INTRODUCTION
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I must say that January was definitely a slow month, but there ain’t nothing slow about February. We’ve got a ton of new titles coming out this month and there’s no signs of stopping. In fact, a large number of these titles are ongoing – we’re not overloaded with mini-series as usual. It’s a virtual landslide and I, for one, can’t wait to get started talking about them.

IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE
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I’ve been talking about him and talking about him ever since Marvel Knights and the Ultimate Universe. Everyone thinks I’m crazy. Everyone thinks this character’s not worth reviving, but I have faith, man. Darkhawk is back, byotch! A story of a teenage guy who finds an amulet that turns him into a superhero. That’s what I’m talking about. And he’s not whiney! He freakin’ LOVES being a superhero! THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT!!!  Granted, every fiber of my being wants this mini-series to take off, and though I’m virtually certain it’s going to fail, I’m still making it my pick of the month, dammit!

DEC082395  War of Kings – Darkhawk #1 of 2  $3.99 retail

*** 35%-OFF AT WWW.COMICSNOW.COM ***

DECONSTRUCTING COMICS
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Visit www.deconstructingcomics.com and catch these cool podcasts!

December 1: Ed the Happy Clown is a kooky, scary, funny, comic, Chester Brown’s first claim to fame. Tim and Mulele attempt to review it, as well as touching on Diamond’s new UPC/ISBN requirement, and an update on Mulele’s progress on his various projects.

December 8: “Reading Comics” is a book by Douglas Wolk, aimed at a somewhat academic audience who isn’t familiar with comics and is wondering, “So do I have to pretend to like graphic novels now, too?” Tim and special guest reviewer Chris Schweizer from the Savannah College of Art and Design talk about what they liked (and only pretended to like) about the book.

December 15: In case you thought the podcast was getting too high-brow, Patrik W joins Tim for a good ol’ fashion Marvel geek-out! Focusing on Secret Invasion, Spider-man, Cable, and more.

December 22: (planned) It’s no surprise that the comics medium has affected, and been affected by, other media such as movies. But the live theater? There’s been more effect than you might think. Austin Tichenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company talks about how comics have influenced him as an actor and playwright.

December 29: (planned) It’s the end of the year! If that’s got you quacking up, settle “down” and listen to Tim and Kumar review The Essential Howard the Duck vol. 1!

More reviews and creator discussions on the way!

www.deconstructingcomics.com

HUGE DISCOUNTS AT WWW.COMICSNOW.COM
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Aside from always offering 35% off the cover price of monthly comics with no minimum to buy, each month Comics NOW offers incredible deals on some of the newest titles out there. Just point your browser to http://www.comicsnow.com to order any of these titles below at huge discounts or any other comic at least 35% off the cover price.

Here are this month’s deals:

50%-OFF COMIC DEALS:
DEC080135 Mighty #1 $2.99
DEC080137 Rebels #1 $2.99
DEC082328 Agents of Atlas #1 $3.99
DEC082362 Astonishing Tales #1 $3.99
DEC082327 Black Panther 2 #1 $3.99
DEC082326 Secret Warriors #1 $3.99

40%-OFF TRADE PAPERBACK DEALS:
DEC080152 Batman The Heart of Hush HC $19.99
DEC080153 DC Library Batman The Annuals HC $39.99
DEC080159 JSA HC Vol 04 Thy Kingdom Come Part 3 $24.99
DEC080164 Superman Batman Enemies Among Us TP $12.99
DEC080162 Superman The Coming of Atlas HC $19.99
DEC082456 Captain America TP Vol 3 Death of Captain America $14.99
DEC082423 Mighty Avengers HC Cho Cover $34.99
DEC082424 Mighty Avengers HC Ed Bagley Var $34.99
DEC082445 New Avengers TP 08 Secret Invasion Book 1 $14.99
DEC082446 New Avengers TP 08 Secret Invasion Book 1 DM ED $14.99
DEC082462 Punisher Max TP Vol 11 Girls in White Dresses $16.99
DEC082308 Stand Captain Trips Prem HC $24.99

TOP-10 and TOP-100
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Check out Comics NOW! Inc.’s Top-100 on IRX Productions.

Download the January 2009 Top-100 PDF file (it’s 8KB!) at:

http://www.irxproductions.com/comics/jan09top100.pdf

It’s Comics NOW!’s very own Top-10 and Top-100 lists. This list is based on the internal sales quantities of the titles with Premiere being the big guns who pay the extra bucks to be listed first in the ordering system: Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics, and Marvel Comics. The Independent list is everyone else, all those pea-shooters who no one really pays attention to… or do they?

Here’s an example of how to read the format:

1. (3) The Amazing Eric Comic

“1.” – the place of the title in the list this month
“(3)” – where the title was LAST month (“-” if it wasn’t)
the title – this one should be pretty obvious

TOP 10 PREMIERE COMICS
1. (1) Justice League of America
2. (2) Batman
3. (-) Final Crisis
4. (3) Detective Comics
5. (5) Justice Society of America
6. (6) New Avengers
7. (8) Amazing Spider-Man
8. (10) Action Comics
9. (9) Green Lantern
10. (-) Mighty Avengers

TOP 10 INDEPENDENT COMICS
1. (2) Transformers Maximum Dinobots
2. (1) Transformers All Hail Megatron
3. (3) Transformers Revenge Fallen Movie PQ Defiance
4. (4) Transformers Animated Arrival
5. (6) Angel After the Fall
6. (5) Boys
7. (-) GI Joe
8. (7) Black Terror
9. (-) Fathom
10. (-) Tarot Witch of the Black Rose

THE GOOD STUFF
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DC COMICS

ADVENTURE COMICS #0
A tale from the Silver-Age of comics retold at the magic $1.00 price. It sort of blows my mind how when I started collecting comics, all comics were 75 cents. Now, $1.00 prices get us all excited. Anyway, Adventure Comics #0 is a retelling of Adventure Comics #247 which featured the first appearance of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Interested? It’s only a buck.
By Otto Binder and Al Plastino.
32 pages. One-shot special. $1.00 retail.

THE MIGHTY #1
Alpha One is the only Super Hero in America in the world of The Mighty. Gabriel Cole is a lieutenant in the dedicated police force devoted to supporting him. A murder hits the top of the organization and Cole is tasked with investigating. Within theory, he will be tested to the limits of his will and ends up discovering what a true hero is about; or, at least, discovers that Alpha One killed his family when he was a kid. Oop. Was that supposed to be a surprise ending?
By Peter Tomasi, Keith Champagne and Peter Snejbjerg.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $2.99 retail.

R.E.B.E.L.S. #1
I love acronyms. Don’t you love acronyms. Wait. I don’t like acronyms at all. They invade our everyday lives and are totally passed down by the government at every turn. Well, Brainiac 2 has a cosmic police force safeguarding 80 different worlds that is suddenly controlled by a mysterious adversary. Vrill Dox must recruit a new team to win back his command and free countless billions. Oh, for the love of all that’s holy. When you start adding sequel numbers to bad guy names and have strange guys with names like Vrill you totally lose me.
By Tony Bedard and Andy Clarke.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $2.99 retail.

BANG! TANGO #1 of 6
An ex-gangster becomes a tango dancer after giving up on crime. Of course, an old flame tracks him down (damn women) and brings violence from his old life plus a “smoldering sexual conflict.” Noir, noir everywhere, and a light to twink.
By Joe Kelly and Adrian Sibar with Rodney Ramos.
32 pages. 6-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

IMAGE COMICS

SOUL KISS #1 of 5
The story of a woman with vengeance on her mind and damnation on her lips. Seriously? I mean, seriously!? Stranger still is that it’s the animator from the Spongebob Squarepants Movie and Curious George. Yeah. You’re thinking exactly what I’m thinking – but where will we find a Pippy Longstocking outfit this late at night?
By Steven Seagle and Marco Cinello.
32 pages. 5-issue mini-series. $3.50 retail.

BAD DOG #1
Normally, I’d rip into a concept like this but it’s by Joe Kelly, the writer of Deadpool, and I just eat up his stuff with a spoon. Lou is a werewolf who despises people so much that he refuses to shift back into human form. Wendell is a short ex-preacher with a sailor’s mouth. They run around America getting drunk hunting down the dregs of humanity in an effort to find themselves. I seriously wrote down the description almost verbatim from Previews. Yup. I’m Joe Casey’s byotch.
By Joe Kelly and Diego Greco.
40 pages. Ongoing series. $3.99 retail.

THE GREAT UNKNOWN #1
Zach is a guy who has an incredible imagination and feels like someone is stealing his thoughts in some kind of perverse mental eBay auction. This isn’t a half-bad idea coming from Image. What would happen if movie companies or inventors could read your mind and steal the good ideas right out of your head? Huh.
By Duncan Roleau.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $3.50 retail.

AMBER ATOMS #1
Amber Atoms is a retelling of Flash Gordon. Okay, maybe it’s not a retelling but Amber has to defend her world when aliens and mercenaries suddenly show up, so I’m thinking it’s not a whole lot off-target to call it… *YAWN*
By Kelly Yates and Michael Wiggam.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $3.50 retail.

JERSEY GODS #1
A god of war crash-lands into a town in New Jersey, where Zoe is tired of dating the mundane guys around her and decides to marry him. Naturally, as is the case with any spoiled Jersey girl, even this god of war doesn’t live up to her expectations of bright-lights, big-city. Is it just me or is Image really sending out some strange titles this month?
By Glen Brunswick and Dan McDaid.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $3.50 retail.

INCREDIBLE JOURNEY #1 of 3
Journey Dominguez always wanted to be a superhero but accidentally stumbles upon an amulet that steals superhero powers and kills them. Oops. Now, the heroes are after her. Once again, Image is really all about the reverse-superhero story lately. Maybe this will work out for them?
By Tom Arguello and Jim Valentino.
32 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $3.50 retail.

JOHNNY MONSTER #1
Johnny Monster is a monster hunter (think Buffy) but he’s been raised by the same monsters he’s been hunting (think Twilight). Now, in order to save his adoptive family, he must fight them (think… well… I know there’s something else that’s got to be out there exactly like this storyline… Firebreather?).
By Joshua Williamson and J.C. Grande.
32 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $3.50 retail.

BLACK VAULT #1
It’s an attempt to tell Event Horizon and Sunshine in a real-life environment when astronauts aboard the International Space Station start having scientists and other astronauts die all around them. DEAD SPACE! DEAD SPACE! DEAD SPACE!
By B. Clay Moore and Nelson Blake II.
32 pages. Ongoing series. $2.99 retail.

MARVEL COMICS

ASTONISHING TALES #1
Astonishing Tales is a throw-back to the old team-up comics that would have several different stories of different superheroes. You might not believe it, but I really have nothing bad to say about this kind of concept. In fact, I really like it. Some series have the tendency to go on and on with no real concept of a plot; having a one-shot story makes it at least interesting to read. This issue has Wolverine, Punisher, Iron Man of 2020, Cannonball, Sunspot and a lot more. That’s what I like. Jam-packed.
By Various.
40 pages. Ongoing series. $3.99 retail.

MARVEL: YOUR UNIVERSE #1
Like Astonishing Tales, Marvel: Your Universe is compiling a whole bunch of different characters, however this one is doing it by grabbing different stories already told in a number of other characters’ series. I’m not sure how this one’s going to play out, but the first issue is going to recap material from Ms. Marvel #1, Nova #1, Immortal Iron Fist #1, Ghost Rider #14 & X-Men: Legacy #208. Yeah. I’m confused, too.
By various.
128 pages. Ongoing series. $5.99 retail.

MODELS, INC. #1 of 4
Well, everybody knows that we’ve always wanted to know what Mary-Jane Watson was up to when Spidey was swinging around the city. It’s Fashion Week and all the models are seriously stressed trying to strut their stuff in skimpy see-through skirts and such (yes, I wanted to alliterate the heck out of “S”). However, one of the set designers turns up with three bullet holes in his back, and it looks like one of MJ’s friends is the main suspect. [dramatic chords] So, it’s up to the models to figure out whodunnit! [MORE DRAMATIC CHORDS]
By Paul Tobin and Vincent Villagrassa.
32 pages. 4-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

WAR OF KINGS: DARKHAWK #1 of 2

I’m… in… shock. Darkhawk was one of those titles that I absolutely adored when I was a kid. It was the whole concept of a normal kid finding a magic amulet that could turn him into an awesome superhero… and liked it. It wasn’t like The Cheerleader from Heroes bitching this season about how she can’t feel pain anymore and is indestructible. Holy macaroni! This was an ordinary kid who found an amulet that gave him unbelievable superpowers and he LOVED it. That’s what I’m talking about. Is this comic going to be his return? Probably not, but it’s got Darkhawk in it so I’m on board.
By C.B. Cebulski and Harvey Tolibao.
48 pages. 2-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

X-MEN: FIRST CLASS FINALS #1 of 4

Okay. We get it. The X-Men had a first class. I understand. Wonderful. Weren’t all these stories already told back in the late 1960s, early 1970s? Can’t we let it go already and realize that the X-Men truly lost all of their appeal back before the third movie came out? Alright, maybe someone still wants to see what happens when the young X-Men move out to the real world. Been there, done that.
By Jeff Parker, Roger Cruz and Colleen Coover.
32 pages. 4-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

FINAL NOTES
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February’s already upon us and the comic industry is leaving no story unturned. Even Image pulled out all the stops by bringing at least one, if not even two, original storylines to market. Wow. It’s a good month.

As always, remember, not having a significant other means a whole lot more money to spend on yourself (to drown the lonely sadness that can only come from not having anyone in your life… *SIGH*).

And, as always, thank you for your business!

Eric Jacobson