Comics We're Excited About for 3/9/2016

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Comics We're Excited About for 3/9/2016

As March marches ever onward, we here at Paste are beset upon by the peculiar madness of our chosen medium. In one week, we can get hyped over the English translation of a French comic about Japanese warriors, a doorstopper-sized tome of throwback comics starring a hirsute man in a bat costume and the latest issue of an all-ages cartoon tie-in that has no business being as good as it is. Throw in the first volume of Rick Remender and Sean Murphy’s cyber-punk treatise, Tokyo Ghost, Marvel’s fan-demanded Mockingbird ongoing and the latest Disney attraction adaptation, and it’s a delightfully diverse week for sequential art.

Adventure Time #50

Writer: Christopher Hastings
Artist: Ian McGinty
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

C'mon, grab your friends! Adventure Time has long been one of those perfect all-ages properties for which adults never need to justify their love. And with a long line of great creators involved on the page (Ryan North, Meredith Gran, etc.), the comics are no different. Adventure Time #50 is a double-packed anniversary issue, bringing on new series artist Ian McGinty, best known for his work on fellow Pendleton Ward creation Bravest Warriors and his own Welcome to Showside. Writer Christopher Hastings promises a walk back through Finn's photo albums and past lives, reminding us of the infinite possibilities offered by Adventure Time's unique cast and candy-coated setting. Tini Howard

Batman By Neal Adams Omnibus

Writers: Various
Artist: Neal Adams
Publisher: DC Comics

When we think back to classic comic iconography, there's a decent chance Batman's standing there with a bare torso, scimitar and shockingly hairy chest. Across from him leers an immortal eco-terrorist who borrows more than a few features from Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu. Batman #244 may be the most established example of illustrator Neal Adams' striking imagery. But when looking over the course of his decades-spanning output, mostly done under the DC Comics banner, it's hard to imagine the entire Silver Age of comics without Adams' dramatic physiques.

Deviating from the painterly, Victorian storybook hints of the Golden Age, Adams cast his characters in sketchy, rigid shadows, anatomical muscles swelling from the confines of flowing uniforms. He made the supermen and women under his pencil that much more super, and his influence can't be underestimated. Though his recent work has been erratic, Batman By Neal Adams Omnibus is a delicious slab of comic book history chiseled with love, glory and drama by one of its favorite sons. It may not be for the casual reader, but at $53 from Amazon for 640 pages, this appears well worth the investment. Sean Edgar

The Haunted Mansion #1

Writer:Joshua Williamson
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Anyone who's ventured to a Disney theme park knows that the Haunted Mansion houses 999 ghosts…and they're looking for the 1,000th! The House of Mouse only has so many rides divorced from existing cartoons, and with Space Mountain seemingly tied up outside of Marvel's reach, the Haunted Mansion may be the last flagship attraction primed for a Disney Kingdoms comic (remember, Splash Mountain is actually related to Disney's crowning achievement in racism, Song of the South). Thankfully, with a bibliography that includes Ghosted and Nailbiter, Joshua Williamson seems to be an ideal Doom Buggy driver, and artist Jorge Coelho has ample experience drawing otherworldly sights on books like Polarity and Sleepy Hollow. The other Disney Kingdoms books have been good, clean fun, and there's every indication that The Haunted Mansion should be a spooky delight—especially with that gorgeous E.M. Gist cover. Steve Foxe

Head Lopper #3

Writer/Artist: Andrew MacLean
Publisher: Image Comics

Andrew MacLean's Head Lopper may have a fancy quarterly release schedule of oversized issues, but that's as ostentatious as the book gets. The bastard child of metal albums, Dungeons & Dragons campaigns and Mignola's artistic influence, Head Lopper is a darkly humorous fantasy romp with plenty of the promised decapitation. This third jumbo-sized outing under the Image banner features a variant cover from MacLean's contemporary in comic-book carnage, Orc Stain auteur James Stokoe. Steve Foxe

Infinity Entity #1

Writer: Jim Starlin
Artist: Alan Davis
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The writer who received fan mail filled with joints in the '70s returns to the space oddity that helped stretch the boundaries of the most successful comic book publisher. Though he was created by Jack Kirby, Adam Warlock transformed from a cosmic Christ analogue to an anti-authoritarian revolutionary under Jim Starlin—full of piss, vinegar and LSD after a harrowing tour through Vietnam and a helicopter crash in Sicily.

Now in his '60s, Starlin joins veteran penciller Alan Davis, and Davis' frequent inker collaborate Mark Farmer, to revisit Marvel's most enigmatic cosmic deity. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is slowly nearing next year's Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and 2018's Avengers 3: Infinity War, so it's no surprise the publisher is reintroducing its intergalactic stable with increasing frequency. Including the original creators that helped shape them, however, is out of this world. Sean Edgar

Mockingbird #1

Writer: Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Niemczyk
Publisher: Marvel Comics

I personally jump for joy every time Marvel hires more women on their creative teams, and it's hard to jump any higher than I did after reading last year's Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary one-shot. Writer Chelsea Cain is back with more of the clever, Sherlockian, avoidant Bobbi Morse, joined this time by artist-on-the-rise Kate Niemczyk. Niemczyk's style is a perfect follow-up to the Bobbi established by Joelle Jones in the one-shot, and rides comfortably alongside Cain's snappy, no-nonsense dialogue. Maybe now we'll find out if Bobbi's been saying Clint's name on purpose. Tini Howard

The Only Living Boy Vol. 1: Prisoner of the Patchwork Planet

Writer: David Gallaher
Artist: Steve Ellis
Publisher: Papercutz

David Gallaher and Steve Ellis' all-ages update to the Kamandi formula reads like a love letter to adventure stories of old. Twelve-year-old Erik Farrell finds himself the titular Only Living Boy on the sub-titular Patchwork Planet, and quickly allies himself with fantasy-inspired friends against even freakier foes. Ellis' work is reminiscent of artists Dan Brereton and Howard Porter, providing a perfect action-packed complement to Gallaher's excited scripting. After a Kickstarter campaign and a self-publishing venture, Papercutz has nabbed the series to help get The Only Living Boy into the hands of boys—and girls—everywhere. Steve Foxe

Samurai: The Isle With No Name #1

Writer: Jean-François Di Giorgio
Artist: Frédéric Genet
Publisher: Titan Comics

Jean-François Di Giorgio and Frédéric Genet's bande dessinée about—you guessed it—samurai found a new English home with Titan Comics last year (a brief stint with Marvel's Soleil collaboration didn't pan out), and now Samurai is back in The Isle With No Name, an eight-issue mini-series that reintroduces readers to Takeo. Samurai relies largely on Genet's breathtaking art to tell Takeo's story, meaning little is lost in translation. Even if you skipped Titan's re-release of the original mini-series, The Isle With No Name is likely to be some of the most beautiful, poetic violence you can purchase all year. Steve Foxe

Thors TP

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Chris Sprouse
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Thors seemed to spin right out of the commentary that bubbled up when Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, stepped onto the comics scene: It won't last! Everyone's been Thor! A frog! A horse-faced alien! Bringing them all together in one book seemed an obvious choice for this summer's Secret Wars event, and yet, it turned out to be a favorite among the many tie-in miniseries. Jason Aaron is a master at writing the lofty, yet relatable, dialogue the multi-Thors, even throughout a police-procedural crime drama that hearkens back to his work on books like Scalped. Artist Chris Sprouse is no stranger to drawing the toughest heroes around (Tom Strong, anyone?), and his skill makes it easy to take the whole silly concept quite seriously—yeah, even the frog. Tini Howard

Tokyo Ghost Vol. 1: Atomic Garden

Writer: Rick Remender
Artist: Sean Murphy
Publisher: Image Comics

Since leaving the proverbial bullpen at Marvel, writer Rick Remender has committed himself fully to the marquee stable of original properties he's slowly been hatching at Image Comics. (Expect a new title announcement at Image Expo on April 6th.) Through Deadly Class, Black Science and Low, Remender has reshaped genre sci-fi and thriller staples into provocative explorations of humanity. Illustrated by Sean Gordon Murphy, Tokyo Ghost follows in that wake, and like its forebears, it lines its panels with hyper-violence, biting themes and mindfuck art.

Murphy draws characters traveling at ungodly speeds, frozen in hyper-extended exaggerations of brutality and passion. The aesthetic that defined Punk Rock Jesus and Chrononauts so well finds a new sense of harmony in this cyber-punk dystopian romance. The tale of two lovers sent from a techno-hell to storm the verdant paradise of a communal Tokyo, the title revels in Murphy's immersive world-building and bloody action. At $10, these five issues offer a startling reflection of humanity's slide into numbing isolation and potential salvation. Also: badass motorcycle chases. Sean Edgar