The Holidays are here, and your attention span is probably already taxed with a million things on your to-do list. Not helping your attention span are the numerous comics vying for your attention this week. But that’s where we come in, with a comprehensive rundown of the comics you should pull this week.
What’s this, you say—comics legend Christopher Priest is taking over the Justice League with artist Pete Woods? Well then, please take this large stack of money. All hyperbole aside, we’re beyond excited for this creative takeover. The DC Rebirth-era Justice League series, while serviceable, has lacked the creative gravitas that one of the greatest pantheons in superhero comics deserves. That all changes in issue #34, as Priest brings his indelible mark to DC’s top icons with what we hope will be a multi-layered and character-driven run. Priest has been on a hot-streak with his Eisner-nominated run on Deathstroke and the criminally overlooked Inhumans: Once and Future Kings miniseries, so expectations are high for one unforgettable Justice League romp. It would be a sin to forget about artist Pete Woods, however. As one of comics’ most satisfying artists with a penchant for levity and smooth-moving panels, he’s a perfect choice for Priest’s grounded approach to superheroes.
2. Batman #36
Writer Tom King’s extended run on Batman only recently became truly unique with Batman’s engagement to Selina Kyle/Catwoman. Selina’s promotion from side-character to main cast member has revealed a lighter side to the Dark Knight that we’ve rarely seen before, while also making way for some refreshing and illuminating interactions between the Cat and the Bat. Just see last week’s Batman Annual #2 for an example of that. The duo’s next adventure is, fascinatingly, a double date with Superman and Lois Lane, opening the doors for what we can only hope will be a clash of the DC Universe’s biggest power couples. We’d be lying if we said we didn’t have high expectations for King’s first meaty dive into the Man of Steel, and how his characterization will play off of against a pre-nuptial Batman. Add in the penciling and inking brotherhood of Clay and Seth Mann—an artistic team who’s splashy, bombastic sensibilities are quickly vaulting them into superstardom—and you have yourself a can’t-miss superhero spectacle.
If you’re strong, then it’s your responsibility to protect the weak. That’s the simple, but powerful thesis fueling Mark Waid and Chris Samnee’s back-to-basics run on Captain America. Despite being just one issue in, the acclaimed creative duo have returned Cap to his roots as a symbol for the country’s purest ideals. Their second issue sees them digging deeper into the heart of Steve Rogers, as he continues his cross-country motorcycle tour to rediscover the spirit of America. The approach may sound hokey at first, but it’s actually a wonderfully honest tribute to the character—especially since he’s had a rough couple of years thanks to some controversial editorial decisions. As Captain America continues his journey, he’ll come up against classic Marvel baddie the Swordsman, which should yield some beautifully rendered sword vs. shield fight scenes from Chris Samnee. If you’re looking for the one comic that truly delivers on the promise of Marvel Legacy, pick this one up.
Nineties fans, rejoice. Your moment has finally arrived. Spider-Man and Eddie Brock are going mano y mano for the first time in years, and it’s sure to contain all the slimy tongues and machismo that any Pogs collector could want. This special one-shot by writers Dan Slott and Mike Costa, with art from Ryan Stegman, kicks off “Venom, Inc.”, a six-part crossover that will see Spidey, Venom, and Flash Thompson—Peter Parker’s longtime frenemy and a previous Venom–uniting against one of the symbiote’s spurned lovers. It just turns out that that former host is a bit of a psychopath, and is causing a lot of property damage in the wake of losing Venom to Eddie Brock. The story itself is sure to be an entertaining action adventure, but the real attraction lies in artist Ryan Stegman. Stegman has flourished under darker Spider-Man stories in the past (see the delightful Superior Spider-Man series), so hopefully a Venom-centric tale will provide the right pieces for Stegman to really utilize his gritty and moody art sensibilities.
If you haven’t checked out Brian K. Vaughn and Cliff Chiang’s latest runaway hit for Image Comics, then you’re missing out on something special. Paper Girls is an imaginative sci-fi adventure that throws just about everything we love about the eighties, with a dash of “What the %$#*”, into the blender for one of the most unique comics on the stands. It’s colorful, frequently hilarious, and just crazy enough to keep you coming back for more. But what keeps all of this insanity glued together is the wonderful cast that Vaughn has slowly built over that last eighteen issues. Each character has as their own unique personality, which Vaughn effectively utilizes for compelling interactions and often-delightful dialogue. After last issue’s massive dump of revelations and answers, now is a perfect time to jump on board for a fresh starting point into a new mind-bending odyssey. Consider this your official invitation to try one of the best independent comics on the stands today.