This year’s San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, but the monthly cycle of comics continues to churn. This August brings a fascinating new series debut in the form of Image’s Coffin Bound, while Marvel Comics celebrates its 80th anniversary with a jam-packed issue. The climax of Tom King’s Batman series is starting to rev up, while the Justice League figures out what to make of their Black Hammer counterparts in an unexpected crossover.
Below, see the full list of our five recommended comics this month.
Coffin Bound #1 (Image)
Dan Watters (writer), Dani (artist)
As the writer of the Sandman Universe’s new Lucifer series, Dan Watters has proven himself capable of spinning imaginative fantasy comics that honor the spirit of Vertigo’s golden age while still carrying their own unique flavor. But while Lucifer features Watters and the Fiumara brothers building on the work that Neil Gaiman, Mike Carey, and others had done with the devil over the years, Coffin Bound is wholly original. Fresh concepts and characters pop up on almost every page, courtesy of Watters’ mind and Dani’s art. The main character is Izzy, who’s running from death in a desecrated world. Her main companion is a talking vulture with a birdcage around his head, and so far her primary enemy is the Eartheater, a horrifying gimp-masked monstrosity that can track any query by chewing the residue they left behind in the soil. He’s reminiscent of something from Grant Morrison’s cult-favorite Doom Patrol comics, but more scary than amusing. This is a series to keep your eye on.
Pre-order Coffin Bound #1 here.
Marvel Comics #1000
(Too many writers and artists to list, but overseen by writer Al Ewing and editor Tom Brevoort)
DC has had a bevy of big anniversaries lately. Last year was the 80th anniversary of Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1, and DC celebrated with a super-sized Action Comics #1000 issue. Earlier this year, they did the same thing with Batman and Detective Comics. Now Marvel’s getting in on the action, celebrating its own 80th anniversary with a truly massive anniversary comic. Marvel Comics #1000 will be 80 pages long, with each page representing a year of Marvel and each one written and illustrated by a different creative team. It’s a star-studded lineup, ranging from current comic creators like Saladin Ahmed and Kris Anka to legends like Roy Thomas and Peter David, as well as out-of-the-box contributors like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Phil Lord, and Chris Miller. The whole story of the issue is overseen by Immortal Hulk writer Al Ewing and editor Tom Brevoort, who can be trusted to turn such a jigsaw issue into a fascinating mystery.
Pre-order Marvel Comics #1000 here.
Sea of Stars #2 (Image)
Jason Aaron & Dennis Hallum (writers), Stephen Green & Rico Renzi (artists)
“Space is so crapping boring,” reads the first line of this intriguing new sci-fi series. Thankfully, that line was disproved over the course of the first issue last month. Space pilot Gil brought his son Kadyn along for a routine delivery, hoping to bond in the wake of the loss of Kadyn’s mother. But then something extremely not-boring happened: A gigantic leviathan creature crashed into their ship, destroying it and scattering Kadyn and Gil in opposite directions. But that’s not all: In the chaos, Kadyn also touched some kind of artifact that has now given him strange abilities (like breathing in space without a functioning suit). Now, father and son have to find each other across a vast expanse of space filled with colorful planets and otherworldly creatures.
Pre-order Sea of Stars #2 here.
Batman #76-77 (DC Comics)
Tom King (writer), Tony S. Daniel (artist)
“City of Bane” is here! Last month’s Batman #75 kicked off the epic story arc that’s set to be the climax of King’s incredible three-year run with the Dark Knight. That issue set up the new state of affairs in Gotham City: Controlled completely by Bane, who rules the city like a dictator, staffs the police with supervillains like the Joker, and keeps order with the help of the Flashpoint Thomas Wayne Batman and the powerful Gotham Girl. Bruce Wayne, meanwhile, appeared to be on his last legs, trudging through the Himalayas with nothing but the clothes on his back…until he found Catwoman, that is. Now it’s time for the comeback.
As King recently told EW, “We’re finally turning that corner.” He compared Batman’s current situation to that of John Wick after his dog is killed or Wolverine emerging defiant from the sewage of the Hellfire Club in the Dark Phoenix Saga. Batman has been so thoroughly defeated that it will be an absolute delight to see how he gets his revenge.
Black Hammer/Justice League: Hammer of Justice #2 (Dark Horse)
Jeff Lemire (writer), Michael Walsh (artist)
Black Hammer started out a few years ago as an interesting take on the superhero genre from one of the most acclaimed and prolific writers in comics. The original premise featured a group of classic superhero archetypes trapped on a bucolic rural farm in the wake of a Crisis on Infinite Earths-like crossover clash, but in the years since Black Hammer has grown into its own fully-fledged superhero universe, complete with multiple spin-off series illustrating Lemire’s rich world. The proof of that is this fascinating crossover series in which the Black Hammer characters come face-to-face with DC’s heroic pantheon. The first issue last month saw the two groups switch places, and this issue delves into how Batman is now adapting to life on a farm. Hint: Not well!
Pre-order Hammer of Justice #2 here.