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This Week's Essential Comics: 01/06/14

These are the comics you're looking for.

Welcome to 2014, Comic Viners. We may not all have jetpacks yet, but at least there's still new comics coming out each and every week. The Comic Vine staff has glanced over this week's list of new releases and you can bet there's more than a handful of fresh issues that have us all kinds of excited. We've each selected a couple or so to highlight and we're going to tell you why these issues are worth considering.

Are you buying any of the comics we've listed or does your list of essential comics look a bit different? Don't be shy, let us know below.

*Some previews may be in reverse order.

Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero's picks

DETECTIVE COMICS #27

Most comic readers and Batman fans know that the first DETECTIVE COMICS #27, back in 1939, was the debut of Batman. It makes perfect sense for DC to go all out and honor that issue with a giant-sized issue to commemorate the historic issue.

You might notice and perhaps cringe at the $8.99 price tag but DC is going all out with this. Aside from the beginning of John Layman's final story arc (with art by Jason Fabok), Gothtopia, the issue will also feature stories by Brad Meltzer and Bryan Hitch, Scott Snyder and Sean Murphy, Paul Dini and Dustin Nguyen and many moore.

2014 marks the 75th anniversary or Batman and this issue is kicking off the celebration.

BLACK WIDOW #1

There are a lot of eyes on Black Widow these days. Many were impressed with the subtle nature of being able to kick all sorts of ass in the Marvel Studios movies. The character has always been a fascinating one with many interpretations dealing with her past.

With her own ongoing series, Nathan Edmondson and Marvel are giving her the spotlight and attention she deserves. There aren't many non-superpowered individuals that can easily claim a spot on the Avengers roster next to the likes of Thor, Hulk and Captain America. Black Widow absolutely has what it takes.

There's also the fact that Phil Noto will be doing the art. I simply cannot get enough of it. That plus this marks another Marvel series with a female lead. We don't just need comics with dudes in spandex running around. Black Widow has many layers to her character and this should be an interesting series.

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #3

The story continues. It's easy to think of this as some sort of zombie parody but Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is making it clear that is not the case.

The unthinkable has happened. A zombie outbreak has occurred in Riverdale. We've already seen some of the beloved Archie characters infected and there will indeed be more in this issue. AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE isn't just about placing these timeless characters in a zombie apocalypse. We're seeing some deeper characterization with the characters that you wouldn't immediately associate with an Archie comic.

To make it all more exciting and intense, Francesco Francavilla's art perfectly captures the disturbing and creepy vibe necessary for this intriguing story.

Honorable Mentions: GREEN LANTERN #27, THE X-FILES SEASON 10 #8

Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring's picks

AVENGERS WORLD #1

ANOTHER Avengers book written by Jonathan Hickman? Count me in. Hickman has done some amazing work during his stint at Marvel, and they've all been a blast. On top of that, Nick Spencer is also writing on this book, and I've been loving what he's been doing on SUPERIOR FOES OF SPIDER-MAN. Obviously, this will be a bit more serious book, but both of these writers working on it has me excited. Frankly, I don't really know what it's even about, but I'm super pumped for it. That's right. It's on my essentials list without me knowing anything about it. It's here based solely on the fact that I love both of these writer's previous works.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATES LAST STAND #3

Cataclysm continues here! This event has been pretty amazing thus far. In the last issue, Miles is about to head into the 616 universe with none other than Ultimate Reed Richards. Everything you know and love about the Ultimate universe is contained within this book. Although this may be the end of the Ultimate universe, it's going out in style. I can't wait to see Miles and "Peter" reunited once again, even though Peter really isn't Peter right now. Bendis and Bagley are killing it on this story. If you've ever read anything from the Ultimate Universe, you're going to want to read this. It's pure fun.

Gregg 'k4tz' Katzman's picks

GREEN ARROW #27

There's a lot of books I legitimately love, but few are as absorbing and flat-out awesome as Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino's GREEN ARROW. Cliffhangers regularly suffice in keeping just enough of your interest until the next issue drops, but I've been incredibly anxious to get my hands on this issue ever since I put down #26. Lemire has finally kicked off The Outsiders War -- an arc he's been building up since he first jumped on the comic way back with issue #17. Now that all of the basics are in place, it's time to kick things off.

Given the creative team's history with the book, I see no reason to believe why this will be anything short of excellent. And heck, even if the plot doesn't live up to the hype, there's always Sorrentino's art (and Marcelo Maiolo's coloring) which never fails to enthrall. You can always count on this book to hit you with some gorgeous and unique pages.

Check out CBR for a look at the final preview page.

DEADPOOL #22

Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn have proven time and time again they can create some wildly entertaining Deadpool stories and the start to this S.H.I.E.L.D. one is no exception. It's already proving to be a nice combination of everything they've hit us with in their other stories. There's some badass action, scattered laughs and a legitimately interesting narrative. Then there's the matter of what this all means for Agent Preston. Will Wade finally get her out of his head and into a LMD? Will she be stuck there forever? Or will the creative team hit us with yet another depressing conclusion down the road?

To top it off, Mike Hawthorne's back on art and the guy is more than capable of bringing Duggan/Posehn's script to life and adapting to whatever the tone may be. In just one panel, he can transform the Merc with a Mouth from a lovable and goofy goon to a guy you'd never want to bump into. Deadpool fans, don't miss out on this series.

Be sure to watch the Preview Theatre video for this issue.

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US: YEAR TWO #1

If you've been storing confetti, now is the time to go get it and then throw it like you just won the lottery. Why, you ask? Because INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US has finally returned to us. The digital debut issue of "Year Two" will hit online tomorrow and I simply can't wait to see how writer Tom Taylor will proceed with this twisted alternate universe. This was without question one of my top books in 2013 because of the sharp and engaging writing and the impressive way it juggled so many tones at once. One week, this book would make you laugh or have your jaw hit the floor with some staggering action. The next, it'll get your feels going into overdrive. Seriously looking forward to more from this universe and I can't wait to see what surprises Taylor has in store for us.

Visit USA Today for a look at the last preview page.

Honorable Mentions: MARVEL KNIGHTS: SPIDER-MAN #4, BLOODSHOT & H.A.R.D CORPS #18, DEADPOOL: THE GAUNTLET #1

Jen 'MissJ' Aprahamian's picks

SEX CRIMINALS #4

Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have charmed their way onto many a pull list with the honest, hilarious, and wickedly titled SEX CRIMINALS. This week, they'll bring a villain into the mix, amping up the action and revealing more about the others who can move about "the quiet." Sexy-time-bank-heists aren't without consequences, and things are about to get weird. In a good way. Bonus: pick up the fantastic fourth-printing cover of issue #1 this week!

LETTER 44 #3

SEX CRIMINALS isn't the only book out this week with a sexy focus -- this month's LETTER 44 explores relationships and other entanglements amongst The Clarke's crew. As that action heats up, things start to spiral out of control back on Earth. Who's more at risk -- the astronauts investigating alien presence, or us? Charles Soule and Alberto Alburquerque have been delivering a unique and intriguing take on space and politics, and this book is an essential pick as the tension ramps up.

Honorable Mention: FATALE #19

Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder's picks

ALL-NEW X-FACTOR #1

Alright, stop me if you've heard this one: a well-liked series is declared over and that's that...only to be unceremoniously and sloppily resurrected before the first tears had dried! Well fortunately that's NOT what we have here as series architect Peter David is returning to a completely revamped roster and a totally different take on the team. There were even hints dropped throughout the concluding issues of X-Factor that this would not be the end and that certain members of the group were being recruited for something, so even saying this comes from nowhere isn't true. We even get art from the ultra-kinetic Carmine Di Giandomenico, one of the most dynamic artists working now and a master of the thousand and one facial expressions.

MANIFEST DESTINY #3

Well this series came completely out of nowhere and won me over in record time! One of my favorite things are alternate histories and this one's an absolute doozy: Lewis and Clark explore the American wilderness, but it's one that's inhabited by strange, vicious beasts yanked from nightmarish myth. And this isn't a usual occurrence in this universe, the explorers have NO idea what they're dealing with. Chris Dingess has taken just enough from actual history and mixed in some truly unique creature designs to make this series equal parts action and horror (with just enough humor thrown in to keep it from getting too grim or gristly) and the art, by Matthew Roberts and Owen Gieni, is gut-churningly gory and detailed enough to evoke the horror of the situation these people have found themselves in.

CATACLYSM: ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #3

Last issue ended with one of the most shocking reveals this series is capable of delivering. It's amazing to see it remained so character-focused amid not just a title-wide crossover, but a massive, apocalyptic upheaval of cosmic proportions. Obviously Spidey isn't going toe-to-toe with Galactus, so it's been amazing watching how he acts and reacts to everything that's crumbling around him. Brian Michael Bendis hasn't lost a single step and this book is still clearly his baby, and he will take good, good care of it. David Marquez's art has been some of the best at getting across the action and the desperation of what's gone on the last few issues, perfectly balancing stylized and realistic. I honestly have no idea how this one's going to end, but whatever happens, I know it's at least in good hands.

Honorable Mentions: THREE #4, INVINCIBLE UNIVERSE #9

Follow us on Twitter: CV, Tony, Mat, Gregg, Jen, Corey.

67 Comments
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Posted by patrat18

Yes Green Arrow.

Posted by batmannflash

very excited for Injustice and Green Arrow

Posted by Wolverine08

Interested in Avengers World indeed.

Online
Posted by SandMan_

No Action Comics?

Posted by Xwraith

Green Arrow is one of the two comics I legitimately get excited about every month.

Edited by manwithoutshame

Really excited for the conclusion of the current arc of Fatale. Also, Brother Lono is getting near the end so I'm hoping Lono is about to go off the chain.

Posted by Jake Fury

@xwraith said:

Green Arrow is one of the two comics I legitimately get excited about every month.

Here, here!

Posted by TheIncredibleSuperHulk8642

Action Comics #27

Batman/Superman #7

Posted by Master_Thief

Who's the guy with captain america?

SpOck? Banner?

Posted by TheMantisShrimp

Really excited for Green Arrow and Action Comics this week.

Posted by Hawkguy

@master_thief said:

Who's the guy with captain america?

SpOck? Banner?

In the Avengers World preview? Banner. He's not really distinguishable now that you ask that.

Posted by Black_Arrow

YES Injustice.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

Who's the guy with captain america?

SpOck? Banner?

Cap calls him "Doctor Banner" so I'm leaning towards Banner :P

Posted by Perfect 10

x-factor's here!!! cant wait. wish books were coming out on tuesday still

Posted by Kelevra216

Detective Comics and Black Widow for me this week! Can't wait to pick them up.

Posted by fables87

I want to read Sex Criminals. Fatale also. Maybe read Afterlife with Archie.

Posted by TheFirstLantern

If Corey says Manifest Destiny is great, then I will give it a try. Right after I finish catching up on The Wake which is really good. Yay! Green Arrow!

Posted by CaptainHoopla

Black Widow, Deadpool, and Quantum and Woody for me this week.

Posted by jstndmnd

Earth-2 and All New X-Factor.

Edited by HushoftheWind

wait a minute, they are calling Black Widow non powered, but calling insinuating that Captain America is a super powered hero? wtf

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Gonna have to jump on this Manifest Destiny bandwagon early

Posted by Transformers1024
Online
Posted by Wilbertus

So excited for Detective Comics 27!

Posted by Xwraith

@xwraith: What's the other title?

TMNT. It looked like I might get both on the same day last week, but TMNT's schedule got changed.

Edited by BeautifulTemptress

Earth 2 and Green Lantern #27

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

wait a minute, they are calling Black Widow non powered, but calling insinuating that Captain America is a super powered hero? wtf

Well that's because she is and he is.

Posted by jwalser3
  • Black Widow 1
  • Robocop: Last Stand 6
  • FE: Arkham War

Posted by micah

So many great issues, standing out for me injustice and Cataclysm. Although since the Ultimate Universe is not ending I've lost some of my emotional investment

Posted by Israel28

Green arrow #27

Avengers world #1

Action comics #27

Injustice:Gods among us: year two #1

Earth 2 #19

Cataclysm: he ultimates last stand #3

Edited by longbowhunter

After a couple of very light weeks I'm about to be swimming in comics come Wednesday.

Afterlife with Archie #3

Black Widow #1

Detective Comics #27

Fatale #19

Green Arrow #27

Manifest Destiny #3

Sheltered #6

Swamp Thing #27

Edited by RedhoodFlashLantern

Action Comics #27

Batman Black & White #5

Batman/Superman #7

Batwing #27

Detective Comics #27

Earth 2 #19

Forever Evil Arkham War #4

Green Arrow #27

Green Lantern #27

Trinity Of Sin : Phantom Stranger #15

Swamp Thing #27

Five Ghosts #8

Manifest Destiny #3

Sex Criminals #4

Walking Dead #119

FBP #7

Hinterkind #4

Posted by ULTRAstarkiller

Can't wait for Detective Comics and Avengers world

Edited by KnightofSteel

STAR WARS #13

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #5

BATWING #27

DETECTIVE COMICS #27

EARTH 2 #19

FOREVER EVIL ARKHAM WAR #4

GREEN ARROW #27

AVENGERS WORLD #1

BLACK WIDOW #1

Posted by SavageDragon

Fatale #19

Arkham War

Edited by timelord
  • Action Comics #27 - The turn around on this title has been amazing. Greg Pak really seems to understand Superman he is some one who can be your best friend and at the same time some one who is the most powerful person on the planet I hope he keeps it up.
  • Batman/Superman #7 - Not really feeling this book since the art change but its crossing over with World's Finest next month so I want to see how that plays out.
  • Earth 2 #19 - So we have Batman VS Superman really DC you choose to go this route again? I look forward to this arc wrapping up as one of the main reasons I enjoyed Earth 2 was due to the fact there was no Superman or Batman.
  • Forever Evil: Arkham War #4 - Bane in a Bat suit kicking ass? Sold he just better hope Bruce doesn't sue him into the ground for using his image.
  • Green Arrow #27 - Another book I only just got caught up on. I have been really enjoying the art style to this book and the story is interesting enough so I will see where it goes.
  • Green Lantern #27 - After the writer changes I feel this is defiantly the weaker of the 4 lantern books it defiantly picked up last issue though. I want to see more of the Corps doing what they are suppose to be doing not policing internal matters.
  • The Phantom Stranger # 15 - Blight Part 7. This side of Forever: Evil has been fantastic books like Constantine and Pandora have really hit there stride here's hoping they can do it for this book to.

A side note next week I will have finished a collection goal of mine which is all of DC's New 52 Hard Covers I can't decide weather I want to move onto the paperbacks or start on Grant Morrison's Batman run or Geoff Johns Green Lantern Run advice please?

Posted by kit07

X-Factor for sure for me. Still up in the air about Avengers World, and I don't read detective comics, but I may pick up #27.

Posted by viin

Green Arrow 27...my favorite book of 2013..

...and I really hope the snow doesnt cause my one local comic shop to get their books late.

Posted by Mandrewgora

Phil Noto.

Edited by dreamfall31

Thinking of picking up Green Arrow. Should I wait for the next trade until start I reading the Outsiders War arc?

Posted by Ashr

Star Wars #13

Detective Comics #27

Hinterkind #4

Star Trek Khan #4 (Of 5)

X-Files Season 10 #8

Black Widow #1

Daredevil Dark Nights #8 (Of 8)

Letter 44 #3

Fairly large list this week. I'm interested to see where Black Widow goes and will check that out first from the pile.

Edited by longbowhunter

@dreamfall31: Pick up #26 and #27, you'll be good. Perfect jumping on point.

Posted by ThatOneGuy1

100 BULLETS BROTHER LONO #7

BATMAN BLACK & WHITE #5

DETECTIVE COMICS #27

FAIREST #22

GREEN ARROW #27

FATALE #19

SEX CRIMINALS #4

BLACK WIDOW #1 - Very excited for this.

DAREDEVIL DARK NIGHTS #8

YOUNG AVENGERS #15

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #3

FOX #3

Edited by MasterBelmont

Miles is coming into the 616 universe now? Sweet! I really like him, and I'm glad he won't be going away with the rest of the UU.

Edited by PapiNacho

Detective Comics: Looking forward to Snyder's and Layman's stories. Hopefully the start of a great year for the bat.

Action Comics: Last issue of Superman Unchained was possibly the best of the entire series and became my favorite new 52 issue. Let's see what Pak has to say about this.

Earth 2: Tom Taylor knows, how to make stories seem epic, and his characters seem larger than life. Eager to see the future of Batman and the Justice Society,

Green Arrow: Let's see the Outsiders War heaten up.

Phantom Stranger: It is DeMatteis and I've liked most of his recent work. JLD left the plot at a decent crossover.

Green Lantern: Hope that this will start ramping up soon, and return the epicness that the previous stories had.

Batman/Superman: This arc hasn't been so good but I am eager to see the conclusion. Hopefully the conclusion is satisfyingly awesome for both characters.

Quantum and Woody: Jumping on to this one.

Posted by CitizenJP

Green Arrow continues to be awesome.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

X-Factor Because Peter David.

Posted by korghano

Those are some super nice covers. Love the Green Arrow and Archie covers in particular.

Posted by AminoAcidMan

That green arrow cover is awesome.

Detective Comics will start the year of the bat

Edited by M3th

No SUICIDE RISK?

-ABstract4$$#073-

Posted by G_Money_Christmas
  • Walking Dead
  • Three
  • Manifest Destiny
  • Invincible Universe
  • Black Widow
  • Fairest
  • Green Arrow
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