This Week's Must-Have Comics: April 11, 2012

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It's almost Wednesday, and you know that means a fresh load of comics and graphic novels! With so much stuff hitting your local comics store or digital storefront, BF is here to lead you through the woods with our handy overview of books you can't afford to miss on April 11th.

Make sure to check the site tomorrow too, as we take an in-depth look at another big release this week in our weekly Guiding Lines column: America's Got Powers #1.

68 Scars #1
Mark Kidwell (W), Nat Jones (A), Image Comics, $3.99

Mark Kidwell and Nat Jones return to their world of military zombie horror in 68 Scars.  The city of Saigon is burning, the dead are rising from the blood stained waters of the Mekong Delta, as 68 Scars lead Private Kuen Yam finds himself alone screaming and fighting for his life.  The world is turned on its head, there is no love, no hope, only the horrors of the zombie apocalypse.  Welcome to a new 1968.


Alabaster Wolves #1
Cait’n R. Kiernan (W), Steve Liver (A), Dark Horse Comics, $2.99

With Alabaster Wolves #1, International Horror Guild Award-Winning author Cait’n R. Kiernan adapts one of her most beloved creations for the comics industry.  Fans of supernatural titles and various Vertigo universes are sure to be thrilled by Alabaster Wolves, especially if they are knowledgeable of Kiernan’s other projects where title lead, Dancy Flammarion, cuts down demons, monsters, and other dark entities. 

In Alabaster Wolves, Flammarion finds herself at her lowest as a cabal of wolves close in around her.  From one of the masters of horror, Dark Horse Comics, Alabaster Wolves will hopefully prove to be a great start for a new series.


Courtney Crumrin #1
Ted Naifeh (W and A), Oni Press, $3.99

Ted Naifeh’s long running volumes of Courtney Crumrin makes its full-color return this week.  Coutrney’s world is chock full of magical beings and things that lurk in the night, as the once neglected child is acquainted with her Master Mage uncle Aloysius’s supernatural world.  With Courtney’s return, Naifeh is set to explore the dark path that has led the young girl’s family down the path of magic.  Courtney Crumrin definitely sounds like a lighthearted fun adventure ready for anyone to jump into.


Dracula Illustrated Novel HC
Bram Stroker (W), Becky Cloonan (A), Harper Collins, $17.99

After recently devouring both volumes of Demo, and the first few issues of Conan the Barbarian, it is safe to say Becky Cloonan is quickly becoming a personal favorite artist.  Her fantastic line work adds a simple yet sophisticated look to almost every character and setting, whether her pencils are colored or remain moody black and white.  Combine her amazing talents with the classic horror novel Dracula, however, and Bram Stroker’s macabre story is set to breathe a new breath of fresh air. 

Cloonan is not merely adapting Stroker’s novel for the medium, however, as  the release of Dracula Illustrated Novel HC is a faithful unabridged retelling of Stroker’s classic vampire tale.  With promises of 50 pages of vertical illustrations surrounded by ornate borders, Cloonan’s retelling of the beloved will stand out as one beautiful offering.


Northlanders #50
Brian Wood (W), Paul Azaceta (A), Massimo Carnevale (A), Vertigo Comics, $2.99

This week marks the bitter-sweet end of Brian Wood’s acclaimed and outstanding series, Northlanders.  Since the outset of this North-men focused series, Wood’s great character development and appreciation for history has dominated the series.  Each volume predominantly can stand on its own, yet are all intertwined to create a wholly believable and complex universe to delve into. 

With the last issue, Wood brings his final arc The Icelandic Trilogy to a close with Waygone.  In an arc that spans centuries of the lives of the Hauksson family, Wood aims to leave his final love letter to his series, one that rightfully deserved its praise, and more reader attention.


Saga #2
Brian K. Vaughan (W), Fiona Staples (A), Image Comics, $2.99

If there is one book every reader needs to pick up this week, it’s Saga from one of the comic industry’s most popular writer.  Saga #1’s perfectly written introduction of its full fledged universe and memorable characters read like a tile that is in fact real, one that competes with the most beloved and time-tested of science-fiction universes.  Vaughan bombarded readers with countless characters, motivations, worlds, and plots, all the while remaining enjoyable, concise, and easily readable. 

Beyond a sci-fi adventure, however, is the tale of Saga’s nuclear family of Alana and Marko, whose polar opposite yet complimenting personalities added so much enjoyment and heart to the first issue.  Vaughan’s family drama set amidst a war torn galaxy is the perfect setting for what will hopefully be one of the most enjoyable series in the entire industry.


Secret #1
Jonathan Hickman (W), Ryan Bodenheim (A), Image Comics, $3.50

This week proves to be especially HUGE for Image Comics.  With the likes of Saga, Peter Panzerfaust, 68 Scars, and Thief of Thieves all being released, what could possibly make this Wednesday any more exciting?  Another new release from the crazed mind of Jonathan Hickman certainly will; enter a brand new title, Secret

A series of seemingly unrelated events all conceal a secret of epic proportions that just may lead to the downfall of the world’s two largest governments.  Hickman’s previous Image works like, The Nightly News, Pax Romana, The Red Wing, and the recent Manhattan Projects are all complex and exciting stories unrestrained by popular conventions, which makes the chance to start at the outset of Secret #1 the perfect chance to break into a title unlike any other.


Mighty Thor #12.1
Matt Fraction (W), Pasqual Ferry (A), Marvel Comics, $2.99

The Mighty God of Thunder is set to reclaim his throne after he perished in Marvel Comics’ previous event, Fear Itself.  As the “.1” initiative implies, Matt Fraction intends to catch readers up to speed with an issue that recaps the character’s colored history, while setting the stage for the future of Mighty Thor.  As the almighty hero returns to Earth something in amiss, the human body he inhabits, Dr. Donald Blake, has been separated from the ethereal being.  What is the mystery behind the separation, and what are the implications of such a change?  Only Matt Fraction knows.

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