Detective Comics #1000, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, GLOW & More in Required Reading: Comics for 3/27/2019

Comics Lists Required Reading
Detective Comics #1000, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, GLOW & More in Required Reading: Comics for 3/27/2019

The final week in March ends up balanced in an unusual way—not between Marvel and DC Comics, but between the old, the new and the next generation. Three entries on our list collect series that aren’t just concluded, but which have been published in prior editions and are returning to shelves in deluxe or more affordable formats. We’ve also got an important Bat-milestone, a fresh TV tie-in, a new flight for Sabrina the Teenage Witch and four books that speak specifically to the comic readers of tomorrow. Whether via cartoon spin-offs, teen-friendly monthly comics or graphic novels specifically geared toward YA and middle-grader readers, these books go a long way toward ensuring that Required Reading will continue for years to come.

STL111230.jpeg30 Days of Night 100-Page Giant
Writers: Kelly Sue DeConnick & Steve Niles
Artist: Justin Randall
Publisher: IDW Publishing
One of many comic-book industry anniversaries this year, IDW Publishing is celebrating 20 years in business, and as part of the festivities, they’re revisiting comics from the past with an eye out for new readers and old fans alike. Out of print for years, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Steve Niles’s run on 30 Days of Night returns in the form of an oversized single issue. The complete story arc is collected in this one book, and a cover price of just five bucks should be low enough for most folks to check it out. Given DeConnick’s fandom for her work on Captain Marvel, Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly, this issue is a perfect gateway for folks who may want to get into horror comics but aren’t sure where to start. Part of the larger 30 Days of Night series that was created by Steve Niles and Ben Templesmith in the early 2000s, this arc focuses specifically on Eben and Stella, the sheriff of isolated Barrow, Alaska, and his wifem respectfully. Artist Justin Randall’s atmospheric art, with deep shadows and organic colors, are a huge asset to a book like this one, so this is a must-read artifact for fans of vampires, horror and DeConnick alike. Caitlin Rosberg

detective1000JimLee_cover.jpgDetective Comics #1000
Writers: Peter Tomasi, Brian Michael Bendis, Warren Ellis, Others
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Greg Capullo, Becky Cloonan, Others
Publisher: DC Comics
Just before the holidays,, DC Comics announced details on the 1,000th issue of Detective Comics, including creative teams and a first look at the Arkham Knight. The milestone represents 80 years of Batman history, featuring a wrap-around cover from Jim Lee and a main story from current Detective Comics collaborators Peter J. Tomasi and Doug Mahnke, who introduce a version of the Arkham Knight to mainstream continuity for the first time. Alongside Tomasi and Mahnke, DC has announced a slew of Gotham veterans who have contributed stories to the anthology, including Paul Dini, Brian Michael Bendis, Neal Adams, Alex Maleev, Becky Cloonan, Geoff Johns and more, with variant covers lined up from Steve Rude, Michael Cho, Jim Steranko, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Tim Sale, Jock, Greg Capullo and Bruce Timm. Josh Hilgenberg

DialHMostAnticipated.jpegDial H for Hero #1
Writer: Sam Humphries
Artist: Joe Quinones
Publisher: Wonder Comics/ DC Comics
The last time the Hero Dial had its own series, readers were treated to a delirious acid trip from weird-fiction megastar China Mieville and artists including Mateus Santolouco. It’s an easy bet that Sam Humphries and Joe Quinones’ Dial H for Hero will take a different, but no less exciting approach. Teased in Brian Michael Bendis’ Action Comics and published under Bendis’ Wonder Comics teen-focused imprint, Dial H for Hero introduces Miguel, a teen daredevil and the newest wielder of the Hero Dial, capable of becoming a different weird hero every time he spins the rotary-phone-like contraption. Humphries has recently found success at DC as the new Harley Quinn writer, and Quinones has been a fan-favorite cartoonist since he piloted Hal Jordan through the skies in the pages of Wednesday Comics. Humphries and Quinones have six issues full of dialing to entice readers—and if the genius artistic surprise in this first issue is anything to go by, readers will find themselves answering eagerly each and every issue. Steve Foxe

GLOWMostAnticipated.jpgGLOW #1
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Hannah Templer
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Get ready for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling! Hailing from Netflix and appearing this week in your local comic shop, GLOW is an absolute must-buy for viewers of the Netflix series and wrestling fans in general. WWE comic alum (and newly announced Marvel exclusive) Tini Howard teams up with artist Hannah Templer on this four-issue IDW miniseries, which follows Ruth, Debbie and the rest of the GLOW roster as they unexpectedly find themselves scheduled to step into the ring with veteran women wrestlers for a charity event. Howard’s done exceptional work on the WWE comic writing the likes of Asuka and Finn Balor, and Templer’s Jem and the Holograms: Dimensions run is a perfect fit for this peak ‘80s experience. Frankly, this comic will also be a refreshing and welcome change of pace from a wrestling comics landscape dominated by works centering male wrestlers (and frequently male creators). Get ready to rumble, folks: you’re gonna pay for the whole seat, and knowing Tini Howard, you’ll only need the edge. C.K. Stewart

STL106292.jpegHouse of Penance Library Edition
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Ian Bertram
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
House of Penance is a grand, gothic epic built on a foundation of pupil-dilating art, informed by one of the most bizarre incidents of late 19th-century history. Sarah Winchester—the widow of the man who founded the Winchester Repeating Arms Company—built a sprawling San Jose mansion to house the souls of the Native Americans and soldiers who fell victim to the weaponry her husband forged. Writer Peter Tomasi writes in the constrained, eloquent dialogue of past-century spook slingers M.R. James or Bram Stoker, but artist Ian Bertram wraps the plot in winding, grid-bound tendrils of blood and architecture, conjuring a dwarfing sense of doom that no character escapes. The closest we’ll ever get to a collaboration between Edgar Allan Poe and M.C. Escher, House of Penance is horror that could only be accomplished in comics, and its morbid majesty has to be seen to be understood—which makes this deluxe, oversized collection, complete with sketches and other extras, a perfect purchase for fans new and old. Sean Edgar & Steve Foxe

STL111366.jpegMarvel Rising #1
Writer: Nilah Magruder
Artist: Rob Di Salvo
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Nilah Magruder has a well-earned reputation for writing emotionally compelling, adventurous stories for kids and young adults, not the least of which is her book M.F.K. The winner of the very first Dwayne McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics in 2015, Magruder has been working on a wide variety of different projects since then, including Dactyl Hill Squad with Daniel Jose Older. This week brings Marvel Rising, a new comic by Magruder and artist Rob Di Salvo, based on the animated show of the same name and starring some of Marvel’s most popular young female heroes. The series is set to be five issues, telling the story of Ms. Marvel and Squirrel Girl as they rush to rescue New Jersey from an army of invading knights with modern technology. It’s good that Magruder and Di Salvo appear to be on all five issues of the run; last year Marvel published a similar comic that has been collected under the same Marvel Rising name, but the individual issues all had different titles and unconnected numbering. Fans of Doreen, Kamala, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse or Magruder herself should check this first issue out. Caitlin Rosberg

MeraMostAnticipated.jpegMera: Tidebreaker
Writer: Danielle Paige
Artist: Stephen Byrne
Publisher: DC Ink/ DC Comics
The first DC Ink book to become available for YA readers in 2019, Mera: Tidebreaker has the benefit of not only excellent post-movie timing but also an amazing creative team. Danielle Paige is the New York Times-bestselling author of books including Dorothy Must Die, the start of a series that offers a twist on familiar Wizard of Oz stories. While Stephen Byrne has found success as an artist for DC Comics’ main line, he also has a substantial following online for several fan comics he made that subsequently went viral; a series called “After the Snap” that he drew after Avengers: Infinity War took the internet by storm last year. Paige and Byrne are an ideal team to tackle a character like Mera—powerful but often overlooked or overshadowed by her association with Aquaman. In Tidebreaker, Mera isn’t just fighting for herself, but for her people who have been persecuted under the rule of the Atlantean king. It’s gratifying to see DC Ink and Zoom embracing a mix of veteran creators and fresh faces, giving creators from underrepresented groups an opportunity to make something special for a new audience and draw them into the DC universe. Caitlin Rosberg

9781506704609.jpgMind MGMT Omnibus Vol. 1: The Manager and the Futurist
Writer/Artist: Matt Kindt
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
We here at Paste Magazine are, historically, big fans of cartoonist Matt Kindt and his profound, perfectly plotted masterpieces Mind MGMT and Dept. H. We’ve named both, at one time or another, to Best Of lists, and if you share our intense fandom—or have somehow missed out on Kindt’s creations—you can begin correcting that oversight this week. Mind MGMT Omnibus Vol. 1: The Manager and the Futurist binds together the first dozen issues of Mind MGMT alongside stories from Dark Horse Presents and the website i09, plus never-before-reprinted fake ads, back covers and inside-cover stories from the original single issues. In the pages of Mind MGMT, a journalist investigates the confounding mystery of a commercial flight where everyone aboard loses their memories. Meru’s obsession with Flight 815 eventually snowballs into weaponized psychics, hypnotic advertising, talking dolphins and the flight’s missing passenger: Mind MGMT’s greatest success—and its most devastating failure. Just $24.99 gets you over 400 pages of Kindt’s mad mystery, which should put you well on the way toward catching up. Steve Foxe

SabrinaTeenageWitchMostAnticipated.jpegSabrina the Teenage Witch #1
Writer: Kelly Thompson
Artist: Veronica Fish
Publisher: Archie Comics
Archie’s announcement of writer Kelly Thompson and artist Veronica Fish on a new Sabrina the Teenage Witch series was bittersweet—with the successful launch of Netflix’s horror-focused Sabrina series, many readers are eager for Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Robert Hack’s The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to resume some sort of regular schedule—or, barring that, for a new creative team to continue the devil-worshipping antics of the Spellman clan. While a more consistent Chilling Adventure still seems out of reach, Sabrina fans have Thompson and Fish’s more lighthearted take to look forward to—perhaps a welcome balance to the darkness, after all. Thompson excels at projects like this (check out Jem and the Holograms and Nancy Drew for proof), while Fish’s time on the main Archie series more than prepares her for this witchy sister series. Steve Foxe

ZMSUPSO.jpgSuper Sons: The Polarshield Project
Writer: Ridley Pearson
Artist: Ile Gonzalez
Publisher: DC Zoom/ DC Comics
One of the comic industry’s most-anticipated moments of 2019 is finally upon us: the launch of DC Comics’ DC Zoom imprint for middle-grade readers (ages eight to 12) and DC Ink imprint for YA audiences (ages 13 and up). Designed to reach a readership frequently ignored by mainstream superhero comics, DC Zoom and DC Ink have recruited major prose talent from the middle-grade and YA worlds to write these new adventures, including Ridley Pearson, perhaps best known for the Kingdom Keepers series. Pearson is first up to bat for DC Zoom with Super Sons: The Polarshield Project. Illustrated by newcomer Ile Gonzalez, The Polarshield Project kicks off a trilogy that re-imagines the titular Super Sons—Jon Kent and Damian “Ian” Wayne—from the ground up, maintaining their familial bonds to Superman and Batman but otherwise largely revamping their heroic journeys and centering a plot involving climate change. To find out more about this opportunity to introduce young superhero fans to sequential art, check out our recent interview with Pearson. Steve Foxe

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