By Zack Quaintance — A very tardy set of Top Comics to Buy for April 10, 2019 this week, but what can I say? There were a lot of great books, and I wanted to make sure I’d read as many of them as possible before settling on my recommendations. It’s called due dilligence, and I’ll be damned if I don’t...um, do it. Yeah.
Anyway, the list is all set now! So, that’s exciting. It’s a strong week for two of the world’s most famous superheroes, with both Superman and Batman landing titles among my favorites. Meanwhile, despite a change in art teams, Livewire remains a strong third party entry from Valiant, and Infinite Dark returns for a new arc, dragging forlorn readers back into one of the most cerebral sci-fi/horror psychological stories in all of comics.
Let’s take a look!
Top Comics to Buy for April 10, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
Infinite Dark #5
Writer: Ryan Cady (read our interview from last year!)
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Colorist: K. Michael Russell
Letterer: Troy Peteri (of A Larger World)
Publisher: Image Comics - Top Cow
The passengers of the void ship Orpheus survived the end of the universe, station-wide sabotage, and even the machinations of an Entity from beyond the stars. All that's left now is to survive each other.
Why It’s Cool: Infinite Dark is one of the smartest and most cerebral comics on the stands today, and now it’s back for a second ark, brining, of course, even more darkness. I’m obviously not going to spoil anything here (and this was in the solicit text), but this book takes a turn at the start of this new arc, with the threat becoming more about the people on the survival vessel rather than an existential manifestation of entropy. The story is so well told that I came away wondering whether that hadn't been the case all along. Also? The new Nick Robles cover on this one is so so so good. I highly recommend this book. If you’re already reading, carry on. If not, grab the first trade and the new issue on Wednesday. It’s well worth it.
Detective Comics #1001
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Penciler: Brad Walker
Inker: Andrew Hennessy
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics
After 1,000 issues, you'd think Batman could finally have a break...but no: as a new era dawns, he's facing the most dangerous threat of his career! The Arkham Knight has arrived in Gotham City with an entire round table of deadly allies, and their first encounter will leave Batman shaken to his core!
Why It’s Cool: Throughout Peter J. Tomasi’s still-young run on Detective Comics (now with a new logo!), there’s been a distinctly sort of old school feel to the way he writes Batman and the sort of trails he puts him through. This, perhaps, makes it ironic that the big arc to launch out of last month’s landmark Detective Comics #1000 is introducing a brand-new villain (at least to comicbook Batman), in the Arkham Knight. It’s an interesting contract, and it’s made especially exciting now when paired with the art team of Brad Walker-Andrew Hennessy-Nathan Fairbairn. This issue has the tricky job of making a convincing argument for why this character poses a threat to Batman, and it does a great job with it. This comic remains a welcome alternative to the more complex deeply-psychological arc Tom King and his collaborators have built in the main Batman title.
Writer: Vita Ayala
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
New story arc! "GUARDIAN," Part 1.
Investigating the disappearance of a young psiot girl, Livewire stumbles upon OMEN's answer to the psiot "problem," a facility where young psiots are taken and taught to control their powers. Is this facility the safe haven Livewire's dreamed of or is there something more sinister to this sanctuary? For fans of superheroes and sci-fi adventure stories.
Why It’s Cool: During the first incredibly-good arc of Livewire’s first solo ongoing title, writer Vita Ayala and their artistic collaborators Raul Allen and Patricia Martin were essentially engaged in a redemption tale that had a lot to say about what happens when seemingly-justified actions get so extreme that damage spiderwebs in a way that is unanticipated. The story was fantastic, and it really gave the new team a chance to show the audience what Livewire was made of, Livewire without her powers, support system, or deep knowledge that what she was doing was the right thing. It was great storytelling. Now, Ayala is back with new artist Kano, and the book has perhaps found a different way to test the character, making it less about her sins of the past and more about how she can help the world moving forward. For all that’s changed, however, the book remains a must read.
Oblivion Song #14
Writer: Robert Kirman
Artist: Lorenzo De Felici
Colorist: Annalisa Leoni
Letterer: Rus Wooton
Publisher: Image Comics - Skybound
Deep in Oblivion, things get worse.
Why It’s Cool: This book has been absolutely on fire since a key pivot at the end of the last story arc, one that really changed the dynamics at play in a book I thought was maybe getting wrap up after its first 12 or 18 issues. That’s certainly off the board now, following a time jump in which the personal status quos of all the main human characters become a good deal more complicated while the world itself came under a different sort of threat. I’m a big fan of Robert Kirkman’s cliffhanger-heavy entertaining plotting. Still, I really think this book is a bit of a step forward, with Kirkman not putting all his conceptual cards on the table right at its start, as he has done in some of his earlier works. Oh, and Lorenzo De Felici’s monster designs remain among the absolute best in comics. Read this!
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artists: Ivan Reis & Brandon Peterson
Inkers: Oclair Albert & Joe Prado
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
Superman and Superboy venture forth into the cosmos to stop Jor-El before he tips the galaxy into utter chaos. Also, Superman would like to have a word with his father about what happened to his son. All this and the fate of General Zod. "The Unity Saga" continues in the pages of SUPERMAN, named one of the best superhero comics of 2018 by Paste magazine!
Why It’s Cool: Superman under writer Brian Michael Bendis has been one heck of an outlandish sci-fi epic, and that hasn’t slowed down a bit in recent issues. Bendis seems to have backed off a bit from an early inclination to depict the Kents as some of kind of wacky dysfunctional family, and is now instead driving his plots by throwing a string of increasingly outsized high-concept challenges at the family as a more cohesive unit. I’m all in on these titles, and I remain committed to seeing where this well-planned epic adventure story is all headed. I also anticipate that more fans will end up joining in as some of the early shocks of Bendis’ changing course a bit wear off and we get more interesting concepts like Leviathan and ahem perhaps eventually a legion...
Top New #1 Comics and One-Shots
KISS: The End #1
Orphan Age #1
Rat Queens: Swamp Romp
The Real Ghostbusters 35th Anniversary
She Could Fly: Lost Pilot #1
Symbiote Spider-Man #1
War of the Realms: Journey Into Mystery #1
Web of Venom: Cult of Carnage #1
Others Receiving Votes
Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #3
Amazing Spider-Man #19
By Night #10
Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #5
Justice League Odyssey #8
Life and Death of Toyo Harada #2
Murder Falcon #7
Outer Darkness #6
Ronin Island #2
Winter Soldier #5
Wonder Twins #3
Check back to the site later this week for reviews of Fairlady #1 and Faithless #1, as well as a Trade Rating on The Boys, and more!
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.