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BEST BETS: “Doom Patrol,” “Star Trek” & More September 2016 Highlights

by  in Lists, Comic News Comment
BEST BETS: “Doom Patrol,” “Star Trek” & More September 2016 Highlights

Sorry, Green Day, we won’t be singing “Wake Me Up When September Ends” this year. As evident all across the board from September’s solicitations, comic publishers are offering some killer titles for the month, resurrecting classic series, relaunching beloved properties, kicking-off ambitious crossovers, and introducing bold new creative teams, among other goodies.

SOLICITATIONS: Marvel, DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse & More September 2016 Comics

Rounding up the highlights for September, CBR News has its own list of BEST BETS for the month, breaking down the titles you should (or must) buy three months from now.

11. BATMAN BEYOND: REBIRTH #1

“Batman Beyond: Rebirth” has a lot to explain after the fallout of the most recent run on the character, which saw Tim Drake take on the guise and Terry McGinnis bite the dust in “New 52: Futures End.” Somehow, someway, Terry’s going to reclaim the mantle, leaving several burning questions to be answered: Is the series going to be set in the present-day DCU? How does Terry become Batman again? Where the heck is Tim Drake in all this?! Plus, the solicit text teases “old adversaries,” suggesting a familiar face from either the last “Batman Beyond” series, a villain from the animated series, or an entirely new take on a member of Batman’s rogues rallery altogether. No matter what’s in store, with the creative team of writer Dan Jurgens and artist Ryan Sook at the helm, we’re ready for anything they want to serve up.

10. LOVE AND ROCKETS

One of the most influential alternative comics of all-time, “Love and Rockets,” is returning this fall in the manifestation of a new ongoing series, launching late September from Fantagraphics. Maggie, Hopey, Pipo, Fritz, Tonta, Baby and the rest of the gang have more stories to be told, and they’re back under the pen of legendary creators Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez, doing what they do best in a monthly comic. In its fourth volume, “Love and Rockets” is expected to continue the story of Palomar, Mexico, as Fritz learns she has a grandchild and Maggie attempts to relive her punk years. Apart from the nostalgia, the “Love and Rockets'” return is a treat for longtime fans of alternative comics and the Hernandez Brothers’ work, as well as a wonderful introduction for those looking to explore what made ’80s comic books so great outside of the superhero genre.

9. HOWARD THE DUCK #11

Oh Howard, we’ll miss you (though we know you won’t be gone for long…) In September, Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones wrap-up their acclaimed run on “Howard the Duck,” which has been nothing short of a comedic masterpiece month-to-month. Their meta-textual take on the material served as not only an ode to the early days of the character under the pen of Steve Gerber, but ruled as its own satirical beast of a title that consistently delivered laughs, and surprises, on a regular basis. Without a doubt we can say the highly-anticipated conclusion will be a fascinating read, as the solicit text asks all the big questions: “Can Howard outwit fate? Can any of us? Or is the concept of predestination just shorthand for the near-infinite factors in play that are guided, at their core, by free will?” Plus, Spider-Man appears… “probably.”

8. DOOM PATROL #1

Gerard Way kicks off his “Young Animal” imprint at DC Comics in September with his “Doom Patrol” #1 — and we couldn’t be more stoked. The “My Chemical Romance” frontman proved his comic book chops years ago with “Umbrella Academy” — which was influenced heavily by Grant Morrison’s landmark run on “Doom Patrol” — ensuring that he’s more than equipped to take on the legacy of DC’s drug-laced version of X-Men. Though it’ll be great to see the likes of Robotman back leading a comic, what’s most fascinating about the book is the bold new take on the characters and impressive art that’ll be in store for the series by the talented Nick Derington. If the gyro-based cover isn’t enough to entice you, here’s a direct quote from Way about the new series: “I promise to honor the legacy of this book — that is to say I’m going to put it in a fucking blender.”

7. JOSIE & THE PUSSYCATS #1

Archie Comics’ track-record with their latest #1s has been nothing short of exceptional — so we can’t help but predict “Josie and the Pussycats” #1 being a sure-fire knock-out of a tale. The new take on the franchise comes from writers Marguerite Bennett (“DC Comics’ Bombshells”) & Cameron DeOrdio and artist Audrey Mok (“Heroine Chic”), who look to bring Josie, Valerie and Melody back in their own book after far too long of an absence. The artwork revealed from Mok offers its own unique (and quite stunning) take on the established “look” of the modern Archie Comics universe, while offering a touch of maturity and vibrant optimism, as showcased in the first issue cover. Plus, as we’ve seen from the current take on “Black Canary” by Brendan Fletcher and Annie Wu, the adventures of a rock band on the road can be a real blast to experience in comics, even without the superhero aspect.

6. IDW’s REVOLUTION

Writers John Barber and Cullen Bunn, and artist Fico Ossio are joining forces to bring IDW Publishing’s Hasbro properties together for an epic crossover event in “Revolution.” Tying together the worlds of G.I. Joe, Transformers, Micronauts, M.A.S.K., Action Man and Rom, the bi-weekly crossover kicks off in September and ripples through various titles over the next couple months. While the crossover in its own right is worth checking out for its ambitious premise and solid creative team, it’ll also be interesting to see how it could affect Paramount’s planned shared Hasbro cinematic universe that’s been in the pipeline for some time. Considering recent speculation that Michael Bay’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” could feature ROM: SpaceKnight, we’ll be looking to “Revolution” for clues as to how the various Hasbro universes may come together, and with what kind of tone.

5. CEREBUS IN HELL? #0

As we learned from “Hellboy,” going to Hell can be a lot of fun. Next in line, Cerebus is taking the plunge into the fiery afterlife in a follow-up of Dave Sim’s hugely-influential indie comic in “Cerebus in Hell?” Picking up from the last issue of the series — which capped off an impressive 27-year run in 2004 with the character’s death — the special sees the titular aardvark’s exploits in Eternal Damnation. While it’s great to see “Cerebus” back in its own right, the greater treat is having new Sim comics back on the shelves, after a lengthy absence from the Canadian creator’s work on the shelves. Thankfully, the story doesn’t end in the special, as “Cerebus in Hell” is set to continue as a four-issue series due to hit stores in 2017, just in time for “Cerebus'” 40th anniversary.

4. RAVEN #1

Marv Wolfman back writing Raven? Sold. The veteran writer made his mark on (and created) the character in his and George Perez’s “New Teen Titans” run in the ’80s, and looks to be offering a more slice-of-life tale for the Teen Titan in her own title this September. The solicit teases a story set between “Teen Titans” #24 and “Teen Titans: Rebirth” #1 that sees Raven headed to San Francisco to live with her aunt, and spending some time in school. While the character often gets the spotlight in “Teen Titans,” we can’t wait to see her solo adventures explored under the writer who quite possibly knows her best. And based on other offerings from DC (like “Batgirl”) that focus more on characters’ personal lives, it’s clear the publisher has proven its ability to offer more than just superhero action tales of late. Along with artwork from Alisson Borges, whose dynamic talent has been showcased in titles like “Legend of Oz: The Wicked West” and “Earth 2: Society,” we know there’s the potential for some truly spectacular action scenes in store too. And wherever Raven goes, we know her good old demon dad, Trigon, likely isn’t too far…

3. STAR TREK: WAYPOINT #1

Classic “Star Trek” is making its way back into our lives — at least in comics — just in time for the 50th anniversary of the franchise. In IDW’s newly-announced “Star Trek: Waypoint,” the creative team of writer Donny Cates, writer/artist Sandra Lanz and artist Mack Chater look to resurrect the timeline of the ’60s TV series and “The Next Generation” in comics once again. Though the Abramsverse has its perks, our old pals from classic Trek continuity have been sorely missed. “Waypoint” looks to explore both time periods in an anthology format on a bi-monthly bases, serving up new tales with the likes of a Kirk resembling Shatner, a Spock resembling Nimoy, and the much-loved “Next Gen” crew of the Enterprise-D as we remember them. With Bryan Fuller’s 2017 “Star Trek” TV series on the way, “Waypoint” looks to be a great primer for the classic “Trek” longtime fans have been yearning for, months before the old continuity returns to the small-screen.

2. TARZAN ON THE PLANET OF THE APES #1

It’s a match made in heaven: “Planet of the Apes” and “Tarzan” are set to crossover in a new five-issue series from Dark Horse Comics BOOM! Studios. Writers Tim Seeley and David Walker, artist Fernando Dagnino and cover artist Duncan Fegredo are delivering a tale that sees an ambitious alternate take on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original material — one where Tarzan and Caesar were raised as brothers, but separated by slave traders. The crossover piques our interest not simply because of the title, but the inventive idea of teaming Tarzan with Caesar in a battle for humanity. Both franchises have a deeper subtext of inequality, human greed and various other social issues, which we can’t wait to see explored in the new crossover. If Fegredo’s glorious covers are any indication, the series will have a certain emotional weight to it that isn’t typical of a crossover of this kind.

1. TEEN TITANS: REBIRTH

Simply put, Benjamin Percy knocked it out of the park with his “Green Arrow: Rebirth” #1. Based on that alone, “Teen Titans: Rebirth” #1 should be on everyone’s pull list for September. Along with revered artist Jonboy Meyers, the duo look to unite a new team of Titans consisting of (at least) Damian Wayne/Robin, Starfire, Raven, Beast Boy and the new Kid Flash. While Wally and the classic Titans have been getting a lot of attention since the character’s resurrection in Rebirth, DC’s younger generation of heroes still have a lot to offer, especially now that the always-entertaining Damian is on the team. With the Grant Morrison-created character leading the team, the first arc sees a face-off with classic Batman villain and Damian’s grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul — a consistently fascinating character to read in DC lore.

What are you looking forward to in September solicitations? Sound off in the CBR Community with your picks!

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