Time to debut the next new weekly feature being added to the site, a spotlight on what we feel are the most notable new comics and graphic novels coming out each week. Every Wednesday, we’ll pick 4-5 titles that we think are a sure thing if you’re looking for something new to pick up. As things get rolling, some of these picks may come from other staff and contributors, but unless it’s stated otherwise, they all come from me, KamuiX. So if one of them ends up sucking, I’m to blame. Without further ado, let’s get the inaugural edition under way!
First up is the first issue of Jonathan Ross and Bryan Hitch’s new 6-issue series America’s Got Powers. It’s a take on the glut of contest shows that have swept television the world over these past few years, only with a superhero twist. It all sounds sort of kitschy, but looking at the talent involved I think this one will end up surprising a lot of people. If you live in the UK, you certainly know who Jonathan Ross is, but if you’re unfamiliar he’s easily one of the most recognizable talk-show hosts in all of England; think David Letterman with more of an edge. Ross is an unabashed comic fan, and his first foray into the medium was last year’s Turf, another book that sounded pretty iffy from the outset (prohibition-era gangsters, vampires, and aliens going to war) but delivered in spades. And Bryan Hitch is no stranger to comic fans, with high-profile runs on The Ultimates and The Authority under his belt, both with Mark Millar behind the writer’s desk. There’s a lot of talent involved in this one, and I think it has a lot of potential. – AMERICA’S GOT POWERS #1 // $2.99 // IMAGE COMICS
I’ve been pretty vocal about my displeasure when it comes to most of Grant Morrison’s Batman stories over the past six years, but before the DC “New 52” rebirth, he finally hit on an idea that not only intrigued me, but also delivered the goods: Batman Incorporated. After he was believed dead and going through the most ridiculous time-travel stupidity ever (if you missed it, pat yourself on the back), Bruce Wayne returned with a new purpose: since Dick Grayson was holding down the fort as Batman in Gotham, why not use the symbolism of the Bat worldwide by training and commanding a global strike force of Batmen. These Batmen span established characters such as England’s Knight and Squire and the former Batgirl Cassandra Cain, now known as Black Bat in Hong Kong, to brand new characters like Batwing in Africa, who went on to get his own series in the New 52. The collection features great art by Yanick Paquette and Chris Burnham, and there’s no better time to brush up on your Batman Inc. lore since the series joins the New 52 next month with a new #1. This collection features all of the content before the DC relaunch, including the Leviathan one-shot, making jumping on-board in May all the easier. – BATMAN INCORPORATED VOL. 1 HC // $29.99 // DC COMICS
So here’s the synopsis on this one: “A man gets shot in London, a law firm gets broken into in Washington, an accountant gives away the password to his computer, and something put to sleep 20 years ago awakens. What is the unsavory relationship all these things share, and how could it bring down two of the largest governments in the history of the world?” Sounds pretty cool, right? I honestly know little about it outside of that mysterious write-up and the fact that it’s a new ongoing series from Jonathan Hickman, and honestly, that’s more than enough for me to be extremely interested. The guy has written some of the strongest series Image has published in the past 10 years, including A Red Mass from Mars, The Nightly News, Transhuman, and the currently white-hot The Manhattan Projects, not to mention his killer work at Marvel on Fantastic Four, Secret Warriors, and the historical-spanning S.H.I.E.L.D. Hickman reunites with Ryan Bodenheim, who he worked with on A Red Mass from Mars, so this book is not only going to read well, it’s going to look great too. The only caveat on this one is I wonder if it can avoid significant delays with how much Hickman has on his plate, but even if we have to wait between installments, something tells me it’ll be worth it. – SECRET #1 // $3.50 // IMAGE COMICS
Mark Millar has taken some heat over the past year or so, being accused of using comic books as nothing more than a means-to-an-end for getting his creations sold to Hollywood. As much fun as I found the first issue of Supercrooks, it was pretty weird that I was reading an original property that’s never been seen before by the public, so the reception and quality was yet to be seen, yet it had already been sold to Hollywood. And guess what? A script is apparently already being written for The Secret Service, before the first issue of seven has even seen the light of day. But it’s hard not to be excited for it. Regardless of your feelings on Millar’s Hollywood dealings, he can still create interesting worlds and writes solid dialogue, but the real draw here is the idea of getting a full mini-series drawn by legendary artist Dave Gibbons, something he hasn’t done in over a decade. If you’ve read Watchmen (shouldn’t that be a given at this point?), you know why there’s some strong buzz around this one. Oh, and the story sounds pretty cool too. That’s usually a plus. – THE SECRET SERVICE #1 // $2.99 // MARVEL COMICS/ICON
Wrapping things up for this week is the amazing Severed, now collected in hardcover. If you didn’t read this book while it was being released monthly, now is the time. Easily the best horror comic book to come from any company in quite some time, Severed is a story that can be enjoyed by comic junkies and comic novices alike. Scott Snyder has become something of a wunderkind in his short time writing comics, and along with co-writer Scott Tuft they evoke the sort of atmosphere and slow-building tension that’s rarely seen outside of film and take a simple story of a boy on his own seeking out his long-lost father and encountering a VERY bad man and molds it into something fresh, unique, and terrifying. Alone with your thoughts, reading this in low light, the story will creep up on you and make your hair stand on end. Credit also needs to be given to artist Attila Futaki, who is going to be a superstar in the comic book industry before very long. He brings Snyder and Tuft’s vision to ghoulish life and I couldn’t imagine anyone else on artistic duties on this title. If you only take one of my recommendations to heart this week, make it this one. – SEVERED HC // $24.99 // IMAGE COMICS