By Zack Quaintance — This is a rare week, possible one-of-a-kind in the history of this website: all five of our top picks of the week are from totally different publishers. That’s right, in our Top Comics to Buy for January 23, 2019, we have comics from DC, Image, Marvel, Scout, and Valiant Entertainment. Let’s just take a moment here to savor the diversity of excellent books currently being released.
Okay, there. Back with us now? Good. This isn’t maybe the most bountiful new week for monthly comics, but it’s definitely one of those weeks wherein the quality of the releases outweighs the quantity. It’s one of those weeks where I really had to fight to limit the number of picks for the top 5 to five, thereby not compromising the very concept this weekly piece is built upon (which, admittedly, I’ve done in the past). Comics like Avengers #13, Cover #5, and Naomi #1 all missed out by just a hair. I mean, there was even a moment I considered Aquaman #44 for inclusion.
But enough about the books I didn’t end up choosing, and let’s plunge onward to the ones I did! Here they are...
Top Comics to Buy for January 23, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
The Wild Storm #19
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics
Beginning the fourth story arc of THE WILD STORM. Jenny Mei Sparks has been around for over a century. She's seen a lot of things. Enough bad stuff that she took 20 years off to get drunk. And now she's back, and she has a plan. The problem is that other people have plans, too, and one of them is about reducing the population of Earth by around 90 percent.
Why It’s Cool: When The Wild Storm launched however many months ago, I was right away enthralled. It was Warren Ellis (a long-time favorite writer of mine) doing an entirely new modern take on characters he’d been writing for years, characters he understood better than anybody on the planet. I knew then if he had a new story to tell with them, it would very well be worth reading. Pair him with one of my favorite artists—Jon Davis-Hunt of Clean Room—and the book was already made for me. What made it all the more enticing, though, was that Ellis was hinting in interviews that a bigger (perhaps more familiar) team comic would spin out of this first 24-issue run. I knew right then it would be The Authority. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, this issue and the rest of this run is very much a must read comic.
Immortal Hulk #12
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Joe Bennett
Inker: Ruy Jose
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
"HULK IN HELL" PART TWO! It whispers through many mouths. It destroys with many hands. Its only weapon is hate. It wears human souls like masks on a stage to work its will on the world - but in the lowest hell, underneath all others, all the masks come off......and THE ONE BELOW ALL is revealed.
Why It’s Cool: It’s a week with a new issue of Immortal Hulk, and, as such, that means it’s a week wherein we include Immortal Hulk in our Top Comics to Buy. It’s pretty simple really—this comic came out the gate as a fantastic extrapolation of the Hulk concept that’s been present since essentially the start of the Marvel Universe, taking it to logically extremes that have enabled some truly chilling storytelling. The story has gone in unexpected directions without dipping at all in quality, and, as a result, this is a comic not to be missed.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artists: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
POWERLESS! When the super-powered psiot codenamed Livewire plunged the entire country into a nationwide power outage, she made more than a few enemies - and now she's about to meet them face to face! But these mysterious foes aren't simply interested in bringing her to justice...no, they have other far more nefarious plans for the most wanted woman in the world...
Why It’s Cool: Collectively here at Batman’s Bookcase, Vita Ayala is one of our favorite rising writers. Meanwhile, the comic art team of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin regularly create some of our favorite visuals in the industry. It’s pretty much an ideal comics alchemy scenario to now have all of them collaborating on a book like Valiant’s Livewire, which features a fantastic character that until lately had been kept in the background or on the sidelines for far too long. To top that all off, we absolutely loved Livewire #1 and the follow-up issue is not a drop in quality at all. Put simply, you should all be reading this fantastic comic.
Long Lost Book 2 #6
Writer: Matthew Erman
Artist: Lisa Sterle
Publisher: Scout Comics
The series finale of Scout Comics' critically acclaimed bizarre horror story that has been called "quite possibly the best Southern Gothic comic" about two sisters, Piper and Frances Laurent, and their horrific adventure through their disintegrating hometown, a shared traumatic history, as well as space and time. Everything has been leading up to this. The end is here!
Why It’s Cool: Look, I don’t know how many more nice things I have to say about Long Lost. As I’ve written in reviews as well as in our Best of 2018 lists, this comic is quiet and special. A slow-burning literary story that speaks to the existential dread found in the left-behind hometowns of a generation of people who’ve started new (sometimes lonely) lives in bigger cities. This ending is exactly what I personally wanted, although I won’t reveal anything else about it so as to avoid spoilers.
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Sana Takeda
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics
As Maika and Corvin search for Kippa through a warped and lethal land, Kippa herself will face her own terrible monsters…
Why It’s Cool: It says it right there on the cover of Monstress #19—this is a five-time Eisner Award-winning comic. Part of the reason I volunteer my time to edit and coordinate this website is to help get the word out about my favorite comics, with a special emphasis on those I feel have flown a bit too under the radar. Until Monstress went to the Eisner Awards in San Diego last July and won basically everything, this book was at the top of my list. In the critical sense, I suppose I could be content about that. While reading this issue, however, it occured to me that I’m still not hearing enough about this amazing comic. Get the trades, savor them, and then please rejoin me for reading this comic in monthly format. It continues to be absolutely worth the investment.
Top New #1 Comics
Blossoms 666 #1
Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1
Crypt of Shadows One Shot
Guardians of the Galaxy #1
Others Receiving Votes
Die Die Die #7
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2
Hellboy and the BPRD 1956 #3
Justice League #16
Low Road West #5
Mars Attacks #4
X-O Manowar #23
See our past top comics to buy here, and check our our reviews archive here.
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.