Best Comics in August: That Ol' Messed Up Religion

Once a month the amazing staff at 8th Dimension Comics selects a pile of the best new releases for us to peruse and judge.

Justice League Dark #12

The magical arm of the Justice League has gotten a lot better since Jeff Lemire took over the writing, but in some ways I feel he's still undoing a lot of the mistakes of his predecessor. In this issue, the League are trying their damndest to keep the fabled and all-powerful Books of Magic out of the hands of Felix Faust, but even the normally sly John Constantine is tricked at every turn. The book has become a sort of cameo-fest for magical DC characters, and ultimately isn't really trucking along on story as much as it can. Still, they get points for linking up with Gaiman's Books of Magic and Timothy Hunter. If you can't get excited over the boy that clearly inspired Harry Potter then what can you get excited over?

Rating: 6 of 10

Captain Marvel #2

Jeremy Bulloch of 8th Dimension Comics, "They're trying to turn her into Marvel's Wonder Woman."

Me, "Badly written?"

All joking aside, I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Carol Danvers. She's more pinup than hero, an all-powerful symbol of feminine strength that never really got the showcase she deserved. The new series under Kelly Sue Deconnick really gives her the chance to shine as she was always meant to. In a way, it's a complete reboot of her origin in a Marvel universe that desperately needs not only an insanely powerful superhuman, but a woman with the heart she has.

Rating: 7 of 10

Punk Rock Jesus #1

Sean Murphy is either going to become the greatest name in comic history or this is the last time he'll ever see print. Totally one or the other. Punk Rock Jesus exists in a world where the Second Coming plays out in the same world as 16 & Pregnant. It's a time of reality shows cashing in on the religious zealotry that's made living in this state such a pain in the ass lately. Brilliant, twisted book that should not be skipped by anyone.

Rating: 9 of 10

Revival #1

Man, my selection is awfully religious this month. Revival deals with a small town where the dead have come back to life... not zombies, but as a regular people. Now the world is threatening to break down their doors in search of a miracle while the mystery of what the Revivers are turns bloody and strange. It s a dark, weird book that threatens the safety of all undead fiction... thank fucking God.

Rating: 8 of 10

The Amazing Spider-Man #692

Spider-Man is 50 years old... seriously. That's how long it's been since the world met Peter Parker. In this massive issue we get a look at Spidey accidentally birthing a sidekick into superpower teenage rebellion, a heartbreaking tale of a man who wears the costume for a day to bring joy to his dying granddaughter, and a hilarious encounter with Ben Grimm and Spidey's sadly flammable costume.

Rating: 8 of 10

Before Watchmen: Doctor Manhattan #1

You know what? I'm going to say it. Before Watchmen was a good idea that has mostly been handled perfectly. Dr. Manhattan may have been the most difficult character to tackle, but trust J. Michael Straczynski to do it perfectly. He's opened a whole world where Jon Osterman never became the all-powerful Manhattan, and still managed to do it with the same non-linear style that Alan Moore used to make Manhattan so otherwordly in the first place.

Rating: 7 of 10

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