New Hotness: Top Picks for February 12, 2014

Welcome to another exciting edition of New Hotness! Once again, Russell picks his top books to grab next Wednesday at your local comic shop or online. What looks fun? Which titles have major happenings? Is there a new book you shouldn’t miss? Find the answers to those questions and more right here each week!

 

DC New 52

Batman #28 cover

Batman #28 – Written by Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV
Art by Dustin Nguyen and Derek Fridolfs
Cover by Dustin Nguyen, Howard Chaykin and Jesus Aburto
$3.99

This special “flash-forward” issue of BATMAN offers a glimpse into the future of Gotham City and gives readers a taste of what to expect when BATMAN ETERNAL launches later this year!

Picked because: We’re getting a break from Zero Year for a “look ahead” at what’s in store for us in Batman: Eternal this April. There’s lots of questions about Batman’s future in the DC universe after Forever Evil and this is our first glimpse into what that’s going to look like. From the first pages, we’re getting some answers about some teaser images from a while back. Specifically, it looks like that blue-haired, armor-clad character from a Batman: Eternal teaser image is indeed Harper Row. The one-time new Robin frontrunner looks to be taking on a completely different identity in the wake of Forever Evil, but could it be she’s the new Nightwing? The costume design certainly seems to hint at that, but she could be taking on a different name all together. While it’s not likely we’ll find out the fate of Richard Grayson in this issue (they don’t want to spoil Forever Evil, after all), don’t be surprised to find some allusions to him and the events of Forever Evil peppered throughout. And while Stephanie Brown isn’t officially returning to the DC Universe until Batman: Eternal #3, who’s to say we don’t get a teaser appearance in this one? Finding out will be loads of fun.

 

Nightwing #28 cover

Nightwing #28 – Written by Kyle Higgins
Art by Russell Dauterman
Cover by Will Conrad
$2.99

All the sins of the past still haunt Nightwing. How can he make his peace with his old life if Gotham City won’t leave him alone?

Picked because: The final story arc of this amazing series starts here! All of this takes place before Forever Evil meaning none of the really bad things that have happened to Richard Grayson over the last few months matter yet. What matters is that his new life in Chicago is being interrupted by some old “friends” from Gotham. One of the struggles Nightwing has always had, both in-story and with readers, is that he is always in Batman’s shadow. Since Kyle Higgins launched this volume of the series in 2011, he’s worked hard to make sure Grayson was always his own man even when working with Batman in both the Court of Owls and Death of The Family story arcs. This “final” Nightwing story promises to be all about Richard Grayson. Everything he’s faced since he became Robin at 15 to now is coming back to haunt him and it’s looking to be action-packed. There are some threads we won’t get to see through thanks to this series ending at issue #30, but there’s still going to be plenty packed into the next two issues that should bring things to a close in a way that will make all Nightwing fans happy.

 

Superman/Wonder Woman #5 cover

Superman/Wonder Woman #5 – Written by Charles Soule
Art and cover by Tony Daniel
$3.99

Faora has joined Zod – and now, Earth must kneel before their combined might! Even Superman and Wonder Woman can’t stop their plan for the Phantom Zone!

Picked because: Last issue saw the world find out what we’ve known for a while now: Superman and Wonder Woman are a couple! This is another book set in the time period before Trinity War and Forever Evil, so some major things haven’t happened yet. But one thing that just did is Zod schooling Superman on how certain things in the Fortress of Solitude actually work. Then, he brings Faora out of The Phantom Zone! Man of Steel fans will notice Faora’s look is almost exactly like the film version and it’s likely she’ll be just as ruthless. Although, in the movie she never came face-to-face with Wonder Woman. That’s about to change and it should be one hell of a fireworks show! On top of all this, we’re seeing the seeds of doubt becoming apparent in Diana. She’s wondering if she and Superman are really meant to last or if their relationship is doomed to fail. A quick return to Themyscira isn’t likely to help much seeing as how all her Amazonian sisters are still snakes and her mother is still a statue. And don’t forget about the other monster lurking in the wings just waiting for his chance to fully escape The Phantom Zone: Doomsday!

 

Green Lantern Corps #28 cover

Green Lantern Corps #28 – Written by Van Jensen
Art and cover by Bernard Chang
$2.99

The Green Lanterns are under siege from the secretive Durlans – so it’s time to find the one Lantern who knows all of the Durlans’ tricks! But how do you find a shapeshifter who could be anywhere in the universe? And when the Green Lanterns find out who their newest allies are, some of them might prefer no help at all!

Picked because: When fighting an enemy who’s virtually unknown to you and who can look like anyone, it’s best to try and get some inside intel. John Stewart knows that and is taking his team into deep space to find an undercover GL we haven’t seen for a very long time: Von Daggle! He’s been leading the Corps Black Ops unit for a while now, but he’s been practically disavowed since The Guardians betrayed the Corps. Now that the Durlans have declared war on the Green Lanterns and turned nearly the entire universe against them, it might be time to fight fire with shape-shifting fire. The only problem might be that he doesn’t want to come back. After being on the run and in hiding for so long, it’s likely he feels a bit betrayed by the Corps. Under Van Jensen’s direction, John Stewart has become quite a leader and has been able to diffuse lots of volatile situations with both diplomacy and some good old-fashioned ring slinging. His current team of rookies have helped a bit with that, too and they’ll likely get some good character moments in this issue, too. And the more Jruk we get, the better.

 

Marvel

She-Hulk #1 cover

She-Hulk #1 – Written by Charles Soule
Art by Javier Pulido
Cover by Kevin Wada
$2.99

JENNIFER WALTERS IS…THE SHE-HULK! A stalwart Avenger, valued member of the FF, savior of the world on more than one occasion, she’s also a killer attorney with a pile of degrees and professional respect. A 7-foot-tall drink of cool, emerald water, she’s tough enough to knock out Galactus with one punch (possibly?) and has a heart bigger than the moon. But juggling cases and kicking bad guy butt is starting to be a little more complicated than she anticipated. With a new practice, a new paralegal and a mounting number of super villains she’s racking up as personal enemies, She Hulk might have bitten off a little more than she can chew…but she just calls that that Tuesday.

Picked because: If ever there was a character Charles Soule should write perfectly, it’s She-Hulk. As Jennifer Walters is an attorney and Soule is also currently a practicing lawyer, this should be a no-brainer. After a bunch of crazy cosmic adventures with the Future Foundation, it’s time to get back to business. Unfortunately for her, that means a performance review at her firm. Of course, if she gets a bad one it might be worse for her bosses than her. While this is likely to be a very character-first title, there’s definitely going to be some mean-green action, too. While her last series didn’t catch on the way it deserved to, this one has all the makings of a major hit. Much like Marvel’s other self-contained solo series, such as Hawkeye and Black Widow, this one is more for those looking for stories that don’t worry so much about towing the continuity line. But, it’s not likely to contradict it, either. If you want a fun book with some smarts behind it, too, this should make you pretty happy.

 

Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW cover

Superior Spider-Man #27.NOW – Written by Dan Slott
Art by Giuseppe Camuncol and John Dell
Cover by Giuseppe Camuncol
$3.99

“Goblin Nation” #1 (of 5)

The so-called Superior Spider-Man has failed. Under his watch, the Green Goblin took control of New York’s underworld. This is all Otto Octavius’ fault. Now it’s his responsibility to take the Goblin down.

Win or lose, this shall be Otto’s greatest battle. Whatever you do, don’t miss the first chapter of the biggest event in the entire Superior Spider-Man Saga!

The End starts here. Superior Spider-Man versus… THE GOBLIN NATION!

Picked because: Doc Ock sure picked a bad time to quit The Avengers. The Green Goblin has taken control of the Hobgoblin’s army and added it to his already huge force and now New York is under siege. Now that he’s set the board, GG is poised to finally take down everything this “Superior” Spider-Man has worked so hard to build. Ock may not realize it, but he’s got a lot to lose in this one and with Peter Parker’s consciousness now gaining strength inside his head, it’s only a matter of time now before Ock will find himself backed into a corner. What Ock doesn’t realize yet is that all of those he has come to rely on are also slowly turning against him. He’s about to be in the fight of his life and he may be going into it all alone. If Tony Stark does investigate further into the brain scans performed on “Spider-Man” a while back, he’s likely to find what everyone else missed: it’s not Peter Parker in there! If that happen, Ock will have more problems than even he can think his way out of. We’re also getting some clues to what life will be like for Peter Parker when the new volume of Amazing Spider-Man starts in April. His memories are fragmented thanks to a “Peter purging” Ock performed several months ago which means he won’t be able to recall everything from his life once he has control of his body again. But the bigger question is: what happens to Doc Ock when this is all over? Hints about that have likely been dropping all along, but even more are probably coming in this issue and the next four. Jump on here just in time to witness the return of Marvel’s biggest hero!

 

Thor: GoT #19.NOW cover

Thor: God of Thunder #19.NOW – Written by Jason Aaron
Art and cover by Esad Ribic
$3.99

THE LAST DAYS OF MIDGARD begin NOW!

Thor, Asgardian God of Thunder, has always fought to save his adopted home of Earth. But who can he fight when the planet itself is dying? Thor’s mortal ally and environmental secret agent Roz Solomon has a few ideas. Namely the world’s largest and most nefarious energy company Roxxon, and its ruthless new CEO known as “The Minotaur.” Has the God of Thunder finally met his match, in the form of a multinational super-corporation? Meanwhile, many millennia ahead, a future version of Thor faces a very different battle to save what remains of the earth–a battle against the greatest villain the Marvel Universe has ever known—Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds!

Picked because: Thor, God of Thunder, Avenger…environmentalist? It makes so much sense and is right in Jason Aaron’s wheelhouse. Earth is dying and this time, Thor doesn’t have anything to hit to save it. Since when has that ever stopped him? This new villain, The Minotaur, could very well turn out to be exactly what hi name suggests and if so, that’s plenty for Thor to swing Mjölnir at. But that’s not all to this story. We’re also getting more of future-Thor that we were introduced to in Aaron’s first epic story arc, The God Butcher. This time, though, old man Thor is facing down Galactus and that should provide this story with plenty of action. As awesome as all of that is, this is also the return of Esad Ribic to art duties on the title. Both The God Butcher and The God Bomb story arcs were some of the most beautiful and brilliantly drawn issues of any comic in recent memory. Ribic is a master and possibly the best artist Thor has ever had. That alone makes this one worth the price of admission. Luckily, you’ll also be reading what is probably the best Thor comic that has ever existed. If you haven’t jumped in before now, do yourself a favor and jump in now.

 

Image

The Fuse #1 cover

The Fuse #1 – Written by Antony Johnston
Art and cover by Justin Greenwood
$3.50

“THE RUSSIA SHIFT,” Part One

Working homicide 22,000 miles up on an orbiting energy platform, in a five-mile-long jury-rigged steel city stuffed with a half million people, with no help from your so-called colleagues back on Earth, is more than tough…it’s murder!

Cynical, foul-mouthed veteran ANTONY JOHNSTON (UMBRAL, Wasteland, Daredevil) gets partnered with fresh-faced idealist JUSTIN GREENWOOD (Wasteland, Resurrection) for a new crime series with attitude! Murder, mayhem, and mystery—22,000 miles straight up.

Picked because: Good murder mysteries can be hard to come by, but when you combine them with high-concept science fiction you just might have a recipe for greatness. This one has elements of great sci-fi and mystery stories such as Total Recall, Blade Runner and The Maltese Falcon. Anthony Johnston is definitely crafting one for those who want something different out of their weekly comics haul. Justin Greenwood’s art is perfectly suited for this type of story. His free-flowing, yet expressive style lends real personality to all of the surroundings, even when the look is meant to be of a somewhat sterile environment. However, even though this city is meant to be futuristic it still has the feel of a very modern place. There’s even some of the mindless bureaucracy we currently deal with in everyday life, but with an over-the-top feel. Could that be satire working its way into the proceedings? Oh yes! The best sci-fi stories often utilize these elements as commentary on where our current society is and where it could, unfortunately, wind up and this one is using very effectively. If you want something other than superheroes and you want in on the ground floor, start here.

Don’t forget to check out Russell and our entire comics staff in the first ever PTBN Comics Roundtable podcast!

Author: Russell Sellers

Comic book geek extraordinaire, Russell Sellers enjoys enthusiastic conversations about all things geek. He also traffics in ill-timed puns and random obscure Ghostbusters quotes. Send Russell an email