Comics I’m Picking Up the Week of February 13, 2019

Here are the new books I’m looking forward to seeing at my local comic store the week of February 13, 2019.

Wonder Twins

Publisher: DC/Wonder Comics
Words/Story: Mark Russell
Art/Colors: Stephen Byrne

“Exiled from their home planet, alien heroes Zan and Jayna must navigate life as teens on Earth at South Metropolis High School, where they’re even bigger outsiders than the typical awkward young adults. Under the watchful eye of Superman, the brother and sister pull monitor duty at the Hall of Justice as interns while also trying to overcome the pitfalls of Zan’s brash confidence and Jayna’s shy but streetwise persona. If you think you know the Wonder Twins, think again—this book takes the form of the unexpected.”

Category: Tried and True Creator

Why I’m Excited: Mark Russell has made a name in comics by re-imagining retro-pop icons as mirrors to contemporary life. After the Flintstones, Snagglepuss, and the Lone Ranger limited series, I would like to see how being an alien in high school has changed in the last 25 years since I was one (metaphorically). I also love that Gleek is tagging along just to keep things under control. The extra proportional push the new Wonder Comics line is getting implies that Stephen Byrne is ready for a higher profile.

Wonder Twins cover

Wonder Comics

Marvels: Annotated

Publisher: Marvel Comics
Words/Story: Kurt Busiek & Alex Ross
Art/Colors: Alex Ross

“Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the series that changed the way we look at superheroes, the landmark Marvels is back! In the year 1939, young photojournalist Phil Sheldon attends the sensational unveiling of the fiery android Human Torch—little knowing he is witnessing the dawn of the Age of Marvels! Prepare to relive Marvel’s Golden Age from a whole new point of view as Phil covers the superhuman sightings of the 1930s and 1940s—from the terror caused by the Human Torch’s epic clash with the Sub-Mariner to the patriotism stirred by the debut of Captain America and more! Packed with extras and completely remastered, you don’t want to miss this unique look back at the Marvels phenomenon!”

Category: Like They Need My Help

Why I’m Excited: When this was originally released, Alex Ross had only a few credits to his name (mostly covers). Had the marketing team been able to choose the artist I suspect that they would have gone to Jim Lee or Todd McFarlane or—gasp—Rob Liefeld. I can’t be sure if it was luck, good timing, or Kurt Busiek’s insistence (maybe the annotations will tell that story), but I am thankful that Ross broke out big with this work. The acclaim for his style elevated the cultural appreciation of what a comic book artist could do. I look forward to seeing the new information and connections the editors make in this new edition. If all goes well I hope it leads to an oversized collector’s edition in the near future. Dare I hold out for a 15 by 22? Yes! I know you’re thinking it, too.

Cover of Marvels: Annotated

Marvel Comics

Stardust

Publisher: DC/Vertigo Comics
Words/Story: Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess
Art/Colors: Charles Vess

Category: Like They Need My Help

“In a Victorian-era tale of magic and romance, young Tristran Thorn falls in love with the town beauty and must go on an incredible coming-of-age journey in order to capture her heart. Living in the small countryside town of Wall, one night Tristan vows to his beloved to retrieve a fallen star that they witnessed crashing down from the heavens. Now, to gain his love’s hand, he must leave behind his home and embark on a journey that will define the meaning of true love. Told through breathtaking painted illustrations, this fairytale for adults is a true masterpiece in storytelling.”

Why I’m Excited: Another perfect marriage of prose and art. If all you know of this Neil Gaiman story is the movie version from 2007, I urge you to experience it in its initial form. Gaiman has retained a very high-profile career 30 years since the publication of Sandman (the first-issue cover was dated January 1989), which I’m happy to see, but Charles Vess has remained relatively obscure . . . perhaps it’s how he likes it. I also urge you to check out Vess’s Book of Ballads.

Cover of Stardust comic

Vertigo Comics

Mister Miracle

Publisher: DC Comics
Words/Story: Tom King
Art/Colors: Mitch Gerads

Category: Like They Need My Help

Why I’m Excited: Although I’d never been a fan of Jack Kirby’s Fourth World, I kind of knew Darkseid as a Superman villain. Even Tom King’s name didn’t spark much interest—though I really liked Vision. Then it started getting kudos from every corner of comics Twitter and some typically non-agreeing podcasts. I should have known. Now a collection will let you experience one of the best-reviewed 2018 comics from the big two.

Cover of Mister Miracle

DC Comics

Also out this week in bookstores as well as comics shops are an art book about the women of Marvel Comics, and what I hope will one day be recognized as the YA descendant of  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Winter is a time to catch up on all those books you’ve been meaning to get to, and to work on that “list of shame” that every fan seems to have. Not that there’s such a thing as shame for not having read a book, but sometimes it feels better to admit it and move forward, so here I’ll confess one of my gaping holes: I’ve never read any of the Dark Knight books by Miller. What are yours?

See you at the racks!

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