Originally Published: August 17, 2011, on EGMNOW.com

With so much going on in the comics world right now, it’s hard to limit myself to just the five best, but if you’re reading on a budget, then this is the best place to come to for your comic book recommendations. Here are my top five comics released on Wednesday, August 17th, 2011.

1) Marvel – Venom #6: Rick Remender continues to wow us and remind us why between Uncanny X-Force and Venom he is one of the hottest writers in the comics industry right now. Continuing the events of the just launched “Spider-Island” event, Remender forwards the trend started by Nick Spencer’s Spider-Island: Cloak and Dagger #1 (of 3) last week in that the ancillary titles of this event may actually be better than the main story arc itself. Venom, a.k.a. Flash Thompson, is in for the fight of his life as a budding super-hero and will have his hands full with The Jackal’s number one mutated henchman, Tarantula. A startling revelation at the end makes you question Marvel’s continuity once again with the “Fear Itself” event still going on as well, but this is a sure-fire can’t miss otherwise.


2) Marvel – Avengers Academy #18 (Fear Itself Tie-In): The possessed Titania and Absorbing Man continue their relentless assault against the infinite Avengers Mansion. With the members of the Academy cut off from the real world, they are trapped in every sense of the word with these two powerhouse villains and are outmatched in every way power wise. Even in the most action packed of sequences, Avengers Academy writer Christos Gage does a terrific job of continuing to evolve the depth of character of this first Academy class and all it does is leave you wanting more so you can see how these kids can get out of crazy situation after crazy situation. If you haven’t been reading Avengers Academy, what is wrong with you?


3) DC – Batman #713: This landmark series will see it’s first re-launch in its 70+ year history next month and so this final issue carries a lot of weight with it. The DC Universe will be scaled back to only 52 books a month, including some new and old DC titles, starting in September. Never fear Bat-fans as 11 of them will revolve around the Bat-family. Although this issue isn’t anything particularly special, it could be worth something to a collector being the last issue of what will be known now as “Batman Vol. 1” as well as it serves as a great point for new fans because it sums up a lot of the Batman history to this point through the eyes of Damian, the new Robin and also Batman’s illegitimate son with Talia al’ Guhl.


4) DC – Batman: 1990s Retroactive (One-Shot): Continuing the series of one-shots that look back on DC’s history and that were done to help build up to next month’s universal re-launch, Batman: 1990s Retroactive pits the Dark Knight against a villain who gained a lot of his notoriety in the 90s due to Batman: The Animated Series, the Ventriloquist. Drawn in a style to invokes the memories of those great early 90s cartoons, this one-shot sees the Caped Crusader lured into a trap at the Gotham Museum of Natural History, but things go awry when a very unnatural visitor interrupts and the Dark Knight is left to with more opponents than even he might be able to handle! Throw in a classic mobster tale from the 90s Batman where even Gotham’s Guardian isn’t fast enough to save the day and you have a great 2-for-1 here as we get ready to launch the new DCU.

5) Dark Horse – Star Wars: Knight Errant: Deluge #1 (of 5):Starting a new 5-issue arc for wandering Jedi Kerra Holt, this is technically the sixth comic in the Knight Errant series. Our young Jedi Knight who has made protecting the downtrodden her own personal cause, returns to what was once her home world deep in the space controlled by Sith Lord Damian. Unbeknownst to young Kerra though, a threat just as dangerous as the Sith have decided to reveal themselves in the form of the galaxy known crime lords, the Hutts. In particular one called Zodoh, who has a propensity to technology including a jet pack that helps him get around and a weather manipulator that looks to spell trouble for Kerra. If you enjoy adventures set in the time of the Old Republic, then this tale, which takes place a millennia before the movies should be a fine arc to add to your expanded universe library starting with this issue.