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 November 9, 2011.
Reviews by Jason Serafino (@serafinoj1)
Point One #1
What it’s about: Point One is a collection of short stories that hint at what’s to come at Marvel in 2012. In this book, you will get a glimpse at the future of classic characters, such as Spider-Man, Dr. Strange, and the Avengers. There's also a look at what's to come for B-list characters like Nova and Hawkeye, as well as the returns of the Scarlet Spider and the Phoenix.
This isn’t a great title to buy for people not planning on keeping up with every new development in the Marvel U, but for longtime fans and for people looking to become monthly readers, Point One is a must.
With writers like Brian Michael Bendis, Jeph Loeb, Ed Brubaker, and Matt Fraction teaming up with artists like Ed McGuinness, Bryan Hitch, and Terry Dodson, this issue also touts an all-star lineup of talent. Even though Point One is nothing more than a collection of teasers for future titles, it’s still a great sampler of things to come in 2012.
What it’s about: When the current version of Batwoman was first introduced in 2006, she was billed as one of the first mainstream homosexual superheroes. But after the initial buzz died down, the character quickly became forgotten and viewed as nothing more than a gimmick.
Then, in 2009, writer Greg Rucka decided to feature her in his Detective Comics run and succeeded in evolving her from a massive publicity stunt into a fully-formed character. Now, DC is furthering the character’s legacy by launching her first solo title as part of their “New 52” initiative in hopes of continuing what Rucka started.
What to expect this month: There are so many plot threads going on in this book that it’s almost hard to keep up with it all. Last we saw Batwoman in issue #2, she was being attacked by the mysterious force that has been abducting the children of Gotham in recent issues.
And now she also has to take down Cameron Chase and the government agency that is trying to put her behind bars. The scope is large, but writers Haden Blackman and J.H. Williams III handle it all with a unique, witty flare. It also doesn’t hurt that Williams is providing the art for the series as well, which happens to be some of the best in the business.
Green Lantern #3
What it’s about: 2011 was supposed to be the Green Lantern's year. With the prospects of a new animated series, a relaunched comic book series, and, most importantly, the character’s big-screen feature film debut, Hal Jordan was set to become DC's new golden-boy. Unfortunately, the Ryan Reynolds-led Green Lantern flopped both critically and financially at the box office and any hope that the character would crossover into the mainstream was crushed.
However, despite that big screen disappointment, Geoff Johns has been a savior for the character, and his new Green Lantern series is currently one of the best of DC’s “New 52.” Complete with beautiful art by Doug Mahnke and a concise, focused script, Green Lantern has the tone and characterizations that the movie should have had.
What to expect this month: With Sinestro currently in possession of Hal Jordan’s power ring, this former intergalactic threat is now a symbol of hope across the universe. But as a member of the Green Lantern Corps, Sinestro is betrayed by his former army, the Yellow Lanterns, after they invade his homeworld of Korugar.
Not only is Sinestro forced to battle against his old allies, but he needs the help of Hal Jordan to do so. Geoff Johns has so far done a great job of making the sci-fi world of the Green Lantern seem more down-to-Earth by presenting conflicts and plots that still manage to resonate with readers.
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #4
What it’s about: When Marvel first launched the Ultimate line back in 2000, it was designed to give their classic roster of characters a 21st century makeover so younger fans could relate to them. The concept worked brilliantly for a while until the characters began to get bogged down with the same cumbersome continuity issues and shoddy stories that the mainstream Marvel Universe suffered from.
Recently, Marvel has tried to reboot their Ultimate Universe by introducing brand new characters and a fresh slate. The most successful example of this has been Ultimate Comics Spider-Man, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Sara Pichelli. The man under the Spidey mask here isn’t Peter Parker; it’s Miles Morales, a half-Latino, half-African American teenager.
What to expect this month: With Miles still getting used to his new abilities, he must try to come to terms with not only sticking to walls but also the huge responsibility that those powers bring. In this issue, Miles begins to take the first steps towards becoming Spider-Man after he learns of the death of the original Wall Crawler, Peter Parker.
Along the way, Miles runs into Spider Woman, who has reservations about the new Spidey. Bendis sets this book up more like a slow burn, rather than a fast-paced comic. Each issue gives us more of a glimpse at who Miles is, without throwing dozens of super villains into the book just for the sake of having an action scene.
<span class="Apple-style-span" style="line-height: 15px; font-size: 18px;"></span>
Fantastic Four By John Byrne; Omnibus, Volume 1
What it’s about: John Byrne is the man twho helped save the X-Men from the brink of cancellation and revitalized Superman for a modern audience in the ‘80s, but it's his legendary run on Fantastic Four that might actually be his most impressive work overall. His time on the book easily rivals what Jack Kirby and Stan Lee accomplished during the series’ first 100 issues and is just as good as Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo’s tenure on the book in the aughts.
Byrne accomplished this legendary status all by himself, as he both wrote and provided art for each issue. In this first volume omnibus, Byrne pits the Fantastic Four against the creature of the Negative Zone, Dr. Doom, and Galactus, all while teaming up with the Inhumans and updating their classic costumes.
These stories strike the perfect balance between lighthearted humor and the intense action that FF fans have grown accustomed to. For any fan of Marvel’s First Family, or superhero comics in general, this gargantuan collection is the perfect purchase, despite the intimidating price tag.