The Weekly Stack – #NCBD Picks for May 4th 2016

#NewComicBookDay is right around the corner, so welcome to The Weekly Stack where I’ll be highlighting some of the best new comics coming out each week!

PLUS: To add an extra layer of excitement I’ll be choosing one comic to be my PICK OF THE WEEK, and one book to be my WILD CARD!

(I’ll be pulling my information from the indispensable Comiclist.com)

May 4th 2016

It’s Star Wars Day! It’s New Comics Wednesday! It’s nearly Free Comic Book Day! What a time to be alive!

Honorary Mention

Heavy Metal #280

heavymetal

I can honestly say I’ve never read, or had any interest in reading Heavy Metal magazine. Hell, I’m not even sure I can pick it up in the UK, that’s how ignorant I am about this book.

However. This is the debut issue with Grant Morrison as its Editor in Chief, and if getting my favorite comic book writer on board as EiC isn’t enough to get me to buy your book then I don’t know what is. It’s a marketing coup for them certainly, but, for this month at least, it’s worked on me. Now I just need to see if I can actually buy the damn thing…

Pick of The Week!

Punisher #1
Marvel: May 4, 2016 Writer: Becky Cloonan Art: Steve Dillon Cover: Declan Shalvey

punisher 01

I’ve been looking forward to this for a while, ever since the last series ended in fact! Especially now that Frank Castle is getting his best ever portrayal on screen in the form of Daredevil’s Jon Bernthal, it’s time for a brand new Punisher series. Bringing back Steve Dillon on art is a great idea (although I can’t see him sticking around further than the first arc) the real draw for me is Becky Cloonan. She’s proven she can write dark, deep, intriguing characters in both Gotham Academy and Southern Cross (a personal favorite of mine), so letting her loose on the grimy underbelly of the Marvel U is an exciting prospect.

Wild Card

Every week I’ll be selecting a book that could go either way: Will it be good? Will it be bad? Do I fully understand what the term Wild Card means? WHO KNOWS. This week:

Beasts Of Burden What Cat Dragged In One Shot
Dark Horse: May 4, 2016 Writer: Evan Dorkin Art: Jill Thompson Cover: Jill Thompson

bob cat

This is a slightly different Wild Card this week, purely because I’ve heard great things about the Beasts of Burden series, but never picked up an issue. The solicit for this one-shot claims it’s a great jumping on point, so I aim to test that out. So I can’t exactly recommend it, but I can’t dismiss it either. Hence: Wild Card status!

The Rest of The Best: Highlights from the Week Ahead

4001 Ad #1
Valiant Entertainment Llc: May 4, 2016 Writer: Matt Kindt Art: Clayton Crain Cover: Clayton Crain

4001ad01

VERY nearly my Pick of the Week, the latest Valiant Event kicks off this week in the form of 4001AD #1! The ongoing series Rai has always been one of the strongest books in Valiant’s stable, so now that they’re forming a whole event around the character my interest is piqued. You can see a preview of Issue 1 right here on The Awesome Source! Clicky.

Scooby Doo Team Up #16
DC Comics: May 4, 2016 Writer: Sholly Fisch Art: Dario Brizuela Cover: Dario Brizuela

scooby team up 16

Now this may seem like an odd choice for some. For others (possibly the wiser amongst us), they know the high level of quality that this series has sustained. Saying that, I’m not a regular reader, more that I dip in here and there when there’s a team-up I like the look of, and this could be the best yet: THE CAPTAIN MARVEL FAMILY!

I am a MASSIVE fan of Shazam, so instantly just looking at this cover brings a smile to my face. The recent but all too rare resurgences of the Captain Marvel family (in Multiversity and Convergence) are great, but I want more. This may very well be a Scooby Doo crossover, but I’ll take what I can get, until DC realise the mistake they’re making by not having an alternate universe ongoing written by Jeff Parker, and drawn by Doc Shaner. IT COULD STILL HAPPEN.

Thunderbolts #1
Marvel: May 4, 2016 Writer: Jim Zub Art: Jon Malin Cover: Jon Malin

thunderbolts01

Another number one from Marvel this week, and a series we’ve not seen since Secret Invasion – it’s Justice, like Lightning: Thunderbolts! The thing that’s grabbing me about this series is the Winter Soldier at the helm; man do I love me some Winter Soldier. As I mentioned before, I’m not really reading the Standoff event. I plan on catching up at some point, but for now I’ll satisfy myself with what I’m hoping will be a recap page setting up this series? If not then a healthy dose of exposition will ease me in I’m sure.

Black Widow #3
Marvel: May 4, 2016 Writer: Chris Samnee Art: Chris Samnee Cover: Chris Samnee

blackwidow03

I’m trying to not include the same series month after month here on The Stack; mix it up a bit you know? But for this, I’ll make an exception. I love a good Black Widow story, and following on from Nathan Edmondson/Phil Noto’s run with Waid/Samnee is like Christmas. I’m sure I’ll run out of things to say soon but for now, it’s a great series that you should definitely be reading.

Space Battle Lunchtime #1
Oni Press: May 4, 2016 Writer: Natalie Riess Art: Natalie Riess Cover: Natalie Riess

sbl 01

Now you all KNOW I love a fun looking book, and this looks like the most funnest of all the books out this week. Aspiring Earth baker Peony takes on the intergalactic Masterchef show SPACE BATTLE LUNCHTIME in a bid to be the greatest chef in the universe and if you’re not sold by now then I don’t know how I can help you.

Weavers #1
Boom! Studios: May 4, 2016 Writer: Simon Spurrier Art: Dylan Burnett Cover: Dylan Burnett

weavers 1

The cover alone creeps me out. An organised crime family run by supernatural spiders that live inside them, giving them all grotesque abilities? Yeah, I’m even more creeped out now. Still, Si Spurrier always produces fascinating stories, and the premise is unique enough to make this one of the more interesting new books in a while.

Renato Jones One Percent #1
Image: May 4, 2016 Writer: Kaare Andrews Art: Kaare Andrews Cover: Kaare Andrews

onepercent01

Kaare Andrews is an interesting one for me. On the one hand, his super stylized art never fails to draw me in, and his run on Iron Fist was really enjoyable. On the other hand, Spider-Man: Reign (the four part run that was an attempt to enter a bit of Miller’s Dark Knight Returns to the Spidey mythos) was pretty bad. So while the cover is a bit exploitative and weird, the premise – a vigilante fighting against the greedy one percent – is sound. I’m down to see where this goes.

A-force #5
Marvel: May 4, 2016 Writer: G. Willow Wilson Art: Jorge Molina Cover: Jorge Molina

aforce05

If it weren’t for The Ultimates, this would be my favorite Avengers book. The characters are all really well written and fleshed out, and the art is always charming and frankly, the whole package is superb.

What started as a Secret Wars concept has evolved into a fantastic section of the Marvel line and one I look forward to every month.

Nailbiter #21
Image: May 4, 2016 Writer: Joshua Williamson Art: Mike Henderson Cover: Mike Henderson

nailbiter 21

A brand new story arc for the best slasher book on the stands, Joshua Williamson has managed to skirt the line between hilarious and horrifying that all great horror films walk, and that’s aided in no small way by Mike Henderson’s disgustingly detailed art. I’m not totally caught up on this but this new arc has got me wanting to jump back in.

The Best of The Rest: What Else is on the Stands

Amazing Spider-Man #12
Batman Superman #32
Black Hood #10
Cinema Purgatorio #1
Contest Of Champions #8
Daredevil Punisher #1 (Of 4)
Descender Volume 2 TP
Empress #2 (Of 7)
Giant Days #14
Gotham Central Omnibus HC
Hellboy In Hell #9
Howard The Duck #7
Kings Quest #1 (Of 4)
Klaus #5 (Of 7)
Midnighter #12
Moon Knight #2
Rai Deluxe Edition Volume 1 HC
Rat Queens #16
Star Wars Poe Dameron #2
Walking Dead #154
Wicked + The Divine #19
X-Men ’92 #3

The Verdict

This is a solid week. Marvel’s got a strong showing; debuts with Punisher and Thunderbolts and returning stars with A-Force, Black Widow and Star Wars: Poe Dameron! DC aren’t to be ignored either, with the 4th (5th?) part of the Super League story in Batman/Superman #32, Midnighter and the excellent looking Scooby Doo Team up. Valiant however aren’t to be ignored with it’s event 4001AD kicking off in a big way. With more great looking number ones in Weavers, Renato Jones and Space Battle Lunchtime rounding out the best of the indies, the verdict is a positive one.

Last Week’s Stack

If I can be real with you, I’ve not had chance to properly sit down and devour my pull list from last week, but from what I read? Amazing issues. Batman, Squirrel Girl and Micronauts were all brilliant, but 4 Kids Walk into a Bank was, in retrospect, the real Pick of the Week. If you didn’t get a chance to read it I suggest you catch up because it was seriously all everyone was talking about last week. Superb.

That’s it! That’s my week! As always, please get in touch with me on Twitter (I’m @MattLune) and let me know what’s on your pull list!

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