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This Week's Essential Comics: 3/2/15

These are the comics you're looking for.

Another week, another wave of new comics to buy! Narrowing down the options isn't easy, especially when you're working with a limited budget, so we want to help you prepare for the upcoming edition of new comic book day. The Comic Vine staff has reviewed the latest list of new releases and each of us will tell you which comics we're the most excited to read and why you should consider picking them up. If something you're really anxious to buy didn't get a highlight below, go ahead and tell the world why you love it and explain why your fellow readers should consider purchasing it. Now, let's see what the Comic Vine staff is looking forward to reading this week.

Tony "G-Man" Guerrero's picks

DESCENDER #1

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Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen teaming up on a sci-fi book is going to be one of the coolest things you see this month. We talked to Lemire last month about the series and right away you can see how excited both he and Dustin are to be working on a creator-owned series. They have a lot planned and mapped out already.

I also got the chance to read the first issue early (I really need to try to get a review posted ASAP and will try before Wednesday) and I loved it. Lemire’s story introduces us to an intriguing new world and Nguyen’s art is simply gorgeous. I can’t emphasize more how great this book will look. I have a feeling this first issue is going to sell out. With the book already optioned for a movie (before the first issue was even released), there’s going to be a lot of buzz over this series.


PRINCESS LEIA #1

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Mark Waid and Princess Leia. That’s a pretty fantastic combination. I’ve been seeing some people complain about these new Star Wars books taking place right after Episode IV and not after Episode VI, but it does make a lot of sense. We have a three year period between IV and V so there’s a lot that can be explored.

What really intrigues me about this series is the fact we never really got to see Leia deal with the fact that her home planet and everyone she knew and grew up with were killed when Alderaan was destroyed. In Episode IV, she was consoling Luke over the death of Obi-Wan (who he knew for like a day) while no one asked her how she was feeling.

We’ve only seen a few pages so I’m curious to see how Terry and Rachel Dodson will handle the rest of the issue. We’ve seen John Cassaday and Salvador Larroca’s take on the Star Wars Universe and it’ll be cool to see the Dodson’s interpretation on things.

LADY KILLER #3

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This series has been a fantastic ride so far. Taking place in the 60s, we’re seeing the story of a female killer for hire. As if being an assassin wasn’t difficult enough, she’s now facing some problems in her home, in her civilian guise, as well as some with her boss. Things aren’t looking too great for Josie. Her latest mission could prove to be her most difficult.

Joëlle Jones and Jamie S. Rich have given us an incredible series. Jones’ art with Laura Allred’s colors make this a book that must be seen. It’s not just a book about violence. It’s handled in a tasteful way (as tasteful as a book about a killer could be). There’s also much more to the story than that. Seeing how the characters are developing and twists being thrown Josie’s way, you’ll be left on the edge of your seat.


Honorable Mention: ALEX + ADA Volume 2

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring's picks

DETECTIVE COMICS #40

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At we at a point in time where I shouldn't have to tell you to pick this book up? You should already be buying it. Brian Buccellato and Francis Manapul are doing a sensational job with Bruce Wayne and the new 52 version of Anarky. They're raising a lot of cool ideas and artistically, this book has never looked better.As far as the story goes, I've really been digging on it and not just because Mad Hatter has been in it. The detective aspect of this book is here and the reader knows what Batman knows as the book goes on, so we never feel left out in the cold when it comes to Batman's thought process. We live in a world of two great Batman books and you should be buying both of them!

Uproxx has one more preview page for your eyes to enjoy.


MARVEL'S ANT-MAN PRELUDE #2

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It feels weird to put one of this film prelude book on an essentials list, since, historically speaking, these books are pretty forgettable. However, this is the only time where picking this book up is something I'd recommend to everyone, especially if they're excited about the upcoming Ant-Man movie. For those wondering why Scott Lang is the lead in this film and not Hank Pym, this book answers that question. We get to see Hank Pym put on the suit for the first time and head into Berlin during the Cold War. It's basically a spy book that gives readers a look into the the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The last issue was a lot of fun, and strangely enough, I'm actually pretty pumped for this issue as well.


Gregg "k4tz" Katzman's picks

ALL-NEW HAWKEYE #1

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Jeff Lemire, the writer behind a brilliant Green Arrow run, now has the opportunity to bring Clint Barton in a whole new direction? It'll obviously have a more comedic approach than his work with the Emerald Archer, but I view that as a good thing. We don't want it to feel like a blatant parallel to Ollie's story, do we? Of course not! Lemire has proven time and time again that he can take a character and do an exceptional job fleshing out who they are as well, as the world that's around them, so my expectations are up there.

Yeah, it's weird this is coming out before Fraction's run concludes, but hey, what can you do about that? I'd much rather get this on Wednesday instead of having it be delayed, wouldn't you? You know, assuming it doesn't blatantly spoil the end of Fraction's run, of course.

IMPERIUM #2

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Valiant is producing a lot of comics you need to be reading, especially if you're looking to get some good non-Marvel/DC stuff in your pull list. THE VALIANT should be your go-to title because it could basically be called "Your Tour of the Valiant Universe," but you should also get IMPERIUM because it's thought-provoking and powerful.

You know how Professor X had the power to change the world but he didn't want to force change? Say "hello" to Toyo Harada, the Valiant Universe's most powerful psiot and a guy who is okay with forcing change. He doesn't want to wipe out humanity. In fact, he wants to save it from itself. But he has no problem crushing anyone and everyone who dares to stand in his way of creating a better tomorrow. How far will he go to justify his goal? How far will his followers agree to go before they turn on him? Since the HARBINGER reboot, I've praised writer Joshua Dysart more than a few times and it's because I think he's an amazingly talented writer. He has the ability to craft a script that's both intelligent and entertaining and that's on full display here. Throw in Doug Braithwaite's striking visuals and buying this should be a no-brainier. I strongly suggest command you to read this series. Sorry, Harada's a bad influence.


RETURN OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #2

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NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL was such a nice surprise. Instead of being overly silly, it focused on a surprisingly compelling and character-driven story that offered just enough comedy and plenty of nods to the zombie genre. Now, writer Cullen Bunn is releasing a follow-up and, after the way the first story ended and how it was all handled, you can bet there's about a 0% chance I'll miss out on this one.

The first issue effectively caught up new readers while having fun with what makes this second volume unique. Obviously, I'm very interested in seeing where Bunn will go this time around and I'm hoping the tone will be similar to the first one. I'm all for laughing and good fun, but when you're leaping into such a messed up world, you also need the heavier material. If he fails to offer that, at least I know he'll be able to deliver on the action and comedy, so there's always that. Oh, and it would be blasphemy not to mention Nicole Virella's a solid fit for this world; she really won me over with the first issue.

Honorable Mention: ROBOCOP #9


Corey "Undeadpool" Schroeder's picks

SPIDER-WOMAN #5

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It's a daring move to take a well-established character in such a radically different direction after only four issues, but here we are. And I'm not JUST talking about the change in her costume, though she has had one of the most long-lasting and consistent across the last few decades, but if anyone can bring it to vibrant life, it would be one of the architects of Daredevil's thrilling new direction: Javier Rodriguez. I've been a fan of Dennis Hopeless since AVENGERS ARENA, and actually liked his writing on the book, so the new direction is all I need to get excited.


NAILBITER HACK/SLASH ONE-SHOT

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NAILBITER may not look it, but it's got one of the best senses of humor of any comic on the shelf. It's a macabre, ultra-dark sense of humor for sure, but it's actually a very funny book and subtle enough that the humor actually doesn't come through until a couple of issues have been read. HACK/SLASH always wore its humor on its sleeve and actually became darker as the series went on, but even at its lowest tonal points, there were a lot of laughs to be had. Tim Seeley returning to write Cassie Hack and the monosyllabic Vlad is a wonderful development, but seeing Joshua Williamson take those characters on should be a treat as well as seeing Mike Henderson and Emilio Laiso take on each others' character designs.This is exactly the kind of book that can sustain plenty of momentum with the occasional foray into one-shotting and goofiness.

Go to CBR if you want to see two more preview pages.

AVENGERS #42

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Everything crumbles and everything is terrible forever. That's been the refrain for AVENGERS, but somehow the title still hasn't devolved into nihilistic despair. Jonathan Hickman is extraordinarily talented at keeping things like hope, and even humor, alive even when it looks like everything is coming apart at the seams. And quite literally EVERYthing is at this point, so now seems like a good time for some of the cosmic power players to target Earth in an effort to save the rest of the universe. Stefano Caselli's art means that the emotional impact will be front-and-center, which is ever important when the stakes get this high.

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