New Comics Wednesday: May 18th Edition
Every week, Project-Nerd gives me the comics. I read the comics, and then tell you what to buy.
My goal? To make sure you end up with the most well-rounded collection of comics possible. In the best of worlds, it always works out that way.
This week’s picks:
Lumberjanes #26 (Boom! Studios)
written by Shannon Watters and Kat Leyh; art by Ayme Sotuyo; colors by Maarta Laiho; letters by Aubrey Aiese
Two issues into its third year, Lumberjanes is the best it’s ever been. Between corralling superpowered kittens, preparing for a surprise camp inspection, and having Rosie and the entire Grand Lodge kidnapped right before said inspection, it’s an understatement to say the Janes have their hands full. One of the things that makes this book work so well is that things happen at such a fast pace while allowing the personalities of the characters to shine through. That mixture is what makes all of the ridiculous fun work.
New artist Ayme Sotuyo does some beautiful work in this issue, adapting her normally more rendered style to the aesthetic we’re used to seeing from Lumberjanes while retaining her knack for refined line work. It’s easily one of the best looking issues of the series.
Rai #13 (Valiant)
written by Matt Kindt; art by Cafu; colors by Dave Lanphear; letters by Dave Sharpe
As I suspected, the real treats of Valiant’s 4001 A.D crossover are the actual crossover issues. Where last week’s X-O Manowar tie-in provided some great backstory, this issue of Rai does the same but ups the ante by providing a great introduction to the Rai mythos for new readers. Kindt and Cafu—who does incredible storytelling work in this issue—tell the story of the first Rai that Father created, and it paints a very clear roadmap to how we got the controlling, vengeful Father that we have in the comics now. Really great stuff, and it makes me wonder what Kindt has up his sleeve for the future.
Usagi Yojimbo #154 (Dark Horse)
story and art by Stan Sakai
This is one of my favorite issues of Usagi Yojimbo yet. Stan Sakai is on-point, as usual, but something that I realized while reading this issue is the sheer amount of death that Usagi is surrounded by. It’s part of the beauty of Sakai’s work that he’s able to depict death in the course of battle; it’s swift, over before you know it, but the effects always linger. Even his little cartoon skulls that float over the bodies at the time of death have an air of comedy, but Usagi always feels the weight of each death.
Another notable, this is the first time in my very short history of reading Usagi Yojimbo that a character from a prior story reappears. It’s very well executed—the way Sakai reintroduces a swordsman from Usagi’s past feels about as natural as running into someone you met once at a bar. Excellent work.
BPRD: Hell on Earth #141 (Dark Horse)
story by Mike Mignola, Cameron Stewart, and Chris Roberson; art by Mike Norton; colors by Dave Stewart; letters by Clem Robins
I have a vision of this book being like a more horror-centric X-Files, and I’ve grown to like BPRD agent Ashley Strode quite a bit as a character. This issue does a great job displaying how three dimensional she is—she’s both vulnerable and tough, capable and unsure. It’s also a great story about mercy and the idea that setting someone free from their cage despite all the wrong they’ve done may be the best thing for everyone. If you’ve never read the series, you could go back and read ‘em all, or you could just start here and work your way backwards—which I suspect is just as fun.
Lumberjanes: Making the Ghost of It 2016 Special
written by Kelly Thompson and Jen Wang; illustrated by Christine Norrie and Savanna Ganucheau; colors by Maarta Laiho and Joie Brown; lettered by Aubrey Aiese and Mad Rupert
This week sees a double dosage of Lumberjanes with Boom! Box’s Lumberjanes: Making the Ghost of It 2016 Special. The book features two stories by two separate creative teams, both of them providing particular peeks into some of the Janes’ personalities. Team Lumberjanes shows impeccable taste with their choices of writers Kelly Thompson and Jen Wang, who give us some densely packed storytelling that never feels contrived.
Based on this, I would love to see a book that runs parallel to the in-continuity book, with a rotating creative cast of new talent. Seeing different visual interpretations of the Janes is always fun because the aesthetic of the series is pretty stylized—it requires an artist who can put their own stamp on it while keeping it familiar. Christine Norrie and Savanna Ganucheau follow suit here, and the results are excellent.
Also available this week:
Black Mask — Clandestino #3, X’ed #3
Boom! — Adventure Time: Ice King #5, Goldie Vance #2, Turncoat #3
Dark Horse — Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 #27, Dark Horse Presents #22, Dept. H #2, Mae #1, Shadow Glass #3, Tomb Raider Vol. 3 #4
Dynamite — Dejah Thoris #4, Grumpy Cat and Pokey #4, Lords of the Jungle #3, Red Sonja #5, Xena: Warrior Princes #2
IDW — Archangel #1, Biggest Bang #1, Brutal Nature #1, Mars Attacks: Occupation #3, October Faction #16, Star Trek Manifest Destiny #3, Strawberry Shortcake #2, Wynona Earp #4, X-Files Vol. 3 #1
Valiant — Wrath of the Eternal Warrior #7, X-O Manowar 2016 Annual
Project-Nerd is a press partner of BOOM! Studios, Dark Horse Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, Alterna Comics, Valiant Comics, Black Mask Studios, Scout Comics, and IDW Publishing. If you would like to see your studios’ content included in our weekly release article, please contact our editors.