What's heating up comic stores this summer? Big summer extravaganzas for the Flash and Thor, new Hellboy and Locke and Key miniseries, and the return of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Here's a sampling of this summer's comic goodies.

Also remember, Free Comic Book Day is Saturday, May 7 this year — click here to feast your eyes on this year's no-cost offerings.

Gladstone's School for World Conquerors
In this cute-looking, kid-friendly miniseries by Mark Andrew Smith of The Amazing Joy Buzzards, a bunch of wee baddies learns the ins and outs villainy at a bad guy academy. Check out some adorable art by Armand Villavert here (Image, May 4).

DC's big summer event kicks off next month — in the main storyline, Barry "The Flash" Allen has woken up in alternate universe where Cyborg is Earth's greatest hero and most of DC's heroes are completely altered. How did the Earth get this way? (DC, May 11).

Fear Itself
Speaking of big events, Marvel's Fear Itself, which is about the return of a coterie of nasty Asgardian deities to man's realm, continues throughout the torrid months. Matt Fraction and Stuart Immonen helm this miniseries. Fear Itself will dip into most marquee Marvel titles (and oodles of tie-ins) this season.

Peter Bagge pens and Gilbert Hernandez draws this cosmic girl group graphic novel, which is due for a May release. Here's a synopsis from Fantagraphics:

Krazy (vocals and guitars), Honey (drums) and WooWoo (keyboards) are the members of the pop band Yeah! They've achieved intergalactic superstardom on every planet but their own (Earth), where they live in anonymity and suffer indignities in their home of suburban New Jersey. The girls struggle with bad gigs (struggling to win $200 amateur-night contests despite playing to packed crowds of adoring fans on Uranus), aliens who have crushes on them, and rival boy band The Snobs.

The Tooth
Cullen Bunn and Shawn Lee pen this wacky-looking graphic novel that promises to hearken back to old school horror tales. Matt Kindt of Revolver is on art. The Tooth hits stores May 25, and here's the description from Oni Press:

Be the first kid on your block to follow the off beat adventures of the Incredible Incisor… the Monstrous Molar… the Courageous Carnassial… as he squares off against vicious demons, hell bent sorcerers, vengeful spirits, and undead dragons!

Strange Adventures
A science fiction anthology one-shot comic featuring such talents as Jeff Lemire, Paul Pope, and Peter Milligan. The selling point here is the preview of Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's new series Spaceman (DC, May 25).

Moon Knight
In May, Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel's chief reinventor of marginalized characters, takes over Marvel's somewhat mentally unstable hero with his Daredevil partner Alex Maleev. And in July, Mark Waid pens a new Daredevil series and Bendis writes Brilliant, a mature-readers series about young folks concocting superpowers for themselves.

Kirby: Genesis
Starting in May, Alex Ross and Kurt Busiek team up to tell the stories of some of Jack Kirby's lost superheroic creations (Dynamite).

Hellboy: Being Human/The Fury
Mike Mignola and the legendary Heavy Metal artist Richard Corben team up for another Hellboy one-shot after collaborating on several comics last year (Dark Horse, May 11). Also, Mignola and Duncan Fegredo return for a new three-part Hellboy miniseries, The Fury (June 1).

IDW's G.I Joe Relaunch
Throughout May, IDW is relaunching their Joe titles as part of the Cobra Civil War event. Among those titles getting an overhaul are G.I Joe, Cobra, and Snake Eyes.

Flashpoint Tie-Ins
DC's releasing ton of miniseries in June to flesh out the alternate universe of Flashpoint. The ones I'm most curious about are Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso's Batman: Knight of Vengeance (June 1), Scott Snyder's Project Superman (June 29), and Jeff Lemire's Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown (June 8).

Locke & Key: Clockworks
Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez kick off the penultimate Locke and Key miniseries in June, which delves into a mystery during the Revolutionary War (IDW).

Witch Doctor
Robert Kirkman's much ballyhooed new Skybound imprint starts here with a mystical forensics tale about Vincent Morrow, eldritch M.D. Kirkman talked to us about this book by Brandon Seifert last summer (Image, June 29).

In this cryptic-sounding July miniseries, Joe Casey takes a look at the budding villains of the Marvel Universe, and how they grow up bad. Casey's resurrecting the dead mutant prostitute Stacy X for this and using some pretty big-name Marvel villains, so is this some sort of alternate universe tale?

X-Men: Schism
Jason Aaron helms this summer's big X-event. Cyclops and Wolverine experience a huge ideological rift, and the rest of Marvel's mutant community is forced to pick sides (July).

Dollhouse: Epitaphs
Dollhouse scripters Andrew Chambliss, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon tell a lost story of Alpha trying to save humanity after the Rossum apocalypse in this five-part miniseries (Dark Horse, July 13).

The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Vol. III): Century Part II
Last but not least, the second installment of Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill's final League trilogy is slated to hit shelves this July. It's been pushed back several times, but hopefully we'll have it as Comic Con hits. Here's a bit of the synopsis from Top Shelf:

Chapter Two takes place almost sixty years later in the psychedelic daze of Swinging London during 1969, a place where Tadukic Acid Diethylamide 26 is the drug of choice, and where different underworlds are starting to overlap dangerously to an accompaniment of sit-ins and sitars. The vicious gangster bosses of London's East End find themselves brought into contact with a counter-culture underground of mystical and medicated flower-children, or amoral pop-stars on the edge of psychological disintegration and developing a taste for Satanism.

Top artwork by Paul Pope.