The new comic book releases this Wednesday are not particularly huge in terms of number of show-stoppers from the Big Two publishers, but the ones that hit, hit rather hard. DC Comics debuts the sequel to Sean Murphy’s blockbuster Batman miniseries, and Tomasi and Mahnke give us a classic tale of good versus evil which stars two of comics’ most recognizable faces.
Marvel shines insanely bright this week with the return of writer Jonathan Hickman (FF, Infinity) and his stark new vision for the X-Men. Also, we get a history lesson from prolific comic scribe Mark Waid, and the start of a new arc in one of Marvel’s most exciting series.
5 Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1
By Sean Murphy, Matt Hollingsworth, and AndWorld Design
Sean Murphy (Tokyo Ghost, Punk Rock Jesus) returns to his stark vision of Gotham with the much-anticipated sequel to the hit limited series, Batman: White Knight and this time, he’s broadening the scope, history, and mythology of the Caped Crusader’s world.
Batman: Curse of the White Knight #1 is the start to an instant classic. Murphy’s gorgeous art and storytelling continues to evolve and get more dynamic with each passing project. And without going into spoiler-territory, his reintroduction of the anti-hero Azrael is simply inspired. Don’t miss out on this new limited series; it’s bound to cause a major splash the rest of the year.
4 Detective Comics #1008
By: Peter J. Tomasi, Doug Mahnke, Jaime Mendoza, Dave Baron, and Rob Leigh
Batman receives an invitation to the happiest place on Earth (no, not that one) only to walk into one of the more diabolical plots the Joker has ever concocted. Writer Peter J. Tomasi and artist Doug Mahnke have lent their talents to telling a classic Batman story in Detective Comics #1008.
While this issue doesn’t change the DC Comics landscape or really shine much deeper insight into the world of the Dark Knight, it does hearken back to a bygone tone that used to be the selling point of Batman comics. The struggle between good and evil, justice and injustice, are boiled down to the war between two rival avatars.
3 Guardians of the Galaxy #7
By: Donny Cates, Cory Smith, David Curiel, VC's Cory Petit, David Marquez, and Dean White
If this series is not on your pull list, you may want to reconsider. The first six issues felt like an event series more than most event series. Guardians of the Galaxy #7 kicks off a brand new story arc titled “Faithless,” and the stakes look like they may be just a huge as they were before.
After receiving a disturbing distress call from his father, Peter Quill and the rest of the Guardians travel to the deep reaches of space, only to find something far more horrific than any of them could have imagined. With solid plotting, stellar art, and a haunting final splash page, Guardians of the Galaxy #7 continues the series’ hot streak.
2 History of the Marvel Universe #1
By: Mark Waid, Javier Rodriguez, Alvaro Lopez, VC's Joe Caramagna, Steve McNiven, Mark Farmer, and Sunny Gho
History, on a global scale, can be a complicated beast. Those who write it are influenced by trends and belief systems of their respective era. And while the broad points are rarely debated, the minutia of those points can be subjected to wildly different opinions and interpretations.
When it comes to the fictional history that has unfolded over several decades in the pages of Marvel Comics, the broad strokes mean as much as the minutia as Mark Waid and Javier Rodriguez prove in the raucous and insightful History of the Marvel Universe #1. If jumping into the deep well of Marvel has always been somewhat of an intimidating task, think of this comic as a prime introductory course.
1 House of X #1
By: Jonathan Hickman, Pepe Larraz, Marte Gracia, VC's Clayton Cowles, and Tom Muller
Marvel has been touting that Jonathan Hickman’s overhaul of the current state of X-Men comics to be monumental and on par with legendary revamps like New X-Men by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely or Astonishing X-Men by Joss Whedon and John Cassaday.
And while it’s hard to tell where Hickman’s grand plan will land in the annuls of Marvel Comics history, House of X #1 has a ton of potential to become one of the great X-Men stories of the new millennium. It’s bold, weird, smart, and exciting, and this issue alone galvanizes the fact that this franchise is in good hands.