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

by  in CBR Exclusives, Lists, Comic News Comment
BEST BETS: Kamandi Challenge, Riverdale & More January 2017 Highlights

The New Year is kicking off with a slew of great comics to choose from. But, just as many of us would like to budget a little better, comics are making that a little more difficult. With a ton of promising new series launching in January, it’s a little daunting trying to choose which titles to add to the pull list. Luckily, CBR is here to help.

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

Is there anything below you think we’re missing? Sound off in CBR’s Community forum with your picks!

RELATED: BEST BETS: Star Wars, Motor Crush & More December 2016 Highlights

10. IDW Annuals

rom-social

IDW’s set to bring back its annuals in a big way January, with extra-sized specials for “Ghostbusters,” “Jem and the Holograms,” “ROM” and “Micronauts” to ring in the New Year. Each of those series are solid on a monthly basis, so we can’t wait to see what the creators have in store with one-shots to lay the groundwork for what’s to come in 2017. Take a look at each annual’s solicit below!

Ghostbusters Annual 2017―SPOTLIGHT

Erik Burnham (w) • Dan Scoening, Rachel Stott, Corin Howell, Erik Evensen (a) • San Schoening (c)

Join us for this special double-sized annual, featuring Ghostbusters past, present… and future! Learn the origin of Slimer! Witness a crazy bust in the Midwest with the Chicago Ghostbusters! Find out what Winston Zeddemore was up to during the Scolari Brothers incident in Ghostbusters 2! And peek into the future at the next generation of Ghostbusters… and much more! Be there or be slimed!

FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Jem and the Holograms Annual 2017—SPOTLIGHT

Kelly Thompson (w) • M. Victoria Robado, Maria Jose Barros, Svanna Ganucheau, Katarzyna Witerscheim, Gisele Lagace (a) • W. Scott Forbes (c)

The Starlight Girls have been writing and drawing an “exquisite corpse” style fan fiction comic that re-imagines their favorite pop stars — Jem & The Holograms — as pop-stars by day and renegade space heroes by night. Follow the adventures of Jem and The Holograms as you’ve never seen them before — superheroes fighting to save the universe from the evil Majestrix Pizzazz and her…army of Mecha-Spider-Pizzes!?!? OMG.

FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Rom Annual 2017—SPOTLIGHT

Chris Ryall & Christos Gage (w) • David Messina (a & c)

On the peaceful planet of Elonia, a surprise attack by the pernicious DIRE WRAITHS leaves the planet and its Solstar Order defense corps reeling… so what can one young explorer named Rom possibly do to help in the face of such savage an attack? Find out here as IDW proudly presents the full, unfettered origin of ROM, first of the Space Knights in a tale told by the series’ ongoing team of Ryall, Gage, and Messina!

FC • 48 pages • $7.99

Micronauts Annual 2017—SPOTLIGHT

Cullen Bunn (w) • Marcelo Ferreira (a & c)

The Micronauts have encountered many strange allies and enemies since they became stranded on Earth, a planet of giants, but perhaps none have been as unexpected as those awaiting them here. As we explore the origins of the various Micronauts, the team encounters a future version of… themselves? Are they friend or foe?

FC • 48 pages • $7.99

9. Spider-Gwen/Spider-Man

spidey-social

The moment we’ve been waiting for since the announcement of Marvel NOW! 2.0 is here: The kindling of a romance between Miles Morales’ Spider-Man and Spider-Gwen! Set to be explored in a two-issue story arc between both characters’ respective series, the romantic storyline will without a doubt have entertainment value — but what we’re really stoked for is the team-up between the two teenage heroes. We know some reality-jumping is in store, but how far it takes them is really up in the air…

SPIDER-MAN #12

BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS (W) • SARA PICHELLI (A/C)

Variant Cover by Richard Isanove

CLASSIC ARTIST VARIANT COVER BY TBA

STORY THUS FAR VARIANT COVER BY TBA

THIS IS IT! THE MOMENT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! THE KISS HEARD ROUND THE WORLD!
The two most talked about heroes give us something new to talk about in this Spider-Man/Spider-Gwen crossover.

How did Miles and Gwen get here?!

32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

 

SPIDER-GWEN #16

JASON LATOUR (w) • ROBBI RODRIGUEZ (A/C)

Variant Cover by Dave Johnson

Classic Artist Variant Cover by TBA

Story Thus Far Variant Cover by TBA

Continuing the story from SPIDER-MAN #12, Miles and Gwen find themselves in an Earth-65 adventure that’s going to rock both of their worlds (and universes).

Don’t forget to reserve your copy of this mini-crossover!

32 PGS./Rated T …$3.99

8. The Fall and Rise of Captain Atom

atom

It’s great to see Captain Atom back in the DC Universe — but with ’80s creators Cary Bates and Greg Weisman back at the helm? Sold! Both solid creators and comic book veterans in their own right, Bates and Weisman worked together on Captain Atom back in the day and knocked it out of the park, delivering some of the most memorable stories with the character we’ve ever seen. And with Will Conrad on art duties, we know for sure this series isn’t to be missed.

Plus, could there be a connection between Doctor Manhattan and Captain Atom — especially after the events of “DCU: Rebirth”? Manhattan is based off of Captain Atom after all. Well, we know a good place to possibly find out…

THE FALL AND RISE OF CAPTAIN ATOM #1

Written by CARY BATES and GREG WEISMAN

Art by WILL CONRAD

Cover by JASON BADOWER

Variant cover by GABRIEL HARDMAN

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.

“Blowback” part one! Captain Atom hasn’t been seen or heard from in years—and even if you think you know what happened to him…you’re wrong! But you’re not alone. To this day, no one on Earth—not even the other superheroes—has an inkling of the missing Captain Atom’s true fate. At last, the truth is about to be revealed in a saga that transcends not only the meaning of life and death, but the limits of time and space.

On sale JANUARY 4 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T

7. Angel: Season 11

angel-social

Fan-favorite “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” character Angel is making a comeback in January with a new series that’s set to explore what the spinoff character’s up to years after the conclusion of his TV series. The official description for the series reads, “Angel Season 11 finds Angel being tormented by memories of his past. His visions link his dark past to a Big Bad coming in the future. The goddess Illyria intervenes and assists Angel as he discovers that it might be possible to change the future by traveling back in time to change the past.”

Angel Season 11 #1

Corinna Bechko (W), Geraldo Borges (A), Michelle Madsen (C), Scott Fischer (Cover), Jeff Dekal (Variant cover), and Bilquis Evely (Ultravariant cover)

On sale Jan 18

FC, 32 pages

$3.99

Ongoing

Vampire Angel is tormented by a vision linking his shameful past to something very big—and very bad—that is coming. The goddess Illyria gives Angel some insight and incentive. Then she really gets involved, and Angel discovers that it might be possible to change the future by changing the past.

• Writer Corinna Bechko (Tomb Raider, Star Wars) brings you the vampire Angel in his own series!
• Featuring Fred and Illyria!

6. Riverdale

riverdale

We couldn’t be more stoked for the upcoming live-action Archie Comics-based TV series “Riverdale.” Promising a subversive, peculiar take on Archie Andrews and the gang, the series looks like a spiritual successor to “Twin Peaks” and a fascinating comics adaptation in its own right. If you agree, then what better to soothe the wait than a one-shot tying into the series that hits stands in January?

RIVERDALE #1

A MUST-HAVE ONE-SHOT—THE PERFECT PRIMER FOR THE CW’s RIVERDALE SERIES!

Learn the secrets and hidden tales from the summer before the eternal love-triangle begins in this special issue, which features four short stories focusing on the major players and events in the Riverdale series. You dare not miss this special commemorative issue in advance of the upcoming ongoing Riverdale series, written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Afterlife with Archie, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) and the writers of the CW’s Riverdale series, with stunning art by Alitha Martinez (Black Panther)!

Script: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

Art: Alitha Martinez

Cover: Alitha Martinez with Steve Downer

Variant Covers: Derek Charm, Adam Gorham, Robert Hack with Kelly Fitzpatrick, Sandra Lanz, Moritat, Dan Parent, Thomas Pitilli, Matthew Dow Smith, Cory Smith

Blank Sketch Cover Also Available

48-page, full color comic

$4.99 U.S.

RELATED: BEST BETS: WWE, Buffy & More November 2016 Highlights

5. Will Eisner’s The Spirit: The Corpse-Makers

spirit

Dynamite Entertainment is resurrecting Will Eisner’s classic pulp hero, The Spirit, in January under the helm of writer/artist Francesco Francavilla of “The Black Beetle” and “Batman: The Black Mirror” fame. Set to follow a string of disappearances in Central City, the series looks to be a traditional pulp outing from one of the industry’s finest creators. If you’ve been yearning for a noir take on The Spirit in recent years, Francavilla’s five-issue “Corpse-Makers” run on the character looks to be just for you.

WILL EISNER’S THE SPIRIT: THE CORPSE-MAKERS #1

SKU: C72513025459701011

Price:$3.99

Rating:Teen +

Cover:Francesco Francavilla

Writer:Francesco Francavilla

Art:Francesco Francavilla

Genre:Crime, Action/Adventure

Publication Date:January 2017

Format:Comic Book

Page Count:32 pages

UPC:725130254597 01011

ON SALE DATE:1/18

A series of unexpected disappearances and deaths hit Central City.

Initially these cases seem purely unrelated: no apparent connection between the victims makes it easy for the police to just file them as runaways or natural deaths. But when someone close to Ebony White disappears, The Spirit is on the case!

From the mind of writer/artist & Eisner winner Francesco Francavilla, comes a thrilling tale of The Spirit that promises to tingle your spines.

4. Justice League/Power Rangers

jl-pr

Ahead of both properties’ respective films, DC Comics and BOOM! Studios are teaming up for a “Justice League”/”Power Rangers” crossover of epic proportions. The official description for the series reads, “Something terrible has happened in Angel Grove when the Power Rangers’ Command Center is breached and the teleporters are damaged! Zack the Black Ranger is flung into an alternate universe full of citizens possessing outrageous powers and wearing strange costumes. Will Jason the Red Ranger, Trini the Yellow Ranger, Kimberly the Pink Ranger, Billy the Blue Ranger and Tommy the Green Ranger be able to get to Zack in time to save him from Batman?”

JUSTICE LEAGUE/POWER RANGERS #1

Written by TOM TAYLOR

Art by STEPHEN BYRNE

Cover by KARL KERSCHL

BATMAN/PINK RANGER variant cover by DAN HIPP

CYBORG/BLUE RANGER variant cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN

THE FLASH/BLACK RANGER variant cover by YASMINE PUTRI

GREEN LANTERN JOHN STEWART/YELLOW RANGER variant cover by MARGUERITE SAUVAGE

SUPERMAN/GREEN RANGER variant cover by CHRIS SPROUSE

WONDER WOMAN/RED RANGER variant cover by MARCUS TO

Blank variant cover

Retailers: This issue will ship with eight covers. Please see the order form for details.
Two of comics greatest teams team up for the very first time! Something terrible has happened in Angel Grove! When the Command Center is breached and the teleporters are damaged, Zack is flung into another universe, where he’s mistaken for a villain by a mysterious masked vigilante. Can the other Power Rangers get to their friend in time to save him from Batman? Co-published with BOOM! Studios.

On sale JANUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T

3. Justice League of America One-Shots

frost

For DC Comics’ new “Justice League of America” comic series, they’re bringing in a handful of new recruits, including Killer Frost, Vixen, Ryan Choi’s Atom and The Ray. In preparation for their membership, DC is releasing a series of one-shots chronicling each characters’ introduction to the Rebirth’d DC Universe. If you’re interested in the future of the JLA or where the DC Universe is headed overall, these one-shots, and the new “Justice League of America” series, should most definitely be on your radar.

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE ATOM REBIRTH #1
Written by STEVE ORLANDO

Art by ANDY MACDONALD

Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO

Variant cover by TBA

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
SPINNING OUT OF THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD! Meet Ryan Choi, prodigious theoretical physics student with severe allergies and crippling social anxiety. But little does young Ryan know, his first day at Ivy University marks the start of an epic journey into the very heart of the
DC Universe!

One shot • On sale JANUARY 4 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: VIXEN REBIRTH #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO and JODY HOUSER

Art by JAMAL CAMPBELL

Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO Variant cover by TBA

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
SPINNING OUT OF THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD! She’s one of the country’s most successful businesswomen, an iconic fashion pioneer, a crusader for social justice and an incredibly powerful member of the Justice League of America. But Mari McCabe’s life wasn’t always this way. Follow her path to becoming the heroic Vixen in this crucial special!

One shot • On sale JANUARY 11 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: THE RAY REBIRTH #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO

Art by STEPHEN BYRNE

Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO

Variant cover by TBA

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
SPINNING OUT OF THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD! Locked indoors, raised in the dark and told his medical condition could be fatal to himself and anyone he meets, Ray Terrill is dangerous. A freak. Broken. Or is he…? Witness the amazing power of realizing your true self and stepping into the light in this moving rebirth of a long-lost hero for a new generation.

One shot • On sale JANUARY 18 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA: KILLER FROST REBIRTH #1

Written by STEVE ORLANDO and JODY HOUSER

Art by MIRKA ANDOLFO

Cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO

Variant cover by TBA

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for details.
SPINNING OUT OF THE PAGES OF JUSTICE LEAGUE VS. SUICIDE SQUAD! What happens to a super-villain on their last day in Belle Reve Prison? Against all odds, Killer Frost is up for parole from the Suicide Squad, but you can bet Amanda Waller isn’t going to make it easy for Frost to join the new JLA.

One shot • On sale JANUARY 25 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

2. The Kamandi Challenge

kamandi-social

In the spirit of 1985’s “DC Challenge,” DC Comics s kicking off a twelve-issue “Kamandi Challenge” in January that (of course) challenges 13 different creative teams to continue one another’s story for a cohesive run on the character. Creators involved on the series include Dan Abnett and Dale Eaglesham, Peter J. Tomasi and Neal Adams, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, James Tynion IV and Carlos D’Anda, Bill Willingham and Ivan Reis, Steve Orlando and Philip Tan, Marguerite Bennett and Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen and Steve Rude, Tom King and Kevin Eastman, Greg Pak and Joe Prado, Rob Williams and Walter Simonson, Gail Simone and Ryan Sook, as well as Len Wein and José Luis García-López.

THE KAMANDI CHALLENGE #1

Written by DAN ABNETT and DAN DIDIO

Art by DALE EAGLESHAM, KEITH GIFFEN and SCOTT KOBLISH

Cover by BRUCE TIMM

Variant cover by DALE EAGLESHAM

Variant cover by KEITH GIFFEN and SCOTT KOBLISH

Retailers: This issue will ship with three covers. Please see the order form for details.
Prepare to take part in one of the greatest adventures from the infinite future of the DC Universe, and join the industry’s top creative teams in a round-robin, no-holds-barred, storytelling extravaganza titled THE KAMANDI CHALLENGE!

Born from the mind of Jack “King” Kirby, the post apocalyptic Earth of Kamandi has been a fan favorite for decades, and now 14 intrepid teams of writers and artists build on this incredible foundation and take the title character on an epic quest to find his long-lost parents and travel to places seen and unseen in the DC Universe.

Each issue will end with an unimaginable cliffhanger, and it’s up to the next creative team to resolve it before creating their own. It’s a challenge worthy of “The King” himself! In this premiere issue, the Last Boy on Earth is dragged from his safe haven by a group of tigers, only to face the nightmarish threat of the ultimate weapon!

On sale JANUARY 25 • 40 pg, FC, 1 of 12, $4.99 US • RATED T

1. Marvel’s Monsters Unleashed

mu

In January, Marvel’s honoring a zanier era of its history with “Monsters Unleashed,” a crossover from Cullen Bunn and a stable of rotating artists, including Steve McNiven, Greg Land, Leinil Yu, Salvador Larroca and Adam Kubert, that promises an all-out battle between the House of Ideas’ heroes and its many monsters. The series sounds like a lot of fun from the premise alone, but knowing that artists of this calibre will be reimagining the work of Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and Don Heck, certainly sweetens the deal.

“With this series, I really wanted to focus on the fun and mayhem surrounding these gigantic monsters stomping around the Marvel Universe,” Bunn told CBR in an interview on the series. “But make no mistake: this is an extinction level event. The Earth will not survive if the superheroes can’t find a way to turn the tables. When we reach the other side of this event, there will be absolutely no doubt that these classic monsters are a force to be reckoned with and taken very seriously.” Bunn said he wants readers “to have their own favorites after reading this book.”

MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1 (OF 5)

CULLEN BUNN (W) • STEVE McNIVEN (A/C)

VARIANT COVER BY KEN NIIMURA

50’S MOVIE POSTER VARIANT COVER BY FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA

VIDEO GAME VARIANT COVER BY JEEHYUNG LEE

NEW MONSTER VARIANT COVER BY TBA

CLASSIC MONSTER VERSUS MARVEL HERO VARIANT COVER BY MIKE MIGNOLA

TEASER VARIANT COVER BY GEOF DARROW

HIP HOP VARIANT COVER BY TBA

THE EPIC BATTLE MARVEL FANS HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR, DRAWN BY TODAY’S GREATEST ARTISTS!!! It’s all hands on deck with the AVENGERS, CHAMPIONS, GUARDIANS, X-MEN and the INHUMANS as they clash with monstrous threats that threaten to destroy every corner of the Marvel Universe. Who are the LEVIATHONS? Who controls them? How can they be stopped before Earth becomes another tragic, barren world in their wake? Written by powerhouse writer CULLEN BUNN and drawn by Marvel legend STEVE McNIVEN, this issue is the beginning of something big that you just can’t miss!

40 PGS./Rated T+ …$4.99

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