Mister Miracle (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Tom King and Mitch Gerads
One of the most acclaimed comics works of the last year (already a classic in the making) is collected in a Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition that includes a variant cover from series artist Gerads, a new introduction from writer King, and the complete script of the first issue. Scott Free was raised on the nightmare world Apokalips as part of a child exchange designed to bring peace. Now he just wants to live a normal life in the suburbs with his life-long love, Big Barda. Mind-bending complications ensue, including an opening scene that sees Scott attempting an escape from his own life. Ultimately, it’s a very contemporary story about moving beyond past trauma and finding a way to live in a world where new traumas are always just around the corner, and it belongs on your shelf next to the recent collector’s edition of King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s similarly acclaimed Vision.
PTSD, by Guillaume Singelin
Former sniper Jun just wants to find peace, but there’s very little of that on offer following her return from an unpopular war. Her tough exterior served her well in combat, but only serves to alienate her at home, leaving her without friends and without help when she begins suffering the effects of PTSD. Coming to rely on drugs to her her function normally, she slowly begins to realize there’s solace to be had in relationships with her fellow vets, not to mention a warm-hearted soup-seller and an incredibly stubborn dog named Red. Singelin’s lush watercolors bring a vibrancy and poignance to this story of war’s long reach.
Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess’s Stardust (New Edition), by Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess
This collaboration between luminaries Gaiman and Vess is always worth a reread. If you’re new to the story, all the better: this new edition presents the illustrated novella in fine form. Set in rural England of the 19th century and inspired by Tolkien, the story follows Tristran Thorn, half-Faerie and resident of the town of Wall, who promises to retrieve a fallen star named Yvaine as a sign of his devotion to his love Victoria.
Transmetropolitan: Book One, by Warren Ellis, Darick Robertson, Rodney Ramos, and Nathan Eyring with Garth Ennis
Self-exiled gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem finds himself forced to return to The City, finding it more degenerate and corrupt than he left it. Naturally, he is determined to clean it up, fighting injustice via his popular newspaper column. This surreal cyberpunk series is a bonafide classic, and this new edition includes fresh behind-the-scenes material, variant covers, and scripts.
Chronin, Vol. 1: The Knife at Your Back, by Alison Wilgus
Out of place and out of time, Mirai Yoshida, a student from 2042, finds herself trapped in 1864 Japan after a temporal mishap. She befriends a humble tea mistress and just tries to get by, knowing all the while what no one else does: civil war is coming, with forces aiming to restore the imperial court set to depose the shogunate. Taking up the sword might be her only means of survival.
Marvel’s Captain Marvel Prelude, by Andrea Di Vito, Will Corona Pilgrim, and Laura Villari
In anticipation of the forthcoming movie, this book collects several classic Carol Danvers stories alongside a new prequel that sets up what’s coming on the big screen. Included are Danvers’ first appearance from 1968, the first issues of three of her solo books (from 1977 to the present), as well as a one-shot team-up between Captain Danvers and the (long-deceased) original Captain Mar-Vell. It’s a great primer for our most anticipated comic book movie of the year (sorry, Avengers).
The Life of Captain Marvel, by Margaret Stohl, Carlos Pacheco, Julian Totino Tedesco, Rafael Fonteriz, Marcio Menyz, Marguerite Sauvage, and Clayton Cowles
And if you’d like some additional study materials before witnessing Carol’s long-awaited big screen debut, this recent mini-series fleshes out her backstory over the course of a trip home gone awry. For readers who might be coming to Captain Marvel for the first time, it’s a great way to orient yourself to the adventures of the one-time NASA security officer turned intergalactic super-being. There’s plenty here for long-time fans to appreciate as well, included a stunning revelation that puts a new spin on the entirety of the character’s 50-year history.
Black Panther, Book 6: The Intergalactic Empire of Wakanda Part 1, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Daniel Acuña, Jen Bartel, Joe Sabino, and Triona Farrell
Awakening in the vibranium mines with no memory of his past, T’Challa comes to discover that the borders of Wakanda extend far beyond his wildest dreams: across the universe, there exists a vast empire founded in his name. The latest chapter in Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther epic is heading out into space.
The Be-Bop Barbarians: A Graphic Novel, by Gary Phillips and Dale Berry
Cliff Murphy is a light-skinned black comics artist and inventor of the Phantom Avenger, a character who is about to be stolen out from under him. Stef Rawls writes a romance-adventure strip by day and works as a maid at night to make ends meet. She’s offered a gig by the FBI doing art for an anti-agitation flyer, and needs the money too much to say no. Ollie Jefferson is a Korean War veteran and editorial cartoonist whose brutal beating by a cop becomes symbolic of oppression. The lives and struggles of these three friends intersect,even as the streets are about to explode into violence during another volatile time in history.
Vagrant Queen, Vol. 1, by Magdalene Visaggio, Jason Smith, Harry Saxon, and Zaak Saam
Once the child queen of an intergalactic empire, Elida Al-Feyr now wanders the galaxy as a thief, scavenger, and all-around scoundrel, staying alive and dodging the revolutionaries that deposed her to begin with. Approached with information suggesting that her mother is alive and at the heart of her old kingdom, Elida is forced to stage a bold rescue. This creator-owned book from Magdalene “Maggs” Visaggio (Eternity Girl, Kim & Kim) is a satisfyingly pulpy, over-the-top outer space adventure, enlivened by Smith’s detailed, ever-so-slightly cartoony art and Harry Saxon’s bold coloring.
Shanghai Red, by Christopher Sebela, Joshua Hixson, and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
There are real-life legends about the Old Portland Underground, a series of tunnels beneath the city ostensibly used for the movement of goods from ships to local businesses. This was during the era when dwellers in port cities could be shanghaied: tricked or forced into service aboard ships. Red has assumed the identity of Jack in order to move through this seedy world, only to find themselves kidnapped. The story’s not about a victim, though… it’s a wonderfully gritty story of revenge starring a lead with a complex gender identity and expression.
High Crimes, by Christopher Sebela and Ibrahim Moustafa
Another impressive new book from writer Sebela, here joined by rising star Ibrahim Moustafa. Zan Jensen is a disgraced former Olympic snowboarder who’s now running tours as a climbing guide in Kathmandu. She’s also got a sideline as a grave robber: robbing the corpses of wealthy tourists littering the mountain, and charging phenomenal sums to retrieve them. Zan gets more than she bargained for when her latest score is a body hiding a wealth of state secrets. She soon finds herself pursued by government agents who will stop at nothing to retrieve the information and eliminate any witnesses.
Spider-Geddon, by Christos Gage, Clayton Crain, Dan Slott, Jorge Molina, David Curiel, and Travis Lanham, and Carlo Barberi
If we learned anything from the eye-popping Into the Spider-Verse movie, it’s that you can never have too many Spider-People (even when they’re not people). Using technology stolen from the Spider-Predators called the Inheritors, one-time Superior Spider-Man Otto Octavius has found a way to extend his life indefinitely. Unfortunately, that’s all that the Inheritors need to return from their prison universe and restart their hunt. All of your favorite Spiders, and several new ones, team up to save themselves and end the threat of… Spider-Geddon!
Monster, by Enki Bilal
The four-volume magnum opus collected here represents some of the most personal work of legendary French/Serbian comic creator Enki Bilal’s storied career. Orphans, Nike, Leyla, and Amir are born days apart in the same bed in Sarajevo during the 1993 war in Yugoslavia. They each go on to lead very different lives, until fate brings them crashing back together again. This is the first time this deeply personal, deeply emotional work has been translated into English.
The Long Con, by Dylan Meconis, Ben Coleman, and EA Denich
The convention’s been going on for five years—though nobody in the outside world has a clue. Los Spinoza Convention Center, and everything within a 50-mile radius of the building, were thought to have been obliterated in a catastrophe, but it turns out that the con-goers survived and kept the party going. Victor Lai was a reporter covering the con who escaped at the last minute, abandoning his best friend in the process. Now, he’s going back to find out what happened. It’s a fun mystery and full of insider humor for anyone familiar with the odder side of con culture.
LOUD, by Maria Llovet
Promising a wild ride and more than delivering one, Llovet’s LOUD takes place in the titular underworld nightclub, an after-dark spot filled with as much sweat and blood as hard liquor, peopled with a cast of characters that includes strippers, hitmen, lesbian junkies, a dominatrix, and a clan of vampires. And that’s just on one particularly busy night. It’s been billed as Tarantino meets The Hunger, which isn’t far off; in other words, if seedy vampires are your thing, have at it. It’s a grungy blast.
Lowlifes, by Brian Buccellato and Alexis Sentenac
Grand is a cop barely hanging on. Leonard is an addict trying to win back his family. Rip is an underworld fighter. Wendell is the man pulling all their strings. The morally compromised lives of these citizens of Los Angeles come together in the fallout from a poker game robbery, as each fights to stay ahead of the others in a different sort of game, one in which the stakes aren’t life or death so much as redemption or destruction.
Iron: Or The War After, by S.M. Vidaurri
A top-secret document is stolen by a Resistance spy named Hardin, and he falls into a complex web of government plots and counter-plots. The chain reaction from his act of espionage impacts everyone from the leaders at the highest levels to Hardin’s own children. It’s a beautifully drawn story about the consequences of political extremism—and did we mention that the characters are all anthropomorphized animals? In the tradition of Maus comes this novelistic fable about the costs of fighting back, even when your cause already seems lost.
What’s on your pull list this month?
The post The Best Comics and Graphic Novels of February 2019 appeared first on The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog.