Summer may be almost over, but things are still hot in the comics world as DC’s New 52 is really coming out in full swing starting this week and so we’ll see a lot of “Number One’s” from them for the foreseeable future. Not to be outdone though, Marvel has some big issues of their own that came out and even the Indies are not standing idly by as there were a handful of really solid issues from Image, Dynamite, and IDW to be released as well, so there were some hard decisions that went into this week’s Top 5, which you can see below!
1) Marvel – New Avengers Annual #1: Some time ago, after the conclusion of the Civil War, former Avengers powerhouse Simon Williams, a.k.a. Wonder Man, warned the current Avengers roster that they needed to stop banding together as their actions were just as threatening to the universe as the threats they quelled. Feeling Simon was simply having an episode of sorts, they went about their business as usual as Simon fled to parts unknown to see if his warning would be heeded. It was not. Now in a story arc across annuals that is kicking off here, Simon has formed his own team of super-heroes and reformed villains and looks to bring it to the Avengers like never before. Honestly, the first thing that really gripped me about this comic was the art, especially the five double-spreads that start everything off since you just don’t see that in comics anymore. Very powerful stuff. And then when you hear Simon’s arguments, he sounds mad and delusion, much like a super-villain would, but at the same time makes awesome points, like the rational, prominent Marvel universe hero that he once was. Throw in amazing action sequences and this story arc is going to be something to look forward to in the coming weeks.
2) Marvel – Wolverine #15: We begin to see the aftermath of the Red Right Hand story arc that just concluded as Wolverine, unbeknownst to him, has just slaughtered several bastard children he never knew he sired after they were sent to kill him in the delicious irony that all of Wolverine’s children are out to kill him and he had to kill them instead. And he never even knew until it was too late so it was all in cold blood. Now, Wolverine is punishing himself by constantly climbing up a mountain, throwing himself off of it, healing, and repeating. A tremendous comic as you see Wolverine’s psyche truly break down at several moments and leaves us on this awesome cliffhanger that we just don’t know what Wolverine will do next or if he’ll be able to recover from this anytime soon as this series has amazingly continued to mentally dissect one of Marvel’s most popular heroes for the first time really all the way since issue one. A must pick up for all Wolverine fans.
3) DC – Swamp Thing #1: So far the DC New 52 has surprised me because a lot of comics I was expecting to disappoint me, wowed me, and others I thought that would impress me have been bleh at best. Swamp Thing #1 falls into the former as cameos by some of DC’s biggest superheroes highlight the internal struggle between the newly reborn Dr. Alec Holland and how he must try to cope with the actions he did while he was in the form of the Swamp Thing, all the while trying to avoid becoming a creature of the green once more. Much like the sprouting of a seed, the comic is defined by a lot of brown, bland tones in its first few pages, but as the comic progresses and more plantlife begins to be prominently featured, brilliants shades of green, purple, blue, and other bright colors pepper the pages telling a story as much through the subtly of the art as the word bubbles in each panel. With some interesting super-natural threats looming on the horizon, it should be interesting to see how nature’s greatest defender will evolve in future issues.
4) DC – Batman: Detective Comics #1: A comic book powerhouse for over 70 years, seeing Detective Comics reset to number one may have been the hardest for me to take as it typically featured many of my favorite Batman stories. Needing to pick it up, I was not surprised to see Bruce Wayne don the cowl once more as it was alluded to in the closing issues of what will likely be known as the first volume of Batman related comics. Batman is back to his old tricks of skipping dates, having Commissioner Gordon as his only friend in the police force, and chasing down the Joker, Detective Comics #1 does a great job of both giving you everything that makes a Batman comic great, which in and of itself is almost like paying homage to what came before it, and setting up a new villain to work with Joker (at least in this particular arc), continuing a theme started in the last run of expanding Batman’s Rogues Gallery. Dark, twisted, and seemingly going back to its roots, Detective Comics #1 is a solid way for Batman to kick-off the new 52.
5) Dynamite – Kato #12: If you’ve been following the new string of Green Hornet comics then you know that basically this is a new generation of Green Hornet with the original Kato’s daughter taking over and helping out the original Green Hornet’s son live up to the mantle of their crime fighting dads. This title though centers more around Kato and the enemies that she and the Green Hornet have quickly acquired. Although this is the middle issue of an arc, I chose it as my Indie pick of the week because a lot of the comic has Kato fighting for her life in a video game. Meant to tax her brain to the point where she becomes brain dead in the classic, the villain taunts way too much kind of way, Kato is able to overcome the machine’s programming and break out of the spell. Kato even admits to being an avid gamer and when you throw that in with the very provocative cover (those are buttons by the way) and well, what can I say? Hot Asian girl that likes to play video games. Me likey. And you’ll probably be surprised by how solidly written this comic is, too, so it’s definitely worth a look if you’ve got a few extra bucks.