by Molly Jane KremerArpad OkayClyde 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 Valiant’s ‘Incursion’ #1 to Viz’s ‘Urusei Yatsura Vol. 1’, here are the comics that have our hearts set ablaze this week.

Staff Picks: 'Incursion' #1

Incursion #1


Written by Andy Diggle and Alex Paknadel.

Art by Doug Braithwaite.

Colors by José Villarrubia and Diego Rodriguez.

Letters by Marshall Dillon.

CH:  Oh, Valiant. I’ve never known ye. We’ve shared glances from racks, exchanged pleasantries when your characters were shiny and new. Like the neighbor regarded from afar. Seemingly likable, even approachable, but always encountered when you’re en route elsewhere. Incursion #1 is my chance to change that. To fix a batch of penne pasta and head next door and finally get acquainted.

The story of new villain (and intergalactic despot) Imperatrix Virago using the Deadside as a dimensional bypass while she makes a grab for our world has legs. More enticing, an introduction to Eternal Warrior and Geomancer co-written by a current favorite scribe, Alex Paknadel. The heroes are tasked with defending the breach and repelling Virago.

Our Advance Review of The Forgotten Queen by Brendan Hodgdon sealed the deal. Valiant’s got things going on, designed in ways new readers can appreciate without chasing after canon. That comes once I’m hooked.

Staff Picks: 'Incursion' #1

Guardians of the Galaxy #2


Written by Donny Cates.

Art by Geoff Shaw.

Colors by Marte Gracia.

Letters by Cory Petit.

BFH: Following the epic home run that was “Thanos Wins”, one could be forgiven for being over-excited for Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw taking on Guardians of the Galaxy, especially with the promise of a roster shake-up for the first time in years and a major cosmic event series to follow up on. And then the first issue hit last month and lived up to that excitement with ease.

Now that the standard assembling-the-lineup shenanigans are out of the way, Cates, Shaw et al. could really cut loose. They’ve teased enough dramatic plot elements to keep the volume of this book cranked firmly to 11, and I’m looking forward to how much more immense scale and bombastic action Shaw can cram into a given twenty pages. Beyond that, I’m excited to see how this new lineup will relate to each other (though knowing Cates, it will probably be equal parts heartbreaking and hilarious).

Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw have quickly become one of my favorite creative teams in comics; from The Paybacks to Buzzkill to God Country to Thanos, they have found a killer rhythm, and now that rhythm has found an ideal instrument in Guardians of the Galaxy. One can only hope that their run on this title will be long and prosperous.

Staff Picks: 'Incursion' #1

Aquaman #45


Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick.

Pencils by Robson Rocha.

Inks by Daniel Henriques.

Colors by Sunny Gho.

Letters by Clayton Cowles.

MJ: Already on its third issue, the current creative team on Aquaman—including writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, penciller Robson Rocha, inker Daniel Henriques, colorist Sunny Gho, and letterer Clayton Cowles—are firing on all cylinders, forging a superhero saga that might be the best series DC is currently publishing.

Rocha stretches his formidable storytelling and monster-design muscles over the course of a few bombastic and breathtaking splash pages. This is art so good it’ll make you gasp. Gho utilizes reds, oranges and pinks—goes crazy with them, really—amidst a retelling of the world’s creation, while nestling the issue’s current-day sequences between increasingly grey-lavender skies and a churning sea of brilliant blues and purples. This… is a gorgeous book.

Kelly Sue DeConnick has already proven herself a master of modern myth (there’s a reason she’s been tasked to create a Black Label Amazon-centric series with Phil Jimenez later this year). While the last issue showed us glimpses of deities both great and small, this issue reveals the full-scale creation of a pantheon. That narrative is now closer than ever to colliding with the also-intensifying journey of Aquaman (and new friend Caille) in what should be a deeply resonant payoff.

DeConnick’s promise that this Aquaman story would be akin to Led Zeppelin has rung true so far and with each progressive issue it only gets better and bigger and more magnificent. Grab this issue, queue up III, enjoy the ride.

Staff Picks: 'Incursion' #1

Urusei Yatsura Vol. 1

Viz Signature/Viz Media/$19.99

Written by Rumiko Takahashi.

Illustrated by Rumiko Takahashi.

Translated by Camellia Nieh.

English adaptation by Camellia Nieh.

Lettered by Erika Terriquez.

AOK: Before the martial arts rom com essential reading that is Ranma ½, Rumiko Takahashi was subverting the medium of love comics with the raunchy, wacky, and finally-back-in-print Urusei Yatsura. Takahashi spins a yarn of complicated love, Japanese mythology, a horny teenager who won’t be dissuaded by electro-shocks, and an alien princess with horns.

Urusei Yatsura is the prototype for two big themes that would come up many times in Takahashi’s career. The first, an unlikely romantic pairing. A slimy high school boy who thinks with his pants and the daughter of the king of an alien race. The second, what gives her odd couples their charm, is a frank take on the bullshit women have to put up with in men. Both come out silly, sometimes bittersweet, often hilarious, and both are written earnestly, ambitiously, with the whole heart.

Urusei Yatsura is Rumiko’s debut album. Expect raw, expect talent, expect ideas long germinated, crafted with passion if not finesse. Expect to laugh, and to fall in love yourself: Lum is back.

Staff Picks: 'Incursion' #1

The Unstoppable Wasp #5


Written by Jeremy Whitley.

Art by Gurihiru.

Letters by Joe Caramagna.

JJ: You’re not going to read a contemporary Marvel comic that feels aligned to that ol’ Swingin’ Sixties Bullpen flavor more than The Unstoppable Wasp. The problems-become-predicaments-become-payoffs/more problems rhythm of the Lee/Ditko Amazing Spider-Man is there, only replace put-upon Peter Parker with naïve Nadia Van Dyne and throw in a dash of legacy optimism, to boot. This is book is fun—heartfelt, sincere, great.

It’s all thanks to Wasp‘s creative team. And what a team. Jeremy Whitley does his research—not just for all the crazy science that drives Nadia’s many adventures, though that alone is quite impressive (and he doesn’t show off with his research, let it dominate the dialogue or narrative flow, a tricky but necessary balance not many writers can strike). Whitley dives into heritage, tradition, idiosyncrasies; he wants to get the details right, to make his various characterizations ring honest and true. He succeeds.

That diligence gives Gurihiru Studios every opportunity to shine. They do. Chifuyu Sasaki’s pencils and inks and Naoko Kawano’s colors are a cartoon symphony that pays homage to generations of Marvel maestros, their united energies always aimed at near-crescendo. With fluid action, charming character notes, and an effervescent manga pop, Gurihiru have become the defining team for Nadia Van Dyne, my most favorite Wasp.

What books are you looking forward to reading this week? Sound off in the comments below.