In case you haven't noticed comic book movies have been doing really well lately, just look at Avengers: Age of Ultron (opens in new tab). Batman v Superman is out next year, and the Marvel band of heroes show no signs of slowing down, comic book movies are here to stay.
But what of the books that inspire them? With so many out there it can get pretty overwhelming, but don't panic, we've got a list of the very best to look out for. From a high-profile death to the end of a universe, here are six of this years must-buy superhero comics.
Uncanny Inhumans - Marvel
A year after Inhumans launch, efforts to elevate the enigmatic superhumans position in the Marvel Universe ahead of 2018s cinematic blockbuster are stepping up with the arrival of this companion title. Also written by Charles Soule and pencilled by Steve McNiven, the use of the familiar uncanny adjective confirms that Marvel intends the Inhumans to rival the X-Men, whose cinematic rights are owned by Fox. And while Inhuman introduced a host of new characters following the widespread release of the transformative Terrigen Mist, this series will focus on their previously AWOL monarch, Blackbolt. With Soule helming a third ongoing monthly, Attilan Rising, from May, it looks like the Inhumans are here to stay.
Divergence - DC
After rebooting its entire line with the advent of the New 52 in 2011, the DC Universe is undergoing another radical overhaul this summer. While popular titles such as Batman and Wonder Woman remain unchanged, 24 new series will launch in June, as less emphasis is placed on continuity and more on diversity and accessibility. Springing out of the retro-esque Convergence crossover, theres speculation that some much-loved characters phased out after the New 52 will be re-introduced. But with Bryan Hitch writing and drawing Justice League Of America, Garth Ennis and Jon McCrea reviving Hitman in six-issue mini Section Eight and Rob Williams and Ben Oliver tackling Martian Manhunter, some lapsed readers could be tempted to sample DCs output once again.
Bloodshot Reborn - Valliant
With some dramatic developments in store for him in Marchs conclusion to The Valiant, its a very different Bloodshot who will be the focus of Sweet Tooth creator Jeff Lemires first solo Valiant outing. Like a cybernetically enhanced version of Lee Childs Jack Reacher, the former soldiers regenerative abilities, super-strength and formidable sonic scream are derived from the nanites in his bloodstream. A pale shadow of his former self, he goes to ground but re-emerges after being linked to a rash of shootings by Bloodshot lookalikes. Mostly illustrated by Mico Suayan, though Lemire will also be contributing some intriguing but unspecified interior art.
Death of Deadpool - Marvel
After Captain America, Spider-Man and Wolverine, you might have thought Marvel would have run out of high-profile heroes that it hasnt killed off yet. But now its the turn of the Merc with the Mouth, who, fresh from his nuptials last year, will be biting the dust in Aprils oversized Deadpool #250. With the wisecracking Wade Wilson getting his mitts on an Infinity Gauntlet, it remains to be seen how co-writers Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn will bring about his demise. But given the books humorous tone and the recent news that Ryan Reynolds will headline a Deadpool movie in 2016, you have to wonder how long itll be before he returns to the land of the living.
Savior - Image
Never one to shy away from trouble, Spawn creator Todd McFarlanes latest project should stir up plenty of controversy. Co-written by Brian Holguin and with painted art by Clayton Crain, the eight-issue miniseries draws parallels between superheroes and Jesus Christ when a mysterious amnesiac man emerges with preternatural powers that lead him to be proclaimed as the Messiah himself. Describing it as a more serious take on Monty Pythons Life Of Brian, McFarlane has insisted that this sassy take on the typical superhero story will not deal with Christianity or religion as a whole, but we can still expect it to ruffle a few feathers.
Secret Wars: Battleword - Marvel
When everything ends there is only Secret Wars. And theyre not kidding! Involving the wholesale destruction of the Marvel Universe as we know it, Jonathan Hickman and Salvador Laroccas eight-part miniseries is shaping up to be their biggest mega-crossover ever. With seeds currently being sewn in The Avengers, the main 616 universe, the Ultimate Universe and numerous other realities smash together to form a new Battleworld, which is composed of regions that hark back to previous classic storylines, such as The Monarchy Of M and the Planet Hulk-riffing Greenland. With an All-New Marvel emerging from the ashes afterwards, we will have to see whether this is a drastic New 52-style reboot or a Crisis On Infinite Earths-esque refinement of their convoluted continuity.