We’re already living in a future so distant not even “Back to the Future” could predict, and in a few short months it will be 2016. that’s Legion of Super-Heroes sounding number right there. With the new year comes a new slate of comics to get fans talking as we kick off another journey around the sun. Judging from the offerings headed our way from the Big Five publishers, 2016 will be starting off with a bang — and we’re not talking about New Year’s celebrations.
A hellish old favorite from Dark Horse celebrates an anniversary while everyone’s favorite Amazon joins two nature-based new series from DC. Marvel brings “Old Man Logan” into the post-“Secret Wars” fold while one of the publisher’s top female heroes gets a new #1 and a whole new era is explored in a galaxy far, far away. Image and IDW also join the fray with some awesome new arcs and milestones from some old favorites, setting up 2016 as one for the books. In a year that will feature the release Seriously, did you ever think you’d see a year where there would be both a “Suicide Squad” and a “Doctor Strange” film, can we really expect anything less? Join us as we check out what comics just might be the next big thing on the printed page and beyond.
“The Walking Dead” #150
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, & Cliff Rathburn
The most popular creator-owned comic on the market hits its landmark Issue #150. Seriously, how many comics even approach 150 issues these days, much less a book that has spawned two hit TV adaptations? Most fans know the dire circumstances Rick Grimes and the survivors are facing on TV, but as old fans will proudly inform you, the comic Rick and company are way past the events of the AMC series and some huge revelations are promised for this extra-sized anniversary issue. Experience the carnage TV fans haven’t witnessed yet as Kirkman, Adlard and the gang asks the question: who will survive and what will be left of them when “The Walking Dead” hits the century and a half mark.
“Obi-Wan And Anakin” #1
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist/Cover: Marco Checchetto
Hey, see any good trailers lately? “Star Wars” is at a seismic level of hype and Marvel continues to pump out the “Star Wars” comic book goodness at an epic rate. All of the publisher’s “Star Wars” releases thus far have featured A-list talent and this one is no different. Charles Soule did an awesome job penning the adventures of Lando Calrissian in “Lando” while Marco Checchetto is well regarded for his work on amazing runs of “The Punisher” and “Avengers World,” and recently worked on “Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Shattered Empire.” This “Star Wars” project is buzzworthy because, well, it’s “Star Wars,” but also because it’s the first return to the prequel era since the license returned to Marvel. Many fans still love young Obi-Wan Kenobi and his padawan Anakin Skywalker, and this book will allow them to return to a time when the Jedi still ruled the galaxy.
“The Legend Of Wonder Woman” #1
Writer: Renae De Liz
Artist: Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon
Cover: Renae De Liz
When “The Legend Of Wonder Woman” #1 hits stands in January, Wonder Woman fans will only be two months away from the Amazon’s big screen debut in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” DC is ready to ride the swell of Wonder Woman hype with this intriguing series written by “Womanthology” and “The Last Unicorn’s” Renae De Liz. It’s been a while since fans were treated to a “Year One”-style Wonder Woman origin, and this book, from one of fantasy’s modern masters, sounds like it could be the Wonder Woman origin for the 21st Century.
“Captain Marvel” #1
Writer: Michele Fazekas & Tara Butters
Artist/Cover: Kris Anka
Kelly Sue Deconnick and Carol Danvers have been inseparable in recent years. Since DeConnick made the former Ms. Marvel the new Captain Marvel, the character has found deep and abiding fanbase and critical success. The Deconnick era may be over, but the Carol Corps still has a bright future with Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas, the showrunners of Marvel’s “Agent Carter” taking over the series with a new #1. Along with fan-favorite artist Kris Anka, Butters and Fazekas will give Carol a new purpose and a new direction without missing a beat.
“Hellboy Winter Special” One-Shot
Writer/Variant Cover: Mike Mignola
Writer: Mike Mignola, Chris Roberson, Chelsea Cain, Scott Allie
Artist: Michael Walsh, Michael Avon Oeming, Tim Sale
Cover: Tim Sale & Dave Stewart
Variant Cover: Mike Mignola
“Hellboy” continues to be the stalwart title in Dark Horse’s elite stable of comics. Truthfully, any new project from the Mignola-verse is buzzworthy, but with this level of talent along for the ride, the “Hellboy Winter Special” truly stands out. Fans will get Tim Sale (“Captain America: White”) crafting a prehistoric “Hellboy” tale; Michael Avon Oeming (“Powers”) presenting his own bit of Hellboy lore; and “iZombie” co-creator Chris Roberson weaving his own tale of gothic adventure in the world of Hellboy. As if that weren’t enough, Mike Mignola himself will be front and center with his own story as well as a variant cover. And that’s just the tip of the proverbial creator iceberg in a “Winter Special” sure to give “Hellboy” loyalists very different kinds of chills.
“Poison Ivy: Cycle Of Life And Death” #1
Writer: Amy Chu
Artist/Cover: Clay Mann
Poison Ivy has long been one of the most popular villains in Batman’s rogues gallery, not to mention one of the most compelling women in the DC Universe. The fan-favorite fatale stars in her own book this January for the very first time. Despite fifty years of stories, Poison Ivy has never starred in a series on her own. “Cycle Of Life And Death” changes all that when Amy Chu and Clay Mann take the reins. The story promises that Ivy will embark on a new career, but complications are bound to ensue because where this poisonous villain goes, chaos usually follows.
“Swamp Thing” #1
Writer: Len Wein
Artist/Cover: Kelley Jones
Between this book and “Poison Ivy,” DC’s New Year’s resolution apparently involves a green thumb. Legendary creators like Alan Moore and Rick Veitch have handled the character, as well as current stars Scott Snyder and Charles Soule, but “Swamp Thing” is always a character just ripe for exploration. This new “Swamp Thing” is particularly worthy of buzz because it is written by Len Wein, the legendary co-creator of he muck-encrusted legend. Add in comic book horror master Kelley Jones and you have two of the finest creepy creators in comics ready to grow some horrific old school goodness with Swamp Thing.
“Old Man Logan” #1
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist/Cover: Andrea Sorrentino
“Old Man Logan” by Mark Millar and Steve McNiven was one of the most gripping and potent “Wolverine” tales of the past quarter century. The character played a key role in Marvel’s recent “Secret Wars” event and is poised to become a major played in the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” landscape. Andrea Sorrentino drew his “Secret Wars” series and returns to the ongoing, which finds the grizzled mutant in the Marvel Universe proper. No longer a “What If?” or possible future, Old Man Logan is ready to take his place in the mainstream Marvel Universe with acclaimed writer Jeff Lemire (“Extraordinary X-Men”) guiding his adventures. With “Old Man Logan” rumored to be the inspiration for Hugh Jackman’s final “Wolverine” film, this book seems like one any self-respecting comics fan should do everything in their power not to miss.
“Bitch Planet” #6
Writer: Kelly Sue Deconnick
Artist: Taki Soma
Cover: Valentine De Landro
Kelly Sue Deconnick and Valentine De Landro’s celebration of noncompliance and diversity launches its second arc, “Extraordinary Machine,” with an opening salvo by guest-artist Taki Soma (“Takio”). The story will focus on the Bitches’ secret weapon, the intriguing Meiko Maki. Every issue of “Bitch Planet” has been worth talking about, and we can’t wait to see where the creative minds who dare to defy take us next.
Writer: Joe Kelly
Artist/Cover: Ed Mcguinness
From Batman & Robin to Captain America & Bucky to Green Arrow and Green Lantern, fans are used to seeing dynamic duos and super hero team-ups. But it’s possible nothing could prepare you for everyone’s friendly neighborhood wall-crawler and the Merc with a Mouth joining forces — or, more likely, butting heads — in a story by the duo that launched Deadpool’s first ongoing series, Joe Kelly and Ed Mcguinness. Both superstars in their own right, these creative powerhouses will deliver a buddy hero story that could set a new standard for comic book nuttiness. Every pairing on this team is a major one, and add in the laughs we can expect from these wisecracking heroes and this book is worth some serious buzz.
“Jem and the Holograms” #11
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist/Cover: Sophie Campbell
“Dark Jem”? That’s just kind of awesome, isn’t it. It’s like Dark Phoenix, but Jem! Seriously, IDW has been rockin’ with this book and this upcoming arc is perfect for new readers. After seeing the “Jem and the Holograms” movie this month, join IDW in January as it continues to expand the world of Jem. It’s showtime, Synergy!
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