By Molly Jane Kremer, Arpad Okay, Brandy Dykhuizen, Don Alsafi, 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 ‘Archival Quality’ to ‘Infidel’ #1, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.

Staff Picks: Archival QualityArchival Quality GN

Oni Press/$19.99

Written by Ivy Noelle Weir.

Illustrated by Christina “Steenz” Stewart.

Letters by Joamette Gil.

Flatting assistance by Deb Groves.

MJ: A well-crafted, affecting ghost story is a singular treat—not to mention rare in comicbookdom—but Oni’s Archival Quality is one for the books.

Ghostly encounters in a spooky museum pair perfectly with an intimate narrative about mental and emotional health. It’s hard to believe this graphic novel is the first outing for its talented creators.

Speaking of: Cel, the book’s protagonist, is a librarian/archivist, and both members of Archival Quality’s creative team—Ivy Noelle Weir and Christina “Steenz” Stewart—are former librarians themselves. They understand this world implicitly, communicate it to us flawlessly. This is a phenomenal book for adults and young adult readers alike. It’s undoubtedly bound to be a perennial classic of its genre.

Staff Picks: Spectacular Spider-Man #301Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man #301

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Chip Zdarsky.

Art by Joe Quinones.

Inks by Joe Rivera.

Colors by Jordan Gibson.

Letters by Travis Lanham.

JJ: No one was more crestfallen than I by the news that the Zdarsky/Quinones era of Howard the Duck was coming to an end. Last year’s Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special featured a rare reunion for the duo — not to mention an even rarer DC outing for Mr. Zdarsky (made bittersweet by Wednesday morning’s exciting news) — but it only made me want these crazy kids back together on a book, but soon.

Well, I’m not gonna pretend that Marvel has a wiretap in my house (oh, the things they’d regret hearing, I tell you what), but this week the House of Ideas is kicking off a Chip Zdarsky/Joe Quinones arc on Peter Parker: The Spectacular Spider-Man, so clearly that’s the case. And if that stunning cover my Mr. Quinones wasn’t already a dead-giveaway, Spectacular Spidey is going to be a gorgeous book thanks to the added efforts of inker Joe Rivera and colorist Jordan Gibson. “Let’s do whatever it takes to make Jarrod happy!” the editorial body of Marvel undoubtedly squeaked when they learned that I love Spidey, too. If they only knew.

Staff Picks: Titans #21Titans #21

DC Comics/$3.99

Written by Dan Abnett.

Pencils by Paul Pelletier.

Inks by Andrew Hennessy.

Colors by Adriano Lucas.

Letters by Josh Reed & Carlos M. Mangual.

DA: Teen Titans and Titans might each be ending soon; there’s been no cancellation announcement, but they’re both mysteriously absent from the May solicitations. And that’d be particularly sad in the case of Titans, as it continues to be a fun read each and every month.

No, it may not achieve the heights that these characters did during the justifiably acclaimed Wolfman/Perez run that topped DC’s sales charts in the ’80s, but writer Dan Abnett understands that it’s the relationships as much as the superheroics which the readers tune in for every month. And with current penciller Paul Pelletier on board, the art is just as satisfying.

A data point rarely commented on is that Abnett’s Titans Hunt miniseries seemed to presage the changed universe/changed memories mystery that’s been part of DC Rebirth for the last two years; in fact, that mini’s final issue hinted at the return of Wally West one week before readers saw his surprise reappearance in DC Universe Rebirth #1. Are the two Titans-related books just going away because of low sales? Or are they instead simply stepping aside, before coming back in a manner even more involved with DC’s current overarching epic?

We certainly hope it’s the latter!

Staff Picks: Infidel #1Infidel #1

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Pornsak Pichetshote.

Art by Aaron Campbell.

Colors by Jose Villarrubia.

Letters by Jeff Powell.

BD: Remember Liquid Sky, that sci-fi flick from the early 80s in which aliens on top of a Manhattan high-rise feed off the orgasms of New Wave and electroclash scenesters addicted to Quaaludes, with fatal results? No? That’s perfectly fine, because Infidel sounds worlds better.

But its premise — a ghost feeding off xenophobia in a multi-racial apartment building — struck me as a far more relevant and worthwhile distant cousin to that ol’ movie. It’s a potentially hair-raising plot I can get behind, and I can’t wait to read it.

Staff Picks: Sheriff of Babylon: Deluxe EditionSheriff of Babylon: The Deluxe Edition

Vertigo/DC Comics/$39.99

Written by Tom King.

Illustrated by Mitch Gerads.

Letters by Nick Napolitano and Travis Lanham.

AOK: Revenge stories like Sheriff of Babylon only come by once a decade. Ones where the violence remains shocking and uncomfortable, the absolution doesn’t happen, the justice is absent.

No capes. Harsh environs. Shit, piss, bullets, and blood. Vendetta. The wrong guy eats it. The right one does as well, but this isn’t a zero-sum story. Sheriff of Babylon is all subtraction. The realness will wreck you. The lives lost are tragedies that will haunt you. As it should be.

Look, I don’t need to sell you on the colossal talent of Tom King and Mitch Gerads. But. Sheriff of Babylon is next level, even for them. This new Deluxe Edition collects the complete series in a single, oversize hardcover, the prestige format a tale of its quality deserves. Their true-telling Iraqi war story is as important as any piece of journalism or literature on the subject. Prepare for devastation.

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!

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