Comics We're Excited About for 4/27/2016

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Comics We're Excited About for 4/27/2016

April showers bring May flowers (or so the cliché goes), but this final comic shipment of the month also means bidding farewell to one of DC’s most consistent series of the last five years: Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Batman. While Snyder won’t be stepping away from Gotham for too long, Capullo’s hiatus is indefinite until his creator-owned title with writer Mark Millar gets a title and release date.

Luckily, the week isn’t marked solely by goodbyes. Black Mask breakout Matthew Rosenberg launches his quirkily named 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank with artist Tyler Boss, IDW corners the nostalgia market with a new Micronauts series, gonzo mash-up Bartkira hits print and Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens unnerves the shiz out of all of us with Panther. Just make sure to dry your bat-tears before they stain any of your other shiny new comics.

4 Kids Walk Into a Bank #1

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Tyler Boss
Publisher: Black Mask Comics

Does writer Matthew Rosenberg have a standing bet that he can pull off longer, more baldly descriptive titles than anyone else in comics? First he offered We Can Never Go Home (in which two teens make decisions that prevent them from ever going home), and now 4 Kids Walk Into a Bank, which introduces a cast of four kids likely to enter a bank before this miniseries concludes. Pitched as "Wes Anderson remaking Reservoir Dogs," this first issue already hints at a potentially heartbreaking tightrope between quirk and melancholy, perfectly captured by cartoonist Tyler Boss's impeccable attention to emotional acting. 4 Kids is a logical next step for Rosenberg after WCNGH, but readers of Fraction and Aja's Hawkguy are also likely to feel right at home with the book's oddball captions and Boss' smart style. Steve Foxe

Aliens: Defiance #1

Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Tristan Jones
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Ridley Scott's Prometheus confounded more than it delighted, but Dark Horse Comics has found success in uniting its Alien-related properties even as the IP's film future remains up in the air. Following on the heels of the Fire and Stone crossover, Aliens: Defiance launches another multi-book arc that brings together Aliens, Predators and…Prometheuses? At any rate, veteran science-fiction scripter Brian Wood is piloting the Weyland-Yutani ship this time around, with ink-slinger Tristan Jones bringing the Xenomorphs to horrific, slobbering life. Steve Foxe

Angela: Queen of Hel #7

Writer: Marguerite Bennett
Artists: Aaron Kim Jacinto, Stephanie Hans
Publisher: Marvel Comics

It seems only fitting that Marvel's biggest Beyoncé fan (Angela's lady love, Sera) would say farewell on the week that Lemonade drops. Indeed, it almost seemed too good to be true, as the high-fantasy supercouple of Angela and Sera moved from realm to realm, surviving Asgard's Assassin, an epic 1602-themed Secret Wars miniseries and even a reign in Hel. But all good things must come to an end, as any comics fan knows. You can bet I'll be there to say goodbye to my favorite Asgardian girlfriends in their final (for now) issue. Tini Howard

Bartkira: Nuclear Edition

Editors: James Harvey, Alex Jaffe

Whatever fever dream inspired editors James Harvey and Alex Jaffe (both artists on We Are Robin) and creator Ryan Humphrey to concoct Bartkira—a retelling of Katsuhiro Otomo's flesh-contorting manga masterpiece using Simpsons characters—has remained surprisingly potent. The online project seems like the kind of comic that would sound transcendental over a few drinks, but nigh-impossible to execute. Bartkira invites anyone who can draw to contribute a few pages to this post-modern adventure, mimicking a surreal art gallery of neon destruction draped around cartoon whimsy. Legally, the project has avoided cease-and-desists from both Simpsons overlord Matt Groening and Otomo, likely aided by the fact that all proceeds go to two charities favored by the original works' creators. The project has run through four of the six planned volumes, but Bartkira: Nuclear Edition offers a print edition best-of from what's come thus far. For sale at Floating World Comics's website, Bartkira is a passionate, weird pop-culture anomaly situated firmly outside the mainstream's grasp, even while taking full advantage of its fruits. Sean Edgar

Batman #51

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics

As DC Comics approaches the second line-wide reboot rebirth of its editorial slate in five years, we can look back at the second-biggest superhero publisher's New 52 era and state, without question, that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's work on Batman remains the clear high point. Snyder carried over much of the rich, metaphoric prose stylings of his previous career, tempered by Capullo's pureblood comics action, which challenged his new partner to embrace the lithe visual rhythm of the medium. Batman arguably flourished most during its first two story arcs—"The Court of Owls" and "Death of the Family"—though all issues thus far have challenged the character, and concept, in new and dark ways. This chapter marks Capullo and Snyder's final collaboration on Batman before the writer moves onto another Dark Knight series—All Star Batman—with a host of rotating artists, and Capullo joins writer Mark Millar for an unannounced creator-owned venture. These two managed the cape and cowl with intelligence and took epic risks (like putting Jim Gordon in a Batman mech). Shutting off the Bat Signal for this pair won't be easy. Sean Edgar

Camp Midnight

Writer: Steven T. Seagle
Artist: Jason Adam Katzenstein
Publisher: Image Comics

When comics are branded "all-ages," I like to take that seriously. I may be 30, but that's an age, darn it, and sometimes I just want to turn my adult brain off and enjoy a perfect kids' book—which is why I'm all about Camp Midnight. Writer Steven T. Seagle is best known for his work on a little Marvel book you may have heard of called Big Hero 6, and as a co-creator of cartoon juggernaut Ben 10. New Yorker illustrator Jason Adam Katzenstein brings his cartooning knowhow to the story of Skye, who ends up feeling really out of place when she's mistakenly sent to a summer camp full of monsters. With a premise like that, Camp Midnight is going right on my summer reads list. Tini Howard

Doctor Strange: Last Days of Magic

Writers: Jason Aaron, James Robinson, Gerry Duggan
Artists: Danilo Beyruth, Mike Perkins, Afu Chan
Publisher: Marvel Comics

The All-New, All-Different Marvel Universe can feel more like a collection of tonally disparate fiefdoms than a cohesive universe. Maybe this is intentional; after Jonathan Hickman's nihilistic cosmic Secret Wars, the world's biggest publisher is testing the waters with more age-appropriate, accessible fare. That said, Marvel's magicians are slowly cleaving out their own niche with style and drama, creating a new realm avoided during the era of former EIC Joe Quesada. Jason Aaron is spearheading that movement through Doctor Strange, where the titular sorcerer recently encountered a new foe hellbent on erasing the very concept of magic. This one-shot shows how that crucial threat plays out against other spell-slingers like Brother Voodoo and Scarlet Witch. Whatever—let's just see the new superhero group with Strange, Voodoo, Scarlet and Magik. It's in our scrying pool. Sean Edgar

The Fiction TPB

Writer: Curt Pires
Artist: David Rubín
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

The Fiction dropped just a moment too early to fully capitalize on its two rising stars. Curt Pires, one of the youngest working writers in comics today, has further entrenched his brand of mindfuckery at upstart publisher Black Mask Comics, and Spanish cartoonist David Rubín's astounding two-part magnum opus The Hero is now available in English from Dark Horse. This BOOM! Studios collaboration sees both creators firing on all cylinders as four friends discover that reading aloud from a strange collection of books allows them to actually enter the fictional worlds contained within. Pires' script is heady, but Rubín's visuals alone make The Fiction worth the journey. Steve Foxe

Micronauts #1

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: David Baldeon
Publisher: IDW Publishing

Micronauts is one of those books that you're either here for, or you're not. Nostalgia for the Marvel Comics tie-in has long outlived the actual '70s toy line it was based on, and rights changes have created confusing continuity issues leaving characters like Bug and Arcturus Rann under Disney control. Not to mention, former action figures Acroyear and Baron Karza (along with the Micronauts name itself) have floated between publishers over the years. Expert licensee IDW is the latest to take a crack at the time travelers, enlisting prolific scribe Cullen Bunn and energetic artist David Baldeon to revive the property's miniature magic. While the slate is clean for new fans, this book is absolutely best enjoyed by the diehards who've been holding a Micronauts torch for 30-odd years. You've earned it. Steve Foxe


Writer/Artist: Brecht Evens
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

Let's cut to the chase: Panther is fucking terrifying. Belgian cartoonist Brecht Evens covers similar terrain as his previous graphic novel, Night Animals, showing the perils of little girls cavorting with storybook monsters. In this lush, watercolored fever dream, adolescent Christine bonds with the talking, titular cat who emerges from the lowest drawer of her dresser. Panther regales Christine with fanciful tales of Pantherland before parading a medley of red flags, including emotional co-dependency, inappropriate touching and sketchy, sketchy, sketchy friends. As their time together grows, Panther stretches comic-book tension to its most affecting extremes, and attempting to reveal a metaphor or resolution is equally unnerving. Like some unholy love child between Winnie the Pooh and Harmony Korine, Panther is a harrowing comic event for 2016. Sean Edgar

Wet Moon Vol. 1: Feeble Wanderings New Edition

Writer/Artist: Sophie Campbell
Publisher: Oni Press

As a fan of Jem and the Holograms, I'm always eager to see more of artist Sophie Campbell's early work—it's every bit as beautiful, but with an unchecked rawness. Wet Moon Vol. 1 is a slice of main character Cleo's life as she heads off for college and connects with a whole new cast. The moon itself gives the whole story a bit of magic and mystery, touching on a thread of emotional unease that works through the whole book. As always with Campbell's work, the star of the show is her skill at rendering so many diverse bodies—and this new edition's beautiful Annie Mok cover doesn't hurt, either. Tini Howard