Jamie S. Rich, Megan Levens
We’re reaching the climax of this seven-issue miniseries, a reimagining of the Frankenstein story with a feminine perspective, set in the early 1930s. Levens’ black and white art is gorgeous and lively, and Rich’s story provides an interesting twist on the familiar tale.
Joshua Williamson, Mike Henderson
Here’s how I know Nailbiter is a good horror story: I find the book so creepy and discomfiting that I occasionally wonder why I’m still reading it. Answer: because it’s really good and I have to find out what happens! I thought I was burned out on gross serial killer stories, but I guess I was only burned out on lame ones. I’ve declared it Halloween season in my house, so if you’re looking for a good, scary read, give Nailbiter a shot. Personally, I always save something fluffy to read after it, like Lumberjanes. I don’t want to try to go to sleep with Nailbiter that fresh in my brain.
Clizia Gussoni and Craig Yoe
The Weird Love series reprints stories from old comics aimed at female readers, such as True Romance. Most of the stories are from the 1950s and ’60s, and they are appalling. They’re strange and dated in the best/worst way, and a surprisingly dense read. The stories are so text-heavy that it takes me almost an hour to read an issue. These collections are clearly meant to be read as campy today, but try reading them straight as they originally were presented. Once you see the mindset that is casually accepted in these stories, you might understand the older women in your life better and appreciate that while we have a long way to go, things are better than they used to be.
Ed Brubaker, Steve Epting, Elizabeth Breitweiser
Aren’t you reading this yet? Brubaker and Epting present a stylish spy thriller set in the early 1970s. The easiest description is, “What if Miss Moneypenny was secretly a bigger badass than James Bond?” But that’s an oversimplification. Brubaker is great at crime and espionage stories that focus mostly on the characters, and he’s in top form here. The art is gorgeous. I hope we start seeing some Velvet cosplay soon.
Dan Slott, Mike Allred
If I met someone who had never heard of comics before and wanted to give them an outstanding example of the medium, I would give them this book. It illustrates how well comics can work on a cosmic scale, because the story never loses focus on its characters in service of drawing a neato space battle. I can care about the space battle because I care about the characters in the middle of it. And it’s laugh-out-loud funny, which is always a plus. Allred’s art is fantastic and makes this book a joy to look at. It’s impressive and serves the story well. I’m always glad when a comic is actually fun. Silver Surfer is FUN.
— Annie Bulloch
This first volume of Furious collects issues 1 through 5 as well as a short story from the Dark Horse collection Dark Horse Presents #31. So far I have found Cadence Lark, or Furious, an incredibly enjoyable antihero portrayed beautifully by Glass’ words and Santos’ artwork. It is dark and gory and focused on the way media depicts heroism, vigilantism, and women in particular. It is not particularly thought-provoking or ground-breaking, but it is an incredibly fun read and I look forward to the addition of the short story to the collection.
-Al (new writer!)
Running Press Book Publishers
If you have yet to be delighted by Climo’s art, now is your chance. Her book of drawings, The Little World of Liz Climo, releases at the end of September and I am very excited to display it on my coffee table. Climo has worked on a number of diverse projects, is a character artist for The Simpsons, and creates art that always brightens my day. Seriously, go take a look at her tumblr and tell me it didn’t make you a little bit happier too.
I’m so excited for the new Rocket Girl since its been on summer break. I love Amy Reeder’s art; seriously that cover looks amazing! Plus I’m curious to know more about what the future/past controversy that Rocket Girl hasn’t gotten herself stuck in.
Jim Zub & Steve Cummings
I didn’t pay much attention to the promo for this book until I saw the Phantom Variant, which features the protagonists wearing “Brimper” and Lying Cat shirts. I looked into it, and I was pretty intrigued by the plot — a teenage girl moves to Japan and befriends a (as of yet unexplained in terms of origin) cat(?) spirit in the form of a girl, and together they fight a slew of Yokai, a specific set of monsters from Japanese mythology. The first issue was strong, good backstory exposition balanced well with action scenes, and despite being set in Japan, Wayward manages to avoid that “OMG Japan is like so totally weird look at all this neon and WEIRD stuff!” trope. I am definitely looking forward to finding out where the series goes.
A new plot arc begins! If you haven’t read this series yet now would be a good time to grab the trade paperbacks, get caught up and hop on board. Trust me you won’t regret it. The world building in this comic is absolutely incredible and with this new arc, “Conclave,” we’ll see all the families gathering together. Drama is sure to ensue!
In an alternate universe it isn’t Peter Parker that’s bitten by the radioactive spider, its Gwen Stacy. I don’t usually read the Spider-books but I will definitely read one where Gwen takes up the mantle. Even if it’s only for one issue.
Following the mind-bending first issue of The Multiversity, this takes us to Earth-20, where the pulp heroes — including the Blackhawks — are in charge and have to fight Vandal Savage.
These characters might not be as familiar as we think, though. That looks like Etrigan in the Green Lantern costume, and Morrison’s previous comics have introduced parallel Earth versions of well-known superheroes such as Calvin Ellis, Earth 23’s Superman.
In Morrison’s multiverse, “white straight man” is no longer the default for superheroes, so I’m also looking forward to a diverse lineup. The principal male characters of The Multiversity #1 were all men of colour (black and Australian Aboriginal), and the Blackhawks’ role in this issue will hopefully place a lot of women at the forefront of the action.
So brace yourself for peak Morrison: trippy, “what-just-happened?” explorations of the relationships between fiction, narrative, and our perceptions of reality; villains whose goal is total assimilation; breathing life back into neglected characters; and trying to puzzle out exactly what makes our heroes who they are.