Coda, a heavily anticipated 12-issue series from Boom! Studios, opens in desolation. A once lush, fantastic and beautiful world has been ripped asunder and left a shell. Elements of once plentiful magic still cling to the edges, like the immortality of the dragon (now little more than a threatening voice attached to a pile of bones) we find our protagonist inside. Our taciturn hero, known as Hum, is a malcontent and misanthrope, who would likely be glad for the lack of magic in the world, were his wife not missing. In just the first few panels, Simon Spurrier has done some amazing world-building, the impact of which is backed up by Matías Bergara’s dreamy and heavily emotive illustration style.
Fans of Martin, Tolkien and Pratchett will all find something to love here, and the self-referential humor is sure to make any Dungeons and Dragons veteran chuckle.
There’s a certain magic to how publishing empires like Marvel run their editorial calendar, especially given the frequency of film releases in the MCU. Right on the heels of the newest Avengers film, we have the newest incarnation of the Avengers. After several interesting turns for Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor Odinson, the “Big 3” of the Avengers (Secret Empire, a coma, and unworthiness, respectively), the band is getting back together. The dialogue at times almost breaks the fourth wall and could be any argument heard at comic shops around the world. Yes, we all have regrets about the Avengers’ past events (or plot holes, but who’s counting?). Yes, maybe the world doesn’t need the old guard anymore, and yes, there’s plenty of talented people in a new generation to “Assemble”. But as Captain America argues, there’s no substitute for the original. Writer Jason Aaron’s time at the wheel with Thor serves him well, and the writing is smart, funny and compelling. There’s clearly a lot of love in Ed McGuinness’ mindful illustration and a lot of love for a promising new chapter in the same old story.
Borrowing heavily from visual and thematic elements from Easy Rider, No Country For Old Men, Dukes of Hazard and a healthy dash of Spaghetti Western, Death or Glory comes roaring onto the scene like an 18-wheeler. Glory, our hero, was born and raised outside of the lines of everyday society, part of an aging tribe of truckers and misfits. When her father figure falls ill, she opts for some fairly desperate measures to make things right. Rick Remender’s storyline thus far is a classic heist-gone-wrong scenario, and thickly layers the story with detailed and terrifying characters in this 40-page debut issue. French illustrator Bengal brings a decidedly European influence to the book, from Glory’s biker jacket to the high-detail retro vibes of this adventure in the desert. The first issue doesn’t skimp on the twists, and the next issue is billed as Glory’s discovery of a “criminal empire with a horrifying secret.” Pure pulp with an appropriately Mature rating.
It was a week of promising title launches, and there’s been a lot as summer winds up. What’s on your pull list? What’s got you excited for your summer reading?