A note on how this column works: The majority of these books are review copies I received, with a few books I buy every week sprinkled in. If you don’t see a book on here, it’s because I didn’t receive a review copy in time.
As for the rankings, I rank on quality, accessibility, and how much I enjoyed the book; a well-done book that you need to have read 12 issues to get the most out of will tend to rank lower than an equally well-done book even people who’ve never read a comic before can pick up. A low ranking doesn’t necessarily mean a book is bad, just that I preferred some of the others I read this week over it.
With that in mind… who took No. 1 this week?
1. Arcadia #1
Humanity is dying, in this book. But the good news is that surviving death is just an upload away. The bad news is, we’ll eventually be out of humans to maintain the virtual reality most of the dead live in. Alex Paknadel does a bang-up job of delivering the concept and some clever riffs on it into the bargain, while Eric Scott Pfeiffer delivers some entertainingly complex visual takes on what the divide between virtual and real can create. A hell of a debut, and I’m looking forward to the second issue.
2. No Mercy #2
Last issue, a bunch of entitled twits went to Central America to build some houses and get a line on their resume… before their bus went over a cliff. This issue, well, suffice to say nature doesn’t give a crap about your Ivy League career, and things get messy fast. Alex de Campi builds a tense scenario, but it’s Carla Speed McNeil who pays off that atmosphere. An intense thriller and a superb read.
3. Dead Drop #1
Ales Kot and Adam Gorham have X-O Manowar chase a supervirus across New York City, and it’s a thing of beauty. Kot’s known for his relentless pacing, and this twenty-two page foot chase across New York City underlines that particular reputation, while Gorham has a lovely, fluid style that caters to that pacing perfectly. Capped off with that cover, you’ve got the single best action comic on the stands this week, and a must-read.
4. Batman: Earth One, Vol 2.
Yes, it’s a Batman origin story, but you don’t need to read Vol. 1 to follow this original graphic novel, and furthermore, it’s got some fun twists on the Batman mythos. Geoff Johns and Gary Frank are having fun here, and if you’re in the mood for a riff on Batman, this will be music to your ears.
5. The Witcher: Fox Children #2
Paul Tobin and Joe Querio pick up from a surprisingly funny first issue with a cleverly disorienting horror story. The vulpess of the story has every right to be upset, and Geralt and his dwarf companion are deep over their heads. Tobin does leaven the issue with some hilarious salty humor, but make no mistake; this is very much the atmospheric horror book the previous miniseries taught us to expect. A must-read for horror fans.