This is a new weekly column by Rollin Bishop suggesting new comics to grab that clock in at under $20 total. Publishers come out with lots of comics, and it can be hard to tell what to spend your hard-earned cash on. That's where we come in. Nobody's made of money, after all.
We have a fairly solid week ahead of us, folks. Not only are there a slew of good ongoing comics, but there's genuinely a strong lineup of the new and noteworthy.
Some of the bigger-format stuff — like the Planetes Omnibus — is just too expensive to cover here, but it's worth giving a look around to see what your local shops might have stocked, just in case.
Without further ado, here's a good assortment of stuff you should maybe pick up this week when they release on Dec. 9.
The Eighth Seal #1: $3.99 (IDW)
Words: James Tynion IV
Art: Jeremy Rock
Not everything James Tynion IV writes is an immediate buy from me, but each new series continues to be better than the last, so it's worth dropping a couple of dollars to see if The Eighth Seal continues this trend. It's a good time to be into psychological horror comics in general, and while Tynion IV may not be king of the genre just yet, he's at least heir ascendant.
One woman's visceral nightmares bleed into reality as she struggles to live in the political spotlight. Is she losing her mind, or do these visions hold some darker truth?
InSEXts #1: $3.99 (AfterShock Comics)
Words: Marguerite Bennett
Art: Ariela Kristantina
Look, if that art and the description below don't sell you on InSEXts, I'm not sure anything I could write here will do the trick. AfterShock is a relatively new publisher, and InSEXts seems to be its second series to be published — which is all to say that it's doing stuff a little differently than your regular publishers. Marguerite Bennett writing Victorian insect ladies in love? Seriously, buy five copies for friends.
At the dusk of a century, a pair of vengeful Victorian vixens discover a horrifying power that transforms them into rich and strange new creatures. Armed with their dark, evolving forms, they descend into a world of the cultured and occult, with new senses and new sensuality, to forge a life for themselves and the child of their love.
New Romancer #1: $3.99 (Vertigo)
Words: Peter Milligan
Art: Brett Parson
More than pretty much anything else included here, New Romancer gets a recommendation based on premise alone. The art looks solid, but having an Internet-dating app coder somehow resurrect Lord Byron? That is a surefire way to get me to buy into a new series. Plus, what are the odds that other historical lovers show up? Pretty good, I'd say.
Fired from a cushy job in Silicon Valley, Lexy becomes a coder for New Romancer, an Internet-dating app that's seen better days. To create fake profiles, she plunders characteristics from history's most notorious lovers. Using little-known writings by Ada Lovelace, the world's first computer programmer, Lexy pushes the boundaries of coding and accidentally unleashes history's greatest lover: Lord Byron.
Scarlet Witch #1: $3.99 (Marvel Comics)
Words: James Robinson
Art: Vanessa Del Rey
Witchcraft gone wonky? David Aja covers? Yes, yes and more yes. Giving Wanda Maximoff an ongoing can be a little tricky, but the mystery premise means that it should have a fairly solid throughline going forward — even with the seemingly global backdrop. Vanessa Del Rey does the art in this first issue, though apparently, it'll have various artists for future issues.
Witchcraft is broken — and the SCARLET WITCH is on a journey across the globe to fix it. From the back alleys of Manhattan, to the serene Greek Isles, to the bustling streets of Hong Kong, Wanda will have to face down her foes and find out who her true friends are. But as Wanda solves magical crimes and pieces witchcraft back together, the most important question remains: Who is the mastermind that broke it in the first place?
The Violent #1: $2.99 (Image Comics)
Words: Ed Brisson
Art: Adam Gorham
There's something about dark and gritty noir comics that just draws me in. Plus, "dark and gritty noir" plus "Image" tends to be a pretty good combination, so The Violent already has that going for it. Plus, it sounds like the protagonist here is less of a hero and more of just a person looking to do some good while still screwing up everything he touches.
From ED BRISSON (SHELTERED) and ADAM GORHAM (Dead Drop) comes an all-new, ongoing series. Meet Mason, an ex-con and former drug addict who's trying hard to give up his old life. He's got more important things to live for now: a wife struggling to contain her own addiction and a young daughter who needs them both. When threatened with losing his daughter, Mason falls into old habits, stumbling through a string of desperate criminal acts whose repercussions quickly become deadly serious.