For new releases 1/26/22!
We are back with your Weekly Round-Up, both Lauren and Joe!! WOO-HOO! It was a legendary week for multiple reasons.. but what were our top 4 picks of the week?! Let's get into it!
#4: Harley Quinn #11
Writer: Stephanie Phillips
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Deron Bennett
I dare say, there is NO writer that better understands how Harley Quinn THINKS than Stephanie Phillips. All the love to Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s Harley, because GOD they are so great at writing her as well, but Phillips’ extra PhD touch makes ALL the difference. I will never get over how well she writes both Harley’s PhD side and her brawler side. It makes sense, too, for Harley’s character development as a new hero. Yes, I know, Harley is a hero, with a bestie sidekick named Kevin?? What?? I know! Listen, it sounds insane, but it WORKS! Rossmo’s art style is different from what I usually like and I couldn’t be happier that I gave it a shot from issue 1 because it’s perfect for the chaos of Harley and friends. The fun and the feels never end with this line and it’s why this is one of the few ongoings I haven’t dropped yet, and I don’t have any plans to anytime soon!
#3: X Deaths of Wolverine #1
Writer: Benjamin Percy
Art: Federico Vicentini
Colorist: Dijo Lima and Frank Martin
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Designer: Tom Muller
I had NO idea this was tied into HOX/POX or INFERNO. At. all. Did I just miss that in the solicits? Cause all I got out of them was something about Logan blah blah blah. I picked this up because of a Laura/Gabby sister cover that’s BADASS and I am SO glad I did! Holy crap! The story is actually so. So. GOOD! If you are a fan of HOX/POX or Inferno, you MUST get this. I felt like I was reading Jonathan Hickman’s next arc, and it’s not even his story! A lovely surprise, but Marvel, PLEASE advertise better!
#2: House of Slaughter #4
Writer: James Tynion IV and Tate Brombal
Artist: Chris Shehan
Colorist: Miguel Muerto
Letterist: Andworld Design
This series has been everything I didn’t know I needed! I absolutely adore the darker, forbidden love story happening here with our two guys. It’s so well written between the tension of our lovers and the darkness surrounding the House of Slaughter. Truly a magnificent read. James Tynion IV’s best work continues to be indie and Chis Shehan’s art amplifies every emotion to the highest level. If you haven’t read The Autumnal yet, check that out as well for more dark and magnifying art from Shehan!
#1: Robin #10
Writer: Joshua Williamson
Penciller: Roger Cruz
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Luis Guerrero
Letterer: ALW’s Troy Peteri
As a huge fan of the Al Ghuls, I couldn’t be happier with how this series has been going! It’s so nice to see Damian’s other familial roots explored. We get it, Bruce is Bruce! But what about Talia and Ra’s and more?? This series has been action-packed and this issue is not exception. I love the first appearances of some new and important characters we are getting as well! In all honesty, I’d say I enjoy this more than Nightwing lately. If you pick up one current Bat-Fam ongoing, this should be it!
You can find Lauren, Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi, at all her links here:
Honourable mentions: Amazing Spider-Man #87, Devil's Reign: Winter Soldier #1, Harley Quinn #11, Night of the Ghoul #4
There were so many great books out this week. From issues that were just really well-done fun (Amazing Spider-Man, Harley Quinn) to as well done issues with a darker tone that pleasantly surprised me with how good they were, because honestly, I wasn't expecting much from them (Winter Soldier, Night of the Ghoul).
With that said though, if those stood out to me this week, what follows was truly the best of the best, standing out even more! So let's get into it!
#4: Detective Comics #1050
Writer: Mariko Tamaki / Matthew Rosenberg / Mark Waid
Artist: Ivan Reis / Fernando Blanco / Dan Mora
Inker: Danny Miki
Colorist: Brad Anderson / Jordie Bellaire / Tamra Bonvillain
Letterer: Ariana Maher / Rob Leigh / Aditya Bidikar
I always love when an issue this awesome is only #4 on my list, because it just highlights how spectacular of a week it was for comics. As you can tell by all those credits, this issue was absolutely bursting at the seams with talent!
First of all, we have the Arkham Tower storyline hitting an initial climax. I loved the focus on Huntress, it was just so compelling and felt really well done, especially with such stunning artwork which continues to make this such an awesome read. That revelation at the end was one that was unexpected, but makes so much sense, and I'm very excited to see where that goes.
Then we have the backups. In this current era of DC, they have been largely hit or miss, but the ones here not only hit but hit so hard. I am loving the development of House of Gotham. It's quite possibly the perfect complement to the main story, which has this very slick polished feel. This feels more indie, more quietly disturbing rather than the blockbuster feel of the main story.
Then if those stories weren't already good enough, the World's Finest story rounds the whole issue off and it's glorious. I mean, Mora and Bonvillain have 2 dozen issues of stellar artwork under their belt over on Once & Future, so to see that at DC, on a World's Finest story set in the not-so-distant past, with Mark Waid writing and Aditya Bidikar on lettering? What an absolute treat. That is a dream team if I've ever seen one.
#3: The Human Target #4
Writer: Tom King
Art & Colors: Greg Smallwood
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
I am in love with this series, but that's nothing new. It's just so refreshing to read a limited series monthly with issues that actually feel like chapters of an overall mystery, rather than just a longer graphic novel that's been serialized into however many parts. The story continues to be intriguing, I love the involvement of all these different characters over the issues so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes. That's not even mentioning how Smallwood's artwork continues to be simply gorgeous.
#2: Clear #4
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art & Colors: Francis Manipul
Letterer: AndWorld Design
Snyder and Manipul were some of the earliest creators I loved when I first got into comics, so them working together on a creator-owned book has been such a dream come true that hasn't disappointed yet. Following on from the last issue's cliffhanger, the story is in full swing and I'm loving seeing where it's going. This world is so interesting to me, the mystery unraveling is so intriguing, and the artwork by Manipul is utterly gorgeous.
I've run out of ways to say how much I love his style, especially doing his own colors on some of his best work yet here. But it's just so perfect for the story, his use of lighting and atmosphere can make any scene seem so cinematic and just such a joy to soak in. Love it. Definitely check this out if you have Amazon Prime, Comixology or Kindle Unlimited, where you can read it for free, or whenever it comes out in print.
#1: Saga #55
Writer: Brian K. Vaughan
Artist & Colors: Fiona Staples
There was no other choice for pick of the week. It was a great week, there were so many books that I just loved. But I've got to be honest for the most part this issue just felt like a warm hug. I say that because I read this series for the first time back in August, going into September, in the first compendium. Those memories of starting it on holiday and then reading a dozen issues on the way home because I was loving it so much. A few pages into this issue brought me right back to that, and that was so incredibly special to me.
On a more general note, it's issues like these that remind me why I love comics. I'm always excited for new comic book day, but I was actually trembling with excitement heading there on Wednesday. That's the sort of excitement I want every week. It feeling like a proper event, the anticipation, bringing it home and giving it a read. That alone was unlike anything I've experienced in my last few years of reading single issues so far, which was again so incredibly special to me. Especially when seeing other stories online about what this book means to people or even just how it made their week so much better. That's what motivates me in my own fiction writing, to hope to eventually one day have that sort of impact.
Anyway, this was a great issue. It was something I never realized when reading the compendium, but it was recently pointed out to me when listening to the Comics Collective podcast that the same amount of time has passed in the book as in our world. I just thought that was such a neat detail to add-in. It was so good seeing Hazel start to grow up and get more independent in the last few volumes, so I loved seeing how that had progressed in this issue. It just makes all the characters, in general, feel so much more real to me. They've had life experience, grown as characters, they aren't just the same people they were in #1 but a year or two older.
If you take one thing away from my picks this week, it's that you need to read Saga. The story and characters created by Vaughan and Staples are so compelling, and her artwork is so beautiful I just adored it every issue I read. Not even mentioning the brilliant lettering by Fonografiks, especially with Hazel's narration. But that's for another time. Read this wonderful series if you haven't already. You won't regret it.
What were your top picks this week? Let us know what we missed! You never know; your recommendation could end up on our lists in the future!
Come find us both on Twitter and let's talk comics and good times :)
You can find Lauren, Your Friendly Neighborhood Bi, at all her links here: beacons.ai/friendlynbhdbi
You can follow JoeLovesComics over on Twitter for (albeit shorter) thoughts on comics he loves.