By Molly Jane Kremer, Brandy Dykhuizen, Arpad Okay, 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.
By Chance or Providence TPB
Written and illustrated by Becky Cloonan.
MJ: I first came across Becky Cloonan’s By Chance or Providence via its three black and white DIY mini-comics she released at a few consecutive San Diego Comic Cons of yore. Wolves, The Mire, and Demeter are three lush, alluring, and unsettling tales set in an indeterminate medieval era, and everything about them is breathtaking. (The Mire even won an Eisner for Best Short Story in 2012.)
Cloonan wrote, drew, and published all three herself, making additional printings for other conventions and retailers. A small hardcover collection was released in 2014 that kept the original’s stark grey-tones but has been out of print and unavailable for years.
Now By Chance or Providence has the Image Comics stamp, enlarged to typical trade dress size. (The original Becky Cloonan art, only bigger? Yes, please.) Lee Loughridge has added gorgeous colors to Cloonan’s already phenomenal inks. These three captivating fantasy stories are readily available again, and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
Doom Patrol #7
DC’s Young Animal/$3.99
Written by Gerard Way.
Illustrated by Michael Allred.
Colors by Laura Allred.
Letters by Todd Klein.
JJ: Niles Caulder is back, and he wants to hone the latest incarnation of the Doom Patrol into the one of old. Wonder if that’s gonna be a problem. Probably not, right?
Mike Allred and Laura Allred make their full-length Young Animal debut with Doom Patrol #7 this week. That’s a cause for celebration. Of course, anything concerning the Allreds is a reason to celebrate, no matter which publisher they’re working with, or if they’re simply huddling over a cocktail napkin, pens in hand. The end result of their efforts is always spectacular. And now they’re here to cement Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol into the stuff of legends with what promises to be one of the year’s best single issues.
Lookit this thing. Gerard Way. Todd Klein. The Allreds. Legends all.
Beautiful Canvas #2
Black Mask Studios/$3.99
Written by Ryan K Lindsay.
Illustrated by Sami Kivela.
Colored by Triona Farrell.
Lettered by Ryan Ferrier.
BD: Just your classic tale of two lovebirds trying to find their way in the world – a young, pregnant woman and her gun-for-hire missus, tailed by spectral children and an animal/human hybrid goon squad. If Sami Kivela’s and Triona Farrell’s art and colors didn’t sell me during the first issue (which they did, 100%), then Ryan K Linday’s wack-a-doo plot would have had me coming back anyway.
There’s just something about a deranged billionaire who contracts murder for the sake of performance art that left me wondering how this was all going to turn out. Beautiful Canvas #1 was one of the most unique books I had read in a while. We probably won’t encounter much predictability in a story with such respect for entropy.
Mother Panic #9
DC’s Young Animal/$3.99
Written by Jody Houser.
Art by John Paul Leon.
Colors by Dave Stewart.
Letters by John Workman.
AOK: The ninth issue of Mother Panic is the conclusion of the John Paul Leon arc, so I am crushed as well as beside myself with excitement. Leon is one of the finest artists working in the industry — consider him the Holger Czukay of comics — and having his talent paired with the indomitable scripts of Jody Houser has been the utmost. The last issue was a cinéma vérité gem, the whole story told without Violet Paige donning her costume save a few brief flashes of reverie. I expect the volume of the thunderclap in Mother Panic number nine to be as significantly amplified as the silence that preceded it in issue eight.
Houser’s slow-burn symphony is finally blossoming in full, and this coming installment is its crescendo. Mother Panic thus far has been Paige running away from her vulnerability no matter the cost. I anticipate that the bank is now coming to collect.
What book are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.