New comics are almost here! This Wednesday, a huge variety of new issues will go on sale, but how will you distribute your budget? It's a tough choice that many of us are forced to face on a weekly basis, and we here and Comic Vine want to make sure you're ready for the big day. The CV staff has reviewed the latest list of new releases, so now each of us will highlight some comics and explain why we believe they're worth reading. Once you're all set seeing what we recommend, go ahead and share your own list of essential comics. Maybe -- just maybe -- you'll motivate a fellow reader to check out one of the issues that's on your pull list.
Tony "G-Man" Guerrero's picks
BUCKY BARNES: THE WINTER SOLDIER #4
Ales Kot is taking Bucky Barnes to strange and new places. I’ve said it before, the idea of making Bucky an intergalactic protector seemed like an odd direction. With each issue, I’m liking the idea more and more. Kot has already taken Bucky on a crazy journey. He’s now on a far off planet about to meet someone really familiar to him from a different time. Bucky seems like he should be entrenched in physical combat and espionage type missions. Instead, he’s out in freakin’ space. The wonderful thing is it’s absolutely working. I never envisioned Bucky in sci-fi type stories.
Marco Rudy’s art is like an enlightening experience. As Bucky discovers new worlds and gathers new information, you feel like you’re learning new things as well.
The revelations this issue is promising sounds pretty astounding. I have no idea what’s coming up and I love it.
BATMAN ETERNAL #42
If you’ve been keeping up with this weekly series or if you’ve only just looked at the cover, you know what’s coming up. Harper Row is getting ready to get into the action. She’s seen her share before but this is her debut in full costume (okay, we actually saw it in the last issue). Harper is a character that intrigued me from her very first appearance in that one panel in the BATMAN #1. When we later saw her in BATMAN #7, she had a completely different look. Now she’s ready to continue her evolution into Bluebird.
We know BATMAN ETERNAL is approaching the end of the story. The action is building and there’s still more answers to uncover. With the events about to coincide with BATMAN #28, we’re finally seeing how everything fits together. The real question is what will be Batman’s first reaction to Harper in this guise?
Newsarama has an additional preview page.
BLACK WIDOW #14
BLACK WIDOW has been consistently great month after month. Natasha has found herself in a sticky situation as some of her secret activities have been made public. With the world believing she was simply an Avenger, this has raised a lot of questions with them. Now on a different sort of mission, Natasha is seeking out who is responsible for her current situation and she’s going to get answers in her own special way. It’s pretty fantastic having a book featuring an Avenger that simply has a completely different feel from those books. Black Widow is a complex character and this series has been giving us a look at a different side of Natasha.
Who remembers the TV show Millennium? Created by Chris Carter and starring Lance Henriksen, the show had a strange mix to it. Henriksen was a former FBI agent and had the ability to see into the minds of criminals even though he wasn’t psychic. He became a consultant for a mysterious organization called the Millennium Group and there often was no telling what was going on or who could be trusted. Sounds kind of similar to Chris Carter’s other TV show The X-Files? The two shows did cross over and this five-issue miniseries will pick up on that story.
Joe Harris has been doing a great job on THE X-FILES, also at IDW Publishing. Having him write this story is a perfect fit. With the possibility of discovering what has happened to Frank and his daughter in the years since the show ended, I had no idea how incredibly curious I actually was.
Visit CBR for an extra preview page
SUPERIOR IRON MAN #4
Tom Taylor is making Tony Stark straddle the line between good and…not so good. By introducing the Extremis ap, which gave people the ability to be perfect…at a price, Tony has been targeted by fellow hero currently residing in San Francisco - Daredevil. In the second issue Daredevil attempted to put Tony in his place and put a stop to his scheme which has caused countless citizens to resort to crime in order to pay for Extremis. Tony then turned the tables on Daredevil but the fight is not over. Daredevil is determined to put a stop to him.
Tom Taylor and Yildiray Cinar are giving us a different sort of Iron Man story. It might not be the Iron Man we knew before but with this (assumed) temporary change in his attitude, it’s been a blast seeing the events unfold.
Honorable Mention: GROO AND FRIENDS #1
Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring's picks
FANTASTIC FOUR #642
Well, it's here. The point where the cancellation of one of Marvel's best books currently on the shelves gets cancelled. FANTASTIC FOUR goes back to its numbering in the 600s and it all feels a bit too real for me. The hunt for Reed Richards continues and the Invaders are here in this issue as well. This book is kicking up the heat and James Robinson's run has been incredibly awesome. I' actually really excited to see members of Robinson's INVADERS to make their way into the book as well. I'm expecting some all-out awesomeness this week and you should too. If you've been reading this book, then obviously, keep on going. If you've missed out on reading this book, you really have to catch up.
THE KITCHEN #3
The first couple of issues of this limited series were fantastic. The wives of a group of imprisoned mobsters try to take over their collection duties and in the last issue, a not-so-great dude made his appearance and he's a bit of a dominating force. Ming Doyle is doing some exceptional art in this book and I've loved the look and feel of this comic and not just because it's from Vertigo. If you're interested in branching out a bit more and checking out something new, this would be a book to check out. It's a great story, great writing, great art, and just a great book. I said "great" a lot, so that means I think it's a pretty rad book.
Gregg "k4tz" Katzman's picks
ELEKTRA is without question one of Marvel's best titles -- that's a fact, not an opinion! Sadly, this is its penultimate issue. Yup, W. Haden Blackman and Michael Del Mundo's gorgeous and exciting adventure will conclude with issue #11, but let's save all of the sadness until after the series has come to an end, okay? For now, the thought of Elektra needing to extract information from Bullseye -- whose health is coming back to him -- is incredibly promising.
There's so much history between these two and, not only can it potentially take an action-packed turn, but it'll also provide yet another great insight into the dangerous assassin. Plus, more of Del Mundo's pages is always a good thing. Check out the preview and prepare to have your eyes amazed.
BATMAN AND ROBIN #38
Damian's back and he has super powers! If you hate Bruce's son, odds are you aren't reading this title anyway and I have no idea why you'd suddenly give it a shot. But for everyone else, this is looking like it'll be a crazy amount of fun and even offer some compelling material. As if Damian wasn't arrogant enough, the little dude is now a tank. He's super strong, super fast, super durable, and who knows what else he'll be capable of unleashing. Having Damian return from the dead is thrilling enough, but now he's coming back in a huge way. Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's comic really thrives when it focuses on the father-son dynamic, so this is loaded with potential.
Go to the A.V. Club for a look at the last preview page.
SPREAD #4 went on sale way back in November, so it has been quite a wait to see what'll happen next. But you know what? Good things are worth waiting for and Image's SPREAD is absolutely worth the wait. It's easily my favorite horror series at the moment and it looks like this issue is overflowing with insanity. We've finally received a good look at how humanity is adapting and we've seen just how dangerous the Spread can be, so now it's time to see what happens when you throw all of those elements into the same room.
Based on the preview, it's looking like this will deliver plenty of madness, horror, and vicious action. I love how Justin Jordan continues to make No say "no" in amusing ways. You'd think that would get old by now, but nope!
Who would have thought a story amount mutant animals and ninjas would be one of the most absorbing stories currently available? IDW's take on the popular franchise could have so easily been light on plot and heavy on entertaining action, but instead they're going heavy on mythos building and focusing on character. It's a decision that has seriously paid off and given this franchise so much new life. Sure, there's a ton of familiar elements, but it's all being handled in refreshing and clever ways and this latest story arc is proof of that.
There's been a huge amount of buildup and the creative team is skillfully moving all of the pieces into place before, well, something probably very crazy and oh-so-exciting will go down. They're handling it so well that I sincerely have no idea how the stage will look after this conflict comes to an end. The TMNT franchise is alive and well, people. Who cares if the latest movie wasn't your thing when there's a monthly comic that's this good?
THE VALIANT #2
What's up with Valiant's inability to create a bad series? Seriously, one day they're going to slip up, right? Thankfully, that day hasn't arrived just yet and THE VALIANT is yet another terrific comic from the publisher. It walks a fine line between appealing to brand new readers while also offering a whole lot of fan service.
There's a horrifying new villain, a huge and immersive story, and they've found an organic way to bring some of the coolest characters into the same book. And then there's Paolo Rivera's art. What's not to love? If you're wondering why people praise Valiant, buy the first issue. If you're one of the people who praise Valiant (give yourself a pat on the back), make sure you pick this one up because it's more than likely going to be epic.
Honorable Mention: DRIFTER #3
Corey "Undeadpool" Schroeder's picks
AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #13
After last issue's absolutely shocking reveal, this series has two extremely distinct ways it could go in, one of which would be the most shocking development in Spider-Man's history. His entire history. Now there's no guarantee it WILL go that direction, but whether or not it does, Dan Slott has cemented his place as one of the foremost writers on Spidey, and whether you love or hate his run, it's never been boring. Giuseppe Camuncoli continuing on art may be an omen of dark things to come, as he usually jumps on the title when things need to get serious and a little grim, which he does amazingly well.
SPIDER-VERSE TEAM-UP #3
The nomenclature may be all over the place, but there's no arguing with the quality of stories that have spun out of Spider-Verse and TEAM-UP is one of the most consistently fun. Giving us a closer, more character-driven look at the vast cast of characters that have come from the event is a great idea not just because of the quality of the book but because of how it raises the stakes on the core titles, giving us an investment in these characters. Christos Gage has written some of the best stuff across the titles so far, so seeing his name attached to this is great and Tom DeFalco's delivered the goods before as well. I'm not familiar with Ron Frenz, but I've enjoyed David Williams before and if last issue's anything to go by, I'm sure they'll both get the job done.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #38
Event fever broke out across several of the DCU's most prominent titles, so it's actually a bracing splash of refreshingly cold water across the face to get a comic book story that's just a straight-up, old-school flavored superhero tale. Amazo viruses, Lex Luthor recast as a hero, Batman working with him and super heroes in peril alongside superpowered citizenry, and it's all nice and self-contained. Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok are perfectly suited to delivering a darkly tinted tale of desperation and plague with the ultimate nobility at the center of it. The last few issues have been entertaining and intriguing, and I'm honestly more intrigued by what happens next here than I have been in awhile for this title.
Go to IGN for one more preview page.
Honorable Mention: MAGNETO #14