Comics We're Excited About for 5/11/2016

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Comics We're Excited About for 5/11/2016

Welcome to the post-Civil War world, Stucky-shippers and Iron Man truthers. One could even say it’s a new dawn for doing justice to comic book properties on the big screen. Cheap shots aside, Civil War opened big this past weekend, and a rising tide potentially lifts all ships. When curious new readers venture into comic shops or bookstores (or, let’s be honest, Amazon) searching for Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s source material, perhaps they’ll be enticed to pick up something else—like an out-there meditation on a magical-realist New York, a prison dramedy starring giant monsters or a Southern-fried crime saga. Or maybe movie-goers will just stick to movies, and we’ll keep on recommending comics the old-fashioned way: click-bait listicles.

Agatha: The Real Life of Agatha Christie GN

Writers: Anne Martinetti, Guillaume Lebeau
Artist: Alexandre Franc
Publisher: SelfMadeHero

Agatha Christie is a whodunnit legend, and a pioneer in the history of women writers (Gillian Flynn likely owes her a debt, among many others). With this gorgeously cartooned story of Christie's life behind the typewriter, readers can discover the fascinating true events that helped inspire her impressive bibliography. Artist Alexandre Franc's clean, inviting linework is reminiscent of fellow SelfMadeHero talent I.N.J. Culbard, and the script from Anne Martinetti and Guillaume Lebeau clips along as the book traces a wide swath of Christie's exciting personal life. Steve Foxe

Batman #52

Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: DC Comics

Longtime dynamic duo Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo said goodbye to their Batman run with last month's Batman #51. It was a solid end to a great run. So with this follow-up, the final Batman story before the events of DC's Rebirth initiative, we could be in for anything. Fans of writer James Tynion IV will recall from his work on the Batman Annuals that he likes to go spooky, and isn't afraid to get truly weird in Gotham. With that smirking Batman on the cover... I'm intrigued. And a little scared. Tini Howard

Black Panther #2

Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Brian Stelfreeze
Publisher: Marvel Comics

In the past month, we received the debut of Black Panther's new series by National Book Award-winning writer Ta-Nehisi Coates and comics legend Brian Stelfreeze, as well as the character's big-screen debut in Captain America: Civil War. T'Challa's an A-lister now, and we're not worthy. Last month's first issue was almost too good, bringing Marvel fans back to Wakanda with lofty intensity as the country borders on a supernatural insurgence. Catch up now with issue 2, and tide yourself over until next year's Black Panther standalone film. Tini Howard

Kaijumax Season 2 #1

Writer/Artist: Zander Cannon
Publisher: Oni Press

"There's nothing else like it," is often hyperbole, but it's an understatement when it comes to Zander Cannon's Kaijumax. Equal parts Godzilla and Orange is the New Black, Kaijumax is a prison dramedy starring towering titans of nuclear proportions, experiencing relatable struggles from the perspective of a living skyscraper. Season 2 kicks off with Red Humungo out on parole and trying to live by the law...despite his deadbeat brother Green Humungo hiding out in his home alongside fellow escapee Electrogor. Cannon's clean cartooning imparts an impressive sense of scale without sacrificing visual humor. Truly, there's nothing else like it. Steve Foxe

The Massive Library Edition Vol. 1

Writer: Brian Wood
Artists: Garry Brown, Kristian Donaldson, Gary Erksine, Declan Shalvey, Danijel Zezelj
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

One can't help but view the events within the The Massive as unapologetically prophetic. Writer Brian Wood spins a compelling narrative built on an international crew searching for its lost sister ship, but the real star here is a planet in environmental hospice. Captain Callum Israel bears witness to a symphony of tidal waves, a graveyard of marine life and a human species desperately clinging to survival. Like its searingly relevant themes, this library edition is epic—15 issues, 400 pages, 8 x 12 inches. It's heavy in every way possible, rendered with scope and restraint by Garry Brown, Kristian Donaldson, Gary Erksine, Declan Shalvey and Danijel Zezelj. The Massive isn't escapist fiction—it's a dissection of our impending doom and the steps we can take to maintain some semblance of hope. Highly recommended. Sean Edgar

Night Air GN

Writer/Artist: Ben Sears
Publisher: Koyama Press

Imagine Adventure Time crossed with Mos Eisley Cantina and a Scooby Doo haunted-house caper and you're not far off from Night Air by cartoonist Ben Sears. When rascally Plus Man and his long-suffering robot sidekick get wind of some hidden loot, the odd couple sets off at once to wrastle it up. Confident world-building from Sears makes this introductory volume feel like the latest outing from a familiar pair, and the rambunctious kid/ straight-man robot buddy dynamic will help this Koyama release appeal to readers of all ages. Steve Foxe

Pop Gun War: Gift TPB

Writer/Artist: Farel Dalrymple
Publisher: Image Comics

A line drawn by Farel Dalrymple is unmistakable. Whether through his oddball Marvel collaboration with Jonathan Lethem, Omega the Unknown, or his volatile post-apocalyptic fairy tale, The Wrenchies, the cartoonist contorts nostalgia and Silver Age genre into something unabashedly raw. Children warriors look like they've run marathons through nuclear strikes, classic superhero costumes are always one clothespin away from unraveling. Pop Gun War, initially published through Dark Horse in 2003, marks the beginning of Dalrymple's exploration between the pure and the abrasive. In these pages, a young boy discovers a pair of angel wings and ascends through a New York City that veers between surreal and mundane at the turn of an avenue. Pop Gun War is a fantastic opening salvo from one of comics' coolest voices, and Image's new 5-issue reprint offers an accessible way to hear it at its brazen start. Sean Edgar

Satellite Falling #1

Writer: Steve Horton
Artist: Stephen Thompson
Publisher: IDW Publishing

IDW is mostly known for their big-name licensed titles: Jem and the Holograms, Star Trek and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles among them. But they've been steadily putting out a great slate of creator-owned books, like this month's Satellite Falling. A female-led space opera, Satellite Falling follows a human bounty hunter through a world of otherworldly and strange aliens. Stephen Thompson's art offers truly weird designs that promise to captivate the reader issue after issue. Tini Howard

Southern Bastards #14

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Jason Latour
Publisher: Image Comics

Jason Aaron calls no genre home—he can pivot from the all-ages science fiction of Star Wars to the heretic barbarianism in The Goddamned seamlessly, with room left over for the feminist Norse epic of The Mighty Thor or mysticism of Doctor Strange. Most readers became familiar with the writer through Scalped, though, a winding 60-issue crime saga that resembles noir TV gold like True Detective or The Wire more than most comics. Southern Bastards carries that legacy boldly; the ongoing series illustrated by Jason Latour captures a small Alabama town ruled by bloodshed and high school football. Even though (spoiler alert) initial hero Earl Tubb may have reached a shocking, premature end at the first arc's conclusion, his daughter, Roberta, arrives this issue from a tour of war to bring the battle to the malicious coach who slew her kin. Overflowing with deep-fried culture and sucker-punch plot beats, Southern Bastards is cause for joy no matter its infrequency. Sean Edgar

Twilight Children TPB

Writer: Gilbert Hernandez
Artist: Darwyn Cooke
Publisher: Vertigo/DC Comics

Vertigo launched a wide-ranging slate of new titles last fall. Unfortunately, this now-concluded mini-series seems to have been the best-received of the bunch, rather than any of the imprint's potential ongoings (though The Sheriff of Babylon may certainly change that). Hopefully Twilight Children will prove to be a perennial seller for beleaguered Vertigo: Gilbert Hernandez' twisting tale of a blinding orb, a mysterious woman and government intrigue is perfectly realized by cartoonist Darwyn Cooke's angular, '50s-influenced style (and colorist Dave Stewart's expert palette), creating an accomplished exercise in mood and atmosphere. Steve Foxe