This week’s rundown of comics show exactly what the best middle tier comic companies put out each week. Not as huge as DC or Marvel, and not as tiny as some of the indie presses that readers will find on Comixology, comic companies like Image, Dark Horse, Valiant, Boom Studios, and Oni Press really shine week to week. They continually push the envelope, develop great storylines, and help represent progressive work in comics. This week in comics the focus is on a Buffy comic, an amazing re-imagining of Robin Hood, a collection of a publisher’s best small works, and Faith, the most kind-hearted superhero on shelves.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics continue the storyline of the beloved cult TV show with respect and reverence for the source material. This is every diehard fan’s dream, that their favorite show would live on (and on, and on). This issue of the “Season 10” arc has the Scoobies finally squaring up against the “Big Bad,” a bureaucratic demon who wants more power than he currently has. The tone of the show is still intact, with characters saying things like “we’re toast” as demons surge with power in the distance.
Merry Men is a bold re-imagining of the classic tale of Robin Hood. What if Robin and his band of merry men weren’t cast out by the Sheriff of Nottingham for being bandits, but were cast out for being gay? Well-illustrated, and with a momentous forward trajectory through the plot, Merry Men #2 even endeavors to give a bit of queer history of England, taking a break from the comic’s panels to tell the story of William Rufus. This comic can get violent at times (we see Robin as a fighter in the Crusades), and if readers are triggered by the mistreatment of gay characters this won’t sit easy at times, but it’s a brave retelling and interesting approach to the concept. These characters aren’t caricatures, they’re fighting men living on the outskirts of society.
This comic collection would be well worth the asking price ($5.00) for the wonderful Geof Darrow cover alone. But this compilation is packed with great new comic chapters from some of the best artists and writers working in the business. Comic showcases are always a great way to jump into stories which might be new to a reader. This issue features a new Tarzan comic, a grim and bloody police procedural, a bombastic chapter in Michael T. Gilbert’s Mister Monster, and more. Jump in here, anywhere in this comic, to see what’s happening below the major title radar.
Faith is a high-flying blast of a comic, and it’s so exciting to see the series move out of its four-issue mini-run and into a full-fledged ongoing title. Faith is the titular hero, a high-flying woman with psionic powers who blogs by day and fights crime by night. The best part about this comic is that she doesn’t fit the typical body-type mold of superheroes and it’s never really brought up or made into a big deal. That’s the kicker, not only is this comic nonconforming, but it thinks that the idea that there even is conforming or nonconforming is bullcrap, and not worth wasting time talking about. This is Faith, she’s a badass, love her or put the comic down.