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Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio

It’s okay, change happens. It’s not the end of the world, we promise. As you may have noticed, we’re bringing a slight format change to what used to be “10 Comics to Buy This Week.” Why the change to something that worked, you might be asking? Well, there are a number of reasons, but the most important one is that we started to notice that the majority of readers were using our weekly "must buy" list not as a recommendation tool but instead as a reference tool just to see what was coming out any given week.

Now, we’re not telling anyone how to spend their hard-earned money, but our goal is for this weekly column to be something people can look to for near 100% accuracy when pointing out quality titles. Because as we all know, the problem isn’t finding comics to read, it’s reading the ones that make the most of your limited budget. And thus, our new and (hopefully) improved column has been born.

After reading this column we want you to feel something like this:

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On to business, then: firstly, you’ll notice our typical ten titles have been cut down to five (or there about). But we’re sticking with the old adage: quality over quantity. We might recommend fewer titles, but the ones we pick week to week are sure-fire hits – we’re putting our reputation on the line. So buy what you want to buy, but carve out some room on your pull for these titles. You won't regret it.

Finally, outside further expansion on why we recommend each book, we’re also going to provide preview pages for each title (when available) to give you an idea how the book reads and looks. You can click each image to enlarge.

Our hope is that between our write-ups and the preview art, you’ll understand why we stand by these books. Okay, that’s enough of my babbling. Let’s get to it. And if you love the new format or hate it with white-hot passion, sound off in the comments below to let us know.

Batwoman #0 - $2.99

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I’m going to be honest, BATWOMAN hit a bit of a rough patch spinning out of the series’ first story arc. J.H. Williams III left art duties and the story kind of meandered around to provide quick snippets of each storyline to keep readers in the know about everything going on. What this produced, unfortunately, was a very fractured second arc that lost a bit of the series’ forward momentum.

But now we’re catching our breath and regrouping with this month’s Zero issue. Firstly, J.H. Williams III is back on art duties (he was back last month, too, and it was glorious). Secondly, Haden Blackman and Williams III are delving into the early years of Kate Kane’s life to explore why she first became Batwoman.

Now, we’ve kind of been given touches of her backstory with DC’s 52 event from a few years ago, as well as Greg Rucka’s DETECTIVE COMICS run starring Batwoman, also from a few years back. Our hope is that this Zero issue mines a bit deeper and offers up some truly great moments that rival what Blackman and Williams accomplished with this series’ first five issues.

But if all else fails, at least we have beautiful J.H. Williams III art to fall back on. Seriously, it’s worth the $3 price tag.

CBR has the exclusive preview on this one:

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Penguin: Pain and Prejudice TPB - $14.99

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Thanks to writer Gregg Hurwitz and artist Szymon Kudranski, Penguin finally has his own version of THE KILLING JOKE. I know those are big words, but they are also true words. Hurwitz mines the darkest depths of Penguin’s mind to produce a series that is truly astounding. In fact, you might even find yourself feeling sympathy for the character whenever Batman bursts in to ruin his day. Now that’s powerful writing.

Likewise, Kudranski’s artwork is appropriately dark and moody, perfectly complementing the tone of Hurwitz’s story. PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE is a near perfect melding of words and art, leading to one of the year’s best character examinations.

I loved the series as it came out in single issues, and now it’s available as a collected trade paperback. If you’ve never really been a big fan of the Penguin, this is the book to turn you around on the character. Just don’t expect a happy resolution.

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Peter Panzerfaust #6 - $3.50

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It’s the start of a new story arc and that means a perfect jumping on point for new readers. It's no secret Image has been pumping out a lot of amazing creator-owned books. PETER PANZERFAUST is absolutely one of them. For the uninitiated, PETER PANZERFAUST reimagines the Peter Pan mythology and sets it in the middle of World War II. So you get some Peter Pan awesomeness mixed with Nazis. Here’s your cake and, yes, you can eat it too.

The first story arc established our cast and had them overcome their first obstacle together. Now, Peter and the rest of the Lost Boys are determined not to stick their tails between their legs and run. They’re officially entering the war to kick some Nazi butt, while also heading out to try and rescue their friend and prisoner of war, Felix.

As mentioned before, this is the start of a new story for the series. However, if you must start from the beginning of the tale, know that there is a trade paperback collecting the series’ first five issues available now. So pick that up when you head to your shop this week to buy issue #6.

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Spider-Men #5 - $3.99

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It would be easy to label this series as professional fan fiction, what with 616 Spider-Man meeting Ultimate Spider-Man and them learning who is alive and dead in their respective universes. But that would be selling the work of Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli way short. SPIDER-MEN is a spidey story with some honest heart, something that’s kind of lacking right now in the main AMAZING SPIDER-MAN series.

And it all comes down to one final issue to see if the Ol’ Webhead duo – with the help of the Ultimates – can take down Mysterio once and for all.

There should be some big fireworks and a nice emotional sendoff to this team-up that has spanned universes.

You know, Marvel once joked that if they ever did a 616/Ultimate team-up title it would mean they’ve run out of ideas. I know many people that have dredged up that line when talking about SPIDER-MEN. But, honestly, if the concept can be pulled off this spectacularly, who cares if they’re scrapping the proverbial bottom of the bucket, creatively? I sure don’t.

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Wonder Woman #0 - $2.99

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Are you reading Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang’s WONDER WOMAN? If not, shame on you. Seriously. The whole idea of the New 52 was fresh takes on classic characters. There is no other creative team working on DC’s line-wide relaunch that has taken that concept to heart quite like Azzarello and Chiang. And because of it, WONDER WOMAN is entertaining, unpredictable and completely engaging.

We’ve recommended plenty of issues of WONDER WOMAN before when this column went by its old title. So another recommendation shouldn’t surprise you. However, Azzarello and Chiang have promised some truly unpredictable things with this month’s Zero issue. And that doesn’t only apply to what happens betwixt the covers. Azzarello has stated that this issue is so much more than a flashback to the early years of Diana, instead choosing to do something that is so wildly contrary to what everyone else at DC is doing with his or her Zero issues. That has us intrigued.

WONDER WOMAN, month in and month out, is a safe bet purchase. WONDER WOMAN #0 will not be any different. And if you haven’t been reading this series thus far, now’s a great time to jump aboard.

[Preview not available.]

Erik Norris is a freelance writer for sites such as ComicVine, IGN and CraveOnline.com. You can stalk him on Twitter @Regular_Erik.

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#1 Posted by GrimoireMyst (639 posts) - - Show Bio

Only the Wonder Woman issue interested me this time around. lol I haven't read anything on Batwoman and haven't caught up on the Spider-Man issues lately.

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#2 Posted by zexion_armando (104 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the idea, but I don't like the amount (it does seem to small).

And I don't like the idea of putting Trades on there either.

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#3 Posted by GothamRed (2618 posts) - - Show Bio

what else from marvel comics out this week?

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#4 Posted by Twentyfive (3057 posts) - - Show Bio

Sword of Sorcery for me! I think it comes out this week.

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#5 Edited by DarthStorm (162 posts) - - Show Bio

Spider-Men number 5 comes out this week?!

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#6 Edited by Necrotic_Lycanthrope (2501 posts) - - Show Bio

I usually love Batwoman's covers, but for some reason the #0 image doesn't have that oomph it usually has. Hmm, dunno why. I guess I got spoiled with the asymmetry and colors of the previous few issues.

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#7 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (11477 posts) - - Show Bio

From the list I am getting Spider-men

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#8 Posted by SoA (6245 posts) - - Show Bio

spider-men and i aim to read every issue 0 .

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#9 Posted by cc1738 (371 posts) - - Show Bio

This week I'm getting Nightwing, Wonder Woman, Planetoid, and Red Hood and the Outlaws. I might get New Guardians for the Rise of the Third army stuff, but I haven't decided yet.

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#10 Posted by theTimeStreamer (2845 posts) - - Show Bio

only things im getting: spider-men (dont f this up bendis, you're close to not making me put c4 in your car next week) and ww 0.

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#11 Posted by Deranged Midget (18346 posts) - - Show Bio

Spider-Men is the only thing worth getting from the list for me. Bendis has been knocking it out of the park and it's easily one of the best Spider-Man stories in years.

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#12 Posted by CombatSpoon86 (962 posts) - - Show Bio

Wonder Woman, Batwoman and Daredevil this wk. Saving some money this wk.

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#13 Edited by MadeinBangladesh (12480 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont like the new format :(  prefer  the 10 comics to get
I'm getting DAREDEVIL and WALKING DEAD
I tried reading Wonder woman. Didint like it. Not a big fan of mythology.
BATWOMAN- One of the best Comics in new 52.
Spidermen- Im gonna get this also. Love this mini series

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#14 Posted by Falconer (173 posts) - - Show Bio

As a relatively new reader, I'm liking the change up. I especially like the addition of preview pages when available. This is the only comic site I go to, so the only other time I would see the inside of a book is at the store. But if a cover doesn't grab me, or I haven't heard a book talked about before here on Comic Vine, then I won't look inside of an issue to see if it grabs me.

Keep up the great work guys.

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#15 Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio

@zexion_armando said:

I like the idea, but I don't like the amount (it does seem to small).

And I don't like the idea of putting Trades on there either.

The amount of things we cover will fluctuate week to week. Might have only 4, might have 6, etc. We're sticking with fewer to make them come across as more important. This is still kind of a test. So we'll see how this new format is received over the coming weeks.

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#16 Posted by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

Nightwing and venom . Venom finshes the 3 issue arc or monster of evil!

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#17 Edited by cyberchop979 (466 posts) - - Show Bio

Love the new format. And I also enjoy the fact that I you write your articles as if you are having a conversation with someone. Kinda like the witty repartee you have with Joey on "Assemble".

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#18 Edited by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

Needs few more books and hopefully you wont need go into long depth about the article next . Decent list , venom could of been up there since it's finshing up a arch. I would do 4 books and a trade per week Eric. Just my opinion!

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#19 Posted by feebadger (1599 posts) - - Show Bio

Great new format. Love it. Really helpful, especially to new readers of comics i think. You've done a great service to comics here, sir (oh, and i will DEFINITELY be looking into the Penguin series. Thanks for the heads up).

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#20 Posted by NuclearLife (53 posts) - - Show Bio

Liking the new format, especially the previews, makes me think I should start reading Batwoman. Shame you didn't have a preview for Wonder Woman though.

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#21 Posted by Taylors005 (121 posts) - - Show Bio

from this list of essentials im gettign

Batwoman

Wonder Woman

Spider-Men

and it everything else is out on time

amazing spider-man #694
before watchmen: nite owl #3
birds of prey #0
captain atom #0
catwoman #0
red hood and the outlaws #0
venom #25
gambit #3
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#22 Posted by feargalr (1245 posts) - - Show Bio

AHHHHHHHHHHHH SPIDER-MEN 5! I forgot about that!!

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#23 Posted by zackattack529 (1408 posts) - - Show Bio

please don't put trades(despite how good penguin was, i have the issues), its a waste of space and try to shorten up your thoughts on the issues, i felt like i read a book reading all this aha

good format i guess. i like the new idea of previews.

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#24 Posted by lifeboy (1717 posts) - - Show Bio

SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEYYY!!!!!! :D

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#25 Posted by lifeboy (1717 posts) - - Show Bio

actually, im not getting anything from this list because all my comics are home subscription, but i liked the other format because it previewed good ones also and there was 10. it helped me stay more informed as to what is going on.

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#26 Posted by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

7/10 on the format

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#27 Posted by sweetesttoaster (144 posts) - - Show Bio

Your choice of 100% accurate quality titles doesn't mean that they are my choices of 100% accurate quality titles. Everybody has different opinions so this article/column doesn't really work. However, I do like the new format. More explanation of why a title is good rather than just the solicit is a good start on the changes.

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#28 Posted by ALittleTooRaph (91 posts) - - Show Bio

Penguin was awesome, and if you haven't read the single issues you should grab the trade. However, I'm just going to list my Top 10 single issues of the week below...

  1. Artifacts #21
  2. Justice League #0
  3. New Mutants #49
  4. Nightwing #0
  5. Red Hood & Outlaws #0
  6. Spider-Men #5
  7. Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #15
  8. X-Factor #244
  9. Catwoman #0
  10. Star Wars: Darth Vader - Ghost Prison #5 (of 5)
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#29 Posted by ALittleTooRaph (91 posts) - - Show Bio

@Taylors005: Nice list! However, I don't think Gambit #3 drops this week unfortunately. I'm a big fan too, so hopefully I'm wrong!

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#30 Posted by StarKiller809 (1727 posts) - - Show Bio

Only Wonder Woman... I think you guys should add more titles. Five isn't really a lot, but I sorta like this new format.

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#31 Posted by RedOwl_1 (1743 posts) - - Show Bio

@feargalr said:

AHHHHHHHHHHHH SPIDER-MEN 5! I forgot about that!!

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#32 Posted by Taylors005 (121 posts) - - Show Bio

@ALittleTooRaph: i just checked diamond releases and it looks like youre right gambit #3 does not come out this week :'(

instead the 2nd printing of issue 1 does

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#33 Posted by salmy (33 posts) - - Show Bio

Wonder Woman is excellent, I hope the zero issue can live up to the series so far. I drop Batwoman at like issue 8 and haven't regreted it. Its not the same without Rucka.

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#34 Posted by judasnixon (12170 posts) - - Show Bio

  

  In Wonder Woman #0, Wonder Woman will kick Steven Seagal in his taint, and steal his copy of 50 Shades of Grey! "Spoiler"
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#35 Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio

@Cavemold said:

7/10 on the format

What do you like and what don't you like? Constructive criticism helps.

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#36 Edited by SmashBrawler (6033 posts) - - Show Bio

From this list:

  • Wonder Woman
  • Spider-Men

The rest:

  • Green Lantern: New Guardians
  • Justice League
  • Sword of Sorcery

The new format is pretty cool, although I don't like the idea of having trades here

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#37 Posted by erik_norris (194 posts) - - Show Bio

@sweetesttoaster said:

Your choice of 100% accurate quality titles doesn't mean that they are my choices of 100% accurate quality titles. Everybody has different opinions so this article/column doesn't really work. However, I do like the new format. More explanation of why a title is good rather than just the solicit is a good start on the changes.

Right. And that mindset is kind of why we're toying with honing the list down to the bare essentials of stuff that everyone should dig, no matter taste. Because you're right, what I like isn't necessarily what you like. And that's how things should be. But with sticking to roughly five or so titles, it's us kind of saying, "hey, we know everyone has different taste, but we think these books offer something everyone can enjoy." Make sense?

That said, we're seeing how this works for the time being, while also taking into account input from you guys to maybe perfect the idea as we go along.

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#38 Posted by ALittleTooRaph (91 posts) - - Show Bio

@Taylors005 said:

@ALittleTooRaph: i just checked diamond releases and it looks like youre right gambit #3 does not come out this week :'(

instead the 2nd printing of issue 1 does

Boooo! Oh well, guess we're waiting.

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#39 Posted by longbowhunter (9425 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a really light week for me. I think I'm only picking up Walking Dead and Daredevil. Penguin: Pain and Prejudice was great. When written well Oswald Cobblepot is one of my favorite bat villains.

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#40 Posted by sora_thekey (8812 posts) - - Show Bio

Spider-Men described as "professional fan fiction"... I like it!

Can't wait to read the final issue of this series.

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#41 Posted by ArtisticNeedham (2728 posts) - - Show Bio

JUSTICE LEAGUE #0 $3.99

DAREDEVIL #18 $2.99

SPIDER-MEN #5 $3.99

As of right now, the ones I think I'll be getting.

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#42 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6958 posts) - - Show Bio

Why are WW's boots on the Zero cover looking white/gray?

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#43 Posted by hunter5024 (130 posts) - - Show Bio

If people were using these weekly lists as a way to see what's coming out this week, then maybe instead of changing the article so that it highlights your original intention, you should've changed the article so that it serves the useful purpose people were using it for better? I mean I like the format this week, but maybe you should just split this into two different lists for each purpose.

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#44 Posted by Cavemold (1818 posts) - - Show Bio

More books and less writing so you can put more pictures up,it a wee bit cluttered with text . Other than that it was good!

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#45 Posted by Fuchsia_Nightingale (10191 posts) - - Show Bio

Wonder Woman, Batwoman, Spidermen

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#46 Posted by GBrutality (207 posts) - - Show Bio

yeah, to be honest i'd rather the ol' top ten as well.

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#47 Posted by SavageDragon (2257 posts) - - Show Bio

Nothing for me this week. I like what your doing here but prefer the old format because of the longer list. Its ok i got the youtube show Week n' Geek for that. Good stuff.

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#48 Posted by broo1232 (1664 posts) - - Show Bio

Daredevil!!

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#49 Posted by Billy Batson (59908 posts) - - Show Bio

Like this new format but it needs more titles :)
BB

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#50 Posted by RedX9 (76 posts) - - Show Bio

Wonder Woman, Justice League, Spider-men, Nightwing, and Star Wars: Darth vader and the ghost prison are my picks for the week