New Comics Wednesday: May 11th Edition
Every week, Project-Nerd gives me a bunch of comics. I read them, and then I tell you about the good ones. In the best of worlds, it works out for all of us.
Here are this week’s Project-Nerd picks:
Harrow County #12 (Dark Horse)
written by Cullen Bunn; art by Hannah Christenson; letters by Tyler Crooks; backup written by Tyler Crooks; backup art by Kel McDonald
Acceptance can be a wonderful thing, but it can lead you down some weird roads along the way—scary roads, uncertain roads. Emmy’s had a rough road in Harrow County. She’s gone from being perceived as a menace to being seen as a savior, and the truth is that only Emmy can come to grips with and accept what she is. This month, we see her as she accepts herself currently—inexperienced, in over her head, but here to help. There are some great character moments in this issue, but the big takeaway is this—having incredible power that you don’t know how to use can make you feel powerless, but sometimes, simply not being scared can be its own form of power.
Additionally, guest artist Hannah Christenson does a fantastic job on this story. A departure from Crooks’ aesthetic on the book, her style is perfectly surreal and the storytelling is top notch. Great work, all around.
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #3 (IDW)
written by Kyle Higgins; art by Hendry Prasetya; colors by Matt Herms; letters by Ed Dukeshire
I moved around a lot as a kid, so I can relate to being ‘the new kid’. You’re always reinventing yourself, figuring out the things that didn’t work the last time around, trying to find where you belong. It involves a lot of self examination at an early age, and it’s pretty isolating.
Tommy’s learning a big “new kid” tenet—none of us are islands unto ourselves, and if we’re going to expect the new people in our lives to trust us, we need to extend that same courtesy to them as well. That’s the thing that allows us to remember that feeling alone in our struggles doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to be. When you’re a Power Ranger, that sort of thing can mean life or death.
This book is on a roll right now, with great character work by Higgins combined with Prasetya’s dynamic page work that looks like it came directly from the TV series. I have a feeling I’ll be on this one for the long haul.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #58 (IDW)
story by Kevin Eastman, Bobby Curnow, and Tom Waltz; script by Tom Waltz; art by Mateo Santolouco & Dave Wachter; colors by Rhonda Pattison; letters by Shawn Lee
This most recent arc provides something that this series needed desparately—a complex villain that challenges the Turtles’ conventions of right and wrong. The Leatherhead I remember from childhood—literally a backwater bayou redneck—is gone in lieu of a more intelligent, cunning villain with relatable motivations. Now, let’s get this whole ongoing “Splinter is the leader of the Foot clan” nonsense over with, never talk about it again so we can get more Leatherhead.
Worth noting: This book looks incredible from start to finish. Guest artist Dave Wachter doesn’t miss a beat on the flashback pages he fills in, and colorist Rhonda Pattison is making some of the the best art of Santolouco’s career look even better.
The Adventures of Archer and Armstrong #3 (Valiant)
written by Rafer Roberts; pencils by David LaFuente; inks by Ryan Winn; colors by Brian Reber; letters by Dave Lanphear
People tend to fall into two categories—being the friend who can’t take responsibility for their mistakes or being the friend of that guy. Both scenarios are infuriating for all parties involved because sometimes people are charming enough that you desperately want them to change. And, sometimes we care about our friends enough to want to change.
Aside from that juxtapositional message, this comic is another action-packed book that doesn’t take a breather at all. The dialogue is clever, the character acting is pitch perfect, and the storytelling is creatively surreal—Lafuentes has some real Winsor McCay shit going on here, and it totally sells the story.
If there was a genre for this book, it’d be Drunken-Buddy-Adventure-Skirmish. It’s one of a kind.
4001 A.D.: X-O Manowar #1 (Valiant)
written by Robert Venditti; art by Clayton Henry; color by Brian Reber and Andrew Dalhouse; letters by Dave Sharpe
While everyone else is loving last week’s 4001 A.D.—which was an ambitious book that had some high notes in it—I really enjoyed this history of the gigantic X-O armor that made its debut in the aforementioned book. Given that Valiant’s ace in the hole is the strength of its shared universe (I’ve talked about that a lot), I’m wondering if the real treat is going to be all of the books surrounding Rai’s struggle against Father, showing how some of the other heroes in the Valiant U react. If so, this could be one of the most coherent event crossovers in recent history.
Also available this week:
Alterna — Raygun #2
Dark Horse — Abe Sapien #33, House of Penance #2, Massive: Ninth Wave #6
Dynamite — Dejah Thoris #4, A Train Called Love #8
IDW — Back to the Future: Citizen Brown #1, Classic Popeye #46, Donald Duck #13, Maxx Maxximized #31; My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #42, Rocketeer at War #3, Satellite Falling #1, Star Trek #57
Boom! — Adventure Time #52, Baker Street Peculiars #3, Big Trouble in Little China #24; George Perez’ Sirens #5, Kennel Block Blues #4
Valiant — Ninjak Vol 3. #15
Project-Nerd is a press partner of BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Alterna Comics, Valiant Comics, Scout Comics, and IDW Publishing. If you would like to see your studios’ content included in our weekly release article, please contact our editors.