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Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio

It’s okay, change happens. It’s not the end of the world, we promise. As you may have noticed, we’re bringing a slight format change to what used to be “10 Comics to Buy This Week.”

Now, we’re not trying to tell anyone how to spend their hard-earned money, but our goal for this updated weekly column is for it to be something people can look to for near 100% accuracy when pointing out quality titles. Because as we all know, the problem isn’t finding comics to read, it’s reading the ones that make the most of your limited budget.

Firstly, you’ll notice our typical ten titles have been cut down to five (or there about). But we’re sticking with the old adage: quality over quantity. Lastly, outside further expansion on why we recommend each book, we’re also going to provide preview pages for each title (when available) to give you an idea how the book reads and looks. You can click each image to enlarge.

Aquaman #0 - $2.99

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It’s probably safe to say that Geoff Johns and Ivan ReisAQUAMAN is in the top five titles of DC’s New 52. There really hasn’t been a misfire thus far, even a year into the publisher’s relaunch.

Much like what Johns did with the Green Lantern mythos, he’s now doing with Aquaman, sending the character of a journey of growth while also revealing new information about his past. And that’s where this month’s Zero issue comes in.

While it’s disappointing the Zero issue had to cut in right at the climax of the current “The Others” storyline, we have to admit that we’re still excited to see what Johns and Reis reveal about Arthur’s past and his ties to Atlantis. Atlantis has been at the forefront of Johns’ entire Aquaman saga, so it’s awesome that we’re finally getting to this plot point roughly a year after the first issue of the series dropped.

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Happy! #1 - $2.99

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Oh man. It’s the return of Grant Morrison to creator-owned work. This is Morrison’s first time working with Image Comics, if you can believe that. He’s paired up with artist Darick Robertson, exploring the life of Nick Sax, a corrupt, drunk ex-cop-turned-hitman who meets a tiny blue horse and has his entire world turned upside down. Sold.

If you’ve ever followed Morrison’s work outside DC and Marvel, you know the man really goes ball-to-the-wall crazy with his ideas. Yes, even more crazy than Batman going on an adventure through time and space courtesy of Darkseid.

That said, even through all of Morrison’s wackiness, the writer’s still often able to tap into an emotional through line that make the trippy journeys worthwhile. If you ever need convincing, may I point you towards WE3, INVISIBLES, JOE THE BARBARIAN, THE FILTH and SEAGUY to name but a few.

With HAPPY!, we’re hoping Morrison captures that same magic. Morrison is a man with so much creativity it seeps through his pores. So here’s hoping he taps into that one more time to make HAPPY! a worthwhile ride.

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I, Vampire #0 - $2.99

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Remember how we just said AQUAMAN is probably one of the better titles DC is pumping out as part of their New 52 lineup? Well, toss Josh Fialkov and Andrea Sorrentino’s I, VAMPIRE into the mix, as well. This series is probably one of the most underrated titles currently hitting comic shelves. Period.

For the series’ Zero issue, Fialkov and Sorrentino are flashing back to reveal how Andrew Bennett became a vampire in the first place, long before he was the vampire messiah taxed with fending off the Van Helsing clan and ravenous zombies. We’ll also be finding out in this issue how Bennett is able to control his lust for blood as a bloodsucker.

From what we gather and judging from the purpose of these Zero month issues, issue #0 should be a perfect jumping-on point for new readers curious about checking out new series. And there’s not many series we can recommend more than I, VAMPIRE.

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Punisher #16 - $2.99

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This is the last issue of Greg Rucka and Marco Checchetto’s fantastic PUNISHER series before the story dovetails into the PUNISHER: WAR ZONE mini-event. Over the course of the last 15 issues, Rucka has written one of the most profound and enthralling Punisher stories we’ve ever experience. It’s arguably the best take on the character the main Marvel 616 has ever seen. No joke.

So it breaks our hearts to see the series cancelled because of poor sale numbers. However, we’re happy Marvel is letting Rucka complete his story in a spin-off mini-series. So there is some silver lining.

But for the final issue of the main PUNISHER series, the Punisher and Rachel have their work cut out for them following the events of issue #15. With the cops on their tail, as well as the super hero community about to step in and put Frank down, it’s going to be tough for Frank and Rachel to remain operating in the shadows. This is a book you should not be passing over. Too many people have already.

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Talon #0 - $2.99

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We’re going out on a limb with TALON #0 this week. We’ll be honest, the idea of a spin-off series from the Court of Owls event that spotlights a rogue Talon trying to make good on his past transgressions seems more like a money grab tactic than anything else. At least that’s how we felt when this title was first announced.

But we’ve slowly been turned around on the book. Between Scott Snyder’s ringing endorsements of writer James Tynion IV, as well as the fact that Snyder is helping co-plot the title, TALON seems like it’s in good hands. And maybe most of all, we want to see fresh blood in the industry succeed. So we’re rooting for TALON to be solid and pull in some numbers.

It’s also worth noting that artist Guillem March is joining Tynion on this book. March is no stranger to working on the Bat-family, yet here with Tynion he gets to explore a fresh corner of the universe. Consider us excited.

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Wolverine and the X-Men #17 - $3.99

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Just look at that cover to the right. How could you possibly skip over this issue with that cover staring you in the face? Answer: you can’t.

Issue #17 of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN is a special standalone story starring everyone’s favorite blob-thing, Doop. Doop’s been operating in the background at the Jean Grey School for quite some time, and now we’re finally going to find out what he’s up to.

Better yet, artist Mike Allred is joining Jason Aaron for this issue. This series has always been a fun read, and Allred’s distinct and vibrant artwork looks like it fits this series’ tone like a glove. Furthermore, this issue is kind of a homecoming for Allred, seeing as how he created Doop with Peter Milligan back in the X-STATIX days. All around, this is an issue you should not pass up.

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Erik Norris is a freelance writer for sites such as ComicVine, IGN and CraveOnline.com. You can stalk him on Twitter@Regular_Erik.

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#1 Posted by carnivalofsins00 (1224 posts) - - Show Bio

We are like THIS, you and I, Erik. Picking up all of these this week.

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#2 Posted by Twentyfive (3057 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher was awesome while Rucka wrote for him. I sort of wish DC wasn't coming out with a Talon book, no matter how good it may be. I may check it out though. Just this once.

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#3 Posted by zackattack529 (1408 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher- uggh why does Punisher have to end man :/ noone ever bought into it every Comic store id go to id see many copies iof it on the shelf...SMH

Talon- ill pick up first 3 issues and see from there.

Red Lanterns- this series is disappointing but im sticking with it for the GL event.

Aquaman- this is obviously an essential issue setting up a future arc for Aquaman so this should be interesting.

Flash- I dont know Barrys Origin too well i will pick this up

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#4 Posted by salmy (33 posts) - - Show Bio

Happy, all the way. I've been losing interest in super hero comics recently, so I'm really excited Morrison is doing something different.

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#5 Posted by Necrotic_Lycanthrope (2501 posts) - - Show Bio

URGH! I'm still waiting for I, Vampire's TPB volume 1. I want to finally read that sucker from the beginning! (plus spoil my sis with the book as a b-day present. :P)

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#6 Posted by The Mighty Monarch (3740 posts) - - Show Bio

Top 5? Hasn't been a misfire?

That Mera issue was damn close to terrible, I'd call that one a misfire.

Agree wholeheartedly about I, Vampire though. Amazing series.

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#7 Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio

@The Mighty Monarch said:

Top 5? Hasn't been a misfire?

That Mera issue was damn close to terrible, I'd call that one a misfire.

Agree wholeheartedly about I, Vampire though. Amazing series.

haha I might give you that. I honestly think the story of that Mera issue was solid. The art is another story though. That definitely dragged the book down.

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#9 Posted by CircularLogic (320 posts) - - Show Bio

I like Wolverine and the X-men, but honestly, despite all the praise I keep hearing people give Mike Allred, I really didn't like the art in those previews. I might just skip this issue to make room on my pull for Happy

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#10 Posted by Kal'smahboi (3976 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger said:

Happy! is Morrison writing and Robertson on art...

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This. I'm pissed and excited at the same time.

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#11 Posted by AltyAce (44 posts) - - Show Bio

@CircularLogic said:

I like Wolverine and the X-men, but honestly, despite all the praise I keep hearing people give Mike Allred, I really didn't like the art in those previews. I might just skip this issue to make room on my pull for Happy

I usually enjoy Allred's art, but the second panel on the first page looks like wolverine doing a robot dance!

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#12 Posted by red_titan (162 posts) - - Show Bio

AQUAMAN #0! WOOHOO!!!!!

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#13 Posted by cc1738 (371 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm getting Aquaman, Superman and Batman The Dark Knight.

I kinda want Talon, but I hate his design.

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#14 Posted by k4tzm4n (40077 posts) - - Show Bio

Looking forward to Aquaman and Talon. 
 
Darth Maul, TMNT and Hit-Girl are my essentials this week that didn't make the cut here.

Moderator
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#15 Posted by CombatSpoon86 (962 posts) - - Show Bio

American Vampire, Batman Inc, FF, Justice League Dark, Punisher, Winter Soldier

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#16 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (11325 posts) - - Show Bio

The Wolverine and the X-men cover looks awesome!

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#17 Posted by The Lobster (1740 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm actually looking forward to Talon. 
 
For one, the Court of Owls are the most awesome villains to have come out of Batman in years and I love the idea of telling a Bourne like story with the Court being the main antagonist.  
 
For two, I'm all for new talent getting the chance to shine and I support DC for giving the new guy a chance to show them what he's got. If Scott Snyder vouches for the guy, I'm sure he'll do a great job.

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#18 Posted by RedOwl_1 (1743 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger said:

Happy! is Morrison writing and Robertson on art...

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X 1000

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#19 Posted by mightypug78 (375 posts) - - Show Bio

doop translation: if you think this is ridiculous, see whats happening inside. <rough translation

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#20 Posted by longbowhunter (9423 posts) - - Show Bio

A lot of good picks this week. I may snag I,Vampire even though it isnt on my list. I love Fialkov's writing, just havent been picking up this series.

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#21 Posted by SavageDragon (2257 posts) - - Show Bio

Aquaman, I, Vampire (so good), Space Punisher, Dancer, maybe Talon.

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#22 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

I can say with happiness that I'm picking up ALL my September holds this Wednesday and am getting a few more as well, including I, Vampire #0, Nightwing #0, and Flash #0. Reason being? There's going to be a HUGE Zero Month celebration signing at my LCS. Brian Buccellato, Joshua Hale Fialkov, Kyle Higgins AND Mike Johnson are all going to be there signing their respective Zero issues and more. What a day this is going to be...

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#23 Posted by Mandrewgora (304 posts) - - Show Bio

yes. I will get Wolverine and the x-men.

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#24 Posted by Bluefox170 (418 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529 said:

Punisher- uggh why does Punisher have to end man :/ noone ever bought into it every Comic store id go to id see many copies iof it on the shelf...SMH

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#25 Posted by feargalr (1245 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm gonna read Aquaman so freakin hard

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#26 Posted by darth_jones (110 posts) - - Show Bio

SO excited for Aquaman #0

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#27 Posted by kennybaese (1241 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh man, I forgot about the Allred issue of Wolverine and the X-Men. I definitely have to pick that issue up.

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#28 Posted by GothamRed (2616 posts) - - Show Bio

Hooray, new wolverine and the x-men

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#29 Posted by sora_thekey (8810 posts) - - Show Bio

I shall wait for the reviews on Happy! before picking it up.

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#30 Posted by JamDamage (1195 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate Morrison. I hate Aquaman. I hate monster/vampire comics. Punisher is cool, but I don't collect him because my money goes elsewhere. Talon sounds like a good idea, but that outfit looks gay as hell. Wolverine and the X-Men tho..........................................great book. EASILY the best the A ot the X titles during this whole horrible 6 months of bullshit we've had to read in the AvX. This book I will be buying. In fact, I think I'll spend the money that I could give to "cool" Punisher, and give it to Woverine and the X-Men instead.

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#31 Posted by SavageDragon (2257 posts) - - Show Bio

@RedheadedAtrocitus: wheres your LCS?

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#32 Posted by benette_rivera (57 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm getting Flash and talon! XD

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#33 Posted by Glitch_Spawn (17180 posts) - - Show Bio

I want more Punisher god dammit

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#34 Edited by Zeeguy91 (1624 posts) - - Show Bio

Definitely getting Aquaman. I also might get I, Vampire and Wolverine and the X-Men (I've been looking for a good jumping on point for this series). Otherwise, I'm also getting Flash, Fury or Firestorm, Justice League Dark, Superman (hopefully Lobdell provides this series with what it needs), FF, and Winter Soldier.

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#35 Posted by RedHood_DCU (31 posts) - - Show Bio
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#36 Posted by Bobzenub (125 posts) - - Show Bio

Why just five? My essentials this week:

Elric The Balance Lost #12

Mind MGMT #5

New Deadwardians #7

Spider #5

National Comics Rose and Thorn #1

Mars Attacks #4

Happy #1

Invincible #95

Dancer #5

American Vampire #31

Aquaman #0

Batman Incorporated #0

The Flash #0

Justice League Dark #0

Red Lanterns #0

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#37 Posted by sj_esposito (478 posts) - - Show Bio

Man... lot of good books coming out this week. So sad to see Rucka and Checchetto's Punisher go.

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#38 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1763 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for the preview pages.

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#39 Posted by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

Getting talon batman inc , you added more books! 10/10!

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#40 Edited by TerryBogard2014 (484 posts) - - Show Bio

Why The Hell is it always everything I like that gets canned..punisher,x-23,Black panther,in november,Avengers Academy...Think im just gonna not buy comics for a while....except for walking dead of course

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#41 Posted by Dakens son (444 posts) - - Show Bio

Doop in a strip club!?!?!?!?!?!?!

Now that is rich!

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#42 Posted by Mucklefluga (2653 posts) - - Show Bio
So it breaks our hearts to see the series cancelled because of poor sale numbers.

Looking at an interview on another site i don't think the main reason of the cancellation was the sale numbers.

The comics i'm definitely buying this week are: BATMAN INCORPORATED 0, THE FLASH 0 and the finale of a superb miniseries DANCER 5.

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#43 Posted by kid Apollo (959 posts) - - Show Bio

Punisher cover is the best cover is seen all week!

and in the first preview panel Wolverine is walking like hes got a stick up his arse

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#44 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (12454 posts) - - Show Bio

Last Issue of Punisher before the Mini Series :(

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#45 Posted by Stormbox (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

talon looks cool

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#46 Posted by NXH (1031 posts) - - Show Bio

It's sad to see the best Punisher run coming to an end. =(

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#47 Posted by Jawshco (252 posts) - - Show Bio

Isn't Teen Titans #0 coming out this week? That's the one I've been waiting to read. Talon also sounds pretty interesting.

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#48 Posted by DonFelipe (2287 posts) - - Show Bio

I can't wait to check out Talon and, of course, Happy!

By the way... seriously what the heck is this thing? Rabbit? Phoenix? Donkey? Unicorn?

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Happy! Psycho! Nightmare!

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#49 Posted by usabfb (76 posts) - - Show Bio

This week, Talon is what I'm most excited for. If there's any writer that has yet to make a mistake, it's Scott Snyder. Honestly, I'll probably continue reading after he leaves (end of the first arc?) because I love the fiction behind the Court of Owls so much. That and I think James Tynion IV is a pretty good writer. If he's the one who did the Fall of the House of Wayne backstory, then I'm all sold on Talon.