This is one big week for comics, so you better say your good-byes to your wallet now - because things are about to get pricey. Not only is Marvel's Secret Wars continuing - along with some great indie series - but this week also marks the beginning of DC's latest relaunch, which promises to focus more on diversity and creator-driven content.
And, appropriately enough, we're beginning with a new look for the book that started it all, Action Comics:
Action Comics #41
DC Says: The epic new storyline "TRUTH" begins! For Superman, there's no more holding back!
Why You Should Care: The world knows Clark Kent is Superman, thanks to a whistleblowing article by none other than Lois Lane. Making matters worse: his powers are fading. Gene Luen Yang and John Romita Jr. are tackling the main story in flagship series Superman, but Greg Pak is no slouch, so you can expect plenty of action and excitement from his Action Comics run.
Justice League #41
DC Says: The critically acclaimed team of Geoff Johns and Jason Fabok present the much anticipated, extra-sized first chapter of "DARKSEID WAR"! When the Justice League investigate a series of unexplained murders on Earth, it leads them to the frontlines of a war unlike any the DC Universe has ever seen — a battle between the two most powerful villains in existence: Darkseid and the Anti-Monitor! Meet Darkseid's daughter — a mysterious force of evil with a bizarre connection to the Justice League! Plus: The horrible secret of Superwoman's baby! The ultimate temptation of Batman! Lex Luthor vs. Superman — no holds barred! New villains! New allies! And so much more in the DC Event that has been building since JUSTICE LEAGUE #1!
Why You Should Care: DC is promising fewer Crisis-level crossover events in favor of big stories in individual series. You can't get much bigger than Darkseid vs. the Anti-Monitor in this major Justice League storyline.
Batman Beyond #1
DC Says: At last, Batman Beyond gets his own ongoing series in THE definitive future of the DCU! But this isn't the Beyond you think you know! With the Justice League missing and without Bruce to guide him, this new Batman will need to explore this bizarre world on his own while fighting to raise humanity from an opponent that's already won. The heroes Batman knew have failed, the world he knew has been turned on its head, and every step he takes will lead him either toward finding home — or further down the road of disaster!
Why You Should Care: This ain't your daddy's Batman Beyond. Someone new — yet very, very familiar — is inside that high-tech costume. But how he got here, and what happened to the former Batman Beyond are mysteries yet to be answered.
Secret Wars #3
Marvel Says: ALL THE DEVILS DANCE!
Why You Should Care: There's not much that caught our eye from Secret Wars this week. So we're recommending the main series just to stay caught up — despite Marvel's vague plot description.
Future Imperfect #1
Marvel Says: ON BATTLEWORLD, THE DICTATOR OF DYSTOPIA IS A FAMILIAR FACE! THE MAESTRO rules but there are those who want him dethroned! What role does RUBY SUMMERS have in the plan for this dangerous rebellion? Have the rebels genuinely found ODIN, the father of The Gods, as an ally against the Maestro?
Why You Should Care: Peter David returns to the dystopic future world and characters he created! Art by Greg "I trace my characters from porn" Land always makes us nauseous, but we have to admit that that cover is probably the least Greg Land-like art he's ever done.
Years of Future Past #1
Marvel Says: In the dystopian nations of BATTLEWORLD, the mutants of New York City must fight to survive the rule of the Sentinels! At their center is Kate Pryde, a heroine tried and tested by war, and mother of the last mutant ever to be born before the purges of the Mutant Control Act! With revolution on the wind, the X-Men are not a broken team with nothing left to lose, but a desperate family with more at risk than ever before!
Why You Should Care: Sounds like a really fun twist on the seminal X-Men classic, Days of Future Past.
Darth Vader #5
Marvel Says: The Emperor's machinations revealed! Everything changes for Vader! The tale of Vader's transformation from A New Hope to The Empire Strikes Back continues!
Why You Should Care: That cover art alone is worth four bucks. Frame this adi Granov stunner when you're done reading it.
Star Wars #6
Marvel Says: Luke vs. Boba Fett! Han Solo in hot water!
Why You Should Care: We have no idea what happens in this issue, but Jason Aaron has done an admirable job of capturing the sensibilities of the original trilogy. And John Cassaday's art is always solid.
Image Says: Worlds and minds explode in a brand-new series! When acclaimed comics author JAMES ROBINSON (Starman, Fantastic Four) is hired to write a reboot of the 1940s action hero Airboy, he's reluctant to do yet another Golden Age reboot. Just what the hell has happened to his career-?! His marriage?! His life?! Hey, it's nothing that a drink can't fix. It's after one such night of debauchery with artist GREG HINKLE that the project really comes into its own. Quite literally. Because Airboy himself appears to set the two depraved comic book creators on the straight and narrow. But is the task too much for our hero?
Why You Should Care: It's hard to out-meta Grant Morrison's Multiversity, but this one may succeed by inserting the comic's actual writer and artist into the story.
The Covenant #1
Image Says: In ancient times there was no weapon more devastating than The Ark of The Covenant, containing a power that collapsed enemy nations and destroyed hostile invaders. The Philistine army, led by General Thane, seeks to crush the Israelites as they populate the surrounding territories. A bold move on the field of battle robs the Israelites of their mythical weapon, empowering their most deadly enemy. A young priest, Samuel, determines to steal back the Ark and assembles a group of mercenaries to aid him in the most daring raid in history. An untold tale of the Bible that shifted the balance of power in history.
Why You Should Care: "Forgotten stories from history" always hold potential for great intrigue, and Liefeld's involvement makes us very hopeful.
Broken World #1
Boom Says: Broken World is a gripping sci-fi thriller and survival adventure great for fans of Y: The Last Man or The Massive. Barbiere and co-creator/artist Christopher Peterson (Grindhouse, Mayday) will explore the lives of people left behind in the apocalypse. With a meteor days away from causing an extinction-level event on Earth, time is running out for Elena Marlowe. While most of the planet's population and her family were approved by the government to escape on one of the giant spaceships headed to another planet, her application was denied due to her mysterious past. With the meteor fast approaching, Elena desperately tries to find a way to fake her way onto the ship.
Why You Should Care: We're digging the experimental new titles Boom Studios has been trying out lately, and want to encourage more of it. This one grabbed our interest right away.
Justice Inc.: The Avenger #1
Dynamite Says: Meet Richard Henry Benson — the Avenger! His pallid features forever deadened by a criminal act, he is the ultimate master of disguise and uses his skills to mete out retribution to those who would prey on the innocent! But can even Benson triumph over an Invisible Man...? Fan-favorite writer Mark Waid — who is hotter than ever thanks to his work on Daredevil and Star Wars: Princess Leia — brings his personal favorite pulp hero back to comics with all-new, explosive adventures!
Why You Should Care: Waid said, in regards to Avenger Benson, "How does a man live his life when he has nothing to live for but justice? How does he navigate in a world of life and love and joy when his own features are frozen and stiff like putty, mirroring his cold, dead insides?" Oh yeah, we're in.
Age of Reptiles: Ancient Egyptians #1
Dark Horse Says: Ricardo Delgado's gorgeous and brutal Age of Reptiles series returns, marking a bold new direction in wordless storytelling! The steaming swamps of Cretaceous Africa teem with prehistoric life and primordial danger in a tale filled with villains, victims, and one of the most dangerous and unpredictable protagonists ever created: the lonely antihero Spinosaurus aegyptiacus!
Why You Should Care: "Wordless storytelling" is an incredible challenge, and doing it with animals that can't emote is even harder. Can Delgato pull it off?