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 13, 2011.
Hellboy: Buster Oakley Gets His Wish
What it’s about: Created by Mike Mignola in the early '90s, Hellboy is the most
successful example of a recent American independent comic. From his beginnings
as a prototype drawn at a comic convention to his later success in various
motion pictures, video games, and animated series, Hellboy has outdone Spawn as
an example of the best way to create a world renowned comic character that isn’t a part
of DC or Marvel.
Despite the fact that Hellboy has never had an ongoing series, the character has always thrived in various mini-series and self-contained stories. With this new one-shot, Mignola returns to writing the character that he made a household name. Featuring the normal Hellboy fare such as giant robots, aliens, and monsters, this book will be a welcome addition for any fan of the Right Hand of Doom.
And while Mignola won’t be lending his atmospheric and hyper-stylized art to the book, the legendary Kevin Nowlan is more than suitable to cover Hellboy and his bizarre world.
What it’s about: The Flash has gone by many different costumes and aliases, some awesome, some forgettable. Finally, after years of being presumed “dead,” the superb silver age Flash, Barry
Allen, is back as the scarlet speedster. With him, the Flash has
once again regained his spot as one of the most integral characters in the DC
Legendary Flash writer Geoff Johns is returning as well, which to us indicates that the book has finally regained the direction and intrigue that it had at the beginning of the new millennium. DC seems primed to launch Flash into the mainstream consciousness within the next few months.
What to expect this month: This issue acts as a prelude to DC’s next universe-spanning event, Flashpoint. It deals with the Flash coming face-to-face with a man from the future who has a warning for the fastest man alive. This one simple event sets up the premise for Flashpoint and makes this issue vital to pick up in order to understand the full picture.
While many comic events fall flat on their face, Flashpoint should benefit from Johns, who, when given minimal editorial restrictions, can turn out some of the best large scale storylines in the business.
Amazing Spider-Man #658
What it’s about: Amazing Spider-Man was launched at the beginning of the Marvel
age of comics back in 1963. Back then, creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
hoped that the book would help pay the bills for a little while; they had no
idea that it would skyrocket the company and themselves into the mainstream
Since then, Amazing Spider-Man has been one of the premiere books at Marvel. And while there was a huge dip in quality in the late '90s and early 2000s, Dan Slott’s current direction on the book measured up to some of the best Spider-Man runs ever.
What to expect this month: With Spidey as the newest member of the Fantastic Four, he has to learn how to balance his life as Peter Parker and Spider-Man while helping out his newest team.
Dan Slott sets up these difficult life decisions better than any recent Spider-Man writer as he never forgets that this book is really about the man behind the mask just as much as anything else. His handling of Parker’s chaotic social life and romantic struggles makes this book read more like an indie movie with a monstrous budget as opposed to the continuity-laden explosion-fest that it once was. It also doesn't hurt that the art provided by Marcos Martin is currently the most original and unique in the entire company.
This is the perfect issue featuring the perfect writer for any disillusioned Spidey fan to pick up and finally start enjoying the Web Head again.
Incredible Hulks #626
What it’s about: Writer Greg Pak has taken Hulk from the deepest depths of
space to a full fledged war with the Marvel Universe and has even made him a
proud poppa. And while Pak’s Incredible Hulks has been the victim of a lot of
editorial mandates and intrusive crossovers, he has still been able to turn out
an entertaining read every month.
With Pak's tenure on the character coming to an end, it will be interesting to see where he leaves the story.
What to expect this month: Hulk has never been one for subtlety or sneaking around but this month he becomes an international super spy! When he discovers that his new enemy is none other than the Red She-Hulk, a.k.a. Betty Banner, the Hulk may just have to lay the smackdown on his former flame. Haven't we all been there?
As always, Pak brings humor and bizarre elements to the book. Like Peter David, who created memorably outlandish issues during his classic run on the character, Pak is great at mixing genres and putting the Green Goliath in very un-Hulk like situations.
This is a great place to pick up the Hulk just to see Pak have some fun with the character before his swan song.
Journey Into Mystery #622
What it’s about: Launched in 1952 as a sci-fi book, Journey Into Mystery saw
the debut of Thor in issue #83 way back in 1962. Eventually the character became so popular that
the book was re-titled The Mighty Thor and only featured stories focusing on
the God of Thunder.
Now, after going back to its original title, Journey Into Mystery focuses on Thor’s evil half-brother, Loki. With Keiron Gillen writing the book and Doug Braithwaite on art, Journey Into Mystery has one of the best creative teams at Marvel and looks to take advantage of a growing Thor audience just in time for the release of the blockbuster film in May.
What to expect this month: Tying into the Marvel's larger Fear Itself event, this first issue of the new Journey Into Mystery will also deal with the rebirth of Loki and what really happened during his temporary “demise.”
While books that focus on villains tend to be very gimmicky with a short shelf life, Paul Cornell’s take on a Lex Luthor centric Action Comics showed audiences and other creators how to put the spotlight on evil and still make it interesting in the long term.
Fans looking to get a better insight into the characters of Thor comics before the movie should pick up this book and take a look at the world of Loki through the eyes of one of the great writers at Marvel.
Thor Omnibus by Walt Simonson (Collecting: Thor #337-355, #357-369, #371-382; Balder the Brave #1-4)
What it’s about: The best run on Thor ever is collected into one oversized
hardcover. Is there anything else you need to know? Oh yeah, it’ll set you back
about $100 and it weighs as much as a newborn. But every Thor story that you
ever wanted to read is in this book.
From gigantic battles with the fire giant Surtur to the death of Odin and the Mutant Massacre, this book spans all of Asgard and the entire Marvel Universe as a whole. And just when this book seems like it couldn’t possibly get any better, Thor gets transformed into a Frog and everything starts getting freaky!
This is the classic run that propelled Thor into the upper echelon of Marvel characters. It is also essential Thor reading in order to fully understand the overwhelming minutia of Asgard and is also a great place to start reading before seeing the movie.