Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 2/8/12

<i>By <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>The Super Bowl has come and gone. Football season is over for another seven months or so. What are you going to do now? Read comic books, duh! <p>This Wednesday is packed with comic book-y treats, from several high-profile launches at publishers like Dark Horse, Image and Archie, to the final issues of a couple of beloved Marvel and DC titles. <p>By New Comic Book Day midweek, you won't even be missing football even if we'll be hearing about M.I.A.'s halftime show middle finger for a while now. For our picks for 10 of this week's most notable new releases, 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>


Animated series <i>Batman: The Brave and the Bold</i> ended its run on Cartoon Network this past November, with the deliciously meta finale "Mitefall!". <p>The tie-in comic book series which recently featured a team-up between six different Robins ends this week with issue #16, a Valentine's Day featuring, like the animated series finale, Batmite. The issue is written by recent <i>Action Comics</i> back-up scribe Sholly Fisch.


<a href=>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>The "Dead" storyline in <b>Deadpool</b> starts this week, and though Marvel has been teasing it for months, there's still a lot of mystery surrounding the actual story. Here's <a href=>series writer Daniel Way, in an interview with Newsarama</a> to clear it up for us (well, maybe): <p>"A lot of readers have become jaded with the whole, In this issue...a hero will fall thing, and I don't blame them. I'm one of them. That's why 'Dead' is what it is; and it's nothing like what you think it'll be. Bluntly, I don't think readers <i>can</i> prepare for this one."


The latest incarnation of the <b>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles</b> comic has one very clear thing going for it, in terms of authenticity: TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman on board on both layouts and as a co-writer. <p>The IDW series gets its first collection this week, comprises of issues #1-#4 of the series. With a new series slated for later this year on Nickelodeon, 2012 looks to be a big one for the heroes in a half-shell (turtle power).


With Paul Cornell stepping away from <i>Stormwatch</i> as of this month's issue #6, there aren't a lot of places for fans of the writer's comic book work to read his stuff right now. <p>Except for DC New 52 series <b>Demon Knights</b>, his medieval fantasy book starring Etrigan the Demon that he looks to be sticking with for the long haul. Issue #6 is out this week.


It's been a long time since an issue of <b>Powers</b> hit new comic book racks. Like, "March of last year" long. <p>It's not like there hasn't been any reason for it series creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming were heavily involved with the recently produced FX pilot based on the comic (which is reportedly still in contention to be picked up as a series), and both are generally busy guys. <P>But the wait is over this week with <b>Powers #8</b>, a comic originally solicited for August 2010. That solicitation was a simple yet enticing one: "DEENA'S BACK."


Since first announced in 2010, Archie's openly gay character <b>Kevin Keller</b> has gotten the publisher unprecedented media attention, and was the first of many bold, progressive moves made by the company as of late. <p>After starring in a four-issue miniseries, Kevin Keller gets an ongoing series of his own as of this week, and it's not shying away from the character's orientation: issue #1 depicts his first date.


What time is it? <b>Adventure Time</b> the comic book time! <p>The cult favorite Cartoon Network series now has its own comic book adaptation from BOOM! imprint kaboom!, and the series has a notable writer from the world of webcomics <i>Dinosaur Comics</i> creator Ryan North. <p>Here's what North <a href=>told Newsarama</a> about the series: "I don't want to give too much away, but a villain from the show returns and threatens not just BMO, not just Finn and Jake, but everyone in the Land of Ooo and the entire planet itself. It's - it's bad news."


The biggest team-up in comic books this week is creator-owned superstars Nick Spencer (<i>Morning Glories</i>) and Robert Kirkman (<i>The Walking Dead</i>, <i>Invincible</i>... come on, you know him) paired on the long-gestating <b>Thief of Thieves</b> series about a master criminal attempting to have a normal life for Image. <p>"<b>Thief of Thieves</b> is about obsession," <a href=>Kirkman told Newsarama</a>. "He knows being a thief is bad for him, and he knows he'll eventually get caught or killed... but he can't stop. It's the only thing that really makes him happy. He has to do what he has to do in order to survive."


After 22 issues, Jason Aaron and Steve Dillon's acclaimed mature readers take on Punisher is reaching its planned conclusion. And based on that cover, it looks like things might not end well for Frank Castle. Says Marvel: "The Punisher story you'd never thought you'd read!" <p>Also ending at Marvel this week: The David Liss-written <b>Black Panther: The Most Dangerous Man Alive</b>, which bows out with issue #529.


When Brian Wood left DC Comics in 2011 after years of exclusive work for the publisher, his fans reasonably hoped to hear about some exciting new things coming soon from the writer. <p>A brand-new <b>Conan the Barbarian</b> series, adapting classic story "Queen of the Black Coast," certainly fits the bill. Even more exciting: for the series, Wood is reuniting with <i>Demo</i> artist Becky Cloonan. <p>Here's what <a href=>Wood told Newsarama</a> about his take on Conan: "He has feelings, something a certain population of diehard Conan fans do not like to acknowledge (I peeked at a couple message boards). Conan is also a young guy at the time of this story, in the early twenties. This is formative time, emotionally speaking. His relationship with B&#234;lit was some seriously, seriously turbulent stuff, lots of highs and lows and exciting times and crushing blows."

Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 2/8/12

Date: 06 February 2012 Time: 09:07 PM ET