Summer is in the air, and there’s nothing I love more than sitting in a shady spot with a big pile of comics. You owe it to yourself to take a break from your busy week this Wednesday, kick back, and read some of the best books around. This week in June Brian Wood kicks of yet another series, The Massive, IDW releases the first issue of a new KISS series (yes, the band), Scott Snyder expands his vamp epic with American Vampire: Lord Of Nightmares, plus a 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.
The Low Down: “Hot on the heels of last year’s award-winning AMERICAN VAMPIRE miniseries, SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST, we return to postwar Europe and the vampire-hunting agency known as The Vassals of the Morning Star! Agent Felicia Book has had a dark life, filled with tragedy, but she has finally found peace, raising her adoptive son, Gus. But when the Vassals return for help tracking the most powerful vampire of all time, she soon learns nothing can prepare her for the threat inside The Coffin… A great companion to the ongoing series and a perfect jumping-on point, LORD OF NIGHTMARES features amazing art by Dustin Nguyen!”
The Feast: When Stephen King praises a young writer, it’s a huge compliment. When Stephen King asks said young writer to co-write a series with him, it’s like god asking for help in creating new life. Scott Snyder has been outstanding since he entered the comic scene, and his “American Vampire” series stands out at the top of his work. “Lord Of Nightmares” is the spin-off second mini-series, and it will be one of the best books of the year.
The Low Down: “In a post-war, post-crash, post-disaster, post-everything world, the environmental-action trawler Kapital scours the earth’s oceans for its mysteriously missing sister ship, The Massive. Captain Callum Israel, a man who has dedicated his life to the ocean, now must ask himself-as our planet dies-what it means to be an environmentalist after the world’s ended. Callum and his crew will come up against pirates, rebels, murderers, and thieves as they struggle to remain noble toward their cause. Can you save a planet that’s already doomed?”
The Feast: Brian Wood has received lots of critical praise, yet his books never seem to maintain a high enough sales record to remain in publication. “The Massive” is his newest venture, and it explores the increasingly popular post-apocalyptic genre as a group of humans look for a missing ship. “The Massive” Asks the question, what good are environmental ideals when the earth has gone to shit.
The Low Down: “BATMAN takes the fight to THE COURT OF OWLS! Discover the evil mastermind behind THE COURT. Plus: The ‘Fall of the House of Wayne’ backup by SCOTT SNYDER, JAMES TYNION IV and RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE. This issue is also offered as a combo pack edition with a redemption code for a digital download of this issue.”
The Feast: Scott Snyder will be looked back upon as the definitive “Batman” writer of our era, and if you’re not reading the current series, you’re missing out on history.
The Low Down: “As a part of the acclaimed DC Comics – The New 52, Batwoman’s new series begins from the team of J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman with this title collecting issues #0-5!
Who or what is stealing children from the barrio, and for what vile purpose? Will Kate train her cousin, Bette Kane (a.k.a. Flamebird), as her sidekick? How will she handle unsettling revelations about her father, Colonel Jacob Kane? And why is a certain government agency suddenly taking an interest in her? These are some of the questions that will be answered in these spectacular stories!”
The Feast: Along with “Animal Man”, “Batwoman” is one of the only true superhero horror mashups around. J.H. Williams has done an incredible job with Kate Kane, making her one of the deepest-rooted characters in the new DCU. It’s a must read, with totally experimental page layouts. At under 25 bucks, it’s worth it for the artwork alone.
The Low Down: “She stalks the night, driving the forces of Chaos from the shadows and hunting them down like prey! Much more than a feral shapeshifter, Pantha is also an avatar for the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet – and she’s going to learn that history can repeat in a violent, terrifying way! Featuring the return of several heroes and villains from the pages of PANTHA and VAMPIRELLA, ‘Dangerous Game’ will be an important cornerstone for the future of Dynamite’s epic Vampirella universe!”
The Feast: Things are getting sexy over at Dynamite as “Pantha” enters their lineup alongside “Vampirella”. Pantha is a shapeshifter, a goddess, a babe, and she fights off all sorts of evil. With Jerwa on board, it’s a promising series.
The Low Down: “You Wanted the Best, You Got the Best! KISS is back in an all-new comic series that will appeal to longtime fans and new readers alike! Four ordinary humans in 1920s Chicago find themselves caught up in a battle of epic proportions that will reverberate across time and space in ‘Dressed to Kill,’ part 1!”
The Feast: Anyone who knows anything about Gene Simmons knows he will do just about anything to make money. Yet for some reason I really want this to be good. “KISS” will be ridiculous, strange, and a little bit freaky.
The Low Down: “Last issue’s THREE cliffhangers are answered here, leading to even more questions surrounding the attack on Elle Peterssen. A new person is introduced, but are they friend or foe? And Elle quickly finds that the situation she is in has rapidly gone from a 10 to 10,000!
The anxiously awaited ongoing mystery deepens as the web of suspects and lies spreads.”
The Feast: The first thing to understand about “Mind The Gap” is it reads more like a movie than a comic. Second, it’s a busy book, with a lot going on. Third, there are a lot of cliffhangers. But if you’re willing to dive into this series, it has a huge payoff.
The Low Down: “Consistently a step ahead of the Centers for Disease Control, elderly pawnbroker Abraham Setrakian seems to have an intimate knowledge of the epidemic rapidly spreading across New York City and the hideous creatures it’s spawning. How does he know what’s happening? Where did he learn about the grotesque monsters roaming the streets at night? And, most importantly, does he know how to stop them? The scope of the mystery widens as the man who seemingly has all the answers reveals his history in the extermination camps of Nazi-occupied Poland and his first encounter with the beast behind Manhattan’s invasion.”
The Feast: Lapham’s adaptation of del Toro’s “The Strain” is a breath of fresh air as far as adaptations go. It sticks to the source, while taking on it’s own style, fitting well in the Dark Horse catalog. It’s a vampire story done right in an age where we have to be weary of vampire tales. The first trade paperback will be released in November, collecting issues #1 – 6 if you’ve missed out on the book thus far.
The Low Down: “Welcome aboard new writer MATT KINDT! ‘SATAN’S RING’ begins here! FRANKENSTEIN and THE CREATURE COMMANDOS must investigate suspected double-agents in SHADE field offices. Their first stop is the UNTROPOLIS – an exact copy of Metropolis that floats upside down in the 4TH CLOUD above Superman’s home town.”
The Feast: Although Jeff Lemire had a stellar run on with Franky and the gang, it’s always exciting to see how a new writer will change the direction of the book. We’re hoping this book becomes a little less about monster madness, and a little more like Morrison’s “Doom Patrol”.
The Low Down: “Valen Brand’s journey has finally come to an end, but now, the real battle begins. Korrus Null’s ultimate plan is revealed as Valen and his companions stage an assault on the kingdom of Wraithendal! Don’t miss the next chapter of the hit new fantasy series from fan-favorite writer Michael Alan Nelson and rising star Deadpool artist Matteo Scalera!”
The Feast: A horror fantasy book with ghosts, zombies, undead warriors, spirits, and anything else you could ever imagine. The creative team has owned every single issue of “Valen The Outcast”. This is not just a fun series, it’s an incredibly well plotted epic that has us head over heals.
Any thoughts? Books you’re excited about? Sound off in the comments or let me know on twitter!