The 35 Most Anticipated Comics of 2017

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The Stone Heart: The Nameless City Book 2

Writer/Aritst: Faith Erin Hicks
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: April 4

Faith Erin Hicks has already proved her skill at diagramming the fantastic and the intimate in previous projects The Adventures of Superhero Girl and Friends with Boys, but The Nameless City trilogy is a much more ambitious effort than she's tackled before both in subject matter and scope. Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra will see similarities between these books and the shows, but they both share some of the best all-ages writing available. The first entry contains many of the same themes as classic YA literature including The Chronicles of Prydain and His Dark Materials. Hicks gives young adults a story full of nuance and emotional weight, characters with depth and heart facing problems with dire ramifications. Her stellar artwork has only improved in the last few years since she started the trilogy, and Jordie Bellaire's vibrant colors bring the Nameless City to life. Caitlin Rosberg
Faith Erin Hicks

Everything Is Flammable

Write/Artist: Gabrielle Bell
Publisher: Uncivilized Boks
Release Date: April 18

There's never enough Gabrielle Bell (The Voyeurs, Truth Is Fragmentary) in the world, but this 160-page story should help with that problem. What it's about is less important than who made it, but the story revolves around a fire that ignited in Belle's Mom's house. Plus: color! Hillary Brown
Gabrielle Bell


Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Lisandro Estherren
Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics
Release Date: April 19

Donny Cates evidently has a thing for bloodsuckers and a strong streak of Southern pride. Following his Heavy Metal sci-fi vamp-fest Interceptor and recent, highly praised Image debut God Country, Cates teams with Last Contract artist Lisandro Estherren to bring those interests together under a pun so perfect, it's a shock it hasn't been trademarked already. We don't know too much yet about the April-debuting series beyond the premise: a Texas vampire clan's long peaceful existence running a barbecue joint and surviving off cows' blood comes to an end when an old feud reignites. But with Cates' impressively fast rise and Estherren's RM Guera-esque linework, Redneck looks like another high-concept Skybound success in the making, and a treat for fans of American Vampire and From Dusk Till Dawn. Steve Foxe
Lisandro Estherren

Aliens: Dead Orbit

Writer/Artist: James Stokoe
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: April 26

So. Many. Squares. James Stokoe has proven himself a master of obsessive detail, rivaling other eagle-eyed micro artists Geof Darrow and George Perez for their dense linework. After tackling food fantasy (Wonton Soup) and grimy swordplay (Orc Stain), the cartoonist has recently nestled into sci-fi, illustrating huge ship fleets in Jeff Lemire's recent Moon Knight arc. That obsession will escalate this April with Aliens: Dead Orbit, a four-issue miniseries that sees Stokoe render H.R. Giger's classic xenomorph designs and one engineer's fight for survival aboard the Sphacteria. Stokoe's one of the few artists whose art can tell full-blooded stories without copious dialogue or narration. That devotion to mood and world-building should fit the creepy confines of interstellar terror perfectly. Sean Edgar
James Stokoe

You & A Bike & A Road

Write/Artist: Eleanor Davis
Publisher: Koyama Press
Release Date: May 16

Not quite a year ago, cartoonist Eleanor Davis set out on a giant road-trip via bicycle from her childhood home in Arizona to her current home in Athens, Georgia. As cartoonists do, she documented her journey along the way, posting pages to Instagram that chronicled her individual, up-close experience of flyover country. She camped, she talked to people and she noted her physical pain and discouragement. Koyama will put out the full results in May. Hillary Brown
Eleanor Davis

Songy of Paradise

Write/Artist: Gary Panter
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Release Date: May 23

I would never have thought to ask for a reimagining of John Milton's Paradise Regained by Gary Panter that replaces Jesus with a hillbilly character named Songy, but the universe features many blessings, and this book will probably be one of them. Panter's accomplished this postmodern feat before, with Jimbo's Inferno and Jimbo in Purgatory, but the combination of his scrofulous vision with Milton's epic religious poem devoted to resisting temptation should make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck. Hillary Brown
Gary Panter


Writers: Marc Guggenheim, Cullen Bunn, Christina Strain, Greg Pak, Sina Grace, James Robinson, Dennis Hopeless, Al Ewing, Saladin Ahmed, Matthew Rosenberg
Artists: Ardian Syaf, Jorge Molina, Amilcar Pinna, Greg Land, Alessandro Vitti, Carlos Pacheco, Victor Ibanez, Jonboy Meyers, Christian Ward, Javier Garron
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: Spring

This is a doozy: horrible spelling aside, ResurrXion encompasses line-wide relaunches for the beleaguered X-Men franchise and the still-controversial Inhumans titles. Unfortunately for fans of Marvel's Merry Mutants, it seems like their Terrigen-powered rivals may have a slight advantage, with a flagship book from sleeper favorite Al Ewing and Jonboy Meyers, a Black Bolt solo title from fantasy author Saladin Ahmed and Ody-C artist Christian Ward and the teen-focused Secret Warriors from rising star Matthew Rosenberg and artist Javier Garron. The X-gene side of things doesn't look too shabby, though: in addition to somewhat underwhelming Blue and Gold lead titles, ResurrXion introduces Iceman's first solo ongoing from Sina Grace and Alessandro Vitti, the return of Generation X from Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna, a guns-blazing Cable from James Robinson and Carlos Pacheco, current X-contributors Dennis Hopeless and Victor Ibanez back for Jean Grey and Greg Pak launching the black-ops Weapon X (with Greg Land, sadly). Marc Guggenheim/Ardian Syaf and Cullen Bunn/Jorge Molina are solid creative teams for the marquee titles, but Blue and Gold have steep competition from the X-line's ancillary titles, and fans of both the X-Men and the Inhumans should have something to look forward to this spring when ResurrXion gets rolling. Steve Foxe
Terry Dodson


Write/Artist: Jillian Tamaki
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Release Date: June 6

"Boundless" is the right term to describe Tamaki's talents, which stretch into embroidery as well as comics and illustration work. The cartoonist behind Supermutant Magic Academy exercises a talent for lettering and text placement that enfolds the words into the visuals of her stories. This collection of shorter works should provide further evidence of her many skills. Hillary Brown
Jillian Tamaki

Otherworld Barbara Vol. 2

Write/Artist: Moto Hagio
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Release Date: August 15

Who knows whether the second half of Matt Thorn's translation of Moto Hagio's dreamy sci-fi story will actually wrap up the narrative. The intricate plot offers a lot of fun, but the atmosphere (heavily infused with Euro art-film fragrance) is what wraps its fingers around your ankle and makes you want to stay in this subversive universe. Hillary Brown
Moto Hagio


Writer/Artist: Jonathan Hickman
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: Spring/Summer

Before he became a chief architect of Marvel's capes population, Jonathan Hickman designed cerebral, adult and cynical bombshells like The Nightly News and Pax Romana. The master of buzzkill genre returns with Frontier, a project the cartoonist describes as "Star Trek, but super depressing." That tagline could fit many of Hickman's recent works, but we're specifically curious how his design theory has evolved since the aughties. Those aforementioned inaugural works rarely stuck to generic grids of pictures, opting for less common approaches for conveying story. Infographics, dialogue transcriptions and other left-field visuals blurred the line between comics and a PowerPoint created by a Swiss design god. Whatever Frontier may offer, hopes are high that it takes the format to the same distant extremes as its hapless astronauts. Sean Edgar
Jonathan Hickman