Thanks to it being a five-Wednesday month, this New Comic Book Day is a bit light. But there are some great books on the stands every Wednesday, and this week is no exception. What took No. 1?
1) Starve #7
The chef at the center of Starve has been booted off his kitchen competition show and can’t open a new, high-end restaurant. So he opens a chicken shack instead and makes high-end food anyway. Brian Wood and Danijel Zezelj focus here on the mechanics of food, of building a restaurant and how the job of a place that sells food is to nourish the community, not just the customers. And it does it without being preachy, which is a small miracle in of itself. Starve has become more and more fascinating with each passing issue, as the near-future trappings have dropped away and Zezelj has given the book an angular, almost mosaic-esque style all its own. If you’re looking for something different, it doesn’t get more different, or better, than this.
2) A&A: The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #1
Armstrong, the drunken immortal, and Archer, his overly sober teenage ninja sidekick, are back, and exploring Armstrong’s mysterious, bottomless satchel. Why? Booze, of course, or at least that’s how it seems. Rafer Roberts and David Lafuente give this already bizarre concept a heavy dose of Alice in Wonderland and it’s a surprisingly funny mix. If you’re looking for something very, very offbeat, this is the perfect book for your pull-list.
3) Spider-Woman #5
Jessica Drew faces her greatest challenge: Not turning into either a helicopter parent or a complete wreck. Dennis Hopeless has a few observations about how new parents lose it, but the best moments here are Jessica revealing who the father is, and Javier Rodriguez’s absolutely hilarious string of panels that wordlessly show Jessica becoming slowly convinced her babysitter is burning down the building during her supposed “night off” with her friends. New parents will likely relate, and it gives the book an offbeat feel Marvel’s best books, lately, have needed.
4) Huck #5
Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque have deconstructed the idea of Superman as morally innocent… and now they’re putting it back together. It’s a smart tack not least because it keeps Huck, the corn-fed Iowa superman doing one good deed a day, from being an asinine goody-goody, and also, truthfully, when it comes to meat-and-potatoes superheroics with a little soulfulness to them, Millar and Albuquerque are pretty damn good at it.
5) Power Man and Iron Fist #2
Luke Cage and Danny Rand are friends, but they’re not partners. Or, at least, that’s how Luke sees it, but the reality of the situation is a bit more flexible than he cares to admit. David Walker and Sanford Greene pull off a relaxed buddy comedy here that’s full of funny lines and, more importantly, character. Even minor supervillains get funny scenes here, like a duo arguing over whether to confront Luke and Danny or supervillains hanging out and sharing gossip. At its best, it feels like a superheroic Pulp Fiction,.