Tag Archives: captain canuck

Underrated: Captain Canuck: Aleph

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Captain Canuck: Aleph



CCanuckTPB1_S1-RGB_1024x1024

I picked this trade up recently, and finally got around to reading it today, and I remember wondering once I was done why I hadn’t heard about it before. Published by Chapterhouse Captain Canuck: Aleph collects the first six issues of Kalman Andrasofszky and Leonard Kirk‘s 2016 run on the character.

If you’re wondering who the character is, and what the series is about, then wonder no longer!

“Born of the True North and tested in the field of war, Tom Evans is Captain Canuck, Canada’s greatest superhero. After an encounter with an alien artifact granted him superhuman strength and speed, Captain Canuck joined the global crisis intervention agency Equilibrium to take on the greatest threats that the world has ever known.

Captain Canuck needs all his grit and strength to stand up to the machinations of the deadly Mr. Gold and his sinister minions, but his most serious challenge lies much closer to home. What dark family secrets will he discover at the mysterious Site: ALEPH?”

Although Captain Canuck has a rich history, originally debuting back in July 1975, you don’t need to be aware of any of it. Oh, it’s well worth looking up if you’re curious, but to enjoy Aleph it isn’t required reading. What you get with this book is a story about team work, family, and the steely determination of a man who looks like a superhero, and has all the characteristics of  superhero, but feels distinctly more human than superhuman. There are moments where other characters call out the traditional traits of a superhero that Captain Canuck exhibits, but only enough to make you wonder why a hero does what they do. And Canuck gives you his answer in this book; through his actions, not his words.

I paid $10 for this, and it was worth every penny.


Join us next week when we look at something else that is, for whatever reason, Underrated.

ChapterHouse Announces $1.99 Issues and $9.99 Trades

Toronto-based comics publisher Chapterhouse Publishing has announced a new pricing structure for its Chapterverse range of superhero titles, with every monthly comic priced at $1.99 US, and all trade paperback collections priced at $9.99 US!

The new $1.99 price point applies to all Chapterverse titles in 2018, including Captain Canuck, Fantomah, Freelance, and The Pitiful Human Lizard.

The change in pricing is a being driven by the tough competition in the comic market and the hope is that this decrease in cover price will remove the barrier for consumers to purchase the comics. The change is also driven by a decrease in production costs. The company has grown enough that printing costs have decreased in what’s described as a “sizeable savings” from the printer. This savings is being passed along to retailers and consumers.

This price point also means that readers can read the entire universe line of comics for $4 to $6 a month.

Chapterhouse is creating an accessible superhero universe with heroes for every kind of reader, from the classic adventure of Captain Canuck to the horror of Fantomah, and from the humour of Pitiful Human-Lizard to the globetrotting action of Freelance.

The $1.99 initiative kicks off in January 2018 with the second seasons of two of Chapterhouse’s most acclaimed titles; Freelance, starring gay superhero Lance Valiant, and Fantomah, featuring a revival of the Golden Age horror icon. The $1.99 price also applies to the new 2018 seasons of Captain Canuck, Pitiful Human-Lizard, Fallen Suns, Northguard, and two new titles to be announced next year.

The $9.99 trade paperback price will apply to the entire Chapterverse line, including Captain Canuck: Aleph, Captain Canuck: Gauntlet, Captain Canuck: Harbinger, The Pitiful Human-Lizard: Far From Legendary, The Pitiful Human-Lizard: Still Pretty Pathetic, Freelance: Angel of the Abyss, and Fantomah: Up From The Deep.

Chapterhouse offers a publishing model unlike anyone else in comics. All Chapterverse titles run in four-issue seasons, and each season stands on its own, with no crossovers or stunts. Each $9.99 trade paperback collection will be released and distributed through Diamond Books before the next season begins, so it’s always easy for readers to catch up without breaking the bank.

Under The Fleur De Lys: A Closer Look at Quebec Superheroes

The patriotic superhero has been a staple of comics since Simon & Kirby’s Captain America. Canada has had a few of its own, beginning with the wartime adventurer Johnny Canuck, through Captain Canuck in the 1970’s, Northguard in the 1980’s and their recent reboots from Chapterhouse Comics. But what about superheroes from Quebec?

After all, Quebec is an important part of Canada, going back as far as 1763, when France ceded New France to the British. In 1791, the original Province of Quebec was divided at the Ottawa River into Lower Canada (Quebec) and Upper Canada (Ontario). In 1841, the two were re-combined into the United Province of Canada. Finally, in 1867, Quebec became one of the founding provinces of the Dominion of Canada. In fact, the term “canadien” was originally used to mean francophones.

Knowing this, English-speaking Canadian writers generally feel it’s important to include Québécois characters in any Canadian series. But despite the best intentions of the creators, it is very difficult to write Quebec superheroes with authenticity.

First of all, there are not one, but two language barriers at work. Not only is it a challenge for  English-Canadian comics writers to write French fluently, but the French that is spoken and written in Quebec is unique. Joual, as it is known, is a highly-specific dialect, like Yiddish or Creole (some go so far as to call it a language of its own). Because of its historically lower-class status, it was not taught as “correct” French; even my peers who spent years in French immersion schools never learned how people in Quebec actually speak. Writing it is something else entirely: until the Quiet Revolution of the 1960’s, and the work of writers such as Réjean Ducharme and Michel Tremblay, joual rarely, if ever, appeared in print.

Toronto writers such as Kalman Andrasofszky (Captain Canuck, Agents of P.A.C.T.) and Meaghan Carter (La Fantôme) use translators for the dialogue of their Québécois characters. But this practice has its limits: in the case of Carter, her translator and proofreader (Mederic Berton and Xaviere Daumerie) are European and use expressions that, while French, are not Québécois. (“tu nous as fichu une sacrée pagaille,” for instance.) Also, as Andrasofsky pointed out to me (which I can confirm from my own experience), no two translators ever totally agree. To write Kébec’s working-class dialogue, Andrasofsky turns to a number of francophones, including Gabriel Morrissette, co-creator (with Mark Shainblum) of Fleur de Lys. For example, one person may translate “son-of-a-bitch” to Kébec calling an enemy “un câlisse,” but another may have gone another route. In the 1980’s Northguard stories written by Shainblum and drawn by Morrissette, Morrissette provided the Québécois dialogue.

Morrissette acknowledges that American readers simply don’t understand that Quebec French is different from European French. You can see that difference in the first appearance of Northguard, when a security guard calls in for backup when the hero blows past: “J’ai un fou qui se garroche en d’dans!” the guard exclaims in perfect joual. In Northguard, he and Shainblum worked hard to give the book authenticity: “If we were going to show Montreal, we were going to show it as it really was,” he told me.

But to show something as it really is requires research. Morrissette, having grown up with European comics as well as American, was used to artists who were able to do extensive research and use accurate references. But with the tighter production deadlines of American comics, “even three days to do research was a luxury!” Mark Shainblum, in writing Northguard and Fleur de Lys, was able to draw on the fact that he had grown up and lived in Montreal: “I was immersed in all of it. I grew up during the rise of Quebec nationalism and the election of the first PQ government in 1976 [the Parti Québécois’ raison d’être is to make Quebec an independent country] and all the psychological shocks to the system that meant for Quebec, anglophone and francophone alike.”

For La Fantôme, Carter visited Montreal and its Ecomuseum and collected reference photos. But, she adds, “I’ll be perfectly honest and admit I did absolutely zero research for the character’s background!… If the story was about being a Montrealer/Quebecker… then I would have placed a lot more importance on that kind of research – or would have felt completely out of bounds writing such a thing. However, I feel that Fantome’s story is not about her background and more about investigating the Ecomuseum and being a superhero, so that’s where I focused the writing on.” Andrasofszky echoed a similar reluctance, stressing that both Fleur de Lys and Kébec are “supporting characters in other peoples’ books.” He also pointed out that, in action series, no matter how much you want to put in, “you have to cut, and cut, and cut again… It’s hard to find the time. I just want to get to the alien invasion.”

So does the fact that these are stories in the superhero genre limit the writing of these Québécois characters? “Quebec as its own unique entity has little if nothing to do with Fantome’s story,” says Carter. About Kébec, Andrasofszky says that he didn’t want her language to define her character: “I didn’t want to say, ‘Oh, she’s francophone and therefore…’ She’s a number of different things.” He tries to give an impression of their background (using language to highlight  their class differences, for instance), but stresses that they are “living individuals that are more than the product of their culture.” As for Kébec and Fleur de Lys’ costumes, he was more circumspect: “It (Captain Canuck) is a book about a flag-wearing super-hero… It’s not about addressing politics… Maybe it’s a missed opportunity… I don’t know that I’m qualified to deal with that.”

I asked Shainblum if it was possible to have a flag-wearing superhero who was not political. “No,” he said. “And why would you even try? It defeats the purpose of the project… I mean, we struggled with it, Phillip Wise [Northguard] struggled with it himself.” On creating Fleur de Lys: “I wanted a Quebec-themed female character in the series, a yin to Northguard’s yang. And I wanted her to be a Quebec sovereignist to balance the maple leaf effect of Northguard, and give them a chance to actually discuss the issue and let me air some of my feelings about it.” Indeed, in New Triumph #4, Phillip and Manon discuss the Quebec independence movement in a way that’s surprisingly sympathetic, coming from an English Montrealer, and gives us insight into both characters and their motivations. Shainblum’s treatment of Manon Deschamps is by far the most authentic portrayal of a Quebec character in superhero comics, and an excellent example of the possibilities within the genre.

Quebec holds a unique place in Canada and North America. Its distinct language, culture, and history can be obstacles to creators from outside the province working fast to meet deadlines and genre conventions. But those challenges could also provide rich opportunities for those who take the time and make the effort to dig deeper below the surface of the fleur-de-lys flag.

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.

Joe

Top Pick: Kill or Be Killed Vol. 2 TP (Image) – The fantastic crime thriller with a demon (yeah that’s right) keeps getting better. This is the second collected volume of the second arc that follows Dylan’s path into darkness.

Action Comics #984 (DC Comics) – You get a Superman! And you get a Supergirl! And you get a Super… Lex? This arc has been a blast. Take all of Supes’ big bad and put them against his super friends. It’s going down!

Black Hammer #11 (Dark Horse) – Lemire has been a writing machine as of late, and the quality hasn’t dipped. This is probably his best work, but that’s tough to say since he’s doing great work on a few series now.

Saga #45 (Image) – The best in the business keeps it interesting. Whether you read this book in single issue or trade, you’re always left on the edge of your seat. This is a truly special piece of art we are getting, and it’s going to go down as a classic.

Infamous Iron Man #10 (Marvel) – I was skeptical with this book for awhile, and have gone back and forth, but either way, I’ve still enjoyed almost every issue and loved Maleev’s beautiful art as well as the mystery Bendis is building with momma Doom.

 

Alex

Top Pick: X-O Manowar #5 (Valiant) – Without question the best looking comic right now, these issues never feel long enough – which for me is a good sign. If you’re even remotely curious as to Valiant’s comics, then this is a great place to start. Especially if you’re into what is essentially Conan mixed with Old Man Logan set in Star Wars.

Faith and the Future Force #1 (Valiant) – This is a bit of a cheat because I’ve already read this awesome issue. Time travel, a hero that loves comics and a brilliant blend of philosophically aware humour add up to a must (re)read for me on Wednesday.

Adam Wreck #2, Amazing Age #2, Croak #2, Lillith Dark #2 (Alterna) – So four entries in one? Because all four are a part of Alterna’s newsprint line and cost $1.50, and they’re all well worth every penny. Depending on what you’re looking for, there will be something for you among these issues – whether you pick one or all of them up, for the price the’re going for? You honestly can’t go wrong.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Tomboy #12 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – The mix of horror, manga, and teenage angst wraps up and if you haven’t read an issue you need to go back to the beginning. One of the best comics that’s under the radar.

All-Star Batman #12 (DC Comics) – This series has been knocking it out of the park and this latest arc which dives deeper into Alfred’s history has been an interesting one showing how you can layer on something new even with a series that has that much history.

Captain Canuck 2017 #1 (Chapterhouse Comics) – A reboot of the recently launched character. How it’ll differ? No idea, but I’m intrigued to see.

Heavenly Blues #1 (Scout Comics) – A really interesting concept involving the afterlife that had me entertained with the first issue and looking forward to the second. Basically, it’s a heist comic involving angels and demons.

Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (Marvel) – This series has been knocking it out of the park with each issue and the fact that it revolves around a brand new character is even better. A prime example of how to expand the Star Wars universe and deliver something new.

Underrated: Patriotic Heroes

This is a column that focuses on something or some things from the comic book sphere of influence that may not get the credit and recognition it deserves. Whether that’s a list of comic book movies, ongoing comics, or a set of stories featuring a certain character. The columns may take the form of a bullet pointed list, or a slightly longer thinkpiece – there’s really no formula for this other than whether the things being covered are Underrated in some way. This week: Patriotic Heroes


This week has both the Canada Day and Independence Day holidays, and or those who don’t know, the two days celebrate the birth of Canada and the USA respectively. Perhaps one of the biggest holidays in their respective country. For that reason this edition of Underrated will spotlight some flag wearing heroes from a few different publishers that perhaps aren’t as well known, or as recognizable, as Captain America.

I make no claims that this will be a complete list, in fact it features characters almost entirely from Canada, U.S.A. and the U.K.

Union JackUNION_JACK_1

Britain’s other flag clad hero from Marvel Comics. There have been three men to call them selves Union Jack, a father and son during the first and second World Wars, and the current Union Jack, Joseph Chapman. Click the above link for a longer run down of the character that’s position as the Working Man’s Hero.  Union Jack has a rich history as a member of the Invaders during World War Two (both Union Jack I and II), and even the revived modern day Invaders from the 2008 run (Union Jack III). I am partial to the character, and would urge you to check out the two trades collecting his 1999 mini series, and the more recent one from 2012.

Jack Staffjackstaff

A character published primarily in the UK, Paul Grist created Jack Staff based on a rejected story which he had written to make use of Marvel’s Union Jack. After the rejection, he rewrote the story to create more of a self-contained original comic that was published through Dancing Elephant Press (owned by Paul Grist). Twelve black and white issues later, the comic was restarted in colour at  Image Comics.

GuardianGuardian-marvel

Perhaps one of the few heroes on the list that is recognizable to most people,  Guardian first appearing in Uncanny X-Men #109 from 1978,  he was intended to be the Canadian equivalent of Captain America, hence the Canadian flag costume.  Guardian has played a significant role in Wolverine’s history -from the early  X-Men comics in which the Canadian Government tried to recall Wolverine  to Alpha Fight (a team led by Guardian), to having later been the man who helped Wolverine recover his humanity after the Weapon X Program grafted the metal to his bones.

canuckCaptain Canuck

Comely Comics Canadian hero is the current star of a new ongoing series that’s worth checking out. Click the link above for some more information on the Canadian flag wearing hero that predates Marvel’s Guardian by several years. His current on going series from Chapterhouse is fantastic, having gone from strength to strength over the last year and change.

Jack Flagjackflag

First appearing in 1994 Captain America #434. Inspired to don the costume because of Captain America, Jack Flag was most recently seen in comics as a member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s unlikely he’ll appear in the movies anytime soon, however, seeing as how he was most recently seen flying out of an aircraft.

 shieldThe Shield

Perhaps the only flag clad hero to predate Captain America, the Shield first appeared in Pep Comics #1 which was cover dated January 1940. Created by writer Harry Shorten and artist Irv Novick, there have been five different incarnations of the character since his debut, the current iteration of the hero has been published by Archie Comics’ Dark Circle Comics imprint since 2005 and features Victoria Adams as The Shield.

Uncle SamUncle_Sam_BNW_1

You recognize Uncle Sam, right?  Created by Will Eisner, he first appeared in National Comics #1cover dated July of 1940 predating Captain America by several months. This iteration of the character lasted for four years, before DC acquired the license  to print his stories and revived him during the 70’s. Although not a flag wearing hero, Uncle Same is intrinsically linked to the level of belief people have in the idea of America, making him one of the most patriotic heroes on this list.


There we have it – a small selection of underrated flag wearing comic book heroes. Are there other comic book related stuff out there that is, for whatever reason, underrated and under-appreciated?

Absolutely.

Because of that, Underrated will return to highlight more comic book related stuff  that either gets ignored despite it’s high quality, or maybe isn’t quite as bad as we tend to think it is. In the meantime, though, if you do get a chance check out the characters in thisUnderrated, then you may need to hunt through the back issue bins for some, but others do have some stories collected in trades.

Until next time!

Jay Baruchel Joins Chapterhouse for Free Comic Book Day 2017

Jay Baruchel joins the Captain Canuck team to co-write the Free Comic Book Day edition of Captain Canuck: Year One for Chapterhouse Comics with Editor in Chief and series writer Kalman Andrasofszky.

The first of the three-part series is drawn by Canadian superstar Marcus To and features a cover by David Finch.

The issue also includes an 8-page backup story- Die Kitty Die: Summer Beach Party created, written and illustrated by Dan Parent and Fernando Ruiz of Archie Comics fame.

chapterhouse-fcbd-2017

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

adbook01_coverartWednesdays 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.

Joe

Top Pick: AD: After Death #1 (Image Comics) – Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire are two of my favorite people in comics. Now they will be together with Lemire doing some fantastic art (one of his talents that is very underrated) on a book that they call part comic and part prose. This book asks the question, what if we could cure death? I am sure not everything will go well, but time will tell. What would a world with no death be like? Would it be as great as we think? The previews I have seen so far are beautiful, and I am very excited for the story this oversized book will tell.

The Mighty Thor #13 (Marvel) – After an excellent first issue of The Unworthy Thor that saw the return of Odinson, we will return to the current and actual holder of the Thor title. This issue will see the start of a massive war, and it will be interesting to see how this affects not only Thor, but Odinson as well. What will Odin do? Or Loki? This series has been fantastic all the way back to the last run. The story is great, the art is some of the best in comics, so yes, this is definitely high on my list.

Dept. H #8 (Dark Horse) – Who did it!? That’s the question we are all asking along with our protagonist, while everyone tries to avoid drowning to death. The water is rising and so are tensions. As they search for answers, they also have to search for a way to survive. Did someone sabotage the base? It would sure seem it. Matt and Sharlene Kindt have been doing such a fantastic job on this book and I expect that to continue.

Detective Comics #945 (DC Comics) – The Victim Syndicate continues, and I want to find out more about these characters. We basically know they want to make Batman hurt for what they think he did to them, but how far will they take things? It definitely seems like pretty far if the last issue is any sign. This is one of the best DC books, and probably my favorite bat book each month, so I am definitely looking forward to this.

bsusa_002_cover-a_braithwaiteWonder Woman #11 (DC Comics) – Speaking of the best DC book, this just may be it. Wonder Woman is probably their most consistent title, and Greg Rucka is writing a heck of a tale, well two tales each month. I love the going back and forth between the year one and the current storyline, and seeing how they tie together. Will we finally get some big answers this issue? This is a book everyone should be reading every month. Highly recommended.

 

Alex

Bloodshot U.S.A. #2 (Valiant) – I’ve recent been reading the earlier issues of Bloodshot from a few years ago, which has gotten me incredibly excited to get my hands on this issue with a new found appreciation for the character.

Venom #1 (Marvel) – Knowing next to nothing about this series, or Venom’s history since the symbiote was bonded to Flash Thompson, this is going to be an interesting read. Hopefully, it’s a little more than half decent.

Ninjak #21 (Valiant) – I’m looking forward to this more for the end of the arc than anything else. I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by The Fist And The Steel arc, although it was a perfectly serviceable story, it just didn’t do it for me. I’m hoping the next arc will be different, but we have to read this first.

 

warlords_of_appalachia_002_a_mainBrett

Top Pick: AD: After Death Book 1 (Image Comics) – Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire. Those two names alone should give you enough reason to pick up this first issue. The concept is interesting and Joe covered that above, but these are creators who I expect quality when I see their names and they consistently deliver. I don’t flinch at recommending this one and it’s near the top of my reading list.

Civil War II #7 (Marvel) – I’ll be the first to say this event has been a disaster from the beginning, but it’s a trainwreck where I want to see what happens next.

Death of X #4 (Marvel) – Filling in the gaps post-Secret Wars we finally find out what happened to Cyclops and a few others. That’s enough to get me to check out this final issue of the miniseries and also to see what happens next with the next event IVX.

Captain Canuck #10 (Chapterhouse Comics) – Comics should be fun and Captain Canuck consistently delivers that without the grim and dark that so many others rely on.

Warlords of Appalachia #2 (BOOM! Studios) – Might as well get ahead of the curve in what very well may be a prescient series. The story involves an uprising from Kentucky post second Civil War… entertainment is feeling a bit too real here.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

the-paybacks-3Wednesdays 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.

Anthony

Top Pick: Wayward #16 (BOOM! Studios)Wayward returns and looks to switch gears from its setting in Japan back to Rori’s homeland: Ireland. The team of Jim Zub, Steven Cummings, Tamra Bonvillain and Marshall Dillon (and some always excellent back material) created a very energetic and emotional ride in Japan with a battle between the traditional yokai and the new school of people with powers. It will be exciting to see what will be incorporated in Rori and her friend’s world with Ireland and its rich folk tale history being brought to life.

Island #11 (Image Comics) –  Island has been a consistent treat from its inception, featuring a wide variety of creator stories that are a pleasure for the eyes and mind. This issue features Matt Sheehan and Malachi Ward (whose story reaches its conclusion) and pieces from Grim Wilkins and Robin Bougie.

Saga #38 (Image Comics) –  It’s Saga. Nuff said.

Generation Zero #2 (Valiant) – Valiant is one of those companies whose titles are always worthy of taking a stab with each and every first issue. The first issue of Generation Zero focused on Keisha Sherman and her personal investment in revealing the shady things going on in her hometown. The members of the former Project Rising Spirit team called Generation Zero were more in the background during the first issue but look to thrust themselves forward as they meet with Keisha for the first time.

Kim and Kim #3 (Black Mask Studios) – It’s great having a title that truly cares about fleshing out its characters first and foremost, while the plot progresses alongside. This isn’t to say that the story and world of Kim and Kim isn’t lively or vibrant, it embodies just that, but the true heart belongs between the two titular characters weaving in and out of this sci-fi adventure romp.

 

Alex

Top Pick: The Paybacks #3 (Heavy Metal Comics) – There have been so many great comics released this year, and many of them from publishers other than Marvel and DC. This is one of them. What started out as a brilliant take on super-heroic debt has taken on a new life as the second series kicked off with a question of how far would you go to clear said debt, wrapped up in a brutally funny cast of characters. If you can find this, buy it.

Action Comics #964 (DC Comics) – Superman takes Clark Kent to his fortress of solitude (kinda). If that sounds interesting to you, then you need to read this.

Conan The Slayer #3 (Dark Horse) – When you think of Conan, violence is often not far away. And this comic has an almost poetic brutality to the fight scenes, which is awesome, but it’s Cullen Bunn’s narration style the has a throwback feel to the pulp novels where Conan first appeared that really pulls me in. I can’t get enough of this series.

Hal Jordan and The Green Lantern Corps #5 (DC Comics) – This is an honest surprise for me. I never used to like Green Lantern, but this series (as well as Green Lanterns) have been one of the highlights post Rebirth for me. I can’t wait for this one.

X-O Manowar #50  (Valiant) – Well, here we are. The final chapter in the current run of X-O Manowar is promising to be epic, and part of that is the large page count. The breakneck pace of the story so far has been exhilarating, and that nothing has been going well for X-O and his allies when facing the godlike Torment leads me to believe that we’re going to see a sacrifice of some kind this issue.

 

Javier

Top Pick: The X-Files: Origins #2 (IDW Publishing) – I’m re-living reading those old Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew mysteries from back in the day, with Jody Houser’s and Matthew Dow Smith’s take on a juvenile Scully and Mulder.

Deadly Class #22 (Image Comics) – Rick Remender starts a new arc with the survivors from the last installment’s bloodbath, and a new incoming freshman class. Plus, I still don’t believe Marcus is really dead.

The Paybacks (Vol. 2) #3 (Heavy Metal Comics) – Superheroes in debt, willing to do anything to pay off their outstanding balances. I know I’d kill to get rid of some of my old student loan debt.

Lake of Fire #2 (Image Comics) – Crusaders and Heretics versus Aliens? I liked Cowboys versus Aliens, so why not. I’m in for now.

Bloodshot Reborn #17 (Valiant) – One of my favorite series from Valiant.  It is consistently well written by Jeff Lemire, and the art is top notch (with Mico Suayan for this issue).

 

Jason

Star Trek: Waypoint #1 (IDW Publishing) – Even as a kid I was shrewd about my money and quickly learnt that a lot of my passions and obsessions had some truly awful and lazy spin-offs, Star Trek being one of the worst offending money grabbing staples of my youth, and one I happily ignored for a decade or two. I’m a fan, but money will always trump slavish in my devotion to any ‘franchise’, even now. Except somewhere in between then and now licensed properties quietly became, well, kinda awesome. Titans’s unstoppable Doctor Who or BOOM!’s magic touch on the seemingly inexhaustible Adventure Time comics get great ideas and writers and the readers will follow. Even so, I’ve been skeptical of my childhood repeat offender until now.

Waypoint is a brand new series from IDW offering up anthology stories from all across the breadth and time of the thankfully lens flare free Prime Universe for all us bitter old school nerds. This time around with two stories,  a classic original series story by Sandra Lanz and one that finally got me buying Star Trek comics again, “Puzzles”. Written by Donny Cates and Mack Chater set sometime after the Next Generation, with a mysterious ship appearing, with Data and Geordie sent out to investigate. Not giving too much away, it gives a heady sci-fi spin on Data and Geordie’s unusual but lasting friendship and the preview pages made me smile with where Cates and Chater have taken it and how much they understand the unusual pairing.

Jonesy Vol. 1 (BOOM! Studios) – Collecting all six issues of the colourful, charming and captivating miniseries from writer Sam Humpries and artist Caitlin Rose Boyle. Self described “cool dork” Jonesy, introduces readers to her high school life, spending her time making zines and most importantly, using her super secret power to make people fall in love. A modern day Cupid with converse, plaid and attitude.

Like Allison or Tynion, it’s hard to believe this isn’t written by teenagers. Told from our anarchic math makers point of view the dialogue is snappy and genuine, coupling perfectly with  the delightfully brash and vivid cartoon style of Boyle, it would appeal to fans of slice of life fantasy-realism like Scott Pilgrim or Giant Days.

 

Shay

Top Pick: Black Panther Epic Collection TP Panther’s Rage (Marvel) – Marvel has always been a master of political undertones. They’ve brought light to injustices in a palatable way to bring the masses together. This is a throwback TP where we get some of the awesome that is Black Panther and why he’s so important, not just to the MCU but, to the world. This collections shows the Panther taking care of business in Wakanda, sharing some of their culture. It expands horizons which is great for promoting global awareness in a time , much like now, where people don’t think about their neighbor , let alone people far away . This TP follows him from his culture to the south in the US where he fights the Klan and Soul Strangler. Considering how race relations are in this country , and across the world, this is a great time to read this and remind ourselves what’s at stake, what used to be, and what could be again. Understanding leads to compassion and compassion leads to the end of hate.

Batgirl #3 (DC Comics) – Part 3 of the Beyond Burnside arc is getting popcorn at the movies good. There’s a second villain, the mysterious “the Student” mark and a trip to Korea keeping BATGIRL hella busy. Should be a fun read.

Suicide Squad #3 (DC Comics) – Has got the people at Bele Reve losing their collective minds thanks to more dark & mysterious forces. Meaning the Suicide Squad doesn’t get to enjoy R & R. In the midst of the chaos the always crazily awesome Harley manages to stay “sane”. Plus more Katana backstory. The Black Vault story arc is interesting and getting better by the issue.

The X-Files: Origins #2 (IDW Publishing) – I need to know what was in the woods that Mulder ran off into to check on his friends after the men in black appeared. I also need to know how Scully’s Sunday school teacher ended up dead and if her father is in for a similar fate. Issue 2 promises to show us the first mystery these two solve, even if it’s not the two of them solving it together.

Kim and Kim #3 (Black Mask Studios) – I’ve been waiting to see what happened next in this awesome LGBT positive space cowboy action comic. I also want to see if the hunt for Lady Babylon leads to some more answers & a stop to the space slave trade.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Teen Titans: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics) – A new Teen Titans team headed up by Damian sounds fun and exciting to me. The first issue is really fun and generally what I expected. The clash of personalities is something that should be entertaining and add on top that this sets the team off on the wrong foot makes it even more entertaining.

Captain Canuck #9 (Chapterhouse Comics) – Captain Canuck always puts a smile on my face. It’s a throwback in many ways before comics became grim and gritty and that’s pretty awesome.

M.A.S.K.: Revolution #1 (IDW Publishing) – This is straight up nostalgia for me. I loved these toys growing up and to see them return in comics has me super excited.

The Paybacks #3 (Heavy Metal Comics) – The funniest and most entertaining comic on the shelves right now. Each issue has been amazing.

Tomboy #8 (Action Lab: Danger Zone) – Maybe the best comic you’re not reading? A brutal vigilante story starring a teenage girl.

Chapterhouse Comics Launches a Canadian Superhero World

Captain.Canuck 1 coverAt Fan Expo this past weekend, Chapterhouse Comics announced they were launching the “Chapterverse,” a comic superhero universe featuring Canadian superheroes. Already the company has three series, Captain Canuck, The Pitiful Human Lizard, and Northguard, but will be launching a new series featuring the character Freelance, a modern take on one of Canada’s oldest original heroes, with Jim Zub and Andrew Wheeler co-writing, and art by Vaneda Vireak.

Zub has described their take on Freelance as a globe-trotting adventurer, kicking butt and exploring mysteries hidden from the world.

Also joining the world is Fantomah, a character in the public domain is credited as the first female comic character with superpowers.

There’ll also be a series called Agents of Pact about an all-woman super team featuring Red Coat and Kébec.We’ll see the new universe bloom in 2017.

We’ll see the new universe bloom in 2017.

 

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Dept H #1 CoverWednesdays 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.

Patrick

Top Pick: Dept. H #1 (Dark Horse) – Matt Kindt’s work would be enjoyable even if they published the book with all the words spelled backwards. His visual storytelling inspires the mind and the inner artist. His new direction with this book is very exciting.

All-New Hawkeye #4 (Marvel) – Do you ever feel like people who read Hawkeye hit you over the head with how good it is? That they just don’t shut up about? Because if you’re not reading Hawkeye, somebody SHOULD be hitting you over the head until you are. Notify me and I’ll get someone on that. I’ve been very happy with this Lemire’s work following Faction’s run.

BEK: Black-Eyed Kids #1 (Aftershock) – I have really been enjoying Aftershock each month. Their new book will hopefully be as creepy and unnerving as the cover.

Clean Room #7 (Vertigo) – There’s something about Clean Room, something about it’s grotesque imagery yet clean visuals that allows this horror story to really stand out. I enjoyed the first arc and I really feel like Gail Simone has built a strong foundation to build upon.

Tokyo Ghost #6 (Image) – If Sean Murphy keyed my car once a month, I would still look forward to seeing it. If Rick Remender was telling him what to do with the key, I would not only continue to pay $4 a month to see how it had turned out, I would gladly explain it all to Hyundai when my lease was up.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Divinity II #1 (Valiant) – I’ve only just finished the first Divinity, and it was phenomenal. I can’t wait to get started on this. Cannot bloody wait.

Bloodshot Reborn #12 (Valiant) – The current story arc, The Analog Man, features some of the best looking artwork out there. It’s also a cool story with a very Mad Max aesthetic.

Howard The Duck #6 (Marvel) – Always a treat to read this series; Zdarsky’s humour is right up my alley.

Huck #6 (Image) – The first of two Superman like characters on this list, Huck is one of the better Millar books of recent times (of course I haven’t read the Jupiter series yet). Even though this s the final issue, I have no idea how it’ll all wrap up, especially because it feels like it’s only just about begun.

Hyperion #2 (Marvel) – Is here for the same reason it was last month. Hyperion may hit someone with a transfer truck swung like a baseball bat.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #9 (Marvel) – I have been really enjoying this book from the get go, and I’ll admit when I heard time travel in the story, I rolled my eyes. HOWEVER, I am really looking forward to see the X-Men in the future, joined by their teacher, facing off against Apocalypse and his horsemen; I always enjoy seeing new mutants imagined as horsemen and how they fit the roles of war, famine, pestilence and death.  I’m sure we won’t be disappointed.

Captain Marvel #4 (Marvel) – I’m a huge fan of Carol, and Abigail Brand is always a welcome addition to any title…but to be honest, my biggest draw to this book is Alpha Flight!  Well the three members we have; Aurora, Sasquatch and Puck have been out of the pages for far too long.  All the reboots and re-launches going on, why hasn’t anyone taken a look at Alpha Flight?  There is major potential there…just saying.

New Avengers #10 (Marvel) – Even with the American Kaiju and the New Avenger’s Power Rangers inspired mecha robot *yawn*, this title has definitely picked up steam with the tie in to Pleasant Hill.  These Avengers are fighting in the name of A.I.M., we should be rooting for them, right?  Lines are being drawn, not just with the team, but all the Avengers, and it’s a pleasant surprise to see this title stepping up.

Uncanny Inhumans #7 (Marvel) – I’m really liking the idea of Black Bolt’s ‘Quiet Room’, and really enjoyed that last issue showing the various Inhumans helping him keep the piece in his club.  And now there is an investigation under way…and the Capo., thought dead, is making a play to regain his power.  Never a dull moment for ol’ Black Bolt.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Clean Room #7 (Vertigo) – I only read it with the lights on. This sure to be disturbing issue is an Astrid stand alone story.

East of West #25 (Image) – Year two comes to an end after three years. Wait that does’t sound right. Double-checked, it’s an accurate statement. Hickman and Dragotta get a pass because it is damn good apocalyptic storytelling.

Gutter Magic #4 (IDW Publishing) – The end to another good story. Only four issues of this epic sci-fi/fantasy alternative history epic. I got my fingers crosses for future arcs.

Karnak #3 (Marvel) – If you are going to make me wait for like five months, then it better be good. This new philosophically bent Karnak is a blast to read—that is when an issue finally makes it to market.

 

Brett

Top Pick: Superman: American Alien #6/Superman: Lois and Clark #7 (DC Comics) – The best two Superman comics DC has going right now. Both in their own ways are great explorations of the characters and both show off what makes him great.

Captain Canuck #8 (Chapter House Comics) – Every issue is fun and entertaining. Great superhero comics without the gritty grim.

Carver: Paris Story #3 (Z2 Comics) – Just awesome gritty noir.

Dept H #1 (Dark Horse) – Matt Kindt’s new series? Done! Did you read his Mind MGMT from Dark Horse? It’s excellent. This first issue is excellent. An absolutely must buy.

Divinity II #1 (Valiant) – The first volume was absolutely amazing and this is a series I’ve been looking forward to since its announcement. I’m expecting nothing but excellence here.

« Older Entries