By Arpad Okay, Brendan F. HodgdonClyde Hall, 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.

Motor Crush #8Motor Crush #8

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr.

Illustrated by Babbs Tarr and Rob Haynes.

Colors by Babs Tarr and Heather Danforth.

Letters by Aditya Bidikar.

Publication Design by Tom Muller.

AOK: Now truly begins the dance. Unstuck in time, Domino Swift has been trying to deal with her friends and family being forced to pay her debts, trying to accept the changed world she’s reentered, trying to assemble Team Swift. Domino’s secrets are laid out for everyone to see — and I mean everyone — and hi-jinx are on the horizon. Past be damned, Swift’s in the game again, and she’s staging a high-stakes heist.

The problem is Domino Swift is a magnet for trouble. The lady is Murphy’s Law personified. Swift might be back on her bullshit, but time isn’t re-wound. Motor Crush has introduced some cosmic kerfuffles into its crime story, and you can bet they’ll be back, too. So far the second story arc has been a lot of set up and catch up, heartache and soul searching, promise of what’s to come. So. Let’s race.

Batman: Creature of the NightBatman: Creature of the Night #1

DC Comics/$5.99

Written by Kurt Busiek.

Art by John Paul Leon.

Letters by Todd Klein.

JJ: A prestige format Batman book may be a dime a dozen in the graphic novel strata, but I have a feeling Batman: Creature of the Night is going to be something special.

Check the pedigree. Kurt Busiek, a writer who needs no introduction. I’m gonna give him one anyway. You’ve read JLA/AvengersAstro City. Superman: Secret Identity. You know the score. And now Creature of the Night, a companion series to Secret Identity, a high-profile book committed to the same purpose: to put a new, innovative spin on an iconic character. There are few other writers working today who could step up to a keyboard and knock that out. The thrilling unknown — that’s where Busiek dares.

Then there’s John Paul Leon. Just thinking about his sequential work makes me go weak in the knees. Most recently he’s dazzled us with his work on Young Animal’s Mother Panic series. His Sheriff of Babylon covers were the stuff of legend. And here he is, working in lock-step with Busiek, telling tales with a cavalier gusto. And what’s this? Todd Klein’s letters are what will guide us along the way? Well. Go ahead, then. Make my day.

John Wick #1John Wick #1


Written by Greg Pak.

Art by Giovanni Valletta.

Colors by David Curiel and Inlight Studios.

Letters by Tom Napolitano.

BFH: It seems only fitting that, after stealing some of superhero cinema’s thunder over the last couple of years with his good ol’ fashioned shoot-’em-up badassery, John Wick would see fit to step into the comics world and knock the cape-and-cowl crowd down a peg on their own turf. The fact that he gets to do so with the help of a rock-solid creative team like Greg Pak and Giovanni Valletta makes this book all the more enticing.

The John Wick films are defined by their audacious, borderline goofy universe, their wall-to-wall neon color… and, of course, those stunningly choreographed action sequences. I’m really curious to see how Pak and Valletta capture the low-key peculiar energy and distinctive world-building that have made the films such standouts… not to mention how they make Wick’s origin interesting and avoid deflating his mystique in the process. I’m confident that Pak and Valletta will make it all work. Now I’m really excited to find out how.

Jim Henson's Labyrinth 2017 Special #1Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special #1

BOOM! Studios/Archaia/$7.99

Written by Katie Cook, Delilah S. Dawson, Alessandro Q. Ferrari, Roger Langridge, Adam Smith, Jeff Stokely, and Curry Ross.

Art by Katie Cook, Jared Cullum, Roger Langridge, and Jeff Stokely.

Covers by Derek Kirk Kim, Ryan Sook, and Jeff Stokely.

CH: Hollywood doles out a lot of unwanted sequels. Or, rather, the hack job often done on follow-ups makes them unwanted. Other films stand alone, designing a living Otherworld we long to explore, but giving us only that single window to peer through. Labyrinth is one of these films. Jim Henson’s mythic, creative spirit pulses through a deluge of strange, fairytale creatures, exotic dreamscapes, and a parable of graduation from childhood to maturity. Sure, a sequel is in the works, sadly post-David Bowie, but comic books have been visiting the Goblin King’s realm since 2006.

The latest is Jim Henson’s Labyrinth 2017 Special #1 from BOOM! Studios and Archaia, with all-new tales of the heroes (and goblins) a generation of film fans embraced. The Labyrinth may not be a piece of cake, but it is beloved, and these little slices expanding Jim Henson’s original vision should be a sweet, nostalgic holiday treat for readers to enjoy.

Batman Annual #2Batman Annual #2

DC Comics/$4.99

Written by Tom King.

Art by Lee Weeks and Michael Lark.

Colors by Elizabeth Breitweiser and June Chung. 

Letters by Deron Bennett.

JJ: Yeah, that’s right. I’m picking two Batman books this week. Can you blame me? If the roster behind Creature of the Night got me to sit up straight in my chair, the team on this year’s Batman Annual #2 is this [] close to sending me to bed without supper.

Batman is Tom King’s book. He’s been weaving a narrative for 35 issues and there’s no reason to believe he’s stopping any time soon. In the midst of that narrative, between “I am Gotham” and “Rules of Engagement”, he’s set the Dark Knight Detective on a bold new trajectory. The Batman’s getting married. Provided that, y’know, he lives that long. (Perilous vigilantism and Dark Multiverses are ever a thing in his life.)

With Batman, the future is never certain. For now we content ourselves knowing that Bruce Wayne is happy, or as happy as he’ll ever be, with Selina Kyle, dancing between rooftops and giggling between the sheets. (Yes, I’m so, so glad to report, superheroes can actually have a healthy sex life these days.) In Batman Annual#2, King explores the relationship between Batman and Catwoman even further — and he’s brought some staggering talent along for the ride.

Michael Lark — yes, that Michael Lark — returns to Gotham City for this issue. Lee Weeks, the artist that made damn sure that King’s Batman/Elmer Fudd one-shot was nothing less than one of the best issues of the year, is back as well. But what’s most surprising is who’s providing the blush on Brucie-boy’s chiseled cheeks in this issue: Elizabeth Breitweiser and June Chung took time out of their schedules to grace Batman with their talents. Stunning. This is going to be a big one, people. Strap in.

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