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This Week's Essential Comics: 11/14/2012

The Joker strikes, Saga returns and we get a whole slew of new Marvel NOW! books.

Each week we gather up a few titles that we strongly feel will satiate your comic book reading appetite. We recently switched the format from our "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 #14

The Joker’s crusade to take down everyone close to Batman continues this week in BATMAN #14. We keep going on and on about how great this series is, and this latest story arc, “Death of the Family,” seems to be the most epic and twisted yet. And that’s saying a lot when you have Scott Snyder behind the wheel.

And before we move on from BATMAN because there really isn’t much left to say, we will give a shoutout to Greg Capullo and his amazing work on this series. Honestly, Snyder is writing the hell out of the book, but it’s Capullo’s pencils that truly bring these stories to life. We can’t imagine this story, in particular, being as terrifying without Capullo’s masterful work.

Locke & Key Omega #1

It’s the beginning of the end for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s LOCKE & KEY. OMEGA #1 is the first of seven planned issues to wrap up the series’ story.

Here’s the official word on OMEGA from IDW:

The Locke family's story began in 2007 in Welcome to Lovecraft, and after five years of tension and terror, there are only seven issues left to their story. The beginning of the end starts here. Dodge has the Omega key, and nothing can stop him from using it…

If you have not yet read any of LOCKE & KEY, we recommend you go back to the beginning and work your way through the series. This series has been extremely good and commands your attention from the very start. So run out and pick up all the back issues in preparation for this week’s OMEGA #1.

[Preview not available.]

Mind MGMT #0

I’m going to be honest; I haven’t read an issue of Matt Kindt’s MIND MANAGEMENT yet. But I’ve heard nothing but great things from fans and critics alike. And with this week’s zero issue, now seems like the perfect time to try out what everyone is raving about. I suggest you do the same thing if you haven’t yet dabbled.

Here’s the synopsis for MIND MGMT #0:

Lock up your dolphins, shield your brain, and don't believe anything you see, because this specially priced issue is the perfect initiation into Kindt's electrifying tale of Mind Management's psychic spies, its most infamous defector, and Meru, the journalist who stumbles upon their incredible secrets!

This issue features three separate stories that introduce you to the world and characters of MIND MGMT, while simultaneously peeling back the layers of the book’s secret history.

[Preview not available.]

New MARVEL NOW! #1s

Originally, we were going to do a separate entry for each of Marvel’s new series starting up. But then we realized that for the next few months, Marvel would practically own this column. So instead of giving each book its own real estate, we’re going to lump them together.

This week sees the release of Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen’s ALL-NEW X-MEN, Matt Fraction and Mark Bagley’s FANTASTIC FOUR, and Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s THOR: GOD OF THUNDER. While we have yet to read any of these books, we think everyone should pick up these first issues and give them a shake. If you like what you read, great. If not, don’t buy anymore. It’s that simple. But with the talent involved, you’d be a fool not to at least let curiosity win here.

ALL-NEW X-MEN #1:

FANTASTIC FOUR #1:

THOR: GOD OF THUNDER #1:

Punk Rock Jesus #5

It’s the penultimate issue of Sean Murphy’s masterful black-and-white series, PUNK ROCK JESUS. Seriously, this book has been glorious, equal parts mesmerizing, shocking and profound. And Murphy himself caps it all off with his fantastic artwork.

If you have yet to try out PUNK ROCK JESUS, we suggest you do so. We would say to pick up the previous four issue and this week’s #5, but this late in the game it might be worthwhile to just wait it out for the trade, wherever it’s released. But whichever purchasing strategy you go with, make sure you read this book. It’s fantastic.

[Preview not available.]

Saga #7

It’s about damn time SAGA returned into our lives. It’s been two months since the last issue of Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples' sci-fi epic, but now the series is back to start its second arc with Marko’s parents joining in on the fun.

If you’re late to the SAGA party, pick up the series’ first trade paperback, which is available now for the low “first hit” entry rate of $10. You won’t be disappointed. Then pick up this week’s issue #7. It is decided!

Preview courtesy of CBR:

Erik Norris is a freelance writer for sites such as ComicVine, IGN and CraveOnline.com. You can stalk him on Twitter @Regular_Erik.

58 Comments
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Posted by VictorVonDoom_1

All New X-Men is a for sure, First X-Men too. I'm still debating whether I'll pick up Thor.

Posted by RedQueen

Getting All New X-men this week (and I'm pretty sure that's it) - have high hopes for the title.

Posted by dmkicksballs13

Saga

Batman

Batman: Arkham Unhinged

Batman and Robin

Posted by bunkerbuster05

HOLY HOTSAUCE this week is great. All the Marvel Now books, Batman, Punk Rock Jesus, and SAGA! God damn I'm glad it's back.

Online
Posted by Ángel de Muerte

Has it really only been two months without Saga? I've felt like it has been an eternity, I ache to have it inside me!

Posted by FiguredOut95

@Selinaky said:

I'm getting Batman #14 and Thor #1 this week.

Posted by JoeEddie

I went in to today just to pick up Batman #14 and I ended up with Batman #14, Suicide Squad # 14. Batgirl #14, and Batgirl annual # 1. I never even picked up any of the Suicide Squad or Batgirl titles before. Suicide Squad had Harley's face on the cover so I decided I would buy it. Batgirl #14, again the cover got me, and I ended up buying it. I bought the Batgirl annual after seeing the reviews on here and the amazing art is what sold the deal.

Posted by dubbern

Had to pick up Batman, Saga, All New X-men, and Batgirl.