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Blake Northcott’s 3 Hottest #NCBD Picks For June 4, 2014
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Guest NCBD Picks by Blake Northcott

Summer is upon us! And if you’re like me, you’re no doubt spending time in the great outdoors, enjoying some fun in the sun: picnics, lemonade, playing beach volleyball while listening to Kenny Loggins and giving your shirtless friends elaborate high-fives…

Oh, who are we kidding? I’m inside, next to an air conditioner, waiting for my next trip to the comic book store. And later today when I arrive at my (hopefully air conditioned) destination, here are the top three comic books I plan on purchasing:

First up is Empire, Volume 2, Chapter #1 (Thrillbent – $3.99) – by writer Mark Waid (Kingdom Come) and artist Barry Kitson (Incredible Hulk, Amazing Spider-Man).

The long-awaited follow-up to the original series – published in 2000 by Gorilla Comics (an Image Comics imprint) and DC – follows super villain Golgoth, who has managed to seemingly vanquish all heroes on earth, but must now contend with internal power struggles. Volume 2 begins a year after Empire Volume 1 as the world is forced to mourn the death of Golgoth’s daughter, Princess Delfi.

One tiny detail I almost forgot to mention: you can’t get Empire at a store. It’s a digital-only book, exclusively on Mark Waid’s online comic book platform, Thrillbent.

Rise Of The MagiSo how does it work? Think of it like a Netflix subscription for comics: for a monthly fee of only $3.99, you’ll get access to not only Empire (which will be released twice monthly) but all the other comics on Thrillbent as well! A pretty kick-ass deal for the price of one traditional print comic.

And for those who enjoy the tactile pleasures of dead trees caressing their fingertips, fear not: Waid and Kitson are working on bringing Empire to the printing press sooner than later, so you’ll have something to put on your shelf as well.

Next up is Rise of the Magi #1 (Image Comics – $3.50), which will be on the shelf of your comic store, and if you’re quick, you can grab one of the Marc Silvestri variants (he lends his talents to two of the four available covers; Stjepan Sejic and series artist Sumeyye Kesgin rocked the other two)

Aside from one of the covers and the description blurb, I don’t know much about this title, but I am very intrigued by the premise:

A small black sphere contains all the magic that exists past, present, and future. Without it, two worlds would not survive. The sphere has been protected for centuries by a spell that was believed unbreakable. Asa Stonethrow, a common man in the world of magic, discovers the spell has been breached and a small chip of the black sphere has been stolen!

Want a sneak peek? Head over to Image Comics and grab a FREE digital copy of Rise of the Magi #0, which was a Free Comic Book Day title this year.

Big Trouble in Little China #1And speaking of variant covers, the much-anticipated Big Trouble in Little China #1 (BOOM! Studios – $3.99) hits the shelves, boasting a whopping six different versions you can choose from.

This is the first new adventure that trucker Jack Burton has embarked on since the original film dropped back in 1986, so fans of the cult classic will no doubt be lining up for the comic that’s poised to shake the pillars of Heaven.

And if you haven’t seen the movie, you’re seriously missing out. Go watch it – like right now…I’ll wait.

Back? How awesome was that?

Now that you’re as excited as I am about this title, it’s probably a good time to mention that the film’s original director, John Carpenter, will be working with Eric Powell (The Goon) to bring this story to life.

So are you ready to see Jack Burton spew one-liners and tangle with supernatural forces once again? I don’t know about you, but I was born ready.

That’s all for now, but please comment, and let me know what’s on your pull list this week!

Blake NorthcottBlake Northcott is a Canadian writer, Twitter-er, and Vampire Slayer (only the ones that sparkle).

She’s a regular contributor at Comic Book Resources and CBS Man Cave Daily, and has written several Amazon Kindle bestsellers – including her recent novel Arena Mode.

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