Major Spoilers Staff Picks for January 09, 2013

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It’s a new year, and a new week, and that means a ton of new comic books headed your way.  But what to pick? Take the jump for a look at the books the Major Spoilers staff are picking this week.

AC_Cv16ACTION COMICS #16
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Rags Morales
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: The Man of Steel vs. the worst foe the multiverse has
ever seen: Superdoom, a demon Superman from an alternate universe! With the Little Man’s true identity revealed, learn more about his plan and why he hates Superman so much. And in the backup story, a spotlight on a key moment from Superman’s climactic battle with the Anti-Superman Army!

JIMMY: This is the conclusion to Grant Morrison’s Superman epic, and if you haven’t been reading in the individual issues you’re better off waiting for the trade. If you’ve stuck with the previous 15 issues then I’m sure this is the first book you’re planning on reading this week; Morrison has done some absolutely phenomenal things with the Man of Steel, and this issue should wrap things up quite nicely.

STEPHEN: Grant Morrison sold me with the first page of Action Comics #1, and I’ve enjoyed how he has dropped hints and story bits throughout the series leading up to this big finale of his run. Can’t wait to pick this one up and see if I’m going to be satisfied, or left scratching my head.

AdventureTime_11_preview_Page_11ADVENTURE TIME #11
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Shelli Paroline
Publisher: BOOM Studios (kaBOOM Imprint)
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: BRAND NEW ARC! PERFECT JUMPING ON POINT FOR NEW READERS!

Join Jake the Dog and Finn the Human in the latest of their totally math adventures! Get on board for what critics are calling ‘the best series of 2012″!

JIMMY: This series has been spot on perfect both for existing fans of Adventure Time and people who have wondered what all the hype’s about. The last arc just wrapped up, so this is a great place to start reading–as it’s written by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics, Adventure Time the comic has had an enjoyably warped pace to its dialogue and the art has been right on with the show, unlike the other Adventure Time series “Marceline and the Scream Queens” which wrapped up last month. Even if you’ve never heard of Adventure Time, you ought to pick up and read this book–it’s the most enjoyably hilarious comic I’ve read in a long time.

ANMAN_Cv16ANIMAL MAN #16
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Steve Pugh, Timothy Green, Joseph Silver
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION:
• “ROTWORLD: THE RED KINGDOM” part four!
• Animal Man has Constantine, Steel, Black Orchid, Beast Boy, Frankenstein and a whole army of patchwork men and women at his back — but is that enough to go up against Anton Arcane at the heart of the Rot?
• Team Red sets off for Metropolis to recruit a powerful new ally!

ROB: Rotworld has been going for some time now, and the entire thing has been quite enjoyable. At this point in the game I really want to know what the big reset button is to give our guys the win, and here’s hoping that’s what’s coming next.

RODRIGO: I’m so behind on this. I think the last one I read was like five issues ago and I didn’t read the crossover stuff either. Guys, I’m bad at this, but I’m trying to get better.

arena3AVENGERS ARENA #3
Writer: Dennis Hopeless
Artist: Kev Walker
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price $2.99
SOLICITATION:
X-23 vs. ANNIHILATION’s Cammi!
A mystery opponent vs. AVENGERS ACADEMY’s Sentinel!
Who is the killer stalking the competitors in their sleep?
Plus: Darkhawk equals death

ZACH: Now that I have watched Battle Royale I can read Avenger’s Arena with a mindset to see where Hopeless is pulling his…. wait a second, is that cover a Hunger Games motif? Guess I have to read that now too.

defendersDEFENDERS BY MATT FRACTION TP VOL 02
Writer: Matt Fraction
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $19.99
SOLICITATION:The Defenders find their way to Wakanda and team up with the Black Panther to face the lethal John Aman, the Prince of Orphans! What is Aman protecting that’s worth killing so many for so long? And how is Felicia Hardy, the Black Cat, going to steal it? Then: The Defenders are lost in space-time! What alternate universe will they find first — and who’s waiting for them? Finally, when the purpose of the Concordance Engines is revealed, the team must act fast to save everything! What are the Death Celestials? How can the Defenders even hope to stop them? And how can you save the world when you can’t tell anyone it’s about to end? All secrets are revealed and all questions are answered as everybody dies and everything ends! Collecting DEFENDERS (2012) #7-12.

ROB: An entertaining team, crazy end of the world story-lines and great looking work, Defenders was the best thing to come from Fear Itself. I picked up the first trade for this solely based on Matthew’s ravings and thoroughly enjoyed. With this one the entire run is available and you should definitely pick both up.

FAIRES_Cv11FAIREST #11
Writer: Lauren Beukes
Artist: Inaki Miranda
Publisher: Vertigo Comics, Inc.
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Dark history and high court intrigue are revealed as Rapunzel hatches a desperate plan to steal Tomoko’s soulfire back from the conniving shogun Ryogan. There’s murder, scheming, poisonings, safe-cracking, vengeful ghosts, treachery revealed in porcelain and a terrible, bloody invasion.

DANIELLE: While the whole of the Fairest series has been not only beautiful to look at but beautiful to read, this story arc has been a fable and mythology addict’s dream. Lauren Beukes has breathed new life into Rapunzel as a character and the introduction of the Japanese fables is absolutely fascinating. Not to mention, Inaki Miranda’s art is breathtaking. This one is at the top of my read list.

prv9224_cov-1GUARDING THE GLOBE #5
Writer: Robert Kirkman, Benito Cereno
Artist: Ransom Getty
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: Brit has had enough: El Chupacabra has crossed a line. Will this be it for the Guardians of the Globe? Will they be able to pull things together in time to deal with the Order? They’d better, for the sake of the planet!

MATTHEW: As Invincible has crossed back over into “dramatic and bloody” turf, the “spiffy superhero fun” ball has been picked up by this book, featuring Bob Kirkman’s international superhero cast in old-school shared-universe adventures. Characters like Best Tiger (basically a blindfolded bad-ass Batman as played by Chow Yun Fat) keep the book hopping, and even the bland guys like Brit work as foils for the wilder concepts. If you miss the Bronze Age madness of JLA or the Legion, this is the book for you.

Jack_Ripper_coverJACK THE RIPPER HELL BLADE GN VOL 03
Writer: Jetae Yoo
Artist: Jetae Yoo
Publisher: Seven Seas
Cover Price: $11.99
SOLICITATION: Jack the Ripper like you’ve never seen him before, in a Victorian England infested by demons! Jack the Ripper is not what he seems—but the truth may be more terrible than anyone imagined. With bold and graphic artwork in the vein of the classic vampire hunter manga series Hellsing, Jack the Ripper: Hellblade is a shocking and fascinating re-imagining of the world’s most famous serial killer.
CHRIS: What if the prostitutes in Victorian England were demons and Jack the Ripper was really a misunderstood demon killer? This bizarre idea was strange enough to get me to read the first two volumes, which I enjoyed enough that I’ll be picking up the third. The artwork is reminiscent of Hellsing, so fans of that series might want to take a look. Absolutely bizarre, but manga fans looking for something different should really give this a read.

Jinnrise01_Cover.1-551x900JINNRISE #1
Writer: Sohaib Awan
Artists: Tony Vassallo, Carli Ihde, and Timothy Yates
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Part 1: ‘Manifest Destiny.’ International student Andrew Marcus’ world is torn asunder when interstellar forces, the ‘Kibrani,’ invade earth. With all hope seemingly lost, humanity’s last chance may be a long-despised and forgotten race: the Jinn (otherwise known as ‘genies’)! But are they our hope… or greatest fear? Combining the best of summer blockbuster fare and quest myths like Lord of the Rings, Jinnrise is a modern re-introduction to global myth.

RODRIGO: It’s a bold move to just throw “Lord of the Rings” out like that, especially in the current environment. I do like what I’ve seen of the art though so I’m good and curious about this.

2783646-05b_superNEW CRUSADERS RISE OF THE HEROES #5
Writer: Ian Flynn
Artist: Gary Martin
Publisher: Archie Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The Brain Emperor has invaded the Z.I.P. prison and unleashed a massive riot! The only ones who can act in time are the untested, untrained New Crusaders. Do they have what it takes to contain the chaos? And what sinister old foes does the Brain Emperor seek to awaken?

MATTHEW: It’s weird, but each issue of this book has endeared it to me just a little more. The initial premise (young heroes step up to take the place of older heroes) seems to carry more weight with the use of the legitimately ancient Archie heroes, and the same sort of freshness that has made Archie’s Riverdale books so exhilarating as of late carries over into the return of the Crusaders. Plus, you gotta love a book that uses Golden Age punching bag/punline Bob Phantom in a non-ironic and effective fashion.

prv14749_covSECRET AVENGERS #36
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Matteo Scalera
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION:
• In The Core Venom and Valkyrie set out on a mission to kill Father.
• In New York The Master Mold rises and the only way to stop him is to kill The Torch!
• Black-Ant vs Hawkeye the final showdown!

MATTHEW: Rick Remender’s run on Secret Avengers has been a quiet hit for me, and one of the books that I wish hadn’t fallen under the umbrella of the Marvel NOW! relaunch, making use of characters like The Valkyrie, Venom and even the Irredeemable Ant-Man in interesting ways. Putting it simply, it isn’t easy to make me like Venom, and this book caused me to check out his solo adventures by the same writer. If that doesn’t convince you to look it up, I’m not sure what will.

Spawn_226_coverSPAWN #226
Writer: Todd McFarlane
Artist: Szymon Kudranski
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Jason Wynn, Al Simmons’ old mentor and superior, and one of the Spawn universe’s greatest villains, returns to shed light on the dark realities of Jim’s past. But Wynn, ever the puppet master, has motivations beyond simply filling in the blurred gaps in Jim’s memory. What happens when Wynn finds himself to be nothing more than another pawn in the endless war between Heaven and Hell? Witness the early days of Wynn’s rise to power, and the unbridled ambition that made him one of the most powerful men on the planet as “DE-PROGRAMMED” continues with this special two-part chapter entitled, “The Life and Death of Jason Wynn!”

CHRIS: God help me, I love Spawn. I’ve not missed an issue and I will continue to read it until it ends. Though not always good (sometimes downright awful), the stories have always been interesting and the one they’ve been telling since issue #185 has breathed new life into the character. A new Spawn being manipulated not only by Heaven and Hell, but also by characters that’ve been in the Spawn universe since the beginning. This issue looks to continue the trend of tying old characters to this new one and I can’t wait to see what happens.

StarWars1STAR WARS #1
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Carlos D’Anda
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: This is Star Wars as you remember it . . . and as you have never seen it before! We’re taking you back to those heady, adventure-filled days following the destruction of the Death Star—when the Empire ruled, the Rebels were on the run, and the galaxy was a dangerous place where anything might happen!

GEORGE: Back when this series was announced, I could not have been more excited. Brian Wood and Star Wars! There’s an added wrinkle now that Dark Horse is losing the Star Wars comic license with the big sale to Disney, but who cares? I’m going to enjoy this ride for as long as it lasts – one more hurrah with Luke, Leia, Han, Chewie and all the rest, in the best era of Star Wars that ever was.

RODRIGO: New Star Wars tales with old Star Wars characters? The shadow of The Mouse approacheth.

Superior_Spider Man_1_coverpickoftheweekSUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #1
Writer: Dan Slott
Artist: Ryan Stegman
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: THEN!…Peter Parker spent a lifetime living up to the responsibilities his powers foisted upon him but his Amazing story finally ended dramatically in the historic Spider-Man #700. NOW!…The new Amazing Spider-Man has arrived and he is better in every single way. Smarter, stronger…Superior.

CHRIS: I honestly didn’t understand the hatred and vitriol that #700 received. I thought the ideas and story were, for the most part, implemented well. I’m sure this will be the biggest selling issue of all this week, so I might as well join in the club and check it out. I’m interested in what Dan Slott has up his sleeve for this series and I’ll read the first few issues at least. The artwork looks fantastic that’s for sure. We all know none of this will stick but it’s intriguing nonetheless.

GEORGE: I just read ASM #700 last night, and it hit like a punch to the gut. Dan Slott has received a lot of flack for his creative choice, but for me, it ended up working. The new Spider-Man will take a lot of getting used to, but I trust Slott’s storytelling instincts to take me to a place that will delight, entertain and engage. While I’ll miss Ramos on Spider-Man, Stegman is a pretty good replacement.

ROB: Dan Slott did a heart-crushingly fantastic job on ending Amazing Spider-Man and I am more than willing to follow him onto the Superior Spider-Man. Not sure how much of a Spoiler I won’t to give right now, so I’ll just say join me, it is more than worth the cost of entry at this point.

STEPHEN: I’m jumping on this one with eyes wide open. Don’t know what Dan Slott will have in store for us, but after the turn in Amazing Spider-Man #700, I can’t wait to see how the creative team and the world views this book.

ZACH: I enjoyed Amazing Spider-Man #700, so how could I not pick up Superior Spider-Man #1? I mean there was that slight blip known as Avenging Spider-Man #15.1, but let’s forget about that, besides the costume change of course. Having faith in Dan Slott that he won’t continue the Doc Ock I-have-always-been-better-than-Petter-Parker-oh-wait-never-mind-he-was-amazing thoughts for much longer I’m excited to see where this goes.

Bram and Ben_coverTHE END TIME OF BRAM AND BEN #1
Writer: James Asmus & Jim Festante
Artist: Rem Broo
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: What would you do if you were caught in the Biblical End Times? When Heaven raptures total bastard Bram Carlson in a “clerical error” – he’s sent back and immediately uses Armageddon to his benefit! Can his anxious roommate Ben save Bram from himself – AND the gathering forces of Armageddon?

CHRIS: I’m always on the look out for new books to give a try and the idea for this one grabbed me. A total a$$hole getting raptured? Sounds like something that, if the Rapture actually occurs, could and probably will happen. I’m getting a Chew vibe from this book and that can only be a good thing. Best get on early, cause if it becomes popular you can sell your first printings on eBay.

ZACH: A four-issue mini-series from Image about two friends living through the Apocalypse that’s recommended for fans of Chew? Ya, I’m going to read that. And the first issue is super-sized still for $2.99. More bang for your buck.

THORGOT2012004_DC11THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #4
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Esad Ribic
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION:
• Thousands of years in the future the last god king of a ruined Asgard makes his final stand against the berserker legions of the God Butcher.
• But even a king can fall. Even King Thor.

ELIJAH: I absolutely adore this series so far. The art has left me slack jawed, and the writing manages to be cosmic and biblical at the same time. The entire series has this kind of transcended, otherworldly feeling to it that hooks me into this completely new and wild universe. Every issue explores this reality of cosmic gods more and more, and each time I am completely enthralled.

GEORGE: This series has been better than I expected. Aaron is telling an archly gothic story set in three different time periods, and it’s been a joy watching him juggle that difficult narrative load. And Esad Ribic is one of my favorite artistic talents currently working at Marvel. If you want a grand, millennia-spanning epic of gods and monsters, this is the title for you.

TMNT-Secret-History-Of-The-Foot-Clan-1-674x1024TMNT: SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN #1
Writers: Mateus Santolouco, Erik Burnham
Artist: Santolouco
Colors: Rafael Grampa
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Demons, ninjas, and hostile takeovers-what more can you expect from a TMNT comic? The first installment of this new miniseries reveals a history never told before about the original founder of the Foot. Join the Turtles as they get a history lesson that they will never forget!

THOMAS: IDW’s iteration of the Ninja Turtles franchise has been on a hot streak since the first issue. Updating the franchise while simultaneously respecting the source material, TMNT has been a wildly fun ride. After multiple spin-off “Microseries,” this issue is the first of a four-part mini focusing on Shredder’s origin as well as the start of the Foot Clan. With a promised focus on supernatural elements, there should be a lot of bang for your buck in this book. If you haven’t yet picked up any of the new TMNT stuff, this could be a great introduction. If you’re already on the IDW TMNT bandwagon, this issue is a must.

x_men_legacy__4_by_deadlydelmundo-d5ip92aX-MEN LEGACY #4
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jorge Molina
Publisher: Marvel Comics, Inc.
Cover Price: #2.99
SOLICITATION: LEGION vs. THE X-MEN! Two new villains begin plotting Legion’s demise. And little does he know, one of them is lurking within his own psyche, and the other is now hiding amongst the X-Men themselves…

DANIELLE: This series has been a surprise hit for me. Initially, I was never a fan of Legion (considering him a bit over-powered and his hair quite stupid) but Spurrier has given him a real human and relatable element. In this issue, he’s coming face-to-face with the X-Men. Since he has a less than stellar reputation, one can only assume that crazy shenanigans will ensue. Either way, I’m in for the ride 100%.

ROBOT OVERLORD: That wraps it up for books the Major Spoilers Staff recommends this week. Is there something on the list, that we’re missing?