The biggest release in comics this week is Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 1, the first trade paperback collection of author Ta-Nehisi Coates' Black Panther story. The comic has sold incredibly well since the release of the first issue, with several reprintings. The story follows T’Challa, the Black Panther, as he tries to guide his country of Wakanda through political turmoil and upheaval. This is a major work in contemporary comics, and if readers aren’t caught up, now’s the best time to jump in. But this is also, from front to back, a seriously impressive week for comic books. Included in this week’s rundown is a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic, a crazy dark sci-fi crossover, Wolverine being awesome, and a delicate and stunning indie sci-fi debut.
This new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series seems to pick up after the brothers have been apart for some time. Shredder and Krang have been dealt with, and now the brothers are reunited as new threats bubble up to the surface. The result is is, by far, one of the best TMNT series to come out since the original Mirage comics of the mid-80s, no catching up necessary. This series, like the original, is definitely more grown up than recent incarnations. It’s a little bit bloody, the turtles swear, and the story seems set up to be a nuanced look at prejudice and the dangers of a “witch-hunt” mentality. A must-read for the week.
This is the kind of comic that screams out at readers from the comic shelf. Putting together these three intellectual properties may seem like a dull cash grab, but it really works well in this comic. Judge Dredd (a futuristic super cop, for the uninitiated) tracks down a mad genetic scientist in the forest who has captured a Predator and is experimenting with Alien (or, Xenomorph) DNA. Dark sci-fi fans will really enjoy this series, as it merges all three franchises naturally.
The “All-New Wolverine” isn’t the same old man Logan, chomping on cigars and muttering things about being the best at what he does. This new Wolverine is a woman named Laura, cloned from Logan’s DNA, who lives with her own young clone, and an actual wolverine. It’s a lighter-hearted storyline, and this annual sees Laura switching bodies with another fan favorite, Spider-Gwen. Readers familiar with current Marvel affairs will especially like this issue, but being a Civil War II expert is in no way required to enjoy this comic.
The Longest Day of the Future is the debut work of Argentine cartoonist Lucas Varela, and this graphic novel from Fantagraphics (who always put out great work) may be the best comic of the week (and is pushing for best of the summer). Longest Day’s elegant linework and subtle humor shine through, and the entire comic seems to quiver under Varela’s purposefully fragile construction. The story is a mostly wordless sci-fi tale about a future where capitalism has gone unchecked, and people are cogs in corporate machines. There’s enough inventive, sly work going on here to keep the narrative feeling fresh, and Varela’s color palette is an exercise in good taste. This 120-page graphic novel is absolutely a must-read this week.
What were your favorite pulls this week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us: @CreatorsProject.