POSTCARDS FROM ORBIT – COMICS FOR THE WEEK 31/08/2011

The big news this week (and probably for the next month) is the start of DC ComicsNew 52 initiative. We did a bit of a rundown on the New 52 last week so, if you’re still confused or curious about what it all means, do check it out.

As a result, there are only be two regular DC books available this week – Flashpoint #5  (which wraps up the storyline and introduces the new status quo) and the new Justice League #1 from Geoff Johns & Jim Lee. The New 52 will then go into full swing next week with 13 new books to tempt and tease, all starting at issue 1!

Another exciting first this week is Angel & Faith #1 from Dark Horse Comics. After finally getting the license back from IDW, Dark Horse are carrying on Angel’s story in canon (just as they did with Buffy Season 8) and rogue slayer Faith Lehane is along for the ride.

If that’s not enough reason to give it a go then how about the fact it’s being done by the stellar team of Christos (Avengers Academy) Gage & Rebekah (DV8) Isaacs? And if you still need more supernatural goodness to brighten your Wednesday then be sure to check out the latest issue of The Goon #35 featuring a new story by Evan Dorkin & Eric Powell.

It’s a quieter week for IDW Publishing this time around, but they’re making up for it with the fourth issue of the critically-acclaimed Rocketeer Adventures mini-series. The book’s success should be no surprise given the popularity of the character and the vast array of talent assembled each issue. In this final part we have new tales from Dave Gibbons, Joe Pruett, John Arcudi, Scott Hampton, Tony Harris and Brendan McCarthy. We also get issue 2 of the latest Locke & Key mini Clockworks, so I’d call that a pretty good week.

Image Comics have some real gems out this week, including Butcher Baker The Righteous Maker #6, Elephantmen #34, Invincible #82, Savage Dragon #173 and Skullkickers #10. We recently discussed Butcher Baker and Elephantmen on our podcast, The Orbiting Pod, and highly recommend both. We’re big fans of Image Comics in general, so it’s always good to see what new things they have out, including this week’s debut releases: Epoch #1 and Vescell #1.

Marvel also have a number of interesting releases, but I’m most looking forward to some more Spider-Island goodness. This week we get Amazing Spider-Man #668 (along with second printings of 666 and 667) plus Spider-Man: Infested #1 (which collects the back-ups featured in Amazing over the past few months) and Spider-Island: Deadly Hands of Kung Fu #1.

If Spider-Man and his extended family are your thing then there’s also a bounty of new trades out this week. First up, Marvel wheels out Essential Web of Spider-Man Volume 1. I have fond memories of this book from my childhood, so it’s nice to see a good affordable collection at last. There’s also Spider-Girl: Family Values which collects the first 8 issues of the recent Spider-Girl series by Paul Tobin & Clayton Henry.

I have a great deal of affection for both the character and the book, so here’s hoping there’s life for Anya beyond her current Spider-Island mini. Speaking of short-lived runs, Marvel also collects the full 13 issue run of mid-90s Green Goblin in Green Goblin: A Lighter Shade of Green. After Dan Slott brought Phil Urich back ‘big time’ (pun intended) it was inevitable that fans would want to revisit his earlier adventures which feature gorgeous art by Scott McDaniel.

Aside from your regular Spider-fix, there’s also the penultimate issue of Deadpool Max (#11), Journey Into Mystery #626.1 (sadly not by Kieron Gillen), Mighty Thor #5, Ultimate Comics Hawkeye #1 and Herc #6.1. The other big release this week is the beginning of Warren Ellis‘ run on Secret Avengers #16 featuring art by Jamie McKelvie. This will most likely be typical Warren madness, but at least we know it’s going to look pretty!

Our friends at Boom! Studios are going ape this week with Planet of the Apes Volume 1 which contains the first four issues of the new comic series. It retails for just $9.99, so it’ll only cost you £7 – and while you’re at it you can pick up issue #5 of the book which is priced to sell at $1.00 (just 75p!) If you’ve seen Rise of the Planet of the Apes and enjoyed it then why not give this new series a look?

If you prefer your smaller companies there’s a host of new releases this week, including War Goddess #1 from Boundless; my personal favourite Sonic The Hedgehog #228 and Kevin Keller #2 from Archie Comics; the oft-overlooked The Sixth Gun #16 from Oni Press; and Vampirella #9 and Zorro Rides Again #2 from Dynamite Entertainment.

Finally, we get the long-awaited conclusion to Chronicles of Wormwood: The Last Battle #6 from Avatar Press this week. I’ve been asked so many times about this book and my answer has always been the same … “It’ll just come when it comes.” Well, lo and behold, here it is!

So, despite there being only two DC books, it’s still proving to be a big week all round. God help us next week (and for the rest of the month) when the New 52 really start kicking in! Remember, just because I haven’t mentioned a book in this post doesn’t mean it’s not coming in or that we don’t like it … It simply means I was distracted by something bigger and shinier, or just distracted in general.

For a full list of this week’s new releases (including manga, toys, t-shirts and other merchandise) be sure to check our website each Tuesday. That way you’ll never miss a thing. Of course, if you really don’t want to miss out then why not start a standing order with the shop? Not only will you save on your comics if you buy 20 or more titles, but everything will be put aside for you – pristine and ready to go. Email info@orbitalcomics.com if you’d like to start one today.

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