Your Deadshirt New Comics Shopping List for: April 15th, 2015

It’s Wednesday and that means new comics. Let Deadshirt steer your wallet in the right direction with reviews (and preview pages) of titles out today from Image, Dark Horse, IDW, BOOM! Studios, Archie, MonkeyBrain, Oni, Fantagraphics, Top Shelf, Action Lab, and more!

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The Fox #1

Written by Dean Haspiel and Mark Waid

Art by Dean Haspiel

Colored by Allen Passalaqua

Lettered by John Workman

Dark Circle Comics

$3.99

Ah, Red Circle superheroes. These guys are like candy to me. An old gang of Golden Age caped crusaders who lapsed into the public domain, allowing anyone with an idea and a publisher to take a crack at them. Some have been great, some have been terrible. But the current run, spinning out of Haspiel and Waid’s miniseries, seems pretty good indeed.

Haspiel and Waid’s Fox is a stern-jawed legacy hero, a photojournalist trying to live up to his father’s example while taking care of his own family. He has a weariness to him, and he’s neither excited to see his childhood hometown demolished by corporate buyers, nor by the appearance of a supervillain to tangle with. Haspiel draws him rumpled and perturbed, like a cut-rate Batman or Daredevil. Still, the Fox is a capable hero, as evidenced by how many people have an axe to grind with him. The final scene, which sets up the overarching plot, features the Fox’s colorful dangerous rogue’s gallery called together for a bounty on his head. The use of bland smile iconography as a sinister, villainous motif is a solid choice, one that ties the banality of evil even more closely to corporate activities.

Archie Comics’ Dark Circle take on the Fox is already paying off, bringing depth and resonance to a character who could’ve easily been dime-a-dozen. I’m excited to see where it and the other Dark Circle books take their iterations of these archetypal characters.

– Joe Stando

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Hexed #9

Written by Michael Alan Nelson

Art by Dan Mora

Colored by Gabriel Cassata

Lettered by Ed Dukeshire

BOOM! Studios

$3.99

The deck has been shuffled in the realm of Hexed over the past few issues, and new players are taking the forefront. Well, they’re actually old players, but they’ve changed. Dramatically. Now that Lucifer has emotionally battled her way into her inherited title as secret-keeper, the slightly less magically able intern, Raina, and lovable ex-security guard, Bob, have assumed the role of story protagonists. Unsure of how to approach Lucifer’s new, questionably evil identity, the two lesser Scoobies have decided to collect all of the magical items that were lost after issue 7’s tragic ending. Michael Alan Nelson’s ability to craft character development is on full display in this issue, as what could have been a simple side quest is actually a crucial and emotionally-charged installment to the series.

Nelson can’t take all the credit, however, as the art team’s contributions to the story are just as key. Dan Mora’s beautiful illustrations and Gabriel Cassata’s vivid color palette balance out the clean, attractive characters with the gory demons they summon. This yin and yang relationship bleeds into the vibe of the whole comic, which may be one of the big reasons it appeals to me so much. I mean, how could you not enjoy the summoned spirit of a cuddly housecat violently ripping the head off of a monster in a spray of bright red blood? This comic’s ability to surprise readers seems to have a lot to do with its fight against formulaic storytelling. Now that the main character has aligned neutral evil, I literally have no idea what’s ahead in the next few issues, and I love that. In the meantime, consider me fully invested in team beta: a plucky intern, a middle-aged guy with hypertension, and an incredibly violent cat ghost.

– Sarah Register

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Archie Vs. Predator #1

Written by Alex de Campi

Art by Fernando Ruiz (pencils) and Rich Koslowski (inks)

Colored by Jason Millet

Lettered by John Workman

Dark Horse

$3.99

It’s Spring Break in Riverdale, and Archie and his crew are heading on a beach vacation where they’ll engage in a decades old battle between two implacable foes. That’s right…Betty and Veronica square off for the title of “Best Dressed” in the yearbook. After Cheryl Blossom decides to stir shit up in the contest, Veronica is bloody and running through the jungle, on her way to a startling discovery that brings a new player into the arena. Soon, two of the Riverdale kids are hanging in the trees without their skin, and the rest of the crew heads home, not knowing that something is following them.

The comic’s rather simple plot belies how well-written and fun it is. Full of in-jokes for Predator fans, it expertly weaves that character into the usual Archie milieu. Unlike the other Archie horror title, Afterlife With Archie, which features the stylized work of Francesco Francavilla, Fernando Ruiz’s art is in the usual Archie house style. While that style isn’t super-flashy, it does make the few splashes of blood and the reveal of the Predator’s first “trophies” all the more grotesque.

This comic is a hoot. It does a great job of separating itself from the more stark horror of Afterlife With Archie by being just a fun teen comic that happens to have a seven foot-tall alien murderer in the mix.

– Jason Urbanciz

We snagged an interview with writer Alex De Campi about this title a few weeks ago, if you’re interested.

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Be sure to let us know what you picked up this week in the comments below, on Twitter or on our Facebook Page!

Post By Deadshirt Staff (677 Posts)

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