Make a Solicit Check: Best of October 2016 Comic Solicitations

There are many comics coming out each month, so it’s easy to lose track of promising new releases. That’s why we here at Critical Writ have started Make a Solicit Check—a monthly column devoted to the most inspiring announcements.

This month, it’s Marvel madness, as we move from Civil War II to a second Marvel Now!—but there’s still room for alien girl bodyswappers and ancient conspiracies.

But before that, two quick notes. First, a reminder that on October 5 will be the release of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund book about female comics creators, She Changed Comics, that I wrote about last time. Second, last month I listed No Mercy #10 by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil as one of the Image comics returning in September. The title has since been delayed until October 5. With that out of the way...

12. Oh Thank God It’s Over

Civil War II #7 – Brian Michael Bendis, David Marquez (Marvel)

‘Nuff said.

11. ...You Gotta Be F***** Kidding Me.

Death of X #1-2 – Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule, Aaron Kuder (Marvel)

One crisis crossover where heroes fight each other instead of bad guys ends, another begins—and the Inhumans are in the center of both. And Marvel wonders why people aren’t excited about their position rising in favor of the X-Men.

Basically, since the ANAD relaunch, the Inhumans’ Terrigen mists have been encompassing greater swaths of land—and that's bad news for Mutants, because inexplicably the substance kills most of them and sterilizes the rest. So Mutants are on the verge of extinction (again) and would like to stop the mists, but Inhumans need them to live. So instead of reaching a diplomatic solution, they’re gonna punch each other (of course). The good news is, this seems to be restricted to the main 4-issue miniseries and apparently will not affect other Inhuman or X-Men titles. And with half of the series done in the first month (and a better writing team than Civil War II), this should be tolerable.

10. I Want to Believe – and Kick Butts

Romulus #1 – Bryan Hill, Nelson Blake II (Image)

Let’s leave Marvel’s madness for a while. If there’s one thing everyone seems to love, it’s ancient conspiracies, running everything from the shadows. This particular one is called the Ancient Order of Romulus and if there’s another thing people really like, it's badass warriors opposing shadowy conspiracies. This book's badass is Ashlar, a female assassin the Order raised, trained, and betrayed.

Female buttkicking is set to begin on October 5.

9. From Zero to... Wait, No, They’re Still Zeroes

Great Lakes Avengers #1 – Zac Gorman, Will Robson (Marvel)

With last month’s announcement of Howard the Duck reaching its conclusion and this month's information that October means the end of Nick Spencer’s The Astonishing Ant-Man, it might seem like funny books are on the decline at Marvel. But if Marvel taketh away, it also giveth: in this case, Marvel’s biggest losers get their first ongoing (and first longer series since Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Avengers). The team (consisting of Big Bertha, Doorman, Flatman and Mr. Immortal) gets reinstated as permanent Avengers and get back to work in their hometown, Detroit (which I hear is up for a resurgence!). Hijinks will most definitely ensue.

8. Sing O Muse of the Fall of House Atreus

ODY-C #11 + #12 – Matt Fraction, Christian Ward (Image)

ODY-C is one of Image’s most high concept titles—a retelling of the Odyssey in space, in a future with only women. Most of it is written in a style similar to its classic source, and everything is drawn beautifully and mindbendingly by Christian Ward. And it returns in October, with two issues, promising an arc focused on its Agamemnon counterpart—and if you know your classic literature/Greek mythology, you can probably guess what’s coming. Of course, this being a Matt Fraction book, it’s only prudent to expect at least one of them to be delayed.

If all goes, ODY-C #11 will be out on October 5, and ODY-C #12 – on October 26.

7. *Insert Your Own David Bowie Song Reference*

Shade the Changing Girl #1 – Cecil Castellucci, Marley Zarcone (DC/Young Animal)

October is the month when Young Animal, DC’s insane new imprint headed by Gerard Way, is in full swing. Doom Patrol will have its second issue and two more series join it. One of them is Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, written by John Rivera and Way himself, and drawn by Powers’s Michael Avon Oeming. But it’s this title that sounds the most promising: written by Cecil Castellucci, drawn by Marley Zarcone (Effigy) and reimagining the classic DC and Vertigo title Shade the Changing Man, Changing Girl tells the story of a bored alien girl using a "madness coat" to inhabit a dying Earth girl’s body. And then things get messier.

It’ll be out on October 5.

6. From Cowboy to Punisher

The Vigilante: Southland #1 – Greg Phillips, Elena Casagrande (DC)

Vigilante is one of the oldest characters DC has rights to. Originally an Old West gunslinger, he’s reimagined in this comic as a Black man taking to the streets to avenge his girlfriend Dorrie, thereby  uncovering the conspiracy that killed her. So on one hand, we have a new Black character, written by a Black novelist—but the only way they thought of to motivate him is to kill his more socially- and politically-active girlfriend. Dammit.

The first issue of this miniseries will be out on October 26.

5. Everything Ends

Shutter #23 – Joe Keatinge, Leila del Duca (Image)

Shutter never got the reception some of its Image peers have, but it got enough to continue to its natural end. Because that's what this is: the start of the final, extended story arc, "So Far Beyond." The issue promises to provide an answer to every question raised during the comic’s run. I for one can’t wait—even though it entails the end of one of my favorite series.

The issue is set to be released on October 12.

4. A.K.A. The B Is Back

Jessica Jones #1 – Brian Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos (Marvel)

I’ll be honest, I haven’t finished reading Jessica Jones’s debut series Alias. Plotwise I like what it did—showing the mundane and a touch more real side of the Marvel universe, and being probably the only good MAX imprint title. I just have a hard time tolerating Bendis’s dialogue style (Scarlet being the notable exception), and I’m not a fan of his pacing. But it’s a critically-accomplished title, and after the great and popular Netflix series put the character in the spotlight, it’s only natural the publisher would take advantage of it. Though I honestly doubt it will be as enjoyable and delightful as Jessica Jones’s recent cameos in Kate Leth and Brittney Williams’s Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!

3. *Insert Your Own Queen Song Reference*

Champions – Mark Waid, Humberto Ramos (Marvel)

Mark Waid’s All-New, All-Different Avengers is—controversial? It’s not horrendous or offensive, it’s just... there. It doesn’t feel like the series had any major concept beyond "make an Avengers team we can call the official Avengers”. It doesn’t help that Waid—who is a creator of many popular DC runs (especially The Flash) and the recently rebooted Archie (plus he knocks it out of the park with Chris Samnee on Black Widow)—just seems to be going through the motions.

Well, if it’s a central idea he lacked, Champions has a good one—the younger members of the ANAD Avengers (Ms Marvel, Miles Morales and Nova) are dissatisfied with the adult superheroes (and after Civil War II, I ain’t blaming them) and strike out on their own to actually do some good in the world. Joined by the new, totally awesome Hulk Amadeus Cho (angry after the death of his hero, Bruce Banner), the teenage Cyclops from the past and the Vision’s daughter Viv (presumably influenced by whatever happens in The Vision’s finale), they want to change the world. Here’s hoping, kids.

2. Sweet Christmas

Cage! #1 – Genndy Tartakovsky (Marvel)

It’s not every day you get an animation star to create a comic for you. And if it’s the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack (and, admittedly, the director of the Hotel Transylvania movies)—well, you just can’t say no. Sadly the downside is that said star’s work-schedule might get in the way of actually releasing the comic. But after 9 years, the satirical series about one of Marvel’s biggest black superheroes will finally be out.

1. Long Live the King

The Vision #12 – Tom King, Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Marvel)

This is it—one of the best and most critically acclaimed comics released during the ANAD Marvel relaunch is coming to an end. This is also (for the foreseeable future) the last comic King will write for Marvel since signing an exclusivity contract with DC. This is—well, I don’t really have words. Let’s hope the big finale is as grand as the entire series thus far.

Dominik Zine is a nerdy lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.