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This Week's Essential Comics: 09/09/13

These are the comics you're looking for.

All your new comics are belong to us! It's once again that time to look at the gargantuan list of new comics and narrow it down to the ones we just can't wait to get our hands on. Villains Month automatically means it's going to be a pretty tempting week, but now there's a new book at Valiant and plenty of great stuff from the other publishers as well. This is yet another week where you may get in a fight with your comics budget.

Once you're done seeing what we're excited for, go ahead and list your own handful of essential comics for this week.

Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero's picks



At first it seemed that this Zod Villains Month story would just be a simple retelling of his origin. We have to reason to believe he'll somehow find his way out of the Phantom Zone and into the FOREVER EVIL landscape. Is there really anything else to tell about the character?

With Greg Pak writing this issue, there could be something more than just the story about Zod's rise to power and banishment to the Phantom Zone (did you watch our video about everything you need to know about Zod?)

Another factor placing this higher on the radar is Ken Lashley's art on interiors. This could be a very interesting take on Zod.

The Hollywood Reporter has the final page.

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If I'm being honest, some of last week's Villains Month titles were just okay. This week we have some interesting installments, including James Tynion IV's Court of Owls issue. Ever since they were introduced in Scott Snyder's BATMAN, they've been an intriguing group. Even in the tiny glimpses we've had in Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray's ALL-STAR WESTERN, I've just wanted to know and see more. Tynion was also responsible for some great backups in the BATMAN issues.

While seeing more on their past would be great (anyone besides me want to see an ongoing or miniseries?), this appears to be taking place in the near future time seen in FOREVER EVIL. The solicit mentions the Court "taking stock" over the new world order. There's been some signs in the pages of Tynion's TALON but let's see what they truly have planned next after their defeat by Batman. The time for licking wounds is over. They have a lot to prove in order to reassert themselves in power.

Crave Online has the last preview page.

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Did you read THE FLASH #23? Things got pretty nuts as we discovered the identity of this Reverse Flash and the possibility of a severe casualty. With most of the Villains Month titles seeing other creators take over the reigns, this issue does feature both Francis Manapul and Brian Buccellato telling us the story on this character, including more secrets. Buccellato is writing the other FLASH Villains Month titles but this one seems to tie more directly into the main series rather than FOREVER EVIL.

It should also be worth noting that despite what the solicit says, Manapul will not be doing the interiors. They will be provided by Scott Hepburn. If you've seen his work before, you know this should be a nice looking comic along with a great story. Brian Buccellato does the colors on this issue.

Visit Uproxx for one more preview page.

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This is it. After spending TWELVE YEARS in Dimension Z, Captain America is finally back in his own world. Rick Remender gave us quite a conclusion to the Dimension Z storyline. Cap will be deeply affected and it looks like this issue will be dealing with those repercussions. And what's going to happen to Jet Black?

That's not all the issue will contain. We'll also see Cap have to deal with Nuke. When was the last time we saw Nuke? He's back to being Nuke after his last appearance (in the Thunderbolts). He's just the guy for Cap to take on in order to let off some steam. But that's not saying it'll be easy.

Carlos Pacheco also comes on board as the artist for this arc!

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Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring's picks



The Riddler is seeming like the breakout character of the current "Zero Year," and it's really cool to see a whole issue focusing around how Edward Nygma became the character we all know. Out off all the Villains Month books coming out this week, I'm most excited for this issue.

While Capullo isn't doing the art on this book, artist Andy Haun has worked on some Bat-books in the past (STREETS OF GOTHAM), and writer Scott Snyder is also on this book with Ray Fawkes. I'm most interested to see how these writers will work together since Synder has redefined Batman and Fawkes is doing some great things over on the darker side of DC books with JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK and CONSTANTINE.



GHOSTED is still in its infancy as a series over at Image Comics, but it already has me hooked. In the last issue, we got to learn a lot about the individual characters that make up Jackson's team, and this issue, it seems like, from the solicits, the team will finally be dealing with some ghosts.

It's still a new book, so you'll still be able to jump onto this series. It's a pretty out there concept, where the cast is trying to "steal" a ghost, but it really works. Writer Joshua Williamson has put together something fantastic here. It's another great example of Image Comics just being awesome.

Check out Newsarama's viewer for their exclusive preview.



The term "double-dipping" means you pick up the single issues as well as the trades. Well, CLONE is the only series I've ever "triple-dipped" with. I bought the single issues, the first volume of the trade, and the special edition hardcover at San Diego Comic Con. The book is just that dang good.

More and more is being revealed to the readers and more "specialized" clones are making their appearances. The story is incredibly interesting, and the art of Jose Juan Ryp makes this a must have book.

Gregg 'k4tz' Katzman's picks



Co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn have proven month after month they have what it takes to bring the funny. They've also consistently shown they can create some vicious action scenes for the artists to flesh out (for a lack of better words). Now, they're showing they can present a damn good story, too. Part 1 of "The Good, The Bad & The Ugly" was shockingly engrossing and hit us with one helluva good twist. It's now time to see where the two writers will go from here and how they'll lure Wolverine and Captain America back into the mix.

The fact Declan Shalvey is illustrating is just a very, very nice bonus. The guy's twisted and rough visuals arer a perfect fit for this surprisingly dark story. Bring on part 2.

Go to CBR for the final preview page.

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If you read TMNT #25, odds are you're still totally shocked and maybe even scratching your head. Well, it turns out you're about to get an entire issue dedicated to giving out all of the details and more for that big reveal.

IDW is doing an absurdly good job expanding the TMNT mythos and this is just another example of how they can hit us with some majorly unexpected yet intriguing changes. This is sure to be the first issue I read come Wednesday and it definitely looks like it'll further improve the already excellent "City Fall."

Check out the TMNT facebook page for 2 more pages.

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Greg Pak on a Valiant title? And said title is featuring the adventures of one of the publisher's most badass characters? Yeah, I'm having trouble imagining how this will be anything less than awesome.

Valiant continues to expand its catalog with an impressive amount of skill. Each book is offering its own unique vibe and does it surprisingly well. With Pak's engrossing abilities as a writer, Gilad's potential as a character, and Trevor Hairsine's vicious illustrations, you can bet I'm very anxious to dive into this one.

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Jen 'MissJ' Aprahamian's picks



Gail Simone's take on RED SONJA is sword, sorcery, and strong personalities. It's still an adventurous tale that would do Wendy Pini proud, but it's infused with Simone's brand of introspection and moral contemplation. RED SONJA is an essential pick for fans of powerful adventure stories and super-strong leading ladies. This month, Sonja grapples with death and faces some of her demons.

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MANHATTAN PROJECTS remains one of my favorite Image titles, and it's absolutely an essential for anyone looking to expand their comics palate. Mad scientists, on various adventures in scientific innovation and mental instability, make for a volatile cast and limitless story potential. Following last month's fragmentation, the team is splitting off into smaller endeavors, and is now UPWARD BOUND.

CBR has the rest of the preview.

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UNCANNY X-FORCE has been all about the mind games lately, in a good way. The Revenants came out, psychic guns blazing, last issue -- and they're a pretty terrifying threat for the team. Everyone's deepest fears and insecurities have been thrust to the forefront, leaving Bishop vulnerable to his own teammates. There's a question of who's-manipulating-whom, which makes the Revenant force all the more difficult to take down, and I'm looking forward to some great psychic and physical battles.

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Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder's picks



Last issue left on an absolutely stellar cliffhanger reveal and I've been thinking about what it could mean for the future of the Ultimate Universe and been salivating for a follow-up ever since. Josh Fialkov has taken this title by storm, topping the already impressive efforts of the writers who came before him and Carmine Di Giandomenico's razor-sharp lines are a perfect complement to the unique, bizarre outlook that this book has brought. It's incredibly refreshing to see a book that takes the whole "alternate universe" thing and not only uses it to do something unique and different, but uses it to build an entirely different world with an entirely different outlook.

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Cards on the table: I'm not terribly familiar with the writer of this title, but John McCrea has done a lot I've enjoyed over the years, much of it on Judge Dredd, so Al Ewing, who's also got some experience with the character, will likely be a great fit. But the real reason I'm looking forward to this title is a much simpler one: I think it's an amazing, hilarious idea for a mash-up. The dark, grim humor of the original Mars Attacks cards (and the comics and movie that followed) works because of how ill-prepared humanity is for the martians, but how do you intimidate Judge Dredd? Ask Judge Fear, it doesn't end well for you.

Visit CBR for a few more preview pages.

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Jonathan Hickman is delivering one of the most cohesive, impactful and far-reaching major events since Civil War or Annihilation, and the results are nothing short of spectacular. The last issue of Avengers (and Infinity) left me IMMEDIATELY craving more and even lamenting that I'd have to wait a WHOLE WEEK to see where the tale of Infinity goes. Leinil Yu is an artist I have a lot of faith in, especially after Secret Invasion, but I was the SLIGHTEST bit worried his harsh, jagged linework wouldn't work on a cosmic sci-fi tale like this one, but last issue proved that tiny voice deserved to be drowned out by thunderous applause as Yu and company merely adapted their style to suit the book as Hickman wrote a darker, more murky tone for it. Capt. Marvel on the cover just cements my anticipation.

Once again, CBR has an exclusive look at more pages.

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