Avengers X-Sanction, The Ray, and Buffy: New Comics For 12/14/11

The cover to The Ray #1

Guess what, comic book readers? Summer starts THIS WEEK, as Marvel begins the kick-off to its next big event – Avengers vs. X-Men – with the release of AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1. Can you feel the heat hit you? Ready to chill out with some cool rays or whatever you kids are saying?

AVENGERS: X-SANCTION #1

Anyway, while Summer Events are already beginning, this week also sees the release of the MARVEL HOLIDAY SPECIAL 2011, which highlights a ton of new comic book writers and artists – always a good idea to encourage new talent when possible, right? There’s also the always excellent AVENGERS ACADEMY #23 which brings female Wolverine clone X-23 into the mix; and JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #632, which finds Teen Loki paying for screwing with everyone during Fear Itself.

Over at DC, Jimmy Palmiotti, Justin Gray, and Jamal Igle reintroduce THE RAY #1 for a new generation, while THE SHADE #3 continues to be one of the more exciting titles from the publisher. Also coming out? GREEN LANTERN #4, which picks up on last issues cliffhanger where, you know, the title character died; and BATWOMAN #4, which if you’re not reading, is a pretty, pretty comic.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Season 9, #4

Dark Horse also has some excellent entries this week, like BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: SEASON 9 #4, which wraps up the first arc – and is excellent (we’ve read it). There’s also the Guillermo del Toro plotted THE STRAIN #1, a new look at a modern vampire story… But also actually rather good and cinematic (we’ve read that, too).

We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that IDW releases LOCKE & KEY: CLOCKWORKS #3, which hopefully continues the breakneck plot reveals of issues one and two. We’re more sure of another number three issue, BOOM!’s ROGER LANGRIDGE’S SNARKED #3, which keeps up the high humor this issue – with an emphasis on brilliant physical comedy. Great stuff.

Meanwhile, Image has another huge week, led off by WITCHBLADE #150, Ron Marz’s landmark last issue on the title. Don’t worry, though, he’s leaving with a double sized hit of mystical goodness. While you’re picking that up, also be sure to snag 27: SECOND SET #4, which wraps up this second mini in style; PIGS #4 and SEVERED #5, which are two of the most twisted books being published today (that’s a good thing); and WALKING DEAD #92, which focuses on a day when the zombies say, “Eh, we’re not that hungry anymore.” Just kidding.

Finally, on the trade front, DC releases the massive DC COMICS: THE NEW 52 hardcover, which collects all the New 52 #1 issues in one oversized volume. For those of you looking for something a bit more carry-able, there’s several excellent collections coming your way, including ROCKETEER ADVENTURES VOL. 1, which collects the superb tribute series; and THE RED WING, Jonathan Hickman’s time travel Top Gun mini.

Lastly, Archaia has a huge week, releasing a lost Jim Henson story with A TALE OF SAND, a new Marjane Satrapi book with THE SIGH, and the brilliant story collection JIM HENSON’S THE STORYTELLER (read reviews for both here).

Just in time for a little light beach reading, right? Summer, you guys. It’s Summer. See you next week!

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