It’s hard to commit to an ongoing. Reboots, team changes, redesigns, cancellations…we’ve all had an ongoing that we fell in love with, and then the publisher broke our hearts.
Which makes miniseries an enticing proposition because, first of all, they tell a complete story, and secondly, you know it won’t get cancelled right when it’s getting good.
So, we hit the stands, read some of the minis going on right now, and found five that are worth your time and hard-earned comics money.
Courtesy of IDW, and one of the best books we’ve read all year.
The conceit is simple: what if the world we know was powered by magic instead of science? And, in a world where the fantastic is mundane, how would they react to a professional illusionist.
The book works because Mike Costa’s writing never goes “wacky”; the world is carefully defined, with specific rules of magic, and not so very different from our own. It keeps these basically superheroic characters relatable, while also capturing the joy of seeing a magic trick and not knowing how it’s done, and Ryan Browne’s art is simultaneously fantastic and down to earth.
Too often, pop culture nostalgia kicks get it horribly wrong: they’re all about the surface, and not what makes pop culture relics fun in the first place.
The first “Bulletproof Coffin” miniseries, however, nailed it, while also pushing the work beyond just a nostalgia trip and into something genuinely weird and sometimes disturbing. “Disinterred” fleshes out each of the characters introduced, while adding some tantalizing hints about the world the book takes place in. Shaky Kane’s art is beautiful, and David Hine’s writing is clever and precise.
There are a lot of John Carter books on the shelves right now, largely thanks to Dynamite, but these in particular stand out because, well, honestly because they’re not rush jobs. Sam Humphries has a huge affection for the character, as the stories are constructed very much like the Haggard originals, and Perez’s artwork is quite a lot of fun, paying tribute to Frank Frazetta without imitating him.
Tom Mandrake is one of the best horror comics artists out there right now, and this reboot, which brings Marv Wolfman back to horror, is actually one of DCs more engaging and fun experiments. It’s a throwback in some senses, but very modern in others, and frankly it’s great to see Wolfman and Mandrake working together in a genre they do damn well.
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