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BEST BETS: Darth Maul, Wild Storm & More February 2017 Highlights

by  in CBR Exclusives, Lists Comment
BEST BETS: Darth Maul, Wild Storm & More February 2017 Highlights

February might be (arguably) the most depressing month, so, luckily, the comics industry is here to cheer you up. The month sees the debut of several exciting series (“Darth Maul,” “The Wild Storm”) and crossovers (“Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern”), in addition to stellar collected editions (“Spider-Man by David Michelinie & Erik Larsen”). We get how it can be tough to choose which titles to add to the pull list on a tight budget — that’s why CBR is here to help.

Rounding up the highlights, we’ve whipped up a list of BEST BETS for February, breaking down the titles you should (or must) buy three months from now.

RELATED: BEST BETS: Kamandi Challenge, Riverdale & More January 2017 Highlights

10. Spider-Man by David Michelinie & Erik Larsen

spidey

In February, Marvel’s finally recognizing the greatness that is David Michelinie and Erik Larsen’s run on “Amazing Spider-Man” from the late ’80s and early ’90s, collecting the original issues in a glorious hardcover book. Flat out, Larsen was born to draw Spider-Man, and he delivers some truly iconic work over the course of the run, serving up all the dynamic web-slinging action you could ever dream of. The run is often overlooked by the Todd McFarlane era, but it really shouldn’t be, as Larsen’s truly amazing pencils (in this writer’s opinion) surpass McFarlane’s in a lot of instances, and give a taste of the spectacular work that Larsen would go on to do with “Savage Dragon” at Image.

SPIDER-MAN BY DAVID MICHELINIE & ERIK LARSEN OMNIBUS HC

  • Written by DAVID MICHELINIE, ERIK LARSEN, JIM OWSLEY & HOWARD MACKIE
  • Penciled by ERIK LARSEN & MARK BAGLEY
  • Cover by ERIK LARSEN
  • Every Spider-Man story featuring the action-packed art of Erik Larsen — including his fan-favorite collaboration with writer David Michelinie! These two top-notch creators pitted Spidey against heavyweights like Magneto, the Tri-Sentinel and Punisher — but that was just a warm-up for the main events: The return of the Sinister Six! A deadlier-than-ever Venom! And a senses-shattering showdown with Doctor Doom! In this seminal run, Spider-Man gains cosmic abilities, loses his spider-powers, battles Styx & Stone and the Black Fox, and fights alongside…Sandman and the Avengers?! Plus: a latter-day showdown with the Spider-Slayers — and Larsen doubles up as writer to team Spider-Man with Wolverine and deliver the shocking sequel “Revenge of the Sinister Six”! Collecting AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1963) #287, #324, #327 and #329-350; SPIDER-MAN (1990) #15, #18, #19-20 (A stories) and #21-23; AMAZING SPIDER-MAN (1999) #19-21; and material from MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #48-50.
  • 888 PGS./Rated T …$100.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-302-90702-0
  • Trim size: oversized

9. Elektra/Bullseye/Kingpin

elektra-bullseye-kingpin

If you’re a fan of Netflix’s “Daredevil” TV show, you don’t want to miss these three ongoing series — “Kingpin,” “Elektra” and “Bullseye” — kicking off in February. Mainstays of Daredevil’s world, the trio have managed to spotlight their own spectacular series over the years, which have been successful primarily because of the strength of the three-dimensional characters they are at the core, often toeing the line between good and pure evil. Plus, if you’re a fan of the current “Daredevil” run this is a no-brainer, as we expect the series to converge in a big way going forward, especially as the release of Netflix’s live-action superhero team-up “The Defenders” near release.

KINGPIN #1

  • MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) • BEN TORRES (A)
  • Cover by JEFF DEKAL
  • Variant Cover by BILL SIENKIEWICZ
  • Connecting Variant Cover by MARCO CHECCHETTO
  • Variant Cover by BEN TORRES
  • Hip-Hop Variant Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
  • Young Variant Cover by SKOTTIE YOUNG
  • ACTION FIGURE VARIANT BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
  • WILSON FISK BUILDS A BRAND-NEW EMPIRE!
  • The KINGPIN has done bad things. Deplorable things. He has cheated the law. He has blackmailed rivals. He has killed. But that’s all in the past. The Kingpin is back in the city that he loves and ready to make his mark as a titan of legitimate industry, but needs to rekindle his public image. When Wilson Fisk makes disgraced journalist SARAH DEWEY an offer she can’t refuse, the spiraling saga of crime and betrayal begins anew. Don’t miss the start of Kingpin’s ongoing series, written by breakout writer MATTHEW ROSENBERG and illustrated in the heavy noir stylings of BEN TORRES, as Manhattan’s criminal mastermind returns to the Big Apple with honorable intentions, but no one in his circle remains pure on his climb back to the top.
  • 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

BULLSEYE #1 (of 5)

  • Ed Brisson (W) • Guillermo Sanna (A)
  • Cover By Dave Johnson
  • HIP-HOP VARIANT COVER BY TIM BRADSTREET
  • VARIANT COVER BY BILL SIENKIEWICZ
  • CONNECTING VARIANT COVER BY MARCO CHECCHETTO
  • VARIANT COVER BY TBA
  • YOUNG VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
  • ACTION FIGURE VARIANT BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
  • SHOOT FIRST!
  • Daredevil, Elektra, Punisher… You name ’em, Bullseye beat ’em. But that was just business… This? This is pleasure. What does the world’s greatest assassin do for fun? Find out what Bullseye gets involved in for laughs in this deadly first issue, way down in South America!
  • 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

ELEKTRA #1

  • MATT OWENS (W) • ALEC MORGAN (A)
  • Cover by ELIZABETH TORQUE
  • Connecting variant COVER by MARCO CHECCHETTO
  • Artist Variant by COVER BILL SIENKIEWICZ
  • HIP-HOP VARIANT COVER BY KERON GRANT
  • VARIANT COVER BY Pasqual Ferry
  • YOUNG VARIANT COVER BY SKOTTIE YOUNG
  • CASINO BATTLE ROYALE!
  • Running from her tumultuous past, ELEKTRA attempts to lose herself in a vibrant sea of neon, noise and anonymity: LAS VEGAS. But how long can a former ninja assassin really hope to escape the vortex of violence that encompasses her life…especially when there’s a new player in Sin City that has her in his sights for his newest game? Enter: Arcade.
  • 32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99

8. Super Sons

super-sons

Arguably two of the most popular characters to be created in recent years, Super Sons Damian Wayne and Jon Kent are set to spotlight their own series that kicks off in February from the stellar creative team of Peter J. Tomasi (who’s currently writing the duo over in “Superman” right now) and artist Jorge Jimenez. Tomasi’s been serving up some of the best Superman stories in recent years, so we’re absolutely sure he’ll hit it out of the park writing the sons of Superman and Batman. It’s great to see younger (and newer!) characters get some worthy attention under DC’s Rebirth, as it’s a solid step in the direction of a growing a new fan base that might want to identify with more youthful heroes. Luckily, that’s what’s in store with Super Sons.

SUPER SONS #1

  • Written by PETER J. TOMASI • Art and cover by JORGE JIMENEZ • Variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN
  • Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
  • “When I grow up” part one! The sons of Batman and Superman have graduated to their own monthly comic—but if they want to survive, they’re going to have to share it! Writer Peter J. Tomasi (BATMAN & ROBIN, SUPERMAN) teams with rising-star artist Jorge Jimenez (EARTH 2) to bring you the adventures of the World’s Smallest. This debut issue looks at the lives of Robin and Superboy and their destiny to follow in their fathers’ footsteps, while we meet a new villain whose ascension parallels the boys’ own understanding of their powers—except that he believes it’s his right to rule over every being on the planet!
  • On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

7. The Power of the Dark Crystal

crystal

35 year after the classic 1982 fantasy film “The Dark Crystal,” the beloved Jim Henson/Frank Oz property is getting a sequel in the form of a 12-issue comic series from BOOM! Studios, titled “The Power of the Dark Crystal.” The comic will be based on the screenplay for an un-produced sequel written by David Ordell (alongside Annette Odell and Craig Pearce), which will be brought to life as a comic by the likes of writer Si Spurrier, and artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews. Launching in February, the new series sees Jen and Kira become disconnected from the common man after years of ruling Thyra, prompting a Fireling called Thurma to steal a shard of the Dark Crystal, which spurs on the return of the vice-ridden Skekses. Bring on the sequel comics!

THE POWER OF THE DARK CRYSTAL #1 (of 12)

  • Retail Price: $3.99
  • Writer: Simon Spurrier
  • Artists: Kelly & Nichole Matthews
  • Main Cover: Jae Lee and June Chung
  • Subscription Cover: Sana Takeda
  • Incentive Cover 1: David Petersen
  • Foil Incentive Cover 2: Jae Lee and June Chung
  • In celebration of the 35th anniversary of Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, return to the world of Thra in an official sequel to the beloved fantasy film. Discover an all-new race of creatures called Firelings that live in a realm near the planet’s core, based on official character designs by Brian Froud.
  • Years have passed since the events of the original film, and though Jen and Kira have ruled Thra as King and Queen, bringing Gelfling back to the land, they have become distracted by power and can no longer feel or see the needs of the world the way they once did. Thurma is a young Fireling tasked with stealing a shard of the Dark Crystal to restore power to her realm. Along the way she’ll befriend the young Gelfling Kensho, accidentally bring back the Skeksis and Mystics, and embark on one incredible adventure.

6. Riverdale

riverdale

Archie Comics veteran Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and “Black Panther” artist Alitha Martinez are set to bring the world of the new live-action Archie adaptation “Riverdale” to comics, in the form of a new ongoing series that will explore the unique take on Archie Andrews and the gang as it’ll be represented on the CW. We’re super stoked to see how the bizarre “Riverdale” TV series manifests, considering it’s described as a “subversive,” “Twin Peaks”-influenced take on the source material, so we figure the comic series will capture that tone and deliver an equally unique, must-read take on Archie and friends that hasn’t been seen before. Aguirre-Sacasa has already proven his ability to skewer the world of Archie with “Afterlife with Archie,” so we can’t wait to see what he and Martinez have up their creative sleeves for “Riverdale.”

RIVERDALE #1

  • From Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and the writers of the new CW series Riverdale comes the first issue of the MUST-READ, brand new, ongoing comic series. Set in the universe of the TV series, the Riverdale comic offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, Josie & the Pussycats and their friends, exploring small-town life and the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade. Features interior art by up-and-coming artist Alitha Martinez (Black Panther).
  • Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Various
  • Art: Alitha Martinez
  • Cover: Alitha Martinez
  • Variant Covers: Elliott Fernandez, Francesco Francavilla, Peter Krause, Djibril Morissette-Phan, Ron Salas
  • On Sale Date: 2/15
  • 32-page, full color comic
  • $3.99 U.S.

5. Batwoman: Rebirth

batwoman

One of DC’s greatest treasures in publishing pre-Rebirth (and even pre-New 52) was its take on “Batwoman,” a queer re-imagining of the silver age Bat-family character that has only gotten more badass with age. The character is currently being written over in “Detective Comics” by James Tynion IV, who’s set to transition the character into her own ongoing series in February alongside scribe Marguerite Bennett and veteran artists Ben Oliver and Steve Epting. Second only to Batman, Batwoman is the strongest character in the line of books, and under a stellar creative team like this one, we’re sure she’ll get her dues once again.

BATWOMAN: REBIRTH #1

  • Written by MARGUERITE BENNETT and JAMES TYNION IV • Art by BEN OLIVER and STEVE EPTING • Cover by STEVE EPTING • Variant cover by JAE LEE
  • Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
  • The newest chapter of Batwoman’s life begins here! Monster Venom is the hottest new bioweapon on the market…and to break up the syndicate spreading it around the world, Batwoman’s going to have to return to the place where she spent some of her darkest hours! Learn where Batwoman comes from, and where she’s going, in this one-shot prologue to the first big Batwoman epic, “The Many Arms Of Death”!
  • One-shot • On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

4. The Old Guard

old-guard

Legendary scribe Greg Rucka and revered artist Leandro Fernandez are teaming up once again — for the first time since their Eisner Award-winning collaboration on 2003’s “Operation: Crystal Ball” arc on “Queen & Country” — for a new ongoing series at Image, titled “The Old Guard,” that follows a group of immortal soldiers living in the modern age.

“It was influenced, in no small part, by the passing of my father,” Rucka said of the series. “[A]nd the issues of morality and mortality that are raised in that.”

Teasing his art for “The Old Guard,” Fernandez said upon the announcement, “There will be flashbacks to ancient times. There will be a relationship between now and what happens before. Different conflicts, different wars.”

So, you should really check this one out — not only for the impressive creative team, but for the merit of the unique, simply badass concept.

THE OLD GUARD #1 – GEM OF THE MONTH

  • STORY: GREG RUCKA
  • ART / COVER: LEANDRO FERNANDEZ
  • FEBRUARY 22 / 40 PAGES/ FC / M / $3.99
  • Eisner-winning writer GREG RUCKA (LAZARUS, BLACK MAGICK, Wonder Woman) and critically acclaimed artist LEANDRO FERNANDEZ (THE DISCIPLINE, Deadpool, Punisher: MAX) team up together to introduce THE OLD GUARD, the story of old soldiers who never die…and yet cannot seem to fade away.
  • Trapped in an immortality without explanation, Andromache of Scythia—“Andy”—and her comrades ply their trade for those who can find—and afford—their services. But in the 21st century, immortality is a hard secret to keep, and when you live long enough, you learn that there are many fates worse than death.

3. Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern

gl-apes

As exclusively revealed by CBR earlier this year, BOOM! Studios and DC Comics are partnering once again for a “Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern” crossover of epic proportions. A match made in sci-fi heaven, the mashup promises — at least with the cover and hints in the solicit text — Cornelius donning a Green Lantern ring, which, for fans of both properties, should be enough to sell you alone. BOOM! and DC already hit it out of the park with the “Green Lantern/Star Trek” crossovers, so we expect this latest mashup to be just as spectacular, or even better, considering the involvement of the solid creative team of writers Robbie Thompson and Justin Jordan, and artist Barnaby Bagenda.

PLANET OF THE APES/GREEN LANTERN #1 (of 6)

  • Retail Price: $3.99
  • Writers: Robbie Thompson & Justin Jordan
  • Artist: Barnaby Bagenda
  • Main Cover: Ethan Van Sciver
  • Movie Poster Incentive Cover: Steve Morris
  • Silver Age Incentive Cover: Paul Rivoche
  • Spectrum Incentive Cover: Felipe Massafera
  • Unlockable “Vintage” Action Figure Variant: David Ryan Robinson
    BOOM! Studios and DC Comics are proud to bring together two classic properties in a historic crossover event.
  • When Taylor goes missing, Cornelius investigates and discovers an ancient ring, unlike anything the universe has ever seen. As its power echoes through the stars, the Guardians of the Universe must reveal to their Lanterns a secret they had hoped would remain buried. With the Green Lantern Corps, led by Hal Jordan, racing to get to the source of this power before Sinestro can get his hands on it, they will discover a truth that will change them forever on…THE PLANET OF THE APES.

2. Darth Maul

maul

“Star Wars: Episode I’s” fan-favorite Sith Lord, Darth Maul, is set to star in his own limited series from Marvel Comics, written by Cullen Bunn (“Uncanny X-Men,” “The Sixth Gun”) and drawn by Luke Ross” (Marvel’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” adaptation). Serving as a prequel to “The Phantom Menace” — which saw the death of Maul (spoiler) — the series will depict the origin of the character as he trains under Darth Sidious. The comic will also explore Maul’s encounter with a young Jedi padawan named Eldra Kaitis — someone he wishes to test his strength against and possibly turn to the Dark Side.

Upon the announcement of the series, Bunn said he looked to Ray Park’s performance as the Sith Lord for inspiration, saying, “I like seeding where that impatience and anger comes from.” The writer also referenced the body language depicted by Park specifically in his lightsaber duel with the film’s two Jedi at the climactic finale of the 1999 pic.

DARTH MAUL #1 (of 5)

  • Cullen Bunn (W) • Luke Ross (A)
  • Cover By Rod Reis
  • SKETCH VARIANT COVER BY Rod Reis
  • Variant Cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE
  • Variant Cover by Mark Brooks
  • ACTION FIGURE VARIANT COVER BY JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER
  • Star Wars 40th Anniversary Variant Cover by Terry Dodson
  • ANIMATION VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
  • MOVIE VARIANT COVER ALSO AVAILABLE
  • Bred on hate, fear, and anger…steeped in the ways of darkness…and trained to kill. Darth Maul’s time as apprentice to Darth Sidious has long been cloaked in shadows, but at last we will reveal his tale of revenge. From writer Cullen Bunn (DEADPOOL KILLS THE MARVEL UNIVERSE, WOLVERINE) and artist Luke Ross (STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, HERCULES) comes a tale of rage unleashed as Darth Maul prepares for his first encounter with the Jedi.
  • 32 PGS./T…$4.99
  • Star Wars © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization. Text and illustrations for Star Wars are © 2016 Lucasfilm Ltd.

1. The Wild Storm

wild-storm

The greatest gift coming February is the launch of Warren Ellis’ reimagining of the WlidStorm Universe, alongside artist Jon Davis-Hunt. Set to be explored primarily in their new series, simply titled “The Wild Storm,” the ongoing will follow Angela Spica, a woman sick from self-administered ‘transhuman implants,’ whose self-experimentation reveals the gateway to an entirely different universe. Yep, that would be the WildStorm Universe. The series is set to boast a plethora of your WildStorm favorites that haven’t gotten time to shine in Rebirth — including Grifter, Voodoo and Jenny Sparks, all like you’ve never seen them before.

“This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.”

THE WILD STORM #1

  • Written by WARREN ELLIS • Art and cover by JON DAVIS-HUNT • Variant cover by TULA LOTAY • 1:50 variant by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS • 1:100 pencils-only variant by JIM LEE
  • Retailers: This issue will ship with four covers. Please see the order form for details.
  • A troubled woman, barred by her employer from continuing her research, walks miserably through New York City. It takes her a moment to notice that everybody else is looking up. A man has been thrown from the upper floor of the Halo skyscraper. And that woman—Angela Spica, sick from the transhuman implants she’s buried in her own body—is the only person who can save him. What she doesn’t know is that the act of saving that one man will tip over a vast and secret house of cards that encloses the entire world, if not the inner solar system. This is how the Wild Storm begins, and it may destroy covert power structures, secret space programs and even all of human history.
  • New York Times best-selling writer Warren Ellis (TRANSMETROPOLITAN, RED, THE AUTHORITY) returns to DC to curate Jim Lee’s WildStorm world, with this debut issue resetting the WildStorm universe with new iterations of Grifter, Voodoo, the Engineer, Jenny Sparks and others.
  • “I couldn’t be more excited to see these characters that are so near and dear to me reintroduced under the guiding hand of Warren Ellis. WildStorm represents an incredibly fun and exciting period in my career, and I can’t wait to see what Warren and Jon have in store for fans in February.”—Jim Lee, DC Comics Co-Publisher
  • On sale FEBRUARY 15 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T+

Is there anything coming out in February that you think we should’ve included in our list? Let us know your picks in the comments!

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