The first major New Comic Book Day of the year has arrived. But what tops the rankings?
1) The Sheriff of Babylon #2
Tom King and Mitch Gerads expand their noir thriller, set in Iraq during the war, and manage to keep a lot of plot balls in the air at once. What stands out most about this is that Gerads is a master of drawing dispassion and disappointment; much of this book is about faces and looking away, and he fills it with emotion. Not that King is any slouch, as he reveals he’s working on a huge canvas and yet makes each plotline feel honest and intimate. Two issues in, this is a complicated
2) Bitch Planet #6
Bitch Planet takes a little break from the Megaton narrative to focus on Meiko Maki and what got her sent to the Auxiliary Compliance Outpost. It’s a harrowing tale of sexual assault and violence, and also gives readers a better look at what can get you sent to Bitch Planet in the first place. While this doesn’t further the overarching narrative at all (That’ll pick up again in #7), it does add to the broader idea of noncompliance and what makes this book so extraordinary. Kelly Sue DeConnick’s anger is palpable and just, and Valentine De Landro’s pulpy art will keep your eyes glued to the page. I can’t call this a fun read by any stretch, but that doesn’t make it any less of a critical one. — Alyssa Fikse
3) Vision #3
Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta deliver the next step in their suburban noir starring the Vision and his newly manufactured family. The opening alone is worth reading, it’s a sharp deconstruction of how we view the outsider versus what we say out loud. But the rest of the book is even better; the Visions are becoming more human every day, and that’s bad news. A must-read, and a strange, compelling book from Marvel.
4) Four Eyes: Hearts of Fire #1
Joe Kelly and Max Fiumara deliver a story of a boy and his dragon, during the Depression, and while that sounds like a goofy book, in practice Fiumara and Kelly want to have a long talk with you about animal cruelty. All of it’s seen through the eyes of a child, too, making this book particularly heartbreaking… but also a must-read.
5) Giant Days #10
Ester the college party animal meets her match in Big Lindsay, a friend from school. John Allison cleverly makes you think you know just who Lindsay is before pulling an enormous switch, and paired with Max Sarin’s open, funny art makes for a slightly touching moment. Basically, if you’ve ever gone to college, it’s a comic worth reading.