Top Cow Pubwatch: April/May

Top Cow Pubwatch - Banner designed by Cori McCreery (Aphrodite V and logo copyright Top Cow Productions)

Top Cow news has been light over the past little while, and there aren’t necessarily a lot of new comics on the horizon, but the publisher continues to consistently produce solid reads in their ongoing series. Their library features a lot of unique stories, as well as their latest reboot of their flagship title, Cyber Force. Fans come for the nostalgia, but stay for the niche titles and Top Cow does its best to foster the love of fans for each of their varied series.

In particular, fans of Stjepan Sejic’s Sunstone series tend to stand out…

You can make 2020 a Sunstone year thanks to Sejic’s latest calendar.

On the Convention Circuit

MD Marie spent the weekend at Phoenix Fan Fusion promoting her series, Vindication. Check out our interview with Marie and a review of the first issue. The weekend before that, Top Cow was promoting their wares at Comic Con Revolution, and CEO Matt Hawkins was signing at Comicpalooza in Texas.

Meanwhile, Wolverine and Batman walked into a bar… Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri was at C2E2, where he dropped some opinions about which of the two anti-heroes you’d be better off having a drink with and why.

Coming Soon

Here are the titles that will keep your busy for June and July:

Cover Girl

The covers above are all strong example of how to use covers to encourage your audience to judge it by its cover. Use of colour, angles, perspectives, and ominous subject matter make each one of these covers an enticement. But my standout covers for this Pubwatch are the ones belonging to the new arc of Infinite Dark:

Nick Robles has taken over the cover art of this series, bringing a tight focus on Security Commander Deva Karrell, with colours that reflect the cold, harsh loneliness of space, and patterns that allude to the fractured path and minds of the survivors of the Orpheus.

On My Shelf

Here are some of the Top Cow books that I’ve been reading recently.

Paradox Girl: First Cycle

Peter Bensley (editor), Cayti Elle Bourquin (writer), Yishan Li (illustrator)
May 29, 2019

Paradox Girl shrugs helplessly as other versions of herself perform various actions around her.

You can check out my official review here at WWAC tomorrow—long story short, I loved it! In the meantime, find out what creators Bourquin and Li have to say about the adventures of a woman whose superpowers are all about making a mess with the time-space continuum without having to worry about the consequences.

Infinite Dark #5 & #6

Ryan Cady (writer), Andrea Mutti (illustrator), Troy Peteri (letterer), K. Michael Russell (colourist)
April 10, 2019 & May 8, 2019

Weeks have gone by since Deva Karrell initiated the Honeybee protocol in order to save the remaining passengers of the Orpheus from death at the hands of a space entity. But being the only survivors of Earth, and with entropy ever at their doorstep, Karrell’s actions have only prolonged the seemingly inevitable.

Cady has spoken about the fact that Infinite Dark has been shaped by his experiences with his own personal darkness. Here, we see that manifested through the entity and we get a peek into Karrell’s mind as she fights the images and thoughts that have invaded her thoughts. She can see what the entity has done to others. She does not feel okay. But she has a job to do. I’m not fond of apocalypse stories that succumb to humans self-destructing, but Cady has woven a frightening psychological drama that makes this descent into madness far too real. The sense of floating in a hopeless void is palpable and like the survivors, I find myself torn between wanting them just to give in to the darkness and praying that they make it through to something better… even though, in the darkness of space, there doesn’t seem to be anything better…

Cyber Force #10

Matt Hawkins (writer), Bryan Hill (writer), Troy Peteri (letterer), Antonio Rojo (artist)
May 22, 2019

Cyber Force #10 Matt Hawkins (writer), Bryan Hill (writer), Troy Peteri (letterer), Antonio Rojo (artist) May 22, 2019 - Angry figures lit by green light against a dark red cityscape

Top Cow says this is a good place for you to jump into the series if you haven’t already. Though there are details that you’ll be missing—namely, how the team of Stryker, Carin, Ripclaw, and Dominique came to be once again in the arms of Cyberdata, a company whose leadership regularly refers to themselves as God. This issue is a useful summary of how each of them feels about their captor and savior: Stryker knows he’s making deals with the devil, but takes the chances on survival. Ripclaw wants to tear everything apart. Carin is still rocking the ableist tropes from the first issue, while Dom thinks they are abominations, but, as a doctor, values life above all else.

The Freeze Volume 1

Troy Peteri (letterer), Phillip Sevy (illustrator and colourist), Dan Wickline (writer)
May 8, 2019

The Freeze (Top Cow Productions, December 2018) - Against a black background, a hand illuminated by blue light puts a finger on a flatlining pulse, changing it to a heartbeat

When I first read The Freeze, I was impressed by the way Sevy could so clearly differentiate between the frozen world of this story, and people and objects that could move freely—all within the static panels of a comic book. In an earlier interview, Sevy explained his thought processes, and in reading through the full story arc, I found myself as wrapped up in the story as I was in admiring the still life versus motion of each page. The story is about Ray, a man who discovers that he is the only one who can move in a world where every living creature has simply been frozen in time. Moreover, Ray is the only person who is able to unfreeze them—or is he? Wickline explores the godlike implications of Ray’s abilities and the way in which people respond to him as he picks and chooses who to revive. Meanwhile, some of the revived are finding their own ways to take advantage of the situation…

#TBTopCow: The Darkness

Created by Marc Silvestri, the Darkness is a powerful entity that rivals the Witchblade and ended up forming a symbiotic (parasitic?) bond with one Jackie Estacado. CBR takes a look back at the iconic ’90s character with this breakdown.

The Darkness (art by Marc Silvstri, Top Cow Productions) - A muscular figure wearing clawed gloves and a half-face mask glowers offscreen

Wendy Browne

Wendy Browne

Publisher, mother, geek, executive assistant sith, gamer, writer, lazy succubus, blogger, bibliophile. Not necessarily in that order.