By Molly Jane Kremer, Arpad Okay, Clyde Hall, and Brendan F. Hodgdon. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. From ‘Isola’ #1 to ‘Black Bolt’ #12, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.
Written by Saladin Ahmed.
Art by Christian Ward.
Letters by Clayton Cowles.
MJ: Black Bolt has been one of Marvel’s most interesting, challenging, and gorgeously composed series for nearly a year now, and I’m sad to say that issue #12 concludes this run. Twelve issues is certainly too few for this phenomenal book, but at least it was the whole story the creators —Saladin Ahmed, Christian Ward and Clayton Cowles — intended to tell. (And hoo boy, am I grateful they got to make it — and, of course, that we got to read it.)
Superhero comics rarely delve into the all-too-human problems of friendships, fatherhood, and relationships. Which isn’t to say that ol’ Blackagar has lost any of that cosmic Inhuman gravitas: Ahmed’s skill at prose has translated excellently into his scripting. And Ward’s psychedelic art is some of the wildest, prettiest most explosive stuff you’ll see in a Marvel comic.
This comic even made Crusher Creel the most unexpectedly loveable sidekick of last (and assuredly this) year so you know it must be something special. Pick up Black Bolt #12 for the finale to a modern classic. Keep your eyes peeled for Ahmed and Ward’s next respective projects.
Written by Brenden Fletcher.
Art by Karl Kerschl.
Colors by Msassyk.
Letters by Aditya Bidikar.
AOK: Isola looks absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking, top-of-the-game art and colors that make me excited like the first Image books did years ago. That magic plus science fiction vibe. Karl Kerschl’s characters, costumes, and aesthetic in general has a look like Jean Giraud doing a 60s Disney film. Msassyk colors pages with such potency the art glows as if they were cells set on a light box. Msassyk and Kerschl combined is stained glass windows in the high church of sequential art.
Plus Brenden Fletcher. What slays me about this guy is his writing is so thoughtful in regards to the medium of comics. Fella cannot script a bad panel. And the story of Isola reads like some Last Unicorn, Ishiguro, tippy-top fantasy quest dream stuff. This book really is dream stuff, the product of best friends who have been talking comics nigh forever, making it what should be.
Written by Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing.
Art by Jorge Corona.
Colors by Mat Lopes.
Letters by Carlos M. Mangual.
BFH: There’s an argument to be made that Dick Grayson has had one of the most consistently successful creative outputs of the post-Flashpoint DC universe. From Kyle Higgins, Eddy Barrows and company in the New 52 days, to Tom King, Tim Seeley and Mikel Janin’s stunning Grayson, to this current series most recently shepherded by Sam Humphries and Bernard Chang, Nightwing’s adventures have been a perpetual standout over the past 7 years. And now, two creators have returned to the character with what sounds like a fun little one-shot.
Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing, who previously wrapped up Grayson so nicely in-between Seeley’s tenures with the character, are taking the former Bat Wonder to Tokyo to rescue Damian Wayne. Not only does this present another opportunity to explore this very different Dynamic Duo further, but if the cover is any indication we might see some cool new characters introduced here too. Even without Kelly & Lanzing’s existing Nightwing bona fides, I would still be excited for this, thanks to their underrated work on books like Joyride and Gotham City Garage. Throw in some Jorge Corona art, and this should make for a rollicking 22 pages.
Written by Chad Bowers, Christa Faust, Devin Grayson, CM Punk, and Chris Sims.
Art by Marika Cresta, Paulo Siqueira, Dalibor Talajić, and Kev Walker.
CH: There’s always been a soft spot for comic book underdogs, especially those who once skimmed the stratosphere only to find their cred and cover price power reduced to “Who?” a generation, or less, later. The Marvel Legacy Companion contains reprints of characters which mostly fall into that category. These are heroes that normally wouldn’t get a second chance if not for the Marvel Legacy effort to bring elements of the past into modern continuity. I’ve long been a proponent of using existing characters, even weak ones, and writing them well rather than creating an all-new character who’s almost identical. Catman, Bork, Manhunter, and Thunderbolts prove the approach, although with varying degrees of success. So, no matter how effective the Legacy redefinition turns out to be overall, I’m on board with the sentiment.
Collected here are Darkhawk #51, Master of Kung Fu (2017) #126, Not Brand Echh #14, Power Pack (2017) #63, and Silver Sable and The Wild Pack #36. For the record, any compilation that continues the exploits of Forbush Man from Not Brand Echh, includes Shang-Chi, and incorporates a comic story written by CM Punk, is going to capture my attention. Holding it may be another matter, but there’s satisfaction in seeing all these characters get a chance to shine bright once again.
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!