Another month, another fat stack of solicits from Marvel Comics! You should know the drill by now. Marvel sends them out and we comb through them, looking for the best and brightest of the comics Marvel is publishing that month, whether floppy, paperback, or hardcover. This month, the Top 10 books in the Marvel solicitations for October include a couple of really, really great art showcases, a new issue of what may be Marvel's new best comic (Mark Waid, Paolo Rivera, and Marcos Martin's Daredevil), some new Howard Chaykin, and a couple of books featuring the Head Archer in Charge of the Avengers.

10. DAREDEVIL #5


Written by MARK WAID

Pencils & Cover by MARCOS MARTIN

Variant Cover by BRYAN HITCH

THE DEATH DEFYING DEBUT OF MARCOS MARTIN!

One honest man -- just one -- exists in the vast criminal corporation known as Roxxon Oil, and Daredevil has to find him before a nightmarish disaster claims the entire Eastern Seaboard! Can DD get to him in time--or will this issue's surprise villain get to him first?

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

Did you read Mark Waid and Paolo Rivera's Daredevil #1? Then you understand. If you didn't read Daredevil #1, find it and read it. And then buy this one, which features art by Marcos Martin, one of Marvel's best artists.

9. DEADPOOL MAX II #1


Written by DAVE LAPHAM

Pencils & Cover by KYLE BAKER

Because YOU demanded it Deadpool MAX returns for another round of anarchy, insanity and involuntary Armageddon.

After rooting out a shadowy government conspiracy Deadpool and Bob set out to stop it...and totally futz it up. Now they stand accused of killing a quarter of a million people. Everyone hates them and wants them dead. They are now the worlds most wanted terrorists. How do you stay alive, stay sane and clear your name when you've got the entire world hunting you down and saying horrible things about you on TV? DAVID LAPHAM (Stray Bullets, Young Liars) and Eisner-Award winning artist KYLE BAKER (TRUTH: RED WHITE AND BLACK, Plastic Man) unleash their own special brand of crazy on a book you cannot afford to miss!

32 PGS./Explicit Content ...$3.99

Deadpool MAX is Marvel's meanest book. It fires shots at Deadpool, Cable, Domino, Taskmaster, and several different portions of the Marvel Universe. The characters are tortured and degraded over and over again, Deadpool murders people like you've never seen him murder people before, and there are jokes about poop. This is the Deadpool comic for the reader of discerning and complicated tastes. Keep it on your coffee table so that people flip through it and ask you about it.



8. ULTIMATE COMICS HAWKEYE #3


Written by JONATHAN HICKMAN

Penciled by RAFA SANDOVAL

Cover by KAARE ANDREWS

Nick Fury has sent Hawkeye on a vital international mission. But with no backup to be had, Clint Barton may find himself on the losing end of a major battle-until Fury sends in unexpected reinforcements: a covert mutant team and The Hulk!

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

I'll admit it--I think archers are cool. I don't know what it is about Hawkeye, but his character (the brash, take-no-crap-off-nobody rebel who also somehow idolizes Captain America) and his gimmick (incredible marksmanship with anything at hand, but especially dumb trick arrows) entertains me in a completely unfair way. Hickman's series sounds great, with Hawkeye doing superspy/assassin things all over the world. I expect plenty of trick shots, Hawkeye's brand of humor, and some great action. Dig that cover, too. That's a great shot of Hawkeye in a sewer, with a theoretically friendly Hulk looming over him. Great juxtaposition of their figures, not to mention the ambiguous nature of the Hulk's position. Is he friend, foe, or both?

7. AVENGERS: SOLO #1 (Of 5)


Written by JEN VAN METER with JIM MCCANN

Penciled by ROGER ROBINSON

Cover by JOHN TYLER CHRISTOPHER

Movie Variant also available

THE ARROWED AVENGER RETURNS! When a stranger lies dead at the Avengers' doorstep, Hawkeye won't let his world be implicated in a grisly murder. But what seems to be a simple murder gives way to a gruesome conspiracy – one Hawkeye can't walk away from – and one that involves...The Trapster?! Jen Van Meter (BLACK CAT) and Roger Robinson (Batman: Gotham Knights) bring Hawkeye with a vengeance! Also, Hank Pym and the class of Avengers Academy leave the school behind for a mystery too fantastic to believe, by Jim McCann (NEW AVENGERS: THE REUNION) and Andrea Divito (NOVA)

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$3.99

Again: Hawkeye. His costume is terrible, but everything else about him rules. Jen Van Meter is a very talented writer, with a strong catalog of indie work and great grasp on compelling characterization. I'm looking forward to seeing how she writes Hawkeye, particularly in a story that's as serious as this one sounds. At the same time, the Trapster, better known as Paste Pot Pete, is involved, and it is 2011% impossible to take that guy seriously. On the subject of seriousness, it's nice to see someone exploring exactly how seriously Hawkeye takes the Avengers as a concept. They're practically holy to him.

6. THUNDERBOLTS #164


Written by JEFF PARKER

Penciled by KEV WALKER

Cover by JOE QUINONES

BARON ZEMO RETURNS?! In the midst of their greatest escape in history, will the return of Captain America's best fiend push the Thunderbolts to making a Devil's pact with a certain Red Menace? Find out, as the series' stoic sentries Jeff Parker and Kev Walker bring you FAIL SAFE!

32 PGS./Rated T+ ...$2.99

Isn't "stoic sentry" a weird thing to call your creative team? I sort of get it. Thunderbolts is about prisoners fighting on the side of good, and prisoners are guarded, and guards are also known as sentries. But "stoic?" Are Parker and Walker sitting at their typewriter and Wacom tablet with blank faces while scripting the very good adventures of the Thunderbolts? Anyway, Captain America's "best fiend" Baron Zemo is another great character, and has been one of the most important figures in the Thunderbolts since the beginning, really. Bring it on, you sensational stoic sentries.

5. AVENGERS 1959 #1 & #2 (Of 5)

Written and Penciled by HOWARD CHAYKIN

Cover by HOWARD CHAYKIN

EXPLODING FROM THE PAGES OF NEW AVENGERS...

It's the tail end of the fabulous fifties. NICK FURY and his AVENGERS roar into their secret mission, hunting down NAZI SUPER VILLAINS...men and women relentlessly preparing to unleash hell on a troubled world barely holding onto peace...only to find the Avengers have what appears to be serious competition in their manhunt for these escaped ubermenschen...when their mission is suddenly compromised by interference from an unlikely source.

32 PGS. (each)/Rated T+ ...$2.99 (each)

If you have to have Howard Chaykin drawing Marvel comics instead of series where men wear fedoras and women wear all lace everything while hating on Nazis and partaking in as much casual sex as possible, this is exactly the type of series he needs to be doing. Chaykin is one of those artists who doesn't just follow fashion--he lays it down on the page better than almost anyone else. All of his clothes make perfect sense, and look good in the process. Seeing Chaykin do '50s fashion is going to be great, and considering that this sounds like a Nazi revenge mission, this is the next best thing to the Ultimate Howard Chaykin comic.

4. WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #1


Written by JASON AARON

Pencils & Cover by CHRIS BACHALO

Regenesis Gold Variant by NICK BRADSHAW

Variant Cover by FRANK CHO

Blank Variant Cover also available

Spinning directly out of X-MEN: SCHISM, the X-Men are split in two. In the oversized debut issue of the new ongoing flagship X-series, Wolverine takes one half of the X-Men back to Westchester to start over again. But the new Hellfire Club outlast its first day ? Join Marvel Architect Jason Aaron (X-MEN: SCHISM, WOLVERINE) and legendary X-Artist Chris Bachalo (AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, GENERATION X) for a brand new action-packed take on the X-Men that will set a new standard for the Children of the Atom.

48 PGS./Rated T+ ...$4.99

As goofy as the lead-in to this series is, I find new Chris Bachalo hard to turn down. He's moved far past the extreme nature of his work on books like Steampunk. Now, he's a dude who draws comics that can really capture the majesty of superheroes, or just look like goofy fun. Take a look at Bachalo's Wolverine. See his absurd jaw and proportions? He's a stumpy, wide, troll of a man. And I love it. Bachalo's work has so much personality that the books he works on end up being joys to read. Bachalo, Wolverine, and action comics: I'm ready and waiting.

3. X-23 VOL. 1: THE KILLING DREAM TPB


Written by MARJORIE LIU

Penciled by WILL CONRAD, SANA TAKEDA, MARCO CHECCHETTO & DAVID LOPEZ

Cover by DANNI SHINYA LUO

Government-controlled killing machine. Child of the streets. X-Man. X-23 has lived many lives, but none of them have ever felt right. She knows she's a killer, but she's not sure she can be anything else. The X-Men offer her a home and help facing her demons, but she's done being someone's project. She wants to be her own woman, and she'll do it on her own terms. Leaving the X-Men's island home of Utopia on a mission all her own, she's already found trouble. Even with the mutant thief Gambit at her side, her past haunts her. With new enemies rising, can X-23 trust herself not to succumb to her deadly ways? Or is it all just in her head? Free of her chains, can this killer finally taste true freedom? Collecting X-23 (2010) #1-6 and material from ALL-NEW WOLVERINE SAGA.

152 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$16.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-4797-8

I'm a big believer in Marjorie Liu. She rescued X-23 from the path of becoming another generic, broken, and violent comics heroine, and she managed to do it while tying into the Wolverine Goes To Hell story. Her version of X-23 is troubled, to be sure, but that's completely reasonable, considering the life she's held. She's been an assassin, an X-Man, a member of X-Force, homeless, and more. Before this series, though, I felt like she'd never been an actual character, rather than just a concept. She was Girlverine, the sexy and young version of Wolverine who wore tight pants and midriff-bearing shirts. Under Liu's steady hand, and with Will Conrad and Sana Takeda, among others, on art chores, X-23 has become a character that I genuinely want to follow. If you are in the boat I was in, check out this trade.

2. HULK: WORLD WAR HULKS HC


Written by JEPH LOEB

Penciled by JOHN ROMITA JR., ED MCGUINNESS, HERB TRIMPE, TIM SALE, DALE KEOWN, SAL BUSCEMA, IAN CHURCHILL, LEINIL FRANCIS YU & MIKE DEODATO JR.

Cover by ED MCGUINNESS

Hulks. Will. Fall. But who will take the biggest fall of all? The Red Hulk and Bruce Banner form an uneasy alliance to defeat a conspiracy bent on taking down the U.S. government. But will they destroy each other before they can triumph? Guest-starring Thor, Captain America, the X-Men, Black Panther, the Fantastic Four and more, this monster-sized saga kicks off with the death of a longtime Hulk legend and never lets up! And in the aftermath, the truth is finally out: The identity of the Red Hulk is revealed! Everything Hulk fans have been waiting for pays off here, but it only whets the appetite for the epic final showdown between Red and Green Hulks - a cataclysmic battle that will settle once and for all which one is the strongest there is! Collecting FALL OF THE HULKS: GAMMA and HULK (2008) #19-24.

256 PGS./Rated T+ ...$34.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-6039-7

Trim size: oversized

Over at DC, Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti's Jonah Hex has some of the best artists on lock. Darwyn Cooke, JH Williams III, Fiona Staples, Jeff Lemire, and the almighty Jordi Bernet have all done their time in the Old West. Marvel's version of an artist's showcase comic has got to be Jeph Loeb's Hulk. Look at that line-up. It's a murderer's row of artists, spanning most of the Hulk's history. Ed McGuinness can draw anything and make it look good. Ian Churchill's new style is incredible, a strange mix of Archie-style comics and hard cartooning. I can't think of an ugly issue of Hulk, especially not in this late-era of the title, where McGuinness was being inked by Mark Farmer and colored by Dave Stewart and Morry Hollowell. If you haven't seen these comics, at least check them out for the art. It's crazy.

1. X-MEN BY CHRIS CLAREMONT & JIM LEE OMNIBUS VOL. 2 HC

Written by CHRIS CLAREMONT & MORE

Penciled by JIM LEE & MORE

Covers by JIM LEE

X-Men superstars Chris Claremont and Jim Lee bring their legendary run to an earth-shattering crescendo! The X-Men are shanghaied into outer space to outwit a Skrull infiltration and return Princess Lilandra to the throne - while back on Earth, X-Factor must contend with the return of Apocalypse and the loss of Cyclops' son, Nathan Christopher! Then, both teams unite to face the menace of the Shadow King, leading into an all-new era as the X-Men evolve once again - becoming more than merely Uncanny! And they'll need to be in full fighting form when Magneto gains a cult following, Omega Red returns to menace Wolverine, the time-traveling Bishop joins the team, and the alien Brood assimilate Ghost Rider! All this and Mojo, too - or is it Mojo II? - as the X-Men's most iconic creators catapult the team into the 1990s! Collecting UNCANNY X-MEN (1963) #273-280, X-FACTOR (1986) #63-70, GHOST RIDER (1990) #26-27, and X-MEN (1991) #1-9 and material from #10-11.

880 PGS./Rated A ...$125.00

ISBN: 978-0-7851-5905-6

Trim size: oversized

Do you want to know why people dug Jim Lee's art, and by extension, went so hog-wild for Image comics? Read this hardcover. It has everything. Lee's issues of X-Men are great comics. They're pure spectacle, a series of really quick bursts of action and characterization. Some of Wolverine's best moments ever are here, Gambit gets in a "gotta be da shoes" moment or two, and Bishop hits Rogue in the face with a boysenberry pie. Maybe you had to be there, but as an eight or nine-year old kid, these comics were the absolute apotheosis of comics as an art form or entertainment medium. "Jim Lee's X-Men: David Brothers Likes It More Than He Likes Watchmen."