Summer event season continues this week with part 2 of Marvel’s prelude to the big Empyre event. Meanwhile, DC offers up the final issue of Batman before he jumps into his own big event, “Joker War.” There’s also plenty of new stuff to find from IDW, BOOM!, Image, Fantagraphics and more.
If you’re wondering what to get this week, check out a few recommendations below. You can check the Comic List page to see what’s arriving in your local shop, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally. As always, you should check with your local shop on their hours, curbside pick-up and mask restrictions, due to COVID-19. Stay safe out there.
It’s been awhile, right? Getting back in the swing of new comics has been difficult given the ways of the world, sudden distribution changes and comic promotion getting rewritten as we speak- read- whatever. With all this in mind, I have to admit that Empyre: Fantastic Four #0 is exciting… just maybe not in the way they’re intending.
Last week I read Empyre: Avengers #0 and was surprised to find a fairly coherent beginning to a summer event storyline. It was interesting, didn’t take too much time with exposition and gave you an emotional connection to the function and purpose of this crossover; both of the declining empires of the Kree and the Skrulls are combining forces in a big galactic play for the universe. Simple, right? It also tells you what kind of story you’ll be reading: a political drama with battles and intrigue as everyone tries to stave off all out war. It’s kind of nice to know what you’re getting into with these event comics so you know what to watch out for, what kind of characters you might want to follow, etc. Empyre: Avengers #0 laid out the stakes, general players and themes of what’s to come and I’m hoping to the Eternals that this doesn’t all go south with the next step.
It’s being written by Dan Slott, no slouch in the event comic-writing scene thanks to juggling Spider-Man for many years, but it also features the Fantastic Four, who have struggled to gain relevant post-Secret Wars. Yes, this is because Marvel’s first family ditched the rest of us to go recreate the multiverse at the end of that arc, but still. Doomed movie ventures, started and stopped new directions for the team, this could easily be a speed bump taking us into Empyre itself and, maybe it’s the world we live in right now, but I’m not exactly confident that it’s going to make it. Then again, I had similar thoughts on Empyre: Avengers #0, so I guess we wait for Wednesday?
I’m really looking forward to No Ones Rose #3 from Vault Comics and Join The Future #3 from Aftershock Comics, two alternate looks into possible futures that I’ve talked about in the past, but continue to be amazing. I’m also interested in reading DCeased: Dead Planet #1 but I still have to catch up on that alternate world DC book. Last but not least, Lois Lane wraps up this week so I’m really looking forward to it’s go home issue and how they leave everything there. I’m voting for an ongoing or spinoff myself.
I’m looking forward to Dr. Strange: Surgeon Supreme #5 because it continues the team-up with Dr. Druid. Although I am mostly unfamiliar with Dr. Druid, I take it he doesn’t have the best reputation. In fact, if I remember right, Dr. Strange spent a good bit of the previous issue trying to convince us readers that really, Dr. Druid has his own particular set of skills, and his heart’s mostly in the right place. Anyway, I expect this issue to be full of side-eye and backhanded compliments, thanks to Mark Waid, Kev Walker and Phil Noto.
Speaking of surgery, inasmuch as it involves an almost clinical dismantling of the Darknight Detective’s support structure, “enjoying” isn’t quite the right word for the current Batman arc which concludes with issue #94. However, writer James Tynion IV and artist Guillem March have done a great job building up the tension and counterbalancing it against Batman’s indomitable self-confidence; so it’s been a good read. Since “Joker War” starts with issue #95, this issue should set a very appetizing table.
Somewhat lost among all the cosmic tinkering in Doomsday Clock and Death Metal has been Young Justice‘s tour through the Multiverse. Essentially the book has reintroduced the Superboy and Impulse from the pre-Flashpoint timeline; and in issue #16, Brian Michael Bendis, Scott Godlewski, John Timms and David F. Walker will reveal the secret history of this particular Bart Allen. The Teen Titans were among the features most radically affected by the New 52 reboot, but so far the New 52 version has been among the fastest forgotten. Even though I didn’t have any particular love for it, this sort of story always appeals to my continuity-cop nature, and I’m curious to see what all the fuss is about.
I’ll wrap up with a couple of quick hits. Over in Green Lantern: Season Two #5, Grant Morrison and Liam Sharp have Hal Jordan fight evil versions of Superman and Supergirl, which is enticement enough. Finally, the very Morrisonian Doom Patrol revival concludes (only for now, I hope) in Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds issue #7. Gerard Way and Nick Derington’s take on the Patrol has been undeniably strange, but also unexpectedly sweet in ways that previous versions haven’t. Here’s hoping the next Doom Patrol iteration doesn’t forget this one.
Mariah McCourt and Soo Lee’s Golden Child meets the Golden Girls comic, Ash & Thorn, continues this week, as Lottie accepts her destiny and dives into her training in the second issue. If you’re a fan of subverting tropes or just fun, engaging comics, I’d suggest grabbing the first issue, which just came out a couple weeks ago, or reading Alex Dueben’s interview with McCourt. Lady Peruvia Ashlington-Voss and Lottie Thorn are comics’ newest odd/old couple, and they are here to save the world.
Speaking of old, the classic X-Men graphic novel, God Loves, Man Kills, arrives this week with a new “remixed” edition that’ll be broken up across two issues. Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson’s tale of anti-mutant activists kidnapping Charles Xavier will now feature a new framing sequence from the two creators, set in the present day and current X-continuity. Which is an interesting way to dust off an old classic, I guess.
Eight-Lane Runaways is the debut graphic novel from Henry McCausland, although if you’ve read Fantagraphics’ NOW, then you’re probably familiar with his work. Expect humor, elaborate landscapes and running — lots and lots of running, as you follow eight runners on a seemingly endless track. McCausland’s “Garden Boys” in NOW #8 is what sold me on his work; he mixes a great grasp of character moments with these awesomely designed landscapes and buildings. This one seems to take that concept and (heh, sorry) run with it.
If you’re a fan of Jeffrey Brown’s Jedi Academy books — or just Jeffrey Brown in general — then his latest, Once Upon a Space-Time, might be right up your alley. It’s about two kids who are selected for a special space mission — going to school on Mars with a bunch of aliens. I’m buying it for my eight-year-old, but it’s really for both of us.