Comics

Top 10 Most Anticipated Comics for the Week of 1/6/2021

DC and Star Wars look to begin new eras

Well, the horribleness that was 2020 is now nearly over. Who knows if 2021 will be any better but at least comics are starting the year with a ton of great content….hopefully. Considering that I put together a list of my top 10 Most Anticipated Books for the Week of 1/6/2021.

All lists are of course subjective but this one is especially so since I am basing this solely off of anticipation. Before we get started some honorable mentions that did not make the list include Iron Man #5, Eternals #1, and the remaining Future State books Wonder Woman, Superman of Metropolis, and The Flash.

I should also clarify this is not a speculation list. I am anticipating these books because I want to read them. Whatever happens after that is just a bonus.

10. Fire Power #7

Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Image Comics

Description: NEW STORY ARC! The Dragon’s Claw has struck! Damage has been dealt! Owen and his family are reeling from the loss-and more danger lurks on the horizon!
Why it Made the List: With this being a new story arc it could be a good jumping on point if you have not yet read this series. Rarely for indie series are there jumping on points but ultimately the concept of Fire Power is not super difficult to catch up with. I have found this has gotten better with each issue. Chris Samnee is one of today’s best artists when it comes to delivering fluid and exciting action so of course, a book based on mystical martial arts will let him shine. With Dragon Claw coming at full force the family dynamic that was built in the first few issues is already paying off. 

 


9. Future State: Harley Quinn #1

Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Simone Di Meo
Publisher: DC Comics

Description: In a bold move that rocks Gotham City, the Magistrate has imprisoned Harley Quinn! The villain—once known as the Scarecrow, now a pawn of the Magistrate—taps into Harley’s knowledge of Gotham’s villains and the Black Mask Gang for his own dark purposes. Crane and his bosses think they have Harley Quinn defeated and her spirit broken, but they are sorely mistaken—and Harley will have her revenge. Written by rising star writer Stephanie Phillips and drawn by fan-favorite artist Simone Di Meo, the next era of Harley Quinn begins here!

Why it Made the List: This week marks the beginning of Future State. Based on online chatter I have seen a lot of mixed thoughts on what it means for DC. Personally, I am excited about it. I am all for major publishers trying something new to see what happens. Mainly though what has me excited are the creative teams. Starting with Harley Quinn, who is a character I never followed in a monthly series before. That is going to change because Stephanie Phillips is writing this book. I have greatly enjoyed her indie work on books like The Butcher of Paris and A Man Among Ye and now she gets to take on one of comic’s most popular characters. In addition, I would highly recommend checking out her interview on the Word Balloon podcast where she breaks down her approach to her work including this book. Looking forward to seeing that vision play out.


8. Scout’s Honor #1

Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Luca Casalanguida
Publisher: Aftershock

Description: Years after a nuclear apocalypse, a new society has risen from the ashes… and their bible is an old Ranger Scout manual.A young Ranger Scout named Kit has endured the harsh survivalist upbringing needed to con-quer the irradiated Colorado Badlands. But after discovering a terrible secret once lost to histo-ry, Kit must risk everything on a dangerous quest to uncover the truth behind the Ranger Scouts’ doctrine.

Why it Made the List: With his work on books like Spencer & Locke and Going to the Chapel, David Pepose has become one of those writers I will automatically check out anytime he has a new book. I do not back a lot of Kickstarters but I did partake in his The O.Z. and my opinion of his work only got stronger. When you add an artist like Luca Casalanguida I only get more excited. Last year he worked on the extremely underrated Lost Soldiers. He has a knack for demonstrating brutality and harsh living conditions. Based on the concept this book should suit him nicely.


7. The Wrong Earth: Night & Day #1

Writer: Tom Peyer
Artist: Jamal Igle
Publisher: Ahoy Comics

Description: The stars of THE WRONG EARTH and DRAGONFLY & DRAGONFLYMAN return! Racing to prevent identical catastrophes that threaten the separate earths they inhabit, gritty Dragonfly and his campy doppelganger Dragonflyman follow the clues to a third earth, where they at last come face-to-face!

Why it Made the List: There are a lot of number ones on this list but many of them are not really brand new series including this one. However, based on the past installments of this series it still should be welcoming to new readers. All you need to know is this story follows a character that fits the ‘Batman’ archetype. One that existed more in a Frank Miller type universe and the other more of a Batman ‘66 type world. The first series looked to see what would happen if these switched univereses. A fantastic concept that was executed by some great comic veterans. Now with the introduction of a third world, that idea gets to evolve. One of the benefits of having a publisher like Ahoy put this out is there are no rules. Having that freedom has served this book well thus far.


6. Future State: The Next Batman #1

Writer: Brandon Thomas, Paul Jenkins, John Ridley
Artist: Nick Derington, Laura Braga, Jackson Herbert, Sumit Kumar
Publisher: DC Comics

Description: Gotham City has always been dangerous—but now, it’s downright deadly! Following the tragedy of “A-Day,” the mayor allowed the private law enforcement group known as “the Magistrate” to take over policing so-called mask crime—and that has given rise to a new Dark Knight! What is this mysterious crime fighter’s connection to former Batman weaponeer Lucius Fox? The fight for justice has never been this dangerous!

Why it Made the List: If DC is starting a new line one of the first questions will be, “Where/Who is Batman?”. He is the lifeblood of DC comics so one would assume that would stay the same no matter who is in the Cape and Cowl. This is also one of the Future State books that will be extra-sized with a $7.99 cover price. I have been pushing DC to do more of an anthology format like this so it would be hypocritical for me to take issue with it now. I again find the talent involved intriguing. It is not often you get an Academy Award nominee writing Batman. John Ridley surprised a lot of people already with his work on The Other History of the DC Universe and hopefully that streak with continue with this series. Nick Derington already showed how well he can draw a Batman comic with Batman: Universe. That’s only a portion of the talent that will be included in this issue. This could be something special when everything is said and done.


5. Thor #11

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Nic Klein
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Description: IT’S A SUNNY DAY IN HEL! But the God of Thunder is about to bring down a bloody rain! Trapped in a suburban horror show, THOR faces down an old foe. But something far worse than the Midgard Serpent is sinking its fangs into Thor’s world…for DONALD BLAKE now roams the TEN REALMS with naught but death on the brain!

Why it Made the List: Yes more than just number ones are coming out this week! Crazy to realize this book has now been out for a year. Considering how much has happened in the ten issues thus far you would think this run has been around for a few years. When you open with Galactus I guess that is bound to happen. Donny Cates and Nick Klein have made quite the team as they have taken the mythos of Thor in new directions. Their idea for Donald Blake is not something I would at all expect which has made it all the more fun. Easily the most explosive Marvel books on the shelves right now.


4. Future State: Swamp Thing #1

Writer: Ram V.
Artist: Mike Perkins
Publisher: DC Comics

Description: From the ashes of a terrible war, life blooms anew in Swamp Thing’s image. The remnants of humanity lie in hiding, forever in the shadow of the green god who now rules the planet. When the new avatar of the Green uncovers a stray human, a rebellion is revealed! But this Swamp Thing is no stranger to violent ends, and neither are his creations. If it’s war humanity wants, it will be at their doorstep—and Swamp Thing will never be the same!

Why it Made the List: Sure Batman may be DC’s biggest character but the Future State book I am most excited about this week is Swamp Thing. For one, it has been quite a while since we have had a Swamp Thing ongoing. I am hoping this book can succeed and change all of that. Ram V has been rising up the ranks at DC with his work on Catwoman and Justice League Dark. 2020’s Swamp Thing Special also gave him some experience with the character, and artist Mike Perkins is coming into this having worked on Swamp Thing as well. Both have shown they can take an established title or character and push it in a new and exciting direction. Swamp Thing is one of those characters that has had some legendary runs despite not being a mainstay. Looking forward to seeing what can be done with him in this new age.


Hellblazer Rise and Fall #3 (of 3) (Cover B - Sean Phillips Variant)3. Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #3

Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Darick Robertson
Publisher: DC Comics

Description: In this final issue…it’s absolute rapture.

Why it Made the List: If you saw my Top 100 comics list you saw that Hellblazer: John Constantine was my favorite book of the year. I am still sad to see that book go but happy this series still has one more issue. This series is a bit different as it leans more on its sense of humor. Tom Taylor showing he has some Garth Enis in him with how twisted things have become. When you have the literal devil as one of your major characters, and he is actually quite well rounded as a person/being something is working right. Plus you have Darick Roberston reminding us why he is such a legendary artist. I am glad DC is recognizing the gift they have in John Constantine as a character and hopefully more quality comics are still in the near future. 


Cross Over #1 Cover 2. Crossover #3

Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Publisher: Image Comics

Description: Monsters and robots falling from the sky! Mysterious (and familiar??) superheroes joining our intrepid gang on their journey to event ground zero! CROSSOVER continues with the series’ most explosive and shocking issue to date! Don’t miss this one, folks. If you do, it just might drive you…mad.

Why it Made the List: Donny Cates and Geoff Shaw have made quite the creative pairing. I really enjoyed their work on God Country and of course, the ‘Thanos Wins’ storyline helped breakout both as major creators within the industry. Crossover has been trying to fulfill that childhood desire to see all these different properties come together into one story. Legalities aside they are finding ways to accomplish that with tricks and clever nods. The big reason this is so high is how much Donny Cates has been pushing this issue because something major happens. Knowing Todd McFarlane is doing a variant cover has me thinking could be a hint to what exactly that big thing might be. We shall see.


1. Star Wars: The High Republic #1

Writer: Cavan Scott
Artist: Ario Anindito
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Description: BEFORE THE SKYWALKER SAGA! THE GOLDEN AGE OF THE JEDI! A new era of STAR WARS storytelling begins. It is centuries before the SKYWALKER SAGA. The JEDI are at their height, protecting the galaxy as REPUBLIC pioneers push out into new territories. As the Frontier prepares for the dedication of majestic STARLIGHT BEACON, PADAWAN KEEVE TRENNIS faces the ultimate choice — will she complete her Jedi Trials or rescue the innocent from disaster? New Jedi! New ships! New evils to fight!

Why it Made the List: Like many, I am riding on a Star Wars high after the success of The Mandalorian. It has inspired me to go out and read more of the expanded universe in both comic and book form. Now we are getting something brand new to add to the Star Wars legacy. A time and characters that we have never seen before. Disney seems to be going all-in with this including multiple books and comics coming out all within the next few months. This is exactly what Star Wars needs. New ideas that are not tied to the original trilogy. Not a Skywalker insight. Like many, I wish we were getting some Old Republic stories as well, but until then this looks like it has potential.

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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