Welcome back True Believers to our weekly series where we run down the top five comics we are enjoying with this week's featured coffee roast. You know we love our community and are always interested in what you are reading and what Coffee 'n' Capes coffee you are drinking. So drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And. here. we. go:
This week's featured coffee is America's Roast. This single-origin light roast from the Sidamo Province of Ethiopia is Fair Trade certified. America's Roast offers tasting notes of berries and citrus. It tastes so good, America's Roast will have you saying, "I can drink this all day."
On to our top 5 reads!
5. Shuri #1 (2018)
I remember buying this book when it first came out. Earlier that year, the character Shuri stood out as a bright star in Black Panther—a movie chock full of great performances and bright stars. Plus, I’ve read novels by Shuri writer Nnedi Okorafor so I was really interested to see what she did with this story. But I also remember bailing on it after just a couple issues. What I don’t remember is why I stopped reading it. So this week I’m giving it another go. The tension as this story begins: T’Challa has disappeared during a mission to space (check out last week’s blog post for more on that story) and Wakanda looks to Shuri for leadership. How will she respond? Shuri is drawn by Eisner-nominated artist Leonardo Romero.
4. Hawkeye Limited Series #1 (1983)
I know (or at least assume) you enjoyed the Hawkeye TV series. Before that, I know (or at least assume) you enjoyed the Matt Fraction run in the comic upon which the TV show was based. But today we’re going truly old school. Hop in the Wayback Machine and return with me now to 1983. That’s when this Hawkeye limited series dropped and gave us “the mysterious Mockingbird,” Clint Barton’s hearing loss, and a super hero funeral. Before we get to any of those events, however, this opening issue offers a recap of Hawkeye’s origin story, replete with all the Clint craziness: carnivals! Swordmaster! Sibling rivalry! Iron Man! Wait, Iron Man? Yep, Iron Man.
Look, this book was written in the early 1980’s and it is very much of its time. Some of the dialogue, especially in this first issue, is pretty dated and full of 80’s machismo. But, it seems to me, if you can get past that part of it, this book and series from writer Mark Gruenwald, with art by Brett Breeding, Joe Rosen, Bob Sharen, really pays off.
3. Captain Marvel #33 (2019)
As you can see, I’m breaking the form of the rest of this Top 5 rundown by highlighting this book from the middle of a run—heck, it isn’t even the first issue in of this “The Last of the Marvels” story arc. Why do that? In part because I truly enjoy the dynamic between Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel. Also because I like it when Carol’s friends show up to help just in the nick of time. But, honestly? The main reason for suggesting issue #33 is pretty simple: it is literally the issue I’m reading right now. I’m enjoying this series by Kelly Thompson with art by Sergio Dávila, but #33 is as far as I’ve gotten. Can Carol defeat Vox Supreme and save her friends? I hope so, but first she has to save herself as the issue ends with her trapped in a “sort of ‘Faraday Cage’ keyed specifically to her energies.” Sounds terrible and it looks an awful lot like a coffin in space to me [shudder]. Here’s hoping this isn’t the last of Captain Marvel!
2. Department of Truth #1 (2020)
Is this a horror comic? Or fantasy? Or just a bunch of conspiracy theory nonsense thrown at the wall? Or is it terrifically-done satire? The best I can tell, The Department of Truth is an amalgamation of all those elements. What I know for sure is that I have become a HUGE Jame Tynion IV fan. Put Department of Truth right up there with Something is Killing the Children and House of Slaughter. (What about his run on Batman? It was fine. These three books, meanwhile, are borderline brilliant.) While Martin Simmonds art isn’t my favorite, its blurry lines and plethora of shadows fits the stories pretty darn perfectly. This book presents a world in which belief brings things into reality. Wait, so if enough people believe the earth is flat, it will actually make the earth flat?? Exactly. That’s where the Department of Truth comes in to stop that from happening. This book is nightmares galore and I can’t put it down.
1. Human Target #1 (2021)
You have 12 days until you die, now solve your own murder. How’s that for an assignment?! That’s the task facing Christopher Chance, aka the Human Target, in the new (ok, new-ish now) series written by Tom King with art from Greg Smallwood. I’m totally new to the world of Human Target, but when I told a friend that I like Tom King’s writing on Batman, he encouraged me to check out this book—I’m so glad I did. (Thanks, Wallace!).
Human Target is so called because he is hired to disguise himself as his client to invite would-be assassins to attempt his murder. This book is in the gritty, noir style of classic detective stories. The kind of stories that inevitably get labeled “hard-boiled.” As cliche as that sounds, my initial impression is that description is apt. Lest we forget this story takes place in the DC universe, Chance’s client is Lex Luthor and the main suspects for his murder are the Justice League. Pretty sure future issues will find their way back into this space!