The biggest direct market release of the week should be Fear Itself #1, the official kick off of Marvel’s latest line-engulfing crossover story. Unlike the majority of the previous big Marvel crossovers, this one won’t be written by Brian Michael Bendis, but instead by Matt Fraction, with Stuart Immonen providing the pencils and covers (Well, some of the covers, anyway; there should be several for each issue of this). As far as I can make out, the premise seems to have something to do with a pre-Asgardian force referred to as The Serpent giving various Marvel characters giant Thor-like sledgehammers and glowy redesigns, and also making other heroes face their worst fears or something.
At the very least, I imagine the prevalence of hammers in the series will guarantee a great deal more hitting and smashing than either Siege or Secret Invasion managed to muster. It’s a $4, 56-page book.
Aaron and Ahmed: Prose novelist Jay Cantor and Bronx Kill artist James Romberger team for an original graphic novel exploring the question, “What causes terrorism?” It’s a $25, 145-page hardcover from Vertigo’s crime imprint.
Blue Estate #1: This high-concept crime comedy comic sounds like it could be either awesome or terrible—“an alcoholic hit man and a desperate starlet dodge Russian mobsters, Italian gangsters, ninjas, hippies and the LAPD in a scheme to steal millions from a psychotic action movie hero”— but considering some of the artists involved, I’m leaning toward awesome. Screenwriter and artist Viktor Kalvachev write, while Nathan Fox, Toby Cypress, Kalvachev himself and others draw. You can see a preview here.
Blue Exorcist Vol. 1: This new manga series from Viz is about young Rin Okumura, an orphan boy raised by an exorcist who discovers his real dad is Satan himself. With a background like that, naturally he decides to go to exorcism school. It’s from creator Kato Kazue, and the first volume is 200-pages for $10
BPRD: The Dead Remembered #1: The latest offering from the Mignola-verse is a three-issue miniseries flashing back to a teenage Liz Sherman joining Professor Broom on an investigation in New England. Scott Allie and Mike Mignola write, while Karl Moline and Andy Owens provide the art. You can see a preview here.
Green Lantern: Secret Origin Edition: This new, 190-page, $15 trade collecting Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Oclair Albert’s six-issue “Secret Origin” features a new introduction by the live-action Green Lantern Ryan Reynolds and a new, lame-o photo cover from the movie. I wonder if that indicates how closely the film will be following “Secret Origin”, as you don’t normally see this sort of covers on books that have been made into films unless the films are direct adaptations of the books.
Herc #1: Sometimes I’m unsure whether to roll my eyes at the seemingly needlessly complicated path Marvel’s Hercules comics have taken over the years, or clap for the publisher and writing team’s tenacity in finding a strategy to keep the relatively low-selling character in a regularly scheduled comic book for so long. This latest Hercules series follows his takeover of Incredible Hulk’s numbering for 29 issues before giving those numbers back to the re-re-titled Incredible Hulks, two-issue miniseries Hercules: Fall of An Avenger, four-issue mini Prince of Power and event/miniseries Chaos War. The Fred Van Lente and Greg Pak writing team will still be handling Herc’s adventures, and Neil Edwards is the artist they’re currently working with. The first issue is $4 for some reason (shouldn’t the jumping on point be more, rather than less, attractive?), but the title will drop back down to $3 in the months to come.
Orc Stain #6: Orc Stain! Where have you been? I’ve missed you.
Our Army at War: This is $15, 130-page trade paperback collects the five one-issue revivals of DC’s old war comics from last year. Darwyn Cooke, B. Clay Moore, Phil Winslade, Matt Sturges, Justiniano, Jan Strnad, Steve Pugh, Gabriel Hardman, and others tell stories featuring Sgt. Rock, The Haunted Tank, The Losers and Mademoiselle Marie.
Outlaw Prince: Rob Hughes, Thomas Yeates and Michael William Kaluta have adapted Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “The Outlaw of Torn” into a 110-page, $50 hardcover. You can see a preview here.
Peanuts: Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown: Here it is, your first brand new Peanuts comic in pretty much forever! “New” is, of course, a relative term, as this is actually an original graphic novel adaptation of the new Peanuts cartoon special, which itself was adapted from Charles Schulz strips. That’s close enough for many of us, though. The $20, 96-page hardcover from Boom Studio’s new Kaboom kids imprint is written by Pearls Before Swine cartoonist Stephan Pastis and features art from Bob Scott, Vicki Scott and Ron Zorman.
Poseurs: This 150-page, $17 orginal graphic novel by Deborah Vankin and Rick Mays is billed as a “YA graphic novel,” and follows three teenagers very different parts of LA who meet one another in a story that’s “full-blown party noir.” Well, I like the sound of that. You can see a preview here; both in the way its being sold and the cover design, its very suggestive of DC’s too-short lived Minx imprint.
Remake: Lamar Abrams’ 2009 book about a robot boy with a gun that turns things into stuff is being offered again from AdHouse, presumably in preparation for an upcoming Remake Special. If you missed it the first time around, I can’t recommend it highly enough—it’s really funny stuff. You can check out a preview here.
Skaar: King of The Savage Land #1: Writer Rob Williams and pencil artist Brian Ching send the savage, half-alien son of the Hulk to Marvel’s land of mutants, dinosaurs and jungle adventure in this new series. According to Ed McGuinness’ cover, he’ll totally be fighting Devil Dinosaur before long.
Solomon Kane: Red Shadows #1: Dark Horse’s latest Solomon Kane series is by Bruce Jones and Rashan Ekedal, and begins with an adaptation of an original Robert E. Howard story. You can see a preview here.
Superstar: As Seen on TV: IDW rescues another comic from the back-issue bins and represents it as a trade collection. This 80-page, $15 hardcover contains pretty much all of Kurt Busiek and Stuart Immonen’s forward-looking comics about superhero-as-media star (The high concept? The hero is only as powerful as he is popular). Busiek would be happy to tell you all about it here, and you can download an eight page preview there as well.
Yesterday’s Tomorrows: This $25, 265-page trade collects artist Rian Hughes’ collaborations with Grant Morrison (one of which is a Dan Dare story), Tom DeHaven (on a Raymond Chandler adaptation), John Freeman and Chris Reynolds. Take a look here.