Welcome to my Top 10 Most Anticipated Comics for the week of 1/13/2020. This list is based solely on my anticipation of the books coming out this week. That is based solely on the desire to read them and nothing else. I know others are into the speculation game, but that’s not my bag.
With that said, let’s get to the countdown.
10. Penultiman #4
Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Alan Robinson
Publisher: Ahoy! Comics
Description: Early retirement torments Penultiman – but he just might have found the right motivational speaker to dig him out of his rut! (SPOILER: It’s the wrong motivational speaker!) Meanwhile, Penultiman’s android assistant, Antepenultiman, builds an artificial sidekick of its own! Also: bonus illustrated prose stories!
Why it Made the List: Penultiman is a series that deserves much more attention than it has been getting. I know superhero deconstruction has been done to death, and I would argue this is something a bit different than that. It is more like superhero addition taking the tropes you know but complicating them a bit. From what I gather I have seen the commentary here less about genre norms and more about societal’s take on key issues like depression. All with that Ahoy comedic twist. I am looking forward to seeing these ideas further explored especially the concept of motivating a superhero.
9. Future State: Superman / Wonder Woman #1
Writer: Dan Watters
Artist: Leila Del Duca
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: The sun has set on the heroes of the past, and a new age is dawning! As two arrogant gods challenge one another to a contest of strength, Superman and Wonder Woman are forced to take action to save their cities from the chaos. Together, Jonathan Kent and Yara Flor, man of science and woman of myth, have the potential to become something powerful, but that’s only if they can learn to get along! Can the two fledgling heroes put their differences aside long enough to save the world they have sworn to protect?
Why it Made the List: This marks week two for Future State so once again we have the launch of a number of new titles. Dan Watters as a creator continues to impress me with his work. Coffin Bound, for example, is bending the rules of the comic medium in rather inventive ways. He has done some solid work or DC in the past but I would argue this is his most high-profile book thus far. Taking on two of the company’s flagship characters is quite the task. In addition, I found artist Leila Del Duca’s work on the series Sleepless quite beautiful. Her style is not what I would typically associate with superheroes, which actually has me more excited. What the genre needs more of are artists who push the boundaries of what we expect from an art perspective.
8. Resident Alien: Your Ride’s Here #3
Writer: Peter Hogan
Artist: Steve Parkhouse
Publisher: Dark Horse
Description: Stranded in small town Patience, Washington, alien detective Harry pretends to be a human doctor, as his human entanglements get more and more complicated! A threatening federal agent gets way to close to Harry, hurting one of his friends, and Honey-a sweet, strange child who can see Harry in his true form-goes missing from a wedding celebration. ‘One of the most charming and wonderful comics being published today.’ -Jeff Lemire
Why it Made the List: My hope with the upcoming Resident Alien TV SyFy series is that more people will check out the comic. It is this nice mashing of genre and the perfect type of story for an ongoing TV show. If you are new to this book this is probably not the best starting point as it does build upon a number of issues thus far. With the last mini-series taking place mainly in New York it is nice getting back to this small town. Personal interactions are what drive this story and despite having an alien at the center of the narrative this remains one of the more human comics on the shelves.
7. King in Black: Thunderbolts #1
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Description: KINGPIN’S KILLERS VERSUS AN ARMY OF UNKILLABLE DRAGONS! An army of evil space dragons have come to attack Earth and are starting with New York. MAYOR FISK has a plan for that. Assembling a group of killers, mercenaries, and just generally pretty horrible people like TASKMASTER, RHINO, STAR, MR. FEAR, and BATROC THE LEAPER, Mayor Fisk tasks them with saving the city or die trying…or die right then and there. The fate of the entire world may rest in the hands of the absolute worst people in the Marvel Universe. What could go wrong?
Why it Made the List: Event tie-in books can be extremely hit or miss. Why do I think this will be a hit? The creative team. Juan Ferreyra is near the top of my favorite artists working today. He has taken books like Killmonger and Spider-Man: Noir and help make them something very special. I love his page layouts and how he depicts action. Matthew Rosenberg is also one of Marvel’s best writers. He has actually done good work with Kingpin previously. One of his first comics for Marvel was a Kingpin mini that set his career to where he is now. Plus I love the Thunderbolts concept. My hope is this book will have the type of success that will take it beyond just being an event tie-in.
6. Future State: Dark Detective #1
Writer: Mariko Tamaki, Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Carmine Di Giandomenico, Dan Mora
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: The world thought Bruce Wayne was dead. They were dead wrong! When the sinister para-military organization known as the Magistrate seizes control of Gotham City, the original Batman went big to put them down…but even the Dark Knight couldn’t predict how far this evil force would go to stop him. Now, Bruce Wayne is on the run! From Eisner Award-winning writer Mariko Tamaki and rising star artist Dan Mora, it’s the story of a Batman pushed to the brink—with nothing left to lose.
Also in this issue, Grifter is back! Cole Cash is having a bad day, and that’s not going to improve when the detectives of the GCPD show up! Will a chance meeting with Luke Fox change his luck? Or is his day about to get a lot worse?
Why it Made the List: Artist Dan Mora hit a new gear with his art on Once & Future. His reward? Now he gets to draw Batman. Not a bad way to start in 2021. Mariko Tamaki did not hit a home run when she took over Wonder Woman, but this could be more her speed. Her YA novel Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass gave her a chance to play in a different version of Gotham than we all know. That experience could do wonders here. I have never been a major fan of the character of Grifter but knowing Matthew Rosenberg is writing does raise my eyebrow. I love his take on Hawkeye and I see some similarities between those two characters. Maybe he can help change my viewpoint of the character.
5. The Autumnal #4
Writer: Daniel Kraus
Artist: Chris Shehan
Publisher: Vault Comics
Description: After Kat learns of an old tragedy that brought Comfort Notch to its knees, the bitter, burn-scarred Carol Ravintzky finally tells the tale of the terrible death of Clementine Biddle.
Why it Made the List: Vault may collectively put out the best horror comics when you consider books like Resonant, The Plot, and this. Maybe they just hit more of my sensibilities. There is a bit of an old school 70’s feel to them. One where the scares take their time to build by giving you time to understand who these characters are. They are less scary and more haunting, like a house you do not know is possessed but all the signs are pointing that way. The Autumnal has dealt a lot with the relationships between mothers and daughter, and paternal bonds as a whole. If you remove those supernatural elements you are still left with a captivating story. A big reason why this book has worked despite a more deliberate pace.
4. The Immortal Hulk #42
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Adam Gorham, Rachael Stott, Joe Bennett
Description: At the year’s end, costs are counted—by Jackie McGee, Eugene Judd…and Samuel Sterns. All the Leader’s plans have finally come together in what may be his greatest triumph. But is that enough…or will the ONE BELOW ALL claim his due?
Why it Made the List: I hate the phrase, “What more can be said?”, but at this point when it comes to The Immortal Hulk what more can be said? It has already entered the echelon of not only best Hulk comics but best Marvel comics period. One would assume this narrative is deep into the third act. Many of the pieces that have been building are finally coming to a close. I know some had issues when the book got rather cosmic, but personally feel it got more compelling with how big this story became. Now we are getting back to the more personal stakes especially the history of Bruce Banner and the abuse he has suffered. Any issue of The Immortal Hulk is a chance to read something great. That is something that is not the case for most series. To reach peak greatness is a rarity in any medium. What a special ride this has been.
3. Haha #1
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Vanesa R. Del Rey
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: HAHA is a genre-jumping, throat-lumping look at the sad, scary, hilarious life of those who get paid to play the fool-but these ain’t your typical jokers.
With issues drawn by VANESA DEL REY (REDLANDS), GABRIEL WALTA (Vision), ROGER LANGRIDGE (Thor), and more, HAHA peeks under the big top, over the rainbow, and even inside a balloon to tell a wide-ranging slew of stories about “funny” men and women, proving that some things are so sad you just have to laugh.
Why it Made the List: I know many are excited about this series because of W. Maxwell Prince. For those unaware, he is also the writer of the well-acclaimed Ice Cream Man series. Nothing against that book but I am excited to get more Vanesa R. Del Rey art. I first became aware of her work with the Boom! series Hit. Her style lends itself greatly not only to noir but also horror. Just see books like Redlands or The Empty Man. If I was fan-casting a new horror series this is a team I would want to see make a book. Luckily for us this book is actually a reality.
2. Lonely Receiver #5
Writer: Zac Thompson
Artist: Jen Hickman
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Description: A horrific breakup story in five parts. You have mated with it and found salvation. You watch as a life plays out that seems like it belongs to someone else. But you’re sure it belongs to you.
Now you / see what you used to be / itself You love and change when moving wildly toward darkness. Enter the Leviathan / as it too / enters you Now see / you spend a life finding / yourself.
Why it Made the List: This has been a series that I always need to prepare myself for prior to reading. Obviously being so high on this week’s like I enjoy it. Well, maybe enjoy is not the best word. Daring to sound a bit hackneyed this book moves me in many different emotional directions. The scientific term I believe is called a mind F*%k, like Cronenberg by way of Kubrick. Love seeing Science Fiction taken in directions like this. I have no idea how this book will close but I am sure it is going to be brutal for all involved.
1. Serial #1
Writer/Artist: Terry Moore
Publisher: Abstract Studio
Description: Zoe has been 10 years old for 50 years. Most of her life has been spent on the run fighting the demon that lived within her, kept her young and turned her into a serial killer. Now free of the demon, Zoe discovers her childhood friend is the latest victim in a string of murders. Determined to put an end to the reign of terror, Zoe uses her own deadly skills to stalk the predator and avenge her fallen friend. Serial is Terry Moore’s new series featuring Zoe, the irrepressible star of Rachel Rising and Five Years. Don’t miss the premier issue of a her solo series!
Why it Made the List: Terry Moore is a type of creator that does not really exist much anymore. Someone who does everything. Not just inside the comic by outside as well. Being the comic creator and publisher deserves respect before the book is even read. Zoe was my favorite part of Five Years and she completely deserves her own book. Her love of adrenaline and violence makes for some rather fun moments. When Terry Moore is drawing those moments they of course will look amazing. I hope this series opens more people up to the work of Moore. Five Years was a bit hard to get into if you had not read his past work. I do not know if that will be the case here obviously. By any means, I would highly recommend reading his back catalog including books like Rachel Rising and Strangers in Paradise. You will then see why I am so excited for this release.