Welcome to my list of the Top 10 Comics of the week. This is where I countdown my favorite comics to come out this past new comic book day. Looking at this week we had a number of solid books but nothing that extremely rose above the rest.
Before we get started make sure to check out my other articles focused on comics from this past week:
10. ‘King Tank Girl #3
Writer: Alan Martin
Artist: Brett Parson
Description: In this life-changing issue of ‘King Tank Girl, we finally get to see how Tank, Jet, and Sub Girl all met up in the first place, in the epic origin story ‘3rd Day Commandos’; a big revelation is had in the concluding installment of ‘Barney Don’t Surf’; and we get to look up Jane Austen’s skirt. Change your ways, change the world, read ‘King Tank Girl.
Why it Made the List: I am having so much fun with this book. Having these bite-sized stories fits well with today’s limited attention span. Having a multitude of ongoing stories with a comic gives you so many different flavors. As someone who has no past experience with the character I do not know if that is the norm for Tank Girl, but as someone who is new, I appreciate a book like this that is so welcoming to new readers. This issue also included a bit of an origin story that dived into Tank Girl’s long history. My favorite was probably the opening tale of ‘King” Tank Girl fighting to retain her crown.
9. Almost #1
Writer/Artist: Todd Jakubisin
Publisher: Timepiece Press LLC
Description: A caterpillar that hasn’t fully developed into a butterfly takes off for new horizons with a gift from The Great Galactic Traveling Circus, helping a pack of crawling clouds find their place in the sky along the way.
Why it Made the List: As I mentioned in last week’s article I am trying to expand the books I am looking at for this list. Thank goodness for ComiXology. Almost was a Kickstarter book that is now being released digitally. What stood out was the cartooning of Todd Jakubisin. When I looked through the preview images I immediately. knew this was a comic worth checking out. Like Disney movies of old, everything feels like it is alive. His facial emotions are strong as well. I would assume he has had a career in animation because this book was very polished. Including the lettering. If there is anything that hinders small indie books like this it is the lettering. Jakubisin has that craft down. Boxes are well placed and designed to fit the general look of the comic. Story-wise this has the beats you want in a good children’s book. A clear allegory and a character going against the odds you want to route for. Looking forward to seeing this issue continue.
8. Sweet Tooth: The Return #4
Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: Rejoice! For at long last the tale of the Boy’s miraculous birth is revealed. A savior born of holiness and science! Truly, such a feat could only be conducted by one as holy as Father. Behold! As the stage is set for the final confrontation between man and the abhorrent hybrid beasts that walk the earth! Praise! For out of nothing Father has birthed a savior: the Boy.
Why it Made the List: This was an issue that answered a lot of major questions. From the start of this new series, it was not clear how it linked on with the previous one. Now we know. It helped put in context everything that has happened so far, and it entices me to go back to issue one to reread. I’m sure many moments will now read differently as everything has been recontextualized into something new. Also, the opening of this issue went from sweet to devastating quite quickly. This was exposition done right. These were answers that made the evil people even eviler.
7. Black Hammer: Visions #1
Writer: Patton Oswalt
Artist: Dean Kotz
Publisher: Dark Horse
Description: An exciting reimagination of the Eisner Award-winning Black Hammer series told by guest writers and artists such as Patton Oswalt, Geoff Johns, Mariko Tamaki, Chip Zdarsky, Kelly Thompson, and more of comic’s top talents! Patton Oswalt joins artists Dean Kotz and Jason Wordie to explore the life of youthful super heroine Golden Gail on the Black Hammer Farm before the beginning of Black Hammer #1, and her struggle to maintain sanity as a middle-aged woman trapped in the unchanging body of a superpowered grade-schooler.
Why it Made the List: This was the first issue of Black Hammer that I read that felt very much akin to Astro City. When you have two series that are dedicated to massive superhero universes that live out of Marvel and DC it is easy to compare them. What was different about this issue was it focused on the everyday people that reside within the Black Hammer universe. Basically, Patton Oswalt doing his best Kurt Busiek impression and it worked. Oswalt is transitioning to the medium of comics quite well. This was not just a job for him. All these creators involved wanted to maintain the level of storytelling we expect from this world. The key was having something to say that went behind a tangential connection to the main characters. This got to the benefit of being different, and how not fitting in can be a major benefit. In my first read I also completely missed the Ghost World comparison, Despite the quote in the back. Sometimes when something is right in front of me I have the hardest time seeing it. Realizing it now so much of this issue clicks even more.
6. Eternals #2
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Esad Ribic
Description: ONLY DEATH IS ETERNAL, PART 2. THANOS VS. IKARIS! In the heart of a city driven mad by time! Eternals live eternally. One is dead. They handle it well. No, they don’t. They handle it badly. Eternal revenge is a dish best served forever.
Why it Made the List: I was impressed with how much more I enjoyed this than the first issue. No, not just because of Thanos showing up–although his fight with Ikaris was a major highlight. Esad Ribic excels at drawing two heavyweights like that going back and forth. What really worked through was the mini-story within this issue. Where Ikaris travels through time and inadvertently ruins a man’s life. It felt like a very cool old school science fiction take on the impact characters like this can have on people throughout the fabric of time. Also, there was a Geostorm reference. At first, I just thought it was a reference to an actual Geostorm, but quickly realized they were really talking about the movie. Eternals could use a bit of levity from time to time so I am all for it.
5. Rorschach #5
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Jorge Fornés
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: Rorschach tried to kill the leading contender to unseat President Redford, a governor by the name of Turley who has a lot to say. Turley believes the Redford people were behind the hit, but the detective investigating the case isn’t so sure. To prove Turley wrong, he has to figure out how Rorschach and Laura got so close to actually doing the job, and the answer to that might be deep in the Turley campaign itself, including the governor’s past with a masked man called the Comedian.
Why it Made the List: I could see why this book may not click with everything because it is certainly taking its time. Personally, I am impressed with the framing of each issue and how much story we do get. I assumed that based on the cover the Comedian stuff would be a major part of this issue but it really wasn’t. What was there was effective at setting who Governor Turley is a person, and where his unique art taste comes from. The use of laughter was especially effective in this issue. Maybe a carryover from Tom King’s time on Batman working with The Joker. How it would open and close major scenes including the final page. Have to call out Jorge Fornés as well. As showing in my Best Comic Panel article, his career work continues.
4. Wasted Space #19
Writer: Michael Moreci
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Publisher: Vault Comics
Description: All-out war on Earth! Billy tied in a moral knot! As the Wasted Space gang makes their final stand, the Creator makes a bold play that will change everything!
Why it Made the List: So happy Wasted Space is back. So sad it is near its ending. This issue had the confrontation that had been building since the first issue. Where Billy goes a bit too far for everyone. It was a raw emotional moment with a man in a bathrobe that was far too short of anyone to feel comfortable. Hayden Sherman leaned into that bathrobe pretty hard as well. The first time we see Billy in this issue it is at an angle that is akin to The Graduate with far harrier legs. What a way to end too. When the characters are at their lowest moment the biggest challenge appears. I have no idea how they are going to finish this up with one issue but I trust this team to get it done.
3. X-Force #17
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Description: LOVE AND DEATH! Death gives QUENTIN QUIRE a new lease on life. Long live Quentin Quire!
Why it Made the List: To steal a phrase from wrestling this issue was dedicated to getting the character of Quentin Quire over as a character. Obviously, he has been around for a long time, and now with the new X-Men renaissance, he is taking the next step. This issue had a lot of comedy but to balance that we got plenty of drama. Showing the past trauma he has suffered during his life and currently dealing with as well. Trauma that he is trying to hide with his sardonic persona. Trauma continues in the present in a new way as he finds all these new ways to die. I was impressed with the tone management of this issue. Moving from levity to heavier material with ease. Also as seen in the Best Panels article Joshua Cassara had some fantastic moments in this issue. His art was sharp and pack with creativity.
2. Low #26
Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Dave McCaig, Greg Tocchini
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: SERIES FINALE “LIGHT BRINGS LIGHT,” Part Four. SPECIAL OVERSIZED FINALE! Our final journey with Stel Caine and what remains of her family. The final fate of mankind decided. Will optimism win in the end?
Why it Made the List: Bringing a comic series to a proper end is a massive hill to climb. Some of the best comic runs and series do not quite stick the landing. With Low’s 26th issue we got its conclusion that did as good of a job as any finale I have recently read. It was a book filled with moments of grandeur and effective emotional beats. Without spoiling anything there was a scene that involved a major sacrifice that is already in the running for one of my favorite moments of the year. No loose major loose ends were left, and this was a good issue first and foremost. It never leaned on the fact it was the last issue to artificially inflate the story’s importance. For those that have missed out on Low know that is worth going back and catching up with, especially knowing you are getting a fitting ending.
1. Norse Mythology #5
Writer: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
Artist: David Rubin, Jill Thompson
Publisher: Dark Horse
Description: Loki’s strange children are discovered by the gods and forced into their dismal fates in a grand story of betrayal and destiny. Then, Thor comes to the goddess Freya’s aid by taking her place in an unusual wedding that is, of course, Loki’s fault.
Why it Made the List: I love the weeks when my top book comes from an unexpected location. I have enjoyed the Norse Mythology series thus far, but this issue hit another level for me. Part of it was due to the artwork of David Rubin. This issue involved a lot of unspoken emotional grief. His character designs allow for expressive facial features so he can execute a level of subtly other artists may not hit. Narratively this was just classic storytelling and I do mean classic. Taking the myths of old and bringing them for a new age. It is this examination of hubris and the downfall and damage it can bring. Looking around at our current times I could not think of a better message.
Honorable Mentions: Daredevil #27, Let Them Live!: Unpublished Tales from the DC Vault Chapter #1, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #114, Radiant Black #1, King in Black: Thunderbolts #2, Knock Em Dead #3, Scout’s Honor #2