50 Shades of Black

50 Shades of Black

The key idea to Black Market comes with a passing line that will so absorb your attention as an entirely original perspective on superheroes that you may miss the way it expresses a whole new pop-culture definition of our century — the narrator talks you through the rise of (otherwise ordinary) costumed vigilantes and their [...]

Unforgiven

Unforgiven

You can exploit a subject long after it’s a trend as long as the issue gets old without going away — Tarantino proved that with wise period grindhouse on still-festering social faultlines like Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Alex de Campi is the right heir to this tendency, having slid antiquated attitudes from the 1950s [...]

Archetypal for the People

Archetypal for the People

Dom Regan colors outside the lines and taps the bleeding center of experience. People Protector Akay is direct cortical comics, bypassing even the direct digital medium it’s intended for to key into primal centers of excitement and involvement. Forsaking the black-plate that printed comics, printed everything was based on, writer-painter shaman-bard Regan uses the veils, [...]

Celestial Apprentice

Celestial Apprentice

Jack Kirby imagined that “new” gods would rise out of the novel aspirations and phobias that came out of technological progress and the consequences we couldn’t control. Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie remember that old gods (and the persistent petty primal concerns they champion) don’t go so quietly (just ask Zeus, invited to dinner with [...]

No Stranger

No Stranger

Frank Barbiere redefines Dr. Strange by getting back to the character’s roots — as a damaged egotist, a physician healing everyone but himself, going from medical messiah-complex to mystical martyr with no redemption either time. This is in the oddly-titled New Avengers Annual #1 , a Strange story start-to-finish (out today), and its tale of [...]

In Your Sleep

In Your Sleep

Everything old is new in our minds, especially what we wish we’d done differently or convince ourselves we did. In Archer Coe & the Thousand Natural Shocks, time moves in circles, doubles back and loses itself in an alley. The title character is a stage hypnotist who insists on saying he’s not a magician, but [...]

Front Lines

Front Lines

The line is supreme with Tom Scioli, king of concrete blocky graphics that approach mystic abstraction in their schematic of materiality and supernatural force. Scioli sees the invisible grain of cosmic principle and the trajectory of actions and ideas, and the priceless preview of his Transformers vs. G.I. Joe for Free Comic Book Day is [...]