It's hard to focus on this week's new comic books when you know in the back of your mind that the real world is just days away from being filled with people in costumes. Sure, they won't have superpowers or come from faraway worlds (as far as we know), but who wouldn't rather meet real people dressed like Dazzler than look at Dazzler on the printed page? Still, let's move ahead anyway, shall we?We'll start with the obvious ones. If you're looking for some last minute Hallowe'en comics, you're looking for Marvel's Essential Marvel Horror Vol. 2, packed with reprints of old 1970s horror comics from Marvel's comic-code-and-therefore-toothless era. Which isn't to say that they're not awesome. I mean, come on: Brother Voodoo? Gabriel The Devil Hunter? Sheer comic gold. Then there's Dark Horse's Ghost Omnibus Vol. 1, which offers a two-gun totin' spectral crimefightin' femme fatale. I can't believe this one hasn't crossed over into the movies yet.
You might also want to spend Hallowe'en with Image Comics' Screamland, which looks at what happened to the classic horror monsters of yesteryear after they'd been replaced by computer-generated effects and spat out of the Hollywood Machine. Completely recommended.
Otherwise, it's a week dominated by superheroes - Marvel is putting out a new Warren Ellis series Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes, which ties in with his current Astonishing X-Men run. Though I'd point most people in the direction of the one-off, more fun, X-Men: First Class Giant Size Special instead. I'd also recommend Ultimate Captain America Annual, which will hopefully explain why the Black Panther ended up being white, blue-eyed and... well, Captain America. DC is having a particularly Bat Week - In addition to the Joker graphic novel, there's also the collected version of the manga series Batman: Death Mask. It's not all Batman, though: Fans of cosmic-powered jewelry, classic ring-slinging action get their day in the sun as well, with the reprint anthology Green Lantern: In Brightest Day, or the rescheduled Final Crisis: Rage Of The Red Lanterns oneshot, which sets up next year's The Blackest Night storyline. Me, I'd suggest that whether it's a brightest day or a blackest night, the complete list of this week's new comic releases shouldn't escape your sight. And while you're looking out for things, the Comic Shop Locator Service is worth a peep as well. Because, no matter what the weather, comics can make you happy... or, at least, keep you busy until Friday night.