HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
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DARK AVENGERS #1, $3.99, Marvel Comics
Written by Brian Michael Bendis, Art by Mike Deodato

With Dark Reign comes a brand new Avengers title – the line-up seems fairly obvious from the cover, but the “Iron Patriot” mystery looks to be the hook they are using to get people interested in the book. Is this title worth picking up? Perhaps. Definitely if you are enjoying the various Avengers books, and like the Dark Reign direction. Bendis and Deodato should be a fairly good match, and this title, at least at the beginning, will follow the Dark Reign story very closely. Still – Venom as an Avenger? Is nothing sacred?

MYSTERIUS THE UNFATHOMABLE #1 (OF 6), $2.99, 32 Pages, DC Comics
Written by Jeff Parker; Art and cover by Tom Fowler

Jeff Parker’s established himself a pretty solid reputation over at Marvel – so much so that seeing his name attached to a project is enough to give it a look. This series is described as “offbeat” – which suits Parker’s style fairly well. It follows a stage magician and his new assistant Delphi (seems the assistant will be the main focus of the story). Fowler’s art seems a good match for Parker’s story style – this series has the makings of a fun little title.

SPIDER-MAN NOIR #2 (OF 4), $3.99, 32 Pages, Marvel Comics
Written by David Hine and Fabrice Sapolsky, Art by Carmine Di Giandomenico

Marvel puts books like this every now and again – strange variations of their top-tier characters in one period or another. Many readers just ignore them, rarely are they outstanding and they are always heavy on the gimmick. Strangely enough, this time around Marvel seems to have stumbled on something fairly decent. Both Spider-Man Noir and X-Men Noir have ended up being surprisingly good. So much so that it is worth looking around for last month’s #1 if you missed it and giving this title a try.

STORMWATCH PHD #18, $2.99, 32 Pages, DC Comics
Written by Ian Edginton and Christos Gage; Art by Leandro Fernández and Francisco Paronzini and Phil Noto

This series has had its ups and downs over its short history – it started off very strong, but soon began to flounder. Since the whole World End thing started up, though, things have definitely took a turn for the better on this book. Wildstorm certainly appeals to a select group, but if you are one of those who once read this title and dropped it in favor of WildCATs or something like that, it may be a good time to give the title another shot.

TINY TITANS #12, $2.50, 32 Pages, DC Comics
Written by Art Baltazar and Franco; Art and cover by Art Baltazar

A fun take on the Faces of Evil concept, this issue is a “Faces of Mischief” issue (I suppose “evil” isn’t appropriate for a kids book), highlighting the faculty of their school, specifically Slade, Trigon, and Doctor Light. A nice little twist on the concept – not a bad idea.

X-FACTOR #39, $2.99, 32 Pages, Marvel Comics
Written by Peter David, Art by Valentine DeLandro, Jonathan Sibal, and Jeremy Cox

For those following this book (and mutant fans in general), this issue will feature the birth of Siren and Madrox’s child. No doubt the baby will be at the center of the title’s plot line – at least in the near future. Not sure what the art situation on this issue is – Valentine DeLandro is still solicited as the artist, but he was last month as well, and we ended up getting a fill-in team. So was DeLandro’s return a short-term one, or was last issue just a case of him needing to get up to speed? Won’t really know until the book comes out, I suppose.

X-MEN KINGBREAKER #2 (OF 4), $3.99, Marvel Comics
Written by Christopher Yost, Art by Dustin Weaver

This title should lead directly into the upcoming War of Kings, and so far it seems to be off to a pretty good start. It is nice to see Havok getting some good face-time again, and the expanding Marvel Cosmic Universe continues to be interesting. War of Kings seemed like an iffy concept in the wake of two successful Annihilation events, but as we get closer to that series beginning things look a little more promising. This series has started off strong, especially if you are a fan of some of the characters involved – if you are planning on checking out War of Kings and are unfamiliar with Vulcan, you should be checking it out.

SPOTLIGHT PICK OF THE WEEK

GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #9, $2.99, 32 Pages, Marvel Comics
Written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning, Art by Bong Dazo, Rick Magyar, and Wil Quintana

Looks like this issue is going to be yet-another par-for-the-course issue. Of course, that means you really should be picking it up, this title is easily one of the most consistently fun titles in the Marvel line-up. The art shift is a bit of a concern – last month we saw Brad Walker taking on the pencil duties (he will be on next month as well), this month sees Bong Dazo taking on the art chores. Actually, he might not be too bad – he has some experience on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – that style will work very well here. Still, Paul Pelletier is gone it appears, and it doesn’t look like a new regular artist has been announced yet.

So the art is in flux, but the story remains awesome, so there is little to worry about. Beyond that – it is worth noting that though Editors seem to be the cause of many titles dwindling into mediocrity, there are a couple out there that are notable for their quality work. It may seem strange to recommend a book based on the Editor, but Bill Rosemann has a strange way of having his name attached to quality books. Kind of speaks volumes…

DARK HORSE

CONAN THE CIMMERIAN #7 $2.99 Now: $2.69
STAR WARS KNIGHTS OF OLD REPUBLIC #37 PROPHET MOTIVE PART 2 $2.99 Now: $2.69

DC COMICS

BLACK LIGHTNING YEAR ONE #2 (OF 6) $2.99 Now: $2.69
MYSTERIUS THE UNFATHOMABLE #1 (OF 6) $2.99 Now: $2.69
STORMWATCH PHD #18 $2.99 Now: $2.69
TINY TITANS #12 $2.50 Now: $2.19
TRINITY #34 $2.99 Now: $2.69
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #15 $2.99 Now: $2.59

DYNAMITE ENTERTAINMENT

NEW BATTLESTAR GALACTICA GHOSTS #4 (OF 4) $4.99 Now: $4.39

MARVEL COMICS

ASTONISHING X-MEN #28 $2.99 Now: $2.69
DARK AVENGERS #1 BLANK COVER ED $4.99
DARK AVENGERS #1 $3.99 Now: $3.49
DARK AVENGERS #1 DJURDJEVIC VAR $19.99
GUARDIANS OF GALAXY #9 $2.99 Now: $2.59
NEW EXILES #17 $2.99 Now: $2.69
SECRET INVASION TP HOME INVASION $14.99 Now: $11.99
SPIDER-MAN NOIR #2 (OF 4) $3.99 Now: $3.49
WEAPON X FIRST CLASS #3 (OF 3) $3.99 Now: $3.49
WOLVERINE ORIGINS #32 $2.99 Now: $2.69
X-FACTOR #39 $2.99 Now: $2.69
X-MEN KINGBREAKER #2 (OF 4) $3.99 Now: $3.49

The opinions in this article are the writer’s alone, and no not necessarily reflect the views of X-World Comics or comiXtreme.com.