You’ve seen the list of new comics that are arriving in stores this week, but what should you pick up? Take the jump as the Major Spoilers Staff picks the books they are most looking forward to this week.

Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Humberto Ramos
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: When Black Cat is arrested, Matt Murdock is the only lawyer who will touch her case. Plus, Spider-Man and Daredevil team up!

STEPHEN: COME’ON! I can’t believe everyone didn’t pick this book as one of their recommendations for the week. Daredevil, Spider-Man, AND Black Cat all drawn by Humberto Ramos!? This book has gooey awesome all over it. And for some fanboys, I’m gonna guess that last sentence has a literal meaning to it, too.

AVENGERS 1959 #5
Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Colorist: Jesus Aburtov
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Cover Artist: Howard Chaykin, Jesus Aburtov
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: NICK FURY and his 1950s AVENGERS in a final confrontation with the AGENTS OF ICON!

MATTHEW:  One of Marvel’s more delightful surprises of 2011, this series overcomes my loathing of Sabretooth to posit a retcon that ties into the upcoming Avengers movie, improves on the source material, and also gives us a wonderful nod to the Avengers television show.  Dominic Fortune side by side with Sergei Kravinoff, as drawn by Howie Chaykin, is worth the price of admission all by itself…

Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “Hydrology,” the first arc of the critically acclaimed new BATWOMAN series, reaches its powerful conclusion! After the horrors Batwoman has faced, she has a final showdown with The Weeping Woman – a specter with the power to dredge up Kate’s deepest pain. Can she finally forgive herself so she can dispel this evil? And how will she respond when Chase and the DEO tighten their grip, forcing Kate to make an impossible decision?

JIMMY:  Batwoman and the Flash are the two titles of the relaunch that I have most enjoyed on an art level. I tend to be skeptical of artists that also write their own books, mostly due to being burned by Tony Daniel and David Finch’s awful bat-books, but my gosh J.H. Williams III knows what he’s doing. It isn’t quite as good as when Rucka was writing, but it isn’t a huge difference by any means.

DARK MATTER #1 (of 4)
Writer: Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie
Artist: Garry Brown and Ryan Hill
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: A derelict ship floats in space, its troubled crew awakened from stasis with no memories of who they are or how they got on board. Their search for answers triggers the vessel’s deadly security system: a relentless android bent on their destruction. Facing threats at every turn, they have to work together to survive a voyage charged with vengeance, redemption, betrayals, and hidden secrets best left unknown.

RODRIGO: This book appears to have every space trope thrown in. I look forward to hearing the android say “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Ripley.” I just hope that the whole thing kicks off with two heroes from opposing alien races trying to pass through a trade federation blockade.

Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Diogenes Neves and Oclair Albert
Cover Artist: Mike Choi
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The pressure is mounting as the Horde prepares to breach the walls of Little Spring – but inside the town, our heroes are at each other’s throats! With their fragile alliance in tatters, and the enemy whispering in their ears, someone’s going to break – but for a reason you never saw coming!

JIMMY:  Paul Cornell has been killing it on Demon Knights. Vandal Savage has somehow managed to become an hilariously comedic character, which is something I never expected to see. The rest of the cast has been developing really well, and the art has been great; if you like epic fantasy, you HAVE to be reading Demon Knights.

Writer: Tom Defalco & Various
Artist: Ron Wilson, Alan Kupperberg
Cover Artist: Ron Wilson
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $19.99

MATTHEW:  Aaah, the comics of my youth!  Some see MTIO as a poor man’s Marvel Team-Up, but it’s central to my understanding of Ben Grimm as a character and the Marvel Universe as an entity.  The stories reprinted here (minus the issue #99 appearance of ROM, he being owned by Parker Brothers) feature the likes of Ghost Rider, Black Goliath and Machine Man, as well as the Thing’s issue-long talk over beers with The Sandman, and the simply WONDERFUL Annual #7 battle with the Champion of the Universe.  Highly recommended!

Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy
Cover Artist: Doug Mahnke, Christian Alamy, Mike Choi
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The conclusion to Sinestro and Hal Jordan’s invasion of the planet Korugar! Can these two enemies cooperate long enough to liberate the world from the tyranny of the Sinestro Corps?

ZACH:  This book has yet to let me down since the start of the New 52. Seeing Sinestro be the lead character has been an interesting dynamic as he tries to reconcile his mistakes on his home world. I’m looking forward to the ending of the initial story arc and seeing where Johns takes it from there.

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley & John Rauch
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: It came from outer space–and Invincible was completely unprepared. Get ready for another classic beat down in the grand Invincible fashion–but what does this have to do with The Viltrumites?

JIMMY:  I am very unsure where Kirkman is taking this title, story-wise, as this issue should bring us back to Invincible and his new precarious alliance with a major villain, but I can tell you one thing: it won’t be crap. (And that’s as close as I am going to come to the “Kirkman! Gotta poop!” joke from the MSP). This issue sees the return of Ryan Ottley on the art, and while I enjoy Corey Walker, I do tend to prefer Ottley.

Written by Brian Holguin and Brian Froud
Illustrated by Alex Sheikman, Lizzy John and Brian Froud
Cover by Brian Froud
Publisher: Archaia
Cover Price: $19.95

SOLICITATION:  Part one of a three-part graphic novel prequel series delving into the origins of the Skeksis, Mystics, Gelflings, the world of Thra and the Dark Crystal itself. Spanning a time period from thousands of years ago to right up to the start of the original Jim Henson film, this graphic novel epic will tell the definitive origin of the Dark Crystal, under the supervision of The Jim Henson Company and The Dark Crystal concept designer Brian Froud.

STEPHEN Love, Love, LOVE The Dark Crystal, and this look at what happened before the movie, has me intrigued.  I hope it doesn’t seem forced, where everyone knows and has known one another for generations, but something that really explores the world of The Dark Crystal.  Guess we’ll find out, on this week’s Major Spoilers Podcast.

Writer: Mike Mignola, John Arcudi
Artist: Tonci Zonjic
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Cover Artist: Dave Johnson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: When a tribe of phantom Indians start scalping policemen, Hellboy’s crime-fighting hero Lobster Johnson and his allies arrive to take on these foes and their gangster cronies!

STEPHEN: What can I say, I simply couldn’t wait for this book to come out. Lobster Johnson is a great pulp character, created by the brilliant mind of Mike Mignola. The premise of Ghost Indians terrorizing the citizens of New York in a big land grab is a great hook.

Script: Ian Flynn
Art: Ben Bates, Gary Martin, John Workman, Matt Herms
Cover by Patrick ìSpazî Spaziante
Sketch Variant Cover by Ben Bates
Shipping Date: 12/28/2011
On Sale at Comic Specialty Shops: 1/11/2011
On Sale on Newsstands: 1/17/2012
32-page, full color comic
$2.99 US.
SOLICITATION: Dr. Wily Returns Part One: With the villainous Dr. Wily gone and no Robot Masters for him to steal, the world seems safe! Mega Man prepares to return to the quiet life of Rock the Helper Robot until the lightning-fast Quick Man attacks Light Labs! Dr. Wily is back, and this time he’s brought his own Robot Masters in his new bid to conquer the world!

RODRIGO: I’ve been meaning to check out Archie’s Mega Man, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Sounds like whatever arc they were on before is over so this might be a good jumping-on point. Possible downside? This one features Quick Man, which I hated in the game because he was so quick.

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Declan Shalvey
Cover Artist: Massimo Carnevale
Publisher: Vertigo
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATIONS: “The Icelandic Trilogy”, continues with part 6 of 9, titled “Commerce.” Where once the Haukssons lived a frontier life, conquering lands with sword and shield, the twin siblings who now carry the name conquer their enemies with money and influence. As the entire nation undergoes a huge cultural shift, can the Hauksson bloodline survive?

GEORGE:  As Northlanders is coming to a close, Brian Wood has been going out in style. Issue #47 ends the second arc of the 9 issue Icelandic Trilogy, a multi-generational saga of how the coming of Christianity changed Norse society. Declan Shalvey has been knocking it out of the park on art duties on this arc. It is sad to see Northlanders ending, but it’s going out on top.

Writer: Herik Hanna
Artist: Trevor Hairsine
Colorist: Sebastien lamirand
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Cover: Trevor Hairsine
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: X-Men Deadly Genesis and Wisdom artist Trevor Hairsine brings you WWII action like you’ve never seen before! It’s 1936. A German intelligence officer is tortured by his superiors. They want to know why he has turned against them. Imprisoned, he gives up nothing as he seemingly waits for death…or the right time to strike! Written by Herik Hanna and drawn by Trevor Hairsine, Operation: Broken Wings, 1936 gives you deadly intrigue and bone-crunching action exactly as you like it!

ROB: A WWII comic about a Nazi spy that defects to the Allies after murdering some top Nazi officials. I’ll be the first to admit that WWII stories are overdone, but the first two issues were a good read and I’m really do want to see where the story ends.

Writer: Nate Cosby & Ben McCool
Artist: Breno Temura
Cover: Dave Gibbon
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The Cuban KGB sleeper cell’s gotta break into the most dangerous prison on earth & kill a neo-Nazi. It goes…BADLY.

GEORGE:  Pigs has had a couple of uneven issues, but this tale of second generation Soviet-trained spies and saboteurs has effectively created an interesting background full of conspiracy and conflicting duties. This issue begins the second arc, in which the team has to infiltrate San Quentin.  Nate Crosby and Ben McCool are writing a brutal comic book that’s different from most everything else on the shelf.

Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Cover: Ryan Stegman
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Get ready for a new brand of web-slinging action in your first look at Scarlet Spider #1! From the red-hot creative team of Chris Yost & Ryan Stegman, Kaine – the all-new Scarlet Spider – finds himself on the run in Texas after saving New York City from becoming the world’s largest spider nest during Spider-Island. But when his escape is stopped by a super-powered crime syndicate, Kaine must put an end to their corruption the only way he knows how…violently.

GEORGE: Dan Slott did what I thought was impossible in the pages of Spider-Man during Spider Island. He made me care about Kaine. Chris Yost is writing the further adventures of Peter Parker’s clone in Houston, Texas (which is a welcome break from the very New York-centric Marvel U). I should know better, but my 90s nostalgia is forcing me to read this book. Kaine’s Scarlet Spider looks to be darker and more lethal than the Ben Reilly of yore. I’m hoping it’s more than just a nostalgia exercise, but part of me always did like that powder blue sweatshirt.

ROB: Coming out of Spider Island is really helping this title as potentially worthwhile. That said, I like a Spider-Man that’s not in New York, and one that isn’t exactly Peter Parker. I’m really looking forward to what Chris Yost can do with the elder Spider-Clone.

Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone
Cover Artist: Tony Harris
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: In the tradition of the “Times Past” issues of STARMAN comes a story of revenge, murder and betrayal set in the 1940s! The Shade is just beginning his long criminal career, but when an industrialist who is helping with the war effort is targeted for assassination, the Shade surprisingly seeks to help save the man! Who is this man, and who is the strange woman on this issue’s cover? Find out more about the Shade’s true origin in this story illustrated by the amazing team of Darwyn Cooke and J. Bone!

MATTHEW:  After the JLA debacle post-Blackest Night, I had feared that James Robinson had lost his mojo.  This series, featuring old-school immortal villain The Shade, assures me that this is not the case.  Whatever happened in JLA (I blame editorial meddling, but then I always blame editorial meddling), this book puts that rascal Dickie Swift back on the map and promises another of Robinson’s trademark “Times Past” stories, one of the great delights of J.R.’s Starman work.  (And is that Madame Fatal on the cover?)

Writer: CW Cooke
Publisher: Bluewater Productions
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Steve Jobs is a very elusive individual. He strays from the public eye. He keeps to himself. He’s not a paparazzi driven, media-hungry entity. He’s a creator, an inventor, a genius. And he’s the brains behind some of Apple’s biggest items. Learn here the story behind the man, the legend of Steve Jobs. Get the inside scoop on what drives him to create and where his first need for intelligence came from. From his first Apple computer all the way to the newest inventions, learn how this man has shaped the company, and himself, for the better.

RODRIGO: I know we give Bluewater Productions a lot of crap for their biographies… oh, were you expecting me to say something else like, “But at least part of the proceeds are going to a good cause?” Nope, don’t care, I’m looking forward to making fun of yet another (poorly) illustrated Wikipedia article.

Writer: David Lapham
Artist: Mike Huddleston
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: As an eclipse covers New York City in midday darkness, Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team from the Centers for Disease Control struggle to find an explanation for what happened to Flight 753. But when the symptoms don’t add up to chemical warfare, and bizarre circumstances unexplained by modern medicine arise, Ephraim begins to entertain the ramblings of a Holocaust survivor who knows too much about this unknown threat.

ZACH:  The cover price of $1 for the first issue of The Strain is initially what had me interested, as I’m not familiar with the Guillermo del Toro’s work. That first issue had art that I enjoyed and an exciting enough story that I will again be picking this up.

Writer: Adam Glass
Aritist: Fedrico Dallocchi
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Super-Villain prison riot! After returning from a string of hellish missions, the surviving members of the Suicide Squad are forced to undertake one last task: stop an all-out riot inside Belle Reve Penitentiary, the roughest Super-Villain prison on the planet!
They’re a team of death-row super villains brought together by a government agency to take on the most dangerous missions. The villains from the DC Universe star in their very own dangerous action packed series!

ASHLEY: With a diverse cast and an intriguing concept I can’t help but love this story arch. This read will keep you on your toes and wondering what makes a real bad guy. It has danger, adventure and even a little steamy romance blooming? I can’t wait to find out more about the team in the next issue.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: R. B. Silva and Rob Lean
Cover Artist: Shane Davis and Jonathan Glapion
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: They created Superboy to be a weapon, not a hero. But on the eve of his conflict with the Teen Titans, Superboy will make the first truly moral choice of his short life – though he might not be prepared to live with the consequences!

ZACH:  Generally I wouldn’t buy a book just because it ties into the series I enjoy, but that is not the case with Superboy.  Not only does this give you more knowledge about the evil N.O.W.H.E.R.E. to go along with Teen Titans, but has given an exciting backstory on Superboy.

Writer: James Roberts
Artist: Nick Roche
Publisher: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATIONS: The ultimate Transformers saga begins here! This second all-new ongoing Transformers title reunites the fan-favorite creative team behind Last Stand of the Wreckers and sends the Transformers on an epic quest to the farthest reaches of the Transformers Universe and beyond! The adventure starts here!

ROB: No more Optimus Prime, no more Autobot/Decepticon War, all new Transformers. After the great Death of Optimus Prime issue, this looks like a good time to dive headfirst into the Transformers Universe.


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  1. This is a great new feature. I hope you guys keep it up! I’ll be picking up Dark Matter on Wednesday because of the article.
    I’ll add that Roger Landrige’s Snarked! #4 comes out this week, and that book is delightful.

    • Snarked ALMOST made my list… I’ve reviewed a couple of the previous issues, and it’s on my physical pull list despite the fact that Boom! sends us review copies.

  2. I’m really liking these Staff Picks, don’t stop doing ’em! =]
    And is it just me, or does the “ESSENTIAL MARVEL TWO IN ONE TP VOL 4” cover look like Batman is going to show up?

  3. I haven’t really been too interested in The Shade, not having a history with the character, but I will say I really like the retro feel of that cover.

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