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

KEY

* Foxy

@ Batty

% Tubby

¢ Spandexy

^ Politics-y (p.s. if you are in the U.S. and eligible to vote please go do so before you read further)

* ¢ ABSOLUTE ALL STAR SUPERMAN

Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely's stab at telling the greatest Superman story ever gets the oversized hardcover treatment, for a C-note.% ¢ AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #647

The triple-sized end of the Brand New Day era, written and drawn by a cast of thousands (well, over a dozen, anyhow). Five bucks. Preview.

@ ¢ THE ART OF JIM STARLIN: A LIFE IN WORDS AND PICTURES

Fifty dollars from IDW. Starlin's had a very broad career--he was way ahead of his time in the '70s, and did some notable Batman-related work, too, before he became the go-to cosmic guy. This is definitely one to page through, at any rate.

* @ % ¢ BATMAN AND ROBIN #16

Grant Morrison and Cameron Stewart (and, apparently, at least one other artist) wrap up Morrison's spectacular run onBatman and Robin--making it, as Chris Sims joked at New York Comic Con, effectively a 16-issue limited series. (Although I'm pretty psyched about Paul Cornell's insta-fill-in run, I have to say.) Extra-length, four dollars. Also out this week: the hardcover edition of Batman and Robin: Batman Vs. Robin, collecting #7-12--now with the messed-up dialogue attributions in "Blackest Knight" fixed!

@ % ¢ BATMAN/CATWOMAN: FOLLOW THE MONEY

A one-shot, drawn by Howard Chaykin, that's apparently been sitting around for a few years. What's with all the Bat-archive clearing? Not that I'm complaining.

@ FIENDS OF THE EASTERN FRONT

Collecting two incarnations of this awesomely lowbrow British WWII/vampire serial, one by Gerry Finley-Day and Carlos Ezquerra, the other by David Bishop and Colin McNeil. The basic concept: funny how those Romanian soldiers fighting alongside our lads never seem to want to go out during the day...

¢ GENERATION HOPE #1

Kieron Gillen and Salva Espin: the "five lights" get their own series. Preview.

^ HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS

A terrific book by Sarah Glidden about her 2007 Birthright Israel trip, which she went into with deep skepticism and a lot of curiosity, and came out of with more of both. A few early parts originally appeared as self-published mini-comics, but she redid the whole thing (in color) for this hardcover Vertigo version.

@ iZOMBIE #7

Chris Roberson and Michael Allred's sweet little undead-a-go-go series begins a new storyline.

% LITTLE LULU VOL. 25: THE BURGLAR-PROOF CLUBHOUSE AND OTHER STORIES

Is it weird to anyone else that vastly more of John Stanley's body of work is currently in print in America than, I don't know, Carl Barks's? I mean, I'm also not complaining about the plenitude of Stanley...

^ SCARLET #3

Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev keep the photo-based "the system sucks so let's smash stuff" action coming.

^ SMURFS VOL. 3: THE SMURF KING

The long essay Jog wrote about this last year alone is enough to make me need to read it.

¢ STRANGE TALES II #2

The "indie cartoonists tackle Marvel characters" miniseries continues with both Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez! BETO IRON MAN! And Tony Millionaire drawing Thor! And Farel Dalrymple (of Omega excellence) drawing a Silver Surfer/Spider-Man story! This looks great. Preview.