Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!
Wednesdays are new comic book day! Each week hundreds of comics are released, and that can be pretty daunting to go over and choose what to buy. That’s where we come in!
We’re bringing back something we haven’t done for a while, what the team thinks. Our contributors are choosing up to five books each week and why they’re choosing the books.
Find out what folks think below, and what comics you should be looking out for this Wednesday.
Nanjing: The Burning City HC (Dark Horse) – This is one of those weeks where I could have easily chosen 20 different comics to put on my picks. Narrowing it down to five was very difficult, but this book is absolutely on top. A graphic novel taking place in Nanjing during the Chinese occupation/attack during the second Chinese/Japanese war. The atrocities committed are staggering, and this graphic novel is a nice introduction that will hopefully get people more interested in this genocide and destruction.
Hip Hop Family Tree #1 (Fantagraphics) – If you missed it, the praised Fantagraphics graphic novel series is being released as monthly comics with extra material, so perfect for new readers and old readers like. The series is an amazing recounting of the rise of hip hop music.
Oxymoron: The Loveliest Nightmare #1 (Comix Tribe) – I love Comix Tribe’s releases, though their release schedule can be a bit spotty at times. This new series, spinning out of The Red Ten, which is being released a week early, focuses on the supervillain the Oxymoron. Comix Tribe is a publisher that absolutely deserves more eyes on their releases.
Princeless: Raven, the Pirate Princess #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Jeremy Whitley’s Princeless has been both entertaining and destroying comic tropes and stereotypes at the same time. This new series, which spun out of the last volume, focuses on Raven as she builds a pirate crew to take on her brothers. This issue is amazing, and there’s one sequence in particular that’ll get you laughing and thinking.
Young Terrorists #1 (Black Mask Studios) – A fascinating read that I’m still digesting. It gets Black Mask Studios back to its political roots, taking on corporations, governments, really, society as a whole.
Top Pick: Justice League #43 (DC Comics) – The ending to the previous issue, with Batman taking on the role of Metron, is one of the big type of developments that Geoff Johns loves in his storytelling. Where this story arc goes from here is anyone’s guess, but it is going to be something big.
Manifest Destiny #16 (Image Comics) – This series continues with the unexplained mysteries of America’s interior, as was seen by a different Lewis and Clark. The revelations of the previous issue seem like they will have a big impact going forward.
Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (Marvel) – Romance comics are an important part of the history of the medium of comics. It is nice to see a romance inspired tie-in to Secret Wars, though it will be interesting to see exactly where they take it.
Silk #6 (Marvel) – There are still a few Marvel monthlies that are moving along somewhat unbothered by Secret Wars, and Silk is one of them. This fun series never got a good chance to gain a decent fan base but continues to impress.
Van Helsing Vs. Dracula #1 (Zenescope) – Dracula is probably the most widely used villain in comics, not in terms of appearances, but in terms of how many companies have published stories with him. Liesel Van Helsing is a steampunk heroine that has never made the connection with readers. Putting the two together seems like it might work though.
Top Pick: Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess #2 (Action Lab Entertainment) – Everyone loves Princeless, the feminist, funny, exciting all-ages fantasy comic staring women of color and a dragon. Raven the Pirate Princess is not just a spin-off series, it is the next step of maturation for the adventure/fantasy world Jeremy Whitley is building. While both series are all-ages this one is aimed at slightly older kids. It very effectively lampoons real world sexism in ways that I want to put on freaking flyers and hand out at conferences.
Just as important, it features young women flirting with each other. So you get pirate ships and also ‘shipping in one family-friendly, queer positive, comic book featuring mostly people of color.
Marvel, DC, take note.
Which brings us to….
Top Pick: Secret Wars: Secret Loves #1 (Marvel) – Jeremy Whitley, creator of the feminist all-ages fantasy comic dynamo that is Princeless is finally writing something for Marvel. It’s a romance story featuring Danny Rand and Misty Knight! If that wasn’t enough in this comic we get Kamalah Kahn and Robbie Reyes together. Marvel should probably publish a full time romance series again. Other then X-Men.
Black Canary #3 (DC Comics) – Last issue ended on a cliff hanger. Who’s Dinah’s ex in the covert-ops suit? And how does that mysterious kid play guitar like that? And when will someone buy me an Annie Wu commission? Her art here is killer.
Island #2 (Image Comics) – Bored of comics? Want something new? Buy this. All of the art is unlike any of the other comics art you have. Unless you read a lot of Brandon Graham stuff in which case the Brandon Graham stuff will be familiar. And by familiar I mean awesome.
Power-Up #2 (BOOM! Box/BOOM! Studios) – Magical girls for everyone! Magical girls for construction workers with beards! For Mom’s in station wagons with irritable teenagers! For tiny gold fish! And for under-employed retail workers. Cute and heartfelt. Read the review I wrote for issue 1.
Secret Six #5 (DC Comics) – Gail Simone’s original run on Secret Six is one of my favorite comics of all time. It’s taken a while to get this new volume up and running properly. But the last issue marked a major upswing in the series. It’s harkening back to the twisted humor, over the top violence and drama between members of a found family of fucked-up people that made readers fall in love with the original series.
Wolf #2 (Image Comics) – Urban fantasy is a dime a dozen right now but Ales Kott’s new series Wolf stands out. The story is completely unpredictable. This series has a David Lynchian vibe I haven’t felt in anything else I read. It’s reminiscent in tone Mulholland Drive in particular. The series is genuinely creepy and a little confusing. But I love Mulholland Drive for those very reasons. So consider that praise for this book too.
Top Pick: Justice League #43 (DC Comics) – Forget Age of Ultron and Ant-Man, this has been the cinematic adventure of the year for me! I love how Johns has taken the old cliché of “Bat-God” and turned it literal. Awesome stuff. His reinterpretation of Darkseid and his Apokolips horde is fantastic. I don’t see it slowing down. Waiting at the bus stop for the next Boom Tube!
Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #4 (Marvel Comics) – Peter finally gets his daughter back and she fights by his side. I don’t think anything more needs to be said. Thwip this one up quick Webheads!
House of M #1 (Marvel Comics) – What’s better than one rule under Doom? Try Magneto. I am very glad they are revisiting this story. Was great when it was originally published. However what could Wanda wish away this time? How about hoping she utters the words “No More Reboots.”
Superman/ Wonder Woman #20 (DC Comics) – Continuing the Truth story, I’m eager to see what became of Lana Lang but if this month doesn’t turn it around, this might be it for me on this title. Big fan of Mahnke but not sure his art can save me on this. Hope I’m wrong.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #49 (IDW Publishing) – One more issue till the big one. This is where it hits the fan! Turtles, Shredder, Splinter, Bebop, Rocksteady, Metalhead, Karai. I am eagerly awaiting the showdown. Rumor is one of the Turtles may not survive..