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Essential Comics for 4/22/15

Pick these comics up, this week, or else!

Every week, the toughest thing to do is figure out what comic books to pick up. Luckily, the fine staff of Comic Vine is here to help ease the tension. So sit back and relax while we let you know what books are essential reading this week.

Tony's Picks

DEADLY CLASS #12

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(Image Comics)

This series constantly keeps you on the edge of your seat. As if the huge showdown in the last couple issues wasn’t enough, the cliffhanger at the end of 11 spelled out some pretty horrific bad news for Marcus and Maria.

They barely managed to survive Marcus’ old enemy and now seconds after, they have a new problem that could be even deadlier.

Rick Remender has created an incredible vibe in this comic world. Wes Craig’s art and Lee Loughridge’s colors are always fantastic. This is a series where anything can happen and you’re never sure exactly what to expect.

With the heat turned on Marcus and Maria, we can only hope they manage to survive the danger they’re now in. The action got crazy before but it’s likely to go even further in this issue.

KAPTARA #1

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(Image Comics)

Chip Zdarsky’s writing a space/sci-fi story. You can probably imagine this won’t be like any space/sci-fi story we’ve seen before. As the synopsis for the story suggests, this isn’t going to be your typical space exploration story.

Things are going to get bad, otherwise there “would be no story.” We can expect that Zdarsky will go all out in setting up the worst possible things that could happen but with a healthy dash of humor thrown in.

I’m simply fascinated with a story like this being told in a non-typical fashion. You just know Zdarsky won’t be holding back with the characters or situations.

Kagan McLeod’s art looks great. Right away you get a different feel to the characters so it doesn’t feel like a space story we’ve seen a bazillion times already. Don’t let this one slip past you.

STAR WARS #4

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(Marvel)

The description for this issue is exactly the reason I love the fact the series is taking place between Episodes IV and V. There’s a three-year period between the movies. The idea of Luke going to Ben’s place on Tatooine makes perfect sense. He knows pretty much nothing about the ways of a Jedi. He barely had any time or training with him before they made their way to the Death Star. It’d be great to see Luke coming across a Jedi Holocron or something. He needs some serious help since the first thing that happened when he came across Vader again was he had his lightsaber taken away.

We also see in the preview that Vader is meeting with Jabba. This already happened in DARTH VADER #1, which was before the story in this series. Is Vader going back to Jabba, but this time for Emperor since it was more for himself in his first issue?

Click here for the solicit. Preview below.

UNCLE SCROOGE #1

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(IDW Publishing)

The last Uncle Scrooge comic we had was in June 2011 with BOOM! Studios UNCLE SCROOGE #404. The new IDW series is a #1 issue but it will still have the “legacy” numbering. The fact is, it’s been way too long since we’ve seen the Disney characters in comics. There is an appeal for new and old readers. It’s been a huge shame having these properties sit around unused. All that is changing now, thank goodness.

This comic is a return to what we’ve seen in the previous series. The series and characters aren’t being rebooted or re-envisioned. This is Uncle Scrooge along with Huey, Dewey, and Louie as well as Donald Duck in whatever crazy adventures Scrooge McDuck and his love for his money gets them in.

Honorable Mention: CONVERGENCE SWAMP THING

Mat's Picks

MANIFEST DESTINY #14

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(Image Comics)

It feels like it's been a LONG time since we got an issue of this book. Well, the last issue of this book came out in February, so it has been a bit of a while, but I'm super-pumped to be getting this book. I know I call at least 6 different books my "favorite on-going series" because it's hard to choose my favorite book, but MANIFEST DESTINY really is a phenomenal book that is hard to put down.

Everything changed about the dynamic of this book back in issue #12. And thus far, even with the break, it's going in the same direction with a few extra twists here and there.

The creative team really has a way of grabbing the reader and giving them a small (very small) dose of fiction set in a real fictitious world. This is one of the most interesting books Image is putting out. Go buy the trades and catch up now!

AMAZING X-MEN #19

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(Marvel)

Yes, Christopher Yost. I will take more stories about the Gem of Cyttorak and Cain Marko and Colossus fighting each other, and I will continue to read these stories until I die.

This has been an extremely fun story line. The race to become the new avatar for Cyttorak was pretty awesome and led to the Living Juggalith (Living Monolith becoming the avatar). That didn't last, but that was expected, but half the fun is the ride.

What I'm really pumped for is the showdown between Juggernaut (the real one, Cain) and Colossus. This is what all of us have been waiting for since the start of this story line, right? Well, it should happen here, and I'll be super-happy if Colossus loses and Cain stands over him singing "We are the Champions." Will that happen? Probably not. But it could. So I'll be getting this issue in order to find out.

Most importantly, I can now spell "Cyttorak" without having to look it up, thanks to this story.

Click here for the solicit. Preview below.

DIVINITY #3

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(Valiant)

It may only be a limited series, but this is one of the best stories Valiant has had, and that's up against some heavy competition.

Writer Matt Kindt is delivering a fantastic science fiction story that is told quite differently than it's other Valiant counterparts. It's a bit more higher concept and not a traditional way to tell a story It jumps through time following Abram's journey.

On top of everything else, the art here has been pretty rad as Trevor Hairsine, Ryan Winn, and David Baron deliver art that matches the storytelling. We'll probably get ore two-page layouts with some really interesting panel placement, which has been a really cool visual aspect of this series.

If you're a fan of what Valiant has been doing, then there's no reason not to pick up this issue.

Preview below.

THE BLACK HOOD #3

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(Dark Circle Comics)

Spoiler alert: I already read this and it was fantastic. I've been really digging on THE BLACK HOOD, since the series started. It's dark, gritty, and has a main character that can be pretty hard to root for.

However, Duane Swierczynski has put together a story that is incredibly compelling and is more of a character study of a man who fell off the wagon and is trying to redeem himself. The thing is that his road to redemption is not an uplifting one. Sometimes, Officer Greg Hettinger makes questionable decisions.

In the last issue, Hettinger was arrested and what happens next is what you need to read. Where does he go from there?

On top of everything else, Michael Gaydos does some amazing art work o this book that compliments Swierczynski's writing perfectly. Just go out and buy this book already.

Check out our advanced review here.

Corey's Picks

BLACK WIDOW #17

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(Marvel)

There's an artfulness to doing extremely long term stories within the context of a monthly comic series.The story arcs still need to feel at least somewhat contained and satisfying, but still making a cohesive narrative that longtime fans will enjoy following.

Nathan Edmonson and Phil Noto have done just that with this book, and it's to their credit that it continues to work so well nearly a year and a half later.

It might not always top my list, but it's always worth looking into and very much looking forward to the next issue of this taut, well-paced thriller.

Click here for the solicit.

Preview below.

HULK #15

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(Marvel)

Doc Green has demonstrated a proclivity for smashing rivaling that of his more savage counterpart, but he may have met his match in Thunderbolt Ross' alter-ego. This was always going to be Doc's biggest challenge, and Ross has taken him to the absolute limit, even with backup from the likes of Deadpool, There's been a lot more to this tale of safety coupled with vengeance, though.

Gerry Duggan and Mark Bagley have done a tremendous job so far making this an action title that has a little something more to it than just mindless violence, and it's been a compelling underdog every step of the way. I still can't wait to see how this particular brawl shakes out.

Click here for the solicit. Preview below.

UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #4

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(Marvel)

It's Squirrel Girl VS Galactus in the most epic throwdown this side of the dark side of the moon! The battle THREE ISSUES in the making is finally here as Ryan North and Erica Henderson pit Doreen against her greatest (meaning large, or immense) foe yet and while the big guy has taken entire teams, entire worlds, to the limit and beyond, there's likely not a lot of cause for alarm. It's right in the title, after all.

This book, from moment 1, has barely taken place in the Marvel Universe as it stands currently, so it's never been worth getting hot under the collar about the changing state of who can beat up who. It's just best to sit back and enjoy some of the most bizarre whimsy this side of...well anything.

Click here for the solicit. Preview below.

That's it for this week's edition of Essential Comics. Let us know what your books you're super-duper excited for this week in the comment section below!