The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of November 2017

4 Kids Walk Into A Bank, by Matthew Rosenberg, Tyler Boss, and Thomas Mauer
This new book from up-and-coming publisher Black Mask is a part gritty crime heist story, part coming-of-age tale. Paige discovers that her father is about to be roped into pulling the proverbial “one last job” by some aging criminals from his past. She decides the only way to save him is to get some of her best friends together to rob the bank before her dad and his accomplices can get there. THe retro vibe is neat, and the art is killer.

Batwoman, Vol. 1: The Many Arms of Death, by by Marguerite Bennett, James IV Tynion, Steve Epting, Stephanie Hans, Renato Arlem, and Jeromy Cox
Batwoman has been somewhat at sea of late, but DC’s Rebirth gives our most important queer heroes her own book and a new status quo. Batwoman is teamed with SAS officer Julia Pennyworth in a floating high-tech command center, tracing a cache of cutting-edge weaponry that’s made its way to the black market. The source of the weapons is a small island of outlaws with ties to Batwoman’s past.

BLACK, Vol. 1, by by Kwanza Osajyefo, Jamal Igle, Robin Riggs, Tim Smith III, Derwin Roberson, and Khary Randolph
Another compelling Black Mask title. Kareem Jenkins is a teenager gunned down by the police for not much more than being a black kid in a hoodie. It doesn’t take: he wakes up in the hospital to find out that he has superpowers. And he’s not the only one—this is a world in which there are superpowers, but only black people have them. The racial and political commentary is in your face, and if you don’t like it, BLACK doesn’t care.

Brandon Sanderson’s White Sand, Vol. 2, by Brandon Sanderson, Rik Hoskin, and Julius M Gopez
Brandon Sanderson’s Cosmere mega-universe has expanded into a graphic novel series with a new story tying into the mythology, not a novel adaption. The books follow Kenton, who becomes lord of the Sand Masters, magicians with power over the shifting sands of a desert kingdom (naturally). In volume 2, Kenton is struggling to keep his people from internal collapse while assassins gather on all sides.

Star Wars: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi—Captain Phasma, by Kelly Thompson, Marco Checchetto, and Andres Mosso
Whether Phasma’s somewhat underwhelming appearance in The Force Awakens was a deliberate tease or a misfire, the SW powers-that-be seem intent on doing right by the admittedly evil First Order Captain. Though there are hints to her post-TFA fate in other recent books, this one leads right out of that film and into The Last Jedi, as Phasma escapes from that unfortunate garbage chute incident and sets off on a dangerous quest to find and kill the one person who knows what she did to betray the First Order.

Charmed: A Thousand Deaths, by Erica Schultz and Maria Sanapo
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Piper, Paige, and Phoebe, even though their long-running TV series remains popular in streaming reruns. This new series continues their witchy adventures as the sisters set out to confront a force that’s threatening San Francisco by stealing souls via a gallery exhibit.

The Book of Ballads (Original Art Edition), by Charles Vess and Neil Gaiman
Originally conceived as a book of English, Irish, and Scottish songs and legends told by a-list writers and illustrated by the great Charles Vess, this oversized hardcover edition places the focus squarely on Vess’ incredible pencil art, including never-before-seen drawings alongside script pages from Neil Gaiman.

The Once and Future Queen, by Adam P. Knave, D.J. Kirkbride, Nickolas Brokenshire, and Frank Cvetkovic
This fun new book reimagines King Arthur as a modern teen girl. Chess prodigy Rani Arturus has no plans other than to hone her skills at the game, until she pulls the legendary sword Excalibur from the stone, and is forced to step up as a leader of a diverse round table of girls against an invasion of fae folk.

Wonder Woman 77 Meets The Bionic Woman, by Andy Mangels, Judit Tondora, and Roland Pilcz
DC’s been having a ton of fun with the Lynda Carter/1970s-era Wonder Woman, and nowhere more so than in this spin-off/mash-up. I can’t imagine a more perfect pairing than one between the two indisputable female super-icons of their decade: Jaime Sommers and Diana Prince. They battle familiar enemies on their way to stopping the evil organization CASTRA from getting control of deadly weapons. It’s about time these two got together.

Wonder Woman, Vol. 4: Godwatch, by Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp
This volume brings to a conclusion to a brilliant run by Greg Rucka and company; if you dig Diana, all four volumes are essential. The story they’ve told covers decades in the life of the Amazon, and all of the threads come together here as Veronica Cale assembles her Godwatch organization with plans to use Diana to bring down the Olympians themselves.

Paper Girls: Deluxe Edition, Book 1, by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
If you’ve yet to head out with the Paper Girls on their route, it’s a good a time as any. Better, in fact: this new fancy deluxe hardcover that collects the first ten issues of the series, along with new extras. In 1988, four punk-ish newspaper delivery girls encounter dark forces and uncover the secrets of the greatest story of all time. Think Stranger Things, but even weirder, and with an all-girl cast who are given more to do than fall for the same boy. It’s one of the best series going right now.

Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin: The Complete Collection, Vol. 1, by Reginald Hudlin, Peter Milligan, John Romita Jr., David yardin, Scott Eaton, Kaare Andrews, and Salvador Larocca
Ta-Nehisi Coates isn’t the first big-name writer to have tackled the Panther—Hollywood writer, producer, and director Hudlin signed on in 2005 and stayed with it for several years. This chunky collection gathers the first 18 issues of his run, from a modern re-telling of T’Challa’s origin through his budding romance with future Wakandan Queen Storm.

Batman: Hush—The 15th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, by Jeph Loeb, Jim Lee, and Scott Williams
With Catwoman and Batman’s relationship heating up in the current book, it’s not a bad time to revisit a seminal story that set the pair on a similar path. Superstars Jeph Loeb and Jim Lee teamed up for a story that saw Bruce and the gang set against Gotham’s entire rogues gallery, the villains little knowing that each is a pawn in the games of the mysterious Hush

Zombies Assemble, Vol. 1, by Yusaku Komiyama and Jim Zub
It’s Avengers, manga-style! And with zombies! What more do you need? Komiyama’s original manga is adapted for English-language audiences for the first time by superstar writer Jim Zub. It’s the story of a horrifying zombie plague that threatens to spread and infect the entire planet, taking a few Avengers with it.

Star Wars: Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir, by Jeremy Barlow and Juan Frigeri
Getting chopped in half in Episode I barely slowed down Darth Sidious’s Sith apprentice, and that’s just fine. Even chopped in two, he’s still definitely the coolest thing to have come out of the prequels—but he also got better, and went on to have more infamous adventures. This book picks up his story just as he’s formed the Shadow Collective to take revenge on his old master and his new cohorts, Count Dooku and General Grievous. The story was originally intended for the Clone Wars TV series, and bridges the gap between that show and Maul’s final(?) fate in Rebels.

Regression, Vol. 1: Way Down Deep, by Cullen Bunn, Danny Luckert, and Marie Enger
Bunn and company have crafted a wonderfully smart, creepy horror series that doesn’t skimp on the gore. It’s the story of Adrian, who’s being plagued by some truly nasty nightmares before he seeks to understand them via past-life regression. He quickly discovers the past isn’t particularly inclined to stay in the past.

James Bond: Felix Leiter, by James Robinson and Aaron Campbell
Finally: an American action hero. Truly, though, CIA agent Felix has played second fiddle to Bond for well over 50 years, so it’s time he got the spotlight. Here, Leiter heads to Japan to hunt down a Russian spy from his past, encountering dark deeds afoot as the mission goes south.

Winnebago Graveyard, Vol. 1, by Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, Stéphane Paitreau, Jordie Bellaire, and Aditya Bidikar
Road trips in fiction are rarely good news, far less so when the road trip is happening in a horror comic. A family of three sets out in their Winnebago to see the country. When they stop at a strange carnival (more alarm bells), they soon find their vehicle’s been stolen. What follows is a horrific hunt in which only the family’s wits will keep them alive.

Eternal Empire, Vol. 1, by Sarah Vaughn and Jonathan Luna
Vaughan and Luna, who’ve teamed previously on the brilliant ALEX+ADA, are back with this fantasy epic. It’s about a young man and woman within an Empire’s brutal workforce who, when working together, have a power that can stand up to the larger forces of the Eternal Empress, who’s been waging war against the nations of Saia for over a century.

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