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 interesting announcements.
This month: pandimensional lesbian teen superheroines, spectral punk musicians and teenage consciousness jumpers.
10. After War Comes (Ugh) ResurrXion
If all goes well, March will be the end of Marvel's other "heroes fight heroes" event, IvX - though this being Marvel, it might just as easily continue until June. Either way, after of inter-species conflict between mutants and Inhumans the publisher will begin its awkwardly named RessurXion initiative that's meant to revitalize the X-Men and try to make their rivals a thing. But that's in April; before that, we'll get preludes aiming to set the stage for future comics. For the mutant side, we've got X-Men Prime #1, written by Marc Guggenheim – writer for X-Men Gold – and drawn by Ken Lashley. For the Inhuman side, we have Inhumans Prime #1, written by scriptwriter extraordinaire Al Ewing - who'll pen the Royals book – and drawn by Ryan Sook.
Both preludes are set to be released on March 29.
9. All Hail the Queens
Rat Queens #1 - Kurtis J. Wiebe, Owen Gieni (Image)
One of Image's more popular ongoing series – and with one of the most irregular release schedule in the publisher's catalog – is back. The humorous series inspired by D&D-style sword and sorcery worlds might have a brand new artist (Owen Gieni), a #1 after its title and the words "soft reboot" in the solicit – but it's still the same Rat Queens we know and love. So why is it at the tail end of the column? Well, it has to do with a controversy that happened in May 2016. The artist for the third story arc, Tess Fowler, came out with details regarding the series' sudden hiatus and end of her term working on it, details involving Kurtis J. Wiebe (writer, series co-creator) lying to her about original artist and co-creator, Roc Upchurch, not being in the running for the series' art duties. Upchurch, who has been arrested for battery against his wife (who later came forward with information about him not supporting their children), has been replaced by Stjepan Seijic (and later Fowler) mid-arc due to Wiebe not wanting the series connected to domestic abuse. Fowler related that despite asking to be told if Upchurch is still in the running, she was repeatedly lied to until finally she confronted Wiebe and he allegedly confirmed it. For what it's worth, Wiebe denied it. But the sudden hyping of Upchurch's early sketches and original art, along with absence of similar treatment regarding Fowler and colorist Tamra Bonvillain and Fowler wanting to get rid of her Rat Queens-related art despite expressing excitement numerous times during her time as the series artist – all of it suggests that while Upchurch may not have been chosen as the new artist (according to Wiebe's statement), he may have been considered as one.
In any case, the comic is set to return on March 1 – and depending on whatever account you find more trustworthy, you can buy it or ignore it then.
8. Many Happy Returns - Spring Edition
It's that time again! Similarly to our first, September-related edition, a huge number of Image titles return from their hiatuses. While every month a few of them start their new story arcs (for instance, February is when Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals returns), this time a lot of them make their comeback. The one I want to draw a special attention to is Copperhead – a space western starring a female sheriff on a backwater mining planet. The series, penned by Jay Faerber, has been on a hiatus for over a year, and judging from the fact that it has a new artist (Ron Riley), it suggests art-related complications. In any case, its eleventh issue is set for release on March 8.
The other returning comics are:
- Deadly Class #27 - by Rick Remender, Wes Craig and Jordan Boyd, set for realease on March 15;
- Head Lopper #6 - by Andrew MacLean, set to be released on March 15;
- I Hate Fairyland #11 - by Skottie Young, set for release on March 15;
- Injection #11 - by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire, set to be released on March 15;
- Low #16 - by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, set for release on March 8;
- Mirror #6 - by Emma Rios and Hwei Lim, set to be released on March 15.
7. The Ghost of Musics Punk
Coady and the Creepies #1 (of 4) - Liz Prince, Amanda Kirk (Boom! - Boom!Box)
Punk may not be dead, but Coady, a third of a sister punk band The Creepies, sure is. After a van accident that left her siblings Corey and Criss (respectively) badly scarred and in a wheelchair, the three girls are ready to bring their music to the masses. There's one problem that no one knows about: Coady is a ghost. How will they manage with that on their road to fame, we'll see in March.
6. The Monster Chef
Brave Chef Brianna #1 (of 4) - Sam Sykes, Selma Espiritu (Boom! - kaBoom!)
It's not easy being an aspiring chef. It's worse, when you're a woman in a traditionally male field (ironic, considering countless times women are told to get back to the kitchen whenever they say anything on the Internet). But the worst is when you are all of the above – like our heroine, Brianna Jacobson – and want to impress your famed restaurateur of a Dad, and you have to compete with 15 brothers, and the only open spot where you can open a restaurant is in Monster City. Such is the premise of this miniseries from a renowned fantasy writer (Aeons' Gate), promising oodles of fun for fans of Adventure Time and Steven Universe. March can't come soon enough.
5. Aqualad II: The Aquatic Boogaloo
Teen Titans #6 - Benjamin Percy, Khoi Pham, Wade Von Grawbadger (DC)
The Rebirth Teen Titans is a fun comic, and a welcome return to form for a team continuously mangled by the New52 reboot. And it's set to become even better now that Jackson Hyde, pre-New52 known as Kaldur'ahm (a.k.a. the one true Aqualad) will make his long teased return to DC universe. As a fan of Young Justice I can only applaud this move. Aqualad will join Teen Titans on March 22.
4. You Get a Crossover! And You Get a Crossover! And You...You Don't Get a Crossover.
I think we can agree that DC's Hanna Barbera re-imaginings was more or less a success. Sure, two comics out of the four released sucked (one sucked so bad, it was retroactively made a miniseries), but both Future Quest and The Flintstones are so good, they more than make up for them.
We're therefore curious about the upcoming annuals. Adam Strange/Future Quest Annual #1 (written by Marc Andreyko and Jeff Parker, with art by Steve Lieber) will feature DC premiere science hero popping up in the Future Quest's alternate dimension after the events of Death of Hawkman – and a backup story by Dan DiDio and Phil Winslade, Top Cat will have a surprise multidimensional encounter with Batman. In Booster Gold/The Flintstones Annual #1 (written by Mark Russell, with art by Rick Leonardi and Scott Hanna), time-travelling hero/gloryhound Booster Gold will visit the modern Stone Age family – and in a backup story Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti will take a look at their futuristic counterparts, the Jetsons (with art by Pier Brito).
Meanwhile star writers James Tynion IV and Chris Sebela will bring us a meeting of two space heroes in Green Lantern/Space Ghost Annual #1, with Arel Olivetti on art duty – and in a backup story, Howard Chaykin will tell us a tale about Ruff and Reddy, Hanna Barbera's first comedic duo. Finally, in a bizarre choice, the Suicide Squad will clash with... the Banana Splits in Tony Bedard and Ben Caldwell's (so at least the art is guaranteed to be high quality) Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1 – while Mark Russell will script the backup story about Snagglepuss as the Southern Gothic playwright, with art by Dale Eaglesham.
All four comics will be out on March 29.
3. On Second Thought, Let's Not Go To Camelot. 'Tis a Silly Place.
The Once and Future Queen #1 (of 5) - Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, and Nick Brokenshire (Dark Horse)
From the creators of Monkey/IDW six volume Amelia Cole series comes the re-imagining of one of the classic Western legends and myths: the Arthurian myth. In this diverse retelling, featuring characters of East Asian, African and British descent, the place of King Arthur is taken by a Queen – a nineteen year old chess prodigy of Asian descent who pulls Excalibur from stone and becomes the once and future ruler of Britain. This exciting-sounding story of magic and adventure will begin on March 1.
2. Consciousness Jumping Is the New Black
Afar - Leila Del Duca, Kit Seaton (Image)
One of the few remaining titles announced on last year's Image Expo (covered in one of Critical Writ's first posts) will finally be out in March. Leila Del Duca, a very talented artist of Shutter is making her writing debut with a science fiction graphic novel, with art by similarly talented Kit Seaton (The Black Bull of Norroway webcomic). It will be a story of two siblings, Boetema (a 15 year old girl) and Inotu (a 13 year old boy), on the run from a cyborg bodyguard after the latter gets them into trouble. It all gets more complicated after Boetema develops an ability to jump into the consciousness' of people from worlds light years away.
Afar is set to be released on March 29.
1. The Hero We Need
America #1 - Gabby Rivera, Joe Quinones (Marvel)
It's about damn time; the long demanded America Chavez ongoing is here, and the pandimensional bisexual teenage Latina and Kate "Hawkeye" Bishop's bestie is finally getting it. Her popularity has been on the rise since Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's Young Avengers – and unlike with /Mockingbird/ and /Nighthawk/ Marvel seems to be willing to make her a star we all knew she can be. Case in point: hiring a popular queer Puerto Rican YA author Gabby Rivera (Juliet Takes a Breath). Add Joe Quinones on art duties, the character's current stint as the leader of Earth's most powerful heroes in Al Ewing's Ultimates2 - and all we need now is a Hawkeye/America crossover.
America #1 is set to be released on March 1.
TRADE-SPOTTING - MARCH 2017 EDITION
(NOTE: many of the below trade solicits are advance solicits and won’t be released until April or later.)
- Animosity Vol. 1 (written by Marguerite Bennett, art by Rafael De Latorre and Juan Doe; a post-apocalyptic comic set in a world where animals gained sentience; out March 1)
- Goldie Vance Vol. 2 (written by Hope Larsson, art by Brittney Williams; a fun diverse detective comic set in the 50s, with a biracial queer protagonist; out in May)
- Harrow County Vol. 2: Abandoned (written by Cullen Bunn, art by Tyler Crook and Carla Speed McNeil; a Southern gothic horror with a witch protagonist, gorgeously drawn; out on May 24)
- Green Lanterns Vol. 2: The Phantom Lantern (written by Sam Humphries, art by Jack Herbert, Robson Rocha, Ronan Cliquet, Eduardo Pansica and others; out on April 26)
- Glitterbomb Vol. 1: Red Carpet (written by Jim Zub, art by Djibril Morissette-Phan and K. Michael Russell; a cosmic horror comic depicting the reality of life in Hollywood; out on March 1)
- Romulus Vol. 1 (written by Bryan Hill, art by Nelson Blake III; female-led action comic about a warrior fighting against an ancient conspiracy; out on March 29)
- Invisible Republic Vol. 3 (written by Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman, art by Gabriel Hardman; political thriller in space; out on March 29)
- Revival Vol. 8: Stay Just a Little Bit Longer (written by Tim Seeley, art by Mike Norton and Mark Englert; the final volume of the long-running crime/political story set in Wausau, Wisconsin, where the dead suddenly came back to life; out March 29(
- Ringside Vol. 2: Work (written by Joe Keatinge, art by Nick Barber and Simon Gough; a crime story set in the world of wrestling with two gay leads; out March 29)
- Saga Vol. 7 (written by Brian K. Vaughan, art by Fiona Staples; out March 29)
- Wayward Vol. 4: Threads and Portents (written by Jim Zub, art by Steve Cummings and Tamra Bonvillain; urban fantasy comic primarily set in modern Japan, think Buffy mixed with American Gods; out March 1)
- Black Widow Vol. 2: No More Secrets (written by Mark Waid and Chris Samnee, art by Chris Samnee; out April 26)
- Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Book 3 (written by Ta-Nehisi Coates, art by Brian Steelfreeze and Chris Sprouse; out April 12)
- Mockingbird Vol. 2: My Feminist Agenda (wirtten by Chelsea Cain, art by Kate Niemczyk; out April 19)
- Scarlet Witch Vol. 3: The Final Hex (written by James Robinson, art by Leila Del Duca, Annapaola Martello, Stephanie Hans, Shawn Crystal, Jonathan Marks and Vanessa Del Rey; out April 19)
Dominik Zine is a nerdy demisexual lad from northeastern Poland and is generally found in a comfy chair with a book in hand.