We’ve had most comic book companies release their December 2012 solicitations and we’ve had some interesting news over the last little while. Here is my take on the Top 10 best of all that.
10. JSA Gets Liberated, Again (DC Comics)
Artist Tony Harris is beloved for his work on the classic Starman series with writer James Robinson and Ex-Machina by writer Brian K. Vaughn. Other classic projects include two mini-series starring an alternate universe Justice Society of America tale under DC’s now defunct Elseworlds’ brand. JSA: The Liberty File and JSA: Unholy Three were collected in one trade paperback if you want to seek them out. They are visual feasts. 🙂
I was pleasantly surprised to see that Tony Harris and his JSA will back in a new mini-series adventure with writer B. Clay Moore. Sweet!
JSA: THE LIBERTY FILES – THE WHISTLING SKULL #1
Written by B. CLAY MOORE
Art and cover by TONY HARRIS
1:10 Variant cover by TONY HARRIS
On sale DECEMBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. See the order form for details.
• A new series from acclaimed creators B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick) and Tony Harris (EX MACHINA, STARMAN)!
• In 1940s Europe, the Nazi war machine is on the move…but crimes are still committed in even the smallest hamlets. Can one heroic duo solve the most bizarre mystery of all?
• From the world of the JSA: THE LIBERTY FILES, witness the birth of a new hero for the ages!
9. The Red Skies Of Oktober (IDW Publishing)
This remains my fave of the G.I. Joe relaunch from a few years ago. With the original Cobra Commander dead, a new more dangerous one in his place, things are pretty dangerous for the world and a demoralized, divided ‘Joes. In the 1980s, when I was watching the classic G.I. Joe TV cartoon series, the Oktober Guard were the U.S.S.R.’s equivalent of G.I. Joe. So, who are they now since the U.S.S.R. is no more. Are they heroes, villains or something else. I’m looking forward to this arc.
I’m also eager for G.I. Joe Renegades to return to the small screen. While Hasbro has said nothing about Season 2 for that series, one can only hope its release is tied to the next G.I. Joe movie titled Retaliation that has been pushed back to March 2013. Yes, this comic, the TV cartoon and the movie are three different continuities, but I’m just interested in compelling stories. If that’s what you like too, check out IDW’s Cobra series.
COBRA ONGOING #20
(W) Mike Costa
(A/CA) Antonio Fuso
OKTOBER IS BURNING! The covert G.I. JOE team is in for the fight of their lives as they go toe-to-toe against the OKTOBER GUARD!
But who are they? Where did they come from? And what do they want?
The answers will shock you-but we can tell you that MAJOR BLUDD is looking for retribution!
8. Assuming The Throne (DC Comics)
Writer Geoff Johns storylines collide on his Aquaman and Justice League titles. I’m curious to see where all the chips will be in the end and what will become of Atlantis the New 52. But, before we do that, we need to unravel the mystery of Atlantis’ sinking.
Fun times ahead. Although, too many variants for Justice League, but looks like Shazam replaces Green Lantern on the team supreme!
JUSTICE LEAGUE #15
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art and cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
Backup story art by GARY FRANK
Variant cover by BILLY TUCCI
1:25 “Throne of Atlantis” Variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
1:100 B&W Variant cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
On sale DECEMBER 26 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Combo pack edition: $4.99 US
Retailers: This issue will ship with five covers. Please see the order form for more information.
• Part 1 of “THRONE OF ATLANTIS,” crossing over with AQUAMAN!
• Don’t miss the debut of IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO (AQUAMAN) as the new JUSTICE LEAGUE art team!
• Can the Justice League band together to battle the forces of Atlantis?
• And in the backup feature, Shazam comes face to face with Black Adam, and Billy makes a decision that will shock his friends!
This issue’s 1:25 “Throne of Atlantis” Variant cover connects with the AQUAMAN #15 1:25 “Throne of Atlantis” Variant cover to form a single image.
This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.
Written by GEOFF JOHNS
Art by ARDIAN SYAF
Cover by EDDIE BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
1:25 B&W Variant cover by EDDIE BARROWS and EBER FERREIRA
1:25 “Throne of Atlantis” Variant cover by JIM LEE and SCOTT WILLIAMS
“We Can Be Heroes” Blank variant cover available
On sale DECEMBER 26 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with four covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.
• Crossover with JUSTICE LEAGUE!
• Part 2 of “THRONE OF ATLANTIS!”
• Atlantis invades the surface world!
This issue’s 1:25 “Throne of Atlantis” Variant cover connects with the JUSTICE LEAGUE #15 1:25 “Throne of Atlantis” Variant cover to form a single image.
7. Legends United (Dynamite Entertainment)
Dynamite has acquiring licenses for various classic pop culture “heroes”. Some of the series have been compelling for me and other haven’t been. The Bionic Man and Bionic Woman are my faves from them, but while they aren’t part of this new “Masks ” series, the cast of The Shadow, Green Hornet, Zorro and The Spider together in one book is a compelling enough hook.
(W) Chris Roberson
(A) Dennis Calero (CA) Alex Ross & Various
Powerful criminals and crooked politicians have taken over New York, and instituted a fascist police state. With the law bent to their own purposes, the so-called “Justice Party” and their army of Black Legion troopers imprison, extort, and execute any citizens who stand in their way. Only vigilantes like the Shadow, Green Hornet, and the Spider have any hope of standing against them, but instead of operating outside the law as they have always done, these masked heroes must now oppose the law in their fight for justice. But they will not be fighting alone, as more men and women don masks and emerge from the shadows to stand alongside them.
6. Marvel Goes on the Offence (Marvel Comics)
Cable rejoins and relaunches his old X-Force team. Some of my fave all-time X-Men are on the team like Colossus and Forge. They were a big part of the X-Men when I was reading their Uncanny adventures by writer Chris Claremont and artist Jim Lee. This will be one of two X-Force series as part of the Marvel Now banner. The other title, Uncanny X-Force gets retooled in January 2013. While they both seem compelling, this is one I’m more intrigued about.
CABLE AND X-FORCE #1 & 2
DENNIS HOPELESS (W) • SALVADOR LARROCA (A/C)
Variant cover by JOE QUESADA
Variant Sketch Cover by Joe Quesada
Variant Character Sketch Cover by Salvador Larroca
Variant Cover by Mike Deodato
Blank cover variant also available
Variant Cover (#2) by TBA
Cable is back! NOW! with a new X-Force at his side, he must tackle the threats that nobody else can know about. But just who are Cable’s new recruits, and why is his team public enemy number one? Caught red-handed at the scene of a terrorist attack on a major American corporation whose CEO has expressed anti-mutant views, the X-Force is the run, with none other than the Uncanny Avengers in hot pursuit.
32 PGS. (EACH)/Parental Advisory …$3.99 (EACH)
The Red Hulk takes the helm of the Thunderbolts and all-star iconic cast. I never thought I’d see all these characters in one title. I am intrigued. But, really, a red skull for the Punisher? Sheesh. 😉
THUNDERBOLTS #1 & 2
DANIEL WAY (W) • STEVE DILLON (A)
Cover by JULIAN TOTINO TEDESCO
Variant Cover by Billy Tan / Variant #2 cover by TBA / Young Baby Variant by SKOTTIE YOUNG / Blank Cover Variant Also Available
Red Hulk, Venom, Elektra, Deadpool, the Punisher. Forget the courts, the jails, the system — this team of Thunderbolts fights fire with fire, targeting the most dangerous and lethal players in the Marvel Universe with extreme prejudice. Led by General “Thunderbolt” Ross, AKA the Red Hulk, this hand-picked team of like-minded operatives is going to make the world a better place…by all means necessary.
32 PGS. (EACH)/Parental Advisory …$2.99 (EACH)
5. Boldly Still Going… (IDW Publishing)
During the 25th anniversary year of TNG, old Star Trek executive Brannon Braga wraps up a TNG-era spanning mini-series with Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager fame, the Borg, Locutus (Jean Luc Picard’s Borg identity) and time travel taking center roles. I have enjoyed the debut issue and intrigued about how this mini-series culminates.
STAR TREK NEXT GENERATION HIVE #4
(W) Brannon Braga & Various
(A) Joe Corroney, Photo (CA) Photo, Joe Corroney
Continuing the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation!
It’s climactic finale of one of the most talked about Star Trek events of the year as past and future collide!
Past and future intersect as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Locutus meet to decide the fate of the United Federation of planets-and the entire Borg Empire!
The classic Mirror Universe gets reimagined in the new Star Trek movie relaunch continuity. This is as close to canon as one can get since the issue is worked on by a key creative figure behind the new movie franchise.
STAR TREK ONGOING #16
(W) Mike Johnson
(A) Stephen Molnar
(CA) Tim Bradstreet
Concluding the two-part re-imagining of the classic “Mirror Universe” episode!
Don’t miss this radical transformation of Kirk & Co., as events unfold leading up to next summer’s STAR TREK sequel!
Overseen by STAR TREK writer/producer Roberto Orci!
4. Before Watchmen came After Deathblow (DC Comics)
Writer Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo are well know for their popular collaborations on villain-centric DC Comics icons. Both have been collected in trade paperback form: Lex Luthor: Man of Steel and Joker. The team is also collaborating on a Before Watchmen mini-series focusing on Rorschach.
But did you know, the superstar pair first worked together for the first time in a collaboration of DC Comics and Wildstorm in Batman/Deathblow? Both characters are now part of DC’s New 52, but back in 2002 that wasn’t the case.
This is a very cool mini-series and I’m glad it is getting the deluxe treatment!
BATMAN/DEATHBLOW DELUXE EDITION HC
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by LEE BERMEJO and TIM BRADSTREET
Cover by LEE BERMEJO
On sale FEBRUARY 20 • 168 pg, FC, 7.0625″ x 10.875″, $22.99 US
• One is the World’s Greatest Detective. The other is a black-ops killer. What happens when the two meet? We’ll never know because Michael Cray, code name Deathblow, is dead. The Dark Knight faces the daunting task of finishing a job that someone else started, but for unknown reasons refused to finish. That someone was Michael Cray.
• Collects BATMAN/DEATHBLOW: AFTER THE FIRE #1-3.
3. Beauty And The Beast? (DC Comics)
Writer Brian Azzarello makes it on the list again, this time with Wonder Woman along with artist Cliff Chiang. Looks like November brings us the beginning of the New Gods pay-off and their emergence into the New 52. As a fan of the classic Jack Kirby creations, and having enjoyed the new pantheon that supports the Wonder Woman mythos in 2012, I’m intrigued by what Azzarello and Chiang have in store for Orion and crew. All Hail, the Queen, Wonder Woman! (You SHOULD be reading this title!)
WONDER WOMAN #15
Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art and cover by CLIFF CHIANG
1:25 Variant cover by CLIFF CHIANG
On sale DECEMBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. The variant cover will feature the standard edition cover in a wraparound format.
• Who is Orion — and what are the New Gods?!
• Massive changes are coming for Wonder Woman and the entire DC Universe!
• Get ready for round 1 of Wonder Woman vs. Orion!
2. Eternal Warrior Muscles Back (Valiant Entertainment)
I was a fan of the original Valiant universe in the 1990s. Bloodshot and the Eternal Warriors were my faves. In 2012, I’m following most of the new Valiant’s offerings as they are all high quality on story and art. I’ve been waiting for more of the eternal Anni-Padda family and in December we have it! Armstrong’s brother, Gilad the Eternal Warrior, debuts in the pages of Archer and Armstrong. I am so there! Now, if Valiant has Gildan anchor his own series, then my Valiant reads would be anchored by Bloodshot, Archer and Armstrong, and the Eternal Warrior. Hey, why not throw in a Ninjak ongoing too. 🙂
ARCHER & ARMSTRONG #5
Written by FRED VAN LENTE
Art by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
Cover by PATRICK ZIRCHER
Pullbox Exclusive Variant by DOUG BRAITHWAITE
Interlocking Variants by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO
ALL-NEW ARC! Not even time itself can escape the Eternal Warrior!
No one in the Valiant Universe is more terrifying, more dangerous or more experienced in the art of war than the undying Eternal Warrior. After thousands of years on the battlefield, he’s a master of strategy and weaponry, an unrelenting force of nature capable of dismantling entire armies with little effort and less conscience. His brother Armstrong, on the other hand, likes to read poetry and drink beer. Maybe that’s why they had such a bad falling out? But now — after years apart — the Eternal Warrior has a new mission: destroy young Obadiah Archer, Armstrong’s best-est new buddy and teammate in the war against The Sect. And, like it or not, Valiant’s history-smashing adventure duo will soon feel the wrath of the Eternal Warrior’s fist and steel.
$3.99/Rated T+/32 pgs.
ON SALE DECEMBER 12th!
1. F-R-E-E-? (Image Comics)
Image Comics is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and one of its founders, Marc Silvestri of Top Cow, has brung back his first franchise Cyber Force. He used Kickstarter to raise money to allow him to offer several of the first few issues for free. Yes, FREE! Clearly Marc has tremendous confidence in the title.
With it being free, there’s no risk. Why not check it out? If I remain intrigued, I’ll buy the issues once the Kickstarter currency runs out and the book starts being sold for $2.99 or $3.99. I’m intrigued.
CYBER FORCE #3
story MARC SILVESTRI & MATT HAWKINS
art KHOI PHAM & SUNNY GHO
cover MARC SILVESTRI
DECEMBER 5 / 32 PAGES / FC / T+
FREE / CYBER FORCE CONTINUES IN ITS GROUND-BREAKING RELAUNCH!
The massive corporation CDI continues to engineer technologically enhanced humans. Opposing CDI is a lone group of rebels. Will the public perceive the newly formed Cyber Force as resistance fighters battling for public good – or terrorists who must be stopped?
Not content in pushing the envelope just in terms of story and art, Top Cow will be the first major US comic publisher to launch one of their biggest properties with top tier creators concurrently for the traditional print market and exploding worldwide digital market for FREE. That’s right, thanks to the support of fans through Kickstarter and participating comic shops, you can get the first FIVE issues of CYBER FORCE at no cost.
Till next week, thanks for reading. As always, all feedback welcome.
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Tags: Adrian Syaf, alex ross, Aquaman, Archer & Armstrong, Batman, Before Watchmen, bionic man, Bionic Woman, Bloodshot, Brian Azzarello, brian k. vaughan, cable, Cable and X-Force, chris roberson, Clark Kent (Superman), Cliff Chiang, Cobra, Colossus, Cyborg, DC Comics, DC Comics Relaunch, Deadpool, Demythify, Dennis Hopeless, Domino, Doug Braithwaite, Dynamite, Elseworlds, Emanuela Lupacchino, Eternal Warrior, Flash (Barry Allen), Fred Van Lente, G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: Renegades, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, gary frank, Geoff Johns, Green Hornet, Green Lantern (Hal Jordan), IDW, Image, Image Comics, Ivan Reis, Jack Kirby, James Robinson, Joe Prado, Joker, JSA, Justice League, khoi Pham, Kickstarter, Lee Bermejo, Lex Luthor, Man of Steel, Marc Silvestri, Marvel, Marvel Comics, Marvel NOW! (All-New Marvel Now!), Mike Costa, Mike Johnson, Minutemen, New Gods, Ninjak, Orion, Patrick Zircher, Punisher, Red Hulk, Rorschach, Salvador Larroca, Shade (DC Comics), Six Million Dollar Man, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Starman, The Fourth World, The Green Hornet, The Punisher, The Shadow, Thunderbolts, Tony Harris, Top Cow, uncanny x-force, Valiant, Venom, Watchmen, Wildstorm, Wonder Woman, X-Force, zorro