Newsarama's NEWSWORTHY NEW RELEASES For 12/7/11

<i>By <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a> and <a href=>Lucas Siegel, Newsarama Editor</a></i> <p>If you're passionate about comic books and if you're reading this site, we're going to go ahead and assume that you are there's no such thing as a slow week. Each Wednesday is fraught with tough choices; soul-crushing decisions on how to spend your well-earned time and money. Who hasn't woken up in a cold sweat on an early Thursday morning, regretting passing up that issue of <i>Planet Terry</i> all those years back? (Just us? Alright.) <p>That's why we're introducing a new feature here at Newsarama, a look at 10 of the most newsworthy and noteworthy new releases. Now, we're not saying that these comics are necessarily "good" (or not good, for that matter) for the most part, we haven't read them yet, so it really wouldn't make sense to declare them one way or another at this point. <p>We're also not saying that these are in any way the only 10 new releases worth looking at this week. We're just saying that these are 10 new releases single issues or trade paperbacks that are especially worthy of attention. <p>So let's all take a glimpse into the very near future, and click "start here" in the upper left corner. <p><i>Got a comment? There's lots of conversation on Newsarama's <a href=><b>FACEBOOK</b></a> and <a href=><b>TWITTER</b></a>!</i> <p>


<a href=><i>Click here for a preview!</i></a> <p>Long before anyone had heard of "Zords" or found out that Tommy was the coolest whether dressed in green or white, there was another group of kids who controlled robot animals (all lions in this case) that could come together as one massive sword-wielding super giant. The Voltron Force fought evil on Earth and across the galaxy, and now they're reforming for a new adventure. <p>Dynamite Entertainment, Brandon Thomas, and Ariel Padilla have teamed up for an all-new tale of a "redefined and re-imagined" Voltron Force, known as "Generation Voltron" in the solicitation text. You can bet there will be a lot of giant robot fighting giant monster action in this one; in fact, in the preview linked above, it only takes until page 2 before you see Voltron throwing down. <p>Dynamite has been reviving a lot of stagnant franchises in recent years, and this is definitely one to look out for this week.


Comic books have a long tradition of holiday specials, and while some of them are of the sentimental variety that conventionally comes with the territory, many have been much more subversive like <i>Lobo: Paramilitary Christmas Special</i> and last year's <i>Larfleeze Christmas Special</i>. <p>It certainly appears that Marvel's <b>Deadpool Max X-Mas Special</b> is firmly in that tradition, a one-shot from the usual <b>Deadpool Max</b> creative team of Dave Lapham and Kyle Baker. The solicitation information contains the words "internet-porn-peddling jihadists," a much more 2011 type of antagonist than say, Heat Miser.


If you're looking a comic that can make you feel worldly and is for a good cause, well, Image's <b>Thought Bubble Anthology</b> seems like it's nearly been specifically designed for you. <p>Spinning out of the Thought Bubble Festival in Leeds, this one-shot contains short stories from creators including Andy Diggle, Duncan Fegredo, Antony Johnston and Charlie Adlard, plus a cover by Becky Cloonan. All the proceeds go to benefit Barnardo's, a 145-year old British children's charity.


Cobra Commander is dead. <p>Yes, it's sad the character who once turned into a giant snake and sadly spouted off the phrase "onccccce a maaaan!" is now deceased, at least in the recently rebooted continuity of IDW's G.I. Joe titles. <p>That led, quite naturally, to a search for a new Cobra Commander, which led, also fairly naturally, to a "Cobra Civil War" within the faction which is detailed in part in this collection. The <b>Cobra</b> ongoing is written by Mike Costa, who's been getting steady praise for his G.I. Joe work for years, and is now also penning <i>Blackhawks</i> for DC as part of their "New 52."


Perhaps overlooked in the swamp of 52 new comics, there are also some very good mini-series being published by DC Comics right now. Along with the eerie and twisted <i>Shade</i> and the great superhero romp of <i>Huntress</i> (whose third issue also hits December 7th), <b>Penguin: Pain and Prejudice</b> is a very different kind of comic. It features the venerable Batman villain, but rather than focusing on a big caper, the book is truly focused on the man behind the bird motif. <p>Penguin's story may at first glance seem like it doesn't have much potential for depth, the first two issues of this series showed a character who was truly disturbed and tortured for his entire life. If nothing else, this is a treatise on what makes Batman villains so interesting, and makes this character so much stronger. The third issue of five, it should be relatively easy to pick up the first two alongside this one, and catch up on one of the most underrated books on the stands today.


<a href=><i>Click here for a preview!</a></i> <p>On the fence about this X-Men spinoff miniseries, written by Simon Spurrier and illustrated by Paul Davidson? Here's a word from Spurrier, <a href=>courtesy of Newsarama's interview with him</a> back in October: <p>"The real trick is to explore some of the most mind-expanding contemporary science concepts without just battering readers to death with tech-waffle. There's so much incredible stuff going-on in the world today genuine melt-your-eyes-and-change-the-way-you-perceive-reality weirdness which really should be right up there at the top of the conversational agenda. But a lot of people either don't know about it or don't want to know about it because of the perception it's impenetrable, or dull, or that you'd need to wade through volumes of tedious PhD-level detail before even beginning to understand the top layer. This series addresses that in a pretty blunt way: Science is what makes Incredible Things Happen."


Shannon "Too Much Coffee Man" Wheeler's collection of rejected <i>New Yorker</i> cartoons first debuted in 2010, and then went on to be nominated for an Eisner for "Best Humor Publication." <p>As a result, the book is now getting a new, hardcover printing, ideal for placing on coffee tables and delighting guests at your holiday parties. <p>Also new from BOOM! Studios this week: the $1 debut of sword-and-sorcery book <i>Valen the Outcast</i>.


<a href=><i>Click here for a preview!</i></a> <p>The first issue of this critically acclaimed book just got a <i>fourth</i> printing. In other words, if you're not reading this book already, you're virtually the only one, and you need to get on that as soon as possible. <p>The twisted horror superhero book has had some truly mind-bending moments, undead skeleton pets, and links to many other comics and characters from around the DCnU. "The Red," the source of Buddy (and his daughter Maxine)'s powers, is just beginning to be explored, with a journey that has been revelatory, and pretty darn scary at times, too. <p>This is a comic that actually stretches what superhero comics can be, and is definitely important to the growing new continuity of DC's New 52.


If there's room on your shelf and in your budget for one 1,200-page, $125 hardcover omnibus this week, Peter Milligan and Mike Allred's <b>X-Statix</b> is now getting that treatment. <p>Quite simply, this book contains every shred of the series, from the original 14-issue run as <i>X-Force</i> and all 26 issues of <i>X-Statix</i>, to the Darwyn Cooke-illustrated <i>Wolverine/Doop</i> 2-shot and the <i>Dead Girl</i> miniseries that acted as a coda to the whole thing. <p>Milligan and Allred's <i>X-Force</i>/<b>X-Statix</b> run is the book that prompted Marvel to drop the Comics Code, nearly brought Princess Diana back to the dead and did much more along the way. If you missed it the first time around or simply want it all in one giant book, here's your chance.


<a href=><i>Click here for a preview!</i></a> <p>Matt Fraction is fresh off <i>Fear Itself</i>, and he's reuniting with his old <i>Uncanny X-Men</i> collaborators Terry and Rachel Dodson for a new take on <b>The Defenders</b>, bringing together classic members Namor, Silver Surfer and Dr. Strange with new faces like Iron Fist and Red She-Hulk. <p>Those are the broad strokes. The bigger picture as there always is in Fraction's books is that the writer's looking to explore connections between things in the Marvel Universe, and reveal truths about the very nature of the fictional world. <p>Fraction's also writing "Marvel-style" for the first time in his career; writing plot first, and then scripting over Dodson's pencils. "I'm ready to try and blaze out and find new ways to do stuff," Fraction <a href=>told Newsarama in July</a>. "It feels like the butterfly busts out of the cocoon with <b>Defenders</b>, because it's really f*cking nuts." <p>Also worth getting excited about? Marvel has brought back the awesomely retro "CONTINUED AFTER NEXT PAGE" footnotes for this book.

Newsarama's NEWSWORTHY NEW RELEASES For 12/7/11

Date: 06 December 2011 Time: 09:22 PM ET