Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday, our look at the comics and graphic novels hitting stores this week. With this week’s column I’m very pleased to welcome back several of our colleagues, including Tom Bondurant, Carla Hoffman and Corey Blake, for their thoughts on this week’s releases.
You can see the complete list of this week’s releases over at The Comic List, and I encourage you to share what you’re planning to get in the comments below.
Stealth #1 by Mike Costa, Nate Bellegrade and Tamra Bonvillain (Image Comics): I’m sure someone has done a story about a superhero declining due to Alzheimer’s but I’m hard pressed to think of one before this. An aging parent is always a difficult thing for the children, so I’m intrigued to see how it’s handled within a bombastic superhero world. The concept by Robert Kirkman and Marc Silvestri is already in development as a feature film for Universal, so while it has the whiff of comics-as-backdoor-movie-pitch, you can’t argue with the pedigree of the creators working on this. Mike Costa got people talking about GI Joe comics being good in a way that hadn’t happened since Larry Hama’s Marvel days. Nate Bellegarde has been recognized by the Eisner Awards for his work on Nowhere Man. Tamra Bonvillain is a powerhouse colorist who has enhanced the visuals of Captain Marvel, Doom Patrol, Wayward and much more. I’m excited to see how this team executes the idea. [Corey Blake]
New Mutants #9 by Ed Brisson and Flaviano, with cover art by Michael Del Mundo: (Cue the Frozen soundtrack) For the first time in forever! The X-Men have been HoX’d and PoX’d back to the bygone eras of the mutant comic booms of the past, where everyone and their mom is interwoven and interconnected to a larger underground tapestry of intrigue, danger and adventure that promises to culminate into the world building and shattering that only Jonathan Hickman can provide.
Which is why I’m not reading all the X-books. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great, but I don’t have a lot of time to devote to my own red-string laden tack board of conspiracy and reference notations. There’s bills to pay, streaming services to get the most out of… I’m not as young as I used to be and that’s what makes New Mutants all the more treasured. This series brings back the original Claremont-era team (soon to be starring in their long-awaited film debut) and a host of other forgotten young X-Men, but keeps them to the outskirts of the Krakoan drama for their own adventures. They’re not as young as they used to be, either, but they still fit together like they used to for laughs and tears alike. The artwork stays clean and fun, much like the story arcs they’ve put together for eight or so issues, so it’s a nice break from the major overarching plots of the larger series as a whole. This week, issue #9 promises “the youth of mutantkind are ready to take on any challenge the world has to throw at them” and for the first time in forever, I feel young again too. [Carla Hoffman]
Decorum #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Mike Huddleston (Image Comics): Even though he’s busy creating a universe of comics that requires a “red-string laden tack board of conspiracy and reference notations,” as Carla said above, Jonathan Hickman still finds time to write creator-owned comics for Image. With this new series, he’s teamed up with Mike Huddleston for this sprawling science fiction epic about a well-mannered assassin. So be nice to her. [JK Parkin]
Graphic novels + Trade Paperbacks
Mister Miracle by Steve Englehart and Steve Gerber (DC): Jack Kirby’s Fourth World burst like fireworks over the superhero landscape of the early 1970s, burning brightly but all too briefly from 1971-72. The company’s first attempt at reviving the books was even more short-lived, starting with 1977’s revivals of New Gods and Mister Miracle. The latter was the most successful of the original Fourth World trilogy, lasting 18 issues to New Gods and Forever People‘s 11. Now DC has collected issues #19-25, which made up MM‘s 1977-78 run.
I have a lot of goodwill for DC’s pre-Implosion attempts to expand its line, and I am doubly curious about these comics, which I have not yet read. What made this book a must-buy for me was the creative roster: Steve Englehart and Marshall Rogers on issues #19-22, and Steve Gerber and Michael Golden on issues #23-25. All were at the height of their abilities at this time, with Englehart and Rogers contemporaneously etching their names onto the roster of definitive Batman creative teams. Gerber and Golden are no slouches either, of course. At the very least, this will be a fascinating window into all sorts of ’70s DC concerns. [Tom Bondurant]
Meanwhile by Jason Shiga (Abrams): Shiga’s “choose your own adventure”-style graphic novel first appeared 10 years ago, and now Abrams is releasing an anniversary edition with a new cover. If you missed it the first time, this is a fun experiment in the form and function of comics, featuring a story — actually, 3,856 story possibilities — that involve quantum physics, parallel worlds, probability, entropy and, most importantly, ice cream. [JK Parkin]
Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës by Isabel Greenberg (Abrams ComicArts): Exploring the fantasy world created by the young Brontë sisters and their brother seems particularly suited to comics. Following the death of their mother and two eldest siblings, the surviving children began world-building together, as if to create their own safe haven. The imaginary world was rich and complex, and this graphic novel uses the children’s early writings and historical information to visualize their collective imagination, and how it evolved as the children grew up. Part historical fiction, part adaptation, part metatextual exploration, Glass Town looks to be a fascinating companion to the poems and novels of the Brontës. [Corey Blake]
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang (First Second): This sounds like a story I can identify with, as American Born Chinese creator and current Terrifics writer Gene Yang confronts his own disinterest in sports. As a high school teacher with a winning basketball team, though, it’s hard to avoid “sports,” and this graphic novel shows how his life changes when he gets to know the kids on the court. [JK Parkin]