I am here to present to you a list of my five comics for the month. Every month, I will be presenting five comics that I recommend for you to read. Whether you are a comic book fan, have a friend who enjoys reading comics, or just starting to read comics or graphic novels, I hope that you enjoy my preferred list!
Writer: Donny Cates
Artist: Geoff Shaw
Colorist: Dee Cunniffe
Letterer: John J. Hill
Publisher: Image Comics
Synopsis: “Imagine everything you thought was fantasy…was real. And now join us, in a world where reality is dead…and anything is possible…”
Why I chose this comic: Crossover is a prime example of what would happen if the events ‘DC Comics: Crisis on Infinite Earths’ and ‘Marvel Comics: Secret Wars’ transpired in our reality. It truly is that awesome! “Crossover” takes place in a world where Denver, Colorado is engulfed in a dome full of comic book superheroes and characters. Our main hero is a young woman named Ellipses or Ellie in certain moments. Through the progression of the story we learn that Ellie escaped the dome but it came at the price of leaving her parents behind.
Now, Ellie is a comic shop employee who befriends a little girl who turns out to be a comic book character. Which places her on a journey to send Ava back to the dome to find the latter’s family while finding hers in the process. Along for the ride is the Otto(owner of the comic book shop) and Ryan(a son of a religious zealot and Ellie’s destined love interest)
Before reading this comic, I read Donny Cates “God County” to get a feel for his storytelling and it left me wanting to read the next issue in one sitting. I noticed that Cate’s storytelling in Crossover shares various similarities to the arc of ‘God County’. Due to the fact both titles take an ordinary character who embarks a hero’s journey which has me wanting to read more.
After finishing I came to the conclusion that Crossover exceeded my expectations as it became more than a story about a meeting of comic book superheroes. Instead it was a story full of revelation and unexpected twists and turns. And, it also alludes to a certain superhero with an “S” on his chest. If you haven’t checked this comic out yet, take it from me, it will blow your mind (not like it did to the poor dude on the cover of Issue #1).
Honor and Curse
Writer: Mark London
Artist: Nicolas Salamanca
Letterer: Miguel Angel Zapata
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios
Synopsis: “Orphaned as a young boy, Genshi Sakagura was adopted by the Iga Clan after witnessing the murder of his parents. Now, Genshi is a promising young shinobi with dreams of marrying Lord Haruki’s beautiful daughter, Akemi, and leading the Iga clan warriors into battle. Genshi’s future was promising, until his past came to torment him in the form of an evil mountain spirit known as a Tengu. This demon relentlessly haunts Genshi’s dreams and bends reality around him, but nothing compares to when the Tengu consumes him’ Genshi transforms into an unstoppable force of nature incapable of remorse!”
Why I chose this comic: Ever since I was a freshman in high school, I was always fascinated by works of fiction that focused on samurai of Feudal Japan. Which brings me to the point of when I read Mark London’s “Honor and Curse”. I felt a variety of emotions, and at moments the issue had me going “whoa, didn’t see that coming.”
One thing that deserves praise is how the issue handled Genshi’s inner struggles as he slowly came to grips with who he is while accepting his curse. Which brings me to the point of feeling a sense of relatability. I believe we can all relate to Genshi in some way; since we all have adversity that we often see as a curse, but in reality, something that can be used for good. I felt the deeper meaning was one of the powerful things about this comic. The art done by Nicolas Salamanca definitely compliments the story and to me, makes me feel like I am in Japan although I haven’t been there (I dream of traveling there one day). More revelations emerge among characters evoke when the story progresses, especially with Lord Haruki and Lady Yua, Genshi’s rival who also has a Tengu. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more Honor and Curse and if you enjoy reading about feudal Japan or the supernatural, this comic is a must read!
Star Wars (2020)
Writer: Charles Soule
Artist: Jesus Saiz
Colorist: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles
Synopsis: “’No…I am your father.’ In the wake of the events following The Empire Strikes Back, it is a dark time for the heroes of the Rebellion. The Rebel fleet…scattered following a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Hoth. Han Solo…lost to the bounty hunter, Boba Fett, after being frozen in carbonite. After being lured into a trap on Cloud City and bested in a vicious lightsaber duel against the evil Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker…learned the horrible truth about his past. Vader did not kill Luke’s father Anakin – Vader is Luke’s father! Now after narrowly escaping the dark lord’s clutches, and wounded and reeling from the revelation, Luke, Princess Leia, Lando Calrissian, the Wookie Chewbacca and the droids C-3PO and R2-D2 must fight their way back to the Rebel Alliance-for the fate of the entire galaxy is at stake! After so many losses is victory still possible? But, what Leia, Luke and their ragtag band of freedom fighters do not realize is that they have only traded one Imperial trap for another! Enter the cunning and vengeful Imperial Commander Zahra, at the helm of the Tarkin’s Will! Writer Charles Soule (DARTH VADER) and artist Jesus Saiz (DOCTOR STRANGE) are taking us all to the galaxy far, far away next year! With covers by RB Silva (POWERS OF X)!”
Why I chose this comic: Well for the reason I am a huge Star Wars fan. My admiration for the franchise began around when I was 10-years old. One of the reasons I enjoyed this comic was it felt just like that galaxy, far, far away. “Star Wars” takes place after the events of the Empire Strikes Back. Luke is struggling with the revelation that Darth Vader is his father. While Princess Leia has the impossible goal of getting the Rebel Alliance back together. We know Han Solo is encased in carbonite and in the possession of Boba Fett. Meanwhile Lando Calrissian’s loyalties are in question. To note, and give praise, all of these arcs penned brilliantly by Charles Soule (Undiscovered Country, Star Wars: The High Republic). Which is the main reason that makes this issue amazing and worthy of praise. I enjoyed the fact we get to see all of these arcs unfold with characters that we have grown to love (especially if you are a Star Wars fan such as myself).
Star Wars: Darth Vader
Writer: Greg Pak
Artist: Rafaele Ienco
Colorist: Neetaj Menon
Letterer: VC’S Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Synopsis: “’JOIN ME, AND TOGETHER, WE CAN RULE THE GALAXY AS FATHER AND SON!’ In the shattering climax of The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader infamously reveals his true relationship to Luke Skywalker and invites his son to rule the galaxy at his side. But Luke refuses-plunging into the abyss beneath Cloud City rather than turn to the Dark Side. We all remember Luke’s utter horror in this life-altering moment. But what about Vader? In this new epic chapter in the Darth Vader saga, the dark lord grapples with Luke’s unthinkable refusal and embarks on a bloody mission of rage-filled revenge against everything and everyone who had a hand in hiding and corrupting his only son. But even as he uncovers the secrets of Luke’s origins, Vader must face shocking new challenges from his own dark past. Writer Greg Pak and artists Raffael Ienco unleash Darth Vader on his dark quest of vengeance and discovery!”
Why I chose this comic: The reason why I felt “Star Wars: Darth Vader” was worthy to be on this list boils down to the fact I’m a huge Star Wars fan. But besides that, this comic shows us Darth Vader like we never saw him before. While he is still the bad-ass Sith Lord you do not want to share a hallway with (just watch Rogue One). He is also a man (and part machine) on a mission to explore a part of his past. One he thought he left in the rearview mirror the moment he put on that iconic and intimidating black armor. The comic also showcases Lord Vader running into old memories that stir up his past as Anakin Skywalker. Greg Pak writes a version of the character who has no idea that this mission is slowly changing and leading him to his ultimate fate: A duel between father and son aboard the Death Star II. Whether you are a Star Wars fan, a Darth Vader fan or not, this is definitely a comic to read this year!
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Jorge Forres
Colorist: Dave Stewart
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Synopsis: “It’s been 35 years since Ozymandias dropped a giant interdimensional squid on New York City, killing thousands and destroying the public’s trust in heroes once and for all. And since that time, one figure in a fedora, mask, and trench coat has become a divisive culture icon. Writer Tom King joins forces with artist Jorge Fornes for a new miniseries that explores the mythic qualities of one of the most compelling characters from the bestselling graphic novel of all time, Watchmen.”
Why I chose this comic: When I heard that this series was coming out, I thought that somehow, Walter Kovacs was going to come back from the dead. Somehow, he got materialized back to life by Dr. Manhattan. Or, I thought it was going to be a narrative centered around Reggie Long, the son of prison psychiatrist Malcolm Long, who took on the mantle of Rorschach in the Watchmen-themed Doomsday Clock. However, the story centers around an investigation surrounding a man who has taken on the mantle of Rorschach.
The man in the Rorscach costume is revealed to be William Myerson, a comic creator. Myerson and a young woman named Laura Cummings were killed attempting to assassinate a presidential candidate. It is later revealed that Myerson’s and Cummings’ death kicks off the investigation as to why Rorschach, or someone pretending to be him, would go after a presidential candidate who is running against President Robert Redford. I feel that this comic has a motif akin to “Catch Me If You Can” since the investigator in the story is trying to piece the mystery behind Myerson and Cummings. However, the comic is rather dark than campy like the Leonardo DiCarprio and Tom Hanks films.
Which further cements my point of if you are into Watchmen or political conspiracy theories, grab some chow from Gunga Diner, sit back, and read this comic!