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This Week's Essential Comics: 6/16/14

These are the comics you're looking for.

New comic book day is nigh! This Wednesday, dozens of new comics will go on sale and we want to help you narrow down your options. The Comic Vine staff has checked out the latest list of new releases and we've each picked our favorites. Once you're done seeing what we strongly recommend, go ahead and chime in with your own list of "essential" comics.

*Some previews may be in reverse order*

Tony "G-Man" Guerrero's picks

ORIGINAL SIN #4

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Most of us have accepted comic book events as something that will continue to happen. Big stories are great but we’re often left a little disappointed after we’re fed all the hype over the big things that are supposed to happen. ORIGINAL SIN feels a little different. With the core of the story taking place just in the main series, readers aren’t necessarily forced to follow every single tie in just to follow the story. But with the nature of the revelations, chances are they will want to read the others.

Jason Aaron is giving us a nice juicy murder mystery set in the Marvel Universe. What makes it a little different is the big cosmic nature of the crime. Killing someone like the Watcher is not something an ordinary thug or villain could accomplish. While we get clues as to who could have done it, we’re also getting revelations about other characters as well. Last issue had a crazy ending and while we’re not so quick to simply accept what appears to have happened, we can’t help but wonder where the story will go next from this point.

Mike Deodato’s art has been fantastic. One of the joys is getting to see him draw all the different characters this story involves. And Frank Martin’s colors have a way of making everything shadowy and mysterious, even when characters are standing in plain site.

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ELEKTRA #3

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Elektra has often been a misused character in the Marvel Universe. Finally we’re getting to see a series where care and caution are being used. Haden Blackman has a great take on the character and the story of her hunting Cape Crow has been fun to watch. Too many times see stories take place in the same familiar areas of the Marvel Universe but this one is taking us to different places.

Michael Del Mundo has been knocking our socks off with his amazing and gorgeous artwork. Despite only two issues having been released, we’re now at that point where it’d be hard to imagine someone else doing the art on this series.

Both Blackman and Del Mundo are depicting Elektra with a deadly but graceful nature. This is who she should be and it’s been a blast seeing her able to cut loose and show us what she’s capable of.

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BATMAN & RA'S AL GHUL #32

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It’s part of the “Hunt for Robin” storyline. How could we not be ready to devour this issue as soon as it’s released. We all know that both Damian and Talia were killed. We also know that Ra’s al Ghul had their bodies exhumed and taken. Batman’s been trying to track him down to prevent his crazy shenanigans but he might be too late. Of course this is all leading into the ROBIN RISES: OMEGA one-shot coming on July 16.

What is coming? Will we see the return of Damian or will someone else become Robin? Peter Tomasi did say “…we are most definitely bringing back a Robin for Batman’s 75th anniversary.” We’ll be glued to every page for the clues as to which Robin it will be.

IGN has an extra preview page.

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Honorable Mention: SILVER SURFER #3

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring's picks

NOVA #18

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It's an Original Sin tie-in you're going to want to read! Nova and Uatu have had an odd friendship, as seen in ORIGINAL SIN #0, and it seems this newest issue of NOVA will let Sam Alexander see what happened to Uatu. Spoilers, he was shot and his eyes were stolen. Apparently, there may also be some Original Sin secret coming out in this issue as well, so expect some shocking revelations or may find out what happened to Jesse Alexander, Sam's dad who was once Nova. Regardless, this book is a ton of fun and quickly becoming one of my favorite "fun" Marvel titles. Writer Gerry Duggan really knows how to grab the reader's attention, tell a fantastic and engaging story and never let go.

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WONDER WOMAN #32

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The cover of this issue features Wonder Woman about to cut down Minotaur. Well, I'm sold. WONDER WOMAN has been quite the amazing series and something everyone should be reading, but alas, I am a broken record when it comes to this book. I can tell you that this is building to an unforgettable war though and it's something you're going to want to jump onto before it's too late. Azzarello's WONDER WOMAN really defines this character and provides a worthwhile story.

Honorable Mention: GREEN LANTERN: NEW GUARDIANS #32

Gregg "k4tz" Katzman's picks.

TMNT #35

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The turtle power is strong with this series. IDW's current run has been consistently lovable and refuses to dip at all in quality. This City Fall/Northampton follow-up has focused on fleshing out the human cast, and seeing as the mutants have had time to grow over 30+ issues, I'd say that's totally fair. Honestly, who doesn't love seeing more of Casey Jones? Besides, it looks like the reemergence of Old Hob and Slash will once again put a little bit of focus on two of the heroes in a half shell: Mikey and Raph. Last but most definitely not least, you just can't go wrong with Mateus Santolouco and Ronda Pattison handling the visuals!

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THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #23

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Writer Jason Aaron has proven he can turn anyone into a Thor fan. This run has been nothing short of epic and I'm beyond excited to see how this latest storyline will conclude. Every issue has been sprinkled with humor, intriguing, and loaded with massive displays of action. Aaron's giving a clear message with this one, but thanks to a sharp and thrilling script, it's not heavy-handed and doesn't hinder the plot at all. It's a phenomenal book and everyone needs to give it an honest shot. And yes, I say that as someone who wasn't a Thor fan before diving into this title. Oh, and how could I possible forget Esad Ribic's glorious artwork? Come on, this book more than deserves your attention!

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STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL -SON OF DATHOMIR #2

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Seeing Darth Maul return in The Clone Wars was fantastic. His story ending a a total cliffhanger, though? Not so fantastic. Luckily for us, Dark Horse is continuing his side of the adventure! The first issue was action-heavy and wasted no time establishing the basics while also incorporating a lot of villains. Now it's time to see where they go with all of this. I really don't see how any Star Wars fan -- especially one that watched The Clone Wars -- could pass on this. Sure, we already know the fate of some of these characters, but that hardly means we'll know each and every development along the way! Plus, this will reveal whether Maul has a future in the Star Wars universe or if he'll once again be removed from the picture. Fingers crossed we get to see round two of Darth Maul vs. General Grievous!

UNITY #8

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Valiant's twisted version of the Avengers/Justice League has been consistently exciting and entertaining. I'll admit I'd like to see a character or two get a little more focus (here's lookin' at you, Eternal Warrior), but despite that, Matt Kindt has been doing a great job making sure each and every issue has felt like a thrill ride. The stakes are always high and the relationships between these characters continues to develop. Seeing as they're about to enter Valiant's latest big event, Armor Hunters, and Bloodshot is joining the roster, something tells me neither the excitement or entertainment will die down any time soon.

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TMNT: TURTLES IN TIME #1

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Two TMNT books on the same day? You're too good to us, IDW. Any longtime fan of the franchise can't help but smile at the title of this limited series and the premise has the potential to be ridiculously enjoyable. Paul Allor proved he has an interest in expanding the new mythos and its cast (see UTROM EMPIRE), so I'm curious to see what he'll bring to the universe with this tale. Additionally, this means more TMNT goodness from Ross Campbell! His character work is a real delight to look at and, based on the preview, this looks like an issue that'll keep me smiling the entire time.

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Honorable Mention: PUNISHER #7

Jen "MissJ" Aprahamian's picks

THE WICKED + THE DIVINE #1

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Science might be the new rock 'n roll, but divinity is the new pop. PHONOGRAM (and YOUNG AVENGERS) duo Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie promise to bend our minds and knock our socks off with this brand new Image offering about ephemeral gods that walk among us. I'm picking up notes of American Gods mixed with a little bit of Almost Famous and, of course, Gillen and McKelvie's own signature brand of cool. Oh yeah, and there's a playlist.

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SEX CRIMINALS #6

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Brimpers! Did you miss giggling shamelessly over walking out of the comic shop with a book called SEX CRIMINALS in your dirty little hands (and knowing that it's a really well-written and charming book along with all of those giggles)? Miss no more -- Matt Fraction' and Chip Zdarsky's irreverent and sexy adventure-comedy series is back, and now it's time to see whether the honeymoon is over for Jon and Suzie. If you skipped Volume 1, there's a handy trade available -- you totally have time to catch up before Wednesday -- just in time to find out what happens after our heroes escape the Sex Police.

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Honorable Mention: TRANSLUCID #3

Corey "Undeadpool" Schroeder's picks

THE WITCHER #4

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The Witcher, both novels and games, strikes an interesting tonal balance between high and low fantasy. More mystical than Song of Ice and Fire, grim and grittier than Lord of the Rings and with a strong, amazingly developed central protagonist with tons of room for apocryphal side stories. None of this means that Paul Tobin had an easy job in front of him, writing Gerlat and the world he inhabits is an incredible balancing act, but he has, so far, done a fantastic job and I see no reason for him to falter now. Joe Querio's muddy, dark visuals interpret are always worth showing up for, balancing the horror with the beauty.

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DAREDEVIL #4

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Mark Waid's streak of reinterpreting dusty, forgotten characters as newly formed badasses continues unabated not only with the Shroud but the Owl. While the Owl may've seen a recent reinterpretation, I'm still interested in seeing what Waid does with the him. Apparently we're also finding out what happened with Foggy and that's definitely one of the bigger mysteries floating over the series. Chris Samnee back on art is fantastic and I hope it continues for as long as possible.

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UNCANNY X-MEN #22

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The ducks are all getting in a row as Cyclops' school squares off against S.H.I.E.L.D. in a possible war that's being touched off by a third party. Brian Bendis has brought some of the most interesting new characters in mainstream comics into the fold and has done nothing but fantastic work developing them into characters worth watching. The fact that this is one of my most highly anticipated books of the month this consistently with THIS large of a cast is a testament to that. Chris Bachalo's cartoonish, kinetic visuals have established a tone of wild, unpredictable energy where anything can happen. With Magneto still acting as the ultimate wildcard, it likely will.

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