Best New #1 Comics March 2019 - Little Bird, Lazarus Risen, and more

By Zack Quaintance — March 2019 felt like a momentous month for new comics, launching as it did a number of series that seem destined for long runs. We will, of course, discuss all of these books in depth below, but let me just note now that a month is pretty significant when it launches series like Invisible Kingdom, Assassin Nation, and Little Bird, with some of those coming out on the same day! And that’s to say nothing of…

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Age of X-Man Round-Up: Life is not as marvelous as it seems

By Allison Senecal —  I’ve been *dramatic wheeze* deathly ill this week, so y’all are about to get what is likely a very buzzword-heavy Age of X-Man round-up this month. There are twice as many issues to cover in this one too, so brevity is key. All but one of the event’s miniseries have now launched, and we have a lot of great set-up (great, folks) but no deeper action happening just yet. Uncanny X-Men, on the other hand, is rolling along, already getting meaty. Hope everyone stuck with it after the first over-sized issue following Disassembled, because this run is quickly looking like a winner.

As a refresher: these monthly round-ups serve as both reviews and as actual honest-to-god recaps! So you, yes you, don’t have to read absolutely everything if you don’t want to, or maybe you’ll just be titillated enough to try a new series. Either way.

Lights! Camera! Glob!

Previously on Age of X-Man

Age of X-Man: NextGen #1
Ed Brisson
Artist: Marcus To
Colorist: Jason Keith
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Released: 2/13/2019
Key Characters: Glob, Anole, Pixie, Armor, Shark Girl, Rockslide

The crux of it? Glob gets bullied for writing X-Men fan fiction, and readers will instantly get the feeling that he remembers more about the pre-AOXM world than he lets on. The young mutants’ study session is interrupted by a house fire, which they rush to fight. Armor catches Blob mind-wiping Bling, who was seemingly attending a revolutionaries’ meeting at the house with Anole, who tells Armor not to tell anyone he was there. The issues ends with Armor confronting Glob with what she’s witnessed and him assaulting her, shouting “This is the only way I can show you the truth.”

The team here gives us a really great world-building first issue. I find “classroom world-building” a little lazy in prose, but it works better in comics, and even more so here. Some teacher narration guides us from major to major so we get a good feel for the ways in which the Summers Institute readies students for the “real world”. In typical first issue fashion for these minis, the utopian setting is normalized before its layers are pulled back, revealing that &%$# just isn’t quite right.

Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #1
Seanan McGuire
Artist: Juan Frigeri
Colorist: Dono Sánchez-Almara
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Released: 2/20/2019
Key Characters: Nightcrawler, Meggan, Stepford Cuckoos, Magma

The opener here is an action scene from one of Nightcrawler’s horror flicks (in this reality, he’s the world’s most famous actor), which ends with him and leading lady Meggan popping a power dampener onto the film’s antagonist and having her whisked away for reeducation (eek!). Normal behind-the-scenes hijinks ensue, with brief appearances from Kurt’s trainer, Magma, and agents, the Cuckoos. Kurt and Meggan attend a charity dinner where some folks are overheard disparaging the Cuckoos for showing off their family ties. After the dinner, Meggan kisses Kurt and they retire together. *eyebrow waggle*

Same as the other AOXM #1’s, we get a typical day-in-the-life setup, this time with a Hollywood flair. Some unsettling bits are tossed in to make us whisper-scream “what the…” and we’re left with a good hook for the next issue. McGuire is a great writer choice for Kurt, and the art team is spot-on for the needed Hollywood sleekness. I love the designs for Magma and the Cuckoos. Super sharp.

Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #1
Leah Williams
Penciler: Georges Jeanty
Inker: Roberto Poggi
Colorist: Jim Charalampidis
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Released: 2/27/2019
Key Characters: Psylocke, Jubilee, Northstar, Iceman, Blob, Moneta (new character)

This mini has been pitched heavily (by both fans and Williams, bless) as “horny utopia cops” and that’s….yeah. We open on a scene of frivolous normalcy, with Bobby and Jubilee trying to bake “thank you” cookies for the X-Men.  Sexy Blob interrupts everyone to deliver their newest mission, a couple on their third violation of the guiding principles. Grumpy Team Dad Northstar waits in the Vanagon and reads. After a chase and struggle, the couple is iced (thanks, Bobby!) but not before the woman lets slip that she’s pregnant. Oh no! What’re a few horny, and seemingly moral, cops to do?

I have to think this set-up is purposely at odds with their fairly militaristic guest appearances in Alpha and Nextgen. I guess if you’re gonna write about Age of X-Man’s cops, you gotta make them likeable. The main “oh no” factor here is the presence of weird little slur-slinging neo-Nazi Moneta, a mutant to whom we’re just being fully introduced, but want to know more about. Come for Rahzzah’s sexy redesigns, stay for Williams’ deft dialogue skills, including heavy-handed-humor-because-AVOIDANCE Bobby.

Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #1
Vita Ayala
Artist: German Peralta
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Letterer: VC’S Joe Sabino
Released: 3/6/2019
Key Characters: Bishop, Beast, Forge, Polaris, Honey Badger, Dani Moonstar

Following the events from Age of X-Man Alpha, Bishop finds himself in mutant utopia...prison! It’s called the Danger Room, because of course it is, and Forge is the warden, because of course he is. Throughout the issue Bishop is plagued by visions of the real world, and via a series of (mostly nasty) interactions with fellow inmates, he comes to find out that Polaris is as well. Jacked up Beast makes several unfriendly appearances, getting upset with Bishop because he won’t leave Gabby (under his protection) alone. Gabby is a little &$#% in this universe and I still love her so much. After Beast attacks Bishop, the prison is put on lockdown, with prisoners confined to their cells, and Bishop receives a note. The dream is REAL. The reality FALSE. Get out!

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Ayala and Peralta (and now Spicer coloring him!) and this was my most anticipated mini going into AOXM. It doesn’t disappoint, even if this is largely another set-up issue in the vein of the other #1’s. If you weren’t familiar with Bishop pre-AOXM, after the events of Alpha and this issue, you’re at least by now rooting for him thanks to the groundwork laid by these creative teams. Of the miniseries so far, I think Bishop makes for the most straightforwardly compelling protagonist. Guess we’ll see how he fares!

Meanwhile on Uncanny X-Men

Uncanny X-Men #12 & #13
Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg & Guru-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Released: 2/20/2019 & 3/6/2019
Key Characters: Magik, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Wolfsbane, Havok, Cyclops, Wolverine, Multiple Man, Strong Guy

Phew. Ok. #12 starts with Scott and Logan breaking into a O.N.E. (remember Colonel Callahan from Dead Souls and Astonishing?) facility. Of course, it goes sideways immediately and they end up fighting some new-fangled Sentinels, which turn out to have *gasp* some of the Transmode-infected New Mutants powering them. Looks like O.N.E have been experimenting on mutants this whole time. The now bolstered team heads inside to free Magik, Wolfsbane, and some Multiple Man dupes, and it’s revealed that Havok’s been used as an energy source for the whole facility since we’ve seen him last. He’s freed but one of the dupes explodes, and Strong Guy seemingly dies while shielding some of his teammates from the blast. After Cyclops stops her from taking revenge, Magik portals them all to safety.

In issue #13 we find out the X-Men are now operating out of the back of a bar owned by one of Logan’s mutant-friendly acquaintances. Cyclops presents the newly formed team with a list of targets, problems he wants to clear up to remind the world what the X-Men are all about. First target? Dark Beast. At his purported location the team instead finds an army of cyborg Multiple Man dupes, and the real Jamie Madrox who absorbs a dying dupe to find out Dark Beast’s actual location. The team tracks him down, a fight ensues (Magik quickly ends it), and they capture him. Back at their hideout, they catch footage of the Mutant Liberation Front on a tv… *ominous music*

I just really love that this series is keeping the action moving while still giving us fantastic character work. Old-school Scott and Logan bickering. Summers brothers emotions. Great carryover from New Mutants: Dead Souls on Illyana and her struggles with being what she sees as a competent team leader. We also see Strong Guy’s redemption arc from previous X-series (most recently Dead Souls) come to a (again, seeming) close with his sacrifice in #12. The scene there between him and Illyana is heartbreaking. I do hope we get more from the other New Mutants in coming issues and they don’t just get lost on the sidelines, but no other real complaints from me on this run. Even Larroca’s art isn’t losing me!

Next Time on Age of X-Man

Age of X-Man: Marvelous X-Men #2
Release Date:
How do you deal with a problem like.... peaceful Apocalypse?

Age of X-Man: Apocalypse & the X-Tracts #1
Release Date:
Let’s get this show on the road!

Age of X-Man: NextGen #2
Release Date:
What did Blob do to Armor?? Is Anole ok? Will the teachers find out some of the students share a secret?

Age of X-Man: Amazing Nightcrawler #2
Release Date:
Will Kurt and Meggan be found-out? Will the Cuckoos be ok?

Age of X-Men: X-Tremists #2
Release Date:
What will our squad of friendly neighborhood watchmen decide to do with a pregnant mutant?

Check out last month’s inaugural Age of X-Man Round-Up here!

Allison buys books professionally and comics unprofessionally. You can find her chaotic neutral Twitter feed at @maliciousglee.

Top Comics to Buy for March 6, 2019 - Die #4, The Green Lantern #5, and more

By Zack Quaintance — At the risk of sounding repetitive, this first Wednesday of the month has really morphed into a monstrosity of great new comics. So much so that I’ve once again extended our usual top five picks to six. Hey, more content’s a good thing, right? Anyway, I could have also easily extended it to seven or eight or nine. It really pained me to cut great titles for this upcoming Wednesday like Doomsday Clock #9, Immortal Hulk #14, and Justice League #19.

But I figure pretty close to most everyone has their mind made up about those comics at this point, so why not shed some light on lesser-known books that are still in their early stages? I’m thinking specifically here of the creator-owned comic Self/Made, which continues to shock me with the high quality of both the its stories and ideas. It’s really turning into something special, the type of book I find myself reading toward the top of the stack each week and coming away shocked at where the story seems to be headed.

Anyway, on to the comics!

Top Comics to Buy for March 6, 2019

Die #4 (
read our full review!)
Kieron Gillen
Artist: Stephanie Hans
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
"FANTASY HEARTBREAKER," Part Four-Our heroes reach the civilization of Glass Town and do what heroes have always done upon reaching civilization. As in, go to the pub. As it's DIE, you can guess people don't exactly get happy drunk.
Why It’s Cool: We’ll have a more detailed and thoughtful review of this comic later this week, but let me just say here that this is the best issue yet of a series that has been fantastic from its start. This is the smoothest and most immersive issue of Die so far, which I attribute to the previous three issues having done such great work toward familiarizing us with these well-realized characters. With so much of that work behind the story now, the creators are free in this comic to really hit some deep (and troublesome in the best way) emotional beats. Don’t miss this issue; don’t miss this book.

Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #1 (of 5)
Vita Ayala
Artist: German Peralta
Colorist: Mike Spicer
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99
In the Age of X-Man, when you break the law, you aren't sent to just any prison. You're sent to the Danger Room...a penitentiary filled with the roughest and meanest mutants that don't fit into X-Man's utopia. They each have a reason for being there. And they're all ready to kill each other.  But that's about to change, because the newest prisoner just arrived...Lucas Bishop!
Why It’s Cool: It’s a great combination of concept, creators, and character, with those respectively being the well-conceived and intricate Age of X-Man alternate universe, writer Vita Ayala (one of our favorite rising stars within the industry), and Bishop, always an underrated (if convoluted) X-Man. Seriously, Ayala has just been doing fantastic work lately, be it their superhero book for Valiant Livewire, the creator-owned Submerged, or the installment of the recent Marvel Knights mini-series that focused on T’Challa. These have all just been stunning comics, and we’re expecting nothing less from the Prisoner X miniseries, which follows Bishop into the underbelly of what is shaping up to be an Orwellian faux-utopia of an alternate universe.

Green Arrow #50
Collin Kelly & Jackson Lanzing
Artist: Javier Fernandez
Colorist: John Kalisz
Letterer: Andworld Design
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99
Spinning out of the events of JUSTICE LEAGUE: NO JUSTICE and HEROES IN CRISIS! When a black ops organization discovers Green Arrow's long-held secret-a mysterious weapon in the form of a box, given to him by the Justice League-they'll deploy their top undercover agent: Black Canary! On opposite sides of this festering secret, Green Arrow and Black Canary will clash as only two lovers can-by aiming straight for the heart! A mystery six months in the making, the box that can destroy the Justice League will be opened...and the Emerald Archer's world will be forever changed. This extra-sized anniversary issue of Green Arrow's life isn't just's burning to the ground!
Why It’s Cool: This if the finale of one of the quintessential Rebirth books, and it’s also what is quite possibly the last book headlined by the Emerald Archer that we’re likely to get in sometime, what with DC Comics very public intent to keep its publishing line at the slightly reduced level we’ve seen in recent months. The writing team of Kelly and Lanzing are perhaps the best choice for this job too. As I believe Kelly outlined fairly recently online, the duo had a fairly elaborate plan for a 50 issue run that would get to the core of one my personal favorite characters. We’re obviously not getting that, but look for them to give us a truly epic send off that packs in as much action and as many of their ideas from that outline as is feasible. Savor it, too, I know I will. Also, we’ll (sort of) get an answer to the question from No Justice, the natural one that came up when J’onn gave Ollie a box he said was capable of stopping the entire league...

The Green Lantern #5
Grant Morrison
Artist: Liam Sharp
Colorist: Steve Oliff
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
"Blackstar at Zenith!" Hal Jordan has abandoned the Green Lantern Corps to join the Blackstars! But to do so, he'll need to convince their leader, Countess Belzebeth, and pass an initiation test. Which means he must survive a series of trials on the vampire planet Vorr, whose entire population wants to feast upon him! It's cosmic goth at its bloodiest...with a cliffhanger that's even bloodier!
Why It’s Cool: This run has been fantastic from start to finish, and this issue keeps it going. As promised by the creative team before the book even launched, The Green Lantern has been a series of quisi self-contained space cop procedurals. This issue builds on all that has come before while telling yet another compelling story built upon some of the key qualities and continuity bits that define Green Lantern. Also, as anyone who follows artist Liam Sharp will surely attest, the detail and imagination in the artwork he’s previewed for this comic has just been astounding, somehow even better than the tremendous heights he’s reached in earlier chapters. Think about it too long, and it will blow your mind as thoroughly as Morrison and Sharp seem hell-bent on doing.

Self/Made #4
Mathew Groom
Artist: Eduardo Ferigato
Colorist: Marcelo Costa
Color Flats:
Mariana Cali
Letterer: A Larger World Studios’ Troy Peteri
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $3.99
"THE 'TA-DA' MOMENT": Amala has made it to our world-and she is distinctly unimpressed. What's a girl with a new robot body and some pent-up rage to do? Paint the town red.
Why It’s Cool: Simply put, because this is the best comic I’ve read in I don’t know how long that rushes head first at the central questions of life itself. That’s maybe being a little dramatic, but this really has quickly turned into a story with a lot to say about creation. In this issue, we also get some really clever interplay between characters that’s analogous to that between child and parents, plus a tour de force visual journey through a near-future version of Sydney, Australia, along with the now-standard breakneck plotting that’s come to define the book. This is yet another major surprise from Image Comics in the past year or so that more readers should be talking about. I get that you might not be familiar with these creators, but you’re doing yourself a disservice by sleeping on this book.

Top New #1 Comics

Others Receiving Votes

  • A Walk Through Hell #8

  • Batman #66 (read our full review!)

  • Blossoms 666 #2

  • Cemetary Beach #7

  • Doomsday Clock #9

  • The Dreaming #7

  • Eclipse #13

  • Giant Days #48

  • Immortal Hulk #14

  • Justice League #19

  • Killmonger #5

  • Paper Girls #26

  • Red Sonja #2

  • Uncanny X-Men #13

  • Vindication #2

  • Young Justice #3

Check back to the site later this week for reviews of Astro Hustle #1, Batman #66, Uncanny X-Men #13, and more!

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