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 Ivy's Elixir. Nothing says green like Stout Irish Cream with your coffee. We've taken that and combined it with sweet caramel to bring to life a little of the green to start your day. This medium roast comes from a Colombian Supremo bean and is Certified gluten, allergen, sugar and alcohol-free. Making it the perfect companion for enjoying being one with nature.
On to the comics!
After a bunch of posts based on one theme or another, how about five relatively random recommendations today?
5. Wonder Woman: Dead Earth #1 (2019)
Daniel Warren Johnson is a triple threat as writer, artist, and cover artist for this book. I can’t remember running into that very often, if at all. Mike Spicer provides color and help with the cover, so Johnson isn’t exactly doing everything for this book. But still very impressive.
Admittedly, I don’t totally love the jagged edges and rather indistinct art style of this book, but I think it fits the story quite well. Diana awakens to find herself in a post-apocalypse world and it is rough out there. Where is she? How did she get here? Why does she feel so weak? The mystery deepens when she realizes she is in the Batcave. Spoiler alert: Batman didn’t make it. But you might have guessed that from, you know, the title of the book. The other recognizable face person that shows up in a battle is, perhaps, a bit too on the nose. But their new look is truly something to behold! Give this book a try if you like gladiator-style battles in a world constantly on fire with mutated monsters running amok. (Or if you want to see what Twitter will look like by, like, next week.)
4. Sheriff of Babylon #1 (2015)
I haven’t been shy about sharing with you how much I tend to enjoy comics written by Tom King. I missed Sheriff of Babylon when it came out seven years ago, but came across it recently. Mitch Gerads provides the illustrations and John Paul Leon does the cover art. This miniseries is based in part on King’s actual experiences as a CIA operations officer. Set in Iraq circa 2004, Sheriff of Babylon tells a crime drama story in the midst of a war zone. As much as that sounds like it could be…Batman-esque, this ain’t Batman. Murder, cover up, conflicting motives, this story is about as gritty and sordid as you can imagine. Christopher’s job is to train police recruits in Baghdad. He gets teamed up with Nassir, an old Iraqi cop. Both men have some kind of connection to the mysterious Sofia. This first issue features a few Tom King staples: Plenty of dialogue that still somehow manages to be sparse. Multiple conversations shown all at once. A small detail on page one that suddenly becomes paramount on the penultimate page. Then some time-twisting that will have you rereading the last few pages a couple times to fully get it. Or maybe that was just me. Not a feel-good book but still a good book.
3. Deadpool #1 (2022)
Whaddya say we switch up the tone here? Deadpool seems like the perfect antidote to two good but bleak books. That’s just what we get here in this brand new series from writer Alyssa Wong, with art and cover art by Martin Coccolo. This comic has everything you love from a Deadpool story: Breaking the fourth wall, sexual innuendo, silly drawings, witty repartee, body horror, enjoyable fight scenes, and…Harrow, Marvel’s version of Poison Ivy?? I was not expecting that. Nor am I totally convinced for the need of such an obvious ripoff to exist. On the other hand, Marvel and DC ripping off each other is a long and storied tradition. (e.g. Green Arrow and Hawkeye; Aquaman and Namor; Lobo and Logan.) So, what the hell, let’s just go with it! The main plot here flows out of the Absolute Carnage event — of which I have read exactly zero books and it was fine. So don’t let that scare you away either. Even the “Bullpen Bulletin” about author Alyssa Wong is done Deadpool style. It’s great! Very entertaining and fun just like a Deadpool story is supposed to be. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I think you will too. Bonus! Deadpool #1 is available in all its wonderful variant covers right here on our site. Or, better yet, get this issue in one of our Deadpool Coffee 'n' Comics Super Boxes!
2. The New Champion of Shazam! #1 (2022)
Writer Josie Campbell teams up with do-it-all artist Evan “Doc” Shaner to bring us Mary Broomfield in her very first solo book! The story begins with Mary heading off to her first days at college. There, like so many young people before her, she hopes to figure out who she really is. She meets her new roommates (who are awesome), they really hit it off, and then head to an orientation meeting with all the other first year students. And that’s when the magic happens! Through a talking rabbit. (Why do magic and rabbits always seem to go together??) Aaaaand that’s about the end of normal college life for Mary, er, Marina. Why? The world needs her to be a superhero again! So says Billy Batson from the Rock of Eternity through the rabbit. Because of one weird bank robber? That doesn’t seem right. Still, she saves the day in the midst of discovering that she has five times her previous power. Only to return to school to find police officers waiting for her. But she’s not in trouble for stealing her roommate’s rabbit, her parents are missing! What happens next? Pick up this series and find out.
1. Fantastic Four #1 (2018)
After a bit of an hiatus, Marvel’s First Family returned! Two separate-but- connected stories make up this book. Dan Slott, Sara Pichelli, Simone Bianchi, and Skottie Young all get writing credits. Inkers and artists are Sara Pichelli, Elisabetta D’Amico, Marte Gracia, Marco Russo, and Jeremy Treece. The main cover boasts the unmistakable art of Esad Ribic.
I’ll be honest with you, gentle readers, I’ve never been the biggest FF fan. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t actively dislike them. (Although I did dislike that the old ‘80s cartoon FF show replaced Human Torch with some weird robot. Of course I still watched the show—it was a super hero cartoon after all!) I’ve just never really gone out of my way to follow all their exploits in all the different incarnations of their team. So I was definitely not prepared for the emotional wallop of the conclusion to the first story. Red and Sue are missing. Johnny is convinced they are coming back. Ben knows better. This tale kicking off this new book provides a great reminder that the driving force throughout the FF is family.
The second story brings back the team’s greatest rival, Dr. Doom. He’s all sorcery guy here—sans mask even! Well, kinda. I don’t know where Doom has been either. But keep reading and I’m sure he’ll tell us eventually. Does any character like to talk about himself more than Doom?? Lastly, the third story is just a fun, single page, quick hit starring The Impossible Man that breaks the fourth wall. Put it all together and you’ve got yourself a near perfect FF reboot! (We don’t have this issue available, but check here for the Fantastic Four books we do have!)