Welcome back True Believers to our weekly series where we run down the top five comics we are enjoying with our coffee. Each week we will share the comic book stories we are enjoying with the week's featured coffee roast. Of course 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. Let's get into it.
One last time, our featured roast is our limited edition Asgardian Amber in celebration of the Thor: Love & Thunder movie from Marvel. Asgardian Amber is about as close as we can get to what we imagine mead is like (without the alcohol and added in coffee) in the halls of Valhalla. This coffee is a single origin from Central America using an El Salvador Peaberry bean.
We take this amazing bean and roast it to medium perfection. The result is notes of blueberry, raspberry, honey (mead), and a little milk chocolate. The combo definitely brings the thunder to your taste buds. Try some before it is gone!
And. here. we. go:
TOP 5 WEEK OF JULY 25th:
5. Saga #55 (2022)
Ok, I admit it: I arrived at the Saga party way, way, way late. Not even fashionably late, just straight up embarrassingly late. Over and over again for years (years!) I saw Saga on Top 25 Graphic Novels lists. And — like a dummy — over and over again I ignored it. Until I didn’t. I’m so glad I finally picked it up! Written by Brian K. Vaughan with art by Fiona Staples, Saga is the story of Alana and Marko and their precocious daughter, Hazel. I find this science fiction/fantasy/space epic about lovers from two long-warring races and planets to be part Star Wars, part Romeo & Juliet (without the creepy underage stuff), and part Simpsons. Saga is violent yet thoughtful, hilarious yet poignant, and provocative in every sense of the word.
The first story arc began in (I wasn’t kidding about ignoring for years) 2012 and lasted until 2018, when Vaughan and Staples took an intermission. An intermission that turned into a hiatus. But with issue #55, they are back! I won’t say too much about the story in case you want to go back and catch up through the Trade Paper Backs (If you can’t already tell, I highly recommend you do that!). However, if 54 issues over 9 TPB is too daunting, issue #55 is a great place to begin. The story jumps ahead a few years and Hazel narrates with style, reminding the reader of what they need to know about what has led the family to this point in their lives. Issue #55 begins the second half of the planned 108 chapters — so learn from my mistake and don’t wait any longer to start reading Saga!
4. DC vs. Vampires #1 (2021)
Not unlike the DCeased series, this book begins a new tale of our favorite Justice Leaguers and friends taking on vampires. (Hence the title.) Art by Otto Schmidt, written by Matthew Rosenberg and James Tynion IV. While the art is a bit…indistinct? I think it fits the subject matter pretty well. After all, both vampires and super heroes are difficult to get a definitive look at, are they not? They rarely stand still long enough to see them clearly and the art in this book reflects that. Come for the outlandish set up in this non-continuity series, stay for the shocking death! Seriously, you won’t believe who, ahem, bites the dust in this first issue. It’s good fun and the series promises to be a bloody good time.
3. Thor: God of Thunder #12 (2012)
Written by Jason Aaron, art by Esad Ribic and Nic Klein, this book is the best filler issue I’ve ever read. Filler issue? Sometimes when a story arc ends, a book will wait an issue before starting the next arc. Those issues might feature a different artist or writer. They might tell a story from the hero’s past or future. Those issues might focus on a side character. You know, filler. I think Thor: God of Thunder #12 is the greatest such issue because, though it is in-between arcs, it tells tales of Thor in situations we’ve never encountered.
To me this issue shows Thor at his most worthy. This issue shows Thor truly being the kind of god earth needs. We see him spend time with many different people, especially some people who really needed a friend. He brings a special meal to a man right before his execution, and stays with him until the end. Thor visits monks, nuns, and children. He celebrates with veterans, brings rain to a parched land, and angrily disperses a crowd of bigots who claim to speak for God. Next Thor meets a new friend in environmental scientist, Roz Solomon, newly minted Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. Roz goes on to become an important character throughout Aaron's 7-year Thor story. Finally, this issue is worthy of your time because it reintroduces us to Dr. Jane Foster. And that is the beginning of a story arc that will prove to be quite...Mighty.
2. Nightwing #78 (2016)
Nightwing, written by Tom Taylor, art by Bruno Redondo, is my favorite ongoing DC series. Issue #78 is a reset, the beginning of a whole new story for the original Robin. Dick Grayson is back in Bludhaven when he receives a surprise visit from Barbara Gordon. As you might expect, the chemistry between Dick and Babs is instant and intense. Even more surprising and intense is the news Barbara brings in the form of a letter from the late, much-lamented Alfred. I won’t spoil it here, but trust me when I say everything changes for Dick (and Nightwing!) after reading the letter. I find the ethical questions Taylor asks through Nightwing to be deeper and more meaningful than just about any comic book I've encountered. One caveat: this issues is largely sold out, so you might have to do as I did and buy the Trade Hardcover to get it. Totally worth it!
1. She-Hulk #1 (2022)
Read this to get ready for the new Disney+ show! Well, the truth is I have no idea on which books that TV series will be based. Regardless, this new-this-year series is a great place to start. Good entry points seem to be the theme here this week.
More truthfulness: I just started this series, which is written by Rainbow Rowell with art from Roge Antonia and Rice Renzi. I have no idea where it is going or how good it is. I just know that Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk is an interesting character. She’s never bothered trying to keep her identity secret. She’s been savage and sensational. She’s been an Avenger and a Fantastic Four. She’s actually had a “real” job as a lawyer. That’s where this issue starts, with Jen Walters the attorney. She has a new job with a new boss. She reconnects with an old friend and fights an old enemy —until they reach an agreement as frenemies. It’s pretty much everything you want from a She-Hulk book. And then it goes and resurrects a character I’m pretty sure died in the 80s: Jack of Hearts! Who?! Exactly. A tertiary hero at best. Looking forward to seeing where this series goes…and learning why I should care about Jack of Hearts.