Can’t Wait for Comics | 35 years later, Barry Windsor-Smith’s ‘Monsters’ arrives

This week brings another Ed Brubaker/Sean Phillips joint, a new Robin series, ‘The Marvels,’ new takes on Shadowman and the notorious Clone Saga, and much more.

Welcome to Can’t Wait for Comics, your guide to what comics are arriving in comic book stores, bookstores and on digital this week. This week brings new debuts from Kurt Busiek, Yildiray Cinar, Cullen Bunn, Jon-Davis Hunt, Joshua Williamson, Paul Cornell and, 35 years in the making, a new graphic novel from Barry Windsor Smith.

Check out a few highlights below, or visit ComicList for this week’s full list of new comics arriving in stores, and the comiXology new releases page for what’s available digitally.

The Marvels #1 (Marvel, $4.99): This new series by Kurt Busiek and Yildiray Cinar will tell “stories that span decades and range from grand adventure to intense human drama, from street-level to cosmic, starring Marvel’s very first heroes to the superstars of tomorrow.” If you were a fan of Busiek’s work on the original Marvels miniseries or his long-running Astro City series, this one’s for you.

Action Comics #1030 (DC, $4.99): DC recently revealed big plans in July for the Superman titles, and it sounds like this issue is setting those up, while also serving a callback to the Warworld story we saw during Future State. With his powers waning, Superman goes to war with Mongol and Warworld, and in the back-up, Midnighter also deals with some of the ramifications from his Future State storyline. The Superman tale is by Phillip Kennedy Johnson and Daniel Sampere, while the Midnighter back-up is by Becky Cloonan, Michael Conrad and Michael Avon Oeming.

Robin #1 (DC, $3.99): Damian Wayne becomes the latest Robin to branch out into his own ongoing series, courtesy of Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov. This first issue sees Damian seeking out the legendary League of Lazarus tournament, where he hopes to prove he is the greatest fighter in the DC Universe.

X-Men Legends #3 (Marvel, $3.99): Louise Simonson and Walter Simonson return to Marvel to work on a new X-Factor story that’s set during their original run on the title, as part of the X-Men Legends series. The story takes place after X-Factor #43 as the team — Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Archangel and Beast — deal with the aftermath of their battle with Apocalypse.

Helm Greycastle #1 (Top Cow, $4.99): Henry Barajas, Rahmat M. Handoko and Bryan Valenza team up on a new comic that combines high fantasy with Aztec mythology. It’s about a group of mercenaries sent to rescue a kidnapped prince, but are recruited by a resistance plotting to overthrow Montezuma. It also comes with an RPG adventure compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 5E, which is a fun bonus.

Summoners War Legacy #1 (Image Comics, $3.99): This is a prequel comic for the hit mobile video game, Summoners War, by the creative team of Justin Jordan and Luca Claretti. It’s a game I don’t know anything about, so I’ll lean heavily on the solicitation text here: “Rai knows there’s only one way out of her nothing town-to become a summoner! But when she’s recruited by Abuus Dein as an apprentice, she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime and is thrust into a war for the fate of the world.” Jordan is a good enough writer that this is probably worth checking out even if you aren’t already familiar with the game.

My Little Pony/Transformers II #1 (IDW, $3.99): Two of Hasbro’s properties collide again in the first iss of this four-issue miniseries. It involves the Decepticons trying to steal magic from the ponies, only to end up unleashing a more powerful evil from Equestria than they ever could’ve imagined.

Amazing Spider-Man: Curse of the Man-Thing #1 (Marvel, $4.99): This is the second part of a trilogy celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Man-Thing, by Steve Orlando and Marco Fialla. Last issue saw the Avengers encounter the muck monster and his new villain, the Harrower, but this time around involves Spider-Man and Curt Connors, aka the Lizard.

Miles Morales: Spider-Man #25 (Marvel, $4.99): Saladin Ahmed, Cody Ziglar, Carmen Nunez Carnero and Daniel Acuna present an oversized issue that kicks off Miles Morales’ own Clone Saga.

Shadowman #1 (Valiant, $3.99): The long-delayed reboot of Shadowman from Valiant finally arrives this week, by Cullen Bunn and Jon-Davis Hunt. Jack Boniface returns to help protect humanity from the demons that claw at the fabric of reality.

The Modern Frankenstein #1 (Heavy Metal, $3.99): Paul Cornell, Pippa Bowland and Emma Vieceli team up on a new “twisted horror/romance” comic that updates the story of Frankenstein.

Reckless: Friend of the Devil (Image Comics, $24.99): The second Reckless graphic novel arrives from Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, as they continue the story of troublemaker-for-hire Ethan Reckless into the 1980s, as our “hero” gets drawn into Hollywood’s secret occult underbelly.

Monsters (Fantagraphics, $39.99): Legendary comics creator Barry Windsor-Smith has been working on this 360-page graphic novel for more than three decades. It’s “part familial drama, part espionage thriller, part metaphysical journey — in sum, an intimate portrait of individuals and an epic political odyssey spanning two generations of American history.”

Here’s a more expanded description:

Set in a timeline spanning the 1940s to the ’60s, Monsters centers around young Bobby Bailey, a naïve, emotionally fraught young man with a tragic destiny. The day he walks into a US military recruitment office, little does he know that he will become the subject of a top secret, experimental genetics program with loathsome Nazi origins. Thus kicks off a dizzying chain of cascading events that spin out of everyone’s control as friends, foes, and others are swept into his orbit and must grapple with the earth-shattering ramifications of what this unholy experiment has wrought. As the titular monsters of the title multiply, becoming real and metaphorical, literal and ironic, the story reaches its emotional and moral reckoning.

And while I usually don’t feature previews here, what the heck — it’s been 35 years in the making, so here are some preview pages Fantagraphics sent out earlier today:

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