Graduations. Greenery everywhere. The promise of barbecues and beaches on the horizon. It’s gotta be May!
This month, we’ll take a look at V.E. Schwab’s return to comics with ExtraOrdinary #0, and check-in with the latest adventures of Minky Woodcock and Missy.
Titan Comics News and Announcements
May 2021 Release Schedule
Please note release dates are always subject to change.
- Arsenal F.C.: The Game We Love: May 4th
- V.E. Schwab’s ExtraOrdinary: May 5th
- Doctor Who Vol. 1: Alternating Current: May 11th
- Doctor Who: Missy #2: May 12th
- Blade Runner: Origins #4: May 19th
- Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla #2: May 19th
- Little Victories: Autism Through a Father’s Eyes: May 25th
Titan Comics July and August 2021 Solicitations
Due to publication schedules for this PUBWATCH, we haven’t been able to feature solicitations for the past few months, but we’re back with them now!
July is a month of returning series. Horizon Zero Dawn returns to comics with Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #1 on July 14th. Aloy and Erend’s adventures from the first series continue and feature a new enemy: the Oseram tribe. The week prior, another fan-favorite video game-based series returns, Life Is Strange. Life Is Strange: Coming Home #1 brings the promise of new allies and new discoveries – – including one that gives Max some unexpected hope. The series will also introduce new video game character Alex Chen in a backup story. Also debuting on July 7th is a new Rivers of London story, Monday, Monday: Rivers of London #1. There are werewolves on the loose!
If you missed Blade Runner: Origins when it kicked off earlier this year, issue #5 drops on August 11 and kicks off a new arc. Detective Cal Moreaux teams up with an escaped experimental replicant to try to unlock the secrets of Tyrell Corporation. Also dropping that day is the new series Elric: The Dreaming City #1, a retelling of Michael Moorcock’s tale. (Hellboy fans will want to pick up this one – Mike Mignola is drawing the main cover!)
If you still can’t get WandaVision out of your head (and you can’t blame Wanda for that, sorry!) you’ll want to pick up Marvel Studios’ WandaVision: The Official Collector’s Special. Available on August 4th, this magazine features interviews and behind-the-scenes secrets of the series that kicked off the MCU’s streaming side. And there’s also a new Star Wars Insider a week later, featuring an interview with prequel trilogy producer Rick McCallum.
Cover Reveal for Blade Runner: Origins #5
As we stated above, August kicks off a new arc for Blade Runner: Origins. We have a first look at one of the covers of the issue, drawn by Dani Strips. Detective Cal is on the move, but perhaps not fully away from the torment of his past.
Art Preview for ExtraOrdinary #1
While we’ll have a look at ExtraOrdinary #0 later on, we’re also getting more insight into this new world, with a preview of the upcoming ExtraOrdinary #1. What does this man want with Charlotte Tills?
You can also check out a trailer for the series, which debuts its #1 issue on June 23rd.
Celebrate the Little Victories of Life with Yvon Roy
If you missed it yesterday, we had the chance to interview writer/artist Yvon Roy about his graphic novel, Little Victories: Autism Through a Father’s Eyes. This moving story is of a father and son, and how a diagnosis of autism helps the father to understand his young son and in turn, himself. It’s based on Roy’s experiences raising a child on the autism spectrum. Yvon shared with us what advice he would give his younger self, his favorite comics, and what he hopes readers take away from his work.
What I’m Reading
The women take the spotlight this month with Minky Woodcock, Charlotte Tills, and Missy!
Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla #2
Jim Campbell (letterer), Cynthia von Buhler (writer, artist)
May 19, 2021
The second issue of Minky’s adventures wastes no time and picks up right where the debut left off, with a car crash involving our two main characters. But this wasn’t an accident: someone is definitely trying to kill Mr. Tesla. But whom? That’s Minky’s mission, and she will do whatever it takes – – including sleeping with a Nazi – – to get to the bottom of the mystery. Nothing’s easy for Minky, though, and a turn of events finds Minky going from detective to accused!
I did not mention this last month, but the Minky Woodcock titles are very much adult-oriented titles, particularly for graphic sexuality. That’s on full display in this issue when we see Minky’s night of passion, but it’s not done in a way that objectifies either character. Nor does this title shy away from the sexism of the era, as more than once Minky bumps up against blatant white male privilege. She’s a woman in a man’s world, and no matter how competent she is, her gender holds her back. At the same time, she knows that she needs to do whatever it takes to solve the Tesla mystery, diving right from post-coital bliss into an interrogation.
I love the detail von Buhler brings to each panel. The settings and backgrounds have life running through them, taking influence from European comics. You can see every grain of the wood, every picture on the wall, every ripple in a fountain. And that attention to specifics comes in handy to start this issue off with a bang, as you can hear the colliding of metal and the hard contact of Tesla’s body with cement. Happily, the pacing issues from the debut worked themselves out. The art knows when it needs to shine and when it does not.
With Minky now an accused criminal in the death of her friend Nikolai Tesla, the stakes just got higher. No doubt she’ll get out of it, but we’ll certainly enjoy the journey in this homage to pulp crime comics of a forgotten era.
Enid Balám (artist), Jordi Escuin Llorach (colorist), V.E. Schwab (writer), Rob Steen (letterer)
May 5, 2021
What do Charlotte Tills and Haley Joel Osment from The Sixth Sense have in common? They can see dead people. In the case of Charlotte, the dead people she sees aren’t already dead – – but she knows how they will meet their demise. Charlotte is one of the EO, the ExtraOrdinary, gifted with superpowers after a near-death experience. For Charlotte, this happened on a school field trip when her bus crashes with a truck. In her recovery, she sees people’s deaths in reflective surfaces . . . which means that when she looks in the mirror, she will see how she dies. All this knowledge is powerful, and the question then remains: what will she do with it?
This is a short issue (19 pages), designed just to introduce us to Charlotte’s backstory. There are no hints of what is to come for her, but you get a very good idea of how she came to be as well as the burdens her new gift brings her. Nowhere is this more evident than her confrontation with a security guard in the hospital that passes innocently, only to reveal on the next page his death in the parking lot, just as Charlotte saw in her visions, a few minutes later. In both her Shades of Magic prose novels and comics, V.E. Schwab always brings rich characterization, and a zero issue such as this is the perfect place to do it, leaving the debut issue (out next month) plenty of space to dig into the plot.
More on that rich characterization comes through in Enid Balám’s art, leaning beautifully on the concept of “show, don’t tell” to bring Charlotte to life. Charlotte is petite, slender, and angular, a small body carrying the load of immense power. In that contrast, you can sense her fear and fright over her new life developments. Colors from Jordi Escuin Llorach contrast the real world and Charlotte’s visions effectively, using red shading for the latter, perfect to indicate impending danger. However, Charlotte’s vision of how she will die on the final page is set in orange tones, perfectly designed to capture her attention as well as ours to set up the main conflict.
Welcome back to comics, V.E. Schwab. June 23rd cannot come fast enough!
Doctor Who: Missy #2
Enrica Eren Angiolini (colorist), Jody Houser (writer), Roberta Ingranata (artist), Comicraft’s Richard Starkings (letterer)
May 12, 2021
En garde! When we last left Missy and the Master, the two were enjoying a bit of fencing. But the athletics break is a short-lived one. Alarms are going off! Time to put down the swords and figure out an escape plan, and fast! Fortunately, those fencing swords come in handy, along with an assist from another familiar face. But where have these dueling Masters ended up? What’s Missy’s plan?
If you’re new to Houser’s Doctor Who run, you may find yourself frustrated, since we’re halfway through and there’s still no indication of where this story is going. But don’t let that turn you off from continuing, just have faith in Houser, as this is her normal style. It’s a slow burn, but rest assured, you will get to the end, and it won’t be a rushed ending either. Just enjoy the fun you have watching Missy’s banter with the Master and River Song. It’s clear that Houser has been waiting a long time and watching a lot of Capaldi-era Doctor Who to make sure she gets the voice and tone just right.
If I have any concerns, it’s with characters being used effectively. This was a problem in the previous Doctor Who arc, where solicits promised a major role for Rose, and that turned out to be anything but major. Hopefully, the characters we see in this series (Capaldi’s Doctor, River Song) contribute in meaningful ways to the story.
The artwork continues to set the bar high. Our characters look quite accurate to their television counterparts, though the comic version of River Song looks a little smoother and younger than she would have been during the Capaldi years. But River’s been known to jump through the Doctor’s life out of order, so maybe we’re just seeing her from a past time in this timeline. Roberta Ingranata is really having fun with these larger scenes, using large spreads to show size quite effectively. You see this most in the walk through the prison, with floors and cells that go on past page borders, appearing endless.
This series continues to remind us just why Missy is one of the best faces of the Master. Sure hope there’s some room for her next season with the Doctor!