Summer has officially begun and this week’s Comic Pull List is hotter than ever.

Fringe makes its comic book debut from Wildstorm. We’re hoping that this series doesn’t simply rehash the TV series, but instead builds out the world of J.J. Abrams Fringe. American Vampire returns for issue #4. This series continues to delight as the stories of Scott Snyder and Stephen King slowly begin to merge.

Marvel brings home a few goodies with Avengers #2 and Fantastic Four #580.

arkhamasylumDC Comics stacks the shopping bag with several hot issues. Superman #700 drops this week, but the story line hardly seems comparable to the recent milestones from Batman. The Joker’s Asylum returns, narrated by – drum roll please – the Joker. This issue focuses on Killer Croc. He may not be the greatest Batman villain, but we’re looking forward to the Joker’s unique perspective. Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne continues with issue #3 of 6.

The BuzzFocus Must Read title for the Week of June 23, 2010 goes out to Batman: Arkham Asylum – Madness. This original graphic novel is written and penned by The Maxx creator Sam Keith.

AMERICAN VAMPIRE #4 – Vertigo Comics
Written by SCOTT SNYDER & STEPHEN KING • Art and cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE 1:25 variant cover by J.H. WILLIAMS III

It’s high noon for the American vampire as Pearl Jones faces off with the coven that ended her human life and Skinner Sweet gets the showdown he’s been demanding for the last 20 years – with his old adversary Marshall James Book. Scores will be settled in this extra-sized issue of AMERICAN VAMPIRE, with stories by author Scott Snyder and the master of horror himself, Stephen King.

AVENGERS #2 – Marvel Comics
WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis; PENCILS: John Romita JR.
The Avengers have assembled and the villainous Kang has revealed that they must travel to the future to save their own children from destroying the universe! Yes, the entire universe. But it will take one more Avenger to make the trip complete. Who is the newest hero to join the ranks of the Avengers true? And why is the once-great hero Wonder Man hell-bent on stopping the Avengers at every turn? Backup feature: Another brand new oral history of the Avengers chapter by Bendis!

BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM — MADNESS – DC Comics
Written by SAM KIETH; Art and cover by SAM KIETH

An original Batman graphic novel set in Arkham Asylum from Sam Kieth, creator of THE MAXX!

It is the most feared house in all of Gotham City. It contains the worst that the city has to offer. It is the place The Dark Knight’s most dangerous and psychotic foes call home. Writer/artist Sam Kieth, creator of THE MAXX and artist of the acclaimed miniseries LOBO: HIGHWAY TO HELL, invites you to spend 24 hours in Arkham Asylum – the most unsettling house in the DC Universe.

BATMAN: THE RETURN OF BRUCE WAYNE #3 (OF 6) – DC Comics
Written by GRANT MORRISON • Art by YANICK PAQUETTE • Cover by ANDY KUBERT • 1:25 Variant cover by YANICK PAQUETTE

The most anticipated miniseries of 2010 continues! As Bruce Wayne’s astonishing journey through time continues in this 6-issue miniseries, The Dark Knight travels to the eras of high seas thievery! Mastermind writer Grant Morrison’s most ambitious project to date continues to chronicle the return of the original man behind the cape and cowl – Bruce Wayne! Featuring the dynamic artwork of YANICK PAQUETTE.

DETECTIVE COMICS #866 – DC Comics
Written by DENNIS O’NEIL • Art and cover by DUSTIN NGUYEN •1:25 “DC 75 Anniversary” • Variant cover by WALTER SIMONSON

Continuing the spirit of celebration from BATMAN #700, comics legend Dennis O’Neil’s returns to the Batcave in this stand-alone, 40-page issue! O’Neil spins a tale of the Dick Grayson Batman intertwined with those classic days when Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder, patrolled the mean streets of Gotham City!
And come back next month for the return of The Question and Batwoman!

FANTASTIC FOUR #580 – Marvel Comics
COVER BY: Alan Davis; WRITER: Jonathan Hickman; PENCILS: Neil Edwards

A giant toy store full of deadly videogame kids and killer Legos. An underground labyrinth inhabited by needy Swedish nannies. The Impossible Man. Arcade. And a babysitter named Johnny Storm…Enter the Frank-tastic Four.

FRINGE: TALES FROM THE FRINGE #1 (OF 6) – Wildstorm
fringeWritten by JUSTIN DOBLE, ALEX KATSNELSON & ADAM GAINES • Art by FEDERICO DALLOCCHIO & SHAWN MOLL • Cover by DIEGO LATORRE • 1:10 Photo variant cover

Introducing an all-new 6-issue miniseries featuring tales set in the world of the hit TV series! In the first story, Peter Bishop is forced to choose between doing the right thing – saving a troubled young man pressed into service as a suicide bomber – or scoring a dream job. In the second story, a high school girl finds herself inexplicably transformed into an adult. Even more shocking, she also discovers she’s an assassin!

GREEN ARROW #1 – DC Comics
Written by J.T. KRUL • Art by DIOGENES NEVES • Cover by MAURO CASCIOLI; 1:25 Variant cover by ETHAN VAN SCIVER

BRIGHTEST DAY shines its light on Star City in this oversized first issue from up-and-coming writer J.T. Krul (BLACKEST NIGHT: TITANS, GREEN ARROW #30) and future superstar artist Diogenes Neves (New Mutants)! “The Fall of Green Arrow” has ended. Now who carries the heavy bow of the Emerald Archer? Coming out of the devastation, what miraculous event has occurred in Star City and what mysteries await inside that bring the forces of good and evil in search of its lone protector? Aim for a whole new era starring Green Arrow in this exciting ongoing series!

THE JOKER’S ASYLUM: KILLER CROC – DC Comics
Written by MIKE RAICHT • Art by DAVID YARDIN • Cover by FRANCESCO MATTINA

Top creators lend their talents to a new installment of THE JOKER’S ASYLUM – a special month-long, weekly series of one-shots starring the greatest villains in Batman’s rogues gallery.

Each issue is narrated by The Joker and tells a special stand-alone story that gives readers an inside look into the insane lives of The Dark Knight’s greatest adversaries! This batch of tense tales spotlights The Riddler, Harley Quinn, Mad Hatter, Clayface and Killer Croc! Can you stand the madness?!

JUSTICE LEAGUE: THE RISE OF ARSENAL #4 (OF 4) – DC Comics
Written by J.T. KRUL • Art by GERALDO BORGES & MARLO ALQUIZA • Cover by GREG HORN

This issue changes the Arrow family forever! As Electrocutioner awaits his trial for his part in the destruction of Star City, Roy Harper needs to settle the score for the sake of his dead daughter. Only one person stands in his way: his mentor Green Arrow! Major ramifications for the rest of the DCU start here!

SECRET WARRIORS #17 – Marvel Comics
COVER BY: Jim Cheung; WRITER: Jonathan Hickman; PENCILS: Alessandro Vitti

The Heroic Age is here, kicking off a new story-arc – with special guest-star Captain America! The glory days of WWII are revisited as you are invited to the reunion of Steve Rogers, Nick Fury and the remaining members of the US’s most elite Special Unit from the Greatest Generation! Find out why ComicBookRecources.com raves that SECRET WARRIORS is “a surprisingly tense and engrossing black-ops story” in part 1 of “Last Ride of the Howling Commandos!”

SUPERMAN #700 – DC Comics
Written by J. MICHAEL STRACZYNSKI, JAMES ROBINSON & DAN JURGENS • Art by EDDY BARROWS, benard chang, DAN JURGENS & J.P. MAYER • Cover by GARY FRANK • 1:25 “DC 75th Anniversary” variant cover by Eduardo Risso • 1:75 “DC 75th Anniversary” variant black and white cover by Eduardo Risso

DC Comics proudly presents the 700th issue of SUPERMAN, a 56-page extravaganza full of tales celebrating the Man of Steel’s past, present and future! First up is a story by the man who actually killed Superman, Dan Jurgens! Then, James Robinson brings his epic run on the title to a close with a touching story featuring art by Benard Chang that brings Superman back to Earth after his time on New Krypton. Finally, we preview the exciting new SUPERMAN ongoing creative team as J. Michael Straczynski and Eddy Barrows provide a story that sets the stage for an explosive, all-new direction for The Man of Steel! (Seriously! Wait till you read this!)

SUPERMAN/BATMAN #73 – DC Comics
Written by PAUL LEVITZ • Art by JERRY ORDWAY • Cover by FABRIZIO FIORENTINO

Legendary writer Paul Levitz continues the “Worship” storyline as both Superman and Batman battle for the life of Lois Lane with the Cult of Superman who want to make her their ultimate sacrifice. Meanwhile, on a distant world, Lex Luthor tends to his future flock…

X-FACTOR #206 – Marvel Comics
COVER BY: David Yardin; WRITER: Peter David; PENCILS: Valentine De Landro

A SECOND COMING TIE-IN! Part 3 of 3 At last! All the members of X-Factor are reunited in this climactic, slam-bang X-plosion of a conclusion as Trask decides to take matters into his own hands and personally direct the forces of the Mutant Response Division into a full blown war against everyone’s favorite mutant detective team!

X-MEN LEGACY #237 – Marvel Comics
WRITER: Mike Carey; PENCILS: Adi GranovGreg Land
“SECOND COMING”, CHAPTER TWELVE X-Force cuts their way through a dangerous future trying to cut off Bastion’s armies at the source. They better hurry as the X-Men in the present are falling left and right.

ZATANNA #2 – DC Comics
Written by PAUL DINI • Art by STEPHANE ROUX & KARL STORY • Cover by STEPHANE ROUX • 1:10 Variant Cover by BRIAN BOLLAND

In dreams, you’re his! Zatanna’s attempt to intimidate Brother Night backfires when his servant, the nightmare imp Fuseli, attacks her where she’s most vulnerable – the landscape of her dreams! If he has his way, this sleeping beauty will never wake up…

Continuing the exciting new ongoing series from bestselling writer Paul Dini and acclaimed artist Stephane Roux!

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