This week's comics include a couple of X-Men titles from Marvel, as well as The Walking Dead and Starlight, both released by Image Comics. Let's take a closer look and see exactly why these books are the best new comics for the week of May 14, 2014.
All-New X-Men Issue No. 27
Vs. The Brotherhood!
The X-Men of the future return to the present in this latest issue of All-New X-Men. Well, not the X-Men exactly, more like former X-Men who now (er, in the future) operate as the Brotherhood of Mutants. And by Brotherhood of Mutants, we of course mean the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, even though villains rarely identify themselves as evil. But why has the Brotherhood returned to the present day? It seems like they're spoiling for a fight with the young squad of time-displaced X-Men led by Kitty Pryde. But it's not quite as simple as that...
The present-day scenes of the Brotherhood versus the X-Men are interspersed in this issue with scenes from the future featuring the son of Charles Xavier and Mystique growing up and discovering his own mutant abilities, and later teaming up with the son of Wolverine and Mystique (hmmm, she seems to be getting around) to form the future version of the Brotherhood. And if you think that's all of Mystique's children, you're mistaken, because another one of her sons is featured in his own title this week. That's right, it's...
Nightcrawler Issue No. 2
The Blue Elf in Bavaria
After last month's premiere issue, Nightcrawler continues his solo series by teaming up with his childhood sweetheart, Amanda Sefton, to rescue his adoptive mother, Margali Szardos (probably a better influence than Mystique, anyway...). This mission takes Nightcrawler and Amanda to the mountains of Bavaria, home of the circus of which the two were once both members.
And it is at that circus that Amanda and the Elf must battle a bevy of circus performers, all of which have superpowers of their own. There's a strong one, one who controls fire, one who stretches...wait a second, is Nightcrawler fighting a bunch of circus performers or some sort of replacement Fantastic Four? Actually, it's the former, but to see what the result is, you'll have to read this issue for yourself.
The Walking Dead Issue No. 127
Herd 'Em Up, Head 'Em Out, Zombie Rawhide
This issue of The Walking Dead, the first after the 12-part "All-Out War" storyline, is a special double-sized installment. But that doesn't mean a double-sized price, as this issue has twice as much story and art as normal for the regular price of two dollars and ninety-nine cents. Clearly, creator Robert Kirkman is doing his best to entice new readers to jump in on the story.
So what exactly is this issue's story, and what makes it so potentially enticing for new readers? Well, it starts with a zombie attack on a caravan and the appearance of a modern-day samurai warrior, so you should know right off the bat if this the kind of excitement you're looking for in your comic book diet.
The Walking Dead also continues to present some interesting new ideas in its zombieverse, with this issue featuring packs of zombies (or roamers, or stinkers) being herded in large numbers like so much cattle. It makes sense to get these mindless heaps of decaying flesh out of the way, so why not herd the bastards like cattle? Keep that plan in mind if you ever have your own zombie apocalypse to worry about.
Pick up your own copy of The Walking Dead here. As a special bonus, this issue also features a preview of writer Robert Kirkman's upcoming new comic, Outcast, with art by Paul Azaceta.
Starlight Issue No. 3
Mark Millar's and Goran Parlov's ode to an elder Flash Gordon continues in this third installment of the series. In this issue, our protagonist and Flash stand-in, Duke, travels to the otherworldly Tantalus with the young man who came to Earth to recruit him. Since the last time Duke was on Tantalus, his legacy has grown to mythic proportions, and every citizen thinks this aging hero is savior the planet needs to stop the menace of the Broteans. However, it has been more than four decades since Duke has vanquished any merciless foe, Ming knock-off or otherwise. Does he have what it takes to battle the intergalactic pirate band known as the Broteans? After all, this group is more powerful than anything Duke has faced before, and Duke's own conscience could ultimately stand in his way.
The art in this issue continues to shine, with beautiful alien landscapes expertly rendered by the incomparable Goran Parlov. Well, okay, it is possible to compare him, favorably, to the legendary Alex Toth, but you know what we mean. Be sure to pick up a copy of Starlight issue no. 3, under either a cover by Parlov himself, or one by variant cover artist Francesco Francavilla. This series is especially recommended for fans of classic adventure strips like Rip Kirby or (obviously) Flash Gordon, as well as fans of Millar's other Millarworld comics, including Kick-Ass, Superior, and Wanted.
Other New Comics This Week
Astro City, Avengers, and World's Finest
Fans of Astro City might be surprised to learn that this week's issue features the first story with art by someone other than series regular Brent Anderson, who has drawn every issue since the title's debut in 1995. Luckily, the guest artist is none other than Graham Nolan, a classic Batman artist who keeps up the high artistic pedigree for the title. And as always, Astro City features a cover by comic book superstar Alex Ross, which you can see above.
This week also sees the release of Avengers issue no. 29, by Jonathan Hickman and Salvador Larroca, continuing the story that began in Original Sin issue no. 1. And finally, the continuing adventures of Power Girl and the Huntress are featured in DC's World's Finest issue no. 23. Clearly, a great week for comics, with a variety of choices for even the most discriminating reader.