The 4 Most Interesting Comics of the Week
Every week I write about the most interesting new comics hitting comic shops, bookstores, digital, and the web. Feel free to comment below if there's a comic you've read recently that you want to talk about or an upcoming comic that you'd like me to consider highlighting.
1. LUMBERJANES/GOTHAM ACADEMY #1
By Chynna Clugston Flores, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell and Whitney Cogar
The most popular recent comic for tween girls (one that isn’t written by Raina Telgemeier, that is) is probably Boom! Studios’ award-winning Lumberjanes, which is about a group of girls that investigate supernatural mysteries while away at camp. Around the same time the Lumberjanes series began, DC Comics launched a comic called Gotham Academy about a group of girls at a boarding school in Gotham City who get caught up in various supernatural mysteries. DC is not known for making comics for younger female audiences, but Gotham Academy has a steady and loyal readership. It would only seem natural for these two comics to join forces, but such a joint-publisher effort is not all that common. This is the first time that Boom! (still a relatively young publisher) has worked with one of the so-called “Big Two” comics companies.
While this six-issue series will not feature creative work from either of the series regulars, it has pulled in a couple of popular, like-minded creators in Chynna Clugston Flores (best known for her award-winning series Blue Monday) and Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, who has previously worked on a Lumberjanes one-shot.
By Cathy G. Johnson
In the short graphic novel, Gorgeous, two anarchist punks steal a guitar from a rock show and drive off in a reckless, drunken haze. They eventually crash into a car driven by a college sophomore named Sophie, and their meeting proves to be greatly problematic for her.
This is Cathy G. Johnson’s first graphic novel since winning the 2014 Ignatz Award for Promising New Talent. Johnson is part of a new generation of cartoonists that eschews technical polish to produce quicker, spontaneous works. These capture a sense of realism and emotion through rough-hewn pencils, and the artists aren’t afraid to show erasure marks or unfinished lines.
3. MERRY MEN #1
By Robert Rodi, Jackie Lewis and Marissa Louise
Inspired by modern academic speculation about the true nature of the tale of Robin Hood, Merry Men is a new series that depicts Robin and his crew as gay men cast out from Christian society. Robin (who goes by his real name, Robert Godwinson) is on the run from Prince John—not for robbing from him or stealing his lady, but because of a relationship he had with John’s father, King Richard. Whether or not the original tales of Robin Hood actually have such roots, this is a perfect 21st century take that works as both a slash fiction romp and an appropriate allegory for the legislative and religious battles the LGBTQ community faces today.
4. DC REBIRTH
In week two of DC’s new “Rebirth” era, the publisher continues to set up new storylines for forthcoming series by rolling out special issues:
Wonder Woman Rebirth #1
Popular writer Greg Rucka returns to this title and appears to deal with some discrepancies in Wonder Woman’s origin.
Flash Rebirth #1
The plot of DC Universe Rebirth #1 from two weeks ago primarily revolved around the return of Wally West, who was forgotten by friends and family and displaced outside of reality. Here we see Wally’s return from Barry Allen’s point of view as he investigates the mystery. This appears to be the introduction of Watchmen into regular DC continuity.
Action Comics Rebirth #957
(Some of these are reverting to their legacy numbering rather than introducing a new #1.)
Continuing the story from Superman Rebirth #1 in which Superman has died, Lex Luthor steps in to become Metropolis’ new Superman, but so does the “pre-Flashpoint” Superman. Not only that, but there seems to be yet another Clark Kent running around alive and well. Writer Dan Jurgens of “Death of Superman” fame will be in charge of this series and is echoing some of those early-1990s Superman story beats.
Detective Comics Rebirth #934
Batman and Batwoman team up to build an army of Gotham’s vigilante stragglers including Red Robin, Spoiler, Orphan, and even the villain Clayface.
Aquaman Rebirth #1
Aquaman and Mera battle Atlantean terrorists (and get a bit to eat at a seafood shack).