By Zack Quaintance — Well, well, well...it finally happened. A comic has dislodged the Jonathan Hickman X-Men run from the top of our PICK OF THE WEEK selections, where those books have dominated since the series began with House of X #1 way back on July 24. That’s a massive run. In our Top Comics to Buy for September 18, however, it has been ended—it just took an entire legion of super-heroes to do it.
That’s right, folks, in this super-hero heavy week, Superman #15 is our top choice. This owes largely to how satisfyingly the book has introduced one of my favorite properties in all of the DC Universe—the Legion of Super-heroes. It’s a fun single issue from start to finish, armed with an added bonus of promising even more great adventure stories to come. I, for one, can’t wait to see what Brian Bendis and artist Ryan Sook have in store when that comic launches in November.
But that’s all in the distant future! For now, let’s take a look at the best books coming out tomorrow...
Top Comics to Buy for September 18, 2019
*PICK OF THE WEEK*
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Ivan Reis (w/Brandon Peterson and Doc Shaner)
Inker: Joe Prado & Oclair Albert
Colorist: Alex Sinclair
Letterer: Dave Sharpe
Publisher: DC Comics
At last, it's the return of the Legion of Super-Heroes! The greatest super heroes of the 32nd century have traveled back in time not just to meet the heroes who inspired them, but to make an offer...but to which hero? And why will that choice tear Superman's life apart? Plus, the fallout from Lex Luthor's conversation with Lois Lane escalates! What dark secret did Lex tell Lois?
Why It’s Cool: It’s finally here, the advent this story has been building toward since the seeds were planted for much of this in Bendis’ Jim Lee-illustrated short in Action Comics #1000. That’s right, it’s the return of everyone’s favorite super-teens from the 30th Century...No! 31st! The Legion of Super-Heroes is one of the most creative and limitless sci-fi properties in all of comics, and it’s just such a nice thing to have them back today. Also, it’s worth noting here that this marks the last issue in a phenomenal 15-month run from artist Ivan Reis, who has illustrated some of the best-looking Superman comics in recent memory without even a single monthly break. He’ll get that over the next few months before returning, but for now we sincerely hope he’s taking some time to revel in this achievement. It’s really been something.
Black Hammer: Age of Doom #12
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Dean Ormston
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Todd Klein
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
The Eisner Award-winning superhero saga concludes! In this final episode of the Age of Doom series, all the questions are finally answered about what put our heroes on the farm, why, and where we go from here.
Why It’s Cool: It’s all been leading to this. This is, folks, the final issue of the main Black Hammer narrative that started a few years back with a bunch of displaced heroes co-existing on a mysterious and forlorn farm, a heavy sense of purgatory hanging in the air around them. To be sure, Jeff Lemire has promised that there are many subsequent Black Hammer series to come, but we should all take a moment this week to appreciate the main journey as we read this conclusion. This story could have been a simple homage, but Lemire’s knack for finding poignancy within ideas and properties we all love pushes it to a much higher level. It’s been a joy to follow in real time.
House of X #5
Writer: Jonathan Hickman
Artist: Pepe Larraz
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Xavier's dream turns deadly for some of his students as they fight back against the humans' plan to eliminate them. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (FANTASTIC FOUR, AVENGERS, SECRET WARS) continues his reshaping of the X-Universe alongside Young Gun artist Pepe Larraz (EXTERMINATION, AVENGERS). The Future of the X-Men begins here!
Why It’s Cool: Um, have you been reading these new X-Books? They are absolutely as significant and interesting as the hype leading up to them indicated. The House of X series is especially strong, with three of the four issues serving up nigh-iconic X-Men moments. Following the...uh, interesting (and bloody) events of House of X #4, we expect this issue to be excellent, whether it gives us more holy shit moments or just some answers (although that’s largely been what Powers of X is for). I don’t know how I can make this any clearer...you should all be buying these comics.
Second Coming #3
Writer: Mark Russell
Artist: Richard Pace
Finisher (Jesus Solo Pages): Leonard Kirk
Colorist (Jesus Solo Pages): Andy Troy
Letterer: Rob Steen
Publisher: Ahoy Comics
Searching for his missing grandmother, Sunstar is forced to confront the shortcomings of his super-powers. Jesus, left on his own for the day, runs afoul of street preachers. Also: the usual assortment of AHOY prose stories and extra features.
Why It’s Cool: Before he became one of the cleverest satirical writer in all of comics (with books like The Flinstones, Wonder Twins, and many others attesting to that), Mark Russell wrote prose books about Christianity, with titles like God is Disappointed in You (2012) and Apocrypha Now (2016). With that in mind, I think it’s fair to say that this comic Second Coming is a blend of Russell’s interests as a writer. It’s a deeply human comic that also takes a satirical look at religion, at its roots, and at what it has evolved into in recent times. Cliched as it sounds, this is a comic that can make you think, laugh, and put a mirror on your own conduct. It’s a rare thing, and through three issues, I have been very glad that we have it.
Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #3
Writer: Matt Fraction
Artist: Steve Lieber
Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Dearly beloved, we have gathered here today in this catalog to remember our friend, Superman's pal, the late Jimmy Olsen...'s assassination decoy! Wait, somebody killed Jimmy's decoy body? But whodunit? And, like, whydunit? And...wait, when did Jimmy get a decoy of himself? What we do know is it's not safe for Jimmy in the City of Tomorrow anymore, and with Superman busy and all (you read that SUPERMAN #15 solicit yet?), Jimmy's best bet is to solve his own murder within the safe borders of Gotham City! (Seriously, "safe"?)
Why It’s Cool: I’m tempted to just direct you to the solict text and the cover of this issue, which together really get at the heart of why this comic is so cool. That, however, is a bit lazy, so I’ll just note once again that this is the funniest book in all of comics (and I don’t even typically like funny comics!). I’m also becoming increasingly impressed at how cogent the rapid-fire vignettes structure of these books feels. It’s one thing to pull that off in a debut issue; it’s entirely another thing to do it in three straight issues without it feeling at all tired. Hats off (and those hats are of course old-timey fedoras) to misters Fraction and Lieber, as well as the rest of the team.
New #1s and One-Shots
Archie 1955 #1
Black Panther and the Agents of Wakanda #1
Flash Forward #1
Forever Maps #1
G.I. Joe #1
Inferior Five #1
Lex Luthor: Year of the Villain #1
Napoleon Dynamite #1
Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons and Dragons Chapter 2 #1
Star Wars Age of Resistance: Rey #1
Star Wars Age of Resistance: Rose Tico #1
You Are Obsolete #1
Others Receiving Votes
Absolute Carnage #3
Cult Classic: Return to Whisper Double Feature #4 & #5
Deaths Head #3
Guardians of the Galaxy #9
History of the Marvel Universe #3
Justice League #32
Once and Future #2
Valkyrie: Jane Foster #3
Xena: Warrior Princess #6
Zack Quaintance is a tech reporter by day and freelance writer by night/weekend. He Tweets
compulsively about storytelling and comics as Comics Bookcase.