Major Spoilers Staff Picks for May 02, 2012

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Looking for something good to read this week? The Major Spoilers Staff has sifted through this week’s releases and have picked a number of books you might want to check out as well.

ANIMAL MAN #9
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Steve Pugh
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “EXTINCTION IS FOREVER” part one of three!• Separated from Buddy, the rest of the Baker family is in terrible danger!• Guest-starring JOHN CONSTANTINE!

RODRIGO: I know, broken record here, but Animal Man is one of the few comics that consistently interest me, everything else I’m usually willing to pick up and read a few issues, but this title actually has me hooked. Most likely reason? It’s actually not a super hero book at all… shhhhh…

BOYS #66
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The last Boys story begins with some very shady goings on in Moscow, as an old friend runs into some unexpected trouble. Butcher announces a promotion that doesn’t please everybody, Annie makes a decision that horrifies Hughie- and in the aftermath of last issue’s super-carnage, Vought-American begin the struggle for survival. Part one of the six-part The Bloody Doors Off.

MATTHEW: This book has always been a must-read, but now that things are on the downhill side, I’m always eager to see what madness Garth Ennis has up his sleeve. After last issue’s shocks, I can’t imagine where things are going…

BULLETPROOF COFFIN DISINTERRED #4 (OF 6)
Writer: David Hine
Artist: Shaky Kane
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: When worlds collide…the cut-up issue. Destroyovski unearths fragments of unseen ‘lost’ Kane and Hine comic books. 84 panels! 84 mind-blowing scenes! But what does it mean???!!!

GEORGE: It’s just good. Read it. I’ve been pushing this series a ton because there isn’t anything like it on the stands, and it’s executed oh so very well. EC styled horror comics with a pop art twist – basically, if you’re at all interested in the day-glo covers, you’re the audience for this book. Macabre and creepy with an intense dose of off-kilter humor, Bulletproof Coffin is unique and therefore worth your dollars.

DAREDEVIL #12
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The best reviewed comic of the year continues as writer, Mark Waid, welcomes aboard fan favorite artist Chris Samnee (Thor: The Mighty Avenger, Ultimate Comics Spiderman)! Matt Murdock’s alter-ego leaves him little time for a social life; but the Man Without Fear finally makes time for Kirsten McDuffie! But, the assistant district attorney’s motives aren’t so innocent; she’s on a mission to uncover Daredevil’s true identity at any cost!

ZACH: Hey look, another issue of Daredevil! Why the quick turn around between issues you may ask? Well I don’t have a definitive answer, but I do have a pretty good guess. Chris Samnee is joining the DD team! He has some big shoes to fill taking over for Francis Manapul, but I’m excited to see what he does.

DEFENDERS #6
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Victor Ibanez, Tom Palmer, Terry Pallot
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: • WHO is trying to kill the Immortal Weapons and can Iron Fist stop them?

• WHY did the world forget about the Confederates of the Curious?

• HOW does the Concordance Engine tie all these threads together?

MATTHEW: This series only gets weirder, and the weirder the better. As an old-school fan of the Defenders, it’s a series that has always excelled with strangeness and charm. Not only is this book fun and mysterious, it’s a fitting tribute to the stuff that Gerber, Kraft, DeMatteis and the rest did in the 1970s. Plus, the art rocks.

DIAL H #1
Writer: China Mieville
Artist: Mateus Santolouco
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: A brand new series by bestselling and Hugo award winning novelist CHINA MIEVILLE!• What would happen if you discovered the H Dial, an unbelievably powerful artifact that turned you into a super hero?• And what if you found out that the world is threatened by this very device that’s become your uncontrollable obsession?• These are just the first questions asked in this thrilling and inventive storyline that introduces the strangest super heroes and super villains in the DCU while exploring the boundaries of reality!

GEORGE: I haven’t been this excited for a comic book in a long time. For those who don’t know China Miéville, he’s one of the best science fiction/fantasy novelists on the scene. Dude’s been nominated many times the Arthur C. Clark, Hugo and Nebula awards, and has even won a few. I, for one, am a huge Miéville fan, so when DC announced that he was writing Dial H For Hero, my jaw dropped – this was a big get for DC. He’s not just some dilettante dabbling in the comic book field either – dude’s a bona fide geek, with professed interests in Star Trek, Dungeons & Dragons and H. P. Lovecraft, amongst others. Dial H For Hero is a great concept for a book too, and I’m pumped that DC is reviving the concept. With Miéville on the script, it promises to be very interesting indeed. And no joke, I’m going to be buying at least three copies of this book on Wednesday. I’ve got a few friends of the non-comics buying persuasion who are interested enough by the Miéville angle to want a copy. Seriously, check this out; Miéville is one of those writers who is always interesting, even when his execution falters.

MATTHEW: I’m a sucker for the Dial H concept, dating back to when I was a kid and they would allow you to submit your own heroes to be in the book. That’s a couple of universes ago, mind you, but even dating back to Robby Reed in the Silver Age, this is a concept with legs behind it. If they’re taking submissions, I’m going to send in my original creation “Eau Boy.” He’s like Hydro-Man, only French!

RODRIGO: Strangest Heroes and Villains in the DCU? Ok, New 68, I’m listening.

ZACH: A few months ago I heard about this phone that allows the dialer to punch in the right numbers and turn into a superhero with a random power set. My initial thought, ”Probably the iPhone 6”. Sadly it’s not, but the concept or this comic is fantastic because I would take any random superpower that a cosmic force, magical rock, or weird telephone would give me.

EARTH 2 #1
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Nicola Scott
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: First issue of an ongoing series from writer JAMES ROBINSON and artist NICOLA SCOTT!• Who are the heroes of EARTH 2 – and what befell them?• Starring ALAN SCOTT, JAY GARRICK and many others!• You may think you know Earth 2…but this is DC Comics – The New 52, where anything can happen!• Don’t miss the extra-sized debut issue!

STEPHEN: Here we go, the start of the second wave of the new titles from DC Comics. With the multiverse’s return, and the big Trinity of Sin coming up in the next year, this book might be the big book that makes all the changes in the DCU make sense… or maybe not. Either way, I’m picking up this title!

ZACH: So apparently a long time ago there was this thing about there being multiple universes, then a story called ”Lots Of Problems” (pretty sure that’s right) happened, and then we had just one Earth again. But now it seems like we are back to two Earths again and a few of those characters are back. That’s cool.

GARFIELD #1
Writer: Mark Evanier
Artist: Gary Barker
Publisher: Boom! Studios (kaBOOM! Imprint)
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: This May, everyone’s favorite lasagna-scarfing cat opens the fridge to an all-new ongoing comic book series! Join Garfield as he begins his monthly exploits with Jon, Odie, and the rest of the gang in the latest all-ages must-read from KaBOOM! The Garfield Show writer and comics luminary Mark Evanier teams up with beloved Garfield strip cartoonist Gary Barker to bring you all the laughs (and lasagna) you can handle. With brand new stories featuring everyone’s favorite feline, this debut #1 issue is sure to please Garfield fans, both new and old alike! Ask your retailer about the rare ‘Superhero’ variant and the extremely rare ‘Garfield’s First Appearance’ variant.

JIMMY: Until I looked at the new comics list, I had no idea Boom! Studios was planning on putting out a Garfield comic book. I enjoyed their foray into Peanuts turf, and I think if they’re able to capture the charm of the original Garfield strips (which seems quite possible, given that the writer wrote for The Garfield Show, which I enjoyed a lot) then this could be a really fun all-ages series.

MIND THE GAP #1
Writer: Jim McCann
Artist: Rodin Esquejo and Sonia Oback
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: After Elle Peterssen is mysteriously attacked on a Manhattan subway platform, she is left in a coma, the only clues to her attacker trapped inside her mind. No one knows the identity of the person behind this brutal beating or where they will strike next. In this ALL-NEW ONGOING series, everyone is suspect, and no one is innocent. USAToday calls it an “anxiously anticipated modern thriller…Whodunit? McCann’s done it again.”

Eisner-winning writer JIM McCANN joins RODIN ESQUEJO (MORNING GLORIES) and SONIA OBACK (S.H.I.E.L.D., The Defenders) unite for a psychological thriller that will leave you guessing at every turn!

RODRIGO: Does anyone else feel that this is very close to the premise of Ghost with Patrick Swaze? Of course it’s not going to be identical but It’ll be interesting to see what makes this series stand out from other, similar works.

REX: ZOMBIE KILLER (One-Shot)
Writer: Rob Anderson
Artist: Dafu Yu
Publisher: Big Dog Ink
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, a Golden Retriever and a small pack of animals, accompanied by a bat-wielding gorilla, attempt to cross the country to find safety. But they’ll face many dangers, including a group of outlaw bikers! Homeward Bound meets The Walking Dead in this double-sized one-shot!

JIMMY: I actually bought an advance copy of this at C2E2 from the Big Dog Ink booth, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. From what I saw when flipping through it, the art looks great and the story seems like a pretty clever elevator pitch — we’ve often seen what happens with humans after a zombie apocalypse, but what about animals? Surely some of the sharper ones should be able to catch on to what’s happening and fight back! That all merges into what they’re describing as “Homeward Bound meets The Walking Dead.” Also, it’s a double-sized (I believe 40+ page) issue for $3.50–a great value!

SUPURBIA #3
Writer: Grace Randolph
Artist: Russell Dauterman
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: It’s just another day on the job for the Meta Legion as a robotic alien invasion threatens to sink the island of Manhattan – but the real battle is raging back at home, as tensions rise between the Legion families and the shape-shifter’s devious plans finally come to fruition! Trust us, this is a take on the ‘fight issue’ you’ve never seen before! Find out what goes down when the capes come off with rising star writer Grace Randolph and hot new artist Russell Dauterman.

JIMMY: I’ve mentioned before that I’m a sucker for Superhero Soap Operas a la Noble Causes, and Supurbia has been very true to the soap opera-y paradigm. If you’ve listened much to the Major Spoilers Podcast, you’ve heard Stephen, Matthew and Rodrigo wax eloquent on the parallels between soap operas and modern superhero comic books, so it’s interesting to see the Ouroboral nature of the superhero soap opera. Supurbia has been really fun and interesting so far; if you haven’t given it a shot yet, you should try this issue and if you like it go back to issue 1!

TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1 (THE CULLING)
Writer: Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco
Artist: Brett Booth and Norm Rapmund
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION:
• “THE CULLING” begins here!
• It’s the TEEN TITANS vs. THE LEGION LOST one mile beneath the Antarctic in the chamber of horrors known as the Crucible!
• Continued in this month’s SUPERBOY #9, LEGION LOST #9 and TEEN TITANS #9!

SHANE: This will be my first ever annual, and to top that it’s from what I think is one best series from the New 52.

THE SPIDER #1
Writer: David Liss
Artist: Colton Worley
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: One of the greatest pulp characters of all time is now re-launched into the 21st century! The world knows Richard Wentworth as a decorated war hero and the son of a wealthy industrialist – but only a few confidants know the truth. As New York City slides into violence and despair, Wentworth has transformed himself into a force of justice as The Spider! With only his wits, his technology, and his pistols to aid him, he fights a one-man war against crime, but when a mysterious new villain threatens the city with an unspeakable horror, it may be more than even The Spider can handle. How far will a sane man go to restore order to an insane world?

STEPHEN: Okay, I’ll bite. Dynamite Entertainment has been doing a very decent job of taking old pulp characters and giving them new life. Plus, at this point, I don’t think the company is going to get sued by any estate for taking this character in a specific direction. Dynamite already has The Shadow, so it will be interesting to see how the two characters with similar schticks fare.

VENOM #17
Writer: Rick Remender, Cullen Bunn
Artist: Kev Walker, Terry Pallot
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: • Venom faces a gauntlet of doom as the Crime-Master unites Jack O’Lantern, The Human Fly, Toxin and more to destroy Flash Thompson!

• The Crime-Master’s plan is so diabolical, so vile, that it forces Eddie Brock to become a symbiote’s host once more – and takes the war to Flash Thompson’s Family, Betty Brant and even Peter Parker!

GEORGE: Just look at that cover. Insanely good. And I’m sure the inside will be great too – Venom’s recovered from that oddly entertaining miniseries in Vegas, and getting back to the conflict at the core of the series: Flash Thompson’s clash with the Crime-Master. Things are heating up, and the previews promise the possibility of Eddie Brock returning to the Venom symbiote! Awesome. Also, the return of another symbiote-styled hero (that probably less people were clamoring for): Toxin!

WORLD’S FINEST #1
Writer:: Paul Levitz
Artist: George Perez and Kevin Maguire
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: New ongoing series featuring POWER GIRL and HUNTRESS of Earth 2!• PAUL LEVITZ teams with amazing artists GEORGE PEREZ and KEVIN MAGUIRE.• Discover why these two heroes are stranded on our Earth – and what it means for the heroes of the DC Universe.

STEPHEN: If I’m on board for Earth 2, you can bet I’m going to pick up World’s Finest just to see how Helena and Karen tie the two universes together.

ROBOT OVERLORD: Fifteen comics to keep you preoccupied this week. What else are you going to pick up?