Let me put this is plainly as I can: There are a lot of comics that are going to blow your mind this summer. This guide is long. There is so much awesomeness inside it. So grab a drink and a comfortable place to sit, because we're going to be here for a while.
You can get a jump on Kick-Ass 2’s August movie premiere by reading the third and final volume of Mark Millar’s dark comedy, Kick-Ass 3. Here’s the deal (spoilers for Kick-Ass 2, obviously):
Hit-Girl's in jail, leaving Kick-Ass to lead the superhero team of Justice Forever. Their first mission: Bust Hit-Girl out of the clink. But superheroes have now been outlawed, leaving Kick-Ass to dodge both cops AND criminals. For the first time since donning the costume, Kick-Ass is beginning to have his doubts. Is he now in too deep to get out?
Marvel’s summer event, “Thanos Rising,” will only be on issue #2, so expect a lot of rising Thanoses in May. Also watch out for Avengers: The Enemy Within, as the group faces a foe that may only be in Captain Marvel’s suddenly super-powered imagination, as well as Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #23, as Miles Morales has his own “Spider-Man No More!” moment.
DC gets political with the dual release of The Greem Team #1 and The Movement #1 from Gail Simone. Here’s their mysterious descriptions:
The Movement #1 — We are faceless. We are limitless. We see all. And we do not forgive.
Who defends the powerless against the GREEDY and the CORRUPT? Who protects the homeless and poverty-stricken from those who would PREY upon them in the DARK OF NIGHT?
When those who are sworn to protect us abuse their power, when toxic government calls down super-human lackeys to force order upon the populace…finally, there is a force, a citizen’s army, to push order BACK. Let those who abuse the system know this as well: We have our OWN super humans now. They are not afraid of your badges or Leagues. And they will not be SILENCED.
We are your neighbors. We are your co-workers. And we are your children.
The Green Team #1 —INVENTORS! EXPLORERS! ADVENTURERS! Do you need money to finance an important project? Then you should set up a meeting with THE GREEN TEAM!
• Nature of world-changing idea:
• Amount requested:
• Does your project have the potential to:
Replace the combustion engine?
Attract extraterrestrial attention?
Prove/disprove existence of deities?
Piss off The Justice League?
Render the human body obsolete?
If any of the above are checked, please fill out liability release form GT2013-05. Send any 82 drawings, plans, models, or photos with request.
Also, the highly controversial issue of Adventures of Superman #1, written by Orson Scott Card arrives, alongside Grant Morrison’s Animal Man Omnibus, which should be far more popular. And Scott Snyder, currently kicking ass on Batman and several other DC titles, spins a tale of scifi horror in Wake #1.
The folks at Dark Horse kick off the summer in style with a brand-new Conan the Barbarian series, King Conan: Hour of the Dragon #1:
King Conan has faced many threats to his throne in Aquilonia-but none more deadly than a traitorous alliance backed by the resurrected sorcerer Xaltotun, at whose command mountains crumble!
There’s also a bunch of new series debuting that all sound interesting: Akaneiro #1, a re-envisioning of Little Red Riding Hood set in a demon-infested ancient Japan; Dream Thief #1, as spirits of the dead use his sleeping body to commit their acts of vengeance; a new retelling of Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher #1; Dean Motter’s acclaimed creation returns in Mr. X: Eviction, where the mysterious hero must stop fascists from ruling the city through their “authoritarian psychetecture“; and Dark Horse’s most violent hero returns in X #1.
The legendary John Byrne writes, draws and pretty much everything’s Doomsday.1, which looks at the end of the Earth… from outer space.
The Earth may have dodged a bullet on 12/21/2012, but there are worse things in store for our little blue planet. Seven adventurers aboard the International Space Station watch in horror as most of the world is decimated by a monster solar flare. And their only choice is to return to the surface, and face whatever awaits them there!
A veritable who’s who of awesome female comics writers and artists team up for the new Womanthology comic collection, this time themed and titled Space. Then the ‘40s-set noir-adventure series Half Past Danger #1 bills itself as starring "Dames, Dinosaurs and Danger," and that sounds like a winning combination to me.
Babylon 5’s J. Michael Stracynski tells a pleasant little tale of good, evil, demons, mob enforcers, and job opportunities in Ten Grand #1:
Joe Fitzgerald was a mob enforcer until the day he met Laura, who convinced him to leave that world behind. Before quitting, Joe agreed to one last job, little realizing that the man he'd been sent to kill was deeply involved in demonlogy. He survived Joe's attempt and came after him, fatally wounding Joe and killing Laura. As he lay dying, an angelic force (who may or may not be what she appears) pointed out that where she is going, he can't follow, and where he is going, he wouldn't want her to follow. But if he will agree to work for them as a different kind of enforcer, they will bring him to life and keep on bringing him to life every time he is killed in a righteous cause. The reward: for those five minutes of death, he will be with Laura again. Would you endure an eternity of pain and death, dying over and over, to be with the woman you love for just five minutes each time you died? Most people might say no. But Joe Fitzgerald isn't most people.
See? It’s the simple, uncomplicated kind of story JMS just loves telling. Meanwhile, A new superhero debuts in Bounce #1, although he may be better at slacking than superheroics. The Skullkickers universe expands with All New Secret Skullkickers, and Nathan Edmundson’s Dream Merchant is a story where a young boy realizes his dreams are the truth that everybody on the planet has mysteriously forgotten.
The original crew of the Battlestar Galactica returns in an all-new comic from Dynamite (the series is serious and will be about Apollo and Starbuck lost in time and space; I picked the alternate joke cover to show you, because it was too cute not to). NBC’s supernatural hit Grimm gets its own ongoing comic, also from Dynamite. Kieron Gillan goes alt-history in avatar Press’ Uber #1, in which the Nazis win WWII with walking battleships and superhuman soldiers. And in Titan’s Chronos Commandos: Dawn Patrol #1, both the Allies and the Nazis get hold of time machines, so a group of hardened soldiers has to keep Hitler from getting his hands on dinosaurs (that’s one of the greatest sentences I’ve ever heard). And Charles Soule writes about the professor and grad student who use math to keep New York City from destroying itself in Archaia’s Strange Attractors.
Kurt Busiek returns to his most famous creation in the long-awaited Astro City #1!
ASTRO CITY is back in a new, ongoing monthly series that showcases old heroes and new, as The Ambassador comes to Earth, and an ordinary man is caught up in a cosmic conflict! Featuring the return of favorites like Samaritan and Honor Guard, and the debut of some new sensations! Plus, the seeds of a new mystery: Who is the Broken Man? The entire award-winning creative team is back to kick off a new epoch of the human and the super human.
Batman/Superman finally appears in the New 52, revealing the time when the two heroes first met; and Scott Snyder takes on the Man of Steel in Superman Unchained #1, as Superman must uncover the mystery of a secret benefactor who may have powers to rival his own. There’s a brand new 100 Bullets tale, titled Brother Lono #1, too. And the DC universe’s most mysterious character gets the spotlight in a new ongoing series, Trinity of Sin: Pandora #1.
Marvel’s pretty quiet in June; Still, check out Lee Weeks’ return to his favorite superhero in Daredevil: Dark Knights, and see Wolverine’s Jean Grey Academy faces the Hellfire Academy in Wolverine and the X-Men #31.
30 Days of Night’s Steve Niles tells a World War II monster story where the monster’s the good guy in A Breath of Bones: a Tale of the Golem #1.
The giant clay monster from Jewish legend goes on a Nazi-killing rampage in order to protect the inhabitants of a small Jewish stronghold and an injured British pilot.
My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way returns to comics after his hit The Umbrella Factory, to tell The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys #1:
Years ago, the Killjoys fought against the tyrannical megacorporation Better Living Industries, costing them their lives, save for one-the mysterious Girl. Today, the followers of the original Killjoys languish in the Desert while BLI systematically strips citizens of their individuality. As the fight for freedom fades, it's left to the Girl to take up the mantle and bring down the fearsome BLI or else join the mindless ranks of Bat City!
Mulder and Scully return in The X-Files Season 10 #1, an all-new monthly comic chronicling the further adventures of the FBI’s best paranormal investigators.
For years they investigated the paranormal, pursued the "monsters of the week," and sought the truth behind extraterrestrial activity, along with the grand conspiracy surrounding it rooted deep within their own government. But when AGENTS MULDER and SCULLY reunite for a new, ongoing series that ushers THE X-FILES into a new era of technological paranoia, multinational concerns and otherworldly threats, it'll take more than a desire "to believe" to make it out alive. The X-Files: Season 10 also sees creator Chris Carter return to the fold as Executive Producer!
After attacking most of the IDW universe, the Martians take on literature in Mars Attacks: Classics Obliterated #1. The Crow helps the orphaned daughter of a policeman in The Crow: Curare. Godzilla takes on the CG monstrosity from the 1998 Godzilla flick (now nicknamed Zilla) in Godzilla: Rulers of the Earth. Last but not least, Wild Blue Yonder is an adventure set in a future where the only safe place to live on Earth is in the skies.
Honestly, I have a hard time making sense of this description for Greg Rucka’s upcoming series Lazarus, but it sounds awesome:
In a dystopian near-future government is a quaint concept, resources are coveted, and posession is 100% of the law. A handful of Families rule, jealously guarding what they have and exploiting the Waste who struggle to survive in their domains. Forever Carlyle defends her family's holdings through deception and force as their protector, their Lazarus. Shot dead defending the family home, Forever's day goes downhill from there....
The “first season” of the acclaimed series Morning Glories comes to an end in #28, and the second volume of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ utterly unbelievable Saga series hits in June, and if you haven’t gotten the individual issues, you need to pick it up. No excuses.
Simon Spurrirer takes an obscure and completely insane comic character from the ‘30s and then amps up the madness in Six-Gun Gorilla for Boom! Studios:
Welcome to "the Blister" — a bizarre other-world colonized by humans sometime in the 22nd century, which quickly became a hotly-contested source of fertile land and natural resources long ago exhausted on Earth. In this new frontier, a rogue gunslinger and his companion wander across a wilderness in the grips of a civil war, encountering lawlessness, natives, and perversions of civilization in a world at the crossroads between the past and the future. The fact that said gunslinger is a bio-surgically modified silverback gorilla toting a pair of enormous revolvers is neither here nor there.
A young boy meets a man who’s convinced he’s a knight who needs to slay a dragon in the young adult fantasy The Reason for Dragons, by Archaia. Black Mask’s Ballistic #1 is apparently “Darick Robertson's return to the hard sci-fi worldbuilding of his classic Transmetropolitan mixed with The Boys' ultra-violence and the lunacy of Happy, “ so that sounds pretty amazing. Arcana’s Steam Engines of Oz takes a look the steampunk future of the fantasy land, set 100 years after Dorothy killed the Wicked Witch.
DC rules July with one incredibly anticipated series and one incredibly anticipated story. First, Batman ’66 #1 continues the adventures of Adam West’s Caped Crusader and Burt Ward’s Boy Wonder, as they team up with Catwoman to prevent the Riddler from stealing a painting. Then, the "Trinity War" begins in Justice League #22, and continues through Justice League of America and Justice League Dark, as the three superteams battle it out, with the reverberations felt throughout the entirety of the new DC Universe.
Also, Scott Snyder takes a look at Batman’s “Zero Year” beginning in Batman #21, Tom Strong returns in Tom Strong and the Planet of Peril, and the Federal Bureau of Physics investigates those who break the laws of nature itself in Collider #1.
The “Age of Ultron” concludes, but the rest of the Marvel universe isn’t slowing down. Specifically, July is Superior Spider-Month, seeing the debut of the première of The Superior Foes of Spider-Man, Superior Carnage and Superior Spider-Man Team-Up. And make sure you check out Superior Spider-Man #14, which features the biggest change in Spidey’s life since Doc Ock took over.
Meanwhile, the robots of the various Avengers groups join forces in Avengers A.I. #1, Marvel looks at what might have happened in What If? AVX, and Deadpool takes his systematic destruction of everything to its ultimate conclusion in Deadpool Kills Deadpool #1.
Dark Horse brings the classic ‘40s hero Captain Midnight into the 21st Century, but it’s not an easy transition:
On the run from the US government after fleeing custody, Captain Midnight has been labeled a security risk. In the forties, he was an American hero, a daredevil fighter pilot, a technological genius . . . a superhero. But since he rifled out of the Bermuda Triangle into the present day, Captain Midnight doesn't know what or who to trust!
And you know who else is back? Titan, amazing Grace and the Agents of Change, last seen in Dark Horse’s old Comics' Greatest World imprInt from the ‘90s! They’ll star in Catalyst Comics #1, alongside: Blood Brothers #1, about two easy-going immortal vampires who have to stop the apocalypse; Mass Effect: Foundation, a series that takes place after the third hit videogame; a new Lobster Johnson adventure called Scent of Lotus; and a very interesting one-shot by Ulises Farinas titled Gamma:
Dusty Keztchemal is a pathetic coward. He failed the entire planet, and now, the only way he can make a living is by getting punched in the face for money. But when a beautiful stranger wanders into his saloon looking for help, Dusty thinks he can conjure up the man he once was-the greatest monster trainer in the world!
Two classic heroes team up for the first time in the unfortunately named The Rocketeer/The Spirit: Pulp Friction #1.
A Central City Councilman disappears and is found dead in Los Angeles. Commissioner Dolan, along with Denny Colt (AKA The Spirit) and his daughter Ellen in tow, treks out to the City of Angels to investigate. Meanwhile, Cliff Secord (The Rocketeer) consoles his sweetheart Betty... who is traumatized after accidentally discovering the politicians body!
The stars of Topps’ hilariously violent card set finally have their story told in Dinosaurs Attack #1, and IDW re-releases the first tales of everyone’s favorite Mega-City-1 lawman in Judge Dredd Classics. And last but not least, they’re putting our a one-shot by Will.i.am called Wizard & Robots, which I feel might be up io9 readers’ alleys:
A futuristic army of mysterious Robots embarks on a quest to the distant past in search of powerful Wizards. Though their motives are unclear, nothing will get in their way! Traveling through time and space, Grammy Award Winner will.i.am and globetrotting futurist Brian David Johnson, uncover the secrets between these two unlikely rivals and how their war could destroy the Earth!
Matt Fraction stops by Image to tell a wonderfully weird tale about a murder mystery set around a ‘50s kids show in Satellite Sam #1:
NEW YORK CITY, 1951: The host of beloved daily television serial "Satellite Sam" turns up dead in a flophouse filled with dirty secrets. The police think it was death by natural causes but his son knows there was something more... if only he could sober up long enoguh to do something about it. This noir mystery shot through with sex and violence exposes the seedy underbelly of the golden age of television
Meanwhile, the world’s greatest criminal is tasked with the job of stealing a ghost in the crime/horror series Ghosted #1. J. Michael Linsner’s buxom heroine Dawn returns for a tale of her early days in Dawn: Swordmaster’s Daughter, while a town of doomsday preppers realize their greatest threat might not be the apocalypse, but their own children in Sheltered #1. And last but not least, Komacon is a cross-cultural anthology pairing six awesome South Korean artists with veteran America comics writers, which sounds pretty darned cool.
I personally am anticipating the hell out of Valiant’s revival of Quantum and Woody, whose ‘90s adventures contained some of the funniest superhero comics I’ve had the pleasure to read. Here’s the scoop on the new series:
Writer James Asmus (Thief of Thieves, Gambit, The End Times of Bram & Ben) and artist Tom Fowler (Venom, Hulk: Season One) punt the world's worst superhero team headfirst into the Valiant Universe! Once upon a time, Eric and Woody Henderson were inseparable. Adopted brothers. Best friends. Brilliant minds. Years later, they are estranged siblings, petty rivals, and washed-up failures. But when their father's murder leads them into the throes of a life-altering scientific accident, Eric and Woody will find themselves with a whole new purpose - and a perfectly legitimate reason to wear costumes and fight crime. Go big or go home, folks! Quantum and Woody are coming! And the action-packed, zeitgeist-shredding exploitation stunt comic you demanded is here at last. (And, yes, there will be a goat too. Eventually.)
(and I’m very happy Woody finally has a decent haircut.) George R. R. Martin returns to comics with an adaptation of his World Fantasy Award-winning story “Skin Trade” by Avatar Press, about a brutal serial killer who also happens to be a werewolf. Best of all, GRRM’s is not writing this thing, so you don’t have to be mad he’s not working on it instead of The Winds of Winter.
Nine cyborgs must figure out why they were turned into instruments of war against their will, but also prevent World War III fro occurring in the American retelling of the classic manga/anime Cyborg 009, from Archaia and Ishinori Productions. Archaia will also release Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, a collection of "new tales of fantastic wonder and extraordinary myth, as told from the tongue of The Storyteller and his loyal canine companion!“ in softcover.
Meanwhile, heroines Michael Turner’s Fathom (Aspen) and Red Sonja (Dynamite) both get relaunched with new #1issues. Ash from Army of Darkness finally meets his match in the Army of Darkness Vs. Hack/Slash crossover. And a far less gory team-up is made in The Shadow & Green Hornet: Dark Nights.