Television’s most porous protagonist comes to comics, this time in his very own comic book, thanks to his creator Stephen Hillenburg and comics editor Chris Duffy (former editor of Nickelodeon Magazine). The bi-monthly SpongeBob Comics will feature a who’s who of contributors, including James Kochalka, Graham Annable, Hilary Barta, Jacob Chabot and Gregg Schigiel. That’s a heck of a creative line-up, so here’ shoping SpongeBob’s book lasts longer than some certain other underwater comics characters’ books usually do.
All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #4: Each issue of Sholly Fisch and Rick Burchett’s new volume of the all-ages Batman team-up title has been better than the previous one, so I’m looking forward to seeing how long they can keep that streak going. Hopefully at least one more issue, as this one’s a Valentine’s Day related issue, featuring Batman and Wonder Woman getting married.
Batman and Robin #20: After a three-issue delay, the previously announced Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason creative team shows up for the official beginning of their run.
Cinderella: Fables Are Forever #1: Chris Roberson and Shawn McManus’ Fables spin-off must have done fairly well for Vertigo, which explains the launch of a new six-issue mini by the team.
DC Comics Presents: Wonder Woman: This installment of one of DC’s almost-trade collections contains a few issues form the beginning of writer Erik Luke and pencil artist Yanick Paquette’s run on Wonder Woman—including a two-part story entitled “Trinity” and featuring Batman and Superman. This week also sees the release of DC Comics Presents: Green Lantern: Fear Itself, a DC Comics Presents reprinting of a 1999 original graphic novel by Ron Marz and Brad Parker, set in three different eras and featuring three different Lanterns. (By the way, if that sub-title sounds familiar, Don MacPherson notes that Marvel’s been promoting the hell out of it, having attached it to their upcoming crossover event storyline thingee, in one of those strange coincidences the company’s sometimes share). Both books are 95-pages, and cost $8.
Femina and Fauna: The Art of Camilla D’Errico: This is a collection of work from a fine artist, and therefore isn’t really comics. But it comes from Dark Horse, a publisher of comics, it will be on sale in comic shops this week, and it looks well worth mentioning to anyone interested in fantasy-driving, representational pop art. Like you guys, for example. It’s a $23, 110-page book, and you can take a looksee at the cover and seven or so images here.
Hack/Slash Ongoing #1: Time Seeley’s duo of killer-killers, scantily-clad attractive young lady Cassie Hack and big masked monster man Vlad, are back, and this time they’re here to stay. The franchise abandons the series of mini-series model for a new ongoing series, written by Seeley and drawn by Dan Leister, Seeley’s collaborator on the My First Maniac series. You can check out the first few pages here.
The Li’l Depressed Boy #1: Web-comics coming to print is nothing new, but it is sort of unusual that this particular web-comic is coming to print not via a book-sized collection, but as a serial, 22-page comic book. It’s from writer S. Steven Struble and artist Sina Grace, and you can check out the first few pages here.
Mid-Life: This $20, 185-page trade from Joe Ollman tells the tale of a man experiencing a mid-life crisis, the toll it takes on his family, and how his crisis intersects with the life crisis of a children’s performer. You can see a nine-page preview here.
Onslaught Unleashed #1: The mid-nineties Big Bad that tore through the Marvel Universe (and shuffled a few of their franchises off to a pocket universe where Jim Lee and Rob Liefeld acted as their creators) is back in a new four-issue miniseries featuring the line-ups of The Secret Avengers and the Young Allies. One of those young Allies, Nomad, is the Bucky from the that pocket universe, and writing this story will be Nomad and Young Allies writer Sean McKeever. Filipe Andrade provides the art. And if you still need to catch up on what Nomad and the Young Allies have been up to prior to this series, this week also sees the release a $25, 190-page trade collecting the entire six-issue Young Allies series, plus the Firestar one-shot and an Age of Heroes story. McKeever wrote all of that material, while David Baldeon and Emma Rios handled the pencils.
On The Line: This looks pretty cool. Image Comics is publishing a $13, 48-page, six-inch-by-six-inch hardcover collection of newspaper comic strips by Rian Hughes that originally appeared in The Guardian. Says the publisher, it features “modern design-savvy approach that still tips the hat to classic UPA cartoons and the angular work of Gene Dietch.” Definitely sounds like something worth a flip-through if you see it in your shop this week.
Suicide Squad Vol. 1: Trial By Fire: This has been announced in one form or another so many times that I’m hesitant to believe this time’s for real…at least until I hold it in my hands on Wednesday. This $20, 230-page trade paperback is set to collect the first eight issues of the 1987 DC Comics action series, in which rotating rosters of condemned super-villains (and a few other bad-ass anti-hero types) take on suicide missions for U.S. government. John Ostrander wrote, while Luke McDonnel, Dave Hunt, Bob Lewis and Karl Kesel provided the art. I hope this sells well enough that DC can collect the entire 66-issue series (and annuals and crossovers) and I can finally abandon my years-long attempts to find all the back issues in back-issue bins.
Power Man and Iron Fist #1: This five-issue miniseries is one of several new titles and new directions spinnig out of the Daredevil-focused Shadowland event. That introduced a brand-new, not-Luke Cage Power Man character, and in this series teams the new Power Man with the old Iron Fist. It’s by Fred Van Lente and Wellinton Alves.
Tyrannosaurus Rex: Mark Kidwell, Jay Fotos and Jeff Zornow pit a man against the king of the dinosaurs in this special, $4 one-shot. Science tells us dinosaurs and human beings never co-existed, but this five-page preview tells us that this could potentially be a pretty awesome comic book.
Ultimate Avengers Vs. New Ultimates #1: Mark Millar teams with Leinil Francis Yu for the latest in the string of Ultimate miniseries featuring Avengers-like teams, this one featuring two of those teams fighting one another. It’s a six-issue, $4-an—issue series that will tie in to the death of Ultimate Spider-Man storyline in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man. It apparently opens with a train wreck; hopefully that’s not meat as a metaphor for the current state of the the Ultimate Marvel Universe and its future.
Wolverine #1000 and Wolverine #5.1: Is there a better example of super-comics not being new reader-friendly than this Wednesday’s Wolverine comics? The 1,000th issue and the 5.1st issue of the series are both in shops in the very same week. The #1000 issue is just a random oversized anthology one-shot for $5, while the #5.1 issue is part of Marvel’s “.1″ initiative, and is thus a supposedly new reader-friendly special issue set between the fifth and sixth issues of the regular Wolverine series.
Zita The Spacegirl: This $11, 190-page trade from Ben Hatke follows the adventure of a little girl who finds a red button, pushes it, opens a portal to an alien world where her friend gets captured, and then goes off to save him. It sounds—and looks—delightful.