by Arpad OkayDon AlsafiClyde HallBrendan 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 the second-arc debut of ‘Redlands’ to BOOM! Studios’ ‘Sparrowhawk’ #1, here’s what has our hearts set ablaze this week.

Redlands #7

Image Comics/$3.99

Written by Jordie Bellaire.

Illustrated by Vanesa Del Rey.

Colored by Jordie Bellaire.

Lettered by Clayton Cowles.

AOK: Ah, Redlands, the whirlwind of blood and revenge has returned, and its timing is perfect. I never know what I’m going to get out of this comic specifically, and that has been a real joy reading issue to issue. The rug, it is constantly pulled out from under my expectations. There’s always something grander and more upsetting than what I thought. Redlands is this raw expulsion of pain and acrid true human experience under the guise of a monster book.

I do know what to expect, however, and it’s catharsis. After this last week in politics and with the start of October, a witch cult comic book where sexual abusers and the patriarchy are set on fire is exactly what I need.

Sparrowhawk #1

BOOM! Studios/$3.99

Script by Delilah S Dawson.

Art by Matias Basla.

Letters by Jim Campbell.

BFH: One suspects that a comic like Sparrowhawk is precisely the kind of thing that a certain manchild segment of the readership would hate with a passion. A biracial girl in a Victorian setting interacting with faeries, from a female author known primarily for female-led novels involving romance and gender-fluid identity? One suspects that the book-stabbing videos will be plentiful. But hey, if those dudes want to actively avoid having fun, who am I to stop them?

Indeed, Sparrowhawk sounds like a metric ton of fun from bow to stern, and I can’t wait to delve into its world. A Victorian faerie fight club sounds like an immensely entertaining concept, and coming from Delilah Dawson (the novelist of Star Wars: Phasma and great original work like Kill the Farm Boy) it is sure to be a rollicking crowd-pleaser. The art previews circulating also prove that artist Matias Basla brings the goods here as well, delivering beautiful work alongside Dawson’s words.

Comics like Sparrowhawk are where the future of the medium truly lies. And honestly, thank goodness for that.

X-Men Black #1: Magneto


Written by Chris Claremont, Zach Thompson & Lonnie Nadler

Art by Dalibor Talajic, Geraldo Borges, Roberto Poggi & Belardino Brabo

Colors by Dono Sanchez-Almara & Rachelle Rosenberg

Letters by VC’s Joe Caramagna & Cory Petit

DA: It’s astonishingly rare to see a new Chris Claremont comic these days. He will forever be associated with the groundbreaking work he did with the X-Men, helming Uncanny from 1975-1991, which took the mutant misfits from a book that had been cancelled five years before to what soon became the top-selling comic bar none. But while his talent for combining action, long-running plot threads and simmering soap opera drama resonated with readers in the 1980s, Marvel have since been unable to deploy him in a way that recaptures that same magic—despite paying Claremont an exclusive salary for years which prevents him from writing for their competitors.

Enter X-Men: Black (the latest in Marvel’s crayon-naming scheme), a five-issue miniseries of one-shots spotlighting a different villain each issue. #1 features Magneto, who in Claremont’s 16-year run was given enough complexity to either vengefully sink a Russian submarine—or else atone by taking over the tutelage of the New Mutants when asked by a departing Xavier. Claremont is joined by artist Dalibor Talajic, most recently off of stints on Old Man Logan and Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe Again.

And while the 20-page lead stories for these five one-shots are self-contained, each issue also contains a 10-page backup story retelling the origin of Apocalypse across five chapters. (They’re written by Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler, with art by Geraldo Borges.) As the one-shot format might naturally have readers only pick up the issues featuring characters they’re interested in, that continuing backup is a mightily canny way of encouraging fans to pick up the entire five-issue mini—if they’re so inclined.

The Lone Ranger #1


Written by Mark Russell.

Illustrated by Bob Q.

Letters by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou.

CH: The masked rider of the plains returns for a third volume courtesy of Dynamite this week, and that may leave some potential readers feeling all manner of “Meh.” Because Vol 3. Also because Disney movie aftertaste lingering since 2013 (I still maintain there were some good parts.). Or maybe because, of all the Western heroes, comic books have excavated the Lone Ranger mythos deep as a hollowed-out silver mine. There were once titles dedicated not only to the Ranger, but also to his partner, Tonto, and even to his steed, Silver. And the suspension bridge of disbelief built and maintained for so long around the Lone Ranger (silver bullets, disarming owlhoots by shooting guns from their hands, paladin’s warhorse, making the American West too much like fantasyland) no longer bridges the gaps for a modern readership.

But writer Mark Russell has a rep (and some Eisner nominations) for work taking established characters and moving them in directions not before seen, including some overexposed characters with a ton of past material. He’s chosen to place the Lone Ranger amid an actual historical event, and a violent one: The Texas Fence Cutting Wars of 1883. It was also a conflict that involved vigilantes, so the masked man using guerrilla tactics to thwart combating sides while trying to broker a peace sounds more plausible than myriad vehicles the character’s been portrayed in. This lends a veneer of Open Range about how this story may unfold, and that’s why, even though the week sees new issues coming out for many of my current favorite series, I’ll also be checking out The Lone Ranger #1.

Black Crown Quarterly #4

Black Crown/IDW Publishing/$3.99

Written by Rob Davis, Will Potter, and Carl Puttnam.

Art by Rob Davis, Philip Bond and Katie Skelly.

Colors by Robin Henly and Lee Loughridge.

Letters by Rob Davis and Aditya Bidikar.

JJ: Black Crown Quarterly is the comics rag we need. Zine aesthetic snug in handsome wraparound covers. Pages upon pages of interviews, comix, insights, energy. Black Crown knows how to make this stuff sing and wants you to hang out in the green room. And that’s what Quarterly is: all-access to the coolest imprint in the universe.

With its Fall 2018 issue it appears that Black Crown Quarterly has chopped its content in half. No pin-ups this go-around, fewer interviews. The price has been halved, as well. Thus comes a silver lining: Interior art from comics luminaries such as Philip Bond, Katie Skelly and Rob Davis coming to you at a premium, with a sweet promise of true new Black Crown goodness on the horizon.

This edition marks a full year of comics, culture & cool. The omnibus should be incredible. But it also marks the end of two of its central stories: Tales from the Black Crown and Cud: Rich and Strange both come to a rip-roaring end, flanked on all sides by commentary, chatter and one-pagers designed to enrich your very souls. If Euthanauts and House Amok are breaking your brain, grab a pint and take five with Black Crown Quarterly.

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!