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This Week's Essential Comics: 5/12/14

These are the comics you're looking for.

New comic book day is approaching and we want to make sure you're ready for it. On Wednesday, a bunch of new issues will go on sale, and deciding which ones are worthy of your time and money can be tough. Luckily for you, we've reviewed the latest list of new releases and we've each selected a couple or so that caught our focus. We'll tell you why we're excited for 'em and hopefully that'll make narrowing down the options a little easier for you this Wednesday. After you've seen what has our attention, go ahead and share your own list of "essential" comics.

*Some previews may be in reverse order*

Tony "G-Man" Guerrero's picks

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHE #5

The fight for survival in Riverdale continues. So far we’ve been seeing some dark times for Archie and his friends. With the outbreak of a zombie infestation, we’re seeing these characters in a way they’ve never been seen before.

More than just a zombie story, there are layers being added to each character and Robert Aguirre-Sacasa manages to catch us off guard. We’re going to see more survivors find their way to the Lodge Mansion. Or they could just be more victims. The tension is building as secrets are on the verge of being revealed.

All this and more glorious and creepy art by Francesco Francavilla.

Visit USA Today for more covers.

SECRET AVENGERS #3

There’s a new team of Avengers and they’re saving the world in their own way. There are a lot of Avengers titles out these days but SECRET AVENGERS stands apart from the others. Working with S.H.I.E.L.D., these Avengers are taking on missions that the regular heroes won’t or can’t. Not only do we get kick-ass characters like Black Widow and Spider-Woman on the team, we also have Hawkeye as well as Agent Coulson and Nick Fury Jr (both of whom have grown on me in this series alone).

In this issue, it sounds like they’ll be going on another crazy mission. At least it’s not out in space this time. And who doesn’t want to see Black Widow vs Lady Bullseye?

Ales Kot and Michael Walsh are doing great things together. They started with the first issue of ZERO and you can feel the energy building in this series. I’ve said it before, this is my favorite Avengers series right now. Plus it has M.O.D.O.K. too.

ABE SAPIEN #12

There’s a lot going on in the Hellboy Universe but get ready to see a story different from ones you’ve seen in the past. Written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, this story takes a dark turn. There are different sorts of stories that can have a disturbing feel and this one will keep you glued as you slowly turn each page. And the art by Max Fiumara fits the tone perfectly. This is an issue you won’t forget.

Honorable Mention: ALL-NEW X-MEN #27 (Bendis and Immonen, plus the return of the Brotherhood of Evil mutants from BotA).

Mat "Inferiorego" Elfring's picks

BATMAN ETERNAL #6

I'm always extremely skeptical of weekly titles because they fall flat or sometimes there's no clear story or reason for a weekly book to exist. On top of that, when you get a weekly book, it's really like adding four books to your pull list. That being said, BATMAN ETERNAL is a book worth the weekly cover price. The book is so much bigger than Batman, which is what makes it work. There're numerous interweaving stories here than all stand pretty dang strong on their own. This book is much more about Gotham and its giant cast of characters more than anything else and that's what makes it so good.

Go to CBR for more pages.

ALL-NEW GHOST RIDER #3

In the past, Ghost Rider was a hit or miss book, and that all really depended on who was writing it. There were tons of changes with this character in the past few years, and without a doubt, this series, so far, is some of the best we've gotten out of the character. Writer Felipe Smith has really driven (pun completely intended) in a brand new direction. And while this is a pretty depressing book, Tradd Moore's beautifully stylistic artwork really evens out the tone of this book. This is one of the top new Marvel books right now, and if you've never read Ghost Rider before, this is a great place to jump on, or at least start here and find the first two issues.

Honorable Mention: JUSTICE LEAGUE UNITED #1

Gregg "k4tz" Katzman's picks

DEADPOOL #28

Wade Wilson goes on a honeymoon in Japan? And it's written by Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn, and with art by the consistently awesome Scott Koblish and colorist Val Staples? Yeah, it's safe to say this is going to be a thoroughly entertaining read. Honestly, my love for this volume is simple: this creative team has yet to let me down. When they set a tone for a story, they deliver big time and go all out.

The dark stories have been emotionally draining and shockingly horrific at times. The comedic tales have been packed with laughs and the right amount of silliness. And best of all, each step has given Wade a little depth. After all he's been through, he's certainly earned a fun and thrilling honeymoon. It'll be fun to see how this new dynamic unfolds -- especially considering it comes after so many terrible events.

DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #1

The Master of Kung Fu deserves more love and I'm happy to see Marvel's about to deliver. Shang-Chi's story is being handled by Mike Benson, and I have nothing but positive memories of the writer's time with Deadpool and Moon Knight. He was able to strike the right tone with each of those titles and filled them with appropriately badass moments. And when you have a booked called "Deadly Hands of Kung Fu" you absolutely want someone that'll deliver impactful and epic action scenes.

Here's hoping we get a story that's not only engrossing and full of character development, but also delivers of some standout melee encounters. Shang-Chi's known for his hand-to-hand abilities, so let's see more of him doing what he does best!

BLOODSHOT & H.A.R.D. CORPS #28

Before Bloodshot is tossed into ARMOR HUNTERS and then leaps into the pages of UNITY, he has to take on the H.A.R.D. Corps! The scenario here promises a ton of action -- something this book never fails to deliver on -- and hopefully it'll produce an insightful look into Bloodshot as well. Sure, we love seeing why he's the ultimate soldier, but they've continued to grow the emotional connection to him as well. Having him on the run is sure to force him into some interesting situations and I'm beyond curious to see how he'll react and how this series will wrap up.

Truth be told, I'd love to see this series get a little more time, but at least it looks like Valiant's giving the character a lot of focus down the road. Oh, and did I mention it's the start of a new arc? Because it is and there's a thorough recap, too! You have no valid reason to avoid this issue, action junkies.

Honorable Mention: TMNT: NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #11

Corey "Undeadpool" Schroeder's picks

AVENGERS #29

Captain America was not happy with the reformation of the Illuminati, so he joined up to be their moral compass. The fact that they wiped his memories of the team shortly after he insisted they NOT develop the technology to annihilate an entire planet should tell you about how well that went. Although it doesn't frequently get brought up, it's always been the specter that's hung over the entire scene, along with a great deal of tension due to the characters' pre-existing conflicts and clashing personalities.

Jonathan Hickman bringing Cap back into the mix is a storyline I've been champing at the bit for and the fact that Leinil Yu, one of the best artists on Avengers in the last decade, is a perfect development.

CAPTAIN MARVEL #3

Carol Danvers has teamed with the Guardians of the Galaxy to bring a wayward alien child back to her home planet. Rocket Raccoon has begun a blood feud with Carol's cat. Kelly Sue DeConnick and David Lopez return on writing and art respectively...I'm having trouble coming up with more ways to talk about how much and why I'm looking forward to this title.

We left Earth with an interesting development that I hope resumes, but for now I'm happy to see Marvel continue to expand the shattered horizons of their cosmic characters. And I'm even MORE thrilled to have learnt that this won't be a limited series, no matter what the solicitations say.

ROYALS: MASTERS OF WAR #4

Alternate history stories can be a tricky proposition, especially with territory as well-tread as WWII. But rather than going with "what if X battle happened differently so that Y side one," we've got a tale of royal blood and ersatz superheroes. On BOTH sides. And the interpersonal politics are just as interesting as the global and martial ones, particularly as regard the Japanese part of the Axis powers. With the Axis gaining an upper hand and the title only at the halfway point, Rob Williams has plenty of time to weave more twists and turns into what could have been a fairly straightforward tale of superheroics. Simon Coleby's art also elevates the title, giving us both the grandeur and grit that are so much a part of the tales, and realities, of war.

Honorable Mention: NEW AVENGERS #18

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

88 Comments
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Posted by longbowhunter

Slim pickings this week. I'm looking at Afterlife with Archie #5 and Justice League United #1. Avengers and the Shang Chi mini look good too though.

Online
Posted by JTHood

BATMAN ETERNAL #6

NEW 52 FUTURES END #2

SECRET AVENGERS #3

AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE #5

Edited by feedonatreefrog

Batman Eternal

Superman/Wonder Woman

Action Comics

Superman Doomed

Green Lantern Corps

Justice League United

(though I'm only completely sold on the first on the list right now).

Posted by SavageDragon

Starlight #3

Astro City #12

Walking Dead #127

Posted by patrat18

Batman Eternal

Superman/Wonder Woman

Action Comics

Superman Doomed

Green Lantern Corps

Justice League United

Thank you.

Posted by patrat18

Anybody else loving the new Ghost rider??

Posted by timelord

DC

  • Action Comics #31 - Doomed Part 3!
  • Batgirl #31 - Who is stalking Babs? Me that's who.
  • Batman Eternal #6 - Loving everything about this book so on it for the long haul.
  • Constantine #14 - Really interested to see where it goes now that it's no longer tied to blight and JLD
  • Green Lantern Corps #31 - Uprising part 2
  • Justice League United #1 - Supergirl and Hawkman VS Fake Lobo will be a quick fight.
  • The New 52: Futures End #2 - Interesting enough to stay on board.
  • Superboy #31 - Jon and Guardian? Sold.
  • Superman: Doomed #1 - Doomed part 1!
  • Superman/Wonder Woman #8 - Doomed Part 2!
  • Worlds' Finest #23 - I love Kara's new do. Also the journey back to Earth 2 begins.

Trades

  • Aquaman Vol. 4: Death of A King HC

First week I have pulled every new 52 book keep it up DC

Image

  • The Walking Dead #127 - I wonder where Walking Dead will go from here?
Posted by feedonatreefrog

@timelord: Have you ever done that pre-Flashpoint?

Posted by SanoHibiki

Everything related to the Doomed event in Superman books.

Posted by timelord
Edited by feedonatreefrog

Are the preludes essential?

This 4 issue event seems refreshingly short.

Posted by VanderSEXXX

Looks like its only Batman Eternal #6 and New 52 Futures End #2 for me this week. I'm getting curious about Ghost Rider though.

Posted by Teerack

I want this ghost rider book to end.

Posted by scouts1998

@timelord: Action Comics is part 2 not 3 and S/WW is part 3 not 2 of superman doomed

Posted by scouts1998
@teerack said:

I want this ghost rider book to end.

why?

Edited by DarthAznable

Futures End any good?

Posted by CantDance93

Superman:Doomed

Action Comics

Superman/Wonder Woman

Justice League United

Future's End

Posted by mak13131313

My pull list for the week,

1. Action Comics #31

2. Batman Eternal #6

3. Batgirl #31

4. Green Lantern Corps #31

5. Justice League United #1

6. Superman Doomed #1

7. Superman/Wonder Woman #8

8. The New 52 Futures End #2

9. Worlds Finest #23

10. Star Wars #17

11. X #13

12. The Walking Dead #127

13. Afterlife With Archie #5

14. Uber #13

15. Captain America #20

Posted by scouts1998

Action Comics #31

Deadpool #28

JLU #1

Superman Doomed #1

Superman Wonder Woman #8

Posted by senglord

M.I.A.M.I

Hence

Batman Eternal 6

Batgirl 31

Batman 31 (if it is out)

Future's End 2

Justice League Beyond 20. Lord Superman (vs???) Batman Beyond. One of the best titles in DC is digital first, wow.

Edited by Mad_Titan

Just love the artwork in new Ghost Rider

Posted by ColaNicole

Just the Doomed parts this week. Worried about Supes vs Doomsday only being a 1 issue fight, though.

Posted by davidgrantlloyd

Doomed #1

Action Comics #31

Superman/ Wonder Woman #8

Justice League United #1

Starlight #3

Weird Love #1

Posted by zodac
  • Abe Sapien
  • Hellboy in Hell
  • X
  • Walking Dead
  • Bloodshot
  • Quantum and Woody
  • Magnus - Robot Fighter

An awesome week, I'm excited

Edited by jwalser3
  • Royals Masters Of War #4 (Considering drop)
  • Superman: Doomed #1
  • Justice League Untied #1
  • Bounce #12
  • Uber #13

Man Marvel, step up your game.

Posted by Twix_Right_Side

Avengers

Probably Shang Chi

Ms Marvel

No DC for me.

Edited by mje360

Superman: Doomed and Superman Wonder Woman #8 for sure.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

Kind of a down week tbh. Only 8 comics total and only Uber is what I'm super excited for.

Next week though...my god...18 total and almost all of them are winners. Invincible, Saga, Unity and X-O Manowar especially...

Posted by jwalser3

Almost forgot about Godzilla :Awakening!

Posted by Fallschirmjager
Posted by Twix_Right_Side
Posted by Fallschirmjager
Posted by Twix_Right_Side
Edited by miilkshake

Afterlife with Archie #5

Batman Eternal #6

Captain Marvel #3

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@twix_right_side: They do.

Try issue 0 if you want to test the waters. Its oversized so even if you don't like it, you'll get your monies worth in any case.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@teerack said:

I want this ghost rider book to end.

why?

No offence but that's a kinda douchey thing to say

Online
Posted by Twix_Right_Side

@twix_right_side: They do.

Try issue 0 if you want to test the waters. Its oversized so even if you don't like it, you'll get your monies worth in any case.

Cool. Thanks

Posted by timstermatic
Posted by micah
Posted by scouts1998

@scouts1998 said:
@teerack said:

I want this ghost rider book to end.

why?

No offence but that's a kinda douchey thing to say

I'm just curious and i would like to know.

Posted by CheeseSticks

Small week for me.

Only picking X-Force.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@jonny_anonymous said:

@scouts1998 said:
@teerack said:

I want this ghost rider book to end.

why?

No offence but that's a kinda douchey thing to say

I'm just curious and i would like to know.

Lol sorry I didn't mean you, I mean the guy you quoted

Online
Posted by Wolverine08

Isn't New Avengers coming out this week?

Posted by MannEffest

Avengers

Future's End

Captain Marvel for me!

Posted by Kal'smahboi

Um, Doomed? Really, no one picked Doomed?

Posted by GraniteSoldier

Light week just looking forward to Captain Marvel this week. But, I'm really looking forward to Captain Marvel.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Isn't New Avengers coming out this week?

Corey has it as an honorable mention.

Staff Online
Posted by Wolverine08

@k4tzm4n said:

@wolverine08 said:

Isn't New Avengers coming out this week?

Corey has it as an honorable mention.

Posted by Owie

So is Deadly Hands of Kung Fu an ongoing?

Posted by kennybaese

Eternal and JLU for me. I'm trade waiting on Captail Marvel, Deadpool, and Afterlife with Archie.

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