November is a fantastic month for new stories in ink and paint. Here are the Barnes & Noble booksellers’ curated picks for the best comics and graphic novels of the month.
Invisible Kingdom, Vol. 1, by G. Willow Wilson and Christian Ward
Wilson and Ward are a powerhouse team in this new series from Berger Books and Dark Horse. The book finds two very different women: hard-bitten freighter pilot Grix and religious acolyte Vess drawn together as each uncovers a conspiracy between the solar system’s mega-corporation and church leaders. Ward’s stunning art draws strong distinctions between Grix’s high-octane world and Vess’ more spiritual and contemplative one, and, as the two face reprisals for having uncovered hidden truths, we experience the broader world as they do. It’s an impressively rendered story of two worlds connected by corruption.
A Radical Shift of Gravity, by Nick Tapalansky and Kate Glasheen
Journalist Noah finds his family drifting away, literally and figuratively. He and his rebellious daughter are growing apart while the world itself is on the verge of a major change—gravity itself is disappearing, changing life in innumerable ways. This watercolor fable contrasts a world of exciting and frightening change with the evolution of a family over time, exploring the forces that pull people apart and the ones that bring them together.
Paperback $15.29 | $16.99
Blade Runner 2019, Vol. 1 (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Michael Green, Mike Johnson, and Andres Guinaldo
Set in the same year as the original film (yup: 2019), this fully authorized sequel to Blade Runner comes to us from the screenwriter of the more recent movie. Veteran Blade Runner Detective Aahana “Ash” Ashina is on the hunt for a billionaire’s missing wife and child, presumably taken by renegade replicants, and with time running desperately short. The B&N Exclusive Edition has a very nice selection of extras, including process art, an interview with the writers, a guide to the BR world, and a piece of concept art.
Superman: Year One (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Frank Miller and John Romita Jr.
Two comic legends have come together to pull back the curtain on the early days of Superman, beginning by presenting the destruction of Krypton from baby Kal-El’s point of view. From there, it’s on to Kansas and then a stint as a Navy SEAL and a confrontation with Atlantis—just a few of the many new ideas Miller and Romita bring to a tale that’s been told once or twice before—if never quite like this. The B&N Exclusive Edition includes a lithograph and pencil artwork from the first issue.
Hardcover $22.49 | $24.99
Wonder Woman, Vol. 1: The Just War (B&N Exclusive Edition), by G. Willow Wilson and Cary Nord
Ares has been imprisoned beneath Themyscira for generations, but when he’s joined by Grail, the daughter of Darkseid, he discovers a means of escape. Reborn on Earth, he makes himself known to Wonder Woman while she’s on a mission to save Steve Trevor, and claims to have turned over a new leaf. Of course, appearances can be deceiving, and War isn’t the only Olympian to have been resurrected. Best known among comics readers for co-creating Kamala Khan (aka Ms. Marvel), G. Willow Wilson proves just as sure a hand writing at for heroes on the other side of the Marvel/D.C. divide. The B&N exclusive edition of this series-starter has a variant cover as well as 8 extra pages with pencil art, sketches, and script excerpts.
La Voz De M.A.Y.O.: Tata Rambo, Volume 1, by Henry Barajas, J. Gonzo, Claire Napier, and Bernardo Brice
La Voz De M.A.Y.O. was the self-published newsletter of the real-life “Mexican, American, Yaqui, and Others” organization that fought for equality among Latinx and Indigenous Americans in Arizona during the 1970s. Though the group had been largely forgotten, the full scope of their struggles and victories have been uncovered by journalist Henry Barajas, great-grandson of MAYO leader Ramon Jaurigue, a WWII veteran and member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe. This new graphic novel centers on the difficult personal life of the man known as Tata Rambo, while also using his story to tell the broader tale of a movement.
The Flash: Year One (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Joshua Williamson, Howard Porter, and Hi-Fi
Though Flash doesn’t get quite the press of DC’s big three heroes, the book’s team has been on a killer run for three years now, and has more than earned the right to offer a fresh stab at Barry Allen’s origin story. Impressively, they’ve done so without disrupting their ongoing narrative, as Barry himself travels back in time to witness his own beginning and to uncover secrets that have long been hidden from him. It’s not a bad way to celebrate the Flash’s 80th anniversary year. The B&N Exclusive version has a lithograph, a unique variant cover, and several script pages.
Middlewest: Book Two, by Skottie Young, Jorge Corona, and Mike Huddleston
Last time we visited the Oz-like world of Middlewest, Abel had escaped from his abusive father and set out across the countryside with a traveling crew of animals, magicians, and robots. In the newest volume of I Hate Fairyland creator Skottie Young’s new series (written by Young with storybook art from Jorge Corona), Abel continues to dodge his father (who manifests as a fearsome tornado) while he and his fox friend discover that the forest they’re exploring is watching them back.
Paperback $14.39 | $15.99
Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker—Allegiance, by Ethan Sacks, Luke Ross, and Lee Loughridge
We’re starting to get a sense of what’s been going on since the Resistancediscovered just the tiniest spark of hope at the end of The Last Jedi, with much of that gap being filled by this standalone book. General Organa, Rey, Chewie, C-3PO, and Rose Tico lead a delegation to Mon Cala—home of the late Rebellion and Resistance hero Admiral Ackbar—to entreat the deeply reluctant Mon Calamari to rejoin the fight. It’s the sort of diplomatic mission that finds Rey battling a giant droid, so par for the course for this galaxy. Meanwhile, Finn and Poe encounter ruthless bounty hunters during a quest to retrieve an essential cache of weapons.
Hardcover $37.07 | $39.99
DC Comics: The Art of Jim Lee, Vol. 1 (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Jim Lee
Though he made a name for himself at Marvel, Jim Lee is now almost synonymous with DC Comics—particularly for his work on the trinity of Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman, as well as on the Justice League as a whole. This oversized hardcover celebrates the full breadth of his work with DC and WildStorm with stories, covers, pin-ups, and behind-the-scenes work, all of which together explain why he’s one of the most popular comic artist of the modern era. The B&N Exclusive Edition (yes, another one!) includes a lithograph available nowhere else.
Black Science, Vol. 9: No Authority by Yourself, by Rick Remender and Matteo Scalera
This pulpy, high concept sci-fi series from writer Rick Remender and Italian artist Matteo Scalera—the old TV show Sliders on mescaline—reaches its conclusion. The book that has followed the travails of Doctor Grant McKay, spurned former member of a league of scientist anarchists, who invented a device that allows travel into alternate dimensions and wound up, due to an act of sabotage, bouncing from one reality to another alongside his family, each destination worse than the last. Remender was inspired by the classic weird adventure novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Scalera’s artwork echoes their lurid, over the top covers from artist Frank Frazetta.
DC: Women of Action, by Shea Fontana
Though not the first woman to be hailed as a superhero, Wonder Woman’s popularity in the early days proved that sisters could do it every bit as well as the men. Though women have had to periodically remind the comic book world of that fact, DC has, over the decades, built up an impressively powerful array of female heroes (and villains): Lois Lane, Supergirl, Catwoman, Black Canary, Amanda Waller, and many others are featured here with illustrations and text. Not only that, the book also highlights the importance of the women who have worked behind the scenes to bring these diverse characters to life.
DCeased (B&N Exclusive Edition), by Tom Taylor, Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudiano, and Rainier Beredo
The Anti-Life Equation from Apokolips finally claims its victims: 600,000,000 people across the planet are corrupted—instantly turned into violent, murderous monsters, with the madness spreading at the speed of social media. As the heroes gather to save what’s left of the world, they find themselves every bit as vulnerable as the people they’re trying to save. It’s the end of days for the DCU in a dark, action-packed story that manages to wring real emotion out of the end times. The B&N Exclusive Edition includes a lithograph, alternate cover, and 8 pages of variant cover art.
Little Bird: The Fight for Elder’s Hope, by Darcy Van Poelgeest, Ian Bertram, and Matt Hollingsworth
Drawing inspiration from Musqueam and other indigenous history and imagery, Little Bird tells the story of a Canadian girl caught up in a war with the oppressive imperial theocracy of a future United States. The genre-bending book has a cinematic scope while, ultimately, being the story of a young woman trying to forge her own identity. The art on this one is particularly gorgeous, and goes a long wait to explain why Image is releasing it in hardcover, in the fashion of an original graphic novel.
Palimpsest: Documents From a Korean Adoption, by Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom
Among the thousands of South Korean children adopted around the world during the 1970s and ’80s, many found their way to Sweden. That’s what happened to cartoonist Sjöblom: an adopted child in a highly homogenous culture discouraged from exploring her roots. Near the time she became pregnant with her first child, she discovered documentation that revealed the names of her biological parents—evidence that suggested the story she’d been told about herself wasn’t entirely true. In this graphic memoir, she explores her own complicated feelings about her adoption and the background that was kept from her.
The House, by Paco Roca
Acclaimed cartoonist Paco Roca follows three adult siblings who return to their family’s home a year after the death of their father. Each bringing their own families, the process of cleaning up and clearing up forces them to confront the past. As the weekend goes on, decades-old resentments crop up. The personal story (dedicated to Roca’s father) asks what happens to a family when the glue that’s always held it together disintegrates.
Spider-Man: Life Story, by Chip Zdarsky and Mark Bagley
The popular superheroes don’t really age. Or, if they do, they certainly don’t age like you and I. In the case of Spider-Man: he was a teenager in 1962 and is, maybe, ten years older in the current storyline, while almost six decades have gone by in the real world. Zdarsky and Bagley have each done some of their best work with the Webslinger, making them a great team to explore the life of a Peter Parker who actually has lived and aged through the past 57 years. Not only is it a great Spider-Man story, it’s a rare chance to imagine the life of one of our most timeless superheroes from beginning to end.
Savage Avengers, Vol. 1: City of Sickles, by Gerry Duggan, Mike Deodato, and Frank Martin
They are not kidding with that title: the over-the-top line-up here includes Wolverine, Venom, Punisher, and Elektra, also joined by Doctor Voodoo and a time-displaced Conan the Barbarian. A fight between Conan and Wolverine kicks everything off, but they’re forced to team up when the Marrow God Kulan Kath threatens entire worlds. There’s some very nice, very rich art here to complement an appropriately bloody, action-filled story.
Firefly: Original Graphic Novel—The Sting, by Delilah S. Dawson, Joss Whedon, Rodrigo Lorenzo, Taj Tenfold, and Pius Bak
The women of the Firefly ‘verse are some of sci-fi’s most impressive, but haven’t had the chance to sit centerstage until now. Charming, enigmatic con artist Saffron returns to Serenity to recruit a team for a very personal heist, one that requires the skills of Zoe, Inara, Kaylee, and River. This original graphic novel reveals an untold chapter for the crew of everyone’s favorite Firefly-class vessel.
Punk Mambo, by Cullen Bunn and Adam Gorham
Mystical mercenary-for-hire Punk Mambo is a voodoo priestess who grew up in London before moving to the Louisiana’s Bayou. Now she’s investigating a series of murders among the gutter punks of New Orleans as part of a broader mystery that takes her all the way to Haiti. The impressive creative team is clearly having a ton of fun with this story’s wild, punk rock vibe.
Wonder Twins, Vol. 1: Activate!, by Mark Russell and Stephen Byrne
Zan and Jayna are back in a big way, with plenty of humor and heart in tow. While trying to fit in at South Metropolis High School, the twin alien exiles are also pulling monitor duty at the Hall of Justice as interns. Brash Zan and streetwise Jayna have all sorts of problems to deal with even before the Scrambler shows up with a plan to mix up all the minds on the planet.
After the Spring: A Story of Tunisian Youth, by Helene Aldeguer
The Arab Spring of 2011 changed the world for a time, but uncertainty and disillusionment followed in its wake. In this story set two years later, Saif, Aziz, Meriem, and Chayma are dealing with economic hardship and political turmoil on the cusp of adulthood. With the future up in the air, each has to decide the course of their lives and whether or not there is a future in Tunisia. The award-winning work is now available in English for the first time.
What’s on your pull list?