Required Reading: Comics for 1/11/2017

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Kindred: A Graphic Novel Adaptation

Writers: Octavia Butler, Damian Duffy
Artist: John Jennings
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts

Octavia Butler's Kindred is a severely under-appreciated work of genre fiction, marrying a central sci-fi convention (time travel) to a harrowing story of blackness in America. Publisher Abrams has solicited Damian Duffy and John Jennings to adapt Butler's landmark 1979 novel into comic form, a move that will hopefully draw more readers to the original book and Butler's outstanding contribution to an industry that still struggles to lift up and acknowledge voices of color. Jennings' art focuses more on storytelling than visual flair, but as long as the adaptation remains faithful to protagonist Dana's leaps back and forth from her home in 1976 America to her ancestry's origins during the slavery era, Kindred should make for a worthy companion to the source material. Steve Foxe

Lobster Johnson: Garden of Bones #1

Writers: Mike Mignola & John Arcudi
Artist: Stephen Green
Publisher: Dark Horse

Mike Mignola's Lobster Johnson has always felt like a pulp indulgence for the legendary creator—a character through which Mignola can explore the genre's conventions without the weight of too much narrative expectation. That's not to say that Lobster's adventures, with cowriter John Arcudi, aren't going anywhere; his various one-shots and mini-series have altered the vigilante's supporting cast and pushed pieces around the board of organized crime in Lobster's city. Mignola and Arcudi, joined here by rising Mignolaverse contributor Stephen Green, task Lobster with investigating the man—or former man—attacking the NYPD. Lobster's always had a contentious relationship with authority, which means zombies may prove to be the least of his problems in this pulpy outing. Steve Foxe

Red Sonja #1

Writer: Amy Chu
Artist: Carlos E. Gomez
Publisher: Dynamite

Fandom's favorite Robert E. Howard-inspired chainmail-clad warrior woman returns for her fourth or fifth solo series in three years, this time from rising writer Amy Chu and artist Carlos E. Gomez. The previous launch, from fan-favorite scribe Marguerite Bennett and artist Aneke, offered a promising take on the fiery redhead, but ended after just one arc. Chu, who also writes Dynamite's KISS comics, clearly has a hunger to make the intellectual property her own, and she and Gomez will be doing just that by plopping the barbarian in modern times. Red Sonja may not be destined for long runs in the modern market, but new takes from rising women writers are always welcome. Steve Foxe