BUY THESE BOOKS- 5/9/12 Edition

The GrayHaven staff is back talking about their most anticipated comics this week. Tell us what YOU think in the comments section.

 

Ray Goldfield/Editor:

BATMAN #9 (DC) – Night of the Owls has justifiably propelled Batman to the very top of the DC charts, and this huge-scale Gotham crossover is just getting started. This issue is one of the core chapters, by event architect Scott Snyder, and will likely have a lot of major reveals and action. On the surface, Gotham coming under attack by Owl-themed Zombie cultists may not sound like the perfect Batman story, but so far it’s been the highlight of the entire New 52.

FAIREST #3 (Vertigo) – Fables has really been finding its groove again lately, with a strong storyline in the main book and this new spin-off. Bill Willingham has tied together multiple mythologies including Arabian Nights, Sleeping Beauty, and the Snow Queen in this first arc beautifully illustrated by Phil Jiminez. For anyone who’s fallen out of the Fablesverse, this arc is a great place to jump back on.

GARFIELD #1 (Boom) – This may have hit some of your stores last week, but a Diamond issue means it’ll be coming to many areas on Wednesday. And that just means I get another chance to try to convince you all to pick this up. Written by Mark Evanier, the writer of the Saturday Morning Cartoon Garfield and Friends, it’s likely to be a fun callback to the days when Garfield wasn’t all about Coffee and Spiders. I, for one, can’t wait to see what adventures America’s favorite fat, lazy cat gets up to with Evanier at the helm.

MYSTERY IN SPACE #1 (Vertigo) – The third of Vertigo’s oversized Anthologies, after Strange Adventures and The Unexpected, these have always been a mixed bag with some amazing stories. Some of the most talented creators in comics, including Mike Allred, Paul Pope, Kyle Baker, and Andy Diggle tell original sci-fi stories, and it definitely looks worth picking up.

PUNISHER #11(Marvel) – Greg Rucka has been writing what may be the best 616 run on Punisher ever. This issue, picking up after the events of The Omega Sanction, is a done-in-one focusing on Punisher and his new “protege” Rachel Cole, who played a key part in the crossover. Rucka is pulling off something few other writers have – managing to tell a gritty, crime-centric Punisher story in the superhero-filled environs of the mainstream Marvel U.

 

 

Marc Lombardi/Editor:

BATMAN #9 – (DC)-It’s been a very long time since a Batman comic was one of my most anticipated DC titles month in and month out, but Scott Snyder has done just that. I’m really interested to see how Night of the Owls impacts the entirety of the new DCU or even just the Batman family, even if I’m not picking up every single issue. I can especially appreciate DC’s approach to this mini-event by not making every tie-in required reading in order to stay informed on the overall plot.


DEMON KNIGHTS #9 (DC)- This has been a roller-coaster series in terms of emotional impact. It makes you laugh, it makes you think introspectively, it makes you cheer and it makes you sad. I’ve really grown to love and enjoy a number of these characters who I otherwise never heard of prior to this series’ reboot. I’m very interested to see where this title goes now that the first storyline has passed and the group, in a sense, has officially been formed.

MORNING GLORIES #18 (Image) – The “P.E.” storyline that deals with the events that took place during the “Woodrun” at Morning Glory Academy and the consequences of actions taken during the last few issues is drawing near to what is certainly going to be an epic conclusion. This issue looks to focus on Jun, the most secretive & mysterious of the “Glories” and possibly the biggest badass of the bunch. I wonder if there’s more to meet the eye with Jun and I bet this is the issue where we really learn something unexpected about our quiet, understated hero. Joe Eisma’s art, by the way, has been getting better and better with each passing issue.

SKULLKICKERS #14 (Image)- This is arguably one of Image Comics’ most underrated titles that is deserving of considerable praise. It’s probably page for page the most entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny comic being published today. Jim Zub & Edwin Huang have created characters and a D&D-style universe that is as hysterical as it is exciting. This particular issue promises to reveal the history of Baldy’s gun, and maybe even a little bit of Baldy’s origins, which after over a year we still know so little about. I love this comic and can’t wait to see what comedic twists and turns are in store!

THE WALKING DEAD #97 (Image)- Something to Fear! Something to Fear! SOMETHING TO FEAR!!! This is where it begins. This is the sort of thing that Robert Kirkman does extremely well, and that’s the comic book gut punch when you least expect it. I anticipate fantastic things over the nest four issues beginning with this one. Thank goodness it’s going on a schedule of a new issue being released every three weeks because I wouldn’t be able to contain my excitement otherwise. I’ve been waiting for this issue the way Marvel fans have been awaiting the Avengers movie (which was incredible, by the way)!

 


Glenn Matchett/Editor:

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN PARALLEL LIVES (Marvel)- I first read this OGN a number of years ago and enjoyed it a great deal. Opinions may very as how you feel about the Peter/MJ couple dynamic but if you’re a fan (like me) this is a must read. It gives a lot of background to both characters relationship and adds a lot of extra dimensions to the character of Mary Jane Watson. It’s by legendary Spider-Man writer Gerry Conway and previous regular Spidey artist Alex Saviek so if you’ve neer read this before and are a big Spidey fan I’d say its well worth checking out.

AVENGING SPIDER-MAN #7 (Marvel)- It seems like the title has turned into one featuring rotating creative teams but the talent they are bringing on board seems to be top notch. this month features a tale from husband and wife duo Katheryn and Stuart Immonen. This month Spider-Man shares his title with She-Hulk so I’m expecting a very light hearted tale with some great art by the former USM artist. The bar for Spidey/She-Hulk team ups was kind of raised with Dan Slott’s excellent team up between the two in She-Hulk’s former solo title but I don’t think this one will disappoint.

BATGIRL #9 (DC)- I’ve been enjoying this book a lot. It offers something very different from the Bat titles I usually enjoy because as we all know Barbara and Bruce are two very different people. There was a lot of controversy around this book and I think Gail Simone has made it into a very enjoyable title. This month the title ties in to the epic Night of Owls crossover. I’ll be very interested to see what Gail adds to this story and what kind of Talon will be featured. I’m assuming this Talon will be assigned to take out Barbara’s father Commissioner Gordon so if we get some father/daughter interaction all the better. Should be a really enjoyable tie in to a great story.

BATMAN #9 (DC)- Speaking of Night Of Owls the book that started it all continues its epic 11 part story as Bruce fights back against the Court Of Owls. The ending to last issue featuring the steam punk Batman armor was a fantastic moment and I can’t wait to see what happens next. This may be the best comic on the stands today and I literally can’t wait to see what this new chapter delivers.

 

 

James O’Callaghan/Editor:

BATMAN #9 (DC Comics) – Scott Snyder’s excellent (and in my opinion, best) take on Batman kicks into high gear as the long awaited Night of the Owls storyline continues. Unlike most huge stories, and even crossovers, this story seems like it’s going to be dealt with really quickly. No need to sit around for 6 months waiting to find out what happens over the course of 40 tie-in books. All you need is this book. The tie-in’s look promising, and are completely stand alone too, which is always nice. Snyder as usual proves that he knows what he’s doing here, and is crafting a very original tale for the Dark Knight. Something that after 70 years is very difficult to manage.

HIGHER EARTH #1 (BOOM! Studios) – I’ll be honest, I don’t know that much about this comic, but I try to give new first issues a shot. Sam Humphries is a name I’ve been hearing pop up a lot, partly due to his taking over Marvel’s Ultimate Comics Ultimates from Jonathon Hickman. This series from BOOM! is a sci-fi story dealing with two people trying to “find their destiny” while dealing with an empire of a hundred alternate earths from alternate timelines all dominated by the Higher Earth. The solicitations I’ve read sound fairly vague on specifics, but I think it sounds promising enough.

HULK #51 (Marvel) – Easily the best Hulk book on the stands right now, this run often gets overlooked because of the fact that it was born from a Jeph Loeb storyline. And unfair thing to start with because Loeb’s run was fun as hell. Jeff Parker’s run on the book has been pretty much consistent excellence though. And definitely shouldn’t be ignored. Right now, anyone looking for a book about a gamma irradiated monster smashing things thanks to the Avengers movie, this is it.

PUNISHER #11 (Marvel) – I love The Punisher, but I don’t think most writers do a good job of him in the regular Marvel universe. After reading Ennis’s Punisher MAX, I honestly didn’t think I’d ever be able to take the character seriously in a solo book in the regular Marvel Universe ever again. The book was just perfect. Then Greg Rucka started his run and has been blowing me away ever since (doesn’t hurt that he killed off a Spider-Man villain I loathed fairly early on too). Future Punisher writers need to look to this as how to do the character right in a world full of superheroes. This issue picks up after last issues crossover with Daredevil and Spider-Man, so it should be a great jumping on point.


WOLVERINE #306 (Marvel) – Cullen Bunn had a hard journey ahead of him taking over Wolverine after Jason Aaron’s stellar run on the character. But an issue in and already he’s doing a bloody good job. And I do mean bloody. Granted, I’m not thrilled at aspects of the opening storyline as they’re things I think get done to death with this character, but considering the villain in question it’s something I’ll allow this once.

 

Seems like BATMAN is the unanimous choice for everyone this week (a GrayHaven first). PUNISHER also gets a couple mentions and there are some pretty great choices from all our team. Give some of them a shot.

 

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