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Essential Comics for 1-20-16

These are the comics you're looking for.

Each week, a massive amount of comics are released. Determining which titles are worth checking out can be a daunting task, especially if you're trying to keep your spending under a certain limit. We've gone through the list to help you decide which books you need to read on Wednesday, January 20.


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Publisher: DC COMICS

(W) Scott Snyder (A/CA) Greg Capullo, Danny Miki

Remember how last issue ended? Bruce Wayne went to sit on that park bench where he was found after the events of Endgame. Remember that "Holy crap!" moment when we saw who was sitting on that bench? This little aspect of the Superheavy arc really makes you wonder what Scott Snyder has planned for that character and for Bruce Wayne. Bruce has no memories of being Batman. He doesn't have amnesia. Parts of his brain were rewritten so the memories just don’t exist. Throw in the fact that Mister Bloom's scheme is escalating and Jim Gordon may not be prepared for the horrors Bloom is about to unleash, it’s another typical crazy Batman issue for us to enjoy.

Snyder and Greg Capullo have been doing wonders on this series from the beginning. I hate to bring it up but we know Capullo's days (or issues) are numbered as he’ll soon be taking a break from the title. There's plenty of action and storytelling in this issue and the series is getting closer to the big fiftieth issue milestone.


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(W) Jason Aaron (A/CA) Mike Mayhew

The series is taking a slight detour with another visit to a handful of years earlier to see Ben Kenobi on Tatooine. You could call these "From the Journals of Obi-Wan Kenobi" stories filler issues, but we call them fun and exciting. We don't know a lot about Ben's time during his exile on Tatooine. He was forced into hiding and tried to look over Luke Skywalker even though Owen Lars didn't want Ben anywhere near them. This issue fleshes out some of the details that are missing and we could find out exactly what Owen’s problem with Ben is.

We’re just coming off the Vader Down arc which had some pretty spectacular art. This issue is drawn by Mike Mayhew. Readers of Dark Horse's The Star Wars may recall just how amazing Mayhew's art is. This issue is going to be a gorgeous treat.


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(W) Rick Remender (A/CA) Sean Murphy

Debbie Decay and Led Dent thought they escaped the horrors of their lives when they reached the paradise found in Tokyo. Unfortunately, they ran into some trouble from their past, things got real ugly pretty quickly. With the way the issue left off, there's no telling what will happen to them next. If things don’t work out for them here, where else can they go?

Rick Remender and Sean Murphy have created a bizarre and gorgeous world in this series. The feeling of not knowing what’s coming up next is great when reading each issue. I can’t wait to see where they take us next.


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(W) Brian Azzarello (A/CA) Juan Doe

There’s a new comic publisher in town and they go by the name of AfterShock Comics. It's always a blast to try a brand new series in a new universe. There’s that feeling of not knowing what’s going to happen. When reading books from the Big Two, you usually have a good idea what might happen or where characters have to end up. In a new series, anything goes.

This new series is written by Brian Azzarello. That alone is the only reason you’d need to check this out. If you've read the description of this issue, you know it sounds a little heavy. With art by Juan Doe, we’re definitely intrigued by this title.


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(W) Tara Butters, Michele Fazekas (A/CA) Kris Anka

In some ways it feels like it’s been so long since we’ve had a regular issue of Captain Marvel. With Secret Wars, we saw other versions of Carol in a couple different series. Since the launch of the All-New, All-Different Marvel titles, we have seen a bit of Carol in the pages of Spider-Woman, Ultimates, and A-Force. We know she's the leader of Alpha Flight, but we don't exactly know a whole lot about what Alpha Flight is these days. Alpha Flight has apparently evolved into a space program with the mission of defending Earth against extraterrestrial threats. Sounds like S.W.O.R.D. to us but we’re not complaining.

This series also brings Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas to the comic world. These two gave us the Agent Carter series on TV. Carol is definitely in safe hands with them. As a big Kris Anka fan, this is going to be a series we won’t want to miss.


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Publisher: DC COMICS

(W) Scott Snyder & Various (A) Andrea Mutti (CA) David Finch, Jonathan Glapion

Last week's issue gave readers a deeper look into the personality of the new Azrael, Jean-Paul Valley. We also learned a bit more about the relationship between Mother and Scarecrow. Everything is building together really nicely, but where is this book going? What can fans expect next from this epic, weekly series which explores the outcomes of a few of Batman's decisions from his early days of crime fighting.

According to the solicit. Cassandra has gone rogue and it's up to everyone else to bring her back into the fold. There's also something else going on with Dick Grayson as well, and if you've been keeping up with the news, he already has a lot on his plate. The series continues to be intriguing and fun and engaging.


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(W) Ulises Farinas, Erick Freitas (A) Dan McDaid (CA) Ulises Farinas

The first issue of this book was a bit nutty. Judge Dredd found himself in the future of Mega-City One and it's essentially gone back to the Stone Age. This is an incredible twist on what has been done with Dredd in the past. IDW has done a really nice job with this character in the past and this new volume is offering something very different.

This week, Dredd continues his quest to figure out just what's going on with the world he's found himself in and writers Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas are really delivering something new and special. Plus, the art of Dan McDaid really makes this story feel like it's coming straight out of a 2000 AD book.


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(W) Nick Spencer (A) Ramon Rosanas (CA) David Nakayama

This newest series starring Scott Lang continues to be humorous and contain some high-quality storytelling. The Power Broker, which is probably one of the funnier names in comics, pushes his Hench app forward, which allows users to have villains attack heroes. Meanwhile, Ant-Man continues with his life, trying to be a father, and getting his life back on track.

Nick Spencer and Ramon Rosanas have been doing a stellar job on this series. It has the same feel as Spencer's Superior Foes of Spider-Man with a little bit more of a serious tone. Rosanas' art style is completely fitting for the book and makes a limited amount of humor in this book really pop up.


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(W) Robert Venditti (A) Raul Allen (CA) David LaFuente

Valiant Comics has done some unbelievable things since their resurgence a few years back. They're taking the super-hero genre and really spending a lot of time developing the characters and making them relatable and human, even if their powers are out of this world.

That's what Wrath of the Eternal Warrior has done. They've taken the immortal Gilad and given him a family and a life, which is something tough to do when you never die and age extremely slowly. Writer Robert Venditti has done a phenomenal job with X-O Manowar at the company and this newest series really lets the reader get into Gilad's head. On top of that, artist Raul Allen is just killing it on the art. This feels very much like an indie book and makes it a stand-out series at Valiant.

Honorable Mention: SILVER SURFER #1

That's our list for this week. Let us know what's on your list.