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.
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
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
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