Is there anything good to read a week after Free Comic Book Day? 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.

Writer: Caitlin R. Kiernan
Artist: Steve Lieber
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: With her would-be assassin dead, Dancy retreats to lick her wounds—only to discover that her would-be refuge has been corrupted by the town’s twisted secret.

RODRIGO: I had a chance to read an advance copy, and although it’s not as good as #1, I’m willing to give this series at least a few more issues. It’s clear that the author is building up to something and I’d like to see what it is.

Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Wegener
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Cover Price: $18.95
SOLICITATION: Forget volume 1 – this is the perfect place to start your Atomic Robo adventures, since every collection stands alone in any reading order. In this tale, Robo is the only hope to save astronauts trapped in a rapidly deteriorating orbit. And when he gets there? Things go from utterly doomed to Aaaauuuugh!

STEPHEN: It’s simple. Every time you see an Atomic Robo book, no matter how old, no matter if you already have a copy, you buy Atomic Robo. Buy It!

Writer: Scott Snyder, James T Tynion IV
Artist: Greg Capullo, Rafael Albuquerque
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: “NIGHT OF THE OWLS” continues here!• Batman must stop the TALONS that have breeched the Batcave in order to save an innocent life…and Gotham City!• In the backup story, learn more about the PENNYWORTH family and the secrets they’ve kept from the Wayne family!

GEORGE: Scott Snyder’s been doing brilliant work on Batman, putting together what I think will be a modern classic for the Batman canon. Snyder’s doing a neat thing by focusing on just how Batman and Bruce Wayne relate to Gotham City, grounding the story with a new threat coming from the heart of the city. Last issue set the stage for what looks like an epic beatdown, featuring Batman in power armor. How can you not love that?

JIMMY: Night of the Owls. Need I say more? (Yes, because otherwise Stephen won’t print this). This is the way crossovers are supposed to happen. I’m a fan of the old Bat-family crossovers like Wargames and No Man’s Land where you don’t have to be reading every title to understand what’s happening; there’s a unifying thread of story (the fact that the Court of the Owls is sending ALL their talons out to kill people) and then each individual title handles their part of the story in a way that CAN be read stand-alone, but when read in concert with everything else gives the reader an even richer story.

STEPHEN: To be honest, I haven’t read Batman in a while, so the last time I got to see the Night of Owls storyline was when the Court sent hits army to attack the city. Going to pick this one up, and then this weekend, when I’m through with my work, I’m gonna sit on the porch and tear through these like a fat kid eating cake.

ZACH: The Night of the Owls is here! Last issue was a great setup to bring the entire Batman family into Gotham to take on the army of Talon’s. I haven’t read any of the crossover books yet, but I’m looking to grab a few this week and decide if I will go back and grab others. Scott Synder has been giddy with anticipation for this issue over on Twitter, so it should be top notch.

Writer: Paul Cornell
Artist: Diogenes Neves
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “THE MURDER OF MERLIN” begins!• Who has the power to murder Merlin – and what else are they capable of?

ROB: The Knights have won, and we’ve gotten some more back story and Xanadu and Etrigan, but now where do we go? This was one of the best reads in the New 52 and I am looking forward to how the team progresses now that they have congealed into an actual whole.

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips and Dave Stewart
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: The surprise hit of 2012 continues! Fatale’s first arc comes to its crushing end… all the pieces are in place, Josephine and her lover are prepared to execute their plan, but only one of them knows what kind of men (or demons) they’re dealing with. Nothing will go as planned, and there will be blood.

STEPHEN: A noir tale that spans the ages, full of murder, demon worshipers, and… demons. The only thing that would send this book skyrocketing to my top ten series of all time would be if aliens showed up and started talking like gangsters. I love what Brubaker and Phillips are doing in this series, and if nothing else, this book has prompted me to seek out some of the teams other series.

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Bernie Wrightson
Cover Price: $3.99
Publisher: IDW
SOLICITATION: Few works by comic-book artists have earned the universal acclaim and reverence that Bernie Wrightson’s illustrated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein was met with upon its original release in 1983. Nearly 30 years later, Wrightson returns to his passion project with a comic series that picks up at the end of the classic novel, hailed as one of the greatest horror stories of all time. Frequent Wrightson collaborator Steve Niles provides the script for this epic, decades in the making. While appearing to be in black and white, each page was scanned in color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art, showing off the exquisitely detailed brush work of one of the greatest living artists in comics today. Each issue will also include supplemental materials, including interviews, essays and a serialization of the original prose story by Shelley.

BRUCE: A story of Frankenstein’s monster as seen from the creature’s point of view? Drawn in black and white by master of horror comics Bernie Wrightson? What’s not to love? Count me in!

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Ryan Ottley and John Rauch
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The new Invincible will not back down, will not give in, and he is not going to play nice. What happens when Mark Grayson isn’t happy with his replacement? All this and… What exactly happened between Robot and Monster Girl in the Flaxan Dimension?

JIMMY: Invincible is, month in and month out, my most looked forward to comic book. Robert Kirkman has created a really compelling universe, so much so that I recently went out and bought the first Brit TPB from my LCS, and am planning on getting Capes through the handy-dandy Major Spoilers Amazon Link sometime in the next week or so. The current story arc on Invincible is fantastic, and the last issue (as per the usual) left off on a crazy cliffhanger that I am dying to see resolved, so obviously Invincible #91 is tops on my staff picks this week.

MANHATTAN PROJECTS #2 (2nd Printing Variant Cover)
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Nick Pitarra and Cris Peter
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: In this issue, we learn about the secret role that the super-scientists of THE MANHATTAN PROJECTS played in the fall of Germany during WWII. It’s the hidden history of Werner Von Braun, the rocket god of Deutschland and the only guy before 1950 to have a super-cool robot arm.

JIMMY: I’m putting this on my staff picks not because I plan to buy this issue, but because I already bought it a couple weeks after the first printing came out. I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to buy the first issue, but I was able to jump straight into the second issue no problem. The story was fascinating and fun; the premise is that the atomic-bomb-related Manhattan Project wasn’t the only one–the scientists (an eclectic bunch with the common thread of a love for science and that they all have bizarre personalities) are involved in a series of weird undercover projects to further America’s global standing, and it’s just a hilarious and enjoyable romp. If you didn’t pick up the first issue or the first printing of the second, grab this reprinting of number 2 and enjoy it!

Writer: Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, Andy Diggle, Ann Nocenti, Paul Pope, Robert Rodi, Rebecca Doyle
Artist: Mike Allred, Kyle Baker, Paul Pope, Davide Gianfelice, Sebastian Fiumara, Rebecca Doyle
Publisher: Vertigo
Cover Price: $7.99
SOLICITATION: This one-shot anthology is loaded with unsettling short stories that will hijack your imagination and take you to strange, mysterious places. Journey to the edge of the abyss with Michael Allred! Arrive in the middle of an intergalactic space heist with Paul Pope! Plus: Broken hearts will be cryogenically frozen, a zero-gravity menage á trois will be compromised by aliens, and solar systems will spiral out of control when top comics talents and exciting newcomers collide!

GEORGE: I like that DC and Vertigo are experimenting with back-up comics and anthology issues. More variety on the comics scene is always good, and having alternative modes of storytelling available besides serials and miniseries will help writers and artists tell more of the stories they want to tell. Mystery In Space #1 is a one-shot anthology featuring the talents of Michael Allred, Kyle Baker, Paul Pope, and more. This could end up being very good indeed.

RODRIGO: An Anthology about space stuff? Count me in! Oh wait, it’s by DC… Ok, fine I’m in anyway. There’s some solid names attached to this, too. Could be good.

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The secret history of the Phoenix is revealed in K’un Lun’s book of the dead Iron Fists. One of the most important chapters in the AVX story. What is Danny Rand’s secret connection to the Phoenix?

ROB: With AvX in full swing, New Avengers gets tied into it, but since all of the characters are being seen in at least three other books, this has gotten to go have a little fun with the Iron Fist back story and last issue was interesting. Having the Phoenix Force somewhat tied into the mythos of the Iron Fist and the Seven Cities seems rather interesting to me, and I am curious to see where this goes.

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Mirko Colak
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: After making the streets run red in “the Omega Effect” with Spider-Man and Daredevil. Frank Castle speaks. And Rachel Cole is not going to like what she hears.test struggle in the afterlife of the Punisher. Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster…

ZACH: I never thought The Omega Effect would do this but it made me interested in the Punisher, a character whom I never thought I would be. On second thought it could just be that he is wielding a chainsaw on the cover. But anyways I’m going to give this series a test run this week and see what my feelings are then.

Writer: Scott Lobdell, Tom DeFalco
Artist: RB Silva, Rob Lean, Iban Coello
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “THE CULLING” continues here from this month’s TEEN TITANS ANNUAL #1 and leading into LEGION LOST #9!• SUPERBOY vs. ROSE WILSON – round two!• The shocking debut of the all-new WARBLADE!

ROB: Teen Titans Annual was the start of “The Culling” and it was rather interesting. While the team dynamic of it was good, and I am curious about the Legion Lost portion as well, I really want to see what Superboy is going to do with all this. Will he be a team player here, or are we going to watch him go all out on his own?

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Michael Avon Oeming
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.95
SOLICITATION: Bursting from the pages of last year’s best-selling graphic novel! From the Eisner Award-winning creators of POWERS comes this all-new, all-ages superhero adventure for a new generation! Taki and Olivia are sisters with superpowers! In fact, they are the only ones in the world with superpowers! So obviously, they have to become superheroes! But is the world ready for real-life superheroes? Are the girls ready for the challenge? And will the accident that made them who they are reveal secrets that will change their lives forever? The answers are no, no and yes. This is a brand-new all-ages adventure. A new book for comic-book fans of all ages. A book you can share with your kids or just enjoy for yourself. TAKIO is on the 2012 YALSA Great Graphic Novels for Teens List!

MATTHEW: Bendis and Oeming doing an all-ages book with cute characters and such? How can I turn that down? Given that they revitalized the police procedural with “Powers,” I want to see what this team can do in a less murdery sort of vein (no pun intended.)

TICK #100
Writer: Benito Cereno
Artist: Les McClaine
Publisher: New England Comics
Cover Price: $6.99
SOLICITATION: We celebrate the 100th issue of The Tick with a 48-page full-color blockbuster co-starring Robert Kirkman’s INVINCIBLE! In a full-length 24-page epic, Invincible is transported to The Tick’s Universe where the two mighty heroes confront the combined threat of the master criminal Chairface Chippendale and a mysterious and menacing new villain who makes even Chairface look like an ordinary umbrella stand! A story so awesome that it requires two planets (and at least one moon!) to contain it! Added bonus: THE SAGA OF THE TICK, a 20-page full-color history of The Tick’s illustrious career, heavily illustrated with covers and selected artwork from all 99 previous issues of THE TICK!

MATTHEW: Ever since my kid got hooked on this book, I’ve regained my appreciate for the lunacy of Ben Edlund’s heroic brick of stupid. The only thing that I find myself wishing for is more Sewer Urchin, the scourge of the underworld. (They’re filth, they come from filth, they’re going to filth… Lather, rinse, repeat.)

Writer: John Byrne
Artist: John Byrne
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: ZAP! POW! BAM! — are sound effects you may actually see in this series, as John Byrne returns to his roots with a brand-new superhero series. Their code names are simple ONE, TWO and THREE, but the world calls them ROCK, PAPER and SCISSORS. Together, they are Trio.

MATTHEW: John Byrne is one of those creators that I follow both out of appreciation for his work and pure schdenfreude. Given that this series seems to be a superhero team based on Rock/Paper/Scissors, I’m 100% in for the long haul, sight unseen. I hope this is the next Invincible…

RODRIGO: POW! ZOOM! This is likely to be terrible! Apparently Byrne is playing it straight, no parody or deconstruction. Can we have old school superheroics in today’s cynical world? WE WILL SEE!

ZACH: I have been trying to find more information about this new title for what seems like hours to no avail. What I do know is that this is John Byrne’s new creator-owned book, the first three covers are homages to X-Men and Fantastic Four covers, and that one of the characters looks like the Thing. Adding that to the apparent secrecy (or at least my lack of Google skills) to the title and I’m in for the ride.

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Mike McKone
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $4.99
• The epic saga THE FINAL EXECUTION begins here!

• Who are the Omegas and why must X-Force hunt them down?

• Included in this issue: Two rare stories by Rick Remender and Jerome Opeña starring Wolverine and Deadpool!

GEORGE: Uncanny X-Force is back to being one of my favorite comics on the stands again. Rick Remender is at his best when he’s working on grand, ambitious stuff, and I have high hopes for the promised epic arc beginning in this issue. The baddies are spin-offs from Omega Red, which should be fun. For a little bit more bang (and a little bit more cash on your end), issue #25 also promises two back up stories with art from Jerome Opeña, who has basically done the absolute best work on this book to date. So that’s good too.

ROBOT OVERLORD: BEHOLD YOUR PULL LIST FOR THE WEEK! No, really, these are all of the books you should be reading this week… What else will you be reading as the week goes by?


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