Avengers Vs Xmen? I, Vampire? Justice League Dark? The Mind (And The Collector) Is Conflicted With Crossovers This Week On The Wednesday Run – March 21, 2012

In the comic book industry, the big, company-wide, every-character-you-can-think-of-going-up-against-the-biggest-baddest-villian-imaginable-with-the-most-ultimate-of-stakes-on-the-line series is generally reserved for the summertime. It’s like sequential storytelling’s version of a popcorn-coma Michael Bay film.

Well, here in southern Ontario (and, actually, much of North America), we’ve had some exceptionally warm weather for the month of March. Maybe it’s that reason, then, that both Marvel Comics and DC Comics are getting their major story arcs in gear a little early this year.

And it’s causing a bit of a dilemma this Wednesday in terms of deciding what one comic a reader should pick up.

How can you decide between these three fascinating comics out today?

Avengers vs. X-Men #0
Written by: Jason Aaron and Brian Michael Bendis
Illustrated by: Frank Cho
Published by: Marvel Comics

Marvel Comics has been teasing this crossover series for close to a year – and there couldn’t be more fan excitement about it – even the marketing is calling it the “battle of the ages”! It wasn’t long ago that the “House of Ideas” gave us the Mutant Registration Act, pitting hero against hero. Now they’ve taken their two biggest franchises, The Avengers (coincidentally having a big budget film release later this spring) fighting everyone’s favourite mutants, the X-Men in a series billed as, what else? Avengers vs. X-Men! Who would win?

This particular introductory #0 issue features the Scarlet Witch and the proclaimed mutant messiah, Hope Summers – and has expectations of a return of the Phoenix Force (remember the dead Jean Grey?) running high and hot.

All of Marvel’s big name writers and artists will be involved in the Avengers vs. X-Men series going forward, making it a must read for fans of comic book summer blockbusters.

Meanwhile, on anther part of the comic book wall rack…

I, Vampire #7
Written by: Joshua Hale Fialkov
Illustrated by: Andrea Sorrentino
Published by: DC Comics

DC Comics, in their post new-52 publishing world, has allowed their audience to slowly digest the various title overhauls, re-numberings, and costume augmentations (why does everyone in the Justice League have a banded collar?), imposed upon the world last August. They’ve deliberately stayed away form the big crossover series while still slyly sowing the seeds for a blockbuster in the not-too-distant future.

What they’ve done instead, however, is had smaller crossovers between genre titles. This week, it’s the dark corner of the DC Universe that gets the intermingling storyline.

I, Vampire has been listed on the Wednesday Run before. It’s been a highly enjoyable series for those that love gothic, un-shimmering, undead heroes and villains. Last issue saw Mary, Queen of Blood, lead her vampire uprising through the streets of Gotham City and bringing even Batman to his knees. Andrew Bennett, our titles’ lead character, has (quite literally) lost his head, so there’s no telling where this story line will go…

Justice League Dark #7
Written by: Peter Milligan
Illustrated by: Daniel G. Sampere
Published by: DC Comics

…except that it will continue in this week’s issue of Justice League Dark, the “superhero” group made up of DC’s more supernatural characters like Deadman, John Constantine, Zatanna, Shade the Changing Man and Madame Xanadu. Can they help Bennett defeat the Queen of the Vampires and save humanity?

This whole deal, the criss-crossing of storylines between books reminds me of comics I read in the 1980’s. That was a fun time for reading and this Wednesday looks to be the same.

Make the run this week and pick up all three of these world-beating treats. The Weather Network tells me that we’re going to get some more warm weather – all we need now is the box of popcorn for when we turn these pages.

Just not the buttered kind. You wouldn’t want to mess up your comic book collection with “real” golden topping.

Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!

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