Welcome to Can’t Wait for Wednesday, our look at this week’s new comics releases. And as we found out yesterday, this may be the last week of new comics we see for a while. That’s a hard sentence to type, but here we are.
Our hearts and best wishes go out to everyone in the comics industry — from retailers to creators to those working in publishing — who are going to be affected by this. We suggest contacting your retailer if you can, even if you’re in a “shelter in place” area, to see if they’re offering curbside pickup or mail order options right now. This is a good week to make sure you buy everything in your pull box, if you’re able to.
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. My thanks to Tom Bondurant and Carla Hoffman for sharing their picks this week.
Action Comics #1021 (DC Comics): Sheltering at home has allowed me to catch up on a lot of ongoing series, including the two Superman books. For the past few issues, Action Comics (written by Brian Michael Bendis and drawn currently by John Romita Jr. and Klaus Janson) has portrayed a battle royale pitting Luthor and the Legion of Doom against Superman, the Justice League and Young Justice. The overall story has had some non-linear aspects, including a nice subplot with the Connor Kent Superboy; and the stakes are high since the battle is happening in the middle of Metropolis. Anyway, issue #1021 is supposed to wrap it all up, and I’m eager to see how it all goes down. [Tom Bondurant]
Far Sector #5 (DC Comics/Young Animal): My Green Lantern fandom goes back to the days when Hal Jordan only appeared in Justice League of America and a backup series in The Flash, and I am enjoying the heck out of this miniseries. N.K. Jemisen and Jamal Campbell have used the GL framework to construct an engaging sci-fi mystery set in a “perfect” society, with a new Green Lantern thrust into the mix. It’s the kind of thing that the regular GL books haven’t really done and couldn’t really do – namely, taking an extended look at what it means to be an intergalactic peacekeeper on a planet that never asked for your help. Along those lines, I’m glad there’s a new GL in town to handle this particular assignment, because it frees readers from the continuity and expectations of using a more established character. Speaking of which, issue #5 will apparently reveal how Jo Mullen got recruited into the Corps – and that’s a big reason why I can’t wait (as it were) for this issue. [Tom Bondurant]
Fantastic Four Marvel Snapshots #1 by Kurt Busiek, Evan Dorkin, Sarah Dyer and Benjamin Dewey (Marvel): There is so much to the wide wide world of Marvel Comics that it can be hard to think back to when this whole thing got started. For new readers, the past seems so far away that it can seem impossible to connect to, while long time fans might have to peer through the fog of nostalgia and our own history with comics to get to the basics of why we started. That’s why I can’t recommend Fantastic Four Marvel Snapshots #1 enough to anyone, die hard Marvel zombie or curious new reader alike; legendary writer Kurt Busiek has been curating single issue stories to give you a glimpse of classic heroes in a moment of relatable real time as seen by their non-powered contemporaries. This issue has Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four returning to his 10 year high school reunion as related to us by an ex-girlfriend and a reporter set to over the news of a “local celebrity coming home.” Those Alex Ross covers are a highlight but really, the treat inside the book is from Benjamin Dewey (The Autumnlands, Beasts of Burden) whose art style is fluid and expressive, bringing preview pages that mix the mundane and the bizarre. Written by Evan Dorkin & Sarah Dyer (Beasts of Burden, Space Ghost: Coast to Coast, Superman: The Animated Series), there’s sure to be humor with a little darkness around the edges and enough honesty to bring you into the real life of the hotshot Human Torch. Pick this up where you can for a brief moment in time to connet you back into the Marvel Universe. [Carla Hoffman]
Giant-Size X-Men: Nightcrawler by Jonathan Hickman and Alan Davis (Marvel): While I’m not 100% bought in on the big sweeping changes currently going on in the X-books, I am happy to see the line getting the attention it’s seeing, as well as certain characters getting the opportunity to shine — like Nightcrawler, probably my all-time favorite X-Man. And here he is, being drawn by the guy who helped make him my favorite, Alan Davis, whose Excalibur series always brought me joy when I was younger. In this issue, the X-Men lose contact with one of their Krakoa habitats, which sounds like the start of every great sci fi horror tale. Game over, man, game over … [JK Parkin]
Graphic novels and collections
Batman: Creature of the Night hardcover by Kurt Busiek and John Paul Leon (DC Comics): In 2004 writer Kurt Busiek and artist Stuart Immonen produced Superman: Secret Identity, a four-issue prestige-format miniseries about a kid named Clark Kent who a) lives in a world where Superman is a fictional character and b) discovers as a teenager that he’s got Superman’s powers. It wasn’t a traditional alternate-timeline Elseworlds, but it still got to the core of what makes Superman special.Now Busiek and artist John Paul Leon have followed Secret Identity with a similar quasi-real-world take on Batman, Creature of the Night. This time the orphaned Bruce Wainwright realizes that he can command a demonic bat-creature to fight crime and right wrongs; and over the years struggles with how far he can go in the pursuit of justice. Not surprisingly, it’s a darker exploration of the Bruce/Batman conflict, and a more personal story than the wider scope of Secret Identity. Still, that’s an apples-and-oranges comparison. Creature of the Night digs deep into a different set of emotions and responsibilities while trying not to lose sight of the hope which fuels Batman’s crusade. Besides, it almost goes without saying that Leon’s art is as stunning as ever, bringing the story’s supernatural elements convincingly into a grounded setting. [Tom Bondurant]
The Black Ghost by Alex Segura, Monica Gallagher, Marco Finnegan, George Kambadais and Elle Wright (comiXology Originals): This is a collection of the digital-only miniseries from comiXology that starred Lara Dominguez, a reporter trying to uncover a masked vigilante in her city. It brings together crime fiction, pulp and superheroes into a very satisfying, fun story. If you can’t get out of the house to pick up your comics this week, this one can be downloaded to your device of choice. [JK Parkin]
Once and Future, Volume One by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora (BOOM! Studios): The great character debut of 2019, Bridgette McGuire, gets the collected treatment this week in this action-packed and charming story about undead knights returning to plague current-day Britain. Come for the zombie fighting, stay for the dynamic and fun relationship between McGuire and her grandson, who gets sucked into her monster-fighting world. [JK Parkin]