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.

BATMAN AND ROBIN #6
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: As the bond between Batman and Robin deteriorates, Robin is forced by NoBody to make a life and death decision – and Batman’s hunt through Gotham City to find them reaches a soul-searing moment that will push Batman to the edge!

ZACH: So I started playing Arkham City (Holy broken clavicles Batman is it awesome!) this weekend and I’m on a bigger Batman kick than usual, which is my main reason for wanting to read this issue. I have read the first two issues of Batman and Robin and thought it was going in a decent direction, so I’m not going into this blind. But, again, I just need even more Batman.

BATWOMAN #6
Writer: JH Williams III
Artist: Amy Reeder
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Six lives, inextricably linked in the past and present, each on a collision course with the others: Batwoman, fighting for duty and vengeance against a threat of arcane power. Detective Maggie Sawyer, investigating a case that could end her career. DEO Agent Cameron Chase, commanding a vigilante she despises. Colonel Jacob Kane, clutching at a life that’s slipping away. Maro, a new villain corrupting Gotham City. And Kate Kane, wrestling with decisions that will test her loyalties.

GEORGE: A lot of people talk about J.H. Williams III’s art on this series, and rightfully so. He’s one of the most imaginative artists working in mainstream comics, working with a fluidity and artfulness that use the comic medium’s potential to the fullest. But Williams’ writing let me feeling cold during the first few issues of this series. I can safely say that’s changed – the story shifted gears, ending the first arc as Kate Kane made a deal with the devil while definitely sinking a hook in this fan. The last two issues I’ve enjoyed the writing just as much as the visuals, and hopefully that will continue with issue 6.

JIMMY: This has been another of DC’s top books visually, being written and drawn by JH Williams III, who is notorious for his love of deadlines (he loves the sound they make as they go whooshing by). Unfortunately I think it is either this issue or the next where he is stepping aside (at least temporarily) on the art, so the onus will be on his story. Thankfully the story has been solid so far as well, so I am still looking forward to seeing where we go, and am cautiously optimistic.

CARNAGE USA #3
Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Clayton Crain
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Spider-Man’s battle to save America’s Heartland from Carnage takes a fatal turn! With the Avengers possessed by evil and a city undersiege, it may take symbiotes to beat a symbiote! Look for a final page reveal!

GEORGE: Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain’s first Carnage miniseries left me underwhelmed, as the story about the clunky fusion of symbiote biology and Stark technology just didn’t mesh in a narrative or emotional sense. But Carnage USA is living up to the potential of that series. Setting the action in rural America puts Crain’s body horror art in stark relief. The images of Cletus Kasady’s symbiote slurping up cow carcasses at a slaughterhouse will last with me for some time, and suits the creeping horror of Carnage much better than mindless superheroics in the shadow of urban skyscrapers. Just as Crain’s art is really shining, so too is Wells’ writing. His version of Carnage is terrifying, and he’s been raising the stakes higher each issue. Also that cover is awesome.

RODRIGO: Yes, I did start reading comics in the 90s, no, I don’t think we needed a murderier venom, yes I do want to read this, no I’m not smoking anything, yes I’ll probably regret it.

DEMON KNIGHTS #6
Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Diogenes Neves
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Bodies are piling up, and one of their own has switched sides to lead the charge to destroy them! So how will the Knights turn the tide of battle? It all comes down to the deal Etrigan and Jason Blood have made. But can a demon truly be trusted under fire, or would he rather watch you burn?

JIMMY: Demon Knights #5 left us with a huge cliffhanger, as Vandal Savage (at least seems to have) defected to the enemy. I am not convinced that all is what it seems, but am quite interested in seeing where Paul Cornell takes us.

DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS #15
Writer: John Rogers
Artist: Andrea Di Vito
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The thrilling conclusion to “Down”! Fell’s Five attempts to rescue prisoners from an ancient temple filled with loathsome fish-people, who have a shocking connection to one of our adventurers! Join us as John Rogers and Andrea Di Vito bring us the latest chapter in their thrilling adventures of swords and sorcery!

ROB: More Dungeons, more Dragons, more Halflings! Okay, that last may not seem as exciting, but trust me, she’s great. This has all the marks of a great book and a great game. Finding out how the plans of Fell’s Five will back fire this time should be just as enjoyable as every other time.

FANGBONE! THIRD-GRADE BARBARIAN
Writer: Michael Rex
Artist: Michael Rex
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
SOLICITATION: Eastwood Elementary has a new student, and he’s nothing like the other kids in 3G. Fangbone is a barbarian warrior from another world! And he’s been charged with the task of keeping a deadly weapon from Skullbania’s vilest villains, Venomous Drool. Can Fangbone’s new classmates team up to help him triumph over hound-snakes, lava-ferrets, and his first pop quiz?

BRUCE: This looks like a lot of fun. The goofy premise of a barbarian kid in a modern school is a premise ripe with the promise of chaos and misunderstanding. I look forward to reading this with my daughter who loves this sort of thing, and as it seems aimed at kids her age, it’s a perfect excuse to pick it up for myself.

GARTH ENNIS NINJETTES #1
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Eman Casollos
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Who are they? How did they come to be dead and/or decapitated? And what kind of brutal insanity is their passing about to unleash? Find out the grim connection between college student Kelly Hara and the ice-cold engine of death known as Varla as the origin of the Ninjettes is revealed! Don’t miss this ultra-violent odyssey of sin, scandal, brutality and branding!

MATTHEW: I kind of wonder whether or not I should be excited about this book or not. On the one hand, Ennis created this book as a spin-off of Jennifer Blood, which I like. On the other, it’s not Ennis writing the book. Still, I really want to give this one a shot, and I hope it carries over the good qualities of the mother title…

STEPHEN: Sure it isn’t Ennis writing the book, because that would probably be so much awesome our heads would explode on contact. Still, there’s something about the characters that is intriguing, and let’s be honest – schoolgirl uniforms and ninja masks are a bigger draw than a guy plummeting to his death after being ripped in half… Actually that would be kind of interesting to see on a cover, too.

GREEN LANTERN #6
Writer: Geoff Johns
Artist: Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: With the tumultuous battle for Korugar past them, Sinestro and Hal are left at a crossroads. They must pick up the pieces of their lives. The question is, will they do it alone…or together?

ZACH: Sinestro and Hal just saved Korugar from the Sinestro Corps and have gone their separate ways. Goeff Johns has kept Sinestro as the main character and it doesn’t seem like that will be changing soon. I’m looking forward to seeing the fight that is sure to come between Sinestro and the Guardians with their third army.

KEVIN KELLER #1
Writer: Dan Parent
Artist: Dan Parent and Rich Koslowski
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: It’s a bunch of firsts for Kevin Keller in the FIRST issue of his ongoing series. It’s his FIRST time as Riverdale High class president. And he gets published in the Riverdale newspaper for the FIRST time. Oh yeah, and Kevin gets ready to go on his FIRST date! What??!! Kevin’s never been on a date before? That’s the reaction everybody has, as they can’t believe cool, good-looking, mild mannered Kevin Keller has never been on a date. And when he’s made attempts in the past things go terribly wrong…..it turns out Kevin Keller is actually bad at something…..DATING! But the Riverdale gang, along with his old friends and family step in to help ol’ Kevin out. With his friends and family at the helm can anything possibly go wrong? Of course!!! But Kevin will get through it anyway!!!!

RODRIGO: This is it, Archie’s first openly gay character is getting his own series, will this be a game changer? Will the comics and gay communities talk about this one for years to come? I’m gonna say no, but I’m still curious (not like that though).

NEXT MEN AFTERMATH #40
Writer: John Byrne
Artist: John Byrne
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: It ain’t over till it’s over. Project Next Men has been undone, the Past has been rewritten… but it’s never easy to reshape the Fourth Dimension. As Jasmine is about to discover. She was afraid to go with Nathan and Bethany back to the 1950s—by the end of this issue, she may regret that decision!

MATTHEW: John Byrne’s magnum opus has been up and down, but the last couple of issues have been on the climb. This issue begins the official epilogue, as the broken loops of timestream have finally collapsed. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all wraps up.

PENGUIN: PAIN AND PREJUDICE #5
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: In the finale of Gregg Hurwitz and Szymon Kudranski’s miniseries exploring the motivations of one of Batman’s most peculiar foes, the ultimate revenge plot explodes into action. The lives of Gotham City’s children are on the line, and The Dark Knight will have to race the clock to save them. But can Batman save them all? Find out in this unnerving conclusion!

JIMMY: This is the best book DC is putting out right now, and it is coming to an end. I have raved about this series before, but the most important thing you need to know is that Szymon Kudranski draws the most engrossingly grotesque Gotham City I have ever seen. If you aren’t reading this, go grab issue one and start from there–you won’t regret it.

POWERS #8
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Micahel AvonOeming
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.95
SOLICITATION: DEENA’S BACK

MATTHEW: It seems like forever since Bendis and Oeming have put out an issue of Powers. Deena’s back in a whole new role, while the various demigods of the Power-verse are getting offed with frightening regularity, and I hope that we don’t have this kind of big gaps in the rest of the storyarc. Bendis is at his best on his own characters, so I hope this’ll be worth the wait.

SECRET AVENGERS #22
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Hardman
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: SOMETHING SOMETHING SOMETHING – EVEN MARVEL WON’T TELL US!

GEORGE: Rick Remender is my favorite Marvel writer at the moment, coming off of great runs on Uncanny X-Force and Venom. Since both books have cover ops themes, it’s only fitting that Remender takes over the Secret Avengers team. I didn’t catch the .1 issue, as it has become increasingly clear that .1 issues just exercises in double-shipping, but I hear that it was okay. I’m betting Remender takes the proper first issue and does something special with it – besides adding Captain Britain and Hawkeye to the team.

STAR WARS AGENT O/T EMPIRE IRON ECLIPSE #3
Writer: John Ostrander
Artist: Stephane Crety
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: Framed for a murder he didn’t commit, Imperial Agent Jahan Cross is on the run from Corporate Sector authorities, and uncovering the secrets behind the mysterious “Iron Eclipse” project–all without the assistance of his missing droid, IN-GA 44.

ROB: Star Wars is awesome, but the one thing that I cannot get past is those pesky Jedi being at the center of everything constantly. Well, this is one of those instances they are not involved and we get solutions that don’t automatically include the Force. Top it off with the fact that the Imperial Agent is a bad ass and this should be a great read.

THIEF OF THIEVES #1
Writer: Robert Kirkman and Nick Spencer
Artist: Shawn Martinbrough
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Conrad Paulson lives a secret double life as master thief Redmond. There is nothing he can’t steal, nothing he can’t have… except for the life he left behind. Now, with a grown son he hardly knows, and an ex-wife he never stopped loving, Conrad must try to piece together what’s left of his life, before the FBI finally catch up to him… but it appears they are the least of his worries.

RODRIGO: In the future all comics will be written by Robert Kirkman, but before that is fully realized we’ll have to settle for half. Thief of thieves looks interesting, I’m definitely curious more to see what Kirkman does with a more ‘realistic’ comic, I bet it’s secretly about aliens though.

TOON TUMBLERS BATMAN CLEAR PINT GLASS
Price: $10.99
SOLICITATION: A classic glossy bronze-age image of Gotham’s Dark Knight. Batman™ on his first ‘Toon Tumbler®. Clear only.

STEPHEN: This bit of DC merch comes at exactly the right time, as just this week I dropped by Batman glass on the floor and am needing a replacement. $10.99 is a bit on the high side when it comes to licensed merchandise, but then again, those of us that like to display our nerd-side while drinking a beer don’t really care about overpriced gee-gaws.

WARLORD OF MARS #15
Writer: Arvid Nelson
Artist: Edgar Salazar
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The dreaded moon pirates of Mars are whisking John Carter off to a mysterious and surely unpleasant fate. Along for the ride is Phaidor, a Thern princess whose beauty is only matched by her complete lack of humanity. As far as Phaidor is concerned, all life on Mars is beneath the Therns, but she’s going to get a rude awakening about the ugly truth behind the religion she’s believed so blindly for her entire existence. Warlord of Mars #15: Issus, Goddess of Life Eternal. Hell hath no fury like a thern princess scorned!

STEPHEN: At this point, I’m pretty much hooked on everything John Carter Dynamite Entertainment is pushing out. Since we are well into the Gods of Mars story, I’m interested to see how they explain the black martians trip from the moons to the surface.

WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #5
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Nick Bradshaw
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Kitty Pryde is pregnant?!? Could it have to do with the billion Brood that have shown up?

ROB: Wolverine as a bad ass, normal and boring. Wolverine as the headmaster of a school, turns out to be pretty awesome. Add to that the cast of good classic characters and interesting newbies and we have a Wolverine book that’s actually worth reading.

The Author

Robot Overlord

Robot Overlord

Warning: Pregnant women, the elderly, and children under 10 should avoid prolonged exposure to the Robot Overlord. Robot Overlord may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds. The Robot Overlord contains a liquid core, which if exposed due to rupture, should not be touched, inhaled, or looked at. If Robot Overlord begins to smoke, get away immediately. Seek shelter and cover head. Do not taunt the Robot Overlord.

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3 Comments

  1. Jeremie Dunlap
    February 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm — Reply

    The Staff Picks section is becoming one of my favorites on the site.

  2. February 7, 2012 at 8:51 pm — Reply

    Jeez Rodrigo, that joke made me groan out loud (and applaud mentally)

  3. Michael Rex
    February 20, 2012 at 10:34 am — Reply

    Hi. Thanks for putting Fangbone! on this list. For years I have been making children’s picture books, and this is my first venture into comics. It’s great to see it being so well supported by the comic industry! May the luck of Bigbelly Blackspit follow you!

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