Though many of us will be traveling to Nerdtacular 2012, we are still picking up comic books, and this week is filled with great book recommendations.

Writer: Caitlín R. Kiernan
Artist: Steve Lieber
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
SOLICITATION: A glimpse into Dancy’s past, as she follows her two guides—each less trustworthy than the other—deeper into the twisted maze of the town.

* A new comics series by Caitlín R. Kiernan (Threshold, The Dreaming, The Red Tree, The Drowning Girl), with art by Steve Lieber (Whiteout, Detective Comics).

RODRIGO: Am I 100% satisfied with the direction this story is going? No. Am I 93.76% satisfied? Probably, at least within a tenth of a percent.

Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Ben Oliver, Phil Jimenez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $29.99
SOLICITATION: Canada’s premier super-team returns to action! The original Alpha Flight reunites to face a threat unlike any other, as the impact of FEAR ITSELF is felt in Canada! Resurrected from the dead, Guardian, Vindicator, Shaman and Marrina rejoin Sasquatch, Snowbird, Northstar and Aurora in defense of the Great White North. But the Canada they return to looks a lot different than the one they left as a new political regime rises to power and brands Alpha Flight traitors! Betrayed from within, Canada’s champions are hunted by the government as they battle to release their fellow citizens from the grip of fear and win back the True North, strong and free! Collecting ALPHA FLIGHT (2011) #0.1 and #1-4.

RODRIGO: This comic is an important part of History, Alpha Flight’s role in the Marvel universe is to generate enough good will from fans so that, when all members are killed in a McMahon-style punk-out at the beginning of the next mega-event it’ll seem somewhat resonant.

Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Jimbo Salgado
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:  The history-making crossover continues here! The Grim Ghost, Phoenix, Wulf the Barbarian, Sam Lomax and some familiar faces find themselves battling a time-travelling villain in this epic new storyline that has been over 35 years in the making!

MATTHEW: My collection of 70’s Atlas comics started completely by accident, but when I realized that it was possible to own EVERY issue put out by the company, I put my mind to collecting them all. (It’s a sickness, but I cope.) This new Atlas has had a shakey start in both execution and distribution, but I’m totally rooting for them, and am glad to see that they haven’t gone under…

Artist: J.G. JONES
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $4.99 US
“I’m a funny guy…”

Plus: Don’t miss the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup story by writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!

MATTHEW: Eddie Blake time. After both Minutemen and Silk Spectre worked for me, I’m really looking forward to where things end up. Will all of the books be as well done as the first two? Will one crash and burn? I am waiting with baited breath to see the results…

RODRIGO: Actually I’m not that interested, I’m just excited about potentially choosing the same thing as a handful of other staff members. This seemed like a safe choice since Stephen’s behind on Batman titles.

ZACH: Regardless of what you think ethically about the creation of these prequels, you can’t deny that they have been great reads, while carefully playing with fire. Looking forward to Azzarello and Jones’s handling of the Comedian, who will apparently be killing Marilyn Monroe.

Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Guillem March
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Meet DOLLHOUSE – a psychotic who kidnaps children from the streets of Gotham City. She’s about to awaken a rage in CATWOMAN that nobody knew existed…not even Catwoman!
• CATWOMAN’S partnership with SPARK continues – on a whole new level!

JIMMY: If you’ve been on the internet over the last two weeks, you’ve probably heard about the controversy surrounding the Catwoman 0 issue cover. What people don’t realize, however, is that despite the gratuitous art by Guillem March and fill-in artist Adriana Melo, Judd Winick has been telling a compelling story about one of the strongest women in comics. I definitely recommend picking up Catwoman, though you may not want to let your mom see you buy it.

Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Carlos Magno
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Pursued across timelines by the relentless forces of a thousand earths, Rex and Heidi take refuge in the planet-wide slums of Sunshine Earth 9. But how far can they run until they hear ‘You Are Illegal On This Earth?’

STEPHEN: The first issue was intriguing for nothing else than another look at the multiverse. I want to see what the end game is for this series, and what the characters are really after, so I’ll be picking this book up this week.

Writer:  Matt Forbeck
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $17.99
SOLICITATION: In search of greater magical knowledge and on the hunt for the people who destroyed his town, Dack Fayden is the greatest thief in the Multiverse. When he gets his hands on his latest prize, though, he has no idea where it will lead him-or to who!

ROB: Dack Fayden, the multiverse’s greatest thief, is slowly finding out who wiped out his home town. Taking the main concept of the Magic: the Gathering card game, planeswalkers, this book follows one of them on a quest for vengeance. With the ability to travel to different planes of reality this book provides for a lot variety in what we get to see as well as giving us an interesting story outside of the primary focus of the game.

Writer: John Layman
Artist: John McCrea
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The invasion begins! The first stories of an all-new MARS ATTACKS universe are here, bringing outrageous action and dark humor to the comics page. Eisner-winning writer John Layman (Chew) is joined by Eisner-winning artist John McCrea (Hitman) to sound the alarm. Beware! The Martians are coming!

GEORGE: I’m a sucker for Mars Attacks ever since I got freaked out by those malevolent big-brained aliens as a kid. I had no idea this comic was coming until Monday. “Cool,” I thought. Then I saw it was being written by John Layman (of the excellent Chew) and drawn by John McCrea (from Hitman), and I knew I definitely had to get it. What seemed like an interesting issue to thumb through at the comic shop turned into a must buy with this creative team at the helm. Now I just gotta find the proper Slim Whitman album to soundtrack my read.

ZACH: I have fond memories of watching Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks on TV every time it was on when I was growing up; I thought it was both slightly scary but always hilarious. So mix together my love of the previous incarnation, the craziness that Mars Attacks inherently is, finish off with writer of Chew John Layman, and you have a book I have been waiting months for.

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:  RED HOOD learns that STARFIRE is one of the most respected and feared commanders in all of space! Who knew?
• Princess Koriand’r homeworld of TAMARAN is in danger – and she must defend a world that once turned its back on her!
• Plus: The start of a new backup story starring ESSENCE

JIMMY: Before the relaunch, I never much cared for Jason Todd. Now this series has made me grow to enjoy the rogue member of the Bat-family. If you only read the internet, you probably think Starfire is vapid and, possibly, a sex doll. That is not true at all, and an injustice to Scott Lobdell’s writing. This book is one of the most fun titles of the relaunch for my money.

Writer: Brian K. Vaughn
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price:
SOLICITATION: Welcome to SEXTILLION, a distant planet where even your darkest fantasies become reality. See why everyone’s talking about this hit new ongoing adventure from BRIAN K. VAUGHAN and FIONA STAPLES!

MATTHEW: This book keeps getting better, and there are promises that this issue will be disturbing and affecting in equal parts. Can’t imagine what could be worse than the horrible image of The Stalk, but I’m dying to find out…

ZACH: Saga wasn’t a book that I was initially interested in, but once I starting seeing how the first issue was selling out and going back for reprint I knew I had to start grabbing it. After reading the fist two issues together I realized why everyone had loved it. The writing and pacing are great and even though I didn’t think I would like the art, now I think it’s killer.

Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The Shadow sets a trap for his foes, but neither Taro Kondo nor the fearsome Buffalo Wong are inclined to step into it without taking certain precautions. A night of slaughter in the Shanghai underworld sees Margo Lane learning just how high the stakes are, and how far her master will go to win his deadly game.

STEPHEN: The first two issues have been great, and being a fan of pulp characters, The Shadow is right up my alley.

Writer: Scott McDaniel
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $16.99
SOLICITATION: Collecting the DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 series!. When high school student VIRGIL HAWKINS relocates to New York City, he’ll have to battle a whole new kind of evil in the form of the Slate Gang, Piranha and more!. Collects the new STATIC SHOCK #1-8 – the entire NEW 52 series!

ROB: If you’re one of the people that wasn’t picking up the Static series with the New 52, then shame on you, I liked that book. Little late now, but here’s your chance to get into what was a fun and promising series cut before it’s time. With the entirety of the run (8 issues) included, this is definitely worth picking up if you have even a passing interest in the character.

Writer:  Erik Burnham
Artist: Charles Paul Wilson III
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Face-to-face with the man who killed his family so many years ago, Master Splinter comes to terms with a life of assasination, love and redemption. This story takes a look back at the entire life of Splinter, including his secret life as Hamato Yoshi. This soul searching provides a startling revelation for Splinter, one that will change his and his son’s lives forever!

GEORGE: Somewhat jaded by similar stunts by other comic companies, I was worried when I saw IDW soliciting this micro series books. Each one has essentially been a one-shot focusing on various members of the TMNT tribe, and each one has felt like money worth spent. I thought these might be cash grabs, but each issue has delivered an entertaining, focused look at an individual character. Hopefully, this one continues the trend – I will definitely be picking it up.

Writer: Brian Azzarello
Artist: Tony Akins
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:  WONDER WOMAN has been shot through the heart! It’s up to LENNOX to pull his half-sister out of HELL!

• One of DIANA’S closest companions is not to be trusted!

JIMMY: The DC relaunch has been bittersweet for me. Some of my absolute favorite characters (Green Arrow, Booster Gold) have been changed dramatically and, in my mind, for the worse. Some characters I never cared for, including Wonder Woman, are now headlining my favorite titles from DC on a month to month basis. If you haven’t been reading this, you’re missing out; years from now people will look back on this as the definitive run of Wonder Woman.

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Paul Davidson
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $16.99
SOLICITATION: “WE DO SCIENCE!” In the wake of SCHISM, the X-Men’s Science Team takes it upon themselves to make a gesture of goodwill on behalf of mutantkind and better the world…using SCIENCE. But just as construction of the X-Club’s state of the art space elevator nears completion, chaos erupts! And it appears to the world that mutants are to blame. Can Dr. Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Kavita Rao and Danger clear the X-Men’s name before their experiment backfires? Don’t miss this new limited series that will surely change how you look at the X-Men and the Periodic Table of Elements FOREVER!

ROB: This was a book I was very much looking forward to when it was announced. Unfortunately what passes for a comic store around these parts didn’t get any issues. Now’s my, and everyone else’s, chance to get a look at the science team behind Utopia. With some of the more interesting side characters getting a spotlight, this is a book I’ve been looking for. Besides, it’s for SCIENCE!!

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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  1. Armaan
    June 19, 2012 at 11:08 am — Reply

    Dear Rob,
    X-Club was worth it.

    • Rory
      June 19, 2012 at 12:51 pm — Reply

      It was worth it for the interaction between Dr. Nemesis and the psychic starfish ALONE.

      • June 19, 2012 at 3:38 pm — Reply

        *Jaw hits floor*
        Psychic Starfish!! Awesome!!

  2. ikdks
    June 19, 2012 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    Jimmy, you should go back and read Red Hood: The Lost Days. The original resurrection of Jason Todd was a little sloppy, what with the Superboy punch and all, and there was a lot of backlash against it on principal, because Death in the Family was such an important event in the evolution of comics (is that considered the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the modern? Because if not it should be, that and Killing Joke).

    But once Winnick got a chance to tell the story on its own, it fascinating. It’s like Oedipus or Media. Jason’s inverted version of Batman’s training was inspired. I was really hoping they would just continue that story, like an evil Nightwing.

    Also I think people really overlook the complexity of Talia’s role in this. Talia is the daughter of a 6 hundred year old global despot. Girls tend to be attracted to men like their fathers, so of course she’s going to dig Batman, what other choice does she have? Who else on god’s green earth is going to measure up?

    But he rejects her. So, Al guls being the proactive people that they are, she brings his (step) son back from the dead and has sex with him. You put that together with Damian’s story and you got some straight up Greek tragedy shizz right there. Awesome.

    And as far as Catwoman not getting the respect that the title deserves, you can track that back to the comic book industry’s answer to Sarah Palin, Laura Hudson. She sexual-McCarthiated that thing into undeserved obscurity and ridicule.

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