IDW Pubwatch May 2020

IDW Pubwatch January 2020

Welcome to the May IDW Pubwatch. The world is on lockdown but here’s something to distract you—a few exciting comics that will take your mind away, at least for a little while. I’ve also got the latest news coming out of IDW, some comic book reviews, as well as a selection of my favourite covers from the past month. Stay inside and be safe, readers.05

News and Announcements

IDW Offering Limited-Offer Comic Boxes

Here’s something to help you get through the quarantine—limited boxes from IDW. For $25 each, you can get collections of popular comic series X-Files, GI Joe, Transformers, Star Trek, and more.

Buy the boxes on IDW’s website.

IDW Celebrates Jim Lee with new X-Men Edition

Jim Lee's X-Men. IDW Publishing

IDW has a much-lauded Artist’s Edition line of comics and Jim Lee’s work is the latest to join the series.

Jim Lee’s X-Men Artist’s Edition, a 160-page special edition of Jim Lee’s Blue Team run from the 1990s is set to be published by IDW in October 2020. The edition will feature original art from Lee—scanned and printed according to the original size, making it a perfect addition to any collection.

Evan Stanley Joining Sonic the Hedgehog Writing Team

Sonic the Hedgehog artist Evan Stanley will be taking on a dual role from the 33rd issue of the ongoing series: he will be taking on writing duties alongside being the artist. Having worked on the art for so long, Stanley is undoubtedly well-versed with the universe and the direction of the story to take on these additional duties.

Lost TMNT Series Gets New Lease on Life


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin was conceptualised in the 1980s. Over 30 years later, it’s going to be fleshed out into a five-issue mini-series and published in summer 2020. Developed by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, the story will now be written by Tom Waltz and illustrated by Andy Kuhn. The series will see the turtles in a darker light as they navigate a dystopian future. Read more about the story’s extraordinary journey on the IDW website.

Featured Comics

Camp Spirit
Axelle Lenoir (Writer and Artist), Cap (Colours)
March 25, 2020

Camp-Spirit-TPB-Cover A. IDW PublishingA coming-of-age story about a girl discovering herself, falling in love (with a girl she thought she’d hate), and helping to defeat an eldritch evil.

This should have been a fun story but I had so many issues with it.

The protagonist being a conventionally attractive girl who also happens to be excellent at a job she is supposed to be terrible at, is a ridiculously annoying trope.

More egregiously, her greatest enemy at the camp is also the only person of colour among the staff—that’s such bad optics! And the poor rival ends up being attacked first—in a gender swapped version of ‘black guy dies first’. Gross.

There’s also plenty of fatphobic language sprinkled throughout—and the only fat characters are bullies or grotesque.

The story may have been decent but considering it’s set in Quebec, which is known for being hella racist, the optics of this book are way off.

Star Wars Adventures: Return to Vader’s Castle TPB
Nick Brokenshire (Artist and Colours), David Garcia Cruz (Colours), Francesco Francavilla (Artist and Colours), Kelly Jones (Artist), Charlie Kirchoff (Colours), Megan Levens (Artist), Michelle Madsen (Colours), Cavan Scott (Writer), Charles Paul Wilson III (Artist)
March 25, 2020

Star Wars Adventures - Return to Vader’s Castle TPBScary stories set a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away featuring monsters in caves, in the dark, as well as in your own family.

I wasn’t sure how this format would fit the Star Wars universe but it’s done really well! These stories were super fun and exciting, though they bordered on gruesome at times, it was not visually.

I honestly loved this volume so much, I hope we will get another once our current nightmare is over.

Enola Holmes: The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets
Serena Blasco (Writer and Artist), Nancy Springer (Writer-Novel)
March 25, 2020

Enola Holmes - The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets TPBI stopped reading this when Enola was looking for a disguise and decided that she could use accessories to make herself look bigger but still maintain her elegance. Because fat people can’t be elegant, right? I thought the art was pretty but fatphobia can never be condoned. Avoid this.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder in Hell TPB
Davi Calil (Colours), Marcelo Costa (Colours), Shawn Lee (Letters), Mateus Santolouco (Writer and Artist)
March 25, 2020

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Shredder in HellThis was a very interesting take on the TMNT story—following Shredder through the levels of hell was not something I ever expected to read. The book is packed full of TMNT lore that I did find a bit confusing to get my head around but it was fascinating nonetheless.

The art was stunning but I struggled with a couple of the creatures in the book that badly set off my trypophobia. If that’s not a problem for you then this book is an immersive read.

The Lab
Allison Conway (Writer and Artist)
April 1, 2020

The Lab TPB. IDW PublishingUffff. This is a harrowing read. Without a single word, Conway creates an absolutely brutal tale of prisoners being experimented on and one prisoner’s attempt to escape their predicament.

The art is heavy on sketches and light on colours till the very end but the way Conway uses colours will have you wincing. That an expressionless being can evoke so much emotion is testament to Conway’s skills.

You’ll need some light reading after this book.

Jean-Luc Deglin (Writer and Artist)
April 7, 2020

Rascal. IDW PublishingAwwww! What a cute book! Anyone who loves cats is going to adore this book about a tiny floofball that just happens to be left for an unsuspecting young woman. Little do either of them know how intertwined their lives are going to become.

The art is so adorable and you will fall in love with Rascal and his cat-mama. Brb, squee-ing from the cuteness.

Star Trek: Discovery – Aftermath TPB
Kirsten Beyer (Writer), Angel Hernandez (Artist), Mike Johnson (Writer), JD Mettler (Colours), Christa Miesner (Letters), Valentina Pinto (Colours), JL Rio (Colours), Tony Shasteen (Artist), Neil Uyetake (Letters)
April 7, 2020

Star Trek - Discovery – Aftermath TPB. IDW PublishingTwo stories based on events surrounding the USS Starship Discovery. The first follows Spock as he joins Captain Pike at the negotiating table with Chancellor L’Rell of the Klingons. But while the Federation and L’Rell head towards peace, a group of Klingons are hellbent on war.

The second story follows Saru as acting captain of the Discovery, trying to save his crew and another Starfleet ship from an ambush by smugglers. If he plays his cards right, he could become captain permanently. But that’s a big ‘if’.

I love Discovery and I adore the characters. Seeing them in comic form makes me happy—it’s always such a long wait between seasons. The stories are both strong with plenty of suspense and great denouements that I did not see coming. Great stuff.

Marvel Action: Black Panther: Rise Together TPB
|Vita Ayala (Writer), Arianna Florean (Artist), Mattia Iacono (Colours), Shawn Lee (Letters), Tom B Long (Letters), Sara Martinelli (Colours), Mario Del Pennino (Artist)
April 15, 2020

Marvel Action - Black Panther - Rise Together TPB. IDW PublishingWhat a cute and fun book! I enjoy books about superheroes that aren’t solely action-oriented—slice-of-life or day-in-the-life stories that give you a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the heroes we love. And this book has three great stories about just that.

We follow T’Challa as he swaps places with a Wakandan and learns what policies he has overlooked. Shuri gets a valuable lesson in taking a break from work and enjoying her life. And the Wakandan heroes foil a plot to steal vibranium.

The characters’ personalities come through beautifully and we get to see new aspects of Wakandan life. The art is just the right kind of whimsical and gorgeous—the detail is stunning and the colours are majestic. What a glorious read!

Best Covers

Honourable Mentions

Dungeons & Dragons: Days of Endless Adventure

Canto, Vol. 1: If I Only Had A Heart

Starcadia Quest: Heart of a Star

A Radical Shift of Gravity

Thanks for joining me on this Pubwatch.

Louis Skye

Louis Skye

A writer at heart with a fondness for well-told stories, Louis Skye is always looking for a way to escape the planet, whether through comic books, films, television, books, or video games. E always has an eye out for the subversive and champions diversity in media. Louis' podcast, Stereo Geeks, is available on all major platforms. Pronouns: E/ Er/ Eir