This week is a bit lighter for comic shops than the previous one, as both Dark Horse and Marvel aren’t releasing any single issues today — just trades/collections. Marvel does a have a few of their digital-only titles available on comiXology, however.
If you’re wondering what to get this week, check out a few recommendations the Smash Pages crew. 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, etc. in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Stay safe out there.
Two of my favorite things come together as Batman is joined by Tim Drake in Batman the Caped Crusader TPB Vol 04, as Norm Breyfogle, Jim Fern, and others illustrate the earliest days of my generation’s Robin. I can’t wait to delve into this tome as I haven’t read these stories by Alan Grant and team in quite a while. If it’s like any of the other volumes in this series they should hold up pretty well. It’s been online for a bit now, but now it’s finally hitting stores.
I’m also really excited about Justice League Dark #22, as everyone and their mother told me that it’s one of the best DC books being published by DC today when I mentioned Far Sector on my twitter feed last week and asked for other books that people would recommend. James Tynion IV and Ram V are joined by Kyle Hotz here. I’ve loved his work since way back in the 90s and it’s perfect for this DC magic/horror book. I’ll let you know what I think in our partner column, What Are You Reading?, later.
In college, my roommate introduced me to a lot of Beatles music and Beatles lore. Sure I knew all of the radio hits, but it was fun to discover the deeper cuts. Almost as good was discovering all of the lore around the Beatles. The “Paul is dead” myth was one of my favorites. By the time I learned about it, the conspiracy theory that Paul McCartney had died in a car accident in 1966 and been replaced with a doppleganger had long since been debunked. But there was a time in the late ’60s, where a surprising number of people supposedly entertained the idea that it might actually be true. As amusing as the premise is now, I never thought I’d see the day that there would be a comic about it. But here we are and I couldn’t be more intrigued! Paul is Dead: When the Beatles Lost McCartney by writer Paolo Baron and artist Ernesto Carbonetti imagines that it’s all true. The remaining 3 Beatles learn of Paul’s death and set out to investigate what happened. The Punk is Undead pair of Baron and Carbonetti did a lot of research to reconstruct the era, down to faithful depictions of Abbey Road Studios. This looks to be a fun addition to a new resurgence of Beatles speculative fiction.
Non-fiction comics have a particular interest to me because comics are such powerful and personal learning tools. A Quick & Easy Guide to Sex & Disability is a graphic novel by A. Andrews that is pretty much what it says on the cover. That may seem simple and straightforward but because of sexual taboos and stigmas around disabilities and the disabled, this looks to be subversive and bold. At the same time, Andrews’ art has a disarming warmth to it that should ease readers into a difficult conversation. Andrews is disabled himself, which ought to add real value to this as an actual resource.
Roller Girl cartoonist Victoria Jamieson is collaborating with co-author Omar Mohamed to recount Omar’s childhood in the Dadaab refugee camp of Kenya for When Stars Are Scattered. I was already sold on it by the cover art alone and the description sounds like it will be eye-opening for American readers. It’s bound to be heartbreaking, and combined with Jamieson’s art, so full of hope and life, it should lead to a powerful combination.
Hoorah! Originally in my notes to arrive later this fall, I am astonished and delighted to see the Sensational She-Hulk by John Byrne Omnibus due on our shelves this week! Completely understanding that the $125 price tag is way out of a lot of people’s price range for an obscure little ‘90s hit comic (and on a personal note, knowing that I have all these issues digitally and singly), I can’t wait to mortgage a kidney to have all of my favorite issues of Jade Giantess all in one delicious hardcover package. This is one of those times where I truly can’t wait for Wednesday to take this Omnibus home.
On a more frugal note but no less nostalgic, Catwoman is celebrating her 80th anniversary with a variant cover bonanza for Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1. I can honestly say that Catwoman was one of my (if not the) first comic book characters I gravitated towards, thanks to Michelle Pfeiffer and Julie Newmar, and she’s a great gateway character to casual fans who still lurk on the fringes of diving into the wide world of comic books. Do you have a friend who’s interested but intimidated and doesn’t know where to start? Grab a copy of Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100 Page Super Spectacular #1 and give them a sampling of some of the best Catwoman artists and writers of the modern era. Just don’t say the title five times fast.