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Welcome to the weekly previews for July 20th, 2011 here at! The truth is everyone would read all the books if they had the time and money, but in reality most of us don’t. Here you will find a little taste of some major comics being released each week, my take on them, and, as always, feels free to discuss below. Whether you have been into comics since you were a little one, or are new to the game, I’m here to help you decide which books are for you. I’ve picked out some comics I feel will stand out in the coming week and listed them under their respective publisher, with over a dozen previews of some of your favorite books such as ”AVENGERS”, “GATES OF GOTHAM”, and “THE WALKING DEAD”. Read on for the skinny…

Avengers #15

WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis
PRICE: $3.99

”FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN It won’t take some of the Avengers to fight the madness of fear itself it will take ALL OF THEM!! It’s an Avengers reunion in the ruined streets of New York as Avengers old and new gather to fight the fight no single hero could possibly withstand. And finally, who on the Avengers will fall in love…for the very first time?! What? We can’t believe it either!”

It’s another busy week for Brian Michael Bendis over at Marvel. With so many series going on at the same time it’s truly amazing how he manages to maintain the same quality in all of his works. Avengers is by far one of the most different titles falling under the Fear Itself banner, which is shocking considering how popular it is. The tie-ins thus far have been slow-paced, wordy, and actually provide insight into the lives of our heroes after dealing with “The Worthy”.

Daredevil #1

ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Paolo Manuel Rivera and Marcos Martin
PRICE: $3.99

”THIS SUMMER, THE DEVIL IS REBORN. RENEWED. RESSURECTED. With new enemies, new friends…and that same old ‘grinnin’ in the face of hell’ attitude, The Man Without Fear is back in a double-sized first issue and leading with his face! Mark Waid (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, Irredeemable, RUSE) joins neo-legendary artists Paolo Rivera and Marcos Martin for a new spin on Daredevil that will leave you gasping for air. Having turned his world upside over the past several years, Matt Murdock realizes that justice may not be blind to his past and villains may not be the only ones looking for answers. Bring it on. If Matt Murdock could see what he was doing… he’d be terrified.”

There was no way in hell that Daredevil would not come back to the Marvel Universe. Though he’s had some time off, Murdock is back and more motivated than ever before. The past few years have been proof that rebirth stories often make the best comics; just a little innovation is all it take to make a character great again. This new Daredevil ongoing should be no exception.

 Fear Itself: FF #1

WRITTEN BY: Cullen Bunn
PRICE: $2.99

”FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN XXXX XXXXX…one of the most beloved heroes in the Marvel Universe — is now the willing avatar of the Serpent’s malice– an engine of discord cutting an unstoppable path of destruction through the heart of New York City! How did the Serpent’s Hammer seduce him so easily? Can the rest of the XXXXXXX stop him before he levels the entire city in the name of his dark master?”

Honestly I have no idea what all those “X”s are supposed to mean since we already know The Thing is one of the Serpent’s minions. That aside, I really, really, really hope that this tie-in will be in the same class as the ongoing FF series, which has been absolutely “fantastic” so far (get it?).

Invincible Iron Man #506

WRITTEN BY: Matt Fraction
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Salvador Larroca
PRICE: $3.99

”FEAR ITSELF TIE-IN! As Tony Stark falls apart and struggles to rebuild, the world needs Iron Man in action, in battle, out there saving the day. Tony’s constructing the future of Asgard and the Marvel Universe, but if he can’t even save himself…how can he save anyone else? It all gets personal, as Tony has to face his greatest fear once and for all.”

Fraction’s Iron Man is back in fine form after a few mediocre issues. Fear Itself is most definitely taking its toll on Stark, which is evident from his reversion back to the bottles of liquor. Showcasing Stark’s personality and the difficulty of dealing with thousands of deaths on his hands, Iron Man is finding it hard to be what he needs to be: A hero.

Ultimate Comics Fallout #2 (of 6)

WRITTEN BY: Brian Michael Bendis, Jonathan Hickman, and Nick Spencer
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Mark Bagley and Sara Pichelli
PRICE: $3.99

”DEATH OF SPIDER-MAN has sent shockwaves throughout the Ultimate Universe. Find out what happens next!”

The first issue gave fans much of what they believed to be lacking in the conclusion of “The Death of Spider-Man” arc. This series seems to be working much like the sequel to an epic novel like Dune, where it explains everything you wish was in the original. It’s hard to know where Ultimate Comics will go from here, but with Bendis leading the way it’s going to be a fun ride.

X-Men #15

WRITTEN BY: Christopher Yost
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Paco Medina and Dalibor Talijic
PRICE: $3.99

”’FIRST TO LAST’-The battle fought in two time-periods comes to a climactic conclusion! The X-Men are the only thing that stand between the Evolutionaries and the complete annihilation of the human race. On top of that, learn secrets of Emma Frost’s past and what she had to do with the original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.”

It’s already here boys and gals, the conclusion of one of the best recent X-Men arcs. I’ve already praised this series as one of the best X-titles available today, and I’m sad to see this arc come to a close. Hopefully this will pave the way for X-books to come in the future.

Batman #712

WRITTEN BY: Tony S. Daniel
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Steve Scott and Ryan Winn
PRICE: $2.99

”Batman uses both his wits and brute force to deal with new and old enemies alike. Will Two-Face find his coin? Does the Riddler finally get the skeleton key to his locked memories? Is there a new power hierarchy about to reign in Gotham City? Find out in the stunning conclusion of the 3-part “Pieces.”

To be totally honest, Daniel’s work on Batman recently has not been my favorite, but that might just be because he’s got to keep up with writers like Snyder and Morrison. This issue concludes the Two-Face arc, where he’s lost the only thing that means anything to him, his coin. Like I said before, it’s not likely this will have much bearing on the reboot, but we might as well read it while it lasts.

Batman: Gates of Gotham #3 (of 5)

WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder and Kyle Higgins
PRICE: $2.99

”It’s Batman and Red Robin vs. The Architect as the villain tears through Gotham City’s first families! Plus, who is Nicholas Anders? The team continues to investigate the mysterious man from turn-of-the twentieth-century Gotham, but what they find may change everything they know about the city itself!”

We’re running out of ways to describe how much we love Snyder’s work here at Graphic Content. Each week it seems Snyder outdoes himself, and leaves us speechless. Gates of Gotham is now fully underway as it reaches it’s halfway marker this week. Don’t be a sucker and miss it.

DC Retroactive: Batman – The 70s #1

PRICE: $4.99

“The 1970s was a pivotal decade for Batman, one in which he transitioned from TV’s campy Caped Crusader into today’s Dark Knight Detective!
Now, legendary scribe Len Wein (DC UNIVERSE: LEGACIES) tells a never-before-revealed tale from this era in a brand-new story!
Plus: Following the 26-page lead story is a classic tale originally published in the ’70s, also written by Len Wein!”

This week DC is releasing a line of books called “Retroactive”, which includes Wonder Woman, Batman, and Flash. These comics are DC’s attempt to draw in the older crowd just before the reboot in order to gain a bigger fan base. As someone who never got to live through the Bronze Age of comic books, I’m excited to get a little taste of what it was like with these books.

 Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2 (of 3)

ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Alejandro Giraldo
PRICE: $2.99

“FLASH QUESTION: Trapped behind enemy lines, will the Grayson family be able to help the Resistance, or is this their final performance?”

Deadman has stolen my heart, I can’t get enough of that bone-white ghoul. Combine Deadman with the Grayson circus family and you’ve got a winner. This Flashpoint tie-in brings together two of the most infamous circus performers as they struggle to live together in a world at war. Flashpoint has some crazy storylines and this is one of the wackiest. Look for things to get bloody and brutal this week!

Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #2 (of 3)

WRITTEN BY: Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Scott Clark and David Beaty
PRICE: $2.99

”FLASH QUESTION: How many must die to avenge Queen Hippolyta’s death and satiate Diana’s fury?”

The title of this book would make for one killer band name. It’s nice to see writers and artists having fun with a tie-in series like this one. Though it’s not the best read of the Flashpoint books, it is amusing, and you get to see Wonder Woman raging after a failed marriage (…women).

War of the Green Lanterns: Aftermath #1 (of 2)
WRITTEN BY: Tony Bedard
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Claude St. Aubin and Scott Hanna
PRICE: $2.99

”The shocking consequences of the blockbuster ‘War of the Green Lantern’ event have shattered the lives of Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner, John Stewart and Kyle Rayner in ways no one will see coming. Everything you thought you knew about the Corps is no more!”

It will no doubt be difficult to top the conclusion of Green Lantern issue #67, which will keep fans talking for a while. The simple fact that Johns is not manning this project worries me, and aftermath books are rarely important in the grand scheme of things. But, there is no way I’m going to miss out on this one given how epic Green Lantern has been. It’s the end of an era folks, why not see it through to the bitter end?

Star Wars: The Old Republic #2 (of 5) Lost Suns

WRITTEN BY: Alexander Freed
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: George Freeman and Dave Ross
PRICE: $3.50

“There are dark secrets behind the treaty that brought peace to the galaxy and an end to the war between the Jedi of the Republic and the Sith Empire. Now, with rumors of the secrets spreading, the galaxy is afraid a new war may be beginning . . . Elite Republic spy Theron Shan has been assigned to find the old Jedi Master behind these rumors. Previously thought lost forever in Sith territory, Ngani Zho is back and more peculiar than before he left. Theron has his hands full with Zho, a troublesome thief, and the threatening Sith Knights who are also on Zho’s trail!”

One of the few Star Wars books that I actually read, The Old Republic launch issue was fantastic. It got me so pumped to play the new video game, which is precisely what these prequel comics should do. I think this week I’ll bust out my cloak and light saber while I read.

Duke Nukem: Glorious Bastard #1 (of 4)

PRICE: $3.99

”What do time-traveling Nazi UFOs, space pigs, and a hot French Resistance babe code-named the French Tickler have in common? They’re all about to run head-on into Duke Nukem, and for some of them (the ones that don’t look good in bikinis, that is), it’s gonna end painfully. Video game legend Duke Nukem tears it up in his first comic book series! Written by Tom Waltz (The A-Team: Shotgun Wedding) and illustrated by Xermanico. The King is finally back, baby, and he’s bigger and badder than ever!”

The sole reason I am including this in the previews is so I can say “what the fuck” in a public space, so that everyone will know how bewildered I am at this book. I mean “Glorious Bastard”, come on, that’s really they best they could come up with?

Locke & Key: Clockworks #1 (of 6)

ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Gabriel Rodriguez
PRICE: $3.99

”Colonel Adam Crais’s minutemen are literally trapped between a rock and a hard place; in the first days of the Revolutionary War, they find themselves hiding beneath 120 feet of New England stone, with a full regiment of redcoats waiting for them in the daylight… and a door into hell in the cavern below.
The black door is open, and it’s up to a 16-year-old smith named Ben Locke to find a way to close it. The biggest mysteries of the Locke & Key series are resolved as Clockworks opens, not with a bang, but with the thunderous crash of English cannons.”

Locke & Key is one of the finest horror comics in print today, offering a mix of intelligent plots with unsettling imagery. But what else would expect from the son of Stephen King. I’m sure Joe Hill is trying to distance himself from his, make his own way, and this book is proof of his writing ability. Whether it’s genetic or not, Hill is a fantastic horror author.

 Hack/Slash #6

WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
PRICE: $3.50

”’FAME MONSTER,’ Part One Every time Cassie falls asleep, she dreams of another celebrity murder. And when she wake up, she finds it has actually happened! The cast of ‘Douche Beach,’ the Pouperheus Sisters, Lady Art Projekt, even teen heart throb Kendall Schipp and his millions of ‘Worschippers’… none are safe from the Fame Monster!”

Everyone’s favorite slasher killing babe is back this week with a brand new installment for the end of summer. Hack/Slash brilliantly comments on modern pop culture while giving fans loads of gore to keep their horror bones happy. Bringing in familiar faces from across genres, Seeley’s created a fantastic character for the post-modern world.

 The Walking Dead #87

WRITTEN BY: Robert Kirkman
ILLUSTRATIONS BY: Charlie Adlard and Cliff Rathburn
PRICE: $2.99

“We learn to carry on without them.”

Anyone who reads The Walking Dead doesn’t need to be told how good it is. For those of you who don’t read it…I shame you.

 Witch Doctor #2 (of 4)

WRITTEN BY: Brandon Seifert
PRICE: $2.99

”Another foray into medical horror from ROBERT KIRKMAN’s Skybound Originals line! Is your baby really your baby – or is it a camouflaged monster that’s feeding on you while you sleep? An infestation of Cuckoo Faeries is spreading through the nurseries of Arkham, Oregon, and it’s up to Dr. Vincent Morrow, the Witch Doctor, to stop it! So why doesn’t he want to bother? Plus: Shark cage diving with sea monsters!”

Since Witch Doctor preview at the back of The Walking Dead a few weeks back, horror aficionados have been raging about how awesome it is. It’s always so rewarding for readers to read a book and know just how much care the creators put into it. From start to finish, the first issue was engrossing, and the end only left me drooling for more. Addressing some key themes of horror fiction, Witch Doctor could be the next big thing.



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