Sometimes one looks ahead to the next month in comics and becomes disoriented by the sheer volume of choice. That’s where this column comes in handy. With so much good and interesting coming out this month, there’s simply no way to showcase it all. However, we can take a handful of titles hitting the stands in April and point them front and center. There are tons to be excited about in the coming month. These happen to be the titles that are the MOST exciting. So, please, scroll down. Take a look. Let CBR help you start to plan your April comic reading list.
Amazing Spider-Man Relaunch
At this point, relaunches have become so typical, they hardly feel newsworthy in and of themselves. This Spider-Man relaunch, however, has more going for it than most. To start with, it features Zeb Wells on writing duties. Wells was part of the so-called Brain Trust that revitalized the character with “Brand New Day” over 14 years ago. Among the highlights of his run were possibly the best Lizard tale of all-time, “Shed,” in which Curt Connors ate a boy.
Intensifying the excitement is the artist, John Romita, Jr. Regarded as one of Marvel’s best artists for years, Romita, Jr. left the House of Ideas for work at DC and other publishers in 2013. Nearly a decade later, it’s a thrill to see him not only back with Marvel but working on the Wall-Crawler. After all, Romita has drawn Spidey off and on since he broke into comics in 1977, including a groundbreaking 2001-2004 run with J. Michael Straczynski.
Captain America # 0
Sam Wilson returns to the Stars, Stripes, and Shield to team up with his longtime partner Steve Rogers! A new era for Captain (s) America starts here with this # 0 issue, leading to two ongoing tiles Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty – starting Rogers – and Captain America: Symbol of Truth – with Wilson as the headliner.
Besides signaling a new direction, this issue brings in a heap of new talent to capture the Cap duo’s adventures. Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly already made a big impression at Marvel last year with their work on the Kang the Conqueror limited series. For Kelly, especially, this gig is the realization of a fandom that dates back to the mid-90s. Then there’s novelist Tochi Onyebuchi who made his Marvel debut last year, grabbing readers’ attention on Black Panther Legends.
Artist Mattia De Iulis, another relative Marvel newcomer, joins the trio on the book. Previews reveal a dynamic, painted style that seems sure to make the books stand out on the shelves.
Who would not salute this new April release with all this talent and the brand-new direction for the mantel?
Death of the Justice League
It may seem, perhaps, a bit ghoulish to get excited about the death of the DC Universe’s most important heroes. Nonetheless, here we are.
In Justice League # 75, the team goes into the breach to face down the Dark Army. Unfortunately, by the issue’s end, only one team member returns. And then no more Justice League for what writer Joshua Williamson claims will be a “long time”? Well, that sort of talk has our attention.
Detective Comics # 1059
Coming off a very impressive opening arc, series writer Mariko Tamaki teams up with DC newcomer writer Nadia Shammas and artist Ivan Reis to deliver the newest tale of Gotham’s most intelligent man, The Riddler.
After making quite the impression in The Batman, it’s great to see a brand new Riddler story in general. It’s especially excellent to see it coming from this fantastic creative team.
It does not hurt that the arc will also feature a backup story written by Sina Grace and drawn by David Lapham. If any team can capture the pathos and trauma of Gotham Girl as she returns for mental health treatment to the city that nearly destroyed her, it’s got to be Grace and Lapham.
Flashpoint Beyond # 0
This one is all about Geoff Johns’ return to DC Comics. He defined the company’s tone and shaped its events for more than a decade only to see his last big event, Doomsday Clock, derailed by delays and a line-wide change in direction. Now Johns is back with a big limited series. Can’t wait to see how Johns fits into DC now and if this is just a single-story return or if the writer is back for good.
The Ghost in You: A Reckless Books HC
When Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips get together, you miss the results at your own peril. The Reckless books, in particular, are a delight, full of pulpy goodness. This one promises Hollywood hijinks, possible hauntings, and a story that revolves around Ethan Reckless’s confidant Anna. The world of Reckless has proven a fertile creative ground for Brubaker and Phillips. It’s also exciting to see them return to having a woman as their lead protagonist.
Image! # 1
The 12-issue series that celebrates Image’s 30th anniversary kicks off here. An anthology with stories with creators like Geoff Johns (him again ?!), Babs Tarr, Kyle Higgins, Declan Shalvey, and many more. What better way to celebrate 30 years of the groundbreaking industry-changing comic company than by putting its talent front and center once again to tell exciting stories unlike anything else you can find on the spinner rack?
The Joneses # 1
Pandemic fiction might be too close to how for many, which certainly makes sense. This offering, however, merges the middle-class suburban hunger for fitting in, American paranoia of government surveillance, disease, superpowers, politics, and more into a single tempting package. Frankly, one can hardly resist.
That it features artist Alessandro Vitti’s consistently impressive work makes it even more attractive. Add in writer Michael Moreci whose cult-favorite Hoax Hunters touched on some similar ground with a similar “take every influence and push ’em all together at once, and you have a small press superhero book worth a look.
Little Monsters # 2
The first issue of Little Monsters from last month proved such an unexpected thrill that we’ve been counting the days until the Jeff Lemire written, Dustin Nguyen drawn second issue hits stands. It does in April, and all our patience is finally paying off.
The Ocean Will Take Us # 1
Rich Douek, straight off on the surprisingly emotionally affecting Wastelands: Star-Lord limited, brings readers this new teen horror book with artist Carlos Olivares. It promises some of the “horror as a metaphor for growing up” vibes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the kids on bikes adventure of Stranger Things or classic Amblin films. It seems like a smaller book worth taking a chance on.
A Quick & Easy Guide to Asexuality Vol. 1
It is never a bad idea to know more about the people around you and what life is like for those who might be of a different culture, race, religion, or, in this case, sexuality. Unfortunately, ace individuals are often lost in the shuffle when it comes to these kinds of discussions, so it’s nice to have a book that puts them in the spotlight. Molly Muldoon, who writes the delightful Cardboard Kingdom books, knows how to write an engaging, fun, and age-appropriate book. Artist Will Hernandez is new to comic storytelling, but their art has a wonderfully fun cartoony feel that perfectly fits the topic and tone.
The Rocketeer’s Return
Just in time for the character’s 40th anniversary, IDW launches a brand-new limited series, The Rocketeer: The Great Race, from creators Stephen Mooney and Len O’Grady. In addition to the main story, each issue of Great Race includes a backup feature that provides an oral history of the character’s creation.
If that’s not enough Rocketeer, you can also scoop up a new printing of Dave Stevens’ The Rocketeer Artist’s Edition. If you love the character and Stevens’ wonderful art, it is a great second chance to snag the handsome volume, which is currently out of print and goes for about twice the asking price online.
This crossover consuming the Bat-section of the DCU started with a bang in March, and April promises more of the same intensity. It’s been a bit since fans got a big, sprawling Bat-crossover like Contagion or No Man’s Landbut Shadow War has the same energy on a more manageable scale. How far with Talia go to avenge her father? Will Damian regress to the murderous brat he once was, or is he headed for an even bigger transformation? Is Deathstroke about to lose yet another son when the League of Assassins comes to even the score? Finally, how will the Legion of Doom fit into — or take advantage of — all of this?
A fan favorite since his debut in Spider-Verse, this marks the first time Earth-138 Hobie Brown gets to fly solo in a series all about him. Given how fun it’s been to see Spider-Gwen in action and that writer Cody Ziglar knows his way around a great action sequence and a funny joke, this one is full of promise. Plus, if you’ve come across Justin Mason’s art online or caught it in DC’s Holiday Special Tis the Season to Be Freezin ‘ last year, you know he has a distinctive style that will fit nicely with Spider-Punk’s aesthetic.
Thor # 24
If you’ve ever read or enjoyed Thor, chances are good that this issue will have something for you.
Walt Simonson, who redefined the character in the 80s and created Beta Ray Bill, is back to tell a story of the hero affectionately known as “Space Horse.”
Dan Jurgens, who had his own impressive run on the title during the “Heroes Return” era of the late 90s writes a Balder the Brave / Thor team-up tale.
With a flashback feature, J. Michael Straczynski and Olivier Coipel will take fans back to their run on the title.
Tom DeFalco and Ron Frenz, no strangers to the God of Thunder, spend some time with Enchantress in their yarn.
Jason Aaron teams up with Das Pastoras for an Odin-centric narrative, fitting given the god’s recent passing.
Since this is a family affair, Loki has to be in attendance. And would not you know it, he is, thanks to Al Ewing and Lee Garbett, who previously handled the God of Mischief in Loki: Agent of Asgard. Or handled as well as anyone can when it comes to that god.
And all of this is after the main tale from writer Donny Cates!
It’s an April full of excitement, and this column has only scratched the surface. Keep coming back here all month, and CBR Features will continue to highlight the stories and events you will not want to miss.
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