Panel Picks: The Most Anticipated Comics for 12 December, 2012

Panels Picks is where I choose some of the hotly anticipated comic books for the upcoming week.

Mega Man celebrates a big anniversary, and The Joker continues his assault on the Bat Family! Plus, James O’Barr returns to The Crow in this week’s Panel Picks!

Avengers Arena #1

Marvel Comics

Sixteen superpowered young adults find themselves trapped on an isolated island. They are then given quite the ultimatum by their mysterious captor: fight or die! Only one will make it out alive from Murder World. Who will survive? Will longtime friends stay loyal, or will they tear each other apart?

Avengers Arena is quite obviously taking a cue from the very successful Hunger Games and Battle Royale (the comic cover is a clear homage to the latter). What I am most curious about in Avengers Arena is length. How long can a series be when your premise is to kill all of the characters? Questions like this one will hopefully be answered as the series progresses, but for now, let’s just enjoy the ride.

Caligula: Heart of Rome #1

Avatar Press

David Lapham and German Noble are back for an all new Caligula series! In an era of hedonism and supernatural evil, Caligula has returned! They thought they had rid themselves of the demon emperor ten years ago. Now it is up to heroic Laurentius to put an end to the evil once and for all.

More comics need ancient Roman settings. More comics need to be written by David Lapham. The premise here is interesting enough: infamous Roman emperor plus black magic, but the real draw is Mr. Lapham. David Lapham’s work may not be as well known as some bigger comic book creators, but his work has remained consistently excellent. Caligula: Heart of Rome looks to continue this trend.

Mega Man #20

Archie Comics

It is a very special anniversary for the one and only Blue Bomber! This December marks twenty five years of “jump and shoot” action! Watch as the evil Doctor Wily tampers with powers beyond his control and sends Mega Man on a trip through time!

After this weekend’s exciting news, I find myself having a case of Mega Man Fever, and Achie Comics’ new issue is out just in time to join in on the festivities. For all of those who have an interest in Mega Man, but have yet to check this series out, now is your best chance for jumping aboard.

Crow Skinning the Wolves #1

IDW Publishing

James O’Barr returns to The Crow along with artist Jim Terry to create a harrowing tale of despair. Set in a 1940’s German death camp, a simple chess game turns deadly. As a result, a new Crow is born. Watch as he gives a new meaning to Gotterdamnerung (‘Death of the Gods’)!

Aside from the original graphic novel and the first movie, I haven’t had much interest in The Crow. None of the subsequent material was able to recapture what made the original so great. I wouldn’t say that my hopes are high for this one, but I am interested to see James O’Barr return to the character.

Batman #15

DC Comics

“Death of the Family” continues! The Joker continues his assault on the Bat Family! What does the Mad Jester hope to achieve with his dark secret? Plus, will Batman be able to put an end to The Joker’s attack before he causes anymore damage?

Oh boy, Scott Snyder sure does know how to craft an amazing Batman comic. Snyder demonstrates that The Joker is a monster that even Batman fears. Batman is a master planner, but what do you do when your opponent is absolutely unpredictable? This idea fills Snyder’s work with a sense of dread that is rarely felt in Batman comics; Greg Capullo’s creepy Joker artwork doesn’t hurt either.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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  1. Jump out of my seat when I saw the trailer for Mega Man VS Street Fighter. Capcom finally doing it right with all the DLC crap they have been forcing on us.

  2. Simplex

    WTH is Avengers Arena?! First time I hear of it. That cover looks like Battle Royale, cool!

    • MaxFrederick

      Yeah, the writer Dennis Hopeless openly acknowledges that he was inspired by both The Hunger Games and Battle Royale for this series.

  3. Is the comic book Mega-Man from the movie or vice-versa?

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