Despite what many of you merry perverts may think, it's not all musclemen in tights and axe-wielding schoolgirls in short skirts in comicbookland. Although, to be fair, both of those categories are represented in this Wednesday's comic shops, as the pre-Summer lull gets filled with reprints and all manner of plot maneuvering to get all the players on- and off-stage before the big storylines take over next month. Click on that "More" button to find out about the four color death, more death and Birth awaiting you in your local comic book store tomorrow.

Even though you're undoubtedly waiting to find out more about the schoolgirl, I'm going to go with the musclemen first, I'm afraid. Marvel's Secret Invasion storyline slowly builds in this week's Mighty Avengers #12 (bringing David Hasslehoff and Samuel Jackson's favorite super-spy Nick Fury back after years in hiding, to fight off the Skrulls trying to take over the planet). And DC are going full-steam to prepare for the upcoming Final Crisis, with the final issues of both weekly snorefest Countdown to Final Crisis and attempted epic The Death of The New Gods making sure the good guys lose before Grant Morrison lets all of the evil Gods out to play next month. Morrison's also the one behind the 675th issue of Batman, which lets new readers catch up on all the shenanigans that Bruce Wayne has been part of recently, before Bruce meets a fate worse than death when Batman R.I.P. begins in the next issue.


(If you're looking for something slightly more optimistic yet equally apocalyptic from your favorite DC characters, you could do worse that Justice Society of America: Thy Kingdom Come, Part 1, the start of Geoff Johns' and Alex Ross' sequel/prequel to Ross' dark alternate-future tale Kingdom Come, which also comes out this week.)

Otherwise, this week's releases are all about your usual two needs: Your early '90s nostalgia jones can be fixed with X-O Manowar: Birth, a new hardcover collection of the first seven issues of Valiant's high concept "What if Conan was Iron Man" series. (If you're older than that, then Mike Baron and Steve Rude's Nexus: The Origin one-shot should serve the same purpose for the early 1980s. I really can't help you for the early '70s, sadly.) And your much-easier-to-admit-to-in-public schoolgirl uniform fetish should be sufficiently pleased with the new compendium edition of Josh Howard's Dead@17. For those who haven't experienced Howard's series, imagine Buffy The Vampire Slayer but with more zombies and drawn by a cartoonier Bruce Timm. There may be a Heavenly prophecy or two mixed up in there, but you didn't hear that from me. Who could want any more than that?


As usual, you can find a complete list of the week's releases over here before finding out just where to buy any and all of these wonderful books by putting in your zip code over here. Even if this week's books underwhelm you, look up your closest store: Free Comic Book Day is just around the corner...