Major Spoilers Staff Picks for January 22, 2014

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New Comic Book Day is Nearly Upon Us!

What should you pick up this week? The Major Spoilers Staff runs down the titles they are most looking forward to this week.

invadersALL-NEW INVADERS #1
Writer: James Robinson
Artist: Steve Pugh
Publisher: Marvel
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Eisner Award winner James Robinson (STARMAN, EARTH 2) returns to MARVEL, uniting with Steve Pugh (ANIMAL MAN, HOTWIRE, GEN-X) to create a unique, modern day take on the INVADERS. The KREE EMPIRE intends to conquer the universe using a weapon that will grant them an army of NORSE GODS. It falls to four heroes united by their past—CAPTAIN AMERICA, NAMOR, THE ORIGINAL HUMAN TORCH and the WINTER SOLDIER—who must now face the future and wage war against the Kree to save Earth.

JASON: Giving James Robinson a chance to write a Marvel legacy title that has ties to World War 2? I’m in. I have a feeling this will be more of a blockbuster title than Starman, but I’m hopeful Robinson can make this just as good.

AphroditeIX_TheHiddenFiles_01-1APHRODITE IX: THE HIDDEN FILES #1
Writer: Matt Hawkins
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: PEEK INTO THE PROPRIETARY BLACK BOX OF APHRODITE’S MIND!

The cybernetic assassin Aphrodite IX has survived the rise and fall of countless civilizations. What sacrifices and tragedies has she seen that have been erased from her memory?

RODRIGO: Books with art by Stjepan Sejic are always worth checking out, even if the subject matter is not something I particularly like.

atomicroboATOMIC ROBO AND THE SAVAGE SWORD OF DR. DINOSAUR #5
Writer: Brian Clevinger
Artist: Scott Wegener
Publisher: Red 5 Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: The crisis in Hollow Earth comes to a cataclysmic end. Back on the surface, the Majestic 12 invasion of Tesladyne Island is a complete success. Hey, at least things can’t get any worse. Right? Wrong. Get ready for the most mind blowing and world changing installment of Atomic Robo ever.

RODRIGO: It’s my New Year’s resolution to catch up on Atomic Robo. Already failing miserably.

STEPHEN: FINALLY! A new Atomic Robo book! MUST BUY THIS NOW!

pickoftheweekBM_Cv27_klzkp7u4xj_BATMAN #27
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo, Danny Miki

Publisher: DC Comics

Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: “’ZERO YEAR’ reaches an all-important crossroads as Batman and Jim Gordon try to turn the lights back on in Gotham City. This issue leads directly into the final arc of Zero Year, which begins here next month!”

STEPHEN: I’m finally caught up with Snyder’s Zero Year, and it’s been a really interesting read. Looking forward to this issue, as it seems to be only Batman title that I’m reading on a regular basis.

WAYNE: Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Batman, Zero Year. What else need be said? Sold as far as I’m concerned!

outlandBERKELEY BREATHED OUTLAND COMPLETE HC
Writer: Berke Breathed
Artist: Berke Breathed
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $50.00
SOLICITATION: Signed and numbered by Berkeley Breathed – 1st printing. Story and Art by Berkeley Breathed. Berkeley Breathed, the mad genius who boggled and bewildered us with Bloom County, is back! Soon after retiring Bloom County-and at the peak of its popularity-Breathed returned with an all-new Sunday only newspaper strip: OUTLAND. Debuting just four weeks after the final Bloom County was published, and with many of the same cast members, Outland continues on in the same traditions set forth by its forebears-ranging from delightful whimsy to raging satire! This volume contains every Outland strip published, some never before collected in book form, and nearly all have been scanned from the original art, provided by breathed from his personal archives. More than 280 Sunday pages, all in fully re-mastered color, from September 3, 1989 through March 26, 1995. As an added bonus, this volume will have a selection of the extremely rare Academia Waltz, the college strip Breathed did as a precursor to Bloom County! Hardcover, 11-in. x 8 1/2-in., 320 pages, full color. NOTE: Limited to 500 copies.

MATTHEW: There was a time where I actually kept a subscription to the newspaper (The Salina Journal, for those keeping record) in order to keep up on the latest exploits of Opus and his pals. Though Outland is a little less entertaining than Bloom County, it’s still bizarre and funny enough that I’m willing to shell out this kind of scratch for a complete collection…

Bubblegun_4_coverBUBBLEGUN #4
Writer: Mark Roslan
Artist: Mike Bowden

Publisher: Aspen Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: They like the tech, but live for the high stakes! The BUBBLEGUN team is banged up, worn down, and low on confidence after their leader is taken from them. Molli, in desperation, resorts to extreme measures in order to rescue her captive sister back from the dangerous clutches of Drazic, Craine and Vitadrone. The odds of survival are low–which is par for the course with this group! Creator and writer Mark Roslan, along with penciler Mike Bowden and colorist David Curiel invite you to take part in what’s sure to become Aspen’s next hit sci-fi, action adventure series, BUBBLEGUN!

CHRIS: Bubblegun has hit my sci-fi, cyberpunk sweet spot. It’s just cool fun from start to finish. Everything about this book has its own style, from the character designs to the ideas. How could you not love a pink haired girl with a gun that shoots bubblegum?

23850CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT #7
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Artist: Eduardo Francisco
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “Fighting for his life in Washington, DC, Captain Midnight struggles to do any damage to a secret organization’s brutal assassin. Meanwhile, Agent Jones is abducted by an unexpected captor who may reveal the unsettling truth about the mysterious Black Sky’s motives. Learn more about the mysterious Project Black Sky! A new cover by Freddie Williams II and Dan Scott! Written by Joshua Williamson (Ghosted, Masks and Mobsters)!”

WAYNE: This book is fast becoming my new addiction! Great characters, great story, engaging art! What’s not to like?

deadlyclassDEADLY CLASS #1
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Wesley Craig
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: It’s 1987. Marcus Lopez hates school. His grades suck. He has no money. The jocks are hassling his friends. He can’t focus in class, thanks to his mind constantly drifting to the stunning girl in the front row and the Dag Nasty show he has tickets to. But the jocks are the children of Joseph Stalin’s top assassin, the teachers are members of an ancient league of assassins, the class he’s failing is “Dismemberment 101,” and his crush, a member of the most notorious crime syndicate in Japan, has a double-digit body count.

Welcome to the most brutal high school on Earth, where the world’s top crime families send the next generation of assassins to be trained. Murder is an art. Killing is a craft. At King’s Dominion High School for the Deadly Arts, the dagger in your back isn’t always metaphorical, nor is your fellow classmates’ poison.

Join writer RICK REMENDER with rising star WESLEY CRAIG (Batman) and legendary colorist LEE LOUGHRIDGE (Fear Agent) to reminisce about the mid-1980s underground through the eyes of the most damaged and dangerous teenagers on Earth.

GEORGE: An assassin school some sort of a connection to the 1980s hardcore scene? New Rick Remender/Wesley Craig creator-owned work? I’m in.

Empire dead_1_coverEMPRIE OF THE DEAD ACT ONE #1
Writer: George A. Romero
Artist: Alex Maleev
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: ZOMBIE GODFATHER GEORGE ROMERO UNLEASHES HIS NEXT UNDEAD EPIC-AS AN ALL-NEW MARVEL COMIC! • Welcome to New York City years after the undead plague has erupted-but just because Manhattan has been quarantined, don’t think that everyone inside is safe! • Not only do flesh-eaters roam within Manhattan, but there’s another ancient predator about to take a bite out of the Big Apple! • Plus: It’s a terrorizing team-up in variant cover form when the Zombie Godfather unites with the Zombie King – Arthur Suydam!

CHRIS: HUGE Romero fan here. While I’ve loved all his zombie films, I can’t say they’re all great. If there’s any zombie comic that I must read, it’s this one. Hopefully Romero can make the jump to comic writing better than some, but at least we’ll get some great Maleev artwork.

Harley Quinn_2_coverHARLEY QUINN #2
Writer: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Chad Hardin

Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: Harley and guest star Poison Ivy set out to rescue a bunch of cute puppies and kitties! What could possibly go wrong?

CHRIS: People in the store have complained that the first issue was too silly but I think that’s exactly why I loved it. It in no way takes itself seriously and for a character like Harley, I think that works best. Chad Hardin’s art is stellar and I’m dying to see what comes next.

HAWKEYE2012016-DC11-LR-563eeHAWKEYE #16
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Annie Wu
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: The adventures of Lady Hawkguy out west continue as Kate helps a reclusive and Sixties-damaged pop music genius find his lost masterpiece.
Madame Masque, meanwhile, finds HER. By which we mean starts trying to kill her again.

Also the cat needs cat food and there’s none to be found. What’s THAT about?
Hey not for nothin’ but you guys gotta try these Cronuts!

MATTHEW: When it comes to Marvel, I’ll take “excellence of execution” over “high-profile crossover madness” any day. Hawkeye’s irregular schedule over the last three issues, combined with the deliberate pacing that Fraction & company have been pulling off, have pushed it off of some people’s radars. That’s a shame, as this is a good book with an intriguing cast, and deserves all the attention it can get…

STEPHEN: YAY! Another Hawkeye is here. One of my favorite Marvel titles in recent years, this is yet another book I can’t wait to pick up.

Jinnrise-09-pr-1-0222fJINNRISE #9
Writer: David Liss, Sohaib Awan
Artist: Andrew Huerta, Mark Torres

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: “In an effort to the defeat the alien Kibrani, Andrew and his ragtag team continue their quest to assemble an army of Jinn (Genies)! Two jinn bottles remain to be found, and together they hold the key to Earth’s fate. The jinn and their human allies prepare for the final battle, but the key to victory may mean handing the Kibrani their most powerful weapon yet.”

WAYNE: I crave variety in my reading, so I’m hooked on this diverse comic! I love the story and art, so I’m going to keep buying and recommending this book!

krampus-02KRAMPUS #2
Writer: Brian Joines
Artist: Dean Kotz

Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99
SOLICITATION: “From the alleys of Italy to the mountains of Nepal, the Krampus’s globetrotting quest continues! When a clue leads him deep inside the Himalayas, the Krampus finds himself facing a legendary foe. Plus, fallout from Father Christmas’s decision sparks dissension at the North Pole. The stage is set for the Santa Coup!”

WAYNE: With the holidays over (sadly), I’ll take whatever reminds me of that time of year I can get. It’s a comic full of adventure told with fascinating twists and turns, so I still recommend this title even though it’s late January!

therosMAGIC: THE GATHERING – THEROS #4 (of 5)
Writer: Jason Ciaramella
Artist: Chris Evenhuis
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $4.99
SOLICITATION: Dack Fayden remains in THEROS with his new artifact—a powerful gauntlet that holds many secrets. But those secrets may bring trouble to Dack’s doorstep… and the Planeswalker thief will have to face a foe unlike any other.

This issue includes an exclusive, alternate art playable Magic: The Gathering card!
Variant Cover by Martin Coccolo!

RODRIGO: If you’re a Magic: The Gathering fan then you have to check out this comic. Seriously, you have to, it’s in Wizards of the Coast’s terms of service. They can sue you.

mndmanagementMIND MGMT #18
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Matt Kindt
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: Once one of Mind Management’s youngest and most unusual agents, Ella the Animal Kid had a crisis of conscience and disappeared for years. Now Meru’s found her, but is it to interview Ella for her book or to make her take a side? And either way, can she escape the jungle alive?

GEORGE: Any week that Mind MGMT comes out, it’s one of the best books on the stands.

originORIGIN II #2
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Adam Kubert
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: • Without his family, Logan struggles to continue on
• Meanwhile, word of a clawed wild man in the woods has reached civilization and the hunt to capture him first begins!
• And enter…CREED

GEORGE: I hated Origins. The only reason I bought the first issue was because of how much I like Kieron Gillen, and lo, it turned out to be a moody, art-driven showcase for Adam Kubert. But I loved it all the same. I’m thinking this issue will be different, but hopefully it’ll be just as good as the first.

prettydeadlyPRETTY DEADLY #4
Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick
Artist: Emma Rios
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $3.50
SOLICITATION: Every Death must love and every Death must die; the cycle of world demands it. The one who captures our last breath must breathe his last before becoming inured to the pain of loss. This cycle is ending. But this Death… will not go easy.

MATTHEW: Thanks to a lapsed pull list customer, I got the first three issues of Pretty Deadly entirely by accident last week. I am now kind of smitten, and I have to recommend this title to anybody and everybody over the age of 21 who enjoys a nice tale of ne’er-do-wells in a western setting. It’s gorgeous, too…

Transformers RID_25_coverTRANSFORMERS ROBOTS IN DISGUISE #25
Writer: John Barber, James Roberts
Artist: Livio Ramondelli & Various

Publisher: IDW Publishing

Cover Price: $3.99
SOLICITATION: WHAT LIES BENEATH! ULTRA MAGNUS leads what’s left of the Lost Light crew deep into the last place they ever thought they’d be-and they find they last CYBERTRONIANS they ever expected to find! Meanwhile: MEGATRON versus GALVATRON: Round One!

CHRIS: Want to know why Shockwave is the most badass of all Transformers? Then you need to be reading the Dark Cybertron story. He’s evil in all kinds of ways that Megatron wishes he could be. All the characters are coming together in a clash of epic proportions and Barber and Roberts are telling what could turn out to be a classic Transformers tale. Highly recommended.