The Best New #1s You May Have Missed Last Week When Everything Went To Hell
Last week was tough for a lot of people, and as the US election results came in on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, a lot of us just didn't want to read comics or do much of anything as we adjusted to a changing world. Last Wednesday wasn't New Comic Book Day so much as "What Do We Do Now?" Day, and a lot of comics got lost in the shuffle.
However, last week was packed with some really stellar comic debuts and new #1s, and many of them might not have got the attention they deserved due to the omnipresence of the election results. It was a bad week to launch a new book, and a weak launch can be very bad news for a book's future. With that in mind, we've gone back to highlight six new comics from last week that are worth picking up this week.
Mega Princess #1Kelly Thompson, Brianne Drouhard, M. Victoria Robado & Warren Montgomery
Max wants to be a private detective, but she’s only ten years old, and she’s a princess. Further complicating the situation is that Fairy Godmother gave her the combined powers of all other princesses. So now she’s a detective who can sing and dance and tell if there’s a pea under her mattress, which is not exactly the kind of power she was hoping for. But she’ll need whatever gifts she has to find her missing brother, with the help of a pony nicknamed Jerk Pony.
This is a gem of an all-ages comic. Writer Kelly Thompson brings the same charm that makes her Jem and the Holograms such a delight while writing with a slightly younger audience in mind, and artist Brianne Drouhard gives each character a special charm and personality that adds to depth to even the most minor player. This is a comic that will make you smile, and that’s something we all need right now. To find out more, check out our recent interview with Thompson and Drouhard. [Elle Collins]
Namesake #1Steve Orlando, Jakub Rebulka & Thoma Mauer
Every seven years, Earth intersects with a much more magical dimension, and during that time there are parties, there is trade, and there is crime.
Namesake comes at you with a lot of information really fast, but Steve Orlando and Jakub Rebelka do an excellent job of building the world out from the main character and making it a very personal story with very personal stakes, while tantalizing you with hints and suggestions of a much larger lore. Ultimately, it’s a story about reconnecting with your family after it’s too late, but it’s also an epic-scope science fiction and fantasy tale in the most classic of molds. [Kieran Shiach]
Black Panther: World of Wakanda #1Roxane Gay, Yona Harvey, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Alitha E. Martinez, Afua Richardson, Rachelle Rosenberg, Tamra Bonvillain & Joe Sabino
A spin-off of the current run of Black Panther, World of Wakanda follows that book in being written by one of America’s most important essayists and a newcomer to comics. In this case, it’s Roxane Gay, recruited by Black Panther writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, who also serves as a consultant. World of Wakanda is a comic about queer black women written by a queer black woman, something that’s never happened at Marvel before, and would have been unthinkable just a short time ago.
It’s a romance comic at heart, telling the story of Aneka and Ayo, two women who fall in love with each other while serving in the Dora Milaje, the elite royal guard of Wakanda. It’s also a story about falling out of love with Wakanda and its government. It’s also an Avengers vs X-Men tie-in, which I really did not see coming. And somehow this first issue holds together perfectly, beginning a saga of love and loss that I can’t wait to explore further. [EC]
Mother Panic #1Jody Houser, Tommy Lee Edwards & John Workman
Easily the most conventional superhero comic to come out of Young Animal, Mother Panic #1 is still far from a conventional superhero comic. Violet Page is a lot like Bruce Wayne, while being nothing like him at all. She’s a rich kid from Gotham City who returns as an adult to dress up in a pointy-eared costume and take the law into her own hands. But there’s a real question about whether she’s interested in justice at all, or just her petty need for vengeance.
On top of that, the hedonistic playboy act Bruce puts on appears to be the way Violet really lives, and what happened to her parents is a lot more complicated than a mugging gone wrong. What’s all the more fascinating is that this deconstructed take on the Batman archetype by Houser and Edwards exists in the same world as Batman, who even appears in this comic. And when he catches up to her, things are really going to get interesting. [EC]
Violent Love #1Frank Barberie, Victor Santos & Dylan Todd
Almost everything you need to know about Violent Love is right there in the title, it’s a crime comic, and it’s a romance comic, and it owes equal amounts to those two genres that were both once among the most popular types of comic stories. It stars two criminal lovers on the run and out for revenge, and the cop on their trail, and owes as much to the Coen Brothers’ more serious fare as it does to Crime Does Not Pay or Young Romance.
Violent Love is much more than a crime story though; it’s a story about an old man’s regrets and a world that doesn’t exist anymore. Victor Santos’ art is absolutely gorgeous, and fills the pages with a classic cinematic quality, similar to the late Darwyn Cooke’s work on his adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker series. While crime comics aren’t in short supply, there’s some special to Violent Love that makes it worth seeking out. [KS]
Invincible Iron Man #1Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, Marte Garcia & Clayton Cowles
Invincible Iron Man #1 was already one of the most talked about comics of the year thanks to the the decision to introduce a black teenage girl as Iron Man's replacement. There hasn’t been much said about the actual comic since it came out — understandably so, in the circumstances — but it’s a strong debut issue.
The idea that raising a child would be radically different in a world with superheroes is an underdeveloped concept with a lot of room to explore, and Riri Williams’ origin is a classic Marvel tragedy. Stefano Caselli might not have co-created Riri, but after this first issue she’s as much as his character as Brian Bendis or Mike Deodato's, and he imbues her with heaps of life, charm, and intellect that will likely insure she becomes a fixture in the Marvel Universe for years to come. [KS]