Major Spoilers Staff Picks for January 16, 2013

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IT’S NEW COMIC BOOK DAY! And if you are wondering what to pick up this week, the Major Spoilers Staff is here to give you their thoughts on books arriving in stores today.

All New X-Men_6_coverALL NEW X-MEN #6
Writer: Brain Michael Bendis
Artist: David Marquez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: • David Marquez (Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man) takes the artistic reins for 3 issues!
 • Brian Bendis further defines the future of the X-Men

CHRIS: Next to Hawkeye, this is the best book Marvel is putting out. Bendis is on the top of his game here, keeping the cast of characters small and I find his dialogue much more tolerable than when he wrote the Avengers. Though I was a disappointed with the last issue, I’m still giving this a shot and want to see where the story will go next. One of the few Marvel books worth the $3.99 price tag.

Batman_16_coverpickoftheweekBATMAN #16
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: DEATH OF THE FAMILY” continues! Batman heads into his showdown with The Joker as the madman’s plan is finally revealed – in Arkham Asylum! It all lead’s into next month’s terrifying conclusion! And in the backup story, in the midst of The Joker’s assault on Batman and his allies, get a secret glimpse into what started The Crown Prince of Crime on his horrifying journey!

CHRIS: I’m a month behind on this title, but every issue I’ve read has been fantastic. Scott Snyder continues to write a creepy, horrific Joker that seems to have the upper hand on Batman. I’ve been a Greg Capullo fan since his work on Spawn and its only gotten better. I mean, Jesus Christ look at that cover! Even the backup stories are good, tying into the main story as well as having Jock’s terrific art. Can’t wait to see how this ends.

GEORGE: Last month’s Batman was as good an issue of a Batman comic as I’d ever read. “Death of the Family” is exceeding the “Night of the Owls” storyline in my book, which is an impressive feat indeed. This has been one of the Joker’s most horrifying runs, full of indelible images that hearken back to classic stories while bringing a fresh new edge. This title, more than any other, has made the New 52 relaunch worthwhile.

JIMMY: There’s really not much to say about Snyder and Capullo’s Batman that practically the entire Major Spoilers staff hasn’t already been saying ever since we began the Staff Picks; with Death of the Family Snyder has upped his already phenomenal game and Joker is at his most vicious. This is an incredible ride, and you certainly don’t want to get off here!

STEPHEN: I read the first issue of the Death of the Family arc, but have been too busy to read the rest of this series. That being said, I have been picking up the books, and very soon, I will be caught up. So instead of scrambling to try and find this issue at a later date, I’m grabbing this now.

THOMAS: While the tie-ins have been rather hit-or-miss, Snyder has created a captivating story in the Batman ongoing. The Joker is in full-on Hannibal Lecter crazy mode, and his manipulation of the Bat-family makes the villain’s threat even more credible. With rumors beginning to swirl about the authenticity of this Joker, rest assured I’ll be following this title until the answers are revealed.

BG_Cv16BATGIRL #16
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: Ed Benes
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: ‘DEATH OF THE FAMILY’ continues here!

In this issue you are invited to the wedding of Barbara Gordon and The Joker!

The entire Gordon family is on hand for the most terrifying nuptials of all time!

JIMMY: Gail’s Batgirl has truly hit its stride in Death of the Family, and it rivals Batman as the best bat-book month in and month out. Death of the Family is doing for the modern Bat-family what Dixon’s marvelously orchestrated Bat-events did during his tenure, and I’m loving it. And with the whole firing and re-hiring of Gail, it’s even more important to vote with your dollar and buy Batgirl!

ROB: Most of the reason to pick up this title comes in two words, Gail Simone. If that doesn’t sell you than how about the idea that Joker proposed to Batgirl and has forced her hand to the point that she can’t not go through with it? So far, this has been the best of Death of the Family and deserves even more attention.

blackbeetleBLACK BEETLE: NO WAY OUT #1
Writer: Francesco Francavilla
Artist: Francesco Francavilla
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Black Beetle’s investigation of two local mob bosses is interrupted when a mysterious explosion murders them and a pub full of gangsters-taking out most of Colt City’s organized crime in one fell swoop. Who could pull off such a coup, and what danger might that murderous bomber do to Colt City and Black Beetle?

STEPHEN: Been a fan for a long time, so of Course I’m picking this up! That and Matthew and I are reviewing the issue on the next installment of Dueling Reviews!

ZACH: Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle #0 accomplished something that the other two or three pulp stories I have read weren’t able to: capture my interests. Also, miniseries are awesome. Francavilla does have to try and out do flying Nazis so that couple be a challenge.

crawlingskyCRAWLING SKY #1
Writer: Joe R. Lansdale, Keith Lansdale
Artist: Brian Denham
Publisher: Antarctic Press
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Horror novel legends Joe R. Lansdale and Keith Lansdale team up with Brian Denham (X-Files, Zombie Kid Diaries) and Antarctic Press to bring you a tale o’ terror set in the wild, weird West!

When their dad accidentally commits murder, plug-ugly Norville and his sister Sissy have to flee with him to Texas to start a new life. Near the town of Wood Tick, they find a homestead, good as new, but abandoned. The only problem is the well, which is blocked by big, white stones. One by one, they unblock the well, unaware they’re slowly setting free something old and dark and evil.

ZACH: Here is an instance of an interesting title catching my eye, leading me to read the synopsis, leading to my intrigue, and, finally, leading me to write this. The concept of an Western setting with a supernatural bent had me praising The Sixth Gun, so why not give another minor publisher a shot.

deathstrokeDEATHSTROKE #16
Writer: Justin Jordan
Artist: Scott Clark
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The sins of the father come back to haunt Slade — now,
tremble before the might of Jericho!

JIMMY: This is the Deathstroke book I was wanting when the New 52 began, and was sorely disappointed not to get. Justin Jordan has shown in Team Seven that he really understands what makes Slade an enjoyable character, and for the first time since Deathstroke #1 burned me I’m actually looking forward to reading Deathstroke!

magicMAGIC THE GATHERING PATH OF VENGEANCE #2
Writer: Matt Forbeck
Artist: Martin Coccolo
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: The Cult of Rakdos has put a price on Dack Fayden’s head—and Maytov, the best thief in Ravnica, has come to collect. Now, Dack must fight for his life against an opponent more cunning than anyone he’s ever faced. Will Maytov succeed where even Sifa Grent has failed—and kill the Planeswalker Thief?

ROB: At this point, I can safely say the biggest reason I’m enjoying this book is not because of its ties to my favorite card game, though that is a big benefit, especially with the promo card each issue. I am thoroughly enjoying the character of Dack Fayden. Fayden is just the right mix of thief and good-guy to be likable and his story is working for me.

Saga_9_coverSAGA #9
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist: Fiona Staples
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The Will finally has a good day.

CHRIS: Brain K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples combined create magic. There is no other way to explain how good this book is. Simply wonderful storytelling all around and should be read by everyone.

GEORGE: This title has been on so many “Best Of 2012” lists for a reason. No doubt the other writers on this site can argue its merits more eloquently than I. But I’ll say this: if you’re craving straight-up space opera done innovative and done right, this is what you should be reading.

ROB: I honestly don’t remember the last time I enjoyed a series this much. Every single piece of this book works to its advantage and I don’t see why anyone would not want to read it. If you haven’t looked at Saga yet, get caught up with the rest of us, you’ll be happy you did.

savagewolverineSAVAGE WOLVERINE #1
Writer: Frank Cho
Artist: Frank Cho
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Wolverine awakes to find himself transported to the Savage Land and labeled public enemy number one! With no memory of how he got there, and Shanna the She-Devil his only ally, Logan must unravel the mystery that slumbers at the heart of the Savage Land before it finds a way to kill him first. This January, Wolverine is all brawls, babes, and brachiosaurs, and you’ll never see the end — or the future of the Marvel Universe — NOW!

ZACH: I have honestly been wanting to get into X-Men comics but have never know where to start, so why not join at the man who is thrown all over the place? I have no idea what to expect out of this. Well, besides blood and general savagery.

xfactor250X-FACTOR #250
Writer: Peter David
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
Cover Image: http://majorspoilers.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/XFACT2005250-251COV.jpg
SOLICITATION: • A year of X-FACTOR stories culminates here in the first part of “HELL ON EARTH WAR”!
• The various Hell lords battle for domination in a war that was triggered by the seven billionth soul born on Earth, and only X-Factor can avoid the entire world going up in flames!
• This is the beginning of the end for X-Factor as you know it…

GEORGE: I read with great chagrin a few weeks ago that Peter David had suffered a stroke. David is undergoing rehab right now, trying to regain full motor control of his body. But even with all that, he’s apparently still working on X-Factor scripts. This “Hell On Earth War” storyline is based on a plot David has been brewing for almost a decade and a half (originally intended for the Hulk, back when he was writing that title), and I know he has been salivating to tell this story. Health problems aside, I’ve been looking forward to this story arc kicking off for months, as X-Factor is one of the most consistently delivering X-titles. Meanwhile, if you’re interested in ways to help Peter David, his personal website has information and updates. Here’s hoping he gets better soon.

ROBOT OVERLORD: Enjoy your reading this week, and use the comment section below to share your picks of the week!