Comics We’re Excited About For 5/20/2015

Comics Lists
Share Tweet Submit Pin

Our head comics editor, Sean Edgar, might be off in the mountains enjoying nature and friends, but Steve Foxe and I plan on focusing on what matters: this week’s new releases.

While Marvel’s Secret Wars just kicked off, another beloved comic event is coming to a first-arc finale. Scott Snyder and Jock’s spooky Wytches tale is set to vanish after wrapping up its first arc this week, but there’s still plenty to look forward to once it’s gone. Say Anything frontman Max Bemis has a hilarious, nostalgic look at the ‘90s with Oh, Killstrike and Mark Waid returns to his satirical superhero roots with Insufferable. Check them all out below, and share your own favorites in the comments section.



A-Force #1

Writers: G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett
Artist: Jorge Molina
Publisher: Marvel Comics

From the moment A-Force was announced on The View (or leaked the day before, anyway), fans have been clamoring for G. Willow Wilson, Marguerite Bennett and Jorge Molina’s all-female Avengers squad. Members of the comic community, many of them freshly inked with #NonCompliant tattoos, are finally having important discussions about the representation of women in comics, making this the perfect time to put compelling writers like Wilson and Bennett behind the wheel of a book the celebrates female strength and teamwork. Molina’s expressive linework is ideal for keeping the large cast of characters (many of them clad in their most famous former outfits—I’m looking at you, Disco Dazzler) visually distinct. This book is bound to be a target for regressive boneheads with a grudge, but the creators involved are reason enough to trust that it will stand above the hype and the hate. Fingers crossed that the outpouring of fan excitement carries this Battleworld book through to an ongoing series once Secret Wars has wrapped. Steve Foxe



Insufferable #1

Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Peter Krause
Publisher: IDW

Before Mark Waid shot back into the spotlight with his character-redefining run on Daredevil, the veteran writer found success with a pair of critically acclaimed superhero books of his own invention at BOOM! Studios. Irredeemable and Incorruptible relied heavily on their Captain Ersatz premises (Superman is evil!), but Waid’s deft touch and a cadre of quality artists made these titles worthy alternatives to Big Two cape sagas. Insufferable sees Waid reunited, now at IDW, with his Irredeemable collaborator Peter Krause for what looks to be a more tongue-in-cheek premise: what if Robin grew up to be an asshole and Batman hated working with him? Waid is about to be very busy steering an optimistic iteration of the Avengers franchise for Marvel, so expect him to get his nastier kicks out of the way in this independent series. Steve Foxe



Kaptara #2

Writer: Chip Zdarsky
Artist: Kagan McLeod
Publisher: Image Comics

A perfect jumping-on point for people who’ve read issue one! – Image

That’s a pretty funny joke about comic advertising, but there’s some truth in Image’s most recent solicitation for Kaptara. The Chip Zdarsky-penned sci-fi tale made me laugh my ass off from the cover alone—the cover’s subtitle was, “Space, why you gotta be like that?”—and issue #2 seems to be off to the same start. If you haven’t jumped on-board to Zdarsky’s “gay Saga,” now’s the time. And, y’know—issue 2. Pretty good jumping-on point. Tyler R. Kane



Mad Max: Fury Road: Nux & Immortan Joe #1

Writers: George Miller & Various
Artists: Riccardo Burchielli, Leandro Fernandez
Publisher: Vertigo/ DC Comics

Mad Max: Fury Road got an unexpected bump from “hotly anticipated” to “I WILL TRAMPLE MY GRANDMOTHER TO SEE THIS MOVIE” after a barely intelligible MRA rant helped advertise the film’s feminist elements, specifically that Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa is every bit the lead (if not more so) than Tom Hardy’s Max Rockatansky. It doesn’t hurt that reviews have been almost unanimously stellar for director George Miller’s explosive franchise revival. One of the movie’s greatest strengths is its refusal to over-explain its drought-ravaged world, but if you left the theater dying to know more about Hugh Keays-Byrne’s disgusting warlord Immortan Joe or Nicholas Hoult’s fanatical War Boy Nux, this one-shot, illustrated by Vertigo pros Riccardo Burchielli and Leandro Fernandez, promises to fill in some of the blanks. Steve Foxe



Oh, Killstrike #1

Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Logan Faerber
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Say Anything frontman Max Bemis and Logan Faerber stopped blushing about their ‘90s comic collection in time for this four-part series from BOOM! Oh Killstrike #1 is a hilarious book that unpacks the story of Jared—new father, former Killstrike fan and responsibility-shirking husband. After discovering that one of his old copies of Killstrike is going for a fortune in online auctions, Jared returns to his mother’s attic, where he unpacks his own collection. The only problem is, the pages of his books literally contain Killstrike, an impossibly muscly mercenary who’s out to claim vengeance on—well, pretty much anyone. The comics that will follow are funny trips down memory lane, but like Bemis’ Polarity, the amount of personal depth and heart is clear from the start. Tyler R. Kane



Planet Hulk #1

Writers: Sam Humphries, Greg Pak
Artists: Marc Laming, Takeshi Miyagawa
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Marvel’s mega-massive summer crossover finally kicks into high gear this week after months of time running out, and offerings look…broad. Some tie-ins clearly feature “our” versions of characters confronting the newly mishmashed Battleworld, and some, like Planet Hulk, look to go their own bonkers-fun directions with a cast of alternate-world heroes in extreme situations. Building on Greg Pak & co’s Hulk run from nearly a decade ago, Sam Humphries and Marc Lambing’s explore what might have happened if Hulk had won his World War, and the result is the most literal Planet Hulk possible. The land is awash in Gamma-irradiated anger management problems and this version of Steve Rogers, looking like a brave barbarian atop his Devil Dinosaur steed, is humanity’s last hope. DC’s Convergence event stuck to a very standard formula: previous DCU eras face Elseworlds intrusion under the dome. Secret Wars looks like more of a smorgasbord of creators letting their imaginations run wild in all different directions. That’s a good thing. Steve Foxe



Secret Wars: Battleworld #1

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Paco Medina
Publisher: Marvel Comics

If Spider-verse is the ultimate tale of Spider-excess, M.O.D.O.K. gets his turn in Battleworld #1. Battleworld is a short-running series that’s set to explore alternate takes on heroes within Secret Wars, and its second story is set to include every. friggin’. M.O.D.O.K. ever. But fans’ll first have to read through a story of Dr. Strange possessing the Punisher. Patience! These books promise all the action that won’t fit in other Secret Wars titles.Tyler R. Kane



Ultimate End #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mark Bagley
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Marvel’s beleaguered Ultimate line has been threatening to end for years. This isn’t even the first time Ultimate Spider-Man creators Brian Michael Bendis and Mark Bagley have reunited to destroy it. Given the premise of Secret Wars (and Miles Morales’ place on the new Avengers squad), this death sentence feels final. There’s no debating that the Ultimate line changed the entire landscape of comics (much of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s success rests on the Ultimate template for modernizing classic characters) but it has served its purpose and earned a final farewell. The appeal of Ultimate End is twofold, then: Bendis and Bagley are the best possible duo to send the universe off fondly and with respect, and the kill count is likely to top the much-maligned Ultimatum since there’s no guarantee that anyone besides Miles is making it out of this one alive. Steve Foxe



Valhalla Mad #1

Writer: Joe Casey
Artist: Paul Maybury
Publisher: Image Comics

Paul Maybury is a talented artist whose last Image outing, the high fantasy Sovereign with writer Chris Roberson, failed to find a sustainable audience and faded out after only one arc. Joe Casey, one of comic’s most consistently entertaining mad men, should hopefully keep this running a bit longer. Valhalla Mad covers some familiar four-color territory (gods running amok on Earth), and high-concept surprises aren’t really Casey’s style, but the promise of drunken fantasy revelries should put this on the radar of anyone lamenting Skullkickers’ impending finale. Let’s hope this one goes the way of Sex and sticks around for a while. Steve Foxe



Wytches #6

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Jock
Publisher: Image Comics

Scott Snyder has always been a professed Stephen King fan, and that influence has never loomed larger over Snyder’s writing than in Wytches. The bare bones plot summary could apply to some of King’s most-loved works: a troubled writer in a small New England town struggles to save his family against a classic horror threat made newly terrifying. What sets Wytches apart from the slew of similarly King-inspired tales is the distorted, haunting artwork from Jock, made even eerier by Matt Hollingsworth’s wild splatters of color. Every page, even the most mundane scene, feels murky, off-kilter, and sinister. The story so far, driven by small-town conspiracies, a headstrong and troubled daughter, and grotesque, primal reimaginings of the witch myth, has been building slowly (perhaps too slowly) to this oversized first arc finale. It seems likely that Wytches will read best in trade, but who’s patient enough to wait that long for nightmares of this caliber? Steve Foxe