Major Spoilers Staff Picks for August 08, 2012

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New Comic Book Day Is Almost Here! It’s one of our favorite days of the week, and when you take a look at the comic books the Major Spoilers Staff are excited about this week, you’ll understand way.

ARCHER AND ARMSTRONG #1
Writer: Fred Van Lente
Artist: Clayton Henry
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: After years of training, Obadiah Archer has been dispatched to the heart of America’s festering modern day Babylon, aka New York City, to root out and kill the infamous Great Satan of his parents’ sect. Unfortunately, dying has never been easy for Archer’s target – the hard-drinking year-old immortal known as Armstrong. Together, this unlikely pair of heroes is about to stumble headfirst into a centuries-old conspiracy that will bring the whole of ancient history crashing down on the modern day Valiant Universe. And that’s going to mean one Hell of a hangover.

MATTHEW: Of all the titles that used to define Valiant, Archer & Armstrong is the one that will be the hardest to replicate. Hinging upon the interactions of a strange young man and a slovenly immortal, A&A weren’t really even superheroes in the strictest sense, and their importance to the Valiant Universe (version 1.0) was mostly in the things that they set into motion without really realizing it. Add in Fred Van Lente, architect of some of my favorite Marvel books, including “MODOK’S 11″, and this one is sold, American.

ATOMIC ROBO: FLYING SHE-DEVILS OF THE PACIFIC #2 (of 5)
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Wegener
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: It’s called ‘The Flying She-Devils of the Pacific.’ If there’s another combination of English words that could better sell you on a comic book than those, they probably involve ‘give you’ and ‘a million dollars.’

JIMMY: It’s taken a while, but Stephen finally wore me down on the Atomic Robo front and I picked up Flying She-Devils of the Pacific #1 a while back. It was absolutely phenomenal, and if Stephen hasn’t convinced you to read it yet then go pick up issue #1 from Comixology or a local comic shop and just soak up the entertainment, and I guarantee you’ll be hooked!

STEPHEN: This is a no-brainer and I’m still surprised there are people not reading Atomic Robo. Oh, how their lives must be – all empty and soulless without the joy of Atomic Robo and his adventures.

ATOMIC ROBO REAL SCIENCE ADV #5
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: John Broglia
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Cover Price: $2.75
SOLICITATION: How many untold tales of Atomic Robo can there be? Quite a few more! The Sparrow thwarts Nazis! Atomic Robo and Bruce Lee encounter the Hong Kong mastermind of crime, Tao Jones! Also conspiracies! Mysteries! And punching!

ROB: Who doesn’t want more Atomic Robo? With tales from throughout his storied past and a look at a number of the other characters that populate his world. Clevinger has created a brilliant world with Atomic Robo and this just allows us to explore more.

STEPHEN: TWO ATOMIC ROBO TITLES IN THE SAME WEEK!? This is a no-brainer and I’m still surprised there are people not reading Atomic Robo. Oh, how their lives must be – all empty and soulless without the joy of Atomic Robo and his adventures… yes… once you drink the Robo Kool-Aid, you’ll be repeating yourself over and over, too.

BATMAN #12
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: It’s the epilogue to ‘The Court of Owls’! The next major storyline begins here!

JIMMY: Scott Snyder’s Batman has been one of the biggest draws of The New 52, and this issue serves as the epilogue to his year-long story as well as kicking off the next big arc, which promises to bring the Joker back bigger and badder than ever. If you’re not reading Batman, I’m guessing the first half of this issue may be a bit confusing but you should pick this up to kick off the next storyline!

STEPHEN: Scott Snyder has once again made Batman a book I want to read each month. With the promise of the end of the Court of Owls coming to a conclusion, and the kickoff of the Talon spin-off just around the corner, this is the book to read from DC Comics.

CONAN THE BARBARIAN #7 $3.50
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Becky Cloonan
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: Artist Becky Cloonan rejoins Brian Wood for a new story arc! Hearing of an impostor committing atrocities in his name, Conan returns to Cimmeria to confront the scoundrel. In the frozen North of Conan’s birth, it is now Bêlit who is out of her element!

GEORGE: Brian Wood ended Northlanders last month with issue #50, so I need a new fix for barbaric mayhem. Luckily, Wood is writing Conan the Barbarian for Dark Horse. His work on Conan doesn’t evince the same historical detail as Northlanders (obviously), but the guy writes deep characterization for hardcore protagonists. Dark Horse is advertising this one as a good jumping on point for new readers, and from what I can see in the previews, it’s just that. Wood is a good fit for Conan, and this could be the issue that makes me add it to the pull list.

THE CREEP
Writer: John Arcudi
Artist: Jonathan Case
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: A young boy puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger. The police don’t care. Not about his death or the death of his best friend two months earlier. The dead boy’s mom seeks help from an old flame that’s employed as a detective. What she doesn’t know is that he suffers from acromegaly—a physical deformity resulting in brutish facial features at mid-life. Will his freakish appearance get in the way of solving the case?

GEORGE: John Arcudi’s done great stuff on B.P.R.D. and Jonathan Case’s art looks good on this book. I’ve read a preview copy – look for a full review later, but I can safely push this issue as is. The issue is chock full of interesting characterizations and little, true-to-life details. Most importantly, the central mystery is an intriguing one. A comic book using either acromegaly or suicide as plot points could do so tastelessly, but Arcudi’s writing earns every single emotional moment. Check this one out.

RODRIGO: There’s an obvious comparison here, but I won’t be the one to make it. This could be the start of something really interesting, especially with such glowing praise from Mike Mignola. Problem, though, I wish they’d just number this as 1, instead of this confusing start-at-zero numbering scheme.

ZACH: I wasn’t completely ready on my decision to pick The Creep #0 up on Wednesday based off the solicitation, but once I caught a glimpse of the art and read the preview pages, I knew I wanted to read it. I’m slightly worried that this may run into a Resident Alien scenario with the zero issue actually being a first issue, but I have been known to be wrong before.

GAMBIT #1
Writer: James Asmus
Artist: Clay Mann
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: When Marvel’s premiere thief sets his sights on his biggest score yet, he may just end up over his head. It’s going to take more than just playing cards and southern charm to get out of this one!

RODRIGO: Gambit’s a character who was very much a product of his time, but has somehow managed to stick around. Here’s hoping this book ditches some of his 90s-isms. Then again, he still appears to have unnecessarily complex knee pads, so it’s probably a long shot (no pun intended).

ZACH: Marvel was able to successfully hook me on character I never thought I would be with Hawkeye #1 last week, so hopefully the cards can fall right again this week with a character I have only the tiniest of fondness for. Do I have my hopes incredibly high? Not really, but I do have my fingers crossed.

GODZILLA: The Half-Century War #1
Writer: James Stokoe
Artist: James Stokoe
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Introducing a new and exciting look at Godzilla’s reign of destruction, courtesy of Orc Stain creator James Stokoe! The year is 1954 and Lieutnant Ota Murakami is on hand when Godzilla makes first landfall in Japan. Along with his pal Kentaro, Ota makes a desperate gamble to save lives… and in the process begins an obsession with the King of the Monsters that lasts fifty years! Don’t miss the first decade in a tale of a lifetime!

RODRIGO: Japan: 1954… LOOK OUT, IT’S GODZILLA! I’ve always been a fan of Godzilla, but the big green menace has appeared in his share of terrible media. Key to the success of this book will be how they play the human characters. I’ve watched Godzilla movies that were basically noir thrillers or mobster revenge stories and just happened to have a giant lizard tearing up the city in the background. I hope that is not the case here.

MAGIC THE GATHERING SPELL THIEF #2
Writer: Matt Forbeck
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: Dack Fayden barely escapes the Collector’s prison… and now finds himself back on his home plane of Fiora. Forced to confront the destruction of his hometown, Dack relives the painful memories as he seeks clues that will lead him back on the trail of the malevolent Sifa Grent. Dack must find the strength within himself to carry on or his burden of guilt may prove too overwhelming for the Planeswalker thief. Special playable MAGIC: THE GATHERING card polybagged in this issue!

ROB: With Dack confronting his past, this issue promises to give us a lot more into what makes him tick. The series has been good and the lack of direct connection to the actual game has given it the freedom to tell the story it wants to tell, which has been enjoyable. Besides, you get an alt art card with it, and who doesn’t want more of that.

RESURRECTION MAN #12
Writer: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Jesus Saiz
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Mitch meets the person who’s been pulling the strings of his misfortunes since issue #1!

MATTHEW: I remember the last time Mitch Shelley came and went in comics, and I enjoyed DnA’s work even then. It’s a shame that this series was even shorter than the first, but at the very least, I’m hoping that they’ll be able to wrap Mitch up for real this time, without the strange half-life that he had in the 90’s after his first book went under. Worst case scenario? They’ll probably reboot him again in 2025…

SCARLET SPIDER #8
Writer: Christopher Yost
Artist: Khoi Pham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Texas Twister! Shooting Star! Red Wolf! Firebird! Living Lightning! The Southwest’s greatest heroes the RANGERS are in Houston to take down the Scarlet Spider! Has Scarlet Spider gone from Houston’s newest hero to Houston’s most wanted?

GEORGE: Scarlet Spider continues to be an entertaining title, operating on the fringes of the Marvel universe, safely away from cross-overs and tie-ins. Yost is doing a bang-up job on humanizing Peter Parker’s clone, Kaine. This is a story of a hero who isn’t necessarily the best he is at what he does, but the guy’s learning and trying. I also like how Yost is incorporating the Houston setting, separating the book from the rest of the New York-centric Marvel Universe. This issue promises a throw-down with the little known, Southwestern super-team The Rangers. Could be pretty ridiculous. Should be fun.

ROB: Kaine is one of the more interesting characters in the Spider family and this series has provided a great place for hi. Now we’re getting more of the heroes from the South to confront him and this should make for a fun read.

SPIDER-MEN #4 (of 5)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Sara Pichelli
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Can the Spider-Men stop Mysterio? Peter Parker comes face-to-face with the family he never had! ONE OF THE MOST POWERFUL MOMENTS IN THE LIVES OF BOTH SPIDER-MEN!!!

JIMMY: The last issue of Spider-Men ended with Peter Parker coming face to face with Aunt May and Gwen Stacy, which promises to be a phenomenally emotional and moving scene. I’m a little curious to see how this ties in with the latest issue of Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, since that ended with May and Gwen about to give Miles something from Peter; the two titles have been nimbly stepping around each other, as opposed to the typical Marvel tie-ins which trip over each other like elephants in high-heels.

ZACH: The Spider-Mens are back in town! Let’s go over to Aunt May’s and have a BBQ after she has a nice talk with her dead/not-dead nephew Peter. Make sure to bring the other Spider-Man to protect us from any Mysterios that might try to crash the party. I’ll bring the chips!

WOLVERINE #311
Writer: Jeph Loeb
Artists: J. Scott Campbell and Simone Bianchi
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION:
Sabretooth is back – but which one is the real one?
Where has Sabretooth been and whose side is he on this time?
The identity of the red-headed woman who came to Wolverine’s rescue is revealed!

MATTHEW: It wasn’t that long ago that they killed Sabretooth for REALZ, YO, and there was no way he was ever comin’ back, ever again. Because Dead Is Dead. This issue: Sabretooth returns! I’m looking forward to seeing how many hoops we have to jump through in order to explain that it wasn’t REALLY Sabretooth who died in the first place, and surely that doesn’t count, right? Right?

 

ROBOT OVERLORD: AMAZING! A ROBOT MADE THE LIST TWICE! Take THAT Wolverine! While you wait for the robots to rise up and enslave… make your lives more comfortable, you have a number of books to read this week.