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This Week's Essential Comics: 2/24/14

These are the comics you're looking for.

New comic book day approaches! This Wednesday, a tidal wave of brand new issues will be released. There's a whole lot to choose from, and trying to figure out what's worth your cash can be a pretty big challenge. Luckily for you, Comic Vine is here to help you out. We've looked at the complete list of this week's new comics and we've each picked a couple or more that we're anxious to read. We'll even tell you why we think they're worthy of your focus. You know, because we're nice like that. Don't forget to chime in with your own list once you're done seeing what we've selected.

Tony "G-Man" Guerrero's picks

SUPERMAN: LOIS LANE #1

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Lois Lane. It's rare to find a regular non-superpowered character so many want to see have their own title within a superhero comic universe. Having just celebrated her 75th anniversary last year, this is a character that has seen and done quite a bit. With a story focusing around Lois, we could have the opportunity to see a different side of the New 52. Every once in a while we discover that there have been other incidents developing that simply haven't had the opportunity to be depicted within a comic (we've recently discovered the existence of the Metal Men and Doom Patrol in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE, for example). Lois Lane could easily uncover other events as well (and not need "Superman" in the title).

Marguerite Bennett's story takes the story closer to home for Lois. It looks like we'll get to find out more about her father, General Sam Lane, as well as her sister, Lucy, who hasn't been too active in the New 52. Bennett has shown she can take a character I didn't care for (Joker's Daughter) and make her interesting. I can only imagine what she'll be able to do with someone like Lois Lane.

Visit IGN to check out another preview page.

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DEADLY CLASS #2

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Last month, Rick Remender and Wes Craig gave us something really cool. DEADLY CLASS #1 introduced us to Marcus as he (and we) discovered there was a school for assassins in San Francisco in the 80s. This issue will show us what it's like at the Kings Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts. There's a great feel already set up within this new comic universe and by getting a glimpse at the rest of the supporting characters, it was easy to immediately get hooked.

Wes Craig's art captures the feel as well. Whether it was a calm scene of Marcus living on the streets to a high speed chase through the streets of San Francisco, Craig really gets to cut loose. I've been eagerly awaiting this next issue the second I finished the first.

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THE WAKE #6

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This is where the second half of Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy's story begins. The first five issues started the story off and built up to an exciting climax, only for us to discover that this issue is going to jump ahead a bit--200 years.

Throughout the series, we've caught glimpses of a distance past as well as this future with flooded cities. Now we get to find out more of the story and how it all connects. Snyder's vision and Murphy's art makes a great combination and it's wonderful to be able to read a comic and have absolutely no idea what's coming next.

Go to Nerdist for a look at two more pages.

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HAWKEYE #15

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Hawkeye is back. We've been waiting for the next chapter in Clint Barton's life and they say good things come to those who wait. Unfortunately it doesn't look too good for Clint. By having mixed up with the tracksuit mafia, he's made some enemies and, from the preview, gets caught with his pants down, literally.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that has been eagerly waiting for the next issue by Matt Fraction and David Aja. Now that it's here, we can all rejoice. Having Mockingbird appear here as well is an added bonus.

Watch the Preview Theatre video for this issue!

Honorable Mention: WOLVERINE #2

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring's picks

SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN TP VOLUME 1

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It's not too often you'll see a trade on this list, but there are few times we find a trade or collection of stuff that's already come out more important that what's being released this week. SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN is one of those cases. This series was a HUGE surprise since, originally, it seemed nothing more than a cash grab in order to make a few extra bucks on the Superior Spider-Man name. Fan (I really mean "I") could not have been more wrong. SFSM is "a masterpiece" at best and "genius" at worst.

This series takes a look at some C-List level villains of Spider-Man as they try to come together to form a new Sinister Six. What ensues is hilarity. Writer Nick Spencer crafts one of the funniest books at Marvel and he made me care about what's happening to Boomerang, something I thought would never happen. On top of it all, Steve Lieber's art is brilliant and really adds to the comedy. This is my favorite on-going at Marvel.

GEORGE A. ROMERO'S EMPIRE OF THE DEAD #2

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TWO Marvel books in my essentials list? Has the world flipped on its head? Are we in some weird bizarro world? Does everyone have goatees? Hardly. Marvel has been putting out some top quality books, and I was incredibly surprised to find myself loving the first issue of this series, since... well... most zombie books really bite (pun intended).

Fans of the zombie genre will recognize who is writing this book: the father of the modern day zombie, George Romero. While this book really explores his ideas and concepts from his later work, Land of the Dead and Day of the Dead, the first issue was a fantastic read, and combine with the fantastic art of Alex Maleev, this is a book you really need to pick up!

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Gregg "k4tz" Katzman's picks

DEADPOOL #24

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Will Agent Preston finally escape Deadpool's head and call a new LMD body home? It's very possible this issue will have the answer now that Agent Gorman is supposedly out of the picture... but let's be honest, he totally isn't. However, as we all know by now, diving into Wade Wilson's head isn't exactly an ideal scenario, so I can only imagine how this will all play out. As Deadpool works with S.H.I.E.L.D. to help Preston, Crossbones is stranded in the ocean and he's currently all kinds of crazy (seriously, the dude is beyond incoherent). Could he experience the sweet taste of revenge in this issue or in the next one? He's certainly earned it after Deadpool trampled him with a horse-drawn carriage. Also, what about all of the other mercs that are still gunning for Wade? There's still a hefty price on his head, after all. Could we also see Sabretooth (and his awesome phone) return?

We'll just have to wait and see what co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn have in store for us. No matter which direction the narrative may go, we at least know artist Mike Hawthorne has what it takes to make everything in the script look very rad, be it comedic or stern. This volume of Deadpool has been consistently glorious month after month now. I expect nothing less from this upcoming issue.

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TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #31

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City Fall was hugely entertaining for us readers, but for the Ninja Turtles, it was a physically and emotionally traumatizing experience. Instead of simply moving on to the next big thing, Tom Waltz is giving the Heroes in a Half Shell some much needed time to reflect and recover. It's been a surprisingly emotional and engaging experience so far and last issue's cliffhanger promises there's yet another big conflict lurking right around the corner.

Ross Campbell has been the perfect choice for this story. His character work makes you feel so much empathy for the team, and that's precisely what we should be experiencing right now. This creative team has yet to disappoint, so it's safe to assume this will be yet another solid chapter.

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DEAD BODY ROAD #3

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Justin Jordan and Matteo Scalera's gritty revenge/heist story continues! Stunning visuals and gripping encounters most definitely aren't in short supply in this limited-series, but chapter two's conclusion promises to shed even more light on the story and who these characters are.

Truth be told, even if this issue doesn't move the narrative forward all that much, it's pretty much guaranteed to be a beautiful dose of R-rated madness. Scalera's intense yet crisp images always deliver and Jordan is delivering big time with this book's pacing. This creative team is a match made in heaven for a story like this one.

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FIVE WEAPONS #7

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Writer and artist Jimmie Robinson's FIVE WEAPONS made a very awesome return last month. Still sporting its lighthearted and fun atmosphere (in spite of being a book about assassins), Robinson also expanded the narrative. While Robinson still hits us with a cliffhanger that leaves us wondering how Enrique will use his mind to get out of yet another conflict, the writer/artist has also taken major strides to set up multiple subplots -- it's no longer revolving around just one major conflict. Quite a few new elements have been established, and given how consistently enjoyable this book is, I'm very excited to see how it'll all be handled.

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Honorable Mentions: SAMURAI JACK #5, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: UTROM EMPIRE #2

Jen "MissJ" Aprahamian's picks

BLACK SCIENCE #4

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Remender and Scalera are a power combo, and BLACK SCIENCE is easily one of the most fascinating series out right now. The narrative is unpredictable in the best kind of dimension-jumping way, and the illustrations are visceral and thoroughly unique. It's a trip -- truly, a trip -- following Grant & Co. as they rocket around Scalera's lush panels to destination unknown (and foray into equally unpredictable emotional and dramatic territory). Science is the new hotness, and this title is a front-runner among the (thoroughly awesome set of) Image sci-fi offerings.

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FANTASTIC FOUR #1

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It's the All-New version of Marvel's First Family, and as thrilling as their story has been before, it's always fun to get a fresh take on this team. James Robinson is wasting no time sending them into a tailspin of danger and intrigue, bringing out the big guns (er...dragons) out with an immediate confrontation with Fin Fang Foom. I'm excited to see what Robinson brings to the title, and seriously digging the variant covers (even if the red suits aren't quite the same as the blue).

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Honorable Mention: MANHATTAN PROJECTS #18

Corey "Undeadpool" Schroeder's picks

ORIGIN II #3

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In the category of "No seriously, are you SURE you want to try this?" a sequel to the near-perfect Origin that finally canonized the tale of Marvel's most mysterious anti-hero Wolverine has to be right up there with a sequel to the Dark Knight Returns...and WHO would be crazy enough to try something like THAT? Kieron Gillen and Andy Kubert were clearly up to the challenge, however, as the story itself is solid, with some absolutely breathtaking art, and adds some very interesting connections to Wolverine's past, including the omnipresent Mr. Sinister (another calculated risk) and, finally, the first meeting between Sabertooth and Wolverine. At long last the question of brothers/parent/clones is answered with a resounding: Nah. Just two guys. I love the tone and tenor that this series has set so far and, again, the art is absolutely amazing.

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SECRET AVENGERS #16

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I said it in my review: you guys BETTER know what you're doing. Nick Spencer, Ales Kot...you'd BETTER know what you're doing. The fact that this title is in my Essentials list should tell you everything you need to know about whether or not I actually have faith in the creative team, I think they're going to pull it off just fine. Luke Ross' visuals have been an absolute revelation this entire series and I don't think he gets enough credit for making an espionage superhero book look not just great, but believable. We're coming to the end of one of the best under the radar series in modern comics, all of which began with the little first issue that could and the series has only gotten better and better from there.

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UNCANNY AVENGERS #17

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I just want this arc to end. That's usually something you hear in regards to something that isn't well-liked, but nothing could be further from the truth. The fact is: Rick Remender and Steve McNiven (with Jerome Opena starting us off) have given us one of the MOST unrelenting story arcs in modern comics. The last few issues, especially, have just been tragedy after tragedy with hardly any time to catch our breath. The unrelenting pace finally comes charging to a close, and I can't wait because I have NO idea what Planet X might be. I mean I have SOME idea, but it's all too horrible to consider. It's been a glorious ride and I'm not going to look away in the final issue of the storyline. To quote a great warrior poet: I wanna see how it ends.

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Honorable Mention: MIGHTY AVENGERS #7

Follow us on Twitter: CV, Tony, Mat, Gregg, Jen, Corey.

79 CommentsRefresh
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Avatar image for wolverine008
Posted By Wolverine008

Origin II has been awesome so far.

Avatar image for oldnightcrawler
Posted By oldnightcrawler
Avatar image for ultron345
Posted By Ultron345

@longbowhunter: Don't get me wrong. I am capable of vocalizing what I like about the art that I like if I had to. It's usually has very clean lines, realistic proportions and has great detail. I just don't pick it apart to the level that you do. I just don't love all artists and try to appreciate something that just doesn't look good to me. Respect though.

Avatar image for longbowhunter
Posted By longbowhunter

@ultron345: Most people just like what they like, and that's fine. I like to know why I like or don't like something, so I analyze it and pick it apart. And you are absolutely right about an artist disregarding basic design principles and still finding an audience. I'm sure it happens more frequently than I'm even aware. BTW, I can tell you don't have bad taste in art. I love all artists too. I have a Green Arrow bust based on Pacheco and I've loved Doug Mahnke since the Mask.

Avatar image for ultron345
Posted By Ultron345

@longbowhunter: Fair enough. I myself am not trying to dissect art down to those minuscule details. I really could care less. Maybe I am simplistic but I just go by how the art affects my eyes. Admittedly I am very rigid in the style that i like. Whether it is pleasing or not is all that matters to me in determining whether art is good. However, even taking your points into account it is still subjective. If a person had a style that ignored all the things you just stated makes bad art, some people would like it regardless and say it is 'unique' and has 'it's own style' and your opinion would differ to theirs all the same. Full disclosure my kind of artists are guys like Ivan Reis, Doug Mahnke, Andy Kubert and Carlos Pacheco just to name a few.

Avatar image for longbowhunter
Posted By longbowhunter

@ultron345: Sure art is subjective, but there are design elements that separate bad art from good art. Lets just say for example, someone doesnt like Aja's work because its too simplistic and cartoony. That is an opinion on the style. But if you look at it objectively and ask, "Is the look of the character consistent panel to panel? Are the figures properly proportioned? Is the background to scale with the rest of the image?" The answer is yes. That's why I'm saying his art isn't bad, it just isn't to your liking. Rob Liefeld isn't a bad artist because his style is too 90's, he's a bad artist because he ignores human anatomy and scale. You see what I'm getting at? We all have artist we don't like. I typically avoid Greg Tochini. I find his work to be muddy, but I can see his execution and technique are good. Doesn't mean I have to like it, but it also doesn't mean the art is bad.

Avatar image for ultron345
Edited By Ultron345

@longbowhunter: I understand not having over muscled characters as you said, but as far as his art goes I find it bad. You said it isn't my taste, but that is all any person has. By that definition there is no bad art at all in comics. There must be a way to have detail and eye pleasing art ( i realize this is subjective as is all art) and not have 'over muscled' guys in tights as you said.

Avatar image for longbowhunter
Edited By longbowhunter

@ultron345: I understand you opinion, but it isn't bad art. It just isn't your taste. His minimalist style works perfect for the story Fraction is telling. A lot of over muscled, hyper detailed characters would look ridiculous in this setting.

Avatar image for ultron345
Posted By Ultron345

@longbowhunter: Ok thanks for the breakdown. Aja's art is basically the entire reason I probably will never pick it up. Some of the worst I have seen.

Avatar image for rac_shade
Posted By rac_shade

A pretty good week for me :-

100 Bullets 8 of 8

Black Science 4

Chew 40

Dead Body Road 3 of 6

Guardians of the Galaxy 12

Hawkeye 15

Rat Queens 5 Cover A & B

Sex 11

Sheltered 7

The Wake 6 of 10

Avatar image for j_hickmanisgod
Posted By J_HickmanIsGod

@tyrannotaur: dude......you need to venture out.

not just Wake via Vertigo..but Image..definitely check out Image titles.

Image is kicking the big twos' ass single handedly, as far as epic stories go

Avatar image for tyrannotaur
Posted By Tyrannotaur

Is the Wake good so far? I don't ever venture out beyond the big two companies (mostly because I can't really afford to), but that art looks gorgeous and I love Snyder's writing in Batman. I might check out a trade or something.

Avatar image for yo_yo_fun
Edited By yo_yo_fun

Superman: Lois Lane #1 and Aquaman #28 for me this week.

Avatar image for miilkshake
Posted By miilkshake

Dead Boy Detectives #3
Deadly Class #2
Serenity: Leaves on the Wind #2
Three #5
Umbral #4
The Wake #6

Looking forward especially to the conclusion of Three and the beginning of the second half of The Wake. I have some interest in picking up and reading Hawkeye as well just to try out the series.

Avatar image for thegreatcatsby
Edited By TheGreatCatsby

Lois

Chew

Deadly Class

Sex

Superior Spider-Man

Going to try Fantastic Four hopefully it surprises me and makes it on my pull like Punisher did.

Not seeing much love for Chew. :(

Avatar image for kidchipotle
Posted By kidchipotle

Cataclysm isn't on this weeks essentials? Uh-oh that really worries me. But that Uncanny Avengers preview has me so much more exciting than before.

Avatar image for knightofsteel
Posted By KnightofSteel

Holy jumpin' Joker fish! Big week for me...

King Conan The Conquerer #1

Serenity #2

Batman The Dark Knight #28

Flash #28

Batman Superman #8

Worlds' Finest #20

Black Science #4

Fantastic Four #1

Origin II #3

Superior Spider-Man #28

Hacktivist #2

Avatar image for newcomicguy
Posted By NewComicGuy

When is The Bunker 2 releasing? Or was the super-sized issue 1 and 2? I picked it up off EBay, so I haven't gotten it yet. Going to probably add to my pull list but curious on the next release date. Thanks.

Avatar image for cavemold
Posted By Cavemold

revenge and black sciwce

Avatar image for worldflash
Posted By worldFlash

Out of all the books, for DC the most essential comic is Loius Lane the girl, who is the most denzel in distress and doesn't realize it.

Avatar image for doomnaut
Posted By Doomnaut

Just Fantastic Four.

Avatar image for jaken7
Posted By JakeN7

@the_stegman:

Why I like The Wake (and why my opinion doesn't hold much weight.) By: JakeN7

- One of my favorite writers (Scott Snyder)

- My favorite artist (Sean Murphy)

- My favorite genres (Sci-Fi, Mythology, and Horror)

- Protagonist of first half is from my hometown area, and a place I've been countless times (Gig Harbor, Washington)

- Characters are amazing, and amazingly flawed.

- Truly tense mystery that amps up with every issue's cliffhanger

- Has flashback and flash forward teasers of things to come (ancient origins, far-flung futures)

Okay, I was gonna write a damn essay, but decided to hit some bullet points instead. If the team of Snyder and Murphy didn't already make you buy this book, hope those reasons did. You've got nothin to lose. It's 10 issues, and 2 parts. First 5 issues and first part is out and available for cheap (they even have it all collected for $10). Jump on board now! It's the next Punk Rock Jesus!

Avatar image for thecupcakeavenger
Posted By TheCupcakeAvenger

@transformers1024: Don't know for sure but a lot of Marvel's "big" titles are in the $3.99 range. Spidey, X-Men, Avengers etc. So I can see the FF being the same.

Avatar image for asjmooney
Posted By asjmooney

Deadly Class

Argus

The Wake

Guardians of the Galaxy

Aquaman

Superman/Batman (which seems it's not been out for ages)

Avatar image for savagedragon
Posted By SavageDragon

Is "The Wake" any good? Snyder's involvement has me interested.

Some of his best work, start from issue 1 tho.

Avatar image for comicbookfan93
Edited By comicbookfan93

Hawkeye's messed up release schedule really annoys me

Avatar image for consafo80
Posted By consafo80

Another bumper week. I really need to make some cuts.

Mind MGMT #19

Serenity Leaves On The Wind #2

Tomb Raider #1

Flash #28

Forever Evil A.R.G.U.S. #5

Justice League Dark #28

Larfleeze #8, $2.99

Superman Lois Lane #1

Legends Of Red Sonja #

Powerpuff Girls #6

Black Science #4

Deadly Class #2

Rat Queens #5

Umbral #4

Fantastic Four #1

Guardians Of The Galaxy #12

Superior Spider-Man #28

Avatar image for lifeboy
Posted By lifeboy

Aquaman

Batman Superman

Dc vs MotU

Catwoman

A.R.G.U.S

JLDark

Superman

Lois Lane

WorldsFinest

Avatar image for technicolorville
Posted By Technicolorville
Avatar image for mikey776
Posted By mikey776

All of the comics look good but my favorite is TMNT

Avatar image for donfelipe
Edited By DonFelipe

Lots of good stuff this week. The most interesting titles and intriguing stories seems to be the first issues of Revenge and One Hit Wonder though I'd really like to check out their interior art first.

Also Hawkeye, Five Weapons, Black Science, Sheltered, and Hacktivist #2....

Avatar image for ptigrusmagus
Edited By ptigrusmagus

Bennett sucks, tired of DC pushing her towards us, give those issues to better writers

Avatar image for scouts1998
Edited By scouts1998

Deadpool 24

The Wake 6

Hawkeye 15

Avatar image for braynehurricane
Edited By braynehurricane

"I wanna see how it ends." Hahaha, @undeadpool, did you just quote Spike?

Avatar image for perfect_10
Edited By Perfect 10

ucanny avengers, check. five weapons, check. deadly class, check. secret avengers, check check. and an all new fantastic four

Avatar image for longbowhunter
Edited By longbowhunter

@ultron345: He's writing Clint as a flawed every man hero. Aja's beautiful artwork doesn't hurt none either. If you're looking for fights in tights, there are literally hundreds of other books on the shelf that deliver that. It you're looking for a smaller story with great character moments, Hawkeye is your book.

Avatar image for rixec
Posted By Rixec

Lord, Alopex looks and acts awesomely in that preview! One of the best new characters ever! She needs to be brought into the show! Imagine her awesomeness there!

Avatar image for gothamred
Edited By GothamRed

Hawkeye, BABY!

Avatar image for davidgrantlloyd
Posted By davidgrantlloyd

Aquaman #28

Dead Boy Detectives #3

Powerpuff Girls #6

Fantastic Four #1

Miracleman #3

Crossed Badlands #48

Avatar image for fables87
Edited By fables87

Can't wait for Deadly Class to come out on trade :D

Avatar image for dreamfall31
Edited By dreamfall31

Looking forward to Lois Lane #1! I hope it's good! Also looking forward to this Uncanny Arc when it's collected. Picked up the first issue but didn't like it. Read the 2nd hardcover and fell in love with it! It's essentially his run of X-Force, but just with a different team.

Avatar image for smurfboy
Posted By Smurfboy

Only issue I'm getting is Wolverine # 2. I am broke at the moment. Sucks.

Avatar image for viin
Posted By viin

The Wake is all I got...though I do want to check out Dead Body Road and Black Science

Avatar image for ultron345
Posted By Ultron345

Can anyone explain to me why Hawkeye is such a hyped book? I can't bare to look at it so I haven't bought it. What is Fraction doing to generate this much buzz????

Avatar image for cap10nate
Posted By Cap10nate

Very excited about the next chapters of Secret Avengers and Uncanny Avengers. I wonder if Daisy will be brought back in with Winter Soldier or if that storyline is being abandoned with the switch over from Spencer. I have really enjoyed the story so far and I hope that Spencer finishes the story he had planned and we aren't going to get a clumsy attempt to close it all out 2 issues short of when it should have ended so they can do the relaunch.

Still debating whether or not to drop Hawkeye. I haven't enjoyed the last 4-5 issues that much.

Looking forward to trying Fantastic Four.

Avatar image for righteous300
Edited By righteous300

THis is the biggest week ever for me. 17 total comics! Good googly moogly!!

Hawkeye

The WAKE

Superior SPiderman

Revenge

One Hit Wonder

ALL STAR WESTERN

WALKING DEAD

AQUAMAN

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN

Guardians of the Galaxy

THUNDERBOLTS

TMNT

Samurai Jack

DEADLY CLASS

SHELTERED

DC vs HEMAN

X-O ManoWAr

Bah Gawd all mighty!

Haha dang, I need to get a hold of your paycheck!

Avatar image for manwithoutshame
Posted By manwithoutshame

This week is awesome. For me, the week belongs to image, with Black Science, Revenge, Sex, and Manhattan Projects. I've been loving Miracleman from Mavel as well.

Avatar image for papinacho
Posted By PapiNacho

Batman/Superman, Uncanny Avengers, Superior Spider-Man, X-O Man of War, JLD, The Flash, The Wake, Hawkeye

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