Welcome back to Conskipper’s New Comic Day Picks for the week of January 20, 2021!
The new year is off to a good start with a wide variety of comics and graphic novels in stock at your local comic shop. This week we feature a continuation of one of the greatest Hulk storylines ever, the return of Saladin Ahmed’s Abbot series, and two outstanding DC series that are still being published outside of Future State.
–Maestro: War & Pax #1 (Marvel Comics): With a publication history as long as the Hulk’s, it is surprising that fans of the characters can’t rattle off the best Hulk stories as easily as a Spider-Man or X-Men fans. Planet Hulk or Al Ewing’s recent arcs will make the list, but the one that immediately comes to mind is Peter David and George Perez’s Hulk: Future Imperfect.
The two issue series from 1992 was one of the best comics of the decade and only decades later, has the most prolific writer in Hulk history, Peter David, returned to the storyline and the villainous version of the Hulk. Maestro: War and Pax picks up exactly where last month’s Maestro series left off, with the gamma-fueled demagogue facing off against the most powerful beings left on planet Earth! David is joined by artist Javier Pina and colorist Jesus Aburtov on the new mini-series, and the result is another exciting addition to his original story.
-Abbott 1973 #1 (Boom! Studios): Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivela return to 2018’s Abbott series for another retro supernatural thriller. Since the publication of the Boom! Studios series, Ahmed has made a name for himself with Miles Morales Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel, but Abbott 1973 is a good reminder that the writer is also adept at crafting a horror story. In this new series, Elena Abbott continues her work as an investigative journalist (in true Carl Kolchak fashion, of course) and the big story is the historic election of a Black candidate as the new Mayor of Detroit, but as expected, there are insidious forces that don’t want to see his victory realized. Along with Ahmed’s scripting, Kivela’s art is perfect for bringing the 1970s vibe to the forefront of the series, dealing with the realistic and supernatural with equal expertise. We couldn’t help but showcase Jenny Frison’s 1 in 25 variant cover below, even if it is will be difficult to track down in person!
-Batman Catwoman #2 (DC Comics): Even though DC Future State is the event that all the kids are bragging about, we can’t forget that great things are also happening outside of the company wide event like Batman and Catwoman #2. If you have suffered withdrawal ever since Tom King and Clay Mann wrapped up their phenomenal run on the Batman title, now is your chance to revel in the return to tight storytelling and perfect representations of all characters in the Batman mythos. Not only that, but King, Mann, and colorist Tomeu Morey have even brought the animated villain Phantasm into DC Universe proper, expanding on the character and the Bat’s rogues gallery. This is a can’t miss for fans of Batman, Catwoman, and the creative team responsible for some of the best stories ever crafted around the Dark Knight.
-Legion of Super-Heroes #12 (DC Comics): The other title that has continued publication in the face of Future State is the original “future state” of the DC Universe: The world of the Legion of Super-Heroes. And if you are a fan of the heroes of the 31st century, they haven’t been in better hands in recent years than Brian Michael Bendis, Ryan Sook, Wade Von Grawbadger, and Jordie Bellaire. This issue brings Jon Kent into the mix along with the Legion to attempt to stop the destruction of New Krypton. Sook and Von Grawbadger do a fantastic job of illustrating dozens of unique characters, Bellaire provides eye-popping colors, and Bendis applies his writing skills to yet another super team, and does so with his signature engaging dialogue and no-nonsense storytelling. Long live the Legion!
-DC Future State: Catwoman #1 (DC Comics): There are many highly anticipated Future State titles out this week (and you can always refer to our checklist here if you are losing count), but Ram V and Otto Schmidt’s two man collaboration on DC Future State: Catwoman #1 stands out. In the future world that the heroes inhabit in Gotham, the Magistrate has made all actions of masked heroes illegal and has gone so far as to construct a prison train for the purpose. Well, it’s no surprise that this doesn’t sit well with Catwoman! V and Schmidt’s take on the Future State world combines sci-fi and classic noir elements and makes this limited series one to pick up. Hopefully we haven’t seen the last of this iteration of the character as well!
That’s it for this week, so please continue to support your local comic shop in a safe and responsible fashion.