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Most Anticipated Comics for the Week of 1/4/2023

One thing I am trying to do in 2023 is get back to writing more Comic Book Articles again. If anything it should help me when I complete my Top 100 at the end of 2023. So with that in mind, I plan on looking forward each week to see what I am most anticipating. Fittingly 2023 is starting off we a lot of new series to get excited about!

To start here are some other Comics I am excited about that didn’t quite make the list: Joe Fixit #1, Radiant Pink #2, Children of the Black Sun #1,

 

Scarlet Witch #110. Scarlet Witch #1

Writer: Steve Orlando

Artist: Sara Pichelli, Matt Wilson (Colorist) 

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Synopsis: THE SCARLET WITCH RETURNS! There is a door that appears only to those who need it most, who have no one else in the world to turn to. On the other side of this door is the witchcraft shop. Friend or foe, human or otherwise—if your need is great and your hope is gone, there you will meet the SCARLET WITCH! Wanda Maximoff is familiar with hitting rock bottom—and now that she’s finally found peace, she’s pledged all her power to help others who are languishing at their lowest. But when a woman falls through Wanda’s door with a terrifying story of a town gone mad, the Scarlet Witch will have to muster her wits and chaos magic to deal with an insidious threat! Comic powerhouses Steve Orlando (MARAUDERS; Midnighter) and Sara Pichelli (ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN; SPIDER-MEN) join forces to open a groundbreaking new chapter in the Scarlet Witch’s history!

Why It Made the List: I am surprised it took Marvel this long to have another major Scarlet Witch series considering what a focal point she was with the MCU during shows like WandaVision and movies like Doctor Stange: The Multiverse of Magic. Perhaps they wanted to find the right creative team, and it looks like they may have found it. I have enjoyed a lot of Steve Orlando’s work, especially with his work on characters like Midnighter who ride the edge of heroism–something that should work well with a character like Wanda Maximoff. Also that art team? Yes, please. Sara Pichelli with Matt Wilson colors should look gorgeous. 


Batman #1319. Batman #131

Writer: Chip Zdarsky

Artist: Miguel Mendonca

Publisher: DC Comics 

Synopsis: THE BAT-MAN OF GOTHAM, PART ONE / THE TOY BOX, PART 1

Gotham City has never been darker or deadlier. And after Failsafe, there is no Batman to save it. Can the fractured ghost that roams the streets survive? Whatever happened to the man known as…Bruce Wayne?

Why It Made the List: I have been enjoying Chip Zdarsky’s take on Batman so far so I am excited to see how things settle with this new arc. I know the last issue turned some heads with Batman’s fall from space. Personally, I thought it was well executed and made sense in the context of a comic. Batman is a man who prepares for everything and is surrounded by heroes and villains who can fly into space at a moment’s notice. If anyone would be able to pull that off it would be him. This new arc also brings us a new artist Miguel Mendonca. I am not super familiar with Mendonca’s work, but one thing I do have to credit the Batman editorial team on is their knack for picking out great artists. They do not just put anyone onto the title. So while I will miss Jorge Jiménez I am excited to see what Mendonca can do. 


Trojan #18. Trojan #1

Writer: Daniel Kraus

Artist: Laci Lesko

Publisher: AWA 

Synopsis: Once upon a time, we lived alongside Legends. Creatures of myth. Centaurs, fauns, gorgons, kelpies, gnomes, and more. They were spectacular. Majestic. Powerful. Peaceful. Pure. In comparison, we were ugly. Weak. Warmongering. Rotten. Is it any wonder we could not live alongside them any longer? After driving these Legends to the fringes of society, an uglier form of mythos takes shape in the form of rumors of live snuff shows for dark web high rollers. When a mysterious young woman, Nessa, enlists the help of a hacker to take a tour of the grisliest corners of the Dark Web, she sets in motion a war between those who peddle to mankind’s darkest fantasies and a world that transcends imagination. Trojan is fantasy thriller full of wonder and horror in equal measure.

Why It Made the List: As I mentioned in the opening this week has plenty of new series to get excited about. The first on my list is Trojan and I am excited for this because of one main reason-writer Daniel Kraus. Kraus was behind of my favorite recent horror series The Autumnal from Vault Comics. It was an effective take on the creepy town with a mysterious past concept. That’s not counting his credits with TV and Film. He has worked with Guillermo del Toro on both The Shape of Water and Trollhunters. That is quite the resume. Laci Lesko is not an artist I am familiar with but I did enjoy the preview pages I have seen thus far so hoping that will stay true for the entire book. 


Gotham City: Year One #47. Gotham City: Year One #4

Writer: Tom King

Artist: Phil Hester

Publisher: DC Comics 

Synopsis: The new crime-noir classic rolls on! Slam Bradley’s search for the Wayne heiress takes a tragic, deadly turn and the simmering pot that is Gotham City is about to boil over! As the world falls apart around him, Slam must decide between justice and revenge—a choice that will echo down the generations and redefine both Gotham and Batman!

Why It Made the List: Tom King can write himself a crime story. In my Top 100 article, I talked about that with one of my Top Books of 2022 The Human Target. What Gotham City: Year One has shown is that he can write different flavors of noir as well. Part of that is having top-notch artists like Phil Hester with you. Hester was born to draw Gothic Gotham and all its shadowy greatness. His line work for this series has been stellar and my favorite part of the experience. I really hope one day we get a black-and-white version of this comic as well. Nothing against the colors but this seems like the type or art and story that would excel in that format. 


Kaya #46. Kaya 

Writer/Artist: Wes Craig

Publisher: Image Comics

Synopsis: As they near their destination, Kaya’s brother Jin attempts to use magic to help his wounded sister and the Lizard-Rider Seth admits his feelings for Kaya. But does she feel the same? Meanwhile, unexpected threats are converging around our battered adventurers.

Why It Made the List: 2022 was a bittersweet year in comics for me because one of my all-time favorite series Deadly Class came to an end. That series introduced me to the art of Wes Craig. His style has this controlled sense of chaos that was perfect for the lethal punk-driven world of Deadly Class. Although Deadly Class ended it did give him time to start his own series with Kaya. This is a much different type of story as it exists in this fantasy world. A classic road adventure where dangers of all different types exist everywhere. The world and genre may be different but the quality of storytelling has remained the same. At the center of everything is this brother and sister dynamic that has given all that danger a level of stakes to be concerned about. 


Fantastic Four #35. Fantastic Four #3

Writer: Ryan North

Artist: Iban Coello

Publisher: Marvel

Synopsis: The Human Torch is alone in New York, trying to survive in a city that hates and fears—well, mostly him specifically. There’s just one thing for Johnny to do: Adopt an all-new secret identity and take an all-new job nobody else wants! But when things at work heat up, Johnny discovers that while you can forget the past, that doesn’t mean it’ll stay buried…and has to decide if there’re certain things that the Human Torch can’t let himself do! Also! In this issue, Johnny Storm fights a tornado!

Why It Made the List: I am really digging this newest run on Marvel’s First Family. What I love about it is how it does not feel like the start of a major new run, rather it is like picking up in the middle of a series that has been running for ages. That may seem counterintuitive to getting a book started, but it works because it feels like you are entering into the same world that has existed since the 60s. Too often creators want to reshape classic characters in their own image. Yes, it will cause them to make their stamp but by doing so they erase the core of what makes those characters special. This run has exemplified everything great about the FF and we have not even met the entire team yet! 


Parker Girls #44. Parker Girls #4

Writer/Artist: Terry Moore

Publisher: ABSTRACT STUDIO

Synopsis: Cherry Hammer and Becky use strong arm tactics to learn the killer of Piper May is an accountant at the May company. Meanwhile, Kelly discreetly removes all obstacles to meet and charm Zackary May at a party. Watch this masterful Parker Girl at work in an issue too hot to handle! Don’t miss a single issue of this action-packed new series from the creator of Strangers In Paradise.

Why It Made the List: Terry Moore continues to do great things in the world of comics. I love being able to spend time in his world(s), and with Parker Girls, it has been this nice meshing of genre storytelling from crime to thriller to occasional romance. Love how Moore has found new ways to keep his characters from Strangers In Paradise fresh and interesting. Quite the accomplishment and part of the reason he has been able to go so long is is willing to take chances and push his characters in new directions. If you want to study how impactful character development can be on the reading experience Moore’s work is something to checkout. 


Mosely #13. Mosely #1

Writer: Rob Guillory

Artist: Sam Lotfi’

Publisher: Boom! Studios

Synopsis: From Farmhand creator Rob Guillory and Sam Lotfi (Harley Quinn), Mosely is a satirical sci-fi blockbuster perfect for fans of God Country and Ghost Cage!

In the hyper-technological world of the later 21st century, Mosely is a bitter old janitor on a mission from a higher power-to unleash holy Hell upon the “too big to fail” Tech Gods.

Can one man bring down the corporate powers who’ve used their vast influence to oppress an all too complacent human race (and hopefully win back the favor of his estranged family while he’s at it)?

Mosely’s taking up the Holy Hammer and you better believe he’s gonna smash some $h!t until he sets mankind free!

Why it Made the List: Rob Guillory broke out with the series Chew with unique cartooning and a sharp sense of humor. He took that and grew into one impressive storytelling with his own series Farmland which took influence from his own life. I am a little sad he is only writing this issue, but we have seen a lot of quality artists make the transition to writers in recent years. Someone like Skottie Young comes to mind. I am not familiar with the work of Sam Lotfi’but who better knows what makes a great artist than another artist? Based on the Synopsis it seems he is stretching himself as a storyteller as well. Also considering the state of the world I am in the mood to see someone take down the corrupt Tech Gods. 


Now Let Me Fly: A Portrait of Eugene Bullard HC2. Now Let Me Fly: A Portrait of Eugene Bullard

Writer: Ronald Wimberly

Artist: Brahm Revel

Publisher: First Second 

Synopsis: From author Ronald Wimberly, creator of the viral comic Lighten Up, comes a soaring graphic biography that casts new light on the first African-American fighter pilot.

On the eve of World War I, Eugene Bullard was a refugee of the Jim Crow South who was determined to find a place where a Black man would be treated as a fellow human being. His search took him from rural Georgia to the streets of Paris, from the vaudeville stage to the boxing ring, and finally, from the muddy trenches to the open skies. In 1914, Bullard joined the fight to defend France—and made history as the world’s first African American fighter pilot.

In this candid but sensitive portrait of Bullard, author Ronald Wimberly balances the personal and the historical to interrogate concepts of cynicism, idealism, fear, glory, and the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism.

Why It Made the List: Often when it comes to lists like this people separate single issues from trades and graphic novels. My thought is comics are comics, and the purpose of this list is to talk about the ones I am excited about no matter the format. So this will be the norm moving forward.

With Now Let Me Fly: A Portrait of Eugene Bullard I am excited to learn about this story. Just reading the synopsis has me excited to learn more, and makes me wonder how is this story not more well-known at this point. That is something comics are great at doing. Taking something that needs more attention and giving it just that. 


X-Men: Red #101. X-Men: Red #10

Writer: Al Ewing

Artist: Stefano Caselli

Publisher: Marvel Comics 

Synopsis: IT’S ALL LED UP TO THIS! In the blazing ruins of the Autumn Palace, Storm battles for the soul of Arakko! Meanwhile, Abigail Brand and Roberto Da Costa play their last cards—and a sinister hand deals the Ace of Spades. You won’t believe where the Brotherhood goes from here…

Why It Made the List: In 2022 I dove back into the world of the X-Men and when I did this book came out on top of all the ongoing series. Now it is ending…well kind of it will be branded under a new name but this chapter will end in what I assume will be a major way. That does have me wondering where exactly will they be taking this book and these characters. The X-Men line has shown they will take major risks so anything is possible, and when you have a series like this that literally covers galaxies anything is possible. As a fan of the character of Storm, this run has done wonders for her character. Feels like she is being represented in a way that is fitting to her caliber as a character. Hope the ending stays true to that. The ripple effects of this issue could be felt for months to come. 

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Dan Clark

A fan of all things comics, movies, books, and whatever else I can find that pass the time. Twitter: @DXO_Dan Instagram: Comic_concierge
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