Villains have learned over the years that Batman can never really be killed, but he can certainly be delayed, as the the sixth and final issue of Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne has sure demonstrated. It’s ten weeks late, and the returned Bruce Wayne has already showed up in at least nine different comics already, so maybe Calendar Man is on to something after all. Grant Morrison is still writing, Lee Garbett and Walden Wong are still drawing (with Pere Perez and Alejandro Sicat helping them) and it’s a 30-page, $4 book. DC has a preview here.
10th Muse: The Lost Issue #4: Losing one issue is a mistake, but losing four issues? That’s just careless.
The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #1: What’s so all-new about this volume of the comic based on the Batman: The Brave and the Bold television cartoon? Well, the creative team, for one. While the previous incarnation featured rotating teams, this version will be written by Sholly Fisch and drawn by Rick Burchett, who knows a thing or 10,000 about drawing comics based on animated series based on comics. In this first issue, Batman teams up with Superman for an adventure in the Bottle City of Kandor.
Amazing Spider-Man #648: Marvel’s three-year experiment with a tri-monthly ASM by a team of writers and artists has come to an end, but the company still has big plans for the character. This issue is the official start of their next branding effort for the title,”Big Time.” This issue features a 39-page lead feature by Dan Slott and Humberto Ramos, guest-starring The Avengers and The Fantastic Four, and a Spider-Girl back up by Paul Tobin and Clayton Henry. That’s a pretty good page-count for a $4 book from Marvel these days.
Ant-Man & The Wasp #1: The former Ant-Man Hank Pym, who is currently upholding his late wife’s legacy as The Wasp, is forced to team-up with Eric O’Grady, the irredeemable louse currently upholding Pym’s legacy as Ant-Man. Hilarity presumably ensues. Tim Seeley writes and draws this three-issue, $4-per-issue series.
Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes #1: Writer Christopher Yost and artists Scott Wegener and Patrick Scherberger present a four-issue miniseries based on the the new animated series based on The Avengers comics.
Batgirl #15: The ongoing monthly featuring the new new Batgirl is still being written by Bryan Q. Miller, but this issue it gets a new pencil artist in Dustin Nguyen. As I mentioned yesterday, at least one scene of this issue looks incredibly charming.
Darkwing Duck: The Duck Knight Returns: Writer Ian Brill and artist James Silvani’s miniseries resurrecting the Disney Afternoon superhero is now a $15, 110-page trade paperback. I’ve only read the first one-fifth of the book, but I liked that quite a bit, and if the next four-fifths are as good, then this should be the perfect comic book for fans of superheroes, ducks or superhero ducks.
Dungeons & Dragons #1: After the bargain-priced #0 preview issue, IDW’s new D&D comic kicks off in earnest this week. John Rogers writes, Andrea DiVito draws and the price of admission is $4.
Elmer: The premise of this $13, 145-page graphic novel by Gerry Alanquilan is that chickens have suddenly evolved to the point where they can talk and think as well as humans, and are struggling to become part of humanity. The Beat has previews of it up here and here, and it sure looks gorgeous.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Vol. 1: Pterror Over Paris and The Eiffel Tower Demon: Soon to be a major motion picture! Jacques Tardi’s mystery adventure stories set in pre-WWI Paris are being retranslate dand republished by Fantagraphics in a new series of books. I’ve only read The Eiffel Tower Demon, but if Pterror Over Paris is anything like that, then this should be a great package. It’s going to be a $25, 95-page hardcover, and you can download a preview of it here.
Forgetless: Suddenly-everywhere writer Nick Spencer, W. Scott Forbes, Jorge Coelno and Marley Zarcone’s 2009 Image series about a cast of colorful characters crossing paths at a huge NYC party is now a $15, 130-page trade paperback.
G.I. Joe: Hearts and Minds Vol. 1: This $25, 130-page hardcover collects World War Z author Max Brooks’ series of characters spotlights of various Joes and Cobras, with art by Howard Chaykin and Antonio Fuso.
Green Lantern Corps: Emerald Eclipse: This 160-page, $15 trade paperback collects the story in which Kyle Rayner discovers that although he’s in love with sexy vampire Guy Gardner, he also has feelings for Sodom Yat, a hunky werewolf who loves Kyle and wants him to leave Guy for him. Unless I’m getting this mixed up with something else with a similar title.
Halcyon #1: Marc Guggenheim and Tara Butters collaborate with artists Ryan Bodenheim and Mark Englert for a super-comic that sounds like an inversion of Wanted or Empire, at least in terms of its premise: “What happens when the superheroes win? What happens once there is no crime, no war?”
Iron Man: The Rapture #1: The Rapture is here! Will Tony Stark ascend bodily into heaven with the chosen saved, or will he be left on earth with the sinners? Maybe we’ll find out in this four-issue, $4-per-issue Marvel Knights-branded miniseries by prose novelist Alexander Irvine and pencil artist Lan Medina (We won’t actually find out the answer to that particular question; this is actually going to be “a pulse-pounding cyberpunk thriller” in which a heart attack leads to the creation of “Stark 2.0″ and a technovirus and that sort of thing).
The Smurfs Vol. 3: King Smurf: The next book in Papercutz’s Smurfs reprint program features a story in which Papa Smurf leaves the village, and it quickly falls into chaos and democracy—not necessarily in that order. Joe McCulloch wrote such an excellent review of/essay on this storyline for Savage Critics last year that I imagine the book is well reading if only as a companion piece to Jog’s piece. Although if the first two volumes of Papercutz’s reprints are any indication, King Smurf is probably also some pretty great comics. As with the preceding two volumes, it will be available in both an $11 hardcover and $6 paperback edition.
Superman Vs. Muhammad Ali: Remember that one time that Superman faced off against Muhammad Ali in a boxing match? Not if you’re not of a certain age you don’t. Even if you weren’t reading comics in 1978 though, you’ve probably heard of this weird crossover story. Well, now’s your chance to read (or re-read it, as the case may be). DC is re-publishing the epic by Dennis O’Neil, Neal Adams, Dick Giordano and Terry Austin as both a $20 hardcover “deluxe edition” and a $40 hardcover “facsimile edition” printed at its original 10-inch-by-13.25-inch size.
THUNDER Agents #1: I hate to be a Negative Nelly here, but how long does anyone actually think this revival of some old superhero characters from the 1960s, last heard from in the 1980s, will actually last? I’m going to say 18 issues, tops. No I’m just kidding—I don’t hate being a Negative Nelly at all. Writer Nick Spencer and artist Cafu are the creators assigned the task of rolling this particular boulder up the hill. It’s a $4, 30-page issue, although according to dccomics.com by the third issue it will drop down to $3 for fewer pages. You can see a preview here.
Victorian Undead II: Holmes Vs. Dracula #1: The sub-title says it all. The abandoned Demeter floats into London harbor, missing its entire crew and a certain Transylvanian passenger, and Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson take the case. Ian Edginton writes, Davide Fabbri draws and and DC/Wildstorm charges $4 for the first installment of this five-issue series.