Wow, we are looking at an absolutely phenomenal week for new releases. From original hardcovers and oversized one shots to anniversary milestones and conclusions to some major storylines and everything in between I could have easily picked 10 ‘Must Reads’. Let’s see what the GrayHaven team selected this time out.
BATMAN#11 (DC) – It may sound like a bit of an exaggeration to call last month’s ending the greatest cliffhanger of all time, but I honestly feel like Batman #10 deserves that praise. I can’t remember the last time I anticipated an issue quite this much. Scott Snyder delivered one of the biggest shockers in years at the end of last month’s installment, and this month’s conclusion to the Court of Owls should be easily the biggest DC book of the month.
BLOODSHOT#1 (VALIANT) – Valiant is two for two with its recent relaunch, delivering strong revamps of XO Manowar and Harbinger, and this new title looks to be 3 for 3. Duane Swierczynski and Manuel Garcia are bringing Bloodshot back to his roots as a hard-boiled military superhero, and the preview is very intriguing, with excellent art. These are some characters I never had any interest in before, but now I’m sold for sure.
ENORMOUS #1 (IMAGE COMICS) - There are few things I love more than a good giant monster smashfest, and Image promises to deliver just that with this $10 graphic novel from Tim Daniel and Mehdi Cheggour. The art looks amazing, and the story seems to have a lot more to it than just Godzilla-like action. The question “what happens when we’re no longer top of the food chain” is pretty fascinating, and I can’t wait to see this comic dig into it.
FANTASTIC FOUR ANNUAL #33 (MARVEL COMICS) – Alan Davis returns to Marvel with the first part of this annual-based storyline, in which he reintroduces his classic characters, Clan Destine. There was a mini a few years back starring this unique superhero family, and it was one of my favorite sleeper hits out of the company in a while. These characters are old-school in the best way, and I’m really looking forward to seeing them back.
REVIVAL#1 (IMAGE COMICS) – It’s been a good few months for unique zombie comics from Image, with Rebel Blood recently finishing up, and now Tim Seeley and Mike Norton deliver another new take – this one, where Zombies don’t seem to be horrible, hungry beasts, but rather the same people they were before death. A great creative team and concept, so give this one a try.
BLOODSHOT #1 (VALIANT)- Valiant is taking no prisoners with their re-launch and after very strong debuts with X-O Manowar and Harbinger I’ve got a good feeling that they’re going to go 3 for 3. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a creative team like Dwayne Swierczynski and Manuel Garcia on the book.
THE CROW #1 (IDW)- The original Crow was one of my favorite comic stories ever and the Crow movie was my favorite comic book adaptation of all time. In the capable hands of IDW (home to some great licenses) I have little doubt that they’ll do the concept justice.
REVIVAL #1 (IMAGE COMICS)- A great creative team in Tim Seely and Mike Norton offer up a fresh take on the zombie genre as the dead come back to life in this rural murder mystery. The previews have looked fantastic. This one should be a winner.
RICHARD STARKS PARKER BOOK 3: THE SCORE HC (IDW)- Cooke is doing amazing work on the Before Watchmen books (Minutemen #2 out this week from DC almost made my list again) but what he’s done with these Parker adaptations has been amazing. True works of art from cover to cover and comic book storytelling at its finest. I’m sure this one will land in the top spots of my year end list just as the previous Parker books have.
WALKING DEAD #100 (IMAGE COMICS)- Maybe the most anticipated book the year. Before the video games and toys. Before the Comic Con runs and the excellent television show there was a comic book about a group of survivors struggling to carry on with their lives in a zombie world. Often times that greatest threat to the cast has been not the zombies but their fellow man. The latest group of opponents facing our protagonists could be their greatest challenge yet and no one does shock and awe better than Kirkman.
ADVENTURE TIME MARCELINE AND THE SCREAM QUEENS #1 (BOOM)- Oh! My! Glob! An Adventure Time mini-series starring Marceline and Princess Bubblegum! I love books that I can share with my boys, and Adventure Time is one our favorite shows to watch as a family. The thing that could be better is an LSP (Lumpy Space Princess) one-shot.
BLACKSAD: A SILENT HELL HC (DARK HORSE)- A new Blacksad book from Dark Horse is reason to celebrate. The 50′s detective story is cool enough, but the art is the draw for me. It is stunning. Dark Horse is really doing fine work in translating these stories into English for an American audience.
PUNK ROCK JESUS #1 (DC/VERTIGO)- Sean Murphy is a brilliant artist. He is also a really fantastic writer (check out Off Road from IDW). This is the first book he’s both written and drawn for DC/Vertigo. What started as a full color OGN has now become a B&W miniseries. I trust in Murphy’s abilities to tell a compelling and beautiful story. Can’t wait to feast my eyes upon it.
RICHARD STARKS PARKER BOOK 3: THE SCORE HC (IDW)- It’s the other Darwyn Cooke book to come out this week, and honestly it’s the only one that I care about. Cooke is doing amazing work adapting Richard Stark’s Parker novels into comics. Cooke is one of the top writer/artists in the field and his Parker work is proof why.
BLOODSHOT#1 (VALIANT) – Valiant continues their company-wide re-introduction by bringing us this updated version of Bloodshot. The “catch” this time is that they brought in crime comic heavyweight Duane Swierczynski as writer, which for me instantly makes me want to read the book. The preview art from Manuel Garcia and Artuto Lozzi looks great, too. I’m sure that the action, violence and excitement are going to make Bloodshot a must read for anyone who likes this kind of comic.
CHEW: SECRET AGENT POYO #1 (IMAGE COMICS) – An all-new CHEW #1, but this one has a small catch. This one focuses on everyone’s favorite Chew supporting character…POYO! The cybernetic kung-fu cock-fighting rooster stars in a story promising “concentrated mayhem, feathers, rage and hate!” and an all-star pin-up gallery. AND it’s being brought to us by the regular creative team of John Layman and Rob Guillory?! SOLD!
CROW #1 (IDW) – Speaking of re-introductions, IDW is bringing another new Crow comic to fans of James O’Barr’s classic character that became a household name in the 90s. This one is being written by John Shirley, who was co-screenwriter of The Crow and Eisner Award-nominated artist Kevin Colden is supplying the full color art goodness. This version of the Crow takes place in Tokyo and introduces readers to a new main character — a foreign exchange student named Jamie Osterberg, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes from there.
ENORMOUS#1 (SHADOWLINE/IMAGE COMICS) – This book is going to be HUGE. I mean, seriously, it’s a Treastury size edition (double the page size of a standard comic) and comes in at a whopping 64 pages. It’s written by Tim Daniel and has stunning movie-quality art from newcomer Mehdi Cheggour. This comic, about an apocalyptic event featuring giant monsters and the struggles of the human resistance trying to not only stave off extinction but defeat the threat, is something right up my alley. Don’t let the $9.99 price tag scare you…this one is going to be worth every penny!
THE WALKING DEAD #100 (IMAGE COMICS) – This is the issue that Walking Dead fans have been waiting for since #50. We are promised Something to Fear but really it’s more than that. It’s something to anticipate! Something to freak out about once you have the issue in your hands. Something to talk about afterward! Kirkman and Adlard are certain deliver, and I hope that Walking Dead fans are consolable once the blood coagulates.
BATTLE BEASTS #1 (IDW) – I never thought I’d see a comic starring the tiny rubber characters my parents got me in a Pound Shop (Dollar Store for you Americans). Granted, I didn’t know back then that these armoured animals, whose backstory had them fighting each other using the power of Fire, Water and Wood were actually a spin-off of my beloved Transformers, but even when I found that out years later, I figured these little guys would never have a chance to shine. Looks like they’re coming back though, with an all new look and history courtesy of writer Bobby and artist Valerio Schiti. I for one am looking forward to seeing what new direction this take on the characters takes.
BEFORE WATCHMEN MINUTEMEN #2 (DC)– It’s hard not to include this on the list again, after such an incredibly excellent first issue. Anyone not picking this up is missing out on a fantastic comic by Darwyn Cooke. Seeing the creation of the superteam that brought all the heroes together in the Watchmen universe gives us a look at many of the characters that never got the chance to shine in the original book. Hooded Justice and Silhouette in particular look set to be really intriguing characters.
BLOODSHOT #1 (Valiant) – The Valiant revival is so far 2 for 2 in my opinion, so I’m definitely looking forward to Bloodshot. Brought to us this time around by writer Duane Swierczynski and artists Manuel Garcia and Arturo Lozzi, Bloodshot sounds like your typical “hard to kill soldier who can’t remember his past” kind of story. Normally that would be a turn off, but Swierczynski has proven to be damn good writer who usually provides an interesting twist when you least expect it. So I’m definitely down for this series too.
REVIVAL #1 (Image) – Tim Seely and Mike Norton bring us a zombie comic with a difference with Rivival. Rather than give us your standard Zombiepocalypse, we’re getting a story where the Zombiepocalypse has apparently come and gone. It doesn’t seem to be your standard survival horror story, but rather a “Oh well, the dead are alive again. Guess we better get on with our day” type story. In this story, a cop has to solve a murder in which everyone, living and dead, is a suspect. Which is an intriguing take on a zombie story, I have to say.
TRANSFORMERS REGENERATION ONE #81(IDW) – 21 years ago, Marvels Transformers comic came to an end. In the US after 80 issues and the UK after 332. The story ended, but certain plot points were never really resolved, even in the short lived Generation 2 continuation. Now IDW, after the success of their G.I. Joe revival, are going to continue that series (ignoring Gen 2) with the creative team that ended the original run, Simon Furman and Andrew Wildman. I can’t wait to see what Furman has planned for the Robots in Disguise this time out.
And there you have it. BLOODSHOT leads the way with four picks followed by ENORMOUS and REVIVAL with three apiece. THE CROW and PARKER get multiple noms with two each. You’re looking at what could be the best week of comic book releases so far in 2012.