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BEST BETS: “Jessica Jones,” “Big Trouble/Escape from New York” & More October 2016 Highlights

by  in Lists, Comic News Comment
BEST BETS: “Jessica Jones,” “Big Trouble/Escape from New York” & More October 2016 Highlights

The past is coming back to haunt us this October — in the best way possible. As revealed in all the solicitations, October brings the return of several beloved projects, properties and classic creative teams to comics. While there are a lot of new series hitting shelves, many of them are reuniting creators who have consistently delivered the goods. The only thing you might be scared of on October 31 is how much money you spent the past month. Luckily, we’re here to make life easier.

Rounding up the highlights, CBR News has whipped a list of BEST BETS for October, breaking down the titles you should (or must) buy three months from now.

Have any picks for October that you think should’ve made the list? Sound off in CBR’s Community forum with your choices!

10. These Teams Can Always Have Our Money

As noted above, October reunites a lot of classic creative teams — and we mostly have Image Comics to thank for that. This fall sees the launch of “Moonshine,” which brings the “100 Bullets” creative team of writer Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso together again for the first time in awhile. As the name suggests, “Moonshine” will offer a prohibition-era tale that takes a ’20-era New York City gangster and throws him into the backwoods of Appalachia. Based on Azzarello and Risso’s previous work, “Moonshine” is a sure-fire success — and likely very, very violent. Plus, the first issue comes with a variant cover by Frank Miller, so…’nuff said.

Also launching in October from Image Comics is the highly-anticipated “Reborn” from the superstar creative team of writer Mark Millar (“Kick-Ass”) and artist Greg Capullo (“Batman”). If you’re looking for a guaranteed seal of quality for the sci-fi/fantasy series (apart from the creative team), look no further than the philosophical solicit text, which teases: “Where do you go when you die? Not heaven or hell; somewhere else. Somewhere you have to fight to survive. Somewhere the people from the past are waiting for you — the good and the bad.”

9. Indie #1s to Keep an Eye On

It might be a cliche at this point — but it’s true — Image Comics continues to be the HBO of comics, offering A+ quality titles from exciting creative teams. October continues the trend with the launch of three new promising series: “Green Valley,” “Romulus” and “Cannibal.”

From writer Max Landis (“Superman: American Alien,” “Chronicle”) and interior artist Giuseppe Camuncoli (“Amazing Spider-Man”), “Green Valley” offers a (somehow) fantasy-free tale of knights and dragons where “noting is as it seems.”

“Romulus,” from writer Bryan Hill (“Postal”) and artist Nelson Blake II (“Witchblade”), digs into a “silent evil that masters our world,” through the lens of a young woman who rebels against the dark force, referred to as The Ancient Order of Romulus.

And last, but certainly not least, writers Brian Buccellato (“Detective Comics”) and Jennifer Young, and artist Matias Bergara (“Sons of Anarchy”), kick-off their hotly anticipated “anti-apocalypse” series “Cannibal” in October. As the name suggests, the series follows cannibals — in particular, a cannibal pandemic — and the two individuals who want to put and end to it by any means necessary.

8. CAGE! #1

Animation legend Genndy Tartakovsky (“Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Samurai Jack”) is finally delivering his long-awaited take on Luke Cage this fall, which has been in development since 2007. Bringing his unique artistic sensibility to the character, the “Hotel Transylvania” director is set to serve up a ’70s-set tale with the bulletproof hero, just in time before the Mike Colter-led “Luke Cage” TV series drops on Netflix. Not only is Tartakovsy writing the series — officially titled “CAGE!” — but he’ll be providing interior artwork as well, which you can preview here.

On continuing the project after nearly a decade of development hell, Tartakovsky said, “I actually finished all the pencils and part of the inking, and it was just a matter of continuing on…I actually just found them last week, all my pencils, and I was like, ‘Oh, this still stands up! It’d be fun to finish it.'”

7. Bendis Brings the Goods: “Infamous Iron Man” #1 and “Jessica Jones” #1

There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Marvel’s October solicitations, which we won’t likely get answers to until “Civil War II” wraps up this summer — one of the biggest being the mysterious new “Infamous Iron Man” series that sees Victor von Doom in the Iron Man armor. Not only does the series make us wonder how Doom acquired the armor, but it also leaves us asking: What happened to Tony Stark? Regardless of the premise (or characters, really), this series is automatically on our radar because of its classic pairing of “Daredevil’s” Eisner Award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev.

Bendis and Maleev aren’t the only classic duo reuniting this fall at Marvel — the original “Alias” creative team of Bendis and artist Michael Gaydos are set to work together once again for a brand-new “Jessica Jones” series which will serve as a follow-up to their seminal “Alias” run. Though she’s been hanging around the Marvel Universe, it’s been a while since Jessica Jones has starred in her own title. We can’t wait to see what Jones has been up to since her Avengers days, and how the popular Netflix series might have influenced the approach to the badass private eye.

6. John Byrne “Alpha Flight” Omnibus

Hoo boy, now this is an omnibus we’ve been waiting for. While it’s been collected in softcover volumes before (which is fine), legendary Canadian writer/artist John Byrne’s landmark run on “Alpha Flight” is finally being collected in an oversized volume — completely — for the first time ever. Based on Marvel’s other omnibuses, we’re sure Byrne’s run will be reprinted in a way that properly captures the essence of his beloved 28-issue run, just as the “Fantastic Four by John Byrne” omnibus did so five years ago.

“Alpha Flight” was an unexpected ’80s offshoot of “Uncanny X-Men” that helped prove X-Men spinoff were viable (and very lucrative), in addition to convincing Marvel Comics readers that Canada has great heroes, too. We can’t wait until October to revisit the likes of fan-favorite Alpha Flight members Guardian, Shaman, Snowbird, Sasquatch, Aurora, Northstar, Puck, Marrina, and others, who get shafted far too often in modern comics.

5. New Young Animal: “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye” #1 & “Shade: The Changing Girl” #1

In October, Gerard Way continues to roll out new titles as part of his “Young Animal” imprint at DC Comics. Just as he’s set to do with “Doom Patrol” the month prior, Way and a team of writers and artists continue to reinvent classic DC Comics properties — Cave Carson and Shade, The Changing Man in October — for two new series: “Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye” and “Shade, The Changing Girl.” Adding his own Grant Morrison-influenced psychedelic spin to the characters, Way and his team are modernizing the more obscure DC creations, effectively making them cool again. And boy, do they look cool.

Way, Jon Rivera and Michael Avon Oeming’s “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye” looks to deliver a hallucinogenic, emotional thrill ride, while “Shade, The Changing Girl” from Cecil Castellucci and Marley Zarcone promises a bizarre, science-fiction take on a high school slice-of-life story. Both new series have great concepts, and sound like reinventions absolutely worth checking out.

4. “Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love” #1

One of the best aspects of DC Comics’ line-wide “Rebirth” is the drive to offer various kinds of superhero stories, different from the action/adventure tales we’re typically served in comics featuring cape-clad heroes. With “Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love,” the publisher is boldly offering an usual take on Deadman from seasoned romance other Sarah Vaughn, with incredible gothic interior artwork from Lan Medina.

Published in a prestige format, the series is set to deliver a darker, more stylistic spin on your typical Deadman story, told in the style of a ’60s/’70s romance comics. Based on the preview we’ve seen of the artwork and the reveal of the horror-influenced plot, “Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love” is absolutely on our radar as the horror comic to pick up in the spookiest month of them all. Plus, it’s great to see Deadman back in a comic, considering he’s been M.I.A. since the launch of “Rebirth.”

3. Gary Frank Superman & Lois Lane Statue

Before the New 52, Geoff Johns and Gary Frank probably did the most true-blue version of Superman in years with their run on both “Action Comics” and “Superman: Secret Origin” in the buildup to the “World of New Krypton” event. Now that DC has returned to their roots with the character, the run is getting is being honored in a timely fashion in the form of a new statue that adapts Frank’s artwork of Superman and Lois Lane directly.

Judging from a glance at the statue in DC’s solicitations, we can definitively say DC killed it with their take on this one — it captures the optimism and Richard Donner influences of Frank’s Superman work while looking damn good as a Superman statue (among the many others out there) in its own right. We can only hope there are more statues based on Frank’s art style in the works, particularly some Legion of Superheroes characters from his “Action Comics” run.

2. “Big Trouble In Little China/Escape From New York” #1

Writer Greg Pak and artist Daniel Bayliss are having Jack Burton and Snake Plissken team-up for the first time in BOOM Studios’ highly-anticipated crossover hitting stands in October, “Big Trouble in Little China/Escape From New York.” Yes, that means Kurt Russell will meet Kurt Russell (so to speak). How this crossover wasn’t thought up before baffles us, but we can’t wait to see how it finally plays out.

The story will see Burton travel through time to Plissken’s dystopian future in a road trip story that sounds ridiculous (and awesome) enough to, we hope, inspire a movie of its own down the road.

Plus, the project comes with a blessing from original “Big Trouble in Little China” and “Escape From New York” director John Carpenter, so we know it must be worthy of diehard fans of the original ’80s flicks.

1. New Faces, Surprise Guest-Stars: “Archie” #13 & “Jughead” #10

Yet again, a slew of Archie Comics’ titles are not to be missed in October. Among all of the publisher’s solid offerings are Archie #13 and Jughead #10, which both see major new (or guest) characters pop up for the month.

In “Archie” #10, readers will be introduced to fan-favorite character Cheryl Blossom for the first time in the new Archie Waidverse. Based on Waid’s track record introducing characters to the rebooted world of “Archie,” and the consistently excellent interior artwork by the likes of Veronica Fish, we can tell Cheryl’s debut will be a sure-fire good time. If that’s not enough to convince you, check out a preview of the issue here.

Meanwhile, “Jughead” #10 marks the second issue with Ryan North and Derek Charm working together at the helm, and they’ll be serving up a “Jughead v. Sabrina” tale. The solicit text teases, “a prank war the likes not seen in this universe” — all we need to know before adding this book to our pull list.

Have any picks for October that you think should’ve made the list? Sound off in the comments!

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