The comic-book scene started the summer off on a high note this year! A massive amount of first issues premiered from all types of publishers. We also got a few continuations from June that have been keeping up stellar momentum. If the amount of time it would take to cover all of the awesome July comics sounds excessive, no problem! We’ve got some of the best titles summed up and reviewed—with no spoilers—to get you all caught up.
1. The Weatherman #2 (Image Comics)
Nathan Bright is a high-beat, crude weatherman you can’t help but to love under mankind’s new circumstances. In the distant future of this mysterious sci-fi setting, humans have been relocated to a habitable Mars after Earth’s biggest terrorist attack killed 18 million people. Several others got the idea that Nathan had a helping hand in the fall of Earth, and they’re all gunning for him at the same time. Unfortunately, this also includes his former regular girlfriend—now revealed as a secret agent sent to arrest him—who has no issue with playing the bad cop. Whether Nathan can attest to these past crimes or not, he may be the remaining humans’ only hope of survival.
Issue #1 did a fantastic job introducing the protagonist in a way that would attract readers who enjoy complex characters. We alternated from being incredibly amused with Nathan to aching with sympathy. With issue #2, the conflict has not only been fleshed out but increased dramatically. Between Nathan and Agent Cross, there’s an insane amount of potential character development to be had as the series comes along. Nathan has no memory of any of the crimes he has been accused of, but info from Cross on Nathan’s life on Earth sounds pretty convincing. Cross’s remorseless interrogation tactics aren’t well received, and she must remember how important Nathan’s well-being is for the fate of all remaining humans. Interest in the mystery of Nathan’s buried past and Cross’s ability to keep her cool are enough to keep readers occupied until the next issue. If that’s not enough, the light, feathery inking style along with bold colors will cover it.
Written by Jody LeHeup; art by Nathan Fox and Dave Stewart.
2. Bone Parish #1 (BOOM! Studios)
Brand new from BOOM! Studios comes a horror series about a family business in producing, dealing, and selling the most popular drug on the streets of New Orleans. Where else could a business built on drugs made from dead people flourish but the Big Easy? We’re not talking about supernatural means of production, although the trips can get pretty wild. The Ash makes you live the full-on experience of whatever trip you’re on. The market is so hot, there has been debate for expansion, mass production, and opportunity to raise prices. They even have major crime bosses trying to set deals, which usually doesn’t turn out very well. The headstrong boss, and mother to several of the people heavily involved with her product, has some really tough decisions to make.
The potential of Bone Parish feels very promising, and the art is not the only beautifully dark component of this series. There is one very clear conflict of the repercussions of having the most interesting drug on the market. The other conflict is mentioned briefly at several different times but is still very important: what happens when you take too much ash? The results can be beautiful, but only if you heed the warning of the dealer. When the business gets a little too tough to handle, we’ll see which part of the family is willing to stick around if the other crime bosses don’t get their way. There’s a chance this series might be a tear-jerker as well. All in all, this was a decent way to start off a new series.
Written by Cullen Bunn; art by Jonas Scharf and Alex Guimaraes.
3. Ice Cream Man #5 (Image Comics)
It looks like the Ice Cream Man keeps ramping up his ominous creep factor. In this issue, he doesn’t just influence the lives of one or two people; he’s “infected” a bunch of employees inside of an office building. The comic has two perspectives: a guy with a monologue confession as he falls to his suicidal death and a sane employee just trying to find a way out of the building from hell.
It is suspected that maybe the Ice Cream Man is acting out more as of late on account of a mysterious figure letting him know he is on to his evil games. The Ice Cream Man looked shaken to his core, but it did not stop him from turning this office building into a Rob Zombie horror flick. Usually, he would catch people in the middle of their own dilemmas and push them to their limits. The powers he uses in this issue is comparable to those of Kilgrave of Marvel’s Jessica Jones where one suggestion or demand will leave people either oblivious or forced to do gruesome acts. Will this mystery guy use his pull over the Ice Cream Man to save his victims? If so, there’s a chance we could see this ice-cream demon for what he really is . . . whatever heinous creature that may be.
Written by W. Maxwell Prince; art by Martin Morazzo and Chris O’Halloran.
4. Unnatural #1 (Image Comics)
The furry comic that people have been waiting for has arrived. Reprinted in English after its original success in Italy, Unnatural #1 is the type of comic that can snatch you away from reality to become submersed into the protagonist’s slightly complicated slice of life.
Leslie is just your typical pig girl in her 20s who hates her boss and is being forced into a relationship by a totalitarian government. Her sexually inappropriate boss and pressure from everyone in her life telling her to “get a man” aren’t what has been clouding her mind for the past month. She’s been having dreams about touches and embraces from a large wolf man—too bad it’s illegal to interact romantically or sexually with anyone outside of your species, and time is running out before the Reproduction Program assigns Leslie a life mate. She may be okay with a bit of conformity, but she could be close to her limit on people telling her what to do.
Unnatural reads as an erotic novel with the appeal of a forbidden-fruit mystery man. And with the jerk boss, the job that doesn’t pay enough, a government trying to control its citizens, and constant pressure to get a husband, relating to Leslie can come easy. She goes back and forth between wanting to fully immerse herself into her dangerous desires and trying to accept things the way they are to make life easier. This comic gives off major Aggretsuko vibes, except instead of bad-ass screamo vocals, Leslie’s embarrassing secret is a hybrid fantasy. The art glows like a whimsical soap opera with exaggerated, anthropomorphic art. The story will leave you rooting against authority and cheering for the girl who just wants to live her own life.
Written, inked, and colored by Mirka Andolfo; color assist by Gianluca Papi.
What new releases have you been reading?