Conskipper’s New Comic Day Picks: December 16, 2020

Welcome back to Conskipper’s New Comic Day Picks for the week of December 16, 2020!

There is only about one week left for you to complete your holiday shopping, so be sure to visit your favorite comic shop this week (in-person or virtually) for a number of fine choices for yourself or others. This week’s picks include the end of a Superman era, the return of the Black Cat and Taarna, and sequels to two fan-favorite and critical hits, one based on Blade Runner and the other based in the foundations of the original super hero.

–Superman #28 (DC Comics): This issue commemorates the final Superman tale by the creative team of Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, and Joe Prado. This issue wraps up years of storytelling the only way that this team knows how, with equal parts action, suspense, and wonder. Bendis is well known as the man who set the direction for the Marvel Universe back in 2004 and his work on Superman and other DC titles have also brought this stability, but more importantly, top notch storytelling to a seemingly ever changing DC line. Bendis has said that he isn’t completely done with Superman, but he does have a number of other high profile DC projects on the way. In any case, the Man Of Steel is once again where he needs to be after this run: front and center in the DC Universe.

-Black Cat #1 (Marvel Comics): Many fans were sad to see Jed MacKay’s sensational Black Cat series end with issue twelve, but they also didn’t have to wait long for a quick relaunch, right in the midst of Marvel’s King in Black crossover. MacKay is joined by artist C.F. Villa (and colorist Brian Reber and letterer Ferran Delgado), who is the perfect one to capture the Black Cat’s athleticism and sassy attitude. As expected, Felicia’s concerns with Knull’s attack on Earth is primarily related to fouling up her latest heist, so out of spite (and maybe a small sense of obligation…), she sets her eyes on something that is valuable to both Knull and Earth’s chances of survival. This issue also guest-stars the X-Men, Captain America, and Doctor Strange. And for those wondering when the plot lines from issue #12 will be picked up, MacKay has stated that they will resume after issue #3 of the new series.

-Taarna #1 (Heavy Metal): If you were lucky enough to see the original Heavy Metal animated film in your formative years, the last segment of the movie featuring the pterodactyl-riding warrior Taarna was sure to have been burned into your cranium. And although the character is remembered from the film, she surprisingly was not featured to any great extent in the Heavy Metal illustrated magazine after her break-out animated debut.

In recent year, Heavy Metal has begun to mine many of the classic characters from their back catalogue, chiefly Taarna. In 2017, the platinum-blonde barbarian was featured in her own standard comic book-sized series and she is poised to return in writer Stephanie Phillips and artist Patrick Zircher brand new series. The new series embodies all of the classic Heavy Metal trademarks with a focus on intelligent storytelling and beautiful artwork. Taarna’s battle against the cosmic forces and her war against Kako, the embodiment of chaos is the centerpiece of the continuation of her story, but the scripting of Phillips and action illustrated by Zircher are the stars of the show. Add in a trippy cover by Christian Ward, and this is a tough one to pass up.

-Second Coming: Only Begotten Son #1 (Ahoy Comics): Writer Mark Russell and artists Richard Pace and Leonard Kirk return to their hilarious and though-provoking Ahoy Comics series Second Coming with the sequel: Only Begotten Son. In this installment, the pair of the savior and Sunstar return and we get to witness the interplanetary origin of the “somewhat familiar” super hero. Aside from the backstory of Sunstar, Jesus and Sunstar continue their journey on Earth and Russel, Pace, and Kirk continue their whip-smart humor, commentary, and exploration of religious dogma and superhero and genre tropes. If you’d like to hear more about this new series, check out our recent interview with Russel about Second Coming and the rest of his fine work.

-Blade Runner 2029 #1 (Titan): Titan’s follow-up to Blade Runner 2019 sees a changed Ashina (the star of the first series) back with the LAPD’s Blade Runner division and once again on the hunt for Replicants. Writer Michael Johnson and the screenwriter of Blade Runner 2049, Michael Green (the pair also co-wrote the last series), and continue to forge new ground in the world of Blade Runner 2029. Artist Andres Guinaldo also returns for the sequel, continuing to provide the gritty, futuristic landscapes and characters he is known for. If you’re looking for a intelligent sci-fi fix this week, this is the droid you’re looking for.

That’s it for this week, so please continue to support your local comic shop and online retailers safely and often during this holiday season.

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