One of the hardest things about reading comics is knowing where to start. Comics shops carry hundreds of titles and get dozens of issues in every week on new comic-book day. On top of that, many comics have complex mythologies and backstories that make it hard to just pick up any random issue and have a clue what is going on.
That’s why Heroic Girls recommends comics every week that are excellent “jumping on” points for new readers or books that you should have been reading all along. Without further ado, here are our picks for the week of October 2, 2019.
Lois Lane #4
When done well, Lois Lane has always been one of my favorite characters. This 12-issue limited series is written by one of our favorite writers Greg Rucka. Using detective Renee Montoya, as an investigator and bodyguard, Lois is using her investigative reporting skills to uncover the story of a lifetime. But in order to maintain a low profile, she’s move out of Metropolis and away from Superman.
This is one to either find the first three issues, or to wait until it is released in the inevitable trade paperback.
(For more Rucka, check out the new crime drama Stumptown, an ABC Television show based on another of his excellent comics.)
Marvel Comics #1001
Part of Marvel’s 80th anniversary celebration, Marvel #1001 is a continuation of the format of Marvel #1000. Each page of this oversized comic tells another short story with a different creative team. With an incredible diversity of characters, art styles and story lines, this is the ultimate sampler platter of Marvel — past present and future.
The tone of the pieces also vary wildly — from heart-pounding action, to absurdist humor to pathos and melancholy.
While the stories are somewhat self-contained, people who are familiar with Marvel’s long history and incredible roster of heroes and villains will probably get more out of it than newcomers.
Ruby Falls #1
Ruby Falls is four-issue limited series written by veteran creator Ann Nocenti (Daredevil) and drawn by up-and-coming Italian artist Flavia Biondi. After hearing the ramblings of her dementia-addled grandmother, Lana becomes obsessed with cracking a decades old cold case of a decades old murder. The case connects three generations of women and may shake the sleepy town of Ruby Falls to the ground.
The series is being edited by industry legend Karen Berger, the genius behind DC’s Vertigo line who brought great British writers such as Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison and Peter Milligan to the US to write comics books for adults. The line-up gave us books like The Sandman, Hellblazer and Animal Man to name a few.
Now Berger has taken her talents to Dark Horse with a new imprint called “Berger Books,” and we expect great things.
The final issue of Man-Eaters is a bizarre one-off titled Handbook for the Revolution. While it works well as a coda to finish the series, it works equally well as a surreal stand-alone comic. Filled to the brim with strange imagery (it opens with a multi-page diagram showing how to convert a baby doll into a spy radio) and sly feminist rhetoric (a large flow chart explains when it is appropriate to “call a cat.”)
There is pretty much no coherent narrative to speak of, but this is a conversation-starter you can leave on the coffee table and flip through again and again.
Bury the Lede
Finally, we’re recommending the OGN (Original Graphic Novel) Bury the Lede. Written by best-selling author Gaby Dunn (Bad with Money, I Hate Everyone But You) with art by Claire Roe (Batgirl and the Birds of Prey), Bury the Lede is a taut thriller telling the story of newbie reporter Madison Jackson.
After stumbling on a murder scene, Madison is drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse when the gore-drenched suspect, socialite Dahlie Kennedy, refuses to talk to anyone but the inexperienced journalist about the murders of her husband and child.