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

by  in Lists, Comic News Comment
BEST BETS: Star Wars, Motor Crush & More December 2016 Highlights

If you’re worried about over-spending this holiday season… things aren’t looking any better. December’s offering a slew of promising new comics, worthy of your pull list and your stockings. The good news is, there’s lots of great gift material. From stellar creative teams to exciting new series and crossovers, 2016 is ending with a real bang on the comics front. Luckily, CBR is here to help narrow things down.

Rounding up the highlights, we’ve whipped up a list of BEST BETS for December, 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: WWE, Buffy & More November 2016 Highlights

10. Rockstars

rockstars

Described upon its announcement as “Almost Famous” meets “Supernatural,” Joe Harris and Megan Hutchison’s upcoming series “Rockstars” looks to be a thrilling love letter to rock ‘n’ roll diehards and entertainers of the occult (hey, everybody goes through that phase…) The fascinating premise — that every music conspiracy is indeed true, and tied to dark, otherworldly forces — has us hooked right away, as the series promises, an “exploration of lost mythology and hidden secrets woven throughout the history and aesthetic of rock n’ roll.”

Centering on a relatable lead, “Rockstars” follows rock nerd Jackie Mayer, “who not only knows everything about music history, trivia and its myriad secrets and factoids, but also harbors a mysterious, almost magical ability to ‘see’ what most people miss, and determine and divine what’s going unreported.” For anybody remotely interested in the history of rock, or its stranger myths, December’s “Rockstars” #1 is surely a good bet for your pull list.

9. Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts

zelda

Following up on the hugely successful “The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia” coffee table book, Nintendo and Dark Horse Comics are teaming up yet again for another oversized “Legend of Zelda” hardcover that, if you’re a Zelda fan, would be a damn shame not to have under your Christmas tree.

Clocking in at 400 pages, “Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts” includes never-before-seen exclusive interviews with the “Zelda” design team, the official pixel art of the first series, rare promotional art, the history of Hyrule, and an introduction by Shigeru Miyamoto, among many other goodies. Not only that, but the book will give an exclusive sneak peek at Nintendo’s next “Zelda” game, “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.” Even if you’re a casual “Zelda” fan, it sounds like Nintendo and Dark Horse’s latest offering is a must-have, considering the quality and detail of the last instalment.

8. Star Trek/Green Lantern

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It was a match made in heaven, so of course they have to do it again — Star Trek and Green Lantern are crossing over once more at IDW and DC Comics for a follow-up to the successful “Star Trek/Green Lantern: The Spectrum War” miniseries. Reuniting the “Spectrum War” creative team of Mike Johnson and Angel Hernandez, the new Trek/Green Lantern collision promises “additional cosmic heroes and villains familiar to fans of both series,” meaning, more Lanterns and Starfleet officers are set to get in on the action this time around.

Considering the fun of the last outing, this sequel is a total no-brainer, especially if you’re a fan of either franchise. Our only wish is that the Green Lanterns might interact with a different incarnation of Trek to spice things up — perhaps the crew of “Deep Space Nine,” or even the upcoming “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Well, there’s still time…

7. Motor Crush

motor-crush

Announcing his new series, “Motor Crush,” at Image Comics, scribe Brendan Fletcher said, “Something magic happens when Cameron [Stewart], Babs [Tarr] and I make comics together” — and we couldn’t agree more. The latest collaboration from the now-classic “Batgirl” creative team has us incredibly stoked solely on the merit of it’s creators — but the premise isn’t too shabby either.

The new creator-owned tale follows Domino Swift, a motorcycle rider who spends her nights combatting rival biker gangs, in pursuit of a valuable “machine narcotic” called Crush. Combining elements of their “Batgirl” run and “Tank Girl,” the new punk-influenced series looks like a real treat for the eyes, with its neon-soaked pages and badass imagery. While we love this creative team’s work at DC, it’s certainly nice to see them flex other muscles doing bold new creator-owned work like this.

6. Reggie and Me

reggie

Riverdale’s most hated (and in some, strange circles, most-loved) character is set to get his own ongoing series in December, set in the popular Waidverse of Archie comics. Resurrecting the classic “Reggie and Me” name, the new offering from Archie Comics comes from legendary “Amazing Spider-Man” scribe, and former Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief, Tom DeFalco and revered “Black Canary” artist Sandy Jarrell. With a team like that, it’s hard to pass up this title, and considering the success of Archie’s other relaunches, there’s no doubt that “Reggie and Me” will be a good time.

We’ve been getting a taste of Reggie in the main Archie title — and while he’s annoying as hell — we’re sure it’ll be a real treat to catch the monthly adventures of Riverdale’s most polarizing figure. DeFalco teased upon the announcement of the series, “Sandy [Jarrell] and I intend to show all the doubters and haters exactly why Reggie should be named the true master of this universe…or else!”

5. X-Files X-Mas Special

xfiles

The latest X-Files X-Mas special teases in its solicit, “When a school holiday pageant takes an extraterrestrial turn, Mulder must contend with old ghosts, present dangers, and close encounters yet to come. But this is no cookie-cutter Christmas Carol. Together with Scully, and a host of holiday visitors and visitations, they’ll rediscover the spirit of the season… if they can only survive the night.” So, if that premise doesn’t intrigue you, we’re not sure you’re a real fan of the X-Files or the holiday season…

But all joking aside, scribe Joe Harris has consistently killed it on his “X-Files” comic book run, and along with Wayne Nichols on art duties, it’s looking like 2016’s take on the X-Files’ Christmas could even outdo last year’s solid offering. Plus, look at that cover by menton3 — has the Smoking Man ever looked so badass? X-Files + X-Mas is a match that’s undeniably awesome, and perfect for those who like a touch of horror or mystery around the jolliest time of year.

4. Locke & Key: Small World

locke-key

The fan-faovrite creative team of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez are reuniting once more for a new “Locke & Key” tale this December, carving out the hotly-anticipated “Small World” one-shot. The revered comic returning with its original creative team is a definite holiday treat, and something perfect for anybody seeking a dose of horror as the year comes to a close, and everyone else is feeling optimistic.

Speaking with CBR News a few months back, Rodriguez teased his work on the book. “I’m basically hoping to make this one visually my best ‘Locke & Key’ issue ever. Luckily, now I carry with me not only the experience and lessons I’ve learned while working for six years on the original series, but also what I’ve explored in different creative keys in ‘Little Nemo,’ ‘Onyx’ and recently ‘Darkside.’ ‘Small World’ also asks for very unique visual challenges, and will let me return to one of my favorite cast of characters in the Locke & Key universe…”

3. Guardians Go Solo

guardians

For some reason, the Guardians of the Galaxy are disbanding after the events of “Civil War II.” While we don’t know why, we’re sure answers will come by the time December’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” #15 hits stands. The good news is, while the Guardians will (of course, temporarily) be no more, most of the team will be gracing their own new solo titles in the fallout. Among the highlights, the long-awaited “Gamora” series is finally hitting stands, brought to you by the co-writer of 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” film.

The Guardians solo titles launching as part of Marvel NOW! 2.0 are as follows: “Rocket Raccoon” #1 by writer Matthew Rosenberg and artist Jorge Coelho, “Star-Lord” #1 by writer Chip Zdarsky and artist Kris Anka, and “Gamora” by writer Nicole Perlman and artist Marco Checchetto.

Additionally — while not Guardians related, but also having to do with the cosmic side of Marvel — the publisher is relaunching “Nova.” Details are slim on the new series, but based on the cover art featuring the original Nova’s helmet, it looks like Richard Rider could be making a comeback…

2. Justice League/Suicide Squad

jl-ss

Serving as the publisher’s first crossover since the line-wide Rebirth, “Justice League/Suicide Squad” kicks off in December. The series is unique because, in the new continuity, most of the Justice League has no idea that Task Force X exists. The crossover is set to explore the ramifications of that revelation on each team’s heroes, which we expect to have a significant impact on the future of both super-teams and their respective relationships with the U.S. government.

Writer Joshua Williamson teased upon the announcement of “Justice League/Suicide Squad,” “This is something DC had been talking about for a while… even before I came on.” Because this is the first event since the launch of Rebirth, there’s a good chance the series will have huge ramifications on the future of the publisher’s line overall, and perhaps (if we’re luckily) even connect to the Watchmen crossover tease way back in the “DC Universe: Rebirth” special…

1. Star Wars: Classified

star-wars

While Marvel’s “Darth Vader” is going away, a new title set in the galaxy far, far away is set to swoop in to replace it. Currently solicited as “Star Wars: Classified,” the new Star Wars comic book outing is a total mystery, apart from its creative team of former “Darth Vader” scribe Kieron Gillen and veteran Marvel artist Kev Walker.

The secretive nature of the new “Star Wars” comic has us incredibly curious. Why so hush-hush, Marvel? Could we have a surprise “Rogue One” comic on our hands, or perhaps a title bridging the gap between “The Force Awakens” and next year’s “Episode VIII?” There’s a lot of speculation at this point, but certainly no answers. Hell, we could have a Max Rebo comic on our hands…

What are you excited about reading this December? Let us know in the comments!

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