A Tech Apocalypse Beckons In This Week’s Best New Comics

Dark Horse

One of our most pressing concerns is what we can do about the planet. Aside from a few notable holdouts, the reality of climate change is settling in, and that opens the door to a host of questions, not the least of which is what we’re going to do if the worst-case scenarios come to pass. In The Seeds, which launches today from Dark Horse, Ann Nocenti and David Aja ask not just what we’d do, but what other intelligences might think of the matter.

The book is ostensibly about “Zone B,” a walled-off area in an unidentified city where there’s no technology. Once you go over the wall, you’re cut off for good. Nocenti tells the story from three perspectives: A reporter looking to write something meaningful in a world that doesn’t care, a young woman just trying to get by and live her life, and an unusual young man who turns out to be more than he seems. Nocenti’s approach is more character-focused; there’s a fascinating bit, at one point, where an editor explains that the story becomes the facts, no matter what reality has to say.

Aja, meanwhile, executes the book with considerable panache. It’s done in black and white, with very much a Cold War feel, giving the book an ’80s throwback feel in some ways. But Aja softens his lines here to give everything a bit more gauzy of a feel, to slightly soften the harsh setting, and it makes for a book that feels weirdly futuristic and nostalgic at the same time. There’s a lot of SF on the stands, these days, but The Seeds stands out both for its retro style and thoughtful approach to what may be some pressing questions.

Image Comics

Leviathan #1, Image Comics

John Layman and Nick Pitarra take on kaiju movies and love with this affectionate parody of monster movies. Ryan is out on a beer run when a giant monster shows up out of nowhere. Since this is a kaiju movie, and there’s no plot in these movies that don’t hinge on being dumb, Ryan sprints into the carnage to save the woman he loves. That… doesn’t go as planned. The satirical tone, and Pitarra’s exaggerated art, make this a brisk, funny take on giant monsters in funnybooks.

Robots Vs. Princesses #1, Dynamite

Todd Mathy and Nicolas Chapius impressively keep a straight face with their ridiculous premise, namely that a set of knock-off Disney Princesses and ersatz Transformers have shared a realm for centuries and only now have finally run into each other. Part of what makes this book so amusing is that it’s surprisingly careful to establish a few rules and stick to them, and at no point does it break character, even when it dances right up to the line of needling both franchises. The result is an all-ages book that’ll give parents a chuckle and that they can hand off to their kids.

Mister Miracle #10, DC Comics

Scott Free can stop the endless war between the New Gods and Apokolips with a simple gesture: Surrender his baby son to Darkseid, the miserable, abusive father who made his and his wife’s childhood a living hell. So, yeah, tough call. What makes Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ work so great here is that they contrast the bombast of the New Gods with the very mundane day-to-day reality of raising a kid on Earth. Scott still needs to take care of his kid, and make amends with his wife, even as he tries to negotiate an end to the most hideous war in the universe. It’s unexpected, compelling, and often beautiful, in its own way.

Infinity Wars #1, Marvel

Gerry Duggan and Mike Deodato, Jr. fire up Marvel’s next big crossover with considerably more style than we’ve seen in recent years. Part of this is just the setup is quite good: The Infinity Stones have all wound up in some… unlikely sets of hands, so a motley crew of Marvel’s best and worst have to work together. It also helps that this isn’t yet another story about Thanos, but rather a new player in the eternal game of Who’s Got The Rocks. This looks like a big, fun, epic story for Marvel fans, and anybody who’s going through MCU withdrawal.

DC Comics

Batman #52, DC Comics: Bruce Wayne puts Batman on trial in Tom King and Lee Weeks’ brilliant courtroom drama arc.

The Raid #1, Titan Comics: Ollie Masters and Budi Setiawan do a solid job of transferring the kinetic, frantic action of the Raid movies to comics.

Project Superpowers #1, Dynamite: Rob Williams and Sergio Davila offer up a highly entertaining take on some forgotten Golden Age heroes.

Valiant High #4, Valiant: Daniel Kibblesmith and Derek Charm wrap up their hilarious take on the Valiant Universe as a high school.

Giant Days #41, BOOM! Studios: John Allison and Max Sarin throw a new twist into the already complicated love-lives of their college student heroes.

This Week’s Best New Collections

DC Comics

Batman ’66 Omnibus, DC Comics ($125, Hardcover): Jeff Parker, Jonathan Case, and Martin Ansin, among others, delightfully reimagine the classic campy TV show as if it were a straight-faced comic book. Whether you remember the series fondly, or just want a lighter Batman, it’s a hoot.

Backways Vol. 1, Aftershock Comics ($15, Softcover): Justin Jordan and Eleonora Carlini take us on a delightful tour of a magical world hidden just at the corner of our vision.

Fantastic Four Epic Collection: The Coming Of Galactus, Marvel ($40, Softcover): Stan Lee and Jack Kirby changed comics with the Fantastic Four, and this collection of their most legendary arc, featuring the arrival of Galactus and the Silver Surfer, should be on any fan’s shelf.