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're providing you with a rundown of the best comics coming out on February 15, 2011.
Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)
What it’s about: To call Scott Snyder’s Batman one of DC’s best titles would be an understatement. By deftly blending action, suspense, mystery, and just about anything else you could think of, this comic has solidified itself as a gem of the superhero genre.
The story so far deals with Batman coming face-to-face with a mysterious cult called the Court of the Owls, which happens to be a centuries-old organization that has been secretly influencing the history of Gotham City. At first, the Dark Knight refused to believe in their existence, but a sword through his back courtesy of the cult’s leader last issue will probably change his mind.
What to expect this month: With Batman beaten, bloodied, humiliated, and dealing with a sword poking through his chest, he has to muster the courage and strength to fight back against the Court. But that’s going to be harder than it seems because the Court has him trapped miles beneath the city’s surface in a perverse labyrinth. Unlike Grant Morrison's ultra-heady take on Batman, this series is a throwback to the impeccable Denny O'Neil stories of the '70s, and trust us, that's a good thing.
Snyder continues to dissect the Caped Crusader both mentally and physically in a way that few writers have been able to accomplish in the past. And coupled with Greg Capullo's stylized and panel-shattering art, Batman continues to gain momentum every issue.
Wonder Woman #6
What it’s about: Since its debut last September, Wonder Woman has been one of the biggest surprises of DC’s “New 52." Featuring incredibly deep plots by Brian Azzarello and a roster of great artists, including Cliff Chiang and Tony Atkins, this book combines the superhero action that fans are used to with the dense Greek mythology found in any accredited college lecture.
The result has been a reimagining of the Wonder Woman mythos, complete with a new back-story and fresh takeS on some classic characters. In Azzarello's storyline, Wonder Woman is on the run with Hermes and Zora, who is carrying the child of Zeus. But the other Gods aren’t too happy about this, and they’ll stop at nothing to destroy all three of them.
What to expect this month: After meeting with Poseidon last issue, Wonder Woman must try to stop the god of the sea from attempting to take over the kingdom of Zeus in his absence. But unbeknownst to the Amazon, Hades has similar ideas of his own, and along with Cerberus, the god of the underworld has his eyes on the kingdom as well.
Featuring some full-blown godly action, including Wonder Woman taking on Poseidon himself in the streets of London, this issue has the scope of a blockbuster and the plot of a Greek tragedy. Azzarello continues to prove that his vision of Wonder Woman trumps all of the other incarnations in the character’s 70-plus year history.
Peter Panzerfaust #1
What it’s about: Peter Panzerfaust is a World War II retelling of the classic Peter Pan fairytale. Written by Kurtis J. Wiebe and illustrated by Tyler Jenkins, this debut issue introduces us to the Lost Boys and the ever-smiling Peter as they bob and weave their way through the German bombardment of France.
For fans of the original story, the spirit of Peter Pan is here as he smirks and charms his way from one dangerous situation to another. And while we don’t see the WWII equivalent of characters like Tinker Bell or Captain Hook yet, this first issue sets the table for a much larger world.
The art by Tyler Jenkins adds perfectly to the atmosphere that Wiebe has created. There's a stylized look that goes with the light-hearted action throughout the issue, but the intense amount of detail found in the city of Calais adds some authenticity to the issue.
Featuring tons of action, some great art, and sharp dialogue, the first issue of Peter Panzerfaust is yet another example of Image Comics being at the forefront of raw creativity in the comic book world.
What it’s about: When Marvel announced that it would be rebooting Daredevil back in July, most fans couldn’t have imagined that the book would quickly become one of the best comics currently on shelves. Waid lifted the character's veil of darkness and reintroduced the light-hearted swashbuckling that Daredevil had during the ‘60s and ‘70s.
So far, Matt Murdock has found a new profession as a legal coach for down-and-out clients, fought some of the most violent crime organizations in the Marvel universe, and managed to keep a healthy love life in the process. Not bad for a blind lawyer in a red leotard.
What to expect this month: Not only is Daredevil in possession of a mob artifact that has made him public enemy number one of the underworld, but he also has to deal with the fallout of his torrid night with the Black Cat. And as all of that is swirling through his head, he learns that his father’s grave has sunk into the ground, courtesy of the Mole Man. Now Ol’ Horn Head must figure out why the Mole Man is stealing coffins from around New York City without beating him to a pulp first.
With Paolo Rivera returning for art duties, Daredevil is back to the creative team that made it such a success in the first place. If you need any more proof of his talent, just look at Rivera’s double-page spread of the Mole Man’s hideout: It's simply mind-boggling. For anyone even remotely curious about this book, issue #9 is the perfect place to jump on board.
The Avengers Omnibus
What it’s about: The creation of The Avengers was purely accidental. When Daredevil's debut issue was faced with various delays in 1963, Marvel had to scramble in order to fill the void in their monthly schedule. Stan Lee decided that a super-team story featuring preexisting heroes would be a quick idea to plot and have Jack Kirby draw. Innocently enough, Avengers #1 hit stands in September 1963, and, as they say, the rest is history.
Now Marvel is collecting the first 30 issues of the original series in one mammoth omnibus that's simultaneously action-packed and nostalgic. From the formation of the original team (Thor, Iron man, The Wasp, Ant Man, and the Hulk) to the discovery of Captain America’s frozen body and subsequent roster changes, this omnibus recounts perhaps the most chaotic time in Avengers history.
The book includes battles with Loki, Kang the Conqueror, the Masters of Evil, and countless others. With classic art by Jack Kirby and Don Heck, this collection is filled with the Silver Age craziness that was common during the time, and there is a sense of innocent fun that permeates through, which has unfortunately been lost in modern comics.
There's no better way to prepare yourself for the Avengers’ big screen debut later this year than with the tales from their early days. It might be a little rough around the edges at times, but this omnibus features the purest version of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes available.