This week, DC jumps on the Marvel trend of releasing a $10 book which has a 50/50 chance of being worthwhile. Also, we dig into the Vault of some indie publishers by taking a look at several trade paperback collections.
Heartbeat #3 (BOOM! Studios)
(w/a) Maria Llovet
Not much needs to be said other than I love Llovet’s work! If you haven’t checked out Heartbeat you need too.
After a thrilling encounter with Donatien, Eva finds herself becoming more interested in his macabre tastes. As the murderer draws her deeper into his world, what parts of herself is Eva willing to give up to get closer… and will she miss them when she’s done?
John Constantine: Hellblazer #3 (DC Comics)
(w) Simon Spurrier (a) Aaron Campbell (c) Jordie Bellaire
I just got caught up on this series, and some other Sandman Universe comics and I enjoyed them all quite a bit! But, as of now I think I’ll only collect John Constantine: Hellblazer in singles. –Jason
This series serves as a reminder of how misguided the inclusion of Constantine in the main DCU was back in 2012. Spurrier’s revival of Hellblazer under Vertigo… erm… Black Label has been a godsend to those patiently awaiting their Constantine fix since the original series ended back in 2013. –Dan
John has found the cause of the magical madness slaughtering gang members on Peckham Rye…and it’s just one guy! How hard can it be to stop him? Well, when the gangs get involved and the source of his power becomes clear, the answer turns out to be “Near impossible, actually!”
Loud GN (Black Mask Studios)
(w/a) Maria Llovet
I’ve been waiting for this one since it was announced! Absolutely love Llovet’s work and anything she is involved in I pick up. –Jason
The LOUD nightclub. A latecomer stripper, a pissed waitress, a hitmen couple, a suspension bondage performer, a pregnant teenager, a clan of vampires, a pedophile, a lesbian junkie, a divorcing middle-aged woman, a sadistic dominatrix, and many other souls in search of love, drugs, and blood converge at the hottest club in town on a night that none will ever forget. If they survive.
Once and Future #6 (BOOM! Studios)
(w) Kieron Gillen (a) Dan Mora
This series has been fantastic with each passing issue. With the first arc wrapping up here, I’d expect nothing but the same. –Dan
With the fate of the world in the balance, Duncan must finally accept his role in the larger story. But has Gran trained him well enough to defeat the undead King of the Britons by himself?
Twin Worlds #1 (Action Lab)
(w) Rami Al-ashqar (a) Jethro Morales
Good sci-fi or fantasy needs to hook readers in fast. While the solicit has enough exposition to rival the opening crawl of a Star Wars movie, the concept of this title sounds interesting enough to give a fair shot. Plus, Action Lab does a great job in letting creators just do their thing, and that’s always worth supporting. –Dan
Led by the chieftain Vin Raja, an armed force of native Drakkarans attack an outpost of imperialist Earthers who colonized their planet. The Drakkaran forces take prisoners of war, which include native traitors who work with the Earthers, and make an example out of them back in their capital. In the meantime, princess Vin Kayla, daughter of Vin Raja, violates her house arrest and takes out her two twin children to watch her father’s victorious return ceremony. The twins are hybrids controversially born to a pioneer Earth-man, which is a massive controversy and a secret that Raja insists to keep from his people. Leaders of the colonizing Earthers convene in reaction to the Drakkaran attack on their base and debate a response.
Witchblade Complete Vol. 1 TP (Image | Top Cow Productions)
(w) Marc Silvestri, Brian Haberlin, Christina Z, Warren Ellis, David Wohl, David Finch, (a) Michael Turner, David Finch, Marc Silvestri, Tony S. Daniel, Billy Tan, Nathan Cabrera
I know Dan has Witchblade in multiple different formats, but it’s a series I always wanted to get into yet never did. Now that Top Cow is coming out with this gorgeous looking softcover I finally get the chance! — Jason
Witchblade, despite its reputation as a cheesecake book, is probably the best written series of that early wave of Image titles. While this first volume is not the best place to go for the best the series has to offer, it’s a fitting showcase for the talent of the late, great Michael Turner. –Dan
This first collection of the bestselling series created by MARC SILVESTRI, DAVID WOHL, BRIAN HABERLIN, and MICHAEL TURNER equips streetwise cop Sara Pezzini with the mysterious Witchblade, a weapon of prehistoric origin and untold power. As the artifact’s bearer, Sara goes toe to toe with a Machiavellian industrialist, supernatural serial killers, and far worse, as the supernatural underworld of New York alters the course of her destiny forever.
Gorgeously rendered and painstakingly assembled as the first in a series of absolute collected editions. When all eight volumes are collected, a special piece of cross-volume connecting spine art by STJEPAN SEJIC will be revealed. Collects WITCHBLADE #1-19, THE DARKNESS #9 & 10, TALES OF THE WITCHBLADE #1/2 & 3
Wonder Twins #11 (DC Comics)
(w) Mark Russell (a) Stephen Byrne
I loved this series tremendously, so I’m sad it’s almost over. –Jason
This is the first issue of Wonder Twins since the CW adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths. With the tease of Gleek at the very end, I’m sure many are pumped to check out Russel and Byrne’s updated take on the sibling team –Dan
Colonel 86—the malfunctioning supercomputer that still thinks it’s 1986—has taken over the world! As its obsolete memory creates one disaster after another, the Wonder Twins must team up with Filo and Polly Math to stop it!
Wonder Woman #750 (DC Comics)
(w) Various (a) Various
Gotta love those weird anniversary issues with a reversion to legacy numbering in an effort to squeeze a few more bucks out of readers. HOWEVER, getting to read new Wonder Woman stories by the likes of Gail Simone and Greg Rucka makes it worth it. –Dan
An all-star 96-page celebration of the Amazon Princess by longtime favorites and acclaimed new voices! In the lead story, Wonder Woman’s epic “Year of the Villain” battle comes to a close, leading the way to new challenges ahead. Additionally, this oversized gem tells tales from Diana’s past, present and future by some of the greatest storytellers in the business— including Colleen Doran, Mariko Tamaki, the Teen Titans: Raven team of writer Kami Garcia and artist Gabriel Picolo, and legendary Wonder Woman creators returning to the character, including Gail Simone and Greg Rucka!
X-Statix: The Complete Collection Vol. 1 TPB (Marvel Comics)
(w) Peter Milligan (a) Sean Phillips, Darwyn Cooke, Duncan Fegredo, Paul Pope, Michael Allred
I loved this series when I read the omnibus back in the day and find myself wanting to reread it. Yet, I sold said omnibus because I needed money at the time. Luckily, Marvel is coming out with a collection of softcovers, my favorite format! –Jason
Peter Milligan and Michael Allred reboot X-Force into the reality stars X-Statix, in their bright and bold 21st-century deconstruction of the X-books! Sex. Money. Power. Fame. That’s what drives these mutant heroes! But what really happens when an X-team becomes huge media stars? Find out in this wild examination of celebrity culture — with a far higher body count than any reality TV show! Fall in love with the Orphan, the Anarchist, Dead Girl, Phat, Vivisector, U-Go Girl, the incomparable Doop and more — but don’t get too attached, as there’s no guarantee that any of them will make it out of each battle alive! And when the team relaunches their brand as the X-Statix, will it propel them to even greater fame? Or will the interactive O-Force become the hot new thing?
Collecting X-FORCE (1991) #116-129, BROTHERHOOD #9 and X-STATIX #1-5.
Jason’s Vault Comics Picks
In addition to our regular picks, our own Jason Jeffords Jr recommends all of Vault’s trade releases this week. In his own words:
I’ll say this here for my four Vault Comics picks; I’ll read anything by them.
— Jason Jeffords Jr, 1/19/2020
And now, on to those picks…
Mall: Complete TP (Vault Comics)
(w) Michael Moreci, Gary Dauberman (a) Zak Hartong (c) Addison Duke (l) Jim Campbell
Here in the heartland of the U.S. of A., the world has ended! But worry not, because the mall still stands. And within the walls of this consumeristic mecca lies a new world order: box store tribes and name brand gangs, all vying for limited space and resources. So, actually…you can worry! Especially for poor Andre Reed, who-after the assassination of a tribal leader-has to navigate the mad haven to prove his innocence, and prevent the end of the world, again!
Resonant TPB VOL 1 (Vault Comics)
(w) David Andry (a) Ale Aragon (c) Jason Wordie (l) Deron Bennett.
A decade has passed since the first Waves hit, unleashing humanity’s darkest impulses and plunging the world into chaos. Paxton, a single father of three, must venture from the secluded haven they’ve built to restock the medicine his chronically-ill youngest son needs to survive. When the somewhat routine trip goes awry, Paxton and his children-now separated-will battle everything in their path to reunite.
Relics of Youth Complete TP (Vault Comics)
(w) Chad Rebmann, Matt Nicholas (a) Skylar Patridge (c) Vladimir Popov (l) Andworld Design
Nat Rodrigues keeps dreaming of an island. Soon, the dreams become waking visions. Alone and concerned, Nat manages to locate other teenagers across the globe who share her intense obsession with the unmapped enclave. And then, the strangest part: Every one of them wakes one morning with a mysterious tattoo. A tattoo only the six of them can see. Now, each of them knows-no matter the obstacles in their way-they must discover this unknown paradise.
Sera and the Royal Stars Vol. 1 TP (Vault Comics)
(w) Jon Tsuei (a) Audrey Mok (c) Raul Angulo (l) Jim Campbell
Civil war rages in the Empire of Parsa, and famine has struck. As the seasons refuse to turn, Princess Sera receives a vision from the deity Mitra telling her to find the Royal Stars and restore them to the heavens. Despite her kingdom and her troops’ need of her command, Sera embarks on a quest to find the fallen stars-now trapped on earth-and save her people from dearth and death.