You know, y’all might not know this but I read A LOT of comics. Though I may only write about a few at a time, I’m usually pulling about 30-40 books a week to read. So for this week’s column, I’ve decided to do some quick hits (though I couldn’t fit everything in) to try and shine a light on some of the great stuff that’s out there.
Alien Bounty Hunter #1/Colossi #4– New indie publisher Vault Comics is quickly becoming the go-to place for solid sci-fi/fantasy comics and this week’s Alien Bounty Hunter keeps the streak going. Think Men In Black with less Will Smith-mugging and a pretty cool twist involving the aliens on earth. Colossi has been one of my favorites from the start, taking a Twilight Zone-ish premise (a shuttle full of people wakes up and they’re doll-sized in a town full of regular-sized people) and executes it to a T.
Detective Comics #961– James Tynion’s Detective run has been great from the start, but the fact that he’s got me giving a hoot about Azrael in 2017 has got me truly impressed.
Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps #25– I’ve talked about this one recently so I won’t go on for too long, but man this book just keeps getting better.
Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys #5– Another one I’ve raved about before, but it really is masterful how writer Anthony Del Col has managed to so deftly ‘modernize’ these characters and put them in a gritty noir without sacrificing the goodness and pureness inherent to the characters. There’s a lot of Veronica Mars (well, the first two seasons) in here, which I mean as the highest of compliments
Plastic #4– Man, this is weird, gross book but I love it so much. A serial killer who is genuinely in love with a blow-up doll finds himself having to rescue his beloved after getting caught up in the schemes of a small-town crime lord. It’s gory and funny and exciting and the best quirky horror comedy I’ve seen in years in any medium.
Postal #21– There’s a lot of good crime books out there (Kill or Be Killed and Violent Love spring immediately to mind) but Postal is king of the hill for me. The trades are cheap, which is good because you’ll tear through them. The world-building and character development are phenomenal and the tension never lets up.
Redneck #4– We’re HUGE fans of fellow Texan Donny Cates and as stoked as we are to see what he cooks up Marvel, it’ll be hard to top his creator-owned work. His southern-fried vampire book takes a break from the action to drop some exposition/backstory and it’s seriously impressive how he keeps the pace of the book from dropping during what amounts to a flashback issue.
Rick and Morty #28– Okay so obviously we all love Rick and Morty. It’s pure brilliance. But man, it’s even more impressive that writer/artist Kyle Starks managed to capture the feeling and tone of the series’ interdimensional cable concept so well on the page.
Saga #45– You know, Saga has been almost universally beloved from the start for a lot of reasons, but I have a feeling that the number one reason is the absolute gut punch of human emotion that Vaughn and Staples are able to convey. That emotional brutality has never been more apparent than in this current arc which deals with the fallout of Alana’s miscarriage, namely the fact that the child’s half-‘magic’ lineage is causing some strange and painful side effects for it’s mother, including causing Alana’s idea of what the child would be like to physically manifest. It’s heart-wrenching stuff that just continues to cement this as one of, if not the, best comics of the modern era.
Secret Empire #7– I’m kind of glad that all the furor over this story has died down because it makes it a lot easier to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Marvel’s best event in years continues to deliver at least one genuinely great moment per issue and this one is no exception with Carol’s monologue to a comatose Quasar serving as a perfect meta-commentary on the character’s big push over the last few years and Punisher’s chilling one sentence explanation as to why he joined HYDRA being the stand-outs for this issue.
Star Trek: Boldly Go #10– Okay, first thing’s first- IDW’s Trek books are great. Just great. From the Waypoint anthology to the dark AU of Mirror Broken to the expanded Kelvinverse adventures in Boldly Go, it’s just a top-notch line. This week’s issue of BG focuses on Scotty and the tiny, but very angry aliens from the beginning of Star Trek Beyond and just perfectly nails it. It’s hilarious and sweet and everything that a Trek story should be.
Suicide Squad #22– Along with Harley Quinn’s rise in popularity over the last few years has come a push to make the character more palatable to people who want to cheer for someone rather than watch them, I don’t know, kill a bunch of children with explosive-filled handheld video game consoles. It’s a weird phenomenon considering she became popular because she’s a baddie, but nevertheless, it’s nice that Rob Williams still remembers that. Following the death of Rick Flagg, Waller put Harley in command of the Squad and it’s been pretty great to see her operate in a cold, calculated, and lethal way that would probably send her ex running for the hills.
Whew, okay. That was a lot of books. And I still didn’t get to Dustin Weaver’s one-man Heavy Metal comic Paklis. Or Alterna’s creepy (and affordable!) monstermash Croak. Or the Archie/Harvey parody Die Kitty Die’s Summer Special. Or Shirtless Bear-Fighter which is as ridiculous as it sounds and is just amazing. It’s a great time to be a comic fan, I tell you what.