The Best Comics & Graphic Novels of March 2018

Moonstruck, Vol. 1, by Grace Ellis, Shae Beagle, Kate Leth, Caitlin Clark, Laurenn McCubbin, and Clayton Cowles
The new book from Lumberjanes‘ creator Grace Ellis has a similarly quirky fantasy vibe: Julie wants nothing but to be a normal girl with normal girlfriend and a normal barista gig. Unfortunately, she becomes a werewolf when she gets upset. Whoops. Luckily, the world of Moonstruck is full of fantasy creatures living unremarkable lives, so Julie and her centaur best friend Chet don’t draw too much attention when they lock up the coffee shop in order to save their friends from a magical conspiracy. You know…just your typical werewolf-QPOC romcom-fantasy/magic book.

American Gods, Vol. 1: Shadows, by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell, Scott Hampton, Walt Simonson, Colleen Doran, and Glenn Fabry
Neil Gaiman’s novel-turned-TV series gets a graphic novel adaption from superstar artist P. Craig Russell and Scott Hampton. The first volume introduces Shadow Moon, who gets out of jail to find that his wife has died in the meantime—and was having an affair to boot. Searching for purpose, he becomes the bodyguard to the mysterious Mr. Wednesday, and the two set out on a weird and horrific road trip that’s leading up to a literal war of the gods. This is the first of three volumes that will (extensively) adapt the book.

Victor LaValle’s Destroyer, by Victor LaValle, Dietrich Smith, and Joana Lafuente
Yes, it’s another take on Frankenstein (and just in time for the good doctor’s 200th anniversary!). But LaValle (The Ballad of Black Tom) goes in a very different direction with the story: Dr. Josephine Baker, last living descendent of Victor Frankenstein, loses her son in a tragic police shooting, and begins a desperate quest to uncover the family secrets that can restore him to life. At the same time, the original monster, who disappeared into the Arctic at the conclusion of Mary Shelley’s novel, has an encounter that brings him back into contact with a humanity that he’s not overly happy with.

Green Lantern: Earth One, Vol. 1, by Gabriel Hardman, Corinna Bechko, and Jordan Boyd
DC’s Earth One books are intended to be new-reader friendly, with big-name creators taking on established heroes from scratch. The results have been pretty solid. The new Green Lantern book reimagines Hal Jordan as an astronaut and asteroid prospector from an Earth that’s stagnating. When he comes into possession of a powerful ring from a fallen alien civilization, it’s up to him to restart the Green Lantern Corps in defiance of the ruthless Manhunters.

Glitterbomb, Vol. 2: The Fame Game, by Jim Zub, Djibril Morissette-Phan, and K. Michael Russell
The first volume of this sharp-edged series was a nasty, incredibly relevant revenge-horror story of Hollywood misogyny that anticipated the #MeToo era. Volume 2 tells a new tale with new character, Kaydon Klay, a woman whose desire for fame overwhelms everything else. It’s another brilliantly, acidic take on the darkest side of the modern entertainment industry.

Crosswind, Vol. 1, by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs
Simone and Staggs make for one heckuva team in this Freaky Friday story of a ruthless Chicago hitman and a beaten-down Seattle housewife. A mysterious event causes the two to swap lives, with brutal results. The art is phenomenal, and the series has earned such buzz that there’s already a TV adaptation in the works.

Letter 44, Vol. 6: The End, by Charles Soule, Alberto Alburquerque, Dan Jackson, and Sarah Stern
The sci-fi political thriller began with new U.S. President Stephen Blades’ administration being forced to set its agenda aside when it learned, via a letter from the outgoing president, of a looming alien intelligence in our solar system’s asteroid belt that’s been kept secret. In the massively satisfying concluding volume, everything’s pretty much fallen apart: the crew of the vessel sent to make contact is likely dead, and the Earth is doomed. Only one question remains: can humanity somehow outlive the planet?

Red Rising: Sons of Ares, by Pierce Brown, Rik Hoskin, Eli Powell, and Jordan Boyd
With the the initial trilogy having been completed in 2016, Pierce Brown’s Red Rising series goes in two different directions this year: the recent prose novel Iron Gold continues the story of Darrow and Virginia leading a new Solar Republic ten years out from the previous book. Meanwhile, the Sons of Ares graphic novel is a prequel that serves as an origin story for the titular terrorist faction. When a Gold falls in love with a low-color Red, it sets the stage for the end of an oppressive regime. Brown himself came up with the story alongside scriptor Rik Hoskin; the art is by Eli Powell and Jordan Boyd.

Giant Days, Vol. 7, by John Allison, Liz Fleming, Max Sarin, and Whitney Cogar

Esther, Susan, and Daisy are now into their second year at Sheffield University in the latest volume of the Eisner-nominated series. Coming-of-age this year means grocery store protests, family reunions, and an MMORPG-themed wedding, all while the three make plans for the future.

Astonishing X-Men by Charles Soule, Vol. 1: Life of X, by Charles Soule, Jim Cheung, Mike Deodato, Mike Del Mundo, Ed McGuinness, Carlos Pacheco, and Ramon Rosanas
The world’s most powerful minds are under threat in the twisty-turny-trippy new X-book from Charles Soule, working alongside an all-star team of artists. Psylocke, Bishop, Old Man Logan, Archangel, Fantomex, Rogue, and Gambit make up the team called to travel to the astral plane to stop the Shadow King from collecting the mind powers of Marvel’s finest.

War Mother, by Fred Van Lente, Stephen Segovia, and Tomas Giorello
Spinning out of Valiant’s 4001 A.D., War Mother is the protector of the Grove, a rare enclave on the inhospitable Earth of the future. Except that the Grove is dying as well, and War Mother is forced to lead her people into the unknown in the hope of finding a new life and a brighter future.

Star Trek: The Next Generation—Mirror Broken, by Scott Tipton, David Tipton, J.K. Woodward, and Charlie Kirchoff
Discovery, the newest Star Trek show, went there. So, too, is the Next Gen crew in this new IDW miniseries. The Mirror Universe is having a moment—which is totally not a statement about the current state of the real world. Ahem. Believe it or not, Picard and co. never got to grow out their goatees in any of their televised adventures. This graphic novel one-shot finds him on a desperate quest to get his hands on the Terran Empire’s newest warship: the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Invader ZIM, Vol. 5, by Eric Trueheart, Dave Crosland, Jhonen Vasquez, Warren Wucinich, and Fred C. Stresing
The improbable return of cult-favorite ZIM continues in this volume, which finds the invader’s latest plot foiled when a virus infects his robot assistant GIR. In order to solve the problem and stop GIR from killing everyone in sight, ZIM is forced to go deep inside the nonsensical, hyperactive brain of his robot pal.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 29: Lines We Cross, by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, Stefano Gaudiano, Cliff Rathburn, and Dave Stewart
A recent death has thrown the town of Alexandria into turmoil in the 29th(!) volume of TWD. With Negan continuing to sow dissent, Rick & co. remain in contact with Stephanie, who claims to be part of a large nearby settlement in need of help, so a rescue team is assembled.

Pizzeria Kamikaze, by Asaf Hanuka and Etgar Keret
The afterlife for victims of suicide is an awful lot like life, particularly for Mordy, who works the same job in a place that’s very similar to where he came from. So far, so mundane, until he learns his much-missed ex-girlfriend is there as well, kicking off a weird and fantastical road trip to find her.

Von Spatz, by Anna Haifisch
The Von Spatz Rehabilitation Center for Artists caters to some of the 20th century’s finest: names like Tomi Ungerer, Saul Steinberg, and even Walt Disney himself. An exploration of drive and insecurity among artists, Haifisch imagines the trio as animal-headed patients at an art therapy retreat where the they develop a slow-earned friendship. It’s absurdist and experimental book, but also funny and heartwarming.

Invincible Iron Man: Ironheart, Vol. 1: Riri Williams, by Brian Michael Bendis, Stefano Caselli, and Marte Gracia
Riri Williams is the latest next-generation hero in the Marvel U; she’s also it’s newest super-genius. From a troubled background, Riri managed a scholarship to MIT at just 15. Inspired by the accomplishments of Tony Stark, she builds her own next-level suit of armor using equipment pilfered from the university. When she’s discovered, she’ll have to prove that she’s responsible enough to use her powerful equipment in the face of the Techno Golem, with Rescue at her side. Now in paperback.

Clue, by Paul Allor and Nelson Daniel
The board game Clue has had an impressively fruitful life even off the tabletop, having been a movie, a play, and a novel. Now, it’s a comic book. The creators here are riffing on the franchise as a whole, with a new story featuring the classic game characters in a plot full of twists, turns, and artistic flourishes specific to the medium. It’s good, wholesome murder-y fun.

Firebug, by Johnnie Christmas and Tamra Bonvillain
Keegan, volcano goddess, might bring about the end of the world. Or its salvation. The prophecies are unclear, and even she’s not entirely sure. Her small army of devotees must travel to the ancient city of Azar for answers before it’s overtaken by forest monsters, and before a cult can summon ancient forces in order to destroy Keegan forever. This series first appeared as a mini-comic in Image’s Island magazine; the trade collects all previous installments, plus some new ones.

Exo, by Jerry Frissen and Philippe Scoffoni
It’s a sci-fi conspiracy in Frissen and Scoffoni’s new work, now in English. NASA has discovered an exoplanet just four light years away that appears capable of supporting human life. Just as a probe is about to commence exploration, however, a manned orbital space station is destroyed by a missile from the moon. Probably not a coincidence.

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