By Molly Jane Kremer, Brandy Dykhuizen, Clyde Hall, 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 ‘Quicksilver: No Surrender’ #1 to a stand-alone issue of ‘Bloodshot Salvation’, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.
Written by Saladin Ahmed.
Art by Eric Nguyen.
Colors by Rico Renzi.
Letters by VC’s Clayton Cowles.
CH: An ongoing comic book tradition held that speedsters were generally a happy-go-lucky lot. Maybe the foundation came before that, with Mercury a fleet-footed trickster and scoundrel. Maybe Jay Garrick’s grinning visage inspired the cheery likes of Johnny Quick and Barry Allen’s Flash (especially the current TV version). Then came Quicksilver.
No matter what the Fox X-movies say, nor the MCU short-lived version, Pietro was not a jolly good fellow. In fact, he was by turns caustic, arrogant, impatient, and disdainful of his ‘lessers’ on any teams he joined. He was a refreshing superspeed backwash to the norm, difficult but quite handy to have around, equally adept at cutting down villains with his acerbic observations.
Now Quicksilver’s on his own, where he calls the shots and has no one else to blame if things go sideways. Saladin Ahmed scripts Pietro’s post-Avengers: No Surrender solo series, and that has my full attention. Ahmed’s Black Bolt plumbed the Midnight King’s personality, taking the character places divergent from his role with the Inhumans. Ahmed loosed on the begrudging support player who is Quicksilver promises to be just as insightful. The truth? I would pick up this first issue just for another letter cold missive like the one in Black Bolt #1. Ahmed’s personal buoyancy and positive waves are infectious. And the promise of Eric Nguyen interior art enriches the deal.
Written by Kieron Gillen.
Art by Jamie McKelvie.
Colors by Matthew Wilson.
Letters by Clayton Cowles.
MJ: Be warned: this issue of WicDiv, like the rest of the latest story arc so far, is rather generous with its reveals, and bombastic in its exposure of the myriad jaw-dropping secrets from within our current pantheon.
Fashion researcher Dani V assisted with the first twelve pages, which serve to, like the last two issues, again flesh out events from previous pantheons—this time for sixty-six of them! The obvious work put into the historical garb is impressive, and is a testament to McKelvie and Wilson’s commitment to both detail and aesthetic. (And for those of us with dark senses of humor this sequence might inspire a giggle or two.)
The narrative hops back to “now”—and also “now-ish”, with another quick, more recent flashback—in which Matthew Wilson (with Dee Cunniffe on flats) shines. Harsh reds suffuse Baal’s entire conflagration of a story, and each rough-edged panel is bordered with what look like Ben-Day dots, producing an apt flickering-flame effect. Oh, and while last month’s big shocker is expounded upon, there’s a new reveal that might be even crazier.
Thirty-six issues in and The Wicked + The Divine somehow continues to shock, impress and inspire, the intensity increasing at an astounding rate. With only a year or so until the series’ finale, everything is crescendoing in all the right ways: eloquently, elegantly, and oh-so-satisfyingly.
Written by Steve Orlando.
Art by Garry Brown.
Colors by Lee Loughridge.
Letters by Thomas Mauer.
BD: Tragedy and violence painted against the kind of bleak landscape that wants you dead anyways – it’s pretty easy to set the tone for a detached and raw tale in Russia. The first issue of Crude jumped around quite a bit, but I dug the expository chaos. It offset the intensity of Piotr’s present situation in a way that made me want to plow ahead.
And the artwork is pretty killer. Lee Loughridge’s colors bring Garry Brown’s illustrations to a brilliant life amidst all the death. Also, the insufferable know-it-all in me was immensely satisfied that they resisted the temptation to turn that “R” around backwards in the title, to resemble a Cyrillic character that sounds nothing like an “R” whatsoever. I hate it when people do that.
Written by Joshua Jabcuga and Joe R. Lansdale.
Art by Tadd Galusha.
Colors by Ryan Hill.
DA: In 2002, audiences were taken unawares by the release of a new film called Bubba Ho-Tep. Based on a short story by novelist and comics writer Joe R. Lansdale, it starred Bruce Campbell as an aged nursing home resident who may or may not be a faked-his-death Elvis, who teams up with an elderly black man who certainly is not a surviving JFK, as they battle a bizarre cowboy mummy preying on the souls of the other residents. It was loopy and strange and unique, combining comedy and terror and a classic pulp fiction feel, all mashed up in a blender.
An end-credit teaser promised more, but it was never intended to be anything other than a joke. Instead, last year Lansdale released a prequel novel through Subterranean Press: Bubba Ho-Tep and the Cosmic Bloodsuckers, detailing when the maybe-Elvis once fought off a horde of vampires from outer space. IDW knows a good thing when they see it, of course, and thus have commissioned a comics adaptation of the same, by Joshua Jabcuga and Tadd Galusha. And the first issue is out this week!
Written by Ray Fawkes and Jeff Lemire.
Art by Renato Guedes.
Letters by Simon Bowland.
JJ: Bloodshot Salvation is already a damn fine piece of entertainment. At once bloody and poignant, ferocious and sweet, Jeff Lemire’s already impressive Bloodshot run has evolved into an action comic must of the highest order.
If you’re behind on the times and are looking to toe the waters of Valiant’s stupendous superhero line, might I suggest Bloodshot Salvation #9, a stand-alone issue that not only delves into the frightening nature of the Bloodshot program, but the origins of comicdom’s most steadfast K-9 protagonist, Bloodhound! (With apologies to Krypto.)
Renato Guedes guides us through Bloodhound’s harrowing tour of duty during the more intense days of World War I. As scripted by Ray Fawkes (with assists from Mr. Lemire), Bloodhound takes on the dread German might in a charcoal-and-crimson-hued story that plucks at the heartstrings nearly as often as it gets the hairs on your neck to stand at attention. In short, it’s another glorious chapter of Bloodshot Salvation, and a great stand-alone story for those intrigued by what Valiant is getting up to these days.
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!