Matt C: As seems to be the tradition, the New Comic Book Day before Christmas is a full Santa's sack of goodies (and a worrying dent to the festive bank balance to boot). Top of the pile is a twofer from Brian Michael Bendis and his Jinxworld imprint: Cover and Pearl both see the writer playing to his strengths, and they're accompanied by some breathtaking artwork from David Mack and Michael Gaydos respectively. Also from DC on Wednesday is Batman #61, which we just awarded Best Ongoing Title at the Paradoscars, and by now the reasons why it more than deserved that accolade should be apparent to everybody. If not, well, it's never too late! Our Best New Series - Gideon Falls - makes its final appearance in 2018, and it will doubtless contain overwhelming evidence as to why Andrea Sorrentino won our Best Artist prize. Image Comics (another winner!) also have a nominated title in the form of Days Of Hate, which reaches its penultimate issue and has been one of the most relevant highlights of the year. Marvel has the next instalment of the latest volume of Captain America and the new issue of Kelly Thompson's West Coast Avengers, the latter seemingly coming out every other week but is so utterly delightful that it still doesn't seem often enough. And finally, there's the latest set of True Believers reprints, featuring first appearances of the likes of Blastaar, Klaw, the Kree and the Frightful Four from the pages of Fantastic Four. I'll never stop banging on about how these represent incredible value of money for some of the high points in Marvel's history. My eldest son is getting a proper schooling in the brilliance of Lee, Kirby et al in the Silver Age from this imprint and I hope it continues for a long time!
Jo S: The week by week tuning of my pull-list is really bearing fruit this NCBD with an absolutely lush crop of so many things I’m looking forward to, it’s impossible to rank them! I’ll start with a couple of endings, perhaps - the Spider-Geddon series has been a giggle, and its closing episode appears in the week when the PCG team will be seeing Spider-Man: Enter the Spider-Verse, so that’s neatly timed to give me a giant slice of Spider-Ham to help me over the loss of his comic book counterpart. Also wrapping up is the creepy, intriguing, shiver-inducing Cold Spots; Cullen Bunn and horror go together like butter and crumpets and I’ve really enjoyed the pace and structure of this series, as well as Torres’ murky artwork giving near-tangible atmospherics. Back in the sunshine, West Coast Avengers bounds into issue #6 - the Hawkeyes scooped two Paradoscars this week and look set to keep rolling on to new successes, and while we’re with Marvel teams, the Uncanny X-Men production line also churns out issue #6 - this weekly series has felt a little relentless, and I keep thinking I should step off, but Rosenberg and Thompson are hard to walk away from! The deeply intriguing Marvel Knights: 20th is still keeping its cards close to its chest, which I’m enjoying - the team is growing but the mystery still hasn’t lifted all that much. DC hold their own on my list, the Bat and the Cat both feature (of course) and the two Bendis titles I’m following currently, Pearl and Cover are both fast favourites - so much goodness, I can’t choose! And still, there’s more: along with Cold Spots, Image also release the near peerless Days Of Hate, this week reaching issue #11 of 12, and Gideon Falls, both of which also gathered attention in the Paradoscars for their compelling artwork. What a week to be a comic fan!