You know what's not fun? Trying to actually stick to your weekly comic budget. It's a tough task when so many tempting issues come out every week. However, we here at Comic Vine want to help you narrow down the choices. We, the staff, each have our own preferences and want to tell you what we're really pumped to pick up every week and why. Maybe some will catch your eye and you'll give 'em a shot, or maybe you were already planning on picking them up anyway. Regardless, we've each selected a handful we can't wait to check out. Once you're doing seeing what we're stoked about, but sure to chime in with your own list of essential comics, too.
Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero's picks
SEX CRIMINALS #1
Hey, take a look at that, it's a new Image comic. I can say for a fact this is a really really good comic since I have already read it (and the second issue). Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky have come up with something pretty interesting (you can read a transcript of a 'press conference' here)
Despite the name, this comic most likely is not what you think it's about. It is a mature comic. It's not something for the little kids. What it involves is a young woman that discovers when she reaches a certain point during "whoopee" (as Fraction has jokingly put it), she can stop time. Soon she discovers there is a guy that can do the same. So they end up robbing banks.
Obviously the story is much more involved in that. The book is part sex-comedy as well as a coming of age story. There are some heavy themes aside from sex. The art and color are something. Look for an early review before the Wednesday release.
BATMAN/SUPERMAN #3.1 DOOMSDAY
I kind of wanted to steer clear of the Villains Month titles this week but it was hard to avoid this one. First of all, it's written by Greg Pak with art by Brett Booth. That's a good reason right there to check the book out. Pak has been doing some cool things in the regular stories of BATMAN/SUPERMAN and seeing what he'll do with Doomsday will be interesting. As a fan of Booth, he always adds a great deal of enthusiasm to the action in the stories he draws.
With the issue focusing on Doomsday, it's a little hard to image exactly what it will entail. Grant Morrison did make a reference to Doomsday and Superman dying towards the end of his run in ACTION COMICS. If you've seen the preview pages for this issue, the fact that it appears to focus on the past on Krypton with Superman's parents and Zod along with Doomsday immediately grabs my attention. I don't see this as being a simple retelling of Doomsday's origin. I am intrigued.
Check out Comics Xaminer for 2 more pages.
Alas Matt Fraction has departed the series due to the other titles he is working on. He has passed along his notes and plot ideas. The nice thing is Lee Allred is taking over the writing with Mike and Laura still doing the art and colors. You can definitely feel the party atmosphere they will be creating.
Perhaps "party" is the wrong word. The cover and solicit promises an epic clash between Hulk and Thing. Or at least She-Hulk and Miss Thing. If you check out the preview pages, you'll see a continuation of the darker undertone that Fraction has been squeezing in between the hilarious moments. There is such a great mix of emotions in this series and if you combine it with Mike and Laura Allred's art, you get a book that stands apart from the rest.
JUSTICE LEAGUE #23.4 SECRET SOCIETY
It's another Villains Month book. This time the focus is on the Secret Society. This title should have a closer tie to FOREVER EVIL rather than just focus on the different villains in the DCU. With the Outsider running the Secret Society in the pages of JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA and the reveal of his identity at the end of Trinity War, there are quite a few questions we all have. This issue just may give us some.
Written by Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates with art by Szymon Kudranski, this issue looks to be one we've been waiting for all month. It's fitting that it comes out at the end of Villains Month. We need to know what the Secret Society's plan is. What will they do next. Taking a look at the Outsider will help us prepare to what's to come.
Visit IGN for the final preview page.
Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring's picks
AQUAMAN #23.2 OCEAN MASTER
If you've been reading AQUAMAN and read the BLACK MANTA villains month issue, then you know Orm is getting "released" from Belle Reve. Since the Aquaman reboot, Orm has become a stand out character in the series. He's incredibly compelling and a pretty awesome villain. I can't wait to see what he does when he finds out Aquaman is "dead."
What makes this an essential book is that Aquaman writer Geoff Johns is also writing this Villains Month book. Overall, the Villains Month books have been hit and miss, with the majority falling right in between. Aside from Johns writing this, this issue looks like it will have a strong tie to the main AQUAMAN story line.
Uproxx has the final preview page.
SAGA is fantastic. It's a book I get excited to read every single month. It's the perfect mix of science fiction and fantasy. In the past few issues, this book has really grown a lot, meaning it's split into two factions: Marko, Alana, Hazel, Izabel, and Klara, and Slave Girl, The Will, and Gwendolyn. I'm falling in love with both these groups. They both have their pros and cons, but this secondary group made up of Marko's ex, Gwendolyn, Slave Girl AKA Sophie, and The Will are incredibly interesting characters, and it seems like this latest issue will be centered around them.
It's well established the stories and characters here are great and that's because of the writing from Brian K Vaughan and the art of Fiona Staples. BKV is great at expanding this very new and different world filled with incredibly interesting concepts and ideas. Fiona puts those ideas into something visually stunning. These creators work together so well. This is something you need to read.
CBR has more preview pages.
Gregg 'k4tz' Katzman's picks
SCARLET SPIDER #22
My favorite Marvel book is coming to an end, but at least it's departing with a story that is full of pure awesomeness so far. Remember how Kraven was abruptly brought back to life through Kaine's "death" back in Grim Hunt (which you should totally read if you haven't, by the way)? Well, he's not too happy about it and his elaborate plan for revenge has kicked off.
The people Kaine has grown to care about have been kidnapped and now -- after apparently getting whooped by Sergei -- the anti-hero has woken up in the Houston Zoo. What will happen to his supporting cast? Is this all one big trick by Kraven to have Kaine kill him? What will this mean for his daughter, Ana? WHAT. WILL. HAPPEN? I have a few theories, but truthfully, I'm sure they all pale in comparison to what co-writers Christopher Yost and Erik Burnham have in store for us. It's been an excellent ride thus far and I'm sure they're going to go out with one helluva bang,
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #26
City Fall. If you've been reading along, then you know it's astounding and a dream come true for any TMNT fan. The scope is massive, the cast is layered, and its pacing has been superb. This week, Master Splinter continues his uneasy alliance with Old Hob (for the greater good) and Shredder and Dark Leo wage war against the Savate gang! Did I mention the last issue ended with BEBOP AND FREAKING ROCKSTEADY?! Because it did. That cliffhanger alone should have you counting down the seconds until you can read this issue. With the Shredder/TMNT conflict front and center, it'll be interesting to see when and where Karai will make her big move. And if you REALLY need another reason: Mateus Santolouco.
I've said it countless times already and I'll continue to say it until I run out of breath: this is a must read for TMNT fans.
Co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn aren't just creating what is easily their best Deadpool story yet -- they're creating what could possibly go down as one of the best Deadpool stories to date. The two have proven over and over again they can bring huge laughs and super fun action, but this tale is shockingly rich and loaded with emotion.
In the event you haven't read the last two chapters, I'm going to avoid talking about what's gone down and instead STRONGLY recommend you read #15 and #16. I know some of you out there haven't dug their work because you thought Wade wasn't competent enough or you weren't feeling the humor, but if you consider yourself a fan of Wade AT ALL, you're doing yourself a terrible disservice by not reading 'The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.' Oh, and then there's the always excellent Declan Shalvey on pencils. Seriously, this is must read stuff.
BATMAN: BANE #23.4
There's a more than wealthy amount of bad people in the DC universe who deserve their own Villains Month issue, but Bane? He's by far the one I'm most excited to read. Far too often he's misunderstood as being nothing more than a mere brute, when in fact his mind is disputably one of the most dangerous things about him. Not only is my favorite DC villain getting an issue all to himself, but it's illustrated by 'Knightfall' artist Graham Nolan, too. So yeah, needless to say that's quite rad.
Jen 'MissJ' Aprahamian's picks
Brubaker and Phillips have mastered the art of storytelling via variations on a theme. By now, we know how Jo (the titular femme fatale) operates, but her interactions with every man are different. Their reactions to her -- all extreme -- are unique. It's the theater of watching Jo entangle another man that keeps us coming back, the inevitable fallout that we need to see every month. This month, FATALE gives us some delayed gratification on that fallout, as we see someone catching up to Jo after a lengthy history. Call this one an essential if you're into classic noir, or beautiful mystery ladies. Or if you're a glutton for witnessing notes on the same punishment over and over.
Get a look at more preview pages over at Paste.
East Of West #6
Hickman and Dragotta are delivering a tale of (alt) Biblical proportions, and if you haven't been keeping up, go pick up the newly-released TPB of Volume 1 (issues #1 - #5), and dive into the next issue immediately. In case EAST OF WEST hasn't been on your map, the general idea is that three of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse have turned on Death, because he's been up to some un-Death-like things, and is compromising the fate of the world. This one's an essential if you like alternate-histories and what-ifs, Westerns, epic wars, and well-developed worlds laden with history and myth.
Comics Alliance has the final page.
Itty Bitty Hellboy #2
Essential if you're a fan of all-ages comics, BPRD, or both, ITTY BITTY HELLBOY brings the adorable to the Mignolaverse. Don't let the cuteness fool you -- you're in for some bona fide Hellboy action (in a family-friendly style). New to HELLBOY? Pick this one up as a fun introduction to the world -- and share it with your kids/nieces/nephews as a great intro to comics!
Head over to CBR for another page.
Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder's picks
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY #6
NEIL GAIMAN, BRIAN BENDIS, SARA PICHELLI! BOOM! WE OUT! Three of the absolute best creators in comics on a book that is one of the most unusual in terms of style and substance. Marvel's cosmic titles have been gaining nothing but momentum since a complete overhaul in 2003 and, in many was, Guardians is the culmination of that, and not just because of the upcoming film, but because of Marvel's willingness to put a character-driven title that takes place mostly in space and stars mostly aliens front-and-center. I may have trepidation about the character of Angela, but part of the anticipation can see an idea you don't necessarily agree with succeed.
Scott Snyder's story combining sci-fi and Lovecraftian monsters (Lovecraft WAS a fairly science-fictiony writer for the time) that...somehow trigger an oceanic apocalypse has flown, somewhat, under the radar particularly compared with his other titles. This is definitely a slow burn of a book, but most good horror is and last issue definitely began to ramp up the intensity and horror, so I am definitely chomping at the bit for this tale to develop. Sean Murphy was, I thought at first, an unusual choice, but his style on this book has proven absolutely pitch-perfect, balancing vivid violence with blurry, indistinct moments that leave the reader's imagination to fill in the blanks. I have no idea where this book is going, and frankly I can't wait to find out.
ULTIMATE COMICS SPIDER-MAN #27
Ahhh, the little Ultimate Book That Could. Brian Bendis' pet project continues to get better with every jaw-dropping issue, maintaining a pace that vacillates effortlessly between quiet, introspective moments and absolute, breakneck action and always, ALWAYS with a powerful, emotional core to make the stakes exactly as high as they need to be, regardless of how big or small the conflict is. David Marquez is certainly no stranger to having to draw characters of extreme athletic dexterity balanced with emotive expressions and he has, time and again, fulfilled that role with aplomb. It's certainly not the biggest, most significant book on the shelf, but it's one I hotly anticipate ever month.