Happily, I have no opening blurb to give you this week. No news is good news, so on with the comics!
HIGHLIGHTS THIS WEEK
- ARROWSMITH BEHIND ENEMY LINES #1 - Well how about that: nearly 20 years after its debut under the Cliffhanger imprint, Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco's World-War-I-with-magic series is back! I've long lamented that the story never continued beyond the first miniseries (the soon to be reprinted Arrowsmith: So Fine in The Smart Uniforms), so this is definitely one of my most-anticipated books for the year. Busiek always brings his A game to his creator-owned books and has done some of his very best work with Pacheco. Although this follows on from that long-ago beginning, I'm sure they'll do all they can to make it accessible to new readers, so don't be discouraged if you missed it back then!
- X LIVES OF WOLVERINE #1 - Benjamin Percy begins his big Wolvie event along with X-Force collaborator Joshua Cassara. Logan jumps back through time in an attempt to prevent the death of someone who is key to his existence, touring through the various chapters of his long, storied life (including some we've never seen before). This series pairs with X Deaths of Wolverine (similar to House of X / Powers of X) to deliver one big epic Wolverine tale that will impact the upcoming Second Krakoan Age.
- SHE-HULK #1 - In the wake of World War She-Hulk (and anticipating the soon-to-launch Disney+ streaming series), Jennifer Walters gets a brand new ongoing solo title. Best-selling author (and recent Runaways writer) Rainbow Rowell teams up with artist Rogê Antônio to help Jen rebuild her life, currently under the shadow of her recent savage history.
- BATMAN THE KNIGHT #1 - Not enough Batman titles on the market for you? Well your prayers are answered: not just another Batman mini-series, it's another Batman origin series! Sure, you might think it's redundant at this point, but what if I told you this tale of the young, pre-bats Bruce Wayne was written by Chip Zdarsky and drawn by the superb Carmine Di Giandomenico? My response? "Oh go on, just one more....".
- BEN REILLY SPIDER-MAN #1 - As a Spider-casualty of the 90s Clone Saga (where I as a lifelong Spider-Man fan finally gave up the ghost), I have mixed feelings about Ben Reilly. On the plus side, now he's being bumped to his own book by J.M. DeMatteis and David Baldeon and Peter is being reinstated in Amazing with a relaunch in a couple of months (including the return of John Romita Jr), I'm happy to make my peace with Blonde Spider-Man. And I know there's a bunch of you out there who are just younger enough than me to actually have a lot of affection for the guy, so this one's for you, Reilly-fans.
- SILVER SURFER REBIRTH #1 - Speaking of the 90's (and lates 80's), one of the must-read books of the time was Silver Surfer, particularly during the Ron Marz & Ron Lim era (though a personal favourite is the Steve Englehart-written issue where Galactus has a punch-up with the In-Betweener. OTT comics at their finest). Well the two Rons are back for a five-issue mini which returns to untold stories of those glory days, ala X-Men Legends or Symbiote Spider-Man. Drink in that power cosmic! And also, track yourself down a copy of Silver Surfer (1987) #18:
- BOLERO #1 - Wyatt Kennedy & Luana Vecchio's new creator-owned series launches at Image, a dimension-hopping sci-fi story with some metaphysical meditations about loss and heartbreak. The first bumper-sized issue introduces us to our protagonist Devyn, who takes the opportunity to win back her ex by jumping across universes. But there are strict rules in place for how it works, and I'm pretty sure it won't take long for her to start breaking them. A lovely looking book!
- SILK #1 - Cindy Moon gets another crack of the solo series whip in this new ongoing by up-and-coming screenwriter Emily Kim and artist Takeshi Miyazawa. The character is set to join Sony's Spider-verse after a couple of apearances out of costume in the MCU, so the time is right to reintroduce yourself.
- DEVILS REIGN X-MEN #1 - Frequent collaborators Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto helm this mini-series tie-in to Devils Reign. Turns out Wilson Fisk has a secret history with Emma Frost that may play into her involvement in his superhero crackdown and influence her decision in what side to take.
- DEVILS REIGN VILLAINS FOR HIRE #1 - The only heroes allowed to operate are the ones Wilson Fisk has tasked with protecting the city. Namely, a bunch of former villains. Enter the Thunderbolts, courtesy of Clay McLeod Chapman & Manuel Garcia. King in Black Thunderbolts was my favourite part of that whole crossover, so although this has a different creative team I'm hopeful they'll maintain that series' dark-humoured tone.
- DEATH OF DOCTOR STRANGE X-MEN / BLACK KNIGHT #1 - Meanwhile, in that other mini-crossover, the X-Men, the Black Knight and Excalibur wielder Faiza Hussain team up to tackle an incursion of extra-dimensional baddies. The creative team of Simon Spurrier and Bob Quinn should elevate this above the usual crossover fodder.
And that's it for this week! See you next time!