Thirsty Thursdays: December's Hottest Comic Book Art

By Allison Senecal — Superhero comic art has evolved at a really impressive rate in recent much so that sometimes it can be a lot to handle. First there’s excitement, obviously, but then that excitement turns into something else...which is why each month we’re running our Thirsty Thursday rankings, a new and different way to look at our favorite comic art. Welcome to a sporadic examination of (as the kids say) the month’s thirstiest comics.


Martian Manhunter #1
Artist: Riley Rossmo
Colorist: Ivan Plascencia
I would be remiss as a noted alien…enthusiast to not mention this sinuously-sensual scene at the very top of this month’s column. Deep Space Sixty-Nine anyone?
????? out of ?????

In space, no one can hear you scream.

Shatterstar #3
Carlos Villa
Inker: Juan Vlasco
Colorist: Carlos Lopez
I’ll be sad when this series ends next month, but at least it’ll clear up a monthly thirst spot for someone else. Who doesn’t want a slice of Shatterstar…
💦💦💦💦💦 out of 5

Not today, fine. What about tomorrow?

Marvel Knights 20th #4
Joshua Cassara
Colorist: Matt Milla
This issue really got to me emotionally, and I think that amplified everything. T’Challa absolutely ROCKING those street clothes, too. Any man who does that double hand clasp. Phew.
💦💦💦💦💦 out of 5

When he apologized to Ms. Cruz? I felt that.

When he apologized to Ms. Cruz? I felt that.

Namor: The Best Defense #1
Carlos Magno
Colorist: Ian Herring
FINALLY I remember to put Namor where he belongs: on a thirst list. It’s ok, we’ll go in-depth with more Namor later this month for the first *Thirst Spotlight* (not the official title, don’t quote me).
💦💦💦💦💦 out of 5

Namor… sigh .


Die #1
Stephanie Hans
It’s Stephanie Hans, so you automatically know you’re getting gorgeous art and beautiful people, but this literally hits every single one of my favorite fantasy character aesthetics in one go. *weep*
💦💦💦💦💦 out of 5

This comic had me at  fantasy role-playing.

This comic had me at fantasy role-playing.

Thor #8
Mike Del Mundo
AngelaaaaaAAAAAAAAAA. I would pre-order the Heven out of a Del Mundo Angela mini, but I’m sure the man has other things to do besides draw my favorite Marvel ladies. (See: his Elektra series.)
💦💦💦💦💦 out of 5

Who said anything about worthy? The word is thirsty.

Livewire #1
Raul Allen and Patricia Martin
The only other Valiant series I’ve read in its entirety is Secret Weapons, so I was more or less prepared for Amanda McKee being one of my favorite ladies again. Especially pleased to have her back in the hands of Allén and Martín, one of my favorite art teams going into 2019.  
💦💦💦💦💦 out of 5

I, for one, am absolutely electrified.

Coming later in January: NAMOR. Some Namor. More Namor. Followed by oh so much Namor.

Check out The Thirstiest Comics of November.

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

Top Comics to Buy for December 19, 2018

By Zack Quaintance — December is a weird month for comics, given the disruption to shipping schedules and reading habits created by the holidays. This year, we saw publishers front load the first couple of Wednesdays to get more product onto shelves that are surely going to be browsed by a higher frequency of holiday shoppers.

And with Christmas on a Tuesday this year, the subsequent Wednesday has Diamond (comics lone distributor) giving its staff a week off. As a result, no publisher is releasing very many titles on the final Wednesday of the month. Ack! For the normal comics reader, this is all fairly dry discussion of what goes on behind the scenes. And who really cares about that?! All of us, but we shouldn’t, right? What we should really care about is the comics!

So, without further adieu, let’s get to this week’s releases!

Top Comics to Buy for December 19, 2018


Livewire #1
Vita Ayala
Artist: Raul Allen
Colorist: Patricia Martin
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Publisher: Valiant Comics
Price: $3.99
Accomplice. Mentor. Savior. And now, Enemy of the State. Seeking to protect other vulnerable super-powered psiots like herself, Livewire plunged the United States into a nationwide blackout with her technopathic abilities, causing untold devastation. After choosing the few over the many, she must now outrun the government she served - and those she once called allies. With the whole world hunting her, what kind of hero will Livewire be...or will she be one at all?
Why It’s Cool: Livewire is easily one of the best Valiant characters to have never gotten her own series...but that changes this week. The publisher has also found the perfect creative team for this book, pairing rising star writer Vita Ayala (who has another book on our list further down) with one of our favorite art duos, Raul Allen and Patricia Martin, of Wonder Woman and Secret Weapons fame. For more, check out our Livewire #1 advanced review.

Captain America #6
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Artist: Leinil Francis Yu
Inker: Gerry Alanguilan
Colorist: Sunny Cho
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99
...with a shocking turn of events that will send the Star-Spangled Avenger's life into a sudden dramatic tailspin you won't see coming!
Why It’s Cool: This first Captain America story arc from Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Francis Yu has been fantastic, a slow burn that alternates big ideas about what America stands for (both past and present) with espionage and action sequences. Coates has done his best comic book writing to date within the first five issues of this series, and we’re excited to see what the end of this first arc brings, especially with the preview text promising dramatic surprises (although, doesn’t it always?).

Cover #4
Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: David Mack
Letterer: Carlos M. Mangual
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $3.99
Max is not having the best year of his career. Sales on his comics series are tanking, and his personal life is crumbling. Could it have something to do with his double life as a spy? Max learns the definition of "in too deep" as his worlds start to collide.
Why It’s Cool: This book is one of the best creator-owned titles in comics right now. We’ve written about it quite a bit in the past, but there’s just never been a look at what it feels like to be creator quite like this one. There’s also something really effective being done with tone here, via the way the aesthetic of the artwork switches depending on what’s happening. When a certain character comes into the protagonist’s life, for example, that character is met with an explosion of color; conversely, when the character flashes back to times in his life he maybe doesn’t remember so well, the figures take on an entirely different (and simpler) shape. Basically, every page of this comic is an utter treat, and we continue to strongly recommend it.

Friendo #3
Alex Paknadel
Artist: Martin Simmonds
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
It's time to request a clean-up on aisle seven as Leo and Jerry's attempt to rob a hypermarket goes stomach-churningly wrong. Luckily, a mysterious corporate benefactor is on hand to help them with a new mission and an offer they can't refuse. Meanwhile, the owner of the hypermarket chain is in no mood to put up with Leo and Jerry's antics. Enter 'Zaj c the Cremator', a brutal assassin with a predilection for bunny ear headbands. Leo and Jerry's lives are about to become a whole lot more complicated.
Why It’s Cool: Friendo is a series loaded with bleak near-future ideas...and it just might be one of the most prescient looks at the coming (or maybe ongoing?) fall of America as a major global power. This issue also takes a turn into new genre territory, although it’s certainly been foreshadowed in previous issues. In Friendo #3, though, there’s an added layer of dread-inducing aesthetics. Prepare yourself, because this is one intense and provocative ride, one that may hit pretty close to home for the vast majority of American consumers—er, I mean readers. (Read reviews of Friendo #1 & Friendo #2).  

Submerged #4
Vita Ayala
Artist: Lisa Sterle
Colorist: Stelladia
Letterer: Rachel Deering
Publisher: Vault Comics
Price: $3.99
Bound by chains of her making, Ellie sits in judgement before her most dangerous adversary. In order to break free and escape the Otherworld with Angel, she must dig deep within herself and use a weapon that has the power to destroy them all. Every secret of the Puente family will rise to the surface in the final issue of Submerged!
Why It’s Cool: Submerged has been a wonderful deep dive (sorry) into two separate thematic interests: family history and cultural mythology. In Submerged #3, the creative team did a fantastic job of upping each in almost equal measure. The end result has been one of the best-paced graphic stories we’ve read all year. We fully expect more of the same from Submerged #4.

Thor #8
Jason Aaron
Artist: Mike Del Mundo
Letterer: VC’s Joe Sabino
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Price: $3.99
After waging war in Hel, Thor finds himself a prisoner of the fearsome warriors of Heven. Can even the intervention of Valkyrie and Thor's deadly sister Angela help him escape the unescapable prison of angels?
Why It’s Cool: Every once in a while it’s important to take a step back and be grateful for the long-running books we sometimes have a tendency to take for granted. This week, we’re doing that with Thor #8. Jason Aaron’s Thor is currently the most impressive long-form run happening in all of superhero comics, and it’s not even close, really. There just isn’t another run that’s been this good for this long happening at DC or Marvel. This issue continues the march toward the War of the Realms storyline, which by all indications is going to be the finale for Aaron’s epic work on this character. Don’t miss it!

Top New #1 Comics

  • Defenders: Best Defense #1

  • Freedom Fighters #1

  • Hardcore #1

  • Klaus and the Crying Snowman #1

  • Witcher: Of Flesh and Flame #1

Others Receiving Votes

  • A Walk Through Hell #6

  • Amazing Spider-Man #12

  • American Carnage #2

  • Aquaman #43

  • Batman #61

  • Black Badge #5

  • Catwoman #6

  • Deep Roots #5

  • Extermination #5

  • Gideon Falls #9

  • Infinity Wars #6

  • Killmonger #2

  • Long Lost Book 2 #5

  • Middlewest #2

  • The Punisher #5

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. He also writes comics and is currently working hard to complete one.