Sex vol. 6: World Hunger: Hey everyone, more “Sex!” There’s been a lack of new “Sex” in the marketplace for a while so getting some new “Sex” is great news! Best of all is that “Sex’s” return is going to be bigger and thicker than before! Better catch up on all the old “Sex” that’s out there because you’ll want to be ready for this new “Sex” that’s coming your way in April.
Did I recommend this latest volume of “Sex” just to write that paragraph? Yes. Yes I did. Joe Casey and Piotr Kowalski’s series about a retired superhero (who was totally not Batman) who tries to find fulfillment in living a normal life has always been one that I’ve appreciated more in what it’s trying to be than what it actually is. Whatever appreciation I had for it diminished after it looked like we were going to be left hanging after vol. 5, but it’s good to see Casey and Kowalski making an effort here to finish things off. I don’t think this is going to be the last volume of the series, but I’ll be picking it up anyway to complete the “Sex” in my life.
Ascender #1: To recap: Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen’s space opera “Descender” ended with the machines wiping out a good portion of the galaxy’s organic population and taking Tim-21 and all of the other machines off to parts unknown. The last few pages were set ten years later and revealed that magic has now become more prominent in the galaxy and that Andy has a daughter named Mila. “Descender” never grabbed me the way it did other people due to the utterly conventional storytelling employed by Lemire and Nguyen’s sketchily painted art. Vol. 6 struck me as a real jumping-off point before the setup for this series was revealed. Then you’ve got the fact that, “Hey, magic is totally a thing now despite being a very minor (and ignorable) part of the previous series,” and this winds up being a complete non-starter for me.
Section Zero #1 (of 6): Just your average series about a group of adventurers looking into monsters, lost civilizations, and UFOs. This comes to us from DC and Marvel vets Karl Kesel (writer) and Tom Grummett (artist) and really strikes me as something that the former would’ve put out in the late 90’s/early 00’s when they regularly did oddball miniseries that didn’t have strong ties to the DCU. So if you miss those kind of things, then you’re going to want to check this out. Oh, and its claim to having some of the greatest alternate cover artists around might sound like baseless hype, there’s no denying that Walt Simonson’s insect-boy variant is impressively creepy.
Curse Words Spring Has Sprung Special: Billed as the last of the seasonal specials, which I’m also taking to mean the end of the series may be in sight. All of the specials for “Curse Words” have been dedicated to fleshing out Wizord and Ruby Stitch’s relationship prior to when the former showed up on our Earth. Judging by the cover of this one, it looks like we might get to find out just what happened to Margaret that caused her to forget who her parents were and what turned her into a shapeshifter with a penchant for marsupials. No questions about where this will be reprinted, however, as creators Charles Soule and Ryan Browne have been cool enough to pack them into volumes of the series itself.
East of West vol. 9: The only things you need to take away from the solicitation here is that this is the penultimate volume of the series, and that this one only collects four issues as well. A slimmer issue count is disappointing, but the previous volume did the same and still managed to satisfy. Which is a lot more than I can say for “Black Science” which did the same thing and served up issues that only served to weaken my confidence that it’ll deliver a worthy conclusion.
Gideon Falls vol. 2: Original Sins: Given how “Descender,” and to a lesser extent “Royal City,” turned out there’s this nagging concern that I’m setting myself up for disappointment by investing in another Jeff Lemire-written creator-owned series. Yet the first volume of “Gideon Falls” was a freaky head trip that drew me in with its creepiness and surrealism. It does help that this series has better art than Lemire’s other titles, with his “Green Arrow” and “Old Man Logan” collaborator Andrea Sorrentino really going the extra mile with his unconventional layouts. Vol. 2 promises more of Norton and Father Fred’s quests in different regions (and time periods too?) to unravel the mystery of the Black Barn. It sounds simple when I write it like that, but the execution of the first volume has me believing what we get from this second volume will be anything but.
Mage vol. 6: The Hero Denied Book Two: After over two decades since the second series, Matt Wagner’s quasi-autobiographical fantasy adventure series finally comes to a close. While the second series didn’t exactly end on a cliffhanger, Wagner had been promising a third series for years with the subtitle “The Hero Denied.” Now it’s finally here, and will be collected in April, and I’ll go make the time to re-read the first two series before seeing how it all wraps up. Expect a podcast on the full series once I’ve read through it all.
Infinite Dark #5 & Port of Earth #6: Just wanted to mention that both of these are drawn by Andrea Mutti, who also has the “Six Days” graphic novel arriving from DC in the April Solicitations as well. When does this guy find the time to sleep?
Rumble #11: What’s this? The start of a new arc of “Rumble” with artist David Rubin? But I thought he said in vol. 4 that he had only contracted for ten issues of the series? Well, I’m not going to question his involvement in this series any further because more “Rumble” is always a good thing. That said, this might be the last we see of this series as the arc has the ominous title of “Last Knight” and is said to involve everyone facing off against the Four Scourge Knights of the Apocalypse. That kind of sounds like final arc material to me. Which is good because I know this series has never sold all that well in single-issue form and it looks like writer John Arcudi and Rubin are going to give it a proper send-off.
The Black Monday Murders #9: Aside from his efforts to wrap up “East of West” we haven’t heard a lot from Jonathan Hickman lately. In fact, I was kind of worried about the fate of this series after we went through the rest of 2018 without hearing anything about it after the release of vol. 2. The good news here is that it’s back and a lot bigger too. This issue is listed as being 64 pages for $5, with the same length/price per issue for the rest of the series in the arc. It’s also described as the final arc of the series, which is probably for the best considering its sporadic publishing schedule. I don’t know if Hickman and artist Tomm Coker had more planned for it, but if you told me that the two of them looked at how it was going and decided that they should wrap it up now I wouldn’t be surprised.