Welcome back True Believers! You know coffee and comics are two of our favorite things—and they go together so well! Thus, each week in this space we offer the top five comics we are enjoying with a cup of our coffee. We also love our community and want to know what you are reading and what Coffee 'n' Capes coffee you are drinking. Share your reading and drinking choices with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And. here. we. go:
This week's featured coffee is Merv Pumpkin Spice. Fall is here, that time when our dreaming is full of leaves on the ground, a chill to the air, and pumpkin spice coffee. Merv Pumpkin Spice is the perfect blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg to bring your morning, or afternoon, cup of coffee that touch of fall we love.
This limited time only roast is best enjoyed on crisp fall mornings, day dreaming while sipping and reading your favorite comic books, or walking through the park. Merv Pumpkin Spice—a hauntingly good medium roast. You might even say it’s dreamy.
On to the comics!
5. Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #1 (2020)
John Constantine is back in this limited series written by Tom Taylor with art by Darick Robertson. I love Taylor’s work on the current run of Nightwing and this book is really good too. With just a week to go before Halloween, Hellblazer: Rise and Fall #1 offers a spooky read, as we expect from a Constantine story. Additionally, if you aren’t familiar with the character, this book is a great place to jump on as it takes us allllll the way back to the beginning. As in, Constantine’s birth. We also get to witness the first two deaths Constantine caused. And then a few more after that. On the final page, you won’t believe who came for dinner! (Or maybe you will, with this being a Hellblazer DC Black Label horror book and all.)
4. Spider-Man Black Cat: The Evil Men Do #1 (2002)
We’ve likely all encountered some horror stories that are thinly veiled morality plays: e.g. Having sex means you will die a horrible death! Despite this, if the story is good enough, we will keep coming back for more. I think that’s some of what I like about this Spider-Man and Black Cat team up written by Kevin Smith. This isn’t a horror story but it follows the form of a particular type of horror tale. And it has black cats and spiders. Isn’t that Halloween enough for ya? This book is pretty upfront with the moral it wants to impart: drugs are killing us. The art by Terry Dodson is a bit exaggerated and playful. Black Cat is back in town and, naturally, she runs into to ex-flame Spider-Man right away. They literally fall into the room where two young people die of an overdose even though they never took anything. Next comes a creepy cryptic phone call. Will Black Cat and Spider-Man be able to work together to stop this new menace? Keep reading to find out!
3. Swamp Thing #1 (2021)
No late October reading list is complete without some Swamp Thing. But which series to recommend? Do we go all the way back to 1972 to see how it all began in the original? Do we dive into the demented mind of the legendary Alan Moore and his 1982 Saga of the Swamp Thing? With all due respect to both of those important series, my pick this week is the more recent 10-part series written by Ram V with art by Mike Perkins. A man named Levi Kamei is now the Guardian of the Green. So what’s he doing in Brooklyn? Why is he also growing out of a cactus in the Sonoran Desert? And who is this terrifying villain known as The Pale Wanderer? These are all questions that come up in this first issue as Levi learns, “if you are worthy, you will return.” Check it out!
2. Marvel Zombies #1 (2005)
Who doesn’t love a good zombie story?? This one was written by Robert Kirkman, with art by Sean Phillips, and cool covers by Arthur Suydam replicating classic Marvel covers. An alien virus has turned our favorite heroes into zombies—and they’ve already eaten all the other people. So what do they do for food now? Why has Silver Surfer just arrived on this earth and will the zombie heroes be able to break through that cosmic armor to get at the tasty, tasty flesh beneath it? Inquiring minds—or at least minds and hearts up for a slightly silly, but still disturbing tale—want to know. Marvel Zombies has all the answers right there waiting for you!
1. Nice House on the Lake #1 (2021)
How is it possible James Tynion IV has written yet another excellent horror book?! I don’t know but he and artist Alvaro Martinez Bueno definitely pulled it off. This book is creepy and awesome. The DC Black Label is killing it! (Heh, see what I did there?) The cast of characters here are interesting and the set up for the story is brilliant: they are all friends with Walter who invited them to an impossibly beautiful house on a lake in Wisconsin. Once there they discover that the rest of the world is on fire. Literally on fire. They are the only survivors, Walter tells them, so they might as well enjoy all the amenities the gorgeous house offers. Oh, and one other teeny, tiny, little detail: Walter isn’t human. What the #$%^ is going on here? You’ll have to keep reading it to find out! This absolute gem of a comic book is my top choice to take you right up to Halloween next Monday.