Make a Solicit Check: Best of September 2016 Comic Solicitations

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

In our inaugural edition, we’ve got Romantic century deities, vigilante surgeons, black superheroes and trans superheroines.


Angel Catbird Volume 1 – Margaret Atwood, Johnnie Christmas (Dark Horse)

Before we begin the list proper, let’s take a moment to talk about a comic coming out in September that isn’t mentioned in solicitations released this month. That’s called an "advance solicit," and publishers use them generally for graphic novels. So technically I shouldn’t be writing about it – but considering it’s a comic book written by Margaret freaking Atwood, I think I can bend the rules to mention it. The first volume of a humorous trilogy about a genetic engineer who accidentally spliced his DNA simultaneously with cat and owl DNA. So obviously he becomes a superhero.

It will be released on September 6.


12. Neverending Story

Everafter: From the Pages of Fables – Matthew Sturges, Dave Justus, Travis Moore (DC/Vertigo)

Most of the list is focused on exciting new titles and returns. But the last spot is perfect to talk about how there’s something wrong going on with Vertigo since the firing of Shelly Bond. Don’t get me wrong – there are good comics coming out from DC’s once great imprint. There’s Astro City, Gail Simone’s Clean Room, Tom King’s The Sheriff of Babylon (ending in November) and this month’s solicitations also announce Frostbite – a miniseries from Joshua Williamson set after the second ice age.

But it also brings news of the premature end of Art Pop and this comic, which shows how much of a shadow of its old self Vertigo became. I mean – a new Fables series? The comic just ended last year, and even that happened with a whimper, as the series lost its momentum long ago. But if you feel your life is empty without this series, I won’t begrudge your interest. It’s going to be set after the end of the original series, in a world with mundanes (i.e. us) aware of the existence of magic. It’ll be about The Shadow Players – a global organization made up of both humans and Fables (with returning characters Bo Peep, Peter Piper, Hansel and Connor Wolf). The first issue of Everafter will be out on September 7.

11. So Long, Howie

Howard the Duck #11 – Chip Zdarsky, Joe Quinones (Marvel)

The majority of Marvel solicitations this month are devoted to Civil War II and its tie-ins. This madness will end in October, and you can expect our summary then. Thankfully though, there are other, more self-contained titles coming out – but sadly, after September we’ll have one less Marvel comic to look forward to. Chip and Joe’s comedy series Howard the Duck is ending with issue eleven, after 16 issues total. This is the effect of the series reaching its natural end, instead of a cancellation – which should make the pain more bearable. Expect a heartfelt goodbye review from Zachary sometime in September.

10. Many Happy Returns

The only downside of Image’s creator-owned titles is that in order to allow the artist a pace of work to be certain they don’t die of exhaustion, long hiatuses between story arcs became a necessary evil.

On the plus side, every return is cause for celebration. September marks the returns of:

- Deadly Class by Rick Remender and Wes Craig – a coming of age story in an assassins school with a diverse cast of characters (September 28);

- Invisible Republic by Gabriel Hardmand and Corinna Bechko – a Blade Runner/Breaking Bad resembling science fiction political thriller in space (September 21);

- Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda – an amazing steampunk fantasy (September 7);

- No Mercy by Alex de Campi and Carla Speed McNeil – a Lord of the Flies-inspired story about lost teens (September 14);

- Southern Cross by Becky Cloonan and Andy Belanger – Alien-like space horror series (September 14);

- Wayward by Jim Zub and Steve Cummings – urban fantasy set in Japan, mixing American Gods and Buffy (September 28).

9. Back to School

Gotham Academy: The Next Semester – Brenden Fletcher, Becky Cloonan, Karl Kerschl

By September, DC’s Rebirth will be in full swing, with most of the announced title out, some of them finishing their opening arcs and even their very first crossover (mentioned below). One of the last additions is the return of one the most praised series DC released in recent years, Gotham Academy. Considering the writing team is the only one unchanged for the relaunch, we can pretty much expect more of the same – which is good news for the fans and groan-worthy news for the detractors. The first issue will be out on September 14.

8. It’s Crossover Time

Yep, barely a quarter of the year after it started, DC’s Rebirth will have its very first crossover event. Batman, Nightwing and Batwoman’s team will join forces (following the conclusions of their respective story arcs the same month) for Night of the Monster Men – an attack of giant monsters. It will take two issues of each comic (which means that with the twice-monthly release schedule the crossover will be over in the middle of October) and will consist of the following titles:

- Batman #7, written by Steve Orlando; and Tom King, drawn by Riley Rossmo (out on September 21);

- Nightwing #5 – written by Steve Orlando and Tim Seeley, drawn by Roge Antonio (out on September 21);

- Detective Comics #941 – written by Steve Orlando and James Tynion IV, drawn by Andy McDonald (out on September 28.

7. The Comic I Couldn’t Leave Off the List If I Wanted To

Doom Patrol – Gerard Way, Nick Derington (DC/Young Animal)

Now we’re talking! The surprise announcement for DC’s new imprint headed by the famous musician Gerard Way, Young Animal, overshadowed Rebirth in some circles. I literally have no idea what to expect from the comics that will come out under Young Animal, but I personally can’t wait. The first comic released under this imprint will be Doom Patrol, a.k.a. the proto-X-Men, a.k.a. the bonkers team Grant Morrison wrote in the 90s. The first issue will be out on September 14.

6. The Old Romantics

The Wicked + The Divine 1831 #1 (one-shot) – Kieron Gillen, Stephanie Hans (Image)

WicDiv’s current explosive story arc might end in August, but we’ll be getting more from Kieron Gillen in September, while Jamie McKelvie works on the next – a look at one of the previous Pantheons from the comic world’s past. The second to be shown and the first to get their own one-shot comic, the gods of the Romantic period will be drawn by the talented Stephanie Hans (who drew the Amaterasu focused issue #15), and feature among others a Byronesque Lucifer. A must have for the fans, especially since it won’t be collected in the volume 4 trade. It’s set to be released on September 21.

5. Eat the Rude

Glitterbomb #1 – Jim Zub, Djibril Morissette-Phan (Image)

September is a good moment to start releasing new horror comics – and good horror tends to put a mirror in front of our fears and obsessions. Such is the case with Glitterbomb starring Farrah Durante, a middle-aged actress looking for work in a Hollywood – the shallow, youth-obsessed place we know and (do not) love. Her frustrations open her to an entity that will help her exact revenge on the unjust system she’s been forced to live with until now. The comic is set to be released on September 7.

4. The Surgeon General

Surgeon X #1 – Sara Kenney, John Watkiss (Image)

Sara Kenney (a famed documentary, drama and animation filmmaker) joins forces with artist John Watkiss and Karen Berger – the legendary editor and founder of Vertigo – for an exciting dystopian comic. Surgeon X tells the story of a vigilante surgeon, using her skills and black market medicine to save lives in a far-right governed Britain (insert UKIP, David Cameron and Brexit reference here) after an antibiotics apocalypse. The first issue is set to be released on September 28.

3. The Women of Comics

CBLDF: She Changed Comics (Image)

This is advance preview for a book that will be released on October 5, but I’m putting it here – because it’s part of the September solicitations, and because of how important it is. This isn’t a comic book, but instead it’s a book about women writing them. It will showcase female creators changing the medium today (including Raina Tegelmeyer, Noelle Stephenson and G. Willow Wilson), and present the plights of women imprisoned and threatened for making comics – and talk about women whose comics are banned in the US. If you’re deeply interested in comics and their creators, it’s a must have. It’ll be out on October 5.

2. Black Powers

Black #1 – Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph (Black Mask)

When big publishers disappoint you in terms of diverse comics, turn to the indie ones. Black Mask continues its winning streak with Black – a comic successfully Kickstarted during this year’s Black History Month. It’s a story set in a world where only Black people get superpowers – and the US makes sure no one knows about it. Created by an all-Black team, the comic will explore institutional racism through the lense of a superhero comic.

1. Representation Matters

Alters #1 – Paul Jenkins, Leila Lenz, Tamra Bonvillain (Aftershock)

Here she is – the world’s first trans superheroine! Written by Paul Jenkins (the creator of Marvel’s Sentry), drawn by Leila Lenz and colored by a trans woman herself, Tamra Bonvillain (who hopefully had a hand in the comic’s handling of trans issues), it tells the story of Chalice, a trans girl just before transitioning who discovers she has gravity manipulating powers. This means she’s one of the titular Alters – a group of humans that suddenly develops superpowers (yes, just like the X-Men/Inhumans). Not out of the closet yet, she becomes the superheroine Chalice – and has to maintain two secret identities – as a heroine and as a trans girl. The (hopefully good) comic will be out on September 7.

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