Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 3/7/12

<i>By <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <P>Spring has sprung we're a couple of weeks away from the equinox, but come on, it's March so while you count down the days until daylight savings time once again takes effect (this Sunday, by the way) and your drive home is a little less gloomy, don't forget the new releases that await you this coming New Comic Book Day. <p>This week sees the long-awaited close to a Marvel miniseries that started back in 2010, a creator-owned debut from one of the biggest writers in comics, a spinoff of a beloved Vertigo series and lots, lots more. <p>How to make sense of it all? Like every week, we've combed through the big Diamond list of new stuff, and come up with 10 of the most newsworthy, noteworthy and otherwise "worthy" reads, and put them into list form. Click "start here" to check out what's new in comic book stores this Wednesday, March 7. <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>


Just by itself, a new <b>Toy Story</b> miniseries, while it certainly will have its audience and could very well be a good read, isn't especially novel. When they still had the Disney/Pixar license, BOOM! Studios did plenty of <b>Toy Story</b> comic books. <p>What is interesting is that this is the first example of new content generated by Marvel since they reacquired their parent company's licenses from BOOM!. They've put out reprints of previous <i>Cars</i> and <i>Muppets</i> material, but with a new <b>Toy Story</b> series, might some more properties including classic Disney characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, in limbo since last year be next?


Brandon Graham has received accolades for his new <i>Prophet</i> series, where he's revisited and reimagined the Extreme Studios title. <p>In 2007, Graham's <b>King City</b> was first published by Tokyopop, and the whole thing all 424 pages of it is getting a collection this week from Image Comics. Here's how Image describes the Eisner-nominated series: "King City, an underbelly of a town Run by spy gangs and dark dark magic with mystery down every alleyway."


When you were watching <i>Dawson's Creek</i> back in the late '90s it's OK, you can admit that you were you probably never once thought, "I bet that guy that plays Pacey will one day write a comic book." <p>And yet! He has, <b>Beyond the Fringe</b>, the digital-first tie-in to the cult fave Fox sci-fi series. Joshua Jackson (the aforementioned actor) wrote the story with art by Jorge Jimenez, and after originally running on DC's digital app, it's being collected in print as a one-shot.


If you see the word "compleat," and it's not a typo, you can expect a degree of gravitas. And sometimes, the object being described is actually worth that level of reverence. <p>Dark Horse releases <b>The Compleat Terminal City</b> this week, collecting two different miniseries originally published by Vertigo. Written by Dean Motter and illustrated by Michael Lark, it's one of the most acclaimed comics of the mid-'90s, presenting a unique take on retro-futurism.


<a href=>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>One of the more surprising DC properties to get a revamp in the New 52 era, <b>Night Force</b> was originally an early '80s horror series by Marv Woflman and Gene Colan. <p>Wolfman is back for a new <b>Night Force</b>, a book that he <a href=>told Newsarama</a> is his "favorite creation." The series is scheduled for seven issues, with art from Tom Mandrake and the return of Baron Winters, the main character from the previous series.


Image seems to launch new series nearly every week at this point, and the crazy thing is, a lot of them turn out to be good. <p>The latest is <b>Hell Yeah</b>, written by Joe Keatinge and with art from Andre Szymanowicz. Like many of the original Image titles (but not much of their current output), it's a superhero comic, but one taking an unconventional approach looking at how 20 years of living in a world with superpowered beings has affected the world at large.


<a href=>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>The Age of Apocalypse has <a href=>continued to interest fans</a> more than 17 years after its initial debut, and Marvel is returning to the world for a new ongoing series by David Lapham and Roberto De La Torre. <p>Things have changed in a big way, though the X-Men are all pretty much dead, and it's notorious mutant-haters like William Stryker and Graydon Creed that are the de facto good guys, as the traditional mutant/human dynamic in the Marvel Universe has essentially been flipped. <p>"Each one is the ultimate human," <a href=>Lapham told Newsarama</a>. "Imagine what they could do even with the whole world against them."


<i>Fables</i> has become not only one of the longest-running non-superhero series in comics, but also a franchise of its own, inspiring spinoffs like <i>Jack of Fables</i> along the way. <p>The Vertigo series has inspired another one debuting this week, <b>Fairest</b>, focusing on the likes of Rapunzel, Cinderella, Snow White and more though any resemblance between this comic and <i>Saturday Night Live</i>'s recent <a href=>"The Real Housewives of Disney"</a> sketch is purely coincidental. <p>The first arc is written by <i>Fables</i> mastermind Bill Willingham, but subsequent arcs will be penned by the likes of Lauren Beukes and Chris Roberson.


Though he's writing several books for Marvel, like many big-name mainstream creators, Jonathan Hickman makes time in his schedule for creator-owned projects. <p>His latest, er, project, is <b>Manhattan Projects</b>, from Image Comics. Along with artist Nick Pitarra, the series asks "what if?" the atomic bomb wasn't the only thing that came out of the real-life Manhattan Project.


<a href=>Click here for a preview!</a> <p>The first issue of <b>The Children's Crusade</b> came out in July 2010. Now nearly two years later, the real world and the fictional Marvel Universe are a very different place, but that doesn't make the release of this comic book the last issue of the series any less significant. <p>Given the important role Scarlet Witch looks to be playing in <i>Avengers vs. X-Men</i> starting in April, the final issue of <b>The Children's Crusade</b> should answer some lingering questions as to her current status quo. Also, it's another chance to enjoy the Young Avengers as depicted by Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung, and who knows when that might happen again?

Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 3/7/12

Date: 05 March 2012 Time: 09:07 PM ET