I really enjoyed the “Zero” issues from DC’s “New 52” once again, but it’s important to focus on an significant comic that debuted this week, The Judas Coin graphic novel.

Here’s the book’s description: “This centuries-spanning original graphic novel from legendary writer/artist WALTER SIMONSON shows how one of the silver coins Judas was paid to betray Jesus has had an impact on the DC Universe, with chapters starring THE GOLDEN GLADIATOR (73 A.D.), THE VIKING PRINCE (1000 A.D.), CAPTAIN FEAR (1720) and BAT LASH (1881). In the centerpiece of the book BATMAN faces TWO-FACE in an epic, present-day battle before the story blasts into the future for a final chapter set in the year 2087 starring MANHUNTER 2070!”

My deepest regret is that this book didn’t arrive in stores last week so Mr. Simonson (photo is in the upper left) could have autographed copies during the recent Baltimore Comic-Con!

This hardcover gives Mr. Simonson his chance to follow one of the coins that Judas Iscariot received for betraying Jesus as it went through the history of DC Comics. (Since Dan DiDio was mentioned in the “thank you” section, I have to wonder if this is what inspired his take on The Phantom Stranger recently. Hmmm!)

DC Comics, New 52, Walt Simonson, Batman, Stumptown, IDW Comics, Greg Rucka, Green Lantern, Judas CoinWe see many historical characters as they interact with the coin. My favorites were Batman, Bat Lash and the Viking Prince. (By the way, it’s not called “Batman: The Judas Coin” even though the Dark Knight is prominent on the cover. And you should check out Mr. Simonson’s Frank Miller-esque part where Two-Face discovers the coin and does something very unique with it!)

Simonson does a wonderful job of keeping the different parts of the book as brief and as dynamic as possible. His art lends itself superbly to the various time periods, and he keeps each of the people unique from each other.

If you love Simonson’s art, this will be a must-buy for you! If you haven’t seen his work before, it’s worth the $22.99 just to be exposed to his amazing talent! It’s a very good book that will be a great addition to your collection of hardcover graphic novels!

DC Comics, New 52, Walt Simonson, Batman, Stumptown, IDW Comics, Greg Rucka, Green Lantern, Judas CoinThis Week’s “New 52” Reviews: Again, it’s really tough to pick out any kind of order I want to put the “Zero” issues in, but I’m going to do my best! Batman was my favorite, with a story about Bruce Wayne attempting to infiltrate the Red Hood gang followed by a second tale, this one focusing on how Batman inspired heroes in Gotham’s future. Batgirl shows how Barbara donned her first Bat-costume! Batman And Robin shows Damien in a Bat-outfit as well. Next, I enjoyed Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. as the main character takes on his own creator. Demon Knights by Paul Cornell focuses on the origin of the Demon! Green Lantern Corps reveals Guy’s first adventures with the emerald ring! Legion Lost tells the origin of Timber Wolf. Also, Superboy introduces us to the world the Teen of Steel lived in before meeting the Teen Titans. Deathstroke tells “A Soldier’s Story.” Resurrection Man explores what happened to the original Mitch Shelley. Suicide Squad shows what caused Amanda Waller to create the team. Ravagers highlights Terra and Beast Boy. Team 7 #0 links in with Suicide Squad, bringing several important characters in the “New 52” together. Grifter was pretty good, but it was still the least of this week’s “New 52.”

Other books worth picking up this week included Batman: Arkham Unhinged #6, Before Watchmen: Comedian #3, Green Lantern: The Animated Series #6 and Shade #12 from DC Comics; Stumptown V.2  #1 from Oni Press; Harbinger #4 and X-O Manowar #5 from Valiant; The Victories #2 from Dark Horse; Chew #28, Hoax Hunters #3 and Manhattan Projects #6 from Image; Rocketeer: Cargo of Doom #2 from IDW; the Whore graphic novel from Zenescope; and Warlord of Mars #21 from Dynamite!