In which we preview the biggest books in stores today!
1. BATMAN #39
PANELIST #1: The Joker
One of the few cool things about the New 52 so far is how they (Scott Snyder) has dealt with The Joker. In just a few short years, he’s been established and re-established as the scariest part of this universe, and every time he leaves and comes back, it feels like a big deal. This is the second-to-last issue of this particular Joker story, so make sure you get the last couple of issues, beginning with Batman facing off against a Joker-crazed Justice League.
2. ALL-NEW X-MEN #38
PANELIST #2: Brian Michael Bendis
When Bendis left the Avengers titles, he was handed the keys not only to the X-Men franchise, but also Guardians of the Galaxy. That might seem like an odd combo, but Bendis has so far done a pretty good job of coming up with ways to get these two wacky teams involved with each other every once in awhile. He even got Peter Quill to settle down a little and hook up with Kitty Pride. Bendis is leaving the X-Men books soon (probably to put him on a Marvel Studios-owned character or franchise), so get in on ANXM as soon as possible. It’s been one of Marvel’s most consistent series, despite starting with the premise of bringing the original 60’s X-Men to the modern day.
3. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #15
PANELIST #3: Peter Parker
We haven’t spent a lot of quality time with Pete over the last couple of years. Otto Octavious was in control of his body for a long time, and by the time we finally got Peter back, he was followed by 1,000 other Spider-Men. Writer Dan Slott clearly enjoys the big crossovers, but I think he excels more at the issues where not a ton happens. It’ll be interesting to see what Slott has planned when he doesn’t have a ton planned.
4. THE FLASH #39
PANELIST #4: FUTURE FLASH
For awhile now, Barry Allen has been stuck inside his powers, while some dickhead imposter runs around being a dickhead. Future Flash might seem like a breath of fresh evil air, but his most important quality seems to be highlighting how boring Barry is, and showing that boring might be more interesting than consistently inconsistent.
5. CHEW #46
I don’t know if it’s official how many more issues Chew has (most say it’ll end at issue 60), but in case you’ve been waiting to read it, this is a starting point that will probably take you quite nicely to the end, or at least as nice as anything can be in this book. Artist Rob Guillory is routinely the MVP here, drawing in a style that not only adds to Chew’s absurdity, but it also somehow makes the dark and violent stuff that much more dark and violent. He’s also able to jam pack every panel with little gifts, so if this is your first issue of Chew, make sure to scour every panel.
– Ryan Haley