I read comics. So should you.

The Stack-1/25/17

In new books on January 26, 2017 at 11:30 am

This week was a beast, and by that I mean that there was a metric shitload (roughly one half fuck-ton in US measurement) of new books on the shelves. It was also a beast in the sense that many of these comics were gritty (like Jason Latour’s new Loose Ends), macabre (for example, the new Black Mask cannibal story The Dregs), and just downright METAL AS FUCK (the Nazi-stabbing bloodbath that is Slayer: Repentless). Combine that with the final images from Marvel’s Civil War 2 epilogue, The Oath, and you can get a pretty clear snapshot of the zeitgeist in 2017.

hail

Oh Nick Spencer, you prognosticating rabble-rouser, you.

But I digress. Let’s continue talking about the most noteworthy new comics. In addition to those I linked to above, I also highly recommend the following:

newstack

Saga #42 (Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples, Fonografiks-Image): HOLY SHIT. If you’ve been reading this comic (and you should be–the hype is entirely justified), you know that Vaughan has never been too precious with his characters. They suffer, they get horribly damaged, and they die. The backdrop, after all, is a massive war between bitter enemies. So it won’t surprise you when you see what happens in this issue, but the real curveball is how much of an emotional gut punch it is, even after forty-one issues of love amidst carnage. Here’s the only spoiler I’ll share: The final six pages are completely black, and it’s heartbreakingly perfect.

Animosity: The Rise #1 (Marguerite Bennett, Juan Doe, Marshall Dillon-Aftershock): This spinoff title builds on ‘the wake’ event from the core book, following an understandably freaked out veterinarian as he saves a sea lion’s life during the initial chaos and earns himself protection from the VERY pissed off animals who have taken control of the city. One thing that’s really been fascinating/terrifying about this premise is watching how each animal reacts to their new consciousness and power of speech. Some of it is funny, like how the pelicans want to steal every electronic device they can from smug tourists, some of it is exactly what you would expect (newsflash: dolphins are assholes), but most is disturbing in some fashion.

Ether #3 (Matt Kindt, David Rubín-Dark Horse): Boone Diaz continues his murder investigation in a strange world that tries to defy him and his scientific method at every turn. He and his companion, Glum, trail a copper golem into the fairie kingdom looking for answers. What I find even more interesting than this main narrative is the back story of Boone, seen in brief flashbacks, and watching him interact with everyone else in this book, whether they’re real people or creatures from the Ether. This character is a total jackass, and in a way that I haven’t seen in many other stories. He is dismissive of everything that isn’t hard science, and is in love with demystifying the world (and the sound of his own voice), and everything and everyone else takes a back seat. This makes him more than a little off-putting, but I trust that it’s all part of Matt Kindt’s plan.

Doom Patrol #4 (Gerard Way, Nick Derington, Tamra Bonvillain, Todd Klein-DC/Young Animal): Just recapping the plot of each issue tells you all you need to know about how bizarrely untethered this comic is, and you will either be obsessed with it or walk away bewildered. First, we meet Lucius, who is trying to become a sorcerer, even though his family does not approve. Then, Larry and Cliff confront N’Hal of the Negative Space, and make a case for personal choice. Niles Caulder once again gets into mischief behind the scenes, Casey learns about her powers via organic cassette tape, and we learn much more about Danny and what he was up to before he was captured by aliens who want to turn him into stress-free burger. Man I love this book. Oh yeah, and at the end there’s a Bane coloring section. No, seriously:

foryou

You color like a younger man, with nothing held back. Admirable, but mistaken.

I want to say a bit about the new edition of Ronald Wimberly’s Prince of Cats that came out this week, so perhaps it’s time for a regular post devoted to trade paperbacks and graphic novels. What do you think? What are you reading this week? Leave a comment. Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to support your local shop!

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