Batman Incorporated #4
What it’s about: Bewildering and addictive, engrossing yet frustrating, Grant Morrison’s Batman Incorporated is the central focus of DC’s new spin on the Caped Crusader. Centered around Bruce Wayne’s attempt as the Dark Knight to recruit different Batmen from around the globe and establish a worldwide peace corps, aptly called Batman Incorporated, this book is the culmination of the four-year journey that Grant Morrison has brought readers on.
While still not the best Batman book on the shelf (that honor belongs to Scott Snyder and Jock’s Detective Comics run), Batman Incorporated provides the high-octane action and over-the-top plots unique to Grant Morrison.
What to expect this month: Finally, after numerous weeks of delays, Batman Incorporated seems to be back on track. This issue features Bruce Wayne returning to Gotham City in order to team up with Batwoman. Instead of being creepy or intimate like Detective Comics, Batman Incorporated is fun and ridiculous, dealing with Batman’s place in the larger DC Universe rather than self-contained mystery plots. Also, this may be reader’s only shot at reading new Batwoman stories, being that her new book has been the victim of constant delays.
Batman: The Dark Knight #2
What it’s about: Playing it safe, David Finch’s Batman The Dark Knight places Batman back in the familiar setting of gritty mysteries featuring classic Bat villains. It's designed to keep the attention of readers who don’t care about the over-the-top plots of Batman Incorporated or the violent crime stories of Dick Grayson in Detective Comics.
With Finch providing both art and writing, this book will provide longtime Batman fans with stories more reminiscent of the classic Bat tales of the 70’s and 80’s. While Batman: The Dark Knight may seem like a step backwards from all of the progress the character has made in the past four years, there’s no denying how much fun the first issue was. And while it all does seem a little too familiar, fans of the Batman movies and animated series will find much to love.
What to expect this month: Batman is on the lookout for a missing childhood friend named Dawn Golden. It’s a little strange that Bruce Wayne is always portrayed as a lifetime loner until a childhood friend goes missing whenever it’s convenient for plot purposes. Anyway, while Batman is on the hunt for his childhood friend, he has reason to believe that the Penguin has something to do with the disappearance.
This issue also guest stars Etrigan, the Demon, which is the book's most unique aspect. Most Batman books shy away from featuring the supernatural while this book fully embraces it. Here's an ideal starting point for people who want to get into comics but don't want to dive head first into the continuity nightmare of Batman Incorporated or the unfamiliar world of Detective Comics.
Green Lantern #64
What it’s about: Geoff Johns is DC Comics. He's the architect of the universe and every large storyline and crossover runs directly through his world. And with that said, he has brought the Green Lantern back to prominence by simply making his stories important again.
From Green Lantern: Rebirth all the way through The Sinestro Corps Wars and Blackest Night, Johns has crafted a Green Lantern epic that no one else has ever come close to touching. While it may go down as one of the most successful and important runs on a DC character ever, Johns doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.
What to expect this month: This is it! This is where War of the Green Lanterns starts! With a force bent on destruction now firmly in control of all of the power batteries in the color spectrum, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, Guy Gardner, Kyle Rayner and Sinestro must risk their lives in order to bring harmony back to the universe.
However, with so much acrimony and mistrust amongst the group, it will be difficult for them to work together in order to stop this threat. This is a great place to start picking up the book and if you haven’t already, go back and pick up Johns’ other great work on the title.
Green Lantern Corps # 58
What it’s about: Ever since the backup stories of the 80's, The Green Lantern Corps has always been a book that that put the spotlight on the other 7,200 Green Lanterns not named Hal Jordan. Focusing on characters such as Kilowog, Kyle Rayner, Guy Gardner and a host of others, The Green Lantern Corps has helped fill out the Green Lantern world by featuring characters and adventures that were either only referenced or completely ignored in the main GL title.
While recently the book has been merely an extension of the main series and less unique than its original concept, Green Lantern Corps still does a great job of featuring underappreciated characters and conflicts.
What to expect this month: DC Comics hates you and your wallet because the next few months will be financial hell for Green Lantern fans. Picking up where Green Lantern #64 left off, this issue continues the War of the Green Lanterns crossover. DC is not making Green Lantern Corps optional during this storyline and is instead splitting up the story between the three Green Lantern books equally. So anyone looking to collect the whole thing will need to pick up Green Lantern, Green Lantern Corps and Emerald Warriors.
Be sure to read Green Lantern #64 first in order to follow the story chronologically.
Captain America # 615.1
What it’s about: Captain America is one of Marvel's oldest heroes. Created in 1941 as WWII propaganda, Captain America was around while Marvel Comics was still known as Timely Comics and it was uncertain if the company even needed him after the war. But sure enough the character was revived in 1964 in Avengers #4 and he has been a staple of the Marvel Universe ever since.
Writers such as Roger Stern, Mark Gruenwald, John Byrne and Mark Waid have all had a hand in making the Sentinel of Liberty one of Marvel’s most enduring characters. But it wasn’t until Ed Brubaker started his run on the character in 2005 that Captain America starred in his most successful stories.
What to expect this month: Ed Brubaker’s legendary run on Captain America continues with the new Cap (Bucky Barnes) currently on trial and out of action. With Captain America’s shield up for grabs, Steve Rogers will have the choice of whether or not he wants to retake the Cap mantle.
This is also another one of Marvel’s “Point One” issues that is designed to be accessible for new readers to jump onto the book. With a new movie coming out and a whole new audience primed to get introduced to Captain America, this is probably the best opportunity to jump on board this book and experience one of the greatest superhero runs that Marvel has ever had.
What it’s about: Don’t call it a comeback. The Fantastic Four have reformed in the wake of Johnny Storm’s death under the name FF (Future Foundation.) The Future Foundation is the culmination of Jonathan Hickman’s sci-fi journey through the Fantastic Four universe.
Now the surviving members of the team (Reed Richards, Sue Storm and Ben Grimm) are looking to bolster their ranks and put together a team that is focused on solving humanity’s problems before they happen.
What to expect this month: In this debut issue of FF, the team looks to recruit new members and face off against old enemies. The only new member of the FF that is known is Spider-Man and while others are promised, none have been revealed.
Jonathan Hickman’s Fantastic Four run was a breath of fresh air for the characters and this is just an extension of his work on that book. Anyone who likes to put their thinking caps on while reading comics should do themselves a favor and pick this up.
What it’s about: Debuting in Journey Into Mystery #83, Thor was part of the new wave of Marvel characters to be created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby along with Larry Lieber (Stan’s brother.) Since then, Thor has been through periods of creative innovation and stagnation.
But even when creators seem to have run out of ideas for Thor, he always persevered. And recently with the relaunch of Thor in 2007, the character has yet again become an integral part of the Marvel Universe and a critically acclaimed book.
What to expect this month: Dan Abnett and Mark Brooks are looking to entice new readers into the world of Thor before the movie gets released this May and before The Mighty Thor book launches this April. This issue will feature the God of Thunder going toe-to-toe with the Grey Gargoyle after he tries to gain immortality for himself in Asgard.
This will also be the last issue of Thor before it gets renamed Journey into Mystery next month, with Loki as the star. So if you want to dip your toe into the Thor waters before all of these changes then this issue is the perfect place to start.
Fantastic Four Extended Family (Collects: Fantastic Four 1961 #1, #81, #132, #168, #265, #307, #347, #384 and #544; and Fantastic Four 1998 #42)
What it’s about: Unlike the X-Men, Avengers and Justice League, the Fantastic Four is one of the most consistent teams in all of comics. However, there are a few instances when the roster of the team has changed. Characters like She-Hulk, Ghost Rider and Ms. Marvel have all leant a hand to the First Family of Marvel when the opportunity arose and this book collects the most memorable moments of all of the Fantastic Four roster shifts.
Collecting various issues throughout the book’s long history, Extended Family takes a look at what happens when the Fantastic Four is temporarily disrupted and forced to adopt a new member of the family. This book collects some classic Fantastic Four stories with various writers and artists including Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, John Byrne and others. This is a great book for people who want to explore a little bit more about comic book history and wish to get their knowledge from somewhere else besides Wikipedia.