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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

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