By Molly Jane Kremer, Arpad OkayClyde Hall, Jami Jones, and Jarrod Jones. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. From ‘Avengers’ #1 to ‘Death or Glory’ #1, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.

Avengers #1

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Jason Aaron.

Pencils by Ed McGuinness.

Inks by Mark Morales.

Colors by David Curiel.

Letters by Cory Petit.

MJ: It’s been a long time since Marvel has only had one Avengers book in publication. Over the past ten years there have been all sorts of Avengers out there: New, Mighty, Young, U.S., Dark, Secret, and West Coast; not to mention Academy, Assemble, All-New All-Different… and don’t forget there’s the oddly adjective-less variety, of course. Now that adjective-less Avengers title will be the one and only place to go to for the continuing adventures of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, and the first issue launches this week with the inspired creative team of Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales, David Curiel, and Cory Petit.

This is definitely a back-to-basics, meat-and-potatoes Avengers comic, an obvious choice in direction now that they’re finally centralizing back into one team. The reunion and reteaming of Marvel’s big trinity (the original versions of Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor have a drink and a chat together) is given a huge focus here, and the various b-plots including most of Marvel’s current heavy-hitters coalesce into the main story quite seamlessly. And if you were wondering when we were finally gonna see more of the Avengers B.C. introduced in the Marvel Legacy one-shot (also penned by Aaron) you’re in luck here.

Thanks to its cosmic scope and breadth of narrative, Avengers #1 pairs well with Avengers: Infinity War as a post-movie palate cleanser (despite—and/or because of—the appreciated absence of a certain purply Titan). Thirty-two story pages makes this a hefty and satisfying read, and an auspicious start to the company’s relaunched flagship title.

Death or Glory #1

Image Comics/ $4.99

Written by Rick Remender.

Art by Bengal.

Letters by Rus Wooton.

JamiJ: Remender and Bengal? Yes please! If you are like me, pining away for Low, have no fear because Remender is back with another (hopefully) kick-ass lady takin’ care of business.

The solicit to Death or Glory #1 reads like a new take on Smokey and the Bandit sans Coors, and I am a-okay with that! We’ve been promised a car chase with a deadline, filled with people who want to stop our new and mysterious heroine from saving something she loves.

Who better to take a swing at a classic car caper than Bengal, whose work screams with clean lines, begging to hug the road. Rick Remender’s writing will probably blow me away, and maybe produce a few tears, too. This Wednesday took far too long to get here.

DC Nation #0

DC Comics/$0.25

Written by Tom King, Brian Michael Bendis, Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson.

Art by Clay Mann, José Luis García-López, Jorge Jimenez.

Inks by Dexter Vines.

Colors by Jordie Bellaire, Alex Sinclair, Alejandro Sánchez.

Letters by Clayton Cowles, Josh Reed, Andworld Design.

JJ: DC Comics is kicking out three major events this season and thank god ‘Metal’ isn’t one of them. I kid, I kid. (I don’t kid.) There’s the oh-so-hotly anticipated Batman/Catwoman wedding, nudging us ever closer to that Earth-2 reality all of us really want from our DC continuity. That Bendis character is finally going to be let loose on the DCU in the upcoming kinda-reboot mini-series, Man of Steel, made just for those of you who thought Superman Reborn wasn’t convoluted enough. And don’t forget No Justice, that galaxy-spanning mega-crossover that will put such a hurting on your wallet you’d think DC believes the whole lot of us are thousand-aires.

Anyway. All of that begins right here in DC Nation #0, just as the hordes line up for this weekend’s Free Comic Book Day. Probably explains how DC sold a million of these things. (I have three of them! For no reason whatsoever!)

An aside: DC, you know you can put more women on your high-profile summer kickoff issues, right? This bro-show may be impressive with the talent on display, but it only appears that it’s trying. That aside, the asking price to hop on this hype train is a quarter. Go buy four. Maybe make a collage out of three of them. Or use them as wrapping paper — that’s also creative. Comics!

Tank Girl: Full Color Classics: 1988-1989 #1

Titan Comics/$6.99

Written by Alan Martin.

Art by Jamie Hewlett.

Colors by Tracy Bailey and Sofie Dodgson.

Letters by Jamie Hewlett.

AOK: Jamie Hewlett is why Tank Girl is an empire. Take away the words and you can see it. Toughest girl there is, dressed punker than reality can handle, with a ding-dang tank decorated like a middle school kid’s backpack. Boobs and warpaint and blunts and bombs. Those messed up teeth, I’m dying.

Add in Alan Martin’s scripts and dialog and things go well off the deep end. Hewlett and Martin’s Tank Girl is absurd and delightful. They do James Joyce better than anyone else in comics. It is a treasure, a filthy, funny, bastard of a treasure that should never have been as popular as it was. Toxic Crusaders inexplicable.

So bless those twisted souls at Titan for bringing the bent little baby that birthed a movement back into print. This is history, a PFR must read, elevated in its preservation. First issue of the Bible — now in color!

Agents of Atlas TPB Complete Collection Vol 01

Marvel Comics/$39.99

Written by Jeff Parker with Donald F. Glut and more.

Art by Leonard Kirk, Roger Cruz, Benton Jew, Carlo Pagulayan, Gabriel Hardman, Clayton Henry, Alan Kupperberg and more.

CH: When Marvel set about drafting their House of Ideas, they wanted to break from traditional fare including the House That Superman Built over at DC. While the latter’s Silver Age foundations prominently featured reinvented Golden Age heroes, and those old-timers themselves, Marvel was less interested in legacy characters. Excluding some Roy Thomas tales and titles, and except for Captain America and Namor, the Timely and Atlas vaults remained sealed.

Agents of Atlas changed that in 2006 with a revival of early heroes like Venus, M-11, Marvel Boy, and Gorilla-Man and bringing them into the modern Marvel continuity. This TP reprints issues #1 to #6 and throws in many resulting stories, as well as parts of the 2009 second series and even material from the 1950s. Readers have a chance to explore characters only mentioned in passing if at all for some fifty years, with a series proving that those old-timey adventurers could be as relevant and compelling as any in DCs Justice Society. It led to The Twelve, which delved even more deeply into obscure Timely characters of ages past. This volume brings Agents of Atlas together in a tidy, expansive package. It celebrates Marvel’s rich heritage while giving us a view of the bedrock that the House of Ideas was built upon.

What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below. Best answer wins a free set of DoomRocket stickers!

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