Are you enjoying Marvel’s universe-wide “Dark Reign” mega-story? If so, you’ll have no shortage of Dark Reign-branded books to choose from this week. Dark Reign: Zodiac and Dark Reign: Lethal Legion are two new three-issue miniseries that are launching tomorrow, Dark Reign: The Sinister Spider-Man kicks off a new four-issue miniseries, and Dark Reign: Elektra and Dark Reign: The Hood each ship new issues. Each book is $3.99. These are only the books that have the actual words “Dark Reign” in their actual titles; there are a couple more tie-ins shipping this week, like Dark Avengers, Dark Wolverine, Avengers: The Initiative, Amazing Spider-Man and Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia. That’s…that’s an awful lot of comics right there.
And it’s only a drop in the bucket of new book’s shipping this week. As for the rest of the bucket’s contents, join me after after the jump.
Actress and the Bishop #1: All I know about this is that it’s a collection of Brian Bolland comic strips, and “Brian Bolland comic strips” is pretty much all I need to know about it.
Avengers/Invaders #12: While Alex Ross, Jim Krueger, Steve Sadowski and company’s twelve-part series teaming the modern (well, pre-Secret Invasion) New Avengers with the WWII-era Invaders hasn’t been great comics or anything, it has been a ton of fun. I’ve really enjoyed the series, and am pretty sorry there isn’t a #13 scheduled for next month. Maybe Ross, Krueger and Sadowski will give us a Project: Superpowers/Invaders series next? Or a The Twelve/Invaders? Or, fingers crossed, Baby Namor?
Awesome 2: Awesomer: The title pretty much says it all. This is the second anthology edited by the Indie Spinner Rack podcasters, featuring work from Chris Duffy, Sarah Glidden, Fred Van Lente, Ryan Dunlavey, Jeff Lemire, Alex Robinson, J. Chris Campbell and others, under a cover by Jeff Smith. It’s 200-pages for $15. Preview here.
Barack The Barbarian #1: Apparently, no one’s thought better of this since it was first announced, and it will indeed be in comics shops this week. Larry Hama, Chis Schons and Rachelle Rosenberg try to marry political satire to Conan comics and come up with…this. I’m equally curious about this book’s contents and depressed about its very existence.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold #6: Based on the cover alone, this issue seems to feature Batman teaming up with a pre-Morrison Kid Eternity to fight General Immortus, and Kid E.’s resurrected back-up includes Vigilante, G.I. Robot, Viking Prince and Shining Knight. Writer J. Torres and pencil artist Andy Suriano, the strongest of B:TbntB’s pencil artists, would have to work really, really hard to make this anything less than awesome.
Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1: Hey, did you know this is the first Avengers/X-Men crossover in 15 years? Apparently it is. Uncanny X-Men writer Matt Fraction and very popular X-person artist Marc Silvestri team up to tell the tale of these two teams fighting each other. It will cost you $3.99, and it kicks off a six-part crossover event. I kinda like the logo.
Detective Comics #854: A good three years after her debut in 52, the new Batwoman finally gets that ongoing series DC announced for her at the time. Well, sort of. She’s actually taking over TEC for the foreseeable future, although I doubt anyone will mind—J.H. Williams’ art has always been strong, but the pages from this particular book that have made it out into the wild so far seem to be the work of his career (You can download a preview from here). Williams is paired with writer Greg Rucka, who has certainly had success writing Bat-characters and female action/adventure heroines in the past. DC’s longest-running ongoing adds ten pages and a $1 to it’s cover price this week, with a Rucka-written, Cully Hamner-drawn Question II back-up following the Batwoman story. Renee Montoya and Kate Kane aren’t the only Gotham girls getting some spotlight this week, however. New Bat-book Gotham City Sirens launches, featuring Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn as written by Paul Dini and drawn by Guillem March, one of the best and most exciting new artists to start drawing for DC in some time. You can check out a healthy preview of the book here.
Empowered Vol. 5: Adam Warren’s ongoing cheesecake action romantic comedy is probably the single best superhero comic book being published today, and you’ll find another 200 pages of it waiting for you and your $15 at your local shop this week.
Female Force #4: Caroline Kennedy: The latest of Bluewater Productions’ shoddy-looking political bio comics features Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy who recently commanded a news cycle or two for by being briefly considered to fill the senate seat being vacated by former Female Force star Hillary Clinton when she was appointed secretary of state. It’s $3.99, if you want to encourage them to make more of these crazy things.
Outlaw Territory Vol. 1: This kinda makes me wish I had an extra $20 to spend this week. It’s ananthology of western stories from such creators as Greg Pak, Dean Motter, Steven Grant, Andy MaDonald, Max Fiurma, Joe Kelly, Khoi Pham, Joshua Hale Fialkov and others, with a gorgeous looking cover by Greg Ruth. Outlaw Territory is 240 pages for $20. You can read a preview here.
Low Moon: It’s the latest from Jason. Or, in other words, it’s one of this week’s absolute must-reads. This 200-page, $25 hardcover features the title story, the “chess western” that ran in the New York Times Sunday Magazine‘s Funny Pages section, plus four other stories. I’ll have a review later, but c’mon, it’s Jason. You can download a 12-page excerpt from the story “Emily Says Hello” here. (It may not be entirely safe for work, as there’s a topless dog lady cartoon person thing in it).
Magic Trixie and The Dragon: I honestly can’t say enough good things about Jill Thompson’s Magic Trixie graphic novels, which revolve around a little witch, her witch family and the other cute little monsters she goes to school with. This is the third volume, and if it’s anything like the prior two, Magic Trixie and Magic Trixie Sleeps Over, it will feature Thompson’s gorgeous, fully-painted art in a story that’s all-ages in the best sense of the word. It’s $8 for 96-pages.
Remake: Lamar Abrams’ excellent comedy about an Astro Boy-like robot is 144 very funny pages for $13. I just reviewed it here last week, or, if you don’t want to take my word for it, you can always download a preview here.
Runaways #11: The brand-new creative team of writer Kathryn Immonen, responsible for the deeply weird 2008 series Patsy Walker: Hellcat, and artist Sarah Pichelli, whose excellent work fans got a good look at in the first half of the previous issue, begin their run with this issue. If you’re not familiar with Immonen’s work yet, Marvel is also releasing a trade collection of Hellcat this week, featuring art by Runaways’ new cover artist David Lafuente.
Turok, Son of Stone Archives Vol. 2: More classic Native Americans versus dinosaur adventure comics in a 225-pages for $50 hardcover “archives” format. Brief preview here.
Yokai Doctor Vol. 1: This new Del Rey manga series is about a doctor who treats Japanese spirits and monsters. I can’t believe no one thought to do a series about this subject before. Manga-ka Yuki Sato did, and you can see the first 225-pages worth of results for $10.99.