Afrodisiac: I could have sworn this had already came out, but there it is on the Diamond shipping list for this week’s releases. Well, this is Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca’s gorgeous original graphic novel (of sorts) dedicated to the title character, a sort of What If…Luke Cage Were a Pimp with Pheromone Super-Powers? story told in a variety of styles. Guest-starring Dracula, Hercules, Death and Richard Nixon. It’s $16 for a 96-page hardcover. Even if you don’t buy it, make sure you at least pick it up and flip through it this week, as it is one beautiful book—wonderfully designed and full of eye-candy artwork. You can see a preview here.
Amazing Spider-Man #619: I hereby move that Marvel re-title this comic book The Amazing Marcos Martin (Featuring Spider-Man). This is part two of Martin and writer Dan Slott’s Mysterio story.
Avengers: The Initiative #32: Marvel’s “superhero army” the Initiative find themselves fighting alongside the Dark Avengers against the forces of Asgard, and the solicitation makes it sound like some of the cast won’t survive. Given the minor Marvels and new characters that have always made up the team, that sounds likely and, in fact, that’s always been one of the more exciting aspects of the title—the characters always seemed more highly mutable (and expendable!) than those in most other Marvel books. Christos Gage writes and Mahmud Asrar draws. The other Siege books of the week are New Avengers #61, a $4 installment of Siege mastermind Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen’s ongoing, and Siege: Storming Asgard—Heroes and Villains, a $4 book that sounds like something between a book of profiles on the major players and some behind-the-scenes material.
Batman and Robin #7: Grant Morrison is joined by another new artistic collaborator as a third story arc begins—his Seaguy and Manhattan Guardian collaborator Cameron Stewart. (Hooray!) This arc is entitled “Blackest Knight” and will guest-star The Knight, The Squire and Batwoman.
Batman: Under The Cowl: This $18, 145-page trade paperback collects stories Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Chuck Dixon, Bill Willingham, Doug Moench, Andy Kubert, Mike McKone, Graham Nolan, Tom Fowler, Mike Gustovich and others. The theme is apparently Batman comics in which people-other-than-Bruce Wayne are in the Bat-costume, including Jean-Paul Valley, Dick Grayson, Damian al Ghul, Tim Drake and Terry McGinnis. Most of these stories have been collected elsewhere, and are chapters in bigger, longer narratives rather than standalone stories, but it’s not a bad sampler of various Batman creative teams over the course of the last two decades.
Captain America: Reborn #6: Weeks after other books spoiled the (admittedly, foregone conclusion of an) ending, the story of the original Cap’s rebirth sees completion. It’s by Ed Brubaker and Bryan Hitch, and will run you $4.
Green Lantern #50: This looks like a fairly big week for DC’s Blackest Night event. The book the event spun out of hits a big anniversary number, and writer Geoff Johns (who wrote the last 49) and current art team Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy celebrate with an over-sized, $3.99 issue. Johns also pens this week’s back-from-the-dead issue of Atom and Hawkman, featuring art by Ryan Sook and co-stars who are now on two different Lantern Corps. And, finally, James Robinson and Eddy Barrows continue their three-part story of what the JSA has been up to during all this in Blackest Night: JSA#2.
Justice League: Cry For Justice #6: James Robinson and Mauro Cascioli’s hilariously behind schedule miniseries staggers one more ponderous step towards its seventh and final issue. How comically behind schedule is Cry? Well, it’s set before Blackest Night, which is five-sevenths over, and the last three issues of JLoA have been set after the events of Cry‘s last chapter. (By the way, does that mean JLoA #41, which also ships this week and features the debut of the new line-up, will be the first DC book set after Blackest Night wraps up…?) Both JLoA and Cry are $4, although Cry‘s page count will, if the past five issues or any indication, include pages of prose back-matter to reach the 40-page page count indicated on dccomics.com
Kick Ass #8: It still boggles my mind that they managed to make a whole movie in the time it took Mark Millar and the usually speedy John Romita Jr. to produce eight issues of a comic book.
Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man and The Avengers: While technically accurate, the title is perhaps a bit misleading. This $10, 95-page digest collects four issues of Marvel Adventures Super Heroes, only one of which features a Spider-Man team-up (With Tigra and She-Hulk, versus The Leader). Other heroes appearing include The Hulk, Hawkeye, Spider-Woman, Giant Girl, The Beast and The Blond Phantom. All four stories are written by Paul Tobin, and the art comes courtesy David Baldeon, Marcelo Dichiara, Denis Medri and Amilcar Pinna.
Robocop #1: Robocop is back again…again! This time Dynamite Entertainment is publishing the adventures of the half man, half mahine, all cop hero, and they’ve got Rob Williams writing and Fabiano Neves drawing.
Sword #21: Hey, I thought Marvel just canceled this…?
Teen Titans #79: Oh hey, remember how DC was integrating the Milestone Universe into the DC Universe? Whatever happened with that? Well, in this issue Static and his Titans teammates return to Dakota with him, in a story by the title’s apparently occasional “regular” writer Felicia D. Henderson and the art team of Joe Bennett and Jack Jadson. It’s a $4 book, but comes with the usual Ravager back-up.
Ultimate Comics Enemy #1: Apparently not content with writing one line-wide crossover event for Marvel, Brian Michael Bendis is also scrpting an Ultimate Comics event story, the universe’s first since it was relaunched post Ultimatum as “Ultimate Comics.” The solicitation is basically meaningless gibberish, so no guess as to what it’s about, beyond there being some kind of, you know, enemy involved. It’s going to be drawn by Rafa Sandoval, feature a cover by Ed McGuinness and carry the Ultimate Comics pricetag of $4.