WWACommendations: Life is Strange, Coyotes, Batman Elseworlds, Archie 1941, and More

WWACommendations: Life is Strange, Coyotes, Batman Elseworlds, Archie 1941, and More

Happy first WWACommendations of 2019! Every month, WWAC contributors share what comics we've read lately that we really enjoyed. This month I got to read a comic based on my favorite fandom (check out the preview below!), which was an exciting surprise. Another fandom I'm passionate about is X-Men characters, so I plan to catch

Happy first WWACommendations of 2019! Every month, WWAC contributors share what comics we’ve read lately that we really enjoyed. This month I got to read a comic based on my favorite fandom (check out the preview below!), which was an exciting surprise. Another fandom I’m passionate about is X-Men characters, so I plan to catch up soon on the current Iceman series. What comics are you currently enjoying? Let us know on Twitter!

Wendy Browne: The first read of 2019 for my Ladies Night Comic Book Club is Coyotes by Sean Lewis and Caitlin Yarsky. In a desert border town, women are going missing and a cop is sent to investigate. What he doesn’t expect to find is a 13-year-old-girl named Red hunting the werewolves that have been preying on women in the City of Lost Girls. It’s a very bloody story of vengeance and empowerment, with women of all ages fighting to survive and to destroy the powers that try so hard to keep them living in fear. The story is fascinating, but, simply put, Yarsky’s art is incredible. From illustration, to colouring, every element stands out. In particular, perhaps because I have started to take greater notice of lettering these days, or because Yarsky’s lettering is so unique, I found myself spending extra time savouring Lewis’ words because of the way Yarsky frames them.

Panel from Coyotes, art by Caitlin Yarsky, published by Image Comics (2018)

Panel from Coyotes, art by Caitlin Yarsky, published by Image Comics (2018)

Kate Kosturski: I’m really enjoying Archie 1941. The miniseries sets the Archie characters in the year of their inception (hence the 1941), but this isn’t your carefree Riverdale – – it’s a Riverdale facing World War II. Archie and the gang are fresh out of high school and trying to figure out what to do with their lives as the drumbeats of conflict get louder and louder. Some see combat on the front, while others keep the homefront alive. It’s a more adult take on the characters, without the batshit crazy that Riverdale can be, but also does not get too maudlin. My only gripe? It’s only five issues (the fourth just dropped on January 2nd, with the finale due in February). A significant historical event like this deserves more than just five issues, so can Archie 1942 be far behind? It would prove fascinating to continue exploring the war through the lens of a franchise known for its carefree characters.

Tia Kalla: After hearing a lot of internet buzz about how cute Go For It, Nakamura! by Syundei was, I decided to splurge a bit for my birthday. This one-shot follows the titular Nakamura trying to work up the courage to talk to the boy he’s got the biggest crush on, Hirose. It’s adorkable in all the ways a typical schoolgirl crush story would be, but the fact that it’s about a gay boy and his male crush really switches up the dynamics and refreshes some of the tropes it touches on. It’s also a queer story that’s joyously free from queer pain — Nakamura never angsts over the fact that he is queer as in gay, only over the fact that he’s queer as in weird. Even the brief heart-pounding he has over a woman with Hirose’s face is met with a “Maybe I’m bi?”, which felt so affirming.

Louis Skye: Inspired by the Arrowverse “Elseworlds” crossover, I’ve been going through the Batman Elseworlds books. They’re fun and exciting, but what I love is how imaginative these alternate versions (AUs?) of Batman are–what if Bruce Wayne’s life was just slightly different from the one we know he had? Somehow, the answer to Bruce’s existence is always to take up the mantle of the Batman, or some version of it. We live in trying times, and right now, it’s nice to read about a person who was destined to be one kind of hero, no matter what else happened in his life. Thus far, I’ve enjoyed the Batman – Vampire trilogy; it got a bit gory near the end but the story is great and very dark. My favourites, though, have been Batman/Houdini, a supernatural whodunnit where Batman teams up with Harry Houdini, no less; and Batman: In Darkest Knight was brilliant–it imagines a world where Bruce became Earth’s Green Lantern, not Hal Jordan. Plus, we get to see some other heroes don the ring (you’ll have to read it to find out more).

Draven Katayama: I just read the first two issues of the Life is Strange mini-series by Emma Vieceli, Claudia Leonardi, Andrea Izzo, Richard Starkings, and Jimmy Betancourt, published by Titan Comics. This is definitely a series meant for the fans: new characters play only a small role, with most of the story revolving around familiar faces including Chloe’s mom, Joyce. A fan-favorite extroverted friend of Max’s from Blackwell Academy makes an appearance. Leonardi and Izzo’s art is exquisite, with detailed and colorful settings and backgrounds, plus a variety of fun fashion, including Chloe’s signature looks. Vieceli peppers the script with references from the game, including Rachel Amber, Kate Marsh, and even Chloe calling Max “Maximus” and “Super Max.” If you’re a Life is Strange fan and want to enjoy a completely new story set one year after the game’s events, Vieceli and team’s series feels immediately familiar and consistent in tone. I could almost hear Hannah Telle and Ashly Burch’s voices through Vieceli’s words.

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