Wednesday is New Comic Book Day, the comic fan’s holy day of the week! Here are a few books that have us doing a happy dance this week.
Crosswind #2 (Image Comics)
Writer Gail Simone and artist Cat Staggs’ debut issue of Crosswind offered up more in-depth character-building packed into a first issue than some books trickle out in a dozen. Issue 2 promises to explore how hitman Cason and housewife Juniper attempt to get their bearings after their body/soul swap at the end of the first installment. Really hoping that Cason-as-Juniper puts the sleazebags in Juniper’s life in their place toot-sweet. Because really, they all need gut-punched in the worst way.
Shirtless Bear-Fighter #2 (Image Comics)
In case you thought that the first issue of Shirtless Bear-Fighter was a kickass fever dream, issue 2 hits this week to remind you that, yes, you live in a world where dreams do come true and a bare-ass man fights bare-ass bears in a revenge fantasy that would make noted bear-hater Stephen Colbert jump for joy. In issue 2, writers Jody LeHeup and Sebastian Girner and artists Nil Vendrell and Mike Spicer offer up a character named the Hillbilly Warlock, more ursine lunacy, and bear-and-human fisticuffs. You had us at “Hillbilly Warlock,” guys.
Go Go Power Rangers #1 (Boom! Studios)
Boom! Studios has been killing it with their Mighty Morphin Power Rangers series, bringing nuance to the franchise without losing the bombast and crazy town banana pants action that the various TV incarnations are known for. Boom! is continuing that tradition with Go Go Power Rangers, written by Ryan Parrott and artist Dan Mora, focusing on the team’s first few days after being co-opted into becoming the mighty morphin folks. If the preview pages are any measure, the creative team looks to be bringing the action and the angst, a Breakfast Club-meets-Godzilla mash-up that can only signal victory for fans.
BPRD: The Devil You Know #1 (Dark Horse Comics)
Whenever we are graced with another installment in the BPRD universe—written by Mike Mignola and Scott Allie, no less—it’s always a good day. Liz Sherman devotees should be rejoicing, as The Devil You Know will focus on her role as a leader, navigating monster-infested ruins on a rescue mission that may define her life. Expect Lovecraftian horrors and introspection a-plenty, the hallmark of any good BPRD yarn.
All-Star Batman #12 (DC Comics)
Alfred Pennyworth’s badassery has been on display, both explicitly and implicitly, over his 70+ years publication history, and writer Scott Snyder and artists Sebastian Fiumara and Rafael Albuquerque have been playing with that aspect of his history in their current All-Star Batman story arc “The First Ally.” As the title suggests, Snyder and company have been playing with the concept of Alfred as Bruce’s first compatriot on his war on crime and how Alfred’s past informs his present disposition. Expect issue 12 to be filled with revelations and possible friction when that past comes back to haunt them both.
Back to the Future: Biff to the Future #6 (IDW)
One of the highlights of the Back to the Future film series was the look at what happens when time is fiddled with too much; to wit, Marty McFly’s greed set forth a chain of events that created an alternate 1985 in which his nemesis Biff Tannen left a physical and emotional scar across Marty’s home of Hill Valley. Writers Bob Gale and Derek Fridolfs and artist Alan Robinson have been examining Biff’s rise to power in Back to the Future: Biff to the Future, filling in the gaps that Back to the Future II didn’t have the running time to address. This week sees the miniseries wrap up, with the stakes ramped up to apocalyptic proportions. Having co-written the first film and penned both sequels, Gale knows these characters inside and out, and he and the rest of the creative team have brought their A-game to this arc.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (Marvel Comics)
The character of archaeologist Doctor Aphra is one of the absolute best additions and revelations to Star Wars lore since Marvel Comics once again became the stewards of the comic book lore of Luke, Leia, Darth Vader, and the rest of the universe’s heroes and cads. Introduced as being enscripted by Darth Vader to do his bidding in his own eponymous series, Aphra has since broken away from the Dark Lord’s shadow and grip to engaging in her own adventures with her murder-droids and Wookie companion. Issue 10 sees the good doctor auctioning off a crystal containing a Jedi consciousness, with some of the galaxy’s nastiest and most vile miscreants, and she might be in over her head. And that’s great for fans, as Aphra is at her best when she’s thinking and blasting her way out of situations that might seem inescapable.
Iceman #3 (Marvel Comics)
Only two issues into Marvel’s Iceman and Sina Grace has already shown that he understands the character in a way that brings a freshness to the mutant character, while building on Bobby Drake’s 50+ year publication history. Not only is the writer examining Iceman’s recent coming out as a gay man, he’s also letting the mutant grow as a superhero and ascertain what kind of work/life balance he wants. This week, Grace is throwing the spotlight on a big moment in a gay person’s life: coming out to the parents. Grace’s characterization is so joyful, smart, and real that it’s a blessing he’s let us tag along for the ride.