Comics We’re Excited About for 6/24/2015

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Prepare to go back in time.

Or forward, or in parallel universes, or whatever—it’s freakin’ comics we’re talking about here, people! But this week’s most exciting titles will take us back to some time-tested, warm-and-fuzzy locales. Take Marvel’s sequential rendering of the early-‘90s X-Men animated series. It’s a comic that features a cover that’s so nostalgia-inducing, I can practically taste the sugar-loaded, Saturday morning cereal as I write this. And for the more stone-faced readers, Marvel will launch Chris Burnham, Dennis Culver and Ramon Villalobos’ grimly rendered E is for Extinction X-Men series. Plus, we’ve got exciting releases from Dark Horse (Fight Club 2, Frankenstein Underground) and Image (we finally get to read all of Wytches in one place!)

Check them out below, and share your own picks in the comments section.



Annihilator #6

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Frazer Irving
Publisher: Legendary Comics

Annihilator, Grant Morrison’s most recent creator-owned outing, concludes this week after a bit of a delay. The miniseries touches on the creator-versus-creation plot Morrison’s been mining ever since 1988’s Animal Man #5, filtered through the Hollywood lens of his own fitful experiences with getting film projects off the ground. Frazer Irving’s haunting, fully painted pages demand patience—not that six issues in ten months is atrocious by modern standards—and the reward is an intact story without rushed art. It’s a shame Irving wasn’t involved with Morrison’s recent Multiversity event, but six issues full of mind-altering original storytelling trumps most Big Two books any day. With Sinatoro on the horizon at Black Mask Studios, Morrison seems to be embracing a wandering era of telling his own stories. Not a bad place to be 30 years into your career. Steve Foxe



Batgirl #41

Writers: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher
Artist: Babs Tarr
Publisher: DC

Nobody could have predicted how infinitely long a few months could have felt in the absence of Barbara Gordon, gloriously resurrect only five issues prior by Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher and Babs Tarr. If any one character encapsulates DC’s new marketing campaign—DC You, as in there’s a character to reflect every age and outlook—it’s Babs. Not only does she carouse and have a grand time on the town (just like us!), but she also broke the grim batcave foreboding of her vigilante family for the hipster haven of Burnside. For issue #41, the cover hints that the new Batman is charging up for some paternal discipline. With a renewed emphasis on fun and style, Batgirl remains one of the most charming, kinetic comic books to lure a larger audience to the medium. Sean Edgar



E is for Extinction #1

Writer: Chris Burnham, Dennis Culver
Artist: Ramon Villalobos
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Grant Morrison’s work might be considered hallowed ground, but this riff on his New X-Men run has potential. Penned by Morrison’s Batman Inc. co-pilot Chris Burnham and Dennis Culver, the Battleworld series takes its title from New X-Men’s opening arc and explores a realm outside of Marvel’s proper Earth 616 where humans and mutants manage to co-exist. With Secret Wars titles like Thors and Battleworld going thick on the punch-out scenes, I’m definitely looking forward to a character-heavy take on the X-Men, especially with Magneto leading the charge of this new world. Also, I’m nuts about Ramon Villalobos’ wonky take on Morrison’s New X-Men cast. Fingers crossed that this one’ll end up on my pull list for its entire run. Tyler R. Kane



Fight Club 2 #2

Writer: Chuck Palahniuk
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Between panels of scarred hands, bruised faces and exploding buildings, Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club 2 launched us head-first into Tyler Durden’s world. Issue #1 was a quick immersion into Durden’s khaki-shunning reality, but if its final panel is any indication, Fight Club 2 doesn’t have time for breathers—expect a dead sprint until its issue #10 conclusion. With the debut, Palahinuk’s grim mood has been cemented on the page. Now, I’m just happy to see where that takes us. If you haven’t already, read our cover story on Palahniuk. Tyler R. Kane



Frankenstein Underground #4

Writer: Mike Mignola
Artist: Ben Stenbeck
Publisher: Dark Horse

When Paste last spoke with Hellboy and Frankenstein Underground mastermind Mike Mignola, the godfather of the macabre described how vast the continuity of his comic kingdom has grown. Issue four of his latest projects builds new connections between his playgrounds, as the most iconic lab experiment encounters the Heliopic Brotherhood of Ra, an mystical organization that’s wound throughout Witchfinder and even a short story in The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings. For newcomers, Mignola and artist Ben Stenbeck have crafted an accessible descent into pulp madness with no sign of slowing. For those readers firmly enmeshed in Mignola’s tapestry, Frankenstein Underground offers another perspective into the dense, ornate labyrinth of the occult that’s been building since 1993. Sean Edgar



Superman #41

Writer: Gene Luen Yang
Artists: John Romita, Klaus Janson
Publisher: DC Comics

Gene Luen Yang is taking over Superman with JR Jr. and Klaus Janson! And it’s part of a giant crossover!

Anticipation of this run has definitely grown more complicated since it was first announced that the award-winning American Born Chinese creator would write the Last Son of Krypton, but even a multi-book web of tie-ins can’t dampen the excitement of DC making such a brilliant hiring decision. While it’s reductive to call Superman an “immigrant” (he doesn’t exactly face the same challenges as real-world immigrants who don’t possess heat vision and invulnerability), Yang has a singular talent in navigating stories of cultural clashes and exchanges. Hopefully Yang will stick around long after the angsty, buzzcut Superman goes the way of the morose, mullet Superman and we’ll get the opportunity to see what he brings to the table unencumbered by editorial decree. Steve Foxe



We Are Robin #1

Writer: Lee Bermejo
Artists: Rob Haynes, Khary Randolph
Publisher: DC Comics

The recent “DC You” campaign has generated a lot of excitement for fresh takes (Black Canary, Dr. Fate), but it’s pretty light on fresh faces (Doomed, anyone?). Lee Bermejo, Rob Haynes and Khary Randolph’s We Are Robin aims to tip that balance with hundreds of new characters…all of them Robins. Bermejo-as-writer is still a relatively untested development, but Gotham has earned endless goodwill with fans, and nothing seems to excite a certain segment of Batman devotees as much as seeing new kids take up the Robin mantle. The diverse cast and street-level, youth-empowerment theme feels timely enough to position this as the new breakout book for the booming Bat-line. Steve Foxe



Wytches Vol. 1 Trade Paperback

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Publisher: Image Comics

We’ve promoted most monthly issues of Wytches, and with good reason: Scott Snyder, Jock and colorist Matt Hollingsworth have pulled one of the best original horror comics in years from the depths of parental anxiety. The recent first-arc finale quieted any pacing or story qualms we may have had, and made a good case for reading this series in big, meaty chunks. Thankfully, Image is continuing one of its smartest recent business decisions—budget-priced $9.99 initial trades for popular series. If you missed the Wytches hype the first time around, now is your chance to catch up before Snyder, Jock and Hollingsworth summon up the second arc. Just don’t read it in a heavily wooded area. Steve Foxe



X-Men ‘92 #1

Writers: Chris Sims, Chad Bowers
Artist: Scott Koblish
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Who knew that recapping every episode of the early ‘90s X-Men cartoon could get you a job writing the early ‘90s X-Men cartoon? I’ll get started on Golden Girls recaps if anyone’s willing to let me continue the adventures of Dorothy and the gang in comic form…

Comics Alliance’s Chris Sims, joined by co-writer Chad Bowers and artist Scott Koblish, have a field day with this digital-first title, capturing the radically extreme excitement of the X-Men’s most popular era with all the fun new toys of the last 20 years. Sims is a well-documented Grant Morrison fan, so it’s no surprise when New X-Men-era characters pop up. The absurdity of seeing Morrison creations in the same setting that brought us mallrat Jubilee and Ragin’ Cajun Gambit only adds to this book’s madcap appeal, even if the Secret Wars tie-in elements feel incongruous by comparison. This is the next-best thing to owning a working time machine set for 1992. Steve Foxe