Comics We're Excited About For 9/2/2015

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Labor Day weekend means a lot of different things to a lot of different people: The end of grill-outs, white t-shirts, weekends at the pool. But for the Paste Comics Team, it just means an additional day of comics catch-up. So, how better to celebrate than with some brand-new releases?

In the eagerly anticipated sector of today’s picks, we’ve got Neil Gaiman and Mark Buckingham’s Miracleman, a series which finally gets its conclusion after a couple of decades. But there’s also some great new work within, namely Jeff Lemire and Emi Lenox’s emotive Plutona, and Ben Hatke’s adorable Little Robot—plus, Assistant Editor Tyler R. Kane still won’t shut up about Groot.

Share your own favorites in the comment section below.

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8house #3
Writer: Brandom Graham
Artist: Xurxo G. Penalta
Publisher: Image Comics 

It’s hard to let go of Brandon Graham and Marian Churchland’s atmospheric, sparsely worded, visually stunning “Arclight” serial after only two issues (especially with no definitive promise that the pair will return to the androgynous fantasy romp), but that shouldn’t count against “Kiem,” the next rotation in the 8house shared-universe/anthology/whatever-it-is. Drawn with Geof Darrow-esque visual precision by Xurxo G. Penalta, “Kiem” should feel like familiar territory for fans of Graham’s work on Prophet—especially with a premise that revolves around an astral projection soldier on a secret mission. It’s too early to see if 8house is truly building a shared sandbox or is discreetly Island at a lower price point, but with art of this caliber and Graham’s unusual storytelling, does it really matter? Steve Foxe

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Daredevil #18
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel Comics 

Before Marvel was All-New! or All-Different! or even Now!, there was Mark Waid, Marcos Martín, Paolo Rivera and Chris Samnee on Daredevil. A stark tonal departure from years of pounding the horned crusader of Hell’s Kitchen deeper into a pit of wallowing depression, Waid and his astounding collaborators gave a master class in character rejuvenation by reminding readers that a frown hits hardest when it follows a smile. Now, after 50-odd issues, Waid & Samnee are passing the torch to writer (and actual lawyer) Charles Soule and artist Ron Garney. Secret Wars hubbub means this historic departure isn’t getting quite the fanfare it deserves, but anyone who’s lapsed on this run should take note: Waid & co.’s Daredevil played a key role in paving the way for Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and many of Marvel’s best new-reader outreach books of the last four years. Steve Foxe

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Groot #4
Writer: Jeff Loveless
Artist: Brian Kesinger
Publisher: Marvel Comics 

Every month I figure I’m going to get bored with Groot, but Jeff Loveless and Brian Kesinger haven’t even loosened the death grip this book has on me. I love Groot. I do. This duo’s taken a character who’s more or less a punchline—he says, I am Groot, and that’s like, his one line—and turned him into something special: a lovable oaf who’s dying for a connection, and when he finds that in his ever-present sidekick, Rocket, their on-screen pal-ing around becomes all the more special. With three issues under its belt, I think it’s clear that Loveless and Kesigner’s wacky, emotive, beautiful buddy comedy isn’t losing any steam soon. And, plus: this is the closest you’ll ever get to reading Calvin and Hobbes in real-time, again—at least, I think so.Tyler R. Kane

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Little Robot
Writer/Artist: Ben Hatke
Publisher: First Second

Robots have gotten a bad rap lately, as humanity has accepted the fate that artificial intelligence will inevitably spell our doom. Ben Hatke is a tad more optimistic. The cartoonist behind Zita the Spacegirl returns with an adorable, contemplative book about an adolescent girl and a mechanical friend she finds in the woods. The plot revolves around two misfit souls who repair each other in very different ways, navigating hulking mechs and sassy feral cats. The narrative moves swiftly through an absorbing streamline of sequential art that only offers a handful of words. But the pictures speak volumes. Hatke’s organic line work presents an interesting contrast to the factory edges and impersonality of the subject matter, an aesthetic that complements the humanizing narrative as well. Sean Edgar

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Miracleman #1
Writer:   Neil Gaiman  
Artist: Mark Buckingham
Publisher: Marvel Comics 

Fans of Neil Gaiman’s Miracleman are patient. Like, 22-years patient. The series—re-imagined in the late ‘80s by comics genius Alan Moore—was redistributed via Marvel last year after decades of complications that date back to 1993, when Miracleman’s original publisher Eclipse closed shop. What was left behind wasn’t only a botched beginning, but one of Gaiman’s early revolutionary tales—which, at the time, was in the midst of its full story. Over the years, the critics have spoken volumes about Miracleman’s greater effect on comics, as well as its presence in conflicted superheroes we see today. Now, Gaiman is set to finish what he started—and to say it’s “anticipated” would be a gross understatement. Tyler R. Kane

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Plutona #1
Writer:   Jeff Lemire  
Artist: Emi Lenox
Publisher: Image Comics 

Jeff Lemire  is gearing up to take the reins on Extraordinary X-Men and Old Man Logan, the newest iterations of two of the biggest properties in comics, but the Canadian cartoonist’s best work has always come from quieter, more patient genre stories. In the tradition of his Vertigo breakout Sweet Tooth and instantly optioned Image hit Descender with Dustin Nguyen comes Plutona, a contemporary, super-powered take on Stand By Me brought to life with expressive, nuanced art from Emi Lenox. This first issue is largely scene setting, but Lemire and Lenox’s characterization is so on-point and engrossing that readers won’t mind waiting until the final page for the story to really kick off. Plutona, which also features backups drawn by Lemire, is the kind of emotionally complex story that makes you want to cry for no discernable reason. Pick it up and try not to drip salty tears on the pages. Steve Foxe

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Teen Boat Vol. 2: The Race for Boatlantis
Writer: Dave Roman
Artist: John Green
Publisher: Clarion Books

Do you find yourself reminiscing about ‘80s teen movies but wondering how they might have played out if the protagonists transformed into watercraft when stressed out? Then Teen Boat is for you! The angst of being a teen! The thrill of being a boat! What should have been a one-off gag becomes quality comedy in the hands of cartoonists Dave Roman and John Green, and this second volume improves on the first in every possible way while delivering a satisfying conclusion to Teen Boat’s nautical narrative. While there’s nothing here that should make parents squeamish about handing a copy to preteen readers, adults will get a kick out of the numerous Easter eggs hidden throughout the ridiculous story. For a cheat sheet of some of the best hidden gems, check out Paste’s interview with Roman and Green. Steve Foxe

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Toil & Trouble #1
Writer: Mairghread Scott
Artists: Kelly Matthews, Nichole Matthews
Publisher: BOOM! Studios

This Shakespearean yarn underwent a title change since announcement, ditching The Third Witch for the more evocative Toil & Trouble, but it’s a bewitchingly worthy pull list addition under any name. Writer Mairghread Scott, best known for her work on various Transformers properties, has devoted years of research to this Scottish period piece focusing on the three witches of Macbeth fame. Those familiar with the play know the three witches play a vital role without receiving much characterization of their own, which gives Scott ample room to craft her own tale of a middle sister turning away from the rigors of predestination. Twin sisters Kelly and Nichole Matthews are something of a revelation in their first published print work, grounding the world in historical accuracy to allow the elaborate witch designs to pop that much more. Whether you’re a fan of the bard or slept through Hamlet in tenth-grade English, Toil & Trouble looks to be one of the best new mini-series of fall. Steve Foxe