By Molly Jane Kremer, Stefania Rudd, Clyde Hall, Mickey Rivera, 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.
Written by Peter Milligan.
Art by Tess Fowler.
Colors by Lee Loughridge.
Letters by Aditya Bidikar.
JJ: Part of Black Crown’s charm is that each issue carries the sweet promise of something new. Here, books like Kid Lobotomy act like a forever-revolving door where creeps, weirdos, lovers, fighters, and other unique miscellanea can crawl in from the void where inspiration goes to dance.
This issue would like to introduce you to Adam Mee. A washed-up Pulitzer Prize-winning author with but a single book under his belt, squatting on the curb with his hat out. Adam isn’t suffering, not in any substantially piteous way — he leaves his scotch in plain view and seems to have enough cash to keep his typewriter in ink and his lungs fogged with tobacco. He admires the derrière of a passing women and keeps his narrative focus on what seems to be his favorite subject: himself. So, fuck Adam; can’t wait to see what The Suites have in store for him. If there was ever a gauntlet to weed out the bullshitters, The Suites would be it.
But then there’s Brigit Spooner. She’s new to The Suites as well. Artist-in-residence. Has lived a life, if you take my meaning. Looking for the spark that comes with living a decadent bohemian lifestyle. With a murderer on the loose within Canon City’s #1 artist trap, Brigit may come to know the travails of that life before anything else. Interesting people dabbling in insanity. The insane rubbing elbows with the creatives. Sign me up for more Kid Lobotomy.
Written by Ryan North and Erica Henderson.
Art by Madeline McGrane, Chip Zdarsky, Tom Fowler, Carla Speed McNeil, Michael Cho, Rahzzah, Anders Nilsen, Rico Renzi, Jim Davis, and Iris Holdren.
Colors by Madeline McGrane, Chip Zdarsky, Rico Renzi, Michael Cho, Rahzzah and Anders Nilsen with Soren Iverson.
Letters by Madeline McGrane, Travis Lanham, Rahzzah, Anders Nilsen, and Jim Davis.
MJ: Though this week’s issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl does not boast fancy new cumulative Legacy numbering, it does have a look no other Marvel comic has right now. And with good reason: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 happens to be a special “zine” issue, and, like the “choose your own adventure” issue before it, Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi and company have gone all out to ensure this comic lives up to its gonzo trappings.
The comic contains ten separate short stories, each “written” by a different recurring character. Amazing guest artists are lovingly matched up with suitable characters: Chip Zdarsky illustrates the Howard the Duck story (with series artist and past Zdarsky collaborator Erica Henderson in the writer’s chair); Michael Cho illustrates a Kraven tale; Anders Nilsen (yeah, that Anders Nilsen!) does four pages of Wolverine; and Garfield’s Jim Davis puts his spin on Galactus.
Each story is imbued with the joy and heart that has come to define The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl since its debut, and seeing the creatively surprising lengths the team has gone to to keep it fresh and bright is ever a delight. (Plus it’s simply hilarious that renowned Garfield fan Chip Zdarsky now shares credits on a book with its creator.) Squirrel Girl is always a top-notch reading experience, and issue #26 is even more of a must-read than usual.
Image Comics/Top Cow /$3.99
Written by Zack Kaplan.
Illustrated by Andrea Mutti.
Colors by Vladimir Popov.
Letters by Troy Peteri.
MR: As stories about extraterrestrial visitors go, there are usually three ways things can play out: They’re trying to kill us, they’re trying to study us, or they’re trying to lay some knowledge on us. These are all good starting points, but one would think the universe is big enough to allow for a diversity of alien intent. Port of Earth, written by Zack Kaplan with art by Andrea Mutti, is going into largely untrodden territory by speculating on what it might happen if alien visitors attempted some kind of mutually beneficial arrangement. Obviously, things will go wrong. People will probably die. But how it all ties in with these aliens’ perceived willingness to work with the human race is going to be interesting.
Kaplan’s last book, Eclipse, was phenomenal sci-fi grit that didn’t let its apocalyptic premise get in the way of character or plot. It was a great start to a young career. Artist Andrea Mutti, known for his work on Rebels from Dark Horse, has previously worked with extraterrestrials while illustrating some pages for Vertigo’s Saucer Country. A merger of these two talents may prove lucrative.
Written by John Broome.
Art by Murphy Anderson, Joe Giella, Gil Kane.
Cover by Michael Cho.
CH: A kid couldn’t become Kryptonian, nor be the inheritor of a Bat-fortune. But anyone could get a power ring, and that notion inspired lots of early Green Lantern readers. Before their Multicolor Corps, DC had a Silver Age GL and his fellow emerald cosmic police officers. While I’ve enjoyed modern tales woven from rings of many colors, it gives me a verdant inner glow of happiness when DC publishes collections of early Hal Jordan adventures, like Green Lantern: The Silver Age. New generations of readers can affordably take in the first Star Sapphire story, the origin of Jordan’s GL oath, and team-ups with The Flash. They also get exposure to stories by instrumental GL writer John Broome, not to mention terrific Gil Kane and Murphy Anderson art. Older fans can revel in Silver Age splendor again, experiencing the stories that once had them at “In brightest day…”
Written by Julie Benson and Shawna Benson.
Art by Roge Antonia.
Colors by Marcelo Maiolo.
Letters by Josh Reed.
SR: In the second installment of the “Manslaughter” story arc, the Benson sisters continue to let the women of the DC universe shine center-stage (fourteen women to be exact) as they work together to tackle an illness that has impacted the men in their lives. In issue #15, the mysterious flu has taken down Commissioner Gordon, Batman, Alfred, Nightwing, and even villains like Professor Pyg and The Joker. I look forward to continuing the story with this latest issue, seeing what the ladies do to keep the illness from spreading, and how they use their skills to cure it. Also, will we get a better idea of who is responsible for this calamity and their motives behind it? My best advice: Be sure to get plenty of rest and drink lots of water. The Birds of Prey are coming.
Written by Tom King.
Art by Mitch Gerads.
Letters by Clayton Cowles.
JJ: “Darkseid is.” Statements don’t come more ominous. It thickens the atmosphere of Mister Miracle. Stains it. Scott Free is our hero, an escape artist, a husband, raised in the pits of Hell itself. Where do we even begin to understand his plight? Tom King, Mitch Gerads, and Clayton Cowles seem to have found a way.
It’s a familiar path. It’s found through familiar things. The stillness of a home once filled with love and laughter. The preposterous food we eat during a family crisis. The furious expressions on the faces of people we’ve cared about. These are the paths to understanding Scott Free. Through DC Comics’ Existential Crisis, we learn something about our heroes that many of us already know about ourselves: We are mighty. We are weak. We need people. Even those who destroy. In Mister Miracle, Family is.
What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.