Staff Picks: Shadows, witches, and escape artists populate this week's must reads

Staff Picks: Shadows, witches, and escape artists populate this week’s must reads

By Molly Jane Kremer, Arpad Okay, Don Alsafi, 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 'Mister Miracle' #1. Art by Nick Derington/DC Comics

Cover to ‘Mister Miracle’ #1. Art by Nick Derington/DC Comics

Mister Miracle #1

DC Comics/$3.99

Written by Tom King.

Art by Mitch Gerads.

Letters by Clayton Cowles.

DA: I’ve not read much from Tom King. I know that people flipped over The Vision, and Sheriff of Babylon over at Vertigo was critically lauded.

On the other hand, the new Mister Miracle series, by King and his Babylon collaborator Mitch Gerads, looks nothing less than stunning. Partly because they’re taking one of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World characters — fan favorite, Scott Free — and committing to a 12-issue maxi-series featuring the daring escape artist. No baby steps here! Additionally, Gerads’ dark and moody art looks “Vertigo” even when he’s on a DCU property, which is certainly a take this character hasn’t seen before.

Frankly, it’s the last thing I would have expected DC to do. And that’s reason enough to get excited!

Cover to 'Hulk' #9. Art by John Tyler Christopher/Marvel Comics

Cover to ‘Hulk’ #9. Art by John Tyler Christopher/Marvel Comics

Hulk #9

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Mariko Tamaki.

Art by Julian Lopez and Francesco Gaston.

Colors by Matt Milla.

Letters by Cory Petit.

AOK: Mariko Tamaki is doing something rare and important with Hulk. While it’s able to explore the psychological nuance of Jennifer Walters having PTSD and the havoc it wreaks on her life, as one of the Marvel tentpole titles, it also has to include smashing, guest appearances, and mainstream conventions. Fitting in a bunch of contractually obligated violence could easily bog down the delicacy needed to address Walters’ condition.

Tamaki has made it work by making the action essential to her story instead of additional. Walters’ trigger is the death of Bruce Banner. The mere thought of her superpowers has become what makes her lose control. Issue #9, “Valley of the Hulks,” deals with the fallout of a Hulk drug run amok. Jennifer will be forced to face off against a mirror version of her personal troubles, uncontrollable monsterism. I cannot think of a more perfect challenge for her.

Cover to 'Redlands' #1. Art by Vanesa Del Rey/Image Comics

Cover to ‘Redlands’ #1. Art by Vanesa Del Rey/Image Comics

Redlands #1

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Jordie Bellaire.

Art by Vanesa R. Del Rey.

Colors by Jordie Bellaire.

Letters by Clayton Cowles.

MJ: Witches are a hot commodity right now, both in ideation and aesthetic, and they are ripe for further adaptation in comics. And since Black Magick can only come out so often, Wytches never exactly scratched the itch, Spell on Wheels is over, and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina only releases roughly an issue a year, my new femme dark hope is Redlands, debuting this week from Image Comics.

Jordie Bellaire has probably colored at least one of your favorite comics (between her and Matt Wilson, that’s the colors on 75% of all comics ever) but this is her first full comic as writer. She colors Vanesa Del Ray’s art here in addition to scripting. I cannot wait to see these two ladies rock the magical takeover of a small, late-70’s Florida town.

Cover to 'The Shadow' #1. Art by Kenneth Rocafort/Dynamite

Cover to ‘The Shadow’ #1. Art by Kenneth Rocafort/Dynamite

The Shadow #1

Written by Si Spurrier and Dan Watters.

Art by Daniel HDR.

Colors by Natalia Marques.

Letters by Simon Bowland.

JJ: “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?” I’m sure everyone knows the answer to that one by now. It’s The Shadow, that’s who knows, and you better believe he’s gonna put that knowledge to proper use.

The latest Shadow mini-series has hit the streets courtesy of Dynamite, and as a fan of lurid thrillers stuffed to the brim with revenge, ink-black motivations, and tastefully attired vigilantism, there’s very little more I could ask for. The Batman/Shadow crossover whet my appetite for more Simon Belmont. I’m counting on The Shadow #1 to set me up with the main course.

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

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