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For books hitting the shelves on 3/25, the top slot is basically
a toss-up between Eric Stephenson and Simon Gane’s They’re Not Like Us #4
and Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey’s The Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw #5.
The former is an adolescent power manifestation riff that feels like a
modernized version of what happens when the X-Men premise meets Brian Wood and
Becky Cloonan’s Demo, and the latter
is superb fantasy world-building that contains some very subtle elements
analogous to the post-9/11 present day, both published by Image Comics.
Image Comics also has some of their best sci-fi offerings
available this week with Drifter #5 by Ivan Brandon and Nic
Klein, and The Fuse #11 by Antony Johnston and Justin Greenwood. If sci-fi
isn’t quite your thing, you could always turn to the immensely popular post-pop
quasi-religious treatment of fame in The Wicked + The Divine #9 by the
team of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.
If corporate comics are your thing, I’ll recommend The
Multiversity: Ultra Comics #1 by Grant Morrison and Doug Mahnke, which
is DC’s Earth-33 (hey, that’s us!) installment of Morrison’s multiverse
project. I’m so thoroughly confused by DC’s current (lack of) continuity and
what’s about to happen with their (Fourth? Fifth? Sixth? Is anyone counting? Does
it matter?) line-wide (partial) reboot as an outsider who rarely dips my toe in
any longer, but Grant Morrison comics are still usually worth a look and an
insightful meta-chuckle. Marvel also has Darth Vader #3 out from Kieron
Gillen and Salvador Larroca. I haven’t been convinced that Gillen really has
Vader’s voice down in a convincing way, but hey, it’s Star Wars, and it’s hard
to look away out of sheer nostalgic curiosity.
Oni Press has decided that it’s a good week to be a Joshua
Hale Fialkov fan, with both The Life After #8 (art by Gabo) and The Bunker #10
(art by Joe Infurnari) available. I’ll admit I’m losing interest in The Life
After unless it's all Hemingway all the time, but The Bunker is still a solid time-jumping thriller that’s steeped in
the type of paranoia-fueled drama that’s easy to get sucked into.
IDW is offering the much-hyped Jem & The Holograms #1
by Kelly Thompson and Sophie (nee: Ross) Campbell. Shameless Plug: My LCS,
Yesteryear Comics in San Diego, has a great variant cover by Amanda Conner and
Jimmy Palmiotti, so check it out! But, I’m really interested in this for so
many reasons, to see what this reimaging looks like, to see if the book will
live up to the hype and have one of those cult followings, and I’m always curious
to chart the career paths of fellow critics making the jump to other roles in
the industry, be it editorial or writing.
On the collected edition front, there’s several solid picks
this week. First up, we have a Dark Horse collection of Ed Brisson’s Murder
Book, a little cottage industry with multiple artists that showcases
the strength of low-budget crime vignettes in a sordid manner that’s reminiscent of
the work of David Lapham on Stray Bullets, with perhaps a little more noir
thrown in for good measure. Oni Press has Charles Soule and Alberto
Alburquerque’s Letter 44 Volume 2: Redshift, a terribly fun drama that’s
easily parsed as Independence Day
meets The West Wing. Lastly, Image
Comics is offering Low Volume 1: The Delirium of Hope, Rick Remender and Greg
Tocchini’s take on a post-apocalyptic underwater future, one which is initially a
slow burn, but then hones right in on Remender’s go-to theme of familial bonds
fueling the narrative through so many clever obstacles.