After attending Baltimore Comic-Con, I’ve drastically increased my comics consumption because 1) I love comics and 2) I’m keeping abreast of what’s going on in the industry, since 3) I’m getting into writing comics.
I talk about what I’m reading a fair bit on Twitter, but here’s a collection of some issues and volumes I’ve enjoyed in the last month or so. I’ll try to update these more regularly to keep folks looped in to what I’m enjoying.
Without further making-you-wait:
Bitch Planet #1
(Kelly Sue Deconnick, Valentine DeLandro, Cris Peters, Clayton Cowles)
This comic. This comic, y’all. I’m tempted to put this single issue on my Best Graphic Story Hugo ballot, I’m so excited by it. It’s like The Handmaid’s Tale combined with a feminist reclamation of 70s girls-in-prison exploitation films. There’s so much worldbuilding being done in the background (literal background and through toss-away comments), powerful points being made, and it’s only the first issue. Note: I found the content of the comic all that much more poignant after reading the essay in the back matter.
Amazing Spider-Man Volume 2: Spider-Verse Prelude
(Dan Slott, Cristos Gage, Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith, John Dell, Antonio Fabela, Chris Eliopoulos, VC’s Joe Caramanga)
Peter Parker is back in control of his own body, but all is not well. He’s still adjusting to his post-Superior status quo, and across the multiverse, it’s Spider Season for the relatives of Morlun (I guess?). I haven’t read any of Spider-Verse proper, but the Edge of Spider-Verse miniseries/one-shots series has produced some cool Spider-Variants, including the top-notch Spider-Gwen (who gets her own ongoing series this year), so I’m interested enough that I’ll read the crossover event when it’s collected. Mostly it’s great to have Peter Parker playing around in a world with a shaken-up status quo.
Atomic Robo Volume Three: Atomic Robo and the Shadow From Beyond Time
(Brian Clevinger, Scott Wegner, Rhonda Pattison, Jeff Powell)
Atomic Robo is like Hellboy but with Crazy Pulp Science Fiction instead of Crazy Pulp Horror Fantasy. Mostly. Sort of. Robo is a sharp, loveable character who is endlessly put-upon and thankfully close to indestructable. This time, Robo has to fight a Cthulhu-esque Thing a half-dozen things across time, with a different cast of characters to help him each round. The thing is, this Thing isn’t beholden to linear time, so it just keeps coming back (slash was always attacking just at the same time across different times. It goes ding when there’s stuff). If you like action, fun, and witty leads, Atomic Robo should already be on your bookshelf.
(Tim Seely, Tom King, Mikel Janin, Jeromy Cox, Carlos M. Mangual)
As a long-running Batman fan, I have a soft spot in my heart for Dick Grayson aka Robin aka Nightwing aka Batman while Batman Was Punching His Way Through Time. Even with his history crammed into six years, the character has a lot to him, and I was excited when I learned that SF/F novelist Tom King (A Once-Crowded Sky) was going to be on the creative team for this book. And it does not disappoint.
De-masked, Dick Grayson ends up in the Spy-Fi part of the DC universe, delving into James Bond territory while interrogating some of the weird baggage of that tradition. Notably, Grayson himself is the character most objectified by the reader’s gaze throughout the series, including being chased (while shirtless) across a school campus by a trio of teenaged women assassins-in-training. The book gets stronger every issue, and both issue #5 (Grayson on a mission to rescue an infant by walking her out of a desert) and the Future’s End one-shot (which is told backwards, Memento-style) as stand-outs in the series.
So, what comics are you folks enjoying right now? Anything new I should be checking out?