The 40 Most Anticipated Comics of 2018

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SeedsAja.jpg The Seeds
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: David Aja
Publisher: Berger Books/ Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 28
A launch title for Dark Horse’s new Berger Books imprint, The Seeds marks the return of both David Aja and Ann Nocenti to print comics; Aja’s interior work hasn’t been seen much since the end of his celebrated Hawkeye run with Matt Fraction and Nocenti last contributed to Catwoman and Klarion a few years ago. Alone, Aja and Nocenti each have established fanbases, but working together, and under founding Vertigo editor Karen Berger no less, creates very high expectations. The Seeds focuses on journalism, the nature of truth and the way nature impacts humans as a journalist struggles to get out in front of a big story and an even bigger lie. This is precisely the kind of story at which Aja and Nocenti should excel, and Berger is exactly the kind of editor who will know when to get out of their way. Free of the constraints of other people’s intellectual property, these two can let their skills run wild, and it will be fascinating to see where it takes them. Berger Books has the potential to usher in a new age of creativity at Dark Horse, just like Berger did with Vertigo, and The Seeds may be the first step. Caitlin Rosberg

ShadowmanDiggle.jpeg Shadowman
Writer: Andy Diggle
Artist: Stephen Segovia
Publisher: Valiant Entertainment
Release Date: March 28
Nineties fan-favorite Shadowman was the first Valiant hero to struggle in the publisher’s relaunch, and the first ongoing series to conclude. Something about Jack Boniface’s struggle with the powers of the mystical Loa didn’t resonate with modern readers, but now Valiant is back in force with Shadowman from Green Arrow: Year One’s Andy Diggle and Valiant regular Stephen Segovia. In this latest iteration, Boniface returns from self-imposed exile to station himself at the forefront of the Valiant universe, facing off against the powerful demons looking to swarm across the divide into the human world. Diggle is at his best when throwing down high-octane action scripts, and Segovia’s superhero pedigree should be able to keep up with ease. Previous creators couldn’t make an urban-fantasy take on Shadowman stick—will nightmare super-heroics be the answer? Steve Foxe

SwampThingWinterSpecial.jpeg Swamp Thing Winter Special
Writers: Tom King, Len Wein
Artists: Jason Fabok, Kelley Jones
Publisher: DC Comics 
Release Date: January 31
While Alan Moore, Stephen Bissette and John Totleben carried the character to new emotional heights, Swamp Thing owes his mossy, fungus-covered existence to industry legends Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson, both of whom sadly passed away last year. Swamp Thing Winter Special is a tribute to the duo from Mister Miracle writer Tom King and DC stalwart Jason Fabok. Presented in an oversized, squarebound format, this one-shot finds Swamp Thing cut off from the source of his powers and navigating a frozen tundra to bring a young boy to safety. Also included is Wein’s final Swamp Thing script, originally intended as the start of a new series, with art from his collaborator Kelley Jones, making for a bittersweet and heartfelt tribute to two of comics’ most influential creators. Steve Foxe

Terrifics.jpeg The Terrifics
Writer:   Jeff Lemire  
Artist: Ivan Reis
Publisher: DC Comics 
Release Date: February 28
This year finally sees the release of the long-promised New Age of DC Heroes (originally known as “Dark Matter”), and perhaps the most exemplary title in the pipeline is The Terrifics from Jeff Lemire and Ivan Reis. A clear riff on the Fantastic Four—most of the New Age of DC Heroes books have obvious Marvel comics analogues—The Terrifics brings together Mr. Terrific, Metamorpho, Plastic Man and Phantom Girl to explore the multiversal shenanigans opened up by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s Metal crossover. These titles are supposedly artist-driven, but The Terrifics presents the odd dynamic of launching with Ivan Reis before transitioning to team re-designer Evan Shaner. As if all of the above wasn’t enough to pique your interest, the inagural arc will also introduce Alan Moore and Chris Sprouse’s pulp tribute Tom Strong into mainstream DC continuity. Steve Foxe

TwistedRomance.jpg Twisted Romance
Writers/Artists: Alex de Campi, Sarah Horrocks, Meredith McClaren, Trungles, Katie Skelly, Others
Publisher: Image Comics 
Release Date: February 7
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Image Comics kicks off this four-issue anthology series spearheaded by Alex de Campi. Featuring tales of love gone right, love gone wrong and love gone downright bizarre, Twisted Romance will feature rising talents like Trungles (Fauns & Fairies), Meredith McClaren (Hinges) and Katie Skelly (My Pretty Vampire) for a mix of prose and comics featuring dramatic dragons, trendy succubi, sexy space pirates and Cupid knows what else. And as an extra heart-shaped treat, the series ships weekly throughout February to spread the love all month long. Steve Foxe

VSComics.jpeg VS
Writer: Ivan Brandon
Artist: Esad Ribic
Publisher: Image Comics 
Release Date: February 7
War is a spectator sport in the pages of VS, funded by billionaires and private corporations and interrupted by sponsored commercials. When career soldier Satta Flynn (equipped with extra robotic arms) goes up against the latest and greatest fleet of soldiers, he discovers that bloody fame can be fleeting. A mix of epic action and biting satire, VS is the Image Comics creator-owned debut of stunning illustrator Esad Ribic (Secret Wars, Uncanny X-Force). With a script from Drifter’s Ivan Brandon and colors from Brandon’s frequent artistic partner Nic Klein, VS is primed to be one of the most gorgeous books on stands in 2018, full of sweeping carnage and deep introspection about violence and fame. Steve Foxe

WhyArtDavis.jpeg Why Art?
Writer/Artist: Eleanor Davis
Publisher: Fantagraphics 
Release Date: March 7
I don’t have to know any more than the title and the author get hyped about this book, which, thankfully, is out in early March. The question of why to make or consume art, especially in a time as chock-full of horrible garbage as ours, is a big one and a tough one. It’s not necessarily easier to get off your butt and go do things to make the world a better place (which Davis also does) than it is to make art, but it can seem more worthwhile. But a world without art isn’t one I want to live in. I look forward to whatever answers she can provide. Hillary Brown

WildsAyala.jpeg The Wilds
Writer: Vita Ayala
Artist: Emily Pearson
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: February 28
Vita Ayala has made a name for themselves despite their first announced title—Our Work Fills the Pews—never actually finding a release date from publisher Black Mask. The Wilds, their new series with artist Emily Pearson, seems to have a much surer chance of coming out, and its floral apocalypse looks to be a fresh twist on the genre. The Wilds follows Daisy, a Runner for a survivalist enclave years after a botanical plague sweeps the world. When Daisy’s lover, a fellow Runner, goes missing on a job, she must leave the relative safety of her compound to discover what horrors wait even farther from its gates. Joining Ayala is Emily Pearson, an early contributor to Eliot Rahal’s Cult Classic universe who sports a clean line and a full garden of monstrous flowering designs to populate this new wasteland. Steve Foxe

XMenRed.jpg X-Men: Red
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Mahmud A. Asrar
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
Release Date: February 7
The original Jean Grey is still in the process of raising herself from the dead in the pages of Phoenix Resurrection, but we already know where she’ll land as soon as that weekly event concludes: X-Men Red, the latest color-labeled team book from the mutant corner of Marvel Comics. Written by All-New Wolverine’s Tom Taylor and drawn by All-New All-Different Avengers and Totally Awesome Hulk artist Mahmud A. Asrar, X-Men Red places Grey in charge of her own eclectic team: Nightcrawler, Wolverine (the Laura Kinney version), Honey Badger, Gentle, Namor and new character Trinary. Aside from Nightcrawler, none of these characters have much of a connection to Jean Grey, but Taylor is a fan-favorite thanks to his time with the former X-23, and Asrar has ably illustrated most of the Marvel universe at this point. Here’s hoping Jean’s return proves to have been worth the wait. Steve Foxe

YoungMonstersInLove.jpeg Young Monsters in Love
Writers: Paul Dini, Steve Orlando, Alisa Kwitney, Others
Artists: Guillem March, Frazer Irving, Nic Klein, Others
Publisher: DC Comics 
Release Date: February 7
DC Comics tapped a crew of horror authors for a Halloween special last October and produced a surprisingly touching holiday issue last month, but the publisher is getting more creative for the Valentine’s season. Rather than straightforward tales of love among the capes-and-tight set, Young Monsters in Love shines the kiss-cam on DC’s ghastlier residents, like Swamp Thing, Frankenstein and star-crossed lovers Monsieur Mallah and the Brain. With creators like Paul Dini, Frazer Irving and Steve Orlando on board, Young Monsters in Love looks like a spookily romantic good time. Steve Foxe

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