Marvel Legacy, Pashmina, Kill Them All & More in Required Reading: Comics for 9/27/17

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<i>Marvel Legacy</i>, <i>Pashmina</i>, <i>Kill Them All</i> & More in Required Reading: Comics for 9/27/17

Autumn has officially arrived—rung in on the east coast with a resurgence of warm weather—and the comic industry has a full harvest of options this week. Marvel in particular has leaned into this Wednesday with the release of two major Generations one-shots and Marvel Legacy #1, the kickoff to its future endeavors. If corporate cape mayhem isn’t your jam, IDW’s Infinite Loop returns for a repeat journey, Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker’s Black Monday Murders continues to ply its infernal trade, Dark Horse chiller Colder gets the omnibus treatment, Pashmina enters the realm of heavy teen graphic lit, Kyle Starks fires up his ‘80s action nostalgia and Jeff Lemire’s melancholic Royal City gets its first trade collection. If the pressures of the modern world make those previous offerings seem a bit too heavy, may we suggest the new, nostalgic DuckTales series instead? We could all use some water-fowl humor these days.

Black Monday Murders #7

Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Tomm Coker
Publisher: Image Comics
Cerebral scribe Jonathan Hickman wants his readers to know that yes, you can be deeply religious and an unashamed capitalist. Unfortunately, the deity in question isn’t CEO Jesus, but the demon Mammon—an infernal tyrant with a ram-skull head who feeds his diabolic hunger through market recessions. In The Black Monday Murders, Hickman and artist Tomm Coker have devised a supernatural potboiler that trades spells for Wall Street ticker tape, starkly diagramming finances through the will of six unholy schools. This seventh issue shows one hell of a financial transaction as heroes Dr. Gaddis and Detective Dumas travel underneath the Fed to meet the aforementioned god of credits and debits. Coker has majestically segued from sterile, ornate WASP mansions to demonic subterranean dwellings, painting a world with wildly different aesthetics that thrive under a common logic. As with most Hickman jams, The Black Monday Murders asks the reader to look into a dense mandala of characters and actions that only become clear as the creators pull their camera back to reveal a macro narrative. Trust us: it’s worth the investment. Sean Edgar

Colder Omnibus

Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Juan Ferreyra
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
In their 3-volume Colder odyssey, writer Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra created a brand-new lexicon for horror, visualizing the depths of mental illness through startlingly creative nightmare fuel. This descent into madness follows Declan Thomas, a patient in a vegetative state residing at a public psychiatric hospital. Thomas awakens inexplicably with an alarming sub-thermal temperature and the power to “freeze” out the mental illness that inhabits his fellow patients. Tobin maintains respect for the oft-belittled field of mental health, while Ferreyra unleashes a torrent of unhinged designs, submersed in steep, claustrophobic angles to ratchet the anxiety. Villains Nimble Jack and (especially) Swivel take the narrative to a post-Lovecraft dimension where fingers sprout from orifices like a Cronenberg garden and buildings wind and contort into psychedelic extremes. The 360-page omnibus contains the entire storyline, collecting an experience that’s vibrantly original and imminently relatable, mining a new arena of terror with respect and style. Sean Edgar

DuckTales #1

Writers: Joe Caramagna, Joey Cavalieri
Artists: Gianfranco Florio, Luca Usai
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Paste has already quacked the praises of both the new DuckTales cartoon and its parallel comic iteration. The rebooted Disney show launched last Saturday following a digital campaign, and now publisher IDW is following suit with its first chapter after a promising #0 issue tease. Though this incarnation strays from the source material of sequential-art deity Carl Barks, it still adheres to the benchmarks of family, adventure and gold-coin dives that ignited the property in the ‘40s and ‘50s. Thus far, this version features far more Donald Duck, a character originally away at sea for sailor duty, but now a frantically anxious uncle stewarding his three mischievous nephews—Huey, Dewey and Louie. Wednesday’s premier issue houses two stories, the first of which sees the skein of waterfowl run amok through a science lab and a second that promises a visit to a spooky lighthouse. Adults will adore the sheer nostalgia coursing through these pages, while kids will latch onto the adventure and breathless pace. Sean Edgar

Generations: The Americas #1

Writer: Nick Spencer
Artist: Paul Renaud
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Generations: The Americas—an easier title to parse out than Generations: Captain America: Steve Rogers & Captain America: Sam Wilson—presents a unique dynamic among Marvel’s fleet of legacy-hero celebrations: we already know that Sam Wilson, the current Captain America, gives up the shield and returns to his former moniker in Falcon #1, coming next month from writer Rodney Barnes and artist Joshua Cassara. This one-shot instead offers writer Nick Spencer one final spin with the Captains before he steps away from the characters. Marvel’s Cap-centered blockbuster Secret Empire and its long build-up frequently failed to prove that Spencer had a good handle on either Rogers or Wilson, but perhaps focusing on the duo in a WWII scenario alongside capable collaborator Paul Renaud will allow the scribe to stick the landing to his time wielding the shield(s). Steve Foxe

Generations: The Spiders #1

Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ramón K. Pérez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Miles Morales has met no shortage of Peter Parkers at this point—from the 616 Pete we know and love in the pages of Spider-Men, to the resurrected Ultimate Peter Parker before the Ultimate Universe shuttered, to a web full of alternate Petes during the “Spider-Verse” crossover—which explains why the solicit for this one-shot focuses on young Peter’s reaction to a doppelgänger suddenly showing up. Brian Michael Bendis is an arachnid pro at this point, especially when dealing with teen iterations of the spider-themed hero, but artist Ramón K. Pérez is the real draw for this Generations one-shot. Since his major debut bringing the unproduced Jim Henson project Tale of Sand to life, Pérez has continually wowed with his fluid figures, keen sense of layout design and frequently his own vibrant colors and ink washes. The Spiders might not tread drastically new ground—Spider-Men II is currently hitting stands, after all—but with Pérez illustrating, who cares? Steve Foxe

The Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth #1

Writers: Pierrick Colinet & Elsa Charretier
Artist: Daniele Di Nicuolo
Publisher: IDW Publishing
The original Infinite Loop proved to be one of IDW Publishing’s most popular original series in years, thanks in no small part to artist Elsa Charretier’s stunning cartooning. As Charretier has since made herself busy at Marvel and other publishers, Infinite Loop: Nothing But the Truth sees her contributing as cover artist and co-writer alongside Pierrick Colinet, with the talented Daniele Di Nicuolo of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Pink stepping in to provide interiors. Nothing But the Truth promises to be a largely self-contained outing as protagonist Teddy goes back in time to a town “addicted to lies,” with a pitch that compares the story to both Twin Peaks and 1984. The first volume set a high bar, and the absence of Charretier’s interior art will be felt, but we’re happy to see this series complete another loop. Steve Foxe

Kill Them All

Writer/Artist: Kyle Starks
Publisher: Oni Press
We brought you an exclusive extended preview of Kyle Starks’ Kill Them All last week, so don’t take our word for it—go check out a healthy sampling of the gonzo mayhem yourself. From Sexcastle to Rock Candy Mountain to Oni Press’ line of Rick & Morty tie-in comics, Starks has repeatedly tapped into a potent, guffaw-inducing blend of over-the-top action and heartfelt comedy. Kill Them All, with its literally explosive breakups and professional conversations mid-pit-fight, more than lives up to Starks’ pedigree. Set primarily in one towering office building, Kill Them All sends a betrayed assassin and a disgraced officer of the law up floor after floor of ridiculous fights, like a Marvel Netflix hallway fight juiced up to 11. If you’ve got a soft spot for the insane action movies of the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Kill Them All should hit you right in the solar plexus. Steve Foxe

Marvel Legacy #1

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artists: Esad Ribic, Russell Dauterman, Chris Samnee, Alex Maleev, Stuart Immonen, Pepe Larraz, Jim Cheung, Daniel Acuna, Greg Land, Ed McGuinness, Steve McNiven
Publisher: Marvel Comics
“It begins at the dawn of the human race, and ends with a child’s prayer!” proclaims the teaser for Marvel Legacy #1, and boy does this book have a lot of pressure on its stapled shoulders. Marvel’s Legacy reveals have so far underwhelmed many outlets—Paste included; for keeping much of the current status quo under the shadow of renumbering schemes and expensive variant covers. This one-shot, however, might actually deliver on the publisher’s promise to push boldly ahead while honoring its history. Writer Jason Aaron is one of the best in the business, as seen monthly in the pages of The Mighty Thor, and his collaborator Esad Ribic’s primary setting seems to be “epic.” With a murderer’s row of additional artists, Marvel Legacy #1 will set the tone for what’s to come from the House of Ideas, including the introduction of ancient proto-Avengers and several unexpected returns. Rumor has it that Aaron will take over a major Marvel title in 2018, which makes Legacy the pace car of the Marvel Universe’s foreseeable future. Steve Foxe


Writer/Artist: Nidhi Chanani
Publisher: First Second
Graphic novel Pashmina offers a striking coming-of-age tale about a young So-Cal resident who revisits her Indian heritage through time-and-space-rending apparel. Cartoonist Nidhi Chanani’s angular, clean lines and gentle tone call more than a few comparisons to another magical, cross-cultural bildungsroman: Gene Luen Yang’s American Born Chinese. The connection isn’t purely coincidence, as Yang praises the book on its cover and publisher First Second released both titles. That legacy bodes well for Pashmina, not to mention that Chanani’s portfolio site overflows with striking, colorful digital paints that should appeal to fans of Disney’s best. With these elements, Pashmina has the potential to grant the introspection of Persepolis or Maus to a much younger audience ready to handle weightier themes in its sequential art. Sean Edgar

Royal City Vol. 1

Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: Image Comics
Cartoonist Jeff Lemire has maintained a thunderous creative pace, writing and drawing comics for both blockbuster superhero properties and quieter creator-owned endeavors. Royal City harkens back to the Canadian auteur’s earlier works, including Essex County and The Underwater Welder. The story revolves around a dysfunctional family struggling to internalize the years-ago death of son/brother Patrick, whose ghost visits each member in altered ages and appearances, conveying a series of potential—or wish-fulfillment—realities. Lemire’s sketchy lines have always reinforced the inner fragility of his characters, but his watercolors are also instrumental in casting the sober, and oft-times psychedelic, mood that haunts these pages. Similar to his partner Dustin Nguyen’s approach in Descender, Lemire isn’t afraid to let the water saturate the canvas, adding liquid edges to industrial smokestacks and overcast skies. The permeated paper lends a new dimension of texture to the place and story. Royal City is a project designed for novelistic readings, and this trade paperback collecting the first five issues is a perfect gateway into one of comicdom’s most distinct, and melancholic, voices. Sean Edgar

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