New Hotness: Top Picks for February 5, 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

Forever Evil #5 cover

Forever Evil #5 – Written by Geoff Johns

Art and cover by David Finch and Richard Friend

$3.99

With everything to lose, Lex Luthor and his Injustice League raid the stronghold of the Crime Syndicate with consequences so devastating, the DC Universe will never be the same!

Picked because: We’re heading toward the big finish of Forever Evil now and things are picking up speed. After the craziness of the last issue and the arrival of Sinestro (still in control of the Parallax entity) there’s no way to avoid a direct fight with the Crime Syndicate now. We probably won’t get that fight in this issue, but getting Sinestro vs. Power Ring will make this one a must-read all by itself. But, there’s lots more to this one. Lex Luthor is getting some much-needed backstory and we’ll see him take a leadership role in taking on the Crime Syndicate’s hunting party, being led by Death Stroke. Also…Batman/Lex Luthor banter. It doesn’t get much better than that. This is also when we should be seeing some of the other FE threads coming together. If you’ve been reading the tie-ins or following the Blight story arc, look for some of those story points to come into focus and likely something big to happen with Firestorm and the entrapped Justice League members. We’re also only two issues away from the ultimate fate of Nightwing. Look for he and Owlman to start putting their plan to take out the Syndicate into motion here, too.

 

Action Comics #28 cover

Action Comics #28 – Written by Greg Pak

Art and cover by Aaron Kuder

$3.99

Who or what is the Ghost Soldier, and what mysterious ties does he have to The Man of Steel? Will he side with Superman as he is caught in the middle of the military’s battle with subterranean monsters?

Picked because: Hugely intriguing new characters created by Greg Pak and Aaron Kuder that are easily the best additions to Superman’s mythos in years have made this a must-buy every month since issue #26. Another great point of this book is Pak’s handling of the Superman/Lana Lang dynamic. The one-time high school sweethearts have gone in vastly different directions in life, but this crazy subterranean city of “monsters” has brought the superhero and the engineer together. Their banter makes for a great buddy action-comedy with a sci-fi twist. But what really sells this title now is the flashback sequences to Clark’s childhood and his inner monologue. Action Comics has now become a fantastic character study into who the New 52 Superman is at his core. It’s nothing short of brilliant and now that we’re about to get a full taste of the big bad of this story arc, the action should be as big as the heart. Great stuff!

 

Green Lantern #28 coverRed Lanterns #28 cover

Green Lantern/Red Lanterns #28 – Written by Robert Venditti and Charles Soule

Art by Billy Tan and Alessandro Vitti

Cover by Stephen Segovia

$2.99

This DOUBLE ISSUE contains both GREEN LANTERN #28 and RED LANTERNS #28! With dozens of sectors in open rebellion against the Green Lantern Corps, Hal Jordan is faced with a crisis in the sector most important to him: 2814, home of Earth…as well as Ysmault, home of the Red Lanterns. Hal made a dangerous bargain with Guy Gardner, and now it’s time to pay up! Plus: Guy and the Red Lanterns take over policing Sector 2814! And you’ll want to keep reading RED LANTERNS next month to see what happens to their newest member: SUPERGIRL!

Picked because: It’s two issues in one for just $2.99! That’s a HUGE deal, folks. If you’ve been following the Green Lantern line since the new creative teams took over you know that Hal Jordan made a deal with the Red Lanterns’ new leader, Guy Gardner, to keep the Green Lantern Corps out of sector 2814. Well, that was only going to last so long as nothing happened on Earth to get Hal’s attention. In short, it was never going to last. Now we’ll find out how beholden to that deal Guy expected the GLs to be. Oh, and the Red Lanterns are getting a new member: Supergirl! There’s no way Superman has nothing to say about this. And how will being a Red affect her Kryptonian physiology? Will it replace her heart the way it does the others? If so, that’s going to make her membership in the upcoming Justice League United a bit more complicated. Of course, what we really need now is the reemergence of the Blue Lantern Corps…that’s likely not too far away, now.

 

Green Arrow #28 cover

Green Arrow #28 – Written by Jeff Lemire

Art and cover by Andrea Sorrentino

$2.99

“The Outsiders War” part 3! If you’re still in shock over the end of last issue, just wait until you see happens next! Nothing could have prepared Green Arrow for this!

Picked because: What a twist! Jeff Lemire, you mad genius; nobody could have seen that coming. Normally that sort of thing is saved for the climax of a major story line but, we get it only two chapters deep. In an effort to avoid spoilers for those that might not have read it, that’s all that can be said for the ending. Looking forward, though, there are lots of things building up. The Outsiders are not all on the same page and Komodo definitely has his own agenda outside the group, though those might not come into focus until after this story arc. We’ve also yet to see Diggle playing much of a role, but things are happening back in Seattle while Ollie and Shado are back on the island so expect to see him step out front very soon. And now, Katana is about to become a player in these events. That’s a much better use of her character than has happened of late. Plenty of twists and turns are left before this one ends and if Andrea Sorrentino keeps to his usual standards, the art will be just as mind-blowing as the writing.

 

Earth 2 #20 cover

Earth 2 #20 – Written by Tom Taylor

Art by Barry Kitson and Robson Rocha

Cover by Jae Lee and June Chung

$2.99

Superman’s plans for Earth 2 finally come to light as Batman, Hawkgirl and Red Tornado join a new ally who could turn the tide in the war with Apokolips.

Picked because: After what happened in the Earth 2 Annual #2 last week, you know why this one is a huge deal. While that spoiler won’t be touched on here, the big reveal from issue #19 will: there’s another Kryptonian on Earth! No, it’s not Supergirl (she’s trapped on Earth Prime with Huntress) but a young man named Val who Terry Sloan hid beneath Arkham for years. With Superman now working for Darkseid (though we’re not sure they’ve actually met yet), the current team of superheroes are going to need all the help they can get. With Green Lantern missing and Flash captured by Superman, things really don’t look good. But now, there’s heavy artillery coming and that means lots and lots of fireworks. While Val is yet to show off his abilities yet, don’t discount the impact he’s likely to have. If he’s being introduced now and if Superman is indeed not brainwashed as the evidence clearly suggests, this Earth could be about to get an all-new Superman with this story arc. It’s already got a new Batman, so why not? Could a new Wonder Woman be far behind?

 

Marvel

Black Widow #3 cover

Black Widow #3 – Written by Nathan Edmondson

Art by Phil Noto

Cover by Phil Noto, J.G. Jones

$3.99

The Finely Woven Thread – PART 3: “FOLIAGE”

She’s the kind of woman you call when you need to escape from a South American prison. Don’t miss the book everyone is talking about (and it isn’t even out yet!)

Picked because: If you haven’t tried this book out yet, correct that now by calling your local shop or hitting up your online retailer of choice and getting caught up. What Matt Fraction did for Hawkeye, Nathan Edmondson is doing for Black Widow. The way last issue ended was really nuts and completely unexpected. Black Widow’s past really is coming back to haunt her and in ways she couldn’t have anticipated. That speaks to the strong writing abilities of Edmondson (more on that in a minute) that he can pull off surprises in a premise that otherwise most regular Marvel readers could have seen coming. And don’t discount Phil Noto’s art, either. He knows how to create a great flow within each scene that allows both character and action to take center stage. This story is building toward a big confrontation between Natasha and a man she thought she’d never see again and that’s going to be something fun to watch.

 

The Punisher #1 cover

The Punisher #1 – Written by Nathan Edmondson

Art and cover by Mitch Gerads

$3.99

For years, The Punisher has waged a war on crime in New York City with an array of very large guns, but a lead on a major source of drugs, weapons, and more has set his many sights due west. NOW! Frank Castle’s in the City of Angels, looking to give the devil his due. Things aren’t all they appear, though, with a highly trained military hit squad hot on Frank’s tail. Caught between a posse of Punisher predators and targets of his own one-man-war, Frank’s manifest destiny may be a shallow grave!

Picked because: Frank Castle has had a rough go of things lately. His last series was done very well, but didn’t put up the big sales numbers to reflect the quality. Now, Nathan Edmondson is giving it a shot and maybe he’s got the magic formula for bringing The Punisher back to prominence. Given his character-driven work on Black Widow so far and his action-movie sensibilities, this is more than worth a shot. There are lots of plot threads being woven into this one, but it’s still very new-reader friendly (as a #1 should be). Castle isn’t the only Marvel hero moving out west this season, but he might be the one that makes the biggest impression. Based on the few preview pages out so far, it looks like a change of cities hasn’t changed his methods. Lots of things are going to explode before this story is over. More interesting than the action, however, is how all of this will play into Punisher’s original mission and where he is as a character. Edmondson is approaching him as both a master tactician and a man driven by grief and anger. Sounds like it could be a great character study and a fun firework show.

 

Ms. Marvel #1 cover

Ms. Marvel #1 – Written by G. Willow Wilson

Art by Adrian Alphona

Cover by Sara Pichelli, Arthur Adams

$2.99

The legend has returned! Marvel Comics presents the all-new MS. MARVEL, the ground breaking heroine that has become an international sensation! Kamala Khan is just an ordinary girl from Jersey City–until she is suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the all-new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm, and prepare for an epic tale that will be remembered by generations to come. History in the making is NOW!

Picked because: If there’s one thing modern superhero comics need, it’s a modern voice. G. Willow Wilson has such a voice and maybe it’ll be enough to fill the void left by the canceled young Avengers. This new Ms. Marvel is different from Carol Danvers in a lot of ways, in terms of powers and background. Some fans are likely to be upset by this, but they clearly aren’t the target audience. While the superpowers and action will be there, this one feels like a fun character drama with likeable lead characters and all the potential in the world to be a great gateway comic for new readers. With the character debuting as Inhumanity reaches its final stages and the first issue Inhuman right around the corner, she could become a major player very quickly.

 

Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 cover

Loki: Agent of Asgard #1 – Written by Al Ewing

Art by Lee Garbett

Cover by Jenny Frison

$2.99

Old God – New Trickster!

Kid Loki’s all grown up – and the God of Mischief is stronger, smarter, sexier and just plain sneakier than ever before. As Asgardia’s one-man secret service, he’s ready to lie, cheat, steal, bluff and snog his way through the twistiest, turniest and most treacherous missions the All-Mother can throw at him… starting with a heart-stopping heist on Avengers Tower – and the death of Thor! And that’s just the beginning!

Would we lie to you? This is LOKI, true believer – we’re lying to you RIGHT NOW!

Picked because: Loki’s star has been on the rise for a while now and it’s clearly reaching a fever-pitch. While allowing Kid Loki to go adult again caused the end of the amazing Young Avengers, this title looks to be a fun addition to the Marvel solo book lineup. It’s hard to imagine anybody better suited for superhero espionage than Loki and his first mission is to steal something from Avengers tower…while the team is home! The dialog in this one is crisp and witty with a pace to match. If you loved Tom Hiddleston’s performance in the Thor films and The Avengers, you’ll probably dig this book. While this one might have some ties to other titles occasionally, it looks like it’s largely staying in its own playground and not going to be one of those that forces fans to buy a bunch of books to keep up. But, if it does and one of those books happens to be Thor: God of Thunder, then this book will have done you a favor.

 

Dynamite

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 cover

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter #1 – Written by Greg Pak

Art by Mirko Colak

Covers by Bart Sears, Joe Bennett, Jae Lee and Jonathan Case

$3.99

THE GOLD KEY UNIVERSE BEGINS HERE! Classic Characters by some of Comics Hottest Creators! – Magnus, Solar, Turok and Dr. Spektor! Dynamite is proud to present an all-new, ongoing adventure from superstar GREG PAK (Batman/Superman, World War Hulk) and incredible artist MIRKO COLAK (Red Skull: Incarnate, Conan)! Shunned from his tribe, a young Native American named Turok fights to survive, making a lonely life for himself in the unforgiving forest.

But his hard-won cunning and survival skills face the ultimate test when man-eating THUNDER LIZARDS attack his people! Why are dinosaurs here? How have they survived? And will Turok use his abilities to save a society that’s taken everything away from him?

Picked because: It’s Greg Pak writing Turok, what other reason do you need? O.k. fine, this has got to be one of the potentially best comics of the year. If you’ve ever read anything Pak has written then you know this is right in his wheelhouse. The man has a stellar Marvel resume’ including both Planet Hulk and World War Hulk and now he’s turning Valiant’s Eternal Warrior into a must-buy comic for anyone who wants world- and mind-bending action. Oh, and he’s writing what is easily the best version of Superman in DC’s New 52 with his run on Action Comics. If all you know of Turok is the old video game series, you’re in luck as this series is starting from the beginning of a brand new continuity for the lead character. If standard superheroics aren’t your thing, this just might be the thing for you. Dynamite has been on a role lately with rebooting some other great series like Red Sonja and Conan, so this one looks like it could easily join those ranks. And how awesome/crazy would it be if they found a way to crossover these three properties?

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