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This Week's Essential Comics: 01/13/14

These are the comics you're looking for.

Another Wednesday, another flood of new comics to check out. We've looked over this week's list of new releases and, as always, there's quite a few that caught our attention. We've each selected a couple or so to highlight and we're going to tell you why these issues are worth considering when you weigh your options this Wednesday.

*Some previews may be in reverse order.

Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero's picks

SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN #25

Things have been escalating in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN. Doc Ock's influence is starting to show more and more. His recent decision to claim the Venom symbiote for himself was a crazy move and not only could this be fatal for Flash Thompson, the Avengers have been alerted against Spider-Man.

While this is going on, the Green Goblin is creating his "Goblin King" court and the latest individual he forced to come to his side could make his plan go either way.

Of course with the news that broke this weekend about the return of Peter Parker as Spider-Man, Slott has mentioned trying to avoid the announcement until after you read this issue. So there could be some clues as to what might be coming up in April.

UNCANNY X-MEN #16

What's going on with Magneto? Since his exposure to a portion of the Phoenix Force, his powers have been in a state of flux. He's been working with Scott Summers and his mutant revolution but how loyal to Scott's cause is he? Magneto hasn't always been in the spotlight in this series but you when he does appear, you feel like there's something more going on.

With Magneto on the verge of getting his own ongoing series, this issue could serve to set things up for the next chapter in Magneto's life. He has to figure out where he stands and what comes next and this turning point shouldn't be missed.

DAREDEVIL #35

Last issue left us with a sickening cliffhanger. This volume of DAREDEVIL is coming to an end and that means wrapping up the stories that have been going on. Daredevil has been busy fighting against the Sons of the Serpent and their long extending reach. They have been gaining more and more power and Matt Murdock is determined to put a stop to them before they can cause even more corruption.

Apparently there will also be an appearance by Elektra that will shake things up for Daredevil and possibly his future.

Mark Waid has consistently been telling great DD stories and having Chris Samnee's art on the issue just makes it even better.

VELVET #3

The story by Ed Brubaker with art by Steve Epting and Elizabeth Breitweiser continues. This isn't your typical spy story. A high ranking secret agent, Agent X-14, has been killed and Velvet Templeton is the number one suspect. We've already seen that there is more to her than simply being an assistant to the director of the agency.

It looks like there may be more to Agent X-14's story. As Velvet continues to be on the run, seeking answers, we'll get to see more of what X-14 did during his career and the affects it's had on those he's tricked into revealing secrets.

VELVET is a great fast-paced story with amazing art. The only thing more amazing is some people are not reading this series.

Honorable Mentions: NOVA #12, CURSE #1

Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring's picks

STAR WARS: DARTH VADER & THE CRY OF SHADOWS #2

As I said in December's Top of the Pile, this book was placed in my pull box on accident, so I tried it anyway and loved it. The first issue, told through the eyes of a lost Stormtrooper, turns Darth Vader into more of a folklore character than anything else. Stories are passed around about this jedi, at the tail end of the clone wars, waltzing into battle and destroying everything in his path. It's a really cool take on a Star Wars book and I cannot wait to keep reading this book, and I hoping it follows the Stormtrooper the entire time. While it's sad to know that Dark Horse will lose the Star Wars license soon, at least they're going out with a bang.

GHOSTED #6

There's a reason this book made my end of the year Top of the Pile list. It's awesome. That last arc was amazing, and it was a brilliant way to open up a new series. This next upcoming arc promises to be just as awesome. It'll still be focused around Jackson, but as writer Josh Williamson said in a recent interview with us "This upcoming arc has a crazy cult, witches, ninja assassins, ghost jungles, and bloody crow demons. But don’t worry we never get too far away from the tone that we’ve already established." Williamson paced that first arc so well, that I can't wait to see what he has in store for us next. From the looks of the solicits and preview pages, we're getting into some voodoo territory as well, which is an idea that isn't explored enough in modern day storytelling. If you're looking for something new that's a bit different, GHOSTED is for you.

Gregg 'k4tz' Katzman's picks

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEADPOOL #1

Deadpool and zombies. Should I really need to say anything else? Writer Cullen Bunn's had plenty of experience with the Mec with a Mouth as of late (not to mention he's also behind the upcoming DEADPOOL VS. CARNAGE) and now he gets to throw Wade into the zombie apocalypse. If you're a fan of Deadpool, there's quite literally no reason why this shouldn't get your attention.

Deadpool's no stranger to zombies (he fought all of the United States' dead Presidents in vol. 4's opening story, after all), but one key element that'll set this apart is the way it looks. To give it more of a Night of the Living Dead and even THE WALKING DEAD vibe, artist Ramon Rosanas is making the limited series primarily black and white (although Deadpool's red and his dialogue boxes are of course yellow). All we know is Deadpool just woke up from a coma and he's in the zombie apocalypse. Beyond that, I have no idea what else to expect and, honestly, that's more than enough to pique my curiosity. Bring on the laughs and zombie killing, Bunn!

UNITY #3

UNITY has been excellent and then some. Basically, Valiant's taken everything that's awesome in a couple of their books, put them together and then allowed of the the magnificent chaos to unfold. Writer Matt Kindt is just doing a ridiculously good job making this series feel like a blockbuster and he's incorporating all of these elements very well. No one feels neglected and proper respect is definitely given to each character.

If you haven't been following along, the premise is pretty simple. X-O Manowar has returned with his people and the world feels VERY threatened. So threatened, in fact, that nuclear war is an option. Naturally, Toyo Harada wants to avoid this (if you haven't read HARBINGER #0, go do that after reading this article) and has formed a team with one objective: take down Aric.

Even if you're new to the Valiant-verse, this is completely new reader friendly and, as you can see in the preview below, has a more than thorough recap. All in all, it's simply a must read for anyone interested in Valiant.

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #17

I'll be honest with you: I've never been much of a Thor fan. But Jason Aaron's take on the character? Downright amazing. Now Malekith's story is coming to an end and I'm anxious to see what Aaron has in store for us. The villain has always managed to elude Odin's son at the last second, but it's clear this will be the brawl that brings their conflict to a close. Hopefully we'll see the Frost Giants again considering we have no idea what the villain's deal was.

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER has been consistently great. Aaron packs the pages with a fantastic sense of adventure, charm, action and fun. You're really missing out if you pass on this book.

Honorable Mentions: SUICIDE SQUAD #27, HARBINGER #20

Jen 'MissJ' Aprahamian's picks

SKYMAN #1

Things are all-new here with SKYMAN -- both the character and the series are getting a fresh face via Dark Horse Comics and creators Joshua Hale Fialkov, Manuel Garcia, Bit, and Marta Martinez Garcia. That makes this week's issue a great jumping-on point for new readers; even if you don't know a thing about Skyman, you'll get enough info to go on. Always been into the character? Pick it up to see a new team's take. (We've been digging Fialkov's work on THE BUNKER and other titles, so SKYMAN is an essential for more of his scripting!)

COFFIN HILL #4

COFFIN HILL has been building up creepy, dramatic tension since Issue #1, and with this fourth installment, we're going to see some payoff. Remember that super tragic stuff that went down in the woods ten years ago? It's answer time; Mel is back, and we're going to see just how strong her memory is. Call COFFIN HILL an essential for horror/supernatural fans and readers who are into good-old-fashioned YA drama.

Honorable Mention: NIGHTWING #27

Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder's picks

MIRACLEMAN #1

I got into comics well after I could have been exposed to this bizarre, adult take on a SHAZAM! (or in this case KIMOTA) style character with a much more mature bend. Even if Marvel doesn't credit him (whether that's by the author's request or the publisher's, I actually don't know), I know the mind behind this series and, based when it came out, it was at the seat of his absolute power over the medium, so I'm ready to experience this classic for the first time, especially since, due to legal difficulties, it's almost never been reprinted or collected.

JUSTICE LEAGUE 3000 #2

One of the MOST polarizing books of last month, it feels like you either loved it for the breath of fresh air it imbued the characters with, or hated the walls of text and not-quite-right characterization. Now it's well documented that I'm not normally a fan of a ton of text in my comics, but in this case I'm willing to make an exception because Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis have done something truly daring here in distancing this title SO MUCH from the mainline DCU time that a lot of exposition actually becomes necessary. It's also got a great, wry sense of humor that I find utterly charming. Howard Porter's visuals were pitch-perfect for the grimy cyberpunk cartoon that last issue presented, so I can't wait to see what he brings to the table next.

Visit CBR to see the rest of the preview.

THUNDERBOLTS #20

Ghost Rider returns to the pages of Marvel comics, and while I'm disappointed it won't be Alejandra, I do love the character and, more importantly, am anxiously awaiting Charles Soule's take on how he's going to interact with the Thunderbolts. Ghost Rider's always been a great character to have some dark humor at the core of, and that's what this book has already done absolutely perfectly. New series artist Carlo Barberi is known for his cartoonishly over-the-top visuals, so it feels like a perfect move to his style.

GREEN LANTERN CORPS #27

You guys see that last issue? When John Stewart clocked Hal Jordan?.....that was awesome. The Corps is under a very personal attack and it's up to John Stewart and his recruits to stem the tide and find the culprits, but they may have a surprise or two in store for them under the watchful eye of Van Jensen and Robert Venditti. So far, this has been one of the smoothest and highest quality full team transitions to happen in the New 52, and I'm constantly looking forward to the further adventures of one of the most consistently interesting rosters in comics. Bernard Chang returning to lend his trademark visual style to this book he's helped redefine is just sweet, sweet icing on an already substantial cake!

Newsarama has a look at the issue.

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

57 Comments
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Posted by Kal'smahboi

Considering getting Night of the Living Deadpool. I don't have to have read the Deadpool Kills... books, right?

Edited by EnigmaLantern

I'm debating whether to get JL 3000 or not..hmmm

How many issues is Night of Living Deadpool, or is it an ongoing title?

Definitely looking forward to what Jason Aaron does with The Accursed story arc, heard some people say it isn't that good but I've been finding it pretty awesome.

Edited by gor724

i've always wanted to get into Star Wars comics but I just never have had the time to. I guess i'll start this new series. Sounds interesting.

Posted by SGU823

Friggin hipsters. Even Magneto hates them.

Edited by davidgrantlloyd

Superman/ Wonder Woman #4

Clown Fatale #3

Miracleman #1 (btw Yes it was Moore's request that his name not appear)

JLA #11

The Maxx Maxximized #3

Amazing X Men #3

Edited by lykopis

Picked up a lot of comics this week and not one has disappointed me.

Uncanny X-Men just about blew me away.