Comics We’re Excited About for 6/10/2015

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It’s a big week for DC Comics. Aside from resurrecting a classic antihero in Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV’s Constantine the Hellblazer, one half of the Big Two is also bringing a brand new take on the Caped Crusader. That’s right, Batman #41 will feature a new face as Gotham’s greatest symbol: Jim Gordon. Between that and Amanda Conner’s hilarious All Star Section 8 variant cover, it’s a good week for Bat-fans. But we’ve got plenty more options for those turned off by capes, cowls and—in this very specific instance—mech suits. There are great debuts to be seen from Black Mask (The Disciples) and Image (Starve), as well as a reprint of Alternative Comics’ It Will All Hurt. Check them all out below, and share your own favorites in the comments section.



1602: Witch Hunter Angela #1

Writers: Marguerite Bennett, Kieron Gillen
Artists: Stephanie Hans, Marguerite Sauvage
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Kieron Gillen displayed an uncanny knack for continuing young Loki’s story despite countless crossovers during his Journey Into Mystery run, and it looks like he and primary writer Marguerite Bennett (swapping duties from their core Angela run) might pull off the same with 1602: Witch Hunter Angela. Marvel’s acquisition of Angela was one of the most perplexing moves in comics when it was first announced—who was asking for this?—but Bennett and Gillen figured out how to make her work, particularly thanks to the nuanced relationship between the title character and new creation Sera. Skilled digital painter Stephanie Hans steps up from short flashbacks to take lead art reins in this mini-series, with Bennett’s upcoming Bombshells collaborator Marguerite Sauvage stepping into the first of several rotating guest spots. It’s hard to see your favorite second-rung title go on hiatus or get derailed during major crossovers, but the team assembled here gives every indication that Angela fans are in for a treat during Secret Wars. Steve Foxe



All Star Section 8 #1

Writer: Garth Ennis
Artist: John McCrea
Publisher: DC Comics

Garth Ennis is experiencing a minor renaissance at the moment between his WWI creature feature Where Monsters Dwell at Marvel and All Star Section 8, the disturbing z-list superhero team originally published in Hitman, at DC. The latter project captures Ennis at his most mainstream irreverent, featuring street-level vigilantes who weld small dogs to faces (the reasonably-named Dogwelder), inflict unexplained perverse mischief (Bueno Excellente) and spew demonic hellfire after drinking the entire bottom shelf (Baytor). You won’t find a parallel universe or quantum physics monologue within 10 feet of one of these panels. We promise.

Ennis’ nihilistic humor may offend some, but his Hitman run hid a beating heart under its collection of barfly killers and superhero parodies. It’s been more than 16 years since these characters wreaked havoc in the streets of Gotham, and their gutter antics have never looked more appealing. And with only a few familiar faces mentioned in the solicitation copy, expect new delusional street “champions” to gleefully exercise their repugnant “powers,” whether or not the veteran heroes of the DCU—like Batman—want them to. Excellente. Sean Edgar



Batgirl Vol. 1: Batgirl of Burnside

Writers: Cameron Stewart, Brenden Fletcher
Artists: Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr
Publisher: DC Comics

DC’s most adventurous and vibrant series lands in this handsome hardcover, collecting issues #35-40, as well as a story from Secret Origins #10. Writers Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher shift the beloved character toward the millennial generation without falling in the pit of insincerity or clueless posturing. The villains are analogues of real-world revenge porn tycoons and reckless celebrities, injecting a organic sense of relevancy that elevates these adventures past colorful escapism. Babs Tarr’s animated facial expressions, detailed fashions and action sequences give the charismatic lead and her antagonists personality and rhythm, creating an aesthetic that feels like an episode of Girls directed by animation pioneer Lauren Faust. As far as progressive new heroines are concerned, Batgirl deserves every new cosplayer and reader as charmed by her moxie as we are. Delmonte Smith



Batman #41

Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Greg Capullo
Publisher: DC Comics

Scott Snyder started his fan-favorite run on the Caped Crusader when Dick Grayson wore the cowl, so it’s only fitting that he and Greg Capullo would eventually knock Bruce out of the spotlight once again. If you’ve been on the internet in the last month, you know who’s in the robotic “bunny suit.” Without spoiling it for you precious few who’ve avoided the reveal, the new Dark Knight is a perfect fit for Snyder, who has ample experience writing this character. The hulking battle suit also gives Capullo the opportunity to flex new muscles as the creative duo nears the 50-issue milestone. DC isn’t replacing quite as many of its marquee heroes as Marvel, but this (sure-to-be temporary) change is likely the start of a fun, fresh new era for the company’s most popular character. Steve Foxe



Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps #1

Writer: Kelly Sue Deconnick, Kelly Thompson
Artists: David Lopez
Publisher: DC Comics

As Marvel slowly begins to reveal its plans for its publishing line post-Secret Wars (Brian Michael Bendis writing Iron Man, a Wolverine who probably bathes regularly), expect a sea change of creators to flip between books and publishers. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s involvement in Marvel’s future endeavors seems especially fluid as her last two projects fell under Image’s creator-owned umbrella. Even if Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps wasn’t potentially DeConnick’s last frolic with a character she helped revitalize (now with co-writer Kelly Thompson and longtime collaborator David Lopez), the project looks damn cool. Within this miniseries, Captain Marvel trains her own unit of fighter pilots in the Battleworld fiefdom of Hala Field while sorting through a nasty case of amnesia. Ironically, it will be hard to forget DeConnick’s salient run on Captain Marvel no matter what projects lie ahead for her. Sean Edgar



Constantine the Hellblazer #1

Writer: Ming Doyle, James Tynion IV
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Publisher: DC Comics

It’s been a hard year for John Constantine. The snarky detective/master of the occult’s proved a tough sell, through both a show on NBC and his Justice League: Dark-leading role in the New 52. But the title is set to be revitalized over at DC with the help of Ming Doyle, best known for her work on The Kitchen and Quantum, and James Tynion IV, creator of The Woods and a mainstay throughout DC’s massive Batman Eternal event. No spoilers, but page one, panel one just feels right, and I’m at least going to take a chance with one of DC/Vertigo’s most beloved chain smokers. Tyler R. Kane



The Disciples #1

Writer: Steve Niles
Artist: Christopher Mitten
Publisher: Black Mask Comics

Steve Niles resuscitated the horror comic genre with 30 Days of Night and has been the standard bearer for a certain form of four-color scares ever since. The Disciples is his first title from Black Mask Studios, the publisher he co-founded with Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurwitz, and it’s one of the freshest, creepiest things he’s released in recent memory. The story follows space-faring private investigators as they track a senator’s daughter to a cult base located on the moon of Jupiter. The Disciples is going to receive a lot of comparisons to Alien and Event Horizon, but with good reason: longtime Niles collaborator Christopher Mitten captures the isolated terror of space in a way that few comic artists ever have, lending the book an alternatingly claustrophobic and intimidatingly vast feel. Wes Craven is already attached to a television deal; get onboard early so you can brag to your friends later. Steve Foxe



Gotham Academy #7

Writers: Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher
Artist: Mingjue Helen Chen
Publisher: DC Comics

The first arc of Becky Cloonan, Brendan Fletcher and Karl Kerschl’s Gotham Academy was as good as everyone hoped, introducing a fun new cast of teen Gothamites with ties to Batman but an overall tone far removed from the consistently grim bulk of the line. Kerschl steps aside for the series’ post-Convergence kickoff as brilliantly talented cartoonist Mingjue Helen Chen introduces fan-favorite Robin rapscallion Damien Wayne to the school roster. It’s a smart move—the title, while critically acclaimed, could use a sales boost. Luckily, Damien’s entertainingly acidic personality is a great fit for Cloonan and Fletcher, contributing a new dynamic to the original characters that populate the book. For once, it feels good to return to school. Steve Foxe



Harrow County #2

Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Tyler Crook
Publisher: Dark Horse

Last month, in my many comic book travels, I had one of my favorite times in Harrow County—the turn-of-the-century American locale dreamed up by Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook. And while issue one set the creepy template for readers—our protagonist, Emmy, has other-worldly senses, her father’s kind of a nut—Harrow County #2 is set to delve further into this rich beginning, all dolled up by Crooks’ storybook-esque art. Plus, the previews of this second issue tease a lot more of that horrifying human-skin-suit-thing, so it should be worth the $3.99 price of admission alone. Tyler R. Kane



It Will All Hurt #1

Writers: Farel Dalrymple
Publisher: Alternative Comics

Though some folks at Paste had a different view on Wrenchies—Farel Dalrymple’s high-concept fever dream of fairy tale boogeymen hunting warring children strewn throughout a favela-like wasteland—many of us enthusiastically ventured down the water-colored rabbit hole of this sci-fi Lord of the Flies lobotomy. It Will All Hurt is another reprint of the webcomic predecessor set in Wrenchie’s decaying world, featuring Dalrymple’s ravaged, lonely art and melancholic paneling. Though these narratives initially appear as isolated stream-of-consciousness accounts, the epic slowly pans back to unearth a post-apocalyptic meditation far more complex and bewildering. Sean Edgar



Starve #1

Writer: Brian Wood
Artists:Danijel Zezelj, Dave Stewart
Jon Favreau painted a pretty compelling portrait of a down-and-out foodie with last year’s Chef, and now the comic realm is set to get its own food-centered Cinderella story from Moon Knight and DMZ scribe Brian Wood. Starve is set to tell the story of a chef-in-exile, Gavin Cruikshank, who’s turned to competing in arena-style food battles. The catch is, food supplies are limited—hence, the, uh, title—and chefs are practically treated as gods (bring any other Image title to mind?) It’s a fresh idea with some beautiful art. So, yeah, Starve #1. I’m all over it this week. Tyler R. Kane



Weirdworld #1

Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Most Secret Wars tie-ins are crafted around familiar storylines and recognizable, bankable characters—but most Secret Wars titles don’t have Jason Aaron and Mike Del Mundo at the helm. Aaron has one of the best great-to-not-great ratios of any comic writer working today, and “a world of swords and sorcery and strange, perverted science” sounds right up his gleefully twisted alley. Del Mundo is the real attraction here, though, as Elektra proved the mind-blowingly inventive cover artist could bring the same level of innovation and technical skill to interior pages. Weirdworld is the only time in history that Arkon is going to be a must-read Marvel character. Even if you’re skipping the greater crossover, don’t pass on this strange, strange book. Steve Foxe