It’s that time of the week again, folks. May is a big month over at DC Comics as they launch their “Second Wave” of books from the New 52. This week, award winning author China Mieville begins Dial H, Image finally releases Dogs of Mars, the first trade of Jeff Lemire’s Animal Man hits, and a whole lot more.
With the ever-increasing number of books coming out between the tie-ins, the crossovers, and the new series, we’ve all got to limit our reading list somehow. We present you with our ten most anticipated books of the week. So feast your eyes on these! Whether you’ve been into comics since you were a young’un, or you’re new to the game, we’re here to help you decide which books to pick up. If I’ve missed something you’re stoked about or if you’ve got any questions, list it in the comments.
WRITTEN BY: China Mieville
ART BY: Mateus Santolouco
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “A brand new series by bestselling and Hugo award winning novelist CHINA MIEVILLE! What would happen if you discovered the H Dial, an unbelievably powerful artifact that turned you into a super hero? And what if you found out that the world is threatened by this very device that’s become your uncontrollable obsession? These are just the first questions asked in this thrilling and inventive storyline that introduces the strangest super heroes and super villains in the DCU while exploring the boundaries of reality!”
The Feast: The “Second Wave” of DC’s new 52 is here! DC is releasing six brand new books this month, and this title welcomes some of the most bizarre heroes and villains into the DC Universe. While “Dial H”, originally called “Dial H for HERO”, may not sound like a horror book in the slightest, just take a look at the cover. We know the series is going to be extraordinarily weird coming from the mind of award winning novelist China Mieville, and we can’t wait to see how he re-imagines the series.
WRITTEN BY: Johnny Zito
ART BY: Paul Maybury
The Low Down: “Isolated on the farthest frontier of civilization, Nocturnal monsters stalk Captain Zoe and the crew of Mars Base Bowie. Lines are drawn and loyalties are tested as dissent grows within the ranks. Faced with mutiny, death and dishonor; Zoe must sacrifice her humanity if she hopes to survive. Collects DOGS OF MARS #1-4 as seen on Comixology”
The Feast: We reviewed this one a while back, and it’s a damn good book. The pages mirror the claustrophobic, half-awake state that one would expect to find themselves when deserted on Mars. The entire book is minimalistic with its simple red, white, and black color scheme, which work wonders to set the eerie an mood from the get go. The creative team was not afraid to play around with the narrative, throwing all comic writing conventions out the window. “Dog of Mars” will leave you in a surreal mental place once you’re done reading, but you’ll be happy you did. It’s heart-pounding space horror that messes with your mind. Plus, there are ferocious killer dogs, and who doesn’t want to read about that?
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ART BY: Steve Pugh
PUBLISHER: DC Comcis
The Low Down: “”EXTINCTION IS FOREVER” part one of three! Separated from Buddy, the rest of the Baker family is in terrible danger! Guest-starring JOHN CONSTANTINE!”
The Feast: Jeff Lemire has been building the tension in “Animal Man” since issue #1, and we all know it’s leading up to the breaking point when the “Swamp Thing” crossover hits…but not yet. Lemire plans to drag the Baker family through a little more hell before he lets them off the hook. Lemire is testing out his new John Constantine a month early (before he takes over on “Justice League Dark” next month, which will star Constantine) by bringing him into Buddy Baker’s life. Last we saw of Buddy, he was in deep doodoo, and the storm is just beginning to brew. If you’re not reading this book, you can catch up with the Vol. 1 trade, which also hits this month (see below).
WRITTEN BY: Scott Snyder
ART BY: Yanick Paquette and Marco Rudy
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “SWAMP THING battles his way through the BONE KINGDOM to take on SETHE and his servants! This issue lays the groundwork for the debut of a classic Swamp Thing villain and the beginning of the next phase for this series.”
The Feast: As with Lemire’s “Animal Man”, Snyder’s “Swamp Thing” ranks at the very top of DC’s catalogue at the moment. Bringing Swampy back to his horrific roots, which started with Alan Moore, this version of Alec Holland is as dark as ever. Alec finally gave in to the mysterious power of The Green, accepting his fate as Swamp Thing, and he looks more bad ass than ever. The battle with The Rot is fully underway, and our favorite earth loving creature is about to take on Sethe, the king of The Rot. Scott Snyder is an unstoppable force, and there is no reason to skip out on this book.
WRITTEN BY: Jeff Lemire
ART BY: Travel Foreman, Jeff Huet, and John Paul Leon
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “One of the breakout hits from DC Comics The New 52! In these tales from issues #1-6 of the new series, Buddy Baker has gone from “super” man to family man, but is he strong enough to hold his family together when Maxine, his young daughter, starts to manifest her own dangerous powers? As these new abilities continue to terrify Buddy and his wife Ellen, things take a turn for the worse as Buddy and Maxine begin a journey into the heart of The Red. Don’t miss the amazing series from writer Jeff Lemire (SWEET TOOTH) and artist Travel Foreman (The Immortal Iron Fist)!”
The Feast: When “Animal Man” first launched, it took the comic book world by storm. Nobody expected Lemire’s “Animal Man” would be one of the best, if not the best, books of DC’s relaunch. Thankfully, the first issue was no fluke, and Lemire brought his A-game every single month. For those of you anxiously awaiting the trade paperback, the moment has finally arrived. If you’ve been skipping out on this book, or if you’re new to comics, this is an absolute must read! One of the best horror comics in years.
WRITTEN BY: Steve Niles
ART BY: Bernie Wrightson
The Low Down: “Few works by comic-book artists have earned the universal acclaim and reverence that Bernie Wrightson’s illustrated version of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein was met with upon its original release in 1983. Nearly 30 years later, Wrightson returns to his passion project with a comic series that picks up at the end of the classic novel, hailed as one of the greatest horror stories of all time. Frequent Wrightson collaborator Steve Niles provides the script for this epic, decades in the making. While appearing to be in black and white, each page was scanned in color to mimic as closely as possible the experience of viewing the actual original art, showing off the exquisitely detailed brush work of one of the greatest living artists in comics today. Each issue will also include supplemental materials, including interviews, essays and a serialization of the original prose story by Shelley.”
The Feast: Legendary horror comics writer Steve Niles is teaming up, once again, with legendary artist Bernie Wrightson to continue the tale of Mary Shelley’s piece de resistance, Frankenstein. Bernie Wrightson is the man behind the famed illustrated version of Frankenstein, and his art alone makes this book worth buying.
WRITTEN BY: Raffaele Ienco
ART BY: Raffaele Ienco
The Low Down: “Hitmen and mercenaries from around the globe are ordered by the President to bring down an eighteen-year-old super assassin named Song – but she’s going to turn the tables on them – and every kill is going to be epic! Song has trained for years into adulthood to take revenge on the man responsible for her parents’ deaths – the man who has just been elected President!”
The Feast: Part Kill Bill, part Hanna, “Epic Kill” is going to be…epic. While I hate to compare works before they are even released, it’s hard not to with a book like this. I’m sure the series will shock us all, and vary substantial from it’s influences. However, I think it’s safe to say that you can expect is a lot of blood, a lot of killing, a lot of weapons, and a whole lot of awesome. Rumor has it that Ienco has already sold the rights to “Epic Kill” and another title, “Devoid of Life”, for big screen adaptations. If it’s already getting a movie, we’re really hoping this one lives up to the hype.
WRITTEN BY: Jim McAnn
ART BY: Rodin Esquejo and Sonia Oback
The Low Down: “After Elle Peterssen is mysteriously attacked on a Manhattan subway platform, she is left in a coma, the only clues to her attacker trapped inside her mind. No one knows the identity of the person behind this brutal beating or where they will strike next. In this ALL-NEW ONGOING series, everyone is suspect, and no one is innocent. USAToday calls it an ‘anxiously anticipated modern thriller…Whodunit? McCann’s done it again.’ Eisner-winning writer JIM McCANN joins RODIN ESQUEJO (MORNING GLORIES) and SONIA OBACK (S.H.I.E.L.D., The Defenders) unite for a psychological thriller that will leave you guessing at every turn!”
The Feast: Psychological thriller comics are far and few between these days, but McAnn looks to change that with his latest book, “Mind The Gap”. There’s something utterly terrifying about losing your memory and the possible things lay buried deep in your mind. Expect this one to explore the power of memory and the horror of just how little we remember. Apparently “Mind The Gap” was originally written as a TV pilot episode, so we may be seeing this on on screen as well.
WRITTEN BY: James Robinson
ART BY: Nicola Scott and Trevor Scott
PUBLISHER: DC Comics
The Low Down: “First issue of an ongoing series from writer JAMES ROBINSON and artist NICOLA SCOTT! Who are the heroes of EARTH 2 and what befell them? Starring ALAN SCOTT, JAY GARRICK and many others! You may think you know Earth 2…but this is DC Comics The New 52, where anything can happen! Don’t miss the extra-sized debut issue!”
The Feast: It may not be a horror story at all, but I’m damn excited about “Earth 2″. DC is known for their multiple timelines and multiple universes (or multiverse) and they’re finally bringing it to the New 52. Imagine a world where your favorite heroes exist on completely different levels. Instead of Justice League, you get Justice Society, and all new, yet strangely familiar, faces like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, among others. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, don’t worry, this is accessible to everyone and you don’t need to know the entire history of DC to get a kick out of it.
WRITTEN BY: Sam Humphries
ART BY: Jerry Gaylord
The Low Down: “Have you heard the one about the time zombies took over Comic-Con? No one noticed until Sunday! The good news is you’re at Comic-Con. The bad news is you’re hungover, you can’t get over your ex-girlfriend, your best friend is a d-bag, and there’re roughly 165,000 slathering, slouching members of the undead family in between you and freedom. There is no more good news. Written by indie sensation Sam Humphries (Our Love Is Real) with art by hot new talent Jerry Gaylord!”
The Feast: Humphries and Gaylord are just feeding on pop culture’s zombie love, delivering a book that exists purely for the sake of having a good time. It may not be winning an Eisner Award any time soon, but every once in a while it’s nice to take a mental break, sit back and read about nerds fighting zombies at a comic convention. If you dig campy horror flicks and you can handle another zombie book in your life, you should give Fanboys vs. Zombies a go. That said if you’ve never read a zombie comic before, this probably isn’t the best place to start.
Don’t forget about Free Comic Book Day which is this Saturday, May 5th, where you can get loads of new comics for free (stay tuned for more on that later).
Got something you’re excited about? Let Lonnie know on Twitter