Take a deep whiff, readers! That’s the smell of new books being unpacked at comic book stores everywhere. With most of the weather issues behind us for now, your Local Comic Shop (LCS) should be fully stocked with dozens and dozens of new books for February 25. In fact, with it being the last Wednesday of the month, there may even be an extra dozen or so books just so the publishers can make the shipping deadlines. Given all of the books to read this week, here are four picks that should be jumping off the shelves for you to read.
Criminal Special Edition #1 ($4.99, Image Comics): Writer Ed Brubaker and artist Sean Phillips have brought their award-winning Criminal franchise over to Image Comics. To celebrate the move, a new 48-page comic is out this week revisiting the characters we’ve loved from the previous volumes of Criminal. Set in 1976, we find Teeg Lawless doing 30 days in the county jail. Unfortunately for Teeg, he is doing 30 days in the county jail with people that want to kill him. His only hope to survive? A beat-up old comic magazine his dead cellmate left behind. Brubaker and Phillips are on the top of their games with these characters. I hope this kicks off what will become a long and productive run for Criminal with Image.
Daredevil #13 ($3.99, Marvel Comics): For nearly four years, comic books fans have been blessed by one of the best runs on Daredevil of all time. Mark Waid has been scripting the story of Matt Murdock since 2011, a non-stop adventure that has won Eisner and Harvey Awards, changed and advanced the characters, and had a lot of fun along the way. Beginning with this issue, Waid and artist Chris Samnee kick off their FINAL story arc for this run. I can guarantee this issue of Daredevil will be on the top of my pile of books to read this week.
Spider-Gwen #1 ($3.99, Marvel Comics): Jumping out of the pages of Spider-Verse comes an all-new, all-different Spider Woman, a.k.a. Spider-Gwen! Sure, in our 616-Marvel Universe, our Gwen Stacy died during a confrontation between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. But this Spider-Gwen comes from Earth-65 universe, where a young Gwen Stacy is bitten by a radioactive spider, and got her start in the super-hero business trying to stop classmate Peter Parker turned villain, the Lizard. This series is written by Jason Latour, who is killing in on Southern Bastards with Jason Aaron each month, takes on the writing duties, with art by Robbi Rodriquez. I am intrigued by this title, and I can’t wait to see how she fits in to the Marvel Universe going forward.
Suiciders #1 ($3.99, Vertigo/DC Comics): The argument could be made that all #1 issues from Vertigo (or from Image) should be picked up, in the solid chance that they become break-out hits and skyrocket in price in the back-issue market. This new title from Lee Bermejo has the makings of becoming the next break-out hit. In the post-apocalyptic ruins of Los Angeles, it’s a struggle to survive. Enter the new reality show, the Suiciders, which combines hand-to-hand combat with elaborate, high-tech obstacles. The competitors have been maxed out with drugs and tech to make for the most exciting show possible, and the star of the show is the fighter known as The Saint. You know you want to read this, so pick it up on Wednesday.
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A few other comics that are definitely worth a look, even if they didn’t make my top four: Darth Vader #2, Batman #39, Secret Origins #10, and Orphan Black #1.
On a side note, do not freak out about seeing All-New X-Men #38 on the shelves this week. This is part of the Black Vortex storyline that is crossing over with the Guardians of the Galaxy titles, and Marvel wants to keep those books shipping on time and in order. If you are one of those readers that must read their books in sequential order, then hold off for two weeks until March 11, when All-New X-Men #37 is scheduled to ship.