Welcome back to Conskipper’s New Comic Day Picks for the week of September 8, 2021!
Labor Day has now come and gone, and before you know it, the pumpkins of fall will be giving way to snow flakes. For comic fans, the seasons don’t matter as long as they have a constant supply of excellent new comics to read, and we have you covered once again this week.
–Mazebook #1 (Dark Horse Comics): Jeff Lemire handles all creative aspects of his latest comic series, Mazebook, and it delivers in all the ways one would expect from a Lemire story. Mazebook involves a distraught building inspector still coming to grips with the loss of his puzzle-loving daughter when he is contacted by someone claiming to be her. From there, the psychological and emotional ride that our protagonist embarks on is engaging and heart-wrenching at the same time, successfully navigating the real world and otherworldly settings and story elements. Fans of Lemire’s earliest work will know what they are getting in Mazebook, and those that know Lemire as a writer only will be pleasantly surprised.
–Conan the Barbarian #25 (Marvel Comics): While it may say issue #25 on the cover, this month’s Conan the Barbarian is all about celebrating Marvel’s long legacy as the original publisher of the Cimmerian’s comic adventures. Issue #300 continues Jim Zub and Cory Smith’s ongoing story (and you can read Zub’s thoughts about it in our exclusive interview with him) and we get the unexpected return of Conan’s principle companion, lover, and compatriot in the form of the Queen of the Black Coast, Bêlit. And in addition to Zub and Smith’s surprising entry, the anniversary issue also contains new stories from throughout Conan’s history by Dan Slott and Marcos Martín, Larry Hama, Christopher Priest, Roberto De La Torre, and Paul Davidson and some great variant covers by classic artists and rising stars (including a Daniel Acuna Amazing Fantasy #15 tribute that you thought you would never see realized). By Crom, you’ve got to pick this one up!
–Shang-Chi #4 (Marvel Comics): Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is the latest Marvel mega-hit that everyone is bragging about after the film’s critical and financial success, and it will hopefully translate into sending some new customers to their local comic stores. If they, or even long-time readers want to know what is going on with the original Master of Kung-Fu, they will find the character in very good hands in the on-going series by Gene Luen Yang and Dike Ruan. Just as the film updated Shang-Chi for modern audiences, Yang and Ruan’s comic firmly cements him in the modern Marvel Comic Universe with guest stars galore. This issue pits Shang and friends versus Marvel’s First Family in another exciting and thought provoking tale that continues to build (and burn) bridges to the rest of the continuity that Marvel Comics are famous for.
-The Unbelievable Unteens #2 (Dark Horse Comics): Didn’t we just talk about one of Jeff Lemire’s comic titles from Dark Horse (some weeks you just get spoiled; what can I say?)? Yes, this week also brings the second issue of Lemire and Tyler Crook’s Black Hammer spin-off The Unbelievable Unteens #2. The metatextual adventure continues in issue two with more surprises and trippy moments as professional comic-book artist Jane Ito tries to make sense of the reality around here, which seems to be changing by the minute. One look at Crook’s creepy cover and you know that trouble awaits.
–Ka-Zar: Lord of the Savage Land #1 (Marvel Comics): Marvel’s very own jungle hero, Ka-Zar, returns in Zac Thompson and Germán García’s update of the character in their new five issue mini-series which finds the Lord of the Savage Land imbued with a new set of powers thanks to the Cotati (who also murdered him in Empyre). With Shanna the She-Devil and their son Matthew in tow, Thompson and Garcia forge new ground for Ka-Zar and keep the best elements that have allowed the character to endure (and grow) over the past 65 years.
That’s it for this week, so please keep supporting your local comic shop in a safe (and frequent) manner.