REVIEW: Wasted Space #9, now with an even more excellent sense of storytelling freedom

By Zack Quaintance — I’m not shy about saying this: Wasted Space is one of my favorite creator-owned comics. It’s a space opera in the most grandiose sense, one that features a band of plucky rogues fighting to save the galaxy while dealing with their own issues, agendas, pasts. It’s a book that through eight issues now has built a tone and voice that are so versatile, the story can now do everything from high sci-fi action to deep philosophical monologues over a pint (or several) of space brew. This is all evident….

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REVIEW: These Savage Shores #4 is a stunning work

By Zack Quaintance — Throughout the first three issues of this series, the real carnage has been a bit understated, with death and monsters often regulated to shadows. Last issue we saw that start to break. This issue, it’s totally gone. The opening sequence is a bloody one, in which we see the supernatural creatures at the heart of this story in the light of day. It’s fantastic….

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Top Comics to Buy for May 8, 2019: Black Hammer Age of Doom #10, Vault Comics, and more!

By Zack Quaintance — This is a nice week for new comics, one in which the releases are mercifully a bit smaller in volume. This can perhaps be attributed to Free Comic Book Day taking place on Saturday. Publishers wisely got as much of their product as they could on shelves last week, so the hordes of FCBD attendees could scope it out and (hopefully) buy it.

Nevertheless! There are plenty of great choices for our Top Comics to Buy for May 8, 2019. This week’s group is headlined by…

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REVIEW: Fearscape #5 is a finale that elevates all that came before

By Zack Quaintance — Fearscape #1 absolutely blew me away when it hit last fall. Armed with a singularly pompous meta-narrative voice, the book was a graphic sequential deconstruction of literary culture. It’s main character was a struggling and dysfunctional writer, who was big on ambitions and seemingly short on work ethic and talent. The plot of the series’ debut seemed to put him a trajectory to collide with….

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REVIEW: Queen of Bad Dreams #1 is another great book from Vault Comics

By Zack Quaintance — The concept behind Vault Comics’ newest book, Queen of Bad Dreams, grabbed me right away. In the world of this story, dream entities known as figments can emerge from dreamer’s minds, and, when they do, there are inspector judges tasked with catching them and deciding to put them back or let them remain in our world. It’s an interesting concept, obviously. What really appealed to me though was how singular it sounded, an especially impressive thing given that…

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INTERVIEW: Danny Lore, writer of Vault Comics’ Queen of Bad Dreams

By Zack Quaintance — Vault Comics’ newest series, Queen of Bad Dreams, launches this week. Like the publisher’s other offerings, this one features a thoughtful and complex concept executed with honed storytelling chops and a fearless eye for narrative innovation. In other words, it’s very…

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Top Comics to Buy for April 24, 2019: The Replacer, Criminal #4, and more

By Zack Quaintance — One of the things I’ve pushed against since creating this site is recency bias. All of us—fans and critics—have a shared tendency to praise and promote new #1 comics above mid-run installments or even finales. While there is a certain and acute level of brilliance required to create a strong debut, I think we as an industry tend to lose site of just how impressive and also difficult it is to sustain an interesting graphic sequential story for five, 10, or—as is the case with one of our...     

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REVIEW: Friendo #5 is a finale as perfectly #@*$-up as the rest of this delightfully-twisted series

By Zack Quaintance — Let’s face it Friendo fans, this was never going to end well. From the start, Alex Paknadel, Martin Simmonds, Dee Cunniffe, and Taylor Esposito have been engaged in a deeply (and delightfully) twisted exploration of what becomes of the individual in a land where capitalism has thoroughly run amok. I mean, this is a comic where the first issue starts with our hero crashing a car and nearly breaking his body in the dual service of making a buck via something called ambush marketing and nursing his flagging dreams of fame. That same first issue also ends with that same hero getting stabbed by a seeming vagrant and then electrocuted back to life as the world burns around him.

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REVIEW: Wasted Space #8 ranks as the series best issue so far

By Zack Quaintance — As I mentioned last month in my review of Wasted Space #7, this book being officially turned into an ongoing series by publisher Vault Comics has enabled its creators to do deeper character work, doubling down on this comic’s trademark humor and high-minded pathos. What it has also allowed them to do is slow the pace just a bit, opening things up for what gamers might call side quests, which is exactly what we get in Wasted Space #8.

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Top Comics to Buy for March 27, 2019: Detective Comics #1000, Wasted Space, and more!

By Zack Quaintance — Here’s something crazy: it’s almost April. Spring is here and the first three months of this year have really just flown by. In fact, we’re now at one of those Wednesdays that was earmarked at the start of the year by many fans as one to watch out for, what with the release of this week’s headliner, Detective Comics #1000.

Issues like this don’t come along everyday...like, obviously. We had Action Comics #1000 last year, but, looking ahead, there’s not another #1000 issue anywhere on the near horizon. With the Wonder Woman-starring Sensation Comics sidelined, the next title to reach such an august threshold will likely by Amazing Spider-Man, and we’re still more than a hundred issues and a few years off from that milestone. So enjoy this week while it lasts superhero fans. This hobby is nothing if not a celebration of long-standing characters, and a #1000 issue is a pretty good excuse to do that.

Now, on to the rest of the books!

Top Comics to Buy for March 27, 2019

Detective Comics #1000.jpg

*PICK OF THE WEEK*
Detective Comics #1000
(check out our review!)
Writers:
Scott Snyder, Kevin Smith, Paul Dini, Warren Ellis, Denny O’Neil, Christopher Priest, Brian Michael Bendis, Geoff Johns, James Tynion IV, Tom King, and Peter J. Tomasi.
Artists: Greg Capullo, Jim Lee, Dustin Nguyen, Becky Cloonan, Steve Epting, Neal Adams, Alex Maleev, Kelley Jones, Alvaro Martinez-Bueno, Tony S. Daniel, Joelle Jones, and Doug Mahnke.
Inkers: Jonathan Glapion, Scott Williams, Derek Fridolfs, Raul Fernandez, and Jamie Mendoza.
Colorists: FCO Plascencia, Alex Sinclair, John Kalisz, Jordie Bellaire, Elizabeth Breitweiser, Dave Stewart, Michelle Madsen, Brad Anderson, Tomeu Morey, and David Baron.
Letterers: Tom Napolitano, Todd Klein, Steve Wands, Simon Bowland, Andworld Design, Willie Schubert, Josh Reed, Rob Leigh, Sal Cipriano, and Clayton Cowles.
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $9.99
Check out our picks for the best Detective Comics #1000 variants!
After 80 years, it's here-the 1,000th issue of DETECTIVE COMICS, the title that literally defines DC! This 96-page issue is stacked with an unbelievable lineup of talent that will take you on a journey through Batman's past, present and future...plus a sensational epilogue that features the first-ever DC Universe appearance of the deadly Arkham Knight! But who is under the mask? And why do they want Batman dead? The incredible future of Batman adventures begins here! Will have decade appropriate trade dress. After 80 years, it's here-the 1,000th issue of DETECTIVE COMICS, the title that literally defines DC! This 96-page issue is stacked with an unbelievable lineup of talent that will take you on a journey through Batman's past, present and future...plus a sensational epilogue that features the first-ever DC Universe appearance of the deadly Arkham Knight! But who is under the mask? And why do they want Batman dead? The incredible future of Batman adventures begins here!
Why It’s Cool: Folks in the U.K. may have this experience all the time, but here in the States it’s a pretty rare thing for a major comics series to hit four digits. Last year we got it with Action Comics #1000, which gave publisher DC Comics a chance to celebrate one of the longest-standing characters in all of American fiction. Now it’s Batman’s turn. This issue serves as a celebration of all things Batman, past, present, and maybe even future. Like Action Comics #1000 before it, this individual issue is an anthology that serves as a checklist of great Bat creators and concepts. It is, simply put, a rare thing that should not be missed.

Friendo #5 (check out our review!)
Writer:
Alex Paknadel
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
The epic conclusion! Having barely survived their confrontation with the unstoppable Zaj ?ek the Cremator-who remains determined to leave their $#!t in ruins-Jerry and Leo are off-camera and off-the-grid. But where to go now that Leo's stolen pretty much everything he ever wanted? Only one item remains: the Action Joe action figure Leo lost as a kid. An epic showdown in the desert ensues, and a surprising hero rises...
Why It’s Cool: Alex Paknadel, Martin Simmonds, Dee Cunniffe, and Taylor Esposito have spent four issues building a late-model capitalism fevered nightmare...and now it all comes to a head in this finale issue. Friendo has been startlingly twisted throughout, taking familiar ideas and extrapolating them to horrifying extremes. It was never going to end happily for those involved. What’s for sale with this conclusion is seeing just how absolutely off the $^#*@*ing rails things go. Like the rest of this series, it all adds up to one great read.

Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #3
Writer:
Kieron Gillen
Artist: Caspar Wijngaard
Colorist: Mary Safro
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Price: $3.99
A thousand dimensions from ours. All Earths' best hopes, resting on our heroes' fight. They've got everything... except a chance.
Why It’s Cool: Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt so far has been a delightful Watchmen sequel/homage, which goes in a totally different direction than DC Comics’ ongoing (and oft-delayed) Watchmen sequel/homage, Doomsday Clock. This is a book well aware of the impact that Watchmen had on the comicbook medium, and, as such, it is making form a key part of its plot. We saw hints of this showing up in a big big way in Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #2. Now, in Peter Cannon: Thunderbolt #3, we get even more. It’s really strong stuff, and I can’t wait to see where the creative team ultimately takes it.

Snotgirl #13
Writer:
Bryan Lee O’Malley
Artist: Leslie Hung
Colorist: Rachel Cohen
Letterer: Maré Odomo
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
The big day is finally here-Lottie and Esther are launching their fashion line! But why is everyone being so annoying? Today of all days! Don't they know how important this is to her?!
Why It’s Cool: Snotgirl from the start has been one of the most vicious, funny, and good-looking satires of online Instagram culture. And what, prey tell, adjacent idea within that culture is more ripe for satire than the pop-up shopping event? That’s what this issue essentially asks, and that question results in what I think is the funniest (and possibly best) issue of Snotgirl to date. I chuckled to myself quite a bit while reading this one; there are just so many great one-liners. This book is also benefiting right now from having established a great level of familiarity with its many great characters. Now starting its second full year of issues (despite being around longer than that), Snotgirl is a comic that knows what it is and what it’s trying to do, and it’s absolutely nailing it. This is a must-read series.

Wasted Space #8 (check out our review!)
Writer:
Michael Moreci
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
Dust needs an arm; Billy needs redemption. Only one of these quests goes well.
Why It’s Cool: Speaking of books that know what they are and what they’re trying to do, Wasted Space has really found an amazing groove in its second arc, to the point where I think this is the book’s best issue yet. It’s just so smart, so funny, and so utterly confident in everything from its artwork to its characterization to the philosophical ideas that Michael Moreci has laced throughout this run. It’s not often that a comic comes along that feels this clever and this important/smart. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: do not miss out on Wasted Space.

Top New #1 Comics and One-Shots

  • Bad Luck Chuck #1

  • Dial H For Hero #1

  • Femme Magnifique: 10 Magnificent Women Who Changed the World

  • GLOW #1

  • Sabrina the Teenage Witch #1

  • Star Bastard #1

Others Receiving Votes

Ironheart #4.jpg
  • Action Comics #1009

  • Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #2

  • Black Hammer: Age of Doom #9

  • Black Panther #10

  • Forgotten Queen #2

  • G.I. Joe: Sierra Muerte #2

  • Ice Cream Man #11

  • Ironheart #4

  • Isola #7

  • Martian Manhunter #4

  • Punks Not Dead: London Calling #2

  • Shazam! #4

  • Skyward #11

  • The Terrifics #14

  • Wonder Woman #67

Check back to the site later this week for reviews of Friendo #5 and Wasted Space #8, plus a run-down of the stories in Detective Comics #1000!

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.