The Weekly Comic Book Forecast – May 11th 2016

Welcome to The Weekly Comic Book Forecast – here you’ll find everything you need to know about this week’s upcoming releases; the movers, shakers, good, bad and even ugly of the comic book world.

May 11th 2016

This Wednesday, like most Wednesday’s I suppose, sees the end of some series (mostly DC, thanks to their upcoming Rebirth) and the beginning of others. There are always new number ones, but this week seems a little quiet on that front…

Pick of the Week

Tough one this week. I’m not usually this much of a downer but there’s no real standout. I’ve decided to award Pick of the Week to –

Satellite Falling #1
IDW: May 18, 2016 Writer: Steve Horton Art: Stephen Thompson Cover: Stephen Thompson

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For fans of space opera, crime fiction and lots of things exploding!

Yes, in a week where my go-to books aren’t exactly blowing me away – bear with me, there are still some good books coming out this week – I’m giving my Pick to a newcomer.

One of only a few number ones out this week, Satellite Falling looks like a cross between The Fuse, Southern Cross and something from 2000AD, this debut issue from creators Steve Horton and Stephen Thompson (All of the Steves!) looks to be pulling from a few classic sci-fi tropes to deliver something new. Fingers crossed it lives up to the pressure I’m now PILING ON TOP OF IT. Just Kidding, looks good.

Wild Card

The Wild Card is that book that could go either way – could be good, could be bad. This Week:

Back To The Future Citizen Brown #1
IDW: May 25, 2016 Writer: Bob Gale Art: Alan Robinson Cover: Alan Robinson

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Partly my Wild Card because I’ve not read any of the previous Back to the Future comics so can’t comment on quality, and partly because this is not only a comic based on a movie franchise, but an adaptation of a video game from 2010. There is some great talent behind it: Co-Creator of the famous movie trilogy Bob Gale is writing alongside Erik Burnham – of Ghostbusters comics fame – to bring one of my most beloved movie franchises of all time to the page.

So a comic adaptation of a video game based on a movie franchise? The warning signs are there, but I’m remaining optimistic.

The Rest of the Best

Kaijumax Season 2 #1
Oni Press: May 11, 2016 Writer: Zander Cannon Art: Zander Cannon Cover: Zander Cannon

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Kaijumax returns! Yes, Season 2 kicks off this week and I’m going to have to catch up on ‘Season 1’ as it were, it’s been a while and I can’t remember how it ended? Either way, the genre mash up of prison drama and big-ass monsters is a lot of fun, and mix in the bright, colorful art and you’re onto a winner.

Black Panther #2
Marvel: May 4, 2016 Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates Art: Brian Stelfreeze Cover: Brian Stelfreeze

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Issue 1 didn’t read like your standard first issue of a traditional Marvel series. Sure there was a ‘previously on’ page which helped bring those who hadn’t read Hickman’s Avengers run up to speed (and thanks to the star pulling power of Ta-Nehisi Coates that’s probably quite a lot), but this felt more like the first chapter of a larger story. That’s not a bad thing, just a fine line to balance in modern comic storytelling. Most books these days have an eye to the collected trade edition, and it feels like Black Panther is no different.

Still, at the expense of a self contained first issue, Coates is weaving a complex political thriller breathing some much needed reality and depth to the nation of Wakanda. It’ll be great as a collection, but I’ll still be looking forward to the single issues every month, as not only is it a great read, Brian Stelfreeze’s art is gorgeous.

Action Comics #52
DC Comics: May 11, 2016 Writer: Peter J. Tomasi Art: Fernando Pasarin Cover: John Romita

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I’m really trying not to flood the Forecast with regular looks at the same books over and over again; the purpose is to introduce you to books coming out that you might not be aware of. DC’s Super-League storyline however has got me hooked.

Spanning across the entire Superman line of books, this week’s installment is back in Action Comics, and while that fact alone isn’t enough to make it into the Forecast, this issue brings Supermen old and new face-to-face. A meeting four years in the making, the Pre-New 52 Superman of the recent Lois and Clark series (and obviously the previous 25 years of comic books) meets with the dying Superman on the New 52. What I’m sure will be a major step on the road to Rebirth, this will probably be the first book I read this Wednesday.

4001 A.D. X-O Manowar #1
Valiant Entertainment Llc: May 11, 2016 Writer: Robert Venditti Art: Clayton Henry Cover: CAFU

4001AD-XO

Last Week saw the kick-off of Valiant’s latest Event 4001AD, and it started off with a bang. This week we’ve got a chance to look at the future of the X-O Manowar, and the previews alone have me intrigued. The concept of X-O Manowar is probably the strongest that Valiant has on their slate, one that can withstand many different takes on the premise, so seeing how the armor looks 2000 years into the future should be fascinating.

Fix #2
Image: May 11, 2016 Writer: Nick Spencer Art: Steve Lieber Cover: Steve Lieber

fix-2

How great was issue 1? I’ll tell you – bloody great that’s how great. The fantastically funny creative team behind Superior Foes of Spider-Man is back and back to their best.

Last issue threw in a couple serious twists between all the humor, and the energy and pace are both as vibrant as their previous work for the House of Mouse. I can only imagine this getting more and more complex as it dives deeper into the seedy lives of the two main characters, so jump on now so you don’t get lost.

Something New Tales From Makeshift Bride GN
:01 First Second: By: Lucy Knisley

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While I’m sure this is a bit of a departure for the regular superhero crowd, I love when First Second bring out a new book, and this one speaks to my own experiences. A sort of graphic diary of the author’s experience creating her own DIY wedding, the solicit took me straight back to two years ago when I got married myself, and anyone who’s gone through the planning, organizing and expense of a wedding is sure to find something to love about this book.

Brit-cit Noir GN
2001AD: By: John Smith, John Reppion, Ian Gibson Brett Ewins

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Another graphic novel this week, this time from 2000AD/Rebellion. According to Amazon this is already available in the UK so I’ll be ‘Adding to Basket’ very shortly, Brit-Cit Noir is the story of what has become of the United Kingdom in the Judge Dredd universe of Mega Cities and Cursed Earths. The solicitation promises an ‘abundance of weird, occult occurences’, so I’m sold.

Gotham Academy #18
DC Comics: May 11, 2016 Writer: Brendan Fletcher Art: Adam Archer Cover: Mingjue Helen Chen

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The end of an era! If it wasn’t already confirmed to be returning during Rebirth, this would be a sad occasion, instead it’s merely bittersweet, as we (for now) say goodbye to Olive, Maps and the rest of Gotham Academy.

This has been a breath of fresh air for DC that, much like Ms Marvel across the aisle, have paved the way for a new kind of comic at the Big Two with their consistently high levels of quality in both art and writing. So it’s not goodbye, merely Au Revoir. He says pretentiously.

Ultimates #7
Marvel: May 11, 2016 Writer: Al Ewing Art: Christian Ward Cover: Kenneth Rocafort

ultimates-7

Remember what I said above about not wanting to repeat the same books month after month here in the Forecast? Yeah Ultimates is the exception. I’m convinced that this book is the centre of the All New All Different Marvel Universe. It’s certainly the only ‘core’ Marvel book that’s truly essential in my opinion. Al Ewing has his team of heroes dealing with the fate of Eternity itself, along with Galactus (now a Life-Bringer), Thanos and personifications of the omniversal abstracts that sew together the fabric of the cosmos, and if you think that’s epic, the art of Kenneth Rocafort is only surpassed by Jack Kirby in it’s scope and ability to take the very grandest landscapes and concepts and paint them right there on the page.

Yep. I love this book.

The Best of the Rest

Image is having a good week. The final issue of Mark Millar’s Jupiter’s Circle is out, as are the next installments of the fantastic books Southern Bastards, Shutter and Monstress. The batsh*t crazy Grizzly Shark returns for issue 2, as does stunning anthology series Island. Some books are great digital, but Island feels and looks great in your hands.

Titan’s big series this week is Penny Dreadful #1, based on the TV show I don’t watch, meanwhile Boom Studios is releasing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3, based on the TV show I did watch.

Archie #8 continues the super cool reboot courtesy of Mark Waid (i.e. my second favorite writer of all time) and artist Veronica Fish, Dark Horse has Harrow County #12 (which is a truly creepy book if you’ve never picked it up), and ONI Press have the first volume of Mermin, which is Eisner Award winning apparently and looks immensely fun, so I’ll be checking that out.

Onto the Big Two, and DC have another final issue (for now), in Batman #52. It feels like Scott Snyder’s run on this series has had more finales than Lord of the Rings: issue 50 saw the end to his 4 year long storyline; issue 51 was his final, reflective issue with Greg Capullo; this week’s issue is the final FINAL issue, this time with Rafael Albuquerque. He’ll be back in a few months with All Star Batman, for crying out loud!

Marvel meanwhile continues the back-up story from their Free Comic Book Day Civil War II issue in All-New, All-Different Avengers #9, introducing the New Wasp into the main book. It’s about time they had Wasp – a founding Avenger – back in the ‘main’ Avengers book. Other books to look out for: Darth Vader #20, Silk #8 and the intensely amazing Vison #7.

The Verdict

As I said previously, there’s no real standout book this week, but there’s still a lot to look out for. A week that’s more rewarding for those fans that already know what they love rather than there being anything to bring people into the comic shop, but hey, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; consistent quality is often taken for granted. Those books that have just another installment (like Ultimates, Vision, Gotham Academy, Fix, Southern Bastards and Kaijumax) may not be eye-catching with a bright shiny number 1 on the issue (apart from Kaijumax I guess), but they are consistently brilliant. A strong week.

Last Week’s Forecast

Pick of the Week last week was The Punisher #1 from Becky Cloonan and Steve Dillon and man, that was brilliant. Thoroughly enjoyable in its pitch perfect portrayal of the cold and calculating Frank Castle, Cloonan was a spot on choice for writing, and the return of Steve Dillon – who has frankly (no pun intended) upped his game seriously since the last time I saw any of his art – was the icing on the cake.

The Wild Card – Beasts of Burden: What Cat Dragged In – was great. I’ve never read a single issue of this series before but I’ll be diving in via Comixology to explore more of the BoB world.

Thunderbolts didn’t win me over unfortunately, but Renato Jones: The One% #1 was a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be, so that evens out. Black Widow was great, as was 4001AD, so overall a good week.

 

That’s the Forecast for this week! As always, please get in touch with me on Twitter (I’m @MattLune) and let me know what’s on your pull list.
Matt

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