Comics

Exiles, Domino, Captain America #700 & More in Required Reading: Comics for 4/11/2018

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<i>Exiles</i>, <i>Domino</i>, <i>Captain America</i> #700 & More in Required Reading: Comics for 4/11/2018

Some weeks, we manage an even spread of recommended reading across publishers. Other weeks, one company totally ion-blasts us with new releases, as Marvel Comics has done this week with two merry mutant debuts and an impressive milestone for their flag-bearing flagship character. Not that other publishers are slacking off: DC Comics finally delivers The Immortal Men, James Tynion IV and Jim Lee’s long-awaited “New Age of DC Heroes” title; Steve Orlando and Garry Brown join the Skybound family with Crude; Robocop makes his contemporary comics debut thanks to a Big Brother-esque app; and Dark Horse’s esteemed Mobius Library welcomes a handsome new edition. All of this and more wait below in this week’s Required Reading.


algeriaisbeautiful.jpg Algeria is Beautiful Like America
Writer: Olivia Burton
Artist: Mahi Grand
Publisher: Lion Forge
Lion Forge continues to bring quality French comics to the United States, this week with Olivia Burton’s graphic memoir Algeria is Beautiful Like America. Both Burton and Mahi Grand, who drew the book, are natives of France, and the book was originally published there in 2015. Algeria is Beautiful Like America is a deeply personal travelogue, but the book is more than just the intimate thoughts of a single woman. Burton is driven to visit Algeria because of the stories told to her by her maternal grandmother, who lived there until fleeing to France in the wake of the Algerian War of Independence. It’d be possible to write this sort of book without delving into the colonialist history between France and Algeria and the role families like hers played in “settling” the African country as European immigrants, but Burton doesn’t shy away from telling the story fully. For fans of Lucy Knisley’s An Age of License or French Milk, this is another worthwhile travelogue, and a great introduction to French comics and how much they have to offer. Caitlin Rosberg


STL048483.jpeg The Art of Edena
Writer/Artist: Moebius
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Dark Horse Comics has done well by legendary French cartoonist Jean Giraud (better known as Moebius) since acquiring the American publication rights to many of his previously unavailable works. The World of Edena launched the Moebius Library—and hit the New York Times Bestseller List in the process—and Inside Moebius Part 1 pulled back the curtain and offered readers a chance to explore a more meta side of the creator’s output. This week, Dark Horse returns to one of Moebius’ favorite playgrounds with The Art of Edena, a handsome, hallucinatory hardcover collecting four short stories set in the Edena universe, along with a bounty of illustrations and concept art—a must for any Moebius fanatic. Steve Foxe


brothersdracul.jpg Brothers Dracul #1
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Mirko Colak
Publisher: AfterShock Comics
Comics have never shied away from vampires in general—or Vlad the Impaler in particular—but now he’s getting the most fundamental comic book treatment: an origin story. Unholy Grail collaborators Cullen Bunn and Mirko Colak have reteamed to tell the story of Vlad’s childhood…and the younger brother most people don’t know about. As a child, both Vlad and Radu were held by the court of the Ottoman Empire in an attempt to keep their father loyal. In this interpretation, this isn’t just how the man who would become the Impaler learned courtly manners and cruelty, but also where Vlad learned to hunt vampires. Few AfterShock titles shy away from violence or emotional weight; Brothers Dracul seems most like Insexts in some ways, as a work historical fiction that’s rooted in fact. Bunn is a prolific author of horror and dark fantasy, and Colak’s work on Greg Pak’s Kingsway West helped demonstrate his ability to mix historical periods with genre staples. Fans of Bunn and Colak—and the Impaler—should check this out. Caitlin Rosberg


cap700.jpg Captain America #700
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Chris Samnee
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
While we already know there’s a new Captain America #1 just around the corner, we’d be fools not to commemorate the #700 milestone this week, especially with the team of Mark Waid, Chris Samnee and Matthew Wilson ringing in the occasion. From Daredevil to Black Widow to the Sentinel of Liberty himself, Waid and Samnee have crafted character-defining runs on some of Marvel’s biggest icons, and Captain America #700 serves as the duo’s swan song as Chris Samnee completes his current Marvel contract and moves on to unannounced future projects. When the description for this oversized issue was revealed, some fans balked at a time-displaced Steve Rogers declaring himself king, especially with text that brought to mind the “HydraCap” reveal of Secret Empire, but it’s hard to imagine that Waid and Samnee won’t totally nail this farewell to their partnership. And while Samnee is moving on, Waid sticks with the title for a few more issues, joined by Hawkeye’s Leonardo Romero on art, before passing the torch to Ta-Nehisi Coates and Leinil Yu for Marvel’s “Fresh Start.” Steve Foxe


Crude01_Cover.jpg Crude #1
Writer: Steve Orlando
Artist: Garry Brown
Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics 
This Wednesday, writer Steve Orlando, artist Garry Brown, colorist Lee Loughridge and letterer Thomas Mauer join the illustrious Skybound pack with Crude, a dark family revenge saga about a former assassin investigating the suspicious death of the bisexual son he hardly knew. Set in a Russian refinery city controlled by a powerful private corporation, Crude is at pitch-black as its namesake, which should come as no surprise: Orlando, currently the writer behind JLA, Supergirl and the upcoming The Unexpected at DC Comics, made a name for himself with the brutal “queer-sploitation” story Virgil before transitioning to the kick-ass action of Midnighter. Brown, meanwhile, is a prolific artist, with notable runs on Catwoman and Brian Wood’s eco-activist title The Massive. Crude seems to return Orlando to his more aggressive roots, and should be a worthy addition to Skybound’s stable of hit titles. Steve Foxe


DeadHand01cvr.jpg The Dead Hand #1
Writer: Kyle Higgins
Artist: Stephen Mooney
Publisher: Image Comics 
Writer Kyle Higgins has devoted a good chunk of the last few years to spearheading BOOM! Studios’ Power Rangers empire—including the recently launched “Shattered Grid” mega-event—but that hasn’t prevented him from cultivating a string of creator-owned Image Comics series. C.O.W.L. introduced a superhero labor union, Hadrian’s Wall unfurled a space-set murder mystery and, beginning this week, The Dead Hand kicks off a post-Cold War saga in which the relationship between an old spy and a young boy is the only thing standing in the way of a world-ending plot. Brought to tense, tactical life by artist Stephen Mooney (Half Past Danger, Grayson), colorist Jordie Bellaire (Redlands, Vision, almost everything gorgeous) and letterer Clayton Cowles (Star Wars, Mister Miracle), The Dead Hand looks to be another skillful notch in Image’s espionage/thriller belt alongside titles like Velvet and last week’s Analog. Steve Foxe


domino1.jpg Domino #1
Writer: Gail Simone
Artist: David Baldeon
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
Just in time for Deadpool 2’s premiere next month comes Domino’s second-ever solo series, this time helmed by Gail Simone in her Marvel comeback. Simone is an instrumental Deadpool scribe from long before the Merc with a Mouth became a household name and cinematic star, but the pioneering writer has mostly called DC Comics, Dark Horse, Dynamite and Image home in recent years. Joining her for Domino’s bad-luck streak is David Baldeon, a Marvel regular who typically works with teen and Spider-related characters thanks to his fluid, animated style. In this five-issue series, Domino looses her trademark luck powers, which makes her a target in the mercenary community. Soliciations for future issues should make fans of Simone’s Deadpool run very happy, so be sure to pick this up if you’ve got mutant mercenary fever these days. Steve Foxe


exiles1.jpg Exiles #1
Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Javier Rodriguez
Publisher: Marvel Comics 
With the end of Black Bolt just last week, it’s a relief to see Saladin Ahmed continuing to expand his work at Marvel. This Wednesday, the Exiles return under his guidance, with artist Javier Rodriquez rendering the mostly new team. A relatively new Marvel title, the first Exiles volume ran for 100 issues, but the team has been dormant since 2009. Original protagonist Blink is still in the leader’s spot, but this time she’s answering to Nick Fury, ensconced on the moon and now going by “the Unseen” as he tries to protect the multiverse from threats. Thankfully, Blink’s not his only recruit, as she’s joined by an aged-up Kamala Khan, a chibi-fied Wolverine, Iron Lad and a version of Valkyrie that’s ripped straight from Tessa Thompson’s fan-favorite portrayal in Thor: Ragnarok. The Exiles’ travel through various dimensions has allowed Ahmed to build a team that feels like a classic “What If…?” Marvel jaunt, and the odd assemblage should prove to be a great opportunity for both his sense of humor and his strong characterization. Rodriguez’ work on the short lived Spider-Woman title was lively and sharp, a good fit for this team up that spans from grizzled future warriors to adorable cartoons with claws. Caitlin Rosberg


immortalmen1.jpg The Immortal Men #1
Writer: James Tynion IV
Artists: Jim Lee & Ryan Benjamin
Publisher: DC Comics 
Secret societies and suddenly appearing heroes no one has ever heard of are nothing new in comics, and this “New Age of DC Heroes” title spinning out of Dark Nights: Metal has both in spades. Leaning on the legacies of classic immortal characters like Vandal Savage and the similarly named Immortal Man, the Immortal Men are emerging from the shadows to recruit a member for their endless (and suddenly imperiled) quest to defeat the forces that threaten existence as we know it. Writer James Tynion IV has been deeply involved in Scott Snyder’s Batman stories in the last few years, and has authored his own fan-favorite run on Detective Comics, so it’s exciting to see him introduce his own new chunk of DC lore. Jim Lee, who tagged in Ryan Benjamin for some pages in this issue, hardly needs an introduction, but his role as DC Comics co-publisher gives him the perfect vantage point to co-create a book about a long-lived secret society operating beneath the known DCU. Caitlin Rosberg


robocopcitizensarrest.jpg Robocop: Citizens Arrest #1
Writer: Brian Wood
Artist: Jorge Coelho
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Truth be told, prolific writer Brian Wood can sometimes run a little dry, especially in historical tales (Rebels) and when working with “realistic” artists (Briggs Land). Robocop: Citizens Arrest seems like a breath of fresh air for Wood, thanks to its timely take on the franchise and artist Jorge Coelho’s more vibrant style. Set years after the first film, Citizens Arrest introduces a world in which all private citizens are incentivized, via a mandatory app, to spy on and report their neighbors’ every wrongdoing. While this worst-case-scenario future could easily become heavy-handed, Wood embraces the satirical edge to Robocop, aided by Coelho’s skillful cartooning, which folds in just enough goofiness to keep the book from becoming yet another bogged-down dystopia. If Wood and Coelho can maintain the promise inherent in this first issue, Robocop: Citizens Arrest stands to be one of the automated officer’s best sequential-art outings. Steve Foxe

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