By Molly Jane Kremer, Stefania Rudd, Clyde Hall, Brendan F. Hodgdon 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 ‘Hot Lunch Special’ #1 to the latest issue of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.
Written by Eliot Rahal.
Art by Jorge Fornes.
Letters by Taylor Esposito.
BFH: Crime stories are nothing new to comics, and like any other genre they have benefited greatly from the increasingly diversified marketplace of the medium. How else do we get a book like Hot Lunch Special, a neo-noir potboiler with a sandwich-based backdrop?
Writer Eliot Rahal, coming off a solid run through the Valiant Universe, gets a chance to shine with this somewhat more grounded story. And artist Jorge Fornes, having done such great and moody work on titles like Magnus, will work wonders on a weird crime saga such as this.
“Murder, mayhem and mustard” is the type of high-concept elevator pitch that immediately grabs your attention. Yes, Hot Lunch Special has a strange enough premise that clearly leaves the door open for wit and absurdity to work its way into the book. Hopefully the result will feature a little more of that Coen Brothers peculiarity than the vast majority of grim crime comics that have strewn across stands over the years. Either way, this looks like a good bit of seedy fun.
Written by Steve Orlando.
Art by Aco.
Inks by David Lorenzo.
Colors by Romulo Fajardo, Jr.
Letters by Saida Temofonte.
MJ: I love Wonder Woman. (Old news if you’ve been reading DoomRocket for very long, I know.) Which is why I’m ecstatic that this week’s issue is such a stunner—it’s a, well, wonderful feeling (sorry) to be able to enjoy my favorite character this much again.
Wonder Woman #52 is Steve Orlando’s second issue as writer on the series, joined by frequent collaborator ACO, David Lorenzo, and Romulo Fajardo Jr for the first part of “The Enemy of Both Sides.” Diana joins forces with the new Aztek as well as fellow Amazon Artemis to search for Diana’s long-lost aunt, Atalanta. What ensues is an action-packed and trippy, Morrison-esque journey, greatly enhanced by ACO’s flair for the psychedelic.
Last month Orlando presented an instant understanding of Diana’s voice. That continues here, as he also provides Wonder Woman a new mission that drops her and her companions dead center into an entirely new mythological pantheon. The layouts are magnificent (with ACO at the helm, that should be no surprise) and Fajardo’s colors are gorgeous—having been on the title for so long, he has the range to make each artist working on the book look fantastic while keeping the general tone of the series consistent.
Though Orlando’s run will be sadly short-lived (it’s hard to complain about G. Willow Wilson taking the reigns after him, however) this is a storyline that is destined to be a classic in the annals of Themiscyra. Miss it at your peril.
BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios/$7.99
Written by Nicole Andelfinger and Brittney Williams.
Art by Maddi Gonzalez.
Letters by Ariana Maher.
SR: For me, Lumberjanes means endless summer. Its camp setting beams with the glow of nostalgia, its characters the kind of kids with whom you might have shared a legendary friendship.
A Midsummer Night’s Scheme is this year’s Lumberjanes special, and similar to previous years this beefed-up one-shot features the campers of Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. It’s the Midsummer Masquerade, and everyone is in full swing creating the most magical soiree. Costumes! Decorations! Glitter… everywhere!
This wouldn’t be a Lumberjanes tale without the camper’s best-laid plans taking peculiar and often hilarious twists and turns. Is the menace of the Masquerade supernatural or does it just appear to be? The s’mores are aflame, the game is afoot and I’m looking forward to holding onto summer for just a little bit longer, immersing myself in this new adventure with my favorite Scouts.
Written by Robert Venditti.
Pencils by Bryan Hitch.
Inks by Andrew Currie, Paul Neary, and Hitch.
Colors by Alex Sinclair and Jeremiah Skipper.
Letters by Starkings and Comicraft.
CH: Oh, Hawkman, you started off with such promise in the Golden Age. Perfect attendance at the Justice Society meetings, then chairman of that august body. You had an interesting ancient Egyptian backstory of mysticism and reincarnation. Your wife not only knew your secret identity but flew into battle with you as Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman. Silver Age You got a Thanagarian sci-fi reboot as an alien cop with starships, a spiffy Justice League membership card (and stunning Joe Kubert art), while still retaining your archaeological roots. Then came Crisis on Infinite Earths, and suddenly you were the continuity whipping boy of the DC Universe. Hawkworld, Hawk-god, fusing your Golden and Silver Age personas into one—it all added to the confusion but with sparsely positive effect. You were a hot feathery mess.
Thus, the announcement of a new Hawkman series may have been welcomed by some with the zeal reserved for finding a slab of two-week-old forgotten meatloaf lurking in the back of the refrigerator. It’s not unwelcome when the pantry’s bare, but its validity and freshness remain dubious. At least this fan didn’t feel obliged to check it out. Then came DoomRocket’s own Jami Jones’ review of Hawkman #2, and that led to reading #1 and #2, and that led to here.
The third issue comes out this week, and I’m all in. Writer Robert Venditti has pulled one of the more impressive scripting legerdemains of recent time. Faced with the problem of Carter Hall’s continuity tangles, he didn’t try to condense, limit, or retract. He added more, expanding it with an angle that substantially widens the character’s possibilities. Plus, he included an eon-spanning mystery as part of the package. The matter of what impacts this storyline could have on Shiera, Shayera, and Kendra as Hawkman’s winged partners remains airborne, but enticing.
There are also sly asides to past Hawkman imagery and continuity. Bryan Hitch had me at ‘winged gorilla’, and I’m warming to his style. In issue #3, Hawkman’s quest for answers regarding his combined pasts and the Threat Looming Since Before Time take him to Dinosaur Island and what appears to be an encounter with the Feitheran bird folk. Tying in elements of Carter’s past, a nod to Northwind of Infinity, Inc., and T-Rexes? Well played, creative team, and if you keep this up, you may have a sleeper hit on your hands.
Written by Nick Spencer.
Art by Ryan Ottley.
Inks by Cliff Rathburn.
Colors by Laura Martin.
Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna.
JJ: Change is good. It’s definitely good for The Amazing Spider-Man, a book that’s swinging high thanks to a brand new creative team, a change in direction, and a vibrant new energy. It’s crazy how vibrant Spidey is these days. Lookit him. He’s practically vibrating.
Nick Spencer and Ryan Ottley’s ASM run is still in the early stages, but it’s already a paradigm-shifting one, thanks largely to that ludicrously over-sized debut a few weeks back. Old villains came out of the woodwork and so did old flames, which caused just as many surprises as it did relieved sighs that, yes, the premiere Spider-Man saga was indeed back on track.
Sure, the Parker Industries arc was fun (I really liked it!), but these first three issues of the SpOttley run (we’re calling it that, so back off) have underscored what many Web-headed fans have always known: Spider-Man works best when he’s allowed to just be Spider-Man, dangit. With all the botched intentions, tenuous relationships, and crippling debt that goes with it.
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!