The Top Comics to Buy for December 13 list is here, and it’s a whopper. There always seems to be one (or more) Wednesdays in December where every publisher is unleashing both quality and quantity, maybe as part of an effort to snare some holiday shopping dollars. Anyway, this is one of those Wednesdays, and as a result, we’ve got a big and varied crop of picks. You can find all the usually weekly lists below … enjoy!

Top Comics to Buy for December 13, 2023

Batman #428 – Robin Lives
Writer: Jim Starlin
Artist: Jim Aparo
Inker: Mike DeCarlo
Colorist: Adrienne Roy
Additional Colors: Marie Javins
Letterer: John Costanza
Publisher:DC Comics
FINALLY REVEALED! FROM THE DC VAULT: THE UNPUBLISHED ALTERNATE ENDING TO A DEATH IN THE FAMILY IN WHICH JASON TODD SURVIVES HIS ENCOUNTER WITH THE JOKER! What if one of the darkest hours in Batman’s crime-fighting career never happened? Thirty-five years ago, fans voted on Jason Todd’s fate after his brutal encounter with The Joker, which set Jason on the path to becoming the gun-toting vigilante Red Hood. But suppose fans had voted differently… DC Comics transports you back in time with this special faux-simile edition of Batman #428 in which Robin lives! Featuring pages reconstructed from artist Jim Aparo’s alternate art boards–which have been plucked from the DC vault and fully restored and remastered–this reedited version of A Death in the Family, Book Three turns the Dark Knight’s greatest tragedy into a moment of triumph. Adding to the immersive authenticity of this alternate-history comic book, this version includes all the ads from the original 1988 edition plus a rewritten letters column.
Why It’s Cool:
See above? This is like getting a very rare glimpse into an alternate earth from the DC multiverse. If you’ve been around a while or just like DC history, you can’t miss this.

Beneath The Trees Where Nobody Sees #2
Writer/Artist: Patrick Horvath
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Horrified to learn that she’s not the only serial killer in Woodbrook-and insulted, frankly, by the rookie’s flare for the dramatic-Samantha hits the pavement to silence the competition before they ruin her quiet, perfectly curated life. But the insufferable latte-chugging local busybody Cherry Gherkins is poisoning the town with her own theories about the murder, and things are about to get messy. Grab a cup of cocoa and curl up with the second chapter of Patrick Horvath’s twisted tale of a cozy animal community in crisis!
Why It’s Cool:
Patrick Horvath’s excellently dark look at a serial killer essentially inhabiting Richard Scarry’s Busy Town continues with a chilling second issue, one that doesn’t spare gore and also contains a surprisingly tense chase sequence with a bit of mystery.

Beyond Real #1
Writer: Zack Kaplan
Artists: Fabiana Mascolo and Toni Fejzula
Colorists: Jordie Bellaire and Toni Fejzula
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elahou
Publisher: Vault Comics
An artist’s discovery. When struggling artist June is injured in a severe car accident that leaves her boyfriend in a coma, she begins to experience strange visual phenomena. Soon, she’s able to see that we are all actually living in a computer simulation. June must set out on a journey of possibility and peril into the metaphysical layers of the simulation to reach the world’s creator and save her true love from death.
Why It’s Cool: It’s no exaggeration to say this is one of the most ambitious comics I’ve ever read. Obviously, it’s got a long way to go to land that through the course of the first series, but I was stunned by what this first issue is trying to do, which feels a bit like using comics to essentially transcend reality. It’s really something, and I can’t recommend it more for anyone who has an open-mind to great storytelling. Moreover, some shops I’ve seen are giving this first issue out for free, though I may have that wrong? 

Dark Spaces – Dungeon #2
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Colorist: Patricio Delpeche
Letterer: Andworld Design
Publisher: IDW Publishing
“Tell No One!” The message scrawled in the Father’s basement haunts his mind as he tries to get his family to start their new life in their small, quiet, upstate town. As they start introducing themselves to other people in their community, any of them could be the owner of the Dungeon in his basement. Will he lose his mind before he can find the identity of who is responsible for the evil buried under his home?
Why It’s Cool:
This continues to be one of the darkest and most excellent horror comics of the year. It’s just such a dark concept at the heart of this one, going away from murder and toward spending lifetimes torturing captives. I just find it so utterly disturbing, and this second issue continues to serve up more of it. 

Masterpiece #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Colorist: Ian Herring
Letterer: Joshua Reed
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics – Jinx World
Emma is a brilliant and driven 16-year-old. She has paid for school with her next level inventions and is well-known for her funny and honest webcomics. Then, one day, one of the most famous billionaires on the planet confronts her with the truth about her world. Emma discovers she is the only daughter of two of the greatest, most charismatic master criminals of all time. The suavest, most liked criminals ever. The criminal’s criminal. The ones that wrote the rulebook. There are movies about them starring the biggest movie stars. Her parents were the authors of the greatest casino robbery of all time, the greatest museum heist of all time, and they took the world’s most famous billionaire for a cool billion… before they disappeared never to be seen or heard from again. Ghosts. Zero Preston is the greedy billionaire her parents brilliantly ripped off before they disappeared. He has been looking for payback for years. He finds Emma… who clearly does not have his money. Zero threatens Masterpiece into pulling a grand, impossible job against his corporate enemy. This “Master of the Universe” will have his satisfaction. Masterpiece fashions a crew of her peers and her parents’ old associates to pull off one of the greatest heists of all time. Among the cast of characters comes the return of the legendary criminal The Paragon. A Robin Hood for our times.
Why It’s Cool: In short, I’ll read anything Bendis and Maleev team-up on, but especially so when it’s an original concept like this family heist story. It’s a very strong and intriguing first issue, and an easy choice for this week’s Top Comics to Buy for December 13 list.

Others Receiving Votes

  • Comics to Buy for December 13A Haunted Girl #3
  • Action Comics #1060
  • Batman & Robin #4
  • Batman – City of Madness #2
  • Crusader #4
  • Danger Street #12
  • Detective Comics #1079
  • The Devil That Wears My Face #3
  • Enfield Gang Massacre #5
  • Faceless and the Family #2
  • From The World of Minor Threats – The Alternates #4
  • Phantom Road #7
  • The Punisher #2
  • Waller vs. WildStorm #4
  • Wesley Dodds – The Sandman #3

New #1s and One-Shots

  • Comics to Buy for December 13Addams Family – Charlatan’s Web #1
  • Assassin’s Apprentice II #1
  • Birds of Prey – Uncovered #1
  • Bloody Dozen – A Tale of the Shrouded College #1
  • Charred Remains #1
  • Daredevil: Gang War #1
  • DC’s Twas the Mite Before Christmas #1 (one-shot)
  • Godzilla – Best of Gigan #1 (one-shot)
  • Invasive #1
  • Quick Stops 2 #1
  • Sabrina The Teenage Witch Holiday Special #1
  • Sonic The Hedgehog – Winter Jam #1 (one-shot)
  • Space Usagi – Death & Honor #1
  • Spider-Gwen Smash #1
  • Titans Beast World Tour: Gotham #1 (one-shot)
  • Underheist #1

Graphic Novels and Trade Collections

  • Comics to Buy for December 13A Call to Cthulhu HC
  • Complete Norse Mythology HC
  • Dark Knights of Steel Vol. 2 HC
  • Doctor Who – Doom’s Day TP
  • Michael Moorcock Library – Moorcock’s Multiverse Vol. 1 HC
  • Nightwing Vol. 4 – The Leap HC
  • Seasons Have Teeth TP
  • Superman ’78 HC
  • You’ve Been Cancelled TP

Read past editions of the Top Comics to Buy!