Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 5/16/12

<i>By <a href=>Albert Ching, Newsarama Staff Writer</a></i> <p>Now that you know that <i>Community</i> and <i>Parks and Recreation</i> have both been renewed, it's time to rest easy and prepare for another New Comic Book Day. <p>What's on tap for this Wednesday? New Image series (as is their nearly weekly tradition), more stuff from Marvel's <i>Avengers vs. X-Men</i> and DC's now nearly year-old New 52, and more from Dark Horse Comics and beyond. <p>We've chosen 10 of the most noteworthy new single issues and collected editions out this May 16, 2012 prepare your weekly shopping excursion by clicking "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> <p>


The <i>B.P.R.D. Hell on Earth</i> train keeps rolling (see what we did there?), now with a new three-part series from the co-writing team of John Arcudi and <i>Hellboy</i> co-creator Mike Mignola, joined by artist Tyler Crook. <p>This time around, Zinco, Devon and Fenix form what Dark Horse dubs an "uneasy alliance," one unlikely to get any easier during the course of the first issue of <b>The Devil's Engine</b>, debuting this week.


There's clearly a lot of demand for people having fun with the fairy tale genre (see next entry), and <b>Princeless</b> aims to do something unique with it in the world of comic books by presenting a female, African-American protagonist. The first collected edition of the series, comprised of the initial four-issue miniseries, is out on Wednesday. <p>"We live in a time now where some of the strongest and most influential people in the world are women," series creator Jeremy Whitley <a href>told Newsarama in February</a>. "Not only are they capable of saving themselves, but they can be the ones doing the saving."


The first season of ABC's <i>Once Upon a Time</i> wrapped on Sunday, and the last new episode until fall for NBC's <i>Grimm</i> airs on Friday. So where should fans of "fairy tale characters in the real world" turn during the long summer months? <p>Vertigo series <b>Fables</b> pre-dates both TV shows and is definitely similar to both (just how similar is up to debate), and this week DC is shrewdly releasing a new edition of the first collected edition, containing issues #1-#5 of the acclaimed, long-running series. If you haven't tried it yet, good news if you like it: You've got about 110 more issues (and counting!) to look forward to checking out after this.


There are a lot of reasons to include <b>X-Factor #236</b> on this list. To highlight the recent return of Havok and Polaris, two characters central to the '90s era <b>X-Factor</b>. To praise the writing of Peter David, or the art of his frequent collaborator Leonard Kirk. To discuss the book's many complex relationships, from Shatterstar and Rictor to Jamie Madrox and Layla Miller. <p>But there's a very simple reason why we're giving it a spot on this week's countdown: The triumphant return of the "little heads" in the upper-left corner of the cover, something once seen frequently in Marvel team books. It's a tradition that's gone by the wayside in recent years, and it just feels nostalgically right to have it back and is actually a fairly practical idea, given the book's large cast.


Anthology series <b>DC Universe Presents</b> has been used to introduce familiar concepts to the new world of The New 52, starting out with Deadman and then transitioning into a Challengers of the Unknown story. <p>For the new arc starting this week, writer James Robinson and artist Bernard Chang are debuting a new character, Kass Sage one who happens to be the daughter of supervillain/highly evolved immortal caveman Vandal Savage, recently seen in the <i>Justice League: Doom</i> animated feature and himself a major part of this story.


A very popular consensus from the approximately 600 billion people who have seen the <i>Avengers</i> movie is that the Hulk was the breakout star of the film, gleefully smashing things on screen in a manner never before seen in TV or movies. <p>Those looking for more Hulk material might be interested in this week's <i>Incredible Hulk #7.1</i>, part of Marvel's new-and-lapsed-reader friendly "Point One" initiative. By writer Jason Aaron and artist Jefte Palo, the issue guest stars Red She-Hulk and looks to shed insight on the currently ambiguous status of Bruce Banner.


Nathan Edmondson got a lot of attention at Image Comics with miniseries <i>Who Is Jake Ellis?</i>, and then followed it up with the current ongoing <i>The Activity</i>. <p>What's next for the writer? Well, that answer comes this week in the form of <b>Dancer #1</b>, a new series from him and artist Nic Klein set in Milan, starring an on-the-run retired assassin and his ballerina companion. (<i>The Activity #6</i> is out this week, too.)


The biweekly <b>Avengers vs. X-Men</b> can't be stopped, dropping issue #4 this week, from writer Jonathan Hickman and artist John Romita Jr.; inching towards the end of the story's first act something that was <a href=>obliquely teased by Marvel last week</a>. <p>Also <b>AvX</b> this week: <b>Avengers #26</b>, <b>Avengers Academy #30</b>, <b>AVX: VS #2</b> and <b>Uncanny X-Men #12</b>.


After a brief hiatus (not counting <i>The New 52</i> Free Comic Book Day issue), Geoff Johns and Jim Lee are back together on <b>Justice League</b>, just in time for a new story arc to start. <p>It's called "The Villain's Journey," and introduces a new bad guy (<a href=>look at him here</a>). Also in this issue: Part three of the ongoing "Shazam!" back-up feature.


Top Cow's latest "Pilot Season" entry has two major names behind it <i>The Walking Dead</i>'s Robert Kirkman and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri. <p>First announced in 2009, the collaboration between the two Image partners is, like most Pilot Season books, high-concept by nature. Here's the solicitation: "Once the hard core is shot into the back of your neck, an assassin's brain waves can be transmitted into your body--circumventing your brain functions--taking complete control of your body. When assassins use this technology--your killer can be anyone; your barber, your neighbor or your wife. They are the best assassins in the world--but what happens when one of their own turns against them? Who can you trust when your enemy can change his appearance as easy as someone changes a shirt?"

Wednesday Watch: MUST-READ New Releases For 5/16/12

Date: 14 May 2012 Time: 09:01 PM ET