We've leapt over Leap Day and it's March now, and that means it's time for this month's guide to what's coming up in the world of funnybooks. It wasn't easy narrowing everything down to 15, but if you like comics, chances are you'll like at least one of these particular issues. So check it out and see what's next.
1. BATGIRL #7
Here we are, folks. Gail Simone's Batgirl has shown us a post-wheelchair Barbara Gordon, but now, she finally revisits the events of The Killing Joke that put her in that chair in the first place, but from a new perspective. Or rather, a New 52 perspective. What's changed? What's the same? Here's where we find out.
2. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #682
Spidey-writer extraordinaire Dan Slott finally kicks off what he's been teasing for years – the final master plan of Dr. Octopus, backed up by the Sinister Six. It seems Otto Octavius is knocking on death's door, but he's determined to assert himself as the most brilliant mastermind of all time before he shuffles off this mortal coil. What does that mean for his arch-nemesis Spider-Man? Nothing good, we can be sure of that.
3. SUPERMAN #7
The new creative team of Keith Giffen, Dan Jurgens and Jesus Marino takes over with telling the modern-day adventures of the Man of Steel, featuring a new villain named Helspont, not to mention the promise of new love interests. Will Clark finally stop moping about Lois and her hookups and get his own groove on?
4. TRANSFORMERS: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE #3
It's the best time to be a Transformers fan, as both ongoing comic series are the best the Cybertronians have ever been written. James Roberts continues his deftly dense story about the Lost Light crew as they face the threat of an ancient creature known as a "sparkeater" stalking them ruthlessly. Horror finds the Autobots!
5. AGE OF APOCALYPSE #1
Spinning out of the pages of Uncanny X-Force comes David Lapham's new ongoing series set in the alternate dimension of the Age of Apocalypse. The big A is long gone, but Logan has arisen to take his place, hunting humanity to extinction in service of a higher Celestial-ordained purpose. The X-Terminated are all that's left to fight for flatscans, and they're made up of off-shoots of some of the worst anti-mutant bigots in the 616. We're talking Strykers and Trasks here. The script… she is flipped!
6. JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #7
Kicking off a crossover with I, Vampire (which continues this issue's story with its #7), the dysfunctional team of antisocial mystics is faced with a suckhead uprising that has changed all the rules after the death of Andrew Bennett. What can Zatanna, Deadman, Constantine, Madame Xanadu and the others do to save the world when none of the traditional remedies apply?
7. AVENGERS ACADEMY #27
Christos Gage's series focusing on the youth element of the Marvel Universe finally brings in the cult favorite squad of superkids known as The Runaways! Why are they charging their way into Hank Pym's superhero school? What connection does he have with Victor Mancha, or for that matter, what's Karolina Dean's link with Julie Power? What about Reptil and Chase Stein? Find out what the hubbub is, bub!
8. B.P.R.D.: HELL ON EARTH – THE LONG DEATH #2
Holy jeez, was that crazy monster that rampaged through the B.P.R.D. platooon last issue freaky scary or what? Blood, gore, madness and badassness are all represented as the ectoplasmic Johann Kraus continues to investigate northwestern woods to hunt down the man who killed his host body.
9. AQUAMAN #7
The best thing Geoff Johns is doing with the New 52 is the revitalization of this underrated hero, and in this issue, we start to learn the secrets of Atlantis. How was it destroyed? What does his trident have to do with it? And who's hunting for the artifacts? Ivan Reis' art with Joe Prado help make this book cool.
10. THE LONE RANGER VOLUME 2 #3
Good old-school western storytelling pits The Lone Ranger and Tonto up against corruption behind a marshal's badge once they're betrayed by a new enemy. Ande Parks and Esteve Polls give us a classic feel with their solid take on an era gone by.
11. FANTASTIC FOUR #604
The massive, brain-breaking time-travel science fiction story that Jonathan Hickman has been unspooling for three years now comes to its colossal end, as the Fantastic Four and the Future Foundation (hey, 4 Fs! Call it the F4!) face down the threat of Mad Celestials bent on destroying our world. They've already KOed Galactus! What's next?!
12. THE ROCKETEER ADVENTURES 2 #1
Lawd help us, but we've grown enamored of Dave Stevens' Rocketeer over the last several months, and so has the rest of the comic industry. Stevens is sadly not around to give us more Cliff Secord adventures, but IDW has gathered a bunch of great creators to give it a whirl. People like Peter David, Marc Guggenheim, Darwyn Cooke and Bill Sienkiewicz. Whiz-bang fun to be had!
13. X-CLUB #4
Speaking of fun to be had, Simon Spurrier's highly entertaining miniseries about the X-Men's egghead squad comes to a conclusion as the splendiferously mouthy Dr. Nemesis science-adventures himself and his starfished cranium into a swath of Nazi jerks, and punching must be done at once! Also, what's going on with robo-sexual Madison Jeffries, exactly?
14. GHOSTBUSTERS VOLUME 1 TPB
There are always rumors about a Ghostbusters 3, and as much as we all love the original movie, I think we can all agree that the odds of a Ghostbusters 3 movie existing are remote, and the odds of a Ghostbusters 3 being any good are even more miniscule. However, if you're in the mood for some cartoony fun, you could probably do a lot worse than Erik Burnham's IDW series about Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler and Winston Zeddemore. The banter is amusing between these paranormal investigators as they try to figure out what Ray's weird dreams mean – complete with Joliet Jake Blues as his spirit guide – and Walter Peck tries to figure out a new way to get back at Venkman and the gang whose tendencies are to humiliate him. It's a good time.
15. WINTER SOLDIER #3
Bucky vs. Doom. 'Nuff said. But if you need more, this is Ed Brubaker we're talking about here, and not only is he the man when it comes to Bucky Barnes, but you may recall he also gave us a stellar take on the former Latverian monarch's origins with Books of Doom. This should be very cool.