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

KEY:

* Trad goth

^ Perky goth

% Medieval goth

* BATMAN INC. #3

The schedule for Grant Morrison's current Batman serial seems to have gone totally off the rails, but now might be getting back on them: #4 is due in two weeks. This one's drawn by Yanick Paquette and Michael Lacombe, and has been price-cut to $3 (and page-cut to 20 pages).^ CAPTAIN AMERICA AND THE FIRST THIRTEEN #1

Part of Marvel's pile-up of Cap-related inventory before the movie comes out: a Kathryn Immonen/Ramon Perez one-shot, involving (Hayley Atwell's character) Peggy Carter.

* THE COMICS: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF COMIC STRIP ART 1895-2010

A newly expanded version of Jerry Robinson's 1974 history of newspaper comic strips--a hefty $40 slab of book, with a a whole lot of sample strips.

* GOTHAM CENTRAL BOOK FOUR: CORRIGAN

The final hardcover volume of the Gotham City police-procedural from some years back, written by the team of Ed Brubaker and Greg Rucka, and drawn (this time) by Stefano Gaudiano, Kano and Steve Lieber. This one collects #32-40, including the very clever "Dead Robin" storyline (premise: the cops discover a dead body in a Robin costume in an alley; is it the real one? They have no idea, and Batman isn't being helpful) and the Infinite Crisis tie-in that ended the series and led into both 52 and a Spectre miniseries. Also out this week: the paperback version of book 1.

^ JOHN STANLEY'S MELVIN MONSTER VOL. 3

Ho-hum, another week, another beautiful John Stanley reprint. It's so dull here in Paradise! Also in this week's "adorable variations on monster archetypes" pile: Chris Roberson and Michael Allred's iZombie #11.

% NEW AVENGERS #10

Brian Michael Bendis writes; Howard Chaykin and Mike Deodato continue to split the internal art for sequences involving the past and present. I still find it fascinating how Chaykin's popping up for a few pages here and there all the time. Also out this week: Paul Tobin and Ronan Cliquet's Marvel Adventures Super Heroes #12.

^ NIGHT ANIMALS

An $8 pamphlet by the splendid Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens, with two wordless stories (which apparently predate the recently-published-in-America The Wrong Place); both of them are adults-only glosses on Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, one way or another.

% PRINCE VALIANT VOL. 3 1941-1942

Hal Foster at full early Arthurian potency; Val was never more like young Lord Silverspoon than he was here. Bonus: a brief piece in the back of the book revealing a few "suppressed Prince Valiant images from 1939-1940."

^ THOR THE MIGHTY AVENGER VOL. 2

The second (four-issue) half of Roger Langridge and Chris Samnee's sadly short-lived all-ages-ish Thor title, padded out with a pair of Stan Lee/Jack Kirby Journey Into Mystery reprints. Samnee was doing some really excellent sketches at Emerald City ComiCon this past weekend--a couple of friends of mine bought this Lois-and-Clark doozy.