Welcome back True Believers! You know coffee and comics are two of our favorite things—they go together so well! So we offer the top five comics we are enjoying this week 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 our newest roast, The Grayson.
This bold medium roast is a single origin roast from the Kintamani Highlands, Bali and offers tasting notes of brown sugar, dark chocolate, and vanilla and a nice little kick of spice at the end. This coffee is perfect for striking out on your own and showing the world you are the greatest hero of them all.
The Grayson is Rainforest Alliance Certified so you can feel like a hero while sipping your new favorite coffee.
Now, on to the comics!
5. Batman—One Bad Day: Mr. Freeze #1 (2022)
The One Bad Day line is a series of extra long one-shots, each focusing on a different Batman villain. While they aren’t all great, I found something to recommend about each one: The Riddler is terrifyingly smart. The Penguin shows genuine remorse and growth as a person. Bane and Batman share a secret. Catwoman bumps up against an inexplicably formidable foe. Two Face, well, let’s just say he lives up (down?) to his name.
The Victor Fries story has been told any number of times and in numerous ways. A through line throughout them all is a tragic story of love and loss that leads to desperation. In this story written by Gerry Duggan, Robin, being Robin, wants to try to save Victor and help Nora. Heck, even Batman is moved to compassion for Victor and Nora…at least momentarily. The art by Matteo Scalera is so good, it makes me cold just reading it. I mean, check out the snowflake-as-period on that cover. As is the purpose of this series, we get more backstory of and insight into Victor and Nora than I’ve ever encountered. Throughout the book Victor is revealed to be a cold man, a man who wants to control his wife more than love her or let her live a life. So make no mistake, he truly is a villain.
While the focus is mostly on Mr. Freeze, the very best parts of the story are the interactions between Batman and Robin (who is a fairly young Dick Grayson here). I love that even then, Robin sees through some of Batman’s actions and questions their morality. I really liked this book and think you will too—especially when accompanied by some hot Coffee ’n’ Capes coffee!
4. Captain America: Sentinel of Liberty #1 (2022)
Oh man, this is the Steve Rogers-as-Captain America story I needed but didn’t know it. I fell in love with this character in the 80’s when Cap was all about punching fascists, giving great speeches, and trying to live a normal life too. This story by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing brings it all back—but with a much more self-aware Cap. And if I do say so, a much more self-aware audience. The art by Carmen Carnero looks great too, really brings me back to those old issues—but with a cleaner, more pleasing modern look. We meet Radio Company, and they are perfect. It’s like cheering for your grandparents. They are adorable and formidable. So who is this new foe? What is the Century Game? Are we really to believe that Bucky is hunting super soldiers? I can’t wait to read more.
3. Captain America: Symbol of Truth #1 (2022)
Written by Tochi Onyebuchi, Sam Wilson is back as Captain America! Yep, Steven and Sam are both Cap at the same time. Sam’s Cap suit is as cool as ever, but he seems to have a new shield. Nothing was mentioned about it in the story, so maybe I’m seeing things. Or maybe it is just something R.B. Silva is trying with the way the star in the shield is drawn. Regardless, Sam is flying high—and flying with (new) Falcon trying to run down a train supposedly carrying a component of super soldier serum. Honestly, I don’t yet understand Falcon’s power set, but he seems much more formidable than I remember.
We learn of that tip in a flashback to an evening (don’t call it a date!) Sam spent eating, walking, and talking with Misty Knight. Misty’s intel is usually rock solid, so where is the component? And who are all these dudes fighting the flying duo? Why do all the mercs have the same name? I’ll take all the Sam-as-Cap I can get, so sign me up for this new series.
2. Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow #1 (2022)
Written by Tom King with art by Bilquis Evely, this is the beginning of an 8 issue mini-series that gives us Kara Zor-El like we’ve never seen her before. In typical Tom King fashion, we get the story told out of order with some pieces filled in and others remaining, thus far, a mystery. Our narrator is teenager Ruthye, whose father has just been murdered. She intends to avenge him, even though her six older brothers will not. She meets Kara in a bar. Krypto is there too! There’s a fight and we learn this as yet unnamed planet has a red sun. Meaning Kara might be wearing her Supergirl suit, but she doesn’t have her powers.
So how does she survive getting shot by arrows, stabbed by a sword, and having her spaceship stolen? Through arduous effort, she finds a healer, and it turns out Ruthye’s planet has a…space bus? It makes for a great story. Ruthye has a particular style of speech that is formal yet fun. She’s an excellent narrator. While the two women encounter what could be dismissed as tropes along their journey, King and Evely present them in a fresh manner that feels believable. I can’t say I’ve read many Supergirl stories, but this one has sucked me in and I can’t wait to see where this adventure takes them—and us.
1. The Exiled #1 (2023)
Obviously I’m biased about this book due to our incredible shop exclusive cover by the immensely talented (and Coffee ’n’ Capes friend!) David Sanchez. And, yes, I (and we) think our cover is literally the best of them all. (Get yours right here!) Yet, no matter which cover you decide to purchase, this book stands out. It looks very good with interior art by Gabriel “Eskivo” Santos. But you can’t help but notice it is written by Adam Lawson, Keith Arem…and Wesley Snipes. Yes, that Wesley Snipes!
I know his most recent film work is overshadowed by the three years he spent in federal prison for willful failure to file federal income tax returns. But I’m old enough to remember the 90’s when Wesley Snipes was about as cool as it gets. In Mo’ Better Blues, New Jack City, Jungle Fever, White Men Can’t Jump, Rising Sun, Demolition Man, The Fan, and more, he demonstrated that he could play bad ass tough guy or funny or romantic lead or action hero. He was always a physical specimen and he really is an expert in multiple martial arts. All of those aspects came together in my favorite Wesley Snipes movies, Blade and Blade II. No surprise there, given the comic book connection. (Under duress I will begrudgingly admit that Blade III exists—but there is no way it is making this list.)
Still, what does Snipes know about writing a comic book story? More than enough! I found this book engaging and enticing, telling a story full of pathos and emerging powers. The main character is hardboiled detective Niles "Roach" Washington who is trying to understand and stop a serial killer. What is the killer doing with the spines he viciously pulls out of his victims? Why is the Police Department trying to stymie Roach’s investigation? Is his partner in on the killings? This is a great first issue as it both gives me enough that it pulls me in, while also leaving me wanting more. How soon can issue #2 get here!?
Again, get our shop exclusive cover in trade, virgin, or metal cover right here!