Comic Books I’m Picking Up the Week of April 24, 2019

Here are the books I’m looking forward to seeing at my local comic store the week of April 24, 2019.

Covers of Ascender, Ghost Tree, Star Trek: Year Five, Dick Tracy, and Queen of Bad Dreams comics

Ascender

Publisher: Image Comics
Words/Story: Jeff Lemire
Art/Colors: Dustin Nguyen

“Set ten years after the conclusion of Descender‘s storyline, magic has taken the place of machinery and the rules are very different indeed . . . Mila, the daughter of Andy and Effie from Descender, spends her days exploring the lonely wilds of the planet Sampson and trying to stay out of the clutches of the evil disciples of the all-powerful vampire witch known only as Mother. But, like her parents, Mila doesn’t like to play by the rules, and when a certain robot pal of her dad’s shows up, nothing will ever be the same!”

Category: Tried and True Creators

Why I’m Excited: It’s never quite clear to me how Dustin Nguyen’s art comes together; is it sketched, painted, watercolored, or all of the above? However he’s doing it, I want more. Jeff Lemire’s story had a few trope-y moments that only seemed to work because it was in this art style, and I appreciated the “face acting” lifted the emotions of the story. I really liked the way he drew Andy at multiple ages and the way that you were able to tell that it was the same character after he’d “gone through some stuff.” The time jump can be a tricky device to use well—Walking Dead comic, “yes”; Walking Dead show, “nope”—but I have hope that this volume of the story will be just as satisfying.

Ascender comic cover

Image Comics

Ghost Tree

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Words/Story: Bobby Curnow
Art/Colors: Simon Gane

“Seeking a refuge from an unhappy life, Brandt returns to his ancestral home in Japan to find a haunted tree and the departed souls that are drawn to it, including his Grandfather. Brandt attempts to heal some of history’s wounds but will he be able to find any measure of peace for himself when someone special from his past returns?”

Category: Support Emerging Talent

Why I’m Excited: In the year since my mother died I’ve taken on the responsibility to scan and share the family photo albums. I’ve spent a few hours a month moving through her life with us and remembering many of the fun times. I also know that the past is with us; many ghost stories are played for horror, but the real ghosts that we all have are also happy, sad, exhausting, and instructive. I’m looking for this series to be an interesting character study about moving forward from loss but also the importance of honoring ancestors in Japanese religion and culture.

Ghost Tree comics

IDW Publishing

Star Trek: Year Five

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Words/Story: Jackson Lanzing, Collin Kelly
Art/Colors: Stephen Thompson

“The crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise left Earth four years ago. They’ve traveled to strange new worlds, defeated impossible foes, and made universe-changing decisions. But now, with the end in sight, they’ll have to face their biggest challenge yet. Step aboard the Enterprise with Kirk, Spock, Bones, Uhura, Sulu, Scotty, and Chekov as they begin the end of their original Five Year Mission and boldly go into an uncertain future in this new continuing Star Trek series!”

Category: Return to a Beloved World

Why I’m Excited: I’ve been a Star Trek fan since the premier of The Next Generation, but I have to admit that I can never get over the line delivery of Mr. Shatner. I can overlook the “state-of-the-era” production and most of the heavy-handed allegories of The Original Series. I like the comics versions because I get a new chance to appreciate the character dynamics, the mission, and the depth of canon built up over 50 years; and now I get to put the voice of Star Trek Discovery‘s Anson Mount whenever Kirk talks. (I know Pike and Kirk are intended to be distinct characters, but it’s my head, so get out.)

Star Trek: Year Five comic cover

IDW Publishing

Dick Tracy Forever

Publisher: IDW Publishing
Words/Story: Michael Avon Oeming
Art/Colors: Michael Avon Oeming

“Dick Tracy is Sisyphus, pushing the law boulder up the hill as he struggles for reason and order in a world with none. His attempts at law and order are met with crime and chaos, in the form of unpredictable and absurd villains. But Dick Tracy will never give up trying, no matter the era or incarnation.”

Category: Return to a Beloved World

Why I’m Excited: A few months back I recommended a Dick Tracy miniseries by the Allred clan (Lee, Mike, and Laura) with Rich Tommasso. I excitedly read the first issue and was left feeling “meh” after four issues, and upon reflection I think that the art style was more cartoony than I was wanting from a Dick Tracy story. While I really liked Tommasso’s Dry County, there his style was balanced by a relatively realistic noir-style story of kidnapping and possible femme fatale. In Dead or Alive more of the elements were over the top than I was into and the story lacked a weight or urgency that I want in my pulp-era heroes. Michael Avon Oeming’s experience with the gritty Powers series and The United States of Murder gives me hope that this one will be more of what I’m looking for.

Dick Tracy cover

IDW Publishing

Queen of Bad Dreams

Publisher: Vault Comics
Words/Story: Danny Lore
Art/Colors: Jordi Pérez

“When a dream entity known as a figment emerges from a dreamer’s mind, it’s Daher’s job as an IJ to track them down and make the call: reinsert the figment, or grant them agency in our world. After an especially powerful figment escapes the dreams of an even more powerful politician’s son, Daher is pulled headlong into an investigation that traces all the way back to the incident that sent dreams, even nightmares, spilling into our reality.”

Category: Support Emerging Creators

Why I’m Excited: In just over two years, Vault has become my favorite place to seek out new talent; and new ideas! Many of the other smaller presses jockey for work with licenses and existing media properties. Vault has shown itself to be the comics equivalent of a local brewery–with the great Submerged, Fearscape, and These Savage Shores—doing the work because they love the product.

Queen of Bad Dreams comic cover

Vault Comics

See you at the racks!

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