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 Quintet, 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.
Batman Inc. #5
I love Damian Wayne, Batman's long-lost son who now serves as Robin. But I also get that lots of other people hate the little brat. So, what's brilliant to me about the glimpses readers have gotten of Damian's future is the sense that everything's gone horribly wrong. He takes on his father's mantle but Gotham seems roiling in permanent chaos and Damien-as-Batman runs Arkham Asylum, the only safe harbor for the city's sane people. Whether you like him or not, it's a fitting place for the character's story to move into.
Last Week's Fantastic Four #1 held a big change for the team's status quo, which sees them going off on a cosmos-spanning trip. They appoint a new team of protectors to watch over Earth when they're not around, with Ant-Man, Medusa Miss Thing and She-Hulk as members. I've always liked Mike Allred's funky pop-art style and look forward to his visual re-interpretations of these second-string heroes. Matt Fraction's at his best when he can be loose and set his own tone in a comics series and this book looks set up to have him do exactly that.
I'm a sucker for characters that have to reckon with their own deaths, especially after the fact. It's a nice device that can allow for metaphorical depth, humor and inspired world-building. While the Kelley Sue DeConnick/Phil Noto reboot of an old, obscure Dark Horse superhero, there are already signs that the writer and artist have intriguing things coming. Follow this one.
Nowhere Men #1
Sometimes all it takes is a great logline and awesome art to hook me. This new Image series accomplishes both:
SCIENCE IS THE NEW ROCK 'N' ROLL.' So said Dade Ellis, Simon Grimshaw, Emerson Strange and Thomas Walker at the dawn of a new age of enlightenment that ushered in a boom in scientific advancement. As the research supergroup World Corp., they became the most celebrated scientists of all time. They changed the world—and we loved them for it. But where did it all go wrong? And when progress is made at any and all cost, who ultimately pays the price?
My Little Pony #1: Friendship Is Magic
This comic will probably outsell most superhero books that come out this week. Go ahead and scoff at the Bronies and PegaSisters amongst us. But the MLP recipe—humor, adventure and inviting character dynamics—has earned it a loyal audience. The kind that mainstream comics could do a much better job servicing.