The Most Interesting Comics of the Week

Rich Barrett
Daniel Acuna/Marvel Comics
Daniel Acuna/Marvel Comics / Daniel Acuna/Marvel Comics

Every Wednesday, I write about the most interesting new comics hitting comic shops, bookstores, digital, Kickstarter, and the web. Feel free to comment below if there's a comic you've read recently that you want to talk about or an upcoming comic that you'd like me to consider highlighting.

1. Casanova: Acedia #1

By Matt Fraction and Fábio Moon; Backup story by Michael Chabon and Gabriel Bá
Image Comics

When the first issue of Casanova came out in 2006, writer Matt Fraction and artistic collaborators Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon (who are siblings) were relative unknowns in the industry. But the success of the comic, with its sexy, high-octane/high-concept post-modern spin on sci-fi super spies instantly made them all stars. Now, with its fourth volume Acedia, Fraction and company, who had moved the series to Marvel’s creator-owned imprint Icon, have brought it home to Image Comics where Fraction has been making an even bigger name for himself with his new surprise hit series Sex Criminals.

Casanova: Acedia begins with our protagonist, Casanova Quinn, having escaped into a parallel universe with no memory of who he is, working as a majordomo for a crime lord named Antoine Boutique in L.A. ten days before the world is supposed to come to an end. The two men share a memory problem about who they are and where they came from and come to an agreement to investigate each other’s pasts.

If previous volumes of Casanova are any indication, expect a lot of twists and misdirection as we head down this path with the two men. In addition to the main story, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) has stepped in to work with Gabriel Bá on a backup story called "The Metanauts.” Chabon is already out-Fractioning Fraction with his elliptical storytelling. Here’s a preview of the first issue.


2. Uncanny Avengers #1

By Rick Remender, Daniel Acuna
Marvel Comics

The previous volume of Uncanny Avengers was about a “Unity” team consisting of members of the X-men and Avengers, banded together to show the world how mutant and non-mutant heroes could work together with only the usual amount of bickering and infighting you get from a Marvel superhero team. After the events of the AXIS crossover event, that team is disbanded with only Rogue and the Scarlet Witch remaining from the original lineup. With this relaunch, the two new co-leaders of the team assemble a new “Unity” team which includes the Scarlet Witch’s brother Quicksilver, the new Sam Wilson Captain America, a now-reformed X-men villain Sabretooth, Dr. Voodoo (‘70s Marvel fans will remember him by the name Brother Voodoo), and the Vision.

In AXIS, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver learned that Magneto was not really their father. This is an on-again/off-again aspect of the siblings’ biography that is seemingly off-again thanks to the divide the Marvel Studio and Fox studio movies are creating between the Avengers and mutant characters. As issue #1 starts, Wanda and Pietro are trying to get to the bottom of the great lie they’ve been told about their lineage.

Rick Remender has been the writer on Uncanny Avengers since the beginning of the first volume and the often convoluted story he had been telling was pretty hit-and-miss with most fans. One of the best parts though was his development of the relationship between Wanda and Simon Williams (Wonder Man), whose brain patterns had been used to create the “soul” of Wanda’s android ex-husband, The Vision. Now, Williams’ psyche has been absorbed by her friend Rogue and she now to work with her ex, The Vision, again. Here’s a preview.


3. Abigail and the Snowman

By Roger Langridge and Fred Stresing
Boom! Studios

Abigail is the new girl in school. Her single dad just got fired, she has an imaginary dog named Claude, and talking to him in public is turning her into the weird new girl. Everything changes when she meets a giant Yeti who has escaped from a government lab. He becomes her new Claude, but the difference is, the other kids in school (but no adults) can see this Claude.

It’s an understatement to call Abigail and the Snowman, this new 4 issue all-ages series from the great New Zealand cartoonist Roger Langridge, delightful. Perhaps best known for his run on Boom! Studios’ Muppets comics a few years back, Langridge is a master at physical comedy and draws a mighty cute Yeti. The riff on Claude Rains with the Yeti’s choice of attire and invisibility to adults will immediately put a smile on your face. The second issue of this series comes out this week. Here’s a preview.


4. Revenger #1

By Charles Forsman
Oily Comics

A new trend for indie cartoonists is to delve into their love of low-brow '80s and '90s action films and to unabashedly make some quick and dirty comics in that vein. This was started most likely by Benjamin Marra and has been indulged in by the likes of Jim Rugg and Michel Fiffe, among others. Seeing award-winning cartoonists like Charles Forsman, who has done a lot of interesting work recently like TEOTFW and Celebrated Summer, make a comic about an unstoppable bad ass is very satisfying.

In Revenger, Forsman changes up his style into something with a bit of a Marra or a Rob Liefeld influence (Marra actually provides a pretty awesome pinup himself in this issue), even going full color, which we haven’t seen in his recent work. The hero of the story is a woman driven by the tragic murder of her child to provide help to those who need it in the form of extreme ass-kicking. Clad in a leather jacket and with an ‘80s style afro, she looks a little like Grace Jones with an X-shaped scar across her cheek.

Forsman is trying something new for himself here and plans to release issues of Revenger on a monthly basis, both through Comixology and on his own website via the Gumroad payment and download system. You can purchase a copy here.


5. Darling Sleeper

Edited by Jesse Lucas

The Nib on has seemingly revolutionized the world of political comics by giving them a new and respected home online in this age of declining newspapers and alt-weeklies. There’s no reason what Matt Bors has done with The Nib can’t be replicated across other areas of comics, and that is seemingly what Jesse Lucas is doing with Darling Sleeper. Using the benefits of (easy to read, comics-friendly website design; an easy-to-use content management system; sharability of content), Lucas has created what is basically an online magazine featuring comics from himself and a variety of unique, new voices like Keiler Roberts, Pete Toms, Whit Taylor, and more.

In addition to some of the great comics that have already been published in a few short weeks, Lucas has been running Darling Sleeper, and he’s also pushed the magazine feel by including frequent interviews with cartoonists like Sam Alden, Sean Ford, and Box Brown. Go ahead and browse some of the offerings.