10th Aug2017

Panel Discussion #43

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.

You probably already know this because it’s one of the big buzz books of the year, but the best comic this week by a long stretch is Tom King and Mitch Gerads’ Mister Miracle #1 which is a thought-provoking and unsettlingly down-to-Earth take on one of Jack Kirby’s greatest creations. This issue will certainly leave you with more questions than answers, but it’s important to know that you don’t need any other prior context ahead of reading it. If you’ve never read anything with the New Gods, this is a great place to start and it’s sure to be another classic in the vein of The Vision and The Omega Men.

Another fantastic debut this week is Jordie Bellaire and Vanessa Del Rey’s Redlands #1 which is a gorgeous and terrifying addition to Image’s increasing number of horror books in the past few years. Bellaire has proved herself as one of the best colorists of all time with a back-catalog of work far too long to list, but here she proves her storytelling chops with one of the best horror comics I’ve read in a long time. It’s witches vs cops in a sleepy and creepy Florida town and looks absolutely beautiful with Del Rey’s signature and unmistakable style.

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While most of Marvel is crawling out of the Secret Empire quagmire and marching towards Marvel Legacy next month, there’s a shining star in the form of Inhumans: Once and Future Kings #1 by Christopher Priest and Phil Noto which is essentially “Black Bolt and Maximus: Year One”. The resurgence of Priest has been a joy to watch and he still has an understanding of comics as a medium that few writers can claim to possess. Phil Noto is quite hit or miss for me with interiors but he brings everything to this issue to make it simply stunning; plus, there’s a Lockjaw back-up story by Ryan North and Gustavo Duarte.

I also wanted to give a shout-out to Si Spurrier and Daniel HDR’s The Shadow #1 from Dynamite, because while I know literally nothing about The Shadow as a character outside of Batman being a superhero take on him in his early incarnations, I am a massive fan of Spurrier’s to the point that I’ll check out anything he’s on, at least for an issue. This debut issue is a great start for a Shadow newbie like me and if it’s something you’ve toyed with checking out or you’re interested in the character after the recent Batman crossover — which I definitely need to go back and read — this is a great place to start.

Finally, I wanted to highlight a few DC books that start new arcs this week in that serve as great jumping on points. The Flash #28 follows the all-time-great “Running Scared” arc with a new story about Barry Allen struggling to manage the darkness inside him. Justice League of America #12 heads to the Microverse to rescue Ray Palmer and Action Comics #985 sees Rob Williams and Guillem March step in for a few issues to tackle Superman and Lex Luthor’s current uneasy alliance.

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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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