Graphic novels are a great gift idea for the comics lovers in your life, but the last few years have also seen a huge rise in the number of comics anthologies being published, many of them centered on a particular theme, or showcasing work from marginalized creators, such as people of color, women, LGBTQ people. The next generation of comics stars are making their start right now, eight pages at a time, in these brilliant anthology projects --- so here's our guide to some of the best comics anthologies to pick up this holiday season.
Hey, you kids are all about the Revolutionary War these days, right? Like, super into Federalist Papers and Hercules Mulligan and all that? Great, because I have some good news for you: Not only is Archie's rebooted version of the Shield back in action with one of the best costume redesigns of the past few years, but it's also taking you into the origins of comics' first patriotic superhero. And it is not the origin you might expect. Check out a preview.
The Black Hood was unquestionably the breakout star of Archie's grim and gritty Dark Circle imprint. Sure, the initial wave of interest may have come from the fact that it was the first comic published by Archie to ever drop the F-bomb on the page, but what kept readers coming back was the brutal crime story of Greg Hettinger, a cop turned vigilante turned criminal who just kept making things worse for himself.
Now, Greg is back, having fled from Philadelphia and the pretty extensive crimes of his past, as Duane Swierczynski, Greg Scott, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Rachel Deering bring you The Black Hood: Season 2. And while the setting may have changed to California, the action is every bit as ruthless as it has been.
Generally speaking, I'm not a huge fan of comics referring to their arcs with the television-friendly term "seasons," but for Black Hood, I'm willing to make an exception. With their story of a cop who turns vigilante after a devastating injury, Duane Swierczynski, Greg Scott, Kelly Fitzpatrick and Rachel Deering have captured the feeling of a brutal, gritty TV drama better than just about anything I've ever read.
Whenever Archie brings up the Shield, the classic superhero originally created by Harry Shorten and Irv Novick back in 1940, they're almost always pretty quick to mention that the original version was "the first patriotic superhero." Now, it looks like the reboot is going to take that epithet to a pretty literal extreme.
When Adam Christopher, Chuck Wendig, Drew Johnson, Rachel Deering and Kelly Fitzpatrick relaunch the Shield as part of the Dark Circle imprint later this month, the spotlight will be on a new version of the character, Victoria Adams. The new incarnation certainly feels modern, but unlike her predecessors, she's going to have a long, long history of defending the United States of America --- a history that goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Check out a preview.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Our subject this week is writer, editor, and letterer Rachel Deering, whose work CA readers have seen in the Kickstarter hit Womanthology, her self-published lesbian werewolf epic Anathema, and Valiant's Shadowman, which she has lettered. Her next writing project is Relic, coming soon from Monkeybrain Comics.
On sale this week from IDW Publishing is the first issue of Womanthology: Space, a new anthology title spotlighting the work of female writers, artists, letterers, colorists and editors. A five-issue spinoff of the highly successful Kickstarter project, Womanthology: Heroic, the Space book focuses on science-fiction themes and features new work by Ming Doyle, Stephanie Hans, Jordie Bellaire and Jessica Hickman, among others...
At first glance, you might not think of writer Rachel Deering's self-described "lesbian werewolf epic" Anathema as a love story. There's no romantic montages, overcoming adversity or teary confessions in the rain - and there's definitely not a happy ending: the first issue opens with Mercy Barlowe recounting her girlfriend being burned at the stake for the couple's "abomination" and the crippling guilt she feels for running away...