By Molly Jane Kremer, Brandy Dykhuizen, Courtney Ryan, 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 ‘Doom Patrol’ to ‘Monstress’, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.
Doom Patrol #10
DC Comics/DC’s Young Animal/$3.99
Written by Gerard Way.
Art by Nick Derington.
Inks by Tom Fowler.
Colors by Tamra Bonvillain.
Letters by Todd Klein.
JJ: I’m not gonna mince words. Waiting for Doom Patrol has been a journey. It’s been hit with more delays than a Chicago Red Line train. It’s made reading solicits more like taking in a work of fiction.
But I can’t stay mad at it. As a matter of fact, I was never really sore at this book, or its creative team. Because Doom Patrol is one of my favorite comics. It’s the flagship title to one of my favorite imprints. It’s always concerned with optimum quality, with the utmost attention to detail. If it sleeps in until noon, hey. So long as the quality remains and a Young Animal title is still on the shelf — especially during its hiatus — that’s just disco.
Being late to the party is so on-brand for Doom Patrol, all you can do is chalk it up to the book’s punk aesthetic and move on with your life. With a copy of its latest issue rolled up in your back pocket.
Written by Marjorie Liu.
Art and cover by Sana Takeda.
Letters and design by Rus Wooton.
KB: It has been a long eight months since the last issue of Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda’s Monstress hit the racks (back in May 2017). Such a gap between issues for a lesser title of such detail may have led to some confusion, but Monstress is so engrossing that it not only carried my interest through the wait, it has intensified it.
Monstress, the 2017 Hugo award-winner for Best Graphic Story, is one of those titles that benefits from its complexity. It weaves details into the life of the main protagonist, Maika Halfwolf, and leaves us aching from its cliffhangers; the last issue dropped us off with a burgeoning recollection of Maika’s mysteriously elusive past. Growing tired of this title simply isn’t an option.
From Liu’s intense storyline to Takeda’s brilliant illustrations, it is hard to pass up such a stunning book. Issue #13 will open with a new arc in an over-sized format, made almost seemingly to highlight the beautiful work of Takeda. Her work deserves the extra space; the shifting colors and fine detailing makes this epic fantasy even more of a must read. The world placed before us, set within a fictionalized matriarchal society where magical creatures known as Arcanics are at war with humans, with some god-like creatures mixed in, brims with rage and mystery. It’s good to have it back.
Written by Chip Zdarsky.
Pencils by Jim Cheung.
Inks by John Dell and Walden Wong.
Colors by Frank Martin.
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna.
MJ: We here at DoomRocket have long lamented a lack of the Fantastic in the Marvel Universe. It’s been about two years since Secret Wars #9 came out (January 13 was the two year anniversary, actually), splitting up Marvel’s First Family and breaking our hearts in the process. The Richards have been outside the multiverse keeping a watchful eye on it ever since, while Johnny and Ben have been popping up in various other series as team members, love interests, etc.
Though we have yet to see the Fantastic Four together again in their own series, Marvel Two-In-One is truly the next best thing. Chip Zdarsky somehow manages to write comics chock full of feelings, while avoiding the saccharine sentimentality that often comes with such a book. A helping factor is certainly that the bittersweetness is matched by frequent jokes; Zdarsky’s handle on Doctor Doom’s and Ben Grimm’s voices and dialogue are so spot-on they make me giggle.
Jim Cheung’s art is clean and precise, and Frank Martin’s colors stand out beautifully in this issue, especially during the flashback sequence where beautifully textured sepia tones highlight a reminiscence of a Grimm/Richards college prank. With the Disney/Fox merger now officially a thing, a full return of the Fantastic Four might well be in the works already. But Marvel Two-In-One is a fantastic comic in and of itself. It makes that wait all the more easily borne.
Incidentals Volume 1: Powers, Lies, and Secrets
Lion Forge/Catalyst Prime/$14.99
Written by Joe Casey.
Art by Larry Stroman.
CR: If you haven’t messed with any titles from Lion Forge’s new superhero line, Catalyst Prime, the first collected volume of Incidentals is as fine a place to start as any.
The specific catalyst for the series was “The Event,” a mysterious meteor shower that left a diverse group of people with strange super powers. As one of the seven different titles expounding on the individual storylines ignited after The Event, Incidentals follows billionaire Bo Vincent Chen after he’s touched by the aforementioned meteor shower, who tasks himself with leading other newly gifted heroes.
What makes Incidentals particularly interesting is the conflict at the heart of Chen’s identity. His superpowers immediately lend him outsider status, but his billions make him firmly linked to the establishment. How he wrestles with the mighty and opposing forces dominating his life while also combating external terrors is more interesting than the action-adventure sequences — though there’s plenty of that here too. With veterans like Joe Casey and Larry Stroman at the helm, and you’ve got a strong contender for your attention.
Infinite Loop: Nothing but the Truth #4
Written by Pierrick Colinet and Elsa Charretier
Art by Daniele di Nicuolo.
Colors by Sarah Stern.
Letters by Ed Dukeshire.
BD: I’m starting to think I’ve such a simple mind that all it takes for a comic to grab me is for a bounty hunter or some sort of vigilante to bounce around its pages. My own personal intellectual shortcomings aside, Infinite Loop: Nothing but the Truth deals a heavy dose of vigilantism, but it is so much more than that. It’s social commentary in spades, dumping on the American dream six ways from Sunday, scraping society’s poor excuses for healthcare and welfare from its boot before stomping out freethinking altogether. So yeah, it’s a nice light read. I’ve definitely got to see how it all shakes out.
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!