Hollywood Horror and Deep Space Oddities: This Week in Comics
This week's best comics aren’t from Marvel or DC—and that shouldn’t surprise you.
Panel selection from Bounty #3. Illustrated by Mindy Lee with colors by Leonardo Olea. Screencap via the author
This week’s best comics are all indie or smaller publisher comics, and a few are even debuts. It's always exciting to see first issues on the shelves, as one of the biggest challenges facing week-to-week comics is the feeling of leaving the reader behind with a long series. That’s why easily explained superheroes (Superman is a Super Man, ditto Spider-Man) with one-off stories (stop Lex Luthor, stop Green Goblin, respectively,) work so well on the stands. But for indies with subtler, more nuanced plotlines, hooking new readers late in a series run is tricky. So jump in with these new comics, which include a Hollywood horror thriller and a fun indie about a magical girl and her cat-unicorn sidekick.
Farrah is a middle-aged actor desperately hoping to book the next gig, but when she’s turned down because she’s a too old for a role, she seeks solace by the ocean. When another being of great and destructive power takes an interest in her, Farrah’s suddenly in a position of power. This is a great first issue, and this series will be truly great if it takes to task the ageism and body-shaming practices that plague Hollywood. Right now, the comic does seem focused on all the right aspects, and it will be fun to see where the story goes—recommended for fans of Hollywood vice stories and/or Cthulhu horror.
This issue picks up right in the middle of the action, with the protagonists' ship about to plunge into a black hole. Some of the crew work to nudge the ship away from the terrible pull, while others try and find out why they’ve landed so close to danger. This issue gets wild, and travels to unexpected places, as revelations about the nature of the ship’s cargo come into play. This is one of those comics, as mentioned above, that could benefit from a hearty recap, but the artwork and tense plotting of this issue land it a spot on this list even if readers aren’t familiar with the action on the page. Do some research, or read the previous nine issues, and climb aboard the Faster Than Light ship.
Bounty tells the story of a group of intergalactic bounty hunters in the middle of a mission to pick up a suspected terrorist. Within the twentysomething pages of this comic, questions of loyalty, the greater good, and the tedium of a working life are all subtly brought into play. While the artwork (by Mindy Lee) and colors (by Leonardo Olea) are neon-soaked, futuristic, and dazzling, the story by Kurtis Wiebe is the true standout in Bounty. These characters, who sport amazing hair and great outfits, instantly feel real, honest, and engaging.
Magic Girls #1 follows Kira, a Magical Girl in the style of a Japanese shoujo manga (á la Sailor Moon). She and her sidekick, Catacorn—a cat/unicorn, obviously—go through daily life worried about things like balancing crime fighting and school, wearing dumb outfits, and upgrading to new powerful forms. This comic, created entirely by artist Megan Brennan, brims with personality and sports a goofy whole-hearted sense of humor. This one's an easy and extremely pleasant read.
What were your favorite comics this week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @CreatorsProject.