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Preview: Clean Room #18

Clean Room #18

(W) Gail Simone (A) Walter Geovani (CA) Jenny Frison
MATURE READERS • Final issue
In Shops: Apr 26, 2017
SRP: $3.99

Season One of CLEAN ROOM finishes with a literal big bang as the walls of reality come crashing down!

Everything Astrid Mueller has tried to build is on fire, and she is nowhere to be seen, as the true monsters are revealed at last. A mind-bending climax to this acclaimed series’ first epic tale!

Exclusive Preview: Clean Room #17

Clean Room #17

Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Walter Geovani
Cover by: Jenny Frison
U.S. Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: March 29, 2017

The barrier between the known world and what lurks beneath crumbles as the Entities’ true malevolence is unleashed on the world, and the moment Astrid Mueller has been preparing for comes with a wave of fire from above. The death that reaches for you may be coming from the mirror!

Madison’s Favorite Comics of 2016

Last year I prioritized cutting back on cape books and diversifying the publishers and stories that I read. Though many of the comics I read weren’t published in 2016 (especially ones I read during Women’s History Month) I still found it hard to narrow down the list of ongoing series I particularly loved throughout the year.

Here are ten comics I couldn’t put down in 2016:

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10. Goldie Vance by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams

This is a series I would have loved as a child. Goldie is the perfect mix of Nancy Drew and Eloise (of Plaza fame). Goldie Vance is great for a younger audience but doesn’t shy away from emotionally complex stories. Goldie and her friends are well-rounded characters with a wide range of interests who readers–young and not-young alike–will be able to relate to.

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9. Elasticator by Alan C. Medina and Kevin Shah

Elasticator is the kind of smart, political superhero comic I wish was more prevalent. The writing is fresh and interesting and Shah’s art is lively and animated with great colors from Ross A. Campbell.

Snotgirl

8. Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung

Lottie Person is just about as far away from Scott Pilgrim as you could get, though they do, at times, share a similar self-absorption. Snotgirl quickly became one of my favorite series of the year, because while not many people can say they’re successful fashion bloggers, they can likely relate to Lottie’s personal problems. Leslie Hung and Mickey Quinn provide gorgeous, vibrant visuals and the best wardrobe in comics, to boot.

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7. We(l)come Back by Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe

Reincarnation? Check. Assassins? Check. Shadowy organizations? Check. A+ fashion choices? Check. Reincarnated assassins in love running from other assassins who are trying to assassinate them? …Also check. What more can you want from a story?

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6. Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila del Duca

Shutter is one of Image’s most underrated titles. The story follows Kate Kristopher, the daughter of legendary explorer Chris Kristopher, and her discovery of some little-known family history. The comic is consistently interesting not only because of its plot, but because del Duca and colorist Owen Gieni are constantly experimenting with narrative structure and using different techniques to influence how the story is read.

clean room 1 featured

5. Clean Room by Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt

Clean Room is a creepy psychological horror comic about journalist Chloe Pierce’s investigation of self-help master Astrid Mueller, who Pierce suspects is more cult leader than anything else. Or is she? Mueller is a fascinating character, and the unknowable question of which side she’s actually on only adds to the story’s suspense.

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4. The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

What if you could be a god, but you’d die within two years? Consistently equal parts entertaining and heartbreaking with consistently incredible art and color from Jamie McKelvie and Matt Wilson. You’ve probably heard of this one.

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3. Mockingbird by Chelsea Cain, Kate Niemczyk, Sean Parsons, and Ibrahim Moustafa

One of the few superhero comics I read this year, Mockingbird was one of my absolute favorites. Cain writes Bobbi Morse as confident and smart, and the result was a fun mystery thriller with gorgeous art. The series also featured some of my favorite colors and covers this year, by Rachelle Rosenberg and Joelle Jones.

By the time I write my 2017 list, I might be over Mockingbird’s cancellation.

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2. Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Val DeLandro

2016 was light on Bitch Planet–only four issues were released throughout the year–but continued to provide insightful and relevant commentary in what turned out to be a period of rapid change in the real-life political landscape.

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1. Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda

Monstress started strong in 2015 and only got better. The main character, Maika, is a teenage girl living with a monster inside, something she learns to live with and use to her advantage as the plot develops. Monstress is full of unrepentant female characters set in a stunningly rendered fantasy world.

Preview: Clean Room #14

Clean Room #14

(W) Gail Simone (A) Walter Geovani (CA) Jenny Frison
In Shops: Dec 14, 2016
SRP: $3.99

After an act of apparent sabotage, Killian and Chloe find themselves trapped inside the memories of a vicious serial killer, where the entire world is a victim. Meanwhile, is Astrid’s seemingly innocent niece the final omen before the end of all humanity?

clnrm_cv14

Preview: Clean Room #13

Clean Room #13

Written by: Gail Simone
Art by: Jon Davis-Hunt
Cover by: Jenny Frison

In the aftermath of “Hell Above, Heaven Below,” we go back to the beginning to learn how Astrid was first affected after her hospitalization…through the eyes of one who cannot see what she sees: her would-be assassin and brother, Peter Mueller.

clnrm_cv13

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.

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

International-Iron-ManWednesdays 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.

Mr. H

Top Pick: Superman #50 (DC Comics) – Truth be gone! Superman is back and he gets to meet Pre 52 Clark? Absolutely on board for this one. Hope we get a lot on all the supporting cast and how they react to Clark fully back. Good to see the S in the sky again. Great Caesars Ghost it took long enough.

Dragon Age: Magekiller #4 (Dark Horse Comics) – So this book has been the guilty pleasure of my pull list each month lately. Greg Rucka and Carmen Canero do an awesome job of hitting the fantasy bone with great characters and fun as hell dialogue. Sad it’s winding down. Only one more ish to go…

International Iron Man #1 (Marvel Comics) – While I’m not completely hating Invincible Iron Man, there is definitely something lacking. Hoping that one of my favorite all time teams can bring the flash back to Tony’s tales. I don’t need a ticket to Stark Expo for this one. I’m already there.

 

Paul

Top Pick: Extraordinary X-Men #8 (Marvel) – I know, they’re pulling the Apocalypse Wars to coincide with the upcoming movie; but Apocalypse is a great villain, so I’m excited for this to start.  Not so keen on the fact the X-Men are going into the timestream…again!  Haven’t they already made a big enough mess with all the time travel?  I’m really hoping this is a great story arc…and I love this team line up.

All-New Inhumans #5 (Marvel) – So Crystal and her team are exploring the skyspears around the world, stopping in China first…and Spider-Man is joining them.  An interesting team up, and I’m looking forward to see it.

All-New X-Men #6 (Marvel) – Still a fun ride, but I’d like to see a little more from this title then just Warren worrying about Laura, Evan and Idie standing around in the background and Hank feeding their pet Bamf.  A more substantial story would be nice; yes I know young Scott is trying to redeem himself but ok…and??  The fun ride is getting a little stale, I want more from these kids.

Scarlet Witch #4 (Marvel) – This is the book I’m really rooting for;  I haven’t been enjoying it 100% and I just hope it finds its footing with the potential I know it has.  Wanda is such a great character, one of my favourites and I think she needs a title to shine in.

Uncanny Inhumans #6 (Marvel) – I am loving that they brought the Quiet Room from Secret Wars into the main universe, and I’m really liking the idea behind it; a neutral zone for meetings, gambling and a good time. Of course, it all goes to hell and Black Bolt has to clean it up the mess. Really enjoying this book and liking this new side of Black Bolt.

 

Alex

Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #5 (Valiant) – Juan Jose Ryp and Jordie Bellaire are the talented artists joining the phenomenal writer Robert Venditti for this issue. That alone makes me drool with anticipation, but the fact that this is the first of a two part story makes me positively giddy. It has been years since I’ve read a two part story for a character I love as much as the Eternal Warrior. I can’t bloody wait.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Devolution #3 (Dynamite Entertainment) – At first, I picked this up only because Remender wrote it.  Now that I am firmly aware of its premise—a devolved world resulting from a man made virus created to eliminate religious beliefs, and by extension strife and war—I’m hooked for the long haul.

3 Devils #1 (IDW Publishing) – I really don’t know much about Bo or this book. All I know is that it’s a “supernatural western with a gypsy girl, an ex-slave with no soul, and a human wolf.”  Taking a risk but sounds promising.

Clean Room #6 (Vertigo) – Gail Simone’s dark, demonic, bloody, and cultish book is giving me nightmares, and I love it.

Legends of Tomorrow #1 (DC Comics) – Old school writers (Gerry Conway and Len Wein), and a new take on Sugar and Spike (sorry, but if you automatically recognize these two, then you’re probably old).  I am eager to see what DC does with this.

Starve #7 (Image Comics) – Having grown up in East New York during the 1980s, this will not be my first experience with urban chicken farms (my Uncle had one on Euclid Avenue); but I am curious about the “Black Market Greens.”

 

Brett

Top Pick: A&A: The Adventures of Archer & Armstrong #1 (Valiant) – It’s been too long since we had an Archer and Armstrong comic from Valiant. Each time this team has been on the printed page, I’ve been beyond entertained and usually howling with laughter. Always a fantastic read, and I expect no less from this debut issue.

All-New Classic Captain Canuck #1/Captain Canuck #7 (Chapter House Comics) – Pure, fun super hero comics with none of the negative grim and gritty. A fun read that has a classic feel about it.

Legends of Tomorrow #1 (DC Comics) – I like anthologies and this series is going to spotlight various characters in each issue. This has Firestorm, Sugare & Spike, Metamorpho, and Metal Men and that combo has me excited to see where this goes and hoping for a long run.

Monstress #4 (Image Comics) – An amazing world that builds with each issue. I’m not a big fantasy fan, but this series has me hooked. A deep read and just jaw dropping art.

Superman: American Alien #5 (DC Comics) – A solid deconstruction of Superman with a rotating cast of artists with each issue. I think it’s the best Superman on the market right now.

Mini Reviews Week Ending 23/1/2016

Sometimes, the staff at Graphic Policy read more comics than we’re able to get reviewed. When that happens you’ll see a weekly feature compiling short reviews from the staff of the comics, or graphic novels, we just didn’t get a chance to write a full review for. These are Graphic Policy’s Mini Reviews.


Alex

IronBardCoverIron Bard Ballisto (Milk and Shadow Books) Was one of those comics that I didn’t know what to expect. It’s funny, irreverent, and utterly worth reading. The Iron Bard is a warrior uses music to fight his enemies, and this leads to some genuine laugh out loud moments. I loved it. Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

The Hangman #2 (Dark Circle) I was’t a huge fan of the first issue, but this one is better, and actually puts a bit of perspective on the last issue. As things are progressing, this may be a series to watch, and eventually pick up in trade; but there’s just not enough here (yet) for me to recommend you buy this. Overall:7 Recommendation: Read the Trade

The Spirit #7 (Dynamite) This series has been a consistently solid effort for the past six issues, and this issue is no exception. It is part 7 of a 12 issue tale, so not the best place to jump on, but when collected this will be a fantastic story to read. It may not be the bet thing since sliced bread, but what it does well it does very well. I’d definitely pick this up in the eventual trade, or the full series. Whatever works for you. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

Bigfoot: Sword Of The Earthman #2 (Action Lab) This is a rollicking good sci-fi adventure in the vein of John Carter. But with a Sasquatch. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Surviving Megalopolis (Dark Horse) I never read the original Leaving Megalopolis, but you don’t need to in order to enjoy this comic (it may help, though). Worth looking into if you enjoy your heroes turning crazy evil, coupled with some great art and writing. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

 

Brett

BPRD Hell on Earth #139 (Dark Horse) – A solid issue with an epic battle. It’s not a good one for new readers, but for long time readers it’s a solid payoff and that ending is just a holy shit moment we’ve all been waiting for. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

Star Wars #15 (Marvel) – Why did Uncle Owen dislike Kenobi? What was Kenobi doing on Tattoine? This issue answers so many questions and also asks even more. For Star Wars fans, it’s a must get. Overall: 8.6 Recommendation: Buy

Transformers #49 (IDW Publishing) – Really, it’s all about that ending and set up for issue 50. And that ending got me so excited. This is a great ending to the current arc that sets up a hell of a direction to come. Tons and action and all fun. Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Read

Uncanny X-Men #2 (Marvel) – I love Cullen Bunn’s story. I hate Greg Land’s art. The Dark Riders are back, and they are badass, and this story is such a good focus on two characters. Just need a better artist, aaaargh! This would be “the” comic if that were the case. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Read

 

Ryan C

Devolution01-Cov-G-2ndPrint-LeeDevolution #1 (Dynamite)**: The post-apocalyptic Las Vegas setting is a page out of “Resident Evil,” but the most obvious influence here is Alan Moore and Gabriel Andrade’s criminally-overlooked “Crossed + One Hundred,” as Rick Remender and Jonathan Wayshak bring us a not-quite-zombie tale with a twist featuring a strong, well-rounded female lead .Gorgeous art, but maybe titles like “Black Science,” Tokyo Ghost,” and “Low” had me expecting more from Remender-penned sci-fi than we’re getting here so far, because, while admittedly fun, this is plainly — and at times even painfully — derivative stuff. Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Lucifer #2 (Vertigo)* : The addition of groan-inducing lame humor into the mix of Holly Black and Lee Garbett’s take on the former head honcho of Hell is actually quite a bit of fun, as is the injection of a subplot centered around a trapped demon who’s unable to get a luckless mortal to do his bidding because, well, she’s already taken matters into her own hands and decided to start killing everyone she doesn’t like herself. Not sure how it all ties together, but then, that was often the case with the best of the slow-developing “old-school” Vertigo storylines, which this series is taking great pains to (successfully, I might add) invoke. And now, having paid his less-than-respects to fan-favorite character Mazikeen, Lucifer is heading to — The Dreaming! The cynic in me really wants to actively dislike how obvious this all is, but the eternal optimist I only let out on special occasions is loving the ride so far and can’t wait for more. Overall: 7.5. Recommendation: Buy

Clean Room #4 (Vertigo)*: This one’s taken some time to grow on me, and with the fourth issue I think that Gail Simone and Jon Davis-Hunt have finally hit the “sweet spot.” And by sweet, I should say that I actually mean sour — there are no real redeeming characters here, and the psychological implications of the horror on offer are as relentlessly disturbing as their physical manifestations. Do I completely understand what’s happening? Shit no, I can’t even competently summarize it. But it leaves me thinking — a lot. And certainly rewards careful re-reading, as the plot is almost meticulous in its intricacy. Overall: 8 Recommendation: Buy

tokyo ghostTokyo Ghost #5 (Image)**: Balls-out action underpinned by a shitload of tragedy, both moral and physical, adds up to the most briskly-paced, edge-of-your-seat issue of this developing Rick Remender/Sean Murphy potential dystopian sci-fi masterpiece yet. Every panel a gut-punch, every word dripping with import, April can’t come soon enough, this first arc was the most glorious train wreck in ages. Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

 

Shean

Star Trek Volume 11 (IDW): I have been a Trekkie my whole life and the work IDW has done with the reboot and the original continuity has been impressive so far especially with this collection of stories . In the first story, they explore an interesting theory of quantum physics. The second story plays much like the beginning of Star Trek: Into Darkness , if the crew encountered Birdmen. The last story is probably my favorite, as it wrangles all of our favorite doctors from the different TV series as they meet the iconic Dr. McCoy. Overall, an excellent collection that stays true to Gene Roddenberry ‘s spirit.
Overall: 10 Recommendation:Buy


Well, there you have it, folks. The reviews we didn’t quite get a chance to write.

Please note that with some of the above comics, Graphic Policy was provided FREE copies for review. Where we purchased the comics, you’ll see an asterisk (*). If you don’t see that, you can infer the comic was a review copy. In cases where we were provided a review copy and we also purchased the comic you’ll see two asterisks (**).

Graphic Policy’s Top Comic Picks this Week!

Captain Marvel #1Wednesdays 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.

Alex

Top Pick: Wrath Of The Eternal Warrior #3 (Valiant) – When a comic is released featuring of one my favourite characters squaring off against the legions of the afterlife alone, how could I not be excited? But beyond that, there is a raw quality to the artwork in this series that lends itself beautifully  to the surprisingly emotional story. Such a great series.

Batman #48 (DC Comics) – The only main Batbook I still read, and that’s entirely because of Scott Snyder. Last issue’s final page has had me counting down the days until #48 was being released. While I’m not a fan of the Robot Bunny Batman suit, I do love where the subplot featuring Bruce is going, and that subplot is the main reason I’m still reading.

Judge Dredd #2 (IDW Publishing) – Dredd was a staple of my childhood growing up in ol’ Blighty, and I’m loving seeing the direction of this new ongoing comic. If you haven’t read the last issue I won’t spoil what’s going on, but it’s not an overly unique idea, but it’s awesome to see it applied to Judge Dredd.

Red Thorn #3 (Vertigo) – This is a superbly illustrated tale about an American girl accidentally wandering into the world of Scottish mythology. Without any preamble, it’s good. Very good, even, and you should read it.

 

Ashley

Top Pick: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – It all comes to an end for Emily Aster as well as Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s first series together. Basically everything you love about that team grew out of Phonogram and it will be sad to see the series end it swan song. Will it end in death though? Who knows, but this is Gillen, so probably. There’s also been confirmation that the final B-side story is about David Bowie, who passed away last week.

Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – More Steph and Babs teamups! The first appearance of Bluebird in a Batgirl comic! Perhaps more resolution on what’s keeping Barbara up at night? Well, those first two are promised at least and I am hype.

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Even though they are the show runners of the amazing Agent Carter, Michele Fazekas and Tara Butters have big shoes to fill being the first ongoing writers for Captain Marvel after Kelly Sue Deconnick’s iconic three year run on the title. With Carol taking up the role of being Earth’s first line of defense with S.W.O.R.D. and Alpha Flight and art by Kris Anka, it seems like they’re up for the task.

Lumberjanes #22 (BOOM! Studios) – The series has been finding new footing since Kat Leyh joined Shannon Watters as cowriter, but the opening to this arc with a werewolf sea captain vs. selkies was just so darn great that it’s hard to think that Leyh hasn’t gained her sea legs yet.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – Kate Leth and Brittney Williams hit it hard out of the gate with the first delightful issue. Now to see if Patsy can survive working in retail to get her business idea up and going.

 

Brett

Top Pick: American Monster #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Brian Azzarello’s new series sounds like a twisted version of Walking Tall. A man with a scarred faced heads to a Midwestern town where he gets rid of the corrupt sheriff and racist arms dealers. But, he’s actually there to take over. Sounds awesome.

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – The Agent Carter team come to comics to take over this top property. I’m intrigued to see what they do.

Carver: A Paris Story #2 (Z2 Comics) – Just a classic revenge tale started because of a misunderstanding. The first issue felt like one of the films from the 70s and 80s I grew up on.

Star Wars #15 (Marvel)Vader Down is over. Now to see what Marvel does next with their line of Star Wars comics. Really looking forward to see what comes next.

Transformers #49 (IDW Publishing) – All sorts of plots come together here as we head in to the big 50th issue next month! IDW’s Transformers line of comics continuously entertains.

 

Elana

Top Pick: Phonogram The Immaterial Girl #6 (Image Comics) – The finale issue of the best comic on the stands. If you are the sort of person who is having a deep emotional response to Bowie’s death then you definitely need this comic. The final back-up story is even about a Bowie song. Go read my essay on why Phonogram is the best thing ever. A comic about fandom, music and growing the fuck up while reconciling your past selves. I cannot over state how much I love this series.

Batgirl #47 (DC Comics) – New Arc! Great creative team. Approachable relatable Babs for the 21st century with art that actually appeals to young people (and also to me because I like things that are pretty)

Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – New creative team, the writers on the Agent Carter TV show (yay women in comics) and art by the perfectly matched Chris Anka.

Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – The relaunch has really rejuvenated the already excellent title. The current arc is focusing on issues like gentrification and cooption of your public image as well as what happens when someone you always took for-granted falls for someone else.

Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – One of the most anticipated titles of the year! Kate Leth’s first issue felt like a Marvel comics version of the Archie revamp but through female eyes. Leth’s stories often deal with the indignities of the exploitative retail economy and I’m sensing those themes will continue. The comic is already doing great things on the diversity front. It’s going to be funny and interesting.

 

Jason

Top Pick: Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel) – Anywhere and everywhere, hang on! Slott’s Surfer definitely lives up to this promise in every way as the once lone sentinel of the starways continues his universe panning, reality hopping adventures with Dawn and Toomee. One of the few series to continue throughout Secret Wars, it was surprising how much it tugged in the heart strings last year despite not having a strictly ‘Last Days’ story like most other series. In the past comic fans have talked about Slott’s bold and very divisive Spider-Man writing, but for my money some of his best stories are right here with the Surfer. It continues to deliver everything a reader could want from a space bound adventure series and after the last arcs jaw dropping Mobius strip issue I’m left wondering where Slott and the Allred’s will take the trio next as they begin with a new number one this month.

Patsy Walker aka Hellcat #2 (Marvel) – After hearing her speak about creating fictional worlds at Thought Bubble last year (and then chickening out of speaking to her outside, sigh!) I’d give any series by Leth a chance but was particularly delighted to see her picking up one of the members from Soule’s interesting cast of She Hulk characters, Hellcat! Beyond the recent Soule series I was a little in the dark about Patsy’s history, but Leth effortlessly gets the reader up to speed in the first issue and captures her impulsive and headstrong character. Along with adorable art from Brittney L. Williams the pair are carving out their own unique little queer space in the Marvel Universe, adding more texture and diversity, with Patsy and newcomer Ian’s visit to ‘Burly Books’ in the first issue being one of many wonderful moments with the whole book harking back to the characters roots in romance comics.

Wolf #5 (Image Comics) – Kot’s supernatural noir thriller continues, picking up five years after the last issue and with a previous Zero collaborator Ricardo Lopez Ortiz taking up the art duties from Matt Taylor. Kot’s comics always make or a challenging and intriguing read, and although a little slow to start it finally felt last issue like the pieces were starting to gel together as the writer hits his stride with his newest series. Fans still hurting over the loss of the original John Constantine might find themselves with a new favorite series to fill that Hellblazer shaped hole in their hearts and bookshelves.

 

Javier

Top Pick: Carver: Paris Story #2 (Z2 Comics) – This is my top pick. It’s the comic book Hemingway would write if he was to be resurrected and forced to use his talents to shore up the literary comic book industry.

American Monster #1 (Aftershock Comics) – Lately it seems that Brian Azzarello has been writing with one hand tied behind his back at DC. He’s now partnered with a new indie outfit to produce a series, with art by Juan Doe, about a horrifically scarred, battle hardened soldier, returning home with questionable motives. I’m hopeful Azzarello goes all out with this new project.

I Hate Fairyland #4 (Image Comics) – This is the comic book I don’t share with friends and family. They’ll just think I’ve finally went over the deep end. It’s crude, rude, and funny in a sweet bloody way. And yes, I do buy both covers.

Ted McKeever’s Pencil Head #1 (Image Comics) – We fans sometimes forget that the comic book people who entertain us weekly are human too. This is suppose to be McKeever’s mostly true, semi-autographical, behind the scenes, tell-all of the absurd comic book industry … with a dead stripper. I’ll have fun trying to separate truth from fiction (I’ll bet the stripper is real).

Sunflower #3 (451 Media) – More cults and crime. Not sure why I continually gravitate toward the darkness. Mallouk and Ewington are working overtime to give me nightmares. I’ve been marked.

 

Madison

Top Pick: Captain Marvel #1 (Marvel) – Captain Marvel returns post-Secret Wars as the leader of the Alpha Flight Space Program. Though Kelly Sue DeConnick left some big shoes to fill, Fazekas and Butters are the showrunners behind Marvel’s Agent Carter and I believe Carol is in capable hands.

Ms. Marvel #3 (Marvel) – Ms. Marvel #3 will draw a three part arc to a close, and leaves Kamala to deal with the villainous Hope Yards Development, the company responsible for brainwashing Jersey City. Ms. Marvel is always a joy to read, and has been one of my favorites since the beginning.

Nowhere Men #7 (Image Comics) – Nowhere Men #7 will begin the long-anticipated second arc, after a hiatus that lasted more than two years. The comic follows the story of four scientists whose amazing work has had the cultural impact of The Beatles, which, to me, is a fascinating concept.

Wolf #5 (Image Comics) – Wolf, a story primarily about myths, and Wolf #5 is begins a new story arc. Ricardo Lopez Ortiz is taking over as the artist for this arc, replacing Matt Taylor (a tactic Ales Kot employs in several of his works). Readers were teased with mentions of the apocalypse but, as with most of Kot’s stories, we also got the sense that Wolf Vol. 1 was just the tip of the iceberg.

 

Mr. H

Top Pick: Batman #48 (DC Comics) – The clock is winding down and Bruce is soon to be back in the cowl, but before we get to Gordon and Mr. Bloom, we have the tale of two men on a park bench that will change the world forever.

Dragon Age: Magekiller #2 (Dark Horse Comics) – Greg Rucka’s gamer tale continues with the awesome bounty hunting duo of Tessla and Mathias. Fans of the franchise definitely want to check this out and newcomers will find it very accessible too.

Poison Ivy: Circle of Life and Death #1 (DC Comics) – Finally everyone’s favorite botanical temptress in her own title. Ivy is framed for murder and has to clear her name, or will she find it easier to resort to her wicked ways?

Silver Surfer #1 (Marvel Comics) – Dan Slott, Mike Allred in a trippy interstellar tale that leads us to.. Earth? Come see the book everyone is talking about. Grab your board and catch the wave!

 

Ryan

Top Pick: Pencil Head #1 (Image Comics) – McKeever’s projects are always so individual and idiosyncratic that you literally never know what to expect.

Clean Room #4 (Vertigo) – Each of the next three series have had strong starts with terrific stories, all with their own individualistic art styles.

Red Thorn #3 (Vertigo)

Lucifer #2 (Vertigo)

Around the Tubes

It’s new comic book day tomorrow. We’ll have previews and some reviews up before and our picks in a few hours, but what’s everyone excited for? While you decide on that, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Around the Tubes

CBR – Man allegedly kills ‘zombie’ friend, blames ‘The Walking Dead’ – Calls to ban the show in 3…2…1…

Engadget – SXSW cancels online harassment panel, because of harassment – Sigh.

South China Morning Post – UN envoy calls on Japan to ban extreme child manga porn – Well ok then.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Astro City #28

CBR – Clean Room #1

CBR – Cognetic #1

CBR – Karnak #1

The Outhousers – Two Brothers

Zeismic
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