After last week's deluge of great comics, movies, and television, it almost feels like time for a break…Almost. This week may not be quite as packed with big releases, but there's still a lot to look forward to. In this countdown there's an excellent mix of of the hottest topics about and some incredible items that may have slipped beneath your radar.
5. Marvel Masterworks Doctor Strange Vol. 1 | Marvel Comics
Steve Ditko is best known as the co-creator of Spider-Man, but his comics creation that hasn't hit the big screen yet is every bit as good. Ditko's work in Strange Tales is a psychedelic affair that pushed the boundaries of what American comics could create in the 1960s. Even today, these tales of the Master of Mysticism still radiate raw imagination and creativity. This release is even more exciting since Ditko's earliest work has been out of print for close to a decade. It's a great opportunity for new and old fans alike to explore the origins of a great hero and the art of a true comics master.
4. Maggie | Various
Maggie is the story of a young woman (Abigail Breslin) infected during a zombie outbreak, and her father (Arnold Schwarzenegger), who stays with her during the transformation. The film's casting is outstanding, and both lead performances have been widely praised by critics. However, the real star of the film may be its script. It was discovered on the famous Black List of acclaimed, but unproduced Hollywood scripts. Maggie is only receiving a limited theatrical release, but will be available on video-on-demand services this Friday. This is definitely a film that horror and zombie fans should consider checking out whether it's in the theater or the comfort of their own home.
3. Afterlife With Archie #8 | Archie Comics
Afterlife with Archie is a series that you never expect to see on a timely manner, but every time it comes out there's cause to celebrate. Thankfully, the next issue has shipped and is en-route to readers hungry for the next chapter of "Betty: R.I.P.". Francesco Francavilla's cover offers an ominous warning of the winter conditions and continued press of zombies threatening the survivors of Riverdale. It may be Christmas time in Afterlife with Archie #8, but don't expect much cheer for anyone except those of us lucky enough to be reading the issue.
2. The Flash "Grodd Lives" | CW
The Flash's first season has set a new bar for superheroes on television combining the spirit of the comics with top-notch production. Its popularity is no surprise, and the entire debut season has been building to these final four episodes. "Grodd Lives" deals with the fallout of the Reverse-Flash's exposure and the titular character who has been promised all season. Even in the brief teasers released so far, Grodd looks incredible. He promises to be a villain as big and dangerous as they come. If only a few seconds of screentime is enough for Grodd to drive viewers crazy, then imagine how thrilling a complete hour will be.
1. Secret Wars #1 | Marvel Comics
After months of hype, years of stories, and even more planning, Secret Wars is finally here. Jonathan Hickman and his collaborators at Marvel Comics have been building to this debut since his time on Fantastic Four. While the event and its ramifications are still cloaked in mystery, what is known is incredibly exciting. The massive combination of characters and settings promise a story that might truly be larger than anything in Marvel's history.
The preview in last week's Avengers #44 also revealed Esad Ribic's art in Secret Wars to be the wonder everyone anticipated. It is a lush depiction of a story truly deserving of being called an "event". Ribic and Hickman are setting the stage for a brand new Marvel Comics, and it's difficult to think of a better team to do so. Whatever comes next for Marvel Comics, it's bound to be big and it all starts here.
What new comics, shows, and other releases are you looking forward to this week? Share in the comments below.