By Zack Quaintance — I’m sure I wrote in this space last week that this was OMG such a great week for comics! And to be sure, I loved my books last week. There were many flashy comics (from the War of the Realms finale to the consistently-excellent The Green Lantern to the journalism wish-fulfillment of Lois Lane). Trust me when I say after looking at the Top Comics to Buy for July 10, 2019...that is also OMG such a great week for comics!
It is, however, a very different week, a much weirder week, a more subdued and in many ways more subversive week. We finally get Second Coming, a book first tapped as part of the Vertigo revival that switch publishers when right wing protests led to fears of eventual censorship. We get the penultimate issue of She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot, and we get a double-dose (quadruple, technically, but double in our top five) of Bendis continuing his fun and immensely-satisfying jaunt through the DCU. In short, I am once again a very happy comics reader.
And now it is my pleasure to share my top picks for the week with all of you...
Top Comics to Buy for July 10, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
Second Coming #1
Writer: Mark Russell
Artists: Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk (finisher Earth pages)
Colorist: Andy Troy (Earth pages)
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: Ahoy Comics
AHOY is proud to present-for the first time anywhere-the series everyone's talking about, by award-winning writer Mark Russell (Snagglepuss, The Flintstones) and artist Richard Pace (Pitt, New Warriors)! God commands Earth's mightiest super-hero, Sunstar, to accept Jesus as his roommate and teach him how to use power in a... more powerful way. Jesus, shocked at the way humans have twisted his message over two millennia, vows to straighten them out. This deluxe first issue features 30 pages of story!
Why It’s Cool: This comic is writer Mark Russell at his best, bringing his formidable wit, compassion, sense of humor, and rationale common sense to bear on a visual story that is at once provocative and enthralling. He’s also aided here by a pair of top-tier artists in Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk, whose distinct styles create an aesthetic difference between the scenes on Earth and in heaven. Russell has put together an impressive body of satire for someone still relatively new to the comics writing game, and this is a great addition. It’s probably closest in both execution and spirit to his breakout work on The Flintstones. Anyway, miss this book and risk missing out on some of the most timely and clever satire in any medium this year.
Batman Universe #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Nick Derington
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
Available to comics shops for the first time! Following the theft of a priceless Fabergé egg, the Riddler leads the Dark Knight on a wild hunt after its true owner: Jinny Hex, descendant of Jonah Hex! Guest-starring Deathstroke, Green Arrow and dozens of Riddler look-alikes in stories by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Nick Derington, originally published in BATMAN GIANT #3 and #4!
Why It’s Cool: In age where the mainline Batman title is a relatively introspective psychological examination of the character, powered primarily by literary formulism within comics, this Batman Universe book (which first appeared in those Wal-Mart specials usual comics readers struggled to find) feels like a blast of fresh air. In this first part, we get a more fun sort of Batman, top-tier hilarious Alfred banter, and a story that makes joyous use of the Riddler (as well as other characters I won’t spoil here). Nick Derington with Dave Stewart colors is also just an absolutely phenomenal artistic duo, and there is a real energy and unbridled sense of adventure in nearly every damn panel of this comic. It’s also accessible as all get out. Read, enjoy, and share this with the Batman fan in your life who has never read comics. It’s that kind of book.
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colorist: Jacob Phillips
Publisher: Image Comics
Teeg Lawless falls in love for the first time, and it might be the worst decision he ever made. THE SUMMER OF '88-the story of the last days of Teeg Lawless-continues! As always, CRIMINAL contains back page art and articles only found in the single issues.
Why It’s Cool: For an absolute modern masterclass in comic book craft, look no further than Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips recent run (as well as their past volumes) of Criminal. Once again, I am absolutely astounded at how well-done and immersive this comic book story is. Everything from Brubaker’s interior monologues to the structure to Phillip’s industry-best noir linework is at the very top of the comics game in this series. Simply put, there is not another book on the market right now that I look forward to with this kind of fervor, knowing as I do that every issue will be 25 pure minutes of storytelling magic.
Event Leviathan #2
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Alex Maleev
Letterer: Josh Reed
Publisher: DC Comics
"The Detectives"! EVENT LEVIATHAN, the new miniseries by the award-winning team of writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Alex Maleev, continues! As the mystery of Leviathan continues to rock the very foundations of the DC Universe, the world's greatest detectives gather for the first time anywhere to solve the mystery before it's too late! Lois Lane leads Batman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, Manhunter, the Question and a couple of genuine guest sleuths in the search for who Leviathan is and how their plans have already unfolded. This issue also guest-stars Red Hood, Batgirl and more!
Why It’s Cool: Writer Brian Michael Bendis has been building a slow-burn espionage mystery thriller for months now, starting in a prelude storyline that featured Superman in Action Comics and now branching out into this Bat-centric miniseries, Event Leviathan. The first issue was an effective scene-setter, deepening the framework of an already well-built mystery while assembling a great cast of famed DCU detectives into a team bent on solving it. In this second issue, readers should expect more fantastic Maleev artwork (you can tell this is an artist who has been dying to work with DC characters for many years), more clues, and heavier involvement from one of the best anti-heroes in comics, Jason Todd (Red Hood).
She Could Fly: The Lost Pilot #4
Writer: Christopher Cantwell
Artist: Martín Morazzo
Colorist: Miroslav Mrva
Letterer: Clem Robbins
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics - Berger Books
Luna's obsession crescendos at such velocity that her parents' worries about their daughter quickly reach a similar peak. Her boyfriend Gary remains Luna's only solace, and he's in for the ride-literally. Kido's band of followers might be shattered and scattered-leaving Dana on her own-but her message burns on. Meanwhile, Luna is ablaze with questions, with hopes that the Flying Woman's family possesses answers that will finally make her whole again.
Why It’s Cool: This book (as I’ve written in the past) is just such a well-done mash-up of a global espionage story plus a teenagers struggle with mental illness. What I also like about this comic is it takes an exaggerated approach to both concepts, creating a world that feels like our own if some of the deep weirdness you suspected existed as a teenager turned out to be 100 percent true. The creators here—from writer Christopher Cantwell to artists Martín Morazzo and colorist Miroslav Mrva to letterer Clem Robbins—are also using the form to really convey concepts ranging from obsession to schizophrenia. This is an unexpected and unpredictable comic, to be sure, and it’s one that is singular in the best possible way.
New #1 Comics and One-Shots
Bitter Root: Red Summer One Shot
Black Hammer / Justice League: Hammer of Justice #1
Care Bears: Unlock the Magic #1
Ghosted in LA #1
Giant-Size X-Statix #1
Invisible Woman #1
Secret Warps: Weapon Hex Annual #1
Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Captain Phasma #1
War of the Realms: Omega #1
Wolverine and Captain America: Weapon Plus #1
Wolverine Versus Blade Special #1
Others Receiving Votes
Amazing Spider-Man #25
Batman and the Outsiders #3
Fallen World #3
Morning in America #5
Oblivion Song #17
Orphan Age #4
Wonder Woman #74
Young Justice #7
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets compulsively about storytelling and comics as BatmansBookcase.