There are many comics coming out every 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: eternal soldiers, polymorphic sentient rocks and lesbian vigilantes. Plus, the column relaunches, Marvel-style, with a slightly modified style and a new section devoted to upcoming trade releases of exciting comics. You can read it below the list proper. Enjoy!
10. What Dies in Vegas, Stays in Vegas
Elektra #1 – Matt Owens, Alec Morgan (Marvel)
Surprisingly, despite no new Daredevil season in 2017 and The Defenders not out until summer, Marvel is releasing three comics starring characters related to The Man Without Fear. Kingpin is getting a series written by Matthew Rosenberg and drawn by Ben Torres, Bullseye is going to have his own 5-issue miniseries by Ed Brisson and Guillermo Sonna – and Elektra is getting a new ongoing. Boasting a script by Matt Owens and art from Alec Morgan, the comic will change her design to mimic Elodié Yung’s portrayal and see her try to escape the assassin past in Las Vegas – only to end up in Arcade’s sights. Looks like it’s time to take out the sais.
Elektra #1 is set to be released on February 22.
9. The Thin Infernal Line
Darkness Visible – Mike Carey, Arvind Ethan David, Brendan Cahill (IDW)
It’s been a while since the last Mike Carey comic – but he’s back with a title co-written with a Malaysian British film producer, Arvind Ethan David. The series will be set in a world where demons came to Earth, forcing humanity to a fragile coexistence with the newcomers. The main character is Detective Daniel Aston working cases with demonic element – forced to host a demon in his soul.
8. Image Takes All the Indie Darlings
Sun Bakery #1 – Corey Lewis (Image)
This one’s interesting – Sun Bakery is a one-man anthology series in the style of Shonen Jump that was released bi-monthly earlier this year through indie publisher Alternative Comics’ Press Gang imprint. Now Image is republishing it, and will probably continue after catching up with thus far released issues. The stories featured in this anthology are: "Dream Skills" about a city where guns are obsolete and the social culture is built on swordfighting; "Arem, about an adventurer on a quest to photograph the galaxy’s most beautiful vistas; and "Bat Rider" about supernatural skateboarding.
Sun Bakery #1 is set to be released on February 22.
7. They Blinded Us with Quantum Mechanics
Quantum Teens Are Go #1 – Magdaleno Visaggio, Eryk Donovan (Black Mask)
The recently finished Black Mask miniseries Kim & Kim by trans writer Mags Visaggio was a load of fun and a highlight in the publisher’s catalog. It makes sense then that they signed a three book with Visaggio, with one of the titles being a sequel to the above comic. First, though, we’re getting Quantum Teens Are Go - a series about teenage sweethearts Nat and Sumesh breaking into abandoned superlabs for parts to their time machine. Sounds a little insane and a lot just what the doctor ordered.
6. All Roads Lead to...
Riverdale #1 – Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Alitha Martinez (Archie)
I might have some doubts about the upcoming Riverdale TV show, but I'm willing to give it a chance. After the actual show premieres in January, a companion comic adaptation will arrive on the fifteenth, presumably to offer side information that the show might not have time to present. Still, it's a comic based on a tv show based on a comic, so I would advise wearing headphone while you read it, just in case the Inception soundtrack takes over your mind. – Zachary
Riverdale #1 will be out on February 15.
5. Getting in Touch with Your Wild Side
The Wild Storm #1 – Warren Ellis, Jon Davis-Hunt (DC/Wildstorm)
While DC’s Rebirth initiative was an undeniable success both in quality and sales terms, it’s the Gerard Way-led Young Animal imprint that is a sign the publisher is slowly finding its footing again. The imprint brought back some of the weirder DC characters (and created their own, like Mother Panic), and created a surreal, rebellious and artistically-minded niche. Now it’s joined by a restarted Wildstorm imprint – with the man whose career was launched from the original one, Warren Ellis. While he likely won’t get to play with some of the characters (Apollo and Midnighter seem to have carved a place of their own in the main DC universe), the summary of The Wild Storm #1 promises enough of his trademark transhumanist insanity that we won’t mind. And it will all start with Stormwatch/The Authority mainstay, Angela Spica, a.k.a. the Engineer. All of that will be drawn by 2000 A.D. alum and former Clean Room artist, Jon Davis-Hunt.
The Wild Storm #1 will be released on February 15.
4. Just Like That Queen Song From Highlander! No, Not "Princes of the Universe"
The Old Guard – Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernandez (Image)
Immortal humans are a story as old as... very old. Greg Rucka (Lazarus, Black Magick and, of course, Wonder Woman) brings his own take on the plot. It will the story of the ancient warrior woman Andromache "Andy" of Scythia and her fellow undying soldiers, trying to make a living in their trade in the 21st century. Drawn by Deadpool and Punisher: MAX artist Leandro Fernandez, and playing to Rucka’s strengths, The Old Guard is promising to be an exciting read.
The Old Guard #1 is set to be released on February 22.
Steven Universe #1 – Melanie Gillman, Katy Farina (Boom!/kaboom)
The first Steven Universe tie-in comic wasn’t exactly a success. It wasn’t the creative team’s fault – they were working at a time when the show’s character development and world-building were still a long way ahead of us, so both of them diverged significantly from each other. Since its cancellation, Boom! has released a number of one-shot and a miniseries, much closer to the cartoon. And now it’s releasing a new ongoing series, written by Melanie Gillman (As the Crow Flies webcomic, Beyond! Anthology co-creator) and with art by Katy Farina (The Amazing World of Gumball). The first issue sees Steven help Peridot and Lapis take care of an abandoned baby songbird – so you can already tell it’s much closer to the series as it is now.
2. Batwoman Returns
Batwoman: Rebirth #1 – Margueritte Bennett, James Tynion IV, Ben Oliver, Steve Epting (DC)
Now that Rebirth is a success, DC is building upon it – first by finally releasing its last title of the first wave, Peter J. Tomasi and Jorge Jimenez’s /Super Sons/ starring Batman and Superman’s sons (out February 15). Following that, it’s releasing a new twice-monthly diverse team book Justice League of America by Steve Orlando, Ivan Reis and John Prado (Rebirth issue is out on February 8, and the proper #1 – February 22), which I recently reported on – and this month’s crown jewel – a new Batwoman series by Marguerite Bennett (DC Comics Bombshells, Angela, Animosity) and Steve Epting (Captain America, Velvet). The new ongoing will see Kate Kane embark on a globetrotting fight against a Monster Venom syndicate – as Bennett teased a while back, joined by a dashing figure who looks good in a suit (my money’s on Renee Montoya back in the Question outfit).
Batwoman: Rebirth #1, co-written with James Tynion IV and featuring the art by Ben Oliver, will be out on February 12.
1. Black History Celebration
Black History in Its Own Words – Ronald Wimberly (Image)
February is Black History Month in US and Canada – an annual celebration of Black American culture and history. That’s why Ronald Wimberly (Prince of Cats) is releasing this book. It’ll showcase quotes from famous Black people with Wimberly’s portraits and illustrations, featuring thoughts from people like Angela Davis, Dave Chapelle, Spike Lee, Zadie Smith and Kanye West. It’s a hardcover with 80 pages, so expect a hefty price tag – but it’s a book worth getting.
Black History in Its Own Words is set to be released on February 8.
TRADE-SPOTTING – FEBRUARY 2017 EDITION
(NOTE: most of the below are advance solicits and won’t be released until March or later.)
- Jughead Vol. 2 (written by Chip Zdarsky and Ryan North, art by Derek Charm and Jack Morelli; comedic misadventures of Archie’s premiere asexual and most apathethic character; collects #7-12; out February 22)
- Joyride Vol. 2 (written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, art by Marcus To; fun space-opera about teens escaping totalitarian Earth into space; collects #5-8; out in April);
- Lumberjanes Vol. 6 (written by Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh, art by Carey Pietsch; five buttkicking lady-types in a summer camp filled with mystery; collects #21-24; out in April);
- Welcome Back Vol. 2 (written by Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe; second half of a female-led action comic about reincarnated warriors; collects #5-8; out in April)
- Batgirl Vol. 1: Beyond Burnside (written by Hope Larson, art by Rafael Albuquerque; collects #1-6; out March 22);
- Cyborg Vol. 1: The Imitation of Life (written by John Semper Jr., art by Paul Pelletier, Tony Kordos and Will Conrad; collects #1-5 and Cyborg: Rebirth #1; out March 22);
- DC Comics Bombshells Vol. 3: Uprising (written by Marguerite Bennett, art by Mirka Randolfo, Laura Braga and others; collects #13-15; out March 15);
- Deathstroke Vol. 1: The Professional (written by Christopher Priest, art by Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz, Joe Bennett, Mark Morales and Belardino Brabo; collects #1-5 and Deathstroke: Rebirth #1; out March 8);
- Harley Quinn Vol. 1: Die Laughing (written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, art by Chad Hardin, John Timms and others; collects #1-7; out March 15);
- Supergirl by Peter David. Book Two (written by Peter David, Tom Peyer and Chuck Dixon, art by Leonard Kirk, Greg Land and others; collects Supergirl #10-20 and Supergirl Annual #2; out March 29);
- Wonder Woman and the Justice League Vol. 1 (written by Dan Vado and Chuck Dixon, art by Mike Collins, Kevin West, Rick Burchett, Marc Campos and others; collects Justice League America #78-85, Justice League America Annual #7 and Guy Gardner #15; out March 15);
- Wonder Woman by George Perez. Omnibus Vol. 2 (written by George Perez and others, art by Chris Marrinan, Jill Thompson, Colleen Doran and others; collects Wonder Woman #25-45 and Wonder Woman Annual #2; out March 10);
- Zatanna by Paul Dini (written by Paul Dini, Adam Beechen and Derek Fridolfs, art by Stephane Roux, Chad Hardin, Jesus Saiz, Cliff Chiang, Jamal Igle, Rick Mays and others; collects Zatanna #1-16, Zatanna: Everyday Magic #1 and short stories from DC Infinite Halloween Special #1 and DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1; out March 1)
- Arclight (written by Brandon Graham, art by Marian Churchland; beautiful miniseries about a genderqueer knight and the princess turned into a monster; collects #1-4; out February 22);
- Lake of Fire (written by Nathan Fairbarn, art by Matt Smith and Nathan Fairbarn; miniseries set in the 13th century, during the Albigensian Crusade, telling the story of crusaders fighting aliens; collects #1-5; out February 22);
- Snotgirl Vol. 1 (written by Bryan Lee O’Malley and Leslie Hung, art by Leslie Hung; the misadventures of a fashion blogger plagued by allergies and neuroses – despite title fun, not gross; collects #1-5; out February 22);
- Lazarus Vol. 5: Cull (written by Greg Rucka, art by Michael Lark; dystopia science-fiction about a feud between corporation-states; collects #22-26; out February 22);
- Velvet Deluxe Hardcover Edition (written by Ed Brubaker, art by Steve Epting; the entire female-led spy series in the style mixing classic Bond and Bourne; collects #1-15; out February 22)
- Ms. Marvel Vol. 3 (hardcover; written by G. Willow Wilson, art by Adrian Alphona, Takeshi Miyazawa and Nico Leon; collects #1-12) from the 2015 run; out June 7);
- Power Man and Iron Fist Vol. 2: Civil War II (written by David F. Walker, art by Flaviano Armentaro, Sanford Greene and Scott Hepburn; collects #6-9 and Sweet Christmas Annual #1; out March 8);
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 5: Like I’m the Only Squirrel in the World (written by Ryan North an Will Murray, art by Erica Henderson; collects #12-16; out March 15);
- The Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol. 2: Head of M.O.D.O.K. (written by John Hastings, art by Irene Strychalski and Gurihiru; collects #5-10; out March 15)
- Kaijumax Season Two: The Seemy Underbelly (by Zander Cannon; a mix of kaiju movies and Orange Is the New Black/Oz; collects #1-6; out April 26);
- Small Favors: The Definitive Girly Porno Collection (by Colleen Coover; basically what the title says; collects both Small Favors volumes; out April 26);
- Wet Moon Book 3: Further Realms of Fright (by Sophie Campbell; trans creator’s critically acclaimed slice of Goth/alternative culture life; out April 12)
Dominik Zine is a nerdy demisexual lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.