Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 4/25/12

<i>By <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>The last New Comic Book Day of April is another busy one, with the first new comic book series in years from a long-running comic strip character, the origin of another, Marvel's "fight book" tying in to <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b>, classic Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean material getting its first hardcover release and plenty more. <p>How to make sense of it all? Well, we've done our best to do just that, with a look at 10 of this week's most newsworthy single-issues and collected editions. Click "start here" in the upper-left corner to start getting educated about Wednesday's new releases. <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>


IDW has gotten a lot of positive attention as of late with their TMNT comics, and this week they're looking to the past specifically, the Archie series that ran from 1988 to 1995. <p>The comic went to some pretty strange places for an Archie adaptation of a Saturday morning cartoon intergalactic wrestling and a disembodied cow head that carried travelers inside its mouth and across dimensions but the issues reprinted in the <b>Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Archie 100 Page Spectacular</b> stick to more familiar territory, specifically the first few episodes of the original animated series.


Clearly, Dynamite likes to release spinoffs of their licensed properties, and the latest is <b>Merciless: The Rise of Ming</b>, a prequel of sorts to <i>Flash Gordon: Zeitgeist</i>. <p>The series, from writer Scott Beatty and artist Ron Adrian, aims to tell the origin of Flash Gordon's archnemesis, Ming the Merciless a character dating back to the pre-superhero days of 1934, and the <i>Flash Gordon</i> comic strip.


Dave McKean provided covers for the seminal Neil Gaiman-written series <i>Sandman</i>, but before that they put their thoroughly unique spin on <b>Black Orchid</b>, another pre-existing DC character. <p>The 1988 series reinvented Black Orchid's origins, and like <i>Sandman</i>, helped pave the way for what would eventually become DC's Vertigo imprint. The character remains a part of the DC Universe in The New 52 era, currently co-starring in <i>Justice League Dark</i>. This week, the <b>Black Orchid</b> miniseries gets a hardcover collection its first.


In the old days, a comic book tie-in to a cartoon starring a comic book character was kind of inevitable, not to mention more than capable of producing high-quality stories (remember Scott McCloud's <i>Superman Adventures</i>?). <p>Marvel revived the tradition this month, first with an ongoing adaptation of <i>Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes</i>, and now with <i>Marvel Universe: Ultimate Spider-Man Adventures</i>, based on the quirky Disney XD animated series that's now four episodes into its run.


Music and comic books have a colorful history, from the Human Torch and the Thing attempting to see the Beatles in concert back in the Silver Age, to the unapologetically unauthorized <i>Rock 'N' Roll Comics</i> of the late '80s and early' 90s. <p>This week sees another meeting of the two worlds, with Childish Gambino the hip-hop alter ego of <i>Community</i> actor Donald Glover, who famously lobbied to play Spider-Man a couple of years ago appearing in <b>Li'l Depressed Boy #10</b>, as the title character attends one of his shows.


April marked the end of several New 52 series, including <i>Blackhawks</i>, which wraps up this week with #8. <p>So what better time than now to support the DC titles that are still around, especially the ones that don't star the publisher's big-time icons? <b>All-Star Western</b> is one such book, with this week's issue #8 featuring an opium den, anarchists and Nighthawk and Cinnamon.


It's a big week for Eisner-nominated writer Cullen Bunn: The third collection of <i>The Sixth Gun</i> is out from Oni Press, plus the final issue of <i>Battle Scars</i> (which he co-wrote with Matt Fraction and Chris Yost) and his first issues of both <i>Captain America and Hawkeye</i> and <i>Wolverine</i>, as he's taking over the solo adventures of the Jean Grey School headmaster with issue #305. <p>Earlier this month, <a href=>Bunn talked to Newsarama</a> about his first <b>Wolverine</b> arc: "A lot of people say, 'superhero comics can't be horror stories,' and that's BS. This is a horror story with Wolverine in it."


Roger Langridge brought the manic mayhem of <i>The Muppet Show</i> to comic book life, and, with artist Chris Samnee, redefined Marvel's Thunder God in the short-lived but beloved <i>Thor: The Mighty Avenger</i>. <p>Langridge is now taking a shot at <i>Popeye</i> for IDW, with the debut issue out this week; drawing heavy inspiration from the character's early depictions by creator E. C. Segar and illustrated by Bruce Ozella. <p>Also out this week by Langridge: <i>Snarked #7</i> from BOOM! Studios.

AVX: VS #1

Marvel's <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b> event series looks to have a lot of fighting in it see last week's issue #2 if you need proof but the publisher deemed the 12-part series was simply not enough room for all the fights they wanted to show. Thus <b>AVX: VS</b>, a six-issue tie-in from revolving creative teams that is built solely to show the battles the main book couldn't contain. <p>Up this week: Iron Man vs. Magneto by the <i>Astonishing Spider-Man and Wolverine</i> team of Jason Aaron and Adam Kubert, and Thing vs. Namor from <i>Moving Pictures</i>' Kathryn and Stuart Immonen. <p>Further <b>AvX</b> reading, also out this week: <i>Secret Avengers #26</i>, <i>Uncanny X-Men #11</i> and <i>New Avengers #25</i>.


Dark Horse releases a lot of Star Wars comics each month, but one stands above all the rest this April, and that's due to the four eye-catching words in the title: "Boba Fett is dead." <p>Since first appearing in an animated segment of <i>The Star Wars Holiday Special</i> (see, something good came of that), the bounty hunter has been a perennial fan favorite. Apparently, now he's dead but it looks like that's just the start of the story. (And, yes, it's been long established that he survived his plunge into the sarlacc pit in <i>Return of the Jedi</i>.) <p>From Dark Horse's solicitation of the first issue of the four-part series: "When members of the team that killed Fett are themselves picked off one by one, Connor Freemanthe son of one of Jango Fett's clonesgets pulled into the action in a most unexpected way!"

Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 4/25/12

Date: 23 April 2012 Time: 09:05 PM ET