13 COMICS to Look Forward to This Summer

The weather’s warm and the racks are hot.

I made the point last week that DC has a shot at having one of its biggest summers since that earth-shaking year of 1986. (Click here to check it out.)

That wasn’t hyperbole. Even if the comics industry is a different place than it was 30-some years ago, there are a number of terrific-looking projects headed our way that could make the upcoming season a memorable one.

But DC’s not the only one. Marvel’s already launched its Fresh Start (Marvel Legacy, we hardly knew ye) and other publishers also have books that look really exciting.

Summer and comics have always gone together. As kids, it meant extra time to read — and re-read — our favorites. It’s no wonder that DC used to make sure its annual JLA-JSA team up fell during the summer months.

These are the comics of which memories are made. 13th Dimension contributor Rob Kelly of the Fire and Water Podcast Network has dedicated a whole podcast miniseries to what he calls Mountain Comics, those issues he read while on vacation as a kid. (I stole the idea with a look at my Pool Comics. Click here for some fun Bronze Age reminiscence.)

Just like the movies, the “summer season” has already begun — even if it’s not official on the calendar. But we’ve only barely gotten started.


Batman #50, DC. The biggest comics wedding since Clark and Lois, hands down. After 78 years of ups and downs, it looks like Batman and Catwoman are ready to tie the not July 4. Tom King has done a stellar job developing Bruce and Selina’s relationship atop all the stories that have come before. And for the big day, he’s joined by quite the artistic bridal party, including Joelle Jones, Mikel Janin, Mitch Gerads, Neal Adams, Frank Miller, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and many others. (July.)

Mikel Janin

Catwoman #1, DC. Spinning out of the wedding, Selina Kyle gets her own book back — helmed by Joelle Jones, who will write and illustrate. She’s been drawing a great Catwoman in her Batman issues. (July.)

Joelle Jones

Amazing Spider-Man #800, Marvel. Dan Slott’s been on fire down the stretch of his 10-year run and the climactic battle between Peter Parker and Norman Osborn — with art by Stuart Immonen, Nick Bradshaw, Humberto Ramos and Marcos Martin — promises a lot of big moments. Probably the single Marvel issue I’m most looking forward to this season. (May.)

Alex Ross

The Man of Steel #1 (and the Super-relaunch), DC. This is huge. Mr. Marvel takes over the Greatest Superhero of Them All, a la John Byrne in ’86, with a weekly series reset, followed by Superman #1 and Action Comics #1001. Just check out some of the artists who are on this Super-ride: Ivan Reis, Doc Shaner, Adam Hughes, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire and others. (May.)

Ivan Reis

Planet of the Apes: Visionaries, Boom! Studios. This is one of the coolest-sounding projects of the year: an adaptation of Rod Serling’s original Planet of the Apes script, with visuals inspired by the movie’s 1966 make-up test and concept art. This is what comics can do that no other medium can. Written by Dana Gould, with art by Chad Lewis, with a swank cover by Paolo Rivera. (August.)

Paolo Rivera

The Avengers, Marvel. Issue #1 came out last week but I’m including it anyway. A likeable approach by Jason Aaron, Ed McGuinness, Mark Morales and David Curiel that aims to bridge multiple, often aggressively competing, fandoms. (May.)

Ed McGuinness

Fantastic Four #1, Marvel. Slott’s also taking over Iron Man but this is the one that has everyone whipped into a frenzy: The long-awaited (if inevitable) return of comics’ First Family, with art by Sara Pichelli. (August.)

Esad Ribic

Hawkman #1, DC. Carter Hall finally gets his own series back. Hawkman has long been a star-crossed hero (pun intended), so here’s hoping this series led by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch lasts for a good, long time. (June.)

Bryan Hitch

Justice League: No Justice #1 (and the Justice League relaunch), DC. There’s no such thing as a JLA-JSA crossover anymore — though who knows what the future will bring once Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are done with Doomsday Clock later this decade. Nevertheless, Scott Snyder, Joshua Williamson, James Tynion IV and Francis Manapul are giving us the next best thing: a weekly good-guy/bad-guy team-up with the League broken up into squads battling to save the universe, as they often do. Followed by the relaunch of the JL titles. (May.)

Captain America #1, Marvel. Ta-Nehisi Coates and Francis Leinil Yu step in on Cap after Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Leonardo Romero soothed the savage fans. Expect a lot of stories about this in the non-comics press as the July 4 launch approaches. (July.)

The Hellboy Omnibus Collection, Dark Horse. Mike Mignola’s masterpiece is being collected in publication order for the first time, starting with this week’s Volume 1. Subsequent editions will be released throughout the summer and they’re amazingly affordable: The first paperback volume lists for $24.99 — for 368 pages.

John Byrne’s X-Men Artifact Edition, IDW/Marvel. This is a big one: More than 100 pages of X-Men covers and pages from Byrne’s classic run. Excelsior! (July.)

Batman ’66 Omnibus, DC. A big ol’ hardcover collecting all 30 issues of the main series, plus The Lost Episode one-shot by Len Wein and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, based on Harlan Ellison’s treatment, and the Allred family’s proto-Batman ’66 story from Solo #7. Dig some of the other go-go talent involved: Jeff Parker, Tom Peyer, Ruben Procopio, Jonathan Case, Michael Avon Oeming, Colleen Coover and many, many others. (August.)

And you know what’s the best part of all this? Publishers’ August solicitations haven’t even come out yet. So there’s even more to be revealed in the coming weeks…

Author: Dan Greenfield

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