Top Comics to Buy for June 26, 2019: Ascender, Eve Stranger, War of the Realms, and more

By Zack Quaintance — I know I keep talking about this, but I just cannot get entirely caught up on comics after our three-week move across the country. I am, however, making progress! In fact, I think I’m down to only 90 comics left to read, 90 comics that came out between May 29 and this coming Wednesday, mind you. And you know what? I’ve been (as usual) reading some really stellar stuff.

I’ll have a piece by the end of the week (fingers crossed!) looking at all the great stuff I caught up with during this days and days and days-long binge, but this particular piece is about only the comics coming out this Wednesday. We have a BIG ending from Marvel, a couple of books in the middle of very solid stories from DC, and a whole lot of indie goodness from IDW.

Let’s check it out!

Top Comics to Buy for June 26, 2019

War of the Realms #6
Jason Aaron 
Russell Dauterman
Matthew Wilson
VC’s Joe Sabino
Marvel Comics
Price: $5.99
THE WORLD'S SHATTERING CONCLUSION OF WAR OF THE REALMS! The tides begin to turn as unexpected allies appear in a twist that will shake the heavens! Malekith's allies are faltering at last before the might of all Earth's heroes, but the Dark Elf King has one final trick - and it's got a VENOMOUS bite! Out of options, the God of Thunder makes a sacrifice that will leave him forever changed. But will it be enough? And what heroes may fall in his wake? Midgard's fate is sealed as Jason Aaron's years-long saga comes to its epic conclusion! 
Why It’s Cool: Because it’s all been leading up to this. And we’re not just talking about the War of the Realms super duper mega crossover event that has been raging since early April (or something like that). We’re also talking about Jason Aaron’s incredibly epic years-long run on Thor, which really has been one for the ages, easily the best of all-time if the likes of Lee-Kirby and Walt Simonson hadn’t also done career work with this character. And yes, we know there will be codas in the form of stuff like the forthcoming comics Valkyrie and King Thor. This, however, is the action-heavy finale if ever we were going to get one.

Ascender #3
Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dustin Nguyen
Letterer: Steve Wands
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
"THE HAUNTED GALAXY," Part Three (of Five) Andy, his feisty daughter Mila, and his faithful companion Bandit flee the deadly Militia and the tranquil life they tried to forge after the events of DESCENDER-dodging Froxes, Giants, and killer Vamps all the while! Plus: revelations of what really happened to Effie, and how they ended up on this strange planet.
Why It’s Cool: Ascender is technically just three issues old, but it feels like it’s been going a lot longer, mostly because this book is such a natural extension of the series it is a direct sequel too (with the same creative team and everything), Descender. In fact, the main strength of this book so far (aside from artist Dustin Nguyen just going absolutely nuts with the fantasy artwork) is the way it uses our emotional investment in the characters from the previous volume to load this early arc with meaningful and consequential stakes. It’s easy to forget sometimes just how good of a storyteller Jeff Lemire (and the collaborators he carefully picks) is, but books like this are an easy reminder. 

Eve Stranger #2
David Barnett
Artist: Philip Bond
Colorist: Eve de la Cruz
Letterer: Jane Heir
Publisher: IDW Publisher / Black Crown
Price: $3.99
Eve Stranger can do anything thanks to the nanotech that she has to inject every week to stay alive... anything except remember who she is or where she's been. Her talents sold by the shadowy E.V.E. Project to the highest bidder, Eve's latest mission takes her to history-drenched Prague to face a monster who must be stopped. High-octane adventure, weird science, and doomed romance meet the jet-set in "Retrograde"!
Why It’s Cool: Eve Stranger #1 was a really fantastic introductory issue that quickly and thoroughly introduced us to the concept of this comic, doing so in a way that had a few laughs and also featured some of the best cartoonier artwork we’ve seen in comics so far this year. Eve Stranger #2 shifts the focus of the storytelling away from exposition and mystery, doing so by layering in a bit of always-welcomed romance. As in the first issue, this follow-up also rewards readers with clever and quippy meta gags, acknowledgments of the books strengths and weakness as it rapidly takes us through a story I can only describe as a very very good time.

Flash #73
Josh Williamson
Artist: Howard Porter
Colorist: Hi-Fi
Letterer: Steve Wands
DC Comics
Price: $3.99
"The Flash Year One" continues! As our hero picks up the pieces from his disastrous defeat at the hands of the Turtle, the rise of the Rogues in Central City gives the Flash renewed resolve. But Barry is still learning to master his abilities, and while an experienced speedster might know how to outrun a gun, this time he may not be so lucky... 
Why It’s Cool: I didn’t really know what to expect from the Flash: Year One story arc. I’ve liked Josh Williamson’s run on The Flash quite a bit, especially when he really cuts loose and gives us big moments, rather than slowly unspooling story arcs that are a little too custom-built for installments. This storyline, however, is easily among my favorites. Williamson made a couple of bold choices in Flash: Year One right from the first issue—making The Turtle the central foe and integrating time travel as quick (sorry) as possible—and they continue to pay dividends here. 

Martian Manhuter #6
Steve Orlando
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
Letterer: Andworld Design
DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Mars burns and the sins of J'onn J'onnz come back to kill him! J'onn will do everything in his power to save his family from H'ronnmeer's Curse-but once they discover the type of Manhunter he really is, will they want to go anywhere with him?  
Why It’s Cool: This Martian Manhunter maxi-series by writer Steve Orlando and artist Riley Rossmo has just been a joy from its start, and this issue stands to be its best so far. This book throughout has just been so heartfelt and deeply-rooted in our protagonist, making him sympathetic but certainly not letting him off the hook for past misdeeds, no matter how well-intentioned they were at the time. Orlando is hyper-focused on the inherent tragedy of J’onn J’onzz being a sole survivor of a race, while Rossmo’s art is hitting new levels of stylized extra-terrestrial bliss. This is really a story that feels like it could only be told by these two creators, and that is a very high compliment indeed, when it comes to working with decades-old superhero characters.

New #1 Comics and One-Shots

  • At the End of Your Tether #1

  • Canto #1

  • Crow / Hack Slash #1

  • Marilyn Manor #1

  • Samurai Grandpa #1

  • Spider-Man Featuring Spider-Ham Annual #1

  • Spider-Man Reptilian Rage #1

  • Star Wars: Age of Rebellion - Darth Vader #1

  • Steel Cage #1

  • Transformers Ghostbusters #1

  • Weatherman Vol. 2 #1

  • Wolverine: Exit Wounds #1

Others Receiving Votes

  • Action Comics #1012

  • Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #5

  • Amazing Spider-Man #24

  • Avengers #20

  • Batman: Damned #3

  • Dial H For Hero #4

  • Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #8

  • Ghost Tree #3

  • High Level #5

  • Isola #8

  • Killer Groove #2

  • Punks Not Dead: London Calling #5

  • Road of Bones #2

  • Wonder Woman #73

  • X-Men Grand Design: X-Tinction #2

Check the site later this week for reviews of Detective Comics #1006, Marilyn Manor #1, War of the Realms #6, and more!

See our past top comics to buy here, and check out our reviews archive here.

Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.