The best comics of the week scratch all different types of itches. From the bombastic courtroom drama of Civil War II #3 to the silly sci-fi cooking in Space Battle Lunchtime #3, the huge range of content in the medium can feel startling at times. Long gone are the days of the three genres: heroes, romance, and horror. But it is, of course, the sign of a healthy medium, a medium where artists can tell tiny little love stories, or write about an epic war between two alien species. Also covered this week: a comic about one of Hellboy’s best buds, and the moody story of an alien surveying the nastiness of Earth.
The Civil War II storyline is beginning to roll to a boil as heroes split off on either side of a moral dilemma. There’s a new kid with the power to see into the future, and some of the Marvel heroes think they should act on this information—take down a villain before he’s even hatched his scheme. Others feel the future isn’t real until it happens, and that this pre-policing is dangerous and murky waters. In this issue, the life of a major, long-standing Marvel hero is on the line. And if they stick with the decisions they make in this issue it will have lasting effects on the Marvel comics universe. Light on action but heavy on pathos and future implications, this is a very solid issue in the series.
The cover of this comic screams “From the pages of Hellboy,” but the story of Abe Sapien, an amphibious former member of the B.P.R.D., extends far past the stories of Hellboy alone. This issue, which finds Abe roaming the land trying to find his place in it, follows the destruction of the world in the B.P.R.D. comics, while Hellboy’s tucked away in hell (and his own miniseries). Though there’s a lot to catch up on for readers coming into this issue blind, the artwork and pacing are thoughtful and near-languid, and worth a browse.
Space Battle Lunchtime follows “earth chef” Peony as she learns the ropes of (and attempts to survive) Space Battle Lunchtime, an intergalactic cooking competition show. In this issue, her opponents are desperately trying to psych her out, sabotage her, or outright harm her. But she’s inventive, quick on her feet, and generally tries to be kind to everyone. This episode’s food challenge: to make a tasty snack out of a nutritious rock mined in outer space.
Zhia Malen is an alien from another planet, a planet that’s about to be invaded by Earth. So she’s crash-landed on our world to scope us out and, believe it or not, she’s not thrilled with what she sees. The story feels a little guarded right now, too many secrets, too many things unexplained, but the artwork is moody and beautiful, and the character design is top notch.