It looks like the ten best-looking books coming from Marvel in June 2011 feature vampires, lizards, Spider-Girls, several multi-colored Hulks, and alternate universes! Not only that, but we've got a double dose of Jubilee, a little Jane Austen, and a little unreleased Steve Ditko, too! After the cut, I break down what you should be reading and why, with bulletproof reasoning and factual opinions. Click the images to make them bigger!

10. SPIDER-GIRL #8


Written by PAUL TOBIN

Penciled by CLAYTON HENRY

Cover by JELENA KEVIC-DJURDJEVIC

FINAL ISSUE!

With her roommate kidnapped and her life on the line, Spider-Girl uncovers the true identity of her father's murderer, but will the knowledge force her into an action that she'll regret for the rest of her life? It's all more pressure than any normal 16 year old girl could bear, but what if Spider-Girl wasn't normal anymore? A shocking change in the life of Anya Corazon awaits in this fate-filled issue!

32 PGS./Rated A ...$2.99

We featured the first issue of this series way back when it launched, and now we're looking at the final issue. I'm actually gonna kinda sorta miss this series. Paul Tobin's a talented guy, and crafted a story that used the Marvel Universe in interesting ways, like Sue Storm showing up as a family friend, instead of the Invisible Woman. Clayton Henry is a good choice for art, too. He's improved a lot since his Exiles days, hasn't he? I liked this series, and I'm sad to see it go.

9. EMMA #4 (of 5)


Written by Nancy Butler

Art & Cover by Janet Lee

Emma, who has vowed never to marry, spends her time trying to fix up everyone else's love life. But when her friends start making their own romantic decisions, will she be able to accept them? Written by award-winning author Nancy Butler with gorgeous illustrations by Janet Lee, EMMA will charm fans and new readers everywhere!

32 PGS./Rated A ...$3.99

I'll be honest (and apologies in advance to Butler and Lee) -- I haven't read any of these, since Jane Austen was never really my thing, even as an English major. But Marvel keeps doing them, so they must sell, right? Maybe in bookstores, since I can't really see your stereotypical comic book guy picking up girly comics (yuck!).

Regardless -- every single cover for Emma has been great, and the cover for #4 is no different. The composition, the picture frames, and the way the image flows down to Emma's smiling face is fantastic. Another moment of honesty: Lee's art has me curious enough to pick up a few issues. How often do covers actually manage to make you want to buy a comic, instead of just telling you who's (probably) in the book you're about to pick up? Major, major kudos to artist Janet Lee.

8. X-MEN: GREAT POWER PREMIERE HC


Written by VICTOR GISCHLER with CHRIS CLAREMONT, BONNIE WILFORD & BILL MANTLO

Pencils by CHRIS BACHALO, PACO MEDINA with SAL BUCEMA & MIKE ESPOSITO

Cover by TERRY DODSON

It's a new age for the X-Men. Cyclops and company have declared it a time to be heroes. Wherever a citizen is in need, there's an X-Man on the job. But strange rumors have come to the attention of the X-Men, and Storm and her team are off to New York City to investigate. What do they find in the dank sewers beneath Manhattan? Only New York's favorite wall-crawler has the answers! Plus: Jubilee has been turned by the dark forces of the undead. And though the battle with the vampires is over, Jubilee's own battle has just begun. Now a vampire living among an army of mutants, Jubilee struggles to find her place and to keep her vampire cravings at bay. But unknown to her, one of her fellow X-Men may just hold the key to curing her of her thirst for blood. Could Professor Xavier's own encounter with a vampire hold the key to her salvation? Collecting X-MEN #7-11 - and Spider-Man's first team-up with the All-New, All-Different X-Men from 1976's MARVEL TEAM-UP ANNUAL #1.

160 PGS./Rated T+ ...$24.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-4848-7

Trim size: standard

Speaking of dope art, here we've got the latest entry in an ongoing series of X-Men + _______ comics. This one reads a lot like an editor went, "Oh, please make the X-Men do something interesting. We did vampires already? Can we do it again? No? Well how about uh, werewolves? No, lizards! NO! THE Lizard!" And bam, the X-Men fly to New York to team up with your Friendly Neighborhood You-know-who.

Despite its (probably) dubious origins, this book features art from your Friendly Neighborhood Chris Bachalo, an artist who should be on your instant purchase list. The light, inoffensive script gives Bachalo a chance to draw some amazing splashes, cluttered fight scenes, goofy comedy, amazing faces, and about a million drawings of baby lizards crawling all over the page. This book looks so unbelievably good that you need to go ahead and pick up this hardcover, is what I'm saying. One note: you see all that stuff about Jubilee? That's a mistake on Marvel's part. She's not in this one. But don't worry, dear reader: there's some Jubes higher on the list.

7. IMPOSSIBLE MAN TPB


Written by VARIOUS

Penciled by VARIOUS

Cover by JACK KIRBY

He's green, he shape-shifts, he flies - he does the impossible! See the aptly named Impossible Man wreak havoc across the Marvel Universe, from Latveria to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier to the Savage Land! And wait till you meet the Impossible Woman - and their kids! Guest-starring EVERYONE - from the Fantastic Four to Spider-Woman to Thor to the X-Men! Collecting FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #11 and #176, MARVEL TWO-IN-ONE #60 and #86, SPIDER-WOMAN (1978) #45, X-MEN ANNUAL #7, NEW MUTANTS ANNUAL #3, SILVER SURFER (1987) #33, IMPOSSIBLE MAN SUMMER VACATION SPECTACULAR #1-2, MARVEL COMICS PRESENTS (1988) #91, and X-FORCE & CABLE ANNUAL '95

360 PGS./Rated A ...$34.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-5520-1

Impossible Man is basically Marvel's Mr. Mxyzptlk, but with a much wider remit. It doesn't matter who you are: Impy is going to find you and ruin your day. It doesn't matter whether you have the Power Cosmic or a duffel bag filled with machine guns. The Impossible Man is going to pop up out of nowhere, hit you in the face with a pie, shove you into a clown car, or pull some other Marx Brothers level stunt on you. He's annoying, he's green, and he's fun to read about. This collection is a genuine surprise, and the price is a little steep, but these are some of the goofiest comics Marvel ever created, moments when Marvel stopped taking itself and its characters so seriously and just went hog-wild.

Maybe if we all buy this one, they'll hook us up with an Assistant Editor's Month trade? C'mon, Marvel! Do it because I demanded it!

6. X-MEN: AGE OF X HC


Written by MIKE CAREY, SIMON SPURRIER

Penciled by CLAY MANN, STEVE KURTH, KHOI PHAM, CARLO BARBERI, PAUL DAVIDSON, PACO DIAZ LUQUE, MIRCO PIERFEDERICI & GABRIEL HERNANDEZ WALTA

Cover by LEINIL YU

In a world where the X-Men never existed and mutantkind has been hunted to extinction, the few remaining mutants have banded together to make their last stand. They spend each day securing the walls of their stronghold, Fortress X, beating back the anti-mutant forces who would see them wiped out. But when a conspiracy is discovered within Fortress X itself, could it be that mutantkind's last bastion will crumble from the inside out? And when the dust settles? No one will be left unscathed. Plus: The Avengers, a team of heroes and heroines united against the mutant threat, have been ordered to hunt down Magneto and his army of fugitive mutants. But when the team is given a license to kill, not every member is up to the task. Who will kill, and who will be killed? You may just be surprised. Also featuring untold tales from the Age of X! Collecting AGE OF X ALPHA, X-MEN LEGACY #245-247, NEW MUTANTS #22-24, AGE OF X UNIVERSE #1-2 and the AGE OF X HISTORICAL LOGS.

248 PGS./Rated T+ ...$29.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-5289-7

Trim size: oversized

You want to know the best way to read event comics? Here it is, right here. Picking up events in hardcover form might not keep you on the bleeding edge of comics fandom, but boy does it make for a much more pleasant reading experience. This alternate universe X-Men tale hints at something more than just an alternate universe bubbling just below the surface, and I'm looking forward to this hardcover. Gabriel Hernandez Walta's work in Age of X Alpha was astounding, like Elektra Assassin-era Bill Sienkiewicz with an even larger Eurocomics influence. Clay Mann's one of the regular artists on the series, and his work is generally good, too. Carey's a talented writer and I trust him to stick the landing.



5. HULK-SIZED MINI-HULKS #1


Written by AUDREY LOEB

Penciled by CHRIS GIARRUSSO, CARLOS SILVA & DARIO BRIZUELA

Cover by CHRIS GIARRUSSO

One Hulk, two Hulk, Red Hulk, Blue Hulk! And Green Hulk, too! Collected here for the first time, read all of Audrey Loeb's adorable backup strips! The three Mini-Hulks find themselves in impossible situation after impossible situation, and the results are always hilarious and entertaining! 32 PGS./All Ages ...$2.99

These are adorable and goofy. They've been running in the back of the various comics featuring your favorite flavor of Hulk over the past few years, and for three bucks, I'll pick it up. I miss when Marvel would do regular things like this, from the Mini Marvels to the old strips that used to run in Bullpen Bulletins in the '90s. They're a nice tension reliever, something you can point to and go, "Yeah, comics are still funny sometimes." The adventures of Green Hulk, Red Hulk, and Blue Hulk have been a fun ride.

4. X-23 #11

Written by MARJORIE LIU

Penciled by SANA TAKEDA

Cover by KALMAN ANDRASOFSZKY

After their shocking confrontation last issue, X-23 and Jubilee must find a way to resolve their differences, and what better way to do it than by teaming up to solve a haunting mystery! X-23's kill-list has been resurrected, and the lives of the people she once spared, she may now be forced to take. But with a vampire as her ally, is restraint even an option?

32 PGS./Parental Advisory ...$2.99


Wolverine's two latest teenage girl sidekicks joining forces to solve mysteries? If that doesn't sound like a comic worth buying, I don't know what is. What's interesting here is that Jubilee and X-23 are both harder edged than Wolverine's usual sidekicks; Jubilee thanks to her newfound vampirism and X-23 because she is a physical organism designed only for killing. I want to see how Jubilee's motormouth meshes with X-23's quiet intensity, and while I assume it ends up with X-23 deciding that Jubilee needs to shut her yap, I like Marjorie Liu (and Jubilee) enough to pick this one up just because. I'm hoping for Scooby Doo-like antics, but I'll settle for some good old fashioned stabbings and vampire biting.

3. WOLVERINE AND JUBILEE: CURSE OF THE MUTANTS PREMIERE HC


Written by KATHRYN IMMONEN with CHRIS CLAREMONT

Penciled by PHIL NOTO with MARC SILVESTRI

Cover by OLIVIER COIPEL

STRAIGHT OUT OF THE PAGES OF X-MEN AND RIGHT INTO THE JUGULAR! Jubilee is about as far away from the ideal X-Man as it's possible for a 17-year-old minty fresh vampire to be. While the X-Men try to find a way to give her as normal a life as is inhumanly feasible, her decidedly abnormal vampire cravings will not be denied. Between that and her newfound powers, she's winning the fights - but not the popularity contests among most of the other X-Kids. Most, but not all. And just when Jubilee starts to think that there's no place for her anywhere, a group of vampire women make her an offer she can't refuse. It seems like the perfect solution, unless Wolverine has anything to say about it! Collecting WOLVERINE AND JUBILEE #1-4 and Jubilee's first appearance from 1989's UNCANNY X-MEN #244.

120 PGS./Rated T+ ...$19.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-5775-5

Trim size: standard

It's Jubilee's world, baby, and we just live in it. I was the perfect age to become a fan of Jubilee when I started reading comics, and while pretty much everything featuring her after Generation X has been basically unreadable, Kathryn Immonen and Phil Noto have managed to right the ship. Jubilee has been turned into a Dracula, and you know what that means: dimensional warps, radiation, dragons, flying motorcycles, and making a fool out of Emma Frost.

The first few issues of this series are on stands right now, and I'm pretty impressed. Immonen's dialogue isn't as off-kilter as it was in (the wonderful) Hellcat work she's done, but it still fits Jubilee, Wolverine, and the rest of the X-Men. Immonen's showing some real range as a writer, and Noto's art is as great as ever.

2. FANTASTIC FOUR BY WAID & WIERINGO ULTIMATE COLLECTION BOOK 1 TPB


Written by MARK WAID

Penciled by MIKE WIERINGO & MARK BUCKINGHAM

Cover by MIKE WIERINGO

Mark Waid and Mike Wieringo take the reins of FANTASTIC FOUR, and deliver some of the most daring and humorous adventures Marvel's First Family has ever seen! Giant bugs! Living equations! Johnny Storm, CEO! Exploding unstable molecules! The secret behind the Yancy Street Gang! And watch as the antics between the Thing and the Human Torch heat up like never before! Prepare to laugh and cheer at once! Collecting Fantastic Four #60-66, plus Waid and 'Ringo's first Mighty Marvel collaboration: 1996's AVENGERS #400.

216 PGS./Rated T+ ...$24.99

ISBN: 978-0-7851-5655-0

Do you want to read the best run on Fantastic Four since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby did it? Here's your first stop. Waid and Ringo produced some of the best Fantastic Four stories ever, taking the team to Heaven and Hell, new frontiers, and throwing the First Family back into the limelight. They nailed the style, the family dynamics, the relationship between Ben and Johnny, the rivalry between Spider-Man and Johnny, and honestly, every single thing about the FF. If you like Marvel books, then you need these comics. They're genuine classics.

1. HUMAN TORCH & HULK: FROM THE MARVEL VAULT #1


Written by JACK C. HARRIS & KARL KESEL

Penciled by STEVE DITKO

Cover by MARK BAGLEY

From the depths of the Marvel Vault comes long-lost issue from Mighty Marvel mainstay Steve Ditko! Face front, fans! This is Johnny Storm--the high-flying HUMAN TORCH--with a tale so taut with tension and terror it couldn't be told until today! When that twisted genius, the Wizard, gains the power of the moon's magnetism he becomes more dangerous than Magneto! Add in that bull-headed behemoth, the irrational HULK, and it's up to Yours Truly to save the day! Again! Don't miss this page-turning epic of betrayal, brute force, and blazing heroics as only mighty Marvel (and me!) can tell it! 32 PGS./One-Shot/Rated A ...$3.99

It's Steve Ditko. Just buy it, okay? I don't even see why I should have to tell you that, because you should already know.