Comic Newbie Digest – Week of April 1st, 2015

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Another week, another chance to get into comics! I firmly believe that any new comic book day is an opportunity to get hooked on comics. Movies and television are seeing more comic book adaptations than ever before and publishers are putting out some of the best comics in recent memory. There’s never been a better time to get into comics than right now.  This week is one the best weeks to jump into comics because this week’s releases are stacked. There’s a ton coming out and it was very tough to keep it to five picks so there may be some cheating this week.

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1. Lumberjanes Vol. 1 Behold the Kitten Holy by Noelle Stevenson, Brooke Allen, Grace Ellis and Shannon Watters ($14.99 BOOM! Studios)

The Solicitation: What’s to Love: Lumberjanes is the hit series from the BOOM! Box imprint that features five rad ladies who fight monster baddies with the power of friendship! Written by Noelle Stevenson (Nimona, Adventure Time) and newcomer Grace Ellis, and illustrated by Brooke Allen (A Home for Mr. Easter), this new series has taken comics by storm and has earned rave reviews.

What It Is: At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams!

Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly, and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together…and they’re not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The mystery keeps getting bigger, and it all begins here.

“Lumberjanes” is easily the most fun you’ll have reading a comic book. It’s delightful, charming and totally hilarious. I know for sure that if this were my first comic, I’d never turn back. This is a comic series that instills confidence in the reader. I’m almost 24 years old and I gain something from reading the adventures of these girls so I can only imagine the empowerment a young girl gains. The are no stereotypes here. Each character has her own personality with quirks and the most important thing about “Lumberjanes” is the way they overcome obstacles. Intelligence, strength and quick thinking saves the day, setting a great example for young female readers. This is a series that landed on almost every “Best of 2014” list and it’s loved by pretty much everyone. If you buy only one option from this list, make it this one.

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2. Doctor Who: The Ninth Doctor #1 by Cavan Scott and Blair Shedd ($3.99 Titan Comics)

The solicitation: The ninth Doctor is back with a brand-new miniseries: Weapons of Past Destruction! Leaving World War II behind, the Doctor, Rose, and Captain Jack discover that Time Lord technology, lost in the wake of the Time War, is being sold on the intergalactic black market! Now the threat of a new temporal war brews on the horizon. Can the Doctor stop history repeating itself?

So this one might not cater to all new readers but it’s definitely worth putting on here since Doctor Who is a worldwide phenomenon. The Ninth Doctor only lasted one season but he was never forgotten. He has a fanbase that’s just as vocal as say the Eleventh Doctor’s fan base. He was a different breed compared to what came later but had such a fun charm to him. Titan Comics has done a very nice job with their now 4 Doctor Who series and so, if you’ve never read comics before, but are a Whovian, this is a great way to ease into it.

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3. No Mercy #1 by Alex De Campi, Carla Speed McNeil and Jenn Manley Lee ($2.99 Image Comics)

The solicitation: It was just a trip, before college. Build schools in a Central American village; get to know some of the other freshmen. But after tragedy strikes, a handful of once-privileged US teens must find their way home in a cruel landscape that at best doesn’t like them, and at worst, actively wants to kill them.

Teenage drama is very hit or miss with me. I was a teenager and it wasn’t as great as pop culture makes it seem. “No Mercy” though is a very witty and sarcastic take on teenagers. It’s full of heart but also pokes fun at this generation a little bit. De Campi is a great talent in comics today and just looking at previews, McNeil and Lee are doing something very memorable on art. Image Comics shows up a lot in this column every week and for good reason. “No Mercy” #1 is a new series that should appeal to almost every reader so it’s a great pick up as your first new comic.

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4. Avengers: Rage of Ultron by Rick Remender and Jerome Opena ($24.99 Marvel)

The solicitation: It was another glorious victory for the Mighty Avengers. Good triumphed over evil and Ultron was shot into space, never to be seen again. Or so they thought. Now, years later, the homicidal artificial intelligence – so long devoted to ending life on Earth – has found a new world to conquer… one with its own horrific legacy.

When Titan, birthplace of Thanos, falls, Planet Ultron rises in its place! Thanos’ brother Starfox must seek the aid of his former allies – but the Avengers he finds are radically different from the ones he once knew. Among them is Ultron’s creator Giant-Man – and when Hank Pym confronts his now planet-sized ‘son,’ the responsibilities of fatherhood have never loomed so large.

Rick Remender (UNCANNY AVENGERS) and Jerome Opeña (AVENGERS) unleash the full robotic rage of Ultron on Earth’s Mightiest Heroes!

You like all these Marvel movies and everyone told you that “Age of Ultron” has nothing to do with the movie. What do you do? Buy this. It features many of the same characters in the movie and it features Ultron taking names and kicking ass. There’s even a mention of Thanos in here, which ties it even more to the movie world. This is a book that will cost you a little bit of money but if you’re super, super skeptical of comics that aren’t tied to the MCU then you really can’t go wrong with this one.

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5. Space Riders #1 by Fabian Rangel Jr and Alexis Ziritt ($3.99 Black Mask)

The solicitation: From the galactic core to the outer quadrants, one name strikes terror in the hearts of evil beings everywhere: the Space Riders! Sailing the cosmos in the Skullship Santa Muerte, Capitan Peligro and his fearless crew deal harsh justice to the scum of the galaxy while searching for the forbidden truths of the universe! Fabian Rangel Jr (Doc Unknown) and Alexis Ziritt (The Package) bring you a new and exciting space adventure that will destroy your brain! (in a good way)

Last week I suggested “We Can Never Come Home” #1 and that was a huge hit with critics, retailers and fans. This week Black Mask comes at us again with another new series. “Space Riders” #1 is a trippy space adventure with art that will blow your mind. This is a great new comic for the most alternative fan, the person who isn’t into “cute” or wants to stay far away from the big budget movies. I was able to read this early and I wish I could back and read it the first time again.

Cheating Pick:

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Convergence #0 by Dan Jurgens, Jeff King, Ethan Van Sciver and Marcelo Maiolo

The solicitation: Where do worlds go when they die? The Earthquakes felt round the Multiverse, Superman’s lost days after ‘Doomed,’ the World’s End – all these points will converge as the history of the DCU is spun from a new perspective, the perspective of a mad god and his arrogant child. The biggest story in DC history ties into literally every DC story ever told – and it all begins here. Kingdom Come, Red Son, Wild West Justice League, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew – all the worlds you remember can still be found on Telos. Everything matters. Every story matters. Don’t miss the start of DC’s April/May 2015 event with this special issue!

I have no idea how this is going to pan out but I will say this, events tend to be huge things that can sometimes offer a nice place to jump in. There’s a ton of hype and lots of exposition heavy backstory given to you in just the first few pages. If you’re really eager to get started with DC then this might just be the right thing to pick up.

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