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Wednesday is New Comics Day

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Spidey back in black.
GQ Super Spy
Mignola and Chaykin making magic
Superhero wardrobe malfunctions.
Joining the Hot Zone Club

Every Wednesday we run down the 5 most interesting comics and graphic novels that come out this week. These are the 5 books I'd be buying myself but the new library I'm getting built onto the back of my house to store my vast comics collection isn't done yet so I really need to hold off buying anything more until then.

5. AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #539 (Marvel)
Written by J. Michael Straczynski; Art by Ron Garney and Bill Reinhold
$2.99 | 32 pgs

You know what they say, once you go black... There's at least two reasons Spidey has decided to go back to his old black suit from the '80's. One is that it is featured prominently in this summer's Spider-man 3 movie (duh!). The other reason, well you'll have to read the book to find out but it looks like it will probably be pretty grim as last issue's cliffhanger left off with Aunt May getting shot by a sniper. The post-Civil War Marvel universe is looking to be a gritty place what with Captain America dying and goofy characters like Speedball changing his name to the more ominous 'Penance'. It's only appropriate that Spider-man dress accordingly.

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4. THE LEADING MAN (Oni Press)
Written by B. Clay Moore; Art by Jeremy Haun
$14.95 | 136 pgs

Leading Man is a slick looking superspy series in which the superspy in question is also the hottest actor in Hollywood. You can't get much sexier and flashier than combining international espionage with tabloid gossip. Writer B. Clay Moore is no stranger to cool action having made a name for himself with the creator owned crime book Hawaiian Dick. The real star of this book looks to be artist Jeremy Haun though who brings a glossy GQ sheen to his Casino Royale-worthy action scenes.

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3. FAFHRD AND THE GRAY MOUSER (Dark Horse)
Written by Howard Chaykin; Art by Mike Mignola and Al Williamson
$19.95 | 200 pgs

This long-awaited collection reprints an out of print collaboration by comics legends Howard Chaykin and Mike Mignola. Adapting Fritz Leiber's 1939 fantasy short stories, Chaykin and Mignola brought this sword and sorcery epic to life back in 1991 for the now defunct Epic Comics. This was Mignola just before he did Hellboy and just before he really honed his now recognizable style (which is more evident on the brand new cover done for this collection). Both Chaykin and Mignola have a great love for this genre and for the original stories so it's always good to see people at the top of their game doing material that they love.

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2. EMPOWERED (Dark Horse)
By Adam Warren
$14.95 | 248 pgs


Part self-aware cheesecake, part manga-style comedy, Empowered is a super-heroine for a new generation. She's sexy yet insecure and trying her hardest to make it in a business that gets her into situations where other super-heroes laugh at her for crying or for wearing underwear underneath her costume. Plus she has a stupid name and unpredictable powers. Written and illustrated by fan favorite Adam Warren this super-hero satire looks like it could be a lot of fun for both the super-hero and the manga crowds.

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1. ARMY@LOVE #1 (DC Vertigo)
Written by Rick Veitch; Art and Cover by Veitch and Gary Erskine
$2.99 | 32 pgs


Comics iconoclast Rick Veitch begins a new series for Vertigo that takes a satirical view of our own future, five years from now. With the U.S. involved in a never-ending series of wars in the Middle East, life during wartime begins to take on new meaning for a New Jersey National Guard unit that has been deployed indefinitely. Sex on the battlefield, war profiteering, and hi-tech weaponry make up this sure to be controversial new series.

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