For quite a few people out there, Mondays are a bit of a downer. However, here on our corner of the internet, it's a day worth celebrating because it can only mean one thing: preparing for glorious new comics! Every week, we here at Comic Vine will gaze upon the mighty list of new releases and we'll each pick the ones that we're really, really, reaaaaaally excited to check out.
As always, there's more than a handful of promising titles coming out, so once you're done seeing what we've selected, be sure to chime in with your own list of "essential comics."
Tony 'G-Man' Guerrero's picks
It's not often we get to see someone with powers on the same level as the Flash. This foe has proven he's willing to go to any means in order to accomplish his goals, including murder. With the reveal as to what his true identity is, this story is bound to have a big affect on the Flash and Barry Allen's life. With a more personal connection, this isn't a battle Barry will simply be able to walk away from unscathed.
With the art by Francis Manapul and colors by Brian Buccellato, you know this is going to be an epic and beautiful battle. This also marks the final full issue with Manapul and Buccellato's art. The two have written 25 and it will feature some art by them (and Buccellato will return to write a few issues after 26), but this is their big finale, in a way.
Visit Nerdist for the final page.
Whenever there's a new issue of FF, I know I am in for a treat. Lee Allred has seamlessly picked up the reigns from Matt Fraction and the art by Mike Allred and colors by Laura Allred makes this such an amazing comic on so many levels.
With the approach of Doom the Annihilating Conqueror, our team of misfits just might be in over their heads. Things often get incredibly wacky but there is always that deep and dark undertone lurking in the shadows of the comic. This is a comic where I don't need to read the solicit information to know there are great things coming. As the series sadly approaches its end with issue #16, there's no telling what might happen next. I wouldn't want to miss a single bit of it.
SEX CRIMINALS #2
It's easy to dismiss this series as being crude and full of sex and nudity. There is much more to this. Billed as more of a "sex comedy," we saw, in the first issue, things weren't exactly completely upbeat and cheerful as we were introduced to Suzie.
In the second issue, we find out what Jon's story is (spoiler: I've already read the issue). It clearly takes a different approach than Suzie's. We also find out there's more to the bigger picture as we see a glimpse into their decision to start robbing banks. There's much more to the story.
This is absolutely not a comic for children or those that might be offended by the topic of sex in comics. It's not gratuitous but there are some definitely inappropriate scenes contained.
Check out the rest of our preview here (NSFW).
Honorable Mention: JUSTICE LEAGUE #24
Mat 'Inferiorego' Elfring's picks
Another one of my personal favorite Image books is out this week! It's like a mini-Christmas, minus the forced family time. It's better than Christmas! In the last issue, the new Vice-President announced to the world that clones exist and they all need to be brought to justice for being all Cloney and whatnot. It's a big change in the book that's going to change the world these guys live in.
The writing and art have been fantastic on this series. It has quite a few people attached as writers, but it never feels like it. Each issue flows incredibly well. A huge selling point is the art of Jose Juan Ryp. He does a fantastic job at visually telling these stories and his detail in every panel is amazing.
In the last issue, (spoiler alert) Aquaman died! Well, he actually was knocked out or sleeping for 6 months, while Forever Evil was going down. What's more important here is that Aquaman has a beard. A bearded Aquaman is a righteous Aquaman. Now that he's back, he may have to deal with the fact that both Orm and Black Manta have escaped from Belle Reve. Or not... The solicit doesn't give much away.
However, what did happen to the Dead King and those months of missing time? There's lots of open questions that need some closure. Once again, writer Geoff Johns has made what many [crazy] people considered to be a "lame" character into a someone really awesome with some amazing stories. I'm super-pumped to for this new issue.
Newsarama has two more preview pages.
Gregg 'k4tz' Katzman's picks
Okay, got that out of your system? Good. Writer Cullen Bunn's final chapter has a lot to address. What'll happen with Andi and her symbiote? The demon? Flash's status? Crossbones and Daimon Hellstorm? Could we even see Brock reappear out of the blue, sporting that oh-so-powerful Toxin symbiote? Okay, probably not, but that would rule, yeah?
I may not be the biggest fan around of the demon aspect of VENOM's story, but this is looking like it could be a massive issue for Mr. Thompson. Plus, who knows what Flash's situation will be after "Darkest Hours" over in SUPERIOR SPIDER-MAN (we speculate about that here), so here's to hoping Venom's longest book leaves on a great note instead of a forgettable one. It's been a great ride, but all good things must come to an end, right?
Go to CBR for a look at one more page.
INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK #14
You're missing out on some quality entertainment if you haven't been reading Mark Waid's INDESTRUCTIBLE HULK. Consistently sharp, engrossing and wildly fun, Hulk going through time has made the absolute best of a lackluster event's conclusion (AGE OF ULTRON). I know Waid's work on DAREDEVIL tends to get a lot of attention, but you're seriously doing yourself a disservice if you don't give his run here a chance, too. Virtually every issue in this series leaves me impressed and always delivers a good time. This isn't an ideal jumping on point, so do the right thing and pick up the previous "Agent of T.I.M.E." issues with this one.
Nothing else in the New 52 makes me smile and laugh quite like Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' latest story revolving around everyone's favorite Orange Lantern, Larfleeze. The tight script keeps a strong grip on my attention and with every issue I find myself lost in this wacky and ridiculously enthralling universe.
Now that other Orange Lanterns are seemingly back and want Larfleeze 6 feet under, it'll be interesting to see how he gets out of this one. More orange axe, perhaps? This is sci-fi fun at its finest, folks.
TMNT NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES #4
More of the Nick Turtles? YES, PLEASE! This series has done an excellent job duplicating the lighthearted vibe of the cartoon and each issue successfully comes off feeling like another episode of the program. I see no reason whatsoever to believe this upcoming chapter will be an exception. Writer Erik Burnham did a superb job co-writing THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE FOOT CLAN and his Free Comic Book Day issue for this series was a joyous treat.
In this issue, the Foot Clan gets the better of Raph and poisons him and now it's up to his brothers to save him. What makes this especially appealing is it's breaking the "insert mutation/villain, find a way to win" formula and implementing a far more emotional stake in the narrative. There's always a heavy focus on comedy -- and there's nothing wrong with that-- but Raph's situation could bring about far more compelling material.
Feast your eyes on the rest of our exclusive preview here.
Honorable Mentions: ZOMBIE WAR #1, SAVAGE WOLVERINE #10, BEWARE THE BATMAN #1
Jen 'MissJ' Aprahamian's picks
Ed Brubaker is teaming up with his FATALE colorist (Bettie Breitweiser) and CAPTAIN AMERICA penciller (Steve Epting) to bring us a new twist on the spy genre (without skimping on the action or mystery that spy aficionados love!). We'll get to meet Velvet Templeton and follow her adventures as she's whisked back into the field and into a tailspin of intrigue. This one's an essential for genre buffs and fans of Brubaker's existing creator-owned properties (FATALE, CRIMINAL, INCOGNITO, etc).
You can see more preview pages here.
PRETTY DEADLY #1
The first creator-owned collaboration between Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios (with colors by Jordie Bellaire), PRETTY DEADLY is a pretty essential pull this week. Follow Death's daughter, meet a narrator who's a dead rabbit, and jump headfirst into the intoxicatingly unique world that DeConnick, Rios, and Bellaire have dreamed up. Inspired by spaghetti Westerns, powered by talented creators, and driven by a revenge plot, PRETTY DEADLY promises to bring something fantastic and new to the table. I'm excited to see this team embark on their first Image collaboration, and -- well, just look at those preview pages.
See the rest of our preview here.
Corey 'Undeadpool' Schroeder's picks
First off, let me absolutely clear the air on the topic at the forefront of EVERYone's mind: there's no way this book will be the same without the smoky, soothing baritone of one Vinny Caravella. Whew, okay, got that out of the way so moving on, I'm absolutely ECSTATIC to see Mark Waid tackle what looks like a new incarnation of the Midnight Sons (or with Satanna there the Midnight Children?) Something I love about Waid is his ability to not so much reinvent, but look from a completely different look at underused, or C-list characters (remember Spot? Remember the screaming that followed that?). And of course, series regular Chris Samnee is always a joy on this book and one of the artists who absolutely nails the strange, surreal, unique take that Mark Waid has on him.
Check out Comic Vine's Preview Theatre for an awesome look at the issue!!!
JUDGE DREDD #12
Judge Dredd's cavalcade of madness and carnival of pain cranks forward and upward, testing the limits of Dredd's pain tolerance and willingness to uphold the LAW even in the anarchic hellscape of the world outside the walls of Mega-City 1. Duane Swierczynski has threaded a very fine needle balancing the subtext of humor against the incredible violence (an especially gut-wrenching scene involving the cannibalistic Angel gang and a mutant with eyes all over his body struck the tone of very weird humor and absolute nausea) that inhabits the Dredd universe. This storyline has actually gone on for quite a long time, so it's refreshing to see it take so many natural twists and turns without getting old. Artist Nelson Daniel has a great minimalist style that does a great job evoking the stark, bizarre universe without needing to be fancy about it. He also manages a spectacular amount of character detail, making even the ever-masked judges distinct.
Check out the remainder of our exclusive preview here.