Top Comics to Buy for September 25, 2019: The Plot #1, Powers of X #5, and more

By Zack Quaintance — This is one of my favorite weeks, wherein the creator-owned books in our Top Comics to Buy for September 25, 2019 outnumber the superhero choices by a wide margin, in this case four to one. What I also appreciate about the selections this week is the diversity in the creator-owned ideas. We have a couple of horror books from Vault, the latest installment in the Brubaker/Phillips noir epic Criminal, and the genre-shattering Tommy Gun Wizards.

It’s all good stuff. There were a couple of books that just missed out on our top 5, too. I’m thinking specifically here of Mall #2 (yet another comic from Vault), Harleen #1 (which surprised me with how much I liked it), and Terrifics #20, which is embracing the chaotic and convoluted side of DC’s multiverse in just the best possible way. All in all, this is a fun week to be carefully reading direct market monthly comics.

Let’s check out our picks!

Top Comics to Buy for September 25, 2019

The Plot #1
Tim Daniel and Michael Moreci
Artist: Joshua Hixson
Colorist: Jordan Boyd
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
In order to receive... First you must give. When Chase Blaine's estranged brother and sister-in-law are murdered, he becomes guardian to McKenzie and Zach, the niece and nephew he hardly knows. Seeking stability for the children, Chase moves his newly formed family to his ancestral home in Cape Augusta... which overlooks a deep, black bogland teeming with family secrets.
Why It’s Cool: It’s not really possible for me to overstate how much I loved The Plot #1. This is, quite simply, my favorite debut creator-owned comic of the year, and I think the only new #1 I liked even close to as much as this one was House of X #1. This book just has everything I look for in a new comic. It’s tight and confident, foregoing gimmicks and excessive jumps around timelines to just straight up tell a damn good story. It uses horror trappings to push its ambiance and characters, and, most importantly, it ends on one hell of an intriguing last page. This has been yet another banner year for publisher Vault Comics, and The Plot #1 is likely to be remembered as its headlining act. Buy this book, and be happy (and also probably a bit scared and very intrigued). 

Criminal #8
Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Colorist: Jacob Phillips
Publisher: Image Comics
Teeg Lawless is on his way to living the high life, planning the kind of score you can retire on... but only if nothing goes wrong. The story of the last days of series favorite Teeg Lawless continues as BRUBAKER and PHILLIPS continue to deliver the best monthly comic on the market! And as always, CRIMINAL contains back page art and articles only found in the single issues.
Why It’s Cool: Welp, it’s official, Criminal has hit that rarified and lofty position where it’s so good that we’re maybe taking it for granted just a bit. That said, this comic is yet another incredibly well-done, largely stand alone story that fits into the larger arc and themes that have been present throughout this run. This issue gives us glimpses of key events in the lives of Teeg and Ricky Lawless through another character, and the narrative feels all the richer for the diversity in perspective.

Powers of X #5
Jonathan Hickman
Artist: R.B. Silva
Inkers: R.B. Silva and Adriano Di Benedetto
Colorist: Marte Garcia
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $4.99
As Cerebro does as it was intended to do, Sinister does what Sinister does best and the future comes to an end. Superstar writer Jonathan Hickman (FF, NEW AVENGERS, INFINITY) continues his reshaping of X-History alongside breakout artist R.B. Silva (UNCANNY X-MEN). The Future of the X-Men begins here!
Why It’s Cool: Writer Jonathan Hickman has teased online that this is the issue that features the mutant everyone is waiting the self-appointed spokesperson for #MaggottNation, regular readers of this site and my Twitter feed no who I hope he’s referring to—Maggott. That’s pretty unrealistic, but all the same, this stands to be another excellent issue of the best story being told right now in all of superhero comics (with apologies to Brian Michael Bendis’ sprawling epic in the pages of Superman). House of X has been the more revelatory of these two comics, with Powers of X being used to largely recontextualize the vast restructuring of the mutant status quo taking place there. With as impactful an issue as House of X #5 was, we’re excited to see what that means for this comic. 

Resonant #3
David Andry
Artist: Alejandro Aragon
Colorist: Jason Wordie
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
Paxton finds himself captured and bound in the hold of a ship, sailing to an unknown destination. A fellow captor appears to be an ally, but they must trust each other enough to survive both the trip and the horrors that await them at their journey's end. Meanwhile, conflict between Bec and Ty threatens to tear the siblings apart forever.
Why It’s Cool: We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—Resonant has an absolutely excellent concept (waves wash over humanity that cause them to act upon the most destructive impulses in their heads), but the creative team is not content to rest on the strength of the series’ foundational idea. No, they also go deep throughout this series on characterization. This issue is especially well-done in how it continues to lay increasingly challenging obstacles in the paths of its characters, which from a narrative perspective really gives them the chance to show us what the people in the story are made of. 

Tommy Gun Wizards #2.jpg

Tommy Gun Wizards #2
Christian Ward
Artist: Sami Kivelä
Colorist: Christian Ward with Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Price: $3.99
In their struggle to take down Al Capone and his bootleg-magic operation, Eliot Ness and his Untouchables must navigate corrupt church officials, mystically enhanced bruisers, and ruthless wizards with obscure intentions who pull the strings behind the scenes. But can Ness keep up without succumbing to his own dark side? A new genre-bending comic series from Christian Ward, artist of the acclaimed sci-fi epic Invisible Kingdom. Drawn by Sami Kivelä (Abbott).
Why It’s Cool: It’s only the second issue of the series (of four total), and artist Sami Kivelä is just blowing us away. Early on in the issue, Kivelä lays down some absolutely stunning artwork, on par with anything from his last fantastic comic, Abbott. This issue overall just feels a lot freer than the debut, as can sometimes be the case when an introductory story must set aside quite a bit of space for real estate. Anyway, with top-tier artwork and a suspenseful plot that packs in set pieces and surprising twists, this sophomore issue is even better than the debut. 

New #1s and One-Shots

  • Bloodshot #1

  • Chastity #1

  • Ether: Disappearance of Violet Bell #1

  • Harleen #1

  • New Mutants: War Children #1

  • October Faction #1

  • Relics of Youth #1

  • SFSX (Safe Sex) #1

  • Star Wars - Age of Resistance: Kylo Ren #1

  • Strikeforce #1

  • Transformers Galaxies #1

  • Wolverine Annual #1

Others Receiving Votes

  • Avengers #24

  • Bad Reception #2

  • Captain America #14

  • Detective Comics #1012

  • Dial H For Hero #7

  • Faithless #6

  • Jugheads Time Police #4

  • Mall #2

  • Queen of Bad Dreams #4

  • Sera and the Royal Stars #3

  • Shazam! #7

  • Terrifics #20

  • Thanos #6

  • White Trees #2

  • Wonder Woman #79

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 Comics Bookcase.