If there was one word to describe this week's (one day late, due to the holiday) haul of new comics, that word may be "brutal". Brutal on your wallet, that is; it's a week of big name books from both Marvel and DC, plus some indies that are worth your time and attention. No matter whether you're looking for the end of Whedon or the end of the world, the place for you this Thursday is still your local comic store. Find out more under the jump.
Boom! Studios - now home to official friend of io9, Ian Brill - has our first new title of the week, Zombie Tales; Sensibly realizing that there's no long-term story potential in zombies unless you're Robert Kirkman (a conclusion obvious to anyone who's seen 28 Weeks Later), Zombie Tales is a new short story anthology series, letting various creators get their favorite zombie fantasies out of their heads before moving on to healthier things.
Alternatively, if zombies are played out for you, you may want to pick up the first volume of Roswell, Texas, which mixes alternate history (What if Texas didn't join the United States, but remained independent?) with a flying saucer crash and all manner of hell breaking loose as a result, courtesy of SF novelist and Lando Calrissian fanboy L. Neil Smith. Now, if only we could put alternate history zombies into a comic, we'd probably be rich. Or ignored.
The big comics from the Big Two publishers are an interesting bag this week. Marvel has the final issue of Joss Whedon's X-Men, called Giant-Size Astonishing X-Men for subtlety's sake, and the much more fascinating Marvel 1985, in which Wanted and Civil War's Mark Millar works out his childhood issues by bringing the Marvel villains from the comics page into "our world," with only one comic nerd recognizing what's going on. Despite the beautiful artwork from Tommy Lee Edwards, is this just another stage of Mark's "comic nerds will save us all" schtick (see Kick-Ass), or something more sinister?
(Marvel's also putting out the second collection of Kung-Fu actioneer The Immortal Iron Fist, subtitled The Seven Capital Cities of Heaven. Pick it up and find yourself falling in love with a super-sumo wrestler called "Fat Cobra". No, really.)
DC, meanwhile, is really going after your money this week, however: Never mind the long-awaited first issue of Grant Morrison's Final Crisis epic — as beautiful and grand in scale as it will undoubtedly be — or even the second-to-last issue of Morrison's note-perfect All Star Superman series. It's all about the collections this week.
Want to catch up on the critically-acclaimed Starman series by James Robinson and Tony Harris? A new hardcover series of collections starts this week. Want to learn more about Superman's home planet? Pick up the Superman: World of Krypton collection (with early art by Hellboy's Mike Mignola). Prefer 1970s SF weirdness? Jack Kirby's OMAC: One Man Army Corps will prepare you for the world that's coming. Looking for some four-color masturbatory material for the costume fetishist in your life? Comic Book Cover Portfolio: Women of The DC Universe will... um... satisfy you? It's literally all coming from DC's wheelhouse this week, friends.