By Molly Jane Kremer, Arpad Okay, Mickey Rivera 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 Berger Books’ ‘The Seeds’ to the latest issue of ‘Justice League’, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.

The Seeds #1

Berger Books/Dark Horse Comics/$3.99

Written by Ann Nocenti.

Art by David Aja.

Lettered by David Aja.

Edited by Karen Berger.

AOK: If you want more from comics, The Seeds is a book you need to be reading. It’s a foul-mouthed mystery. A warning about today that comes from tomorrow. A dystopian romance set in a world of fascists, journalists, and aliens. Do you like feisty spirits who take no shit? They’re here. Does representation matter to you? It does to The Seeds. The look is inspired and deceitful: a single color runs through the book, and solid black, with texture from overlapping layers of faux-tone dots. The feel is offset printing, achieved with a master’s grip on the modern artist’s process.

When I was given the opportunity to read and write about this book a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance. I know The Seeds is great; I can count on one hand the number of 10/10 reviews I’ve given and the first issue of The Seeds more than earned theirs. So why am I so excited for the release of something I’ve already read? To see how the panels line up with the pages laid out side by side. The gloss of the printing playing with and against the hand-pressed style of the art. I love comics, their every detail, and The Seeds is as good as they get. The Seeds is my Staff Pick this week because I am alive.

Paper Girls #23

Written by Brian K. Vaughan.

Art by Cliff Chiang.

Colors by Matt Wilson.

Color flats by Dee Cunniffe.

Letters and design by Jared K. Fletcher.

MJ: Past and present continue to tangle in the most unexpected ways in Paper Girls, but in a time travel story one should always expect the unexpected. Interior art and letters by Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, Dee Cunniffe and Jared K. Fletcher are typically astonishing; the cool palettes of nighttime exterior scenes pair and contrast beautifully with the warm tones found on pages that take place indoors.

The eponymous girls are making their way through future-Cleveland now (with a grownup and gothtastic Y2K-era Tiffany tagging along), encountering familiar faces while making new friends (and foes) along the way. In the tradition of good sci-fi, Paper Girls is full of topical social commentary, from health care to homophobia, interspersed with what is reliably some of the best scripting and art you’ll find in any modern comic. And if you’re still feeling the ache of Saga’s recently announced hiatus—writer Brian K. Vaughan’s other comics juggernaut, with artist Fiona Staples—Paper Girls is more than equipped to fill that void.

Justice League #5


Written by Scott Snyder.

Pencils by Doug Mahnke.

Inks by Jaime Mendoza.

Colors by Wil Quintana.

Letters by Tom Napolitano.

JJ: Five issues into Justice League and it’s become clear: Scott Snyder has set up the optimum endgame for the DCU.

Yes, it’s too early in the running for this JL run to be declaring the end of all things, but scan the landscape of “Legion of Doom, Part One” (which begins right here with issue #5) and find an outcome that benefits anyone who isn’t 100% pure evil. You can’t. The Legion of Doom is here, less Hanna-Barbera goofiness and more Your Worst Fucking Nightmare. There remains a bit more expository maneuvering to work through before things get really hairy, and you’ll find unsubtle traces of Grant Morrison’s stuff here (mostly from his “Rock of Ages” JLA storyline) but since when was that ever a bad thing? Snyder’s better tendencies—that is, to mire in jet-black evil—absolutely shine in the darkness. The man was born to write Lex Luthor. So let him do it.

This issue he pairs with artist Doug Mahnke, whose squiggly, fugly character work is a perfect fit for such a heinous tale. To seize control of the universe—and the future!—Luthor needs only to assemble the worst of the worst. The malicious few who’d sooner kill one another than work together. A trivial task for a superior mind. And to make sure these nogoodniks toe the line, Luthor will have to appeal to their greatest weakness, one he shares himself but is far too shrewd to leave exposed—


Tell me that doesn’t sound exciting… and also just a little frightening.

Survival Fetish #3

Black Mask Studios/$3.99

Written by Patrick Kindlon.

Art by Antonio Fuso.

Lettered by Jim Campbell.

MR: Survival Fetish focuses on those most heavily affected by war: ordinary citizens. After a conflict of unknown origin turns Honolulu into a slow burning combat zone, rival factions have occupied skyscrapers across the city, guarding their towers with snipers perched on high. Creators Patrick Kindlon and Antonio Fuso focus on Saheer, a “runner” whose job it is to vault across Honolulu’s factionalized city streets, making deliveries of medicine, hard drives, and whatever else people with the money to burn may need. As he dodges bullets in the streets and tries to find respite in the community, readers get to peer into the thought process of someone whose life is perpetually on the line.

Kindlon has got his character building on point here. Saheer is compelling and downright believable as a reluctant hero who started off living dangerously as a well-paying gig and now just wants to get out of the game without forsaking the righteous image he’s built for himself. Fuso’s stark tri-chromatic artwork feels classic and lets his craftsmanship shine without distracting from the plot. Blending that bold, ink-heavy aesthetic with writing that slowly builds your understanding of Saheer and his fractured and dangerous world, Survival Fetish is one of the strongest comics available today. It’s absolutely worth keeping up with.

Leviathan #1

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by John Layman.

Art by Nick Pitarra.

Colors by Michael Garland.

JJ: True love and giant hell-beasts have more in common than you’d probably realize. That’s why I’m glad Leviathan is here, to show us exactly how both can—and often will—trample all over your itty-bitty heart.

That sounds like a heap of anti-sentiment, I know. But place some trust in John Layman, who’s no slouch when it comes to mayhem (remember Chew?) nor is he—believe it or not—a stranger to swells of emotion when the need arises (how could we forget Eleanor and the Egret?). Leviathan heralds Layman’s return to smashed-balls-on-the-wall absurdity, absolutely, but there’s more at play here than the mere kaiju-attack-at-the-worst-possible-moment type of yarn. It’s bone-headed satire of the Mad Magazine variety, where relationships, religion, and the modern human condition are rife for the lampooning.

And count on things getting supremely gnarly before the end. Nick Pitarra crams enough detail and viscera into a single panel that you’d swear you were meant to find something in there, a Where’s Waldo? for the Clive Barker set. Michael Garland wants you to revel in the insanity, where hellfire scorches retinas and blood suddenly splashes across surprised faces. Layman, Pitarra and Garland do not hold back in Leviathan. Your inner thirteen year-old has been chained deep in the caverns of your id for years. Time to give that brat some exercise.

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!