INTRODUCTION
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It’s March and the comic industry shows no signs of slowing down (which is a darn good thing with the Watchmen movie looming on the horizon… here’s hoping it’s good).

Nobody’s letting their long-running storylines die as both DC and Marvel try to squeeze as much juice as possible out of Final Crisis and Secret Invasion respectively (with a little Dark Origin thrown in). On the bright side, however, there are a bunch of new and exciting little titles coming out this month, too. Good to go.

IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE
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It has been a really, really long time since I’ve picked an Image Comic as my pick-of-the-month, but I think I’m going to break my streak this month by choosing Killer of Demons. I know. Not only am I picking an Image title, but I’m picking a mini-series that seems to be ripping off The Office somehow by making the “chosen one” be an office employee who sees all his annoying coworkers as demons he must kill. Call me crazy (or him, for that matter), but I feel like there might be something here. Or, it could all just be a Mirage (1990s pun on a Marvel imprint there).

JAN092354  Killer of Demons #1 of 3  $3.99 retail

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

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

January 5: “The Meta Episode!” This podcast has changed a lot in three years; where do we go from here? Tim and Mulele try to get conversation started, but we want to hear from YOU!

January 12: The latest on Mulele’s project with Japanese publisher Kodansha. This has been going on for two years now — will a published comic be the result?

January 19: Omega vs. Omega: Marvel recently published Jonathan Lethem’s “paraphrasing” of Steve Gerber’s ’70s series, “Omega the Unknown”. How do the two versions stack up against each other? Tim is joined by his brother Paul to analyze the two series.

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:

JAN090184  Azrael Deaths Dark Knight #1 $2.99

JAN090180  Batman Battle for the Cowl #1 $3.99

JAN090185  Oracle #1 $2.99

JAN090264  Resident Evil #1 $3.99

JAN090213  Solomon Grundy #1 $2.99

JAN090214  Strange Adventures #1 $3.99

JAN090192  Superman The World of New Krypton #1 $2.99

JAN092471  Dark Reign Elektra #1 $3.99

JAN092472  Dark Reign Fantastic Four #1 $2.99

JAN092438  Dark Tower Sorcerer #1 $3.99

JAN092543  Deadpool Games of Death #1 $3.99

JAN092473  New Avengers Reunion #1 $3.99

JAN092522  Secret Invasion Chronicles #1 $5.99

JAN092439  Stand American Nightmares #1 $3.99

JAN092531  War of Kings #1 $3.99

40%-OFF TRADE PAPERBACK DEALS:

JAN090114  BTVS Season 8 TP Vol 04 Time of Your Life TP $15.95

JAN090275  Absolute V for Vendetta HC $99.00

JAN090226  DC Library Roots of the Swamp Thing HC $39.99

JAN090232  Justice League of America The Second Coming HC $19.99

JAN090233  Legion of Super-Heroes Enemy Manifest HC $24.99

JAN090239  Superman New Krypton HC Vol 01 $24.99

JAN092570  Avengers Disassembled HC $49.99

JAN092437  Dark Tower Treachery Prem HC $24.99

JAN092572  Hulk Skaar Son of Hulk Prem HC Vol 01 $29.99

JAN092571  Punisher Max HC Vol 05 $34.99

JAN092608  Squadron Supreme TP Pre War Years $16.99

JAN092609  Squadron Supreme TP Vol 01 Power to the People $16.99

JAN092579  Ultimate Spider-Man Prem HC Power & Responsibility $24.99

JAN092589  Wolverine HC Tales of Weapon X $14.99

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

Download the February 2009 Top-100 PDF file (it’s 8KB!) at:
http://www.irxproductions.com/comics/feb09top100.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.  (2) Batman
2.  (4) Detective Comics
3.  (1) Justice League of America
4.  (6) New Avengers
5.  (5) Justice Society of America
6.  (-) Uncanny X-Men
7.  (7) Amazing Spider-Man
8.  (-) Superman Batman
9.  (8) Action Comics
10. (9) Green Lantern

TOP 10 INDEPENDENT COMICS
1.  (2) Transformers All Hail Megatron
2.  (1) Transformers Maximum Dinobots
3.  (3) Transformers Revenge Fallen Movie PRQ Defiance
4.  (6) Boys
5.  (5) Angel
6.  (7) GI Joe
7.  (-) GI Joe Origins
8.  (9) Fathom
9.  (-) Red Sonja
10. (-) Star Trek Countdown

THE GOOD STUFF
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DARK HORSE COMICS

THE AMAZON #1 of 3
Twenty years ago, Steven Seagle and Tim Sale created a comic book about the Amazon jungles being destroyed (which was and still is true). A reporter by the name of Malcolm Hillard goes to the Amazon to investigate the disappearance of an American worker and also to sabotage a timber site (who doesn’t sabotage something when they go to the Amazon, after all?). Locals speak of the work of spirits which Malcolm doesn’t believe… until he sees something he can’t explain [dramatic chords here]. This is a retelling/re-presentation of that original piece. I never read the original, but I must admit that I am definitely intrigued.
By Steven Seagle, Tim Sale and Matt Hollingsworth.
32 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $3.50 retail.

DC COMICS

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL #1 of 3
Batman’s gone. Gotham City lies in ruins. Everyone wants to know where is Batman. Well, sounds like it’s time for a DC Comics massive story crossing multiple series and having a large number of mini-series. Tah-dah! It begins with the mini-series Battle for the Cowl but crosses into so many other stories, too. WOO-HOO! Just when you thought Final Crisis was over and you could start making your mortgage payments, DC Comics whips out Battle for the Cowl!
By Tony Daniel and Sandu Florea.
40 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

BATMAN: BATTLE FOR THE COWL – COMMISSIONER GORDON #1
Follow James Gordon in trying to find Batman. Seriously. That’s what this is.
By Royal McGraw and Tom Mandrake.
32 pages. One-shot special. $2.99 retail.

GOTHAM GAZETTE: BATMAN DEAD #1
It’s a story about a reporter trying to investigate the intriguing disappearances of both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Odd, eh?
By Fabian Nicieza and various.
32 pages. One-shot special. $2.99 retail.

AZRAEL: DEATH’S DARK KNIGHT #1 of 3
Azrael comes back. Wow. We all thought he disappeared after that whole Bane-broke-Batman’s-back thing way back in the ’90s, but, no, Azrael has returned… trying to protect Gotham City once again in his insane I-must-kill-everything kind of way.
By Fabian Nicieza and Frazer Irving.
32 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

ORACLE #1 of 3
Everyone’s favorite hot ex-Batgirl wheelchair-bound ass-kicking redhead is back in a 3-issue mini-series where Barbara Gordon becomes a recluse in the decaying Gotham City; except the Calculator is there, and he isn’t just playing Texas Instruments this time (yeah, I know that was a terrible joke, but, seriously, this bad guy’s name is “the Calculator!” C’mon!)
By Kevin VanHook and Jay Leisten.
32 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

SUPERMAN: WORLD OF NEW KRYPTON #1 of 12
Not to be outdone, the Superman team has been together a giant New Krypton maxi-series about Kryptonians and the way they live (actually, it’s the whole thing about Superman having to deal with his past in order to keep the peace).
By Andrew Kreisberg and Pete Woods.
32 pages. 12-issue maxi-series. $2.99 retail.

SOLOMON GRUNDY #1 of 7
Solomon Grundy teams up with… himself? Cyrus Gold? How is this possible? Wait. Who cares? I mean, Solomon Grundy was always a pretty decent B-list bad guy, to be sure, but an entire 7-issue maxi-series dedicated to his origin? Hmmm. Is DC running out of ideas? Am I asking too many questions in a single paragraph description of a comic? Should I move on to the next comic? Yeah. Me, too.
By Scott Kolins.
32 pages. 7-issue maxi-series. $2.99 retail.

STRANGE ADVENTURES #1 of 8
Adam Strange, Comet and Bizarro are all teaming up to… wait. What? Okay, so this is a really strange story combination where Adam Strange is trying to stop the destruction of the universe, Comet has a death contract out on him and Bizarro finds a new purpose to his life. I’m assuming these stories will all come together at some point in the EIGHT issues to follow.
By Jim Starlin, Manuel Garcia, Al Milgrom, Jim Starlin and Rob Hunter.
40 pages. 8-issue maxi-series. $3.99 retail.

RESIDENT EVIL #1 of 6
In celebration of yet another Resident Evil game, DC and Wildstorm couldn’t resist but to release a prequel mini-series that will most likely have nothing to do with the game. Or will it? No, I really can’t lead you on like that. It probably won’t have anything to do with the game despite it having Chris Redfield travel to Africa. Of course, who actually plays RE for the stories, right? It’s all about the chilling dialogue…
By Rick Sanchez, Kevin Sharpe and Jim Clark.
32 pages. 6-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

TOP 10 SPECIAL #1
Girl Two has a murder case where her client is willing to plead guilty yet she doesn’t feel he actually committed the crime. That’s it. That’s the story. It’s a one-shot courtroom drama like LAW & ORDER: TOP 10 SPECIAL or something.
By Zander Cannon with Da Xiong.
32 pages. One-shot special. $2.99 retail.

IMAGE COMICS
KILLER OF DEMONS #1 of 3
Dave Sloan is a junior account executive and also happens to be… The Killer of Demons. Convenient seeing as how Earth has been invaded by Hell. Sloan can see the demons, but they also happen to be his coworkers. So, now he has to ask himself this question – are they really demons or is he just completely insane? Actually, that’s a really interesting premise and I’m going to have to grab a copy of this just to see if there’s something there.
By Christopher Yost and Scott Wegener.
40 pages. 3-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

LILLIM #1 of 5
It’s ancient times… again. Odin, who was the son of Adam and Lilith, vows to punish Eve’s children just like his mommy told him to. Lilith’s second child, Loki, gets tired of Odin and falls asleep in the ocean where he wakes up today and falls in love with an ER doctor named Meredith Grey… I mean, Bridgette. Except Loki finds out that his siblings are alive and he has to stop them. Huh.
By Shaun Lapacek, Ian Keiser and Matrix.
32 pages. 5-issue mini-series. $2.99 retail.

MARVEL COMICS

DARK TOWER: SORCERER #1
A stand-alone issue desperately trying to resurrect the popularity of Dark Tower by telling the story of Marten Broadcloak who was supposed to climb to the top of the Dark Tower and become overlord. Of course, this doesn’t happen, but there’s a story here somewhere. I swear. I just don’t quite know where I put it…
By Robin Furth and Richard Isanove.
32 pages. One-shot special. $3.99 retail.

THE STAND: AMERICAN NIGHTMARES #1 of 5
It’s a Stephen King kind of month as the second arc of The Stand starts. The super-deadly flu has killed off most of the country. Larry Underwood wants to escape NYC. Lloyd thinks about eating dinner. Stu Redman begs for freedom from his interrogators. Randall Flagg continues walking across the U.S. There’s good stuff here. I mean, it’s like the Forrest Gump with horror… only not at all.
By Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins.
32 pages. 5-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

DARK REIGN: ELEKTRA #1 of 5
DARK REIGN: FANTASTIC FOUR #1 of 5
The Dark Reign continues and crosses over into Elektra and Fantastic Four. Elektra’s been tortures and barely survives while over in the FF world, HAMMER agents attack the Baxter Building.
By Zeb Wells, Clay Mann, Jonathan Hickman and Sean Chen.
32 pages. 5-issue mini-series. $3.99 and $2.99 respectively.

NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION #1 of 4
After the Secret Invasion, Mockingbird returns to Earth… still alive. Of course, she brought some “deadly secret” that could tear the Avengers apart.
By Jim McCann and David Lopez.
32 pages. 4-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

SECRET INVASION CHRONICLES #1 of 9
Just like Final Crisis over in DC, you thought that it was all over but not really. Secret Invasion Chronicles will tell the entire Secret Invasion event in chronological order will all the major tie-ins. Actually, this is a pretty damn good idea considering me and everyone else was totally confused by the end of this.
By Brian Michael Bendis, Jim Cheung and Billy Tan.
72 pages. 9-issue maxi-series. $5.99 retail.

WAR OF KINGS #1 of 6
Black Bolt’s bringin’ the heat with his Inhuman buddies. They’re goin’ toe-to-toe against the Shi’Ar Empire in an all-out brawl where there can be only one. It’s the Thrilla in Starjamma with all the hoopity-hollerin’ you can handle. Wow. I totally just lost it here. It’s the Inhumans vs. The Shi’Ar Empire. Who do you think’s gonna win? I mean, all Black Bolt has to do is open his mouth and say, “Boo!” Literally.
By Dan Abnett, Andy Lanning and Paul Pelletier.
32 pages. 6-issue mini-series. $3.99 retail.

FINAL NOTES
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The Month of the Irish ends with a bang and tons of comics coming out. I’m always excited to see the industry come out with a ton of new releases. Yet, I must admit that I’m wary, too, because whenever the industry’s doing well, creativity goes into the toilet a little. Well, I guess we’ll see where the next few months take us, right?

As always, if you can’t come up with something new, either base your comic on a videogame or retell stories you’ve told before but someone might have missed!

And, as always, thank you for your business!

Eric Jacobson