Here are the books I’m looking forward to seeing at my local comic store the week of December 12, 2018.
As we move into the season of everybody’s best-of-the-year lists, the new series launches get slim. This week I’m focusing on intriguing one-shots and special issues.
Star Trek Waypoint Special
Words/Story: Dave Baker, Nicole Goux, and others
Art/Colors: Nicole Goux and others
“The anthology series spanning 50 years of Star Trek returns in this oversized annual! These weird and wonderful stories—set during the Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, and more—expand on rarely explored corners of the universe or provide closure for long-forgotten plot threads. But they all remind us of why we love Trek. This volume features your favorite characters, including Data, Q, and Ezri Dax, handled by the top creators of today and the future!”
Category: Return to a Beloved World
Why I’m Excited: What I love about the twin fandoms of Star Trek and Star Wars is that there are so many aspects, characters, and ideas to explore between the scenes, between the episodes, and between the movies. (A human need for this type of story predates the advent of fanfiction, attributed to ST:TOS, at least as far back as Judiasim’s Midrash.) The expansion and democratization of canon has allowed a cultural moment when more and more readers are finding resonant stories. The stories here have the blessing, via licensing, of the IP holder, but I am well aware that there are no guarantees that these shorts will have any impact on the next iterations of the featured characters. I’m just happy that Ezri Dax gets a little bit more added to her possible futures.
Black Hammer: Cthu-Louise
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words/Story: Jeff Lemire
Art/Colors: Emi Lenox
“From the pages of Sherlock Frankenstein comes this horrific tale of Lovecraftian teenage angst. Spawned by the emissary of a Cthulhu god, Cthu-Louise struggles and is teased at school due to her monstrous appearance. Finally fed up with the bullying and abuse, she decides she will do anything to make herself ‘normal.'”
Category: Tried and True Creators
Why I’m Excited: When Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox were given a chance to collaborate in 2015, I was excited for what I thought would be an exploration of hero worship and the trappings of celebrity. What we got instead was a much more interesting set of character studies about how teenage social dynamics can have lasting impacts and the destructive nature of secrets. Plutona ended too soon, perhaps because the change in focus didn’t resonate with as many readers as the publisher needed. Here I’m again excited for a take on the Black Hammer universe that promises a good chuckle and maybe a little heartbreak—Freaks and Geeks for the golden age of comics.
Hellboy Winter Special
Publisher: Dark Horse
Words/Story: Mike Mignola, various
“Three wintry tales featuring a Mike Mignola and Ben Stenbeck team-up for a New Year’s Eve séance gone wrong when Hellboy visits a family’s English home, Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá revisit B.P.R.D.: Vampire with a new tie-in story, and Tonci Zonjic returns to write and draw Lobster Johnson.”
Category: Return to a Beloved world
Why I’m Excited: I was first exposed to Mike Mignola’s style in the classic Gotham by Gaslight 29 years ago and the underappreciated adaptation of Coppola’s take on vampire tropes. (Am I the only one who who would watch a motion comic of that book?) Over his 25 years of publication, Hellboy has retained an inscrutable sense of unease, and readers have flocked to it as it’s ridden the line between horror and heroics. I’ve never been quite sure whether Anung Un Rama’s fight against the forces of his homeworld would be successful, and that’s a reason to celebrate.
Fantastic Four Wedding Special
Words/Story: Gail Simone, Dan Slott, Fred Hembeck
Art/Colors: Laura Braga, Mark Buckingham, Fred Hembeck
“Come and celebrate the impending nuptials of the Thing and Alicia Masters with a Ladies Night Out as only the First Family of Comics can do it! Guest-starring She-Hulk, Medusa, Crystal and more, it’s the bachelorette party Alicia never expected—and one whose ribaldry will be interrupted by the arrival of a Surprise Super Villain! (And no, we don’t mean Johnny Storm!) Meanwhile, the Thing has an unexpected meeting with his future father-in-law, the Puppet Master! Plus, Hembeck! The Fantastic Four family tree! And more! R.S.V.P. at your local comics retailer this December, and don’t forget to kiss the bride!”
Category: Like They Need My Help
Why I’m Excited: Okay, we may all have wedding fatigue in 2018—kind like I did when many of my friends decided to “make it legal” back in 2013—but I have to hope that this one will go off without a
hitch bait and switch. Although it’s actually scheduled to happen in Fantastic Four #5 (I catch what you’re throwing there, Marvel), I suspect that this issue will be as fun as the earlier X-Men Special. And congrats to Marvel for putting Ben Grimm’s Jewish heritage front and center.
All We Ever Wanted
Publisher: A Wave Blue World
Words/Story: Alisa Kwitney, Howard Mackie, Paul Allor, and more
Art/Colors: Toby Cypress, Tess Fowler, Robbi Rodriguez, Chris Visions, and more
“An exciting new anthology filled with stories that present a brighter vision of the future featuring today’s top-level talent. No doom-and-gloom here! These sci-fi tales are meant to inspire hope and restore the belief that a better world is possible.”
Category: Support Emerging Talent
Why I’m Excited: And speaking of fatigue . . . the onslaught of dystopias that keep most of sci fi afloat these days, while hit and miss as all genres can be, has me looking farther afield for sources of hope for humanity. It’ll be a good change of pace to see a few golden visions of how we might survive climate change, entrenched partisan social discourse, and creeping corporate takeovers.
Also out this week: Book 1 of Grant Morrison’s groundbreaking run on Animal Man on the occasion of its 30th anniversary.
See you at the racks!