Welcome back to Conskipper’s New Comic Day Picks for the week of March 17, 2021!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! You may want to pick up a Shamrock Shake on your way to or from the store today, but be sure to keep that green drink away from your comics! This week sees the start of a number of high-profile creative teams on some of the most recognizable titles in comics and some other notable beginnings and endings.
–Justice League #59 (DC Comics): There is a lot of talk about the Justice League this week thanks to HBO Max’s release of the Zack Snyder Cut on Friday, so it is no better time than now to begin Brian Michael Bendis and artist David Marquez’s run on DC Comics Justice League. The team’s impressive line-up includes: Superman, Batman, the Flash, Hawkgirl, Aquaman, Hippolyta, Naomi, and Black Adam. Bendis is well-remembered for the magic that he worked on the Avengers over at Marvel, so it is good to see him uniting a diverse group of characters yet again in terms of their power sets and backgrounds for DC’s premiere super team. Reuniting with Marquez is also a plus for fans who remember the team from their days on Ultimate Spider-Man and X-Men.
As if you needed any more reasons to pick up this comic, Justice League #59 also contains a backup story featuring the new Justice League Dark by writer Ram V’s and artist Xermanico! The debut issue of the new team will also be available in three Zack Snyder’s Justice League variants by Jim Lee, Lee Bermejo, and Liam Sharp, to further create synergy across DC’s media platform.
–Nightwing #78 (DC Comics): Writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo begin their Infinite Frontier run on Nightwing and the original Robin is in excellent hands. The new team captures all of the positive qualities and optimism that the character is known for that have been missing over the past few years, returning Dick Grayson to his familiar Blüdhaven stomping grounds. And as we stated in our recent review of Nightwing #78 “The main objective for any new creative team is to make their initial story arc accessible to new readers, and the start of “Leaping Into the Light” does this better than most.” Taylor and Redondo have taken the best from every iteration of Grayson in their debut issue and have also saddled the characters with an intriguing blessing/curse. We are already looking forward to issue #79 already.
-Black Knight: Curse of the Ebony Blade #1 (Marvel Comics): The new limited series by Simon Spurrier and Sergio Davilla returns Dane Whitman and his magical Ebony Blade to the Marvel Universe with exciting results. Those that read The Avengers in the mid-1980s know that The Black Knight was once a prominent member of the team, even leading the famed group on occasion. Since that time period, the character has made much less frequent appearances, but with the character set to make his MCU debut in The Eternals this year, it is probably a good idea to remind fans about the character’s former contributions and legacy.
The new series spins directly out of his recent King in Black one-shot and finds Dane again struggling with wielding the cursed blade in this centuries spanning tale. As a bonus, a series of variant covers by Stephanie Hans will highlight the character’s long publication history across a number of incarnations, so be sure to look for her variant this week to start the collection.
-Superman: Red and Blue #1 (DC Comics): There is anthology fever over at DC Comics right now, and this one’s symptoms come in shades of red and blue! Along with a number of current Batman anthologies (Black and White and Urban Legends) and Wonder Woman’s recently announced Black and Gold series, Superman fills in the trinity sandwich with Superman: Red and Blue this week. Like the other recent DC showcases, this one is once again loaded with creative talent. The first issue contains stories by John Ridley and Clayton Henry, Brandon Easton and Steve Lieber, Marguerite Bennett and Jill Thompson, Dan Watters and Dani, and Wes Crain (handling both writing and art duties). DC has made the “color” anthology a prime publishing focus this year, as it is a great way to bring back long-time readers with a non-continuity series and appeal to the every important casual book store shopper. In either case, fans are the winners with some of the best in the business sharing new and creative takes on The Man of Steel.
-Champions #5 (Marvel Comics): Eve L. Ewing and Bob Quinn wrap up their story arc on Marvel’s premiere young heroes team this issue, having laid the foundation for the continuation of an excellent Champions series. Ewing and Quinn’s take on some of the hottest characters currently published at Marvel Comics captures the classic banter/angst from the Teen Titans and Young Avengers with the addition of some real world concerns and problems in the “Outlawed” storyline. While this is the team’s last issue (with Danny Lore and Luciano Vecchio taking over next issue), we hope that Ewing and Quinn return to the series at some point, or at least get to work on another title together in the future. Their take on Champions is the perfect gift for a young fan as an introduction to the medium and the up-and-coming heroes of the original Marvel Universe.
That’s it for this week. Keep supporting your local comic shop in a safe and responsible manner.