Well, ladies and gentlemen, another week is upon us, and with it comes a load of great new comic books. We’ve got everything from Vikings, anthropomorphism, and WWII fantasy, to far-future (or past) sci-fi, superheroes, and Victorian-steampunk-kaiju. There are four new #1s this week, as well as the start of a new story arc, and two exciting arcs that are wrapping up. April is off to an epic start and it doesn’t look to slow down next week, either. I know it can’t last, so let’s just ride it for as long as we can. Without further ado, or lily-gilding nonsense, I present my top picks for the week of April 13th, 2016…..
Valiant’s The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #2 is following up their crazy debut issue by taking us farther down the rabbit hole. After following Armstrong into the depths of his infinite satchel in a search for booze, Archer and his partner, history’s most inebriated immortal, have found themselves prisoners of…uh…what’s this villain’s name again? Armstrong may not be able to remember what their captor, Bacchus, is all about, but he sure is upset by the memories tied to a rare bottle of wine. What secret is about to come roaring out of the past to haunt him? And is Archer doomed to the repeat Armstrong’s tragic mistakes? By rising star Rafer Roberts (Plastic Farm) and comic book superstar David Lafuente (Ultimate Spider-Man). Valiant, $3.99, FEB161884
Things have gotten very bad, up the mountain, in Autumnlands: Tooth & Claw #10. Very bad. Kurt Busiek (Astro City) and Benjamin Dewey’s future fantasy, inhabited by anthropomorphic mages, farmers, and roaming native tribes of buffalo, is wrapping it’s second story arc. I expect dramatic changes and heart breaking revelations in the near future. Image, $2.99, DEC150563
In Black Road #1, meet Magnus the Black, neither clean nor sober, neither Christian nor Pagan, but a man true to his word. When a ranking official under his care is brutally murdered, he’s prepared to hunt the killers to the frozen tip of Norway, religious war be damned. Northlanders creator Brian Wood (DMZ, The Massive) returns to the Viking genre along with artist Garry Brown (The Massive, Catwoman) and Dave McCaig (Batman, American Vampire) in this all-new series. Image, $3.99, FEB160460
Drifter #10 is the start of the third arc in this frontier-town sci-fi by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein. Abram Pollux returns to Ghost Town, determined to even the score. But the rules have changed. New alliances are drawn, old friends become new foes, and each step closer to the truth brings Pollux that much closer to hell. Image, $3.50, FEB160518
Jackpot! #1 features the world’s greatest con artists on the eve of the greatest scam in human history… They’re ripping off the Gods themselves! The high-stakes, high-octane story of JACKPOT! begins here! Ray Fawkes, acclaimed writer of Gotham by Midnight and creator of Intersect teams up with Marco Failla (Spider-Man & the X-Men) to bring a new mind-bending, genre-busting monthly series from AfterShock! $1.99, FEB161046
Kennel Block Blues is the Shawshank Redemption meets The Secret of NIMH story you didn’t know you needed. In issue 3 (of 4) Oliver spends some time in solitary and uncovers the prison’s history and politics. By Ryan Ferrier (D4VE, Curb Stomp) and Daniel Bayliss (Translucid, Jim Henson’s Storytellers: Dragons). Boom!, $3.99, FEB161253
Monstress #5 brings a rich Victorian world, full of monsters (both human and otherwise), to life via the art of Sana Takeda and the thoughtful writing of Marjorie Liu. In which, Maika struggles with the monster inside. Image, $3.99, FEB160591
Next up to bat this inning is Moon Knight #1. Marc Spector (a.k.a. Moon Knight/Jake Lockley/Steven Grant) has been fighting criminals and keeping New York City safe for years… or has he? When he wakes up in an insane asylum with no powers and a lifetime’s worth of medical records, his whole identity (indentities?) is called into question. Something is wrong, but is that something Marc Spector himself? Jeff Lemire (Trillium, Bloodshot Reborn) and rising star Greg Smallwood are calling everything you know about Moon Knight into question. Marvel, $4.99, FEB160770
The Reaper of War exacts his toll. In doing so, he makes it personal for Ginny, The Reaper of Vengeance. Set in World War One, the second arc continues the dramatic and poetic story that started more than a year ago by Kelly Sue Deconnick, Emma Rios, and Jordie Bellaire. Image, $3.50, DEC150608
The blockbuster creative team of James Robinson and Tony Harris of DC’s Starman reunite for the first time in nearly two decades to finally tell us how Threepio got a red arm in Star Wars Special C3PO #1, the lead-up to his appearance in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Be sure to check out Wes Middleton’s review right here! Marvel, $4.99, JAN168297
Come back next week for godlike cosmonauts, werewolves, D&D, Clint Eastwood as Death, teenagers who take a spaceship for a Joyride, and an insightful look at Superman.
(A post script on my posting format: The 9 digit code at the end of each section is the code your retailer uses to order that specific issue from their distributor. If your local comic shop doesn’t have the issue you’re looking for, just give them that number to make sure you get the right one.)