The Comics Column With No Name

Menachem Luchins’ column where he picks excellent comics for the week still is nameless. But he’s got Spider-Gwen, Criminal and Black Hood with him!

By MENACHEM LUCHINS, owner, Escape Pod Comics, Huntington, L.I. 

We’re back! The column still does not have a name, so I’m holding the naming contest open for another week: Send your suggestions to The13thD@gmail.com or contact @EscapePodComics on Twitter with your suggestion and the hashtag #EscapePodColumn.

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Yet another amazing week for comics. We’ve got a wide swath of categories this week, each with a hefty number of titles. Let’s get started then:

New Trade Collections

We’ve got Brubaker and Phillips‘ latest, The Fade Out coming in. This is the first book the team has written under their “do whatever you want” contract at Image and it shows. More than one of my customers have felt this book was too slow, but it’s nice to see creators taking their time on a story and really letting it breathe.

At the other end of the spectrum we have Howtoons Reignition (Image), a series that uses DIY and problem-solving to tackle different obstacles each issue. A great kid’s book that also teaches practical stuff, which is pretty damn rare.

We’ve also got Zero Vol. 3 (Image again!), the third volume of Ales Kot’s not-at-all-what-it-seems espionage book. The arc collected here is one of the most perfectly paced and constructed stories I’ve read in a while — brutally violent both physically and emotionally, while also moving the story forward with every page. If you dropped Zero after the second arc due to pacing or confusion, I can’t recommend getting back in here enough.

There’s also, FINALLY, Viz Media’s new collection of Hirohiko Araki’s Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. This manga series spawned movies, spin-offs, and an international cult of fans. Sadly, though, the first two story arcs have never been collected in English… until now. See why this surreal adventure about a family destined to fight monsters has millions of fans around the world.

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New Number Ones

It doesn’t seem like we can avoid half a dozen of these pretty much every week. Whether it speaks to a true and sustainable growth in the industry or is a sign of a desperate industry in it’s death throes, attempting to capture any new people it can, I’ll leave to other people to discuss. All I know is there are a few I’m pretty damn excited about:

Black Hood #1. Archie Comics’ superhero line is relaunching (again) with some really strong stuff. Last year we got Dean Haspiel’s wonderful The Fox (which is soon to return) but this much darker view on heroes by Duane Swierczynski and Michael Gaydos looks equally exciting. A truly dark vigilante tale that promises to only get darker.

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Mister X: Razed #1, Dark Horse. Mister X is back! If you’ve never read Dean Motter’s futuristic tale of the only man who knows the mysteries of Radiant City and is sworn to protect it — don’t miss out.

Orphan Black #1, IDW. The BBC hit is now a comic. Just this week, three different people have come in asking me for this book, so I think cult status is now confirmed.

Spider-Gwen #1, Marvel.

Spider-Gwen, Spider-Gwen!

Written by Latour’s pen!

Has no web, petite size.

Still fights crooks, like the guys.

Look out! Here comes the Spider-Gwen.

Seriously, guys… have you NOT heard about this book?!? Latour and Rodriguez did a great job on this character in her Edge of Spider-Verse tie-in issue, and this well-deserved ongoing is something exciting. Odds are these will fly fast, with all the hype — and it’s already sold out on the distributor level, so try to RESERVE one at your comic shop, if you haven’t already. Or just wait for the inevitable second printing …

One-Shots You Shouldn’t Miss

The aforementioned Brubaker and Phillips bring the world of Criminal (Image, naturally) back to life with a great looking one-shot, also available in an over-sized magazine edition:

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Garbage Pail Kids: Love Stinks, IDW. Everyone’s favorite gross-out gang is back to explore love in all the wrongest ways. (Sneak preview here!)

GREAT Books

566 Frames, Fanfare Press. A day in the life, panel-by-panel. Experimental comics, done very, very well.

Love Vol. 1: The Tiger, Magnetic Press. A silent comic following a day in the life of the king of the jungle, this all-ages series proposes to take an unflinching look at the actual life of animals, with no romanticization or narrative getting in the way. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty damn exciting to me.

Metabarons Vol. 1, Humanoids. Jodorowsky’s famous work gets a new edition. If you haven’t read this SF classic, you haven’t read all the great books of science fiction.

Princess Decomposia & Count Spatula, First Second. Andi Watson’s latest, a YA series that is equal parts adorable and zany. Please help support the growth of YA comics by picking up this reasonably priced tale ($15 in Trade, $20 in HC) for a child in your life.

Requiem of the Rose King Vol. 1, Viz Media. A new manga take on the War of the Roses and Richard III. Guys, comics can do ANYTHING — for real.

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Author: 13th Dimension

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