A brief weekly rundown of recommendations of new releases I’m intrigued by, excited for and will be grabbing off the shelves to curl up with every new comics day before delving into them later in the week! Have you hugged your local comic store owner today?
Cosmic Ghost Rider 1- Marvel Comics
Rule of Cool: (1) The limit of the Willing Suspension Of Disbelief for a given element is directly proportional to its degree of coolness. (see also; suspension of disbelief, Rad Herring)
Despite what you might assume from some of the lengthy, borderline pretentious posts around here on comics as art or books tackling deep, heavy subjects I still love the comic books potential to just be bizarrely and unashamedly out there. To be fun, silly and perhaps most importantly, cool. If ever there was a book to give us all that and more whilst stretching and twisting the rule almost to breaking point, it has to be Cates and Burnett’s Cosmic Ghost Rider. Revealed to be non other than Frank Castle, the now insane earth based vigilante finds himself space bound on weirder and weirder cosmic adventures.
Riding out of the pages of Thanos into it’s own five issue title, Marvels unexpected character find of the year and weirdest “What if Story” feels like it’s been ripped wholesale from the mind of a daydreaming fanboy and makes it impossible not to sound like a little kid on a crazy sugar high when breathlessly explaining “it’s Ghost Rider, in space, but, you know, also Punisher..oh and and…Silver Surfers Power Cosmic and also right hand of thanos combined”. With more smile inducing character mash-ups like the unstoppable Juggerduck the team will hopefully be able to carry the bonkers energy on with the space faring Spirit of Vengence.
Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl and Ms Marvel 1- Marvel Comics
Having begrudgingly adjusted to a Henderson-less Squirrel Girl, I’ve found myself really enjoying this all star team up of two of Marvel’s most surprising heroines of recent years Squirrel Girl and Ms Marvel as well as the equally thrilling combination of North and Wilson on writing duties. The two characters played of each other perfectly in the previous issue of this series, coming together to defend their college campus against the new Inhuman menace, Emulator and her video game based abilities.
Relevant without ever becoming preachy, amidst the fun of the super hero team up Marvel Rising takes on a lot of “ripped from the headlines” issues with Ember herself bullied by overzealous gamer bro’s in it’s set up for it’s central “villain” which seems perfectly suited to both Doreen and Kamala’s skills of non violent problem solving, asking questions first, and maybe punching later.
Shade the Changing Woman 5- DC Comics
If you’re “looking for a little heart” in your pull list then Young Animals Shade the Changing Woman should be among your purchases before it reaches the end of it’s gloriously mad and grown up second arc, with Loma Shade as she peruses her own hastily cast aside heart whilst the world around her succumbs to madness.
Following the mind melting Milk Wars, Castellucci has spun the series towards slightly more grounded storytelling and themes. Previously in Shade the Changing Girl Castellucci and Zarcone explored personal isolation with Loma and it’s high school setting, the change in title and time jump has resulted in these themes being magnified, heightened to a global scale with the world falling into paranoia over “aliens” on planet earth. At the same time the pair keep Shade’s story is wonderfully dreamlike and abstract in no small part to Zarcone’s artwork as it continues evolving and morphing into a series that you really have to feel your way around and experience first hand.