December 2011 Comics Guide

What should you be looking to buy this holiday season?  Check out our guide to cool comic stuff coming out this month.

Andy Hunsakerby Andy Hunsaker

Defenders #1

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but comic books are delightful.  We know you're running yourself ragged trying to snag the proper Xmas gifts for everybody you care about getting gifts for, so why not check out some suggestions that the funnybook nerd you like might be interested in?  Or if you ARE that funnybook nerd, here's some new December stuff that should be on your list.







Writer Matt Fraction and artist Terry Dodson are relaunching the fan-beloved also-ran Marvel super-team that's always so much more dysfunctional than the Avengers manage to be.  Fraction has promised that Dr. Strange, Namor, the Silver Surfer and their new crew will unravel mysteries that have created and defined the entire Marvel Universe, and that's a tall order.  It'll be the talk of the town.



Avengers: X-Sanction #1


Cable is returning form the dead, and he's apparently got 24 hours to take out all the Avengers or bad things will happen.  Jeph Loeb, who had a significant run on the X-Men's grizzled paramilitary uncle a while back, will be teaming up with Ed McGuinness to give us a new story about the time-traveling hardass which will bring him back in a big way.



Avengers Academy #23


Her own series may have been cancelled in Marvel's big culling, but X-23, the teenage ex-hooker Wolverine clone, is joining the young superhero training facility run by Hank Pym and Tigra, and with all the hormonal angst floating around that place, you can bet it'll be interesting watching her try to fit in.  Christos Gage's series is always compelling reading.



Carnage USA #1


Zeb Wells and Clayton Crain are teaming up to bring us a crazy story about the nutjob killer Cletus Kasady and his savage symbiote Carnage going on a murder spree in the Midwest, and it's up to Spider-Man and the Avengers to hunt him down and stop the madness.  But the Sentry tore this guy in half in outer space, and he's still kickin' around – it's harder to stop this particular madness than you'd think.



Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1


How exactly does the pre-reboot stuff in Batman Incorporated fit in with the DCnU?  Here's the first chance to figure it out, as Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham and Cameron Stewart give us a new story of Batman being outfoxed by this mysterious new enemy he has yet to identify.  They're promising a shocking ending, too.



The Ray #1

All-Star Western writers Justin Gray and Jimmy Palmiotti head back to the modern day with this new series focusing on Lucien Gates and how his life has changed ever since he's been granted crazy light-based energy powers and become a reluctant superhero with an even more reluctant girlfriend.



Green Lantern: New Guardians #4

Everybody loves to loathe Larfleeze, and he's barged into the sanctum of the Guardians of the Universe to wreak havoc and hoard everything for himself, as the Avatar of Avarice should.  Finally, the secret behind why all the stolen power rings are drawn to Kyle Rayner will be revealed in Tony Bedard's story.



Transformers #125: The Death of Optimus Prime


With the massive Chaos arc concluded, IDW's Transformers series stops with their crazy one-shots and fits and starts and goes back to a more comprehensive numbering scheme with their 125th issue detailing the exploits of Cybertron's warriors.  Optimus Prime appears to have died at the end of the battle to save the universe from the D-Void, but the erstwhile Autobot commander has found himself in mysterious surroundings, questioning whether or not he has the will to go on.




Lord of the Jungle #1


Arvid Nelson and Roberto Castro are said to be telling the story of Tarzan with completely uncensored savagery not seen since Edgar Rice Burroughs first introduced the character.  The story starts with the Lord and Lady of Greystoke stranded in Africa, and a very violent saga enuses.



Voltron #1


That's right.  Keith, Lance, Pidge, Hunk and Princess Allura are back in control of the five robotic lions of Planet Arus.  King Zarkon's forces are on the brink of absolute defeat, but the evil warlord has a secret about Voltron that could completely change everything for the Galaxy Alliance.  Brandon Thomas and Ariel Padilla are out to redefine Voltron for a new generation.



The Strain #1

David Lapham is adapting the Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan novel which brings us a really creepy tale of dread.  When a jumbo jet lands at the JFK airport and goes dark on the runway, the authorities fear a threat and call in bio-weapon first responder units… but there's something more than just potential chemical warfare at hand here – there's an ancient threat looming in the darkness.



Uncanny X-Force #18


The Dark Angel Saga, Rick Remender's dark epic about the complete corruption of Warren Worthington at the hands of Apocalypse reaches its final conclusion, tearing the covert ops squad apart and costing lives.  Also, #19 will be out in December as well, showing us the new incarnation of the team, including an interesting new member picked up from the Age of Apocalypse. 



X-Club #1

The X-Men now have their own wing of super-scientists, and Dr. Nemesis, Kavita Rao, Madison Jeffries and the cybernetic creation Danger are trying to create a space elevator as a gesture of benevolence from mutantkind, only to have chaos break out and smear their good name, and they'll have to fight to clear it.



Villains For Hire #1


Everybody loves B-list characters getting into the action, and that's what Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning are reveling in with the former Heroes For Hire title.  Misty Knight's got a dandy little set-up going to fight crime on the street level, so the Purple Man has decided to do the same thing for the bad guys.  Check out the all new Scourge of the Underworld appearing in this new-old book.



Fantastic Four #601

Can it be true?  The Human Torch has returned from the presumed dead?  Well, that can only mean one thing – the Fantastic Four can be brought out of mothballs and Aunt Petunia's Favorite Newphew Benjamin J. Grimm AKA The Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Thing can stop mopin' and get back to doin' what he does best – clobberin'!



Superman #4

George Perez's classically-styled Man of Steel saga comes into focus, as the mystery behind the monsters that have been attacking him is revealed – and so are the connections to Grant Morrison's Action Comics saga detailing the beginnings of Superman's crimefighting career.  Lois Lane will also uncover a tragic secret from his past as well.  Superman #4 and the fight against the Terminauts in Action Comics #4 will finally give us some answers about how Superman came to be the way he is in the New 52.







Defenders: Coming of the Defenders


Collecting Marvel Feature #1-3, this Roy Thomas/Ross Andru take from 1971 gives us the origin of The Defenders, featuring the team-up between Dr. Strange, Namor and the Hulk, and it also features a cameo from future core member Silver Surfer.  They'll face the Dread Dormammu, Xemnu the Titan and the devastating Omegatron. 



THUNDER Agents Chronicles Vol. 1


Where did DC's new team of Higher United Nations operatives come from?  Well, you can see the origins of the concept from all the original stories from the 1960s collected for the firs time ever.  Featuring work from Larry Ivie, Wally Wood, Gil Kane, Mike Sekowsky, George Tuska, Reed Crandall and more.



Catwoman Vol. 1


If you're wondering why so many people are up in arms about what Judd Winick's doing with Catwoman, check out the beginnings of critical favorite writer Ed Brubaker's run with Selina Kyle.  Collecting Selina's Big Score with the first nine issues of his Catwoman series run with Darwyn Cooke and Detective Comics #759-762, you'll see exactly what Cat-fans are missing, and just how complex her character became.



Secret Six: The Darkest House


Oh, how we miss this team.  Gail Simone was at her best when writing this mixed-up group of malcontents who don't play by anybody's rules – and usually pay the price for it.  Deadshot (the real one, not this dork in the new Suicide Squad), Ragdoll, Scandal Savage, Jeannette, Catman and Bane feature prominently in this collection of Secret Six #30-36, the final issues of the series, as well as Doom Patrol #19.  The team is trying to retrieve Scandal's lover Knockout from Hell, and they face some betrayal from within. 



Seven Soldiers of Victory


Grant Morrison's giant story featuring Zatanna, Klarion, Shining Knight, The Guardian, Mr. Miracle, Frankenstein and more working together to save the world without ever meeting each other gets collected in one volume.  Featuring art from J.H. Williams III, Simone Bianchi, Cameron Stewart, Ryan Sook and more.



Cobra Civil War Vol. 1


What's going on in the world of G.I. Joe?  Well, Cobra Commander is dead, and that leaves the ruthless terrorist organization determined to rule the world bereft of central leadership – which means nine different evil jerks are vying for control.  Cobra has their own ongoing series, and this collects the first four issues of Mike Costa and Antonio Fusa's significant work with the bad guys, particularly the Baroness.



Hellboy: The Storm and the Fury


Collecting Hellboy: The Storm #1-3 and Hellboy: The Fury #1-3, this book tells the final tales of our pancake-loving demon guy in the form we know him.  He's been traveling on his own for a long, long time, and he's finally got to face the Queen of Blood in a fight to determine the fate of the world, and he pays a terrible price.



Marvel Holiday Special

Four holiday tales featuring your favorite Avenger-styled superheroes, collected from the Marvel Digital Holiday Special issues 1-4.  It even includes The Ol' Canucklehead Wolverine finally learning how to play hockey.  How can that not warm your heart?