Some hundred thousand people will be at the San Diego Comic-Con this week, but that doesn’t mean that there will be no comics.  The rest of us have to read something, and the staff at Major Spoilers have selected a number of titles they recommend this week.

ATOMIC ROBO: REAL SCIENCE ADVENTURES #4
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artists: Various
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Cover Price: $2.75
SOLICITATION: The untold tales of Atomic Robo are un-untold at last! Thrills, spills, chills, and no dill (pickles), this series has it all. Except pickles. The Sparrow thwarts Nazis; Bruce Lee gets philosophical; Robo goes for a swim; and more!

STEPHEN: Four different adventures set in the Atomic Robo Universe are serialized in this book. Though some of the break points have been odd, everything is better with Atomic Robo.

BATMAN #11
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The stunning conclusion to ‘THE COURT OF OWLS’ epic! The final chapter of ‘THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF WAYNE.’ This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.

JIMMY: Scott Snyder has written a really compelling Batman story with a group of original villains, and this issue marks the conclusion of the nearly year-long epic. With the revelation last issue of Owlman, I’m really curious to see where Snyder takes the end of this story. If you haven’t been reading Batman, you probably don’t want to start with this, but if you’ve been reading Snyder’s Batman there’s NO way you would pass up this issue.

STEPHEN: So far, so good, and still the best Batman book DC Comics is putting out. I’ll be picking this one up for sure in both the digital and print editions, because everything is better with more Batman.

BATTLE BEASTS #1 (of 4)
Writer: Bobby Curnow
Artist: Valerio Schiti
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: It’s just another average day for Bliss, an ignored linguist at the Department of Defense. However, when Bliss unlocks the secret translation of an ancient scroll, terror rains from the sky… in the form of the BATTLE BEASTS! Relentless creatures who know only a life of combat, they’ve brought their unquenchable thirst for battle with them! The only thing that can stop them is a gentle word from the one woman who can understand them—Bliss!!

RODRIGO: The Battlebeasts franchise has been around for a while. Let’s see if IDW can do for it what it’s done for other toyline properties.

CHEW: SECRET AGENT POYO ONE-SHOT
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Rob Guillory
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: Hey retailers/readers/speculators! Still kicking yourself for not ordering and/or passing by CHEW #1, now that you see what it’s going for on eBay? Here’s your chance to get sweet, sweet, revenge, with an all-new CHEW #1, a one-shot spinning off CHEW’s most popular supporting character, and comics’ most beloved homicidal cybernetic kung-fu rooster. Concentrated mayhem. Feathers, rage and hate! Plus: an all-star pin-up gallery from some of the most staggeringly talented artists in the industry!

ROB: Chew is awesome. El Poyo is awesome. This book should be awesome. Alright, done with the awesome. Taking one of the weirdest parts of an amazingly odd concept and making it the focus is either going to crash and burn or be even better than normal. With the set up here, I’m betting on the latter.

ZACH: If you are on the Twitter and follow the great John Layman and Rob Guillory then you have been seeing how excited they are for this one-shot to get into readers’ hands. Now if these two top-tiered creators are excited for you to read it, you know it’s going to be a solid read. And how could it not be with a premise of a cybernetically enchanted rooster?

CROSSED BADLANDS #9
Writer: Jamie Delano
Artist: Leonardo Rizzo
Publisher: Avatar Press
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Jamie (Hellblazer) Delano’s brutal story of suffering in the swamp comes to an unforgettable conclusion. Steve must face her former friends all now Crossed maniacs to defend the life growing within her. But in the end, her choice to adapt or die will leave you reeling. There is no hope. There is no escape. There is only the Crossed. Available with a Regular and special Red Crossed Incentive cover by artist Jacen Burrows as well as a Wraparound by Raulo Caceres and Torture cover by Matt Martin.

MATTHEW:  My love-hate relationship with this book continues, as I occasionally check in to see what they’re doing, get hooked on the character work in play, then flee in terror when the graphic sexualized violence kicks in.  The current arc features characters who actually make me kind of appreciate (if not quite LIKE) them, and I’m cautiously venturing back into the endless zombie nightmare…  I don’t know if I’ll make it to issue #10, though.

CROW #1
Writer: John Shirley
Artist: Kevin Colden
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: THE CROW is reborn—in Tokyo. Can a dark spirit fight for the light? THE CROW has always done just that—striking from the shadows, a kind of shadow himself. The spirit of the Crow is back, transfiguring Jamie Osterberg, an American studying in Tokyo and deeply in love with his Japanese girlfriend, Yumi… until the love of his life is stolen. The Crow must once more make the wrong thing right—but this time he might have to do it by killing his own true love…

GEORGE: A new Crow title? Count me in. It will be impossible for this version to have the emotional heft of James O’Barr’s famously personal work, but John Shirley is an experienced horror novelist who did script work on the film adaptation and I am sure he’ll bring his best to this comic. This version of The Crow takes the mythology to Japan, so how the material reads divorced from its grimy Detroit origin will be interesting.

FANTASTIC FOUR #33
Writer: Alan Davis
Artist: Alan Davis
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: • The Thing and The Human Torch investigate a mysterious magical paradox in space and time with the help of Doctor Strange!
• What dark secrets haunt the history of the ClanDestine?
• Legendary comics creator Alan Davis kicks off a series of ClanDestine adventures, continuing in Daredevil Annual #1 in August!

ZACH: With Marvel NOW! the buzz all over the intarwebz it has been announced that Jonathan Hickman will soon be ending his phenomenal run on this title for another team book. As Hickman’s time is coming to a close we need to take these opportunities to soak in his brilliance. Surely this will be worth the $4.99.

LOCKE & KEY VOLUME 5: CLOCKWORKS
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $24.99
SOLICITATION: The sprawling tale of the Locke family and their mastery of the whispering iron thunders to new heights as the true history of the family is revealed to Tyler and Kinsey. Zack Wells assumes a new form, Tyler and Kinsey travel through time, and surprises beyond imagination will be revealed.

ROB: This is one of the most amazing series to ever come out. With the series coming to a close soon (only one more volume to go), this is a good time to jump in. If you haven’t read this yet, do yourself a favor and read the full series.

MASSIVE #2
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Kristian Donaldson
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: Hidden from pirates in the ice and fog of the Bering Sea, the crew of the Kapital weigh the risk of detection against the need to rescue their missing crewmates. Revealed are details about the events of the crash, including the Kapital’s resupply visit to an underwater Hong Kong and the new city that has, literally, grown out of the debris.

Hyperdetailed world building meshed with forward-thinking social sci-fi.

GEORGE: I dug Brian Wood’s tale of ecological upheaval, even as I wanted a little more focus on the characters. Issue #2 promises to deliver more of the fantastic world-building emphasized in the first issue, and if it can also build up the cast, this will be a comic to be reckoned with. If you’re a fan of post-apocalyptic storytelling of any stripe, The Massive is a comic you should be reading.

PLANETOID #2
Writer: Ken Garing
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: After crash-landing in a vast heap of space junk, wayward space-pirate Silas now journeys on to an area of the planetoid, known as “The Slab”. It’s rumored that human tribes eke out a living on this endless surface of fabricated metal… BUT, so do gangs of sadistic robots! Silas will have to gather information and find allies in order to make a stand against the larger tyrannical forces that control the planetoid.

RODRIGO: Perhaps my biggest problem (of many) with Enormous #1 was that I ended up reading that instead of Planetoid #2. MUST RECTIFY!

PUNK ROCK JESUS #1
Written by: Sean Murphy
Art by: Sean Murphy
Publisher: Vertigo
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The newest reality show hit has the unlikeliest celebrity of all in this new black and white miniseries from writer/artist Sean Murphy (JOE THE BARBARIAN, Off Road)! J2, the TV series starring a clone of Jesus Christ, causes chaos across a near-future United States in PUNK ROCK JESUS, a new miniseries written and drawn by Sean Murphy, the acclaimed illustrator of JOE THE BARBARIAN and AMERICAN VAMPIRE: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. J2 causes outrage and adulation. Religious zealots either love or hate the show, angry politicians worry about its influence on the nation, and members of the scientific community fear the implications of cloning a human being at all – let alone the Son of God. And what effect will this all have on Gwen, the young woman who is selected, through an American Idol-style process, to be the mother of the new Messiah? All this leads to the hiring of Thomas McKael, the clone’s bodyguard and a former IRA operative with a turbulent past who must protect the new Messiah – a baby who captivates the world, but grows up to become an angry teenager.

RODRIGO: DC is a funny company. At one point the likes of Swamp Thing and Heckraiser were part of the DC universe, then they decided that Vertigo titles were a little too out there and they let them drift away, letting vertigo guys use DC stuff as they saw fit but not really having much cross-pollination. Now-a-days Swamp Thing is back in the DCU proper, and I wonder… Will it be the same with Punk Rock Jesus? Will we one day J2 (But not THAT J2) team up with Superman? Only time will say yes, because it’s totally going to happen, you guys.

SPACE PUNISHER #1
Writer: Frank Tien
Artist: Mark Texeira
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION:• Punishment is a dish best served—in Space!

• Frank Castle shoots his way through the criminal hierarchy of outer space starting with the Sym-Brood-ant Queen!

• From Frank Tieri, writer of Marvel vs. Capcom and Punisher: Noir and gorgeously painted by Mark Texeira (Punisher War Journal, Ghost Rider).

GEORGE: This will either be ridiculously awesome or ridiculously bad. I love the straightforwardness of the title. Make no bones about it, this is the Punisher in SPACE. This features painted art by Mark Texeira, which seems a little highbrow for something that should be gloriously over the top. I have no idea how the Punisher’s gritty, street-level antiheroics will work in a space opera context, but I am definitely going to check it out.

MATTHEW: Whether it crashed and burns or puts a new life on the character, this one is going to be a hoot and a half. I might even *BUY* this one, rather than just reading it at work.

SPIDER-MEN #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Aritst: Sara Pichelli
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: • The ULTIMATE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN EVENT OF THE YEAR!

• Can both Peter Parker and Miles Morales defeat CLASSIFIED?

• Guest starring Nick Fury and the Ultimates!

JIMMY: So far the crossover between 616 and Ultimate Spider-Man has been absolutely fantastic, giving us great interaction between Peter Parker and Miles Morales. While I have no idea how this is supposed to fit into continuity, I don’t really care as Bendis’ dialogue and story fit beautifully with the art on this book.

ROB: The first two were quite good, better than expected really. Now we hope to see Bendis follow through with what he’s set up and give us an entertaining story that will forever change the Spider-Man universes, universi. . . Either way, we should get an entertaining read out of this that will give us a couple cool reveals.

ZACH: Miles Morales was the first Ultimate Spider-Man that I had the pleasure of reading, and with issue two dedicating more time to him interacting with Peter, I was one happy reader. As this issue is the midway point, with the action ramping up, it will surely be even more web-slinging and wise-cracking from here.

WALKING DEAD #100
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard, Cliff Rathburn
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: This extra-sized chapter contains one of the darkest moments in Rick Grimes’ life, and one of the most violent and brutal things to happen within the pages of this series. 100 issues later, this series remains just as relentless as the debut issue. Do not miss the monumental 100th issue of THE WALKING DEAD!

MATTHEW: KIRKMAAAAN! Every ten or fifteen issue, I get sucked back into reading Walking Dead on a monthly basis, which always seems to be followed by a span of months where the store sells out before I get there. In any case, this one promises big stuff, and Kirkman really does know how to blow the readers (and his characters, for that matter) away. It’s a similar feeling to Crossed, actually, only with more attachment to the characters and less overt gore-nographic influence.

STEPHEN: It’s been twenty or so issues since I’ve picked up The Walking Dead, and I’m interested to see what Kirkman has in store for readers. Will it be more of the same or will he use this opportunity to shake things up?

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #13
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Nick Bradshaw
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: AVX TIE-IN! Gladiator & the Shi’Ar Death Commandos take on the Phoenix! The secret history of Warbird!

JIMMY: I care so little about AVX that physicists discovered the Higgs Boson BEFORE they discovered any particles of my disinterest that interact with gravitational fields. Thankfully Wolverine and the X-Men has still been enjoyable to read due to Aaron’s writing, but following the plot has proven rather challenging, and I’m really close to dropping this title.

ROBOT OVERLORD: While you may not be going to San Diego this week, these 15 comics should keep your mind from thinking too much about the fun you are missing at the comic book convention.

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. JacinB
    July 10, 2012 at 11:12 am — Reply

    I can’t remember the last time I was as anxious to read a comic as much as I’m with this week’s Walking Dead.

    • ray
      July 10, 2012 at 8:48 pm — Reply

      Me either. I actually feel anticipation.

  2. Firefox
    July 10, 2012 at 1:49 pm — Reply

    surprised Minutemen #2 isn’t on the list

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