By Molly Jane Kremer, Stefania Rudd, Mickey Rivera, Kaitlin Beer, 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. From ‘Superwoman’ to ‘Stray Bullets’, here’s what has set our hearts ablaze this week.
Written by K. Perkins.
Pencils by Max Raynor.
Inks by Jaime Mendoza and Scott Hanna.
Colors by Hi-Fi.
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual.
JJ: From the very beginning I wanted a Lana Lang ongoing. Even as a member of the Superman Family, where things can get a bit crowded during the holidays, Lana was always a stand-out. Her progression as a character during the Greg Pak/Aaron Kuder Action Comics run set Lana on a trajectory where she simply had to have a prominent future in the DCU. (I once even submitted to a fit of crazy and published a Justice League wish-list that featured Lana Lang as one of the core seven. It’s true.)
Lana’s technical acumen, her tenacity, her bravery — she was bonafide hero material even before someone decided to put an ‘S’ over her chest. While I did not see the angle DC decided to go with her in Superwoman coming — wherein she would absorb the solar flare radiation that killed the New 52-era Superman and wield that power for herself — I was very much into the idea of a Superwoman book. Because Lana. (And also John Henry. And Nat. The Irons family needs their own book, for crying out loud.)
Now it’s at an end. K. Perkins steps up to give Superwoman a heartfelt sendoff. And Max Paynor Jaime Mendoza, Scott Hanna , Hi-Fi, and Carlos M. Mangual are here to make sure this finale will be worthy of the character. I don’t know how this farewell plays out yet — I’m going to read it once I get my bearings; I wasn’t quite ready for this book to end — but I know that wherever Lana Lang shows up next, I will be there, “I 💖 Lana” placard hoisted proudly in the air.
Monstro Mechanica #2
Written by Paul Allor.
Art by Chris Evenhuis.
Colors by Sjan Weijers.
Letters by Paul Allor.
MJ: Not many properties can boast as precise an intersection of things I love as AfterShock’s new comic, Monstro Mechanica. I love comics, and I happen to nurse a deep adoration for the Italian Renaissance, so when I discovered Paul Allor and Chris Evenhuis’s new series took place in Medici-era Florence—and that its lead was Leonardo da Vinci’s young female assistant Isabel and her robot ward—well, let’s just say I was more than a little stoked.
Not only does the authentically historic setting push all the right buttons for me, but the writing and art contained within Monstro Mechanica are both stellar. Whilst running errands throughout Florence for Signore da Vinci, Isabel dresses like a boy, and hangs out with a wooden robot invention of da Vinci’s, whose sentience she is slowly encouraging. Artist Evenhuis’s lines are crisp and expressive, and each face he draws is interesting and distinctive.
Allor and Evenhuis go one further, and ensure their cast is diverse, which is refreshing to see (not to mention accurate) in a historical-Europe setting. In Monstro Mechanica there’s intrigue, action, friendship, and, yes, a robot, expertly blended into an excellent comic book.
Star Wars Forces of Destiny: Rey #1
Written by Jody Houser.
Art by Arianna Florean.
Colors by Adele Matera.
Letters by Tom B. Long.
SR: Face it, at this point Star Wars and all things related to it are pretty unavoidable. And Lucasfilm will always find new ways to repackage and reintroduce characters and storylines into different mediums for different (and often times the same) audiences. Based off the Star Wars Forces of Destiny animated series, IDW has kicked off a weekly series that will tell stories featuring the leading ladies of that galaxy far, far away.
Each issue will further explore who they are, where they came from, and how the choices they have made got them to where they are now. The series began last week with Leia, and will continue next with Rey From Nowhere.
As someone who came to love Star Wars through The Force Awakens, I’m really looking forward to writer Jody Houser and artist Arianna Florean’s take on the hero of the current trilogy. From scavenging on Jakku to fighting in the Resistance, she certainly has come a long way.
Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses #31
Story, art and cover by David Lapham.
Produced and edited by Maria Lapham.
KB: Following the last metaphorical backstory issue that detailed some of the character connections contained within, Image Comics provided us the most cryptic description of Stray Bullets: Sunshine and Roses yet and I cannot wait to read it. All they tell us about the next installment in the violence-filled lives of the story’s main characters is that the book is bringing some old enemies back into the mix. Who will it be? Who can say.
It’s already hard to know which direction each issue will go, as time is not exactly linear in this long-running series (and it often dips into the ultra-weird realm of Lil’B), but I am not complaining. Old enemies are always coming back into the mix for this cast of rascals so I’m ready, even if I’m a little paranoid about who may be popping in for a visit this week.
If David Lapham is placing an emphasis on the “bumbling, bullets, and bottles” in this issue, I can’t wait to see what’s coming. This title always delivers. (Though Derek better be there, that’s all I have to say.)
Limbo Lounge HC
Story and art by Dave Calver.
MR: Limbo Lounge mixes equal parts Tex Avery and Hieronymus Bosch. There is precious little information out there about the plot, except to say that it revolves around a group of newly deceased souls killing time in a bar while their eternal fate is decided on. A gang of jerks from Hell show up to harass them. To be honest, there may not even be words in this book. However, there will be plenty of visual dream fuel, both haunting and surreal. Take a look at some of Dave Calver’s work and you’ll soon learn what to expect: Vibrant, expressionistic madness.
The book is, admittedly, pricey. I’m guessing the extra dough is going towards production costs to make the artist’s trademark shading and colors look ultra-sleek. David Calver is an illustrator who came into his own in 1980s New York City. You’ll be forgiven for not knowing who he is; this strange little nightmare is his first graphic novel. A risk, yes, but likely a beautiful one.
What books are YOU looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below. Best answer wins a free set of DoomRocket stickers!