Once again, we’re here to rank this week’s comics, with everything from the return of Rob Liefeld to a Black Superman crashing in 1920s Mississippi. So, what took No. 1?
As a reminder, these are ranked on accessibility, quality, and, of course, your critic’s overall educated opinion. A lowly ranked book might be perfectly fine, but just might be less accessible to new readers. With that in mind, our No. 1!
1) Strange Fruit #1
Mark Waid and J.G. Jones aren’t beating around the bush with this one; Superman has just crash-landed in 1920s Mississippi, he’s a 6-foot black man, and he’s not taking sh*t from anybody. But what makes it work is that nobody, aside from a handful of minor idiot Klansmen, is a complete cartoon character of a villain; they’re definitely bad people, but they’re bad people with texture and complexity that make them interesting as well as hissable.
Oh, and J.G. Jones is on art, so it’s beautiful. This book is the whole package; make a point of picking it up.
2) Archie #1
Archie as a company has made some pretty bold moves, lately, but this might be their riskiest yet; taking a shot at reinventing their classic romantic teen comedy staple, and bringing in Mark Waid and Fiona Staples to do it. And the heck of it is… it works. Waid’s story is a gentle, funny story about a break-up, and the things your friends do to try and help you out, and Staples handles the tough job of reinventing some iconic characters in comics with skill. In short, it’s the most surprising must-read of the year.
3) Harrow County #3
Cullen Bunn and Tyler Crook’s horror tale/fairy story follows up two knockout issues with a third that’s just as great. Emmy is slowly realizing the power she has, but she’s just a teenage girl. And, unlike the witch she might be the reincarnation of, Emmy wants to do the right thing. Unfortunately, the haints in the woods aren’t quite so inclined. A superb book, unlike anything else on the stands right now, and a must-read.
4) Constantine: The Hellblazer #2
Ming Doyle and James Tynion IV really bring Constantine back to his Vertigo roots in this series. It’s a little surprising, but welcome. As Constantine hunts a ghost killer, we get to see the mournful side of this bastard magician. If you’ve missed the old, nasty John, this is the book to pick up.
5) Negative Space #1
Guy is sensitive. Guy is a profound writer. Guy is trying to write his suicide note, and a vaguely menacing corporation/alien conspiracy/herd of douchebags would very much like Guy, one of the most powerful empaths in the world, to write something they can weaponize before he bumps himself off. Unfortunately for them, things are about to get very, very weird.