What's waiting for you at the comic shop this Wednesday? The return of America's mutant sweetheart, a trade paperback you can foist upon your hipster friends, and Mark Millar's latest four-panel ploy at global domination. Yup, it's Comics We Crave!

First off, what marquee character developments are cooking in the Big Two's kitchen? We've got Kitty Pryde returning from Joss Whedon's giant silver bullet ride in Matt Fraction's Uncanny X-Men 522, Sinestro becoming the Grand Poobah Pasty White Lantern in Blackest Night tie-in Green Lantern 52, Roy Harper confronting the loss of an arm in Justice League Rise Of Arsenal 1, and the first issue of Mark Millar's much ballyhooed Nemesis 1, the "Batman as Joker" comic that - in the words of it's own marketing material - "makes Kick-Ass look like $#!t." I'm jazzed about Nemesis as Millar writes some of the zippiest insults in comicdom. This looks like a series with scads of nasty people exchanging unpleasantries, so I'm there.


In honor of Kitty's return, here's the best song (that's not Weezer's "In The Garage") to name drop Shadowcat. Thank you, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien.

Rounding out the week are the first issue of Dark Horse's comic adaptation of Felicia Day's web-series The Guild, IDW's relaunch of Tank Girl with Tank Girl Royal Escape 1 (it doesn't look like Gorillaz scribbler Jamie Hewlett's involved, but still worth a gander for TG fans), and Warren Ellis waxing post-human theological in Avatar's Supergod 3.

As for collections, we're looking at the Captain America: Reborn hardcover, the Ultimate Comics Spider-Man Vol. 1 HC, and a retro-fun hardcover collection of Newsboy Legion by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby ("Newsboys fighting crime in the 1940s!"). Dark Horse is also releasing The Book of Grickle collection from cartoonist Graham Annable. You may remember him from a series of Lost cartoons we posted about a while back. Annable's got a fun, minimalist style that's worth checking out.


As for my must-buy this week, it's the trade paperback collection of Phonogram: The Singles Club by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. This is the second volume of Gillen and McKelvie's Phonogram series (and quite possibly the last because nobody bought the damn comic). It's gorgeously illustrated by McKelvie, whip-smart thanks to Thor and S.W.O.R.D. scribe Gillen, and one of the best series of 2009. Here's the synopsis of the series in a nutshell, courtesy of the Phonogram website:


If you like John Constantine's pre-Vertigo foibles, you will like this comic, If you like homages to TV On The Radio and Knife albums on your comic covers, you will like this comic. If you rankle at incredibly insular allusions to Britpop, well, this comic might piss you off. But seriously, please buy this trade paperback. For this guy. I need a new Phonogram fix like the desert needs the rain.

Also, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Graeme McMillan for his wisdom and patience in passing Comics We Crave over to yours truly. This column was Graeme's wheelhouse, and I hope to keep the ol' CwC spinning righteous. You can find a list of this week's releases here and the location of your friendly neighborhood comic shop here.