Major Spoilers Staff Picks for August 01, 2012

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August is usually one of the hottest months at the Major Spoilers HQ, and to kick things off, we have a number of cool books for you to check out this week.

ANIMAL MAN #12
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Steve Pugh
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Prelude to “ROTWORLD”!
Continued in this month’s SWAMP THING #12.
BUDDY and ALEC go into the Rot, and events from the last year of both series are recapped for new readers.

ROB: With Rotworld kicking off in October and September being taken over by 1994, this is the last chance for Animal Man and Swamp Thing to meet. Yes, I am recommending both of these and you should very much pick up both of them as neither title has disappointed and it is typically hard to pick my favorite title the first week of the month as both of these come out. Get both of them and prepare for the crossover, it should be fun.

RODRIGO: I’m way behind on Animal Man, probably haven’t read it since Issue 9 (still went out and got it though.) So hopefully I can get caught up just in time to have to buy Swamp Thing in the trade.

BEFORE WATCHMEN NITE OWL #2
Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artist: Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “They run…I like it when they run.” And don’t miss the latest chapter of the CRIMSON CORSAIR backup epic from writer LEN WEIN and artist JOHN HIGGINS!

ROB: As far as the Before Watchmen series goes, so far so good. Nite Owl #1 was an enjoyable look at Dan’s backstory and how he came to become a Legacy hero. Now we’re getting into some of the earlier crime fighting and what led to the turn against the vigilantes that caused the original to begin with. Here’s hoping everything plays out as well as it has been with the rest of the line.

BLACK KISS II #1
Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Sex, death, and the movies – what else really matters?

Nearly twenty five years ago, HOWARD CHAYKIN brought the 80s to a close, and comics to the brink, with his landmark erotic thriller, BLACK KISS. Now, after years of anticipation, he’s back with issue one of BLACK KISS II, a six-part miniseries that tells the story behind that legendary story – like the original, in glorious black and white.

And really, now – does it have to be so dirty?

MATTHEW: I have long opined that this book was YEARS ahead of it’s time, pre-figuring any number of comic trends, and featuring Howard Chaykin drawing lingerie, two great tastes that metaphorically taste great together. (Don’t lick your comics, it’s unsanitary and rude.) It’s not for the faint of heart, children or those without a slightly iconoclastic sense of humor, but I’m onboard for the ride anyway…

DANCER #2
Writer: Nathan Edmondson
Artist: Nic Klein
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: The assassin has Alan in his sights, and the retired operative discovers exactly what he’s up against. Soon the stage will change theaters as the assassin uses the most vicious tactics to control the fight. Snow begins to fall on central Europe as the deadly dance begins.

RODRIGO: So, I totally assumed that I had missed the boat on Dancer, but apparently there have not been any issues since May, works for me, since clearly I’m not paying much attention.

DEADPOOL KILLS MARVEL UNIVERSE #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Dalibor Talajic
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:
• What if everything you thought was funny about Deadpool…was actually just disturbing?
• What if he decided to kill everyone and everything that makes up the Marvel Universe?
• What if he actually pulled it off? Would that be FUN for you?
• The Merc with a Mouth takes a turn for the twisted in a weekly horror comic like no other…

GEORGE: I love me some Deadpool, but I can’t read the regular series because I absolutely hate Daniel Way’s take on the character. Luckily, here comes Cullen Bunn to the rescue. The idea of putting a horror slant on this miniseries is interesting, and I’m sure under Bunn’s watch, this mini will be thoroughly and entertainingly screwed-up. I imagine this will be a pretty mean take, so those with faint hearts should give this one a pass.

DIAL H #4
Writer: China Mieville
Art: Mateus Santolouco
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:
– Abyss has arrived! Can the newest Dialer – or anyone – stop him?
– In a desperate attempt to save Manteau from X.N., Nelson is forced to team with his enemy.
– Plus, the secrets of Squid revealed!

GEORGE: Dial H continues to please, and is probably my current favorite title from DC. The solicits promise some plot reveals, and I for one am looking forward to learning more about Squid as this is a rather mysterious book. Meanwhile, Mieville is making schlubby Dial H hero Nelson into one of the most interesting protagonists in recent memory. I’m hoping this issue continues the tradition of good, weird, wild stuff.

JIMMY: This has been an even more bizarre title for the regular DC Comics line than Animal Man, and that’s saying something. I really liked the first issue, the second issue consisted of a bit swerve, and it’s continued to be delightfully unpredictable. I haven’t been overly fond of the art, but it’s served the title reasonably well.

FIRST X-MEN #1
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Neal Adams
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATIONS: X-Men legend Neal Adams returns to Marvel’s Mutants!
The secret history of the X-Men…BEFORE Xavier’s team!
Starring Wolverine & Sabretooth!

MATTHEW: Whether this one is genius or cheese sandwich, I am anxiously awaiting what this book heralds. They’ve been skirting the issue of how the X-Men ever got along without Wolverine for so long that I’m actually wanting to see them just get it over with and retcon him in from day one. It’s not like his memory implants aren’t still the perfect excuse for anything they wanna do, right?

RODRIGO: Hey, I think this is the one where Wolverine accidentally kills a Soc, and him and his friend Pony Boy have to hide out for a while. Also starring Sabertooth, Magneto and Soda Pop.

HARVEST #1
Writer: AJ Lieberman
Artist: Collin Lorimer
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Human traffickers. Rogue medical teams. Yakuza run organ mills and a six year-old drug fiend. Welcome to Dr. Benjamin Dane’s nightmare. His only way out? Bring down the man who set him up by reclaiming organs already placed in some very powerful people. If Dexter, ER and 100 Bullets had a three-way and that mind blowing tryst somehow resulted in a kid, that kid would read HARVEST. Medical Grade Revenge.

ZACH: Hey look, another first issue from Image! And it’s not just a new series; it’s a new mini-series. I enjoy getting into a series knowing that in just a few issues the entire story will be wrapped up. The solicitation also mentioned a three-some, so there’s that.

HAWKEYE #1
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATIONS: The breakout star of this summer’s blockbuster AVENGERS film and self-made hero Hawkeye fights for justice! With ex-Young Avenger Kate Bishop by his side, he’s out to prove himself as one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes! Matt Fraction & David Aja (IMMORTAL IRON FIST) reunite to tell the on-going tales of the Arrow-Avenger

MATTHEW: The creative team behind Immortal Iron Fist? Check. The breakout character of the Avengers movie? Check. High expectations? Check. Given his new higher profile in the Marvel Universe, it may finally be time for Clint Barton to break through to the big time and hit the top tier of Marvel’s heroes. Hell, even if it tanks, it’s drawn by David Aja, so it’ll look amazing.

HIGHER EARTH #3
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artists: Francesco Biagini, Manuel Bracchi
Publisher: Boom Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Still on the run, Heidi and Rex land on the strangest, most dangerous planet yet. Filled with primordial creatures and the even deadlier battle tech of Higher Earth, Heidi and Rex are quickly running out of places to hide… Created and written by Sam Humphries (SACRIFICE, MARVEL’S JOHN CARTER: GODS OF MARS, FANBOYS VS. ZOMBIES, THE ULTIMATES) HIGHER EARTH is his sci-fi follow up to last year’s surprise hit OUR LOVE IS REAL — the fast-paced epic of infinite possibilities continues!

ZACH: I honestly haven’t read any of this series so far, but that is going to change with this issue. Why this sudden change you ask? Because there is a lady slicing a dinosaurs head off on the cover. That’s all I need to be interested.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #12
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Aaron Lapresti and Matt Ryan
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: • It’s the funeral for ROCKET RED.
• Several members resign from the team – who will be left?

JIMMY: I dropped off JLI early on because Jurgens really didn’t get me interested, but since this is the final issue (a bit confusing, as I could’ve sworn there was a zero issue solicited, but it’s not on the DC site anymore) I do plan to give it a read. I love Booster Gold, and am curious to see where this series’ end will leave him.

ROB: It’s the final issue of what was a great read. With everything going against the JLI and our knowledge of the outcome of their title everything seems hopeless, but Jurgens should still give us a knockout issue worthy of the League. Go out and pick this book up and show DC the mistake they are making cancelling the Justice League International.

MIND MGMT #3 $3.99
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Matt Kindt
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: As Meru’s investigation of MIND MGMT takes her to China and its “miracle dolphins,” she begins to realize that the clues she’s been following have been intentionally left for her. What do the horrors she’s seen on her journey have to do with a psychic espionage agency dating back to WWI, and why does its most notorious defector, Henry Lyme, want Meru to find him?

GEORGE: As ambitious and strange as anything else in comics right now, MIND MGMT is well worth your time. Matt Kindt’s story of psychic espionage is creepily cryptic and literally packed from cover to cover with strange clues and details. I also love the pastel-colored, purposely rough art, which lends a timeless feel to the story. The first two issues were pretty amazing, and if the third follows the trend, this could be one of the best monthly comics of the year. Plus, this issue promises mystic dolphins.

RASL #15
Writer: Jeff Smith
Artist: Jeff Smith
Publisher: Cartoon Books
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: The end of RASL is upon us! All of your questions will be answered in this action-packed, nail-biting final issue!

STEPHEN: This is it! It’s been a long time coming, but I can not wait to see how Smith wraps up this reality jumping love story.

THE SHADOW #4
Writer: GARTH ENNIS
Arist: AARON CAMPBELL
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Exactly who the Shadow might be- or who he once was- is the subject of some grim speculation by Taro Kondo and Buffalo Wong, but the answer may be closer than either suspects. Meanwhile, Cranston and Margo come face to face with the full horror of the Japanese occupation… and on the River Yangtze, a deadly ambush awaits the unwary.

STEPHEN: Garth Ennis’ The Shadow is dark, it is bloody, and it is deeper than anything I’ve read before. Though it is set during the time period the character was created, Ennis makes the Shadow more disturbing than ever before. There are some very disturbing moments in this particular issue, and a cliffhanger that has me counting the days until the next issue arrives.

SWAMP THING #12
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Marco Rudy
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: • Prelude to “ROTWORLD”!
• Continued from this month’s ANIMAL MAN #12!
• ANIMAL MAN and SWAMP THING – together at last!

ROB: With Rotworld kicking off in October and September being taken over by 1994, this is the last chance for Animal Man and Swamp Thing to meet. Yes, I am recommending both of these and you should very much pick up both of them as neither title has disappointed and it is typically hard to pick my favorite title the first week of the month as both of these come out. Get both of them and prepare for the crossover, it should be fun.

THINK TANK #1
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Rahsan Ekedal & Brian Reber
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Dr. David Loren is many things: child prodigy, inventor, genius, slacker… mass murderer. When a military think tank’s smartest scientist decides he can no longer stomach creating weapons of destruction, will he be able to think his way out of his dilemma or find himself subject to the machinations of smaller men?

ZACH: The fact is I’m a sucker for first issues from every company besides the Big Two. Image continually is bringing new talent to the forefront with compelling stories that I can sink my teeth into. The premise slightly sounds like the plot line for the first Iron Man movie, which I loved, so I’m game.

ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #13
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION:
DIVIDED WE FALL!!!
Guest starring CAPTAIN AMERICA

JIMMY: I believe this is still taking place before Spider-Men, as Spider-Men referenced the end of Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #12, so it’ll be interesting to see if this interaction between Miles reflects the interaction with Miles in Spider-Men. I miss Sara Pichelli’s art, but the interim artist has been solid.

ROBOT OVERLORD: Seventeen titles we can’t wait to read, and we bet you can’t either.  What else is on your list that you are picking up this week?