What We’re Reading Wednesday

It might be SDCC week, but it’s still Wednesday, and that means new comics! Check out what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pulls of the week:

Storm #1
Story: Greg Pak
Art: Victor Ibanez
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Thief. Goddess. Headmistress. Queen. The X-Man called STORM has always defied a single title. And her desire to better the world has never been limited to only her own kind. On a mission to foster goodwill and safeguard the mutant race’s continued existence in her own way, Storm will travel the globe, confronting man and mutant, god and monster and everything in between. She will overthrow tyrants, quell tsunamis and strive to see her dream for the world realized. She is STORM, a hero like no other….and the skies will tremble at the sight of their namesake.

 

Afterlife with Archie #6
Story: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa 
Art: Francesco Francavilla 
Publisher: Archie Comics

“Witch in the Dream House”: The unthinkable has happened: Riverdale has become ground-zero for the zombie apocalypse, and the surviving members of our gang have been forced to flee their beloved home. However terrible things have been for Archie and friends, they’ve been MUCH worse for Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Banished to witches’ purgatory after using the dreaded Necronomicon, she’s now fighting for her immortal soul! 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Thor News Isn’t That Shocking (Pun Intended)

“What do you think of the news about Lady!Thor?”

thor_esadribicThis question has been running rampant through the blogosphere and beyond since Marvel’s announcement last week. As a comic book fan of the female persuasion, I lost the ability to count how many times I had been asked that question in person by the middle of Wednesday.  So the question remains, what do I think of the announcement?

Honestly? I met this news with something of a shrug.  It’s not as surprising as it could have been. In fact, I would have been more bowled over by news confirming that the July 8, 2016 date that Marvel has on hold for another movie belongs to a Black Widow (or Captain Marvel) feature film. That would’ve been news worth melting down about.

That’s not to say that I’m not thoroughly psyched to learn more about this new Thor. We’ve not yet received news about who will be picking up both Mjolnir and the mantle, whether she’ll be someone already existing in the universe (suggestions that it’ll be Valkyrie who is found worthy has been bandied about) or someone entirely new. I’m rooting for the latter myself, as I’d like for the mainstream Marvel universe to gain more awesome ladies rather than have a pre-existing one deal with constant comparisons to her predecessor.

This is not the first time that Mjolnir has changed hands nor the first time that Thor stopped being Thor. He was stripped of his hammer and sent to live as  Dr. Donald Blake back in the sixties, an identity he might be forced to resume come the fall and the rise of new Thor. Mjolnir briefly was held by a minor character known as Thunderstrike. But all of these are relics from a time when Thor was less of a well-known Marvel fixture and more of a sometimes-funny, definitely amusingly lettered non-headliner.  The loss of his Thor GOT 23hammer actually makes a lot of sense when it comes to the current arc of Thor: God of Thunder. Since its first issue the series was always telling of the downfall of a hero. Why would he get to keep a hammer that demands its owner be worthy of greatness when he’s done so much that just isn’t? 

I’ve been a fan of Thor since I was a kid (I can even sing the theme song to the 1966 cartoon). I was a defender of Thor getting his own movie, encouraging people to check out the at times totally absurd comics featuring him. Changing who wields the hammer isn’t going to change that. I’m standing by Thor, keeping Thor #1 plugged into my pull list come October.  I’m excited to see what kind of Thor she turns out to be.  Let her be in the vein of the seriously awesome Carol Danvers, who picked up moniker of Captain Marvel to the chittering of a lot of discussion.

I just hope the next time they dub a new heroine with a familiar alias, the words “shocking” have nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with the gut-wrenching way that she gets the name. That’s the sort of shock factor that I read comics for.

Thor debuts in October. The series will feature Jason Aaron (writer) and Russell Dauterman (artist). 

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Art Love: Mike Maihack’s Batgirl & Supergirl

BGSG by Mike Maihack

No one is more excited about Batgirl’s new costume than Kara.

Check out more of Mike Maihack’s Batgirl & Supergirl comics, because they are AWESOME.

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Art Love: Winter Soldier & Captain America

the_light_before_we_land_by_sandara-d7fh2jp

The Light Before We Land by sandara

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Art Love: Wonder Woman

WW by Samanthadoodles

Wonder Woman by Samantha

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Art Love: Batgirl of Burnside

Batgirl of Burnside by Hector Barrientos.

For more fan art of the new Batgirl redesign, check out the Batgirl of Burnside tumblr!

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What We’re Reading Wednesday

Wednesday! Glorious comic book day! Check out our post to see what we’re looking forward to reading this week, and let us know what you’re picking up as well.

Our pulls of the week:

wickeddivine_02

The Wicked + The Divine
Story: Kieron Gillen
Art: Jamie McKelvie, Matt Wilson
Publisher: Image Comics

Diabolically divine pop-god Lucifer is in trouble. She offers superfan Laura an unprecedented deal if she helps. It’s a bargain. A Faustian bargain, and they always turn out so well. Who knows who Laura will turn to fulfill it? We do. Clearly. It’s our comic. You can know too if you buy this fine pictorial narrative with your human money coins.

detailOriginal Sin #6
Story: Jason Aaron
Art: Mike Deodato
Publisher: Marvel Comics

This July, the lingering question will be answered in ORIGINAL SIN #6 – who shot the Watcher? From the very beginning, fans have waited, wondered and speculated who was responsible for Uatu’s untimely death. Now, Jason Aaron and Mike Deodato peel back the curtain on the person pulling the strings as Original Sin races toward it’s heart-stopping conclusion. [via CBR]

 

Keep reading for our picks!

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Life Without Archie: A Pre-Emptive Post-Mortem

I come to bury Archie, not to praise him.

Back in April, Archie Comics shocked the world (or at least moderately surprised the comics community, practically the same thing) by unveiling the upcoming Death of Archie Andrews in their critically-acclaimed yet criminally-underrated Life With ArcLife With Archie #36, art by Mike Allredhie title.  You know, the one that shows the characters all grown up, living out their decent-to-miserable lives in two separate futures, set apart by which omnipresent love interest, Betty or Veronica, Archie took to the altar?  Right, that one.  Reactions were mixed, as they have been for many of Archie’s envelope-pushing announcements over the last few years.  Most of them tended to focus, however, on the story itself, the death of an American icon, which I feel is burying the lede: that this event will mark the end of one of the most consistent, fun, engaging, and even sometimes horribly depressing comics of recent years.

And that sucks!

Following as it did from the headline-bait “Archie Marries Veronica” and “Archie Marries Betty” storylines, Life With Archie was arguably (they’ve been experimenting with format for decades to varying degrees of success) the beginning of the publisher’s current renaissance of innovation and sheer not-giving-a-%&@#.  From its early days as some wonderful Dallas-meets-Fringe hybrid to the political, legal, corporate, and criminal drama that’s been the focus of late, Life With Archie has always been like nothing else on the stands, and the news of its demise comes, to me, as a far bigger blow than that of its red-headed protagonist.  That, after all, is just the kind of stunning, ridiculous drama that I’ve come to expect from the book, par for the soapy course.

I’ll confess to a personal bias in mourning the loss of Life With Archie.  Growing up, I was never a fan of the exploits of the gang over in Riverdale.  I had friends who collected the digests and I’d idly flip through them when I visited, but I’m very much a recent convert to the Byzantine joys of the 70-year-old franchise, and just as its gorier little brother Afterlife With Archie has been bringing new people into the fold left and right, Life With Archie was my gateway.  Even then, I wasn’t on board until issue 16, the Life With Archie #37, art by Walt Simonsoninfamous One Million Moms-angering “Gay Marriage Issue.”  Curiosity over the uproar led to checking it out, expecting something trite, fun, and easily digested, since gay weddings or no, these comics are pretty firmly for kids, aren’t they?  When I instead found a slice of dense drama masquerading as those strips I remembered from my youth, I was hooked.  Gimmicky, maybe, but these were just good comics, simple as that.

Time went on, and the parallel universe trials and tribulations of this bunch of jaded, burned-out twenty-somethings not only spoke to me as one of their kind, but it also triggered a spiral of interest in all the myriad corners of the Archie universe.  To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure how deep the rabbit hole goes, and the end of the book that started it all for me, a mere twenty issues after I began this journey, is huge.

Still, all good things must come to an end, right?  And I certainly don’t expect everyone to have such a weirdly personal connection to such a niche title.

Does this really have to be the end, though?  Even in darkness, hope remains:

  • CEO Jon Goldwater has often talked up the good points of having a magLife With Archie #36, art by Francesco Francavillaazine format book on the shelves, and this cancellation leaves an immediate gap in that market.
  • The death of Archie was alluded to as long ago as last year’s San Diego Comic Con, when the publisher teased something huge coming down the wire for Life With Archie in 2014.  If they were simply planning on ending the title, it seems strange that they would do it so far in advance.
  • Much has been made of the way that Life With Archie’s final issues will unite the title’s disparate twin universes, somehow condensing them into one.  This streamlining would be the perfect setup for a relaunch in this new, Archie-less world.  Where this would leave the characters with differing relationships across the timelines is anyone’s guess, though (or at least writer Paul Kupperberg’s).

Maybe I’m reading too much into things, clutching at straws.  This is… entirely possible.  Or maybe, just maybe, like the headline-grabbing death of Spider-Man not so long ago, this Crisis on Infinite Riverdales is just the start of a new era in great stories (we’re talking Miles Morales here, not Spider-Ock).  How’s that for mixed metaphors?

Archie is dead, long live Archie.

Life With Archie #36, art by Fiona Staples

But then, I was always more of a Reggie fan, anyway.

Life With Archie #36, written by Paul Kupperberg and with pencils by Fernando Ruiz, Pat Kennedy, and Tim Kennedy, drops tomorrow, July 16th, shipping with six different covers.  It will be followed by a concluding #37, to be released one week later on the 23rd, also shipping with six different covers.

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Art Love: Superhero Kids

Wonder Kid by Andy Fairhurst

 

Iron Kid by Andy Fairhurst

More of Andy Fairhurst‘s Superhero Kids series can be found in his gallery on Deviantart.

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Art Love: Dynamic Duo

Dynamic Duo by Arielle Dynamic Duo by Arielle

 

 

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