Comics

Best Comics of June: Thanos' Childhood and Hawkeye's Dog

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

Superman Unchained #1: To me Superman remains iconic, but uninteresting. I can count the moments I've been riveted by a Superman story on a single hand, but if anyone can make Big Blue interesting it's Scott Snyder. Of course, he's partnering with Jim Lee on this so it can't be all good.

Clark Kent has taken a page out of Daredevil's book and apparently left his high-collar job for a more low-key journalistic affair. Sometimes these are actually Kent's best moments, when he spends time being human in contrast to being a God. Still, the book is 75 percent giant-punching space drama, including a poster-sized fold-out page that is just not that enticing. There's some hope, though, as the United States military, led by Lois Lane's father apparently has another Superman that was previously used to destroy Nagasaki in World War II. It'll probably just be more punching, but this time with purpose if we're lucky.

Rating: 6 of 10

Thanos Rising #2: Thanos the titan is about to be a household name in the next wave of Marvel movies, and it's about time because he has always been a magnificent character. He's truly an example of a character that has been created but can never really be understood, and Jason Aaron explores his childhood with great depth without ever lifting the mystery.

A genetic mutation of the otherwise perfect Eternals, Thanos is hand-picked by Death herself to be molded into the perfect consort. She shadows his entire life, leading him to situations that turn a boy who just wants to be loved into a killer who has no idea why he is doing it. It's a terrible, gruesome journey that is a worthy entry into the Mad God's mythology. New and old fans will find everything to love about this run.

Rating: 8 of 10

Lazarus #1: Jeremy Bulloch assured me that Lazarus #1 was the best book he'd seen in a while, and he was right. It's like a secular version of Gary Watson's After Twilight on steroids and meth. The story follows a young woman named forever who cannot be killed. Well, she can be but she rises from the dead shortly after.

Forever is part of a dictatorial family that apparently holds hundreds, maybe thousand in serfdom. The world is a dystopia where food is scarce, and Forever's amazing abilities are used to maintain what appears to be a very evil empire. Nonetheless, she already questions what her role is and what is regularly being done to her body in the name of her Family.

It's an instantly engaging book that has all the hallmarks of a good Phillip K. Dick story, but presented with Michael Lark's powerful artwork. There's a huge, simmer political metaphor bubbling just below the surface that with surely take the book from great to epic in the coming weeks. If you're looking for something new and wonderful to try, Lazarus is it.

Rating: 9 of 10

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Jef Rouner (not cis, he/him) is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner