28th Jun2017

Panel Discussion #38

by Kieran Shiach

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Hello again, and welcome to the recently resurrected Panel Discussion. I’m Kieran, and every week I’m going to go through some of the best comics of the week to give you an idea what you should pick up that you might have missed. This is another stacked week with some fantastic first issues and great jumping on points for books you might be behind on, so let’s take a look at what’s on offer.

The big release of this week isn’t a Marvel or DC book, but is instead Secret Weapons from Valiant Entertainment (Secret Weapons #1 review). Valiant has been quietly and consistently the best publisher of superhero comics for a good couple of years now. It might seem like a bold statement, but if you’re going by ratio of quality to books published, Valiant takes it in a walk. The new incarnation of Secret Weapons is a perfect jumping on point to try out the Valiant Universe as Livewire takes a group of rejected Harbingers with seemingly useless powers and attempts to mold them into something great. It’s a fantastic and decidedly different take on the superhero team and it looks fantastic, definitely worth your time.

Also worth your time, as everything I recommend is, is the Batman/Elmer Fudd Special by Tom King and Lee Weeks. That might sound bizarre, but keep in mind this is Tom King and Lee Weeks doing a Batman story, so there’s going to be base level of quality there that you can’t ignore. DC’s Looney Tunes crossovers have been surprisingly excellent, but this one might be the best of the best, poking fun at the grim and gritty takes on classic characters by planting Elmer Fudd in Gotham and having him go up against The Dark Knight. It’s a genuinely great comic that’s funny and exciting and more than lives up to the promise of its premise.

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Speaking of DC Comics, today sees the final issue of Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones’ Supergirl: Being Super which has been an astonishing little miniseries that reimagines Supergirl in really interesting ways. It’s essentially Supergirl’s own Superman: Secret Identity or “What if Supergirl existed in the real world?” and I think as great as it’s been in single issue, it’s going to light the world on fire as a collected edition. You should catch up on it now that it’s all wrapped up and prepare to buy it in bulk once Christmas rolls around.

I’m a huge fan of cover copy on comics, and when it’s done well it can be the thing that tips me over the edge towards buying something. That’s what happened with Alex de Campi and ChrisCross’ Bankshot #1 from Dark Horse Comics which boasts the cover copy “If it can explode, IT WILL!” which is all I need to see to sample a new issue. Alex de Campi has become one of my favorite writers for breathtakingly new takes on classic concepts and this freedom fighter or terrorist tale is a fantastic example of such a feat. If you’re after a brand new series to take for a test drive, you should absolutely grab Bankshot #1.

Lastly, I said that every month Transformers: Lost Light comes out that I’d recommend and that hasn’t changed. The most recent arc was a bit much to give a new reader and relied on a deep knowledge of the characters, their continuity and their relationships but this week’s #7 feels like a much needed reset to zero to establish who these people (robots) are, what they want and what they mean to each other. I don’t have many ways to say that this is the best monthly comic, but trust me that this is the best monthly comic and try it out. I was skeptical too, but everyone I know who has tried it has been converted and it doesn’t take long to see what the fuss it about, I promise.

That’s it for me this week but there’s still a great number of awesome comics on the stands for you to check out. Happy reading everyone, and I’ll see you all next week!

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