Does the Legion of Super Heroes confuse your loved ones? This gang of super-powered teenagers in the 30th century has an admittedly complicated backstory, including a dozen home planets and a billion soap-operatic entanglements. Luckily, the perfect holiday gift is also the best Legion teaching tool. Eye For An Eye, out this week, collects the first six issues of the Legion's series that started in 1984, featuring the classic team of Levitz and Giffen. But there are a few other graphic novels and comics coming out this week that you might want to keep for yourself.
If you're looking for a stocking stuffer for the little kid in your life, you could do a lot worse than the Marvel Adventures Hulk digest, Misunderstood Monster. It's the old-school Hulk, smashing stuff in his purple pants and wanting to be left alone. No planet, no world war. And it's totally kid-friendly.
There are also a couple of worthy X-men collections out this week. X-Factor: Heart of Ice hardcover collects issues 18-24 of the recent series. Post-mutant terrorists react badly to the fact that most mutants have lost their powers. And if you're feeling nostalgic for the massive mutant crossovers of the 1990s, you can pick up X-Men Vol. 1: the Complete Onslaught Epic. Charles Xavier and Magneto have mind-sex and create Onslaught, a supervillain who sends all the greatest heroes to an alternate reality. Really.
As for the floppies, you can pick up two more pieces left after World War Hulk. The Hulk himself is gone (until he comes back as a red-head). But The Incredible Hulk is renamed The Incredible Herc, and follows the adventures of Hercules and the supergenius Amadeus Cho, starting with this week's issue 112. Meanwhile, World War Hulk: Warbound #1 follows the Hulk's alien allies from the planet Sakaar as they try to flee from their puny human pursuers.
Birds of Prey finally greets its new writer, Sean McKeever (Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane.) The Birds lose control over a high-tech menace in Metropolis, and Superman warns them they may not have much future in his city.
Star Wars: Legacy wraps up its storyline about Luke Skywalker's descendant being tempted by the dark side of the force. This series takes place 100 years after Return of the Jedi and has managed to deliver some real surprises on a pretty regular basis because anything can happen to these characters.
Then there's the latest Marvel Comics "What If" special, What If: Civil War. What if all the heroes had united behind Captain America? What if Iron Man had lost? One of the three versions is written by Ed Brubaker (Daredevil, Criminal), so it should be a fun read.