It’s okay, change happens. It’s not the end of the world, we promise. As you may have noticed, we’re bringing a slight format change to what used to be “10 Comics to Buy This Week.”
Now, we’re not trying to tell anyone how to spend their hard-earned money, but our goal for this updated weekly column is for it to be something people can look to for near 100% accuracy when pointing out quality titles. Because as we all know, the problem isn’t finding comics to read, it’s reading the ones that make the most of your limited budget.
Firstly, you’ll notice our typical ten titles have been cut down to five (or there about). But we’re sticking with the old adage: quality over quantity. Lastly, outside further expansion on why we recommend each book, we’re also going to provide preview pages for each title (when available) to give you an idea how the book reads and looks. You can click each image to enlarge.
Batman Incorporated #4
After a bit of a detour to (once again) cover the formation of Batman Incorporated, we’ve back to the ongoing struggle between Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul with li’l Damian caught in the middle. If you can remember back a few months, issue #3 concluded with Damian donning the “Red Bird” guise since, according to dear ol’ dad, the Robin identity was grounded. Now Damian has a new secret identity and is hot on the trail of saving his father and bringing down Leviathan all by himself… at least in theory.
While BATMAN INCORPORATED might not be the main Bat-book anymore thanks to the magnificent work being done by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo, it still remains one of the most entertaining superhero titles hitting shelves. It also serves as a nice complement to Snyder’s work, which is draped in so much death and despair. Comparatively, Morrison and Burnham’s BATMAN INCORPORATED feels much more fun and lighthearted, at least as far as Batman can go.
BATMAN INCORPORATED #4 might not be a great place to jump in for new readers. So if you find yourself in that camp, run out and pick up the series’ first four issues (#1-3 and #0) and give it a whirl while also snagging this week’s #4. It’s got an epic plot and serves as the only place where you can find that sweet, sweet Matches Malone action.
Captain America #19
While CAPTAIN AMERICA has not been as strong in its current volume as previous volumes, this issue will most likely provide Brubaker’s final stamp on the character and should not be missed. We’re betting it’s going to be quite a poetic send-off to a character Brubaker revitalize all those years ago.
Joining Brubaker is his longtime Cap collaborator Steve Epting, who is providing the artwork for issue #19. With both Brubaker and Epting back together, CAPTAIN AMERICA #19 should be quite a memorable reading experience that hopefully leaves fans with a great taste in their mouth and begging Brubaker to return to the character sometime down the road.
Preview brought to you by CBR:
Punisher: War Zone #1
You will buy this book.
I’m doing my best to hypnotize everyone reading this list because Greg Rucka deserves your duckets for his work on Punisher. Unfortunately, Rucka’s main PUNISHER series was cancelled due to poor sales, but at least Marvel granted him the opportunity to wrap up his over-arching Punisher story with a mini-series called PUNISHER: WAR ZONE.
Following the events of Punisher #16, the Punisher is on the run from pretty much every law enforcement agency in New York, including the Avengers. According to Rucka, PUNISHER: WAR ZONE is a series that can be enjoyed by new readers who haven’t read PUNISHER #1-16. That means you have no excuse not to pick it up. Seriously, Rucka’s take on the character is a masterstroke and should be experienced, even if it is this late in the game.
The only sad thing about WAR ZONE is that artist Marco Checchetto will not be drawing the book. Checchetto was originally schedule to, but a family emergency came up and he had to drop the title. However, Carmine Di Giandomenico will be picking up the artistic pieces, and we all know Giandomenico can draw. Please buy this book.
Of all the new books that debuted with zero issues, James Tynion IV, Scott Snyder and Guillem March’s TALON was arguably the strongest. The book’s main character was strong, the artwork by March was beautiful and dynamic and the plot centering on a man on the run for his past sins felt fresh, surprisingly. TALON showed a lot of potential with that first zero issue, and now we’re about to find out if that momentum carries through to issue #1.
TALON #1 picks up with Calvin Rose heading into Gotham to investigate the fallout of the recent Court of Owls storyline. Rose is trying to find any loophole out of his past life that he can, and maybe Gotham has the answers. Meanwhile, the court continues to hunt him relentlessly.
Wolverine MAX #1
This title is this week’s wildcard pick. On paper, a MAX series centered on Wolverine seems like a slam dunk; the character is perfect for a gruff, gritty and uber violent take aimed at adults. However, it needs to be said, do we really need another Wolverine book?
Well, if we’re willing to look past the fact that Wolverine already has like 1,000 books, WOLVERINE MAX has potential to stand out. The series will be written by award-winning crime novelist Jason Starr, who did some work in the MAX line already with Punisher, and drawn by Roland Boschi and Connor Willumsen.
WOLVERINE MAX takes place in modern day Tokyo, yet will revisit Wolverine early years. The plot line might not scream originality, but for a no-holds-barred take on Wolverine, I’m willing to give the series the benefit of the doubt for now. I suggest you do the same.
Erik Norris is a freelance writer for sites such as ComicVine, IGN and CraveOnline.com. You can stalk him on Twitter @Regular_Erik.