Amazing Spider-Man #596

Creative team: Story by Joe Kelly; art by Phil Jimenez and Paulo Siqueira

Villain to Watch: Venom

They say: Spider-Man goes up against Venom and Bullseye as he prepares to infiltrate the Dark Avengers headquarters. Meanwhile Harry’s life takes a dramatic turn now that he’s reunited with Lily and wedding plans continue for two lucky Parker pals.

I say: Venom, as a character, is just about due for a major story point, and this is the perfect place to write it into Spidey continuity. He’s been underplayed as a Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers teammate. Here’s hoping this issue lives up to the standard set by last ish.

Dark Avengers #5

Creative team: Story by Brian Michael Bendis; art by Mike Deodato

Villain to Watch: Norman Osborn / Green Goblin

They say: When the public is reminded of Norman’s terrible past, Norman’s wheeling and dealing becomes a public concern. Plus, some of the Avengers are getting frisky with each other, and that can’t be good. Plus the return of…the Cabal!

I say: This series has been solid from the first page on. This issue offers an unravelling Norman Osborn and “frisky” Thunderbolts. I respectfully submit that it don’t get much better than that.

Deadpool: Suicide Kings #3

Creative team: Story by Mike Benson; art by Carlo Berberi

Villain to Watch: Deadpool

They say: Deadpool’s been framed. No, really! This time, Wade didn’t do it — and he’s determined to prove his innocence and find the person responsible. But first, he’s got to stay alive or out of jail. And with the Punisher and Spider-Man both hot on his trail, that’s not going to be easy. Even if he’s got the help of a certain Man Without Fear.

I say: I’ve been really grooving on the Deadpool character as of late, and a good, old-fashioned frame-up story never hurts. Also, Daredevil has been flying under the radar of the Marvel Universe (get it?). It will be nice to see him swinging into action again.

Mighty Avengers #24

Creative team: Story by Dan Slott; art by Stephen Segovia

Villain to Watch: None

They say: What would be the greatest heist of all time? Breaking into the First National Bank? The Tower of London? Fort Knox? No. It’d be knocking over the Baxter Building! But why would Hank Pym want to rip off Mr. Fantastic? And are the other Avengers ready to become Earth’s Mightiest Cat Burglars? Part one of the all-new Mighty Avengers/Fantastic Four throwdown starts here!

I say: I’ve been lukewarm on this title for the last few issues, but Dan Slott is probably one of the strongest writers in comics right now, and we’re overdue for a rousing hero-vs-hero clash. So it’s on the pull list. For this week.

Secret Six #10

Creative team: Story by Gail Simone; art by Nicola Scott

Villain to Watch: Artemis

They say: Where have all the forgotten heroes and villains of the DCU been? The Six are blackmailed by someone claiming to be their old boss, Mockingbird, into a brand-new mission taking them into the heart of the metahuman slave trade! And former Wonder Woman Artemis returns in the most brutal Secret Six story yet! Find out why Wizard Magazine says, ‘If you’re not reading this book, you should be.

I say: They’re still publishing ‘Wizard’?

Seriously, my angst over got getting mentioned in the latest “Indie Comics” issue aside, Gail Simone has made this title something to truly savor, issue after issue. And Nicola Scott’s art has never been tighter. At this point, Simone could base the next SS script on the Haddonfield, NJ, phone book and I’d have it on the pull list.

…And One to Pass

Superman: New Krypton

Creative team: Story by James Robinson and Greg Rucka; art by Pete Woods

Villain to Watch: General Zod

They say: A new planet suddenly appearing in any space sector would demand the scrutiny of the Green Lantern Corps. When the planet in question is New Krypton and the space sector is 2814, it means Kandor City gets a visit from Hal Jordan and John Stewart, with Daxamite Sodam Yat along for good measure. But what starts as a good-will mission soon becomes a manhunt for some of the Phantom Zone’s most deranged and dangerous criminals and leads ultimately to dire conflict between the Corps and Zod’s Military Guild – with Superman caught in the middle!

I say: someone talk me out of this. The entire concept of New Krypton leaves me utterly cold. I’m not beyond rethinking my opinion, but it’s gonna take some convincing. For now… pass.

While You’re There…

Girls of Gaming #3

They say: Play Magazine, the premier lifestyle magazine of video game culture, brings readers Girls of Gaming, a celebration of the female form in video games, anime, comics, and more! The ‘girls of gaming’ are brought to life through CGI renders, concept artwork, and commissioned and exclusive original artwork. Each volume features hundreds of full-color images, interviews with creators, gamers, and the girls themselves, plus game information and more. If you love games, you’ll love Girls of Gaming!

I say: Really? We’re going there now?