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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – Cute Couples Week: Batman & Batwoman, The Atom & Hawkman, Teenage Spider-Man & the ’70s X-Men

Savage Critic and “Reading Comics” author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY

* Did all the interesting indie titles take this week off, or what?
% Continuing traditions that predate its creators’ birth
¢ Wait, there’s actually an entry on the DC site for Dktrzy Rrr? A throwaway joke is now canon? That’s kind of awesome.

* % THE ATOM AND HAWKMAN #46

A “Blackest Night” tie-in, whose title is a ridiculous comics-history joke. “The Atom and Hawkman” is the series that ran for seven issues in 1968-1969 when both of its title characters’ series were cancelled (it continued the numbering of “The Atom”) — most of its issues were separate Atom and Hawkman stories, although there were a couple of team-ups.

Anyway, it’s Geoff Johns writing and Ryan Sook drawing, so it’ll be consistent with the rest of “Blackest Night” and look pretty, which is more than a lot of other tie-ins can say. Also this week in Johns action: the fourth issue of “Superman: Secret Origin,” which so far is a top-notch execution of a totally unnecessary premise, and “Green Lantern” #50, which appears to be set to recapitulate a plot point from the “Green Lantern” #50 that came out in 1994. If Thraxon turns up too, I’ll be amused.

* BATMAN AND ROBIN #7

Your first of this week’s two Batman/Batwoman team-ups. This one is the return of Grant Morrison’s fine series, with a story arc mercifully drawn by frequent and appropriate Morrison collaborator Cameron Stewart (“Seaguy,” “The Manhattan Guardian,” etc.). This one also involves the Knight and the Squire, the “British Batman and Robin” who’ve turned up in a few Morrison-written projects before (notably “Ultramarine Corps” and the “Black Glove” arc in “Batman”).
* DETECTIVE COMICS #861

Batman/Batwoman team-up #2, as the Greg Rucka/J.H. Williams III Batwoman serial takes some time off. (It will apparently return in a series of its own, which is excellent news.) Rucka’s still writing at least this three-issue sequence, and the art’s by Jock ( previewed here; he’s a very interesting, design-minded artist who hasn’t done a lot of superhero stuff before, although that “Green Arrow: Year One” miniseries he and Andy Diggle did together came out pretty well. Speaking of which: a twenty-buck omnibus of the first two volumes of the Diggle/Jock collaboration “The Losers” is out this week, too.


* % FANTASTIC FOUR #575

Jonathan Hickman’s brought a lot of verve and eagerness to this series in the last few months, and now (with Dale Eaglesham drawing) he’s playing up the “globetrotting adventurers” side of its Stan Lee/Jack Kirby incarnation. (There’s a preview here.) Still, of all the ’60s Marvel titles, this one in particular always seems to be stuck in the shadow of “what would Stan and Jack have done?” Hickman, more than most FF writers, might have a chance of escaping that.

* % MARVEL ADVENTURES SPIDER-MAN #59

Paul Tobin & Matteo Lolli’s playful reboot of this all-ages series is finally getting a new #1 in a couple of months, but you might as well jump on it before then. This issue guest-stars the X-Men–actually, the Claremont/Byrne-era X-Men, judging from Skottie Young’s front cover. Also out this week: “Marvel Adventures Spider-Man and the Avengers Digest,” a ten-buck collection of four Tobin-written issues of “Marvel Adventures Super Heroes,” including a fun Hawkeye/Blonde Phantom team-up.

* ¢ TALES OF THE GREEN LANTERN CORPS VOL. 2

Alan Moore’s brief science-fiction tales for this series have been collected many times before–”Mogo Doesn’t Socialize” and “Tygers,” in particular, provided the raw material for a lot of the Geoff Johns-era Green Lantern and Blackest Night stuff. But a lot of other notable writers and artists worked on the feature during the period collected here: Len Wein, Kurt Busiek, Dave Gibbons and Kevin O’Neill all show up too.

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