Tuesday, April 23, 2019

This Week In Comics: 4/24

Another New Comic Book Day is upon us! It’s time to plan a trip to your local comic shop and take a look at this week’s new comics! Hit the jump to check out reviews of my favorite comics coming out this week.

Disclaimer: I received advance copies of all comics featured this week courtesy of their individual publishers.
Opinions are my own.

Stone Star #2 (comiXology Originals)
Jim Zub, Max Dunbar, Espen Grundetjern, Marshall Dillon

I didn’t review this first issue last time because it came completely out of nowhere when the creators and Comixology dropped it like Beyonce with absolutely no previous marketing. No advance reviews, no previews, no solicitations.

The Stone Star is a nomadic space station that carries gladiatorial entertainment across the galaxy. Dail is a scavenger and a thief raised in the gritty underworld of the Stone Star. After rescuing a princess from the wrong people, Dail is on the run.

The first issue spent a good amount of time introducing us to the world of the Stone Star, its gladiator games and giving us time to meet our two main characters, Dail and Vollness, his new gladiator dad.

This issue introduces us to Kikani, a princess from the Quell-World, the Stone Star’s current stop on its tour that has seen its fair share of wars and colonialism. She has nothing to do with the gladiator sports show that just walked through her life but now she forced to join Dail on this crazy adventure.

The artwork beautifully brings us into a world that’s original and full of colorful aliens and the writing makes sure we want to stick around too. I’m really looking forward to seeing more of the Stone Star and the relationship between Dail and Vollness and their roles in the war to come.

Stone Star is available on comiXology for $2.99 an issue, or absolutely FREE with Amazon Prime Reading, Kindle Unlimited, and comiXology Unlimited.

Skyward #12 (Image Comics)
Joe Henderson, Lee Garbett, Antonio Fabela, Simon Bowland

Still reeling from the last issue’s shocking discovery, Willa learns what really happened on G-day. See that terrible day from a very different perspective as we follow an untold story of loss, struggle, and perseverance. ALSO: someone gets a dog.

This hands down the best issue of Skyward ever. We roll the clock back to before Willa was even conceived and learn a bit more about her mother, her father, and the end of gravity itself. While we have yet to learn what exactly caused G-day, Willa’s parents definitely knew it was a matter of when and not if.

After an emotional moment between her two parents - their only scene together - we fully experience the events of G-day, only glimpsed at during the premiere issue’s prologue, from the point of view of Willa’s mother. And then we learn where she’s been this whole time: locked away inside of their experimental underground city.

I’ve raved about the worldbuilding in this series before. It seems like the world is constantly being built up. Here, the world’s been built and now we get to see more players dropped inside. In the two decades since G-day, Willa’s mother has had many of the same experiences as her daughter.

We revisit the physics of how Low-g works with guns and fire extinguishers, we see water floating in the sky, children who can’t comprehend a world where things stay down. And we see giant bugs. That’s all fun.

But what’s really important is that we see it from a different point of view. Willa is the kind of main character who dominates almost every page of the series, so seeing the world from her mother’s point of view offers a unique perspective on the circumstance.

We’re in the endgame now with just a few more issues of Skyward left. It’s such an exhilarating and imaginative series that I never want to end. This issue proves that there are many more stories to tell in this world, and I’d be down for all of them.

Click here to get the first volume of Skyward, here for the second, and click here to pre-order the third and final volume of one of the best comics I’ve read this year.

Steven Universe #27 (BOOM! Studios)
Terry Blas, Gabriele Bagnoli, Joana Lafuente, Mike Fiorentino

The ongoing adventures of Lars of the Stars, captain of the Sun Incinerator and leader of the Off-Colors, continues as Steven makes his entrance into the story. He and Connie traveled via Lion’s mane for a routine visit only to find Lars and the crew in a catatonic state.

Quickly realizing that the nebula is what is affecting the others, Steven and Connie fuse into the strong-willed Stevonnie to fight off the effects and rescue the crew. Meanwhile, the others are still trapped in their shared nightmare as Flourite faces the Diamonds in court and while Lars’s lovely reunion with Aquamarine and Topaz is going as can be expected.

At least the Rutile twins are reunited after being physically separated. Which made me wonder. They were always kinda implied to be a “conjoined” Gem that split in two, but here they are almost treated like a fusion? Maybe it’s the nebula’s effect, playing a trick on me as too.

And then there is Papscharada. She seemed to be unaffected by the nebula, just walking around the Sun Incinerator like nothing was wrong. But then she finds herself in a catatonic state just as the others. Is the nebula affecting her pre-cognitive powers and causing her to… project herself into the… present? I don’t know.

This feels like a classic space adventure sci-fi story from before any of us were born and I love it for that. Steven Universe is an epic space saga, but the TV episodes and most of the comics tend to spend a lot of their time in a small beach town. This is the kind of epic story the show can’t deliver, told in a way that feels like the series has landed right on the page.

Marvel Action: Avengers Vol. 1 (IDW Publishing)
Collects the complete first story arc from IDW’s new all-ages series starring everyone’s favorite Avengers. Read my full review here and click here to order a copy for yourself.

Steven Universe: Camp Pining Play (BOOM! Studios)
This is an original graphic novel following Lapis and Peridot’s adventure in creating a staged adaptation of their favorite camp Pining Hearts fanfic. It sounds dumb but it’s the best STeven Universe graphic novel in a long time. Click here to check out my full review or click here to order a copy for yourself.

Firefly Vol. 1 (BOOM! Studios)

This collects the first four issues of BOOM!’s sequel to the critically acclaimed Joss Whedon space opera. I’m not super crazy about how it focused on the story of the Unification War, but apparently that’s what the fans want. Click here to pre-order the hardcover collection.

What comics are you picking up this week? Let me know down in the comments below!