Amazing Spider-Man #595

Creative team: Story by Joe Kelly; art by Phil Jimenez

Villain to Watch: Green Goblin

They say: Look, this solicit is being written before you dear readers even know how CHARACTER ASSASSINATION ends and the major changes that spill out of it, so I can’t tell ya much, but believe me, if you haven’t been keeping up with Spidey…it’s time. Following immediately on the heels of ’24/7′, Spider-Man’s world has become more messed-up and stressful than ever and the fact that his biggest enemy, is in charge of the world…and the Avengers…is only the icing on a really dangerous cake. Now faced with hard choices about family and friendship, Spider-Man knows exactly what he has to do to save the world…it’s time to take down Norman Osborn.

I say: Any pairing of Spidey and the Green Goblin has tremendous potential due to the fact that this is one of a small number of truly seminal hero/villain relationships. But now that Marvel has revamped the Norman Osborn mythos, this is slated to be one for the ages. They’re clearly teasing towards a big-market push with ish 600, and given the track record with milestone books in this title, smart money says jump on now so you can have something to talk about at the cons this summer.

Blackest Night #0

Villain To Watch: Black Hand(?)

They say: DC Comics’ Retailer Incentive Edition of the the prelude to “Blackest Night,” the biggest comics event of 2009! This promotional issue features a story by Geoff Johns, and a sketch cover and b&w interior art by Ivan Reis.

I say: Green Lantern — and its companion title, Green Lantern Corps, are two of the best series being produced today.

The writing and the art are both extraordinary. Blackest Night is poised to make members of the DC nation forget the debacles that Final Crisis and Trinity descended into. And anything that helps me forget Super Young Team is a Good Thing.

Green Lantern: Agent Orange #3

Creative team: Story by Geoff Johns; art by Philip Tan & Jonathan Glapion

Villain to Watch: Agent Orange

They say: The truth behind the eternally corrupt Vega System is finally revealed and the Green Lantern Corps will pay dearly for uncovering the secret. Meanwhile, the greed of Agent Orange knows no bounds as his demand for the universe explodes. Plus, Hal continues to struggle with the abilities of his new power ring.

I say: Again, GL is on a serious roll right now. Green is the new black. Until Blackest Night. When Black will be the new black.

Marvel Adventures: Fantastic Four #48

Creative team: Story by Paul Tobin; art by David Hahn & Colleen Coover

Villain to Watch: Galactus

They say: All good things must eventually end. Sure, our universe had some great times, but all shows must close, and the Fantastic Four are summoned to the Ends of Time to help one of the show’s brightest stars pack up for the long sleep until the next universe is born. That’s right: Galactus has survived one Big Bang, and is making plans to pull off the same trick! But what does a guy like Galactus pack for this journey, and why does he need the help of the Fantastic Four? Plus, artist Colleen Coover brings you Sue Storm’s essay, ‘The Importance of Being Invisible!’

I say: Speaking of seminal clashes, let’s not forget the Galactus / FF match-ups of the past. Bring these two forces together and I’ll plunk down my money just to see how it turns out. Besides, Fantastic Four has been Marvel’s answer to DC’s Green Lantern in terms of engaging stories and top-flight visuals. You really can’t go wrong with Marvel’s First Family right now.

Ms Marvel #39

Creative team: Story by Brian Reed; art by Patrivk Olliffe

Villain to Watch: Moonstone / Ms marvel

They say: The Dark Reign is in full effect. Carol Danvers is dead. Moonstone has taken on the mantle of Ms. Marvel. And the only hope for the forces of good is…Machine Man?!

I say: I’ve had a major fanboy crush on Moonstone since I first laid eyes on her in the John Buscema / Avengers days. Of course, I never really figured out whether I loved the character or the amazing linework Buscema used to draft her. This is a Dark Reign tie-in to grab.

…And one to Pass

Dark Reign: Electra

Creative team: Story by Zeb Wells; art by Clay Mann

Villain to Watch: Hawkeye (Bullseye)

They say: A fatigued and badly wounded Elektra is out of H.A.M.M.E.R. custody and on the run, and Norman Osborn wants her neutralized. Nothing for it but to send his best anti-Elektra operative – the Dark Avengers’ own…HAWKEYE! He killed her once when he was Bullseye. Does a wounded Elektra even stand a chance?

I say: Sigh… another book where, more likely than not, we get to see Electra shish-ke-bobbed by Bullseye. Aside from the aforementioned Miss Marvel tie-in, the Dark Reign one-shots have been leaving me somewhat cold. Pass.

While You’re in the Comic Shop…

Least I Could Do #2

Creative team: Story by Ryan Sohmer; art by Lar deSouza

They say:Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Casual relations means never having to say anything at all! And so goes the forward thinking of Rayne Summers, the 24-year-old corporate executive at the heart of the Least I Could Do universe. A sex-obsessed Narcissist who uses his charm, humor, and vivid imagination to enjoy life as much and as often as he can possibly manage, Rayne’s own happiness, often at the expense of others, comes first. Joining Rayne in the majority of his adventures is Noel, a successful engineering consultant who tends to go with the flow of things, as he long ago learned the futility of resistance. Best friends Mick, Issa, and Rob round out the group, but don’t nearly complete the cast.

I say: Sohmer and deSouza are one of the awesomest teams in comics. If you’re now familiar with their work, this is your chance to catch up quickly at a very low price.