From monthly books to DVDs to original graphic novels, we provide you with the hottest releases of the month. Updated 9/29!
Every month, there is a wealth of new comics and comics-related product that hits our local comic book shops. While some of us may be able to afford to buy everything we see, the rest of us need to be a little more careful with what we spend our money on – especially in the modern economy and with the price of comics rising seemingly month after month. That’s why CraveOnline has a newly revamped Monthly Comics Guide, to help our readers gauge just where their money might be headed in the coming month.
The Monthly Guide is meant to be a central hub for all your Crave comics needs. Expect to see constant updates, including preview art for our selections as it becomes available, interviews with creators, reviews, and more.
What is worth checking out? What will give you the most bang for your buck? We’ve compiled various different sections that should pander to whatever type of reader you may be. First and foremost, we’ve got individual issues for those that collect the floppies from week to week. We’re also introducing sections on collected editions, original graphic novels, comics-related toys/collectibles, and comic/nerd-related DVDs. Hopefully there is something for everyone, and we encourage your feedback!
Please not that all entries are based on the month’s issue of Previews, the comic retailer’s order guide. It’s possible that some books will be delayed – or even canceled – but we will do our best to stay up to date.
Though this issue marks the end of DC’s latest weekly venture, it also puts the exclamation point on the success that the publisher has achieved with the series. After the success of 52, failure of Countdown, and luke-warm reception of Trinity, it was nice to see DC blow away the critics with a new weekly series that not only delivered in spades, but did so in a unique format. Here’s to you, Wednesday Comics, and we hope to see much more of you in the future. Wednesday Comics #12 releases September 23.
Superman: Secret Origin #1
It’s no lie that Secret Origin marks the umpteenth retelling of Superman’s origin. However, never before has it been done by current DCU architect Geoff Johns and the man who draws the best Superman in the business, Gary Frank. Reuniting the Action Comics team, Johns will surely provide a well written and surprising affair, while Frank makes it all the more nostalgic with his Chris Reeve-like Superman. I just hope that this incarnation of the origin sits long enough to become a new defining moment in the history of the Man of Steel. Superman: Secret Origin #1 releases September 23.
Hands down, The Unwritten is the most captivating new series from Vertigo since Scalped. With every installment, you are promised bang for your buck, with the combination of the issue’s narrative in conjuction with its narrative-within-the-narrative of the Tommy Taylor novels, blog entries, and other clever devices. Issue #5 is particularly exciting because it is a stand-alone issue that promises to shed a little more light on just what the hell The Unwritten is all about, and apparently stars a young Rudyard Kipling. Expect this issue to solidify your undying devotion to this new series. The Unwritten #5 releases September 9.
The pitch for the first issue of Red Herring is often described as X-Files meets The Daily Show, and I have to say that it pretty much is exactly like that. Red Herring seems to be the first new WildStorm series in some time that isn’t based on a video game, and I was delighted to find myself completely involved in the story that writer David Tischman and artist Philip Bond were telling. Chock full of bizarre literary references, humor, and sci-fi weirdness, I have high hopes for the future of Red Herring and can’t wait to continue reading. Red Herring #2 releases September 9.
Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1
I guess I must have missed something when one of my favorite Marvel titles, Moon Knight, fell out of sight after issue #30. I honestly had no idea the book was canceled, but I am glad to see that Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1 will be picking up where the series left off, with Moon Knight heading to pick a fight with Norman Osborne. While I’m not thrilled to see Moonie get involved in all the Dark Reign nonsense, the previous arc did manage to weave him into the happenings of the Marvel Universe and not make it seem forced. I have I hopes for this series. Vengeance of the Moon Knight #1 releases September 16.
Criminal: The Sinners #1
Finally. Finally! After the admittedly disappointing Incognito, Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are back with a whole new series of Criminal. Better yet, The Sinners features Tracy Lawless, star of what is perhaps the best edition of Criminal yet, Lawless. The Sinners takes place about a year after Lawless, and it looks like mob-hits are the new fad, and, in typical noir fashion, Tracy gets dragged down into it. The return of Criminal goes beyond average excitement; I feel like I’ve been waiting eons for this book to come out. Welcome back, Tracy, welcome back. Criminal: The Sinners #1 releases September 23.
At long last, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s long-discussed Spider-Woman series is making its debut appearance this month. Though I admit to my interest dropping off of the Marvel Universe in the aftermath of the horrifyingly bad Secret Invasion – aside from select titles – the reuniting Daredevil team holds enough influence over me to make me feel all juicy inside. Bendis and Maleev could be putting out Secret Invasion 2 and I’d still be on board. Spider-Woman #1 releases September 23.
I’ll admit, I am judging this book by its cover. Boy with antlers. $1.00 debut issue. I’m sold. Upon further research, I found that this book has a plot beyond "boy with antlers", which would be that said boy, Gus, is part of a new species of human that has emerged after a pandemic swept America a decade earlier. Now seeking refuge, Gus is hunted by all sorts of evil-doers as he attempts to traverse the American wasteland. Handled entirely by Jeff Lemire, creator of the recent OGN The Nobody, a new Vertigo series is always an exciting time for comic book fans. Sweet Tooth #1 releases September 2.
If anyone reading this follows my work, you know that I have an unhealthy obsession with comic book animals, particularly those with superpowers named Krypto. Well, while there doesn’t seem to be any superpowers at work in Beasts of Burden, there is promise of the occult and supernatural, and a gang of cats and dogs that see no choice but to protect their town from such dangers. Based on the short story from The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings, Witchcraft, the Dead, and Monsters, Beasts of Burden is one of the most promising and original new series that is debuting this fall. Did I mention the adorable animalias? Beasts of Burden #1 releases September 16.
How could this not be one of the most anticipated titles of the month? Thus far, each issue of the main series, as well as the tie-ins and Green Lantern books, have been phenomenal. Plus, who can forget the cliffhanger of issue #2? Personally, I don’t forsee a time in the impending future that Blackest Night isn’t one of the most wildly anticipated titles of the month. Expect more horrors, more shocks, and definitely crippling emotional states from your favorite DC heroes. Blackest Night #3 releases September 16.
DC Comics took on the webcomic revolution head-on by creating Zuda comics, a fan-voted web publishing imprint that gives upstart creators a chance to share their work. The first winner of Zuda’s competition was High Moon, a tale of werewolves in the Old West. And, showing their dedication to the Zuda imprint, DC is releasing a 192 page softcover collection of the series. Though it is available for free reading on Zuda’s website, a $14.99 nearly 200 page print edition is not a bad deal by any means, and more importantly, shows that comics, whether digital or in print, have an undeniable presence in today’s artistic pop culture. The High Moon softcover collection goes on sale September 30.
In my opinion, any Absolute Edition release is cause for celebration, but in the case of Absolute Promethea Volume 1, it is the art of JH Williams III that I can’t wait to view in this oversized deluxe format. While purchasing the first volume of this massive project essentially binds you to purchasing the next two as well, I promise you that it will be well worth it for Williams alone. Of course, you’ve always got the benefit of Alan Moore’s intricately plotted story, but let’s be honest, Absolute Editions are all about showcasing the art. Absolute Promethea Vol. 1 releases September 30.
Astonishing X-Men Omnibus
Be warned. Reading Joss Whedon and John Cassaday’s Astonishing X-Men (issues #1-24 and Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men #1), collected for the first time in one giant omnibus hardcover, will effectively render all other X-Men tales completely useless. I will be as bold as to say this is the end-all, be-all, folks. If you are fully prepared to let go of the X-Men for the rest of your comic book reading lives and read the greatest X-tale of all, then gather up 75 smackers and splurge. As a bonus, you’ll get script pages, interviews, characters sketches and more. The Astonishing X-Men Omnibus releases September 23.
Gotham Central Vol. 2 HC: Jokers and Madmen
Gotham Central is one of the most unique mainstream comics of the last ten years, as it focuses not on the Bat-family of Gotham City, but instead the men and women that make up the Gotham City Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit, as they struggle to maintain some sense of job normalcy as they struggle with the bizarre criminals and cases of Gotham. Written by crime-noir extraordinaires Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, with art from Michael Lark, Jokers and Madmen features the centerpiece story arc "Soft Targets", which finds the GCPD trying to contain a reign of terror courtesy of The Joker whilst avoiding the Batman’s help. Gotham Central Vol. 2 HC: Jokers and Madmen releases September 9.
Though Runaways has recently been returned to entertaining status, for a long time after creator Brian K. Vaughan left the series, it struggled to find its footing again. This month, you can relive the glory days as Marvel collects the final issues of the first volume of the series in one of their Premiere Hardcovers. Follow the team as they put away The Pride once and for all and begin a new chapter of their lives. Runaways: The Good Die Young Premiere HC hits stands September 9.
Original Graphic Novels
You Are There
Though not at all a new piece of work, this is the first English translation of Jacques Tardi and Jean-Claude Forest’s Ici Même, being released as You Are There courtesy of Fantagraphics. The book has long been hailed as a satirical masterpiece, and is one of the centerpieces of the widely acclaimed career of cartoonist Tardi, whose heavier than heavy inks and stylized figures have come to define his style. The book is being released in a nice hardcover book at the end of the month – about time too, as the original piece was first published in the early 80′s.
Like a Dog
Technically, Like a Dog is a collection of author Zak Sally’s various short stories that have been published in various publications for the past 15 years. However, all of the stories form such a cohesive representation of Sally’s themes, ideas and experiences that I deemed it more worthy of fitting under the graphic novels section of this guide. Besides being able to trust the promise of quality that the Fantagraphics label implies, the hardcover will include various extras ranging from "liner notes" to previously unreleased material.
Toys & Collectibles
Blackest Night Series 1
It seems like forever ago that the Blackest Night toys spoiled the first Black Lantern for everybody, but the toys are finally arriving. The set has a great assortment, including the aforementioned Black Lantern Earth-2 Superman, Alpha Lantern Boodikka, Blue Lantern Saint Walker, and Red Lantern Atrocitus. It’s nice to see that DC Direct gave us some newly sculpted characters rather than another Hal Jordan or Flash. Best of all, you can pick up the set at the end of the month, right after you read Blackest Night #3.
Harley Quinn 1:2 Scale Bust
Who in their right mind wouldn’t want a 1:2 scale bust of everyone’s favorite criminal sweetheart? Personally, I would keep mine as a centerpiece of my bedroom, but that’s a completely different story. As a special treat, DC Direct has designed this Harley bust to have a poseable pom-pom hat, so you can feel free to adorn them any which way you choose. Harley is being released at the end of the month, on September 30.
Back to the Future 1/18th Scale Replica Time Machine
This is the big one, the one I’ve been waiting for all my life! We finally get some semblance of affordable Back to the Future collectibles (that aren’t Mini-Mates) in Diamond Select’s awesome light-up 1/18th Scale "Time Machine", at an affordable $45. Notice it’s not actually called a DeLorean (licensing issues?), and you won’t be seeing the DMC logo on the piece, but seeing this on display at Toy Fair 2009 was truly a site to behold, especially for a long-time BTTF nerd such as I. It’s a lot more practical than the $300 replica Flux Capacitor that Diamond Select offers, and significantly more beautiful. For the price, there is no reason that everybody this side of Hill Valley shouldn’t own one. I’m counting down the days to September 16.
Ultimate Quarter Scale Emperor Palpatine
The Ultimate Quarter Scale series is truly awesome, and I have to admit it’s going to be nice to own a towering and intimidating plastic avatar of Emperor Palpatine. It shall allow me to endlessly quote Return of the Jedi while prancing about my basement apartment dungeon wielding a a wiffle-ball bat taped up in red electrical tape. Aside from that, you can enjoy the immense detailing that has gone into this figure. But mostly the role-playing.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Okay, so the movie pretty much sucks. There are some cool moments, but overall it contradicts the X-Men films as well as destroys some of the best characters in the Marvel Universe. Why is it on this list? For those of you that are audio/visual/home theater nerds, this is the next DVD to take your sound system to the brink. Also, the month is kind of light on comic book movie releases. X-Men Origins: Wolverine hits DVD and Blu-ray September 15.
Doctor Who: The Next Doctor
Christmas! Cyber Men! Two Doctors! Last year’s Doctor Who Christmas Special hits DVD on September 15, and it’s a must own for Who fanatics. Of course, the title is a bit misleading, as clearly the second Doctor featured in this special is not the succeeding Doctor for David Tennant. Putting Tennant’s Doctor in the role of the assistant provides great entertainment, as the two Doctors have to work together to prevent total domination of the Cyber Men.
X-Men: Volume 3 & 4
Those of you that seem to fondly remember Fox’s animated X-Men as being on par with Batman: The Animated Series, well…you are wrong. The animation is stiff and the voice acting can be a bit much at times. However, the series’ devotion to retelling lengthy storylines from the comics can’t be denied, not to mention the amazing theme song that I personally still associate with the X-Men to this day. At the very least, you will get some nostalgic value out of these sets, just don’t expect the artistry you seem to recall it having. Both volumes release on September 15.
Superman/Batman: Public Enemies
Based on the Superman/Batman story arc of the same name by Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness, Public Enemies reunites the Superman and BatmanAnimated Series voice actors of Kevin Conroy (Batman), Tim Daly (Superman) and Clancy Brown (Lex Luthor), which is awesome. Like the other DCU animated movies before it, Public Enemies is PG-13, and features an art style similar to that of the original artist. The two-disc special edition will have a special look at DC’s Blackest Night, which is entirely unrelated, but cool nonetheless. Public Enemies will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on September 29.