We highlight titles from Marvel, DC and Dark Horse as well as SHQ Publishing and Archaia Entertainment. You’re welcome.
As we ramp up our coverage of comics here at The Escapist, we want to do more than simply rehash the same Super Hero news you’ll get everywhere. Fear not – we intend to cover it all – but we plan to shine a light not only on cool developments in mainstream comics, but on the indies and underground titles that don’t get nearly enough attention. As part of that effort, once a week we’ll be running down our favorite or most anticipated titles from across the spectrum that we think are worth your attention and money.
For today’s inaugural installment, Stew Shearer and myself have chosen 6 titles released within the last month spanning super heroes, criminal mischief, zines, and even a science fiction mid-life crisis tale. Read on, true believers, and feel free to drop your own choices in comments.
Daredevil #36 – Marvel Comics
Equal parts serious, silly and, at times, downright weird, Mark Waid’s run on Daredevil has dropped the blind vigilante into consistently engrossing conflicts both sweeping and personal. Issue 36, in turn, closes off the current run with a reveal that’s game-changing but also fitting for the character as he’s been developing. Issue 36, of course, also marks the end of the current Daredevil series, something I’d be much more upset about if Waid wasn’t launching a new book moving the character to the west coast later this year.
Thor: God of Thunder #19 – Marvel Comics
While the series’ recent Accursed arc had some fun moments, I kind of found it to be lacking a lot of the punch of the previous (and fantastic) plotlines centered around the Gorr the God Butcher and Thor’s multi-era quest to stop his genocide of the universe’s gods. God of Thunder 19, in turn, looks like a potential return to form, thanks in no small part to the return of the time shifting that sees the audience following both modern day Thor and an older, wizened future Thor. Granted, Thor taking on the threat of global warming might be a bit too Captain Planet for some, but the writing is solid and a late-to-the-party villain visit leaves the reader with one heck of a cliffhangar.
Wonder Woman #28 – DC Comics
I honestly had no interest in Wonder Woman when I first started reading it. I picked the book up because my daughter had just been born and I wanted to know more about female superheroes when she got older. Now the series easily stands as one of the books I most look forward to. Brian Azzarello’s skillful weaving of the Olympian pantheon into Diana’s origins just seems to ceaselessly pay off. This is especially true in this issue where the First Born, long suffering at the hands of Apollo, gets some incredibly gratifying moments that are equal parts cathartic for the reader and foreboding for the series.
The White Suits #1 – Dark Horse Comics
Fans of Brian Michael Bendis or of pre-coocoo crazytown Frank Miller will find much to like in this new series from writer Frank J Barbiere and artists Toby Cypress. During the cold war, the Russian criminal underworld was terrorized by an anonymous group of killers, dubbed “The White Suits”, who mysteriously disappeared. Years later, they’ve reappeared in New York where they inflict similar violence on American mobsters, while a lone FBI agent and an amnesiac with possible ties seek to stop them. That’s basically it. What stands out isn’t the story, of course; readers will recognize the highlights from practically every crime thriller. What makes The White Suits really pop is the stylized art by Cypress, who in equal measure channels 1960s film poster and, weirdly enough, the early work of Daniel Clowes. Full review coming tomorrow.
The Joyners In 3D – Archaia Entertainment
This beautifully designed hardcover graphic novel from Ultimate Spider-Man artist David Marquez and Syndrome writer R.J. Ryan fits somewhere in between The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit and Death of a Salesman, if those two mid-20th century mid-life crisis classics were set in the technologically advanced near-future. It follows the Joyner family as patriarch George Joyner begins to self-destruct in the wake of having created a momentous invention, largely due to his deep personal flaws. Somehow, the book’s ubiquitous flying cars and floating houses don’t distract from what ends up a very interesting character study, mainly because Marquez’ artistic decisions do excellent service to Ryan’s words. Best of all: in best mid-20th century science fiction tradition, The Joyners 3D is actually printed in 3D (glasses come with the book, fear not.) This is a contender for the best of 2014, and well worth the $30 price.
Kid Mafia Digest – SHQ Publishing
Technically, this one came in at the end of January, but it’s great so we’re going with it. If you’re a fan of cartoonist Michael DeForge, this collection of the first three issues of his Kid Mafia is something you need to do the second this sentence is over. Kid Mafia follows the members of a mafia family comprised of kids (hence the title) who get up to some seriously sick shit, but the comic is mainly an excuse for DeForge to talk about topics ranging from sexual politics, music and the weirdness of childhood. You can buy it online from SHQ Publishing (the publishing arm of completely awesome LA comic shop Secret Headquarters), but if you’re not ready to spend the money sight unseen, you can also read them online on DeForge’s site.