Star Wars, Mister Miracle, Kitaro & More in Required Reading: Comics for 11/8/2017

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Star Wars, Mister Miracle, Kitaro & More in Required Reading: Comics for 11/8/2017

This Wednesday invites a host of new beginnings and trials for some of the most prominent superhero icons. Both Batman and Daredevil are thrust into new crises—one that transcends demonic space-time, the other a less-gentrified version of New York City—while recent standout Mister Miracle spirals further down the rabbit hole of neon madness. On that note, Moon Knight receives a new lease courtesy writer Max Bemis and artist Jacen Burrows and Star Wars’ original trilogy overlaps with Rogue One as Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larocca de-holster their lightsabers after their excellent run on Darth Vader. For those looking for comics outside the Western capes-and-cowls sphere, publisher Drawn & Quarterly offers another volume of the excellent YA monster saga Kitaro and The Archies venture out on tour for the first time. Check out the most promising comics for this Wednesday below and let us know what you’re looking forward to on our Twitter page.

The Archies #2
Writers: Matthew Rosenberg, Alex Segura
Artist: Joe Eisma
Publisher: Archie Comics
Fun fact: rock stars are rock stars for roughly an hour-and-a-half a day when touring, while the rest of that time is spent driving through farmland, eating fast food and not showering for absurd amounts of time. That taxing monotony is enough to drive most adults to pursue a Real Estate license, so imagine the toll it takes on five high schoolers attempting to bring their jangly tunes outside of Riverdale. The sophomore issue of a series devoted to Archie Andrews’ musical ambitions dives into this tumult, threatening to break his group up before they break into the charts. Seeing as future issues have promised crossovers with the likes of The Monkees and Tegan and Sara, the looming demise of The Archies is probably over-exaggerated, but the drama that unfolds between a gaggle of teens stuck in a van should still be loads of melodramatic fun. Sean Edgar

Batman: Lost #1
Writer: Scott Snyder, James Tynion IV, Joshua Williamson
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Yanick Paquette, Jorge Jimenez
Publisher: DC Comics
Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s bonkers Metal series is hitting the confusing bloat stage of the event cycle, with a Batman-focused one-shot smack-dab in the middle of the…Batman-focused mini-series. Eh, with a creative team like this, we can let the publishing plan slide a bit. Cover artist Olivier Coipel, a Marvel mainstay, was originally slated to draw the interiors before being replaced by the one-two-three punch of Doug Mahnke, Yanick Paquette and Jorge Jimenez, two of DC’s most accomplished talents and one of their most exciting rising stars, respectively. Snyder has also recruited backup in Flash scribe Joshua Williamson and Detective Comics mastermind James Tynion IV. Metal has been a ridiculous love letter to the DCU so far, and the ominous solicit text and creative pedigree for Batman: Lost indicate that it’ll be a solid piece of the overall puzzle Snyder and co. assemble. Steve Foxe

Coyotes #1
Writer: Sean Lewis
Artist: Caitlin Yarsky
Publisher: Image Comics
Sean Lewis is a Paste favorite thanks to criminally underrated series Saints and The Few: thoughtful, timely genre tales that don’t sacrifice characterization in favor of their fantastical concepts. Coyotes looks to continue that trend with a Red Riding Hood-esque story set at the Mexican border. Artist Caitlin Yarsky is a promising newcomer whose style calls to mind Fiona Staples and should be able to match the Sicario-like horror and sword-swinging action of the premise. Border-crossing and the way women in particular are treated by men on both sides of the line is a complicated, weighty topic to tackle, but Lewis’ smart, literary style and Yarsky’s impressive linkework make Coyotes one to watch. Steve Foxe

Daredevil #595
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Stefano Landini
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Page for page, Daredevil may get less attention than his cowled vigilante counterpart at DC, but his history is laced with far better comics that helped redefine what a superhero can be. Many of those comics—Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Born Again, Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s epic run—pitted a hulking crime overlord against the daytime lawyer and nighttime hero. Unsurprisingly, the best parts of the Netflix translation also honed in on the fraught relationship between Daredevil and the Kingpin of Crime, Wilson Fisk. Writer Charles Soule is punctuating his run with that that grand rivalry in issue #595, showing a New York City completely under the thumb of the malicious despot. Soule also doubles as a lawyer, so expect the battle to occupy the courtroom as well as many seedy back allies. Artist Stefano Landini has lended his shadow-steeped inks to titles ranging from Hellblazer to House of Mystery, but his transition to pencils has maintained that same dynamic contrast of light and darkness. Sean Edgar

Kitaro Vol. 4: Kitaro’s Strange Adventures
Writer/Artist: Shigeru Mizuki
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Halloween may be over, but the whimsical, charming and near-endless adventures of Kitaro are perfect for any time of year. Legendary cartoonist Shigeru Mizuki worked on the series for nine years starting in 1960, divvying his stories of a yokai, or Japanese monster, into nine volumes. Drawn and Quarterly has taken up the baton of publishing newly translated paperback volumes, and they are lovely—small, affordable, readable and perfect for their YA audience. This fourth volume sees Kitaro, a pint-sized moderator between the world of men and monsters, face off against a cyclops, pirate captain and gaggle of beasts who want to wipe out humanity to make a global oasis exclusively for their brethren. Fun, goofy and remarkably deep, these comics emphasize harmony and understanding no matter how many tendrils your neighbor may have. Sean Edgar

Mister Miracle #4
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mitch Gerads
Publisher: DC Comics
Tom King and Mitch Gerad’s comic thrusts space-age Bible analogies into the strain of 2017 America, and it as harrowing as it is excellent. Paste has published pieces analyzing the maxiseries’ inception and fonts, but this is a work whose myriad depths could support weekly essays. Issue four appears to tackle the up-is-down, left-is-elephant era of post-truth that plagued last year’s election and sent gunmen to Washington, DC pizzerias because they thought the democrats were running a child prostitution ring next to the ovens. Titular hero Mister Miracle is put on trial because his fellow gods believe he may be infected with the Anti-Life equation, a malignant, viral idea created by his foes to enslave independent thought. But his judge, jury and executioner—Orion—has been acting suspiciously sociopathic, and may be a victim to the same existential malady. It’s a grand revisitation of Arthur Miller’s witch hunts, and is the only comic where grown men in unitards will give you an anxiety attack. Sean Edgar

Moon Knight #188
Writer: Max Bemis
Artist: Jacen Burrows
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Moon Knight seemed like an obvious choice for a quiet cancellation, as new editorial endeavor Legacy reshaped the Marvel Universe: the previous team of Jeff Lemire and Greg Smallwood concluded their critically acclaimed run as sales on the cult favorite dipped lower and lower. But the House of Ideas is giving vigilante Marc Spector another shot with an intriguing pair at the helm. Writer Max Bemis, the frontman of Say Anything, has contributed a few shorter projects to Marvel over the years, but it’s his exploration of mental illness in his first comic series, BOOM!’s Polarity, that makes him a solid choice to steer Spector’s reality-shifting adventures. Artist Jacen Burrows is a longtime Avatar contributor, best known for bringing Alan Moore’s Lovecraftian horror titles like Providence to unsettling life. Burrows’ style is more meticulous and reserved than a standard cape comic, but Moon Knight’s revival over the last few years has revolved around creators taking unexpected risks. Bemis and Burrows have an offbeat pedigree that makes their introduction of a new rival—one potentially related to Spector—for the white-clad hero worth checking out. Steve Foxe

She-Hulk #159
Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Jahnoy Lindsay
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Jennifer Walters found her lost “She-“ prefix during Marvel’s Legacy relaunch preparation, returning to her most familiar title as she comes against a familiar foe, the gamma-irradiated Leader. Hulk writer Mariko Tamaki sticks with the title from her pre-Legacy stint, joined by artist Jahnoy Lindsay. Lindsay only has a few short Marvel credits under his belt, but offers a fluid, slick style that should please fans of Olivier Coipel. Charles Soule and Javier Pulido’s fan-favorite She-Hulk run looms large in the minds of many, but Tamaki’s work on the character has mined difficult emotional territory as Jen recovers from her Civil War II actions and losses, looking forward to her green-hued future as one of Marvel’s most fully fleshed-out female heroes. Steve Foxe
Star Wars #38
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Salvador Larroca
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Writer Jason Aaron once promised at least 50 issues of Star Wars, and while he had to step away a bit short of that, the scribe’s deft handling of the Original Trilogy cast made the book one of Marvel’s consistently best-selling titles. Those are some pretty big Rebel boots to fill—luckily creators Kieron Gillen and Salvador Larroca already have a critically acclaimed Darth Vader run behind them. Their first arc is a doozy, introducing Luke, Leia and Han to the now-demolished planet of Jedha first seen in Rogue One. Folding together continuity is always a challenge, but Gillen’s introduction of Doctor Aphra, a popular original character in Vader’s orbit, demonstrated the spaciousness between the cracks of continuity. The only drawback is Larroca’s increased reliance on direct photo reference, which often results in panel after panel of poses lifted directly from iconic Star Wars scenes. If you can look past that (as most readers will), Star Wars looks to be in capable hands. Steve Foxe

Trillium: The Deluxe Edition
Writer/Artist: Jeff Lemire
Publisher: DC Comics/Vertigo
Few of Jeff Lemire’s contemporaries can match the cartoonist’s knack for moody, deep relationships, even when they’re wrapped in the fantastic. His eight-issue sci-fi opus Trillium is an especially poignant reminder of that fact, and one of Lemire’s few works that focuses on romance as opposed to abandoned sons and daughters. The story follows a WWI vet with post-tramuatic stress disorder as he breaches time and space to fall in feverish love with a botanist from the 38th-century. Lemire’s sketchy figures explore majestic alien vistas, where fields of the titular flower ebb into the horizon. Colorist José Villarrubia adds a striking palate of black, white, green and auburn, offering a palpable sense of other-worldliness as the characters hop between millennia. This handsome hardcover collects the entire affair, and is well worth the cover price for fans of Lemire and mind-melt love. Sean Edgar

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