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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 April 27, 2011.
Action Comics #900
What it’s about: As one of DC’s longest running and most recognizable books, Action Comics has been a staple of the company since 1938. And while the title is best known for featuring Superman, writer Paul Cornell recently decided to shake things up by making Lex Luthor the star of the series.
As one of the only villain-centric books that actually works, Action Comics has provided an exceptionally perverse read since Cornell took over.
What to expect this month: With Action Comics becoming the first DC title to reach issue 900, the company seems primed to actually make this issue mean something. Featuring work by writers such as David Goyer (co-writer of The Dark Knight), Damon Lindelof (co-creator of Lost), and Superman: The Movie director Richard Donner, this issue is nothing short of a love letter to the Man of Steel.
And while this is an anthology issue featuring numerous short stories celebrating this milestone, it will also wrap up Paul Cornell’s Lex Luthor story and lay the groundwork for this summer’s Superman comics.
Batman Incorporated #5
What it’s about: Somewhere in the world there's a straight jacket waiting for Grant Morrison. He is one of the few writers in mainstream comics that actually has anything left to say, and his off-beat, and sometimes bizarre, work on the Dark Knight has shattered everyone's expectations as to what a Batman book should be.
Morrison has injected the character with a dose of David Lynch-esque surrealism, all while keeping the basics intact. And while his work on Batman R.I.P. and The Return of Bruce Wayne has been hailed as a breath of fresh air by fans, Batman Incorporated may be his most quirky and engrossing read yet.
What to expect this month: Death traps, Batwoman imposters, and a weapon of mass destruction all come to a head this month as Morrison continues his globetrotting Bat odyssey. With the various members of "Batman Incorporated" finally falling into place, they must continue to uncover a potentially deadly conspiracy against the world.
This book is important in order to understand Bruce Wayne's place in the DC Universe and what consequences his actions have on it. Any self respecting fan of Morrison’s mania should pick this up.
What it’s about: Say hello to Marvel’s greatest hits! Avengers features every heavy hitter the company has to offer teamed up and ready to kick some villainous ass. And while the original roster may have changed since the team’s debut in the '60s, Brian Michael Bendis writes this book with the sharp dialogue and attention to history that has made him Marvel’s top author. Bendis has singlehandedly placed the Avengers back at the top of the comic pecking order.
What to expect this month: This is the Avengers' “Point One” book, designed to present new readers with a story that is easy to follow without too much unnecessary back story. You can also look forward to the return of the always brilliant, but often delayed, art of Brian Hitch.
This is the perfect issue to pick up for fans those foaming at the mouth in anticipation for this summer’s Marvel movies. With battles against the Intelligencia, the return of SWORD, and the introduction of new plot threads important for the future, this is Marvel's most high profile "Point One" issue yet.
Captain America #617
What it’s about: While Captain America has been around since 1941, his books have often hit creative lulls. A lot of writers have tried to portray him as just an ordinary hero in patriotic spandex rather than a symbol of the American way. But when Ed Brubaker started writing the book in 2005, he channeled everything that makes Cap unique to craft an espionage thriller.
During Brubaker's tenure, he has won multiple awards and made the book a best seller. Most importantly, though, he made it important again. Under his control, Cap has gone from being bought by fans out of habit to becoming Marvel’s best series for the past half-decade.
What to expect this month: While Steve Rogers, the original Captain America, was presumed dead, his old sidekick Bucky Barnes took over the reigns. But now with Bucky stuck in a Russian prison, Steve Rogers must make the choice whether or not to reclaim the shield.
This issue also begins a longer page count as the title counts down to its re-launch later this year.
Mighty Thor #1
What it’s about: With director Kenneth Branagh's Thor primed to hit theaters on May 6, Marvel decided to re-launch Mighty Thor in time to begin all new stories and capitalize on the character’s newfound popularity. And while the book follows the threads from the previous series, it will still be accessible for new fans.
What to expect this month: With the all-star team of writer Matt Fraction and artist Olivier Coipel ob board here, the God of Thunder is set to star in the biggest new series launch of the year. And what better way is there to kick-start a Thor book than by having him battle Galactus?
Secret Avengers #12.1
What it’s about: Working in the shadows and away from the public eye, the Secret Avengers perform the tasks that the public doesn’t need to know about. Featuring Moon Knight, Ant-Man, War Machine, Valkyrie, Beast, Black Widow, and Steve Rogers, this book isn’t the four-colored blockbuster that Avengers is; Secret Avengers has a darker edge and more cerebral storytelling.
What to expect this month: Marvel’s “Point One” initiative continues as the team is fully exposed to the public. They must now race across the globe in order to retrieve any sensitive data that may incriminate them further.
And what comic would be complete without a mystery man pulling all of the strings? Secret Avengers an underappreciated book that should definitely be checked out by fans of the Avengers and B-list heroes being badass.
Captain America: Operation Rebirth (Collecting: Captain America #444-448 & 450-454)
What it’s about: Reading comics during the '90s was like getting beaten with a sack full of doorknobs. The art was grotesque, the stories barely made sense, and every character lost their charm. But every once in a while a good book would actually come out of the sludge that engulfed the comic world, and Captain America: Operation Rebirth is a prime example of that.
Written by Mark Waid, with art by Ron Garney, this book gives some gravitas back to Cap and actually treats the character with respect. Featuring a rare team-up between Captain America and the Red Skull as they try to stop Hitler from taking over the world, Captain America: Operation Rebirth is as entertaining as it is completely bonkers.
Waid’s brief Cap run would be as good as the character would get, however, until Ed Brubaker started on the book in 2005.