Black Knight #1

Creative team: Story by Tom DeFalco; Art by Ron Frenz

Villain to Watch: Vampires, Werewolves, Zombies, Demons and Chaos, the Doombringer

They say: The secret origin of the original Black Knight is finally revealed as Vampires, Zombies, Werewolves and Demons from the darkest realms confront Sir Percy of Scandia and his twin brother on their desperate quest to find Chaos, the dreaded Doombringer–the only weapon capable of defeating Excalibur, the legendary battle sword of King Arthur!

I say: A classic Marvel character done by a couple seasoned, Marvel vets? I’m in! And, judging from the cover, we’ve got the classic Black Knight character design.

Actually, the more I think about it, the better I like this one-shot. You can do considerably worse than DeFalco writing and Frenz pencils. That’s enough to bring me in the door right there.

I’ll even take a look despite this being yet another book that seems to be jumping on this zombie thing.

Dark Avengers #11

Creative team: Story by Brian Bendis; Art by Mike Deodato

Villain to Watch: Molecule Man and his crew

They say: The Dark Avengers are pitted against a foe they cannot defeat: A man with the power over every molecule in the world! Norman can’t talk his way out of this one as the world gets turned upside down and no joke…someone dies. For reelz!!

I say: The last issue ended on a tremendous cliffhanger, with stormin’ Norman facing down an impressive gathering of baddies, headed by Molecule Man and including a dragon that could be either Dragon of the Moon or the Midgard Serpent (or, dare to dream… Fin Fang Foom?!), Mephisto, the Beyonder, Molecule Man, Enchantress and either Zarathos or the dread Dormamuu.

I’ve been anticipating this issue since I turned to that page last month, and I have every confidence that this issue is going to be a barn-burner.

G-Man Cape Crisis #4

Creative team: Story and Art by Chris Giarusso

Villain to Watch: To Be Announced

They say: His magic cape in tatters, G-Man is left powerless and alone. Will he be able to rejoin his friends and regain his powers, or will his enemies find him first? It’s more action-packed laugh-out-loud kid super hero fun from the Mini-Marvels creator.

I say: I remember picking up G-Man Cape Crisis #4 when I was looking for something to break me out of what I felt had been a low point in comics. The usual big-hitters were failing to hit big, and the Black Lantern arc was at the point at which I was certain that it would never end.

This title not only broke me out of that slump, but it became a story that I’ve looked forward to following every month. Heck, I’ve even been able to acquire Chris’ earlier work, and both me and my seven-year-old have become big fans.

Mighty Avengers #31

Creative team: Story by Dan Slott & Christos N. Gage; Art by Sean Chen

Villain to Watch: The Unspoken

They say: The epic conclusion! The Mighty Avengers and members of the New Avengers, Young Avengers and the Avengers Resistance assemble against the incalculable might of The Unspoken! Plus Quicksilver is reunited with the Inhumans… now what will they do with him? All this and the strange secret of the Infinite Avengers Mansion stands revealed! This one’s got it all!

I say: Man, that’s a lot of Avengers team. Almost so many that I’m hesitant to put it on the Pull List. But the title has some proven performers attached to it, so I’m going to take a chance.

Slott has become one of the top voices in comics storytelling over the past few years, and Sean Chen’s draftsmanship is going to be the kind of illustration needed to pull off these large groups.

Thunderbolts #138

Creative team: Story by Jeff Parker; Art by Miguel Sepulveda

Villain to Watch: For my money? Ghost

They say: The blood hits the fan in the first issue by new writer Jeff Parker! It’s been too long since Mr. X has killed, and he needs his next fix! Ghost has taken notice, and sees an opportunity…while Scourge is seeing things that no one should! Add in the selfish intentions of Paladin and Ant-Man, stir with a stick of dynamite and…BOOM! You’ve heard raves about Parker’s ATLAS (heroes pretending to be villains)…but now it’s time to let him loose on some real fiends!

I say: My record is pretty clear on this title: I’ve enjoyed almost every issue.

It’s always a little dicey bringing a new writer aboard, but there’s been so much plot put into place in the previous issues of this title, that I would imagine a lot of it for the duration of the Dark Reign arc could almost go on auto-pilot.

Honorable mentions: Dark Reign: The List — Amazing Spider-Man #1, Deadpool #5,

…And One To Pass…

Jesus Hates Zombies Lincoln Hates Werewolves #3

Creative team: Story by Stephen Lindsay; Art by Daniel Thollin

Villain to Watch: Alterna Publishing

They say: Jesus, Lincoln, King, and Laz find themselves in an apocalyptic world of trouble as Zombie-Gabriel leads his horde of the super-undead. With a zombified werewolf adding to the terror and carnage, the fearless foursome struggle to survive while trying to find a way to get Abe back to his own time.

I say: Jesus, Lincoln and zombified werewolves? Y’know? There’s only so much kitsch I can stand. The cover tells you everything you need to know. Hardcase Lincoln… the General Lee from Dukes of Hazard… it’s like, they opened an encyclopedia of pop culture at random pages and just started pulling things out to throw into the story. Hey, it’s easier than writing.

Dishonorable mentions: Batman Confidential #37.