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
Dozen Sextet, 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 reading in the comments.
Green Arrow #17
The title featuring DC Comics' resident archer has struggled to find its groove ever since the publisher's New 52 relaunch more than a year ago. The take was essentially "Steve Jobs as a bow-and-arrow superhero" and it floundered no matter who was writing or drawing it. But the new team of Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino are off to a promising start in their debut issue, which puts newly-bankrupt Oliver Queen on the run from killers who clearly outclass him. Lemire's penchant for strong character dynamics and snappy dialogue finds great realization in Sorrentino's moody, stylized art. I'll definitely be back next month to see what happens.
Animal Man #17/Swamp Thing #17
The Rotworld mini-crossover between the flora and fauna-empowered characters ends this week and, while I've enjoyed the individual issues, I really hope there's a genuine status quo shift that comes out of this plotline. Incremental changes have happened in each series but this is the blowout that each has been leading to. It'd be a shame if these already good books don't get invigorated after Alec Holland and Buddy Baker face down this horrific future where decay rules the Earth.
This image comic comes from the same team that did the under-appreciated Losers series at DC/Vertigo. If you didn't read it, you should know that Andy Diggle has a knack for cool, taut thrillers and artist Jock is one of the best guys at using shadow and minimalism to create tension and release. Maybe you need more. Here's the solicitation info:
Jake Dobson is your typical nerd; works at the Near-Mint Rhino comic-book store in San Francisco. But when he finds a lost cell phone, he's horrified to discover it's full of snapshots of a murder victim. Suddenly he finds himself hunted by a vengeful hitman who wants his phone back... and Jake in a body bag! And then things start to get *really* complicated...
Fearless Defenders #1
I loved Matt Fraction's just-canceled Defenders book and should be wary of this new-direction take on Marvel's non-team. But I'm a sucker for odd-couple pairings and a title built around Asgardian warrior Valkyrie and bionic private eye Misty Knight could make for some interesting friction. We'll see how this one goes.
New Avengers #3
Yes, I love the Black Panther. But I also love the core premise of this book, which is: the smartest, most powerful leaders in the Marvel Universe thought they knew better only to be proven wrong. And now they get another chance to band together, without the luxury of messing up again. Hickman's gotten a lot of conceptual mileage from this so far and thing look to get only bigger as the series continues.