Why You Care: Well, we can give the idiot crossover this much – Marvel is able to give us likeable versions of some of their characters while trying to fix the mess they’ve made of their own world. Here’s one where Spider-man didn’t sell his marriage to Satan and sacrifice his unborn daughter in the process, and it’s kind of great to see a world in which Peter and MJ are still together, and where their daughter is awesome. A shame none of it matters. Stupid crossovers.
Why You Care: Consequences are pretty much the watch-word of this epic high-and-urban fantasy tale. A great evil threatened another world, who nabbed their Chosen One from our world, but the trauma of his kidnapping made him an enemy of the people that were looking to make him their champion. Now he’s come home to a family destroyed by his absence, and is there anything that is ever going to make any of this okay again? The hero’s mother, maybe.
Why You Care: As much as we railed against the nu52, DC Comics did right by their fans with their idiot crossover and has been doing right by them ever since. A large part of that has to be the writers of this book. The themes here align much more better with both DC Comics as a whole and the characters they write in particular, leading to a punk music spy thriller that is unlike anything else you’re going to read this week. Weird, offbeat, and cool.
Why You Care: You know how when Marvel or DC says that their titles are about to change, and the change is inevitably terrible or doesn’t stick? Valiant is the exact opposite of that. There’s a sense of progression through all their titles, mythos built and evolving, and this is the latest part of that – a look at an eternal conflict that weighs down the only people capable of fighting it, and how those that can’t understand, won’t understand. This is breathtaking in scope.
Why You Care: Sometimes, as you get older, you lose sight of things that should define you. Magic is worn down by the mire, passion and emotion shuttled off to make room for a banal acceptance. This comic is about magic refusing to let go, and a trauma that’s left mangled echoes in the lives of everyone involved. The truths of trauma cripples and defines in equal measure. This is heady stuff, with some utterly gorgeous artwork. If you haven’t yet, give this a read.
Why You Care: This is a very well written slice-of-life book about crazy times and crazy friends who are just doing what they have to in the world they live, and it’s brilliant and adorable for all that. People are weird, man, people are very weird and if you let the weirdness be it can lead to a very interesting life. The art in this comic also fits the quirky dialogue and story, which is always nice. I need this in trade.
Why You Care: DC Comics occasionally just has fun. An incredibly bright artstyle combines with Deadpool-like writing to make something that is way cool, a sort of self-aware action feminist tale based around someone that is the perfect sort of crazy. A little while back, Harley teamed up with an amnesiac Powergirl, and they went off and had inter-dimensional space adventures. Twice. We know the first one, but this is the second and it is amazing. Read this.
Why You Care: Cullen Bunn has a talent for personal and immediate horror. It’s what drives everything he writes, a grim sense of foreboding that follows him around like a curse. This comic features men breaking into Hell to rescue the toasty souls of the damned… for money. One of the mercenaries that does this just died, and the guy who leads the away team is having a crisis of faith based on what he’s seen so far. This is mind-bendingly imaginative and terrifying.
Why You Care: Not gonna lie – the minute this popped up in my inbox I went to read it. There was a certain amount of terror involved with picking up this comic, because the story is so impossibly good and this is the climax. Could it live up to the promises made by everything that came before it? Shoty answer: Yes. It did. It does. This is everything you could possibly want from this chapter’s close. This is perfect and beautiful and horrific and tragic. Tremendous.
Why You Care: Zim unleashes his plan to discredit and do away with the Dib-child once and for all! We learn what has become of the Tallest in the absence of their least wanted Invader! GIR does a thing~! A terrible, terrible thing! Witness as Dib uses Tak’s ship to chase Zim through various galactic star-side attractions! The madness it is endless, and the greatness is unbounded! You will read this. You will. It is a thing that you must read. Vasquez demands it.
Why You Care: And so the first Ivar story comes to close, with one of the greatest stories ever. Ivar teams up with his two brothers to putz around while the creator of time travel faces off against the worst villain in all of time who also happens to be her future self. Valiant does that thing they do where they up the ante for qualitative storytelling, this time dealing with the brain-breaking trope what are time travel, and it is great. We already know you will read this.
Why You Care: The Force Awakens is still months away and we’re still craving more Rebels and we need something to tide us over until both those things happen. This is the story of a barely-padawan escaping the purge, and how he became a smuggler in the wake of that time the Empire went and murdered children. Better still, the child Jedi has been captured by his old Trooper friends who are trying to kill him – but in his faith, there is no “try.” Awesome and heartbreaking.
Why You Care: Loki, God of Stories, faces off with Loki, the Lord of Lies. The Loki we know and love faces off against the Loki we all hate, the one who got trapped in what was versus the one that evolved into what is. There’s some awesome storytelling at play here, and some incredibly clever writing with the highest possible stakes. This is one of the best comics Marvel publishes, and is only ending because of that fucking crossover~! Yay, Secret Wars~!
Why You Care: What is this comic? I don’t even know anymore. A schlub became a hero and defeated a villain, who has taken in personally. Dude killed the hero, and keeps himself busy hunting down anyone that inherits that hero’s powers, and given that this is one of those deals where a new hero is chosen when the old one falls, well, this isn’t working well for anyone. The good news is, the hero can now use some form of necromancy. Wait. Is that good news?
Why You Care: A truly strange little story about a man coming to terms with his childhood, a mature look at silly things and silly hobbies and silly quests that actually make life worth living. Yes, we are adults – but we get to decide what that means, and the best things are often the silliest, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Live your life and enjoy it, and don’t forget to battle back against your sort-of brother when he does a hell-turn. Bring him back to the light. You can do this.
Why You Care: It’s been way too long since we’ve gotten our fix of sass and sorcery, which was the title of the first trade and is a thing that you should go and buy right now. This is one of the best high fantasy comics on the shelves, vying neck-and-neck with Gail Simone’s Red Sonja. An impossibly cool D&D romp starring some of the greatest characters you’re going to come across in comics. Also, one of the mains is a necromancer, and we gotta get what good press we can.
Why You Care: Well, it’s a Marvel comic that has nothing to do with Secret Wars, so it has that going for it. It also stars a character who has the same powers as Spider-Man but has been living in a bunker for most of her life, so now that she’s trying to make a life for herself things have been going a little… off. Her family is missing and she has no idea where to start looking, and there’s a sense of joy and creativity in this book that still holds onto stakes. Way better than Spider-Man.
Why You Care: Oh Gods I need the Force Awakens right now. Need it. Like oxygen. Like heroin. Luke goes undercover to take a look at what’s left of the Jedi Academy on Corscant, the very capital of the Galactic Empire. That might not be the best plan. Also, Han and Leia get to deal with Han’s wife or ex-wife, which promises to go badly. Also, droids, chaos, and whatever else Marvel can throw at us while we wait for the new movies. They’re coming. They’re coming. They’re coming.
Why You Care: This book is the flipside to Suicide Squad; where the other gives unexpected villains a chance to have character moments and development under the aegis of a death sentence, this team gets the same from a shared traumatic bond. This forges them into an impossibly weird family, and Gail Simone takes what could be a tired concept and makes it work through sheer talent. The very definition of grim humor, and a fantastic part of the DCYou.
Why You Care: No antagonist in comics has been as dominant as Oroko Saki in this series. He’s done nothing but out-think and out-fight everyone around him. He’s a force of nature, but one who might be in danger of losing everything due a grudge that spans of life-times. The Turtles themselves art set to fight the Foot mutants, including Bebop and Rocksteady, a duo that just about killed Donatello. This is the best version of the turtles that has ever existed.
Why You Care: Yes, it’s another comic that won’t matter after Secret Wars. Rather than try to do something great in spite of that, Weird World works with the insanity to build something insane and excellent. This comic is pure madness with a Conan-style hero navigating a world that draws from the old pulp sci-fi and fantasy stories. This comic walks a fine line, though, because while the insanity is ever-present, there is a logic to it that makes this all the greater.
Why You Care: Okay, imagine this – your step-father serial killer got killed and you’ve been trying to make a life for yourself, but it turns out that you’re an assassin in a shadow war that is fought through incarnations, one life to the next. Imagine having an other, someone who knows you as well as any lover through every life through the ages, the two of you living and dying together. There’s romance and tragedy in that, and in this. Freaking great, this is. Read it.
Why You Care: We don’t know when the next Dresden Files book comes out, but we need a thing to tide us over, especially now that Hexed is done. Dammit, Hexed. This looks really good, though, a werewolf who keeps the local supernatural community in check out in California. Chaos happens, because when doesn’t chaos happen?, but clever writing, moody art, and witty dialogue weave into a niorish tale that is all sorts of engaging. Worth looking into.