Just a note on rankings: These are less about overall quality — although that’s a factor — and more about accessibility and what excited my critical sensibilities the most. That’s a nice way of saying these rankings are subjective, and if you disagree with me, let me know why!
1. The Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina #2
Reinventing Sabrina as a Warren-Publications style horror book has turned out to be a brilliant idea, as this long-awaited second issue reveals. Using minor character Madame Satan to full effect, it fairly cleverly sketches in her character and makes it clear Sabrina’s in for a bad time. It’s smart, it’s scary, and it’s definitely worth picking up, even if you don’t recall the first issue.
2. Shaft #5
David Walker and Bilquis Evely have, as you might have noticed from my rave reviews, done a superb job reinventing John Shaft as not just the sex machine who gets all the chicks, but a private detective and a wounded, angry human being. This particular issue brings the last four together, and sets up a blowout of a finale for this arc. If you’re not reading Shaft? Start.
3. The Fox: Fox Hunt #1
Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid reinventing The Fox for modern times was great as a cleverly done miniseries… and the ongoing has a lot of promise. The Fox is working as a photojournalist, and is sent back to his old hometown, which is about to be flooded to make way for a reservoir by the supervillain Mister Smile. It’s mostly just about fond memories for him… at least until the last supervillain he expects shows up. It’s an oddly bittersweet start to an ongoing series, very much about fathers, sons, and the grip even a thin rind of the past can have on us. It’s not your typical superhero book, even with the fights, and it stands out because of it.
4. Bloodshot Reborn #1
Bloodshot is just a normal man again… and he’s not dealing so well with his past, as we see all too clearly in this newly relaunched book. He’s basically trying to get by, admittedly using some rather poor coping mechanisms, until an old man dressed as him attacks the public. Bloodshot… does not take that well, and Jeff Lemire’s not shy about having the script take some weird turns. While it feels a little familiar, it’s an excellent read, and a great introduction to the character.
5. Archie vs. Predator #1
6. Ms. Marvel #14
Kamala’s crush sweeps her off her feet and then… well, it’s a comic book, and he’s the perfect guy. Of course there’s something wrong with him. Still, what stands out most about G. Willow Wilson’s writing, here, is a scene between Kamala’s brother and the guy crushing on Kamala which is simultaneously insightful and a bit grating. What she wants, tellingly, never comes up in her brother’s little speech, and one suspects that might be an issue later on. In other words, it’s the usual high quality work we’ve come to expect from this book, and as usual, always worth buying.