19th Jul2017

Panel Discussion #41

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.

Image Comics runs away with this week with three stunning new debuts proving why it is still the place to go for independently published comics. The big release this week is Moonstruck #1 by Grace Ellis and Shae Beagle which starts out as a slice of life comic featuring monsters that turns into something very different indeed. There’s werewolves, centaurs and a massive conspiracy getting in the way of everything, but it’s still charming, cute and very much the type of title that Image doesn’t usually publish and desperately needed in its slate. Plus, the first arc has back-up strips by Kate Leth, so there’s even more awesome for your buck.

Another big debut from Image this week that I enjoyed a lot was Generation Gone by Ales Kot, Andre Araujo and Chris O’Halloran. It’s a sci-fi, near-future “screw the world” tale about three disillusioned kids with nothing to lose and it fits in with everything I really dig about Kot’s sensibilities as a writer and there’s something about O’Halloran’s colors that bring Araujo’s art to life for me in a way that previous work in Avengers AI and The Wicked + The Divine never did.

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I also really dug Lazarus X+66 #1 by Greg Rucka, Eric Trautmann and Steve Lieber but it also very much feels like the next issue of Lazarus in many ways, and while a good jumping on point for new readers, I’d recommend it more as a way-in for lapsed readers more. Lazarus is a book that I fall behind on frequently and always regret when I do because it’s the kind of hard-sci-fi that I love and this series’ look beyond the Carlyle family is the exact kind of world-building that I’m into.

I don’t read all of the James Bond stuff that Dynamite Entertainment puts out, but every now and then something will catch my eye, and this week that was James Bond: Kill Chain #1 by Andy Diggle and Luca Casalanguida. I was recommended their previous mini-series James Bond: Hammerhead by a friend and it definitely left an impression on me enough to keep an eye out for any follow-ups, and I was thrilled by this issue which continues the trend of super-grounded James Bond stories set in the now as it’s all about a plot to destroy NATO and forcing Bond to work against the CIA. This is everything I love about boots-to-the-ground Bond and if you’re a fan of the world’s most famous spy, you need to be reading this book.

Lastly, Marvel has a new X-book this week with Charles Soule and Jim Cheung’s Astonishing X-Men #1. It feels more like it should be called Astonishing X-Force #1 given the line-up of the team, but it’s still a great debut issue for the new series which features a number of my favorite X-Men characters like Fantomex and Bishop and puts them against one of my favorite villains in The Shadow King. Time will tell whether the rotating artist line-up will help or hinder this series, but this first issue is a knockout and worth a punt if you’ve got a spare couple of quid to burn.

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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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