By Zack Quaintance — The day before Fourth of July is a great day for comics to come out, because if you’re like me, it means you can shuck a decent number of your responsibilities to sit and read your books on America’s birthday. Before venturing out into the thick humidity in search of bright flashes, loud noises, and maybe a hot dog (if that’s not an advert for staying in…). Anyway, this year we get a great crop of comics for the holiday, too.
What I like most about the Top Comics to Buy for July 3, 2019 is the diversity. There are maybe not as many publishers in our top five as some other weeks, but the variety of subject matter makes up for that. We’ll get into our choices more below (obviously...that’s the whole point), but you’ll find a comic about journalism, a comic about vikings, a comic about vast institutional power structure conspiracies, and a couple of comics about green superheroes. Excited yet?
Let’s do this!
Top Comics to Buy for July 3, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
Lois Lane #1
Writer: Greg Rucka
Artist: Mike Perkins
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics
On the road and out of Metropolis-and carrying a secret that could disrupt Superman's life-Lois Lane embarks on a harrowing journey to uncover a threat to her husband and a plot that reaches the highest levels of international power brokers and world leaders. Critically acclaimed and best-selling author Greg Rucka and master storyteller Mike Perkins team up for a tale of conspiracy, intrigue and murder that pushes even Lois to her limits.
Why It’s Cool: Writer Grug Rucka and Mike Perkins are telling a story in a superhero universe that makes a journalist the superhero. In this comic (as in the DCU canon, as it were), Lois is the single greatest journalist in the world, likely to ever do the job. What Rucka and Perkins give us in this debut issue is a window into her daily life, a new predicament, and Lois doing some truly world-class journalism. The end effect is a comic that speaks to the nature of heroism. So often, books in the Big 2 categorize heroics as who can punch a bad guy the hardest, giving characters exaggerated and extra-human strength to do it. This comic makes heroism doing one’s job and doing it exceedingly well in the face of tough odds, difficult situations, and ills such as child detention centers. The best part? This is only part 1 of 12.
The Green Lantern #9
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Tom Orezechowski
Publisher: DC Comics
On the medieval fantasy planet of Athmoora, Sir Hal of the Lantern-a.k.a. Hal Jordan-must do battle with the evil wizard Ah-Bah-Nazzur, scourge of the Four Kingdoms! What is Ah-Bah-Nazzur's secret? And what does it have to do with the looming extinction-level Multiversal threat that leaves countless dead super-beings in its wake?
Why It’s Cool: This is a comic we are all lucky to be consuming in real time. Every issue is brimming with both massive psychedelic cosmic storytelling that ranges in its influences from Morrison’s past works to classic DC visuals to Silver Age oddities to so much in between. I can’t heap enough praise on this creative team, so I’ll cut it off with that, and just point out that this comic which is now ¾ of the way through its “first season” reads like not only a love letter to the character but to superhero storytelling craft. It’s astoundingly good.
Writing & Art: Natasha Alterici
Letterer: Rachel Deering
Publisher: Vault Comics
Freyja arrives at Odin's keep to find it all but destroyed in a fit of rage perpetrated by the god king himself. She strikes up a philosophical debate, in hopes of buying Brynhild more time. Meanwhile, an ocean storm threatens Aydis and the pirate crew.
Why It’s Cool: In our minds, Heathen is the comic that put then-upstart indie publisher Vault Comics on the map, and although its release schedule has been sporadic (creator Natasha Alterici recently divulged that she’s had some health struggles) we are just so damn happy this comic is back. It’s a groundbreaking and rewarding book in everything from its concept to its voice to its aesthetic execution, and comics is better for having Heathen in it. Alterici has done incredible work on the first issues. We’re also looking forward to seeing the vision that new series artist Ashley Woods brings to the comic when she comes aboard later this year.
Immortal Hulk #20
Writer: Al Ewing
Artist: Joe Bennett
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Letterer: Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Bruce Banner is being hunted on two fronts by two dead loved ones turned nightmarish, implacable foes. The stage is set for a brutal three-way confrontation between the ABOMINATION... the HARPY ...and the IMMORTAL HULK.
Why It’s Cool: Immortal Hulk has become a locked-in staple of these Top Comics to Buy lists, because it really is that good. This is one of the best superhero comic runs of the 2010s, and it’s on its way to becoming one of the all time best runs on this character, methodically breaking down the Hulk’s core elements, supporting casts, and entire guiding concept, to build them back up with modern comic craft and almost meta storytelling. This run really is something to behold.
The Wild Storm #24
Writer: Warren Ellis
Artist: Jon Davis-Hunt
Colorists: Steve Buccellato with John Kalisz
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Publisher: DC Comics - WildStorm
The final issue. The final act. IO has betrayed the world, and Skywatch wants to burn it. The only people in the middle are Jenny Mei Sparks' ragtag team of wounded orphans of the secret world. The storm has hit. This is how it ends.
Why It’s Cool: The Wild Storm has been one of our favorite comics since it launched, going back now just over two years ago (there have been skip months and delays...but they were worth). This comic on its surface looked like it could have been some kind of opportunistic move to cash in on nostalgia from fans who remember reading these characters in their young days (yo!). There is a bit of nostalgia involved, as much as there is with any character that has been around a little while, but now that this comic is completed, we’re happy to say that it is something entirely new. Writer Warren Ellis (who created these characters way back when), has taken another run at them and their relevance. The Authority was always constructed as a statement on the geo-political happenings of its times, and so Ellis has updated them here for 2019, making them more about shadowy power structures battling behind the scenes than they were about policing the international order during the George W. Bush era. It’s a brilliant update, one executed nigh-flawlessly by artist Jon Davis-Hunt and colorist Steve Buccellato. We’ve been hoping for many months that a new comic would spin out of this one, but now that we’ve actually seen it on the page we’re not so sure—everything in here is done with so much expert precision.
New #1 Comics and One-Shots
Captain America and the Invaders: Bahamas Triangle #1
Charlie’s Angels vs. The Bionic Woman #1
Doom Patrol: Weight of the Worlds #1
Ms. Marvel Annual #1
No One Left to Fight #1
Postal: Deliverance #1
Sea of Stars #1
Secret Warps: Soldier Supreme Annual #1
Space Bandits #1
Star Wars: Age of Resistance Finn #1
Star Wars: Target Vader #1
Superman: Up in the Sky #1
World of Black Hammer: Encyclopedia
Others Receiving Votes
Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #5
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #11
Giant Days #52
Justice League #27
Red Sonja #6
She Said Destroy #2
Spencer and Locke 2, #4
Uncanny X-Men #21
The Walking Dead #193
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.