Make a Solicit Check - Best of April 2017 Comics Solicitations

There are many comics coming out every month, 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: part-time female Grim Reapers, elements-bending bisexuals and deity crafters.

10. Phase One of (Ugh) RessurXion

X-Men Blue #1-2 - Cullen Bunn, Jorge Molina, Matteo Buffagni (Marvel)

X-Men Gold #1-2 - Marc Guggenheim, Ardian Syaf (Marvel)

Weapon X #1-2 - Greg Pak, Greg Land (Marvel)

Royals #1-2 - Al Ewing, Jonboy Meyers (Marvel)

On the one hand, it’s good that Marvel is finally invested in an expansion of the (thus far) sidelined lineup. It’s been a bad year for the X-Men fans, whose favorite titles fell into a slump with an increased focus in favor of the Inhumans, with only Wolverine being really good.

On the other hand… Marvel takes one of its most popular teams (and famously a stand-in for many marginalized real-life groups, from the Black community to the LGBTQIAP* community) and puts two middle aged white dudes in charge of two of the main series. And when it actually give one of the other books an Asian American writer, you saddle him with Greg Land, a.k.a. Mr "Traces Everything From Magazines So Everything Looks Fake And The Characters Shift Their Facial Features Every Goddamn Panel."

X-Men Blue #1-2, which features the time-displaced original five X-Men (what are they still doing in modern day?!) under the tutelage of Magneto (look, just give Bunn a new Magneto ongoing, Marvel - stop looking for excuses), is set to be released on April 12 and April 26.

X-Men Gold #1-2, which features some of the most popular X-Men under the leadership of Kitty Pryde, is set to be released on April 5 and April 19.

Weapon X #1-2, which will explore the resurgence of the infamous project, bent on hunting down its most famous results like Old Man Logan, Sabretooth and Lady Deathstrike, is set to be released on April 12 and April 26.

Royals #1-2, which will feature a group of Inhumans under the leadership of Medusa going into space with Noh-Var, a.k.a. Marvel Boy, in search of their roots (and Ewing saddled with another subpar artist after Land on Mighty Avengers and Sandoval on New Avengers), is set to be released on April 5 and April 19.

9. Dream Bigger

Black Cloud #1 - Ivan Brandon, Jason Latour, Greg Hinkle (Image Comics)

Zelda comes from a world of dream - and now she's on the run in ours, with broken dreams in her hands. But when the rich and powerful get interested in them, she'll have to fight back to stay alive. Written by Ivan Brandon (Drifter) and Jason Latour (Southern Bastards, Spider-Gwen) and drawn by Greg Hinkle (The Rattler) and Matt Wilson, this oneiric new series is set to be released on April 5.

8. Make Your Own Deity

Godshaper #1 - Simon Spurrier, Jason Goonface (Boom! Studios)

The Eisner Award-nominated fantastic writer Simon Spurrier is starting a new series for Boom, the company where he publishes most of his creator-owned series. This time he's taking us to a world where every human has their own deity — except for people like Ennay. He's one of the titular Godshapers, godless social pariahs with the ability to mold the gods of others. He travels with a god without a human named Bud, looking for food, shelter and the next rock'n'roll gig.

7. Aftershock Rising

Eleanor & the Egret #1 - John Layman, Sam Kieth (Aftershock)

World Reader #1 - Jeff Loveness, Juan Doe (Aftershock)

Like I said previously, Aftershock Comics output is a little hit or miss. However, in April they're launching two new series that seem like they belong firmly in the former category. Eleanor & the Egret is the tale of an investigation into an art theft in fin de siecle Paris, where the only clue is a single white feather, which could belong to the thief. Or maybe her talking egret sidekick. The comic comes from writer John Layman, who recently wrapped up his 60-issue Image series Chew and artist Sam Kieth (The Sandman). Though fair warning, Chew has featured offensive portrayals of background trans women courtesy of the series co-creator Ray Dillory which Layman likely signed off on, so I'll leave it up to you to decide whether you want to support this series.

The other new ongoing is World Reader from The Jimmy Kimmel Show writer Jeff Loveness, who penned the 2015 Marvel miniseries Groot and is currently writing Nova for said publisher. With artist Juan Doe (Animosity: The Rise) he's bringing the story of Sarah, an astronaut with the ability to talk to ghosts of dead worlds, on her quest to find what is killing the universe before it kills Earth as well. Having to deal with her maintaining her crew's trust and her own sanity, and fighting Death itself, Sarah has her work cut out for her.

6. Archie's Not Throwing Away Its (One-)Shot

Big Moose One-Shot - Sean Ryan, Ryan Cady, Gorf, Thomas Pitilli, Cory Smith, Wilfredo Torres (Archie)

Little Sabrina One-Shot - Art Baltazar, Franco (Archie)

Continuing March's slew of one one-shots, the company behind Archie Comics has announced two new one-shots for April. The first one is another one under the "Little" heading, featuring the adventures of a very young Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Or, Little Kid Witch, in this case. The second one-shot will be focused on "Big" Moose. As much as I like the "Little" stories for their humor and generally cheerful tone, I'm more excited for the newest addition to the "New Riverdale" lineup. Moose has undergone a surprising amount of character development over the years, including a story arc where he discovered that he had dyslexia. I don't know if the new story will cover any of that, but I'm excited to find out. (Zachary)

5. Everyday Superhero

The Adventures of Superhero Girl (Expanded Edition) - Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)

Like it or not, superheroes comics are the biggest genre in the industry, and while the Big Two publish most of them, both smaller publishers and individual creators release their original superhero stories every month. Those can be both darker and more lighthearted than Marvel/DC output - and Faith Erin Hicks's (The Nameless City) The Adventures of Superhero Girl belongs to the latter. It was originally published in The Cost and released in its entirety online. This comic aimed at younger readers tells a story of a young heroine who can leap tall buildings in a single bound and punch huge monsters with her bare hands, but has to buy second-hand capes and has a weakness for kitties. This reprint of the 2013 collected edition will be fully colored and feature two new stories and art by such great creators like Tyler Crook, Jake Wyatt and Paulina Ganucheau.

Given that it's an advance solicit, you'll have to wait until June 14 to read this comic.

4. The Reaper Is A Part-Timer

Kim Reaper #1 - Sarah Graley

Like practically all American university students, Kim has to work a part-time job.  The twist is that hers is guiding deceased souls into the afterlife. But everything goes to hell* after her fellow student Becka finally gathers the courage to ask her out on a date, unaware that her crush is an angel of death. This sets off a chain of events that will set them against such diverse threats like vengeful cat-dads, zombies and the underworld itself.

The comic will be out on April 5.

*I regret nothing!

3. The End Is Nigh

Clean Room #18 - Gail Simone, Walter Geovani (DC/Vertigo)

I know I seem like a broken record, but I can't help it — the decline of DC's Vertigo imprint remains one of the publisher's biggest crimes. But even in those dire times there are a few good comics coming out of Vertigo. Sadly after April there's going one less them, at least for a while. Gail Simone's amazing horror series Clean Room imagines a world where a cultish organization, resembling the Church of Scientology in its structure, is Earth's only line of defense against psychopathic entities imprisoned by their compatriots in our orbit. And now it's reaching its season finale. It's hard to tell when /Clean Room/ returns, but rest assured, you'll find out in this column.

Clean Room #18 will be out on April 26.

Also ending on that same day, by the way, is Jeff Parker and Evan Shaner's Future Quest, a mega-crossover of Hanna Barbera's science-fiction cartoon series.

2. The Panther Thrives

Black Panther: The Crew #1 - Ta-Nehisi Coates, Yona Harvey, Butch Guice 

Ta-Nehisi Coates's run on the Black Panther has been an unquestionable success. The series, originally intended to run for 11 issues, took advantage of the MacArthur genius's knowledge of politics and sociology and explored the nature of government through an Afrofuturist lense. Now it's been extended to a 24 issue run (and Coates apparently has story ideas for up to 60 total), with a new storyline starting in April, set to explore the relationship between Wakandan state and its religion. But there's more to Black Panther than the main series a spin-off series World of Wakanda started in November, exploring the backstories of the comic's supporting characters, the Midnight Angels, and now it's going to be joined by The Crew. The original short-lived series by Christopher Priest (author of thus far the definitive run on the Wakandan hero) intended to showcase Marvel's less known characters like Kasper Cole (Panther's apprentice - who coincidentally is also getting his own one-shot/story arc in April's Black Panther: World of Wakanda), led by the late James "Rhodey" Rhodes, a.ka. War Machine. This version of the team is much more high profile, joining together the Panther, Luke Cage, Misty Knight, Storm of the X-Men and Manifold, and is set to explore modern day issues that are the focus of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black Panther: The Crew #1 is set to be released on April 12.

1. About Damn Time

The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars Part One - Michael Dante DiMartino, Irene Koh (Dark Horse)

If it feels like it's been years since we last saw Korra and her Team Avatar, it's because it has. Since the series finale in December 2014 we haven't had any new content set in Korra's timeline — until now. Series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino and artist Irene Koh (Secret Origins: Batgirl, Afrina and the Glass Coffin) bring us this long-awaited official continuation. After their spirit world honeymoon, Korra and Asami return to Republic City to find it in peril from greedy entrepreneurs and triad turf wars.

Given that it's an advance solicit, you'll have to wait until June 7 to read this comic


(NOTE: many of the below trade solicits are advance solicits and won’t be released until May or later.)

Archie Comics

  • Archie Vol. 3 (Waid, Eisma, Szymanowicz, Morelli; collects Archie #13-17; out April 19)

Boom! Studios

  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Vol. 3 (Higgins, Prasetya, Lam; collects Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #9-12; out in June)
  • Giant Days Vol 5 (Allison, Sarin, Fleming; collects Giant Days #17-20; out in June)

Dark Horse

  • Empowered Vol. 10 (Warren; out on June 21)
  • Spell on Wheels (Leth, Levens; Sabrina the Teenage Witch-style road story from writer of Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!; collects entire miniseries; out on June 7)

DC Comics

  • Doctor Fate. Vol. 3: Fateful Threads (Levitz, Liew, Miranda, McCarthy; collects Doctor Fate #13-18; out on May 3)
  • Doom Patrol. Vol. 1: Brick by Brick (Way, Derrington; collects Doom Patrol #1-6; out on May 31)
  • Blue Beetle. Vol. 1: The More Things Change (Giffen, Kolins; collects Blue Beetle: Rebirth #1 and Blue Beetle #1-6; out on May 10)
  • Detective Comics. Vol. 2: The Victim Syndicate (Tynion IV, Bennett, Barrows, Martinez, Oliver and other; collects Detective Comics #943-949; out on May 10)
  • Supergirl. Vol. 1: Reign of the Cyborg Supermen (Orlando, Ching, Lupacchino; collects Supergirl: Rebirth #1 and Supergirl #1-6; out on May 17)
  • Superwoman. Vol. 1: Who Killed Superwoman? (Jimenez, Santorelli, Herbert, Lupacchino, McCarthy; collects Superwoman #1-7)
  • Wonder Woman. Vol. 2: Year One (Rucka, Scott, Evely; collects Wonder Woman #2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14; out on May 3)

Image Comics

  • Southern Cross. Vol. 2: Romulus (Cloonan, Belanger, Loughridge; sci-fi horror series in an Alien-inspired universe minus xenomorphs; collects Southern Cross #7-12; out on April 26)
  • Surgeon X. Vol. 1: The Path of Most Resistance (Kenney, the late John Watkiss; story about a vigilante surgeon in an antibiotics apocalypse; collects Surgeon X #1-6; out on April 26)
  • We Stand On Guard (Vaughan, Skroce; sci-fi miniseries about Canadian resistance against US mech invasion, now much more prescient than when initially released; out on April 5)

Marvel Comics

  • All-New Wolverine. Vol. 3: Public Enemy II (Taylor, Virella, Morissette-Phan; collects All-New Wolverine #13-18; out on May 3)
  • Black Panther. Vol. 1: A Nation Under Out Feet (Coates, Steelfreeze, Sprouse; collects Black Panther #1-12; out on August 2)
  • Champions. Vol. 1: Change the World (Waid, Ramos; collects Champions #1-5; out on May 3)
  • Hawkeye: Kate Bishop Vol. 1 (Thompson, Romero; collects Hawkeye #1-6; out on May 3)
  • Jessica Jones. Vol. 1: Uncaged! (Bendis, Gaydos; collects Jessica Jones #1-6, and probably more manageable than its monthly releases; out on May 10)
  • Loki: Journey Into Mystery (Gillen, Abnett, Lanning, Fraction, Braithwaite, Elson, Portacio, Breitweiser, Di Giandomenico, Hans, Davis; collects entire Kieron Gillen run on Journey Into Mystery starring Kid Loki, plus connected issues of The Mighty Thor, New Mutants and Exiled; out on August 2)

Oni Press

  • Night's Dominion Vol. 1 (Naifeh; DnD-style fantasy series; collects Night's Dominion #1-6; out on June 28)
  • Space Battle Lunchtime. Vol. 2: A Recipe for Disaster (Riess; second half of adorable sci-fi/cooking show miniseries; collects Space Battle Lunchtime #5-8; out on June 21)

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

Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.