The middle of July sees some great milestone, a couple new additions, and a fond farewell. This fine Wednesday, DC Comics gives us the start of two new story arc from two of its biggest heroes, Young Animal returns with an all new series, and one of Superman’s greatest allies gets his own 12-issue maxi-series.
A legendary superhero team says goodbye in a very heartfelt and transitional issue from Marvel Comics. And the most arrestingly gorgeous comic book on the newsstand returns with a new installment that will have jaws dropping.
6 Aquaman #50
By: Kelly Sue DeConnick, Robson Rocha, Eduardo Pansica, Daniel Henriques, Julio Ferreira, Sunny Gho, Jason Paz, Alex Sinclair, and Clayton Cowles
For all its high concept mythology and flowery fairytale story-telling devices, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s run one Aquaman has always had a soapy edge. From early on we were dealing with a hero who had amnesia, a beautiful women with secrets that pertain to something bigger, and even a surprise pregnancy. The broad strokes sound more like Days of Our Lives plot points than high fantasy adventure.
But then again, aren’t superhero stories nothing more than soapy operas, but with more monsters and punching? Aquaman #50 is a solid reunion issue. Arthur knows who he is and he’s welcomed back with open arms. Of course, not everyone is pleased as punch the King of the Seven Seas has returned.
5 Batman #75
By: Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Mitch Gerads, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles
This is it. This is the beginning of the end for Tom King’s run on one of DC’s biggest titles. Batman #75 is the jumping on point for what everything has been leading up to: “City of Bane.” For the last few years, Tom King along with a small cadre of amazing artists (such as Tony S. Daniel and Mitch Gerads) have taken the Caped Crusader on one of the strangest odysseys he’s even experienced in his 80-year history.
Seeing the culmination of years of work start to take shape is exciting. And while, we have no idea where “City of Bane” is going to go, but by the looks of things, it’s going to be a wild ride.
4 Collapser #1
By: Mikey Way, Shaun Simon, Ilias Kyriazis, Cris Peter, and Simon Bowland
Collapser #1 is the newest addition to the fine offerings of comic from DC’s imprint, Young Animal. Written by Mikey Way and Shaun Simon and illustrated by Ilias Kyriazis, this debut issue tells the story of a struggling DJ named Liam, who ekes out a living by working in a horribly understaffed retirement home.
Things get complicated (as if they weren’t before) when Liam receives a mysterious package from an alien delivery person. Filled with plenty of fun science fiction tropes (that will certainly be retooled as superhero tropes), Collapser #1 is a solid new addition to the Young Animal family.
3 Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1
By: Matt Fraction, Steve Lieber, Nathan Fairbairn, and Clayton Cowles
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 might be the most fun you’ll have in a debut issue. Writer Matt Fraction embraces the classic series of the same name by not only lovingly poking fun at it, but also using it as a template to tell the various stories in this first issue of a 12-issue maxi-series.
With gorgeous art by Steve Liever, who brings a Silver Age vibe to each story, Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #1 deepens the history of Metropolis and some of the biggest names in the city. It also is light, funny, and well written. Every facet of the titular sidekick is represented here. From fun-loving goofball to hard-boiled investigative journalist to hapless hurdle for Superman to save. Do not sleep on this series.
2 Silver Surfer: Black #2
By: Donny Cates, Tradd Moore, Dave Stewart, and VC’s Clayton Cowles
Lost in the cosmos and running on fume, Norrin Radd, the Herald of Galactus has the cosmic deck stacked against him as he faces an old threat in a new, mysterious place. Silver Surfer: Black #2 is one of the most beautiful books on the newsstand and is well worth your time, even if you’re not the biggest fan of the character.
Donny Cates does a good job conveying the inner-emo turmoil of Silver Surfer and the cosmic craziness happening in between momentary pity parties is certainly interesting. But the real standout is Tradd Moore’s unparalleled art. We love this book.
1 Uncanny X-Men #22
By: Matthew Rosenberg, Salvador Larroca, David Messina, Guru-eFX, VC’s Joe Caramagna, Whilce Portacio, and Erick Arciniega
This is it. This is where it all ends… or at least, where it all ends so it can begin again with House of X and Powers of X in the following weeks. While Uncanny X-Men #22 is less of a finale and more of a passing of the torch, it does have a certain emotional resonance to it (that final page will give fans chills for sure).
Uncanny X-Men got off on the wrong foot for a lot of readers, but after getting through “X-Men: Disassembled” and Matt Rosenberg and Salvador Larroca were on their own, the series became great and the most underappreciated books published by Marvel. It really does feel like the end of an ear, for good and ill.
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