Titan Comics PUBWATCH: October 2021

Titan Pubwatch Banner from Shades Of Magic: The Steel Prince #2

Trick or Treat! It’s the spooky season, and there’s plenty of treats and no tricks from Titan Comics.

This month, we decide to give Gun Honey another chance with issue #2, and take a look at the beginning of the end for Max and Chloe with Life is Strange: Settling Dust #1.

Titan Comics News and Announcements

October and November 2021 Release Schedule

Since we’re publishing these columns closer to the end of the month now, we will start including release schedules for the upcoming month along with the titles released in the current month.  Please note release dates are always subject to change and are accurate at the time of writing.

October 2021

    • Doctor Who: Missy – The Master Plan: October 13th
    • Blade Runner: Origins #7: October 13th
    • Life is Strange: Settling Dust #1: October 13th
    • Simpsons Comics #43: October 14th
    • Gun Honey #2: October 20th
    • Ryuko Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (Boxed Set): October 26th

November 2021

    • Cutting Edge Vol. 1: November 2nd
    • Blade Runner 2029 #9: November 3rd
    • Life is Strange Vol. 5: Coming Home: November 3rd
    • Smart Girl: November 9th
    • Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #3: November 10th
    • Life is Strange: Settling Dust #2: November 10th
    • Ms. Tree: The Cold Dish Vol. 3: November 16th
    • ExtraOrdinary Vol. 1: November 16th
    • Minky Woodcock: The Girl Who Electrified Tesla Vol. 2: November 16th
    • Blade Runner: Origins #8: November 17th
    • Assassin’s Creed: Bloodstone Collection: November 17th
    • Gun Honey #3: November 17th
    • Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf #1: November 17th
    • Snowpiercer Vol. 1 -3 (Boxed Set): November 23rd
    • Phantom of the Opera: November 30th
    • Rivers of London Vol. 9: Monday Monday: November 30th

Titan Comics December 2021 and January 2022 Solicitations

Three, two, one: let’s jam.  Spike, Faye, Jet, and (the most important of the crew) Ein head off on a new adventure in Cowboy Bebop #1 on December 8th.  Based on Netflix’s adaptation of the classic anime, the space cowboys will be chasing unlimited luck, in the form of a vest in the possession of an ex-gang member. (Now I could just stop there with the solicitations because really, that’s the only thing that matters in December, but the WWAC editors would be rather cross with me [ed: it’s true]. So we press forward.)  There’s also more Doctor Who and Blade Runner adventures to close out the year, with the second issue of Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf and Blade Runner 2029 #10 coming on December 1st.  Gun Honey and Life is Strange: Settling Dust will also wrap up their series on December 15th and December 8th, respectively.

If you’re looking to try something new for your holiday cooking, you can check out Assassin’s Creed: The Culinary Codex on December 15th.  The recipes will honor the times and places of the most famous Assassins, from Boston Apple Pie to Rooks’ Bread Pudding.  And the December solicitations also provide us advance news of a new graphic novel, Azimut, coming in February 2022.  This award-winning novel seeks to answer the question: what happens when the magnetic North pole disappears?  Lives will be turned upside down (perhaps literally) when this fantasy drops on February 16, 2022.

Now, what will be starting the New Year off for Titan comics? Nothing but a Doctor, of course!  Doctor Who: Empire of the Wolf continues with its third issue on the first New Comic Book Day of 2022, January 5th.  You can also pick up Cowboy Bebop’s second issue that day as well. And the following week, check out a hardcover on the making of the Netflix series.  Blade Runner 2029 continues into the New Year with issue #11 dropping on January 5th.  The January 2022 solicitations also give us a look at what’s coming this Spring from Titan, such as the graphic novel Junction and a new graphic novel from Ryuko creator Eido Yoshimizu titled Hen Kai Pan.  Both these books will be available in April 2022.

Please note release dates are subject to change.

Titan Comics at NYCC 2021

Missed any of Titan Comics’ NYCC 2021 Panels?  Fortunately, they were all virtual, which means you can watch them anytime!

What I’m Reading

It’s finally the beginning of the end for Max and Chloe in Life is Strange: Settling Dust.  And figuring I may not have given Gun Honey a fair shake last month, I take a look at issue #2 to see if my mind can be changed.

(Note that our reviews may contain spoilers, so proceed carefully!)

Gun Honey #2
Charles Ardai (writer), Ang Hor Kheng (artist), David Leach (letterer), Asifur Rahman (colorist)
October 20, 2021

A White woman with dark hair, wearing a very skimpy white bra and panties set, sits on a windowsill petting an orange tabby cat. There is a gun holstered in the side of her panties.
Gun Honey #2 by Charles Ardai and Ang Hor Kheng

After I finished Gun Honey #1 last month, I didn’t have much desire to want to return for issue #2.  There was an intriguing story with a character you could root for, but the over-sexualization of that character left a sour taste in my mouth. I know the series wanted to pay homage to pulp detective stories. But I also felt that it overused drawing its character for the male gaze. Every debut of a new property does have its bumps and bruises, and there were some good elements to this story.  Thus I decided to give this series one more chance before writing it off completely.

And halfway through, I’m finding nuggets of goodness, but less and less of them.

We’re starting to see Joanna’s morally dubious side, particularly as she drugs a woman she meets at a club one night so that she can sleep through her undercover work.  No matter who does it, no matter what the motives are, doing that is just plain wrong.  It’s also still not 100 percent clear what Joanna’s end game is supposed to be with this mission.  We just know that the government wants her help in bringing someone down, but what exactly did they do?  Knowing some of this information would help the reader understand just what’s at stake for Joanna in this mission, just what danger she’s under.

But the biggest turn-off for me is what turned me off last month: the artwork.  Even when Joanna is fully clothed, there’s a need to emphasize her overly large chest, through low-cut tops or exaggerated shaping of her breasts.  You see the latter in the first third of the book, in her confrontation with a hired goon.  Her catsuit is a full-body one, but artist Ang Hor Kheng draws her breasts rather large and pear-shaped. And your eye can’t help but be drawn there, which removes your focus from the story.  And if it isn’t a focus on her chest, there’s an excessive focus on her ass. The competent morally dubious hero ends up being reduced to a sexual caricature, a rendering of a 12-year-old boy’s fantasy as he discovers his father’s stash of nudie magazines.

Sexuality, when done right, is very empowering. When done wrong, as it is here, all you want to do is send the creative team to horny jail for a very long time.  I won’t be back for any more Gun Honey stories any time soon.

Life is Strange: Settling Dust #1
Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt (letterer) Andrea Izzo (colorist), Claudia Leonardi (artist), Richard Starkings (letterer), Emma Vieceli (writer)
October 13, 2021

Max, a White woman with brown hair, is at a concert for a band called The High Seas. She is sitting on a male's shoulders, but looking over her shoulder at something in the distance, a concerned look on her face.
Life is Strange: Settling Dust #1 by Emma Vieceli and Claudia Leonardi

Mother Nature had other plans for The High Seas and Rachel’s theater debut: a storm has canceled both productions. But for Max, this is the best thing that could have happened.  The storm will allow her to unravel the fabric of space and time and go back to her proper timeline, and let the show go on.  All they need now is Tristan, who is their bridge between both worlds.  With all the pieces in place, and the appropriate goodbyes said, it’s time for everyone to go home.  There’s no looking back from here, only forward.

It’s only fitting that a storm provides the pivotal catalyst for Max to cross timelines.  In the original Life is Strange video game, it’s a storm that forces the player between choosing to save Chloe or save the town of Arcadia Bay.  (For the record: I chose to save the town. And with a remastered version of the original game out next year, I am going to try the opposite choice to see what happens.) Little touches like that add a level of subtext and deeper meaning that doesn’t take away from the story but gives longtime fans of the game an Easter egg to make them smile.

Now it was a tough decision for Max to make to return to her timeline. After all, she was happy with Chloe and Rachel. And as such, I’m happy to see Vieceli make space for the three to say goodbye and reflect on their time together.  This friendship has made Max a better person and given her the strength to go through with this.  And it deserves a moment to be celebrated.  Max isn’t the only one with growth.  The storm triggered bad memories of Arcadia Bay with Victoria, and she lets down her tough girl exterior with her ex-boyfriend Zack, allowing him to comfort her as her friend.  I’m still conflicted on what purpose Victoria serves in this story, but as a fan of the game who remembers the mean girl Victoria, it’s refreshing to see maturity in her character.

I love the violence Claudia Leonardi brings to the storm.  A dynamic force like this is hard to bring to a two-dimensional medium, and with the right use of line and detail, you can feel the power of wind and rain on the beach.  Proportion of Pixie, Chloe, and Max also aids in showing this storm’s power.  And when you finally see Max and Tristan at work, their magic shows itself in a pink glow, contrasting against the purples and grays of the storm.  Pink is also the color of calm and euphoria, feelings Max must have in this moment: calm at the task ahead of her, happiness at the chance to go home.  It’s the perfect choice to capture the significance of this moment.

It’s been a long time coming, but we’re nearing the end of Max and Chloe’s divide across time.  And it’s been worth the wait.

Kate Kosturski

Kate Kosturski

Librarian by day, comics nerd by day and by night. Also published at Geeks OUT and Multiversity Comics (where she is also the social media manager for the site). Originally from New Jersey, now of Connecticut and New York City. Raging feminist your mother probably warned you about. Body positivity and LGBTQ+ advocate. Lover of good whiskey, Jensen Ackles, Doctor Who, Funko Pops, knitting, Hamilton, and the New York Mets. Will defend the Oxford Comma to her deathbed. Find her on twitter at @librarian_kate

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