If you're here in the Panel Discussion programming block, you might be a lapsed comics reader, trying to find a way back to the JLA Satellite. Or you might someone killing time until you pick up your weekly Wednesday pull list. Or maybe you've said goodbye to dozens of longboxes to embrace the promise of digital comics. Whichever it is, you're still interested in the good stuff.
Welcome, then, to the Panel Discussion
Quartet, where I pick out just-released or out-soon comics that I think are worth paying attention to. Ready? Then, let's meet the sequential art that'll be draining your wallet this week. Be sure to chime in with the books you'll be picking up or that you think everybody should be ready in the comments.
Before Watchmen: Comedian #1
I wrote about the prequel problems that could hobble DC's Before Watchmen project. While the first two very good books fell into that follow-up trap, this first issue by Brian Azzarello and J.G. Jones does not. Azzarello inserts a thread of relatability in the continuity's most infamous character and the results feel surprisingly human. The great art by Jones doesn't parrot Dave Gibbon's style and feels apropos for the era it's bringing to life. Will definitely be checking out the rest of these.
I've been waiting for the characters on the cover for this issue of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples' excellent science-fantasy series to come into the spotlight. I've loved the moments where The Will—the bounty hunter character chasing new parents Alana and Marko—has groused to his talking cat about his job and can't wait to learn more about the pair. I'm thinking these guys could be Saga's perpetual scene-stealers.
Astonishing X-Men #51
Superhero weddings can be big deals when they change a character's status quo, as they did with Superman and Spider-Man decades ago. Northstar's wedding to his longtime boyfriend probably won't be as earth-shattering in the X-Men mythos, but represents a sea change as far as portraying same-sex romances in superhero comics. Here's hoping the wedding doesn't get busted up by a bunch of super-villains.
I'm a longtime Daredevil fan who always loved it when Matt Murdock faced up against someone it seemed like he wasn't "supposed" to fight, like the Hulk or the Sub-Mariner. So the fact that this issue pits him against Doctor Doom—and revives a plot thread from a few issues back—makes me happy. Chris Samnee on art, formerly of the late, criminally overlooked The Mighty Thor book, also makes me happy. And that Paolo Riviera cover? With the rivets on Doom's faceplate re-interpreted as Braille? Genius.