REVIEW: Long Lost Part 2 #4 a story of longing becomes a story of suspense

Long Lost Part 2 #4 is out 11/21.

By Zack Quaintance — Since Matthew Erman and Lisa Sterle began their comic Long Lost, this story has felt like one of longing for the two principal characters, sisters Frances and Piper. When we first met them, Frances lived an almost hermetic lifestyle in a relatively clean and spare apartment, seeming to have little in her life other than her dog. Her sister Piper was more outgoing yet also more reckless, often to her detriment. They were both, perhaps, equally bothered to be estranged from their mother, their aunts, and, most importantly, from each other, even if they showed it in different ways.

There were also hints all along that the two characters were being herded by some sort of supernatural force, not quite a ghost and not quite a monster, a being (or beings, plural) that was not of any origin we could understand, putting forth machinations that made both the characters on the page and us, the real life readers of the book, wonder about the nature of this story’s reality, wonder what was true and what was paranormal. For the past two issues, though, the earlier slow-burning character drama has been dispensed with as the plot heads toward its conclusion and starts to tell us (or more accurately, starts to suggest) what has been happening all along.

The action has intensified in this comic, as have the dangers faced by the two protagonists, while the clarity has remained obscured. In fact, at one point in Long Lost Part 2 #4, one of the sisters blurts out a plot point, noting that her understanding of it could be wrong. It’s leading to a story rich with suspense and tension. I’ve experienced Long Lost as a mystery from the start, and for it to turn proscriptive now would be a disservice to all the issues that came before it. Instead, the creators here are making the wise choice to give us as readers almost exactly as much information as their protagonists have about what’s happening and why.

The result is a decidedly character-driven horror-tinged suspense story, one in which tone is used well to make readers feel fear and confusion, the level of emotional investment in each other’s fates too, that is being felt by the characters on the page. This has been a great year for comics that deal in such intense feelings, and, with its understated approach, Long Lost continues to be among the best.

Will we get answers before this is all through? Well, it certainly seems to depend on what ultimately happens to the lead characters. We know more than we did at the start. We know whom to trust and whom to approach with a level of caution. We know more about the state of the family, the reasons they’ve been driven apart. Most importantly, however, we know that the longing these sisters felt at the start of the story has been altered, that they are now both acutely aware of how much they’ve always meant to each other, and it’s that relationship that remains this book’s beating heart.

Overall: Long Lost continues to be a character-driven horror-tinged mystery with one of the most compelling and realistic emotional cores in all of comics. The action is rapidly intensifying, but the creators have wisely avoided changing the tone of the story to be too explanatory. The mystery remains as compelling as ever as Long Lost approaches its conclusion. 9.0/10

Long Lost Part 2 #4
Writer:
Matthew Erman
Artist: Lisa Sterle
Publisher: Scout Comics
Price: $3.99

For more comic book reviews, check out our review archives.

Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase. He also writes comics and is currently working hard to complete one.


Top Comics to Buy for September 26, 2018

By Zack Quaintance — It’s a week of fantastic new indie #1s, with two powerhouse books debuting from Vault Comics, and the creative team of Chelsea Cain and Kate Niemczyk rolling out Man-Eaters, the creator-owned follow up to their excellent Mockingbird title at Marvel a couple years back now. All three of these made our top comics to buy for September 26, 2018, along with a Big 2 #1, in Justice League Odyssey.

Now, the big omission from that list is probably Heroes in Crisis #1, a book I’ve been bullish on because of the accomplished creative team. I am, however, leaving it off here for a couple of reasons: one, the marketing has been overwhelming, so much so that you’ve presumably already decided whether to buy it; two, I think it’s going to need a couple of issues to clarify things before we can make any sort of evaluation. That second one is a continuing trend as superhero storytelling remains almost ludicrously decompressed, designed for sleak trade formats rather than monthly reading.

Annnnnnyway, enough! Let’s take a look at the top comics to buy for September 26, 2018.

Top Comics to Buy for September 26, 2018

Doomsday Clock #7
Writer:
Geoff Johns
Artist:
Gary Frank
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99
The critically acclaimed team of writer Geoff Johns and artist Gary Frank continue the groundbreaking miniseries bringing the world of WATCHMEN to DC. In this chapter, the truth behind Dr. Manhattan's curiosity with the DC Universe is revealed as the planet teeters on the edge of the Super-War.
Why It’s Cool: Remember Doomsday Clock? Sure you do! And guess what? This issue is, simply put, the one where things start to happen. Finally, we get a much better idea of what this comic—and in a broader sense the secrets of Geoff Johns DC-reviving one-shot DC Rebirth #1—is all about.  

Fearscape #1 (Read our review!)
Writer:
Ryan O’Sullivan
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: Vladimir Popov
Lettering: Andworld Design
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
The Fearscape is a world beyond our own, populated by manifestations of our worst fears. Once per generation, The Muse travels to Earth, discovers our greatest Storyteller, and takes them with her to the Fearscape to battles these fear-creatures on our behalf. All has been well for eons, until The Muse encounters Henry Henry, a plagiarist with delusions of literary grandeur. Mistaking him for our greatest Storyteller, she ushers him into the Fearscape. Doom follows.
Why It’s Cool: Short stories, novels, and even films do it all the time, but rarely have comics aspired to capture the insecurity and frustration of unfulfilled artistic ambitions, especially those related to writing. Fearscape #1, however, absolutely nails it, making a pair of wise choices: one, to have a protagonist who is massive talent in his own head, rather than a gifted artist waiting to be discovered; two, blending in fantastical abstract adventuring. This is a powerful book, a must-read for those interested in the art life.

Friendo #1 (Read our review!)
Writer:
Alex Paknadel
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
Leo wasn't allowed toys as a kid, but now that he's all grown up he's going to take yours. He used to play by the rules, but then governments and corporations set fire to the rules and still expected him to behave. He probably would have if it hadn't been for his new friend Jerry. See, Jerry isn't human; he's a personalised marketing VR... and he's malfunctioning. Unhinged ultraviolence from Alex Paknadel (Arcadia) and Martin Simmonds (Punks Not Dead).
Why It’s Cool: Friendo #1 is such a perfect blend of so many of the forces giving shape to our culture, from social media, to the gig economy, to the increasingly-hard-to-identify nature of marketing. It’s delivered by a fantastic creative team, too, in writer Paknadel and artist Simmonds.

Justice League Odyssey #1
Writer:
Josh Williamson
Artist: Stjepan Sejic
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Spinning out of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE! When a cosmic menace threatens worlds beyond our own in the Ghost Sector, it falls to a new Justice League team to answer the call to battle! Cyborg, Starfire, Green Lantern Jessica Cruz and an out-of-his-element Azrael head to deep space inside a commandeered Brainiac Skull Ship. But as these wildcard teammates try to break through the impenetrable maelstrom imprisoning the desperate collection of planets, they discover something that nothing in the universe could have prepared them for: Darkseid...who says he's there to help?!
Why It’s Cool: This is the third book of DC’s red-hot new Justice League line, spinning out of the weekly event from May, No Justice, and, dare I say, this is the freshest of the three titles. It’s a cosmic book with a truncated yet interesting team, plus also heavy theological implications for dead planets. Read that again, if you must. It’s all pretty freaking cool.

Man-Eaters #1 (Read our review!)
Writer:
Chelsea Cain
Artist: Kate Niemczyk
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
A mutation in Toxoplasmosis causes menstruating women to turn into ferocious killer wildcats-easily provoked and extremely dangerous. As panic spreads and paranoia takes root, the fate of the world rides on the shoulders of one twelve-year-old girl. Part Cat People, part The Handmaid's Tale, MAN-EATERS will have everyone talking.
Why It’s Cool: Writer Chelsea Cain is one of the sharpest satirical high-profile voices in comics, catapulted to notoriety by a successful career as a prose writer, a fantastic Marvel debut a few years back on Mockingbird, and an ensuing controversy that angered all the right people. We may not be getting her Vision book from Marvel, which was to be a sequel to Tom King’s seminal run on that title, but we are getting this unrestrained and imaginative comic satire from her and Kae Niemczyk. Don’t miss out.

Wonder Woman #55
Writer:
Steve Orlando
Artist: Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
Colorist: Borja Pindado
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Then, two armies stand ready to annihilate each other, with Wonder Woman and Artemis caught in the middle, fighting for the souls of the exiled Amazons living in Bana-Mighdall! Does Diana possess the might and diplomatic prowess to convince her sisters to stop their march toward war? Who will fall beneath the flaming swords of Rustam? And more importantly, how does she make sure this doesn't happen again? Will Diana have to Occupy the Amazons?!
Why It’s Cool: This is the fifth (and, sadly, final) issue of Steve Orlando’s fill-in Wonder Woman arc, against which all future fill-in runs should probably be judged. Orlando’s time on Wonder Woman has been a treat, start to finish, and this final issue doesn’t disappoint, powered as it is by the fantastic art duo of Raul Allen and Patricia Martin.

Top New #1 Comics for September 26, 2018

  • Domino Annual #1

  • Faith Dreamside #1

  • Fantasmagoria #1

  • Harbinger Wars 2 Aftermath #1

  • Heroes in Crisis #1

  • High Heaven #1

  • Star Trek vs. Transformers #1

  • Stranger Things #1

Others Receiving Votes

  • Action Comics #1003

  • Amazing Spider-Man #6

  • Batgirl #27

  • Black Panther #4

  • Bone Parish #3

  • Extermination #3

  • Flash #55

  • Justice League Dark #3

  • Long Con #3

  • Marvel 2-in-1 #10

  • Punisher #2

  • Redneck #15

  • Sentry #4

  • Shanghai Red #4

  • X-O Manowar #19


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.

Five Questions With Creators: David Moses LeNoir

By Zack Quaintance — David Moses LeNoir sent us his first comic earlier this year, saying a review would be cool but more than that he just wanted to share it. That, I think, is indicative of a passion for writing and drawing (both of which he does...and does well, too) that also shows in his work. Dave, as you’ll read in a moment, is heavily influenced by Jack Kirby, both in aesthetic and in the sort of larger than life (yet grounded in dynamics) stories he likes to tell.

The best way to get to know him (in addition to the questions below) is probably to read his comic, which is available here (and highly recommended). You can also find him on Twitter @MosesLeNoir and his ongoing comic @GJSwmlf. It’s called Galactic Junk Squad (Well, More Like Family), described by its Twitter page as a cosmic cacophony about a family of space beings who run an intergalactic junkyard. The book is written and drawn by LeNoir, with lettering by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou. Think Jack Kirby writing/drawing a dysfunctional family sitcom and you’ll have a decent idea of what to expect.

The cover for issue #1.

Anyway, enough! Onward to the five questions…

Q: I think the phrase I see most often associated with Galactic Junk Squad (Well, More Like Family) is Kirby-esque…what kind of relationship do you have with Jack Kirby’s work?

A: For me, Kirby attains a level of dynamic energy and has a connection to the marrow of life that is unmatched in comics. I haven’t been able to shake the purity of his creative expression. His imagination was unhinged from limitation, and he used it in service to humanity - to pursue tough questions. Kirby is equal parts artist, philosopher, and prophet. For example, he did an interview alongside Carmine Infantino where he reveals the underpinnings of the Fourth World, which dealt with the effects of technology on humanity; he was both prescient and ambivalent as a futurist. But his exploration of technology always came back to his philosophical center: the struggles and potential of the human spirit. I think that’s the thing for me: wherever Jack goes he pushes the boundaries, but the core is always humanity.

Q: So then, can you narrow it down to a top 5 of favorite Kirby creations?

A: That’s a tough one! Many people think Jack needed editing, but I disagree. Most of my favorite stuff from him was what he wrote for himself. Top of the list has got to be Forever People, simply for the subjects he tackled: fascism, the promises and pitfalls of youth, and the practical failure of heroism that is, somehow, ultimately hopeful. It’s extremely relevant today. Close behind that is the rest of the Fourth World, which was massive in scope, but dealt with mundane circumstances; like, here are gods that have to disguise themselves and deal with bureaucracy or bullets or Darkseid - the embodiment of evil - chilling on their couch! Next, 2001: A Space Odyssey, mostly because of the beautiful cosmic absurdity. I feel like he was the most unfiltered in that series. It was pure, high-concept Kirby philosophy. And Mike Royer, who’s my favorite inker for Jack, does some truly beautiful work there. Next, it’s mid-to-late era Fantastic Four. Sinnott’s inks were incredible, and Lee did great work interpreting Jack’s story sense - not to mention, the FF are the foundation for the Marvel Universe. Then, I think, everything Black Panther that he did, because Jack wanted to push the conversation forward. He knew he was writing mostly for kids, so he built in assumptions that countered the general American narrative about race. The period of his work between 1967-1976 was where I think he hit his strongest stride.

Q: I know you mentioned that this was your first comic. Can you talk about where the idea for this book came from and how it developed into a fully-formed comic?

A: Before this, I wrote a full five-issue arc of a comic in an entirely different style, and I was planning on farming out the art duties. My wife kept prodding me to do the art, but I didn’t feel ready. Then one day we were driving out of town when suddenly this thought poked into my head: “hillbilly space family that runs a junkyard in space,” and for the rest of the night I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This was the thing I knew I wanted to draw, and I was going to pack as much Kirby crackle and reflective metal into it as I could! So I took that initial idea and started teasing it out into a script. It became a cute little one-shot with a happily-ever-after ending. But in the process of drawing it, I thought, what if it didn’t end there? It became a sandbox for me, where I could explore any and all ideas that I have. So more characters, like The Catastrophe Twins, started surfacing. More and more of the mythos of this world developed, and even though it became decidedly less “hillbilly” than the original idea, I wanted to try and retain a humorous element.

Q: The banter in this book strikes me as being as witty as a well-done sitcom. What are some of your favorite TV family comedies?

A: Thank you! That’s nice to hear because I feel like I’m not particularly good at banter. Brooklyn 99 is a modern classic. I feel like each show has at least one big laugh. Definitely the first three seasons of Arrested Development - I am in awe at what Mitch Hurwitz was able to do with thirty plot threads and subtlety. The IT Crowd is another one. Also, reaching way back, the Dick Van Dyke Show, which my wife and I have watched through three times.

David Moses LeNoir, as drawn by his 3-year-old daughter.

Q: Not to be too intrusive, but has your own family read your work, and if so, has there been any feedback?

A: Yes! Good feedback, actually! We’re all very supportive of each other’s creative endeavors. All of the family that has read it has been encouraging. Even if comics may not be their “thing,” they still support it. I haven’t gotten, “Hey, is that supposed to be about me??” Really, I have not been writing it in a way where I’m directly referencing things that have actually happened, or where characters are based on my family members. If anything, the Galactic Junk Squad (Well, More Like Family) represents different sides of myself, each vying for dominance - or at least a modicum of control - and I say, “Let’s see what happens when it all falls apart.” I want to make it as human and relatable as I can, but set it against a crazy cosmic backdrop.

+1: Funniest family drama story you’re able/willing to share…

A: When I was probably two or three, my brother told my mom that he wanted a TV for his room for Christmas. This was back in the 80’s when there was just one TV in most homes. My mom said, “Get realistic,” and I said, “Yeah, get real lipstick!

Check out our other Five Questions with Creators pieces and other Comics Lists here!

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

The Eye of the Storm: WildStorm Past and Present

WildStorm is really 25 years old now. Really.

By Taylor Pechter — The 1990s was a consequential decade for comics, a decade of deaths and broken backs, of shoulder pads and huge guns. It was also the decade that gave us WildStorm Productions, an imprint created by then-rising star Jim Lee, who jumped ship from Marvel and DC along with other big-name artists following disputes over creators’ rights. When WildStorm began in 1992, it could have been dismissed as just more large guns, heavily-detailed art, and not much focus on story.

After the company grew in popularity, though, Lee sold it to DC. With this sale, DC editorial took the universe under its watch, ultimately overseeing great experimentation in storytelling spearheaded by writers such as Warren Ellis and Joe Casey and artists such as Bryan Hitch, whose worked helped redefine what comics look like.

Now get ready because today we’re jumping head first into the defining era of WildStorm, looking at the themes and visuals from the imprint that have had such a lasting impact on the comic book industry today.

StormWatch

StormWatch #37 brought Warren Ellis into the WildStorm Universe.

The year is 1997. The comics speculator market bubble has burst and sales of WildStorm books have stagnated. Enter Warren Ellis, a British writer who had done some work at but was not on many fans’ radars. With his run on Stormwatch starting at #37, however, that quickly changed.

Ellis would completely redefine the team, splitting it into three squadrons: Prime (defense against superhuman threats), Red (members with destructive powers for deterrent displays), and Black (undercover black ops). As the run started, Ellis introduced us to his thematic interests via the words of Frederick Nietzsche, I want to teach men the meaning of their existence; which is the Superman, the lightning from the dark cloud that is man.

Ellis’ run incorporated themes of corruption of power, the relationship between man and superhuman, and ultimately how supherhumans change a world. These themes are primarily conveyed through StormWatch leader Henry Bendix (alias The Weatherman), the StormWatch Black Team (Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor, and Swift), and The High and his Changers. As the run progressed, StormWatch’s prominence grew while Bendix became madder with power, coming to view his team as the end-all, be-all of planetary surveillance and defense, akin to worldwide secret police. This eventually leads him down a path of murder and a removal from his position, with former field leader Jackson King (alias Battalion) taking over in his stead.

Meanwhile, the members of StormWatch Black personified rebellion, especially their leader, Jenny Sparks. As one of the proclaimed century babies, Sparks lived through the highs and lows of the 1900s, coming to be known as The Spirit of 20th Century. She’s also seen firsthand how superpowers changed society, with adventures through the decades as a solider in the wars and later a member of the shady Royal Space Program. This history also informs her relationship with John Cumberland (alias The High). The High is the main ideological lynchpin of the run, with his actions in the story Change or Die reflect the theme of the run, as The High actually says, We are Superhumans, just as your modern crimefighters and Covert Action teams. However, we feel a different responsibility than they do… They try to save the world, but make no effort to change it. This speaks to the somewhat hypocritical nature of the modern superhero. As time passed, StormWatch dissolved due to infighting, Bendix succumbing to insanity, and SkyWatch (the team’s satellite command center) being set upon by alien infestation. With most of the team dead, field commander Nikolas Kamarov (alias Winter) made the final decision to the throw the station into the sun. StormWatch was dead, but from its ashes rose a new force, an Authority that would either save the world, or rule it with an iron fist.

The Authority

Out of the ashes of StormWatch rose The Authority, a team formed by former StormWatch Black operatives Jenny Sparks, Jack Hawksmoor, and Swift. It also included Apollo and Midnighter, The Engineer, and The Doctor. The Authority’s story is broken up into three four-issue arcs, which focus on innate fears with society: the fear of terrorism, the fear of foreign invasion, and the fear of the unknown. Through The Authority, Ellis wove a tale of a team of powerhouses trying to save the world and to also change it for the better. However, their goals came at a cost.

What Ellis also did was break down the glitz and glamour of a superhero team. The Authority is brash, arrogant, and—most of all—violent. Cities were leveled and an entire alternate Earth was destroyed. The Authority, however, considered it just part of the job, losses to make the world a better place. Toward the book’s end, the team eventually faced an alien entity that was blocking out the sun. Jenny Sparks shocked its brain and the day was won, but at a cost that shook the team to its core. As the century wound down, so did the life of Jenny Sparks. After 100 years of being a planetary defense mechanism, she died at the stroke of midnight January 1, 2000, in the arms of Jack Hawksmoor. With a new century, however, came a new generation of defenders.

The Art: While Ellis’ scripts were certainly groundbreaking, so too was the artwork of Bryan Hitch, inker Paul Neary, and colorist Laura Depuy (later Martin). With wide panels, splash pages galore, and cinematic action, Hitch was, and still is, the main purveyor of widescreen comics art. With Neary’s clean inks and Martin’s luscious colors, The Authority is still one of the most visually influential books in modern comics.

Wildcats

Casey and Phillips WildCats run was short but excellent.

What happens to covert teams that don’t have a war to fight? What happens when a teammate dies, splintering the rest of the team? Or, when a team’s leader wants to transcend to a higher level of living, one that requires he be killed?

In 1999, writer Joe Casey and artist Sean Phillips took over Wildcats and set out to answer these questions. After a mission gone wrong, Zealot is killed and Grifter is left reeling. Grifter has become a washed-up shell of his former self, trying to find answers about Zealot’s death. On the other end, Lord Emp (known to Earth as Jacob Marlowe, leader of the Wildcats), is asking his long-time rival Kenyan to kill him so he can ascend. Kenyan, however, instead kills himself, and Spartan is forced to kill Emp. In the aftermath, posing as Emp’s great-nephew Jack Marlowe, he is bequeathed HALO Industries and inherits Emp’s fortune. Meanwhile, Priscilla Kitaen (alias Voodoo) and Doctor Jeremy Stone (alias Maul) are living together. Jeremy has locked himself in his lab to to find a cure for a disease.

That’s a lot, to be sure, but overall Casey tells a story about destiny and legacy. Spartan has to deal with running HALO and guilt for killing Emp, which is easy enough because as a synthetic humanoid, he feels no emotion. This, however, conflicts with Grifter mourning the loss of his trainer and lover. Spartan also has to deal with having the Marlowe name, a target since Emp had many enemies. After Pris is nearly murdered by superhuman serial killer Samuel Slaughterhouse Smith, she is visited by a Daemonite, of which she is a half-breed. With that meeting she fully comes to terms with her heritage. Optimism reenergized, she then looks to a brighter future, alongside Jeremy.

The Art: Joining Casey on this book is noir art master Sean Phillips. With deep shadows, imposing figures, and brutal action, Phillips creates a foreboding tone to perfectly match Casey’s script. Sadly, the book only lasted two years before being cancelled but returning a year later as Wildcats Version 3.0. In a short time, however, Casey and Phillips crafted one of, if not the defining runs on Wildcats.

Planetary

It’s a strange world. Let’s keep it that way. This is the mantra for Warren Ellis’s magnum opus, Planetary. A decade in the making, Planetary revolves around a four-person team of mystery archaeologists who explore the world. This team consists of Elijah Snow, our ride along character Jakita Wagner, The Drummer, and Ambrose Chase.

With Planetary, Ellis constructs a story that revolves around genre and—more importantly—pop culture. This journey through 20th century pop culture is seen through the eyes of Elijah, who like Jenny Sparks is one of the century babies. The series has one main through line, but each issue also tackles a certain genre, breaking it down and showing how it has changed the world. These stories included a ghost cop out for revenge in Hong Kong (Dead Gunfighter); the somber Vertigo-tinged To Be In England, In The Summertime; the hypocrisy of vigilantism in The Torture of William Leather, and the metaphysics of superheroes in Zero Point.

In them all, Ellis demonstrates how the aspects of various genres has affected society through use in pop culture. While the macro exploration of genre and pop culture is the book’s driving force, the heart of Planetary is the micro exploration of Elijah Snow as a character, as well as how he becomes more in tune with the world. Snow’s motives, while staying somewhat consistent throughout the first half of the series, shift as we approach the final act. As readers, we are Elijah, not just in terms of the world Ellis is crafting but also the world outside our window. There is so much to explore here, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.  

The Art: Not to be outdone by Ellis’ deft scripting are John Cassaday’s art and Laura Martin’s colors. Cassaday shifts his style throughout each chapter to capture the tone. This can mean changing panel sizes, borders, shadows, or expressions. It’s commendable how much work he put into each page, and it’s made even better by Martin’s amazing colors, with bright reds and blues making the art pop. This book was subject to many delays, attributed to both Ellis and Cassaday, but Planetary eventually ended with its 27th issue, becoming one of the most celebrated comic books of all time

The Wild Storm

Twenty years after he helped redefine the WildStorm Universe with StormWatch, Warren Ellis is doing it again with The Wild Storm, which just released issue #16 this week. This time, Ellis is writing a stripped down, no frills, corporate espionage tale focused on three organizations: tech giant HALO (run by Jacob Marlowe), black ops intelligence agency International Operations or IO (run by Miles Craven), and secret space program Skywatch (led by Henry Bendix). This is an entirely new story, rather than a continuation of past titles.

The main conflict in this series is rivalries between organizations, with the story asking how Earth would react if it was ruled by these power structures. There is, of course, a twist. While IO is interested in Earth and its resources, Skywach is more interested in ruling space, even going as far as colonizing other planets. After Bendix starts getting a vested interest in Earth’s resources, IO starts to retaliate. Caught in between this corporate battle is a team of rogue IO and Skwatch agents who have formed their own covert action team, a Wild CAT. Their objective is to stop this war, fearing it will tear the planet apart.

The Art: Joining Ellis on art duties is Jon Davis-Hunt, whose simple yet dynamic style lends to the gritty espionage themes and to the frenetic action that is wonderfully brutal. His linework combines with the gorgeous colors of Steve Buccellatto. With stripping down the universe and giving it a more modern feel, this creative team has given new life to characters Ellis made his name writing.

In conclusion, following its start in the ‘90s, WildStorm went grew from the typical extreme fare of the decade into one of the most fertile grounds for storytelling in all of superhero comics, doing everything from looking at how superheroes have changed the world to how a team can survive in a world that doesn’t accept them. WildStorm also has a history of art that has redefined the style of comics, from the widescreen destruction of The Authority by Hitch, to the noir stylings of Wildcats by Sean Phillips, or the versatility of John Cassaday in Planetary. These artists helped raise a new generation, also contributing to the creation of the modern comics event.

Thank you all for joining me on this journey—hopefully you too will now jump into the eye of the storm. 

Taylor Pechter is a passionate comic book fan and nerd. Find him on Twitter @TheInspecter.  

How Hawkman Soars: A Five-Panel Explainer

By Zack Quaintance — Hawkman by Robert Venditti and Bryan Hitch feels like a throwback (in a good way) for a couple reasons. First, it’s a story of a modest scale. This is an odd notion, given we're talking about a comic that spans all of space and time, but at its core Hawkman is a relatively simple adventure starring a character who is unraveling personal mysteries while also combating threats to the larger world. Second, it features killer artwork by Bryan Hitch.

Regarding Hitch: it’s often hard to see how the standards and conventions of a storytelling medium limit it until someone breaks them. This was true of my perception of comics in the ‘90s (a super weird decade, yet not as bad as its reputation...a topic for another day). Hitch’s work on The Authority showed me the freeing potential of excessively splashy spreads brimming with gigantic action and wide perspective. Basically, I’d never realized how claustrophobic most books felt until Hitch blew it up.

Lately I’d forgotten how much a revelation his style once was, especially since it has now become commonplace in superhero stories. Obviously, it’s not a fit for every book, and it has maybe been overdone at times (way overdone), but when used well as it is in Hawkman—look out. And so that’s what I’d like to discuss today via five-panel explainer: how Hawkman soars on the wings of old school adventuring and free-flying artwork. Let’s do it!  

Panel One - The Continuity

Like many DC heroes, Hawkman is a great character with a long and convoluted history, one that can potentially act as a barrier of entry for new readers. Venditti and Hitch realize this, and in Hawkman #1 we get this stunning panel, which orients us and conveys the basics while also establishing that this book is about our hero himself coming to terms with his background. Basically, they’re telling us relax...it’s okay to be confused. We’re heading out—together—to explore.

This killer spread from Hawkman #1 does a great job refreshing the current state of Hawkman's continuity. 

Panel Two - The Journal

From Hawkman #3, our hero pours through his journal, reminding us of the status of his quest.

This second panel is less visually-exciting, yet it’s just as important as the one above in terms of giving structure to the narrative. If that frenetic spread establishes we’re sorting out our hero’s past together, the journal acts as a device for reminding us what we’ve so far learned. It gives our protagonist an organic means of taking stock of his progress, and it gives Venditti a nice way to craft interesting narration without showing the writer’s hand in the story. It’s been well-done through three issues, and I'm hoping we’ll see more of it moving forward.

Panel Three - The Museum

Not to go too far into the story, but this book is about Hawkman learning he’s been reincarnated not just over time but also throughout space. In any given issue, the story goes to another planet, another time, and then back to present day. It’s a lot and it could become unwieldy...if Venditti and Hitch weren’t so good at creating pedestrian visits to things like subways and museums. Basically, this book positions Hawkman as the Indiana Jones of the DCU, and so it needs the cleaned up scenes where Indie is curating or teaching classes. So far, we’ve gotten them done well. This panel is a personal favorite.

The significant of an epic quest can sometimes get lost if there's nothing present to ground a character, which Venditti and Hitch do well in this museum scene from Hawkman #2.

Panel Four - The Monsters

An old school adventure comic book is nothing without its monsters, and Hawkman is no exception. This was the hardest panel to pick because there were so many good choices, but I went with giant angry ape (apologies to giant angry T-Rex and giant angry flock of automaton birdmen). This is classic Hitch, with larger than life kinetic artwork that explodes through panels and off pages. Love it.

What's an adventure that travels through space and time without giant angry monsters? Scene from Hawkman #1.

Perhaps the most important panels in the entire series are those in which Hawkman takes to the sky. Artwork from Hawkman #3.

Panel Five - The Skies

The best visual bits of this book, however, are the open skies...as they should be in a story about a flying character. There are plenty of closeup action shots, sure, but Hitch and Venditti often pull the theoretical camera back to show us what a speck our hero is against the vastness of the sky he moves through. This framing is used often and clearly not meant to diminish his stature, which it really doesn’t—we’re never more than a panel or two away from him hitting a dinosaur or something with his mace—but instead it aims to show us the freedom of his explorations, the limitless nature of his life and his journey, and it wildly succeeds.

To wrap up, I’ll say that through three issues Hawkman has established itself as a welcome addition to DC’s superhero line, a book that flies a bit beneath the radar, content to function on its own as a rewarding and good-looking read, hard to predict and loaded with mystery. It remains to be seen if the creative team can take the protagonist to meaningful places through a prolonged run, but Venditti has a good track record with long-form superheroics (see X-O Manowar and the recently-concluded Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps), while someone in Burbank deserves a hearty pat on the back for fitting Hitch’s artwork to this character and story.

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

ADVANCED REVIEW: Hot Lunch Special #1 by Eliot Rahal, Jorge Fornes, & Taylor Esposito

There is a very personal feel to this story about mafia debts and severed appendages.

By Zack Quaintance — To join in on the food motif of Hot Lunch Special #1, let me start by saying this comic book feels like a main course of generational immigrant success story with a healthy side of Fargo-esque Midwestern crime noir, plus just a taste of a cautionary mafia power struggle. That’s a big meal (end of the food references, I swear), but it’s one that writer Eliot Rahal and artist Jorge Fornes serve up (damn it) expertly.

I liked Hot Lunch Special #1 quite a bit, and the main reason why is that there was a compelling level of realism here, one that at times made it feel almost like a memoir, although not quite because readers are never that far removed from a cops or crooks scene, or gasp a severed finger in a sandwich (that’s page 1, actually). Credit for this realism is, of course, due in large part to Rahal’s script, which I’m fairly certain was heavily informed by his familial history, but it’s also due to Fornes artwork, which strives for and achieves an immersive and intricate level of detail in even the book’s quietest moments—especially in the book’s quietest moments.

Fornes also does some great work with his colors, using them as so many masters have to make clear which scenes were set in the distant past for an older generation (one word: sepia) and which are in modern times.

There’s certainly a lot to pack into this debut, yet the book doesn’t fall victim to a frequent first issue pet peeve of mine: over exposition. No, there are no lengthy exchanges between two talking heads filling in how grandma met grandpa or how the family business first became entangled with organized crime (not a spoiler...all of that was in the solicit). Instead, Rahal and Fornes expertly careen this story through space and time, sparing us any over-inflation and keeping the narrative tight. It works so effectively that I halfway wondered if this was an oversized issued as I read. Put simply, a lot goes down.

But it’s all manageable and the hands of the creators go largely unnoticed. By the time the third act here came to its excellent cliffhanger of a conclusion, I felt like I knew who our main stakeholders were (especially the fantastic antagonist) and, more importantly, I felt like I had a reason to care about the story’s central family. I am—groan—ready for a second helping.  

Overall: Hot Lunch Special #1 takes a very personal generational story and mashes it up with  Fargo-esque Midwestern crime noir. It’s a quiet and grounded comic mostly, one that also feels taut and dangerous by its end. This first issue is promising, an excellent start for what may prove to be a unique book. 9.0/10

For more comic book and movie reviews, check out our review archives here.

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

Top Previews For the Week of June 18

By Zack Quaintance — In recent weeks, we’ve launched a semi-relentless campaign to be added to as many comic book publisher media lists as possible. Okay, full disclosure, this has been an ongoing campaign for some time. But recently there’s been success! Anyway, thanks to some good folks who do publicity for many of our favorite comic publishers, we’re now regularly getting previews to share with you.

As such, this is the first in a weekly series titled Top New Previews From Last Week, which is exactly what it sounds like. Below you’ll find promotional copy and photos from some of the most exciting previews that came our way last week, along with a lukewarm take, in which we give a brief reaction to the book.

Enjoy!

Archie #32
Writers: Mark Waid & Ian Flynn
Artist: Audrey Mok
Colorist: Kelly Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Archie Comics
More Info: $3.99 / 32 pages / On Sale 7/11/18
It all comes down to this! The Riverdale gang—held hostage by Cheryl Blossom's father! Reggie—at last paying for his crimes! And when all is said and done, Riverdale is turned upside down once more!
Our Take: Archie has become one of those books that is so good we take it for granted, dating back to when Mark Waid and Fiona Staples relaunched it back in July 2015. This latest arc has been solid, too. Enjoy guilt free!

Britannia: Lost Eagles of Rome #1 (of 4)
Writer: Peter Milligan
Artist: Robert Gill
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
More Info: $3.99 / 32 pages / On Sale 7/25/18
The Roman standard – the eagle borne at the front of each Roman legion – was more than just a symbol of the soldiers that carried it…It was a symbol of Rome itself, the ultimate embodiment of the empire’s power…

But now, in the mist-shrouded Germanic forest of Tottenwald, the unthinkable has happened: A rampaging barbarian horde has crushed three of Rome’s most highly skilled detachments in battle…and captured their mighty Roman eagles.

His authority threatened by this all-too-public shame, the mad emperor Nero has dispatched Antonius Axia, the empire’s finest “detectioner” and hero of Britannia, and Achillia, the sword-wielding champion of the gladiatorial arena, to reclaim his stolen relics at any cost.

But what began as a simple mission will soon become a terrifying journey into the dark heart of belief itself as the isolated woodlands of Rome’s enemies reveal unseen dimensions…and the true power of the legion’s lost eagles threatens to consume any who would pursue them…

Our Take: We’ve loved previous volumes of Britannia. The adventures of Valiant’s detectioner are as creepy as they are unpredictable. Some of Milligan’s best work (which is saying a lot), we’re all in for volume three! Also, for new readers these books really do stand on their own nicely.

Giant Days #40
Writer: John Alison
Artist: Max Sarin
Publisher: Boom! Studios
More Info: $3.99 / On Sale 7.4.18
Ed Gemmel returns to Sheffield after a summer spent healing bones and also his heart. Esther does her best to welcome him back, but neither of them have forgotten his drunken confession.
Lukewarm Take: Giant Days has been so good for so long, that’s it’s earning its place among all-time great slice-of-life comics. Powered by John Alison’s brilliant sense of character and dry wit, this book is a regular favorite of ours. Extra points for any issues featuring Ed Gemmel.

Harbinger Wars 2: Aftermath #1
Writer: Matt Kindt
Artist: Adam Pollina
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
More Info: $3.99 / 32 pages / On Sale 9.26.18
The power’s back online and the fighting is over…but who are the real victors of Harbinger Wars 2, and what was truly lost in the carnage? For those who survived the terrible onslaught – and who must now witness the devastating aftereffects of their actions – will there ever be peace again?
Our Take: Harbinger Wars 2 is shaping up to be the Valiant Universe’s Civil War, and so far we’ve loved every moment of it. This event has done some deep, nuanced work with character motivations that is really paying off. Sign us up for this aftermath one-shot, too.

Moth & Whisper #1
Writer: Ted Anderson
Artist: Jen Hickman
Letterer: Marshall Dillon
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
More Info: $3.99 / 32 pages / On Sale 9.12.18
Everyone knows that the two greatest thieves in the city are the Moth and the Whisper. Very few know that the Moth and the Whisper disappeared six months ago. And what nobody knows is that the new Moth and Whisper are actually one person pretending to be both of them. One supremely skilled but uncertain young genderfluid thief: Niki, the child of the Moth and the Whisper.

Niki has been trained by their parents in the arts of stealth and infiltration, but they’re still just a teenager, and now they’re alone, searching for their parents in a hostile cyberpunk dystopia. Corporations run the streets while crime lords like Ambrose Wolfe run the alleys—identity is a commodity and privacy is impossible. The truth about Niki’s parents and their disappearance is out there, but can Niki survive long enough to find it?

A Young Adult cyberpunk thriller starring a genderqueer super-thief, Moth & Whisper is the brainchild of Ted Anderson (My Little Pony, Adventure Time) and Jen Hickman (Jem and the Holograms, The Dead), that just HAD to be told at AfterShock!

Our Take: AfterShock Comics has been on some kind of roll lately, with a slew of new books in 2018 that are high on quality and also rich with what’s becoming a trademark AfterShock sensibility—heavy on the thrills with a side of genre, be it science fiction, dark fantasy, or horror. This book has an interesting premise and one hell of a creative team.

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

ADVANCED REVIEW: Euthanauts #1 by Tini Howard, Nick Robles, & Aditya Bidikar

Euthanauts #1  is an intriguing comic that lives up to its incredible cover art.

Euthanauts #1 is an intriguing comic that lives up to its incredible cover art.

Tini Howard and Nick Robles’ Euthanuats #1 first caught my attention weeks ago with its title and cover. In tandem, the two evoke thoughts of a woman journeying through death, body withered to bones as her head and mind are protected by a glass bauble, one that glows with life and attracts insects like a light bulb. My interest was bolstered further by the books presence on IDW’s imprint, Black Crown, from former long-time Vertigo editor Shelly Bond. I’ve enjoyed all Black Crown offerings (more here), but it was another book by Howard that really stood out to me: Assassinistas, a collaboration with the legendary Gilbert Hernandez that applies complex modern family dynamics to an archetypal femme fatale death squad.

Whereas Assassinistas is more of a character study, one laced with appropriate bits of humor and modest bouts of action, Euthanuats is better-described as an abstract and surreal walk through our fears, expectations and attitudes around death. Our protagonist is an alienated receptionist who works in a funeral home and is dissatisfied with her life and friendships. For the first two-thirds of the book, the story grounds us in this struggle, functioning well as a slice-of-life comic.

Howard’s characterization is strong, with effective interior monologue lines like, “I was thinking about how weird it is that I don’t like my friends and they don’t really like me—when I first saw her…”, as well as snappy character banter, such as, “It’s like, communism works just fine, you just have to really, really likeable.” Robles art is also wonderful, detailed and realistic, glazed over with a fitting color palette that manages to be forlorn without tipping into morbid or noir.

Nick Robles' art in  Euthanauts #1  depicts a non-conventional side of death.

Nick Robles' art in Euthanauts #1 depicts a non-conventional side of death.

It is, however, the plot point that catapults us into the third act that really establishes this book as something special. Not to give too much away, but reality blurs into a world of ethereal surrealism, seemingly a realm of death, or near death. It's unclear, and the book makes a wise decision to keep readers disoriented. I’ve been reading comics for two decades and change, and as such I’ve seen an excessive number of visual depictions of death, limbo, the afterlife, etc. I’ve rarely seen one as intriguing as in Euthanuats, which I take as a testament to both the imagination and research that went into this story.

This has already been a fantastic year for comics as unfettered explorations of nigh-universal fears, concerns, or hang ups (see Eternity Girl, Mister Miracle, and several inward-facing horror books), but Euthanauts charges headlong at the most towering concern of all—death—and emerges with a fascinating and beautifully-told story. I barely have a guess for where this book is headed next, and I love that.

Overall: Engrossing and complex, Euthanauts is the best book yet from former Vertigo editor Shelly Bond’s new IDW imprint, Black Crown. Howard’s script dives confidentiality into a universal concern—death—as Robles' ethereal visuals blur reality. An intriguing and gorgeous comic, this one is highly recommended. 9.0/10

Euthanauts #1 is out July 18. Learn more about it here!

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

REVIEW: Pestilence - A Story of Satan #1 by Frank Tieri, Oleg Okunev, Rob Schwager, & Marshall Dillon

An upcoming cover by Tim Bradstreet for  Pestilence: Story of Satan  from  AfterShock Comics.

An upcoming cover by Tim Bradstreet for Pestilence: Story of Satan from AfterShock Comics.

Pestilence: A Story of Satan #1 marks the start of the second volume of an ongoing story in which the bubonic plague, aka The Black Death, of the late 14th Century was actually mankind’s first brush with zombies. Church and religion factor into its plot, as do the political power structures associated with those institutions. To up the stakes this time around, the antagonist is now Satan. So yes, there is quite a bit going on here narratively.

Make no mistake though, in spite of the historic and theological trappings, the core of this book is good ol’ fashioned zombie killing and survivalism, and the creative team is well aware. The plot constructs are mostly used as an interesting lens to filter the tropes of zombie horror through, to create a different set of circumstances for readers to imagine themselves in and contemplate what they would do if faced with the same odds, which to me is the core of any good zombie story.

And as with most zombie stories, there’s also plenty of cheese here. Satan is grotesquely and perfectly rendered by Okunev and Schwager’s artistry, while simultaneously being portrayed by Tieri’s script as a lord of fire and brimstone mixed with that one friend you don’t call much anymore because he swears around your kids, brags about the deal he got on his whatever, and punches you in the arm as a greeting. Satan is terrifying but also the absolute worst.

For example...WARNING, profane language...in the space of two pages, Satan says the following: “...stupid mortal c**ts…” “...you fleshbag t*at…” and “Shut the f*ck up!” The profanity works though, and in this book there is over-the-top fun on nearly every page. Tieri also does a great job nailing his plot twists and ending, making for a quick and suspenseful read that does its duty with exposition while also peaking at its end, thereby enticing anyone who enjoyed this first issue back for another installment.

In a larger context, this book fits nicely with the rest of its publisher’s line. It is essentially an action-packed, B movie-esque horror alternative that compliments AfterShock Comics’ more literary and mysterious takes on fear, specifically newer books like A Walk Through Hell and Her Infernal Descent (both of which I love). It is, to be blunt, one hell of a bloody good time (sorry!).

Overall: I recommended this book for fans of both alternate takes on history and of horror stories co-mingled with theology, and I suspect it's also well worth a look for fans of the zombie genre. Pestilence: A Story of Satan #1 is an uncouth variation of standard zombie tropes made more interesting by its continued secret history premise. 7.5/10

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.

A Handy Guide for DC's Big comiXology Memorial Day Sale

Midnighter Vol. 1  is one of our top picks, available for $5.99.

Midnighter Vol. 1 is one of our top picks, available for $5.99.

I am scared to count how much money I’ve spent on DC’s Memorial Day Sale on comiXology, which runs through Monday. Figuring out my budget is a problem for Next Month Me. I also suspect I’m not done yet and I’ll end up making more last minute purchases as the weekend winds down.

To that end, I’d like to enable all of you to spend money along with me. This is America, you know. All told there are 1,000 titles, most of which are marked down to $5.99 while a few others to $4.99. Deciding what to buy can be a bit overwhelming, which is why I’ve compiled this Handy Guide for Last Minute DC comiXology Memorial Day Sale Shopping. Behold!

Below you will find five categories: my top 10 overall picks, a list of significant runs to invest in, some essential classics it’s nice to have, the books that offer the biggest savings, and a quick list of all the $4.99 books.

Hope you find this helpful, and feel free to hit me up on Twitter to let me know what you bought!

Top 10 Overall Picks

This list skews toward books I’ve perceived as underrated or under-discussed recently, with my hope being readers will find new discoveries. I could have put All-Star Superman or Watchmen here, but how helpful would that be, right?

1. The Flintstones Vols. 1 & 2
The Flintstones by Mark Russell and Steve Pugh is one of the sharpest comic book satires ever, commenting on everything from the military-industrial complex to artistic struggles to consumerism. And it’s somehow also about The Flintstones. It takes a leap of faith, but if some or any of what I described sounds appealing, I highly recommend doing it. Total Price: $11.98

2. The Wild Storm Vol. 1
Warren Ellis and Jon Davis-Hunt are doing something ambitious and special with this new take on the old Wildstorm universe and characters, which is fresh and stands on its own yet brimming with plenty of nods to long-time readers. The sister title, Wild Storm: Michael Cray by Bryan Edward Hill and N. Steven Harris, is just as good (but, alas, not on sale). Total Price: $5.99

3. Green Arrow: Rebirth Vols. 1, 2, 3, & 4
I know, I know...this book has already gotten much attention, but I just had to include Benjamin Percy’s Rebirth Green Arrow run here. If you want to know why I like it so much, you can find that here. Total Price: $23.96

4. The Omega Men: The End is Here
Before Tom King was Mister Miracle Tom King, or Batman Tom King, or even The Vision Tom King, he was The Omega Men Tom King. This is the book that first brought one of the best current writers to my attention. If you’ve enjoyed his high-profile recent work, you’ll surely appreciate this too, like watching a rookie have a breakout game in sports. Total Price: $5.99

5. Cassandra Cain as Batgirl Vols. 1, 2, & 3
Just like Wally West is always and forever my Flash, Cassandra Cain is my Batgirl. She was, after all, in the costume when I read my first Batgirl comics. If you liked her in James Tynion’s recently-concluded Detective Comics run, you’ll like this book, too. Total Price: $17.97

6. New Super Man Vols. 1 & 2
This title is ending soon, but Gene Luen Yang’s New Super Man—a Chinese teenager genetically enhanced by his government—has been a highlight of DC’s Rebirth. It’s also one of the few titles from the initiative that takes refreshing risks rather than leaning on foundations of long-established characters. Total Price: $11.98

7. Midnighter Vols. 1 & 2 & Midnighter & Apollo Vol. 1
Midnighter, which starts in the New 52 and extends into Rebirth with the six-issue mini Midnighter & Apollo, is the book that first brought Steve Orlando to my attention. It’s complete with faith in the reader and nuanced character beats that make Orlando’s most recent work—Justice League of America and Crude—so favorably-reviewed on our site. Total Price: $17.97

8. Superman and the Legion of Super Heroes
There is a surprising amount of commentary about nationalism in this book (planetism, technically) that feels searingly relevant today. If you’re dying for the Legion to return to the post-Rebirth DCU, this quick read might just tide you over. Total Price: $5.99

9. Swamp Thing (2016)
The last few months of the New 52/DC You were a mess, as the publisher was aggressively looking to the future. Swamp Thing (2016), however, was a standout, and it also ended up being one of the last stories the character’s creator, Len Wein, ever told. Total Price: $5.99

10. Batman: New Gotham Vols. 1 & 2
I may have nostalgia bias here, seeing as this collects the first run of Detective Comics I read as a kid, but I’ve always thought Greg Rucka’s time on the title was underrated. It’s set in the aftermath of No Man’s Land, and it does a great job of depicting the central tenants of Batman’s world, including Bruce Wayne, Gotham City, and the GCPD. Total Price: $11.98

All Star-Superman  is essential reading.

All Star-Superman is essential reading.

7 Essential Classics

This section is dedicated to books that all comic fans should own. I have many of these in hardcopy—and, as always, I advise you to support your local comic shop/community by purchasing in that format, too—but it doesn’t hurt to have digital copies, you know, in case you need to clean panel shots to post on Twitter.

  • All-Star Superman - $4.99
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns - $5.99
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths - $5.99
  • Kingdom Come - $4.99
  • Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? - $5.99
  • Watchmen - $4.99
  • Wonder Woman by George Perez Vols. 1 & 2 - $11.98 Total

 

8 Significant Runs to Invest In

The section above is mostly standalone books, so let’s look now at some of the best runs in this sale, which range in size from three volumes to as many as nine.

  • Aquaman (by Geoff Johns) Vols. 1, 2, 3, & 4 - $23.96
  • Batman (by Scott Snyder & Greg Capullo) Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 - $53.91
  • Deathstroke: Rebirth Vols. 1, 2, & 3 - $17.97
  • Green Arrow Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 - $53.91
  • JLA Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & 9 - $53.91
  • Justice League Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8 - $47.92
  • New Teen Titans Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, & JC - $53.91
  • Secret Six Vols. 1, 2, 3, & 4 - $23.96 & New 52 Secret Six Vols. 1 & 2 - $11.98

All the Biggest Savings

These books cost $29.99 or more but have been marked down for this sale to $5.99.

  • Aquaman: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Aquaman: The Atlantis Chronicles $34.99
  • Batgirl: A Celebration of 50 Years $29.99
  • Batman by Azzarello and Risso $29.99
  • Batman: Eternal Vol. 1 $29.99
  • Batman: Eternal Vol. 2 $29.99
  • Batman: Eternal Vol. 3 $29.99
  • Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Batman: Ego and Other Tails $29.99
  • Batman: War Games Book 2 $29.99
  • Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • DC Universe of John Byrne $29.99
  • DC Universe of Mike Mignola $29.99
  • DC: New Frontier $39.99
  • Green Arrow by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino Deluxe Edition $39.99
  • Green Arrow: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Green Lantern: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Justice League of America: The Nail $29.99
  • Justice Society of America: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Lex Luthor: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Lois Lane: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Midnighter: The Complete Wildstorm Series $29.99
  • Shazam! A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Superboy & The Legion of Superheroes Vol. 1 $34.99
  • Superman: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Superman: Doomed $39.99
  • Swamp Thing by Scott Snyder $39.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Archie Goodwin $29.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Carmine Infantino $34.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Don Newton $29.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan Vol. 1 $29.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Gene Colan Vol. 2 $29.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Gerry Conway Vol. 1 $34.99
  • Tales of the Batman: JH Williams III $34.99
  • Tales of the Batman: Len Wein $34.99
  • Teen Titans: A Celebration of 50 Years $29.99
  • The Flash: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • The Joker: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • The Multiversity Deluxe Edition $34.99
  • The New 52: Futures End Vol. 1 $29.99
  • Wonder Woman by John Byrne Vol. 1 $29.99
  • Wonder Woman: A Celebration of 75 Years $29.99
  • Zatana by Paul Dini $29.99

All the $4.99 Books

If $5.99 still sounds too rich for your blood, worry not! A handful of books have been marked down even lower, and most of them are classics like All Star Superman, Batman: Hush, Kingdom Come, and Watchmen.

Kingdom Come  is on sale for $4.99.

Kingdom Come is on sale for $4.99.

  • All Star Superman $4.99
  • Aquaman by Geoff Johns Vol. 1 $4.99
  • Batman: Hush $4.99
  • Batman/The Flash: The Button: $4.99
  • Doom Patrol Vol. 1 $4.99
  • Flashpoint $4.99
  • Green Arrow: The Archer’s Quest $4.99
  • JSA by Geoff Johns Book 1 $4.99
  • Justice League New 52 Vol. 1 $4.99
  • Kingdom Come $4.99
  • Planetary Book 1 $4.99
  • Teen Titans by Geoff Johns Book One $4.99
  • The Legion by Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning $4.99
  • Watchmen $4.99
  • Wonder Woman by Brian Azzareto Vol. 1 $4.99
  • Zatana by Paul Dini $4.99

 

That’s it for our guide. I’m sure a good many of you have already poked around, but Hopefully, our little list gave you some new ideas. I know writing it motivated me to spend more money (not like that’s hard with comics—I have a problem).

Anyway, enjoy your Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll see you next week for some great reviews of this week’s books, plus a list of New Comic Discoveries for May 2018 and maybe some other content if an idea strikes our fancy.

Zack Quaintance is a journalist who also writes fiction and makes comics. Find him on Twitter at @zackquaintance. He lives in Sacramento, California.