Another Wednesday means another great day for comics. Even in the barest of weeks, there are still gems that shine with brilliant creativity. This week is no different. DC Comics are rocking with a couple of flagship character books featuring alternate (and evil) versions of beloved heroes, Image Comics gives the hitman crime genre a cartoon makeover, and Marvel debuts a new ongoing series with a fan-favorite superheroine as well as give readers another stellar installment in a podcast adaptation.
There’s a little bit of something for everyone this Wednesday (much like every Wednesday in comics), so take a look and see what we thought were some of the best additions to your pull list this week.
5 Superman #9
By Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Brandon Peterson, Joe Prado, Oclair Albert, Alex Sinclair, and Josh Reed.
Jon Kent recounts more horrific trials and tribulations during his time away from home in another standout issue of Superman. This issue is mostly told through flashbacks to when the Kent boy spent time as a prisoner at the hands of one of the biggest jerks in the DC Universe: Ultraman, the dark version of Clark Kent from Earth Two and the self-proclaimed leader of the Crime Syndicate.
With Bendis adding some of his signature flare to the character of Ultraman, making him even more unlikable and great art from Ivan Reis and Brandon Peterson, Superman #9 is worthy addition to a consistently great title.
4 The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1
By Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Eduardo Risso, Dave Stewart, Sal Cipriano, and Jock
In what could have been an insufferable debut issue, writers Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV along with comic book legend Eduardo Risso, have taken the concept of Batman with the same disposition as the Punisher out of the depths of teenage power fantasy angst and given it some levity.
The Batman Who Laughs: The Grim Knight #1 is surprisingly smart and gorgeously illustrated, showing that a ridiculous premise can yield satisfying results which meditate on the idea of vigilantism and what it means for Batman to have a code.
3 Assassin Nation #1
By Kyle Starks, Erica Henderson, and Deron Bennett
Not every crime saga has to be a straight-faced affair. In fact, sometimes the most diabolical professions can be presented with a heap of humor which never really feels out of place. Assassin Nation #1 is a book that is clearly wearing its influences on its sleeves, but it makes no apologies for doing so.
There is a cartoony flare to the visuals thanks to the ultra-talented Erica Henderson (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl) on art duty which elevates the comic's fun and familiar premise. Writer Kyle Starks (Rock Candy Mountain) is clearly enjoying writing certain characters more than others and it shows, but most of the dialogue is fast, snappy, and funny, which makes Assassin Nation #1 worth giving a shot (pun intended).
2 The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1
By Saladin Ahmed, Minkyu Jung, Juan Vlasco, Ian Herring, VC's Joe Caramagna, and Eduard Petrovich
Kamala Khan is back with Eisner Award-winning writer Saladin Ahmed (Black Bolt) with artist Minkyu Jung (Titans) steering our young hero on a new adventure in The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1. For new readers, this is pretty solid jumping on point. Ahmed and Jung take a brief moment to recap Ms. Marvel’s origins and then it’s off to the races.
Told from the point of view of an extraterrestrial patriarch regaling their offspring with tales of the bravery and heroism of our protagonist, The Magnificent Ms. Marvel #1 play with how legends evolve over time and space while giving readers the rollicking, weird action they’ve come to expect from this character.
1 Wolverine: The Long Night #3
By Benjamin Percy, Marcio Takara, Matt Milla, VC's Joe Caramagna, and Rafael Albuquerque
This one might be a bit of a cheat considering there is an amazing scripted podcast working as its template, but Wolverine: The Long Night #3 recaptures the mystique of the titular X-Man in a way that feels impossible to do these days. Wolverine is a character who is no stranger to exposure, but when he’s used as a cog in a bigger machine, there’s a lot of fun a creative team can have with him.
This issue heads deeper into the mysterious murders in rural Alaska, giving us moments of the podcast that were relegated to voicemails or anecdotes due to the medium restraints. Wolverine: The Long Night is not only a strong Wolverine story, it’s also a thoughtful and fascinating crime yarn.
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