The 35 Most Anticipated Comics of 2017

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The Wild Storm

Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: February 15

It's a risky move to revisit titles that wrapped perfectly in decades past—particularly Warren Ellis' Planetary and The Authority. In those series, superheroes blended with other genres in a thinky stew that reads just as well today. But in comics, it's impossible to keep a corporate-owned universe down, and this return to the Wildstorm universe (now owned by DC) has one huge thing going for it: having Warren Ellis return to the helm alongside Clean Room artist Jon Davis-Hunt, writing this flagship series and overseeing the line. Tell me you aren't at least a little excited to see Jenny Sparks back in action. Mark Peters
Jon Davis-Hunt

The Power of the Dark Crystal

Writer: Si Spurrier
Artists: Kelly and Nichole Matthews
Publisher: Archaia/ BOOM! Studios
Release Date: February 15

After years of Adventure Time, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and even Lost Boys, it's easy to forget that licensed comics were once seen largely as subpar cash-grabs and not genuine extensions of their source material. Archaia has shepherded the Dark Crystal license for years, and now the publisher is venturing beyond spin-offs to present an official continuation of Jim Henson's dark fantasy saga, based on an unproduced script from David Odell, Annette Odell and Craig Pearce. Writer Si Spurrier has one of the more eclectic bibliographies in comics, ranging from a shockingly great Legion solo title to original sci-fi/fantasy tales like the Eisner-nominated The Spire, and artistic duo Kelly and Nichole Matthews made an impressive fantasy debut last year with Toil and Trouble. The last time Archaia published an unproduced Jim Henson project, the world got the Eisner-nominated A Tale of Sand and the major-league debut of Ramon Perez. Expect The Power of the Dark Crystal to aspire to similar heights. Steve Foxe
Jae Lee

The Old Guard

Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: February 22

Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez are teaming up for the story of soldiers with an unusual quality: they can't die. Seems likely immortality isn't going to be a day at the park for these old warhounds, who will likely make Nick Fury's Howling Commandos look like the Power Pack. The premise alone has us excited: Rucka has proven he can write a compelling semi-immortal warrior in Lazarus, one of the best recent Image series. Fernandez showed he was a capable collaborator for war stories (including wars that don't end) when he teamed with Garth Ennis for some Punisher MAX arcs. This one should be gory and great. Mark Peters
Leandro Fernandez

Bullseye, Elektra & Kingpin

Writers: Ed Brisson, Marv Wolfman, Matt Owens, Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Guillermo Sana, Alec Morgan, Juan Cabal, Ben Torres
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: February

Marvel can occasionally operate on a delay: while Charles Soule and Ron Garney's Daredevil featured an Elektra storyline alongside the second season of the Netflix hornhead hit, Jessica Jones didn't return to shelves until months after her streaming debut. This trio of launches starring three of Daredevil's most iconic foils follows suit. Kingpin is the best-known quantity here, as Civil War II tie-in writer Matthew Rosenberg returns to the burly criminal mastermind with new artist Ben Torres for a continuing series. The Violent scribe Ed Brisson makes his Marvel mark alongside artist Guillermo Sana (with back-ups from legendary creator Marv Wolfman and Midnighter artist Alec Morgan) for calculating assassin Bullseye's solo mini-series and Luke Cage screenwriter Matt Owens teams with Juan Cabal to give Elektra a new spin more in line with her portrayal by actress Elodie Yung. Marvel has a tendency to rapidly inflate sections of its publishing line when it senses potential success—at least two Iron Fist series are on the way, with Defenders also on the horizon—but with the Netflix shows continuing apace and the steady sales of Soule and Garney's diabolical vigilante lawyer, this street-level sweep seems well-advised. Steve Foxe
Elizabeth Torque


Writer/Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson
Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics
Release Date: March 1

Space Mullet's Daniel Warren Johnson has long been one of the comic industry's best-kept secrets, an "artist's artist" who hadn't quite broken through to the wider readership. Extremity, his violent, bizarre Skybound debut, should finally rectify that travesty. Like an outer-space Fury Road, Extremity is a bloody, fast-paced tale of tribal warfare in a sci-fi world that never conquered class stratification. And like Fury Road's George Miller, Johnson thrusts his readers right into protagonist Thea's revenge-driven conflict at breakneck speed. Steve Foxe
Daniel Warren Johnson

California Dreamin'

Writer/Artist: Penelope Bagieu
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: March 7

Publisher First Second has progressed nicely as a home for funny, honest biographies, auto or otherwise. Box Brown's graphic novels about wrestler Andre the Giant and Tetris founder Alexey Pajitnov showed how well the medium suited nonfiction dives into real lives, not to mention Lucy Knisley's charming reflection of married life and food in, respectively, Something New and Relish. In March, French cartoonist Penelope Bagieu will add to that legacy wth the follow-up to her disarming dramedy Exquisite Corpse with California Dreamin', about The Mamas & the Papas member and solo artist "Ma" Cass Elliot. Most fiction pales to the classic rock exploits of the late '60s and early '70s, and Cass' journey is no exception. The artist provided some of the most delicate, lasting harmonies of the era as she battled substance abuse and struggled with self-image issues. Bagieu's humanity and emotion should usher this story to sequential art beautifully, promising one of the water-cooler breakouts for comics. Sean Edgar
Penelope Bagieu

Grass Kings

Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Tyler Jenkins
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: March 8

Matt Kindt and Tyler Jenkins' upcoming BOOM! Studios ongoing is set in the "Grass Kingdom" a trailer-park community established off the grid, separated from the town of Cargill by a foreboding lake that holds threatening secrets. The cast is sprawling, with brothers Robert, Bruce and Ashur taking center stage in both a Twin Peaks-ian murder mystery and a conflict with Cargill's sheriff, Humbert, who objects to the Grass Kingdom's less-than-lawful existence. Kindt's consistency is well established by now, which positions Jenkins to be Grass King's breakout star. His recent work on Snow Blind showed off an understanding of rural locales, and his loose lines and evocative watercolors should lend the book a slightly ethereal air fitting for its remote setting and central mysteries. Steve Foxe
Tyler Jenkins

American Gods: Shadows

Writers: Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
Artist: Scott Hampton
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 15

A decade and a half after first being published, American Gods is going to be inescapable this year. Between the TV show and this new comic, Neil Gaiman's story of mythology and modern life falls all over the pop culture landscape. P. Craig Russell will be guiding the adaptation, which is promising as his library includes such other Gaiman collaborations and extensions as Sandman, Lucifer and the Coraline comic. Glenn Fabry will lend his chiseled, dynamic covers while Sandman alum Scott Hampton will illustrate interiors. Caitlin Rosberg
Glenn Fabry


Writers: Marguerite Bennett, James Tynion IV
Artist: Steve Epting
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: March 15

Regardless of how you felt about the last Batwoman run, the lack of a solo title has been glaring given her central role in multiple books and her high-profile status as one of the few queer heroes in comics. But the sheer fact that Kate Kane is stepping into the spotlight again is enough to warrant our attention. The creative team only bolsters that enthusiasm: with Marguerite Bennett and James Tynion IV writing Kane's next adventures, the character not only has a woman curating her narrative, but also queer-identified people on the creative staff. Some of the biggest disappointments in the past few years, especially for Kane, have come from attempts at diversity without authenticity. Adding Steve Epting's evocative, textured art certainly doesn't hurt matters, and the book cements in no uncertain terms that Batwoman has a new, integral role in the DC universe. Caitlin Rosberg
Steve Epting

Sticks Angelica, Folk Hero

Write/Artist: Michael DeForge
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Release Date: March 21

This hardback collects the titular webcomic, started in 2013 as a platform for restless experimenter Michael DeForge to play with form. Most of the strips are two panels high by four panels wide, and all have the same proportions and the same two-color scheme of pink and black. Within those restrictions, DeForge weaves a weird narrative about the boundaries between civilization and the wilderness. Hillary Brown
Michael DeForge