Cursed Comics Cavalcade, Infinite Dark, Murder Falcon & More in Required Reading: Comics for 10/10/2018

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<i>Cursed Comics Cavalcade</i>, <i>Infinite Dark</i>, <i>Murder Falcon</i> & More in Required Reading: Comics for 10/10/2018

Can you feel it swirling in their air? No, not the infectious cloud of germs left behind from New York Comic Con. Big Halloween Energy is here. While the most exciting entry on our list might be a cartoon continuation, three of this Wednesday’s enticing new releases tie into our spookiest season, and we’re still a few weeks out from the 31st. Just imagine what horrors might await us on October’s remaining Wednesdays! If scary subjects aren’t for you, we’ve also got Daniel Warren Johnson’s highly anticipated new solo series, tie-ins to popular fantasy novels and videogames, the next installment in Marvel’s malevolent mutant mini-series, the latest Brubaker/Phillips crime joint and the first entry in a new YA series that deals with the rarely explored topic of ability. Enjoy your New Comic Book Day, and watch out for ghosts and ghouls on your way to the shop.


Adventure Time Season 11 #1

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Writers: Sonny Liew & Ted Anderson
Artist: Marina Julia
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Fear not, Adventure Time super-fans: although the Cartoon Network sensation has concluded its groundbreaking televised run, the story of Jake the dog and Finn the human—not to mention Princess Bubblegum, Marceline, Ice King and dozens of others—is far from over. Adventure Time Season 11, BOOM! Studios’ latest comic tie-in to the Emmy Award-winning animated series, hits shelves this Wednesday, and serves as the official continuation of the Land of Ooo and its many inhabitants. Co-written by Ted Anderson and Eisner Award-winner Sonny and illustrated by artist Marina Julia, Adventure Time Season 11 takes place in the aftermath of The Great Gum War, and it’s up to Finn, Jake and some new and unexpected friends to pick up the pieces. BOOM! Studios has always done right by the Adventure Time franchise, and this latest step may be their most mathematical move yet. Steve Foxe


Cursed Comic Cavalcade #1

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Writer: James T. Tynion IV, Vita Ayala, Others
Artist: Riccardo Federici, Riley Rossmo, Others
Publisher: DC Comics
Themed anthology comics are made for holidays, and especially subjects like Halloween. Cursed Comic Cavalcade promises all sorts of spooky adventures and horror starring familiar faces like Swamp Thing and Zatanna, not to mention often underutilized hero Guy Gardner. The issue is well over the average monthly comic cost at $9.99, but the book boasts 80 pages of content from a creative roster that’s bursting with skill and Halloween spirit. If names like Tim Seeley, Bryan Hill, and James Tynion IV aren’t enough to draw a reader, there’s plenty more to choose from. Riley Rossmo, who is working on the impending Martial Manhunter comic with Steve Orlando, contributes his unmistakable artwork, and Cursed Comic Cavalcade also includes some of the first DC Comics work from Kim & Kim’s Mags Visaggio. It’s an all-star lineup producing a book full of terror born in Gotham and beyond—a sample platter perfect for new readers and those obsessed with Halloween alike. In other words, it’s all treat, no trick. Caitlin Rosberg


Dragon Age: Deception #1

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Writers: Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir
Artist: Fernando Heinz Furukawa
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Video games like Dragon Age have plots and casts that rival the most ambitious worldbuilding in novels, so it makes sense that comics would look to capitalize on expanding the stories told in them. The Dark Horse Dragon Age comics are entirely within canon, approved by the game’s creators and building on the work done at BioWare. Deception marks the return of the creative team behind last year’s Knight Errant series, this time telling a story of lies and theft. An actress turned con-woman travels to Tevinter with a specific mark in mind, but quickly learns that she might have gotten herself in more danger than anticipated. It’s always good to see a creative team working together again, and since they’ve tackled a Dragon Age story before, it builds confidence that the story will be as sharp, engaging and fun as they do so again. Artist Fernando Heinz Furukawa’s work is particularly worth checking out, bringing new life to characters that will be familiar to Dragon Age fans. Caitlin Rosberg


Infinite Dark #1

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Writer: Ryan Cady
Artist: Andrea Mutti
Publisher: Top Cow/ Image Comics
As Halloween season descends, it’s the perfect time to introduce a new mystery comic based in one of the most terrifying settings imaginable. Somehow, crime and terror in space always seem amplified, that much more frightening than it would be on solid ground. Writer Ryan Cady is an Image veteran with titles like Warframe and Magdalena under his belt, but Infinite Dark feels new, the story of a security officer on a far-flung space station investigating the very first murder to happen on her watch. The stakes are high, as the 2,000 people trapped on the station together are all that’s left of humanity. Andrea Mutti has illustrated work for a slew of different publishers, including titles like Hellblazer and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, proving he can do well with an atmosphere of fear and violence. Infinite Dark just may fill the Southern Cross-shaped hole in Image’s lineup and reader’s hearts. Caitlin Rosberg


Last Pick

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Writer/Artist: Jason Walz
Publisher: First Second
As middle-grade and young adult graphic novels continue to spread and dominate the market, it can be tough to find something that feels new and fresh. Last Pick is just that. The first in a three-part series by Eisner-nominated Jason Walz, whose name might be familiar to fans of his previous work Homesick and A Story for Desmond, Last Pick has some familiar tropes, starring two teenage siblings hiding from an invading alien force that has reduced Earth to a nearly post-apocalyptic state. What sets the book apart isn’t that the majority of humans are gone, but who is left: the aliens have rounded up all able-bodied adults, and the leftovers are the sort of people that get picked last for team sports at school: children, the elderly and people with disabilities. The story unfolds quickly, as is appropriate for this kind of adventure story, and soon enough the siblings are separated, one of them deemed grown enough and fit enough for off-world use, the other set apart by his autism. Though it’s only the first third of the story, Last Pick is a kind but unflinching examination of the strength of family bonds and the folly of underestimating people who are different, especially those who have been told they can’t do things on their own. Walz’s art is accessible and deceptively simplistic, caught between being realistic and cartoony. It will appeal to kids who’ve come to love cartoons that have many of the same messages, from Steven Universe to Gravity Falls. Caitlin Rosberg


Murder Falcon #1

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Writer/Artist: Daniel Warren Johnson
Publisher: Skybound/ Image Comics
Murder Falcon sounds like the type of comic that would come out of a van with a painting of a wizard on the side—the sort of comic made after watching one too many dude wish-fulfillment movies from the ‘80s. It revolves around a man who’s up a creek and utterly paddle-less until the titular Murder Falcon arrives at the bidding of a mysterious power on a quest to save the world. Jake’s girlfriend is gone and his dream of being in a band abandoned, but there’s a hero from another world that needs him to play guitar to provide fuel to face the powers of evil. If it weren’t for the creator attached to this title, it could be very off-putting to some readers, but Daniel Warren Johnson’s Extremity, not to mention his highly detailed and kinetic art, has won him a lot of leeway with fans. There was real heart and palpable fear in Extremity, so expectations are high for Johnson’s follow up. Murder Falcon seems to be a large shift in tone and subject, but the power of metal is wide-reaching and intriguing enough to check this one out. Caitlin Rosberg


My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies

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Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Sean Phillips
Publisher: Image Comics
Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips are hardly unknown quantities when it comes to comics. The creative team behind titles like Criminal, The Fade Out, Fatale, Incognito, and Kill or Be Killed, they’ve been working together long enough to have gathered a strong fan base that will follow them eagerly from project to project. The newest addition is a graphic novel rather than monthly serial, and firmly rated for adults (which shouldn’t be a surprise based on their track record). My Heroes Have Always Been Junkies is part Girl, Interrupted and part Almost Famous, focusing on a young woman obsessed with drugs and the people who use and abuse them. The ability of teenage girls to fixate on a single subject is infamous, but Brubaker and Phillips take it a step further and push main character Ellie into rehab and a situation where she learns that drugs and an entirely different kind of crime can be comfortable bedfellows. What happens to Ellie next is just the type of mystery for this creative team to tackle, and readers can enjoy the whole wild ride in one installment. Caitlin Rosberg


Phantasmagoria: The Ghost Lens #1

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Writer: El Torres
Artist: Ángel Hernández
Publisher: Amigo Comics
Just in time for Halloween comes a new story of Victorian horror, murder, dark creatures and cults. Writer El Torres is well known for his horror work, including The Veil and last year’s Eisner-nominated Ghost of Gaudi. Phantasmagoria: The Ghost Lens is a four-part miniseries with Lovecraftian elements and ghosts, elder gods and wizards all sharing page space. It’s a little bit Extraordinary Gentlemen, with some China Mieville thrown in for good measure. Artist Ángel Hernández’s work has most often been applied to superhero titles so far, but he has a talent for atmospheric panels that are perfectly suited for a title like Phantasmagoria. Next week, another book by Torres wraps up at Amigo: Nancy in Hell #4 with art by Abel Cicero. Amigo certainly is doing the best it can to bring more Spanish comics and creators to the States, breaking down a barrier to bring America even more diverse talent and perspectives. Caitlin Rosberg


Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1

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Writer: V.E. Schwab
Artist: Andrea Olimpieri
Publisher: Titan Comics
Though it’s not uncommon to see comic adaptations of books, it’s far less frequently that authors turn to comics to kick off new stories that tie into their prose work, but that’s exactly the case with the Shades of Magic series. V.E. Schwab is a best-selling novelist, famous for her popular gas-lamp fantasy series Shades of Magic. Since Titan comics has adapted other books before, including Ben Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London, Schwab and artist Andrea Olimpieri are in experienced hands. The Steel Prince takes place in an alternate version of London and stars Red Prince Maxim, who quickly finds himself in danger. The Shades of Magic world has magic, alternate realities and swashbuckling aplenty, which should be more than enough to attract comics readers who may not be familiar with the series. Schwab has a well-earned reputation for exciting, dynamic storytelling and Olimpieri’s previous work on Dishonored is lush with sharp, dark shapes, fractured and unsettling in a manner that’s ideal for the world Schwab has built. Caitlin Rosberg


X-Men Black: Mojo #1

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Writers: Scott Aukerman, Lonnie Nadler & Zac Thompson
Artists: Nick Bradshaw, André Lima Araújo, Geraldo Borges,
Publisher: Marvel Comics
For the second installment of the villain-focused X-Men Black series, the universe’s most successful producer returns to comics for a single issue of meta-mayhem. Of course Mojo’s got a scheme to boost his ratings and get more viewers, and it won’t surprise anyone to learn that the X-Men are likely to suffer for it. There’s a lot of talent on this book, including Scott Aukerman and Nick Bradshaw, but one of the most exciting is artist André Lima Araújo, who has contributed in the past to other Marvel titles but really shined on Generation Gone with Ales Kot. The price is a little steep at $4.99, but X-Men Black: Mojo is a full 32 page thanks to the second part of X-Men Black: Apocalypse, a back-up story running throughout the X-Men: Black issues and written by Zac Thomspon and Lonnie Nadler, with art by Geraldo Borges. Who doesn’t need a little more Mojo in their lives? Caitlin Rosberg

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