Welcome back to our weekly feature, "New Comics We Crave," which tells you which comics you should check out on Wednesday. If you go down to the comic book store tomorrow, you're sure of a great surprise. Or, at least, you will be if you don't go down there with a very forgiving credit card and/or large bag of unmarked bills. It's still mostly about the collected editions this Wednesday, but for the X-Men fans amongst you, be warned: spoilers ahead.
Of all the comics published this week, only one of them promises the secret of reality. That'd be Image's New World Order, a superhero conspiracy book that, it claims, is based on real life:
Inspired by the research of occult master Jordan Maxwell — the man who exposed the Illuminati — New World Order is the untold story of the "Lonely Ones", the real-life truth seekers who are attempting to awaken the masses to a world that is torn between its own unlimited potential for greatness... and self-destruction!
As you can tell from his website, Jordan Maxwell has clearly been waiting all his life to have a comic based upon his work.
A better - if allegorically so - picture of the way things work can maybe be found in DC's Tales of The New Gods anthology, collecting various short stories from top level names (including a previously unseen story by Ultimates writer Mark Millar and Spider-Man creator Steve Ditko; other creators involved include Sin City's Frank Miller and Watchmen's Dave Gibbons) based upon the quasi-religious outer-space characters created by Jack Kirby in the '70s.
Elsewhere in the world of collections, IDW is trying to lock up the sci-fi market by putting out the 288-page Complete Metal Gear Solid, letting Ashley Wood have his way with the popular Konami game, as well as Star Trek Alien Spotlight: Borg (to which resistance is, apparently, futile) and Transformers Animated Vol. 1, a 96-page adaptation of the pilot episode of the new cartoon based upon the movie based upon the cartoon based upon the toy line. Or something.
Marvel Comics, however, are the ones most likely to take your hard-earned cash this week. In addition to the collection of the fittingly-dated Fantastic Four: The End (in which we find out that everything ends up happily ever after... ish, as the team head towards retirement), they're also putting out the first collection of their ongoing space opera Annihilation: Conquest, which offers queer superheroines that turn into dragons, suicide squads, Borg-like villainy and talking raccoons, amongst other pleasures. Highly recommended for those who want to see entire worlds fall to unbeatable odds.
Marvel are also putting out something that might end up being the most talked about book of the month, if the rumors are true. This week's X-Men #207 features the final chapter of their time-travelling, dystopian-futuring, "Messiah Complex" storyline, and if scuttlebutt is to be believed, it won't just feature the end of the X-Men as a group for the rest of the year, it'll also feature the death of one of the franchise's core characters. This may all turn out to be misdirection and disinformation, but the character heading for the great Mutant School In The Sky...? Professor Charles Xavier himself.
Is it true? Will this third death for Xavier stick, if it is true? Only time and further comics will tell, but a good way to find out for yourself would be to find your local comic book store and start picking up the books.