Welcome to the Top 10 Comics of the Week!. This is where I countdown my choices of the best books that came out last week. This is coming out much later than I would like but life and an US election kind of got in the way. It is here now and I hope you enjoy it. Also, make sure to check out my other articles focused on this week’s comics:
On to the list…
10. Wicked Things #6
Writer: John Allison
Artist: Max Sarin
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Description: With the attempted murder Lottie was framed for still under investigation, and the victim still in a coma, Lottie is running out of time to prove her innocence. Plus, the police just enlisted Lottie for a sting operation at London’s best casino! Will Lottie be able to foil a heist, prove her innocence, and keep up her hair game ALL. IN. JUST. ONE. NIGHT?!
Why It Made the List: As a huge fan of John Allison and Max Sarin’s Giant Days series I was so happy to get to spend more time in that universe. This was an old school spinoff where you take a major character and bring them into a new world that is quite different than the previous installment. Nothing like a good old fashioned mystery like this. This issue concluded the series and did so in an expected satisfying fashion. One where the mystery was solved but was not as clear-cut as you might think. Heart and humor have been at the center of John Allison and Max Sarin’s work. Here Lottie showed all sides of her character. From her compassion to her insanely good detective abilities. Hopefully, we get more exploration into the Giant Days universe because a series like this opens so much opportunity.
9. Red Sonja #21
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Vincenzo Federici, Alessandro Miracolo
Description: Sonja The Red would do battle with a boy, who has lived a life in full.
Why It Made the List: When Mark Russell started his Red Sonja run he had her go up against an antagonist that clearly had far more resources than her but was well below her intellectual weight class. Now as his run is nearing his end Red Sonja is up against someone who may be too much even for her. Cyril is proving to be one of my favorite characters of the year. His level of evil is fun to watch especially when it is coming from what looks like a young boy. You want to see him get what is coming to him, yet with each move that he makes, that seems less and less likely. Sometimes evil does win. Typically with a book like Red Sonja, I would expect good to triumph. Now I am wondering if that is not even true for fiction anymore.
8. Crossover #1
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: Imagine everything you thought was fantasy… was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead… and anything is possible…
Why It Made the List: This was the major release for this past week so it brought with it a lot of discussions. For one I love that an indie book can still elicit that level of hype. The power of Donny Cates it seems. As first issues go this built a sizeable amount of intrigue. It is a bit of a bait and switch as much of the focus is on the crossover concept, but it seems the story we will be following will be much smaller. Some may be disappointed with the development, but I would advise you to keep reading even if you are. Clearly, these are two creators who love comics, and that admiration is in the fabric of this story. How long that love can carry this book has yet to be seen. Based on their previous work on books like God Country and Thanos I have faith this adventure will only get better.
7. Black Widow #3
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Elena Casagrande
Description: WHITE…WIDOW?! Nobody who knows Natasha Romanoff would have imagined THIS when hearing the words “White Widow,” but nothing about this new Nat is what anyone could have imagined. It’s no surprise that she’s looking sublime in white, but who’s the lucky groom? And is this a match for love…or death?
Why It Made the List: The story for this series has been solid. There is this mystery regarding what is really happening to Black Widow and the stakes go beyond just solving that mystery. She now has a life she seems to enjoy and is at peace for maybe the first time ever in her life. Plus with the piece of information that is dropped, there are some major ramifications pending no matter what the outcome. What is really putting it on this list though is the art of Elena Casagrande and the colors of Jordie Bellaire. This is easily one of Marvel’s best-looking books right now. As shown in my Best Panels of the Week article there were some fantastically rendered fight scenes. Moments that make you stand up and take notice.
6. Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #2
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Darick Robertson
Publisher: DC Comics
Description: John Constantine has been in trouble before, but running afoul of the Devil himself is crossing a line even for the self-styled Hellblazer. But that’s exactly who darkens Constantine’s door with news that John’s investigation into the gruesome “angel murders” of London’s billionaire class and Satan’s own vendetta against a treacherous demon are actually the same mission. What’s that mean? You guessed it: It’s time for a team-up!
Why It Made the List: I have no idea what Hellblazer fan made a deal with the devil to get such great John Constantine content but I am thankful. The ongoing Hellblazer comic has been one of the best series of the year and this book is not far off. It is a much different flavor of Constantine. This comes off more like a Garth Enis book with the twisted sense of humor, and does it get twisted in this issue. Constantine finds out what it is hard to dance with the devil that brought you. Plus Darick Robertson reminding the comic world of why he is a living legend. I hope those leading DC will see what a great character Constantine can be when given the right talent.
5. Lonely Receiver #3
Writer: Zac Thompson
Artist: Jen Hickman
Description: Finally putting the shards of her life back together, Catrin finds a new reason to live. A new set of eyes occupy her attention, and obsession grows, love blooms. It’s not a rebound if you found the one you were truly made to love. A month // of long days/ // Finding the one you lost In her / you chase away / tell truth // pay a cost.
Why It Made the List: Lonely Receiver is a type of book that takes a lot out of you–in a good way. It can grab hold of your emotions and stir them like smooshed grapes in a blender. If I am not in the right mental state I find it challenging to get through a full issue. When you do it is such a reward. In this issue, the horror elements begin to seep into an entirely new level. There is a level of danger now that I did not fully see coming. I am fearful of what is to come next but excited to read it.
4. Lost Soldiers #4
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Luca Casalanguida
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: Hamburger Hill.
Why It Made the List: Lost Soldiers #3 was my book of the week when it came out and I wondered if it could maintain that level of quality moving forward. The first two issues had promise but were a bit too sporadic for their own good. This landing at the number four spot is not due to the quality dropping but the quality of the other books that came out. Brutality is displayed in a vicious fashion. There are a few moments with this issue that are burned into my memory. One man wages a war against someone who wronged him and he is not holding back. Morality is long gone as revenge becomes all-consuming. War is hell and hell welcomes war.
3. Thor #9
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Nic Klein
Description: THE RETURN OF DONALD BLAKE! The “Prey” arc starts here! Once upon a time, a mortal man bore within him the spirit of a god. With a crack of his cane upon the ground, the Mighty Thor would appear! But it’s been years since the King of Asgard required his human ward. Where has the good doctor been all this time—and what does his reappearance mean for the God of Thunder? Donny Cates and Nic Klein journey into a mystery left unsolved since 1962!
Why It Made the List: One of Donny Cates’s greatest skills as a Marvel writer is understanding the history of Marvel comics and all the ins and outs. With that knowledge, he also knows where the holes are that have yet to be filled. He’ll answer something small like where Knowhere really came from, or in this issue something much bigger like who or what exactly Donald Blake is. Confidence is key to do something like this because when you shake things up people will question you no matter what. Ultimately I want to be entertained and intrigued. Mission Accomplished.
2. Firepower #5
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Image Comics
Description: Owen and Kellie Johnson’s weekly dinner date is ruined! The Dragon’s Claw desires Owen’s Fire Power, and they won’t take no for an answer!
Why It Made the List: This series is getting better with each and every issue. I could stare at Chris Smanee putting together action set pieces all day long. The action starts with a beat down and drag them out scuffle inside a restaurant. Eventually it becomes a high-speed chase before you can fully take a breath. Beyond the action, the safe place of Owen and Kellie’s world is clearly gone. Setting up major developments for the next issue. You always hear that term action for action’s sake and this series has never been guilty of that. When you get an issue like this that is heavy on the action the work was done to make those moments matter.
Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Elise McCall
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Description: Recent mermaid attacks have everyone on edge. Beaches are closed. Super spy Nora Freud must team up with her friends in order to expose the sinister underbelly of a vast marine cryptozoology conspiracy. In local news, The Mermaid Hut, down by the marina, is pleased to announce a 10% sale on mermaid-tooth necklaces. While supplies last.
Why It Made the List: When your book opens with the line, “The mime was collateral damage”, you have hit peak comic book in my mind. In all seriousness, I choose this book as number one because of how much-unfiltered fun I had reading it. Plus it was like a magic trick seeing all these random threads that seemed unrelated come together to form the narrative. I could see some not enjoying this book because it takes a different approach to storytelling. One that goes at its own pace and does not follow a typical trajectory. Just know that everything matters for one reason or another. Comics like any medium can become stale if you do not get books like this that refuse to conform. My hope is the comic community will support it because comics are better when risks are taken.