What's on the stands this Wednesday? The strongarm police tactics of everyone's favorite mushroom-coiffed space cop, urban fantasy starring a man-boy wizard, and a new installment of Joe Hill's acclaimed supernatural thriller Locke & Key.
First, let's look at some notable issues that will soon be in the hands of your local comic purveyor...
Locke & Key: Keys To The Kingdom 1 (IDW): A new installment of Joe Hill (a.k.a. Stephen King's son) and Gabriel Rodriguez's Eisner-nominated comic series begins here — protagonist Bode Locke discovers a new supernatural key and hundreds of dead birds. There's also a teaser first issue of Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft on sale for $1 and the Locke and Key: Crown of Shadows hardcover.
Morning Glories 1 (Image): A new series from Nick Spencer and illustrator Joe Eisma about a mysterious prep school and its troubled students; the creators describe it as Runaways meets Lost.
Dungeons and Dragons 0 (IDW): Here's a price-is-right introductory issue to IDW's D&D series, which is set to debut in November. I hope my $1 gets me a whole lot of Beholder and ochre jellies. You can read our preview of it here.
BPRD: Hell On Earth — New World 1 (Dark Horse): In this new miniseries spinning out of the BPRD's war with the frogs, the organization must contend with UN oversight and new eldritch horrors across small-town America.
Green Lantern: Emerald Warriors 1 (DC): Guy Gardner flirted with becoming a Red Lantern during Blackest Night. Now he's going on a mission with Red Lantern grand poobah Atrocitus — could Guy's angry side emerge once more?
Bird of Prey 4 (DC): Gail Simone's first arc back on Birds wraps up with Black Canary squaring off against the elusive White Canary.
Ultimate Comics Avengers 3 1 (Marvel): Blade makes his Ultimate Avengers debut, complete with Steve Dillon art that makes me nostalgic for all things Cassidy. Blade also pops up in the 616 universe in X-Men 2 (Marvel) this week.
Sky Doll Lacrima Christi 1 (Marvel/Soleil): Marvel's collaboration with French publisher Soleil yields this new installment of Alessandro Barbucci and Barbara Canepa's Sky Doll series, about a techno-theocracy and female androids in a parallel dimension.
DMZ 56 (Vertigo): This one-shot focuses on Wilson, the enigmatic Chinatown mob boss who's confronted with a new threat from the United States side of the civil war.
Archie & Friends 146 (Archie): The Riverdale gang is doing a Twilight parody. I really hope this isn't a parody, but rather the explanation as to why Archie and company haven't graduated high school in approximately 70 years.
As for bookshelf material, we have the Star Trek: The Original Series Omnibus (IDW) ; The Adventures of Superboy hardcover (DC), a collection of Superboy classics from Jerry Siegel and Don Cameron (looks like DC's tabled its legal issues with Siegel estate for the time being); the Chew: Omnivore Edition Volume 1 hardcover (Image), which collects the first 10 issues of John Layman and Rob Guillory's gustatory detective series; more Pete Wisdom shenanigans in Excalibur Visionaries: Warren Ellis Volume 2 (Marvel); The Big Book O Ditko (Pure Imagination), a collection of rare and unpublished Ditko art from the Charlton era and more; and Judge Dredd: The Restricted Files Volume 2 (Rebellion), a collection of never-seen before and obscure Judge Dredd strips.
What's MY PICK OF THE WEEK? The trade paperback collection of Unwritten Volume 2: Inside Man (DC/Vertigo). This series follows Tom Taylor, a young man whose father penned a best-selling Harry Potter-style fiction series about his young son. The thing is, Tom's a grown-up now and realizing that his father's books weren't just flights of fancy. In this installment, Tommy must escape from a French prison, where forces both magical and corporeal are plotting his demise. There's also a hilarious one-shot story featuring a supernatural gulag that's set in a Beatrix Potter-like storybook. It's brought to you by Mike Carey, who penned the absolutely engrossing Lucifer series. Unwritten 16 also hits the stands today.