Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 2/15/12

<i>By <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>While you might be occupied treating your loved one on Tuesday for Valentine's Day, save a little in your budget to treat yourself on the holiday that comes 52 times a year New Comic Book Day. <p>It's another big one this week (as usual), and Newsarama has sorted through the list of new releases and found 10 comics worth talking about; noteworthy single issues and collections from publishers all over the four-color map. <P>This week we've got new series from Dark Horse, a most conspicuous father/son team-up, a movie tie-in, a collection of one of 2011's most highly publicized comics and plenty more. Click "start here" in the upper-left corner to see our must-reads for Feb. 15, 2012. <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>


The orientationally experimental <b>Batman #5</b> scored a rare hat trick with Newsarama's <a href=>Best Shots</a> review crew: Three different critics gave it a perfect score of 10 out of 10, the kind of overwhelmingly positive reception the Dark Knight Detective himself would have trouble anticipating (even with time to prep). <p>What do Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo have in store for a follow-up? More revelations about the Court of Owls, for one, though this week's <b>Batman #6</b> probably will invite considerably less tilting.


If The Rock quoting Jay-Z lyrics isn't enough to get you excited about this summer's <i>G.I. Joe: Retaliation</i> (though it really probably should be), maybe this comic book can help sway you, focusing on the relationship between Snake Eyes and Roadblock (played in the movie by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). <p>By John Barber and Salvador Navarro, a second issue is expected this month, detailing the origin of the movie version of Roadblock he doesn't appear to speak in rhymes, but there's a chance he still likes to cook.


Image Comics refuses to slow down with the new releases, and (with their first-ever Image Expo later in February) this week is debuting the ongoing series <b>Peter Panzerfaust</b>, from <i>Green Wake</i> writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and artist Tyler Jenkins. <p>Taking place in France during World War II, the series is described by Image as: "A mysterious American boy named Peter rallies a handful of plucky French orphans and they must work together to survive Europe's darkest hour."


The ongoing series of <b>B.P.R.D.</b> miniseries rolls on with <b>Hell on Earth: The Long Death</b>, this time around from co-writers Mike Mignola and John Arcudi with artist James Herren, who illustrated last year's <i>Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest</i>. <p>This three-issue series picks up on threads from 2010's <b>New World</b>, with the team investigating a series of disappearances in the woods which almost never has a happy outcome.


The latest collections of new works from Norwegian cartoonist Jason is <b>Athos in America</b>, and the 196-page book is out this week from Fantagraphics. <p>Among the unconventional offerings: a prequel "of sorts" to his 2008 graphic novel <i>The Last Musketeer</i>, a combo platter of <i>The Brain That Wouldn't Die</i> and <i>Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf</i> and a story called "Tom Waits on the Moon."


<a href=>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>Marvel's Point One program has been around for a year now, and this week <b>Amazing Spider-Man</b> gets its second issue under the initiative. <p>Written by Dan Slott with guest co-writer Chris Yost and art by Matthew Clark and Tom Palmer, #679.1 deals with the mysterious resident of lab #6 at Horizon who we know as of Spider-Island is Morbius the Living Vampire. Presumably, this comic will at least start to answer the question of "what's that dude up to?"


Did you see <i>The Phantom Menace</i> in 3D this past weekend? Or do you love Star Wars, but happen to hate that movie? (It's been 13 years; it's time to let Jar-Jar into your heart.) <p>Wherever side you may find yourself on in that scintillating debate, you might want to check out <b>Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi</b>, the latest new Star Wars series from Dark Horse. From the familiar team of John Ostrander and Jan Duursema, the series is billed to "reveal the mythic age of the Jedi's beginnings."


<b>Fables</b> has continued for well over 100 issues at this point, making it not only one of the longest-running titles at DC and Vertigo, but one of the longest-running titles anywhere in comic books at this point. (It ain't easy to make it to #100.) <p>This week's issue #114 stars a new eight-part storyline titled "Cubs in Toyland," dubbed "most harrowing epic since the series' inception." Also, the story will feature back-ups illustrated by painter Shawn McManus.


Father and son bonding isn't limited to playing catch or awkwardly discussing sports while avoiding talking about any real issues. <p>Sometimes a dad and his offspring can get together and create something like <b>Road Rage</b>, a new comic from the co-writing team of Joe Hill (of <i>Locke and Key</i> fame) and Stephen King (of, y'know, being Stephen King fame). <p>The comic is a take of their story "Throttle," adapted by IDW's publisher and editor-in-chief Chris Ryall, and the first of a four-issue miniseries.


Miles Morales the half-African-American, half-Puerto Rican teenager who took over the mantle of Spider-Man from the late Peter Parker in Marvel's Ultimate Universe has permeated pop culture so thoroughly that even Andrew Garfield, the new big-screen Spider-Man, referenced the character at a <a href=>promotional event</a> last week for <i>The Amazing Spider-Man</i> film. <p>In one of the most publicized moves in comic book history, the Ultimate version of Peter Parker died in the not-misleadingly titled "Death of Spider-Man" story, and Morales has been picking up the slack since, with his own unique abilities and story playing out in the Brian Michael Bendis-written <b>Ultimate Comics Spider-Man</b>. <p>The first Miles Morales hardcover collection is out this week, including the character's first, brief appearance in <i>Ultimate Comics Fallout #4</i>, plus the first five issues of the latest <b>Ultimate Comics Spider-Man</b> volume featuring art from rising star illustrator Sara Pichelli.

Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 2/15/12

Date: 13 February 2012 Time: 08:58 PM ET