by Stefania Rudd, Arpad Okay, Clyde Hall, Brendan 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 ‘Invaders’ #1 to the latest issue of ‘Isola’, here are the comics that have our hearts set ablaze this week.
Written by Chip Zdarsky.
Art by Butch Guice & Carlos Magno.
Colors by Alex Guimarães.
Letters by Travis Lanham.
CH: Read some Golden Age Sub-Mariner, and it’s jarring how much anti-hero Namor channeled. His career onward reads like a Marianas Trench ping pong tournament. The Avenging Son gambols from declaring war on the surface world and its pesky air-breathers, to teaming with them in the Defenders, the Avengers, and an earlier affiliation, the Invaders. Sub-Mariner was one of Timely’s Big Three, along with the original Human Torch and Captain America (plus Bucky and Toro), who took the metahuman fight to the Axis. Marvel’s been willing over the decades to revisit this early super-team, adding members and bringing back more obscure original heroes of the Timely era. Adventures have spanned the war years to modern day. There were numerous attempts at both in the 2000s, and most were short-lived.
With the 80th anniversary celebration of all things Marvel, the Invaders are getting an umpteenth chance to shine once again. With a difference. Namor’s recent activities have cast him more firmly into the role of villain, more so even than a team-up with Doctor Doom. In this week’s Invaders #1, Captain America, the Winter Soldier, and the original Human Torch will reunite but with Namor their opponent, not an ally. The focus reportedly will seesaw between now and their WWII years via flashbacks.
The other difference is writer Chip Zdarsky. Previous Invaders series have touted talents like James Robinson, Cristos Gage, and Alex Ross, and yet those books are often reflected on with a side grumble of, “S’okay, if you’re an Invaders fan”. Placating existing followers is good; recruiting a whole new generation of converts is better. Zdarsky’s track record proves he can chart a new Invaders course and recapture their iconic elements. His name (and no disrespect to artists Carlos Magno and Butch Guice intended) took my initial response of, “Again?” and turned it upside down. Followed by movie trope happy flashbacks to The Invaders 1970s series and The Liberty Legion.
It’s Marvel’s 80th Big Bash, and a success here slams that party into high gear. An Invaders series celebrating such past superstars while redefining their current status in the MU is a more natural fit than some of the announced February one-shots, at least. Not that Gunhawks, Love Romances, and Ziggy Pig & Silly Seal aren’t also parts of the company’s storytelling tapestry. But an opening act with new sheen on Cap, Bucky, Torch, and (a dark undersea variety) Sub-Mariner would be in order. “Okay, Namor, here we come!”
Written by Chip Zdarsky.
Art by Carlos Magno and Butch Guice.
Colors by Alex Guimarães.
Letters by VC’s Travis Lanham.
BFH: You guys all remember Chip Zdarsky, right? The goofy dude who wrote Howard the Duck, illustrated Sex Criminals, and once befriended an Applebee’s? He seems like exactly the right person to revamp a classic Marvel super-team featuring some of their marquee characters for what seems like a linchpin sort of story of a serious nature, doesn’t he?
Sarcasm aside, the answer is obviously yes. Zdarsky’s clever, sideways mind is exactly the right person to try and steer Captain America and company through what will likely be very difficult waters… especially if Namor has anything to say about it. Indeed, the fact that this reunion series is taking place during a big Avengers vs. Namor story instead of after it seems like an atypical publishing decision, and could lead to something excitingly atypical. Which brings us back to how Chip Zdarsky is actually perfect for this title.
And while Zdarsky’s writing instincts and the unorthodox backdrop will make this series stand out as something new, having art from the likes of Butch Guice and Carlos Magno ensures that Invaders will have gorgeous old-school superhero spectacle to spare. Marvel’s been taking some smart swings lately, and Invaders seems poised to connect and deliver a hit.
Written by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl.
Art by Karl Kerschl.
Colors by Msassyk.
Letters by Aditya Bidikar.
AOK: Isola, that perfect, unique, foggy contradiction, again it rises to meet us. Few comics are so courageous in their pacing. No thunderclap sounded upon the close of its first chapter, no shaking twist to turn everything that preceded it upside-down. Just the first few steps in a marathon. We’re still going to Isola, though we have no idea how far it will be. The dreamy, measured steps Isola takes defy the conventions of the serial story. The journey could last forever.
I would be totally fine with this.
Yes, this is Isola. No, this is Isola. The unknown and known mingle, more legend than place, and it puts me powerfully in the mind of The Last Unicorn. The lovers are drawn to little more than a name. And that’s all we need. Isola is the connection between the travelers—their story—more than the tale of where they travel.
Written by Brian Michael Bendis.
Art by Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson, and Jason Fabok.
Inks by Oclair Albert.
Colors by Alex Sinclair.
Letters by Josh Reed and Carlos M. Mangual.
JJ: Everyone is quite aware of how annoyed I was when we watched Mr. Brian Michael Bendis take over the quite-good Superman line of books only to broom Lois Lane and her son Jonathan Kent into the periphery of Clark Kent’s life. “Maybe if you want to write about a single Superman, you should do an Elseworlds about it!” my neighbors undoubtedly heard as I bellowed into the charcoal-black skies of my own personal Dark Night of the Soul. And so it was that I moped through the first half of the first year of Bendis’ Super-run, convinced that this run wasn’t, I swear I said this out loud, “for me.”
While I’m still not over the moon for what’s happening in the pages of Action Comics and Superman lately, I can’t deny that the books have kept me guessing from the very start, and I’m positive I’ll enjoy the Man of Steel mini-series that kicked this all off a lot more in retrospect… once I decide to finally read it again. For now, it’s enough to know that Jonathan Kent returns this week, finally, in the pages of Superman #7.
Where’s he been these past several months? We’ll let Jon fill us in, in his post-puberty voice that’s apparently a thing now that DC has signed off on Jonathan’s powering through seven years of his young life off-page. How has so much time already passed for young Mr. Kent? Is this change permanent? Is the newly-resurrected Conner Kent elbowing my new favorite Superboy out of the spotlight? Only time will tell. But if I’ve learned one thing from reading this run, it’s that I’ll have to take a breath, perhaps take a shot, and embrace a whole bunch of the patience I’m not sure I have.
Adventure Time: Marcy & Simon #1
Written by Olivia Olson.
Art by Slimm Fabert.
Colors by SJ Miller.
Letters by Mike Fiorentino.
SR: On September 3, 2018, Cartoon Network aired the last we’ll ever see of its Adventure Time series. Like many others, I watched while smiling, laughing, crying… feeling all of the feels. However, it was heartening to know that its ending left the Land of Ooo, and all those who have graced it, open for future possibilities.
Even though the show as we have known it has ended, it was made clear that the adventures would continue courtesy of KaBOOM! (an imprint of BOOM! Studios) in comic book form. This week marks the start of one (of hopefully many) follow-up series that explores life after the finale.
In Adventure Time: Marcy & Simon #1, the Vampire Queen and former Ice King rediscover who they truly are, how their long-term friendship has evolved over time, and what these things mean for them now. It’s also a book about making amends and forgiveness. I’m looking forward to keeping up with the lives of two of Adventure Time’s strongest characters, while enjoying the new opportunities and challenges they will face.
What books are you looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.