The 40 Most Anticipated Comics of 2018

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The 40 Most Anticipated Comics of 2018

Last year, we predicted (hoped? prayed?) that 2017 had more breathtaking comics in store for us than 2016 did—not that that year was too shabby, either. And while the industry as a whole went through some major roughpatches over the last 12 months, 2017 largely delivered on those dreams with breakthroughs like Mister Miracle, Spinning and My Favorite Thing is Monsters. Now 2018 is upon us and we’re already bowled over at the sheer volume of notable releases headed down the pipeline. This list, already overflowing at 40 entries, easily could have swelled to 50 or more and still missed sequential-art gold. Below the jump, you’ll find 40 promising upcoming titles from dozens of creators and over 15 different publishers and imprints—a cross section of the best of the best hitting shelves in January, February, March and beyond. By the time December 2018 rears its frosty head, a few of these books might just make the jump from Most Anticipated to Best of the Year, which means savvy readers will want to start marking release dates on their calendars ASAP or risk missing out on the next big thing in comics.


Writer: Saladin Ahmed
Artist: Sami Kivelä
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Release Date: January 24
Until recently, Saladin Ahmed was best known for his poetry, award-winning speculative fiction work and prolific Twitter feed, but 2017 delivered him a new kind of critical and popular success. Ahmed’s work with Christian Ward on Marvel’s Black Bolt was both serious and surprising, which, given the subject matter he had to work with, wasn’t a guarantee. With the exception of Warren Ellis’s oft-delayed Karnak, it’s been a struggle to make readers take the Inhumans seriously, but Ahmed brought unexpected depth and emotion to Blackagar Boltagon. That skill with characterization and storytelling is the main draw to Abbott, a supernatural crime comic from BOOM! Studios that pairs Ahmed with Sami Kivelä. The story is set in 1970s Detroit and stars a female journalist of color who digs into anti-Black—and potentially magical—crimes long ignored by the police. Kivelä’s work on Black Mask’s Beautiful Canvas shows that he’s got a good handle on action, and it will be exciting to see what Ahmed can do when he’s not restricted by someone else’s rules, free instead to delve into politics and the social divides that people carve out for themselves. Caitlin Rosberg

AllSummerLong.jpgAll Summer Long
Writer/Artist: Hope Larson
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: May 1
When it comes to comics for girls and young teens, there’s no such thing as too many. Raina Telgemeier alone has proven just how big the market is for graphic books about girls, and All Summer Long is one of many exciting comics arriving this year that continue to fill that space. Most recently, writer and artist Hope Larson has been at the helm of DC’s Batgirl, filling the massive shoes of previous creative team Babs Tarr, Cameron Stewart and Brenden Fletcher. Prior to that, Larson adapted Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time into a graphic novel, and both titles have helped to cement her reputation as someone who loves and respects the inner lives of girls and young women. All Summer Long sounds like the best parts of The Baby-Sitters Club and Now and Then, a story full of friendship and growing pains both literal and emotional. Larson’s visual style is accessible and sweet without feeling cloying, and she excels at giving characters a sense of agency and nuance that’s often missing from comics aimed at adults, let alone YA and middle grade fare. All Summer Long sounds like the kind of comic that readers can graduate from into Lumberjanes and then Giant Days, an uninterrupted chain of wonderful stories about growth and friendship. Caitlin Rosberg

AmericanGodsMyAinsel.jpgAmerican Gods: My Ainsel
Writer: P. Craig Russell
Artist: Scott Hampton
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 14
Neil Gaiman’s American Gods made a visually stunning leap to the small screen in 2017, and with it came a perfectly timed—and slightly more faithful—comic adaptation from Dark Horse, written for comics by frequent Gaiman collaborator P. Craig Russell with art by Scott Hampton. Russell knows the pacing and cadence of Gaiman’s myth-weaving, even in a tome as large and loping as American Gods, and Hampton’s realistic figure work drives home the interpersonal drama of the cast while making each act of godhood, whether inspiring or horrifying, stand out from the world around it. American Gods: My Ainsel continues the adaption into a new volume as Shadow and Wednesday leave the House on the Rock. With the TV show’s second season somewhat uncertain following the departure of its showrunners, this return to Dark Horse’s iteration is a welcome one. Steve Foxe

BingoLove.jpgBingo Love
Writer: Tee Franklin
Artist: Jenn St-Onge
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: February 14
Bingo Love is one of the few books on this list already available to readers—but only those who backed writer/creator Tee Franklin’s massively successful Kickstarter, or purchased it directly at a convention. This February, Image Comics opens wider audiences to the story of Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray, queer women of color who meet in 1963 but are kept apart by family and society until decades later. Franklin has worked her ass off to carve a niche for herself in the all-too-often closed-off comics industry, and Jenn St-Onge’s cartooning perfectly captures the longing and love at the center of the book. Bingo Love, like Moonstruck before it, suggests that Image Comics can compete with BOOM! Studios and independent publishing when it comes to inclusive queer representation. Steve Foxe

Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release Date: February 21
Comics firebrand Ales Kot and Sex artist Piotr Kowalsi both appear twice on this list, in drastically different contexts. Here the Generation Gone writer teams with the impressively prolific Kowalski to adapt the ominous and insanely challenging FromSoftware video game Bloodborne at Titan Comics. Bloodborne (the game) portions out its Lovecraftian lore through small details and haunting design work, not clear narrative storytelling. Bloodborne (the comic) will need to strike a fine balance between matching the game’s vague menace and telling a cohesive tale set in this world. Kot has yet to take a straightforward approach to licensed comics, and Kowalksi has a flair for the psychosexually grotesque, so odds are good that Bloodborne is in good hands. Steve Foxe

Brazen.jpegBrazen: Rebel Ladies Who Rocked the World
Writer/Artist: Pénélope Bagieu
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: March 7
We swooned overCalifornia Dreamin’, French cartoonist Pénélope Bagieu’s biography of the Mamas & the Papas singer Cass Elliot, and now Bagieu is back with a look at a wider array of influential women throughout history. From Mae Jemison to Josephine Baker to lesser-known role models like Naziq al-Abid, Brazen celebrates the lives and accomplishments of more than two dozen female trailblazers, all rendered in Bagieu’s inventive, impressive cartooning. Brazen may hit shelves in March, but we have a feeling it’ll end up under quite a few trees next December as the ideal gift for the powerful, inspiring women in your life. Steve Foxe

BendisDCProject.jpgBrian Michael Bendis’ First DC Project(s)
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: TBA
Publisher: DC Comics
Release Date: TBA
We’re cheating a bit with this entry, but it’s undeniable that the mystery of Brian Michael Bendis’ first work under his sparkling new DC Comics exclusive contract is one of 2018’s most highly anticipated comics announcements. Bendis recently suffered a nasty infection that delayed his DC start and Marvel finales, but the longtime Marvel architect and co-creator of characters like Jessica Jones and Miles Morales is thankfully recovering and back with his family and friends, according to his Twitter account. No one knows for sure when Bendis’ first DC work will be announced (although the rumor mill has already started churning out possible titles), but we know Bendis is a prolific creator capable of juggling multiple series per month, so expect news on this front sooner rather than later. Steve Foxe

Bubble.jpgA Bubble
Writer/Artist: Geneviève Castrée
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
Release Date: June 5
Geneviève Castrée, a much beloved and very talented artist, died of pancreatic cancer in 2016, at the age of 35, leaving behind a husband and a baby. So this is probably her last completed work. That it happens to be an autobiographical love letter to her child makes it almost too sad to think about. But it’s okay to experience grief, and it’s okay to anticipate a book that’s going to make you cry. Hillary Brown

ColdWar.jpgCold War
Writer: Christopher Sebela
Artist: Hayden Sherman
Publisher: Aftershock Comics
Release Date: February 14
We named Hayden Sherman one of our favorite artists of 2017, and with good reason: the recent college graduate (he was still in school when he began work on last year’s The Few) recalls peak Frank Miller with his bold strokes and angular figures. Combined with his own electric colors, Sherman’s work on Cold War is breathtaking, and the perfect realization of Christopher Sebela’s disorienting script. Panacea Cryonics offered to freeze wealthy customers until a time when they could be revived into healthier bodies. Unfortunately, Panacea patients wake up equipped with battle armor and a futuristic rifle, thrust directly into battle against unknown foes for unclear reasons. Sebela has a knack for gut-punch storytelling, and Sherman is clearly just getting started on what proves to be an impressive career. Steve Foxe

ComeIntoMeMostAnticipated.jpgCome Into Me
Writer: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler
Artist: Piotr Kowalski
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: February 28
Bloodborne Piotr Kowalski’s other appearance on this list was first announced here at Paste, and promises to be just as disturbingly violent as that fan-favorite video game property. Co-written by The Dregs breakthrough team Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, Come Into Me channels David Cronenberg and social-media oversharing for this tale of a technology that allows two minds to share one body. As one might expect, the effects of constant contact are more than a little maddening, which will surely provide fertile and bloody storytelling opportunities for Thompson, Nadler and Kowalski in this Black Mask body-horror outing.

MargoMalooVol2.jpgThe Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo: The Monster Mall
Writer/Artist: Drew Weing
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: September 11
Literally the only problem with Drew Weing’s The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, which came out in September of 2016, is that there wasn’t enough of it. This second volume won’t solve that problem, but it should make a dent in it, further establishing the rules and bounds of Echo City, a metropolis with a parallel monster world. Weing has been parceling out the story page by page on Patreon, but he’s a giant print nerd, so you can expect to find some goodies that didn’t appear online. Plus: this version is easier for your kids to read under the covers with a flashlight. Hillary Brown

ReturntoWhisperMostAnticipated.jpgCult Classic: Return to Whisper
Writer: Eliot Rahal
Artist: Felipe Cunha
Publisher: Vault Comics
Release Date: February 28
We took a closer look at Eliot Rahal’s Cult Classic creator-owned shared universe last week with an exclusive four-issue story and the full list of contributors to Return to Whisper, the inaugural series set in the town of Whisper. Created and written by Rahal and illustrated by Felipe Cunha, Return to Whisper introduces a town where things sometimes get weird, even when a band of childhood best friends must return to bury one of their own. Rahal has an expansive, open vision for the Cult Classic banner, and we can’t wait to see how it all begins here. Also coming from Vault this year: as-yet-mysterious new series Friendo, Wasted Space and Deep Roots from familiar names like Alex Paknadel, Michael Moreci and Dan Watters, respectively. Steve Foxe

DaysOfHate.jpgDays of Hate
Writer: Ales Kot
Artist: Danijel Zezelj
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 17
Taken on its own, Days of Hate’s premise of a severe loss that drives one person toward an authoritarian police state and the other toward a guerilla war against white supremacy sounds like the comics equivalent of ambulance chasing—an opportunistic chance to pounce on current hot-button topics. Writer Ales Kot thankfully has a record of doing right by topical subject matter, most recently in the millennials-with-superpowers tale Generation Gone, and is unlikely to turn Days of Hate into a “good people on both sides” situation. Artist Danijel Zezelj imbues every page with a sense of threat and decay, a style that has served him well across countless Vertigo projects. Days of Hate is likely to be an angry book for an angry time. Steve Foxe

DelilahDirk.jpgDelilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules
Writer/Artist: Tony Cliff
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: August 7
The Delilah Dirk series is one of the most pure delights in comics. It’s like a magic trick every time, reminiscent of Lloyd Alexander’s Vesper Holly series of YA novels but fueled by Tony Cliff’s neat yet action-packed drawings. Cliff can put all the character in the world into the tilt of a nose, and god help you when he gets to draw Dirk leaping onto a horse or being thrown from an explosion. These books are for all ages and interests, including people who love superheros. Hillary Brown

DickTracyArchie.jpgDick Tracy
Writers: Alex Segura & Michael Moreci
Artist: Thomas Pitilli
Publisher: Archie Comics
Release Date: April 11
[Update: Due to a licensing error, Archie has canceled this series.]
Dick Tracy is a foundational pillar of comic and pulp storytelling, but like fellow founders The Shadow and The Spirit, has an uneven history with mainstream comics of the last few decades. That (hopefully) changes in April, as Black Star Renegades author Michael Moreci and Archie Comics co-president Alex Segura team with Riverdale cover artist Thomas Pitilli to shine a light on the yellow-trench-coat-wearing private detective’s early days. Pitilli has a clean, open style that should help sell the character to modern audiences, and both Moreci and Segura know how to balance nostalgia with forward-thinking storytelling. Fans of the long-running newspaper strip shouldn’t despair: the two iterations of the character will run simultaneously. Steve Foxe

DoctorStar.jpegDoctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows: From the World of Black Hammer
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Max Fiumara
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: March 7
Despite popular runs on books like Green Arrow and Old Man Logan, Sweet Tooth creator Jeff Lemire doesn’t seem to click for too long at mainstream superhero comics. Luckily, he made up his own cape-comic universe, and it continues to expand this March with artist Max Fuimara in the pages of Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows. Fiumara rotated with his brother on Dark Horse’s Abe Sapien series and brings a haunted, smoky style to Lemire’s tale of fatherhood via cosmically powered super-heroics. Clearly inspired by DC’s Starman, Doctor Star & The Kingdom of Lost Tomorrows will tell dual stories set during this universe’s Golden Age and the present-day, and is sure to make good use of Lemire’s penchant for familial heartache in addition to Fiumara’s cosmic vistas. Steve Foxe

Writers: Eric Zawadzki & Ryan K. Lindsay
Artist: Eric Zawadzki
Publisher: Black Mask Studios
Release Date: January 31
Like his collaborators Zac Thompson and Lonnie Nadler, artist Eric Zawadzki made an impressive entrance with his work on The Dregs last year, and later this month, readers will get a chance to see Zawadzki’s own creative vision writ large in this original graphic novel from Black Mask Studios. Written with assistance from Beautiful Canvas and Negative Space creator Ryan K. Lindsay, Eternal tells the story of an isolated band of shieldmaidens who refuse to cede their land to invading men. Zawadzki is already an expert at violence, and Lindsay has repeatedly displayed a talent for wringing emotions out of killer situations. Eternal also marks Black Mask’s first entry in the original graphic novel format—potentially a fruitful new format for the upstart publisher. Steve Foxe

EternityGirl.jpegEternity Girl
Writer: Magdalene Visaggio
Artist: Sonny Liew
Publisher: Young Animal/DC Comics
Release Date: March 14
The Young Animal imprint at DC Comics, launched in 2016 and curated by Gerard Way, injected some much-needed change and weirdness into the lineup of titles at the publisher, and with several of the titles wrapping up or on hiatus, fans have been waiting to see what’s next. Young Animal’s ongoing titles will return in new forms later this year, but the announcement both of the “Milk Wars” event and Eternity Girl have rightfully garnered a lot of excitement. From writer Magdalene Visaggio and artist Sonny Liew, Eternity Girl marks the third Young Animal book to have a female titular character, this one a woman who can’t die—so she decides to destroy the universe. Visaggio has shown a penchant for fun action stories with serious emotional weight as well as great comedic timing, and it was no surprise to fans of her work that Kim & Kim was nominated for an Eisner last year. What’s particularly exciting is to see her working with Sonny Liew, whose skill with bright and overwhelming full-page spreads and grand fantastical elements made the most recent Doctor Fate run remarkable. The two of them together will take readers on a wild, visually engrossing journey, and the only bummer is that Eternity Girl is slated to just be a six-issue miniseries. Caitlin Rosberg

GideonFalls.jpegGideon Falls
Writer: Jeff Lemire
Artist: Andrea Sorrentino
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 7
Image Comics cemented its horror reputation throughout 2017, with breakout terror tales like Winnebago Graveyard and Redlands making bloody waves among fans. This March, the Old Man Logan and Green Arrow team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino launch their first creator-owned title together, based around the urban legend of the Black Barn, a structure that appears throughout history to foretell death and madness. Sorrentino’s shadow-drenched style is a perfect fit for the horror genre, but hasn’t been put to use in that arena since I, Vampire ended five years ago. This will be Lemire’s first straightforward horror entry, but the dual urban and rural settings should play to the same high-tension strengths he displayed in his Vertigo breakout Sweet Tooth. Horror fiends: Gideon Falls should be your number-one destination in 2018. Steve Foxe

HighestHouse.jpegThe Highest House
Writer: Mike Carey
Artist: Peter Gross
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Release Date: February 21
The latest collaboration between the Lucifer and The Unwritten team of Mike Carey and Peter Gross actually hit European shores a while back, but will finally become available to American readers via IDW Publishing in February. Tucked behind stunning covers from The Unwritten’s Yuko Shimizu, The Highest House tells the story of a slave boy named Moth who befriends a powerful entity known as Obsidian. Truth be told, after Vertigo heavyweights Lucifer and The Unwritten, there’s nothing Carey and Gross could publish that we wouldn’t recommend. These two industry veterans get sequential-art fantasy storytelling, and any new story from the pair is worth checking out. Steve Foxe

IceCreamMan.jpegIce Cream Man
Writer: W. Maxwell Prince
Artist: Martin Morazzo
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: January 17
It may not look like it, but Ice Cream Man may be the most unpredictable and unsettling comic on this list. Written by One Week in the Library W. Maxwell Prince with art by his Electric Sublime collaborator Martin Morazzo, Ice Cream Man is a Twilight Zone-like anthology loosely connected by the titular Ice Cream Man (and you should take the “Man” part with a grain of salt). Each issue introduces a new cast and a new tone, from addiction tragedy to a very productive, very poisonous spider. Prince is fast building an unusual resume in comics, and Morazzo’s style recalls the precise line work of greats like Frank Quitely. You’ll never look at ice-cream trucks the same way after this one. Steve Foxe

Writer: Pornshak Pichetshote
Artist: Aaron Campbell
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 14
It’s a good time to be a former Vertigo editor: founder Karen Berger is primed to launch her eponymous imprint at Dark Horse, Shelly Bond is digging deeper into Black Crown at IDW, Cliff Chiang continues to amaze on Paper Girls and now Pornshak Pichetshote joins the party with Infidel, a new horror series drawn by The Shadow and James Bond: Felix Leiter artist Aaron Campbell. Pichetshote’s writing debut updates the haunted house for the MAGA era, as a young Muslim woman and her multiracial neighbors move into a building stalked by spirits that feed off of xenophobia and racism. Like Days of Hate, Infidel pulls from the modern tumult to tell a thrilling genre story the way that only comics can, enhanced by Campbell’s shadowy style. Steve Foxe

IsThisGuyForReal.jpegIs This Guy For Real?
Writer/Artist: Box Brown
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: February 7
Cartoonist Box Brown sure knows how to pick his subjects. Following on the heels of his Andre the Giant biography and his deep dive into the history of Tetris, Brown takes a look at the controversial, confusing, contradictory life of comedian Andy Kaufman. Best known for his role on Taxi, Kaufman excelled as an offbeat stand-up comedian and had a surprisingly successful stint in wrestling before his early death from cancer at age 35, but his various public personas rarely matched his private life. Brown, who employs an appealing simplified cartooning style throughout, takes care to explore why Kaufman constructed these personalities, and what they said about the man behind Latka Gravas and Tony Clifton. Steve Foxe

Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Rachael Stott
Publisher: Vertigo/ DC Comics
Release Date: January 31
Despite the wellspring of Vertigo inspiration across the comics industry, from IDW’s Black Crown to many Image titles to DC’s own Young Animal imprint, the storied mature readers line has kept a modest title count in recent years. This month, The Spire auteur Simon Spurrier and Sex Criminals and The Wicked + The Divine contributor Rachael Stott bring us Motherlands, a six-issue mini-series set in a future awash with alternate realities, where the biggest celebrities are bounty hunters capable of tracking science criminals across different timelines and worlds. Protagonist Tab finds herself chasing a bounty so big she’ll need help from her greatest foil: her own mother, once the most feared bounty hunter in the business. With a mix of mother/daughter comedy and world-hopping action, Motherlands bodes well for Vertigo. Keep an eye out for Joshua Williamson and Riley Rossmo’s Deathbed too, joining Motherlands at Vertigo next month. Steve Foxe

MyFavoriteThingisMonsters2.jpgMy Favorite Thing Is Monsters, Vol. 2
Writer/Artist: Emil Ferris
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Release Date: August 14
Possibly the most anticipated indie book of the year, the second half of Emil Ferris’s explosive, intense story that addresses social unrest in 1960s Chicago (with strong parallels to today) doesn’t drop until August, so that’s a long time to anticipate. Ferris’ ballpoint-heavy, lovingly cross-hatched drawings take time, both to draw and to look at, so it’ll probably be worth the wait, but still… Hillary Brown

NewMutantsDeadSouls.jpegNew Mutants: Dead Souls
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Adam Gorham
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: March 14
For a seemingly endless period of darkness at the height of Disney/Fox contention over film rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four, Marvel seemed to de-prioritize the merry mutants, much to the chagrin of a generation raised on the animated series and mutant melodrama. Those gloomy days seem to be behind us, and now the publisher is even capitalizing on some movie synergy. New Mutants: Dead Souls revives the fan-favorite underdogs as a team willing to confront paranormal threats—a clear connection to both the Bill Sienkiewicz era and the upcoming horror-inspired movie. Written by Phoenix Resurrection scribe Matthew Rosenberg and drawn by Rocket’s Adam Gorham, New Mutants: Dead Souls looks to be a love letter to the franchise’s first junior-varsity team and a much-welcomed (if temporary) expansion of the X-line. Also on the horizon: a Legion mini-series from Peter Milligan (no stranger to mutants or madness) and artist Wilfredo Torres, hitting shops January 24th.Steve Foxe

NowFanta2.jpegNow 2 & 3
Writer/Artist: Various
Publisher: Fantagraphics
Release Date: January 24/ May 31
This comics anthology, which was new in 2017 from Fantagraphics, is driven by Eric Reynolds, who put together Mome from 2005 to 2011. The first volume featured work by Eleanor Davis, Noah Van Sciver, Gabrielle Bell, Dash Shaw, Sammy Harkham, Tommi Parrish and Malachi Ward, among others. It was fresh and immediate, not too fussy or too carefully vetted but beautifully produced. Issues 2 and 3 are due out this month and in May, respectively, and promise more good stuff from around the world. Hillary Brown

OblivionSongMostAnticipated.jpegOblivion Song
Writer: Robert Kirkman
Artist: Lorenzo De Felici
Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics
Release Date: March 7
Paste had the pleasure of sitting down last October with Skybound founder and The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman to help announce Oblivion Song, his upcoming ongoing series with Italian artist Lorenzo De Felici. Kirkman doesn’t really do small releases these days, with Outcast continuing to haunt horror fans and Invincible racing toward it blockbuster end, and Oblivion Song is poised to make quite the impact when it drops this March. Set a decade after 300,000 residents of Philadelphia are teleported into a nightmarish alternate world, Oblivion Song follows a scientist who won’t give up on recovering the people lost in a flash. De Felici employs a highly fluid style reminiscent of Rumble’s James Harren, and a knack for memorable creature design. If Kirkman’s track record is any indication, Oblivion Song is in for a big 2018. Steve Foxe

PrinceAndDressmaker.jpegThe Prince & The Dressmaker
Writer/Artist: Jen Wang
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: February 14
Jen Wang wowed readers with her art for In Real Life with Cory Doctorow, and her latest release sees Wang handling both script and art for an identity-bending romance set in old-timey Paris. Prince Sebastian’s parents are seeking a bride for their son, but Sebastian is much more passionate about his secret life as Lady Crystallia, Paris’ favorite fashion icon. Sebastian lives his fabulous second life with the help of his dressmaker best friend Frances, who keeps his secret but longs for greatness beyond her silent success with Lady Crystallia. Wang delicately navigates questions of personal identity while spinning a charming love story and bringing to life a gorgeously decadent period in French fashion and culture. The Prince & The Dressmaker is a timeless fairy tale for the modern age. Steve Foxe

PrismStalker.jpgPrism Stalker
Writer/Artist: Sloane Leong
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: March 7
There’s no lack of Magical Girl and Chosen One stories in comics at the moment, but most of them are targeted toward young adult or middle grade readers—all-ages books with styles and sensibilities to match. But these tropes have even more to offer in the context of work oriented toward adults, and Sloane Leong is the perfect person to remind readers of that potential. Leong contributed to the Image Comics fantasy series From Under Mountains, and it’s gratifying that creators like her continue to find space for superhero-free speculative fiction in the medium. Early teases of Prism Stalker often reference novelist Octavia Butler, and the plot sounds like it would fit right in on a shelf with Afrofuturist novels and speculative fiction written by other people of color. It’s a story rooted in family and technology and metaphors for colonialism that should prove confrontational and unflinching. Comics can always use more speculative fiction stories, especially those created by artists with new angles or perspectives to explore, and Leong’s strong record so far makes Prism Stalker an easy title to recommend. Caitlin Rosberg

SeedsAja.jpgThe 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

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.jpegSwamp 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.jpegThe 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.jpgTwisted 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

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.jpegWhy 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.jpegThe 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.jpgX-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.jpegYoung 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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