Comics We’re Excited About for 4/15/2015

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Every week, Paste takes a look at the most interesting releases due out Wednesday in comics, graphic novels and other goodies. This week sees a hilarious mashup between everybody’s favorite group of Riverdale teens and everybody’s favorite intergalactic bounty hunter with a mandible, while Bandette and Angry Youth Comix receive handsome new collections.
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Angry Youth Comix #1
Writer/Artist: Johnny Ryan
Publisher: Fantagraphics 

Confession: I’ve never read Johnny Ryan’s abrasive, politically incorrect cartoon diatribes, otherwise known as Angry Youth Comix. But with Fantagraphics releasing every single issue in one hardcover collection this week, that situation can be easily and artfully addressed. The opening chapter features listless youth Loady McGee searching for a new room to crash after his girlfriend kicks him out for carving “a picture of Al Jaffee in her ass with a railroad spike!” Sold…I think. With a legacy that draws on Robert Crumb and Peter Bagge, I can’t wait to be offended by this subversive, dirty little bombshell of infuriated honesty. Sean Edgar
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Archie vs. Predator #1
Writer: Alex De Campi
Artist: Fernando Ruiz
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

Archie gets around, eh? Clearly emboldened by the excellent (if sporadically published) Afterlife with Archie, Archie Comics has teamed up with Dark Horse to murder its characters in brand new ways under the pen of Grindhouse and No Mercy writer Alex de Campi. In dour horror onslaught of Afterlife with Archie, Francesco Francavilla’s haunting art makes it clear you’re not in familiar Riverdale anymore. Here, America’s favorite teenagers are rendered in Fernando Ruiz’s clean, nostalgic Archie house style, making each fatality that much more unsettling. It’s a familiar beat to praise Archie Comics for staying current—they’ve been on top of that for a few years now—but they deserve credit for not taking their properties too seriously. Imagine what sort of series we’d see if other publishers took that advice to heart. Steve Foxe
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Bandette Vol. 2: Stealers Keepers!
Writer: Paul Tobin
Artist: Colleen Coover, Jonathan Hill, Lucy Bellwood, Sheli Hay
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics

One of our 10 Great Comics for Adolescent Girls, Bandette exudes cool. A mischievous gal in a cape and domino mask skitters along the Parisian skyline, stealing invaluable goodies and solving mysteries. What more do you want in your fiction? Colleen Coover’s vivid art conveys shades and textures for optimal immersion, while writer Paul Tobin balances quips, intrigue and action in a masterful juggling act that guarantees whimsical happiness. Even as a title whose origins began online, Bandette’s printed collections simply breathe with a life and tactile quality that make them the best medium to enjoy this homage to European cartooning escapism. Sean Edgar
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Bloodshot Reborn #1
Writer:   Jeff Lemire  
Artist: Mico Suayan
Publisher: Valiant

After wrapping the electric, lean miniseries The Valiant with Matt Kindt, Jeff Lemire takes the dangling thread of a man with red eyes, white skin and guns (“lots of guns”) and goes deep. This first issue is pretty damn dark, diving into the pathos of a solider without a war whose last mission ended in horrifying failure. Lemire and artist Mico Suayan dissect a war vet suspended in self-inflicted purgatory, as he struggles to divorce himself from a past only to realize that his former killing sprees may be the only way he can define himself. With an antihero whose ‘80s action-orgy name encompasses much of his legacy, this character-centric approach works wonders for yet another alluring title from Valiant Comics. Sean Edgar
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Chrononauts #2
Writer: Mark Millar
Illustrator: Sean Murphy
Publisher: Image Comics 

I’m not sure what I expected with Mark Millar’s first Chrononauts installment, but last month’s debut issue wasn’t it. Yeah, there was time travel—a botched trip back to 1886 was a highlight, thanks to some other-worldly visuals by Sean Murphy. But the heart of Chrononauts is the Channing Tatum-worthy buddy comedy between our two time-traveling heroes, Corbin Quinn and Danny Reilly. It’s goofy, it’s bro-tastic. Most importantly, it made issue one a hilarious, quick read. And while the final pages of Chrononauts threatened a premature nail in the coffin of this relationship, I’m already anxious to see these two dudes reunited. Tyler Kane
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Deadpool Classic Companion TP
Writer: Various
Illustrator: Various
Publisher: Marvel

Those who need a refresher on Deadpool’s early days need to look no further than Marvel’s Classic Companion, a collection of the Merc’ with a Mouth’s not-so-easy-to-find appearances. The collection spans from the early ‘90s, with appearances in Secret Defenders, X-Force and Wolverine. With Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool movie set to release next year, there’s no better point of entry into Marvel’s sassiest assassin. Tyler Kane
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The Fox #1
Writers: Mark Waid, Dean Haspiel
Artist: Dean Haspiel
Publisher: Archie Comics/Dark Circle Comics

Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid’s The Fox mini-series served as a sort of test run for Archie’s latest attempt at the Red Circle heroes, now called Dark Circle Comics following an abortive DC Comics attempt and a recent web-only Archie iteration. The creative team that brought an appealing weirdness to an otherwise forgettable hero is back for an ongoing, following the uber-dark Black Hood launch and preceding legacy title, The Shield. The market isn’t exactly begging for more capes comics, but Archie is putting (or keeping, in this case) distinct voices on these books, refusing to let them fade into the background. It looks like the umpteenth time might just be the charm for this set of heroes. Steve Foxe
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The Filth Deluxe Hardcover
Writer:   Grant Morrison  
Artists: Chris Weston, Gary Erskine
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo

There are few writers with a bibliography as consistent as Grant Morrison’s, which makes ranking the psychedelic scribe’s work nearly impossible. The Filth, his 13-issue Vertigo collaboration with artists Chris Weston and Gary Erskine, inarguably belongs somewhere near the top of the list. Conceived at various times as a Nick Fury pitch and a direct sequel to Morrison’s magnum opus, The Invisibles, before taking shape as a standalone story, The Filth is a pornography-laden, reality-challenging metafiction that is, at its simplest, about a man who just wants to take care of his elderly cat. Being a Morrison book, that man also has to deal with anti-persons who shoot black semen, super-intelligent compost people and a Russian chimpanzee assassin. The Filth isn’t an easy work, but many of Morrison’s most compelling themes are distilled here into a contained loop of strangely emotional storytelling. Steve Foxe
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Lumberjanes #13
Writers: Shannon Watters, Noelle Stevenson
Artist: Brooke Allen
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

Lumberjanes is one of the most accessible, purely enjoyable books on the stands, but any sequential story eventually picks up a barrier to entry as its history accumulates. Following its initial eight-issue tale, original cowriters Noelle Stevenson and Grace Ellis and artist Brooke Allen took brief, rotating breaks, allowing co-creator Shannon Watters and guest artist Carolyn Nowak to step in for shorter romps. Issue #13 sees Allen return for a convenient jumping-on point that explores the early days of Mal, Molly, Jo, April and Ripley in the Roanoke cabin, a great way to make sure Lumberjanes keeps its spot as one of the best gateway books around. Even better: the attractive first trade just dropped a few weeks ago. Summer is fast approaching—if you haven’t done so already, now is the perfect time to enroll in Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. Steve Foxe
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Runlovekill #1
Writers: Eric Canete, Jonathan Tsuei
Artist: Eric Canete
Publisher: Image Comics 

Besides the catchy name and punky premise of a future cyberpunk solider turned outlaw, the real draw of this new Image launch is artist Eric Canete cutting loose after a too-long absence from print comics. The frenetic ink-slinger and animator is probably better known to fans for his highly shareable online redesigns and sketches than for any long stretch of monthly work, but with any hope, Canete and his cowriter Jonathan Tsuei will be doing all of these titular verbs for a while to come. Steve Foxe

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