It's somewhat of a catching-your-breath week at the comic store, following on from the holiday weekend and last week's barrage of DC books. That's not to say that there are fewer books making their way to stores on Thursday — that holiday Monday knocking the regular release date forward a day, unless you're Canadian, in which case you can get everything today — just that what is making it to stores may be less new than you think. Unless you want to go to Mars, that is...
DC are hitting the ground running with a full-on dose of J.J. Abrams in the first issue of their Fringe tie-in comic. That's followed by the launch of Gail Simone's sure-to-be-twisted ongoing Secret Six series, where six anti-heroes do their best to appall the moral majority on a regular basis. There's also the Adam Strange Special, which ties in with Jim Starlin's current wrap-up to the Rann-Thanagar war storyline But after that, it's reprints all the way. Most worthy of your attention: Starlin's own Death Of The New Gods series gets a hardcover collection. And the 1980s B-Movie-tastic Invasion! series (You can tell that it's pulpy from the exclamation point, can't you? It's about aliens invading Earth and destroying Australia. No, really) gets a surprise paperback edition. Image Comics, meanwhile, put no truck in the book format: They just collect the first three issues of The Darkness into a thicker comic, call it a "Reader's Edition," and offer it to you for less than $4 (Albeit only one cent less, but it counts).
The same format — but not the same price point, sadly — sums up two of Marvel's most anticipated comics this week. Kick Ass: Must Have Edition and 1985: Must Have Edition both collect the first three issues of two of Mark Millar's latest hits for those lucky enough to have missed them the first time around, both for $4.99. Also, Marvel is putting out the $20 Iron Manual guide to how Iron Man's armor works (I'm not joking), a hardcover collection of the first issues of J. Michael Straczynski's The Twelve, a new San Francisco-bound X-Men anthology series called Manifest Destiny, or if you're really desperate, the first issue of Marvel Apes. The best release of the week comes from a small indie company that you won't have heard of, though; we've written about The Martian Confederacy before and, come Thursday, you'll have your own chance to experience the weird, wild and downright woolly frontiers of Mars for yourself, courtesy of Jason McNamara and Paige Braddock. In a week otherwise dominated by reprints and retcons, make a point of taking home at least one book that dares to do something new. Involving bears. It's normally at this point that I point out that you can find the complete shipping list for the week here, and then use the Comic Shop Locator Service to find where to buy said comics but, let's face it: You know all that already, right? Just remember: When you go into your nearest store, the first thing you want to say is, "Some guy on io9.com told me to buy..." and then just name anything listed above. Seriously. I'm hoping for kickbacks.