Batman Incorporated #3What it’s about: Grant Morrison’s run on Batman has been confounding, enraging, and brilliant. Since taking over the character in 2006, he has introduced Batman to his long estranged son, had him battle an army of ninja Man-Bats, temporarily killed him and then resurrected him via time travel. Now Bruce Wayne has revealed to the world, while lying in the process, that he has been the one financing the Caped Crusader's vigilante activities. Since then, Wayne has started Batman Incorporated, an initiative that will create a worldwide crime fighting network with different "Batmen" on various continents.
What to expect this week: This oft-delayed book finally resumes its monthly schedule (we hope) by bringing Batman to South America to visit Gaucho, the Argentinean representative for Batman Incorporated. This book mixes quirky high concepts with terrific art by Yanick Paquette and Michael Lacombe. While it’s not the most traditional Batman book on shelves, nor is it the best (that honor goes to Detective Comics) Batman Incorporated is perhaps the most complex Bat book available.
Superboy #5What it’s about: Superboy follows the adventures of Connor Kent, Superman’s half Krytponian/half human clone, as he dons the mantle of Superboy. Writer Jeff Lemire is one of the most valuable assets for DC Comics, having penned the terrific Vertigo book Sweet Tooth and now breathed new life into Superboy. Combining high octane, super-powered action with the intimate, nostalgic setting of Smallville, Superboy easily surpasses any Superman title on the market.
What to expect this month: Keeping with the tradition of the Superman/Flash races that were always a highlight of DC during the silver age, Superboy #5 features the first ever race between Superboy and Kid Flash. DC asks the all-important question, “Bart Allen may have the speed, but Conner Kent has the power—who will win?!” This is a great book to pick up now if you’re in the mood for a fun alternative to the bleak superhero books currently on shelves.
Ultimate Spider-Man #155What it’s about: Launched in 2000, Marvel used the Ultimate line as a way to re-imagine their most popular characters for the new millennium. Written by Brian Michael Bendis since its inception, Ultimate Spider-Man features a Peter Parker updated for modern times and sensibilities. Free from bogged down continuity, Ultimate Spider-Man is meant for fans who haven’t kept up with the mainstream Spider-Man stories of the past few decades.
What to expect this week: This is it. The prologue to the much anticipated Death of Spider-Man storyline starts here. While we’re pretty sure that Spider-Man won’t die, or perhaps he’ll only kick the bucket temporarily, The Death of Spider-Man still promises to be a stand-out storyline. Brian Michael Bendis has very quietly been on this book for 11 years and while it doesn’t get the attention it has in the past, this is a book that any fan of the Wall Crawler should pick up.
Venom #1What it’s about: While Topher Grace played him with all of the charisma of a broom handle in Spider-Man 3, Venom has actually been more interesting than ever during the past few years in the comics. First the symbiote switched hosts from Eddie Brock to the man who used to be the Scorpion, Mac Gargan. Then Gargan joined the Thunderbolts and eventually became a member of Norman Osborn’s Avengers. Now the symbiote has changed hosts again to Peter Parker’s boyhood bully, Flash Thompson. With his own book once more, Venom is set to become one of Marvel’s most popular anti-heroes.
What to expect this month: Rick Remender, the writer behind the ludicrously satisfying Franken-Castle storyline during his Punisher run, is primed to bring Venom back to the Marvel forefront as an agent for the U.S. government. Teamed up with fan-favorite artist Tony Moore, Remender brings the over-the-top action and unique stories that are needed to make Venom work. While this new “black-ops” Venom is a change of pace from the regular “brain eating” version, the creative team on this book alone is enough to warrant a purchase.