers vs. X-Men event… we’ll just keep that domination going! There are two AVX tie-books this week, led by the excellent Wolverine and the X-Men #12. It looks like the issue is gonna see some Gladiator action!
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #12
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Chris Bachalo
AVX TIE-IN! Kid Gladiator goes after the Avengers single-handedly! The X-Men from Wolverine’s school see the events of AVX and have a choice to make…
The other AVX book is X-Men Legacy #269, which features arguably the best cover of the week. (BTW, we’ve got a special treat in store for this week’s Best Covers column. Stay Tuned!) All I can say is… look out for Ms. Marvel!
Sticking with the X-Men family, we really dug the Brian Wood-written X-Men #30, so we’ll definitely be checking out X-Men #31! It may not be related to AVX but it does tie into Regenesis and Utopia continuity, and it’s shaping up to be a totally enjoyable story.
Then there’s Spider-Men #2! The first issue — featuring a crossover between Amazing Spider-Man (Peter Parker) and Ultimate Spider-Man (Miles Morales) — was one of the most talked about releases of the year, and this is the second part of the five-issue mini-series.
Meanwhile, Incredible Hulk #10 finds the Hulk still trying to "Stay Angry"! Or else that psycho Bruce Banner will show up! Last issue saw some of the most insane Hulk action in recent memory, and many of you loved it. And if those underwater shark cannons weren’t enough for you, this issue promises bear fights in space!
Finally, we’ll give a shout to Amazing Spider-Man #688! Not only does it kick off a brand new story arc, it also features a pretty hellacious cover sporting the one and only Lizard! Yes, the same Lizard who will be starring in the movie!
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #688
Written by Dan Slott
Art by Giuseppe Camuncoli
No need to wait for the movie to see Spider-Man wrangle the reptilian rage of one of his greatest foes! Spider-Man is stuck between two monsters when Morbius the Living Vampire attempts to cure the Lizard and restore Curt Connors.
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
We’ve got some very interesting releases lined up this week for the Everything Else category, including some new favorites, some old favorites and one we honestly almost forgot about! That one is of course Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. We’ve been a supporter of the series since it began many years ago, and this most recent volume has been coming out from Top Shelf Productions as thicker, almost trade paperback-sized comics. The third and final installment in the series comes out on Wednesday!
LOEG III CENTURY #3 2009
TOP SHELF PRODUCTIONS
Written by Alan Moore
Art by Kevin O’Neill
The narrative reaches its cataclysmic conclusion in London 2009. The magical child whose ominous coming has been foretold for the past century has now been born and has grown up to claim his dreadful heritage. His promised age of unending terror can commence, the world can now be ended, and there is no League, extraordinary or otherwise, to stand in his way. The bitter, intractable war in Q’umar crawls bloodily to its fifth year, away in Kashmir a Sikh terrorist wages a holy war against Islam that must push the world into a nuclear holocaust, and in a London asylum there’s a patient who insists she has all the answers.
Moving over to Dark Horse, we have Angel & Faith #11! This title is one of the newest additions to our TPBs & Graphic Novels section and we firnly stand by it (with the concurrently running Buffy series) as one of the most enjoyable comics coming out today!
As for Image, look for Whispers #3. It’s the third issue of the new series from Joshua Luna, who you might recognize as one half of the Luna Brothers, creators of The Sword and Girls. We liked those series very much and we’ve been liking this one, too. It’s taken a little while to get off the ground, but we’re patient.
Finally, also from Image, there’s Manhattan Projects #4! In classic Jonathan Hickman fashion, this series has been absolutely mental. Which isn’t to say it’s been unreadable; far from it! It’s just a wild ride from start to finish!
MANHATTAN PROJECTS #4
Written by Jonathan Hickman
Art by Nick Pitarra
The Life and Death of Albert Einstein. The blockbuster FEEL GOOD, BAD SCIENCE series continues in THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS #3: THE ROSE BRIDGE!
Click here for a complete list of titles coming out this week!
If you came in the store last week, you might have noticed a big old plastic tub of HEROCLIX on the back table. We got our hands on hundreds upon hundreds of the miniature game pieces and so this week we’re giving them the Whiz Bang treatment! You can get them this week for just 50¢ EACH! Or, if you’re really feeling it, get 25 FOR $10! Here’s the specifics:
From Wednesday, June 27, through Tuesday, July 3, all loose Heroclix pieces on the front table — and there are literally hundreds to choose from — are just 50¢ each! Or 25 for $10!
If you’ve never played Heroclix before, it’s pretty cool. Similar to other role-playing games in that it involves doing battle against another player, sustaining damage and so on. But what sets Heroclix apart is that the characters fearured in the game are all your favorite comic book characters! Marvel and DC, Image and Dark Horse. We don’t know exactly what all we’ve got in there, but given the sheer volume… you’re sure to find a character you like!
UPDATED WITH NEW PICTURE! We did an initial count and there are nearly 1,000 FIGURES to choose from!
Leading off for next week’s new comics is Hit-Girl #1 from Marvel! Mark Millar’s heroine gets her own series and we’re fairly confident it will be at least twice as brutal as the regular series were. Can’t wait! Also, the X-books have a pretty solid week lined up with Wolverine and the X-Men #12, X-Men #31 and X-Men Legacy #269! Plus, Spider-Men #2 (of 5), Incredible Hulk #10, Mighty Thor #16 and a double dose of Ed Brubaker’s Fatale with Fatale #6 and the Fatale Vol. 1 TP!
As for DC, it’s pretty unusual for us to lead with a Vertigo title but I gotta say we’re excited about American Vampire #28! It’s the beginning of a new story arc and a great place to jump on. As for the regular DCU books, there’s Before Watchmen: Night Owl #1 (of 4), Batman Incorporated #2, Justice League #10, Aquaman #10, Flash #10 and more! And, since we opened with Vertigo, we’ll finish with Vertigo. Scalped #59! The second to last issue.
Plenty of other comics to be stoked about, too, including League of Extraordinary Gentlemen III: Century #3 2009, Resident Alien #2, Angel & Faith #11, Whispers #4, Hell Yeah #4, and Manhattan Projects #4! All that and Previews!
MARVEL SELECT AVENGERS MOVIE
HAWKEYE ACTION FIGURE
A Diamond Select Release! Designed and Sculpted by Gentle Giant! The Avengers movie is almost upon us, and Diamond Select building up the team! First up is the newest recruit, and the world’s greatest marksman, Hawkeye! Based on the likeness of actor Jeremy Renner, this 7-inch-scale Marvel Select figure comes with his trademark bow and arrows, and will look perfect alongside your other Select Avengers. Plus, it features 16 points of articulation, for a variety of action poses! Hawkeye comes with a detailed display base in oversized collector packaging, and is only available on the specialty market!
We now come to the third and final week of Looking Forward action for the month of June! And we’ll be "Looking Forward" of course to August and all the good comics that are in store for us. We’ve done Marvel, we’ve done DC. So let’s look at Everything Else!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER SPIKE #1 (OF 5)
DARK HORSE COMICS
Written by Victor Gischler
Art by Paul Lee, Andy Owens
Having fought to regain his soul after falling in love with the Slayer Buffy, the once-terrifying vampire villain Spike has been a bit less fearsome (to humans, at least). On his own adventure, Spike is forced to examine the man he once was, the man he is now, and the man he still hopes to become.
As master of a steampunk ship filled with loyal, oversized alien cockroaches, Spike embarks on a journey to the dark side of the moon, setting into motion an adventure filled with demons, witches, and others who brew new evil in the world without magic!
Spike is one of the most popular characters in the Buffyverse, and this sounds like it’s gonna be a pretty wild ride! You Buffy fans might remember that news of this series came out after it was announced that the planned Drusilla series would be put on hold. At any rate, Buffy books have been very strong of late and we hope this keeps up the trend!
Sam Humphries and Dalton Rose have been getting some buzz and critical acclaim for their indie comic Sacrifice. The series has suffered some delays and it was micro-distributed (it was a self published comic), but in any case it looks like Dark Horse Comics is putting out the collected edition of Sacrifice in November. 168 pages for $20. Humphries recently took over as regular writer on Marvel’s The Ultimates, and it has remained an excellent book. I look forward to checking out this collection.
Speaking of Sam Humphries, his comic Higher Earth #2 that he is doing with Manuel Bracchi and Francesco Biagini has sold out faster than anything Boom! has previously published. Good for them. They needed a good hit.
Mike Allred’s upcoming issue of Daredevil will feature Stilt Man. I expect that to be awesome. Also, frequent DD artist Paolo Rivera will be ending his Marvel exclusive to do some creator-owned works, but he will continue doing some covers. And for those Black Cat fans, Mark Waid hinted that she will be returning to DD soon!
Writer Victor Gischler and artist Paul Lee will be working on a Spike solo story, spinning the character out of Buffy The Vampire Slayer, just in time for August. Should be fun.
Evidently in South Carolina a young teenage girl took home a copy of Alan Moore and Jacen Burrow’s Neonomicon from her public library. As a result, lots of negative news coverage has spun out of this. (Those that have read the comic can venture a guess as to why.) Well the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) has come to the defense of the work. Should be interesting to see where this goes from here.
For the first time in a very long time July 4th holiday falls on a Wednesday this year. As you know Wednesday is of course new comic book day and we have good news and bad new concerning July 4th this year.
The good news: yes, comics will still be coming out on Wednesday. We open at 11am and will have all of your favorite comics ready and available for purchase!
The bad news: we will be closing at 3pm! The Catonsville Parade does indeed start at 3pm and many, many roads around the store will be closed. So if you want your comics on Wednesday July 4th, you gotta stop on by early!
Parking will not be a problem. Our lot never fills up! And even if you’re just coming to watch the parade our parking lot is an excellent place to park. It’s a very short walk to Frederick Road.
Of course, if you can’t make it in on Wednesday the 4th, we will be open again on Thursday, regular hours from 11am-7pm!