Reviews: Nicola’s New Release Round-Up
With my Christmas tree packed away for another year and it somehow being a week into January already, I suppose I have no choice but to accept it: the holidays are over. Oh well, it’s only three-hundred and forty-nine days until the next one. It’ll come around quick, just you wait. Anyway, providing Christmas hasn’t bankrupted you, here’s what’s hitting the shelves this week, and boy there’s a lot of new releases to kick off the year with…
As if Boxing Day isn’t gloomy enough for retailers, we had the death of Peter Parker to cope with too (though, in retrospect, the tears were probably related to the customer who yelled at me because I can’t return a purchase if a) there’s no receipt and b) a child has mutilated it). As Amazing Spiderman died with #700, Superior Spiderman #1 has risen from its ashes this week. Dr Ock has assumed the identity of Peter Parker and, consequently, the mantle of Spiderman. Hey, internet, I’m talking to you: being mad at Dan Slott for killing Parker is not a good excuse for sleeping on this title.
For those who like collecting big, fancy versions special editions, the Gil Kane’s Artist Edition of Amazing Spiderman is out this week. This collects Amazing Spiderman issues #96-102 and #121, which includes the death of Gwen Stacy and the first appearance of Morbius. It’ll set you back an awful lot, but it’ll be so, so worth it.
What else is new in the world of Marvel? Hawkeye writer Matt Fraction’s second volume of Defenders, which is a fantastic series, is available in trade paperback (#7-12). In terms of Marvel Now titles, there are #3 of Avengers Arena, Cable and X Force and Fantastic Four – all of which have are off to a good start. Thor God of Thunder #4 is out too, so don’t miss out on that.
In the DC universe, there are a handful of New 52 trades hitting the shelves this week. The first New 52 volumes of Green Lantern (#1-6) and Wonder Woman (#1-6) are now available in paperback, while the second volumes (covering issues #7-12) hit the shelves in hardcover (Green Lantern Volume 2, Wonder Woman Volume 2). The second volume of Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man (#7-11, #0 and the 2011 annual) is also available this week. Perfect for anyone who missed the individual issues and wants to play catch-up with some of the best New 52 titles.
This week sees also the release of Action Comics #16, which is Morrison’s penultimate issue on the series. While his Batman Incorporated run will continue well into the New Year, we are entering a trial separation between Morrison and superhero monthlies – although, for anyone who is yet to dip into his extensive back catalogue, this is your lucky week.
The first run of Batman Incorporated – featuring stunning art from Yanick Paquette, Cameron Stewart and Chris Burnham to name but a few – is finally out in trade paperback, collecting the first eight issues as well as pre-New 52 ‘Leviathan Strikes’ #1. For big spenders, his Batman and Robin run is now available in an Absolute edition. Lastly, the third volume of JLA (#22-26, 28-31 and 1,000,000) is also released this week. That should be enough to keep you Morrison-happy for a while.
Speaking of Batman, Legends of the Dark Knight #4 is also out this week. This book gives lesser-known artists and writers the chance to shine by showcasing previously digitally-released material in a format that you can physically pick off the shelves at your local comic book shop. The stories range from intense to hilarious and, so far, the results have been good. These are just three short Batman stories in one book. Meanwhile, the Death of the Family arc continues with Batman Detective #16.
The Walking Dead #106 is released the week (if this isn’t on your pull-list by now, is there really anything else I can say about this book to convince you?). However if you’re a fan of its artist Charlie Adlard, he’s responsible for the art in Rock Bottom which is out this week; a book where Thomas Dare, your Average Joe protagonist, faced with a harsh reality check when he finds out he’s turning to stone.
Being responsible for two of my favourite series last year, Saga and Manhattan Project, Image have a lot to live up to this year. This week sees the release of two new Image four-part series: Repossessed and The End Times of Bram and Ben. The End Times of Bram and Ben #1(/4) sees Bram Carlson is mistakenly raptured into heaven. The ‘clerical error’ is soon corrected and he’s sent back down to Earth, with just enough time to prepare for an imminent war between Heaven and Hell! While we’re on the biblical track, Repossessed #1(/4) deals with the idea of possession; centring around a crew of specialists trained to assess whether someone is possessed and, if they are, get them back.
If that’s not enough to keep you going until next week, you obviously read a lot faster than me.
As always, you can order this week’s new releases online here.
Alternatively, you can seek out one of sixteen Forbidden Planet Internationals scattered across the globe. To find your your nearest FPI, click here. Other comic shops are available, of course, but that’s the one that employs me…