The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of November 2018

The B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog

Wakanda Forever, by Nnedi Okorafor, Alberto Albuquerque, Ray-Anthony Height, and Oleg Okunev
Best known for her award-winning sci-fi and YA prose books (among them Binti and Akata Witch), Okorafor is lately jumping into comics in a big way. Here she takes on Wakanda’s fiercest warriors, the Dora Milaje, who have put their service to the throne of Wakanda behind them. That doesn’t mean they’re not still heroes, and here they’re teaming up with Spider-Man, the Avengers, and the X-Men in order to battle a threat to their homeland that comes from outside of its borders.

Justice League, Vol. 1: The Totality, by Scott Snyder, James Tynion, Jim Cheung, and Jorge Jimenez
Lead by all-stars Snyder and Cheung, this is the book that promises to place the JL back at the center of action in the DC universe, with the new team facing big, cosmic threats. As the series opens, a crack is discovered in the Source Wall that’s bleeding into the universe, inspiring the long-absent Martian Manhunter to reform the team with all of its biggest names. It has not escaped Lex Luthor’s notice that the Source Wall might be vulnerable, and before long the Legion of Doom is just one of several interconnected threats mobilizing against them newly regrouped heroes.

The Man of Steel, by Brian Michael Bendis, Ivan Reis, Jason Fabok, Adam Hughes, and Ryan Sook
Brian Michael Bendis makes the jump to DC with this new series, kicking off his run on the various Superman books. While Clark is adjusting to life without Lois and Jon, who’ve left Earth under mysterious circumstances, a new foe with ties to Superman’s past appears: Rogol Zaar claims that he’s the one who destroyed Krypton, and won’t stop until all of the Kryptonians are gone. He’s not nice.

Moonstruck, Vol. 2: Some Enchanted Evening, by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, and Kat Fajardo
The first volume of this upstart Image series, set in a world where monsters and magical creatures are part of everyday life, is a whole lot of fun—a light mystery caper that builds out an immensely cozy world. With the winter solstice just around the corner, the second volume in the (relatively) all-ages, queer-positive series finds Julie, insecure werewolf barista, caught up in the antics of some fairy frat bros.

Girl Town, by Carolyn Nowak
This new graphic novel anthology from Lumberjanes‘ Nowack puts a surreal sci-fi twist on love, coming-of-age, and just managing to get by. Diana has been hurt in relationships before, so purchasing a full-sized robot boyfriend sees like a decent way to keep herself from harm.  Two pals host a podcast about a movie no one has seen (proving there really is a podcast for everything). These and more short stories and mini-comics round out a collection that speaks all too clearly the painful truths of growing up and figuring out who you are.

 

Crude, Vol. 1, by Steve Orlando, Garry Brown, and Lee Loughridge
Big Two regulars Orlando, Brown, and Lee team up for a darkly violent, all-too-relevant revenge thriller. Being queer in modern Russia can be a death sentence, as Piotr Petrovich learns when his estranged son is returned to him in a body bag. A former assassin, Petrovich was once widely feared. His reign of terror will be again as he sets out on a quest to discover who his son really was, and in the process, avenge his death.

Thanos: The Infinity Conflict, by Jim Starlin, Alan Davis, Mark Farmer, and Jim Campbell
Writer/Infinity Gauntlet mastermind Jim Starlin returns with another high impact Thanos story. Adam Warlock is beginning to regret having given the Reality Gem to Thanos, even if he didn’t have much choice at the time. An unlikely crew gathers to prevent Thanos from becoming lord of all reality, but an internal conflict might be the biggest threat to the big guy’s plans. Starlin returns to his creation for the latest chapter in the cosmic journey of the mad Titan, continuing on from Infinity Siblings.

Star Wars: Lando—Double or Nothing, by Rodney Barnes, Paolo Villanelli, Andres Mossa, and Joe Caramagna
There’s no question Lando stole the spotlight from Han in Solo: A Star Wars Story. If we can’t get a Lando movie, maybe this will suffice: In a new adventure set just prior to Solo, Lando Calrissian and his pal L3-37 are looking for action and credits when they meets Kristiss, a Petrusian freedom fighter who wants their help with a rebellion on her home world. Is the price right? If so, they’re interested.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation, by Gary Whitta, Michael Walsh, and Mike Spicer
You know the story: at the behest of General Leia, Rey tries to bring Luke Skywalker back into the Resistance fold just as the First Order brings the hammer down on our heroes. The comic adaption, penned by screenwriter/author Gary Whitta, not only recreates the film with vivid artwork, it includes expanded and extra scenes that didn’t make it to the big screen.

Wet Hot American Summer, by Christopher Hastings, Noah Hayes, and Rebecca Nalty, created by Michael Showalter and David Wain
The wet world of the cult classic film and Netflix series continues in this original graphic novel. It’s a new story starring some old favorites, set in the summer of 1981: Camp director Beth is thrilled to have survived week one at Camp Firewood, until she learns that the health department is on its way for a surprise inspection. If the whole gang can’t clean up the camp in under 24 hours, Firewood will be closing its doors forever. Adventure Time scribe Christopher Hastings keeps up the manic energy of the films, and artist Noah Hayes captures the likenesses of the star-studded cast in perfect cartoon-y fashion.

Mother Panic: Gotham A.D., by Jody Houser, Shawn Crystal, Ibrahim Moustafa, and Jordan Boyd
Ten years in the future, Gotham is run by the Collective and vigilantes and masked heroes are strictly forbidden. That means there’s no room for Violet’s alter-ego, Mother Panic, but she’s still vowed revenge. She’s also on the hunt for her mother, Rebecca Paige, who’s gone missing. With the shuttering of DC’s Young Animals imprint, this is the last we’ll see of MP for now, and we’re going to miss her nutty vigilante ways.

Hope: For The Future, by Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton
Dark magic is a fact of life in Hollywood of the 1940s. Private detective Mallory Hope is involved in the case of a missing boy with parallels to the loss of his own child, and he’s determined that this story will end better, even as he’s haunted by his own past and by forces of the occult.

Dodge City, by Josh Trujillo, Cara McGee, Brittany Peer, and Aubrey Aiese
Teenage misfit Tomás is struggling until he joins up with the Jazz Pandas, a dodgeball team full of fellow weirdos and outcasts. They’re also extremely competitive, and determined to win the summer regional championships. This fun YA sports comedy is also a neat coming-of-age story.

Mirenda, Vol. 1, by Grim Wilkins
Originally serialized in ISLAND magazine, this near-wordless story is wild, avant-garde, and very visual experimental fantasy. A jungle woman gets a mysterious demon trapped in her leg (like ya’ do) and goes on a wild adventure. It’s a weird, gorgeous book.

I Am Young, by M. Dean
Miriam, a second-generation Iranian immigrant in Edinburgh, met George, a visitor from Wales, at a Beatles concert in Scotland in 1964. The book follows their life stories in parallel with the evolution of the Beatles through a series of interconnected and experimental short stories. It’s a powerful, personal story and a sweeping portrait of an era in one.

Form of a Question, by Andrew J. Rostan and Kate Kasenow
Rostan’s memoir puts Jeopardy! front and center, as some of the cartoonist’s happiest memories were spent watching the Alex Trebek-hosted quiz show with his grandfather. A chance to go on the show himself in his early 20s forced Rostan to face his own past and reconcile a life lived a step removed from humanity.

Maestros, Vol. 1, by Steve Skroce, Dave Stewart, and Fonografiks
Once banished from an alternate realm to Earth, an Orlando millennial and magician-for-hire Will is surprised to inherits a magic kingdom after his entire otherworldly family is murdered by monsters. Now next in line to be Wizard King,  Will suddenly finds he has enemies on all sides, but he also has access to a spell that gives its user god-like powers. This is punk rock fantasy with a dark sense of humor that will appeal to fans of Curse Words, with trippy, hyper-detailed, and gleefully gory art that will put a smile on your face. It’s easy to see why it garnered that Best New Series Eisner nod.

Bingo Love, Vol. 1: Jackpot Edition, by Tee Franklin, Marguerite Bennett, Gail Simone, Shawn Pryor, Gabby Rivera, Jenn St-Onge, Joy San, Cardinal Rae, Erica Schultz, and Genevieve FT
No superheroes, nor explosions, but still one of our faves of the year. Bingo Love tells a charming love story spanning half of a century: Hazel and Mari meet at church bingo in 1963, but their families push them apart before each goes on to marry other people and carve out very different lives for themselves. A heated bingo game 50 years later brings them back together, forcing them to consider what their love for each other means. This queer, black love story is challenging and sweet, with gorgeous artwork, and this  fancy new edition includes a whopping 60 pages of new material from A-list creators, originally available only to Kickstarter backers.

Men of Wrath, by Jason Aaron and Ron Garney
A family of the American south with a long legacy of violence has a chance to walk a new path, if only weathered hitman Ira Rath will take the chance. A century ago, Isam Rath killed a man over some sheep, and the Alabama family has been caught in a generational cycle of violence ever since. Ira’s new job could change their fates, but habits do die hard. Southern Bastards creator Jason Aaron knows from these sorts of hardboiled south of the Mason-Dixon tales, and Ron Garney’s art drips with atmosphere in this remastered Image Comics edition.

The Fade Out: The Complete Collection, by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Elizabeth Breitweiser
Ed Brubaker has brought noir sensibilities to just about every project he’s worked on, including superhero books like Daredevil and Captain America. The Fade-Out, created with his regular collaborator Sean Phillips (working with colorist Elizabeth Breitweiser), is an old-school potboiler, a sordid tale of murder in old Hollywood—and it might be Brubaker’s best work yet. It’s the story of Charlie Parish, a Hollywood screenwriter with PTSD, and his friend Gil, a blacklisted writer. Charlie wakes up in the room of a murdered starlet one day, and has to work out her story while bringing her killer to justice. This new paperback edition collects the entire series.

What’s on your pull list?

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