Welcome to another exciting edition of New Hotness! Once again, Russell picks his top books to grab this 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
Futures End #1 – Written by Brian Azzarello, Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jeff Lemire
Art by Patrick Zircher
Cover by Ryan Sook
Five years from now, the DC Universe is reeling from a war with another Earth, leaving the world unprepared for an approaching evil that threatens to destroy the future. Can a time-traveling Batman Beyond help a massive cast of the DCU’s finest avert the impending apocalypse? Find out in this new weekly series that will forever alter the direction of The New 52! In this debut issue of The New 52’s weekly series, Batman Beyond arrives five years later! Grifter turns against humanity! And a Justice League member DIES!
Picked because: Issue #0 on Free Comic Book Day might have been the single best free book of the day. Although, it did feel a little “inside” compared to some of the other mainstream offerings. That aside, this is another one of those moments when DC takes the New 52 in a direction the previous continuity might not have allowed for. For those familiar with classic comic story lines, think of this one as DC’s version of “Days of Future Past” mixed with a little “Age of Ultron.” This is the beginning of what will define the next year or so of the New 52. For those who might only be familiar with the late 90’s TV shows, such as Batman Beyond, Terry McGinnis is now officially part of main DC continuity! This is also the book that’s bringing characters like Grifter and other Wildstorm staples back to the forefront. If ever there was a chance to make those characters truly important to the fabric of the New 52, this is it. And with this creative team, there’s little chance it won’t absolutely succeed.
Detective Comics #31 – Written by Brian Buccellato, Francis Manapul
Art and cover by Francis Manapul
Death comes to Wayne Manor – and the number one suspect is Bruce Wayne! In order to solve this mystery, Batman’s investigations will lead him to the mysterious man known as Sumo!
Picked because: Last issue showed just how to kick off a true mystery and set up some new, compelling characters. It also showed that The Flash #25 was more than just a simple Batman: Zero Year tie-in. That issue laid some important groundwork for what is being explored here and so far it’s well-paced and scripted. Not to mention the art! Francis Manapul is one of those rare comic artists who really pushes the medium to new heights and his layout/character designs give the best of both traditional superhero comics and transcendentalist form. As the story unfolds the layers of complexity are slowly being revealed, much like the folds and flow of Batman’s cape. There’s also a fair amount of misdirection being used so far and to great effect. It looked like Bruce Wayne might be getting a new love interest only to have that rug snatched away at the last moment. This is what a book called “Detective Comics” should be like. The mystery is there for both the characters and the readers to solve. Dive in and have fun! Make sure you have #30 first, though.
Green Lantern #31 – Written by Robert Venditti
Art and cover by Billy Tan
“UPRISING” part 1! Rebellion has spread across the universe as former allies join forces with the Durlans, Khund and Outer Clanns to overthrow the authority of the Corps. It’s an all-out assault on Mogo, but will the greatest threat come from without – or within? The outcome of the battle, the survival of the Corps and the future of the universe itself rests on the shoulders of Hal Jordan – and after a bruising start to his tenure as Corps leader, he is more than ready for a fight! This new epic continues in this month’s GREEN LANTERN CORPS #31!
Picked because: This creative team has been slowly building toward this for a while now and the intrigue has hit new highs over the last couple of months. This story is as relevant as it gets, too, given the current political and social climate of the U.S. Paranoia runs rampant and it’s getting harder and harder to know who to trust. And just when you think you’ve seen the last of the evils of the previous regime, something else comes to light and makes it all seem so much worse. Those who think Hal Jordan hasn’t been written as the fully developed character he was at the end of Geoff Johns’ run should have far few complaints since the events of issue #29 and 30. Hal has really stepped up his game and this event looks to finally establish the current teams on this book and Green Lantern Corps as absolutely the right people to steer this ship. And Billy Tan’s art cannot be ignored, either. As most artists do, he had a few small issues when he first became the series regular on Green Lantern, but all that appears to be behind him now. His art has taken on an air of confidence and the cover for this issue is one of the best since the reboot. Since this is the start of a crossover with Green Lantern Corps, if you’ve been sleeping on one of these, time to correct that.
Earth 2 #23 – Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Nicola Scott
Cover by Gene Ha
With Green Lantern resurrected, the heroes of Earth 2 go on the offensive against the forces of Darkseid and Apokolips! As the heroes prepare an all-out assault, plans are put into motion for the Red Tornado to make one last, desperate attempt to stop Superman.
Picked because: Lois Lane (aka, Red Tornado!) comes face-to-face with her former husband, Superman, the minion of Darkseid! That sentence alone should be enough to get you to pick this up. As Tom Taylor (Injustice: Gods Among Us) has taken this story deeper, it appears that no brainwashing has really occurred to the Earth 2 Superman. He seems to have made a conscious decision to serve Darkseid and that makes this confrontation all the more poignant. But there’s also the presence of Val-Zod, soon to be the new Superman of Earth 2 according to the teaser images for DC’s next big weekly book, World’s End. But we still haven’t heard all of the current Superman’s story. Why did he do this? What could have turned him against the people he seemingly died protecting? If he’s alive, could Wonder Woman or even Bruce Wayne still be alive, too? What makes it even better is that all of this is being rendered by the supremely-talented Nicola Scott. Her pencils have made this a must-buy book since it debuted and, despite a change in writers, the book’s tone and feel have remained consistent largely thanks to her expert artistic abilities. Everyone needs to see how this turns out!
Cyclops #1 – Written by Greg Rucka
Art by Russell Dauterman
Cover by Alexander Lozano
Cyclops just discovered that the father he thought died long ago is alive and well and A SPACE PIRATE. Spinning directly out of ALL-NEW X-MEN, comes the first ongoing solo series for one of the time-traveling Original X-Men. After the events of “Trial of Jean Grey”, Scott Summers stays in space to learn some valuable lessons from his dad: 1) How to shave, 2) How to talk to girls, 3) How to steal a Badoon space-ship.
Picked because: This might not seem like the most high-profile solo book Marvel has going for it, but those other books aren’t being written by Greg Rucka! This is following the young Cyclops from All-New X-Men who’s just discovered that his father, the space pirate (yep, space pirate!) Corsair, aka Major Christopher Summers, is still alive. The younger Cyke has dealt with a lot since being snatched away to the future by Beast in order to help prevent him from becoming the man who kills Xavier, but so far things haven’t exactly gone to plan. This series is aiming to take some of the ultra-seriousness out of the proceedings and explore the fun side of a character many have viewed as too stiff to be likeable. Still, there’s a reason Cyclops became the leader of the X-Men for a long time and if anybody can show why this character is one of Marvel’s best, it’s Greg Rucka. Simply put: it’s Greg Rucka on a major-character Marvel book. You must buy it!
Original Sin #1 – Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Mike Deodato
Cover by Julian Totino
WHAT DID HE SEE?
Picked because: Marvel’s big summer event finally kicks off proper with regular series writer Jason Aaron picking up where Mark Waid left things in last month’s issue #0. The Watcher is dead and the culprit has taken his eyes, meaning whoever did it can see every dirty secret hidden in the tapestry of Marvel’s greatest heroes and villains alike. Marvel’s event books can be hit-and-miss, but this is something very different for the company in terms of tent-pole blockbusters. Sure, super heroics will be on display, but the larger story has to do with solving a deeper mystery than simply “Who Killed The Watcher.” More intriguing will be the “why?” behind it all. But, before we get to that, some new information about Marvel’s biggest characters is coming to light which means we’re in for more ret-conning, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If this story is anything like Aaron’s other work (Thor: God of Thunder, Southern Bastards, Amazing X-Men) get ready for one of the best times you’ve ever had at the comic shop. That’s no guarantee, of course, but it is a pretty good reason to at least give the first issue a try.
Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1 – Written by Brian Michael Bendis
Art and cover by David Marquez
PART ONE OF THE BIGGEST SPIDER-MAN STORY OF THE YEAR “REVIVAL”!
• MILES is back in action with a new status quo and a new outlook on life!
• A BIG BIG BIG villain from PETER PARKER’s past is alive and well and about to turn New York upside down!
• The last page will have ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN fans SCREAMING!
• This issue can’t be missed!
Picked because: Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider-Man getting a brand new #1! Miles Morales has really come into his own as the new Spider-Man of the Ultimate line and it’s great that Marvel has decided to keep him around. A classic Spidey villain is making a comeback in this opening story arc and with everything that’s happened, it’s about time we got something a little more character-focused for the Ultimate Spider-Man. Not to mention this being a really good jump-on point for those who’ve heard about this character, but not checked into him any further. Sure, there’s bound to be some exposition slowing things down a bit, but it’s Brian Michael Bendis. That’s just par for the course and he usually does it better than most. Besides, this is also the book David Marquez is drawing, not just Spidey, but quite possibly his greatest villain. That alone makes it worth the price of admission. And while the rest of the Ultimate line is going to be a bit here-and-there with the quality, this is easily the most consistently well-done book of them all.
Nailbiter #1 – Written by Joshua Williamson
Art and cover by Mike Henderson
Buckaroo, Oregon has given birth to sixteen of the vilest serial killers in the world. An obsessed FBI profiler investigating the town has suddenly gone missing, and now an NSA Agent must work with the notorious serial killer Edward “Nailbiter” Warren to find his friend and solve the mystery of “Where do serial killers come from?”
Picked because: A serial killer who targets people who bite their nails and then helps them out in the grossest way imaginable…yep, sounds like something Joshua Williamson would come up with. Williamson has made quite a name for himself over the last year with his breakout indie series, Ghosted. Nailbiter, which seems to take parts from some popular suspense/horror films like Silence of the Lambs, Seven and Saw, looks to be equal parts terrifying and gruesome. To say it’s not for the faint of heart is probably accurate enough. Fans of the show The Following might also want to give this a look, too. Mike Henderson is looking to give a breakout art performance here, too. He’s been largely handling covers and a few interiors for IDW over the last couple of years, but now he gets a chance to show off his signature style. And, as noted before, it’s probably not for the squeamish. Still, this is one of those books poised to standout in what’s becoming a crowded horror/suspense genre. As long as it doesn’t dip into the supernatural and keeps the suspense/noir detective story going it could turn into quite the psychological ride.