Welcome back to Conskipper’s New Comic Day Picks for the week of February 3, 2021!
Although DC’s Future State and Marvel’s King in Black continues to dominate the marketplace, there are still plenty of unique and entertaining options once again at your local comic shop. This week sees the return of two classic Marvel characters, one DC cult favorite, and two series that are telling new, creative stories in familiar settings.
–Far Sector #10 (DC Comics): While DC Future State is giving fans new and reimagined versions of classic character, N.K. Jemisin and Jamal Campbell beat them all to the punch with the introduction of Green Lantern Sojourner “Jo” Mullein in 2019. Part of DC’s Young Animal experiment, Far Sector has earned a ton of praise for the creative team for the intelligent sci-fi approach to the series, realistic dialogue, and outstanding artwork.
Jemisin is no stranger to the world of science fiction, having won multiple Hugo Awards, but novelists don’t always make the transition to graphic storytelling, and Jemisin obviously cleared that hurdle easily. It also can’t hurt when you’re paired with Campbell, who gets a chance to stretch his artistic muscles on a sci-fi landscape. The Green Lantern universe is vast and has the room for all sorts of stories, so many of us hope we haven’t seen the last of this Lantern and this team.
–The Legend of Shang-Chi #1 (Marvel Comics): The Master of Kung-Fu, Shang-Chi, has been getting a lot of love from Marvel lately, with Gene Luen Lang’s mini-series and this special one-shot story. With Chi’s cinematic debut on the way (hopefully soon) it is smart for Marvel to re-introduce the character to comic readers who may have missed his long running title from the 80’s and 90’s.
Writer Alyssa Wong, artist Andie Tong, and colorist Rachelle Rosenberg position Shang-Chi against Lady Deathstrike in The Legend of Shang-Chi, and she is the perfect villain to oppose him. Not only is she intelligent, but she has the classic martial arts weaponry of many of the foes he faced in his heyday. If you’re looking for a one-shot introduction to Shang-Chi, this issue easily confirms the martial arts hero’s “legendary” status.
–King in Black: Black Knight #1 (Marvel Comics): One of the most underappreciated Avengers from the 1980s, Dane Whitman-The Black Knight, returns in this tie-in to King In Black. This issue by the team of writer Simon Spurrier and artist Jesus Saiz also sets up next month’s new Black Knight series (also by Spurrier and Saiz). Similar to Shang-Chi, Whitman will be making his cinematic debut in the very near future in Eternals, so reminding fans about the character is a smart move, and a way to bring the Knight back to relevancy in the comic universe. And at this point, there is probably no better way to bring him back than a King in Black special, which continues to please Marvel fans (and put a strain on their wallets). If you are looking forward to Spurrier and Saiz’s new series next month, get a leg up by picking up this one (even if you haven’t been following the King in Black series).
–Man-Bat #1 (DC Comics): Everyone is familiar with Batman’s extensive rogue’s gallery, but only die-hard fans are familiar with his most popular “monster” villain: Man-Bat. Writer Dave Wielgosz and artist Sumit Kumar tackle the cult favorite in this new mini-series which sees Dr. Kirk Langstrom once again struggling with his alter ego. As in any great Man-Bat (or the original Universal Monsters films that inspired the character), the struggle between man and beast is a titanic one, and one that leads to Langstrom’s rage (and his eventual confrontation with Batman, of course). Issue one comes with two eye-popping covers by noted monster (and Batman) artists Kyle Hotz and Kevin Nowlan, so you may want to own both.
–The Wrong Earth: Night & Day #2 (Ahoy Comics): Writer Tom Peyer and artists Jamal Igle and Juan Castro continue their examination of two very different versions of the very familiar Dragonflyman character in The Wrong Earth: Night & Day #2. In the sequel to the first series, Peyer brings together the campy and gritty versions of Dragonflyman in a completely new environment and the results are just what you would expect: lots of anger, confusion, and hijinks. The set-up for this series is a familiar one to any long-time comic fan, and the creative team has the license to dig into these types of stories a bit more than usual since there are no worries about continuity or years of storytelling. Therefore, the comic stands on its own by commenting on a Earth One/Earth Two situation in a unique way.
That’s it for this week. Be sure to support your local comic shop in a safe and responsible manner.