Major Spoilers Staff Picks for October 03, 2012

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It’s another week filled with comics and Major Spoilers brings you its Picks of the Week!

ANIMAL MAN #13
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Steve Pugh
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:
• It’s the story you’ve been waiting for: “ROTWORLD: THE RED KINGDOM”!
• Part one of a four-part epic in which the Earth has fallen to the Rot!
• Guest-starring Justice League Dark, Beast Boy and many other heroes and villains from the DC Universe!

ROB: Ah, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Not only are we back to the present, we’re coming back to the big Rotworld crossover with Swamp Thing and Frankenstein. Given how good each series has been individually and the promise the lead-in showed this should be good. Remember, don’t forget about the crossovers.

RODRIGO: I’m holding out judgement on this one, I mean I need my comics to be exactly 50% superheroics and 50% gross autochthonous monsters. Anything else just seems unbalanced.

AVENGERS: Bride of Ultron
Writer: Gerry Conway
Artists: Various
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $25.49
SOLICITATION: It’s a marathon of villainy as the Avengers face one powerhouse after another! Ultron wants his wedding to herald the Avengers’ funerals, but he’s only one item on the team’s calendar of criminals to contain! There’s also Graviton and the Grim Reaper – the wrath of a god and the wrath of a godslayer! And two Avengers turn against the team – or do they? Guest-starring the Champions, the Defenders, and lots and lots of ants! Featuring heroes of the Wild West, the Golden Age and the X-books! Collecting AVENGERS (1963) #157-166.

MATTHEW: I work really hard to not be the old guy telling you how good comics USED to be. Okay, fine… To not ALWAYS be the old guy telling you how good comics used to be. But you have to appreciate this one, written by the legendary comics machine Gerry Conway, with art by young John Byrne, young George Perez as well as stalwarts like George Tuska and Don Heck. This is a huge epic, spanning time and space, and reminding you about what The Avengers was like before it was just 40 guys sitting around having long conversations punctuated with inexplicable slugfests. It’s worth it for the time-travel episodes alone, in my book.

AVENGERS ACADEMY #38
Writer: Christos Gage
Artist: Tom Grummett
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:
• Guest-starring the staff & students of WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN!
• Because you demanded it: the flag football game between Avengers Academy and the Jean Grey School!

GEORGE: This is the second-to-last issue of this great series, and I am going to be very sad to see Avengers Academy go. I’m also a sucker for those cheesy old X-Men stories where the characters would spend some time playing powers-enhanced softball in between story arcs – and a flag football game facing Marvel’s youngest Avengers against some similarly school-aged mutants seems like the perfect antidote to the overly serious dramatics of Avengers vs X-Men. Christos Gage can write this sort of thing as good as anyone in the business – check out this series before it’s too late (Y’know, November).

AVENGERS VS X-MEN #12
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jim Cheung
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: Extra-sized final issue! * It’s all come down to this! The final battle—as the world burns!

ROB: It all comes down to this. Cyclops has fully realized the Phoenix potential and, of course, has become the Dark Phoenix. NOW! we get to see how this all ends and where it will send us next. Part of me says “finally,” but another part can’t wait to actually see the outcome of what turned out to be a much better series than expected.

BLACK KISS II #3
Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Howard Chaykin
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The black shadow of fascist darkness sprawls across France-shattered by the scarlet smears of sex and death…

…And the south coast learns there’s more to California than sunshine and surf, as twin offspring of different mothers find soulmates.

MATTHEW: Sometimes, you just want some utter weirdness. This book, while graphic in violence and sexual content, and not for the youthful or those with weak constitutions, is a tour-de-force of cuckoo, well-drawn and intriguing conceptualized, and featuring the kind of pervy wackiness that you can’t get outside of a Paul Verhoeven movie. If you’re over 21, you could do much worse.

THE BOYS #71
Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: Russ Braun
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: High above the streets of New York City, Hughie and Butcher reach the end of the line. There’s blood to be spilled and truth to be heard. The last Boys storyline reaches its conclusion, in the sixth and final part of The Bloody Doors Off. Only 1 issue till the end!!!

MATTHEW: This series is nearly its end, and there are few books that I want to skip ahead on more. Wee Hughie has finally wrapped his mind around what Billy Butcher is, was, and is about to become, and is ready to chuck his nice-guy facade and stop his former boss by any means necessary. I expect that this one will end with a bang, but I hope at least that Annie and Hughie get something resembling a happy ending…

I still miss Frenchie, though.

DANGER CLUB #4
Writer: Landry Q. Walker
Artist: Eric Jones
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Chaos, blood, and betrayal all take center stage as tensions amongst the sidekicks rise. Meanwhile, The Magician takes a private journey into the darkness while seeking answers to the fate of the lost superheroes.

ZACH: Danger Club has been a series I have been following since it debuted a few months ago even though I have had a few issues with the series. It has been fun trying to figure out where the story is going, it’s more fun however to just sit back and look at the bloody awesome art.

DETECTIVE COMICS #13
Writer: John Layman
Artist: Jason Fabok
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: All kneel before Emperor Penguin!

  • There’s a hit out on Bruce Wayne!
  • This new story from writer John Layman (Chew) gueststars Nightwing!

GEORGE: This issue is the debut issue of Chew writer John Layman. I’ve been highly anticipating his takeover of this title since it was announced. Chew is one of the best series on the market, so the chance to see Layman’s talents on Batman is not to be missed. And the Penguin as the emperor of anything sounds excellent.

JIMMY: I absolutely hated Tony Daniel’s Detective Comics, which bummed me out because I generally love detective Batman. While I’ve never read Chew, I’ve heard enough positive things about it from Stephen and Zach (and others at Major Spoilers) that I knew I’d have to give John Layman’s Detective Comics a shot, and I’m finding myself getting really excited for this new story with one of my newfound favorite villains, the Penguin. If you don’t like the Penguin, I would like to humbly request that you track down Penguin: Pain and Prejudice and give it a read. It may make you view the character in a whole new light, AND it features art from the artist of the backup story on Detective Comics #13, Szymon Kudranski.

ZACH: John Layman is writing Batman! Surely the Mayans foretold of this when they predicted the end of the world. Hopefully this involves Bruce eating a few henchmen to get to Penguin; I would enjoy that.

EARTH 2 #5
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Nicola Scott
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:
• It’s the final showdown with GRUNDY!
• The Green Lantern, Hawkgirl and The Flash take on Grundy and the military’s hero, The Atom!
• The Green Lantern makes a choice that will change the course of Earth 2 forever!

ROB: Ah, back to our regularly scheduled programming. With Grundy showing up at the end of #4 two months ago and a number of characters being revealed I’m quite excited to see where we’re going from here. Add to that Nicola Scott on art duties and I couldn’t ask for more.

FATALE #8
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips and Dave Stewart
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: It’s the turning point of the second arc of BRUBAKER & PHILLIPS’ white-hot series FATALE! What is Josephine’s secret plan, and what has she been doing all these years on the run from the ’50s to the late ’70s? And has the monster that’s hunted her most of her life returned?

STEPHEN: Been loving this series since I first saw gangster Cthulhu gracing the cover, and I can’t wait to see what’s happening next when B-movie star, a death cult, and a femme fatale cross paths!

ZACH: So there is a great man named Stephen Schleicher that knows his fair share of comics and after much of his praise has lead me to series like Atomic Robo and Locke & Key. It seems like this pattern is about to continue because after hearing him talk on multiple podcasts about Fatale it’s time for me to try it out. Odds are you probably should too.

GUARDING THE GLOBE #2
Writer: Phil Hester
Artist: Todd Nauck
Publisher: Image Comics (Skybound Imprint)
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: What does it take to defend an entire planet?

As The Guardians of the Globe divide their forces to deal with threats all over Earth, simultaneously, a darker, familiar, threat continues to loom under their very noses.

JIMMY: Invincible is the greatest superhero comic in the universe, and Guarding the Globe is straight out of the pages of Invincible. If you read Invincible on a monthly basis, you should also be reading this book. If you only read Invincible in the trades, you should also be reading this book, and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about spoilers, as the only major spoiler was announced at SDCC over two full years ago. Hester and Nauck are knocking (Naucking?) it out of the park on this book!

HYPERNATURALS #4
Writers: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
Artist: Francesco Biagni
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: BRAND-NEW STORY ARC! PERFECT JUMPING-ON POINT FOR NEW READERS! Thinkwell, Bewilder and Clone 45 begin to discover just how deep Sublime’s scheming runs, as they discover the lone survivor of the cataclysmic event that seemingly wiped out the previous Hypernaturals team…

JIMMY: Hypernaturals has been a pleasant surprise from BOOM! Studios; after Incorruptible and Irredeemable ended, and Snarked was winding down, I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be reading on a monthly basis from BOOM!. Since then I’ve discovered the Adventure Time comic, Marceline and the Scream Queens, and Hypernaturals. Now, one of those things is indeed not like the others, with Hypernaturals being a cosmic epic including some elements of the Legion of Superheroes. Abnett and Lanning have been doing incredible work on this title, and they’ve managed in three issues to do some incredible worldbuilding. This issue is being touted as a good jumping on point, so it’s absolutely worth picking up a copy and seeing what you think of this title!

MINIMUM CARNAGE ALPHA #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn, Christopher Yost
Artist: Lan Medina
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION:

  • CARNAGE IS BACK – AND BIGGER AIN’T NECESSARILY BETTER!
  • Scarlet Spider and Venom collide as the hunt for Carnage begins, taking both heroes to a place you’ll never believe.

RODRIGO: I was informed that since I started reading comics in the 90s I have to pick up this series, otherwise they’ll revoke my card. I hope Shatterstar is in this.

NON-HUMANS #1
Writer: Glen Brunswick
Artist: Whilce Portacio
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Los Angeles, 2041 – it’s twenty-six years after a NASA probe brought back a strange disease causing many of our familiar toy-like objects to come to life. This is a new world order where cute and fearsome creatures fight for their right to exist in a world that fears them – Blade Runner meets Toy Story.

GEORGE: They had me at “NASA probe brings back strange disease,” and the inanimate object angle is icing on the cake. Image has been putting out gangbusters work lately – hopefully the trend continues with Non-Humans, which has a novel concept paired with the art of Whilce Portacio, one of Image’s original founders.

RODRIGO: This sounds really awful, so of course it’s on my staff picks!