December means the holidays, snow and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. And while normally we’d tell you to stuff your stockings with great new comics or read them by the light of your menorah, this year we’re a bit distracted. After all, the end of the year marks the arrival of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and some friends we haven’t even met yet when “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” lands in theaters on Dec. 18.
And while theaters will be packed with “Star Wars” fans, comic stores will be full of brand new releases from your favorite publishers. Browsing at the most recent batch of solicitations left us looking forward to a whole bunch of comics as 2015 comes to a close. Here’s CBR rundown of December’s buzzworthy books from Diamond’s five Premier Publishers to give you an idea of what may be worth it for you, a friend, or someone you can’t figure out a gift for.
“Robin War” #1
Writer: Tom King
Artist/Cover: Khary Randolph
When DC soft re-launched its line with the DC You initiative, one of its most intriguing aspects was the Robins. Not Robin — all of them. “Grayson” remains one of DC’s most beloved titles while “We Are… ROBIN” and “Robin, Son of Batman” arrived to fan love and critical acclaim. With “Robin War,” all the Robins new and old will meet up for the first time in a very different Gotham City. How will they all react to the new armored Batman and how will Damien Wayne feel about the new status quo for his father? “Grayson” co-writer Tom King, who certainly knows his way around a “Robin” tale, is tasked with delivering answers alongside fan-favorite artist Khary Randolph. And lest they feel left out, Red Hood and Red Robin will be along for the ride as well as big changes can be in store for all the DC heroes who have donned the iconic “R.”
“Secret Wars” #9
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Esad Ribic
Cover: Alex Ross
It all ends here. “Secret Wars” has been one heck of a ride as Marvel fans will have taken an eight-month journey through Battleworld by the time this issue arrives, and Jonathan Hickman & Esad Ribic will deliver a conclusion to their epic so big it demanded an entire extra issue. Since its announcement, fans have debated how profoundly the Marvel Universe will change when the “Secret Wars” smoke clears,” and between the already known “All-New, All-Different Marvel” announcements and this finale, all questions will be answered. Alex Ross cover features what looks like Doom and Reed Richards at the center of this conflict, and that’s always a classic clash. It’s been a rough year for the Fantastic Four — will there even be an FF when the final “Secret Wars” salvo is fired? Whatever Hickan & Ribic deliver, the Marvel Universe will be a very different place in its wake.
“The Fade Out” #12 (Of 12)
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist/Cover: Sean Phillips & Elizabeth Breitweiser
It’s been one of the best noir crime comics in recent memory, and now Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ period tale of Hollywood’s dark underbelly comes to a close. As readers of “Criminal” and “Fatale” know, Brubaker and Phillips always go out with a bang and the resolution of this, one of the finest crime comics in recent memory, should be no different. What could this amazing creative duo do for an encore?
“Dragon Age: Magekiller” #1 (of 5)
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Carmen Carnero, Terry Pallot
Colorist: Michael Atiyeh
Cover: Sachin Teng
Greg Rucka begins an all-new story set in the immersive dark-fantasy world of Dragon Age!
“Dragon Age” is one of the most popular fantasy games on the market and Greg Rucka is one of the finest writers in comics. Together, you have something truly buzzworthy. Rucka has been killing it lately on “Lazarus” for Image and it will be fascinating to see what the award-winning writer can do in the fantasy genre. Look for many gamers to scoop this one up as Dark Horse is touting it as an essential part of “Dragon Age” canon. Whether you’re a “Dragon Age” die hard or a complete novice, Rucka’s talent is reason enough to get excited.
“Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” #1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist/Cover: Freddie E. Williams II
Two of the greatest pop culture icons of the past century meet for the first time in this unexpected crossover. What does Bruce Wayne like on his pizza? This may be our chance to find out as Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo meet up with the Dark Knight to take on the Foot Clan. James Tynion has become a rising star in recent years with his work on “Batman Eternal” and other books and it will be very exciting to see how he meshes these seemingly incongruous heroes. Will Alfred and Splinter share some tea? Will Casey Jones go one-on-one with Batman? Will the Turtles throw down with the Joker? Hopefully some of these questions will be answered as the world’s most famous amphibious martial arts teenagers make their Gotham City debut.
“The Totally Awesome Hulk” #1
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist/Cover: Frank Cho
There’s a brand new Hulk in town, and his name… is Amadeus Cho!
Greg pak has crafted some of the finest and most memorable Hulk tales of the last decade. Now he’s teaming up with superstar artist Frank Cho to introduce a brand new Hulk, and one who is totally awesome For the first time in a very long time, Amadeus Cho in the titular role will love being a hulk, and that in itself is pretty awesome. Add in Cho drawing She-Hulk, and this is a must-buy.
“Harley’s Little Black Book” #1
Writer: Amanda Conner & Jimmy Palmiotti
Artist: Amanda Conner and a bunch of people who owe her favors
Cover: Amanda Conner
What’s better than one “Harley Quinn” book written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti? How about two “Harley Quinn” comics written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti. Better yet, “Harley’s Little Black Book” will feature everyone’s favorite clown teaming with some of DC’s greatest icons. The first issue presents what is sure to be an unforgettable team-up between Wonder Woman and Harley. This could be a new brave and bold era for DC team-ups with Harley and her superstar guests.
“Daredevil” #1 & #2
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist/Cover: Ron Garney
It won’t be easy to follow Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Co. on “Daredevil,” but if any creative team can pull it off, we’re betting veteran artist Ron Garney and prolific writer Charles Soule might be the right fit. Soule, a lawyer himself, proved he can do superhero legal drama in the pages of “She Hulk,” and those awesome courtroom skills should be on display big time in this “Daredevil” relaunch as Matt Murdock becomes a prosecutor. Add in a new sidekick and a return to the mean streets of Hell’s Kitchen, and this is one “Daredevil” relaunch that might live up to its soon-to-be-legendary predecessor.
“The Rocketeer At War!” #1
Writer: Marc Guggenheim
Artist/Cover: Dave Bullock
The greatest pulp hero of the modern era returns to IDW as the Rocketeer blasts off into a new adventure. It’s been a long time since readers saw this high-flying pulp hero appear in his own book and it is always exciting to see Dave Stevens’ greatest creation bust some Nazi heads. This one is brought to us by famed comic scribe and “Arrow” Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim, so expect great things out of this Rocketeer revival from IDW.
“Uncanny X-Men” #1 & #2
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist/Cover: Greg Land
Marvel’s longest-running mutant book gets in on the relaunch action, and this time it will star some of the baddest mutants in the Marvel Universe. Cullen Bunn guided Magneto’s solo series the last couple years and this December he’ll bring his impeccably crafted Master of Magnetism to the X-Men proper. Along for the ride are Psylocke, Archangel, Sabretooth and many more mutants who will take a proactive stance against their enemies. Fans have been privy to many “X-Men” #1s in recent years, but with a team of villains planning to take no prisoners and artist Greg Land bringing the action to life, “Uncanny X-Men” #1 may very well be the perfect formula for modern day mutant mayhem.
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