Staff Picks: Image, Fantagraphics, and BOOM! made this fifth week all right

Staff Picks: Image, Fantagraphics, and BOOM! made this fifth week all right

By Molly Jane KremerBrandy Dykhuizen, Stefania Rudd, Courtney Ryan, and Jarrod Jones. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. Here’s what has set our hearts ablaze this week.

Cover to 'Love and Rockets' #3. Art by Jaime Hernandez/Fantagraphics Press

Cover to ‘Love and Rockets’ #3. Art by Jaime Hernandez/Fantagraphics Press

Love and Rockets #3

Stories by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez.

Art by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez.

JJ: Whether we’re exploring fantastic worlds alongside squiggly aliens and vampy space-women or shuffling through the sun-baked streets of a Californian barrio, Love and Rockets always feels like coming home.

Fantagraphics, working alongside Los Bros Hernandez, is publishing the new tales of L&R in its nigh-legendary magazine-sized format once more, and the presentation is never anything less than stupendous. From its cardstock covers (which always feature not one, not two, but four new pin-up images from the creators by way of two variant editions), to its interior pages, which further the Hernandez’s own unique sagas in often breathtaking fashion, each successive issue of Love and Rockets is always a must for me.

That this issue delves into the infamous lore surrounding notorious fuckhead Del Chimney is just another reason this book just shot to the top of my reading stack.

Cover to 'Hadrian's Wall' #8. Art by Rod Reis/Image Comics

Cover to ‘Hadrian’s Wall’ #8. Art by Rod Reis/Image Comics

Hadrian’s Wall #8

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Kyle Higgins and Alec Siegel.

Art by Rod Reis and Eduardo Ferigato.

Letters by Troy Peteri.

MJ: I was looking forward to Hadrian’s Wall since it was first announced nearly two years ago at July 2015’s Image Expo. Kyle Higgins and Rod Reis (the creators of the simmering slow-burn Image series C.O.W.L., amongst other things) weave another period-set thriller with this eight-issue limited series, but instead of C.O.W.L.’s Mad Men-era vigilantes, we have a locked-room murder mystery set in space amid a destructive interstellar civil war in the year 2085.

Rod Reis’ art is emotive, painterly, and a perfect fit for Kyle Higgins and co-writer Alec Siegel’s tense, often claustrophobic script. Hadrian’s Wall has all the best trappings of 80’s sci-fi (think Alien with Blade Runner’s look and palate). I’m incredibly sad to see this series end — but I’m also eagerly anticipating its conclusion.

Cover to 'Elsewhere' #1. Art by Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley/Image Comics

Cover to ‘Elsewhere’ #1. Art by Sumeyye Kesgin and Ron Riley/Image Comics

Elsewhere #1

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Jay Faerber.

Art by Sumeyye Kesgin.

Colors by Ron Riley.

Letters by Thomas Mauer.

BD: It’s hard not to be captivated by Amelia Earhart, one of history’s ultimate female badasses. I spent many a childhood hour pouring over bios and fantasizing about the last chapter of her life. Did she crash into the ocean? Did she find herself stranded on a tropical island, using only her wits and a pile of coconut husks to survive? Or did she just say, “eff it,” and build a secret new life in paradise?

Jay Faerber and Sumeyye Kesgin are ready to fill in the blanks for us, and I’m more than ready to listen. They might have a slightly different take on things, but if Ms. Earhart can navigate from a cockpit, who’s to say she can’t fly a giant, griffon-esque beast? It’s a long road from Kansas to Korvath. I can’t wait to see how she gets there.

Cover to 'Ghost Station Zero' #1. Art by Shari Chankhamma/Image Comics

Cover to ‘Ghost Station Zero’ #1. Art by Shari Chankhamma/Image Comics

Ghost Station Zero #1

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Antony Johnston.

Art by Shari Chankhamma.

Letters by Simon Bowland.

CR: You might know her as Atomic Blonde, Baboushka, or Contessa. You might not know her at all. But the Russian socialite cum deadly assassin from Antony Johnston’s popular Codename Baboushka series is back and I’m into it.

This probably won’t be shortlisted for a Pulitzer, but who writes pulpy Russian spy thrillers to win awards? Contessa Annika Malikova, codename: Baboushka, is the kind of sizzlingly resourceful spy that makes this genre purr. (What’s more, she inspired Charlize Theron’s latest foray into badass female theatrics in Atomic Blonde.)

A former Russian mob boss, she’s a bit too gritty to be called a female James Bond. But like Bond, she doesn’t take herself or her company too seriously, which lends the series the right balance of cheese and intrigue. Plus, the action sequences are sublimely fun and Shari Chankhamma’s unrefined artwork conjures a subtle nostalgia from a character who is anything but.

Cover to 'Adventure Time/Regular Show' #1. Art by Mattia Di Meo and Joana Lafuente/BOOM! Studios

Cover to ‘Adventure Time/Regular Show’ #1. Art by Mattia Di Meo and Joana Lafuente/BOOM! Studios

Adventure Time/Regular Show #1

BOOM! Studios/$3.99

Written by Conor McCreery.

Art by Mattia Di Meo.

Colors by Joana Lafuente.

Letters by Warren Montgomery.

SR: BOOM! Studios and Cartoon Network have come together again for this crossover between two of the networks most popular shows and comic series. When I first heard it was happening I let out a giant Mordecai and Rigby-esque “Ooooooooohhhh!” of excitement. Considering that both properties share an overlapping (and loyal) fan base — not to mention a special weirdness — it’ll be great to see how this six-issue limited series combines both worlds.

From what we know the plot surrounds Finn and Jake on an adventure to acquire The Power needed to save the Land of Ooo from a villain, and wouldn’t you know it? Skips from Regular Show has it. I can only imagine the possibilities. Very shortly, I will imagine no longer.

What book are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.

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