By Molly Jane Kremer, Don Alsafi, Clyde Hall, Brendan F. Hodgdon, and Sara Mitchell. Comics that challenge us, slay us, beguile us — the comics we simply can’t wait to devour. That’s DoomRocket’s Staff Picks. From Marvel’s ‘Multiple Man’ #1 to the Bryan Hill’s ‘Detective Comics’ debut, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.

Multiple Man #1

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Matthew Rosenberg.

Inks by Andy MacDonald.

Colors by Tamra Bonvillain.

Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham.

SM: Multiple Man returns! And returns! And returns, and returns, and returns! (because duplicates). And boy, is mystery afoot.

Within death lies many mysteries. We ask ourselves why it had to happen to a particular person, at a particular time. We wonder what happens afterward, or if anything happens afterward at all. Does that make us hopeful? Delusional? I think, simply, we’re just humans telling ourselves stories to explore the pain, if not soothe it. As you’ll recall, the last time we saw Jamie Madrox, aka Multiple Man, was in 2016’s Death of X—and he died. He looked miserable and infected, and he died. Along with all of his duplicates. So, naturally, we mourned the loss of a character and we moved on.

However.

Marvel is giving Matthew Rosenberg the reins to explore one of the greatest stories we tell ourselves when faced with the mysteries that lie within death: What if he didn’t die? What if we could go right back to that awful, final moment and do things differently?

And so we have Multiple Man #1. Why, might you ask, should you be excited about Marvel’s resurrection of Jamie Madrox for his own literally death-defying miniseries this summer? Because we’re going to talk about life after death and witness all of the strange new side effects that erupt and ripple out from such an event. We’ll explore the chaos that spawns from returning to life. And the consequences that come from it.

The Man of Steel #5

DC/$3.99

Written by Brian Michael Bendis.

Art by Adam Hughes and Jason Fabok.

Colors by Adam Hughes and Alex Sinclair.

Letters by Josh Reed.

MJ: DC has made sure that The Man of Steel, our introduction to Brian Michael Bendis’ take on Superman, has the starriest of stellar art lineups. Issue #5 features art by none other than Adam Hughes, whose work on comic interiors can be few and far between these days, but he’s enough of a marquee name himself to bring in tons of readers. Add in Mr. Bendis and this is undoubtedly one of the most anticipated issues of this month—if not the year.

Adam Hughes has done a Superman cover or two in his storied career, but actually getting to see his sequentials on the inside of a Superman comic is—not to delve too deeply into hyperbole here—possibly my ideal Superman comic. His Clark is emotive, his fight scenes are explosive, and his group scenes with various JLAers are *artistic chef’s kiss*. (And I’m never gonna complain about seeing a new Hughes’ interpretation of Wonder Woman, fleeting though it may be.) Each installment of Man of Steel has upped the ante on the last. This gorgeous issue is no exception.

Bedtime Games #1

Dark Horse Comics/$3.99

Written by Nick Keller.

Art by Conor Nolan.

Colors by Kelly Fitzpatrick.

Letters by John J. Hill.

CH: Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, a tale and title that sounds like an IT, Nightmare on Elm Street, and Are You Afraid of the Dark? summer horror smoothie. Maybe a smoothie with pink chunks more resembling raw meat than melon bits. Nick Keller and brother Zack Keller cut their horror comic teeth co-writing Death Head for Dark Horse a few years back, and I’m curious to see how the multi-talented Nick fares on his own, with the added seasoning of age, scripting his new Bedtime Games.

Reviews and previews suggest a pastiche of tropes bound together in bright and rosy hues, with a young character cast ready for insertion into any R.L. Stine romp. They also suggest a much darker, mature Stephen King heart thumping beneath that veneer. It’s a tale of three friends sharing a summer prior to their last year of high school, their final dive into the kiddie pool before being tossed from the nosebleed-inducing diving platform of adulthood’s deep end. Unleashing a dormant, sinister force slumbering beneath their town seems sure to speed along the end of their innocence.

Often, a spark finds fresh tinder left over from previous bonfires of popularity. Stranger Things, with its combination of nostalgia, vulnerable youthful protagonists, and nightmare-inducing creatures, is the latest usual suspect when it comes to tales of terror. Whatever the impetus, recent horror comics and anthologies have breathed fresh afterlife into the genre. Bedtime Games seems perfectly poised in timing and content to either continue the procession or mark a tipping point for it.

Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #306

Marvel Comics/$3.99

Written by Chip Zdarsky.

Art by Adam Kubert and Juan Frigeri.

Colors by Jason Keith and Andrew Crossley.

Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham.

DA: Peter Parker: the Spectacular Spider-Man continues to be the unsung gem of the Spidey franchise. While Amazing may be the flagship title in which the epic stories unfold, PPtSSM has had its own share of revelations and massive changes to the Spider-Quo, as well. Chief among these has been the discovery that Teresa Parker—a character first introduced in the 2014 Amazing Spider-Man: Family Business original graphic novel (by Mark Waid, James Robinson, Werther Dell’Edera and Gabriele Dell’Otto)—is well and truly Peter’s actual sister, and the shocking game-changer in the first story arc when Peter confessed to J. Jonah Jameson that he is, and always has been, Spider-Man. (Leading to an amazing one-off issue wherein Spidey sat down for a dinner-long interview with Jonah.)

Writer Chip Zdarsky has a flawless insight into both Spidey’s world and his voice, and the street-level feel he brings to the book has been a welcome return from the start. He launched the book with artist Adam Kubert, who returns (with penciller/inker Juan Frigeri) after an arc by Joe Quinones in which Spidey, Teresa & JJJ went back in time. Now they’ve all returned to the present, as the overarching threat of the alien Vedomi finally comes to the fore. Spectacular is exciting, it’s funny, and it’s consistently everything you’d ever want a Spider-Man comic to be.

Detective Comics #983

DC/$2.99

Written by Bryan Hill.

Pencils by Miguel Mendonca.

Inks by Diana Egea.

Colors by Adriano Lucas.

Letters by Sal Cipriano.

BFH: Following up a seminal, era-defining run on a book (and a damn good one-shot after that) is never an easy task. But there is no doubt in my mind that Bryan Hill and Miguel Mendonca will continue the tradition of excellence in Detective Comics with their five-issue arc, which begins today with issue #983.

It seems like Hill and Mendonca will be building on the events of James Tynion IV’s long-term story (not to mention plot points from Justice League: No Justice), while likely setting up a Black Lightning-led Outsiders title down the line. Those factors alone are cause enough to be interested in this story. But with Hill behind the keyboard, it takes the whole endeavor into “must buy” territory. Considering his work on titles like Postal, Romulus and Michael Cray, Hill is an ideal writer for Batman. And his phenomenal Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey one-shot proves he can mix Jefferson Pierce with anyone to great result.

Throw in the quality storytelling sensibilities of an artist like Mendonca, and I find it hard to imagine a version of this story that won’t turn out to be a classic, rip-roaring yarn. If you’re looking for some well-crafted superhero adventure, this issue seems like as safe a bet as possible.

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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