As we're heading straight into Christmas, the new-release rack is starting to get more and more bare, but there's still enough worthwhile new media this week to highlight. We can't say the same for next week's releases, but since you'll probably be getting a stockpile of wrapped and delivered goods, that won't matter much. We're really excited about a few things this week, though, with the release of one of our favorite arcade games of all time, new books from some great authors and a documentary about one of the hardest-to-track-down men of all time.
5. Batman: The Widening Gyre, by Kevin Smith and Walter Flanagan
We're not going to lie and say that we think Kevin Smith is an amazing author -- because he's not. That said, if you're in the mood for a very different kind of Batman story, you'll certainly get one here. The cover of the book makes it look a hell of a lot more badass than it is, but Smith does manage to explore a side of Batman we've never really seen before, even if that means he's peeing his pants.
4. X-Men Arcade (Xbox Live, PSN)
The X-Men Arcade cabinet was one of the most gloriously awesome things back in the arcade heyday: It featured two massive screens and offered up six-player co-op (provided some sucker would actually play as Dazzler). For the first time ever, it'll be hitting home consoles today on PlayStation Network and tomorrow on Xbox Live. Nothing has been changed, which means we'll finally be able to listen to classic lines like "Welcome to die," and "I am Magneto, master of magnet!"
3. Sweet Tooth Volume 2: In Captivity, by Jeff Lemire
The first volume of Sweet Tooth told the story of Gus, a naïve boy with antlers, and his journey through a post-apocalyptic wasteland after his Bible-thumping father died, leaving him to discover the world on his own. This volume picks up where the first one left off, with Gus travelling with a mercenary named Jepperd before he gets caught by a scientist studying the humans who have merged with animals. It might sound incredibly surreal and weird, and it is, but Lemire still manages to tell a remarkably in-depth and interesting story.
2. Fate, Time and Language: An Essay on Free Will, by David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace was well on his way to becoming one of the greatest novelists and writers of his generation before his suicide in 2008. Even with his short life, he still managed to have a remarkable impact on the writing world. That had to start somewhere, though, and Fate, Time and Language could be considered the epicenter for his distinguished style. The book started as his undergraduate thesis and begins to form the foundation for Wallace's eventual studies in semantics, language and free will.
1. Exit Through the Gift Shop (DVD, Blu-Ray)
Famous graffiti artist Banksy is about as hard to track down as Osama bin Laden. Somehow he got captured on film in Exit Through the Gift Shop, but the documentary takes so many twists and turns through reality that it's never apparent who is getting played. It's a film more reminiscent of Orson Welles's F is for Fake than it is a real documentary, but it's a wild enough trip that it's interesting regardless of the intentions.