In a tight economy, it's not always clear what you should spend your hard-earned money on, and with comic books getting more and more expensive, your dollar doesn’t go as far at the comic shop as it did in the past. We here at Complex feel your pain, so we compile a weekly list of books that are truly worth your money. Here's a rundown of the best comics coming out on March 30, 2011.
Action Comics #899
What it’s about: As DC's oldest title currently available, Action Comics has been printed monthly (and sometimes weekly) since FDR was in office. Most famous for introducing the world to Superman, the book has been chronicling his exploits for decades and has proven to be the most important comic book on shelves.
While the quality often dips and it sometimes feels like an afterthought rather than a necessity, Action Comics has recently received a much needed facelift in the form of writer Paul Cornell. Focusing his book on Superman’s arch nemesis Lex Luthor rather than on Supe himself, Cornell has crafted a villain that isn’t just a novelty act.
What to expect this month: Look at the issue number. Action Comics is about to become the first DC Comic to ever hit issue 900, so Paul Cornell will be pulling out all the stops in order to deliver one of the most memorable stories seen in a Superman release in years. While Lex Luthor is still on the hunt for the Black Lantern energy, he'll also have to stop Brainiac from finding it first. While these two characters have a long and violent history together, this may be their most intense showdown yet.
Detective Comics #875
What it’s about: What Action Comics is to Superman, Detective Comics is to the Dark Knight. This is the comic where he made his debut in 1939, as well as the book from which DC Comics' name eventually derived. In fact, Detective Comics is an older book than Action Comics and would be ahead of it in numbering if not for the fact that Action Comics went to a weekly schedule back in the 80’s.
For decades Detective Comics has been the place to go for intimate mysteries that are off the beaten path for the Caped Crusader. While never as bombastic or super heroic as Batman or Batman Incorporated, Scott Snyder has made Detective Comics the most atmospheric and sophisticated Bat book on shelves.
What to expect this month: Dick Grayson faces off against the newest organized crime faction in Gotham, while Commissioner Gordon still tries to figure out the mystery surrounding his son’s return into his life. Snyder has done a great job serializing all of these story arcs together to make every issue feel interconnected rather than random separate tales.
But while every issue is dependant on what has come before it, Snyder has also made it easy for new readers to jump into the middle of a tale without feeling lost. And with the beginning of this new Hungry City story, this is a great place to start picking up Detective Comics.
Green Lantern Emerald Warriors #8
What it’s about: Designed to give the Green Lantern Corps and their universe more exposure before the movie comes out, Green Lantern Emerald Warriors stars the loveable curmudgeon of the GL universe, Guy Gardner. Written by former Green Lantern Corps scribe Peter Tomasi, this book's inclusion of Gardner gives every issue a sardonic edge that's lacking in the other Lantern books.
What to expect this month: This installment continues the War of the Green Lanterns as Hal Jordan squares off with Guy Gardner. With this crossover spreading across all three Green Lantern titles, DC is attempting to get fans hooked on the different styles and tones found in all of the books. And while it may seem like a lot to ask of fans to pick up all three books, this story has been brewing for so long and has so much talent behind it that it will be more than worth it in the end.
And the fact that this issue marks yet another fight that Gardner has had with a popular hero is reason enough to give this a look. Hopefully the throwdown will last longer than the fight that he had with Batman that ended in one panel with one punch.
Captain America #616
What it’s about: As one of the best books Marvel has right now, and perhaps one of the best superhero runs in the past 10 years, Ed Brubaker’s time on Captain America has revitalized the character and successfully brought him back to the iconic status he deserves.
Brubaker has even managed to keep the book just as engaging even with Steve Rogers not being the man behind the mask.
What to expect this month: This month marks the 70th anniversary of Captain America’s debut and Marvel is celebrating this occasion with a 104-page special filled with untold stories and revelations that'll have instant ramifications on the Cap's future. With the Trial of Captain America behind him, Steve Rogers must figure out what the future holds for his costumed alter-ego.
With a blockbuster movie (Captain America: The First Avenger) on the horizon, it’s pretty obvious that Rogers will be donning the shield again sooner rather than later. But, aside from that, this issue is still a must have for all of the patriotic hero's fans. And at only $4.99 with a boatload of special features and side stories, Captain America is probably the best value on shelves this week.
Captain America – The Legacy Of Captain America ( Collects: CAPTAIN AMERICA COMICS #1, WHAT IF? #4, CAPTAIN AMERICA #155 and #333, CAPTAIN AMERICA Vol. 5 #34. And material from Captain America #178-183)
What it’s about: While Steve Rogers is easily the most famous patriot to ever take on the mantle of Captain America, there have been periods where a replacement Cap was necessary. Whether it was the time when Rogers temporarily gave up the shield after growing disillusioned with the U.S. government or the time he briefly died, there has always been a Cap no matter what.
The Legacy of Captain America collects these classic stories and examines the other men behind the mask. While featuring the most important replacement Caps, such as Johnny Walker and Bucky Barnes, this book also reprints the character's debut in Captain America Comics #1. It's a great book to pick up if you’re interested in the American hero's long history, or if you just want a companion piece to the current Cap stories.
Punisher: Welcome Back Frank – New Printing (Collects: Punisher #1-12)
What it’s about: Garth Ennis is a sick bastard, and if you ever needed more proof of that then look no further than Welcome Back Frank. This is easily the most violent, repulsive, and perverse Punisher book to ever see print. Armed with dark humor and blood-splattered art, Ennis writes the Punisher as a grim straight man in an otherwise over-the-top, cartoony world.
Between suffocating a mountainous Russian assassin using his obese neighbor’s gut, rumbling with a quadruple amputee, and punching a polar bear right in the chops, Welcome Back Frank is a stark departure from Ennis’ later, and much more serious, Punisher work.
This is a seminal take on the character, not to mention a must have for any fan of the Punisher. Don’t let Ennis’ tongue-in-cheek writing or Steve Dillon’s clean art fool you; Welcome Back Frank is just as violent and sadistic as the character has ever been.