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. 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.
And. here. we. go:
We are card-carrying French roast fans, so we're giving another feature week to our Ragin’ Cajun French Roast. This dark roast comes from a single origin, high mountain grown, Colombian coffee bean. This small batch, artisan roasted dark coffee is, like your favorite swashbuckling, card-slinging Cajun hero, truly bold but always very smooth.
On to the comics!
5. Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 (2016)
That’s right, Diana Prince and Jaime Sommers together in the same comic! No lie, 10 year old Dave is in love with this book. Ok, current Dave thinks it is pretty great too. The story, written by Andy Mangels with art by Judit Tondora, begins with what I can only describe as a meet cute for our two 70’s icons. Then it has some fun with a bunch of initialed organizations working together to stop a new threat. Whatever. The main thing here is Wonder Woman and the Bionic Woman are working together! This book is pure fun.
4. Thor #364 (1966)
Keeping it lighthearted and throwing it back for the glorious first appearance of Thor, the Frog of Thunder? Yep. Thor has been turned into a frog. As the Thor #364 cover promises, “Possibly the most unusual Thor story ever published!” The title doesn’t disappoint either: “Thor Croaks!” This issue is part of the groundbreaking run on the book written by the incomparable Walter Simonson, with art from Ralph Macchio (NB: not the “Karate Kid” actor), Paul Becton, and John Workman, Jr. This issue is full of goodies: Witness Thor swept away by Jarvis! See Thor spooked by a rat! Watch Toothgrinder (or is that Toothgnasher?) scare a man sober! Marvel as Thor fights dragons! Despair as Thor is conquered by…a flute?? It’s all there, friends. I’m telling you, take this trip down memory lane (or, you know, for the first time). You’ll be glad you did.
3. Ms. Marvel #5 (2014)
Did you watch the Disney+ show? Actually, doesn’t matter how you answer that question. Because either way, this is a great book. I picked this issue for the way it demonstrates (to me at least) how well the show adapted the look and feel of the book. The cover has Ms. Marvel sitting on a light pole. In the story Kamala has to deal with losing a fight for the first time. There’s an exchange between Kamala and her parents that is both tense and tender, making it feel quite normal and realistic. Kamala engages in that most teenage activity: trying to figure out her identity, who she really is. In this case that includes trying to understand her new powers and how to get the most out of them. We feel the depth of friendship between Bruno and Kamala. Plus, some pretty darn good action scenes to boot. It is all so very well written by G. Willow Wilson with art to match by Adrian Alphona.
2. Black Panther #5 (2018)
Internationally acclaimed writer Ta-Nehisi Coates brings his bestselling talents to bear on T’Challa. The art by Daniel Acuna is fantastic. Each issue in this arc begins with a helpful recap of the story thus far. Each recap ends in this crescendo: “This is the story of that man—a king who sought to be a hero, a hero who was reduced to a slave, a slave who advanced into legend.”
T’Challa is in space (it’s a long story), wiped of his memory, enslaved, escaped, hiding. I picked this issue in this run (which Coates calls “Book 1: Many Thousands Gone”) because it is stirring, poignant, and fierce —as a great Black Panther story should be. This is Ta-Nehisi Coates we’re talking about so it is always multilayered and meaningful. e.g. “Do you know what it is to be haunted? The empire doesn’t just steal our past, they steal our futures. How can we move forward when we do not know our names? Who we are? Who we love? Even as I have escaped, I am captured, held fast by these questions. Who am I? How can I move forward knowing not what I am leaving behind?”
Then, in an incredible expressive yet wordless series of panels, T’Challa learns who is truly is and finally accepts what that means for his present. The combination of words and art in this book is some of the best you will find in any medium. And seriously, if you aren’t already familiar with Coates’ writing, do yourself a favor and seek it out. Our grandchildren —and their children after them— will be reading him.
1. Best Archie Comic Ever! #1 (2022)
Who doesn’t love Archie and the gang?? This special one shot is a super creative comic and an absolute blast to read. Three separate stories make up this anthology, putting Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica in situations that juuuust might remind you of some famous superhero types. Yet all three stories remain true to the classic Archie style of adventures with plenty of humor and a bit of romance.
Each story has a different writer and artist team: Fred Van Lente and Tim Seeley tell the hero tale. Aubrey Sitterson and Jed Dougherty give us barbarian action. While Ruben Najera and Giorgia Sposito spin a secret agent story. (Full disclosure: we’re interviewing writer Ruben Najera on our podcast this week!) Put them all together and we get several Spider-Man references, puns a-plenty, and one giant hamburger. So get in the Archie spirit by grabbing this book, your favorite snack, and some delicious Coffee ’n’ Capes coffee!