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 our brand new Cowabunga Roast. Cowabunga dude, it's some epically tasty coffee. First we took primo Columbian beans and roasted them to perfection. Then we infused them with creamy caramel, rich dark mocha, and a little sea salt to make the perfectly awesome coffee worthy of four brothers in a half shell. This medium roast will fuel all your ninja butt-kicking.
On to the comics!
5. Midnight Suns #1 (2022)
As you can see by the that cover by the always awesome David Nakayama, Magik, Wolverine, Blade, Nico Minoru, and Spirit Rider team up—so you know the situation must indeed be dire! The book opens with one of the worst real-life villains: a religious fanatic supremely confident his bigoted concept of righteousness justifies his violence. How will writer Ethan Sacks and artist Luigi Zagaria possibly follow that? With a creepy prophecy, a terrifying apocalyptic vision, and mystical mist monsters, naturally. Bonus appearance by the fairies, zombies, and limbo monsters of Strange Academy. Oh, and Dr. Doom shows up. Because of course he does!
P.S. This issue is available right here right now!
4. Klaus #1 (2015)
Ready to get in the Christmas spirit? Writer Grant Morrison and artist Dan Mora are here for you! Think of this great looking book as Santa Claus: Year One. Or, as Morrison was rumored to refer to it, All Star Santa. Like all the best holiday stories, Klaus is set in a dark, mythical past full of magic and violence and pet wolves. You do not want to be a deer in this story! As much as I’m making it sound kinda terrible, I truly love this book. It’s a ton of fun and actually has real heart. Santa’s untold origin story starts right here!
3. Swamp Thing: Winter Special (2018)
Tom King writes and Jason Fabok draws this hefty tome (it’s 80 pages!) as a tribute to legendary creators of Swamp Thing, writer Len Wein and artist Bernie Wrightson. This book is not a holiday special but a winter special with lots and lots of snow. All the snow, really. And a snow monster. It most definitely has that Tom King touch: lots of talking, lots of time jumps, lots of longing and loss. With some misdirection. Who is a hero? What makes one a monster? I think the answers have to do with sacrifice and deception. This book has that distinctive Tom King style: the action revolves around the titular hero, but Swamp Thing is there to move you and get you thinking deeply. I understand why that is a polarizing approach, but I appreciate it.
2. All-New Wolverine #1 (2015)
Tom Taylor’s writing on the current run of Nightwing is probably my favorite superhero comic book right now. So much so that I find myself seeking out his earlier work that I haven’t read. Like All-New Wolverine here. It doesn’t matter if it is seven years old if it is new to you! The cover by Bengal practically screams at you and the interior art from David Lopez and David Navarrot looks great. I especially enjoyed the full-page reveal of Laura Kinney’s (aka X-23) new look. This book came out during the time when Logan was dead. Like, dead dead. For real dead. Sure, he’s back now, but then? Dead, I tell you! Dead! So his clone takes on his mantle and look. Speaking of clones…unmasking the assassin at the end? Quite the Orphan Black moment!
1. Nightwing #77 (2016)
Speaking of Nightwing…this isn’t part of that Tom Taylor run, but it is an enjoyable Christmas story by Dan Jurgens (in his Nightwing finale) with art from Ronan Cliquet. I know, I know. That cover by Travis Moore gives you, dear reader, absolutely zero indication you are about to open a holiday story. But you are. The first page features falling snow, a giant Christmas tree, and is called “Abstract Holidays.” So, yeah, it’s Christmas time in Gotham! (There are moments in this book when Nightwing looks way too old, older even than Batman. I don’t love that, but it is a minor quibble.) Dick takes what should be an easy job finding a thief that takes a twist and turns into an opportunity for Nightwing to be fully himself: clever, caring, and correctly siding with people who have been wronged by greedy, selfish rich folks. Nightwing is the best of us. “Abstract Holidays” ends with very concrete expressions of Yuletide cheer: Christmas sweaters, Christmas tree, stockings hung on the fireplace mantle, wrapped presents, a family gathering, remembering a loved one who recently died, and a hearty “Happy Holidays!” Wonderful stuff, indeed.