By Zack Quaintance — It was tough to start building our Top Comics for May 15, 2019, what with the fantastic books that came out last week still bouncing around my mind. Last week was really an embarrassment of riches in terms of the exact type of comics I like to read. I had such a great time reading comics last week, from new series like Eve Stranger and Excellence, to ongoing superhero stories like Shazam and Hawkman, to series that just keep getting better like She Could Fly and These Savage Shores.
Anyway, my point is that we continue to live in a great time for comics. The market forces are still figuring themselves out, but this wave of incredibly creator-owned ideas shows no sign of slowing. I keep waiting for the novelty of unrestrained graphic fantasy and sci-fi storytelling at this high of a volume to lose a bit of luster, and it just doesn’t happen. This week Little Bird is back reminding us that the next big thing can seemingly come out of nowhere at any time, too.
Let’s check out our picks!
Top Comics to Buy for May 15, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
Little Bird #3
Writer: Darcy Van Poelgeest
Artist: Ian Bertram
Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth
Letterer: Aditya Bidkar
Publisher: Image Comics
Axe leaves Elder's Hope to destroy Northern Guard, and Little Bird is left behind to take out a small team of enemy soldiers when she stumbles upon a family secret that changes everything.
Why It’s Cool: This book gives readers of something truly special unfolding in front of them, something we’ll be talking about for years to come. It really is that good. The illustrations by Ian Bertam are so constantly imaginative that it makes other sci-fi and dystopian books seem a bit lazier by comparison. The art in this one just functions at such a high level. Even small things like a conference room of sorts overlooking sandy hills has its own Little Bird-specific look, one you not only recognize right away but feel awed by. Meanwhile, after an issue that questioned reality and the nature of consciousness, writer Darcy Van Poelgeest is right back to pushing our plot-forward at an astounding pace. This is yet another over-sized issue that you will read in its entirety without even looking up. I can’t be any clearer—you should all be buying this comic.
Guardians of the Galaxy #5
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Marte Gracia
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
HELA HATH NO FURY!
At the mercy of the Goddess of Death!
Hela's dreams of resurrecting Thanos are finally within reach...
But what will the Guardians have to sacrifice in order to prevent that?
Why It’s Cool: While Immortal Hulk is our favorite comic at Marvel right now, this new run of Guardians of the Galaxy by Donny Cates, Geoff Shaw, and team is a strong strong runner-up. It’s a natural continuation of Cates and Shaw’s blazing Thanos run, one that continues to extend its story throughout so many of the characters and ideas that Marvel cosmic has to offer. At the same time, Cates is at the top of his game as a writer here, striking a unique pitch-perfect team book balance between character relationships and total grandiosity of concept. This is the type of book that makes you excited to pickup your pull list at the local shop each week.
Immortal Hulk #17
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Joe Bennett
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Bruce Banner is trapped inside Shadow Base Site A - powerless and hunted by their top assassin.
He can't run forever. He can't change form. He can't survive...without THE IMMORTAL HULK.
But not the one you think.
Why It’s Cool: Immortal Hulk is having a moment. Earlier this month it garnered an Eisner nomination for best series. Then, last week when the sales numbers for April came in, the book was ahead of DC Comics’ always-popular Batman. Now, to be sure some of this had to do with Marvel’s incentivized variant requirements inflating the numbers, but it’s an accomplishment for a run 16 issues deep about the Hulk even being within striking distance of the Dark Knight. How did it get there? Simply put, this title has been phenomenal. Every issue is compressed and heavy on craft. It’s an enjoyable read, and following each chapter it feels like a brand new status quo has taken hold for the central character. It’s periodical storytelling at its best, and there was a twist at the end of last issue that is sure to thrill fans of the character. We love this book, which continues to get our absolute highest recommendation.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Amanda finds herself face-to-face with a brand-new foe, and things are beginning to get personal. The Psiot Safety & Education Program welcomes Livewire into a supported safe haven for psiots. But is Livewire willing to let the same government that once hunted psiots house her family of outcasts?
Why It’s Cool: Throughout its young run, Livewire has established itself as a book that knows its strengths: raising deep ideological questions and illustrating high-stakes fist fights. Some of the best issues of this book so far have given us both of these strengths at once. Livewire #6 is one of those books. When this comic first debuted late last year, I said it was the best X-Men comic to hit the stands in ages, but that’s not quite right. Livewire #6 continues to probe deeper than the X-Men ever have by exploring the severity and ramifications of deeply held ideologies. Simply put, this is a mercilessly smart comic that is equal parts thoughtful and action-packed. I’m loving it.
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Ivan Reis
Inkers: Oclair Albert & Joe Prado
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
Named one of the best books of the year by Paste Magazine, Comics Beat and others, the Unity Saga continues! The drama of the House of El tears the galaxy in half as Superman and his son are forced to confront his father about the secrets of Krypton in front of the gathered heads of the galaxy. Superman makes a bold choice that will forever change his relationship to the Earth, the Justice League and his family! Witness one of the most important chapters in Superman history!
Why It’s Cool: Brian Michael Bendis and Ivan Reis are really leaning into the galactic side of Superman’s world and powerset with this storyline, going bigger and bigger with an escalating concept. Each issue of Superman is like a snowball rolling down a mountain, keeping its central concept—a space terror named Rogol Zaar actually destroyed Krypton with a mysterious justification and now he’s back to finish Kal-El—while also adding more to the proceedings, from Jor-El to Zod to a powered-up Jon Kent. It’s all so well done, and we can’t wait to see where it eventually lands (which for our money is clearly the long-awaited revival of the Legion of Superheroes).
Top New #1 Comics and One-Shots
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez And The Freshman Force New Party Who Dis One Shot
Fathom #1 (Vol. 8)
Giant Man #1 (of 3)
Joe Golem, Occult Detective: Conjurors #1
Last Stop on the Red Line #1
Star Wars Age of Rebellion: Lando Calrissian #1
War of the Realms: Spider-Man and the League of Realms #1
War of the Realms: Strikeforce War Avengers #1
Others Receiving Votes
Calamity Kate #3
Gideon Falls #13
High Level #4
Life and Death of Toyo Harada #3
Morning in America #3
Oblivion Song #15
Port of Earth #10
Teen Titans #30
War of the Realms #4
Xena, Warrior Princess #2
Check the site later this week for reviews of Little Bird #3, Last Stop on the Red Line #1, Guardians of the Galaxy #5, and more!
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.