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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.]


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.




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 You can stalk him on Twitter @Regular_Erik.

58 Comments Refresh
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Posted by Mandrewgora

Batman, Saga, and Marvel Now baby!

Posted by knightofthechronicle

I'll only be getting Batman

Posted by cyberchop979

Huh, I thought X-men Legacy was starting up this week too.

Posted by Selinaky

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

Posted by cc1738

This is an expensive week for me. I'm getting Batman, Thor and All New X-Men.

I'm going to be honest, I don't really see what all the hoopla is about Saga. I read the first issue when it was offered for free on comixology and thought it was ok. It was kinda weird and IMO not worth the money.

Edited by SmashBrawler
  • Amazing Spider-Man
  • Batman
  • Batman and Robin
  • Demon Knights
  • Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  • Green Lantern Corps
  • The Phantom Stranger

Crap, forgot Bloodshot.

Posted by kingjoeg

Amazing Spider-man 697

Batman 17

Saga 7

Posted by jstndmnd
Edited by Reignmaker

"I counted six, Mr. Wayne."

Anyhoo, Batman #14 and Fantastic Four #1 definitely on my list this week.

Batgirl #14 also if the reviews look favorable.

Posted by iaconpoint

Batman for me please. I'll check back with Marvel when all vestiges of Joe Q's evil empire have been vanquished.

Posted by CircularLogic

@jstndmnd: It's Lobdell. It won't

Posted by ME24601
  • Batman 14
  • Batman and Robin 14
  • Batgirl 14
  • Phantom Stranger 2
  • Punk Rock Jesus 5
  • Saga 7
  • Walking Dead 104
  • Fantastic Four 1
  • Amazing Spider-Man 697
  • Wolverine and the X-Men 20
Posted by RedX9

Batman, Punk Rock Jesus, Batgirl, All New X-men

Posted by MisterKetch

Batman and all new x men alone make me excited for this week. Thor and FF getting a very hesitant first issue read for me. Still debating on phantom stranger 2, I can't stand Didio's writing but Im feeling trapped to read it because of Pandora.

Posted by Mypasswordisnotpassword

Batman 14

Thor God of Thunder 1

Superboy 14

Green Lantern Corps 14

Batman and Robin 14

The Ravengers 6

Posted by RedX9

@CircularLogic: usually im one of those people that says 'wait for the book' but honestly, i agree with you. Lobdell is not someone to place a bet on, seeing as you'll lose every time.

Posted by Kal'smahboi

Just Batman this week. Though I've very excited for the Punk Rock Jesus trade.
H'el on Earth starts this week too :) Gonna be a good story.

Posted by longbowhunter

Batman, Punk Rock Jesus and Saga. Probably going to give Mind MGMT a go as well. Read Kindt's Revolver recently and became interested in his work.

Posted by dreamfall31

Just Batman for me! The last two weeks of months are my big days with four comics each!

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

From the list I am getting Batman, Fantastic Four, and All New X-men

Posted by DonFelipe

Locke & Key: Omega... finally... and the Saga continues, too. What a fantastic week ahead of us!

Edited by CircularLogic

@RedX9: I just remember The Culling. Terrible Villain, zero drama, and a story spread over 3 books and an annual that made it impossible to know what was going on unless you bought all 10 issues of series you may not have even wanted to read. But I guess that since Superman has sold terribly (relatively, considering he's the biggest superhero ever and hasn't cracked the top 20 books sold month to month recently) you have to milk sales for all the're worth

Posted by longbowhunter

I'm far enough behind on Locke & Key in trade I'm not even bummed its winding down.

Posted by McKlayn

All New X men 1, Fantastic Four 1,

And Wolverine & the X men & X men legacy are both listed as coming out this week on the marvel site so those two if they do lol

Posted by Cavemold

Batman please dont kill alfred

Thor God of Thunder should be good

Venom!!!!!!!! Minumum Carnage !!!

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Great stuff! :)

Posted by ripjim93

Batman 14

Batman and Robin 14

Phantom Stranger 2

The Walking Dead 104

All New Xmen 1

Im sure im forgetting something

Posted by k4tzm4n

Plenty of good stuff this week but i'm particularly excited for Bloodshot.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

Red She-Hulk for me.

Also going to check out New Crusaders upon someone's request.

Posted by CombatSpoon86

Batman and Saga is perfect for a light wk. Not to mention alot of the new marvel now digital codes from my friend.

Edited by ArtisticNeedham

INVINCIBLE #97 $2.99

ALL NEW X-MEN #1 NOW $3.99




(wish FF #1 by Allred was out too)



also maybe (maybe not)... posters



Posted by geoff2005

@jstndmnd said:

SuperboyH'el on Earth crossover starts this week!

Oh, Please be awesome!

where did you find that picture, im trying to find all story arc of New 52 in that type of picture format

Posted by hyenascar

Saga feels like it has been gone forever. So many other good books. The mystique of x-men alone gets me pulled into the all new x-men.

Posted by SavageDragon

The art on Thor God of Thunder is stunning. Im going to have to pick that up along with Batman, Saga and Demon Knights.

Posted by Ralnakor

Haha, this is going to be an expensive week for me: All-New X-Men Batman Walking Dead Green Lantern Amazing Spider-Man Invincible Venom And if it's out: X-Men Legacy

Posted by DDangelico

Kind of a big haul for me this week:



-Batman and Robin


-Peter Panzerfaust

-The Walking Dead

-The Massive

-Fantastic Four

-Amazing Spider-man

-Punk Rock Jesus

Posted by BumBurger

All new x-men looks like it gonna be great can't wait

Posted by kriminal

did anybody notice that dc countered marvel now with crossovers. it worked on me having tough time deciding every week

Posted by Grey56

Dear Marvel NOW!,

You aren't the new 52, I've already dropped you. Your originality is unlikely, your stories trite as the party line Tories. Please understand - you're out of the band ! Go to hell Alonso, have fun at the Marvel Alamo.

- Sincerely, Those of us who Forgave You for Onslaught & Heroes Reborn

Posted by tomlikesfries

@cyberchop979 said:

Huh, I thought X-men Legacy was starting up this week too.

It is, but most of the people think it's gonna suck.

I dunno, but I'll give it a try.

Posted by BurningBlaze

Just all new X-Men for me. Will get Batman when it comes out in hardback :D

Posted by riiiiiiiight

Batman, All New X-Men, Thor and Punk Rock Jesus from this list.

Not from this list: ASM, Evil Ernie, Frankenstine, Agent of S.H.A.D.E, Invincible, Marvel U vs. The Avengers, Bloodshot and Venom!

Posted by The Stegman



Posted by WWAJfan

Venom 27 for me X)

Posted by Jawshco

Oh, man... Flipping yes to all of the above! I'm glad I get paid this week.

Posted by Spideycap

@The Stegman said:



Batman! and possibly All New X-men for me.

Edited by jinxuandi

Just getting Phantom Stranger and maybe Saga. None of these Marvel Now titles interest me.


Dear Marvel NOW!,

You aren't the new 52, I've already dropped you. Your originality is unlikely, your stories trite as the party line Tories. Please understand - you're out of the band ! Go to hell Alonso, have fun at the Marvel Alamo.

- Sincerely, Those of us who Forgave You for Onslaught & Heroes Reborn

Spot on. Sorry Marvel, you only get so many mulligans.

Posted by JLDoom

This issue should be AWESOME!!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

BATMAN AND WALKING DEAD for me. I'm gonna start reading Saga

Posted by Onemoreposter


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