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 29, 2011.
Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)
Justice League #6
What it’s about: Since the new volume of Justice League launched back in August, it has been one of DC’s most accessible books. By putting an emphasis on action and huge set pieces, the title easily appeals to anyone who has either picked up a comic book before or enjoys movies like Transformers and Sucker Punch. Each issue is packed cover-to-cover with explosions, plenty of plot twists, and Jim Lee's flashy art.
So far, this introductory story arc has put the newly formed Justice League against the dictator of Apokolips: Darkseid. A new twist on some timeless characters, Justice League is easy to pick up and enjoy for fans both new and old.
What to expect this month: This issue marks the last part of the first story arc on Justice League, and it continues to deal with Darkseid’s path of destruction on Earth. It turns out that his plan isn't all that evil after all as he only appeared on Earth to find his daughter, Pandora. The same Pandora who mysteriously popped up during Flashpoint, as well as in the background of subsequent issue's of DC's books. This issue serves as the end to one story, but it keeps plot threads open for future issues as well. Like any good superhero comic, the stories never truly ends.
As always, Jim Lee provides some truly eye-popping art and Geoff Johns brings the blockbuster scripts in full force. Expect a lot of action and mayhem here as Justice League has only just begun to explore the history of DC’s legendary superhero team.
The Darkness #100
What it’s about: Ever since its debut in 1996, The Darkness has been one of the most popular independent comics on the shelves. Revolving around a former mob hitman named Jackie Estacado, who gets bonded with an entity known as The Darkness (an elemental force that allows those who wield it to tap into the demons that reside in its dimension), the book was on the forefront of the Top Cow/Image Comics expansion back in the '90s.
Recently, Estacado attempted to free himself from the curse of The Darkness by plunging the Sun Dagger into his chest, killing himself and sending him to the dimension of The Darkness. And now he has finally come face-to-face with the entity that has been his greatest gift, and his most twisted curse.
What to expect this month: This issue has been over 15 years in the making as The Darkness’ true form is revealed to Estacado for the first time. Writer Phil Hester perfectly captures Estacado's primal rage here as the Darkness bearer scratches and claws until he finally finds the true source of his misery. What follows is a clash of wills and ideals as the two brawl in a battle that is just as emotional as it is physical.
Artist Romano Molenaar captures the Image Comics style perfectly here as each page is hyper-detailed and frantic. The visual storytelling is so superb that word balloons aren’t necessary to truly encapsulate the breadth of emotion going on in each panel.
This isn’t just an issue for longtime Darkness fans, either. Issue #100 can be seen as both an end and a new beginning for a character that has recently gained a larger fanbase thanks to the recent Darkness video game that was just released. There is also a preview for next issue featured here, which promises to be a decidedly fresh take on the character by writer David Hine.
Amazing Spider-Man #680
What it’s about: Ever since he began writing the book back in 2007, Dan Slott has brought The Amazing Spider-Man back to the glory days of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko by reintroducing humor and drama to the book. Along the way, the Wall Crawler has landed a new job, got a new girlfriend, and has fought off an entire city of Spider infested citizens.
Now Slott is gearing up for one of his biggest storylines yet, “Ends of the Earth," which promises to bring Spidey face-to-face with the Sinister Six once again. But until then, the book is sewing the seeds for what is to come as Dr. Octopus’ plan slowly begins to come together.
What to expect this month: It’s Spider-Man in space! Is there anything else you need to know? After a space shuttle loses contact with astronaut John Jameson, Spider-Man and the newly resurrected Human Torch head there to see what went wrong. They soon find Doctor Octopus’ mechanical spiders all over the ship as Octavius’ larger scheme begins to take shape.
For anyone looking to begin reading Amazing Spider-Man, and the Sinister Six smackdown that is “Ends of the Earth,” then there's no better place to start than with this issue. Plus, we can’t think of a better premise than Spider-Man in space.
Avengers Prime: The Big Three (Trade Paperback)
What it’s about: Collecting some of the most memorable stories from these characters’ past, Avengers Prime: The Big Three is a compilation of issues that focus on the friendship and battles of Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. With issues ranging from the ‘60s through the ‘90s and '00s, this book is an epic history lesson on why these three central characters have been the driving force for Earth’s Mightiest Heroes since the team’s early days.
In this stacked paperback, we see new Avengers teams formed and eras come to an end, but the one constant throughout are the titanic battle scenes that litter each issue. Here, the Big Three fight against The Molecule Man, Loki, The Terminatrix, and Ultron with the future of the team and planet hanging in the balance on a monthly basis.
With a great team of writer and artists, Avengers Prime: The Big Three is full of action and comic book soap operas, without any of the drawn-out stories and confusing continuity of recent years. Before these characters hit the big screen this May, find out what has made them such enduring pop-culture icons for over five decades.